Seattle ignored me, but I could tell she was irritated.
"You owe me an apology," I told her.
She snorted. "Yeah? For what?"
I thought for a moment, and said, "For ruining my shirt."
She glanced at it for a second and replied, "Milk doesn't stain. I don't owe you anything."
"Okay, then apologize for ruining my day." I was determined to make her apologize for something.
"Just wait. It gets worse from here. We have the next two classes together," she muttered more to herself.
"What? How would you know that?" I asked, suddenly confused.
"How do you know we have the next three classes together?" I pressed.
"I don't. But it's just my luck that we will." She huffed and blew her bangs out of her face.
I couldn't tell for sure, but her eyes seemed to be clouded with worry and frustration. I dropped the subject for the time being, and instead focused on playing with my pencil.
Silence extenuated the distance between us, an awkward envelope stuffed full of words unspoken.
"Carson?" Mrs. Laney called.
I looked up. "I don't have a book for you at the moment, so you'll just have to share with a neighbor."
I looked to my left to see a wall. That wasn't going to help me at all, so I turned to Seattle. She slid her book to the edge of her desk saying, "I can remember everything she'll say word for word. The book is just for show; take it." She remained focused intently on the board in the front of the room and refused to look at me.
I shrugged, figuring whatever her problem was, I didn't have to deal with it. I took the book off her desk; my mind wandered a second, thinking how remarkable it was that she could remember every word the teacher might say. I wondered if she really meant it, or if she would go to any lengths to avoid me.
I knew this lesson already; the last school had covered it just before I had to leave. It was all about European History, focusing right now on the economies just before World War II. For most of the hour I tuned out, doodling idly on the margins of some notebook paper a kid from the previous hour had left in the basket under my desk.
I looked up once to see Seattle in the same state of excruciating boredom. I willed her to look up, to meet my eyes just once more. There was a feeling nagging me, and I just had to know if I could be right.
The jaw muscle tensed as if she were fighting the urge to turn her head. She almost caved, but caught herself at the last second. She certainly had a strong will; I could tell that once her mind was set to something, it was difficult to deter her.