At school today Evan and Alex don’t show up for first class. Oliver is still upset with what happened. I think he wishes he could have helped Alex more. A few minutes goes by after the late bell and Caleb walks in the room. He looks a lot better than he did before when we helped him. He looks a lot better too; I try not to look too hard at him though. He just simply walks in the room, and Mrs. Jordan hands him a late slip. I see a flash of red in his eyes, but then it is gone as soon as he looks at me. He just gives a slight nod, then sits in his desk and doesn’t look at me again. Could he one day like me? I wonder to myself.
Sitting in first class I just look out the window not paying attention. I watch as birds fly by the window, and a dear pops out of the woods on the far side of the field. It is just a baby faun, and then behind it a buck shows up with the largest antlers I’ve ever seen. They gracefully walk along the edge of woods; they don’t stray far from it just in case they need to get away. The buck watches over the faun then looks around, then its eyes set on mine and stay there for a few moments before it looks back at the faun. After a few minutes of exploring the faun goes back into the woods, the buck follows. After a few steps into the woods I can no longer see them. It is so nice to see something so peaceful in these times.
“Excuse me Riley,” Mrs. Jordan says standing near my desk “Riley?”
My attention comes back from the blissful woods, I look around the class and everyone has left. “Oh I am sorry. I’ll go.”
“Wait! Is there anything going on that you would like to talk about?” She asks concerned, like she knows something is off.
I give her a questioning look without actually looking her in the eyes or letting her see mine, then sigh “This last week, has been not at all what I was expecting the first week of school to be like.”
“You know Riley, you can look at people. Most already know your secret.” She says sweetly.
I look at her then, confusion written all over my face and in my eyes. “What? How?”
“Because most students at this school are something, I’m sure you’ve heard that already. I am really quiet glad you are partnered with Evan. I think he can help you.” She smiles at me.
“How are you okay with all of this?”
“I am a faerie Riley.”
“Oh wow. I had no idea. What um... What kind are you?”
“Well that is an easy question, I am a spirit faerie.”
“So what does that mean?”
She takes a seat beside me, the one where Evan should have been sitting, then explains, “I can read and feel emotions just by being in the same room as someone, even yours without looking in your eyes.”
“Wow that is pretty cool. Is there anything else that you can do?”
“Well yes, but I don’t use that ability unless I need to.” She looks at me, and notices the curious look on my face then says, “If I needed to, or wanted to I could change someone’s emotions when I touch them.”
That surprises me more than anything, “So you don’t do it because you don’t want to? Or why? I mean that is pretty cool. If someone is in pain you could help them, couldn’t you?”
“Yes, but it can go the other way too. I could make people feel upset or very mad.”
“Oh I see. Are there people out there that do that? Like evil Faeries?” I ask.
“Yes Riley. You need to choose your friends wisely. Some people who you think are friends or could be friends might not be the people you want to surround yourself with. Some are only out to hurt you, or worse.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about; I haven’t made any new friends.”
“You are trying to. I could feel your emotion when he walked in the room. Although it wasn’t as strong as the feelings you were giving off for missing your seat partner. I understand though, it must have been hard with what happened to your friend Alex’s mom.”
“You know about what happened to his mom?”
“Yes.” She says looking out the window, then at her watch. “Well you should get moving to your next class.”
I grab my books and my backpack, and head towards the door then stop knowing who my next teacher is. I turn back around and go up to Mrs. Jordan and ask “What is someone supposed to do if you think you can’t trust someone? What if the person you can’t trust is a... A teacher?”
“Then you need to find someone who you can trust to talk about it.” I think she can feel my anxiety about going to next class, so she offers her hand and I nod. She touches my arm where the sleeve of my shirt stops just above my wrist. I am filled with warmth and joy. I can feel my nerves starting to relax. Where she is touching my arm, there is a soft glow of light, and my eyes open wide and I look at her. She just nods. Once I am calm she takes her hand off of mine and the glow is gone.
“I will explain how that works one day soon, you go to your next class.” Mrs. Jordan says before going back to her desk, right when she sits the bell rings.
As soon as I get to the second class, I take my seat without trying to get too many questioning looks. At least Oliver is behind me in this class. I feel better with him around, even with Mrs. Jordan’s help. My arm is still warm where she touched me, I didn’t’ notice until now. I wonder if that is supposed to happen. I’ll have to ask her the next chance I get to talk with her again. I can’t believe there are spirit faeries. I wonder what else there are out there.
