I looked after them for a minute, wishing that Connelly wouldn’t have had to leave. I sighed and realized that I had been holding my breath. I then went inside and up to my room. It turned out that my parents had been outside all afternoon and hadn’t even heard Connelly pull up. When I got to my room, I was so tired that I immediately fell asleep.
I awoke the next day happy and refreshed. I was surprised to find that it was only Tuesday. Yesterday had seemed like three days all rolled into one. At least I’d have three more actual days to spend with Connelly before the confounded weekend. I was going to spend as much time as I could with Connelly before the weekend where I’d be forced to go two whole days without seeing his angelic face.
I went into my closet and came out dressed in my very favorite pleated skirt, black leggings, and a white blouse. I curled my hair in small spirals, applied my makeup, and ran out to the car. But Sue wasn’t waiting for me and she wasn’t coming out of her house. I stood there for a minute, waiting to see if I was early, but she never came outside.
“What’s going on?” I asked myself. I pulled out my cell phone and dialed Sue’s number. It rang once. Twice.
“Hello?” asked Sue’s voice.
“Where are you?” I asked.
“I’m at school, where are you?” she asked.
“How did you get to school? You don’t have a car.” I said.
“Oh, Mom and Dad got me a little bug and showed me this morning. Sorry if I scared you.” said Sue.
“It’s okay. I’ll be there in a minute.” I said and started towards my car.
“Bye.” I hung up and climbed into my Xterra. I had just started the ignition when I heard a knock on the passenger window and saw Connelly staring at me.
“Hello.” he said, his slightly darker cherry red eyes blazing at me.
“What are you doing here?” I asked. He opened the door and climbed in beside me.
“I wanted to drive you to school.” he said.
“Isn’t that moving a little too fast? I mean, we’ve only known each other for two months.” I looked at him.
“Yeah, but I can’t help myself; now move over.” he smiled and nudged me.
“Connelly, I’m already here.” I said.
“I said I came here to drive you to school and I’m a bad passenger. Now move. Please.” he said forcefully.
“Fine.” I said and got out of the car and went around to the passenger side.
“Oh, come now, don’t be upset with me. I just wanted to drive you. What’s wrong with that?” he looked at me.
“How did you get here?” I asked.
“I walked.” he said as we backed out of my driveway.
“How long did it take you to get here?” I asked.
“A few minutes.” he answered.
“Oh, so you don’t live far from here?” I raised my eyebrows and smiled.
“Yes, I do, but I’m a bit faster than your average walker.” he looked at me.
“Oh yeah. I’ve got to remember that.” I looked down and tried to commit it to memory.
“Besides, I came from school.” he said as we started for the school.
“How’d you know I wasn’t in school too?” I asked.
“I was looking for you. Ivan said that he could hear you talking to Sue from here so I came to get you.” he smiled down at me.
“He can hear me thinking that far away?” I asked, amazed. Yeah, I hope you hear this Ivan. You’re amazing.
“Yeah, it’s pretty easy for him.” Connelly smiled again as we pulled into the parking lot.
“Wow. That was fast. I always tend to get somewhere quicker when I’m with you.” I commented as I got out of the car and we started towards the school doors.
“That’s because I go faster than you do.” he said, taking my hand.
“How much faster?” I asked.
“Just a little.” he looked straight ahead and then opened the door for me.
“You still have some questions to answer.” I said as I walked inside.
“I know.” he said and then walked away just as my friends saw me.
“Hey Kota.” said Dale and he grabbed me up in a bear hug.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. He’d never done this before, at least not like this. He looked like he was surprised to see me alive.
“Nothing. Can’t a guy embrace his friends?” he put on an innocent face.
“I guess so.” I let it go. He was only trying to protect me from someone he thought was dangerous. I guess I should let him at least try to do what he thought was right. He put me down and smiled at me.
“Be careful Dale. You could crush her.” Louis came up and gave me a gentler hug that lasted just a second longer than Dale’s had. He smiled at me when he let go.
“Kota, did you see my bug?” Sue asked as she ran up to me.
“No I didn’t, sorry. I’ll see it when we leave.” I promised. Louis was still standing close, and out of the corner of my eye, I could see that he was still looking at me. The warning bell rang then.
“I’ll see you in Home Ec. then.” Louis said. He caught my eye, smiled, and then walked off.
“Looks like Connelly has a little competition.” said Sue as we walked to our lockers.
“There’s no competition. I’m not interested in Louis.” I said resolutely and continued for History.
“What’s wrong?” Connelly asked as I sat down beside him.
“I’m fine.” I said. I looked over at him and smiled. Just looking at him made me forget about Louis and all of my problems. That is, until he pursued his question.
“You’re upset. And that was a lie.” he said.
“It’s nothing really. Just that Dale and Louis are acting weird.” I said. I didn’t want to tell him everything, partially because I wanted to forget about it.
“How?” he asked.
“I’m probably just overreacting. All he did was give me a longer hug than Dale. They’re just trying to protect me from you.” I said.
“Well then don’t be upset with them. I am dangerous to you.” he smiled.
“Yeah.” I said and shook my head.
“You sound like you doubt that.” he said. I looked at him and he was smiling, but his eyes were serious.
“I don’t think you’d ever hurt me.” I admitted.
“I guess I need to show you a little more about myself.” he said and the teacher walked in then. I looked over at him. He was looking at the teacher and he was mad. I didn’t want to stop talking to him, especially if he was mad and it was my fault.
So I turned over to a blank page in my notebook and wrote, “I’m sorry, but you know what I meant.” Then, while the teacher’s back was turned, I slipped it on his desk. He looked at it, then slid it in front of him, wrote on it, and sent it back.
It said, “It’s okay, but Ivan’s the one who can read minds, not me.” I looked at him and he was looking down at his desk.
“I know that you wouldn’t purposefully hurt me.” I wrote and sent it back.
“I’m glad that you know that, but you also need to know that I still might hurt you even though I don’t mean to. You still don’t know a lot about me and how I am.” he replied.
“Then tell me. I’m a fast learner.” I sent back.
“I’m going to have to. Hm…. We would have to be alone where no one could see us, but that could be dangerous.” he wrote back.
“How?” I asked. I gave it back to him. He read it, looked at me, rolled his eyes, and started writing.
“Because if something goes wrong, no one would be able to find you. (Duh)” he wrote back. I read the ‘Duh’ and looked at him and he smiled. I smiled back and crossed it out.
“Oh. Well I can tell Sue and you can tell Ivan. Then if something goes wrong, they’ll be able to help.” I reasoned.
“That’s a good idea. But where will we go?” he wrote.
“We don’t need somewhere completely secret, just a place with trees that not many people go to.” I answered.
“Yeah, but where?” he asked and looked at me. He looked frustrated and I wrinkled my nose at him to calm down.
“I don’t know. We can figure it out after class. Ask your family and I’ll ask Sue.” I wrote and gave it to him.
“Okay. You look so cute when you wrinkle your nose at me.” he wrote back. I looked over at him and he smiled. I blushed and flipped the page back over to the one with unfinished notes on it. Then a little folded piece of paper landed on my desk and I looked over at Connelly, who was staring at me.