Chapter Five: A Day with Sarah
"Ow!" I said for the hundredth time today. "Ow! Mother would you tell her to stop poking me?"
"After almost getting suspended on your first day?" She asked in disbelief, "You’re very lucky that it was me who answered that call instead of your father or else he would have pulled you out of school faster than you could blink."
I rolled eyes. It's been a week since I got stuck with cafeteria duty and during that week Gavin didn't bother to show up. "Ow!" I looked at Sonya who was just poking me for fun now. "I swear poke me one more time and I'll take those sowing needles and poke your eyes out." I said quietly so my mother wouldn't hear, "Am I understood?" I looked at a now pale Sonya who seemed frightened by my threat, "Good."
Apparently my mother’s stay in Russia inspired her to create a new clothing line, and instead of using a mannequin to make her dress she was using me as my punishment. "Okay I think we are done for today," My mother said looking up from her phone. "You are free to go now, Alice."
"Thank the Lord." I muttered. There was nothing I hated more than helping my mother with her clothing line.
"Well, next time try not to start a food fight." She told me seriously.
I nodded. "Trust me it wasn't as much fun for me either," I mumbled walking out of the room.
"Um, nice dress." Someone said behind me.
I turned around to see Ben looking at my unfinished dress in amusement. "Oh shut up!" I said, turning around and walking away from him.
"So what exactly are you doing?" He said, catching up to me.
"It's my punishment because my mom knows I hate it." I said, my mind somewhere else. We made it to my room I didn't miss the weird glances the guards gave me when I pass them. I went into my closet to change out of this unfinished dress, while Ben took a seat on my bed.
I stripped out of the blue dress and put on a skirt and blouse my usual evening wear. Running my fingers through my knotted hair I turned back towards Ben. "So what exactly are you doing here?"
"Boredom." He said, getting comfortable on my bed.
"It's Saturday and you have nothing to do?" I asked, curious. He nodded, "Wow someone doesn't have many friends." I told him.
"I have friends I just can't stand them." He said, honesty.
"So you can't stand me?" I said, joking.
He looked me dead in the eye. "Who said we were friends?"
"If we aren't friends, then why don't have a stranger in my room, you could be rapist for all I care."
He smirked at me, "So what does the calendar have planned for us today?"
"What do you mean us?"
"Well I am your bodyguard after all." He said amused, by my discomfort.
"Um, what do you want to do?"
"Doesn't matter." He said, shrugging. It was quiet for a couple of minutes when Ben spoke up. "I could give you a tour around DC, if you want cause I doubt you really know your way around the city let alone your own house."
"I so do," I argued back. He raised his eyebrows at me, "At least I know it better than you." I muttered.
He rolled his eyes. He then opened his mouth to say a comeback but my phone ringing cut him off.
I looked at the caller ID and saw it was Sarah. I mouthed sorry to Ben and answer the phone.
"Hey Sarah!" I chirped, over the last week, Sarah and I have gotten really close she even started sitting with Holly, Ben and I at lunch.
"Hey, Ali I was wondering if you wanted to come over today, that is if you’re not under house arrest." She said, jokingly.
I let out a laugh. "Sure I'll be over in ten," We then said our goodbyes, hanging up.
"So, that's a no for today isn't it?" I heard Ben say.
"Oh," I said totally forgetting about our plans we made just a couple of minutes ago. "I'll call her back and cancel," I told him honestly and was about to start dialing Sarah's number.
He grabbed the phone away from my hands I looked at him confused. "Nah its fine, we'll get lost in DC another time."
I raised an eyebrow at him. "I thought you said you know your way around?"
"I lied." He said, bluntly. "Just like how I lied and said that was a nice dress."
My jaw dropped and I smacked him on the chest, "You fat liar."
He shrugged getting up from my bed. "It wasn't really a lie when you think of it. It was more of a feeling savor," He replied, grabbing my arm and dragging me out of my room.
I snorted. "Feeling savor? The dress wasn't even finished yet and you’re calling it ugly."
He just gave me a look that said really? As we made our way out the front door. "So you’re going to drop me at Sarah's house?" I asked him.
He nodded getting into his truck. "Yeah, I got nothing to do and I am your driver." He muttered.
I strapped my seat-belt in and turned to Ben as we started driving towards the gates. "Being my driver isn't that bad," I told him.
"Really?" He said shocked. "We were late twice last week, because someone forgot to set her alarm, then you demanded I take you to the local bakery so you can grab your so called 'precious coffee' cause you forgot to eat breakfast." He said, as we waited for the gates to open.
I huffed as Ben waved to one of the guards who opened the gate as we passed through. "You should have offered like a gentlemen, plus have you tried there coffee? I swear it is like heaven in a cup, I say they just turn that place into a coffee store."
"Offered? We were running late!" He exclaimed, ignoring everything I said about the bakery store.
