Thursday, 5th February 2004
Ok. So today, I found out more about Taj’s ex-girlfriend. I told the girls about her at lunch and Mercy said that I should go spy on their group. Obviously it was a dumb idea, but she was actually interested in my life for once… so we snuck around the corner of E block and watched their group from behind some ferns.
We couldn’t see anything.
Then Mercy had the bright idea to walk past their group. I felt the colour drain away from my face. Unfortunately, before I could even say no, she grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the footpath. I wanted to turn and run in the other direction, but Taj saw us. I forced a small smile and Mercy waved at him. He waved back and came over to talk to us.
“Hey girls,” Taj greeted us cheerfully, “What brings you to this neck of the woods?”
Mercy giggled, “Oh nothing. Just going for a walk.”
“Oh ok. Well, it’s good to see you. Especially you Amber.”
Why does my heart flutter everytime he says my name?
“Good to see you too Taj,” I said politely, returning the subtle compliment.
“So, is that your group over there?”
I shot Mercy a frosty look. I knew exactly what she was up to. And I really didn’t want to go along with it. But I had to. Otherwise, I’d look like an idiot.
“Yes. But I’m sure you remember them from Australia day?” Taj asked Mercy hopefully.
“Uh… I recognise some of them. Not all of them,” Mercy replied as innocently as she could, “Who’s that girl over there again?”
“That’s Megan. Amber, you remember her, don’t you?”
I nodded, “Yup-“
“No no, I mean the girl next to her,” Mercy interrupted swiftly.
I looked over to see who she was talking about. There was a smaller girl sitting next to Megan. She looked heaps short and she looked a little like Summer from the OC, but with freckles, and a rounder face. And a piggy nose. And narrow eyes. OK I lie. She didn’t look anything like her. At all.
Taj’s face froze and looked from me, to Mercy, to me, like, 10 times. Poor Taj. I think he worked out pretty quickly why we “visited”. And I got the impression that he wasn’t too happy about it.
“That’s Leanne,” he said, finally.
His tone of voice was really cold. But Mercy kept pushing.
“She wasn’t at Aus day, was she?”
“But everyone else was –“
“Ok! Mercy, we really need to go back to our group now,” I cut in, trying to avoid even more embarrassment, “Recess is nearly over and we need to get our bags.”
“Yeah. I have to get going too. Bye guys,” Taj said shortly as he walked away.
Nice one Mercy.
“Why did you do that?” I asked her, angrily.
“Calm down A, you’ve got nothing to worry about,” Mercy answered, completely ignoring how pissed off I was, “He’s right. She’s got nothing on you.”
“Who’s got nothing on you?”
We both turned around to find Jenny following us.
“What the? Where did you come from?” I said in shock.
“I just got back from my locker,” she replied as she held up her textbooks, “What’s going on?”
I told Jenny everything. And all she did was nod. I was kind of hoping that she’d take my side because Mercy was completely out of line. But she didn’t. In fact, she blamed me for the whole thing!
“Ok, so the way I see it is that Taj told you about his love life in confidence, and you’ve pretty much just thrown it back in his face,” Jenny said bluntly.
“Seriously Jenny? Seriously?!” I said incredulously.
“Well, yeah. Look, I just think you need to believe him when he thinks you’re the prettiest girl he knows ok? His word should be enough.”
I took a deep breath, “But-“
“Amber,” she said firmly, “You know he’s a smart guy. And smart guys don’t play games. I think you should just tell him you like him because it’s really obvious that he likes you too. I have to go. Talk later ok.”
“Where did that come from?” Mercy said to me as we watched her walk off in a huff.
Jenny is being weird. Like, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her be so ‘uppity’ with me before. I can’t tell if she’s being sincere, or if she’s angry at me for some reason. I asked Amy, Britt and Lauren on MSN tonight, but they don’t know anything either. Jenny wasn’t on though, so I couldn’t even ask her about it. I have my suspicions, but I just think they are crazy. So I’m not going there.
I also talked to Taj. This time, it was me who started the conversation.
Me: how r u?
Taj: I’m ok. How are you?
Taj: Glad to hear it
Ok. So far, so good. Here goes nothing.
Me: i’m really sry bout 2day
Me: yeh, I mean it was Mercy’s idea. Bt I shudn’t hve gone along wit it
Taj: You know what Amber, if you want to know something, just ask me, ok?
Taj: Don’t get me wrong, it was really great to see you, but you only came to see me to see who Leanne was, didn’t you?
Fuck. Jenny was right. He’s so smart.
Taj: I don’t get girls and why they have to be so calculating.
Me:… i’m sry
Taj: Please don’t get upset, I’m sorry. I really shouldn’t talk to you like that. It’s just… well, Leanne is a manipulative bitch. I don’t want to think that you are too.
What. The. Fuck.
And then Taj spilled the beans on why he broke up with her.
Leanne Aldridge. The ‘bizatch’, as Taj calls her. They started going out at the end of year 10, up until Christmas last year. But apparently, she manipulated him like, all the time. He did some of her assignments, gave her money and even made him choose between his family and her at some point.
But… then he said something interesting. He said that he didn’t realise something was wrong in their relationship until he met me.
In the city of love… Paris.
He told me that he felt like we had an instant connection which was much stronger than the one he had with Leanne. His only regret? He wished that he had the courage to talk to me sooner on the trip, not towards the end. Taj said he was really confused when he got back to Perth, and Leanne knew something was up but she pretended like nothing was wrong, even though Taj wanted to call it off. She was saying all the right things and they were trying to work it all out.
He said that the last straw was when he found msgs on her phone from another guy. She admitted that she’d met him while he was in France, so she had been cheating on him for the last 3 months of their relationship.
I was getting really angry and upset while he was telling me all this; how could she do that to another human being? To a guy… to Taj? I just wanted to give him the biggest hug! He’s been through so much; no wonder he hates mind games!
Like, I know I play them and I used them heaps on Joshua, but I could never do anything like that to a guy. What a heartless bitch! I’m so glad that he’s not with her anymore. He needs someone who will appreciate him, someone who’s genuinely interested in what he has to say… someone who will respect him…
Someone like me.
I’m up for the challenge. Not that it would be a challenge. Or that I would treat it like a challenge.
Taj said that he hasn’t spoken to anyone about the breakup but he feels really comfortable telling me. He does feel a little embarrassed about it, which is why he was a bit upset that I didn’t give him any warning when I walked past today. His friends are her friends too, so to keep the peace, they sit together. But if she found out that I was the girl in France that made him doubt his relationship with her, she probably would have chucked a tantrum and possibly even pulled my hair out.
Yup. Just your regular manipulative, psycho bitch. Out to get me. For stealing her man.
Great. If we ever go out, it’s going to be a very interesting relationship.