F o u r
I haven’t heard a word from Sawyer all week.
It’s Friday now, and even though I share Sawyer in two of my classes, plus lunch… I still have yet to speak any actual words to him. He’s been coming into class late, and sitting in the very front of the room. It’s strange, but I’m trying not to get too worked up over it.
Maybe he’s embarrassed about what happened at my house on Monday. Maybe he doesn’t know what to say to me after witnessing an episode that severe. Who knows?
As I take my seat in English class, I glance to the front to see Ms. Faith writing on the white board.
I place my bag onto the carpet floor below, pulling out my notebook and a blue pen. I love writing in blue ink, it’s much more vibrant than the original black ink, plus it stands out better against the paper.
I’m surprised when I see Sawyer walk inside of the classroom before the final bell rings, and even more surprised when he takes his seat directly in front of me. He’s been purposely sitting elsewhere, so I’m wondering why today he decides to go back to his original seating plan.
“Alright class, please pass your papers from last night to the person in front of you, and so on.” Ms. Faith announces, causing my stomach to twist. I grab my paper with my fully written short essay about the mind of Edgar Allen Poe, and I wait for Sawyer to turn around.
He doesn’t turn around. Instead, he just reaches behind him with his hand open, waiting for me to place my piece of paper onto his palm.
“Really?” I mumble under my breath, but hand him my essay anyway.
He doesn’t turn around, he doesn’t say anything, and he doesn’t even flinch.
I roll my eyes, turning my attention back to Ms. Faith.
“Today we’re going to be working in pairs. I want you to each read the chapter summaries for chapters seven and eight in your textbooks, and then I want you each to write three paragraphs for each chapter, explaining in your own words what the concepts are, and how to identify the main plots of a story or poem. Both you and your partner should be working together, so your paragraphs should be similar. Do not allow one person to do the work, because copying will result in both of you to fail. Get started!”
I frown as I slowly glance around the room. I don’t really talk to anyone in this class, a part from Brianna and… well, that’s it. I talked to Sawyer on Monday, but I don’t see how that counts.
I turn to face Brianna, a hopeful smile on my face. That smiles instantly fades when I see her already sitting and working with Jade, one of her many friends.
I start panicking when I notice majority of the room already beginning to work on the assignment.
“Sawyer, Tinsley, do each of you have a partner?” Ms. Faith asks.
I slowly shake my head, already realizing what this means.
“Alright, then you two work together. Please get started, you only have forty minutes.” She urges, walking over to take a seat at her desk near the front of the classroom.
I sigh, but get up to move to the empty desk in front of Sawyer. It’s pretty clear he wasn’t going to turn around, so I push the desk until it’s turned around and facing Sawyer, before taking my seat again.
“Can we just do this and get it over with?” I ask, surprised at my bold tone.
“Fine.” Sawyer replies.
“Oh, it speaks.”
“Whatever.” He shrugs, opening his textbook.
“What’s your problem?” I blurt out, causing my own eyes to widen at my forwardness.
“My, what ever do you mean?” He raises an eyebrow, clearly mocking me.
“Okay if you’re going to act like a child, just forget it.” I glare, finally opening my textbook to chapter seven.
Minutes go by of pure silence, before he finally speaks.
I glance up at him, one of my own eyebrows raising in surprise. “Excuse me?”
“I said, I’m sorry.” He sighs, clearly hating having to force out an apology.
“For what?” I smile, purposely teasing him.
“You know what.” He replies, crossing his arms over his chest while resting them on top of his open textbook.
“For ignoring me all week? For giving me sarcasm and attitude?” I say, not having a single clue where the sudden surge of confidence has come from.
“So you’re mad that I ignored you all week, huh?” He suddenly smirks, glancing up at me again.
“You’re missing the point.” I roll my eyes, “Can we focus on the assignment now? We’ve only got twenty-six minutes.”
“But Tinney, I’m intrigued. Has my not speaking to you, bothered you?”
“Don’t call me Tinney.” I mumble.
“Tin? Tin-Tin? Tints? The Tint-Meister?”
“I can go on all day.” Sawyer smiles, his eyes crinkling around the edges.
“Believe me, I don’t doubt your ability to thoroughly annoy me, but we have to get this assignment done.” I urge, pointing to his open textbook. “I’ll read chapter seven, and you can read chapter eight. We can discuss each chapter once we’re done, and then write our separate paragraphs.”
“I already read chapter eight.” He shrugs.
