The next day, I was dragged into having lunch with the four guys again. Against my own will, might I add.
“You know, this is gonna be insanely awkward since I don’t even know the other two so I might just go-”
“Nope. You are going to sort out your differences, whether you like it or not,” Jordan replied, dragging me into the cafeteria. Ethan and Xavier were sitting at a table, oblivious to the amounts of girls that were currently sending them flirtatious stares.
I pouted as they dragged me to the table, Ethan and Xavier looking up. Ethan and his world famous scowl made an appearance, Xavier and his world famous bored, or neutral, expression also making an appearance. Glad to know that I’m welcome.
I awkwardly waved. “Hello boys.”
Xavier nodded in greeting, Ethan however just crossed his arms and scowled, probably wishing that it was socially acceptable to throw a tantrum. I’m surprised that none of them made a move to object to me sitting here, but I knew that it was coming.
I sat down in between Jordan and Blake, hoping that I could just have this one lunchtime without getting interrupted by any drama.
“Can’t we just throw her in the pool again?” Ethan muttered, however it was louder than he intended it to be and it broke the silence on our table, everyone looking towards him now. “What?”
“Dude, we shouldn’t have done it in the first place,” Blake said hotly, clearing not impressed by Ethan’s comment.
“And why the hell not? She deserved it for what she said to us,” Ethan replied, now glaring and not only me, but Blake too.
“She almost drowned,” Jordan interjected, keeping his calm.
“You can’t swim?” said a voice, and it took me a moment to realise who was talking to me. Xavier. Xavier had actually spoken to me, I recovered quickly and shook my head. His voice was calm as well, yet also strong and firm at the same time.
“I can swim, just not very well,” I sort of lied. It was true, I can’t swim very well at all right now, I just didn’t tell them why and that it had been a long time since I had gone swimming other than when they did throw me in the pool.
He nodded and looked down, so I couldn’t see the expression on his face. Ethan, however, didn’t care as he and Blake were now in a heated argument.
“Look, I’ve caused enough trouble between you guys today. I’m just going to go,” I said, standing up.
“No, don’t leave because of them,” Jordan said, turning towards the two that were still arguing. “Hey, idiots, take it somewhere else. You’re putting on a show for the whole cafeteria.” He was right, the lunch room was now quieting down to watch the scene unfold before them.
I sat down reluctantly, while Jordan grabbed the other two and shoved them, not too hard, out of the cafeteria. Then I was left with Xavier at the table, everyone around us starting to go back to their conversations.
“Did it hurt?” Xavier asked, bringing my attention back to him.
“Did what hurt?” Don’t say a cheesy pickup line, don’t say a cheesy pickup line.
“When we-” the sentence sounded bitter in his mouth. “When we threw you in the pool and against the lockers,” he didn’t wear a neutral look on his face then, but I couldn’t tell what he was thinking or feeling. Ashamed, maybe?
It took a moment before I answered. “It did, bad chest pains,” I replied slowly.
“Are you alright now? Was it serious?” To say I was shocked was an understatement, my eyes widened. Why was he asking me this?
“I’m fine now,” I waved my hand in a non-committal gesture. “I was just off school for some time, I couldn’t really move.. without pain,” I explained quickly.
He nodded and then the bell rang, everyone in the cafeteria standing up and grabbing their things, heading to their lockers and classes. I stood up at the same time as Xavier did. We nodded in goodbye and then headed in opposite directions.
I went to my locker and grabbing out my things for English. When I arrived in the classroom, students were still filing in. I took my seat, no one bothering me or sitting next to me. I was thankful for that.
About halfway through the class, a knock sounded at the door. Another one of the English teachers walked in, and a familiar face followed.
The teacher and Blake walked in further, most of the students not noticing since they were chatting and doing their work. I, however, watched as the teachers exchanged words and Blake looked around. He saw me, smiled and then waved. I waved back, grinning.
The teachers kept talking. Minutes after, Blake said a few words to my English teacher before the other teacher left and Blake was pointed in the direction of the seat that was next to me. I raised an eyebrow in confusion at him as he walked over, a small smile on his face.
“What’s going on?” I asked as the chatter from my fellow students filled the classroom.
“I got transferred into this class,” he shrugged.
We talked for a moment or two before the teacher stood up and demanded everyone to be quiet. We all turned our attention to the front of the classroom.
“Now, Blake has transferred into this class. So, Blake, would you please read page 394 of the textbook?” the teacher asked, everything grabbing the book and opening it to the correct page.
It was silent, everyone waiting for Blake to start reading the passage. However, he never started reading it. I turned towards him and I saw that his eyes were on the words, but his brow was furrowed and a look of concentration was etched on his face. I nudged him and he shook his head, shutting his eyes.
“Blake? Page 394 please,” the teacher asked with narrowed eyes that were planted on Blake.
Blake looked up, a now furious look on his face. What was going on?
“I.. can’t,” he choked out, his voice sounding like a mixture of anger and frustration.
“You will read it,” the teacher commanded. “Now.”
He shook his head again. “I can’t,” he said angrily and ashamed, storming out of the classroom. The door slammed behind him.
The class started laughing and giggling at what just happened, the teacher wearing a shocked face.
I scowled at them laughing, that’s not a nice thing to do. “Shut up, all of you.”
They all stopped laughing and looked towards me. I stood up and walked out of the classroom, the teacher yelling behind me. I ignored it and walked down the hallway, following Blake who I could just see in the distance.
I started jogging slowly to catch up with him. I called out his name and he stopped. When I caught up, his face was red with frustration and... sadness.
“Hey, are you okay? What happened back there?” I asked, walking with him. We walked out of the school and into the carpark, just sitting on the gravel.
He shook his head. “I just.. I can’t..” he tried to say, but gave up and trailed off.
“Hey, just tell me what’s wrong. You can tell me,” I told him.
He sighed. “I have dyslexia.”
My jaw dropped a little and I looked at him with wide eyes. “You do?”
He nodded. “For my whole life. It sucks,” he said. “I have had a tutor for as long as I can remember, but recently I thought I could go without a tutor. I guess not,” he laughed but it held no humour.
I gave him a small hug. Then, I used my brilliant quick thinking skills to think of a plan. “I can tutor you.”
He looked at me with surprise but then it turned to a look of happiness and gratefulness. “You would do that?”
I nodded and smiled. “Of course. When would you like to start?”
“Tonight?” he asked, a hopeful look in his eyes.
I nodded. “Sure, we can do it at my house. You can come on the bus with me, instead of getting a ride home with Jordan.”
He nodded and smiled happily. Lets just say he was super cute when he smiled, like a puppy or something.
“Let’s go back to class. They’ll be wondering where we are, and you gotta explain what happened to the teacher,” I told him as we stood up and walked back inside the school building.
“Okay, I will.”