I heard the door open, and the loud clacking of heels against our wooden floors. It was Sunday night, and she was just now home. Rolling my eyes, I lied back down and attempted to fall back asleep. Mondays were either a blessing or a curse depending on how you looked at it. I generally sided with the blessing, because it meant that the weekend dealing with my crazy mother (or lack there of) was over and life could return back to normal.
Beep, beep, beep, beep beep beep. Groaning as the screams of my alarm clock sped up until the machine was literally hyperventilating; I slammed my fist down on top of it roughly, quieting the stupid device. Throwing the covers off of my body, I stood up, stretching until the blood began flowing more freely to my limbs. My normal routine took me a total of forty five minutes, thirty if I hurried. Once showered, dressed, and ready to go I was out the door before my mom had even awoken. We really lived separate lives. She did her own thing, and I did mine. If I was your average teenager, I probably would’ve taken advantage of the absence in my life in some vain attempt of getting back at her, however I was not your average teenager and my main objective remained getting out of here as quickly as I could.
I pulled up into the school parking lot, eating my breakfast bar as I grabbed my things and ran inside. It was late September, and the rain was starting to become more common. It sucked. At least in Texas when it rained, it was warm outside. Here it was like torture. Wet, with wind so cold it made you willing to hop into an oven. Rushing inside as quickly as my skinny, ungraceful body would allow, I found my usual seat in the back. English was always so boring, Jenny Murray yapping in my ear, Mr. Hostiter droning on and on about the ‘literary subtleties’ only the great writers could master. He tended to get off subject. And like that, forty five minutes of my life was wasted away. Forty five minutes I’d never get back.
I went through my classes with zero enthusiasm as I did every day before, and as I would do every day after for the rest of the year. High school wasn’t a big party for me. ‘The best years of my life.’ Ha. Right. I was practically an inmate waiting for my four years to be up. I was close, which just made it that much harder. Stepping into the cafeteria the first thing I noticed was that my usual table in the back right hand corner was full. Full of loud cheerleaders who were giggling over the newest lies they were no doubt weaving. I had to admit, as much as I didn’t like this place, the people back home were a lot louder, a lot faker, and a lot meaner. At least here if you didn’t want to hang with them, they didn’t weave rumors about you being a psycho serial killer or something.
Groaning I looked around the lunch room, only to realize their usual table was full of red liquid. Apparently someone had spilt their punch everywhere. Well, that’s what I got for being late. Moving over to the cafeteria line, I decided I’d just have to eat in the bathrooms today. There was no way that I’d sit next to Jenny, the only person I had ever really talked to here. As I came to the end of the buffet of sorts, I paid and lifted my tray off the metal railing. Walking towards the exit, I stopped in my tracks upon hearing probably the last thing I wanted to hear.
“Eve! There’s a spot open here, come sit with us, the bathrooms are disgusting.” I turned around, my eyes set upon Trace and Leo who were both smiling beautifully at me. Trace had gotten a bit of a hair cut, his hair shorter than I remembered when I’d seen him Saturday. They looked perfectly relaxed, as always. It was almost as if the entire place went silent, everyone staring at us, whispering to each other and nudging their friends. I’m sure that the last thing anyone was expecting was for the untouchables to talk to the mute new girl, let alone invite her to sit with them at lunch. Glaring at Trace, I fought to keep the playful edge away from my expression. It was very, very difficult, and he seemed to see right through me.
“When I said I sincerely hoped I would never see you again, I meant it.” And with that I stomped off. Apparently my response was the icing on the cake, everyone in the cafeteria struggling to lift their jaws up from the ground. Walking out of the lunch room, I stepped into the nearest bathroom, gasping at the rank smell. It was disgusting. Trace really wasn’t lying. I’d only been there for a few weeks, and I like anyone else knew the bathrooms here were far from satisfactory when it came to cleanliness, but this was really pushing things over the edge. Sighing, I moved over towards the sink, setting the tray down on the counter.
It really was a lot worse than I ever remembered. Almost like my nose was more sensitive or something. And the longer I stayed the worse it got. I then began asking myself what would be worse torture? Sitting in here and attempting to eat through my gag reflex, or sitting with Trace and Leo, two extraordinarily good looking guys. Mumbling under my breath as I exited, I came into the lunch room looking enraged, and ready to kill. Sitting down at their table, before he could utter one word, I shot him the darkest glare I could manage.
“Don’t say one word. I still consider sitting with you torture, just ever so slightly less terrible than the bathrooms that are probably radioactive and biohazards!” I snapped, watching Trace and Leo trade glances, Leo looking a bit worried, and Trace looking all too pleased. I couldn’t handle it anymore. It was like they were talking and didn’t even have to say anything!