“You what?” My eyes widen.
“I. Already. Read. Chapter. Eight.” He says slowly, “Did you get it that time?”
I narrow my eyes at him, but then I begin reading my chapter, finishing it in a relatively fast pace.
The two of us set aside our bickering long enough to discuss each chapter to one another, before we both get started writing our paragraphs. Once we’re finished, I snatch his paper from his desk, and read his paragraph.
“Not bad.” I nod, handing it back to him.
“Well, let’s see yours.” He says, glancing at my piece of paper. I pick it up and hand it over to him, allowing him to read it.
“It’ll do.” He nods once, causing me to stare at him with an incredulous look.
“What do you mean, ‘it’ll do’, it’s a well written and thought out paragraph!”
“Don’t get your knickers in a knot, it’s a good paragraph.” Sawyer sighs, giving me back the piece of paper.
“Uh, knickers?” I grin, causing his face to harden.
“Let’s just turn these in.” He says monotonously.
The pair of us get up and walk over to hand our papers to Ms. Faith.
“Wow, you two finished with fifteen minutes to spare, I’m impressed. You two should work together more often.” Ms. Faith smiles while taking our papers.
“Oh, absolutely.” I smile sarcastically, though Ms. Faith doesn’t tell a difference.
“You two can go back and sit down, you have some free time so sit on your phones or talk to each other quietly, whichever you prefer.” Ms. Faith smiles, instructing us to go back to our seats.
Sawyer and I glance at each other, before walking back over to our desks. Sawyer turns the previous desk I was sitting at, back around to face the front of the room, before taking his seat again.
I take my seat behind him, every once in a while glancing up at the back of his head.
With eight minutes left of class, he suddenly turns to face me.
“Hello again.” I nod, giving him a fake smile.
“Don’t do that.” He sighs.
“My, what ever do you mean?” I ask while slightly cocking my head, mocking him from earlier.
“Do you have to be so damn annoying?” He glares.
“What are you doing later tonight?”
My stomach drops as my heart stops beating. What?
“Don’t look so shocked.” He chuckles.
“I, uh, I don’t know yet. I haven’t thought that far ahead.” I lie, knowing full well that I intended to go home and binge watch Sons of Anarchy with a pint of cookie dough ice cream.
“I find that hard to believe.” He scoffs.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I frown.
“You just seem like a girl who always has a plan. A girl who thinks things out and with detail.”
I glance at him curiously. How has he deduced that from just a few conversations with me?
He’s absolutely right. I like to know what I have on my schedule. I like to know when I need to be somewhere and where I’m going. I like having a plan.
“Well, I guess you don’t know me that well, Sawyer.” I lie, giving him a victorious smile.
“Sure, but I intend to”, is all he says before the bell rings signaling that class is over.
I stand up to walk away, but he gently grabs my arm, pulling me back. “So, tonight?”
“So, what?” I ask.
Sawyer rolls his golden eyes before looking directly into my own, “Do you want to hang out tonight? You know, with me? Together? Outside of school perhaps?”
“We’ve already hung out, outside of school.” I mention, remembering the family dinner he attended on Monday.
“Having a diabetic episode in your kitchen, followed by a pity dinner invite is hardly hanging out.” He deadpans, causing me to give him a sad smile. “If you don’t want to, it’s fine. No harm, no foul.”
Without thinking, my mouth speaks for me, “Um, no, I mean yes, I do, I do want to. Tonight.” I nod while hugging my English textbook to my chest, hoping it will block my heart from jumping out of it.
“Great, I’ll come by around seven.” He nods, turning to walk away, both of us now outside of Ms. Faith’s class and in the hallway.
“Okay, I live off of 3rd and Crane Street.”
“Yes, I remember.” He laughs, causing my cheeks to turn pink.
Of course he remembers where he had a diabetic episode, you idiot.
“Great! See you then!” I wave, turning to rush away from him. I don’t see why, since we both have lunch together.
Not wanting to have a panic attack from my nerves, I decide to get my lunch to go so I can eat in the library. We technically aren’t supposed to eat in the library, but Mrs. Long and I have reached a mutual understanding over the last three years I’ve been going to this school. As long as I’m quiet, and don’t leave food particles anywhere near the literature, she tends to overlook it.
The library is one of my favorite places to be, to say the least.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this.” Kat says as she flips through a magazine.
“And why not?” I raise an eyebrow at her, still standing in front of my body-length mirror while holding a pair of pants and a blue top in front of my body.
