“Hello Claire, how has your day been?” Darius says as he pushes off the chipped wall next to the Art room door. He was waiting for me, he actually waited to talk to me. “Uh, hi. So is this going to become a habit of yours?” I ask as I head to the cafeteria for lunch. we pass by a few students milling about, the couple of girls we passed to give me the stink eye. I roll my eyes at their pettiness.
“Habit? What do you mean? Because I waited after class for you?” He asks.
“Because you are everywhere I look.”
“Well, I can’t help that I’m like a moth to a flame, you intrigue me.”
I let out an incredulous laugh “And how is that?”
“Well, for starters you’re the only girl here who hasn’t thrown herself at me and my brother.”
“Yeah, that’s not my thing. I’d rather not become a notch on guys’ bedposts, so I stick to myself. Oh, look we’re here, and I see your brother he’s waving you over.” I point out with my finger. “I’ll see you later.” I head towards the salad bar and grab a to-go salad and swipe my lunch card quickly before heading to the library through the same door I entered through. I didn’t want to pass by the guys and all the girls that are fawning over them.
As much as I don’t want to go back into that corner of the library I know I have to or else I will end up with a horrible grade. Not that, that really bothered me any other time; I just want to study this information, legends of the creatures of the night who wouldn’t want to study it. Maybe that’s where my painting came from today.
The day goes by quickly after lunch, there were no more creepy library scenes and no more pop up Darius. Life was normal again. I’m in the parking lot in front of the school waiting for my uncle to show up, Bradley never came to school today. I wonder if whoever he was talking to had him ditch. The red sports car from this morning parks in front of me and the driver door opens with Darius getting out. “Hey beautiful, wanna ride?” He says with a shit-eating grin on his face. I can’t help but actually laugh. “Uh, does that usually work for you? I’m good, thanks.” I tell him as I look around to see if Uncle Mark got here early and just parked, but he is nowhere to be seen. I dug out my phone from my bag all the while ignoring the smile pasted on Darius’ face. “No, it doesn’t think maybe it might just be this once. But no such luck,” he says.
I pull up my uncle’s number and call him, but instead of getting him, I get his voicemail. So I try Bradleys he picks up on the first ring “Hey Claire my dad had to go into the city, I forgot to text you.”
“Oh damn, okay, do you know if my mom was home?” I ask I did not want to walk or take up Darius on his offer.
“Nah she headed up with him, he was helping her get some parts for her car. I guess you’re on foot, see you later”
“Ugh bye!” I toss the phone back in my bag. Could no one freaking text or call me? I wouldn’t have been standing out here so long looking like a dumbass. I start to head home, completely forgetting about Darius. I’m out of the school lot when the red car drives next to me at a snail’s pace. The window comes down revealing the gorgeous caramel eyes of Darius. “Come on pretty girl let me drive you home.” I roll my eyes, “I’ll let you if you stop with the pick-up lines” He laughs which causes a little flip in my stomach. “Deal!”
I get into his car, The seats are all leather and black with white stitching. “So Richy rich why y’all here in Crest Hill? A nice fancy car means money, which makes me wonder... why?” I question. He glances at me while pulling us onto the road at full speed within seconds. “My family is kind of like gypsies, I know you can laugh if you want.” Which has me smiling. “We aren’t actual gypsies just travel around like they do with our families and friends. We recently discovered my Grandfather passed away leaving us a mass amount of land. So here we are; nothing juicy as you probably thought” He finishes with a small laugh, as if that would be the end of it. As if I wouldn’t end up with more questions.
“Who was your Grandfather?” I wasn’t in the know of those who died recently that would just be creepy and I didn’t do creepy, weird yes, creepy no. I shake off the goosebump that form from just thinking about it, I look over at Darius waiting for his answer. “His name was William Leroy, I met him only once as a baby from what I’m told but we never spoke to or of him after that day.” I sat there for a few minutes trying to wreck my brain as to where I heard that name from.
I snap my fingers as I remember now why I knew that name. “He was that old geezer buying up all the undeveloped land out in the south and east near the sea. He was set to start buying up the property in the town as well I heard. How did he die? Oh, uh, if you don’t want to tell me that’s fine too.” I finish off looking out the window, embarrassed by my lack of compassion, and for the first time, I notice we are pulling into a fast-food parking lot. “Wait, what are we doing here? You were supposed to be taking me home.”
Darius places the car in the park and removes his seat belt and turns towards me giving me his caramel stare. “I don’t know how the old man died, nor do I care, I didn’t even know the man, so no worries love. I was going to take you home, but you never told me where you lived and were too busy wondering about my background, and I was hungry.” He shrugs his wide shoulders and then exits the car and walks to the door to the restaurant. He waits patiently for me to make a decision. I could go in there with him and chat some more and eat some food that I can’t really afford, or I can wait for him to get his food and then talk to him on the way home. I decided to save myself money and wave him away.
After waiting ten minutes Darius walks out the place with 3 over full bags of food. I just stare at the amount of food he got himself, I don’t think I ever saw anyone eat that much. He enters the car and passes me the greasy bags. I look through the bag and see chicken strips, triple burgers, fries and I don’t know what else. “Um, hungry much?”
“Nah, this is how I always eat. I have a high metabolism” He says with a shrug,” I got you some chicken strips and fries though.” We leave the old diner passing by the old stores and people walking about until we end up at the park. We sit at a table and eat the food Darius purchased for us in nice silence.