Chapter 3: Can I Get Used to This?
The only time I don’t mind being around a crowd is when I’m able to leave one. Normally I would have a snack or two stuffed in my purse for lunch but today my stomach feels a little too empty for a tiny snack. Going off campus for lunch sounds like the next best thing since baggy pants. Providence isn’t so hard on the students when we leave for lunch. We make sure the privilege isn’t abused. At least some of us do. It’s really the more influential individuals that the staff keeps an eye on. They depend on them the most to set the tone for the atmosphere of the school. I itch my hair from out of my face leaning against my locker. In my eye shot, Gia is in the middle of a group of giggling preps.
Ha, if only...
It isn’t the fact that I consider myself too good for mediocre human interaction, the social life just isn’t my cup of tea anymore. I owe that to my awkwardness and constant fails to maintain a good bond. Gia, however, fits in everywhere she goes. Naturally, the jealous me used to be irritated by it, that everyone had words for her but not for me. Now, I couldn’t be more content.
“Yoo hoo!” Gia says weeding herself out of the prep circle. They’re all dressed alike so watching them walk away is kind of funny. It reminds me of a cheer squad of mean girls. “What’s so funny?
I wave, “Nothing, let’s go grab a bite I’m hungry.” I say as Gia links my arm.
“No need!” She lifts 2 plastic bags, then force one into my hand, “I got your favorite, with extra Mayo.”
I take the subway bag in haste, taking in the aroma, “You’re a mind reader.”
“I figured I would repay you for making you use your gas money to do something you’re not so adamant to do on a normal day.” Gia points to a group of girls that giggle back in her direction before passing us, “You know, Saph, you’d probably have more friends than I if you opened your ears to more than music.”
I ruffle her hair, “And you’d probably have smaller cheeks if you didn’t smile all the time.”
She laughs hitting me away from her, just before we enter the loud cafe. It’s actually livelier than usual and apart of it uplifts my spirits as well. Everyone is happy; interacting with their hands covering the food in their mouths to conceal the less appealing part of the conversation, passing each other their phones for unknown reasons, varsity members geeking each other up for the basketball game that’s just a few hours away.
Huh, seems fun...
“I don’t need more friends,” I accidentally blurt, gosh, I’m on it today.
Gia pulls me further into the cafe, “Right, but who even asked you that,” She scoffs, “You know you’re only a near-outcast by choice, thankfully after tonight, that’s all going to change.”
It’s my turn to roll my eyes, Gia leads us to a table that the rest of her friends are at. Lucky for me, we’re at the very end, “Yeah, okay, anyway Xander talked to me this morning.”
“No way,” Gia’s eyes bulge at her salad bowl, then she removes some plastic cutlery from her bag, “a spoon, really?”
I slam my head into my folded arms, “Are you even listening?”
“Payback’s a pretty bitch isn’t it?” She replies.
I lift my head up to squint at her, “Ha, ha so sue me.”
She pulls out a black fork, tossing the spoon to one of her friends at the other end of the table, “So you say he spoke to you, huh?” Gia sips at her blueberry smoothie with delicate fingers. And she wonders why she’s so skinny, there are -100 calories in salads and smoothies. Minus the Chia seeds.
“Sort of, he cornered me at first so I was kind of scared-”
“Oooh Kabe-don style?” Gia slurps more of her smoothie
My hands fiddle at the memory of his scent, so I discard my sub to occupy them, “Leave your manga obsessions out of this, how old are you, even?”
Giai flips her hair over her shoulder, “Hey, I have my guilty pleasures, are you saying that I’m right?”
“Okay, yes if that’s the way you want to interp-”
Gia laughs pleasurably, “Oh my brother’s a real charmer, I sure do hope Kevin learns a thing or two from him.”
An inevitable smile appears on my face.
Then disappears just as soon as it came.
The varsity team shuffles into the cafe in the same pack as this morning. They must have just got back from picking up some lunch. The entire cafe erupts in excitement as they enter. Even Gia laughs as she turns her head to see them moving further into the room.
I’m stuck dazing at Xander. Sometimes my body reacts like this automatically. It’s like a switch that has been flipped on for so long, that it can’t be turned off.
The group fills in the table right behind Gia.
“Someone’s feeling a little self conscious,” Gia chuckles after waving at the group, the girls at the other end are in endless fits of giggles; pointing and waving.
“Cut it out.” I say biting into my sandwich. The Xander-spell almost never works when I’m too busy eating.
“It’s funny because the boys usually sit on the other side of the Cafe,” Gia correctly identifies, they are usually 7 tables back and 4 rows over. Please don’t imagine how I know that. And their usual table is hardly even occupied, besides a few goths.
Gia dabs Italian sauce from her mouth, “Some coincidence, huh?”
“Yep, coincidence.” I say denying the obvious fact. The fact that Xander just moved a few inches to the right, in my clear line of sight. I look up briefly after wiping my mouth to see him looking straight past Clayton to look at me.
And I swear on everything I hold close to my heart, that he winked at me before turning to Kevin.