Chapter Two: Alex
I hadn’t slept too well for a few nights after the dodge ball incident, with the day playing over in my head constantly, like I had a DVD on repeat. It made it feel like I was living in a haze for most of the week. Unaware of the people I was talking to, things I was looking at, even when I was working, everything just seemed to be stuck on pause. It wasn’t until Michael chucked an empty granola bar wrapper at my head that I came to realize that we were sitting in the cafeteria. I sighed outwardly, going back into my short daydream and stared at him out of the corner of my eyes.
“Hello, Earth to Ollie.” Michael waved at me sarcastically.
This grabbed my attention a little less forcefully and I met his soft eyes and felt winded, gasping slightly at the sight. His face was always intense, but somehow it emanated trust, and at this very moment they seemed amused at my reaction.
“Oh sorry. What were you saying?”
“I wasn’t saying anything. That’s the problem.” Michael unwrapped his muffin.
“Oh. Sorry.” I blushed, hanging my head over my uneaten lunch.
“…Well?” Michael pressed, eyes full of more difficult questions. “What are you thinking about?”
“Tuesday, in gym class.”
“Why?” Michael sneered. “For one: Sara was alright. Just winded and she fainted, it happens. Two: it’s Thursday, can’t you get over it?”
“Well I’m over that part, but how did I cause that though? You know me, this summer I could barely throw the baseball at Corn and Apple.”
Michael was obviously trying to stifle a laugh, because his lips pulled tightly across his face and his cheeks rose, but he let his fingers rub his forehead to preoccupy him. “Too true. Maybe it wasn’t you, but you only saw your ball flying and it intercepted with someone else’s?”
“Maybe.” I shrugged and peeled the plastic wrap from my chicken wrap.
For a while, the two of us sat in silence and just sat comfortably eating our lunches. There was a possibility that we were the only two in our grade that actually ate in the cafeteria. All the other students either went home or went to Winkler for some special treats. I would have rather spent my hours in the janitor’s room than my small, vacant house, and Winkler wasn’t exciting. Not that Morden was any better, but it was only here that I had Michael and my home away from Vancouver.
I could feel Michael’s eyes watching me, his intense, aqua eyes just tracing my face and the food that I twisted with my slender fingers. It was my chance to make the remark, but just as I was about to say something, he so kindly interrupted.
“Did you buy your Shonen Jump on Tuesday?”
I blinked hard in disbelief, in the same movement I nodded shortly. “Yes, it gets delivered to me.” My tone was skeptical, Michael didn’t care much for anime, but was patient enough to watch it with me. I just munched forth, matching his glance and falling back into silence. Finding the power to look away, I met another pair of eyes, covered in black eyeliner.
Skylar! Has she been watching us this whole time? I blinked.
Michael must have found what I was staring at more interesting, because he turned to look too.
“Why is Skylar staring at you?” Michael asked above a whisper, moving across the table closer towards me. His warm breath smelled like carrot cake, I fought off the temptation to snatch the rest of his Mother’s recipe out of his hands.
“I have no clue. It wasn’t until Tuesday that she had ever really spoken to me.”
“Really? Skylar Castman actually spoke?” His voice was curious, thick with undeniable shock.
Maybe she’s a mute around guys? I bet you never thought of that, now did ya? Oh, I’m pathetic.
“Yes?” I paused, eyeing him peculiarly. “She asked about the bar in my ear.” I pointed to the silver bar with the pink stops on them, newly bought for me as a: ‘I forgot about dinner gift’ from my Mother yesterday.
Michael blinked hard, staring up at my ear and then finally jerked his head back to look at Skylar again and I followed, but she wasn’t there. It wasn’t until he looked back at me that he must have seen her, because his eyes locked with her eyes, and following suit my eyes followed, locking with Skylar’s.
Something inside of me was bubbling, but not like the nauseous feeling I got on the Rock-O-Plane, but it felt warm and powerful. Skylar, keeping walking this way. Don’t pay any attention to Michael, he doesn’t always mean to say the things he does.
Skylar kept walking towards us, as if I were controlling her. A smile of satisfaction spread across my lips. But it was cut short by an ivory hand cutting in, grabbing my forearm. “Olivia?” It was Michael’s voice, and it sounded urgent.
I pried my eyes from Skylar’s to glance at the hand on my arm. It was warm and it was as if I could feel the blood pulsing under his skin.
Before either of us could say anything, Skylar was standing at the end of our table. I looked up at her, roan eyes smiling back at me from the grin on her lips.
