Apparently, everyone was either concerned or worried about my performance yesterday because all my teachers were surprised by my presence within the school. They all asked if I was feeling better, and they gave me a lighter load of homework than the rest of the students. It felt odd; I was used to receiving stacks of work with long assignments.
Lunch finally drew near and when the bell rang, I sprinted out of French early, so I could avoid meeting Jacelyn in the hall. Her class was two doors down from mine, but somehow, she’d gotten out early and cornered me among the chaotic mass of students that flooded the hallway. Her hand clenched onto mine and soon I was propelled through a sea of people towards the nearest deserted corridor. We went in the opposite direction of our classmates and entered the closest stairwell. The door swung shut. Jacelyn whirled around and tried kissing me in the dim light underneath the stairs. Her lips met mine only for a second before I backed away into the brick wall, an attempt to flee her face.
“I thought I made it clear that we are not together,” I stated hoping she’d leave me alone.
Jacelyn pursed her lips as she inched near me.
I caught her shoulders and pushed her away gently. “You need to stop.”
She slouched a bit in my hands but stopped advancing towards me. “My strong hockey star. If you didn’t want to be alone with me, you wouldn’t have let me draw you into this lonely stairwell.”
I frowned at her, but she was partially right. I secretly did want to be with her, but not like this. Not after what happened with Kyle and Drew and Ella and all the others she manipulated, and definitely not after I’d seen her kissing a boy four hours earlier.
The door above us opened and footsteps trudged down the marble steps. Someone else was in this deserted stairwell. Jacelyn continued her advance on me unaware of the newcomer.
I heard a faint gasp escape the girl as she noticed the two of us. My eyes swept upwards and locked onto Lynna’s.
Jacelyn used the distraction to corner me. Her lips met mine, but I didn’t return the feeling.
When my eyes locked with Lynna’s I felt that we both spoke to each other without using words, though I don’t know how it was possible that I could do that. She looked a little frightened, but she turned and hurried back the way she’d come. What scared her? Was it me? Was it catching Jacelyn kissing me? I never wanted to scare her.
I pushed past Jacelyn not caring what would happen to the flirt and went after Lynna, the one I wanted to talk to. “Don’t go,” I pleaded as I climbed the stairs three at a time to catch up to her level. I expected her to understand me as I spoke those words in Gaelic, but my words were drowned out by Jacelyn. She had come after me and gained a position by my side.
“Who do you think you are barging in on an occupied stairwell? Can’t you see he’s with me?” she hooked her arm into mine, though mine hung limply from my side.
Lynna didn’t move but stared at the both of us. “Excuse me,” she mumbled in perfect English.
“What was that?” Jacelyn laughed out loud barely comprehending that Lynna understood her. “I didn’t quite catch what you said...” she mocked her.
“Please don’t go,” I pleaded once more in French this time. She knew an array of languages; at least my mind thought she did. Maybe I had imagined Lynna speaking Gaelic and French.
“Why?” Lynna asked me back speaking flawless French.
I didn’t know what to exactly say to her now that I knew she spoke the language. Were the dreams true? What happened to me? Did I pass out? Why was I missing three days of my life? What was her part in this? The questions were endless, but I couldn’t figure out which one to ask first. My silence increased and Lynna started retreating up the stairs once more.
I snaked my arm out of Jacelyn’s and caught up with her again. “What happened to me?” I whispered in English, in a rush of wind. It was barely audible to my ears, but she stopped nevertheless.
She stared straight ahead at the ground and not at me. She looked shocked by that question. I don’t know how I knew that she didn’t expect me to ask such a thing, but I did. Her body was rigid in the stairwell. She didn’t move an inch, frozen by my question.
Jacelyn stomped up the stairs. She pushed Lynna over, causing the girl to go sprawling on the tiled floor. The end of her five-inch red heel pushed into Lynna’s arm, turning her skin white where it put pressure on her. “Don’t you know you’re not wanted you freak! What made you think he could ever be yours?” she spat out.
“Jacelyn let her go!” I forced out. From what I remembered, if I remembered it correctly, Lynna was able to handle herself. It must’ve been taking her an extraordinary amount of patience and self control to keep from making Jacelyn another example of what happened when someone tried harming her.
Jacelyn pulled her heel away from Lynna’s arm and laughed at me. “Whatever for?”
I reached down and hauled Lynna to her feet. She neglected to rub her arm where the heel made an indention on her skin. Jacelyn’s behavior was borderline crazy. I wasn’t going to put up with this any longer. I whirled on her now that I knew that Lynna was alright. “We’re through Jacelyn, give it up. You cannot go around hurting people to get your way.”
Her playful smile vanished. “Hurting who? That girl,” she pointed at Lynna, “isn’t normal Garrett. I’m only protecting your reputation. Besides, our relationship is much more meaningful than any other couple in this school. We’re epic. Like Romeo and Juliet.”
“And what about Kyle?” I stammered out. Had she forgotten about that scene earlier?
She scoffed. “Kyle? He meant nothing to me.”
I frowned. “Tell that to Ella.”
She flipped her hair and sighed. “He doesn’t even want to be with Ella. He’s only with her because I’m tied to you.”
Did the girl have no sympathy or conviction? “Really Jacelyn? You need to go get your priorities straight, because that’s not accurate at all.”
Her eyes glared at me. “Garrett…” She flicked her eyes onto Lynna, who tried blending in with the wall but failed. “Why are you still here?” she demanded. “Can’t you see this is a private conversation? Leave us alone!”
Lynna retreated a few steps until I silently trained my eyes onto her face and pleaded with her to stop. She did and squared her shoulders. I didn’t want her to be the excuse I needed to keep Jacelyn away from me, but I was running out of options. Clearly Jacelyn wasn’t listening correctly. I doubted the girl heard anything other than what she wished to hear.
Her fury unleashed on Lynna. I recognized the signs of Jacelyn preparing to claw someone’s eyes out. It wasn’t the first time she’d launched herself at another girl. “Did you not understand me? Go! Get out of here!” She shooed her towards the door, but Lynna didn’t follow the hand motions.
Lynna bent her body back, avoiding Jacelyn’s long nails from swiping her body and face. Already she turned pale.
“Jacelyn,” I warned her. I didn’t know exactly what would happen, but my instinct told me it wouldn’t be good. Jacelyn’s primitive form of fighting wasn’t on any level of style or skill as Lynna’s was. She was playing with a wild fire, unknowingly.
“What Garrett?” She paused looking at me like I was in her way. “Are you changing your mind? Did you decide that she’s not worth it finally?”
“No, that’s not the problem here,” I sighed.
“Well, she’s the only problem I see.”
Jacelyn reached out and grabbed Lynna, or whatever part of Lynna she could get her hands on. Lynna stopped reacting from Jacelyn’s attacks. She shook violently, lapsing into one of her epileptic fits. Her body fell towards the ground and I reached her in time to prevent her head from striking the stairs. Jacelyn jumped out of the way as though Lynna were deathly ill.
“Eww, Garrett, don’t touch it,” she chided me.
“Jacelyn, go get help,” I pleaded with her. This looked like a real seizure.
She shook her head. “No. You’re on your own with this one. Make sure you wash before our date.” She stormed down the stairwell and left our sight.