“Well that was weird,” Gilly said, clearly pleased Cyan had gone, and she’d have the opportunity to talk about him.
“Rude was the word, I was thinking,” Robin said.
“I wasn’t rude.”
“You kind of were,” Aivah said.
“Well, do we really want someone like that working with us?”
“You mean someone who knows what they’re talking about?” Robin asked, raising an eyebrow.
“You know what I mean. There’s something wrong with him.”
“He is a little odd,” Aivah agreed, sounding reluctant to admit it.
“So what?” Alex piped in. “He seems nice, if a bit strange, and he does know what he’s talking about.”
“But he’s weird. And he’s gay.”
“What’s that got to do with it?” Robin said, shocked she’d even brought it up.
“It’s not that I’ve got anything against gays,” Gilly said hurriedly, obviously realising the tides were against her. “It’s just that he’s creepy and weird. He makes me feel uncomfortable.”
“You’re the only one, then,” Robin said. “So what if he is weird, and yeah, okay it’s pretty obvious he’s got some…issues, but so what?”
“Well we’re done with him now so it doesn’t matter.”
“You might be done with him, but I’m going to look him up on Monday and ask if he
wants to join our group for the project, before someone else snaps him up.”
“Why? Because you think he’s got ‘beautiful eyes’?” Gilly sneered, narrowing her eyes. The malicious gleam in them worried Robin.
“No, because I think he’ll get us a better grade, and because you were rude to him, and because I like him.”
“I like him, too,” Aivah said.
“Me too,” Alex agreed. “He’s odd, but sweet.”
“Sweet? I didn’t know you were gay, Alex,” Gilly said scathingly.
“I’m not. You can ask Aivah about that.” He winked at her and she giggled. “But he is sweet, and brilliant, and an asset to the group. Just because we work with him doesn’t mean he has to be our best friend.”
“Is this a joke?” Gilly asked, furious. “What if I say I won’t be part of the group if he is?”
“What if I say ‘go join another one then’?”
“You wouldn’t.” Gilly gaped at Robin.
Robin had a very uncomfortable weekend. He was sure the only reason Gilly was still speaking to him was so she could torture him in every way she could think of. By Sunday evening he’d stopped answering the phone and bribed his brother to tell Gilly he wasn’t home while he hid in his room.
Come Monday morning he wasn’t sure whether he was looking forward to going to school to see Cyan, or dreading it for seeing Gilly.
“Where were you last night?” she demanded as soon as he arrived at the bus stop.
“Sorry, the battery ran out on my phone, and I had to do errands for my mother.”
“Until ten o’clock?”
“By then, I was in bed.”
“Right. You weren’t avoiding me or anything.”
“Why would I when you’ve been such a joy to be around all weekend?”
“Huh.” Gilly tossed her hair and turned to talk to a group of girls she wouldn’t usually have given the time of day to. Robin didn’t mind. In fact he was relieved. It gave him more time to look around for Cyan.
Robin was disappointed when Cyan didn’t get on the bus. Gilly was still avoiding him and the journey, albeit brief, gave him a chance to wonder where Cyan lived and what bus he’d be on. It was unlikely Gilly would let him hang around and wait for the other buses to disgorge their passengers. Once they got to school Gilly would get possessive again.
True to form, as soon as they set foot in the car park, Gilly linked arms and dragged him toward the school gate. He sighed.
As they approached, however, Robin caught sight of Cyan climbing out of a very nice sports car. Ignoring Gilly’s protests he went straight over.
“Hi.” Cyan appeared startled, but smiled to see Robin, then receded back into his shell when he caught sight of Gilly.
“Oh, hello.” The driver of the sports car leaned over to smile through the door. Robin’s heart gave a little flip. She was lovely.
“Um, hi,” he said, slightly flustered.
“I didn’t know Cyan knew anyone yet.”
“We met on Saturday in the supermarket café.”
“I wondered why he was so long.”
“Didn’t he tell you?”
“There are a lot of things Cyan doesn’t tell me. He was a bit flustered when he came home, but I thought it was because of the unfamiliar shop. He insisted on going alone.”
The statement surprised Robin a little, but he simply smiled and nodded.
“What’s wrong with him?” Gilly demanded, bending down to look into the car. The woman seemed slightly taken aback.
“Gilly, you can’t say things like that,” Robin protested, absolutely mortified. “Not with Cyan standing right there.”
“That’s alright,” the woman said. “We don’t mind. Cyan’s autistic. He’s high functioning, but he has his little ways, don’t you, sunshine?”
Cyan looked embarrassed and turned away, fiddling with his bag.
“See, I told you,” Gilly said. Robin had never wanted to slap someone so much.
“Just shut up. It’s got nothing to do with you, and it doesn’t matter anyway.” Robin’s heart gave a little jump at the glowing look Cyan gave him, over his shoulder.
“Thank you,” the woman said. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”
“Robin, and the gobby cow is my girlfriend, Gillian.”
“Hey,” Gilly whacked him but it only made him laugh.
“I’m very pleased to meet you both. You’ve no idea.” Suddenly, her face fell into a worn and tired expression, but it was only for a moment. “Cyan doesn’t have many friends and he’s been very nervous about going to a new school. I’m much happier now I know he’ll have someone to look out for him.”
“Oh, I will. I absolutely will."
If you enjoyed that, or even if you didn't, go try out the other Wednesday Briefers and find some absolute gems