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Chapter 27

I laughed inwardly and grinned with glee. I was nervous to be back. We were early, so we got to choose our seats. That nostalgic cold again -- from my first year here.

"I'm sticking with you." Jason stated. If he hadn't said it I would've. It's good to have someone you know in class with you.

The desks were put together by twos.

"Hello." The teacher greeted us. She stood at a table in the front of the room. There was a computer and notebooks on it.

"Hi." Jason said.

She came over to us with a clipboard in hand. She was pretty young, she had short brown hair and green-brown eyes.

"What are your names?" She asked politely.

I held my hand up as I answered, "Luc Benson."

Jason followed my lead. "Jason Benson."

"Brothers or friends with the same last name?" She asked, jokingly.

"Brothers." We answered.

I haven't told Jason, but I actually love having him as my brother. I was glad to call him one.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Ms. Harpe. You can sit wherever you'd like. You'll need binders by the way, I give lots of handouts." Great.

She went by the doorway.

I went over to the right side of the room. I sat in the seat closest to the wall. Jason put his bag down and sat to my left.

Students eventually started to pile in. Ms. Harpe took attendance as they did.

This is an elective class -- and the first day -- so I listened to music mostly. Why bother listening? I know their schtick, remember?

Towards the end of class, when everyone was talking amongst themselves, I had a realization.

I gasped and swung my hand, grabbing onto Jason's clothes. He was startled, needless to say.

"Dude. I just realized, we have lunch together." I said with my eye wide.

Jason exhaled, "Bitch, I thought you were having a heart attack or something!" I laughed and let go of him.

"And what's the big deal? We have three classes together; one after the other."

We don't have fourth block together, but the classes are on the same floor, just different halls.

"No reason!" I grinned. I really didn't have a reason. Do I need one?

In second block we sat where we wanted when we came in.

When the bell rang the teacher stood up in the front of class. As she assigned seats people spoke lightly.

The desks were in twos again. She pointed to a seat in the front row on the left. "Jason Benson."

She pointed to the seat beside his. "Luc Benson."

I got up and started walking. Jason followed.

"Maturity-wise, I'm older. Kid." I teased. We had been debating over who'd sit where. Jason pulled the 'I'm older' card. It's a lose-lose for me because we're sitting at the left side of the room.

"Don't make me put you in time-out." Jason sassed.

So far, I've only seen people I remember (barely) from the previous years. No one important. There was an underlying fear of running into Evie and Indra in the hallways or cafeteria -- I was more focused on getting Jason acquainted with the school.

Again, I listened to music as the teacher did her thing; going over procedures, firedrills.

Jason on the other hand, paid close attention.

The teacher reminded me of an old teacher I had. Instead of brown curls, they were red. She was petite, with a somewhat big face.

Our next block was more active. Relatively.

The teacher made us get up in front of the class and introduce ourselves and say a little fact. She went in the order of rows.

Jason and I were placed on the right side of the room, so I guess we'd be going last.

While I waited I put in my earbuds and put my head down.

A couple minutes passed. I felt Jason nudge me. I sat up and took out my earbuds.

"Come to the front. Talk to us." The teacher encouraged me.

I groaned lowly and stood up and began walking. I wasn't entirely anxious, I was more worried about my appearance. Disheveled is me.

When I got to the front of the room I raised my hand and waved slightly.

Fight-or-flight and sarcasm mode: on.

"Hi. I'm Luc, I just moved here yada yada yada, can I please go sit down?" When I said that a few people snickered. I saw Jason and the teacher simultaneously face palm.

I didn't wait for permission. Like I needed it. I got legs. I went back to my seat smirking and sat down gracefully. Just a touch of confidence.

Jason began to move. "Let me add some insight." He curled up in his seat and stepped out.

He bounced to the front of the room all smiley. "Alright, I'm Jason. Just moved here from Kansas." He seemed to be in his natural element up there.

A girl close to me smiled at Jason. He sat down and the class moved on.

Half an hour passed. Jason was nodding off and I was bored (and lonely). I smiled mischievously. I reached down into my bag and pulled out a sharpie.

I took off the cap and moved the sharpie close to his cheek.

When the tip touched him I started drawing. No, I didn't draw a dick.

I drew a David Bowie lightning bolt! Along with a shit emoji.

Jason jumped, causing me to. The sharpie made a streak when he did. What caused him to jump? The bell.

I quickly put my sharpie away.

"What's going on?" He asked, panicking.

"That was the lunch bell." I stated. Other students were leaving.

"Huh?" He asked.

"Oh. I didn't know they did that..." Jason muttered.

"You were paying attention to the teachers all day. How did you not catch that?" I questioned.

Jason hunched his shoulders. I got up and told him to come on.

We walked through the halls. People who passed us gave him strange looks or laughed. I laughed mentally. He has no idea.

"Why's everyone starin' at us?" Jason grumbled and crossed his arms.

I chuckled and held up my hands. "No idea."

