Chapter seven - meeting the past
No one actually heard the glass break when it did. No one came running to see what the noise was. I didn’t feel much like reading anymore as I left the book on the desk, deciding to leave the library. I kept my hands around myself, feeling more protected as I made my way towards the coffee place. Also known as “the coffin”. It was meant to be a joke around the place but soon became known for it with its coffin shaped door and vampire dressed staff. The staff where required to wear a black uniform with fake blood placed on it. Some helped add to the fact by adding some white make up to make themselves look pale. Obvious to say, most of those people where girls.
You should see it in October when Halloween is near. The staff take a break from the classic vampire theme and instead wear whatever horrors they can think of. Werewolves, ghosts, Zombies… It really is quite a sight.
Maybe that’s why the coffin is always so packed. I know one or two vampire obsessed people who go there purely to see if they can find a real vampire. Though obviously they have no success. If only they knew what actually hid in the shadows.
I pulled my jacket over my head as I ran through the pouring rain towards the coffin. A few students ran past me in the rain, carrying obnoxiously large umbrellas as they stressed about their work books getting wet and damp. I kept my head down as I pushed through the black wooden doors. It was quite a change in scene hearing the loud voices of conversations taking place all over the place. People bustled past me, either trying to find a table or trying to quickly rush out, going to wherever they needed to be.
I took a step forward, joining the exceptionally long queue. I would have thought there’d be a few more people who would take their coffee in a flask to Darkwood instead of having to waist precious time waiting in the queue.
The queue took about twenty minutes before I was the one ordering. Heaven knows where I was going to sit.
“Can I have a cafe latte please?” I ordered, looking up at the waitress. Her face looked stunned as she grapsed the thin paper cup, just staring at me, the fake blood smeared as her ****** expression now looked deeply suited to the vampire theme. What? Had I said something wrong? I turned around, expecting to see something gape worthy but there was nothing. Just the people eating their delicate cakes and sipping their hot beverages.
I turned back to face the girl, still confused.
“Alex?” She questioned, looking me straight in the eyes. I squinted at the girl. How on Earth could she know my name? I felt as if my stomach was eating itself with my nerves. Oh my god. It was Jennifer. I didn’t recognise her in the large coating of makeup she wore. She’s my old best friend. And she recognised me. I didn’t know how to react. I thought everyone I had been close to had already left this dump of a town. I had met Kelly in the University at the beginning of last year, when I actually came back. But here was Jennifer now. The one person who knew me the most. Well, person still alive.
I still didn’t know if I should go along with it and let her know who I was or pretend to still be Ruby.
“Come down to the back now.” She said sternly as she ripped of her red apron, getting a few complaints from behind me. She did nothing more than stick her tongue out at them as she grabbed my arm, opening the door of the bar to pull me through. Jennifer was lucky that there were other people working to sooth the students need for caffeine. She grabbed a bottle of the orange juice they sold in the university as she opened the door which strictly said “staff only”. Though Jennifer had always been a rebel.
I followed obediently as I was yanked into the staff room. Looking around it looked like a coffee place in its self only without anyone working the small bar and not many people. So the staffs coffee place. Nice. Maybe I might try to get a job here.
She sat me down in a chair as she sat opposite me. Placing the orange juice in front of me she placed her arms on the table, waiting expectantly for me to answer.
“Where have you been?” She whispered harshly. “We all thought you were dead. We even had a funeral for ***** sake.” I took a deep breath. Jennifer only swears when she’s really annoyed.
“I had to run away.” I said, trying to cut down all the other things I was trying to hide. It was weird, actually feeling awkward around Jennifer and trying to hide things from her.
“Ok, spill. Tell me right now where you and your brother have been.” I felt a pang in my heart. My brother and Jennifer had a close bond. Not as close as me and her but it was sort of like Jennifer was part of the family. Sort of like she was our sister. The one who I left behind.
I leant in towards the table, placing my hands further in front of me, hoping that would give me even the smallest bit more of privacy.
“Do you really want to know?” I asked, debating whether or not to tell her the real truth. The one which I have hidden throughout my life.
“Yes.” She expressed loudly as a few heads turned to look at her. I kept my own head down, wanting to be left out of the matter.
Should I really tell her everything? All about the lights and the darks? But that can put her in danger. But then again, I can’t bare lying to her. And I can’t do this alone anymore. I’ve found my best friend and I need her.
“It won’t be believable.” I warned her.
“I don’t care. I’ve found my old BFF. Do you really think I’m not going to want to understand?” She pushed her chair backwards as she walked over to me, a heart aching smile on her face. She leaned forwards as she reached for me. I let her arms wrap around me in a warm hug as I placed my arms around her as well. It felt so good to have someone to hug. I had to live without anyone who cared for me from my past for at least three years.
