Chapter 6 - Lost Control
“I lost, I lost / I lost control again / Always do the same and I’m to blame / I lost control again” – Lost Control, Alan Walker ft. Sorana
Besides the unfortunate incident with Malcolm at the party, things have been going smoothly in my transition to East Side. Thankfully I don’t run in the same circles as Malcolm and his friends, but I do keep the boy that helped to defend me at the party in the back of my mind. James. I never see him and have no reason to, I don’t even know how to run into him even if I wanted to.
“Have you finished your English essay yet?” Diana asks me at our lockers.
“I haven’t even started if I’m being honest,” I say.
“It’s due in two days!” Diana says, shocked. I’m sure she has already finished hers and will be proofreading it tonight and then submit it early. Truth be told, I always write my essays the night before. I find them boring and the only thing that gets my creative juices flowing is the pressure of a deadline. I always get good grades with this philosophy so I’m not about to change something that works.
“I’ll be fine,” I say, “I’m a procrastinating champion. Years of practice.”
“If you say so,” Diana says, unconvinced, and then looks behind me. “Wow, look who’s taking a stroll through our neck of the woods.”
I turn around to follow her eyes. And that’s when I see him. James and a couple of his friends, minus Malcolm. They are walking down the hall and grabbing the attention of all the girls in the science wing. I look straight at James and our eyes meet for a split second and I feel something in that split second that I have never felt before, and then it’s over. And all I can do is watch as he and the rest of those boys walk by.
“He’s cute,” I hear Diana say.
“What?” I ask.
“James,” Diana says, “I saw the way you two looked at each other. He’s good looking, smart, an athlete, and is kind. The only negative about him is that he doesn’t date.”
“Yes, Lincoln told me,” I say.
“But there’s always an opportunity for change,” Diana says and smiles at me, trying to give me hope for a guy that seems to want to keep to himself.
“Oh great,” I say as I look in my bag.
“What’s wrong?” Diana asks.
“I accidentally grabbed my sister’s French binder this morning,” I say, “She must have my Chemistry binder then. Go ahead, I’ll meet you in Chem.”
“Okay, see you in class,” Diana says and heads off.
I grab my pencil case and Mia’s French binder and head to her locker. Mia and I have been running in different circles at school, but she assures me that everything is going well. She has a group of friends, is doing well in all her classes, and is now in the school band playing the flute. We get along and talk a lot at home about everything but being two grades apart does separate our circle of friends. This is probably the first time that I’m actively trying to find her since our first day at East Side.
Mia’s locker is on the first floor, in a hallway which I rarely venture to as I have no classes in it. I turn into the hallway and I see her, but she’s not alone at her locker. Her back is towards me, but she’s talking to a guy. But not just any guy, she’s talking to Malcolm. He wears a big grin on his face and is leaning his forearm on the lockers, towering over her. Anger burns inside me. It’s been less than a week since he tried to make out with me at the party. I remember that smile of his clearly. And now I see my sister laugh and flip her hair over her shoulder. I cannot blame her for acting this way. What girl doesn’t enjoy a good-looking guy giving her attention? But when I refused him, he became aggressive with me. The anger towards him is still brewing but when he puts his hand on her arm, I just lose it.
“Hey!” I yell at them and start coming towards them. Mia turns around, startled by my sudden outburst and Malcolm looks up and glares at me once he recognizes my face. “What do you think you are doing?” I yell at him as I throw my stuff to the ground and push him away from my sister.
“What is your problem, you psycho bitch?” he says to me.
“That’s my sister, asshole!” I yell at him, heated with rage. “She doesn’t need some scumbag like you hitting on her.”
“You are seriously psychotic, you know that right?” Malcolm says to me, “I was just talking to her. You need to relax.”
“Arya, it’s fine,” Mia says behind me. “We were just talking.”
“Listen to your sister,” Malcolm says to me, “At least one person in your family is normal.” I just glare at him. “You didn’t let out this fiery side of you last Saturday night. Are you jealous now?” He laughs. “You’re just one of those girls who tease, not knowing what she wants until she can’t have it anymore. Am I close?” He grins at my angry face. “Or did you just have one bad experience with a guy and now assume they are all jerks? Makes sense for you putting your guard up with me the other night. What happened? Agreed to hop into bed with a guy and then regret it? It’s not his fault if you wanted it.”
“You mother-” I begin to yell at him and push at his chest, pushing him away from me, but he barely moves. He drops his books to the ground and just grabs my wrists instead.
“Hey! You need to cool it, okay,” Malcolm says to me and he is being serious. I look at him, and while I hate him for what he said, he is right, I can’t let him get me this worked up. Not when teachers could come out at any moment. I look around me and see all the students staring at us. I shouldn’t be surprised. Everybody loves to gossip.
“What is going on here?” I hear that familiar voice say, I look and see James, with his friend behind him. As the anger slowly leaves my body, Malcolm releases his grip, and Mia comes up next to me.
