One plus one equals two. That's the fact of life. Nothing can ever change that. Follow the story of Seattle Allorie and Carson Brown as they struggle for each other, and survival.
The noise of the cafeteria surrounded me. Lunch was barely started . Everyone around me was wearing smiles, almost all of them excited about the new student. I say almost, because I am among these foolish kids. I glanced around again.
I sit alone, at my own table. It’s not that they think I’m a freak, though that’s certainly part of it. No, I’ve chosen this. Rule number one of being a shifter: embrace the loneliness. This way, no one can be used against you.
Blond hair to his ears, and clear blue eyes, the New Kid walked in the room; heads turned. He wore a nervous expression. I knew exactly what would happen next.
He would start walking towards this table because it was virtually empty, and he didn’t want a lot of attention just yet. Some random kid will pull him aside, and tell him not to sit here because I’m weird. It happens all the time with new kids, no matter what school I’m in.
Exactly as I expected, the kid started to walk this way and another kid stopped him, only with a surprising new twist. New Kid declined his invitation to sit elsewhere, and instead sat three seats away from me.
Why? Why did he choose to sit here? Either way, I decided not to even acknowledge him.
He looked up, smiled, and asked, “Do you mind if I sit here?”
“I honestly don’t care where you sit. It’s your choice,” I said sharply, forgetting about the previous vow to myself of ten seconds ago. People stared.
“Do you have a problem with me? I find that hard to comprehend bein—”
“I do not have a problem with you yet,” I interrupted.
“Yet? As in, if I continue irritating you, you’ll have a problem with me?”
“Yes. Why did you sit here anyways?” I asked, aggravated.
“You looked lonely. And besides, I thought you didn’t care.”
“I always look lonely. Get used to it.” I said, ignoring that last part.
“Why? Do the people here not like you for some reason?” He asked.
“And, why in the world would you think that?” I questioned him, a teensy bit offended. “Anyway, why does it even matter to you?” I asked sharply, trying to ignore the tinge of hurt I felt.
“You look troubled,” He said casually, changing the subject. This guy had some nerve.
“Yeah, by you; and I choose to sit alone,” I answered, sharply.
“Why?” He asked. It seemed to be the only thing he knew how to say. “Why?” he asked once more after a moment of waiting.
That’s it! I’ve had enough of this guy, I thought. I looked him in the eye and turned around in my seat; back against the table, my face towards the wall.
“Am I annoying you?” He asked.
“Sorry. I’m just curious.”
“Curiosity kills,” I told him. It really does. The Silver Liners got curious, created us, and are now trying to destroy us.
“I know. But what good is a life without risk?” He asked rhetorically. I thought about that.
I said nothing. The lunch supervisor came around my table, as per usual, and dismissed all two of us to the lines.
I stayed in my seat, unmoving, as the new kid started to get up. “Aren’t you going to go get something to eat?” He asked.
“Are you ever going to stop asking so many questions?” I retorted.
“Well, I’m going to go get some food,” he said, ignoring my question.
“You do that. Meanwhile, I’m going to sit here, and see if I can’t try to ignore you when and if you decide to come back.”
As he walked away, the other kids turned back to their meals, and returned to the not-so-easy chatter they hadn’t had going before the stupid new kid came and sat by me. I could tell that everyone was watching me closely now, totally interested in what I might do next.
Pathetic is what I think it is. They are so easily distracted. I swear; they can’t even focus on one thing for more than ten minutes. Well, most of them can’t, anyways.
The new kid returned with a tray of food, sitting in the same spot… three seats away.
“So what’s your name?” he asked casually with a mouth full of pizza.
I turned around to face him once more. “You know it’s really gross when people talk with their mouths full?” I said, disgusted by his actions.
He swallowed. “There, that better? Now, what’s your name?” he asked again.
“Why does it matter to you?” I asked, avoiding his question.
“Because I would like to call you by your name instead of hey-you!. Is that a good answer?” He asked with a smirk.
I couldn’t stop myself before I laughed. Now people were really staring. I don’t think these kids have ever heard me laugh. Ever.
“Why do people stare at you when you talk and laugh? It’s like they’ve never seen you do it before,” he remarked, hitting it dead on the nail.
My half-smile was gone in a flash. “They haven’t,” I answered solemnly.
New-Kid’s bright blue eyes were huge at this bit of news. “Wh-? Huh? Why not?” He asked obviously bewildered.
“There’s never been reason to laugh, no need for it,” I said. This is stupid! I shouldn’t be opening up to this guy so easily. If I’m not careful, I may end up telling him that I’m a shape shifter, and there’s no way he’d ever believe that. I don’t want him to know, can’t let anyone know… my thoughts trailed off.
I took a deep breath and stood up as the bell rang.
“Later,” we said at the same time. I walked away while New Kid was finishing up his pizza.
Shortly after fifth period, New Kid came striding in like he owned the world. He handed a pass to the teacher, Ms. Mathews, and took his seat; unfortunately, his seat was right next to mine.
It is bad enough I got stuck with him during lunch, and now he sits next to me in this class, too. Haven’t I had enough of him already? Apparently, the world thinks I haven’t.
“It appears we have a new student,” Ms. Mathews introduced. “For those of you who don’t know him, this is Carson Brown,” she added.
Carson nodded and put his hand up as greeting.
“Seattle, since you’re right next to him, you’ll be helping Carson learn the ropes,” Ms. Mathews instructed. I just nodded.
I looked at Carson sulkily; he smiled at me. I, in turn, did not smile back; I just turned away.
I looked back at the board in time to see Ms. Mathews giving me a stern look. So, knowing what she meant, I faced Carson again and gave him a very forced smile.
“I don’t have a book yet,” Carson stated.
“That’s alright; Seattle will share hers until I can get you one. It might be ‘til next week, though,” Ms. Mathews said, looking at me again. “Can you handle that,” she added to me.
“I know how to share and talk. I just don’t like to,” I retorted a little ruder than what was appropriate for talking to a teacher.
Ms. Mathews furrowed her brow and her lips twitched like she wanted to say more. Finally, she nodded and continued on with class.
After Carson scooted his desk closer to mine so he could use my book, I tried my best to ignore the strange lingering feeling in the air.
“You could say hello,” Carson whispered close to my ear. I didn’t like that he was so close to me. It felt strange compared to the distance I usually kept from everyone else.
“Maybe I don’t want to,” I whispered back. Even though Carson could barely hear me, Ms. Mathews looked up from her book she was reading from and stared directly at Carson and me, as if she could hear me.