She tastes sweeter than I could have ever imagined and she is small in my grasp. How could someone such as her be so ignored in this school?
I know the others are staring at me, wondering why I am kissing this darkened girl, but they don't know her potential. I hold her for a few seconds as I kiss her. For a moment she is silent and docile, but as if she were hit with a mental light switch, she pushes me away from her.
"What are you doing?" She hisses in her softened voice. Her blush is softly touching her porcelain skin. "Stay away from me!"
I watch helplessly as she grabs her bag and walks away from me. I smile when I catch her look back with a hand to her lips.
She won't forget me for a while.
When my dad had left my mother she had been a mess. My brother Paul had only been eight at the time and I had been ten. He didn't understand why mom was always crying; where dad had gone. He was my duty; the parent that he didn't get to see until she was strong and ready enough to be one.
That stress gets to you and turns you into who I am today.
"Hey kid," I pass by Paul who is standing frozen in the middle of the hallway, "What's wrong with you?"
He looks at me with a defeated look, but I know better than to ask what happened. "Nothing," with that, his face turns back into the usually smirk that he has always used as a trademark. "What's going on?"
"I have football practice and then I'm just heading home."
"Home? You're not going to party on a Friday night?" Paul shakes his head and puts his arm around my shoulders. "Emily Yonge is throwing a huge party tonight, you should come."
I shake my head and smile at him, "Not tonight, but don't be home too late."
He immediately lets go of my shoulders and uses his hand as a gun to his head, "Buzz kill."
One thing I love about summer is the heat that oddly cools you down after a long practice session. The coach is ruthless this year because since some of the seniors from last year started university football, he feels he has something to prove with the rest of us. I carry my backpack on one shoulder and look around the parking lot as I reach my car.
My dad had remarried and had stayed in Toronto two years ago. He had reconnected with me, but had failed with Paul. When I had turned seventeen this car, a Honda Civic, had appeared in our driveway with a card. All it read was: Happy Birthday Charlie, Love Dad. Though I love my car, I can't help but wonder if this is all he has to offer.
I toss my bag in the back and look around once more. A lone figure is walking quickly out of the parking lot, her long black hair is moving weightless behind her. Lorena. Why is she at school so late?
I get in my car and start the engine. Slowly driving, I reach her before she is out of the school property. "Lorena, hey."
She looks back at me surprised; have her cheeks always been so pink? Her braids are now gone and her cheek bones are more visible now without them. She's a sight, Paul had been right.
"Do you want a ride?" I ask, putting an elbow on my opened window and resting my chin on my forearm.
She shakes her head slowly and silently and continues to walk. "Please," I ask, "I owe you that much."
"Why do you owe me?" Her voice is a surprise to me. It is so quiet that I can barely hear it; so soft that I can almost touch it.
"Well," I finally say after a few seconds of shock. "You did pass my brother and I our ball, right?"
Her rosy lips rise up at the corners and she closes her eyes for an instance, as if remembering the moment. "Right, that."
Her hands are tightened around each other in the car and her hair falls so far that it brushes her thighs. Her features are soft as she looks forward. I can tell that she is set on not looking at me.
"So Lorena, what are you doing tonight?" I ask, throwing her name in so she knew that I had known of her before.
"The usual." She says simply as she points to where I should turn.
"Which is?" I prod while turning around a corner.
"It's family matters."
I nod and stop when she mentions that I have reached her house. "Do you maybe want to go out some time? To a movie or something?"
She looks at me suddenly, her brown, chocolate eyes analyze me and she grabs a rebellious hair away from her face. The effect overwhelms me and I can feel heat covering my cheeks. "You're just like your brother."
"I'm sorry?" I ask, truly shocked that this is her answer.
"Just because you two suddenly know my name; my first name only, I am sure, you both think you have some right to be suddenly talking to me. Before today you both didn't even know I existed--"
"--that isn't true--"
"--and now you both are trying to go out with me? I'm not a toy and I don't have time for this." She opens the door roughly and grabs her bag from the back seat. "Thanks for the ride Charlie."
For a few minutes I sit alone and silent, trying to understand what has just happened. I remember last year when a certain girl who had never looked at me, had suddenly an immense interest in my form.
I shake my head and remove the memories. No, I am not like her. There is something about Lorena that has made me think of nothing else. She didn't think she could stay hidden for so long did she? People would figure out how delicate, pure, and soft she is.
I look back once at the large house and imagine her getting ready for a long night in her room. I'm curious about her life, about what she likes; I'm curious about her.