“Connor, if I were you and you were me, I would’ve already bought you three boxes of pizza.” Kendra said.
Connor rolled his eyes. “For hijacking my privacy?”
Kendra was barely hiding her humor. “Oh come on, Connor. I just finished, let’s say, the assignment you couldn’t get it done.”
“I wouldn’t bother.”
“There you go with your girl’s attitude,” Kendra huffed before sipping her soda.
“Never question my masculinity, Kendra!” Connor glared.
Kendra made a face and then smiled naughtily. After glaring at her with furrowed eyebrows for more seconds, Connor too broke into a handsome smile.
Here I was sitting with them in the same table for lunch, simpering away the whole time as I watched and listened to the cute quarreling. They were bickering over the same thing that made Connor kidnap Kendra from the English door this morning.
Kendra had hacked his facebook account and flirted with the girl that had been clinging to his pants since the last party they attended. While on the other hand, Connor had been trying his shit out to get away from her and, for the record, Kendra just boosted her hopes up.
For your information, Kendra and Connor are best friends and basically as close as the pages of a book. Kendra usually mentioned about him the past few years whenever we were in contact but I had never really met him.
“I feel like you just fed me a whole pack of stale bread,” Connor muttered.
“Don’t mention it. Pleasure’s all mine, Connor boy.” Kendra grinned.
“I hate that name,” he hissed.
“So when did you move here, Connor?” I asked Connor.
“Sixth grade,” he answered.
“And you guys have been friends since.” Not a question. It was a statement.
“Yup.” He stretched his arms wide and rested one over Kendra’s shoulder. “Who wouldn’t love to be with such a cute monkey.” His wide grin met Kendra’s killing eyes.
A short stare off passed and Kendra patted on his chest with a hand nodding sweetly and batting her eyelids, “I love being with you too, Abraham of monkeys.”
Connor flinched back to look at her quizzically and in disbelief. I burst out laughing. Connor slowly grinned and then laughed too. Kendra looked at me. She was about to say something but she abruptly stopped, looked pass me and she frowned.
“He’s staring our way. It’s weird.”
“Who?” I tracked her gaze and met Narcissist’s gaze.
He was sitting at a table near the window with the three boys who showed up with him late inside class yesterday. He wasn’t wearing the usual smirk. He seemed to be more intent . . . and that is just so ‘weird’, exactly the way Kendra termed it. It was obvious we had caught him staring at us but he didn’t even bother to look away. He just kept staring at us like we would be some kind of math problem he would come across in Trig class and was now looking for a way to solve it. You know, going ahead of class.
“What happened this morning, Kendra?” I asked, looking back at her, “Why did you freak out?”
“She freaked out?!” Connor jolted in his chair and leaned over to look at Kendra’s face, “Wow. What happened? My monkey rarely freaks out.”
“I wasn’t freaking out, okay. I was just surprised.” Kendra sighed, pushing his face away.
“About what?” Connor asked. He was more than astonishing now.
“I couldn’t believe that he actually talked, okay. Talking is, let’s say, fine. I saw him smile too. Like . . . is that normal?”
Kendra pointed her spoon at Ugly Narcissist’s table.
“Oh, yeah. I heard ’bout that.” Connor nodded. “It’s a headline news in Greenwood now. I heard he even told Nikki off ’cause she was being a bitch to you.”
“Yeah . . . and what’s the big deal? Like . . . Is he the kind of person that don’t really talk to people?” I shook my head as if it would do any good to understand them.
She nodded, “Yeah. That’s exactly it. He doesn’t really talk to people. Half of the girls in this town would lick the ground he walks upon but none of them really has the courage to approach him.”
“Why is that?”
“He’s different. He’s dangerous.” Kendra shrugged. “Like I said, don’t ever try his patience. He’s a bomb ready to explode any minute.” She said these words emphatically just the way a grandma would do while narrating ghost stories.
“Even with girls?”
“Well, I’ve not seen him beat up a girl yet but . . . Who knows. He doesn’t even date. He’s always with his guys. I don’t think his friends date too? I don’t know.” She ended with a nonchalant upward pout.
