Why? Why him?
“You have made that very line my daily bread, son,” Mr. Hart returned.
The other three exchanged stifled laughter, Ugly Narcissist smirked.
“Welcome your rebel classmates, Alana,” Hart sighed at me.
And then, much to my nightmare, Narcissist’s eyes landed on me. I dragged my eyes away as fast as possible, but he had seen me seeing him. From the corner of my eyes, I caught the smug expression plastered on his face. I mentally face-palmed myself.
If only he has a problem of remembering things.
I didn’t want myself associating with him in any way. If there was anything I wanted to do with hi, then it would be to break his pretty face.
I sat stiff; not moving the slightest bit, not turning my head in any direction or even blinking, trying to duck him as a complete stranger which he was but for the little incident that took place in the cemetery yesterday.
I stared down straight on my note, avoiding meeting his eyes. I listened to the fuss of them taking their places and felt relieved that we wouldn’t be talking or bickering or anything . . . for now. It was a good thing that we were inside class. I had decided to rush out of the class the moment the bell ring before he start anything. Hart resumed his lecture and peace was back. I breathed in relief.
Until all of a sudden I felt a kick at my feet under the chair from the back. I started at once and twisted my body backwards. Here goes my reflex action. I saw him sitting right behind me, but he looked so lovingly innocent that it had me wondering maybe it was a mistake. I blinked dumbly.
“Yes, Ms. Lancaster?” I heard Hart’s gruff voice.
I turned back at him. “Yes?”
“Any problem?” He cocked an eyebrow.
I shook my head sheepishly.
Hooray! I’d put on an unbeatable display of my nerdiness on the first day in the very first class, and now everybody is probably thinking I’m a numbskull.
Something that brought my jaws to the edge was that I heard the Ugly Narcissist behind me chuckle. I knew it was him! If I was a bull, I would be steaming out of my ears and nostrils. I passed the remaining of the class fuming.
After about half an hour, the bell rang.
“And that’s it for today,” Hart indicated the end of the class.
I began shuffling in my books.
“We meet again, Mongrel,” he whispered over my ear, startling me.
I whirled my head towards the voice right off and I gasped when I found my face less than an inch away from his. I know I shouldn’t be this startled but there was something about the tone and the nearness. It sounded too close – way too close – and the feel of his hot breath on my skin gave me all the creeps. He grinned. I pulled my eyebrows together. He chuckled under his breath and peered into my eyes. I stiffened meaninglessly.
What the heck?
Slowly, the naughty grin on his face receded and his stare deepened into mine. I stared back and found myself captivated by his eyes. As I dazed into them, it almost felt like they have voices of their own that was calling me into them, tempting me to get lost . . . and lost and just get lost.
“Can’t take your eyes off me?”
“Huh?” At first I was a bit dazed but I replied, “Yeah. Reminds me of potatoes.”
He started laughing.
Nothing had ever impressed me as much as the bright blueness of Jake’s eyes, and here was Ugly Narcissist’s brown ones questioning my choice despite my lie. They were deep and there was light in them. Mesmerizing.
I pulled my gaze away and started being busy with my books. Ignoring him, I turned to Kendra and asked her what her next class was. She answered she had spare class. I nodded.
I looked at my time table and it said History.
“History,” I sighed.
Narcissist whistled. I glanced at him. He was resting back on his chair with his hands behind his head like he rule the world, and a goddamned smirk plastered on his lips. Weird. I looked away.
“What bout you, Brittany?”
Her eyes were on me but she didn’t hear me, seemingly lost in passive thoughts.
“Brittany?” I called again.
“Yeah? Right. Class,” she snapped out, “I have Physics.”
“You?” She asked me back.
Brittany winced. “We gotta split now.”
“Yeah. I guess.”
“See ya later.” Collecting her stuffs, she stood up and strutted out.
Kendra and I went chit chatting on the way to the door and Nikki shoved pass me pretty roughly, almost knocking me over.
“Hey, watch it, bitch,” Kendra rasped.
Nikki turned, placed her hands on her hips – looking all bossy – and replied with an attitude that just tempts you to pull the hair out from the very roots, sparing not a single strand, “I said stay out of my way, trash.”
“Nikki, you better stop it before I . . .” Kendra began but she was cut off in the middle as a monument of a human being came around to stand in front of me, the broad back blocking my entire view like a wall.
Damn, he’s tall.
He smells good too.
“Yeah? Anything else?” Narcissist voice was calm yet threatening.
I peeped over his arm to look look at Nikki, who had turned white already, like she had encountered a demon. I think I saw her shake a bit too.
Is she afraid of him?
“What were you trying to do? She’s new, is that why? Get over it,” he said, looking sternly into her eyes.
Without another word, Nikki stormed off, her girls following her like a flock of birds.
This morning surely isn’t a good one for Nikki.
As for me, I’d never felt more weird about anything in my life than this. People wouldn’t stop butting-in in my defense.
