"Hi," I greeted him, setting down my paper bag and carton. "I didn't get to introduce myself. I'm Jenn Carriage." I reached my hand out to him, feeling totally confident for the first time at this new school. But he didn't shake my hand, and he said nothing. For someone so popular, he wasn't very talkative. Or friendly.
Even now as I looked around at the other rectangular tables, girls were watching the two of us, some even with their mouths handing open like birds waiting to catch a worm. If they weren't careful a fly might wander in there accidently. Wait, what was this newfound confidence I now had? Maybe it was from sitting at the same table as the most popular boy in school, and actually having the guts to talk to him freely. Or maybe it was just a rush, and would disappear as soon as it came. I decided to make the most of it. "I noticed your eyes. They are beautiful." Great, so that's the first thing that comes out of my mouth to a guy that I don't even know. But, I suppose it was the truth.
I looked away from the gaping girls to look at his face. His eyes were round boulders, very different from the slits they usually were, and were looking straight ahead. All color seemed to be drained from his already pale face, and again I worried about a heart attack. "Are you okay? S-should I go find the nurse?" I started to stand up, but a steel grip stopped me and pulled me back down to sit on my chair.
"No, I'm fine." His voice was like a thousand bells tolling on a beautiful sunny morning. Just about the sweetest thing you can imagine. I couldn't help but to gaze at the point where the music was escaping. "Just, don't..." he seemed to be struggling for the right words. I looked at his eyes now. They still looked straight ahead, but this time with worry hovering inside of them. His hand still grasped my wrist, and I noticed they were cold. Almost as cold as it was in the cafeteria. He must have been freezing, as I was chilly, but my skin was still warm.
"Are you okay?" I asked again. He cautiously released my arm, while turning his head to look at me.
"Only if you won't run off and tell the nurse," he seemed to joke, but there was a hint of seriousness in his voice. His face looked full on at mine, his eyes again reduced to slits. Then he smiled. His teeth glittered with white diamonds, and his face was slightly flushed again. His face was sort of like an oval, and pointed ever so slightly at the chin. His hair was made of blond, compact spikes, which were the color of pure gold.
I hadn't realized he had been waiting for an answer.
"Oh, yeah. I mean, no. No I won't go anywhere," I mumbled, slightly laughing. My face grew hot, but I couldn't will myself to look away. He chuckled, and I pictured a massive bell in a clock tower, its ring covering an entire county with its sweet song. I smiled and my eyes were glued to his face. His smile grew too, and I couldn't help but sigh.
Then he looked away. "So, sorry about that. Sometimes I freeze when I'm uh, thinking about something." His head fell and I snapped out of my trance.
"So you don't have random heart attacks or anything?" I asked, joking.
"No," he replied in the same tone. "I'm Ben, by the way." Returning his focus to me.
"I'm Jenn," I said automatically. He laughed.
"I know, you told me." Oh gosh, am I a dork or what, I thought, my face flaming. My smile disappeared.
"Sorry," I said, trying to scrap up an excuse, "sometimes I don't think straight, I-"
"It's okay, really," he assured, still smiling, "I should be the one apologizing, for not introducing myself at your locker. I was thinking about something." Then his smile faded, and he looked as if he was in mild pain. "There's just something you, er, I-I can't...." And then the bell rang and he stood up. "See you Jenn." And I didn't see him for the rest of the week.