“Come on, Kennie. He’s not that bad. Yeah, he’s got a temper but he’s not that bad,” Connor said.
Kendra rolled her eyes. “Duh, that’s what I’m talking ’bout - his temper. It’s scary.”
“Honestly, he’s not that bad if you really get to know him. And what the fuck! He’ll never lay a finger on any girl! None of them would!” Connor cut her off.
“I know, I’m just saying,” Kendra added quickly, “It’s just that he’s too intimidating.”
Instinctively, I looked back again. Our eyes met again. I immediately turned back to my table mates. Kendra and Connor were starting to debate over Ugly Narcissist’s behavior.
“Hey, stop it. You guys look like some nutty statesmen,” I said and they instantly stopped.
Kendra acknowledged me by taking a sip of her soda.
“Did I use to know him?”
She almost choked on her drink.
“What the fuck. You don’t remember him?” She gawped at me as she placed the soda back on the table with a bang, indicating the effect of the shock that hit her.
I shook my head sheepishly. I was starting to feel bad that I couldn’t remember him. Maybe he was a friend. Kendra’s reaction told more than clearly that I was supposed to remember who the heck Ugly Narcissist was.
“Seriously?” She looked at me incredulously.
“Seriously, yes. Who is he? He knew me but when I asked him who he is, he only said that I would know him soon enough, and it only irritates me.”
Kendra flicked her eyebrows and exhaled.
“Wait. What? When did you guys talk to each other? I didn’t see you actually talk to him.”
“I met him in the cemetery the evening I moved back here. He was sitting on my mom’s stone.” I clenched my teeth as I said the few last words, still irritated at what an asshole he was being.
“Did he know you?”
“Yeah. He did. He even knew my name”
Kendra smiled and nodded perspectively. “So he still hasn’t forgotten you, huh.”
I nodded guiltily. “Yeah.”
It was a shame for me to forget someone who remember you with no trouble of even stopping a moment to recall your name. And that person to me was Ugly Narcissist. He said my name flat out like it was written on my forehead with big bold letters.
“The blonde one’s Scott,” Kendra told me and I looked back at the four boys as she explained.
They were now engaged amongst themselves in a fun-looking conversation, laughing with animated faces. Scott was the only blonde one. All the others had bronze hair. Hunt was wearing a deep blue T-shirt and Kendra said he has hazel eyes. Then there was Matt, who was wearing a V-neck black T-shirt. Kendra said he’s Narcissist’s cousin.
“And?” I looked back at Kendra.
She didn’t tell me anything about Ugly Narcissist.
She smiled and shook her head, “I won’t tell you.”
What? What?! Why?!! Why not?!!! It seems like everybody has taken a special interest to keep me hanging in the air.
“Why not?” I frowned.
“You’ll know him soon enough anyway.” She laughed. “It won’t take long. He’s one person that the whole town knows.”
Oh, one of the popular ones. No doubt he was such a narcissist. I should’ve realized it that day itself. How obvious.
With my curiosity boosted up like the hope Kendra boosted on the clingy chick on Facebook, I looked back again. Now that it was answered Kendra wouldn’t volunteer to tell me who he is, I had to remember him by trying to remember his face.
Though I disliked him, I’ll just say this one thing that he looked gorgeous when he smiled and laughed.
I looked back at my table mates. Kendra was now relishing on the nutella sandwich in her hand.
I asked them, “Does he (Narcissist) never talk to you guys too?”
“No. He does . . . occasionally,” Kendra said, “But not much.”
“And I’m kinda friends with them,” Connor said, “I swear, those guys are not so bad at all. In fact, if you get to know them, there’s no way you can dislike them. They’re a pretty cool bunch.”
Kendra rolled her eyes. And I agreed with her. So far, Narcissist had been nothing but a dick.
“You sound gay,” Kendra said, taking another bite of her sandwich, “You can go sit with them if you are so tired of sitting with two amazing ladies.”
