I haven’t forgotten about my ‘What’s Your Name?’ posts, I’ve just been incredibly distracted. Hey ho, I’m back to it now, so without further ado…
The name I randomly picked from the first P page of my naming book is:
Paige: a surname meaning ‘page’. Used as a feminine first name.
How many people can say that they weren’t even missed at their own party? So much for sweet sixteen. Reb stole the attention as usual, just as she liked it. I knew letting her organise it was a bad idea. It wasn’t even that she railroaded it that bothered me, it was when I caught her making out with Joey that I’d finally had enough. I picked up my coat, took the helium balloons that I had to pay for, and headed home. She can have Joey if she likes sloppy seconds.
Wrapping my coat tighter around myself to blot out the chill, I walk down street after street until I reach the bus stop. A little, old lady with a Scottie dog smiles at the balloons. I could offer an explanation, but I can’t be bothered. I should have left them at the party, but I was being childish. It is my birthday, my party, and I knew one out of ten faces, and was handed the coats of at least five people. Who am I kidding? It was Reb’s party that my parents just happen to pay for. I’m so done with her.
“They’re beautiful,” the lady says, nodding toward the star shaped balloons. “Where did you get them? It’s my great granddaughter’s birthday tomorrow. I might buy her one.”
I cross the space between us, offering the strings to her shivering hands. “You can have them. I hope she likes them.”
The lady takes them, her mouth agape. “Are you sure? Oh, you are an Angel. She is only five, so I know she’ll love them. Thank you, my dear.” A bus rounds the corner, and the old woman stands. With a wave of her hand, she lifts her dog, and steps aboard the bus, the balloons squeezing in behind her.
“That was kind of you,” says a voice behind me. I start, grasping my chest in shock. Jeremy Froid sits down on the bench, blowing on his hands to warm them. “You done with Reb’s party?”
Jeremy is in Reb’s science class at school. I’ve never spoken to him before. He doesn’t even know my name. He has a silent mystery to him, and rarely talks to anyone unless necessary. Reb has such a crush on him. She likes the challenge with guys like him. Basically, the less attention they pay her, the more she wants them.
“Yeah, something like that.”
He pulls his woollen hat further over his ears, a peek of blonde fringe sticking out from underneath. The way his eyes narrow as he studies my face sets me on edge. “It was your party, wasn’t it?”
I laugh nervously. “Yeah. How lame does that make me sound?”
He shrugs, his face not betraying any emotion or judgement. “I saw her kissing your ex boyfriend.”
Scoffing to myself, I scuff my heels in the gravelly surface at my feet. “Yeah. She’s welcome to him. He’s not a nice guy.”
“He said he ditched you ’cause you were putting on weight. Made the announcement to the whole locker room.”
My stomach sinks, and my cheeks flare crimson. “Then, he’s better off with Reb, right?” I say, coughing away my embarrassment.
“I don’t see what his problem is? You’ve got a great body.” His grey eyes are sincere, and he holds his palms up in disbelief.
My face is beetroot red now, and I straighten my dress a little just to have something to do with my hands. “Umm, thanks. We’ve not met, my name is–“
“Paige Redford. I know who you are. Happy Sweet Sixteenth. I’m Jeremy–“
“Froid. Yeah, I know who you are too. Reb has a huge thing for you.”
He scrunches his nose in distaste. “Well, seeing as she’s occupied with your ex. How about you and I go and get something to eat?” He stands, holding out his hand to me.
Tilting my head, I take his hand. “You were never catching a bus, were you?” I say, a smile pulling at my lips.
He shakes his head, smiling so I can see all of his teeth. “Nah, I followed you from the party. I’ve been trying to gear myself up to ask you out for weeks.”
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