Mouse leaned out of the seat across the aisle and said, "Well, someone's happy."
I grinned over the back of my seat at Chris and said, "Guess what, Chris? I just talked to Julien..."
Chris glanced up from the window and said softly, "Oh, what did he say?"
I snickered, "He likes me best, beotch!"
Chris knit his eyebrows and said, "What?"
"Julien loooves me!" I said, "He said so! What now? I won! I FINALLY WON!"
Chris shook his head, leaning against the window, "Tssk, whatever. He was playing you, you know."
I stopped celebrating and said, "Uh... What?"
Chris looked up at me and said flatly, "He was playing all of us, Angie. You, me, and Tae-Hyun. Julien didn't love any of us, he's just a stupid flirt."
Leo leaned over the front of my seat and said, "I told you he was an asshole."
"Look, Julien is not an asshole." I said, "He just told me he liked me all along, but he was too shy to ask me out so he asked Chris out instead."
Chris scoffed, "That's bulls--t."
"Geez, Chris." Mouse said, "Why are you all so bent out of shape over that kid?"
"Why are you so chipper?" Alice asked her.
Mouse grinned, "Because, Geoffry wants Chris back and he hasn't bugged me all week."
Chris' eyes softened slightly, then he caught me looking at him and shifted his gaze to the window.
Alice smirked and said, "Congratulations, Mouse."
Lester popped up from under my seat and sat next to Chris.
"Well," Lester said, "I guess that Julien guy's just a dust in the wind now."
Leo, Mouse, Alice, Chris and I all stared at him.
"What?" Alice said.
"You know, like the song." Lester said, "Dust in the Wind."
"Where did you just come from?" Leo asked him, confused.
Lester sighed a long, heavy sigh, "Leo, you should know this by now... Well, a mommy and daddy-"
"Wait wait wait! His mom hasn't told him yet!" Mouse cried.
Leo sneered at her, "Shut up, Mouse."
Chris said to Lester, "One would hope that Leo knows that. He meant why are you here? Do you even ride this bus?"
Lester looked around the bus and said, "I don't think so. I usually just get on a bus and get off somewhere. Then I go wherever my instincts take me. I can normally find my way home before it gets too dark."
Chris gave him the most hilarious, confused look I have ever seen.
"I... See." Alice said.
Lester looked around at us, then he slid back under the seat.
"Well," I said, "That was weird."
Mouse was leaning over toward Chris and telling him to kick Lester.
Leo shook his head, "So, as I was saying earlier, I told you guys to stay away from that Julien guy. All he did was wreck everything."
Mouse looked up, "Why do you still hate him? Your Asian girlfriend hates him now, so what's it to you?"
Leo wrinkled his nose, "I just hate him."
"It's because he's gay, isn't it?" Mouse said, joking, "What, did he kiss you?"
Alice and Leo glanced at each other and Leo said, "No."
"He totally did." Lester's voice came from under Chris' seat.
Chris gazed at Lester in terror as he emerged from his hiding place and sat by Chris.
"You can totally tell." Lester said, pointing accusingly at Leo, "He sounded all defensive when you said something that was clearly a joke."
"Oh, I wasn't joking." Mouse said flatly.
Lester said, "Don't joke about being gay, that's just nasty."
Mouse raised an eyebrow at Lester and he said defensively, "I'm not gay or anything."
With that, he was gone again.
We all turned our attention to Leo.
"So," I said, "Did he kiss you?"
"No!" Leo said, "Are you guys gonna believe Lester over me?"
Mouse shrugged, "He sorta has a point. You were pretty defensive."
"I'M NOT DEFENSIVE!" Leo cried.
Chris rolled his eyes and grumbled, "Oh my God..."
"Dude, that's so gross." Mouse said, "Even for you."
Leo said, cracking a grin, "I thought girls were supposed to think it was hot when two guys kiss."
"Not when one of them is you." I said, smirking.
"Thanks, Angela." Leo said sarcastically.
Chris, Mouse and I stared at him for a long, long time.
"So," Chris said, "Did he kiss you?"
Leo gritted his teeth and looked at Chris. Chris, Mouse, and I all leaned in toward him.
"Uh..." Leo said, lowering his voice, "Yeah, he did."
I gasped, "What?!"
Mouse started laughing out loud and Chris shrieked, "HE DID? HE ACTUALLY KISSED YOU???"
"Chris, shut up!" Leo hissed, glancing around at other kids on the bus. He explained to us that he was yelling at Julien about leaving Tae-Hyun alone, then Julien kissed Leo and said that he wasn't after her.
While I was still trying to absorb this story, I looked at Alice and said, "Hey, you've been really quiet."
"And you seem shockingly unsurprised." Chris said, "Were you there?"
"Well, I'm not surprised either and I just found out." Mouse said, shrugging.
Alice shook her head, "No, I wasn't there... Leo told me."
"Alice!" Leo said, covering his hands over his face with embarrassment.
"I'm sorry! But you did!" Alice said.
"Why did you tell Alice but not us?" I snapped.
Leo gave me a look and said, "Because, Angela, you and Chris would have gotten mad at me even though it wasn't my fault and Mouse would have told everybody."
He stopped talking. Slowly, the four of us looked at Mouse, who was beaming.
"Dude, no." I said, "You can't tell."
"Why not? I deserve to have fun, too." Mouse said, grinning away.
Chris snorted, "No you don't. You in no way deserve to have fun."
Mouse thought about that and said, "I guess you're right, but I can intimidate enough people to have fun anyway."
Alice and I cracked a grin.
Leo pointed at Mouse, "Don't. Tell."
Mouse leaned back against her window seat and said, "No promises."
"You better not tell!" Leo said.
The bus got to the stop where Alice, Chris, and I had to get off. We said goodbye and left Mouse tormenting Leo about Julien.
We stood on our bus stop and watched the bus pull away. Lester's face appeared in a window near the back of the bus and he stared at us until the bus turned a corner.
Alice, Chris, and I turned and walked down the street.
"I learn something new every day." Chris said, putting his hands in his pockets.
"Yeah, no kidding." Alice said.
I nodded, "It kind of sucks that everything Julien told us could've been a lie."
"Oh, it was all a lie." Chris said, "I'm positive."
Alice and I looked at him and I said, "Why so sure?"
Chris sighed patiently, "Because, I dated Geoffry for long enough to know when guys lie."
I said bitterly, "You didn't seem to know that when you were sucking Julien's face."
Chris looked at me tiredly and said, "Okay, fine, I didn't know then... I think I need a break."
"I think you do, too." Alice said, "Just give it a rest, be single like the rest of us."
I shot Alice a quick narrowed-eyed look, but she didn't notice.
"Well," I said, "I guess maybe we should forget about Julien now."
"Yeah." Chris said.
"I agree." Alice said, nodding.
So, having Julien at our school was fun while it lasted, but it was nice to have life back to how it usually was. Chris and Tae-Hyun went back to their usual dress and non-badass activities, Leo and Geoffry parted ways, and I tried to forget about Julien. Tae-Hyun was a little bummed out for a few days after he was gone, but she got over it pretty fast. Eventually I was able to let go of the memory of the day Julien Laurent told me that he liked me.
I wonder how long Chris will last before he finds another jackass boyfriend.