“I don't understand any of this,” Zack muttered as he looked at the equation in the textbook. I leaned over to take a look, figuring it out in my head quickly enough.
“The first X is zero, the second is six,” I said. Zack looked from the page to me and back.
“How the hell did you get that?” He asked. I'd been asked this before and sucked at explaining, my head just did it. I opened my mouth to speak and shut it to shrug.
“Damn, maybe my uncle should be asking you to take over the business and not me. I haven't got a hope of understanding half of the stuff it involves,” Zack said and I couldn't stop the raised eyebrow. His uncle, that was Amber's dad. Guess it'd make more sense for Zack to get it and not Amber. She isn't exactly A stars across the board. Plus last I checked she was planning on marrying a rich guy.
“I don't know what I'm going to do, but working with numbers isn't one of them,” I replied.
“Why not? You seem pretty good at that and that sort of thing can make a lot of money,” He said. I'd heard something similar from Derek, but my answer was the same then.
“I don't want to spend the whole of my adult life being bored.” Zack didn't say anything else and instead turned his focus to the equation. Trying to understand my workings. Once the bell went I'd managed to half explain how my head worked for one of the more advanced ones. But even then Zack looked confused throughout. I had to show him the way to his French class before I could rush to English. Luckily the teacher seemed to be running late as well. I quickly grabbed my usual seat and tried to ignore Derek. All I had to ignore was the back of his head afterall. He was completely blanking me. But I guess that shouldn't surprise me.
“Psst!” Lily drew my attention away and mouthed “Are you okay?” I held up a thumb so she wouldn't worry. I drowned out the voice of the teacher as she rattled on endlessly about poetry. I definitely wasn't going to pull that off. My attempts at rhyming were pathetic so I gave up to glance at Lily who was scribbling furiously. I was tempted to send her a note to see it, but something about her expressions seemed serious. I think whatever she was writing was meant to be private.
The teacher asked for volunteers to read stuff out and I kept my arm firmly down. There was no way I was going to read out my fails. I saw Lily begin to raise her hand but pull back. When I turned away from Lily I saw Derek's head turn away. Had he been watching me? When the bell rang I headed for the fields since the sun was still being nice and shining. Sometimes the British weather was nice.
“Hey,” Zack said, causing my to jump a little. I'd been completely lost in attempting – and probably failing – to draw the fields.
“Sorry,” He said, even though it was clear he was trying not to laugh.
“It's fine,” I said. This wasn't the first time something like this had happened. Zack plopped onto the grass, his knee brushing mine. We sat there in silence for a moment, and everything that had been happening the past days ran through my head. I knew I should tell him about it, but I didn't want him to worry. Lewis was just a garden variety bully. And Derek...well I don't know what the hell is going through his head.
“What cha' drawing?” Zack asked, interrupting my line of though by leaning over my shoulder. His hair smelled faintly of mint and I resisted the urge to bury my face into it.
“Just trying to draw actual things rather than the random stuff I usually draw,” I explained.
“Oh, It's good,” Zack said, turning to look at me. Our faces were inches apart and now it wasn't just his shampoo I could smell but him as well. A little knowing smile quirked at his lips.
“Can I help you?” He asked, his voice teasing. Which pretty much answered my internal question of whether I was blushing or not. Wait, why was I being all shy? Before I could stop myself I leaned forward and kissed him. I heard a startled sound against my lips. It was only meant to be a little peck, but it quickly grew deeper. I shoved my hands through his hair to pull him closer still as his hands moved down to my waist and lower back. When we finally pulled apart I wasn't the only one blushing.
“For a beginner, your not half bad at kissing,” Zack said. And like that he was back to being cool and I knew I was blushing ten times worse than before. I turned away, trying to hide, but Zack's hand tipped my chin towards him.
“I meant it as a compliment,” He said with a smile.
“Right, thanks,” I murmured. Still feelings a little dumb and embarrassed.
“Do you draw a lot then?” He asked, his gaze going back to my sketch.
“Mostly, only thing I'm good at,” I said. Even as I said the words I was nit picking at the sketch, finding various faults.
“From what I know so far you're also good at maths and kissing, you shouldn't sell yourself so short,” Zack said, “And your also really good at being cute,” He added. Dammit, just when I'd stopped blushing.
“Well, your nice-looking as well,” I murmured.
“Especially when your being shy,” Zack said. Any number of replies sprang through my mind, half of which I knew I'd never have the guts to say. But the bell went.
“We've got Drama after this class, right?” Zack asked as he followed through the sea of students in the main corridor.
“Yeah,” I replied, before I could go into German, Zack pulled me towards him for a soft, quick kiss. I tried not to grin to much as I took my seat.
“Somebody's happy,” Kim said as she pulled her chair out.
“Well, things could be worse,” I replied with a small laugh.
“I guess, are you really okay after what happened this morning?” Kim asked, the last part whispered.
“Not really, I'm more angry than sad,” I said. At least I hadn't run into Lewis yet, though maybe that was a bad thing in disguise. He might be waiting until after school.
“Prüfung klasse. Nur eine einfache ein, keine panik,” Miss Dale said as she began handing out papers. Probably a summary test of everything we'd learnt this term.
“In vorbereitung Ihrer GCSEs,” She added.
“Nächste lektion, beginnen wir arbeiten an Ihrem gesprochenen Prüfungen,” She explained. I could see some of the people in class giving her clueless glances. I wasn't too worried about working on the spoken exams to be honest, I was better at speaking German than I was at writing and reading it.
“Wie Gehts, Michael?” She asked as she handed me and Kim our papers.
“Ich bin gut, danke,” I replied, feeling a little embarrassed. So she hadn't been fooled this morning by Kim afterall. She raised an eyebrow, maybe not entirely believing me, but walked off without comment. The test wasn't too hard, though Kim did tap her pencil on my shoulder once or twice. I hoped she realised in the actual GCSE's she couldn't do this. I whispered as much to her and she muttered darkly, a curse word may have been thrown in the mix.
“Why do you find this so easy?” She asked as we headed to our lockers. I had too much stuff and needed to dump some of it before heading to drama.
“I don't find it easy. I just have a lot of free time to study up,” I replied. Kim gave me a curious look but left it alone. Zack and Derek are the only people who actually know about where I live. And even then, they don't need to know how hard we struggled. My thoughts flashed to a very unhappy period and I shrugged it away. I didn't need to remember those times, when things truly were hard. Or the close calls with social services.
Prüfung klasse. Nur eine einfache ein, keine panik – Test class, Just a simple one, don't panic
In vorbereitung Ihrer GCSEs – In preparation of your GCSEs
Nächste lektion, beginnen wir arbeiten an Ihrem gesprochenen Prüfungen – Next lesson, we will start working on your spoken tests
Wie Gehts, Michael – How are you, Michael?
Ich bin gut, danke – I'm good, thanks