Once class is over, Oliver and I walk to our lockers. He is giving me a funny look, like there is something on my face, or stuck in my teeth. “What are you looking at?” I ask, sounding a little ruder than I wanted.
“Nothing.” He says.
I start to get a little more frustrated, at him, and everyone else. I scoff and say, “No something is wrong, why won’t you just spit it out?”
Once we stop at our lockers, he looks at me. He looks upset. “Riley. Why are you doing this? Don’t you know how he feels?”
“How who feels?”
“Evan, duh. Who else would I be talking about?”
“What do you mean how he feels? He doesn’t feel anything for me. Trust me Oliver. You’ve just been too busy with Alex to notice. Evan has a girlfriend. He is dating Mila. Who cares anyways? Someone asked me out.” I try to say that last part like it is no big deal, but it kind of is a big deal. A huge deal is more like it.
“Who asked you out? What did you say? Riley are you just so blind that you don’t see it?”
“I have no idea what you are talking about Oliver. I mean seriously. Evan didn’t even know I existed until last week, he doesn’t care. Caleb asked me out, I said yes. We are going to hang out after school.”
“No you aren’t.” I turn around and Evan is standing behind me, with a very angry look on his face, the anger reaches his eyes. I notice red and aqua flecks in his eyes. He is also feeling protective; he has no reason to feel that way though.
“I’m pretty sure Evan, that I told you before that you are not the boss of me. I can go out with him if I want to.” I try to stand my ground, but it is hard being mad at his face. I can see the compassion in it, even with him being so angry.
“What can I do to keep you away from him? Tell me, and I will do whatever it takes.” He says really softly. He grabs onto my shoulders and says, “Please trust me when I say I have a bad feeling about him.”
“You haven’t eve...” He doesn’t let me finish, he just kisses me. I don’t know what to do. His lips are soft on mine, it is nice. Instead of this making me happy, it makes me mad. I push him off of me and yell, “You can’t just do that! I didn’t say you could do that.” My body gets warm again, I can feel my body start sweating.
“I’m sorry... I just thought...” He stammers.
“Well you thought wrong. You can’t just take someone’s first... Never mind. Just stay away from me Evan.” I say then turn around and slam my locker shut, and walk away to go to lunch. Today I am going to eat alone. I don’t care how many looks I get. I don’t want anyone to come near me. How dare he take away my first kiss without asking. He has a girlfriend for goodness sake! Even if I did want him to be my first kiss, that is not how I wanted it to happen. As I am about to turn around the corner at the end of the hall, I hear Evan call my name, but I keep going. Once I turn the corner, I fall against the wall and take a deep breath to try to calm down. It doesn’t help; maybe if I find Mrs. Jordan she can help me again, and maybe be able to talk a bit. I am near the teacher’s lounge anyways so I decide to just see if she is in there. I get to the door and I hear Mr. Lewis inside talking to someone, instead of knocking I listen to see what is going on. At least I know I can’t trust him, I need to figure out what he is up to.
“So will you consider going to dinner with me?” I hear him say. I wonder who would want to go out with him. He isn’t good looking, and he has absolutely no charm to him.
“I will think about it.” I hear Mrs. Jordan say. “No, no, no!” I quietly say to myself. She can’t do that, she must see through him. Doesn’t she feel his emotion! I mean it can’t be good.
“I’m glad to hear you will think about it.” He says.
“Now if you will excuse me. I have to go and talk with someone who is outside the door.” She says.
“Oh shit.” I say louder than I meant. She must know I am here, she can read emotions. I bet I reek of anger right now.
“Look who it is. Hello Riley.” She says with a smile as she opens the door. “Would you like to talk to me?”
“Yes. Now.” It comes out kind of like a growl, not sure where it came from. I just hope it never happens again.
“Fine. Let us go to my classroom. Good day Mr. Lewis. I will let you know soon of my decision.” She says just before she closes the door I see the smile on his face. I don’t know if he knows I am onto him, but he better be careful. He didn’t see me at the facility; he doesn’t know I was listening in on his conversation with that weird creep in the office there. I’ll have to keep my eyes on him.
“Riley what is going on? Why were you sneaking around and listening in on other people’s conversations like that?” She asks as she sits down on top of her desk. I give her a funny look because I’ve never seen a teacher sit on their desk like that before, but I guess she is a younger teacher.