She let go of me, slowly pulling away as she put her head down to look at me. Her face was tear stricken now. So was mine. She started laughing a little, seeing what the scenario we were in.
“God, this is so clique.” She laughed as her pale makeup started to run down her face.
“Oh, please don’t break up with me.” She shouted in a deep voice to make her sound male as she got on her knees and pretended to beg. I burst out laughing as she did this. Jennifer had always been one to make a scene. I must admit, we did get some pretty weird looks but it was worth it. I got my best friend back. It had been the first time I had properly laughed in quite a while.
“I’m sorry, but I’ve moved on.” I tried continuing by putting on a high pitch squeaky voice as I breathed faster, making it sound like I was going to cry.
“Nooooo!” Jennifer shouted, shaking her fists upwards. Then she noticed that everyone in the staff coffee place where staring at her.
“What? You never seen a best friend reunion?” She said menacingly to them all. They instantly all turned back to what they were doing. I guess Jennifer has already shown them what she’s like when she’s annoyed. That’s Jennifer for you.
“Ok, tell me everything.” She said excitedly as she placed her head in her hands, looking at me yet again expectantly after taking her seat.
“This isn’t really the best place to talk.” I told her, peering round the uncomfortably quiet staff.
“Oh. I get you. Meet at your place? Wait, do you still live in the same house?” She asked me, not really sure of how much of a difference there was. I had to be absolutely sure the silver blades wouldn’t remember me. I knew they’d be suspicious if I lived in the same house “Alex” used to live in. Besides, it brought back to many memories of my family. My long gone family.
“No. I’ve moved. What time does your shift end?” I asked her, hoping it wasn’t soon or else then I’d have to wait at least another day to talk to her.
“Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’ll wait however long you need. No way am I missing a chance to talk to my best friend again. You can’t get rid of me that easily.” She joked, pocking me in the shoulder. I smiled at her thoughtfulness. Wait, me and Kelly where meant to be walking home today. Do I introduce them yet or make up an excuse to one of them?
“Could you meet me down my road at four?” I sucked my teeth, unsure if that would be ok with her. I had no idea how comfortable she was with this anymore. I mean, we hadn’t talked to each other in around three years.
“Sure. Where do you live now?” Jennifer questioned as she flicked a strand of her bright red hair behind her ear.
“Um… Down Brandon’s road.” I said slowly in an awkward tone. Brandon was a pervert to say the least. And he did try things on basically every girl he came across, including me, like I’ve said before. But Jennifer had always had a weird crush on him. That was until she was at a party with him and he tried to make out with her. Ever since, she has been disgusted by him and despises his very existence. Like most girls.
Jennifer paused, becoming less sure.
“Oh, don’t worry. He’s got a hangover right now so he won’t be up drinking till at least nine.” I assured her. Then I realised how I’d put what I just said. I knew he’d have a hangover right now. I had seen how much he had drunk last night and there’s no way he could get over it that quickly, even with the amount of alcohol he normally drinks. “At least from what I’ve been told by other people.” I quickly continued, clearing that up. I did not want her knowing I was at Brandon’s last night. Though I’ll probably end up telling her soon.
“Jennifer. Get back out here now or else you’re fired.” A guy shouted at Jennifer from the entrance back into the cafe.
“God, give me a minute. I’m trying to figure out when and where to meet my best friend who I haven’t seen in two years. Give me a break.” She sighed the last bit, shaking her head. I couldn’t help but laugh at her behaviour towards the other staff. Not that I’d ever be confident enough to talk back to people as much as she does.
“Right. So you want me to meet you where on the road?” She asked, standing up as she picked up an apron which had been lying on the chair sitting next to her.
“You know where that creepy guy jumped out at us on Halloween?” I smiled remembering that. When we were younger we had gone trick or treating down Brandon’s road as a joke I guess. I think it was because Jennifer wanted an excuse to talk to him. Though I just found it awkward. When we turned the road a guy jumped out at us, holding a bowl of candy for us to take from. But we were so scared that Jennifer dropped all her candy in surprise and was only able to grab a handful of it as we ran in the opposite direction. Looking back on that now it seems sort of funny. Though I would never be able to laugh at it now if it happened again seeing as the whole thing with the silver blades and Slade.
“Oh my God. What if he comes back to steal my candy?” She gasped, pulling a fake worried face as she placed her hand to her chest. I just shook my head at her childish ways.
“What about the orange juice?” I called out to her as she was halfway to the door.
“It’s yours. It used to be your favourite.” She smiled at me before making her way through the door. It still was my favourite.