After dinner I went outside, with the amount of energy I was channeling i didn't trust my self in an enclosed space. My fears were unfounded, as the evening breeze hit me I felt my energy go back to its normal levels, mostly.
My mind still raced. That whole "my flower" business had my head spinning. Al was being so strange!
I couldn't quite decide how I felt about it.
On the one hand: the attention and compliments were nice... I wasn't used to getting anything like that from others. Makenna usually got the attention, though not romantic as it usually had to do with her save-the-world schemes, completely unlike anything Al had been doing. Makenna's date with Flynn seemed have gone extremely well, judging by the bubbly attitudes they had both come to dinner with. And then Eve got a ton of attention on her first day, and she seemed to take it in stride. But Al...
It had been so over the top! It wasn't like him at all. I'd only known Al for a few months, since he'd joined the school, and yet, there had been a trend in his behavior since he got here.
Al was quiet, almost distracted all of the time. He never spoke in long 'flowery' (forgive the pun) sentences before today. And today he'd been so focused... On me!
I felt a blush rise to my cheeks as my mind rewond to this morning,
"Just you... and me..." I shook my head and shoved at the plant that was clawing its way towards my face. In my rush a thorn found its way into my palm. Oops, I usually managed to grow roses without the thorns. I let my emotions out of hand. I yanked out the sharp object, still thinking about the afternoon. I tried to keep an objective viewpoint, to keep the vicious thorns from cropping up again. I felt the vine next to me shiver, as if it heard my thoughts and was now offended. Gently I shrunk the plant down to its original size, a small bud just a few inches tall, and moved to another spot, pacing to keep my energy away from small plants, and to expel some in the process.
After I'd gone into the greenhouse, I kept seeing Al. He kept popping up, saying something cheesy, or leaving small notes in flower pots with more lines on them. All day. It was so strange to seem him so strangely dedicated. He usually got distracted by one of his ghosts or something else, or Flynn managed to pull him into something or other. Nothing like today. It didn't make sense to me.
I had to get to the bottom of this!
I ran upstairs, taking them two at a time. I was going to talk to Al and I wasn't going to let him say a word until I understood what had happened. As I reached the hall, I saw Flynn outside of Makenna's door. He had a strange look on his face. It was a smile, but as if he didn't know why he was happy. I wondered if Makenna was making the same face on the other side of the door. I started towards our cluster of doorways when I heard Al shout.
"DANTE!" I was surprised nothing rattled. Al never yelled. Flynn's smily disappeared, he looked towards Al's room. I ran up to meet him at Makenna's door. Al was quieter now, I couldn't make out what he was saying. Flynn probably heard every word. I watched his face as it went from concerned to determined. He walked up to Al's door and knocked.
"Al! It's me, Flynn!" He said it quietly. I didn't expect that. Al opened the door, I started for it as well, but it closed before I got to it. I raised my hand to knock as well, before I heard them talking.
"... Dante can pocess people?" I heard Flynn ask. What did that have to do with anything? Why was dante suddenly a part of this... unless?
"He can't possess people with a lot of confidence." Al answered a question from Flynn. My mind was racing again. Ghostly posession, Al's strange behavior. Dante's behavior at lunch the other day, though that was a second hand opinion, i hadn't actually seen him. Unless I'd been seeing him all day?
I shuddered. A ghost possessed Al to talk to me all day? I'd been talking to a dead person? I couldn't talk to the dead, that was Al's power. I dealt with life, with plants. Growing, living creatures. I felt my hands get clammy. I was shivering. I wondered for a moment if a ghost was nearby and nearly screamed. I ran back to my room.
I had locked it before dinner and so had to fumble with the lock and key before I could go inside. Flynn came out of Al's room,
"Oh, Naomi! Al wanted me to tell you something!" He called to me. I froze, the door half opened. I knew what he was going to say, because Al had told him, and my eavesdropping had told me.
"I don't want to hear it Flynn." I said. Something in my voice must have sent a warning to him, because he stopped walking towards me, standing a few feet away.
"Its just that Al..." he started.
"I'm tired." I whispered, and went into my room. I curled up under my quilt and tried not to think about the fact that it wasn't Al all day, that it was someone else. Someone dead. I'd thought for once it'd be nice to get the attention. I guess I was wrong about that.