Don't Stay Close to Me

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CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: PREPARING FOR FOUNDATION DAY! (FOUNDING SOMETHING??)

Pen down. And I’m done! The gruesome week is now over and all we need to do is to wait for the results of the exams to know who loses in our bet.

I grin slyly on Mike who is finishing the test. When he felt my stare at him, he gave me a ‘what-are-you-looking-at?’ look and I just shrugged.

“Pass your papers.” Professor Hanely ordered and I heard the rustling of papers as my classmates scramble to finish the test.

“I’ll count up to five…1…late papers will have deductions…2…” He said starting to count but before he reaches number five, all papers are in.

“See you after the Foundation Day class, have fun.” He dismissed us, smiling. And I heard them sighed and chat about the test, some are checking their notes while tutting yet some mumbled “yes!” He went out of the room first and then, they all started to move out too. I stood up and had a little stretching before straightening myself and sighed happily.

“Are you going home now?” Mike asked me and I turned to him.

“Nope, Mrs. Kittles wants to meet us later this afternoon and…...” I paused and looked at my watch for a while.

“…Professor Francis wants to meet me in two minutes so I got to go now.” I said and they all nodded.

“Gruesome week is over but busy as a bee you’ll be this week.” Rich said and I smiled.

“Yeah, you’re right. Well, ciao for now!” I said as I run along the hallway going to our department’s building.

As I walk along the corridor, I grabbed some paper works I’ve done, more likely a planner, for the foundation day.

“You’ll surely bump on someone if you’ll do that.” Someone said behind me and so I turned, only to see Professor Hanely walking—towards me? ‘Probably not.’

“I’ll say sorry, don’t worry.” I said with a smile. Now, he’s standing beside me and all of a sudden, I felt a strange feeling—uneasiness.

‘Tsk. Why am I feeling this?’

“…And you will not snide that person?” He asked, as we walk together now.

“Nope, I won’t because it’s my fault.” I said and I heard him gasp.

“But you snide me when you bumped me!” He protested like a kid and I chuckled.

“You deserve that.” I said and stuck a tongue on him.

“Do I now?” He asked, feigning hurt and it made me smile inwardly.

‘Awe, he looks cute…. cute? Where did I get that? Tsk. Weird.’

“Whatever.” I said, rolling my eyes.

Then we’re quiet—awkwardly quiet walking through the corridor, sometimes teachers would walk pass us or some other students, if it’s a guy they will salute him and smile at me and if it’s a girl they will bat their eyes on him and glare at me.

‘His Fan girls…’

In total awkwardness of our silence I took the time to look at him through my eyelashes. He’s so cool with his get up today. He is wearing dark gray three-fourth sleeved button-down shirt with two upper buttons undone and black slacks. His hair tousled but neat looking, his straight nose and his lips…they are so attractive.

“Enjoying the view, Miss Avis?” He asked but not looking at me and I snapped.

‘How did he know that I’m looking at him? Does he really know or just playing around?’

“W-what? Me? Looking? Not happening.” I improvised waving my hand side to side, trying all but convincing and he laughed.

“What are you laughing at?” I asked him with one brow raised.

“You…Feisty, why are you so defensive? I didn’t really say you’re looking at me.” He retorted, smiling down at me, smugly.

‘Crap, he caught me!’

“Well…uh…I... I’m…” I stuttered as I recollect my thoughts but by luck Professor Francis came.

“Hey, Kent.” He acknowledges him as he walks near us.

“Hey, Francis what’s up?” He asked and their hands clasp for a hand shake.

“Just fine…” He answered and shrugged.

“Oh, hi Miss Avis.” He addressed me when he saw me.

“Good afternoon, Sir.” I greeted politely, smiling and from the corner of my eyes I saw Professor Hanely looked at me as he smirks goofily.

‘What is he smiling at?’

“We could talk in the Science Circle Office.” He said and I nodded.

“Let’s go.” He said and they started to walk, leaving me puzzled.

‘Why is he going with us?’

“Hey.” Professor Francis called to me and I snapped.

“C-coming.” I said as I walk after them. They are chatting about random things while I check on my plans.

We reached the office and Professor Hanely held the door open for me and I went in giving him a ‘Thank-you’ smile and he smiled back. Then, I feel another strange tingling feeling.

‘What’s with my reactive hormones? Psh.’

“So, tell me your plans.” Professor Francis said as we sit around the table in the office receiving room.

