She hated Travis. A couple of years back, Travis had been an even bigger bully than he was at the moment. He had been the classic ‘wedgie, swirly and slam people into their lockers’ bully. But one day, two years, four months and eleven days ago to be exact, Travis thought it would be fun to add something to his repertoire. His test subject? That strange and dorky new girl; Scarlet Grant. Scarlet had been walking through a hall, holding all of her books, trying to figure out which classroom to go to when Travis had come up to her, offering to help. Unaware that he was a complete dick, Scarlet had smiled and thanked him, piling half of her books into his open arms. Scarlet had no idea how Travis managed it, but he had obtained Scarlet’s pencil case in the process. He somehow flicked a pen out of the case, and quickly scribbled: ‘Mr. Blandy is a shit.’ Onto her Math book. She had Math next. He knew that she had Math next, and that Mr. Blandy was her teacher. He also knew that Mr. Blandy was the meanest teacher in the entire school. Travis earned Scarlet three weeks detention and a counseling session. Even when she told the people around her that she had no idea where the message had come from. It was only when she had learnt Travis’s handwriting did she realize the truth. She had been so angry, but the event had taken place too long before, and making a fuss would’ve made her look bad. Scarlet scowled at the memory. She arrived home and got ready to meet Sara.
* * *
Ace met up with Travis at the park, his mind still whirring for the morning’s events. He had gone over Scarlet’s exit inside his head a hundred times. He didn’t understand what he had said or done to annoy her. Ace sat down near the lake and put his head in his hands. Travis crept up behind Ace and grabbed his shoulders, shoving him forwards then back.
‘Got ya!’ He yelled. Ace got up and whirled at him.
‘Not cool Travis! Don’t do that.’
‘Chill man, I wasn’t gonna let you drown.’ Travis laughed. Ace scowled and punched Travis’s shoulder. Travis punched back. The two started fighting and rolled around on the grass. When they had finished they got up and brushed themselves off. Ace looked around and spied Scarlet sitting in one of the lower branches of the tree. She was sitting next to a girl, who he a assumed was Sara, and was smiling, but Ace could tell from her eyes that Scarlet was sad. Sara said something and Scarlet laughed, and then pushed Sara out of the tree. Ace was about to say something when Travis tackled him from behind.
* * *
‘Hey!’ Sara yelled as she fell out of the tree. Scarlet giggled. Sara clambered up the tree and stood on the branch. Scarlet stood up, and the two of them grappled on the branch. The branch sagged and the girls lost balance and fell off together, shrieking. They got up laughing.
‘It’s your fault. You were the one who brought it up!’ Scarlet smiled.
‘Yeah but’s that’s only- what’s wrong?’ Sara asked. Scarlet was staring into space. Sara followed her eyes and saw Travis.
‘Oh. C’mon, lets get out of here.’ Sara said, pulling Scarlet away. Scarlet glanced at Sara, pulling her arm back.
‘It isn’t Travis.’
‘Then who? The boy there with Travis? What’s his name?’ Sara trailed off.
‘Ace.’ Scarlet said. Scarlet turned and walked away. Sara ran after her.
‘Scarlet, what’s up? Why don’t you like Ace? You’ve never even spoken!’ Sara said. Scarlet stopped suddenly, turned around and sprinted towards the boys. Sara watched her fly past and scratched her head. What was Scarlet doing?
* * *
Ace wrestled Travis off and got up, only to be tackled into the lake by Scarlet. Ace screamed and splashed into the water. He pushed away from Scarlet, and kicked his legs, shooting towards the surface. His head emerged and he gasped for air.
‘What the hell just happened?’ Travis yelled. Ace’s eyes were burning. He saw Sara run up and yell something. He didn’t hear. Ace twisted in the water and scanned the water for Scarlet. She hadn’t surfaced yet. He dived again, and saw Scarlet thrashing under the water. She had managed to get her ankle wrapped in a fleet of seaweed. She was panicking and making it worse. Ace tried to remove the seaweed, but Scarlet was kicking to hard. He came back up for air.
‘Where’s Scarlet!?’ Sara yelled.
‘Help me!’ Ace yelled back. He beckoned for Travis and Sara to help him and dived back under. He attempted to remove the seaweed again, but Scarlet was thrashing more than ever. He then saw Travis dive in, followed by Sara. Sara grabbed Scarlet’s legs and held them together. Travis pinned Scarlet’s arms to her body. Ace swam downwards and untied the plant from Scarlet’s ankle. Sara and Travis let go and the four of them surfaced. They crawled out of the water, dripping.