Let’s see, editorial office. Where the hell is it? I thought to myself as I walked down the hallways of our school. Gray told me to go there at lunch but I can’t even find it. I didn’t even know that a room like that existed here.
I passed a couple of students and asked, “Hey, you know where the editorial office is?”
The shorter girl shook her head and turned to her friend for help.
“Just turn right at the computer lab then turn left.” The girl with curly hair instructed. She gave me a weird look before continuing in their way.
“Thank you,” I flashed them a smile and went on my way.
I passed by the empty computer lab where I take my advanced programming class. Was there really an office like that around here? I trudged in the corridor looking left and right, searching until I saw a room with a sign at the top of the doorway, “Editorial Office”.
I knocked twice. I waited for a few seconds but no one came out. I knocked again and this time I spoke, “Gray?” Still no sign of anyone. Is she playing a prank on me? I turned the knob and realized the door was unlocked. Hoping I won’t get scolded, I stepped inside.
The place looks like a real office. Papers are stacked on top of each other. Magazines, books and other reading materials were scattered around the desks. There are 2 flatscreen computers that lined the wall, and another one is at the far end of the room with its own rolling chair. A coffee maker was perched on top of a desk which explains the aroma that filled the air. A rectangular table took up most of the space in the room.
Sitting at the end of the table was the person I was looking for, in a state I wasn’t expecting. I slowly walked towards her, my lips tugging upwards with every step I take. I giggled at the sight of Gray’s sleeping face. Her head and her arms were resting on a pillow on top of the table. I did the thing that people normally do when they see someone sleeping. I took a picture of her sleeping face.
The sound of the camera shutter broke the silence of the room. Crap. I quickly put my phone back in my pocket.
Gray stirred. Her eyelashes fluttered as she slowly opened her eyes. She blinked the sleep away from her eyes a few times and stretched her arms upwards while yawning, completely unaware of her surroundings.
Then she saw me.
She blinked twice. When she realized that I was real and she wasn’t dreaming anymore, her eyes widened. She stood up abruptly and stumbled in her seat. I caught her by the arm before she fell over. “Careful.”
She tugged at her arm and took a step back. “What are you doing here?” she asked, shooting daggers at me.
I showed her the math notebook I was holding as a reminder that she was the one who told me to go here. “Oh, right.”
“You look cute when you’re sleeping,” I teased her and took a seat on the chair adjacent to the one she was occupying a minute earlier.
“Shut up, Alvarrez.” She rolled her eyes as she went to the coffee maker. “You want some coffee before we start?”
I shook my head, “I’m not a fan of coffee.” I admitted.
Gray looked offended. “How can you not like coffee?”
Not knowing how to answer her question, I just shrugged. It’s not like I don’t drink coffee, I just don’t crave for it.
“Whose office is this?” I find myself asking her while she was pouring herself a cup.
“The editorial club’s.” She sat on her chair, coffee in hand.
I leaned in closer, interested. “And you’re a part of it? What do you do?”
“I’m the editor-in-chief.” She answered nonchalantly but I saw a gleam in her eyes. She takes pride in what she does.
“Wow, that’s Gray for you.” I beamed at her, feeling proud.
She brushed off my comment and opened her own notebook. “Let’s start.”
The reason she called me out here was for me to teach her the lessons she missed in the two days she was absent from school. She never told me the reason why she was absent, she just came to me asking for my notes.
When I handed her my notebook this morning, she examined it for a moment before returning it to me, saying she asked for my Science notebook, not stenography. I told her that it was my Science notebook. She looked at me with a puzzled expression and took it from me again. After a minute of trying to decipher my notes, she finally gave up and told me a 5-year-old kid could write better than me.
I ended up borrowing Kris’ notes for her. Being the genius she is, she can definitely keep up with the lesson even with just the notes she borrowed. But it’s not the same for our Differential Calculus class. You can’t really understand it if no one explains how things happened. Which led me alone in this office now with Gray.
“I already told you I’m not good at explaining,” I complained.
“It’s not like I have any other choice,” she said. “You’re the only one who understands the lesson.”
I let out a defeated sigh. “It’s not my fault if you still don’t understand anything after this.” I tied my hair up in a ponytail before starting.
Only a few minutes have passed and surprisingly, Gray was able to understand me. By the looks of it, she’ll be able to keep up with the lesson now.
“That’s the gist of it,” I told her and leaned back in the chair.
“Thank you, and sorry for asking you to help in your free time,” she said.
“No big deal, I’m happy to help,” I told her. “Is this where you go every lunchtime?”
“Nothing, I just noticed you’re always nowhere to be found during lunch. Now I know where to look.” I smirked.
She took a sip of her coffee. “Did you need anything from me?”
“I met your ex in a bar last Saturday.”
Gray choked on her drink. The coffee splattered on the gray v-neck shirt she was wearing and her face was beet red. “Shit.” She cursed under her breath.
“Are you okay?” I asked her as I quickly tried to wipe off the remains in her mouth with my handkerchief. She took it from me and wiped it herself.
She glared at me. “Do I look okay to you? Look what you did to my shirt,” she gestured to the huge coffee stain in the middle of her shirt.
“What I did? I’m not the one who splattered coffee in it.” I defended myself.
