I run through the doorway just as the second bell rings. Mr Stalink looks up at me over the rim of the glasses perched on his nose and gives me one of those ‘you’re in trouble and you know it’ grins. Stalink is a good teacher with crazy Einstein hair most of the time, but disregard for punctuality by any student is enough to put him in one of his sarcastic and grouchy moods.
“Ah, Miss Elena Kristal...nice of you too join us. Do kindly take a seat as I was in the midst of doing roll-call when you decided to grace us with your presence.” I feel my face go red as I look down to ground and hastily make my way towards a seat in the middle of the class.
I drop my bag on the floor and slide into the desk, still keeping my head down and avoiding eye contact with other students. There will definitely be those who feel like worsening the embarassment by openly staring at Stalink's first victim of the term.
I finally look up when I think my cheeks have ceased being the colour of tomatoes, and that’s when I hear the sound of brisk walking down the corridor. A tall, male figure enters the classroom, and the air is suddenly filled with an intangible feeling of quiet power and underlying strength, like when the sky is dark and grey before a storm and you can feel the electricity tainting the air and thunder rumbles like an awakening giant.
My heart suddenly starts beating erratically, and a sharp pain occurs at the back of my head like someone has used a nail gun on my skull. I clutch at my forehead and bite my tongue to prevent a scream from escaping past my throat. I lay my head on the desk, closing my eyes and breathing in deeply through my nose which helps dull the pain until it is just a mere throb.
“Oh not again! I highly recommend you all buy a watch before the day is out!” Stalink raves, his hair almost standing on end like that of a harassed cat’s.
I open my eyes again only to find him staring at me. Mr Stalink is going on at him for being late but seems to be calming to an attitude of not caring or simply giving up as the boy remains silent. Stalink may have been talking to him but he only looked at me...as if I was the only person in the room.
I can’t help but stare back and try and hide the fact that I am grinding my teeth from another severe throb erupting out of my head. His eyes are turquoise, the very centre of them fading into a bronze colour around his pupils as he stares unblinkingly at me. The skin visible to me is tanned as if he has spent the summer in the sun and his dirty blonde and hazelnut-coloured hair is short but a little long at the front, ever so slightly falling into his eyes. His shoulders are broad, and the white t-shirt he wears doesn’t do a good job of hiding the tight muscle underneath. The one hand of the male is in the pocket of his beige chinos and the other is holding a slip of paper as he stands with the stance of a predator who knows he is the top of the food chain.
The look he gives me for a split second is pure poison, the type that could put someone 6 feet underground pushing up daisies. It quickly disappears and his mouth forms a mischievous grin as he says, “I apologize once again for the interruption sir, but I was just coming back from registering this morning and it took me a while to find the class....my name is Aidan, and I’m new here as you’ve probably guessed. I’ll find myself a seat”.
Mr Stalink sighs before waving him off with his hand and continuing with the roll-call which had been interrupted for a second time. Aidan walks down the row of desks in his dark grey and brown Vans sneakers....and of course chooses to sit in the seat right next to mine.
Happy. Days. For me.
I close my eyes again and only just managed to not moan in exasperation before rubbing my shut eyes with the heel of my hands. The throbbing is still there, but it is only just noticeable. I feel him brooding next to me for the whole of the double English lesson, and I don’t hear a word of what Stalink says about some Shakespearean sonnets and plays we will do over the next few weeks. The only thing I can focus on is the feeling of his eyes boring into me, as if I am some frog being bisected by him for a biology project.
I try glancing over to him once or twice, only to be met by an icy wall and the total frustration of finding him not even looking at me. I can’t quite out my finger on it, but it’s almost as if I can feel a certain energy or vibe coming off him....kind of like if you could feel colour this would be a mixture of red, orange and russet.
He feels like a raging fire trying to reach out through the fireplace and singe my minds figurative fingertips when I keep feeling for those colours and vibes over and over again. Each time I do it feels like I am hitting a brick wall which is burning me at the same time.
What is wrong with me? First I have a whacky dream last night and now I’m trying to feel colours or stretch my mind like little hands? Get a grip Elena!
I lay my head on my desk and am finally saved by the bell. I pack away all my English things and by the time I stand to leave most of the class have already left. Its only Aidan and I, but he’s already a step ahead of me as I walk towards the door.
Just as he’s about to step through he turns around and looks me straight in the eyes as he flashes me the type of smile you would imagine on a shark as it’s about to devour a fish.
“I’ll see you tonight then," he says to me before leaving the classroom while I stand there gaping like the fish I know myself to be.
Did that really just happen? I don’t know what that was about, but I’m starting to get the feeling that what happened last night or the strange happenings of today can’t be blamed on too many cups of coffee.
I abruptly shut my mouth and shake my head before walking off (in the opposite direction he went in thankfully) towards the lunch room. All I need is food, water, and Anna telling me that imagining cute but incredibly scary boys talking to you like prey they need to hunt down is all a part of the denial process of coming back to school.