I look at myself in the full length mirror that hangs on the back of my bedroom door, my new tan looking even darker against my white school shirt. I can’t wait to get back in school, just as something to take my mind off of Jake. It’s been over a week since I got back and no amount of British rain can wash away my memories of him. I take a deep breath and straighten my tie, smiling at my reflection. It’s a new school year, I’m going to see my friends, and I’m going to be ok. +
My school’s building is modern, lots of white, lots of windows, and lots of students. It’s easy to lose yourself in the mass of teens in the corridors, but once I get to my form room and see my friends already sat in our spot at the back of the room, everything feels like routine again. I join them, and we all hug each other.
They all already know everything there is to know about Jake. Every night in my hotel room I would fill them in on the details of my day, and after what happened with the text message, they were all almost just as disappointed as I was.
I sit myself in my usual spot between Alex and Mary, facing Lisa who was sat opposite me. All of them smile at me and ask me how I am.
“I’m fine.” Each of them gives me a look that says they don’t believe me. “Honestly, I’m better than I was before.”
“Just because you’re better doesn’t mean you’re fine.” Mary says, shaking her head.
“It doesn’t matter either way because there’s apparently a new boy joining.” Alex says with a shrug.
“So?” Lisa questions.
“Sooo we can just get Amber with him and she’ll forget all about Jake.” Alex finishes.
“But what if he’s ugly? Or weird? Or both?” Asks Mary.
We all just laugh and I shake my head. “No more boys.”
Alex smacks me on the arm. “Yes more boys! We need to get rid of Jake; otherwise you’ll never get over it. We can tell you obviously really liked him.”
“Just because I really liked him doesn’t mean I need to replace him.” I say, shrugging slightly.
“Denial, it’s the first stage.” Lisa says, shaking her head.
“I’m not in denial! I just…It was good, great even, but it’s over. I just need to let everything go back to how it was.”
“We’re setting you up with the new guy.” Alex says plainly, and the others nod in agreement. I just shake my head, knowing there’s nothing I could say to change their minds.
Mary comes running up to our table at lunch, throwing herself into her spot on the bench.
“Have any of you seen the new guy?”
We all shake our heads, “No sign of him.” Lisa replies.
“Ugh, how is this possible?” Alex groans, “He has to be somewhere.”
Mary looks at me, “Stop looking so smug, don’t think this means we’ve given up.”
I hold my hands up, “I’m just saying, maybe it’s just not meant to be.”
My friends spent the whole first week back looking for the new guy to no avail. He’s nowhere to be seen and I can’t help but feel a little relieved that it was probably just a rumour to begin with.
“I still haven’t given up, loads of new people miss the first week.”
I roll my eyes as I hear Alex from behind me.
“Yeah, didn’t Trish Cardem miss the first week before joining?” Mary adds as she joins us, Lisa by her side.
“Ooo yeah, and Dean Witlow.” Alex says, clicking her fingers with the memory.
“Ya hear that Ambs, there’s hope for you yet.” Lisa says, putting her arm around my shoulders. The touch instantly reminds me of Jake and I swallow the lump in my throat, forcing a smile.
“Yay me.” I say dryly.
“I wonder what he looks like.” Mary muses from beside me.
Alex nods in agreement, “I wonder what his name is. I think Amber would suit a William.”
“A William?” I question.
“Yeah, Amber and Will.”
“Oh my God, yes, that is so cute. If he’s not a William now I’m going to be so disappointed.” Lisa says, excitedly.
“I guess Will is kinda cute.” I say.
“There you go.” Lisa says, bumping my hip with her own. “We used to always talk about boys like this.”
Alex nods, “You’ve had your mopey week, now we need the old Amber back.”
I smile, “I’m getting there.”
They all encircle me in a hug and I laugh, “We’re blocking the corridor.”
Mary laughs, “Friendship comes first.” +
“I love you guys.” Lisa says, squeezing us all tighter.
Alex pulls back, “Right soppy moment over, we’re all going to be late for English.”
We all go our separate ways and I smile. I may have lost Jake, but I’ll never lose my friends.