The painful secret (1)

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Chapter four

Three weeks passed and Allison was feeling great. Work had been wonderful for her father, which made life easier on her. He only raised a hand to her once and it wasn't too severe of a beating. She was caught up on all of her work and feeling less stressed.

She was even able to completely erase and thoughts of Brian. Not once had he crossed her mind and things returned to normal for her. Today was the due date for her still life for her art class and hoped to receive a good grade. She decided to do her composition in pastels and she was pleased with how it came out.

After Mr. Jeffrey graded everyone's projects Allison received an A he began describing the details of the next project, which was also their mid-term project. She would soon realize that this project would throw her world back into turmoil.

"Your next assignment is a portrait. This can be done in any medium, but I do prefer that everyone try something new." Jeffrey spoke without removing his book away from his face, even when a good portion of the class groaned when the assignment was mentioned. "And you will not be drawing from a photo. I will pair everyone up and your partner will be your subject."

Allison's jaw practically hit the floor. She couldn't do this. There was no way she could have someone over to her house with her father there. He would never allow it. And she didn't know how she would be around another person for hours at a time. She liked being by herself and was afraid of her partner finding out her secrets.

"Jason Bent, I paired you with Alec's Anders. I figured that she was the only one who could keep you on track and the only one that would put up with you."

"Whoooo," the blonde screamed. "Thanks, Jeffrey!"

"Trust me, Jason, I did it for the other students sanity," he said dryly, but Jason was so happy that he didn't notice his teachers remark. "Moving on再llison Lia "

Allison's breath caught in her throat as her name came up next. She scanned the room trying to remember the remaining people left that she could be paired with.

"You will be paired with冰rian Lake ."

Her emerald eyes met his obsidian eyes and she was sure she looked like a deer caught in headlights. The room broke out into murmurs and soon the whole school would be aware of their pairing as well. Out of everyone in the class, Brian Lake was last person she wanted to be paired with. Not because she didn't like him, but because she felt like he could see right through her and all of her secrets. Frowning she looked away from him, sinking into her seat.

~~~~

"Allison Lia " As Brian drove home, he couldn't get the red-haired girl out of his mind. He had been curious about her ever since he first saw her. It was strange though. He couldn't remember anyone who had captured his interest like she had.

He raked a hand through his hair as he pulled into his driveway. He waited a couple moments before leaving his car and entering his house. He lived in a very nice home as well, considering his parents were both psychologists. Stepping into the main hall, he headed straight to his room, ascending the spiral staircase. Throwing his book bag next to his desk, he closed his door and sighed heavily.

His room was simple. He had black walls with one white, horizontal stripe. His bed was draped in a black comforter with white sheets and there was also matching pillows, some of them being silver. There was a huge window in the back of the room along with an adjoining bathroom to the right. He also had a white dresser and desk.

He turned on his radio and let the loud beats take his thoughts away from his red-haired partner. But it wasn't working and it was pissing him off. Any other partner would have been fine because he wouldn't care how he acted around them. He would easily be able to ignore them and reply with crude remarks without worry. But with Allison, something inside him was telling him to be careful with what he said and did.

"This project is going to be hell," he groaned, sinking down into his computer chair. He pulled out some books from his bag and started on some homework.

~~~~

"Wha-t?!" Lydia was irate. She just found out the news of Allison and Brian being paired up for an art project. She was storming around her room, flailing her fists at nothing in particular, once in a while glaring at the messenger; Brittlyn. "Are you serious, Brittlyn?!"

The brown-haired girl nodded. "Positive. Alice told me and she's in the same class as them." Brittlyn shrugged. "I don't see why you care so much, Lydia. You are dating Mark and you're always talking about how much you love him."

"Hmph." She planted her hands on her hips. "That lazy ass?! I would dump him for Brian any day."

"I hate to tell you this, but Brian doesn't like anyone." Brittlyn laid back on Lydia's bed, folding her arms behind her head. "So you shouldn't be too worried. If you can't nab him, there's no way she can either."

Lydia calmed a bit. "Yeah, you're right. He'll probably just get annoyed with her. I mean, with the way she acts, it may only take an hour before he starts to loath being around her." A smile creased her lips at the thought.

Brittlyn frowned at her friend. She hated how she treated Mark and her peers. She even hated how she played into it when she was around the blonde. But they had been friends since they were seven and she would stick with Lydia, even when she thought the hotheaded girl was wrong. "Anyway," she started, changing the subject. "Why don't we go see a movie? That new one just came out today安hat was it called again"

"Oh!" Lydia snapped her fingers, recalling the movie name. "You mean Sweet Embrace of Night? It looks so good and I'm in the mood for a good romance. Why don't we invite Mark and Brody?"