She stood up from her seat and paced the room. “How am I going to class in this?”
“Chill, I have an extra shirt in my bag. I can lend it to you if you want.” I offered.
She stopped and turned to me. “You will?”
I nodded and stood from my seat. “Wait here, I’ll go get it.”
I ran from the office to our classroom and back. Lunch is going to be over soon but I still haven’t gotten any of my questions answered. I stayed in front of the office to catch my breath for a minute before entering. I didn’t want to make it obvious that I ran.
I went in and I handed her my plain black shirt.
“Get out,” she ordered.
Confused, I asked, “What?”
“Get out. I’m going to change,” she answered as if it was obvious.
“I can just turn around you know. It’s not like I’m gonna rape you or something.” I faced the other way while she was changing. It was over in a second. When I turned around, I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of Gray.
She looked like a kid who wore her father’s clothes. My shirt was few sizes bigger than hers. It went all the way down to her butt and the sleeves were too long. It didn’t come as a surprise though, seeing that I have a full 5 inches over her.
Instead of complaining, Gray tucked the shirt in her pants and folded the sleeves as if she’d done it a million times. And boy, is the end result amazing. What looked like a kid seconds ago now looked like a sexy teenager wearing her boyfriend’s clothes. And I’m the boyfriend.
Smiling like an idiot, I crossed my arms and leaned on the rectangular table. “You look good in that. You can keep it.”
“No thanks, I’ll return it to you as soon as it’s laundered.” She pulled her long black hair from beneath the shirt, letting it fall down on her back.
How the hell is she able to make everything she does look sexy? Dammit.
“Your choice.” I shrugged, acting natural. “Now back to what I was saying, your ex attacked me.”
Her mouth set in a hard line. “What makes you think she’s my ex?”
My mouth curved into a smug smile. “The fact that you know who I’m talking about is proof that she really is your ex. You addressed her as ‘she’.”
I’ve been thinking about it since that night, the line that Janelle asked as we were leaving, ‘Is she your new girl?’. If there’s a new girl, that must mean there has been a girl. And if my hunch was correct, that girl is Janelle. Which means that Gray is gay. I didn’t want to confront Gray about it without any evidence. Until Janelle showed up at the bar.
Gray didn’t argue any further, she knew there’s no way out of it. “Why did she attack you?”
Taking note of the fact that she didn’t deny her relationship with the girl, I answered. “She accused me of cheating on you.”
She rolled her eyes at that. “And what did you do to make her think you were cheating?”
“She saw me kissing a girl,” I confessed.
Gray looked surprised. “Well, that’s cheating.”
“I don’t think you understand,” I said, standing straight. “It’s only cheating if we’re in a relationship, which we aren’t. So it’s not. I can kiss whoever I want.” I say a matter of factly.
“I didn’t say you were cheating on me,” she crossed her arms. “I’m talking about your girlfriend.”
“Girlfriend who?” I asked, having no idea who she was pertaining to.
“You know, the pretty girl you’re always with. Tall, blonde, the one who looks like my do-” She caught herself before she finished the word. “a supermodel.” I thought she was talking about Kris until she added, “I think her name’s Diane.”
I shook my head. “We broke up a few months ago.”
“What?” She had this face on that looks like she doesn’t believe what I’m saying. “Then why are you still hanging out with her?”
“We’re friends,” I stated.
She squinted her eyes at me. “How can you still be friends with your ex? Why did you guys even break up?” she asked, her sudden interest piqued my own.
I walked towards her until we were only a foot apart. “Why are you so interested?” I smirked, looking down at her.
“I couldn’t care less about what happened to you and your ex,” she countered. “But do you really go around kissing random people in a bar?” Her tone was accusing.
“I didn’t really kiss her.” I tried to explain.
She raised an eyebrow. “You just told me she saw you kissing the girl.”
“Well, she did,” I said, rubbing the back of my neck. “But I really didn’t kiss the girl.”
I don’t know how to tell her the truth without sounding like a liar.
“Why should I believe you?” Her tone of voice ticked me off. It felt like she was waiting for me to say something wrong and prove her point.
I realized I didn’t actually have to explain anything to her. She’s not my girlfriend. “You don’t have to. I also fail to see the reason why you would care.” I retorted.
She looked up to meet my eyes, her gaze unflinching. “You are exactly who I thought you would be.”
“You go around playing with people’s feelings, breaking their hearts in the process. The kind I hate the most.” Her eyes were filled with disgust and her words were seething with hatred.
I have never been more offended in my life.
“Wow,” I shook my head in disbelief. “First I get accused of cheating and now I get this?”
“I guess that just means you’re not trustworthy,” she surmised.
I wanted to tell her that I’m not like that. I wanted to tell her that I have never, and will never cheat on anyone. I wanted to explain what happened in the bar. But what’s the point? Clearly, she won’t believe anything I say.
I looked into those gray eyes that were boring holes into me. “I didn’t know you were the type of person to quickly judge others. I thought you were just a misunderstood girl who uses harsh and cold words as a defense mechanism to not let anybody get too close because you’ve already been hurt before. I actually made myself believe that you are a good person deep inside.”
I stared at her, hard. “But I misjudged you, Alex. Don’t worry, I won’t bother you anymore.”