TW: Homophobic slurs
“It’s too early for her bullshit,” I groaned.
“Aren’t you curious to know what’s gotten her riled up this time?” Elliot asked.
“Not really, no,” I sipped at my coffee.
“What if she murdered the mysterious cousin?” Elliot questioned. “Ooh, what if the mysterious cousin is murdering her?”
“If he’s murdering her then he is doing the world a favour,” I replied.
We sat in silence, staring at each other as we listened to the muffled shouting coming from outside.
“You aren’t curious at all~?” Elliot asked, suggestively wiggling his eyebrows.
I clenched my jaw, trying not to give into my drama-loving side. But the more I listened to the banter outside, the more intrigued I became.
I let out a heavy sigh. “Ugh, fine, you got me.”
I finished my coffee and then headed to the front door with Elliot following. Opening the door, the loud bickering hit us and immediately made me regret my decision to investigate.
“You’re being ridiculous!” Jules exclaimed at her. “It’s not that big of a deal.”
Outside, Abby and Jules stood on their driveway. With uniforms and bags on, I assumed they were waiting for their lift to school.
“Not that big of a deal?” Abby fumed.
Even from where I was standing, I could see steam coming out from her ears.
Boy, you gon die now.
“You might want to go save the poor bastard before she rips his head off,” Elliot quietly suggested.
“Yeahhhh,” I dragged out, grimacing as I thought of getting involved. “The thing is, I don’t want to get my head ripped off.”
“Everything would’ve been just perfect if you never came here!” Abby snapped at him. “You ruined everything!”
She threw a toddler tantrum, stomping her feet around while gripping the ends of her dark hair. Jules just shook his head, clearly done with her drama.
“All I’m doing is trying to help your parents!” Jules snapped back at her. “I’m sorry they realised that they don’t need to take your crap anymore.”
“You’re so full of shit,” Abby got real close to him. “You think you have them fooled but you’re dead wrong. Sooner or later they’ll realise what a mistake you are and toss you out like trash.”
I don’t know what came over me. Usually, I stay out of her drama. But seeing Jules stuck in this situation just annoyed the hell out of me. I sighed, deciding to go over there and back him up.
“Can you just calm down?” Jules said to her. “This ‘Drama Queen’ act is getting old.”
Abby screeched, startling me as I watched her go to slap Jules. He caught her arm, holding it as he stared her down.
I stood to the side, only metres away, as I watched them intently. I had no idea how to intervene without making things a lot worse.
“Everything would’ve been fine if you just stayed in your place!” Abby ripped her wrist back from him.
“Oh Jesus, Abby, I’m so sorry I actually give a damn about your parents,” Jules retorted. “Maybe you should learn a thing or two about that.”
“Just go away, Jules,” Abby said. “There isn’t a single person that wants you here.”
Jules didn’t have a comeback for that. He just clenched his jaw and fists, staring back at her.
“Wow, Abby, what gives you that impression?” I said loudly as I walked over to them. “Pretty sure no one wants you or your bitchy attitude here at 8 in the goddamn morning.”
“Oliver,” she replied in her trademark sweet yet bitchy tone. “How about you mind your own business?”
“How about you keep your business inside and not outside for the entire neighbourhood to hear?” I shot back. “Better yet how about you keep everything inside because looking at you is already giving me a headache.”
She pulled a tight smile, clicking her tongue.
“You can say whatever you want, Oliver,” she replied. “But at least I’m not an attention-seeking faggot.”
“Oh really?” I chuckled. “Forgetting about your little feats with Max?”
Her smile immediately dropped.
“Everyone knows what a stalker that lesbian bitch is,” Abby said.
I got closer to her, smiling tightly.
“Oh, don’t worry, Abby,” I quietly whispered. “Your dirty little secret is safe with me.”
She glared at me, not uttering a single word.
A distant roaring heard in the background started to become increasingly louder, announcing the arrival of Abby’s dimwitted boyfriend. Within seconds, he hastily pulled his dark navy ute to the curb of the road.
“That’s my ride,” she said, turning to look at Jules. “You can find your own way to school.”
She spun around, flicking her straight brunette hair over her shoulder, and walked towards the ute.
“What?” Jules asked incredulously. “Abs, I don’t know how to get there.”
“Not my problem!” She exclaimed, getting into the ute and slamming the door shut. “Better hurry if you want that spot, Oliver!”
The ute sped off down the street, abandoning Jules in the dust.
I felt enraged at the thought of her claiming my spot. But didn't have time to get worked up over that. I couldn't leave Jules. I looked over at him, wondering what's the best approach I should take.
I completely sucked at comforting people, even with my closest friends. Usually, I just try to make them laugh or offer a distraction for a couple of minutes. But this was not the time for a joke or a distraction.
What could I possibly say to him?
‘Are you okay?’
I mean, I could say that but it’s obvious he isn’t. Who would be after a screaming match like that?
I’m curious but it’s none of my business and more than likely a sensitive topic.
Maybe a simple ‘hey’ would work? See where the conversation would lead?
Absolutely not, Oliver.
Do not do that.
I watched him look hopeless, resting his hands on his head staring off into the direction they went. I tried to think of what I could to help, when suddenly, it dawned on me. He needed help.
I took a deep breath, and approached him, offering what I could.
“Need a lift?”
He dropped his hands, looking surprised as he made eye contact with me. His bright blue eyes were glossed over, making me think he was going to cry.
But he didn’t.
Instead, he just gave me a half-assed smile.