Brittlyn raised an eyebrow. "So Mark is good enough now?"

A frowned curved Lydia's glossed lips. "Whatever, Brit. I just don't feel like paying for my ticket."

"That's really shitty, Lyds." Brittlyn clasped a hand over her mouth, surprised by her ballsy statement.

Lydia looked at her friend and laughed. "It's alright, Brit. I was just joking about using him for my movie ticket. I really do miss him." She sighed and sat down next to Brittlyn. "He is so kind to me and yet, I flirt with guys around him. All I want is attention from him. That's why I act the way I do. Sometimes he doesn't look like he shows interest in me and I hate that."

Brittlyn smiled. "Maybe if you stopped flirting with other guys, he would want to give you all of his attention. I think he's embarrassed by the way you act and doesn't want to show people that you two are dating. His pride is probably in the dirt with the way you step all over him."

Taking in all of her friend's advice, she picked up her cell and dialed Mark's number. There was silence as she waited for him to answer. "Hello? Mark?"

Brittlyn listened carefully, though she pretended to be looking around the room.

"I was wondering if you wanted to come to the movies with me and Brittlyn. Brody might be coming to...Yes名ell, I really want to see you." A tint of red came to her cheeks. "Yes吏kay. Great. We'll meet you at the theatre. Alright. Bye." She turned to her friend. "So he's game. Are you gonna call Brody?"

Brittlyn smiled and nodded. After confirming his attendance, she closed her phone and the girl's got ready and left for the movies.

~~~~

There were only ten minutes left in art class before the final bell and the end of the day. During class, Mr. Jeffrey was explaining how to draw the basic structure of the head, demonstrating how to start off their portraits. But as the minutes ticked away, he told everyone to talk to their partners and discuss meeting times and such.

Allison swallowed heavily, and after seeing that Brian wasn't moving, she collected her things and went over to him. Everyone in the class watched her with curious eyes making her trip over her own feet. She was able to catch herself before she fell and continued over towards him, her face tinted red. Sitting in the open seat next to him, she kept her eyes down.

They were silent, neither of them starting the conversation. A couple topics entered her mind, but, in the end, she just stayed quiet. The entire class was murmuring their names and gossiping already. Allison felt like she was in a glass box and everyone was staring at her as if she was the main attraction in a zoo. Probing eyes ran over her body from head to toe. Some were full of jealousy and some were full of disbelief.

She wanted to get out of there.

The room felt like it was shrinking, bringing her classmates closer and closer, their eyes still wandering over her body. It became hot and the air seemed to thin until breathing was near impossible. But everyone else was fine. It was just her who had become suddenly claustrophobic. She must have looked like a freak with the way she was breathing and clutching her backpack.

Then the bell rang. It was a sign of freedom and air gushed back into the room, filling her lungs with relief. But there was one problem; she and Brian hadn't said one word and多e was gone. Sighing, she got up from the stool, which was when she noticed a folded piece of paper sitting on the her desk. Picking it up, she opened it and her eyes widened for a moment.

It was a note from Brian that said to meet at his house on Saturday. He left his address and number in case she couldn't make it. It was a perfect day though. She didn't have work and she could just tell her father that she had to go to the library to research for a paper.

Allison refolded the paper and put it in her book bag. Just as she was about to leave, Jeffrey grabbed her attention. "Allison, will you come her for a moment?" he asked from his desk to the right of the room, still reading his book.

She did wonder what that book was about. It had to be interesting because he was always reading it. But that wasn't the point now. Allison walked over to his desk, but didn't say anything.

The teacher's eyes glanced at her before returning to the book. "You did very well on your last project."

"Thank you, Mr. Jeffrey," she replied, bowing.

He nodded. "But the reason I wanted to talk to you was because I am curious as to how you feel being paired with Brian. Will you be able to handle it? I know you aren't a very social person and it didn't seem like he was either. That's why I paired you two, but now, after seeing you two today, I am questioning my judgment."

Allison shook her head slightly. "I can handle it Mr. Jeffrey," she assured. Truthfully, she wasn't sure, but there was no point in saying so now. She would just have to get through this project as painlessly as possible. The same went for Brian.

Jeffrey nodded. "Alright, but if there are any problems just let me know and I'll figure out how to resolve them."

With a grateful nod, Allison left the room and headed for her locker, shifting through the masses of students. The only thing she could think about was what Jeffrey had said to her.

She couldn't foresee any difficulties with Brian except for slight discomfort on both their parts, but other than that, she figured the project would go smoothly.

All she had to do was come up with reasons why they couldn't work on it at her house.

That shouldn't be to hard.
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