Connor formed a frown as he looked at her, but he soon smiled again and pinched her cheeks, saying, “There’s no way I’m leaving my cute pet monkey. No thanks.” He stroked her head too.
There was always something about the way Connor gazed at Kendra. He adored her. It was clear on his face. I wondered if Kendra knew.
Kendra slapped his hand back and glared at him with tiger eyes. Hearing the rippling laughter of Narcissist and his friends, I couldn’t keep myself away from looking back at them, him, again. He was still quietly laughing away. I kept looking. Without a seconds notice, suddenly, his bright brown eyes landed on me, the light of his laughter still vibrant on his face. I felt my eyes widen, my heart jump to my throat, my pulse race, my breath hitch. I whirled back my gaze to my table too quickly, making it impossible for Kendra and Connor to not notice my action. They were already studying me. My face began to heat up a tad bit.
“What?” I gave myself time to breathe and asked casually.
I was trying not to give them any wrong idea. Connor quietly leaned back on his chair with a smug look on his face.
Don’t do that, buddy, you’ve been nice since Kendra introduced me to you. Don’t make me see you as another Ugly Narcissist. I hate that look. It’s only gonna make me dislike you.
Kendra cleared her throat as she wiped the suspicion out of her face and then she spoke, “He’s been staring at our table this whole time. I’m sure of that. If he finds me attractive he could’ve done that years before, but this is the first time and I’m so damn sure he’s not into guys. Sorry Connor. So that leaves us to . . .”
Her index finger appeared before my eyes, making invisible circles.
I cringed and winced and grimaced.
“What do you mean?” I sounded like I tasted bile.
“He’s interested in this new girl right here.” She grinned widely at me.
“Come on, Kendra,” I huffed, “Maybe you’re right. Maybe he’s looking for another brilliant way to annoy the hell outta me.”
“Why do you think like that?”
“He’s been driving me mad ever since we first met. I’m ready to strangle him to death any moment. He’s an asshole.” I pushed the last words with tasteless satisfaction.
“Oh, wow,” she breathed and nodded.
“Yeah, wow,” I scoffed, “I’d gladly drag him to hell if I know the way.”
“Really? Was he that bad?”
“Worse. You know what? The first thing he did to me in school yesterday was sit behind me and kick my feet from under the bench! Like . . . What the hell is that suppose to mean?!” I sounded like a whinny, complaining kid but it felt good to vent.
Kendra calmly leaned back on her chair like her best friend did, folded her arms over her chest and shook her head lightly from side to side as she stared at me. “Oh my God, Alana. This is going to be fun.” She looked at Connor and smiled,
Connor smiled back. I felt like grabbing and smashing their heads together. Everything and everybody was getting weirder and crazier each passing minute. My brain was literally going haywire.
I decided to give up this trackless home run to enlightenment. I just nodded and rested back on my chair.
“What did I miss?” Brittany appeared.
“Talk of the century,” Kendra replied.
“Really? What was it ’bout?”
Kendra wouldn’t spare anything. She narrated the whole stupid thing to Brittany who listened very enthusiastically. When Kendra finished, Brittany looked at me and smiled but she didn’t say much which I appreciated boundlessly.
After the lunch break, I had two more classes with him, Narcissist. But this time, he behaved almost normal.
He and Scott walked in just before the teacher came. Narcissist sat behind me, Scott behind him.
He even said, “Hi, Mongrel.”
I mean that’s normal enough right? At least a ‘hi’.
He didn’t kick my feet. I was surprised because I was actually prepared for it as soon as I heard him pull the chair behind me. Then he went back to being abnormal all over again.
He whispered in my ear as a female teacher walked in, “Missed me?”
“In your dreams,” I muttered without looking back and heard him chuckle.
He sat behind me again in the next class too and when I wasn’t prepared, he kicked my feet again.
He’s seriously as annoying as that doucebag, Xavier, from elementary? Like one Xavier isn’t enough.
I almost started with my snapping at Narcissist but I let it pass because he had already started with his teasing. I didn’t want to encourage him by snapping back. Besides there were people staring and listening with double pair of eyes and ears. For example, Nikki and her back up minions.