I ignored him and turned up the radio. One direction 'kiss you' was playing. Normally I didn't really listen to boy bands or the music today cause it was all garbage. But, I saw how Ben winced as he heard the song playing, making me turn it up.
"Oh I just wanna take you anywhere that you like, we can go out any day any night, Baby I'll take you there take you there, Baby I'll take you there, there." I sang along out of tune to annoy Ben even more.
He then started to grip the steering wheel causing his knuckles to turn white. "Can you please turn it off?"
I smirked singing even louder. "So tell me girl if every time we, Touch, You get this kinda rush, Let me say yea a yeah a yeah yeah a yeah." I started whipping my hair back and forth getting odd looks from people in their cars.
"Okay, that's enough one direction for today!" Ben exclaimed, turning the radio off as we pulled up in front of Sarah's house.
"Awe, Ben that was my jam and I could tell you were just getting into it," I said, grinning at him.
"Yeah, yeah get out of my car." He said, waving his hand at me.
I did as I was told and walked to the front door. I rang the doorbell, I heard pounding feet coming from the other side of the door and it opened to reveal a frantic looking Sarah.
"Hey Sar." I said.
"Hey, come in." She said, opening the door to usher me in. I turned around and gave a wave to Ben who nodded and drove away. "So is Ben your boyfriend?" I heard Sarah ask from behind me.
I turned around to look at her my eyes wide as saucers I then started laughing. "Ha. Good one Sar, Ben my boyfriend that's a classic."
Sarah looked at me weirdly. "Um, I wasn't joking."
I quickly sobered up and shook my head. "No Ben's not my boyfriend."
"Then why did he drive you here?" She asked, curiously.
Her question caught me off guard. "Um, he was visiting my..." I said, trying to come up with something. "My parents." I said, quickly. "Yep, he was actually at my house when you called, we were going to hang out but then you called and I accepted your invitation and he offered to drive me here.” I said, rambling.
Sarah knitted her eyebrows in confusion. "Well, um okay but next time I'll try not to ruin your plans with your boyfriend." She said, winking.
"He's not my boyfriend!" I exclaimed.
"Uh huh." She said, nodding her head in disbelief. "Whatever helps you sleep at night."
"Knowing that Ben isn't my boyfriend helps me sleep at night." I muttered, under my breath.
I sniffed as I smelled a burning stench, fill my nostrils. "Um, Sarah I think something's burning."
"My cookies!" She screamed, grabbing some oven mitts and taking out some burned cookies. "Argh, not again," She muttered.
I started chuckling but Sarah's head snapped towards me giving me a dirty look so I quickly tried covering my laughter with some coughs. "Got something stuck in my throat," I said, forcing myself to cough.
"Uh huh, go ahead laugh it up.” She said, grabbing a burnt cookie and hitting it against the counter.
"Did Sarah burn something again?" A voice said.
My head turned to the door of the kitchen where the voice seemed to be coming from. But instead of one person standing there, they were two blonde identical looking boys.
"Shut it Jake." Sarah said to one of the boys. "And, just for that comment you aren't getting any." She huffed, turning off the oven.
"Trust me, I didn't want any in the first place." I think it was Jake who said that.
"No one would want any." Muttered the other boy.
"Whatever." Sarah said.
They boys then turned to me, "Who's she?" The said in sync with one another.
"This is Ali, she's my friend so don't scare her away." She told the boys, seriously.
"We won't." Said the boy whose name I did not know.
"Considering she's your only friend since Ashley dumped you." Said Jake.
"Ashley?" The name sounded familiar. "Hey, I've heard of her Holly told me she is a bad person and I shouldn't mess with her." I said, not wanting to use a swear word in front of two twelve year old's. "Wait you two were friends?" I asked Sarah.
"Um, yeah we were ." She said quietly.
"Yeah, then Ashley became popular and ditched Sarah." Said Jake who was smirking.
I gave them a look. "Don't you guys have video games you can play with?"
"No." Said the other boy. "We are good." They said taking a seat on the table.
"Whatever." I muttered to them, I then turned to Sarah who was seemed very quiet. "So Sarah what do you want to do?" I asked changing the subject.
"Doesn't matter," She murmured picking on her nails.
"Okay how about we go and watch a movie in your room," I said, grabbing her arm and pulling her out of the kitchen.
"I can't," She said quietly. "I have to watch my brothers."
"We are twelve years old, not five we are capable of watching ourselves, after all we are in high school."
I looked at the boys confused. "You two are in high school?"
"The twins are some sort of brainy prodigy's so they go to this smart school, for brainy people like them, they skipped a few grades so they are freshmen's in a private school nearby.” Sarah muttered.
"Oh." I found myself saying.
"Hey, now that I think of it you look really familiar." I think it was Jake who said it. "Doesn't she Justin?" He said elbowing his twin.
"Yeah, you do. I think we might've seen you on television or something. Have you ever been on television before?" Justin asked, curiously.
