Mr Reed hadn't gone on one of his rants, but he'd talked enough that I didn't have to listen to Amber anymore. When the bell went I moved away from that room and fast. When I felt a hand reach for my arm I pulled away, expecting a smirking Amber. But it was just Lily, hurt crossed her face at my reaction.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, feeling my feet shuffle a bit from side to side.
“It's okay. I could've been anyone,” she said with a small shrug. She held up her planner to show her schedule.
“So, what else do we share?” she asked. I spent my break comparing my class schedule with hers and talking. I was worried she'd throw her arms around me or something but she stuck to friends-only conversations. She mostly complained about her teachers and how she was behind because her previous school had been on different topics. I was surprised by how easy it was to talk to her. But I also knew within five minutes that I would never see her as anything more than a friend. A good one too, she wasn't shallow like the others.
“So why did you move here?” I asked as we stopped at our lockers, break was almost over. I had PE, she had maths.
“Army family, so move about a bit. Though my dad has promised this'll be the last time I have to move. “ She didn't really seem to believe it though. She stared at her feet for a few seconds, the happy-go-lucky smile whipped from her face. Then she lifted her head back up. Smile back in place.
“But that's not important. I have to get to class, see you later!” she yelled as she raced down the corridor. I was pretty sure it was important to her actually. I closed my locker door, locked it and headed towards the changing rooms. This was the worst lesson, because Derek was in this class and. Yeah. I walked into the changing room and kept my eyes to the floor, pulling off my cloths as fast as I could and replacing them with my sports cloths. When I was finished I headed into the gym. This time I wasn't the first. I wondered where Derek was, he didn't usually skip classes. His dad would go crazy at him if he did.
“Hows it going, dude?” I had to fight back the urge to roll my eyes. James was about as stereotypical as a jock gets. All he cares about are hot girls, having muscles and being popular.
“I'm okay,” I said with a half-hearted shrug. James was also dense as heck so I didn't have to act much around him. The teacher walked in, a bag of footballs slung over his shoulder which he promptly dropped on the floor.
“Pick two captains, split into two teams and go,” he said. I found it humorous he was a gym teacher seeing as he was a bit on the fat side and just left us to it. I found myself wondering where Derek was again. We had moved onto football last week and he wouldn't miss it for the world. One of his favourite sports. I didn't like it too much, didn't really like a lot of sports, except running. It was easy to relax and think when you were just jogging round a field.
“I'm a captain!” James yelled before any of the other guys could. Someone else yelled and got the second captain spot. They took it in turns calling out names and James called mine about half-way through the process. James laughed a little when he saw that the other team had to take a weak, geeky boy. I felt kind of sorry for him. Then I was glad I wasn't in his position.
“You being the goalie as always?” James asked, I nodded and stood in front of the net. It was the easiest job, simply because they rarely ever got the ball near us. Also I was actually a half decent goalie. Derek tried to convince me to try out for the football team. But the idea of seeing him after school in the changing rooms turned me off the whole thing. I wouldn't be able to hide my blushes forever. I spent most of PE watching the others play, I only had to stop a ball once and did so easily.
“Class is up, go enjoy lunch.” Our teacher yelled as he left the gym. He hadn't been paying attention to us at all so how on earth he marked us I could only guess. I rushed my shower, not really wanting temptation nearby for so long. As I headed into the dining hall I scanned the crowd. Where the heck was Derek? James followed me in and slapped an arm over my shoulder.
“What you standing around for, let's eat!” I got dragged over to “the” table. I hoped I could eat before Amber got here. No such luck. But Derek was with her. Which raised all sorts of questions in my mind. Some of which I didn't think I would enjoy the answers too. Because he looked just a little bit too happy.
“Dude!” James yelled right in my ear, causing me to wince. And I saw Derek blush and take his seat. Amber just continued to grin a little knowing smile. Not confirming or denying anything. Suddenly I felt my appetite disappear.
“I have to go.” I didn't wait for any questions, just left. I headed outside, ignoring the light drizzle. Least it wasn't heavy like this morning. I found a relatively dry area under a tree and leaned against the trunk. Before slumping down it to sit on the wet grass. Bits of lose bark falling as I did. Why was all of it bothering me suddenly? I knew he wasn't a virgin. James had made him tell every detail the day after. I'd cringe inwardly, but accepted it. But suddenly I was just losing the heart to try. I wanted to tell him something. Even if it meant losing him forever. Just knowing I had tried...I shook the thoughts from my head and pulled out my sketchpad again. Distracting myself with more random patterns. When I heard the distant bell ring for afternoon classes I'd nearly gone through a whole pencil. I stood up with a tired sigh and forced myself to walk back into the building. This day was feeling longer and longer.
“Michael!” A chirpy voice pulled me from my depressed thoughts and I saw Lily fighting through the crowds of students to reach me.
“We have English next, right?” I nodded in response. And from the careful look in her eyes I could see she sensed something was wrong. But gratefully she didn't pry. Just led the way, talking happily the whole way. It wasn't until I turned and walked in that I remembered that Derek had this class too. What did I say about seating plans? I take it back. Because sitting two rows behind him was something I was glad for. The teacher told Lily to take one of the empty seat on the table next to me. She spent most of the class ignoring the teacher and passing notes. I had to admit she had a great sense of humour. I was surprised to find I was cheered up by the time class ended. I saw Derek smile when he stood up and move towards me. But no, I was happy now. Not letting him ruin it. So I walked across, grabbing Lily's hand as I did and left. A part of me knew I was being unfair. He didn't understand why I was mad. I never had the guts to say anything. Also Lily may have misunderstood the hand grabbing thing.