“Hey Olivia.” Skylar smirked. She had two elongated teeth on the top and the bottom of her mouth where her eyeteeth should have been, however, they met bluntly at the end instead of at points.
“Um, hello.” My voice wavered, unsteady from the surprise of her appearance.
“Can I join you two? My ride sort of left me high and dry, and it’s pouring out there.”
Michael blinked and removed his hand from my arm. “Sure, you can join us.” He spoke crisply, his voice was almost dark.
I cringed at this and met his multi-toned eyes in a stiff stare. Blues and greens swirled in deep pools, with flecks of gold close to the pupil.
“Ollie, you’re staring again.” Michael smiled.
“Sorry.” I turned to Skylar. “Ya, sit. You can have some of my lunch if you like.”
Skylar’s smile widened, exposing all of her teeth and lifting her darker tinted cheeks, freckles evident. “Thank-you. That would be great.” She sat down next to me, and Michael watched her.
I kicked him under the table, but for some reason he didn’t respond. I frowned, furrowing my light brows into a “V”.
“Michael, right?” Skylar asked, stealing a cookie from my lunch.
He nodded once, his eyes never leaving her face, and once again I felt that flame rise in my throat. Why is he staring at her like that? Does he like her? Maybe he isn’t gay after all. Well so much for lunch.
“I think I’m going to go.” I said straight to Michael, and once again he didn’t respond. Giving up on getting his attention, I slid off the bench and away into the mass of students.
I stood at my locker looking for my History textbook and my binder, both seemed to be invisible and I growled lightly to myself at the lack of their appearance. Crouching down to look under the masses of hoodies and junk in the locker, I found them.
Maybe I should clean out my locker one of these days. It looks like I live with a seamstress, or a teenage boy. I smiled at the thought, thinking sweetly of the idea.
After shoving my items into my messenger bag, I retreated down the hall and up the stairs to my History 30S class.
The room was cold and dark, but the door swung wide open. No one occupied a single chair at the moment and gave the room an eerie air. Rows of broad, wood finished tables faced the board with plastic chairs sitting behind them in anticipation.
I felt oddly alone and cursed slightly under my breath. It echoed in my mind, but nothing replied. Making my way to a desk closest to the door, I pulled out my textbook and unfinished homework and indulged into the fine, black print.
I was just getting to the part of the Pot Lac supper when a familiar whistling entered the room. My teacher, Mr. Desmond had made his grand entrance. As always, his aura was happy and busy, eyes full of curiosity and experience to which his students could never understand.
“Hello.” He said briefly before going back to his desk and correcting mysterious papers.
I didn’t mind, and I sat there calmly, just continuing my work. The bell went.
No wonder he’s already back.
And with that, the class filled, the empty spot next to me remaining vacant for good reasons. The room was filled with mild conversation and my eyes darted about for Skylar; who normally sat at the back with a lanky brunette who’d dyed her hair so many times, I couldn’t keep up. But today, no one was sitting there. Questions began to rise in my head until the teacher began telling us our assignment, but paused mid-sentence.
I looked up to see why the class had suddenly fallen silent, when I saw the figure standing in the doorway, with short, straight, inky colored hair that seemed to almost shimmer red in the fluorescent lights. His hand extended towards Mr. Desmond as they approached one another handing him a slip of paper and then Mr. Desmond’s hand directed him away from the front of the class.
Wait a minute! Is he pointing at me? OH NO! Mr. Desmond! Can’t he sit in the back where the two girls are absent from? OH PLEASE!
But as he got closer, something in my mind seemed to silence itself. His eyes were more intense than Michael’s, a striking green that were as dark as the forest at night, with amber shards placed gingerly around the irises. His lips were set in a thin line, his face expressionless, but his body was strong and broad under his black t-shirt.
He sat down beside me quietly, not even the sound of his binder slipping from his backpack made a noise. I caught glimpses of him out of the corner of my eye.
Suddenly, my head swam as a massive headache took over, but it was strange as it came. My eyes remained open but it wasn’t the class I saw.
Instead; it was a hospital room and Michael was leaning over me, grinning ear to ear.
Throwing my hands up to my temples, I suddenly saw nothing and darkness swept over me in a painful sequence. I felt myself fall, but from what?
The floor sent an icy shock through my limbs as my body connected with the tile. Voices flooded through me as classmates expressed their shock. My eyes wouldn’t open no matter how hard I tried, and my heart pressed against my ribcage in rapid precession.
And then … silence.