I sit on one of the desks in front of her, and I look away, embarrassed by the fact she is right. I shouldn’t have been but I did. “I was trying to find you. Something happened and I thought maybe you could help me calm down again. Then I heard him talking in there. I don’t trust him!” With the last part I yell. I’m still not looking at her, but I hear her sigh.
“What happened? Do you want to talk about it?”
“I got asked out on a date, but then someone told me well tried to forbid me to go out with the person who asked me out. Then he kissed me. I didn’t want him to. Well no I did, but not like that. I always thought my first kiss would have been different. I wanted it to mean something special, not whatever just happened. I don’t even know what happened. I wanted to find you to see if you could help my emotions again with your touch power.” I look at her, she is blurry but only because of the tears forming in my eyes. When she shakes her head no, then the tears roll down my cheeks. “Why won’t you help me?” I ask before I pull my legs up onto the desk and put my face on my knees.
“Because Riley, sometimes you need to learn how to deal with these emotions on your own.”
“You didn’t have a problem helping me earlier.” My voice is muffled from my face being right on my legs.
“No you are right. I didn’t have a problem with it earlier, but then your arm started to glow and get warm under my hand. That has never happened before. I don’t want to risk something going wrong Riley. Plus boy trouble is no trouble at all.”
“It is when you are confused,” I say as I look up at her. Her face is full of joy and sadness at the same time. She really is a beautiful lady, even being a teacher. Her strawberry blonde hair, that has some darker strands, is all pulled back into a nice ponytail; her eyes are a beautiful sky blue. Her skin is nice and sun kissed like she spent all summer in the sun. She looks like a good person, inside and out. I wonder if it is just because she is a faerie that she looks so beautiful, too bad I’m not a faerie. No I’m just stuck being a shape shifter. “How old are you?”
“Excuse me?” She looks confused by my sudden question. “I am 29. Why do you ask?”
“You just look young,” I shrug.
She laughs at this and then says, “You just noticed? Oh Riley. You have so much to learn. First, your boy problem. Who would you rather go out with? Maybe once you figure that out, then you’ll know who you should and shouldn’t waste your time and energy on. Plus your emotions are going out of control it is like being on a roller coaster for me!” She laughs more on the last part.
It does make me smile, and then I sit and look out the window. I ask myself who would I be better with? Evan or Caleb? “I don’t know. They are both great, in their own way. I mean I don’t really know either of them.” I sound defeated.
“Well then why do you care so much about either of them if you don’t really know much about them?”
I shrug and say, “I don’t know. I think it might be because I’ve never known another shape shifter before. I think maybe a shape shifter would be more accepting of me. I wouldn’t have to hide my stupid eyes and what I can do from a shape shifter.”
“Riley you wouldn’t have to hide it anyways. Yes you’d need to be careful on who you show your ability to, but you wouldn’t have to hide it.”
“Maybe. Evan also has a girlfriend, or at least she thinks she is his girlfriend. Caleb, well he is just dreamy. I can hardly believe he asked me out. I just don’t understand. Maybe it is because I helped him get out...” I stop and bite my tongue before I say anything else.
“Get him out of what Riley?”
“I just helped get him out of a place, it isn’t that big of a deal. Which reminds me,you shouldn’t do anything with Mr. Lewis the creep.”
“Watch it.” She says in a stern voice.
“Sorry but it is true. I can’t tell you exactly everything I know, because well I don’t know that much. I just know you can’t trust him.”
She laughs again, “This sounds exactly like what you were explaining about your boy problem.”
I laugh a little and say, “Yeah, well I’m not going to kiss you. I wish you would believe me. He isn’t a good man. Can’t you tell with your emotion radar?”
“Emotion Radar? Funny Riley. Keep insulting me and I won’t help.”
“I’m sorry, sometimes when I’m upset things just come out without my brain stopping it.” I shrug like it is no big deal, but it is.
“It is fine Riley. Actually Mr. Lewis was giving off normal emotions; he had no ill-intent behind his actions. So I really don’t know what you are trying to tell me. If you could be more specific, that would be helpful.”
“I can’t. I have to go.” I quickly say and stand. “I just need to go.” I rush out the door.
I hear her say “Riley wait!” I don’t turn back. I just run. God please don’t let me change into a cheetah again.