“Why must you constantly do that?” I exclaimed suddenly, both of them looking at me very quickly. Trace arched that same haughty eyebrow, looking at me as if I had just walked out of an insane asylum.
“What are you talking about?” He questioned me, his lips twitching as if he were preparing himself to laugh at my evident stupidity.
“That! It’s like you two talk without saying anything, its so annoying, if you’re going to talk please talk out loud. I mean honestly, I don’t like people, but I like people even less when they’re talking about me but refuse to actually say anything. You’re so annoying.” I added on the last part because of the look he was giving me. It was something like ‘you’re cute, in a psycho kind of way.’ As I should have expected, Trace started laughing at me in a way that honestly made me want to knock his beautiful head off. In spite of the tragedy that would have been.
“I may be annoying, but you make absolutely no sense. I didn’t understand one word you just said, did you understand her Leo?” He asked, nudging his friend, obviously trying to restrain himself from laughing even more. Leo seemed to be the polite one, and it was pretty apparent to me that he would have rather not answered that question.
“Oh just never mind, never mind!” I grumbled, only doing that for Leo. He’d been nice to me; Trace was the one who deserved to be thrown to the dogs. The nerve! I began to eat, looking up in time to catch Leo giving Trace a look that a parent gives a child when they’ve done something wrong. Sighing, Trace looked at me, sincerity reading across his face. If nothing else, the guy always meant what he said. I never got the feeling that he was manipulative. When he did manipulate, he made it pretty clear that’s what he was doing.
“On a more serious note, I’m sorry Eve…er Evelyn. I didn’t mean to make you angry, thanks for sitting with us.” His apology was genuine, which just made it even more irritating. I couldn’t peg him for ‘not meaning it’ because if there was one thing I was not, I was not a liar. So instead of replying, I merely shrugged in response, eating my food, hoping somehow that time would speed up and the bell would ring quicker than usual.
“So, why’d you move here?” Trace asked, a lame attempt at saving the already severely destroyed conversation.
“My moms job, with the economy and what not she said this was the best place for a small business owner.” I left out the part about my dad living here. I had a feeling that also had something to do with the move, but I really had no proof, besides I didn’t know them, why disclose such personal information?
“What does your mom do?” Trace seemed honestly interested in her profession. Then again he seemed interested in anything that had to do with me. There I go with my egotistical thoughts again.
“She’s an artist, mostly sculpting and pottery.” I replied, feeling uneasily comfortable with the conversation. He was nice to talk to when he wasn’t being an idiot. But the fact that he was an idiot ninety nine percent of the time really just canceled out any good qualities he might display. It was funny; I was sitting here making judgments about a guy I hardly knew at all.
“Oh I see, so you were pretty bummed about leaving your high school back home?” The question was interesting, because most people who asked mostly centered their question about my friends, and leaving my friends. I guess he really thought that he said at the restaurant.
“Uh, not really, how could you miss high school? It doesn’t matter where I am, I just want to get out of the government’s sad excuse for a learning center.” I replied, still eating my food. My answer seemed to surprise Leo because he gave me a curious look, though Trace looked simply reassured. As if he expected that answer from me. I hated the idea of predictability. I was not like everyone else, and here he was, reading me like a book on a first grade difficulty level.
Getting up, I threw away my excess food, waiting for the bell to ring, a bit anxiously. It was distressing being around someone who appeared to already have a pretty good grasp on who I was, my quirks, my likes, my dislikes. I didn’t like the idea of anyone knowing that much about me. Even my own mom didn’t have an understanding of that kind of stuff. She just wrote me off as ‘a bit strange, much more like her father.’ Which was fine, more privacy for me.
“So-“ Trace started, leaning forward in his chair as if he was about to ask an exceedingly important, difficult question. But luckily for me, I had been saved by the bell.
“Got to go, thanks for letting me sit here, I’ll see ya’ll around.” I reacted very quickly, it being painfully obvious that I had been waiting for my escape. He merely grinned boyishly, nodding his head.
“Better than sincerely hoping that you’d never see me again.” He quickly clarified, clueing me into why his expression was so delighted. Rolling my eyes, I just shook my head, rushing off to class even though I was far from being late. I didn’t like the fact that I felt like I already knew a lot about him, and that he already seemed to know a lot about me. I didn’t like change. I needed to be eased into things. And being around Trace was one, humongous, disconcerting change. He wasn’t like anyone I’d ever met. Therefore I had absolutely no idea how to deal with him.