I feel my legs freeze in place as I stare straight ahead, at nothing in particular. I’ve rarely ever gone into the front office of any school I’ve ever gone to. I’m perfectly average: I don’t get into trouble, and I’m not a great enough student to receive attention.
“Tam?” I feel Mr. Higgins tap my shoulder and I snap back to reality. “Please proceed to my office. I have to see what these students need.”
I walk by Nat and Damon, into the overly bright office. It may be due to the blank walls that reflect the light in a harsher manner than one would expect.
“Hello, Natasha. How may I help you?” Higgins’s voice sounds calm, but there is a hint of irritation to it. He must have been the one to have to deal with her drug bust.
“I called in earlier, about the drugs I saw Pam put in her locker,” her voice sounds shaky, but I know her better than that. Judging by her smile earlier, this is a set up.
I peek out at their conversation.
“I’m sorry, but your call was false. We searched Tam’s locker for drugs and found nothing.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“On the phone I said ‘Pam of Mrs. Francis’s first period class’,” Nat clarifies.
“We heard Tam. Are you talking about,” he pulls up a list he had in his pocket, “Pamela? As in Pamela Watson?”
“Yes. Wait is that why you’ve got Tam in there? Poor girl, must be scared to death,” Nat sympathizes with a tad bit too much drama.
“I’m sorry, Natasha, but after the incident with your locker, I’m not sure your words are to be trusted. It’s already caused one student to face a humiliating situation, and I don’t think I should add another to that list.”
“That’s why I’m here,” Damon cuts in. “I saw it, too. Drugs in Pam’s locker.”
My jaw drops as I listen intently.
“Damon, are you absolutely certain?”
He nods with a serious look on his face. Natasha glances my way and sends me a wink. I don’t try to contain the shock in my face.
“Alright, I will see to it,” Higgins offers as he tilts his head into his office, “Tam, I’m so sorry, but there’s been a misunderstanding. I’ll see to it that your lock will be replaced. You are free to go.”
I jog into the gates of school and slow it down to a walk as I reach the hallway, where all the lockers line the walls. I had been worried that I’d be late to see Lane. I purposely chose the side gate so that I could see her before running to my locker to get my book.
As I walk by her locker, I notice a broken lock on it. I pause my stride and stare at the lock which had obviously been cut by a bolt cutter.
I feel a hand run up my upper arm and turn to see Pam. I scowl at her red curls and her over the top blush she’s applied to her porcelain cheeks.
“Hey, there. I’ve missed you.” Her grin reveals a tiny bit of lipstick on her teeth.
“Did you do that?” I ask, pointing at Lane’s locker.
“No,” she denies as a slick smile crawls onto her face, “Not really.”
“Ms. Pamela,” Mr. Higgins approaches us. Behind him, I see Damon and Natasha, silently high fiving each other.
When did they become pals?
“Yes?” Pam flutters her eyelashes, overdoing her act.
“May I please take a look into your locker?”
I see Pam tilt her head over to peer at Nat, who looks at her with a clueless expression and shrugs. As soon as Pam turns to her locker, I catch a sly smile reappear on Nat’s face.
“WHAT.” I hear Pam yell into her locker, which is filled with large bags of various types of drugs, from meth to what looks like cocaine.
“I’ll need you to come with me, Ms. Watson. An amount of illegal substances this high, I will need to contact your parents.”
“IT’S NOT MINE! You can ask anyone!” She reaches over to grab my arm. “Ask him! He’s always with me! He can vouch for me!”
Higgins turns to me with an eyebrow raised. He and I have an understanding and maybe even a bond. Over the last two years, I’ve gained quite a bit of his trust, especially after the time I helped him with his flat tire on the side of the road.
“Is this true, Silas? Have you ever seen her in contact with these drugs?” He stares into my eyes, hoping for a truthful answer. I give it to him.
“I haven’t seen her with this amount of drugs,” I say before pausing, wondering how to approach this.
“What is it?” His eyebrows tilt in concern.
“But I have seen her do drugs. There’s even a little cocaine powder on her nose now.” I point at her nose, which seems whiter than the rest of her. She stands there glaring at me with disbelief and jumps on my back, slapping me in the head.
Whoa. This actually hurts.
Her screams attract everyone’s attention as she claws at my face. With a yell I roughly grab at her hands, probably crushing her fingers in my own palms.
The custodian and Higgins pulls her off of me, and I look up to see Lane standing outside of the crowd, observing with amused eyes. With a sigh, I walk over to her and wrap my arm around her shoulder.
“That looked like it hurt,” she teases, holding in a giggle. I poke her side and she twitches away. I watch her in awe as the morning sun rays enhance the motion in her hair. She curled her hair today and this is the first time I’ve seen it this way. It seems to shine brighter than anything I’ve ever seen and I become mesmerized with the way her locks swing in the wind.
I pull her into an embrace as I hear them try to pull Pam to the office. From behind me, I hear her manage to come close enough to whisper into my back, “You’re gonna regret this. I WILL get back at her.”
I close my eyes and tighten my embrace even more, running my hand down the length of her hair to feel the curls bounce.
“Well,” Lane sucks in a deep breath, “I have to go get myself a new lock for my locker.” She turns to Damon and Nat. “I’ll see you guys later.”
“I’m going to my locker,” Nat informs as she peels away.
It is now just me and Damon. I guess now’s a good time as ever.
“Thanks,” I mutter under my breath.
“For what?” He seems taken aback that I’m speaking to him at all.
“For telling La- for telling Tammy the truth,” I try to meet his eyes to see any reaction. It must have been a heavy blow to lose her. I can’t imagine going through that.
“She deserved the truth and the choice. Just make her happy or I’ll punch your sack into concavity.”
I grin at him and he returns it. “I will. I love her.”
We both turn to watch as Lane walks away straight down the hallway. The little bit of sunlight that hits her head makes her look like she’s wearing a halo.
“I know you do,” he mumbles. “She’s something else.”
“She is.” I can’t help but feel my insides melt away at the sight of her.
With this, I realize that for me, it was love, but for him, it was fascination. There was always a pull to her, there’s just so much more to her and the mystery felt like an attraction.
I finally put my worries to peace, knowing that having him around can only mean that she’d be well taken care of. He’ll never be a threat to me as long as he knows she still loves me.
Which she does.