“What the hell were you thinking?” Cameron, a scrawny boy with Latin flare, and Keira’s only best friend, whispered from the seat across to her with a look of disdain.
Rolling her eyes, she leaned over to him so as not to cause a scene. Only, what she didn’t know was that her efforts were futile for the whole school had already heard about what had happened in Mr. Jester’s class. “Are you suicidal? Grayson freaking Harrison Keira, seriously?”
By now the students sitting behind them had begun to whisper; Keira blushed a bright red, again and glared at her so called friend. “Just stop,” she said, although she knew Cameron well enough to know he wouldn’t. “We’ll talk later, okay?” With an exasperated sigh he nodded as if agreeing for the moment, and then turned his attention to his phone. His fingers skimming over the screen at a lightning speed. The bell rang seconds later, and Mrs. Baker shut the door. On the other side Keira could see two students yelling for her to let them in but, Mrs. Baker has a strict no tardiness rule, which leaves no exceptions for anyone who would rather socialize with friends in the hall than simply move to and from classes. If Keira herself hadn’t almost been locked out of a couple classes, she would say her teacher was ingenious but, sadly, she doesn’t socialize in between periods. Sometimes it’s just hard to cut through the sea of others who do.
“Group time people; like I said yesterday, I will give you a reprieve from your daily warm up to reform your groups as we now have an uneven number. There should be five groups of four and one group of two. Or four groups of four and two groups of three. Or. . . well, you get the picture. I don’t teach math for a reason. Now hurry up, we start presentations in fifteen.”
The small, white walled room, swarmed with bodies trying to pair up and break apart from the others. Thankfully Keira already knew which group she would belong to, she only has a select few people in this school she talks to, and they all just so happen so be in this room: Cameron, Leslie, and Fischer. If it were up to her, she would rather work alone, or just with Cameron but, Leslie and Fischer have proven themselves academically, which she can’t deny. Her only wish would be that the two wouldn’t latch on to the other so much. They have been a couple since freshmen year, and Keira has never been a big advocate of PDA. A notion the two obviously don’t share with her.
The room settled into a quiet lull of voices as everyone began working, and before she knew what she was doing, she found herself skimming through each group looking for him. If not to see him but, to see the group daring enough to work with him. She had barely glimpsed in his direction, and now the whole school is talking about it. So it would be obvious for her to be curious as to what they will say, once they hear others were forced to pair with him. Eventually Keira is rewarded when she catches the russet color of his hair, which only now is strategically pulled back from his face.
With his hair out the way she can see the draw of his chin, and the build of his muscles along his back, both strong features she found herself questioning. What would it be like to run her fingers along his jaw? His back? Minutes flew by as she stared after him, and only when she ran out of questions did she notice he was alone. There was no one working with him. Just like Cameron typing away on his phone, Grayson sat studiously typing away at a computer screen with no notes, or textbooks anywhere near him.
Keira suddenly felt a guilty pang surge through her, as she turned back to her group. Her friends eagerly plotting in front of her. She felt sad for him, that people were that scared but, then again, who was she to talk? It wasn’t as if she offered to join him. She sat silent a few more minutes, weighing her options to what would happen if she had. In the end she realized Cameron had been right to freak out on her like that. He was Grayson Harrison. The boy whose parents were murdered for reasons beyond her comprehension. Nothing good would ever come from knowing him, only, she wished didn’t have to keep reminding herself of that.