Chapter 11

I don't respond to Henry's note.

Ever since that Christmas Eve I have promised my self that I don't need anyone but me. And that no one but me would be allowed access into my heart.

Not even my own mother.

Not my own aunt.

And definitely not Henry.

The period passes in a blur, and I don't concentrate on glaring at Mr. Monroe. It just comes naturally. He notices it a few times, but doesn't comment or ask me to stop. That was a smart decision on his part.

The announcements come on right before the bell rings.

"Please listen to the afternoon announcements," a smooth soprano voice says over the loudspeaker. The feedback makes everyone cringe, but the voice keeps talking. "Students should pick up their working papers in the school office before next week. All students in Mrs. Johnson's 10th grade algebra class should bring their book to class tomorrow. Would the student with locker number 1553 please come to the office after these announcements. And don't forget, track and field tryouts are tomorrow after school for all athletes interested. Have a wonderful day!" The voice clicks off. The bell rings then, loud and shrill, and my classmates hurry out of the room. I take my time, simultaneouly walking and glaring at Mr. Monroe as I follow the flood of teenagers.

Henry catches up with me outside the door.

"Hey, you aren't mad about the whole Vanessa thing, are you?" I roll my eyes. This boy just never gives up, does he?

"Henry, why would I be mad? I completely understand that you used to go out with her, and that you still have feelings for each other. Why should I even care?" His eyebrows pull down.

"Feelings? I don't have feelings for her? And I just didn't want you to be jealous or anything."

"What?" I exclaim, blushing furiously for some odd reason. Jealous? Why would I be jealous? You seem perfect for each other. You're both nosy,  presumptious, and judgemental. But I couldn't bring myself to say it out loud. "No, Henry, I am not jealous," and I start walking again. He keeps a steady pace next to me, and all the way out to his car. He is rattling on about something, and I realize I haven't been listening. So I try to ease my way back into the conversation. I nod my head slightly.

"So you will?" My head halts mid-nod.

"Will what?" He sighs, and brushes his hand through his shaggy hair. It's grown longer over the past few days, long enough to cover his eyes, but he usually keeps it out of them. Good. I hate when people hide their eyes in their hair. The eyes are the only way to tell someone's true intentions, the only part of a person that always tell the truth. Wait, why am I suddenly noticing his hair?

"Will join the track team? I mean, you seem athletic, and we need more people on the team."

I cleared my throat. "What do you mean, I 'seem athletic'?" He laughed slightly and blushed.

"I just mean that you are in shape. Well, not like that, I mean- oh never mind. Plus, I'll be there. I do the 4x100 meter relay." He grinned sheepishly and looked at me, his eyes dancing. I considered this. I had danced for 8 years when I was little, when my mother was more sober. After she started heavily drinking I found it harder and harder to make the rehearsals.

"I'll think about it," I said as I opened his door. We were already at the house, and my aunt was waiting at the door. I waved as the door slammed shut, and he instantly started backing down the driveway.

The End

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