2. Break


It is so damn difficult to find a quiet place in this school. Even the library is filled with people chattering away. It’s a fucking library! Aren’t libraries supposed to be like quiet?! Where are the evil librarians when you need them??

Every hall and every room seems to have people. Don’t even get me started on the grassy area out front or the common area.  Finally, I find an empty corner out behind the administrative building. No one wants to hang out here since it is so close to where the teachers are. Stretching out on one of the lone wooden benches, I put my headphones on and close my eyes. At the rate I’m going, if I don’t focus on my project for the fair, I’m going to embarrass the hell out of myself. Everyone has such high expectations, it’s totally stressing me out. I turn the music up louder to drown out every last bit of noise around me so I can focus on my visualization. Half way through my song, which I have on repeat, I feel a heavy weight land directly on my stomach.

“Damn! What the hell?” Leaning up on my elbows, I look at the strange boy currently sitting on me with a look of surprise on his heart-shaped face. Dude, I’m pretty sure I am the one that should have that look right now. “Who are you?” I ask as I pull off my headphones.

The guy is quiet, still staring at me. Did he go into shock or something? I stare right back and realize that I haven’t seen this person before, which isn’t really that unusual with a school as big as this. His shaggy dark brown hair has a few sun highlights and his hazel eyes are wide, almost hidden behind the sheen of a pair of wire-framed glasses. He doesn’t look very big or even as old as me, maybe a first year. His full pink lips turn up slightly in a tentative smile, giving the barest glimpse of white teeth and dimples. I bet if he gives a real grin, he’s cute as hell. The kind girls would coo crazily over.

“Um… hi.” His voice is quiet when he finally does speak. “I’m Riley.”

“Hello Riley. I’m Andrew.” Unable to help myself, I laugh at the absurdity of this situation and Riley tilts his head in confusion. He probably thinks I’ve lost it, but who cares. This kid doesn’t seem to realize that he is still sitting on me. Thank god he isn’t that heavy, but it isn’t exactly comfortable.

“I know who you are. I think everyone knows you.” Riley replies, almost sarcastically.  He is still happily sitting on my stomach as if it the most natural thing in the world. Does it really make that good of a seat?

“Good to know.” I laugh again, even more amused, and raise an eyebrow at him. “Now that introductions are out of the way, do you think you could get off of me?”

“Oh!” Looking down, Riley blushes and scurries to get off me, almost knocking the wind out of me as he presses down on my chest with a hand to push himself up. “Sorry. I was reading and didn’t look when I sat down. Normally, no one is back here.”

“Don’t worry about it. Not like you weigh a lot anyway.” Sitting up the rest of the way, I rub my belly where he had been sitting and set my feet on the ground. Looking up at him, he’s taller than I thought, but not by much. He would only come to about my nose I think. “You can sit down.”

“It’s okay. You were here first so you can have the bench. I can sit in the grass over there, if it won’t bother you.” He points to a spot a little ways away under a shady tree and walks over without waiting for a response.

I just shake my head, making my bangs fall into my eyes, as I watch him get comfortable on the grass and open an overly large book. What an interesting kid. Whatever. As long as he’s quiet, its fine by me so I brush back my bangs and lay back down, putting my headphones on. Before long, I’m lost in my song and the images in my head. I can see the stage, the lights, and all the little details. Being able to adjust everything in my head, makes it easier when I go to work on the setup after school.

It seems like hardly any time has passed when I feel a nudge on my arm. Opening my eyes, I see Riley standing over me saying something so I turn of the music and take off the headphones. “What?” It may have come out a little harsher than I intended. What can I say? It’s annoying to be interrupted.

“Sorry.” He takes a step back, startled, and hesitantly continues. “Break is over. The bell just rang and I didn’t think you had heard it. Sorry.” Again, he doesn’t wait for me to say anything and just runs away with his book. Before I can yell for him, Riley is already gone around the corner of the building. For a small guy, he’s pretty fast.

“Damn.” Running a hand through my own dark brown hair in frustration, now I feel bad. Not only did I not get to apologize for scaring him, I couldn’t thank him for letting me know break is over. …sigh… If I see him again, I’ll have to say something. I can’t go after him now. As he said, now it’s time to go to class.

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