Stay Away From Me

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Chapter Ten

I let the hot water gush all over me, washing all the tiredness off my sore body. Despite the fact that I was stuck with a guy for more than a month who was a stalker just like me, I couldn’t wipe that silly smile off my face.

Not even when I came out, got dressed, and settled my clothes in the wardrobe. But then again I thought back at how James knew everything about me, and my heart eventually fell along with that smile.

How could he know all those stuff?

But did he know everything?

I kept asking myself as darkness was falling upon the motel, painting the windows of my small room the color of night.

I thought to myself, that maybe if he never warned me to stay away from him, I never would’ve gotten the urge to find out its reason.

If anyone was to be blamed, it was James Anderson himself.

But I had had gotten that far and I wasn’t one to slither back. When I start something, I will finish it one way or another.

Pushing all those disturbing thoughts away, I fetched my phone when it started ringing as I was reviewing the photos I had taken, in my laptop.

As soon as I answered it, four voices started squealing about how they missed me without any ′hello’s, managing to bring back the smile to my face.

I stood silent as Lily went on about how I had to go back as soon as I could if I knew what was good for me, listened to Beth who told me to get a move on and befriend James, smiled at Dan who kindly told me he missed me the exact moment I exited the college, and rubbed my temples as Luke started commenting about how he could now breathe freely in my absence.

But at last, the phone call ended, making me feel empty from inside. As I looked at my surroundings, I figured I had gotten too used to those four, for everything felt suddenly empty without them; even my heart, for that matter.

In order to busy myself to forget how alone I felt, I grabbed all the courage I had together and called mother in the process of telling her about how my travel partner had changed from Beth to James Anderson. She started yelling and shrieking as soon as I informed her. In hopes to avoid all the shouting, I put the phone down on the bed and went to drink a glass of water. But when I came back and picked the phone, I saw that mother was still busy shouting.

But at last, to my relief, she ended the phone call.

There are moments in life that your brain leads you to madness by flashing disturbing thoughts in your head. That’s how sometimes you find yourself making the stupidest decisions without being in control of your body.

Being in that exact moment and situation, I exited my room and knocked at room number fifteen’s door and waited patiently.

The door slowly slid open and I saw James, my heart sinking at his usual sight.

“Hello there, Anderson.” I greeted cheerfully but my only respond was the cold gaze he was giving me. “Aren’t you going to invite me inside?”

He stared, raising a brow. “What do you want, Brooke?”

“Wasn’t it obvious from the last question I asked?” I said with a teasing smile, although this time, my respond was the door which was almost shut on my face.

Almost.

“Now that was just rude.” I said, holding against the door. “Didn’t your mother ever teach you that you should never break a young girl’s heart?”

His face was still expressionless, it held no specified emotion, and his eyes were still unreadable. That was when he finally stood aside, pushing the door open and standing there against the wall.

“I take that as my invitation.” I smiled, walking in the room. “You see, I was thinking that maybe we should go out tonight and explore the town.” I said, sitting down on his bed.

“And what makes you think that I want to join you in this exploration?” James asked dryly, walking inside and closing the open window.

“Well...” I said thoughtfully. “Maybe because I amuse you?” I suggested with a shrug, playing with the grin on my lips.

“Amuse me?” He repeated, scoffing. “You couldn’t do that if it was your greatest desire. So don’t flatter yourself.”

Arrogant.

“Whatever. I was merely suggesting if you wanted to escort me. But never mind.” I shrugged the conversation off and stood off the bed, exiting the room after taking the car’s key from his table.

“Jerk.” I muttered under my breath, making my way out of the motel and to where our black car was parked.

The sound of someone’s hurried footsteps came from behind me and when I turned around; I saw something that took me completely off guards. I saw James Anderson who quickly neared me and fetched the key from me, walking over the car.

“Stubborn woman, forcing me into stuff.” James mumbled, failing in muttering that slow enough so I couldn’t hear it. “Oh, well come on, then!” He shouted, entering the car.

And then there was me, standing there like a fool with a goofy smile on my lips.

I shook my head, turning the silly smile into a grin and entering the car. “What made you change your mind? Did you finally realize that you adore me?”

He gave me an intense gaze and turned the car on, looking ahead as he started driving.

Now I saw what Luke meant when he said it was fun bugging people. I could clearly see why.

“Is there any good music in this car?” I said -more to myself- and started switching songs. “Oh, gosh, I love this one!” I clapped my hands together in happiness. “My dad used to play this song with his old cello when I was young.”

I started with my memories, my eyes twinkling in excitement more with every second that passed.

I caught James looking at me curiously a fair few times while I smiled widely, as if he didn’t quite understand it; as though he didn’t understand the happiness.

By that thought, I glanced out of the car’s window, studying the streets as we passed them that my eyes finally landed on what I was looking for.

