“Hey Connelly, look. You like my hat? I got it when I went shopping with Kati last weekend.” I said, but he didn’t respond and I deflated a little. I guess I was doing a bad job of cheering him up.
“It looks stupid doesn’t it. Maybe I look weird in it. I’ve caught a lot of people looking at me. I think maybe they think I’m fawning, — I mean that I want to be with you — I mean —” I said and then mentally slapped myself twice in the face. Oh I am so stupid! I can’t believe I just said that right in front of him! Now he’s going to think I’m desperate and then he’s going to run off. I thought angrily, lecturing myself. I heard him sigh more heavily and peeked at him, ready for him to bolt or tell me to buzz off. Instead, I saw that he had a small smile on his lips.
He tilted his hat to the side, almost letting me see his eyes and his smile showed in a teasing way. “Really? Fawning? Well now, that’s an extreme accusation. What do you think about that statement?” his teasing smile widened as he saw my furious blush. I started sliding down in my seat.
“I think it might not be so wise to answer that question.” I said, not being able to stop smiling embarrassingly.
“Why not?” he asked and leaned closer, his teasing smile now a broad grin.
“I can’t” I said, shaking my head.
“But why?” he asked, looking on the edge of laughter.
“Because I can’t breathe.” I managed to whisper. He leaned back in his chair and laughed heartily. He had a strong laugh, a smooth laugh, an amazingly beautiful laugh. I watched him with dazzled eyes and sat back up in my chair.
“You are so much fun.” he said, still laughing a little.
“I’m glad you enjoy embarrassing me.” I said and he laughed again.
“Me too.” he said and smiled brilliantly. After that, we were silent for a while, and Connelly fell into his sad, ashamed state again.
“Connelly, what’s wrong? Please tell me, I want to help.” I said and put my hand on his. He looked at our hands and then up at me.
“Remember when you told me about when that guy attacked you? In the closed theater?” he asked. I tensed at the memory and suddenly braced for Alister to jump me from behind, but then I reminded myself that I was with Connelly. I was safe. I nodded and he continued.
“Well, I didn’t ask any questions about him because I didn’t want to upset you even more, but now that you seem more relaxed, I’d like to ask them… Is that okay?” he asked, flipping the hand that was under mine palm up and encircling my wrist with it. I couldn’t speak so I just nodded.
“Can you tell me about it again?” he asked, turning to face me in his seat and opening his hand to me, wanting my other wrist. I turned to face him too and gave up my other wrist.
“Well —” I started slowly, but then, before I could say anything, the teacher walked in and immediately started lecturing us on some war. We were quiet and soon the class was over and we were walking down the hall.
“You were going to say something before we were so rudely interrupted.” Connelly said and I resumed the conversation.
“Well I lost sight of Kati and Sue once and I had thought that they had gone down this alleyway. I walked down the alleyway and found a door and went through it. Then when I walked in there I got attacked by someone. Well at least I think it was someone. He was growling like an animal and pounced on me. But then suddenly he jumped off and yelled for me to go.” I recounted the event and got chilly bumps again. I didn’t like reliving the event, but I did want to hear what Connelly thought about it.
“He sounds like a monster.” Connelly said after I was done.
“I don’t know. He looked scared before he jumped off me.” I said. We were already at the Home Ec. classroom. He looked at me for a minute, but then nodded and walked off. I stared after him. What was wrong with him? He was acting really weird; weirder than normal.
“Hey, Kota.” said Louis as I walked in the room. He smiled up at me like a happy puppy and I couldn’t help but smile back. He was so cute.
“Hi Louis. What’s up?” I asked, noticing that the chairs were gone and there were bowls and all kinds of cooking utensils lying out.
“We’re cooking today.” he said happily.
“Why are you so happy about it?” I asked, giving him a quizzical look.
“Well, I’ve always loved cooking. It’s cool.” he said confidently.
“Some guys would be scared to say that out loud.” I said as I put my things beside the desk and stood beside him.
“Well, I’m not that type of guy to have those insecurities.” he smiled temptingly at me.
“I’m glad because I’m not going to have a partner who won’t help me because of some stupid macho thing.” I smiled back. He winked and I blushed.
The atmosphere between us was a kind of complicated mix. On the one hand, it was kind of easy because we were friends and we were close, but on the other hand, there was still that one thing that happened on Saturday. He almost kissed me! That’s not a little thing! I mean, if I wouldn’t have run out of air, I would have kissed him!
So on top of him not liking Connelly, we now had the problem of the kissing thing. And not only that, but I also knew that just because we didn’t kiss and he knew I was interested in Connelly, he wasn’t going to stop. Nevertheless, we still managed to have a light mood and get through class without bringing it up. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t gratefully happy when the class was over and I was walking towards Biology.
“You’re acting weird today Kota.” said Dale, looking at me worriedly as I slid in beside him.
“Oh stop it. I’m fine. Actually, I’m great.” I corrected myself and leaned over my notes.
“Chase tells me you’ve been talking to Connelly.” he accused.
“Yeah, so?” I shrugged, but smiled at the sound of his name.
“He’s never talked to anyone before.” he continued. I looked at him and he was staring down at me.
“What?” I laughed.
“I was serious when I said that he was the dangerous one.” he said seriously.
“You said he was the scary one. You never said the word ‘dangerous’. Besides, he doesn’t seem so dangerous to me. He’s actually got a really good sense of humor.” I smirked. Dale gave me a stern look and that made me mad.