Considering we had just had a minor but un-ignorable conversation, I felt like I should say something, because for some reason a part in me, an unknown scary part locked deep in the pits of my self...
When I got home my mom was ecstatic, she, as always, was blind to my disappointment in the fact that I had been defeated by a fourteen year old. My dad had, as always, congratulated me, given me a hug and walked away. And as always, I felt even worse for letting my father down. I don't think he knew what kind of affect that look in his eyes or the sound of his voice had on me. I'm pretty sure he thinks he's hiding all this really well, that only he knows of the pain in me not doing the best I can. For the intelligent man he is, he really isn't.
My mom wanted to go out for ice cream, but I declined. Not necessarily because of my mood, but because we had gone out for ice cream in order to celebrate my election as Student Council President (for next year, as my Junior year was almost over) two days ago, and frankly, I just didn't want to go anywhere with my family. So instead, I went to Barnes&Noble, my home away from home.
There was a copy of the Kaplan SAT French Verbal book that I wanted to get a look at before I decided what language to take next year. ( Okay so that was typically nerdy of me, but, whatever)For most kids, they had two choices: French or Spanish. I, on the other hand, had more options, due to the number of AP classes I was taking next year. Latin, German, Chinese, Sign Language, and of course Spanish and French. But, as always, I was considering all of my options, which meant taking a look at the Kaplan SAT French Verbal guide. Which I was doing, right now.
I was deep in though as I lanced down at a list of all the French words for vegetables, when a hand slid into my view.
Or rather, in front of me. I think it was trying to reach for another copy of the Kaplan SAT French Verbal guide, but I had the last one. At the last moment the hand seemed to realize that there was, in fact not another copy. Slowly it moved down the shelf to look at the Spanish guide instead. As it moved I followed the arm up to a shoulder and then a head. With black sort of long hair.
"You want this?" I asked him sort of tentatively. The boy, it seemed, looked surprised to hear me say this. Or talk at all. So when he looked up it was with a look on his face like I had scared the pants off of him. His face was red, especially his left ear I noticed, he also was leaned back kind of like the Matrix, as if he was preparing to dodge a bullet.
"Um, sorry about that," I said, just because he looked so frightened. However, he slowly seemed to be calming down, his face was only pink now (although his ear, which I was noticing to be sticking out a little, was still beet red). He was also standing straighter, straight enough so that I could tell exactly how tall this guy was. He had at least seven inches on me; I only came up to his shoulder. He had a thin mouth, high cheekbones, and his hair was in a need of a cut (in a good way, if that makes sense). I also noticed that both his ears stuck out somewhat abnormally. However, it wasn't unattractive. At all. It might have been even, sort of, well, mildly attractive. But it was his eyes that put him over the mildly-attractive bar. They were hazily-yellow, almost cattish. Even though all the lights were on, and it was still daylight outside, I could tell that they would glow if it was dark. They were haunting eyes.
After all this, my stomach got the wobbly feeling it gets whenever you are talking to a possibly more-than-mildly-attractive-guy. Calm down, I told myself.
"I really am. Sorry, I mean." Jesus, I was stumbling.
"S'okay, just not used to people talking to me out of the blue like that." His voice was soft, and he spoke almost as if he was in a hurry, which it didn't seem like he was. I mean, he was standing with a book open in his hands, responding to my apology.
How hurried could he be?
"That was out of the blue?" I asked, sincerely.
"Uh, yah. I don't know you, so I was surprised when you started talking to me like, maybe you did know me," he explained. He sounded kind of like a weird guy, he was kind of spazzing out over one question.
"I was just trying to be nice, you did seem like you wanted my book. Which you can have, seeing as I'm not going to buy it."
"Right, thanks, but I'm fin with my Spanish edition for the mo'." What? What the hell is he talking about?
"For the what?" He had just cracked open the Spanish edition and it seemed like he was done talking, but I had to ask. Reluctantly he raised his head out of the Spanish punctuation section.
"You said 'for the mo,' I explained. "What's 'mo?'
