The next day, I found myself a little bit more tense than usual.
The reason being, Eric Daines had finally come to school. I found out that I had three classes with him, the first one being first period with Mr. Thompson, alongside of Layla.
I had no idea why, but I tried to dress a little better today. I was wearing a vintage pair of dark blue overalls, with a shirt underneath. The outfit paired nicely with my over-worn Converse.
I left my hair down, but braided my bangs back on one side, keeping them from swooping over my eyes. I managed to steal some of my mom’s cover girl mascara and put a fine layer over my eyelashes. To top the whole look off, I rubbed some lip-gloss over my lips and sprayed just a hint of my Mariah Carey perfume.
Due to my mother’s day off from work, we were a little late this morning. I hated being late to class. It wasn’t just because I got a tardy slip, but also because whenever you walk into a classroom late, every student stared at you like you’ve just committed murder out in the hallway.
Among the eyes staring me down today, I caught glimpse of Eric. He was staring right at me with a huge grin on his face, probably remember our encounter from yesterday. My cheeks instantly turned a deep tomato color, and I rushed to the back of the room to sit beside Layla.
“Calm down, would ya? You look great by the way, no wonder everyone is staring. They’ve never seen this Cecilia before I’m sure. What’s the big occasion?” She smiled at me and then turned back to writing her notes as she waited for my response.
“I don’t look that great and I’m very calm. There’s no occasion, I just wanted to change it up a bit I suppose.” I replied, pulling out my notebook.
“Crap, do you have a pen I can borrow?” I asked, looking over at Layla.
“Here, keep this one. We can have matching pens.” She reached into her bag and handed me a neon blue gel pen. It was just like her pink one. It was a very small gesture, but I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of actually having someone that I can call a friend now. I’ve never really had anyone to borrow anything from, until now. It was a nice change.
The entire class period, all I could do was stare at the back of Eric’s head. Why was he so perfect? I had to snap out of my thoughts. I was not going to let a boy ruin me.
I already let the man who was supposed to be my father, ruin me, and I was not going to put that heartache on myself again. No boys was my only rule, although, I couldn’t help but feel like I was going to break that rule very soon.
I pulled my eyes back to the attention of the whiteboard, when I noticed him stand up. He turned towards the back of the classroom where I was sitting, and starting walking toward me.
I could feel my stomach drop instantly, as I tried to focus on writing the notes from the board. I tried to force my hand to write, but I wasn’t getting any words down. He walked right past me and discreetly dropped a note onto my desk, then proceeded to the pencil sharpener that was on the wall behind me.
I swallowed the lump in my throat and grabbed the small piece of paper that was folded into a triangle. I gripped it in my hand for dear life, and looked back at him. He let out a small smile and then walked back to his seat once his pencil was sharpened.
I made sure Layla didn’t notice the note as I slowly opened it.
I almost passed out right there when I saw the words, “You look gorgeous today”, written in small letters with a smiley face drawn right next to them.
All I could do was stare at the note. My mouth was dry. Eric Daines was by far the hottest boy at Summerton and he gave me a note, of all people. There were a total of three better looking girls sitting right next to him in class, and he passed me a note. Suddenly, my mind tried to trick me into believe that it was just a stupid prank, and I kind of got a little mad. I mean, that was the only explanation, right?
I turned to Layla and threw the note onto her desk.
“Is this something he does often, because if so he’s terrible at jokes.” I tried to say calmly, in order to look like it didn’t bother me.
Layla looked confused for a moment. She opened the piece of paper, read the words, and then looked a little surprised. After what seemed like forever, she finally looked over at me. A second later, a huge smile was plastered onto her face.
“Cecil, I’ve known Eric for a long time now, and he has NEVER done this before. Not to anyone. You must be special.” She teased as she tossed the note back onto my desk.
“Wait, so this wasn’t just a joke?”
