"Did you need something, Chastity”, asked Mr .Sockcwaller, with a little more tone than I personally cared for.
“No, Norwood”, I chided, quickly flipping my hair and stomping off.
Neil. Neil would have been funnier.
Where did that come from? Was I thinking that? And why would that be funnier? I did not get then, and I didn’t get it now.
Two things happened as I made my way back to the only empty seat in the back corner. One, time seemed to slow down and the wind picked up, despite the fact that the ceiling fan, was only on, if I would have guessed, a fast paced medium and there was one open window, causing my hair to whip towards the open door as I lost balance and tumbled into Fatty.
Despite all of this I could not avert my eyes from those of the mysterious, handsome stranger who was waiting for me, menacingly. Menacingly?
“Oh, excuse me”, said Fatty, more politely that I would have otherwise cared for as she gathered up my binder and course work and handed them to me with a look of sympathy.
“Don’t patronize me!”, I snapped and although all I wanted to do was shriek, I found his eyes again boring into me with such a luscious look of beautiful contempt and fury, I found myself instantly beside him.
“Hi. Is this seat taken?”
I smiled my prettiest smile and instantly felt not pretty enough, even though my left side was prominently displayed.
A grunt and then he kicked the chair towards me. I slid in as seductively as I dared without looking like the trollops all around me. Even Fatty would end up a slut. I knew it.
I looked at him, asking him with my eyes to recognize me as someone that would pull him out of whatever world he lived in, where no one cared enough to understand him. I did. I said ‘I did’ with a blink.
And then he did something that both confused me and made me want to cry. An exhilarating feeling I had never felt before. A gesture from a boy that signaled his disapproval at the way I was, so much that I doubted my own worth, and wanted to sob. I felt a daydream coming on, and I remember as if it was just yesterday…
I was home alone. Charlie was out on a steak out with Billy, a funny line that Billy made up about the BBQ’s he had. It had something to do with Charlie’s investigation work for the military, although I never got it. I’ve never been good at getting jokes.
I’m in bed in a white translucent gown, barely covering my torso, and the curtains in my room start to rustle themselves away from the moon. Suddenly, my hands are up in an embrace and my body is pushing up against its own accord. Downstairs, the garage door is slowly opening and there is this mysterious Edwin, in the driveway with the shiny silver Volvo poised to enter, teasing me with the remote door opener.
My head rears back, as the door flies to the top and Edwin drives the Volvo into the garage, but the Volvo is much bigger than I ever would have had imagined – scraping its silver polish against the walls with such impact that it shatters inside, to pieces.
I return to a reality with an audible gasp.
“Is everything OK, Chastity?”
Mr. Sockcwaller was there, in front of me.
“Um, no, no, everything’s OK”
What a dumb thing to say! I should have said, "Yes, everything’s OK. " No one seemed to notice or care, a relief knowing that every eye on me was looking for me to slip up.
“Are you going to go sit beside…Edwin?”, he asked again with a little more suspense than I would have otherwise cared for. Was this all a daydream? Fatty was there, looking repulsive as ever, and Edwin was sitting there doodling in his binder. How long was I out? What had happened? Why wasn’t Edwin glaring at me with a hurtful expression? Damn it.
“Fine!”, I snarled at Mr. Sockwoller, muttering under my breath, “Neil” loud enough that he could hear, and actually this time made my way to the back eager for Edwin to bully me with eyes of untethered rage.
Mr. Sockwaller apparently had not heard me, as he continued droning on about pollen or storks or whatever he was on about. Edwin was still busy doodling, and I felt as if maybe we never were meant to be. It was only a moment later that I found my insecurity would offer its wanted relief. Edwin recoiled violently, as far towards the outside wall as quickly as he could, and responded to my presence with such open faced malevolence that my tongue itself running across my lips.
He seemed to sniff the air before covering his mouth with his shirt and turning his head towards the window. I was dismayed. This wasn’t the fierce primitive desire I had been hoping for. Maybe I wasn’t pretty enough for him or that. My doubts began to multiply, a confusion I both welcomed and loathed. What could have caused such a reaction?
And then, like it was yesterday, the events of this morning replayed themselves to me in a sickeningly accurate portrayal…
it came to a point where I had to choose between falling backwards and getting my bare butt dirty, or leaning forward and getting pee on my pants. But it didn't matter because I managed to do both.
I smelled my hair in a panic. Passionfruit! It may have enough fragrance! In as natural of an effort as I could charade, I waved my hair around, in a fashion not uncommon to the vogue shampoo ads of today, and turned to him with my prettiest style to date.
But, he was gone. How had he had made his way to the door, hand over his mouth, in mock gag fashion, in the span of one enchanting wave of my hair?