We made it to the cafeteria hall. "I gotta take a leak." Jason gestured to the bathroom and went in. I leaned against the wall and waited.

A couple minutes passed and I heard a shriek. I laughed. That was Jason alright.

"Luc!" I heard him shout. He then groaned angrily. I peeked into the opening. Jason was running towards me. His face was wet.

He saw me laughing and pounced. He pushed me down and put me in a headlock. Even then I couldn't stop laughing.

"You ass!" He yelled. He fussed left and right.

"I knew I smelled a sharpie! It won't even wash off!"

He squeezed me tighter, making me stop laughing. How much longer until a teacher comes around?

"Fix this!" He demanded.

I decided to finally push him away. I pushed him and stood up properly.

I laughed a little again.

People around us were staring at us. Jason covered his cheek.

"Let's get lunch!" I turned and ran into the cafeteria.

Jason sat across from me. He kept his hand on his cheek, he was still pretty upset.

I smiled and waved at him, trying to be cute. In response, he flipped me off.

We ate lunch quietly.

When we got back to class, Jason made me figure out a way to cover his graffiti. So, genius me ripped some paper into a square and taped it onto his cheek.

When the bell for our next class rang, Jason and I walked together.

"After class let's meet up at the bus lot." I said to him.

"I don't know where that is." Jason replied. I nodded.

"Then I'll come to you." I said.

"Okay." We branched off at the auditorium. I went into the auditorium.

At this point in the day, I was tired and didn't really care if I was marked absent, so I laid in between a row of seats and put my bag under my head for support. I closed my eye. I was close to sleeping when someone shouted my name.

I sat up and clung to the top of the seat in front of me, peeking over it.

"Yeah, yeah! I'm here." I said quickly.

I watched the blonde teacher click on her laptop. She moved on and I laid back down.

I stared at the lights. One flickered every once in a while. I smiled to myself. I was having a good day.

I went back to sleep and didn't wake up until the end. Right before the bell rang.

I sat up quickly. People were standing up and talking with their friends and had their bags on their backs.

I grabbed my bag, bolted out the door. I wanted to get to Jason and get ahead of the crowd. That has not changed.

I poked my head into the ceramics class. The students were all packed up and ready to go.

"Jason!" I whispered.

He turned to me. The piece of paper was still on his cheek. I beckoned him and he walked over to me.

"What?" He asked.

"Let's go. I want to get in front of the crowd." I answered.

"Okay." Jason said. We left and walked through the hallways.

When we were walking down the driveway of the bus lot, I took the time to reminisce.

The same row of pale yellow busses. The faint smell of exhaust and asphalt. I remember getting on the "wrong" bus.

I just hope it doesn't happen again.

It didn't happen again. We made it to our neighborhood without any issues. We had to walk home from the bus stop. It wasn't too much of a walk.

When we got home we headed for the kitchen. Jeanette was in the living room nursing Alexandria.

"Hey, I got a question," Jason began as he sat at the counter. "Since you're mixed, shouldn't you have curly hair?"

I raised an eyebrow. I didn't really know either. I didn't bother to think about it.

"I dunno." I answered.

"Genetics!" Jeanette chimed in.

"Ah." Jason and I said.

Jeanette came into the kitchen after nursing Alexandria.

"Boys," she called. "I'm exhausted, I'm going to put Alexandria in the nursery for a nap and go lie down myself. Do you mind checking on her every now and again?" I can see she's exhausted.

I raised my hand, "I'll do it!"

Jason responded the same way.

"Thanks boys." Jeanette smiled and began to walk out. She paused, and turned.


"Yes, mom?"

"Why is a piece of paper taped to your cheek?"

I grinned cockily. Jason pointed, "He did it."

Jeanette glared at me. I jumped a little, causing her to return to a neutral facial expression.

She sighed and shook her head. "Come on, let's put your sister down and get the rubbing alcohol."

I snickered as they left, Jason left whilst giving me the finger. Again.

An hour later I was in the nursery sitting in the rocking chair with a sleeping Alexandria in my arms.

Such a quiet little thing... I enjoy her company...immensely.

I wonder what kind of person she'd grow into. Would she be a doctor like her parents or stray from the medical path?

Will she be quiet like Brian, yet sweet like Jeanette? Will she be helpful like the two of them?

I can see it now -- she'll be the sweetest of us all. I wanted to spoil her like crazy. Is this responsibility?

"You know, I think we'll get on like a house on fire." I whispered to Alexandria. I'm already going over nicknames for her. For some reason I have the strong urge to call her "Baby Alexandria." I guess it's because I just called her "baby" when we didn't have a name yet.

"Cross your fingers." I whispered.

It's so dark. I could feel myself thrashing in the sheets, but I couldn't wake up.

I'm place... I'm old house? I was standing in the middle of the living room, standing still, but alert. I looked around the room frantically.

Everything was grayed out. There were subtle red splotches on the floor. I was all alone.

I can't move. I have to get out of here! Someone help!