I gave them a shy smile, trying to remain calm on the outside but on the inside I was cursing. "Um, not that I know of." I said, giving them a nervous chuckle.
“Were twelve not stupid, and that laugh means you’re hiding something and we will find out.” Justin said, pointing his finger to my face.
“Good luck with that because I have nothing to hide,” I told the boys.
Sarah finally snapped out of her trance. “Um, yeah let’s go watch a movie,” She said, walking out of the kitchen and up the stairs.
Before I left I saw the boys stare at me with curiosity as I was leaving the room. I gave them a look and ran to catch up with Sarah. “I am sorry for my brothers, they can be a real pain sometimes.”
“Oh, that’s fine I know how it feels, I have a younger brother there as well.” I told her.
“Is your brother a prodigy? Whose parents always compare you to them?” She questioned.
I was taken aback by her question, “Um, no.”
She then sighed running her hands through her red hair. “Sorry.” She muttered. “I am just kind of upset after the boys spilled to you about Ashley.”
“You have nothing to be sorry about.” I told her honestly as we entered her room.
“Thanks, Ali you’re the only real friend I’ve made in years after Ashley dumped me to be popular, I guess I was kind of hurt and made no effort to make any new friends and to tell the truth no one even talked to me until you came along, I’m an outcast.” Her eyes brimming with tears.
I sat next to her on the bed. “Sarah Rose, look at me!” I demanded. “You are not an outcast and it’s their lost, cause you are an amazing person okay?”
She gave me a weak smile. “Thanks,” She whispered hugging me.
I was surprised by her hug, but nevertheless returned it. My eye caught something in the corner of the room it was a guitar. “You play guitar?” I asked her pulling away from the hug.
Her head turned to the guitar, “Um, yeah.
“For how long?” I asked her picking up the guitar.
“Ever since I was four,” She said standing next to me. “It’s the only place where I feel myself.”
I smiled, thinking of the idea that just popped in my brain. “Hey Sarah?”
She looked at me curiously, “Yeah?”
“Well you’ve probably heard of the spring talent show coming up, right?”
She nodded her head, “Yeah I’ve heard of it. What about it?
“Well, have you ever thought maybe you should audition?”
Her brown eyes went wide. “No, no, no not happening in a million years. Ali, I have terrible stage fright.”
“Come on you should totally audition,” I told her truthfully.
She grabbed the guitar out of my hands. “Not many people know I play, let alone sing. What if I get booed on stage?”
“That’s not going to happen you know why?” She shook her head. “Because I’ll be there so will Ben and Holly and I’ll help you every step of the way.” I told her truthfully. “So what do you say?”
She smiled at me, keeping quiet for a couple of minutes before nodding her head. “I’ll do it, if it means that you guys will be there in the audience supporting me.”
I gave her a big smile, wrapping her in a hug, “Well then we’ve got a lot of work to do.
A few hours later I was sitting in the passenger seat of Ben’s car as he drove me back home. “So you had fun?” He asked me.
I nodded. “I convinced Sarah to audition for the talent show coming up.”
“You did what?” He exclaimed, stepping on the brakes making me hit my head on the dashboard.
“Ow,” I muttered, rubbing my head. “Next time warn me when you’re going to stop like that. “ I told him.
“Next time warn me when you’re going to do something stupid.”
I tilted my head at him. “What do you mean stupid? I am not the one who stepped on the brakes, did I?” I told him.
“No, not that. I meant making Sarah tryout for the talent show those things are rigged.” He said, nonchalantly.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that the talent show is run by the popular group and every year Ashley Rome wins, no matter how good Sarah is she doesn’t stand a chance.”
I saw my house pull up to view. “Well then you have never heard Sarah sing before because she is amazing and we all are going to be there to support her. Understood?” I told him seriously.
He nodded his head. “But, don’t come crying to me when she doesn’t win.”
“Don’t worry I won’t.” I told him honestly.
We pulled up to the gates, when the guard saw us he let us through not before giving Ben a wave.
How come Ben knows all these people?
“Because my parents have been working for yours for a very long time, I sometimes came with them to work, when I was little.” He admitted.
“Oh,” I said, as he stopped the car. I didn’t make any move to leave. “Well thanks for the ride.” I said turning to Ben, who seemed to be deep in thought.
When he didn’t answer me back I opened the car and was about to get out when Ben called my name. “Alice?”
“Hmm.” I mumbled.
He looked at me deep in thought. “I wanted to ask you…” He trailed off.
I stared at him confused, my eyes urging him to go on. “Yes?”
He just kept staring at me, like he was trying to figure out a puzzle. “Never mind,” He said, shaking his head.
I tilted my head trying to guess what he was thinking but his face was blank and held no sort of answer. “Um, okay then see you tomorrow.”
He gave me a brief nod. “Yeah see you tomorrow,” He whispered.
I gave him a small smile and got out of the car as I watched him drive away. I couldn’t help but think what did he want to ask me?