“So, you forgive him for scaring you and not telling you about it?” she asked.
“Yeah. He felt really bad about it and seemed really serious when he said he didn’t mean to hurt me. He promised he would never do that again and I believe him.” I said and looked at her. She smiled and nodded.
“You know, when I figured out it was him, I had decided to stop trying to be with him and go for Louis. But he completely changed my mind when he did what he did last night.” I smiled at the memory of him holding my wrists in his cold hands.
“I’m glad you’re happy.” she said.
“So, what exactly did Ivan do to hypnotize you?” I asked, glancing at the now blushing Sue.
“Well, he just seemed closer to me somehow, like we connected more last night than ever before. It was so amazing.” Sue sighed happily as we pulled into the school parking lot.
We saw Dale with his Ford Escort and Chase with his Kia Sportage parked next to each other. We waved to them as we passed, still looking for a spot to park. The school was really full today, forcing us to park all the way at the back.
“So, how close do you think they are to asking us out?” I asked as we got out and started our way to the school doors.
“I’m not sure, but by the way they acted last night I’d say pretty close.” she grinned at me and I looked at her excitedly.
“By the way who acted last night?” asked a voice, an arm wrapping around my shoulders, and I looked over at the smiling face that was Louis.
“Someone who has piqued my interest.” I said and smiled at him teasingly. He moved his head slightly to the side, still looking at me and raised his eyebrows twice. I laughed, thrusting my head back, and he smiled bigger.
“So what did this person do exactly, to pique your interest?” he asked, smirking at me sideways.
“Search your memory. I’m sure it’ll show itself.” I said and smirked back at him. We were inside the school now, Sue had gone to class, and Louis and I were standing at our lockers.
I grabbed my books and said, “I’ll see you in Home Ec.”
“See you.” he said, smiling at me. I smiled back, aware that I shouldn’t be doing this. But then as I walked to my class I thought, Connelly hasn’t asked me out yet so I can flirt with whoever I want until he does. I’m still single. I smiled and continued into History where I saw Connelly watching me with a smile all the way until I sat down beside him. Just seeing him made me feel guilty for feeling the slightest bit flirty with Louis.
“Good morning. You look happy.” he said knowingly and grinned at me when I looked at him.
“Yes I am. How are you?” I asked, smiling back at him pleasantly.
“How are your wrists?” he asked, for the millionth time dodging my question and asking one of his own.
“Oh, they’re fine. They just twinge a little bit when I rub them on something. Though I’d figure they would have healed by now. It’s been almost two weeks since I got attacked.” I said. He reached out and took one of my hands in his, once again wrapping his fingers around the red ring and then sat sideways in his seat facing me.
“They’re healing fairly well.” he looked up at me caringly, still leaning over my wrist.
“Does that feel better?” he asked and I nodded, giving him my other wrist and he smiled. We stayed like that for a while, me staring at him while he stared and examined my wrists. I looked at his thick dark brown hair falling in front of his eyes, despite him wearing a hat. Then a thought struck me — If he was the theater monster and he knew that I knew that he was the theater monster, then why did he still wear the hat? I had already seen his eyes, so why did he still hide them?
I watched him release my wrists and examine the red rings around them. He gently turned them over and looked at the other side, like he was a doctor looking at a wound. He seemed meticulous in the way he handled me and always gentle like a soft breeze. He must care for me a large amount or he wouldn’t be like this. I thought and smiled at him.
“Why do you still wear that?” I asked and he paused in turning my wrist over for the third time and lifted his head only slightly.
“What?” he asked.
“That hat — Why do you still wear it? I know who you are.” I said, leaning slightly towards him.
“I don’t understand your meaning.” he said and slowly, he returned to my wrists.
“I hate not seeing your face. I can barely see your face at all with that thing on and I want to see your eyes.” I said. He stopped messing with my wrists and wrapped his hands around them once more.
“I know I need to explain…” he said and lightly ran his fingers down my open palm, tickling my skin.
Then the bell rang suddenly and the teacher walked in and went straight to the black board. I was so tired of teachers and it seemed everyone and everything else interrupting us I was ready to scream. She wrote in big letters the words ‘Tests Today’. Then she handed a stack of test papers to each student on the front row and told them to pass it back. I brought my hands back to my desk and Connelly turned to face the blackboard.
I looked over at him questioningly and he whispered, “It’s not the right time.”
“Then when is?” I whispered back. Then, he was just about to say something else, but the teacher cut him off.
“No talking! You may begin.” she said, sitting at her desk and grading our homework. Connelly and I looked at each other once more and then started our tests. It was a quiet class as the tests were four pages long and took most if not all period. I didn’t look at Connelly again and tried to concentrate on the test, only hoping he was doing the same.
When the bell rang, we got our things, turned in our tests to the teacher and then went out into the hall. “I flunked, I just know it.” I said as I went to my locker.
“Of course not. You seemed fairly concentrated in there. I’m sure you’ll make an ‘A’.” Connelly smiled at me.
“You were watching me?” I asked and I felt my cheeks start to burn. I knew what I looked like when I was concentrating hard on something, and it wasn’t what I would want Connelly seeing me in all my embarrassing glory.
“Don’t be embarrassed.” he said, putting a cold hand on my burning cheek. “You look cute when you bite your lip.” He smiled at me.