"Jason?!" I cried. My voice echoed back to me.

Heat? I could feel heat on the right side of my face. I turned my head. All I saw was the almond-shaped silver plated iron rushing towards my face.

I started screaming once it touched me. It hurts! It hurts! My eye! It's gone! It's gone!

"Luc!!" A voice yelled my name.

I swung my fist. My wrist was caught by someone's hand. I was out of breath and panting. It was dark again.

"Luc!" Jason?

The darkness was yanked away and my eye burned. I hissed slightly.

Once I calmed down and got adjusted, I realized I was in my room. In my new house. The light was on and Jason and Brian were in the room standing by the bed.

"What?!" I questioned. Still panicking. I thought I'd calmed down...

"You were having a nightmare." Jason answered.

I groaned and hid my face in my hands. Was it that loud?

"I'm sorry I woke you guys up."

"Did Alexandria wake up?" I questioned.

Brian jumped in. "No."

That's good.

"Luc, are you okay?" Brian then asked.

I nodded. "I'll be fine."

I placed my hand over the right side of my face. I was shaking. This is not okay...

In the morning, I went into her bathroom. I promised her she could do my hair because 1: it's always untidy. 2: since I wouldn't let her kiss me, this is the alternative. 3: Alexandria doesn't have enough hair to do much with. Yes, she can put a fancy hair band on her, but thats it. Jason sure as hell wouldn't let her do anything to his hair. I, on the other hand, really didn't care. Hence the untidiness.

Jeanette snickered deviously. I sighed quietly. I have a bad feeling about this.

"Tada!" Jeanette sang. I looked in the mirror.

"You have got to be kidding me." I stated.

I mean, it wasn't bad. It wasn't. It's just not what I was expecting.

Jeanette had pulled my hair up into a ponytail. She tied it with a pink medium sized silk ribbon. She kept the hair over my eye and face in place.

"This doesn't go with my outfit." I stated.

"What? Pink goes with everything!" Jeanette retorted.

I huffed. No time to change. Did she do that on purpose?

"Fine." I sighed.

"Let's go." Jeanette said.

We tip-toed downstairs and out the house. Jason was already in the car. He looked at me like I was crazy.

"Have a good day, love you! Remember; no fighting!" Jeanette called from the car as we walked towards the school.

We entered the school.

"You look like an asshole." Jason stated dryly.

"Your mom did it. Jackass." I retorted with the same amount of dryness.

No we weren't mad at each other. That's just where we are in our brotherly relationship; we can insult each other and no one gets mad.

Since I like it best, I'm going to skip ahead to fourth block. Everything else wasn't very important.

As I entered the auditorium, Ms. Stal was standing at the second door.

"Good afternoon, you're Luc, right?" She asked.

"Yes." I answered.

"Okay. Sit in the front, on the left side of the auditorium." She said gesturing to the area.

I nodded and started to walk. I was normally the first or second person the auditorium, so it was pretty empty at the moment.

I sat down in the last seat, against the aisle connecting to the stage. The floor with the seats dipped down, so the edge of the auditorium was a bit higher.

I leaned against the edge, then quickly sat up when I got uncomfortable.

My head was empty. I stared at the black floor of the stage. It felt nice; staring off into space, thinking of absolutely nothing. The corners of my lips turned up slightly. Just a little over an hour and I can go home and see Baby Alexandria.

"Okay!" Ms. Stal projected her voice after majority of the class came in. The class was relatively small. Medium, more or less.

"I put you into groups of four so you can get to know each other and each other's acting ability." Oh god.

"You are to put together a skit and present it to the class. Depending on where everyone is by 1:20-ish, I'll decide if we should present today or wait until next class."

"Get going." Ms. Stal finished. The auditorium brimmed with chatter.

I looked up and slowly inhaled and exhaled.

Get to know each other, huh? How well does she think that'll work? Why does this always happen?

"Think she made a mistake pairing us together." A voice from behind me said. Well, everyone here seems to know each other already, so mission accomplished. Part one, that is.

I knew eventually I'd get caught up in a conversation, and I didn't want to be embarrassed any further, so I pulled the ribbon from my hair.

"Hey." A hand touched my shoulder and I jumped.

"Jesus!" A girl's voice exclaimed.

Well, that's one way to start a conversation. I guess.

"Sorry." I started quietly. "That was a reflex." Ugh, why am I so jumpy?

I began to turn my head. "Did you need something?"

My heart strained and I froze.

"Evie..." I gasped.

Oh god, it's Evie! Ok, stay calm...

Her eyes widened and she seemed to turn white.

Wait, can she see me? I slapped my hand over my right eye. Is she about to faint?

"Luc?" I turned around.


Oh god. Oh god, oh god. Holy shit. I darted my eye back and forth.

Someone...say something. This is awkward and I can't open my mouth.

"I'm Austin!" Another voice stated.

We turned to the fourth member. He sat there with a smile on his face while waving at us.


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