"Uh... it stands for moment, sorry but I just don't like to spend much time talking when I have a book in my hands." Sure, whatever. Right. Was he really that short on time? He was standing in a bookstore reading a Kaplan guide, for god sakes. I returned to my French edition. We both stood there, reading our Kaplan guides and pretending we had never talked to each other, let alone noticed each other. Considering the small conversation we just had, his, um, unique view on when to talk, and my realization of how hot this guy was, I felt distinctly awkward, standing there next to him, reading. He seemed okay though. It didn't seem like he noticed the tension or awkwardness in the air that was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
That is, not until we simultaneously put our books in their separate places on the bookshelf, before reaching for the same copy of the German edition. Our fingers briefly brushed each other as we both reached for the spine. I drew my hand away quickly at his touch. He turned beet red, I mean his left ear did (the rest of his face was normal) and then smiled, like this whole thing was hilarious. A big, wide, toothy grin. It seemed like it turned a switch on his face-what I mean is, his whole face went from slightly annoyed to what-a-funny-coincidence. Like an on/off button. The entire mood swing only enhanced his features-his eyes sparkled, oh God-all the more. He was in every definition of the word, gorgeous. And, seeing as he didn't have a book in his hands any longer, he started talking.
"Okay okay, I give up. What brings you too this part of the bookstore," he moved his hands in a circle in reference to the foreign language section of the B&N. "picking up every book that I do?" There was a tone of humor in his voice.
"I could ask you the same question," I responded. "Besides, I was here first."
"Fair enough. Here's a question for you though," he pointed at me. "Why are you even looking at these books?"
"Well if you must know, I am taking enough AP classes next year that I have far more foreign language classes to choose from than the average student, not just Spanish or French. So to answer your question, I am here to merely, explore my options." I really had no idea why I was explaining this to a complete stranger, but well, he had asked. And he was really hot.
"We're in the same boat," he said in response to my answer.
"Really?" It was hard to believe that there was someone out there as hardcore of a nerd as I am. Sure, plenty of people had the option of taking other languages. But how many of them are as in-depth-ly studying there choices. Most of the kids I knew were just choosing whatever their parents' did in high school, or else at random. I have to say, I am impressed.
"Yup, I'll be a senior next year."
"Really? How come I never see you at Hollow?" (Smoke Hollow High School)
"I don't know, guess we just have different schedules. Plus I only started coming to Hollow in January."
"So you just moved here?"
"Actually I've lived here all my life. I have been home schooled since third grade, and well, my," he seemed to be having trouble figuring out how to say whatever it was he wanted to explain to me. He simply settled for not exactly explaining at all.
"Something happened and my mom couldn't home school me anymore."
"Oh, right. Sure." We paused, and no one said anything. I had no idea why or how I was talking to this person. A complete stranger, I had no idea who this guy was. He could be completely lying to me. He could be a rapist, one of those creepy guys in his twenties who seduces women into their dorm and completely takes advantage of them, then, you know, throws them out the window. He could be trying to make me fall for him; right here, in the foreign language section of Smoke Hollow's local Barnes&Noble. He could have been waiting here all day, waiting for some smart girl to come by, look into those cat-like entrancing eyes of his, and then boom! and he's in your pants.
I considered this, then thought; no... he probably isn't a rapist. I am just being a freak. As usual. Then I realized that no one was saying anything. Still. Considering we had just had a minor but un-ignorable conversation, I felt like I should say something, because for some reason a part in me, an unknown scary part locked deep in the pits of my self, didn't just want to move on, as though I had never had a conversation with this guy. So I looked up at him, straight in those haunting eyes, and opened my mouth.
"Um... do you, uh have any idea what you are going to do, I mean, what language you want to take next year?" I stumbled out, the words tumbling over each other as I stabbed a try at more conversation. He looked up----I didn't even know his name----and looked as though he was considering his answer, most likely so he wouldn't stumble through it like when he did when he was explaining why he wasn't home schooled any more. Finally he spoke.
"I really am," he said. "not sure. I really would want to take
Latin, I mean the entomology of basically everything can be traced back there, and that aspect is completely fascinating to me. Also there is the whole Thing about my parents. They both took Spanish, so there is pressure there. And no one ever takes sign language and that could be, um, fun, I guess."
"Under the right circumstances," I said.
"Exactly," he said, and he smiled. I was starting to like it very much when he smiled. "How 'bout you? Have you come close to any decisions yet?"
