Chapter 4 - Cool and CollectedMature

 4.
Cool and Collected
James

I had never seen a girl react like that to gossip before. I couldn’t deny that I was shocked.

But she walked away, shoulders back, head held high, books on her hip, just the image telling me that she had a will that was strong as a diamond. It was no wonder people rarely talked bad about her – that’s only fun if you get a reaction.

Not that I would know.

I had to practically run up the stairs and into the computer lab in order for me to make it into class before the tardy bell. It may have only been the second week since school started, but the “sweepers” were out already, full force. You couldn’t sneak into class late any more.

My breathing was heavy when I sat down, slamming my pile of books on to the desk. I had to see that blog post, that picture. What started bad was only bound to get worse, and Cane You Believe It? loved to stir things up, even the stupidest little shit.

I tried to log in to the computer, but it chose then of all days to be as slow as a dead turtle. I kept hitting keys on the key board and clicking the mouse button, vainly trying to get the stupid machine to work faster, just a little bit faster. The dinosaur just beeped annoyingly in response. The little hour glass flipped over once, then again, and again. By the time it loaded, it felt like it had been hours. I had to know.

From there on, it was smooth sailing. Internet Explorer, which I always had problems with, popped right up with “Google” emblazoned across the screen. I typed in the address for the Cane You Believe It? blog and it was up with in seconds.

And, of course, the first thing that pops up is the picture of Delilah and I.

Wait, no, that's not an apt enough description of this stupid thing. The picture on the Cane You Believe It? blog was no picture. It was a freaking poster. And not just any poster. A freaking mega poster. It filled up nearly the entire screen. The Cane Girl, apparently Kris, had made a special adaptation to her blog layout just to fit the damned thing and make it as huge as she could.

Fuck, Delilah was right. It looked a lot worse than it was.

It only got worse when I looked at the caption. Oh hell freaking no.

Both of the sophomore class’ Most Likely to Succeed and shoo-ins for valedictorian, together? Seems like. I hear somebody has a baby on board…The Cane Girl”

No. Nooo. Nonono. Nobody could really believe a rumor that Delilah of all people was… pregnant. She was the last person any one would suspect to be… Right?

I hate my life.

It was during fourth period when the principal finally called her to the office. I was sitting in biology with Vi, staring at the board and trying to seem like I was doing my work. Vi was babbling my ear off, antsy, and I was completely ignoring her. Though I think she might have said some thing about fluffy puppies. Maybe.

I was copying down the warm-up question when the intercom’s annoying little song played.

                   Mrs. Z’s voice rang out over the intercom, unfortunately crystal clear, today of all days. “Delilah Williamson, to the office please. Miss Delilah Williamson to the office.” The intercom went off with a slight click, and I could feel almost every pair of eyes in the room staring at me, including the teacher’s.

It was dead silent in the room, not even a rustle of papers, and I continued to act like I was working. My anxiety had to be showing clear as day on my face, no matter how hard I was trying to hide it. Of course, Delilah would go see the “Duke of Discipline” for this. It was the only part of his job that he actually did.

Mr. G was the one who reigned the silent class back in to what we were doing. “Anyone want to share their answer to the warm up? Bonus points, up for grabs.”

The whole class nearly clamored to answer the stupid question, but it took the attention off of me, at least for a little while. One of the smartest girls in class said something, and while all I heard was a few sounds, I knew she had the right answer. Of course.

Vi looked me in the eye and then ruffled my hair. “She will be okay. That girl is a strong one.”

“I know. It’s all my fault, though…” I trailed off, trying not to let any one see or hear my guilt.

“No, it’s that stupid Cane Girl’s fault. All you did was give Delilah a damn hug.”

This time, Vi was interrupted by the intercom singing its dull, stupid song yet again. Mrs. Z’s voice spoke in to the microphone and came out with out causing hardly any interference. “James Baker, to the office, please. Mister James Baker, to the office.”

If the kids in my Biology class weren’t staring before, they definitely were now. I could feel thirty pairs of eyes burning holes in to the back of my shirt and I cringed a little.

“Go ahead and go, James.” Mr. G said, after I had been frozen in my seat for probably over a minute.

I stood up and walked out of the class stiffly. A few steps away from the door to the lobby of the office, Delilah caught up with me, her posture the same as earlier. Head high, shoulders back, chin out. Her eyes were different, though. Earlier today, they had been an odd pale golden color. But now they were black as pitch.

“Let me do the talking.” She said as she opened the heavy door. “I got this.”

The End

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