My fingers drummed rhythmically against the wooden table, the gum in my mouth had lost all its flavour and I was staring out the window, absolutely bored out of my mind. Maths was dragging, sucking the life out of me. Mia sighed next to me in the same predicament as me, her forehead resting against the table.
'You know what we should do?'
'What?' she grunted, her voice muffled.
'Have another party.'
'Oh no you don't. Not after last time.'
'But it was fun,' I whined. 'Come on. I'll even let you bring a Plus One so you don't have to resort to the nearest guy you see.'
'I really wish you'd let that drop,' she moaned. 'Besides, I have a splitting headache and all I want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep; a party is the last thing on my mind.'
'You can't still be hungover can you? It's Monday for crying out loud!'
'I'm not hungover,' she snapped. 'I just have a headache.'
'Pfft, whatever,' I turned my attention back to the scenery outside. There were a few guys playing basketball, which would keep me occupied until Maths ended. I watched one of them score a goal and slap his mates some high fives. 'The guys here are such losers.'
'What about Gabriel?' Mia teased, sitting up straight.
'I don't know,' I sighed truthfully. 'There's something off about him. He always acts so darn mysterious, and so...reluctant. I mean, I know he was at my party on Friday, so why won't he just admit that?'
'Hm,' Mia pondered. 'Beats me.'
'Emmia and Hailey,will you please stop talking and get on with your work!' Mrs Brownsby snapped from the front. Mia blushed and I rolled my eyes, picking my pen back up and pretending to write.
'Yes Emmia,' I whispered childishly. 'Do your work!'
'Shut up,' she hissed.
* * *
The rest of the day passed by uneventful. Gabriel kept to himself, not even bothering to speak to me when we shared the same classes, which puzzled me entirely. It was like he had a split personality, one minute he would act all nice and sweet, the next he would be cold, distant and enigmatic. To say it baffled me would be an understatement.
'There's someone I want you to meet,' Mia grabbed my hand at the end of the school day, leading me out of the gates.
'Oh, you have a new beau?' I waggled my eyebrows at her. 'You certainly kept this to yourself.'
She flashed me a secretive smile and I let her pull me along.
'This,' she came to a stop. 'Is Asher.'
The guy stood in front of me looked a few years older than both of us and was wearing all black. He was tall, standing next to Mia made her look absolutely tiny, with wild black hair that contrasted sharply with his pale complexion. The thing that startled me the most though, the thing that caused me to flinch slightly and to take an automatic step back, were his eyes. They were a magnificent shade of blue and they were so piercing, so penetrating, I felt three inches tall. I had suddenly lost anything smart or witty I had been able to say and was only able to mumble a small, 'Hello.'
'You must be Hailey,' the corner of his mouth tilted up slightly and my heart flipped. He was handsome, there was absolutely no doubt about that, but he was the most intimidating person I had ever met.
'Yes,' I nodded shyly. Mia seemed amused at my reaction.
'Well Hailey, I had better be going. I'll see you tomorrow?'
'Yeah,' I murmured, suddenly finding it hard to look at Asher. She took his hand and began walking off, down the path.
My breath came out in one long whoosh. Who was that guy?
'Who was that?' someone voiced my thoughts directly beside me and I jumped.
'Jeez Gabriel, you scared the shit out of me.'
'Sorry,' he smiled. 'Who was that?'
'Asher,' I frowned, looking back at them. They looked like such an unlikely couple, her all small and pink and doe-like, him tall dark and devastating. 'Mia's new boyfriend.'
'They look like an unlikely couple don't they?'
I turned to face him, confused. I had literally just been thinking that.
His expression was impassive; his green eyes had become closed off and unreadable, his mouth set in a line, his brows furrowed slightly. He had his hands behind his back and when he looked down at me again, he chuckled.
'What are you looking at?'
'Nothing,' I replied, uneasily, suddenly becoming a little spooked by the way he was staring at me. 'I have to go home.'
'Cool, I'll walk with you.'
'Okay,' I said quietly.
We walked in silence for a few minutes and the feeling of unease never left me. I caught him glancing at me every now and then out of the corner of my eye, but I pretended not to notice. I was used to guy's staring at me, but the way Gabriel did it was different. It was almost slightly...wild? His unkempt hair fluttered in the summer breeze and I noticed how different he looked from this morning.
'You done something to your hair?' I asked without thinking, blushing immediately afterwards.
'Ignore me, it just looks different that's all.'
'Well, it was the same the last time I checked,' he replied, keeping his eyes straight ahead. I quickened my pace, hoping he wouldn't notice.
Thankfully, my house was just round the corner.
'Well, here I am,' I came to a stop outside the huge iron gates that separated my house from the rest of the world. Looking at him pointedly, I wished he'd get the hint and go home. He just stood there though, staring at the house behind me. He whistled under his breath, a low melodic sound that told me he was impressed.
'Your house is nice.'
'It's no different than yours I can imagine.'
'It's a lot different from mine, your parents divorce certainly paid off!' he laughed. 'Well, I'll see you tomorrow at school. See you Hailey!' he waved and turned to leave. I, however, stood there staring after him, perplexed.
How did he know my parents were divorced?