“Nothing but this girl going batshit crazy on me for no reason,” Malcolm says to his friends.
“Really?” I say, “I’ll show you what batshit crazy is,” and as I step towards him, he takes a step back. James puts himself between us. He puts an arm on me and forces me to step back to where I was.
“See?” Malcolm says behind James.
James never takes his eyes off me. Those blue eyes are beautiful, and I can’t stop looking at them. Those eyes are looking, searching mine, to see if I’m alright. A silent communication because apparently, we don’t need words. And just then, the first warning bell rings throughout the halls and people start moving along to their next class, and the trance between us is broken.
“We should go, James,” his friend says behind him.
James lets go of my arm, but I can still feel where he was holding me. “Yeah we should,” he says, his eyes not leaving mine for a second. Both Malcolm and their other friend start walking past us.
“James let’s go before we’re late!” his friend calls to him again.
“Yeah, sorry,” James says to no one in particular. “I should go,” he says to me and then leaves to follow his friends.
“What was that?” Mia asks beside me.
“What was what?” I say back to her.
“Don’t play dumb, who’s that guy?” Mia asks.
“Malcolm is a womanizing jock that you shouldn’t even think of getting involved with,” I say.
“No, not him,” Mia says, “Although, we are not done talking about you barging in and screaming at him and pushing him when he wasn’t even doing anything wrong.”
“Trust me, Mia,” I say, “He’s just after one thing.”
“I’m not completely hopeless, Arya,” Mia says, getting slightly annoyed. “Even if you don’t think so, I can handle myself.”
“I’m just trying to protect you, Mia,” I say.
“By scaring off guys you barely know?” Mia says, “Everyone in the hall was watching and you know how fast gossip travels. Is this your definition of staying out of the spotlight?”
“I didn’t mean for it to happen like this,” I say, “I just saw him there and I freaked out. He was hitting on me last Saturday…”
“And so, he’s automatically a bad guy?” Mia says.
“He’s a sleaze bag,” I say.
“I thought this was supposed to be a fresh start, Arya,” Mia says.
But before I can respond, the final bell rings, signaling that we are both late. “Great,” I say to myself. “I did come here for a reason.” I grab my stuff from the ground and hand Mia her French binder, which she takes, seeing that it’s hers. She goes through her locker and hands me my Chemistry binder.
“I assume then this is yours,” Mia says.
“I’m sorry, Mia,” I say, “I acted irrationally, I shouldn’t have done that and caused a scene. I don’t need to draw any more attention to us than necessary.”
“Don’t worry about it, Arya,” Mia says, “I love when your fiery side makes an appearance. And anyway, you must be crazy if you think I’d get involved with a guy that talks to my sister like that.”
“Hey! You two!” a voice comes from the end of the hallway, “That final bell means you should be in class, not chatting in the hallway. Some of us are trying to teach in here.”
I look at Mia, “I guess we should get going.” and give her a wink, “I’ll try to keep my fiery side in check from now on.”
“I’m sure that guy would love to help you with that.” Mia smiles.
“What guy?” I say.
“Don’t make me come down there you two!” the voice calls again, and Mia quickly shuts her locker and we make our way out of the hallway as fast as we can.
“You know exactly which guy I’m talking about,” Mia says as she splits off from me to go to her class. I do know exactly which guy she is talking about, but I don’t want to admit it. Because if I admit it, it means that I felt something. It means this guy who I don’t know, who I’ve never spoken to, means something to me.
“Great job, Malcolm,” Samson says. “Did you really think it was a smart idea to go after that girl’s sister after she rejected you at the party.”
“First of all, she didn’t reject me,” Malcolm says. “Smartass Lincoln just butted himself into the conversation.”
“Was that before or after you grabbed her wrist?” Samson asks.
“Second of all,” Malcolm continues as if Samson hasn’t said anything. “It’s not my fault that psycho bitch went crazy like that on me. I was just talking to her sister and then she comes up and starts yelling and pushing me, saying ‘She doesn’t need some scumbag like you hitting on her’.” Malcolm says, trying to imitate her voice, “Her sister is hot, but she is not worth dealing with that psychopath.”
“Hey!” I finally interject into the conversation between Samson and Malcolm, “Don’t say that about her. You obviously pissed her off last Saturday and she was just looking out for her sister.”
“Whose side are you on, James?” Malcolm says, “You saw the way that girl was about to come after me when you guys were there. You even stepped between us, James.”
“You weren’t worth her getting into trouble for kicking your ass,” I say.
“Ha!” Malcolm laughs, “As if she could ever do anything to me.”
I saw the rage in her eyes. I think she is more capable than what we think when she has something important to fight for. Samson just gives me a look, a look that says, ‘I know you have feelings for her’. A look and thought that goes unnoticed by Malcolm, which is good. I don’t need Malcolm thinking I have feelings for a girl that he has tried to get with. Malcolm gets with lots of girls. I don’t know how he would feel if he found out I had feelings for the one girl he couldn’t get with.