Chapter 24 - Why?
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CHAPTER 24 - WHY?
I grinned as I looked at my test, still not believing I'd been able to achieve that. My ... it seems impossible. Despite all my efforts, I never thought ... oh, well, damn, I got A+! That's not just beyond every expectation, but it's the best mark I've ever gotten in Math!
Am I overreacting? Maybe. It's just that this, as Miss Stern told me, it's not only gonna raise my mark in Math, but also my GPA. I nearly hugged that piece of paper, seriously! Lucky thing there were people around me.
After Saturday the chances to study with Eric were less,but I guess that in the end he did succeed in hammering some mathematical notions in my dummy mind,because when this morning Miss Stern announced we'd be doing a surpirse test, while I was nervous in the beginning,even though I kind of knew about it thanks to Eric,then I looked at the paper and...well, it felt all so easy to do!
Well,ok, in the beginning I was confused,but then I focused on his words,I focused on Eric's explanations and everything came back to mind,so that I was able to finish the test pretty soon too, leaving Miss Stern speechless.
Considerin I was so early,a big part of my classmates were still working on it,so she had the time to correct the test in front of me,which had me panicking and fidgeting,especially given the odd faces she kept making,but in the end she looked up at me from beneath her round big glasses, clearly surprised,and asked if I'd taken private lessons.
I answered the truth,even without giving details: that I'd had a friend of mine that's in AP Calculus help me,and she complimented this friend of mine,because apparently he'd been able to teach me in little time what she hadn't been able to in almost a year.
I'm not sure if I should have felt offended or not,but I didn't really care. I just grinned from ear to ear when she showed me the paper with that beautiful red mark on: A+ She even circled it and added a "excellent job,Natalie! keep going!", which had me feel like a littl girl being praised by her teacher.
Sprinting towards the cafeteria, I bumped into someone, better said, I crashed into a hard chest, which nearly had me falling, hadn't the stranger held me in place.
"Everything alright?" I grinned when I recognized the voice. Just the boy I was looking for. Steadying myself, I nodded and gazed at him, still grinning, so that he was confused.
"You know what this is?" I questioned as I held up my paper.
Eric observed it for a moment, then, uncontrollably, he smiled. Really smiled, and my heart started thumping, well, now thumping because of the emotion, not because of all the movement.
For the first time in years I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of that lovely little boy who smiled at me in 4th grade. Yes, it soon faded, but still, he really smiled at me. Truthfully.
Well,ok,he has a couple of times smiled like that to me,and just me,but this time felt so different. Maybe because my mind was hazy, excited as I was for the test,but it felt different,especially as I could see that smile not just reaching his eyes, but also causing a very joyful glint in those blues that melted the ice and made them so much more beautiful,even softening his normally stern features.
Actually,now that I better looked at him,with a bit of a stubble, he looked even manlier and so,so sexier. With his hair so disheveled and the V-neck white t-shirt that showed part of his slightly tanned skin, just as the sleeves of his shirt,pulled up, showed his strong arms that,now as never,made me feel the irresistible desire for him to cradle me and hug me and keep me in his arms. Possibly forever.
I don't feel those things for me,and yet I feel attracted and lately the images of me and him losing ourself in a passionate and breathtaking kiss have multiplied,to the point that sometimes my cheeks beet crimson when I lock gazes with him,especially when I feel like he can read on my face what was I thinking about.
"I was right then, you made it." Eric commented, once again cold,even if not as much as he normally would be.
I grinned. "Yes, and it's all thanks to you."
He shook his head, looking around, I bet to hide another smile that wanted to erupt. We were alone in the hall, though. It was lunch time, so everybody was in the cafeteria already. Alone. The bad boy and I completely alone in the hall.
Two weeks ago I would have been frightened, now ... well, now, be it just overexcitement, all the cheerfulness, the joy about the Math test, I was trying hard to keep myself from hugging him.
Yes, I said hugging him. He'd push me off, I bet, which is why I wasn't moving, also because it'd be awkward, since we're really nothing to each other and ... oh, what the hell.
Eric was startled, to say the least, when I wrapped my arms around his torso, kind of squeezing him, my head on his chest, my fabulous test still in my left hand, as I grinned, too happy to really care about the consequences of it, mumbling my thanks once again.
I was expecting him to roughly push me away almost instantly, but ... he didn't. Actually, after a few uncertain seconds I felt his arms around me too, awkwardly, yes, but still ...
We remained there for a long minute and I'll admit, I did take in his manly scent,which filled my nostrils,making me feel lightheaded.
When I pulled back, his eyes were sparkling, or maybe it was just me, too inebriated by his manly scent, too lightheaded because my heart had been racing pretty fast, so much that I was almost feeling my blood in my ears, unless it was Eric's own heart racing against my ear as well ... but that'd be odd.
His gaze was intense, well, more than usual, and I nearly flinched when he caressed my cheek, but I tried to stay calm, enjoying his touch, even if it confused me and it felt really odd.
His blue eyes were fixed on my hazels and he was staring so intently at me,so much that I felt like we were in a whole other dimension,like we'd left the Earth and had move to another planet,where it would be just the two of us,perfectly comfortable like that.
I know I shouldn't feel those things,but as he stared at me like that,I couldn't help but smile happily,feeling like his touch was burning my cheek,yes,but in a positive way.
The door of the cafeteria opening in the distance, people coming out chuckling, distracted me for a moment, so that I was really, really, startled to suddenly feel lips on mine.
Eric. Eric Rivers was kissing me. Just a very light peck that lasted barely a second or two, then he moved away abruptly and left without a word, but ... but it gave me a whole bunch of emotions that I couldn't even be able to describe.
It ... drained out all my strength. It lasted just a couple of seconds and yet it was enough to leave my lips all tingly, it was enough to leave me breathing heavily, because my knees were all wobbly and I have no idea how was I able to stand still as I watched him go.
Why did he kiss me? Was it just the heat of the moment? Was it just curiosity? What exactly? Because really I never saw it coming.
You could say that was my very first kiss. Just a peck, he barely touched my lips, yes, but still ... a kiss. And from the last person I could ever expect.
I'll admit I'd daydreamed of receiving it from Kyle for the first time, but ... well, I wasn't disappointed. Just ... really confused and surprised and marveled and amazed.
Because despite everything, Eric is always so cold with me, to the point that I still kind of fear him sometimes. Because I felt my head spinning and all the world around me was a whirlwind ... and it was just a very simple peck on my lips. He barely touched them, yet it was enough to cause all of a range of emotions that I couldn't even pinpoint.
Only somebody bumping into me without even apologizing brought me back to reality. Especially because I'd been staring at the exact point where Eric had disappeared, only one question making it through the maze that at this point my thoughts were ... why?