"Not even. I am really interested in taking Latin because, like you said, the entomology of it. But I'm not sure. Both of my parents too took Spanish, but they're not pressuring me. I really think they are just happy that I even got into these classes."
"Was it possible that you weren't going to get in?" he asked me. He was bordering on personal questions, but I answered anyway, wondering why he cared.
"Well, they thought I might not. I had no worries. They did. I'm in a lot of extracurriculars, and enter a lot of contests, so---"
"Oh yeah, I know you. You won that 2nd place---"And then just as he had interrupted me, someone interrupted himself. A tall, blonde, curvy, someone. She was wearing a very short denim mini skirt that I could tell; if she bent over I would be seeing a lot more than I was seeing now. She was also wearing a really small red spaghetti strap top. It was short enough that it showed off her sparkly belly-button ring. However none of this, not even the fact that she was wearing about a pound of make-up, was as shocking as what she did next.
"Hey 'Bastian," she said in what I think was supposed to be seductive voice, to the guy I had been talking to for ten minutes. His name was Bastian. Probably short for Sebastian. I didn't have time to mull over what an interesting name this was, because this girl just randomly started kissing Sebastian. Girlfriend? Let's hope so. I watched with a half surprised-half disgusted look on my face as he pulled away, embarrassed (his left ear and his face were red). The girl didn't seem to notice though, and contently laced her arms around Sebastian, so it looked like they were about to start slow dancing. She hadn't even noticed me, but I wasn't so sure that was something to be complaining about.
"You 'bout ready to go?" She cooed in that same low voice.
"No, actually I still want to look at a few things." He replied politely. He seemed to look very uncomfortable stand there. His arms were around her, I noticed, but laying at his side.
"Jesus 'Bastian, we've been here for hours!" she whined, unattractively.
"Actually we have been here for forty-five minutes," he said in a voice that sounded like he was a parent scolding his child.
"Besides," he continued, "Weren't you going to get a magazine or something?"
"I was but Paris Hilton was on the cover of Seventeen," She had completely dropped her fake seductive voice and was full on in whiny mode "and she is such a whore."
Really, I thought. She seemed to be a little slutty herself. I had taken up the German Kaplan guide so it would seem as if I wasn't blatantly listening to their conversation., which I was.
"What's been taking you so long anyway?" the girl asked.
"I've been talking," Sebastian said gently.
"To who?" This girl seemed very possessive all of sudden.
"To her," he said, and in my peripheral vision I could see him nod towards me. The girl took one arm away and kept the other one around his waist, so she was still holding onto him..
"Who are you?" she asked, rudely. I looked up from my book, feigning surprise like, who me?
"Luciana Andrews," I said, extending my hand. She didn't seem to understand that this was her cue to shake hands, so after a few seconds I let my hand drop to my side. Bright girl. "Although I go by Robin. It's my middle name."
"What were you talking about?" she said, with a look in her eyes that said mine. That's fine with me, you can have him. I wanted to say to her. I talked to him for ten minutes. I wasn't committing to anything.
"Abigail please. Lay off for once. It was nothing, I swear." It seemed like Abigail, was not new to persecuting her boyfriend's acquaintances.
"What---" she said it slowly, like I was in kindergarten, "were you talking about?"
I can't stand this. So I talked to this guy for ten minutes. So I liked this guy. What can I say, we had things in common, he wasn't ugly, and for once I hadn't thought about whether or not my words were offending anyone. I didn't worry about his feelings, I had just said what I thought, which doesn't seem like a lot, but it was. And now I was being grilled because I had talked to somebody? Because I had talked and not thought about every possible thing I had to do when I got home or this week, or whatever? This wasn't fair, not at all. And no way was I going to put up with it.
"That," I said, equally slowly, "is none of your business." And I walked away. Away from the foreign language aisle, from Barnes&Noble, from the strip mall where it sat. I think Abigail might have called after me, or maybe even Sebastian had, but if they did, I didn't her them. All I could feel was the rush of blood through my body due to my anger, which was at boiling point.
And I got in my car and drove home.
A/N: Hope you liked it. I have worked for a fair amount of time on this chapter, and i have to say i am quite happy with the result. Please review and tell me if you would like me to continue this story, i am not sure if i should, that is, unless you want me to...