“This just isn’t something that you do. I mean you haven’t went out with anyone, not since-“, but I immediately cut her off.
“Don’t you dare say his name.”
“I wasn’t going to. I was going to say shit-for-brains.” She casually shrugs, closing the magazine and sitting up to look at my choice of outfit.
“You also can’t wear that.” She shakes her head, her blonde locks dancing around her shoulders.
“You’re annoying.” I sigh, tossing the outfit onto the floor.
“But helpful.” She smiles, “Let me go grab you something.”
Oh, great, swell, perfect.
“This! This is it!” Kat exclaims while rushing out of my closet. “Here!”
I grab the outfit, a simple pair of black leggings with a black V-neck long sleeve shirt. Kat then went to grab my pair of maroon knee-high boots and my maroon beanie to go over my long, dark hair.
It’s early September, so it’s a little chilly outside.
“It’s so… simple.” I say, glancing at the outfit. “It’s perfect.”
“I knew you’d see it my way.” Kat nods while happily crossing her arms over her chest.
“I don’t care for your attitude.” I tease, giving her a stern look.
“And I don’t care for your taste in clothing, but, here we are.” Kat says, causing me to suddenly glare at her.
“And catch whatever disease you have? I don’t think so. Anyway, I better get going, don’t want to still be here when Mr. Dixon comes knocking at the door.” Kat smirks suggestively while grabbing her school bag and slinging it over her shoulder.
“Thanks for coming over to help.” I smile weakly, “Hopefully with any luck, this evening won’t be a total disaster.”
“That’s the spirit. Au revior!”
As Kat walks out of my room and toward the stairs, I shout, “I don’t speak French!”
After a few seconds I hear, “Then how did you know it was French?”
“Girls!” I hear my mother shout from the living room.
I laugh as I hear the front door close, telling me that Kat is now gone.
I quickly get dressed and brush my hair out before pulling on the maroon beanie. Just as I slide on my matching maroon colored boots, I hear a knock at the front door. I glance at my phone in panic, seeing that it’s only 6:45pm.
He’s early, why is he early? Since when are guys so punctual?
“Tinney! Get down here!” My mom shouts, causing my stomach to drop into my maroon leather boots.
“Alright, relax Tinsley. You can do this. He’s just a boy. A stupid, yet very attractive and possibly very smart, boy. Great, I’m contradicting myself again.” I softly chant to myself as I make sure to apply some maroon colored lipstick to my lips.
“Tinney, for god sakes, get down here!”
My eyes widen at my mother’s outburst. “I’m coming!”
“Please, kill me now.” I say as I leave my bedroom, Baxter casually walking out of his bedroom at the exact same time.
“When and where?”
I slap Baxter on the back of the head as he walks ahead of me, both of us rushing down the stairs.
“What? A bitch is a female dog, seemed fitting.” He shrugs casually, just as I catch a glance at Sawyer who is currently sitting in the living room with my mother.
“Okay! Well, that was the entertainment portion of our evening, shall we go now to see what other fun adventures we can endure before the night is over?” I say to Sawyer just as he stands up to greet me.
“Be back before midnight, Tinney. You know my rules, don’t break them.” My mom says while plopping back down onto the couch after grabbing her glass of wine.
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” I deadpan as Sawyer and I walk outside of the house and close the door behind us.
“Your mom is great.” Sawyer chuckles as he walks me down the driveway to his 4-door sedan just parked beside the curb.
I’m actually surprised when he opens the passenger side door for me. “Wow, I guess chivalry isn’t dead quite yet.”
“Just for that, you can close the door all by yourself.” Sawyer adds while walking to the driver’s side door. He shoots me one smile before opening his own door and sitting inside the car.
“Oh, how nice.” I roll my eyes, but smile nonetheless.
Once we’re both inside the car and buckled in, Sawyer starts the car before turning to look at me.
“Where to?” I ask, resting my hands in my lap, absentmindedly playing with the tips of my fingers.
I don’t even notice Sawyer glance down to look at my hands.
“What?” I laugh, “You’re the one that asked me to hang out.”
“Yeah well, that’s as far as I got on the whole, details portion of the evening.”
I stare at him incredulously. “So you come over to my house, you pick me up, and then nothing?”
“Yeah, I was kind of hoping you’d take over.”
I stare at Sawyer.
Sawyer stares at me.
“Want to go to the central park on 21st?” I lamely ask.