“I didn’t get the chance to ask before, but why wouldn’t Dave want you as a partner?” he asked, looking thoughtful and curious.
I saw Chase standing and watching us at the front of the class with a confused, slightly surprised, and disapproving look on his face. He looked like he was about to say something or come over, but Sue grabbed his arm and towed him out of the room, winking at me before she disappeared. “Oh that.” I said.
“Was it bad?” he asked. We walked out of the door and towards the Home Ec. classroom, which was on the other side of the school.
“No, not really… Kinda.” I said and he chuckled. “What?” I asked.
“Nothing, I’m sorry. Go on.” he stopped chuckling and smiled encouragingly.
“Well,” I looked at him for a second and then looked away, “Do you remember the first time we met? And Dave kissed my hand?” I asked, looking back up at him.
His smile disappeared as he said, “Yes, I remember.”
“Well he thought that when I blushed, that meant I liked him and so he thought that we were together. And when we danced yesterday —”
“You danced?” he said sharply and I looked at him. Maybe it was just me, but was that jealously I heard in his voice? I internally exploded with happiness.
“Only for a minute. He said that you were being rude to me and that he was going to take care of you.” I went on and he burst out laughing. “What’s so funny?”
“Him? Take care of me? (He let out a few more laughs) I’m sorry, I’m being rude again. Keep going.” he said, covering his mouth with his hand to stop himself.
“Anyway, I told him that I couldn’t read his mind and that I didn’t like him like that. I said that next time he asked a girl out that he should actually ask her and it would go smoother.” I said and looked at him. He still had his hand over his mouth, but then put it down.
“You’re kind of harsh, you know that?” he said after a minute.
“Well, no one’s perfect. Besides, you’re kind of rude.” I shot back at him.
“Yeah, I am… Why did you blush when he kissed you if you didn’t like him?” Connelly looked at me and I looked away quickly.
At that exact moment we stopped at the Home Ec. class. “Well this is me.” I said quickly so he couldn’t persist that I answer.
He looked at me thoughtfully for a second with a soft smile on his face and then before walking off he said, “See you in gym.” I smiled to myself as I watched him go, and then headed into class. I sat at my table, empty of Louis, and waited for class to start.
Aubrey, Ivan, and Alister walked past the door a few minutes later and I looked up in time to see Aubrey wave at me. She smiled at me sweetly as I sat down and I smiled back. Okay, I had Ivan and Aubrey’s approval. Alister still didn’t look at me, but he was just going to have to get over whatever was stuck up his butt, because I wasn’t going away anytime soon.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!” someone busted out and the class all looked out in the hall where Ivan had stopped walking and was laughing loudly. He had his head faced upward and then leaned down and smacked his leg.
Then, he suddenly stopped and looked into my classroom at me and then at Aubrey and Alister, who were looking at him in confusion, Alister in slight irritation. Ivan stood up straight, cleared his throat, smiled embarrassedly and ran out of sight. I stared blankly at the spot where he had stood and wondered what was so funny.
Aubrey and Alister stood out in the hall for a minute, looking at Ivan who I knew was just out of my sight. They gave him a confused look and then, as if Ivan was whispering something to him, Alister turned and glared at me before walking out of sight. Aubrey smiled, giggled, and waved at me once more before leaving my sight too.
That was weird. Why did he glare at me? What did I do? I thought, chills still prickling my skin from his scorching glare.
“Hey Kota.” Louis said happily as he strolled through the door and sat beside me.
“Kota, are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Louis put a hand on my arm and turned me slightly to face him more.
“No, I’m fine. Just cold is all, but I’ll get over it.” I said, smiling and then leaned over my notebook just as Mrs. Stettler came in holding a stack of papers we realized as tests.
Mostly I just listened at lunch, daydreaming about Connelly and wondering how the top part of his head looked. Wondering what color the eyes he kept tortuously hiding under that hat were. At first, when he had been rude and then had that spasm the next time I saw him, I suspected them to be black. But after what happened in History, his eyes could be the brightest blue or the deepest brown for all I could figure.
At that thought, I looked over at the table where he sat. He was surrounded by his family; Ivan, Aubrey, and then Vincent on his right, Alister in front of him and Mira in front of Ivan. They didn’t say anything and didn’t eat their food either. Instead, they just looked down at their trays, sometimes glancing up at one another, but not saying anything.
Then all of a sudden, Alister’s eyes shot to mine. His head was still directed down, but his eyes were locked on mine. I may not have physically jumped, but my heart rate spiked dangerously.
I desperately wanted to look away, but as scared to death as I was, his eyes seemed to hold mine in place. They looked determined, holding no emotion, not even hostility. It was like they were bottomless black holes and I was falling into them. He seemed very distrusting of me, daring me to do anything whether it was threatening or not, and I was scared to even take a breath in case it set him off.
Then, just as I felt hostility start coming into his eyes, Ivan slammed his fist on the table, breaking our gaze. Alister looked up angrily at Ivan and for a moment he moved to stand up, but decided against it and remained seated.
Everyone at my table was looking over at Ivan and Alister now, wondering what in the world had happened. They watched for a few minutes, but when nothing happened, they went back to what they were doing, except for me. I kept watching and was surprised by what I saw.
They were talking with only the slightest movements of their mouths, making it impossible for me to read (I was never good at it anyway), much less hear in all the ruckus in there. Mira looked questioningly at Ivan for a minute and then to Alister, who had said something, his face scrunched in annoyance and arrogance.