Narcissist whirled back at me and smiled.
“You’re welcome, Mongrel.”
I opened my mouth to say thank you. As annoying as he was, he still stood up for me. But that thank you never left my mouth. Kendra gave a low gasp just as I was about to say it, her eyes wide open. It was only then that I realized the classroom had quietened down to pin drop silent and everybody was staring at me and then at Narcissist like we were some kind of runaway martian siblings.
I quietly nudged at her side to ask if everything was alright. She grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the class.
“Don’t tell me that guy just talked to you.” Her eyes were almost as wide as a football. “God. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.”
“What are talking ’bout?”
She looked back gingerly towards the classroom. Narcissist was standing at the door with his boys.
“We’ll talk about this later,” she said abruptly, “Whatever happens, don’t try his patience because he certainly has none.”
Millions of questions have popped up in my head by that instant but I decided to leave them for now, seeing the pale look on her face.
“Okay then, tell me which way’s Room-46.”
“Take the . . .” She paused abruptly and stared ahead at something behind me.
I tracked her eyesight and watched a guy striding onwards in our direction from the other end of the corridor.
“Kendra,” he called rigidly.
I turned back at her. The paleness had disappeared, instead she pressed her lips together tight, smirking and forcing back laughter.
“You’re going down!” He muttered irritatedly.
Kendra took to her heels towards the opposite direction. But guys were guys. He caught up with her easily in few quick steps and hauled her up on his shoulder as she squeaked with laughter.
“Put me down, Connor!” She hit his back with her fists.
“Kendra, wait,” I called, “Which way’s Room-46!”
She tried shouting to me, “Take the hallway, turn . . . Just around . . .” I couldn’t make out half of what she was saying as Connor hauled her away without a word.
I sighed and stood at the door, deciding which way to go. Suddenly, I remembered I had something wonderful called the school map. I dug into my bag.
“That way’s Room-46.” Narcissist pointed towards the right, leaning on the doorframe. “Take the stairs, you’ll come to another hallway and then you’ll find your way.”
And then he left, taking the other direction.
Wow! Not so irritating.
As I was directed, I took the hallway in the right and descended the stairs. Like he said, I found myself in another hallway. I went on checking out signs above the doors. Ten minutes had passed and I had also walked one more hallway but I was still not coming across Room-46. So I finally opened the wonderful school map.
I was literally breathing fire when I checked it.
I can’t believe I trusted him!
Room-46 was just a left turn from English corridor. I should’ve checked the English class room number, but I was with Kendra so I simply followed her without bothering to. I was already fifteen minutes late because of him. That was enough irritation but he wouldn’t just put an end to it.
When I reached the door, the first person, the first thing, I saw was the Ugly Narcissist, the ugly bastard, the ugly jerk, the ugly . . . Oh for heaven’s sake he was grinning ear to ear and quietly chuckling in his seat. I could just tear the ugly grin wider if only we were out of class. I pulled on my best scowl and bored my eyes into his. He winked.
Wait till I strangle you.
“Ms. Lancaster?” The male teacher inside queried.
“Yes. Sorry, I’m late.”
“I’m Fred Collins. Take a seat and don’t be late next time.” He pointed to the chair right in front of Narcissist.
I felt like asking Collins if I could take a seat other than the one he pointed out but I decided not to, being already late for class. So I nodded and settled in the chair right in front of Narcissist. Well, nothing seemed to take my side.
Then again, Narcissist kicked my feet. My breathing hitched but this time, I kept my reflexes under control by biting my lower lip. I managed despite my ever rising frustration.
Mr. Collins’ lecture felt like a century because I was itching to suck the life out of the jerk sitting behind me. After thirty five minutes, the bell rang.
Immediately, I spun back at Narcissist and frowned. “What the heck is wrong with you!”
He pulled his brows together slightly and watched my face smugly without a word, smirking away in his own amusement.
I raised an eyebrow. “Yeah?”
“You don’t remember me?” He asked looking into my eyes with all sense of humour lost in an instance.
“Of course, I remember you. You’re the jerk I met in the cemetery yesterday.”
Well, what else?
Puzzled, I gave a moment to stare at him. He stared back at me.
Do I used to know him?
He knew me yesterday needless of me having to introduce myself which I didn’t even plan to. I began to feel that he look familiar somehow, somewhere, but I couldn’t specifically lay my finger on him.
“You look familiar. Who are you?” I finally gave way.
He simply smirked in response.
He collected his notes and pen into his backpack and stood up. With a cheeky smile, he tilted his head to the left and replied, “You won’t remember me?”
Then pitching his backpack on one shoulder, he left, leaving me hanging in the air. But before disappearing out of sight, he stopped at the door once. I thought he’d decided to reveal his oh-so-mysterious-identity. Turned out wrong. He just looked back at me to add ‘Mongrel’ to his already finished sentence.