“Stop the car! Stop the car!” I squealed as we were passing a deserted street and James skidded quickly.

“What?” He asked, eyes widening in horror.

“Subway!” I pointed out of the window at the restaurant across the street. I took off my seatbelt and stepped out of the car. “Oh, well come on, then!” I mocked his words, closing the door behind me. I waited for him as he parked the car a few feet ahead, and then walked out of it.

For some reason, he was holding a firm gaze as he walked toward me, and I tried my hardest to avoid it; to ignore looking back at his dark eyes.

“You’re mental.” James stated matter-of-factly and before I realized what was happening, he took my wrist harshly in his hand, so tight that it hurt, and passed the street, practically dragging me.

“How old do you think I am? Taking my wrist–”

“–Age has nothing to do with the amount of stupidity.”

“Excuse you! Are you calling me stupid? Correct me if I’m wrong, but you said that as if you meant such thing–”

“–I have a lack of delivering what I mean if I couldn’t underestimate you with that sentence that you are stupid.” He remarked. “Who wears black at night? No one’s able to see you that way and they might hit you with their cars!”

I made a face at him but as soon as he looked away, I smiled.

I wanted to see him smile too. I wanted to be the reason of his smile. And if everything went fortunate, maybe I could manage to bring out laughter out of his cold heart.

“I don’t know why I bothered to come to this exploration with you, anyway.” He let go of my wrist as we reached the other side of the street.

“Because you adore me! Goodness, you’re so oblivion, James–” He glared at me. “Err… Anderson!” I corrected myself quickly. “I absolutely meant Anderson.” I reassured him teasingly with a grin before entering the restaurant.

I got quickly in line to order an enormous sandwich. Although when I returned to our table, I saw nothing in front of James but an opened book.

“Aren’t you going to eat anything?” I asked James, taking the seat before him.

“I suggest you to mind your own business.” He said coldly, his eyes not meeting mine.

“And I suggest you to keep your suggestions for yourself.” I retorted rather calmly. “What are you reading?” I raised a brow, taking a bite from my sandwich.

“I’m not interested in repeating sentences that I have already said.”

“I’m just trying to start a conversation.”

He ignored me.

Not just once, but the entire time whenever I tried to open up to him.

He ignored my gaze, ignored whatever I said, and above all ignored my presence.

For the second time in my life, I felt no less than a ghost and no more than someone invisible.

“You know what? Never mind. I don’t care anymore.” I said gently with a fake smile and stood up, taking my bag in my hands. “Although, you wouldn’t mind, anyways. Seeing as I don’t even exist to your eyes.”

I didn’t wear the fake smile off my face until I exited the restaurant, but as soon as I did so, the empty feeling overwhelmed me again.

Yes, I told him that I didn’t mind, but deep down I knew that, that was nothing but a big lie.

I cared… too much.

But how could he be so careless, and I don’t mean caring for me.

James Anderson had shut his eyes toward the world and he was trying to act nothing or no one existed; even himself, for that matter.

But being my usual self, I kept caring; which is why I finally gave in and looked back at him, although regretting it in a matter of seconds.

I saw that he had now stood up from his seat, following me out of the restaurant.

So I did what most would’ve done at that moment; I didn’t wait and attempted to cross the street.

“Brooke, wait!” He called behind me but I threw my head down as if I couldn’t hear him. “I said wait!” I ignored him. “BE CAREFUL!”

By the time I turned around to see what he meant, he was running over me and then with a quick move, he pushed the both of us aside from the road.

Just then, a car passed us by an inch with the speed of light.

Eyes widening in horror, I looked at James, who had his both arms tightened around me protectively, his eyes closed.

“That was… a close…one.” He panted and took me off guard as he placed his forehead against mine, his eyes still closed. “Never... Never do this again...” He breathed heavily, muttering slowly. “Never…”

Apparently, he had no idea what he was doing or what he was saying. And neither had I, seeing as I didn’t want to move.

I stood in the darkness as I watched my breath evaporate into mist in the frosty air, and that was when he finally opened his eyes, connecting them with mine.

I found myself locked up in those black eyes as if they were nothing but the walls of a prison which held me against the night.

He looked into my eyes as if he was reading every thought I had and seeing through all my memories.

My heart got the color of ice as his hand brushed its way over my jaw, his touch as gentle as I could ever imagine.

My racked nerves were now in such state that no calm could soothe and no pleasure excited them agreeably as he didn’t even attempt to remove his eyes from me.

Just then, his eyes wandered and went back and forth between my eyes and my lips as his hand grazed my cheek.

My heart was doing things that even I didn’t understand as I found myself not being able to breathe properly.

My eyes were wide open even though James had closed his long time ago, nearing my face hesitantly.

The distance between my lips and his was less than an inch.

So close we were that I could feel his lips almost brushing on mine.

But as quick as all these things had happened, James finally came to his senses and slowly pulled himself away.

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