I was stunned. Did he really think I was gorgeous? As soon as the thought entered my head, I glanced up towards the front of the room and his already gazing brown eyes met mine. He was staring at me hard, and this made me feel incredibly anxious, but in the best way possible. I shed a small smile and began writing my notes again, softly biting the corner of my lip.
I was definitely ready to break my rule.
Fourth period was finally over and I was slowly making my way through the cafeteria trying to find Layla. We made it a rule to eat lunch together every day, something I also never had before.
Usually I would go sit outside behind a tree with my food and blare my music. I liked the thought of having someone to sit with every day. I liked feeling wanted. It was a foreign feeling to me, and I was going to feel it for as long as I could.
About halfway to our table, I noticed the third chair was occupied.
It was him.
This was only the second day after meeting these two, and here they were. Waiting for me. I tried to sit in the seat next to Layla, but she immediately got up and moved into the chair I was going for. I gave her a glare and sat in the chair that was directly in between both of them.
“Way to be subtle.” I hissed out.
“Love you too, Cecil.” She said with a teasing smile.
I threw a French fry at her and turned to look at Eric.
“Is your face broken, or do you always stare at people like a zombie?” I asked. The words came out of my mouth before I could even think about them.
“Damn, Cecilia one, Eric zero.” He laughed as he shoveled some fries into his mouth. Gosh, he even made stuffing his face look good.
“Hey butt-head, how come your friend hates me?” Eric glanced over at Layla, who was now putting ketchup on her burger.
“A. I’m not a butt-head, B. Ask her yourself.” She rolled her eyes and shot me a sly smile.
“Fine, Cecilia, how come you hate me?” He gave me an attempt at puppy dog eyes, and then he laughed.
“I don’t hate you, I just strongly dislike your need to be so self-absorbed.”
I grinned and began picking at my food. You could always tell if I was nervous when I picked at my food. Being shy was like a second nature to me. I didn’t want to be shy around him though. I wanted him to think that I had just a little bit of confidence, though my facial expressions would say otherwise.
“Damn, she got you there bro.” Layla laughed as she gave me a high-five.
I smiled and picked up my burger.
“Now, can I eat this without your eyes piercing into me?” I gave Eric a serious look and he let out another loud laugh.
“You’re cute, Cecil.”
Que the goosebumps.
“I gotta go, I’ll see you gals later.” He teased. He then leaned in against me and whispered in my ear, “especially you”, before he ran off to meet up with some of his friends.
“Well, I’d say he likes you.” Layla concluded before pulling her chair closer to mine.
“Why though? I’m nothing special.” I tried to play it off, but my eyes said the truth I was trying so hard to keep secret. I really did think this little of myself. I couldn’t believe that an incredibly gorgeous guy wanted to see me, off school grounds at that.
Up until now I’ve lived my whole entire life thinking that I was just some average girl that guys only spoke to when they needed to borrow an extra pencil, or needed some gum. None of them ever thought enough of me to ask me out on a date, or tell me that I looked pretty.
“Cecil, we’re going to break you of your doubts, I promise.”
We shared a smile and then we both stood up after hearing the bell. I gave Layla a wave and started to walk towards fifth period, when she yanked my arm back, causing me to stumble.
“By the way, that was him inviting you over to our place tonight. We can walk home together, sound good?” She asked with an eager smile, hoping I would agree.
I really wanted to agree. I wanted to be a cool, down to earth girl who wasn’t afraid to meet up with a guy that she might like. I wanted to be normal, but I just couldn’t go through with it. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, only to watch them crash and burn if things didn’t work out like I wanted them to.
“Sorry, but I can’t. My mom told me to come straight home today so I could finish up some chores I didn’t do over the weekend.” I lied. I had absolutely nothing to do at home.
“Damn. Well, okay. See ya tomorrow then?”
I hugged her and nodded my head. “Of course. See ya!” Then I disappeared into the crowd of students.
I had to get through the next two classes, so I could go home.
I wanted to go to the tracks.