From behind me Oliver whispers, “Hey. Sorry I haven’t talked to you much. I’m just feeling down you know. Plus my dad has been a little weird lately. I wonder what’s up with him.”
I glance over my shoulder and say as quiet as I can, “It’s okay. I get it really. I don’t know what is up with him.” I lie on the last part. I know he is still upset with me being a shape shifter. After hearing what William said about how close they were, I know Paul is scared for his son. Or maybe he is thinking about telling Oliver about his mom, about what she was and how she died. I wish I didn’t have to keep that secret from my best friend. I don’t want him getting hurt, but if he knows I’ve known longer than he has, he will be hurt. I hope Paul tells him soon.
He taps me on the shoulder with his pen to get my attention back then asks, “Have you talked to Evan or Alex?”
“No. I haven’t. I’m sorry.”
Mr. Lewis coughs to get our attention. I turn around to look at him. Then he asks, “Excuse me you two, but would you like to continue this conversation in detention?”
“No.” We both say at the same time. A small smile creeps onto my face at how close Oliver and I are.
“Then I think you best get to work. The problems are on the board. I am not going to explain how to do them again for you two. Figure them out.” He sounds angry, maybe it is because he is a horrible person. I need to figure out what he is up to. I just don’t know who I can trust with this information. I look around the classroom and I see Caleb. He is watching me. He is a few rows over, but I see him looking at me. He doesn’t nod, or ignore the fact that I see he is looking at me. I don’t know maybe he is just lost in hot Caleb space world, but it is kind of creepy that he is just watching me. I should be flattered that he is and maybe I am just a little bit curious about him.
“Hi.” I jump as I hear his voice in my head.
“Hello there.” I say back. A little more flirtatiously than I meant it to come out sounding.
“So did he give you shit?” He nods towards Mr. Lewis.
“Nah, not really. Power trip? Most definitely.” I kind of let out a giggle which makes a few students turn their head to look at me and see what I’m laughing about. I just look down at my work with a small grin on my face.
“Nice one. Good job making the class think you are a weirdo.”
“They already think I’m weird, so what if they think I am weirder.”
“So, do you wanna go out sometime?”
I inhale sharply and look at him. Again more looks, then people look to see who I’m looking at, then behind me Oliver whispers, “What’s up? Are you okay?”
I nod my head, and then shake my head no, and then I raise my shoulders as if to say “I don’t know”. Who do I answer first? What do I say? I’ve never been asked out before, maybe I’ll think about it. Yeah that sounds like a good thing to say.
“I’ll think about it.” He just gives me a questioning look, raises one shoulder and goes back to work.
“Riley? What’s up?”
“Nothing, I’m fine.” I say a little flustered by what just happened. My hands start to get a little sweaty, so I rub them on my jeans. Right now I wish I had Mrs. Jordan’s cool spirit faerie powers I could sure use them right now. Then my phone starts buzzing in my pocket, I look at Mr. Lewis and he is deep in thought, so I figure I have enough time to check my phone. I pull it out and it is telling me Evan texted me.
*Hey. Can I see you after school? If you aren’t busy. Or if you want to see me.*
I blush, maybe he does like me. Or at least he wants to see me. I wonder why, but before I can reply Caleb says in my head “Do you want to go out for something to eat tonight? Maybe after school? Just hang out, it doesn’t have to be a date or anything if you don’t want it to be.”
“I uh... Sure...” A smile creeps over my face and I put my head down lower so my hair falls in front of my face so he doesn’t see the smile. My face heats up even more. I can’t believe I said yes. I quickly text Evan back.
*Sorry. I am going out with Caleb after school.*
There, it’s done. Not even a minute after I hit send Evan texts me back
*You can’t go with him Riley. Promise me!*
What the hell is his problem with Caleb? He is a nice guy, and he wants to see me outside of school. No one has ever asked me to do anything outside of school, well besides Oliver but he doesn’t really count. I can feel my body heat up, but not like before when my face blushed, but more with anger.
*You aren’t the boss of me Evan. If I want to go out with him, I can.*
I wait, and wait for him to text back, but after 10 minutes I know he isn’t going to. So I put my phone back in my pocket. Oh well, who needs him. I get to go out with Caleb! Inside I do a little happy dance.
“So where do you want to go?” I ask Caleb in his head, a flash of a grin then it is gone like it never even happened.