“Uhm, since I had noted the problems addressed with our club last year, I’ve done some revisions.” I said and he nods, telling me to continue.

“I’ve planned to make an interactive booth for the Foundation Day.”

“Miss Avis, just what I expected with you.” He said and I was surprised.

’What does he mean ‘just what he expected with me’? I’m not yet done relating my plans.’

“So, this is the reason why you asked me to come?” Professor Hanely said and I looked at them two bewilderedly.

‘What on Earth is happening?’

“Yup, so can you help?” Professor Francis asked to Professor Hanely and he smirked then looked at me.

“Sure, will do.” He said.

“Good.” Professor Francis said then turned to me.

“I have a meeting in a minute so I’ll leave you two here.” He said and I gaped.

“W-why with him?” I asked, recollecting myself.

“Oh, sorry. Kent will help you with the preparations for the booth, he has the resources.” He said, smiling.

“O-okay.” I answered, and Professor Francis stood.

“See you around, Miss Chairman.” He said and went out of the office.

And we are left alone in the office, with weirdly quiet atmosphere. I looked down my plan papers, keeping my eyes away from his. Yet I can feel his stare at me and it gives me a peculiar feeling. I looked at him through my lashes and saw that he’s really looking at me. I took back my stare and feigned reading.

“So, what is it about the booth?” He asked, breaking the silence.

“Ah, uhm… I plan the booth to be as interactive as it can be.” I said, not keeping my eyes on the papers and he nods.

“So, what’s in your mind?”

“The booth will offer simple but fun experiments per two cents.”

“Then?” He inquires, with one brow raised.

“Explanation is provided, don’t worry, and also facilitators will be there to guide them.” I said and he nods.

We organized the experiments that we can offer in the booth and the chemicals we needed. Awkwardly, I feel uneasy around him. And I just hate it.

“Just finalize the list and give it to me.” He said.

“I’ll do it today Sir. What time can I give it to you?”

“Sir?” He asked, teasingly and I rolled my eyes.

“Okay, Hanely, what time can I give to you?” I said and he chuckled.

“Can you give it before five this afternoon?”

“No, I’m sorry ‘Hanely’ but I can’t.” I said emphasizing his surname and he smirked.

“Drop it by my house, I guess?” He said.

‘His house? Tonight? Oh no…. Wait, he didn’t say tonight, right? I can come tomorrow.’

“I could come tomorrow morning, Hanely.” I said and he nods.

“Tomorrow morning then, eight A.M. please.” He said and stands up.

“Yes, Hanely.” I said, standing up too.

We headed to the door and held the door open for me. We walked down the corridor going out of the main building.

“By the way, what will you use for the booth?” He asked and I looked up at him.

“I’ll meet with my officers for that.”

“Alright.” He said then we’re quiet.

We reached the auditorium and I bid him good bye and went in. I don’t know why but I feel…happy? It’s weird.

The meeting started when Mrs. Kittles and Sef came in the auditorium.

“OK troupe, we have a new schedule.” Mrs. Kittles said.

“The charity game is moved with the foundation day.”

“Huh?” We grumbled and started murmurs about our concerns. Then, Mrs. Kittles clapped her hands to keep us quiet and so we do.

“I know we need to double up our efforts but we can’t do anything.” She said and we reluctantly agreed.

“So, go on and change now, we still have four hours of practice to utilize.” Sef said and we moved to the locker room.

We had practiced three sets of dances, for the charity game and for the intermission numbers in the Foundation Day Opening and Concert.

Eight A.M. and I’m in front of his house, carrying the final list of chemicals needed—but I don’t know what’s happening to me, I feel a churn in my stomach and a knot in my throat, hands clammy and….and I’m nervous!

‘Damn self, why are YOU NERVOUS!??’

I took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly; I raised my hand and thump my knuckles on the door once, then twice.

“Coming!” Someone shouted from the inside, I think it’s him. I sighed.

The door swung open. And good gracious, he’s topless in front of me! I almost gape but I managed to control it. He has a towel draping on his shoulder, water droplets in his hair and some are rolling on his chest following the carvings of his abs then down to his black sweat pants that hangs from his hips.

‘Man, this guy really works out…He’s way hotter…Hotter? Tsk, where do I get that? I’ve been thinking weird these days.’

I shook the thought out of my mind and composed myself. Last thing I need today is Hanely noticing that I think he’s hot.

“The papers are ready.” I said showing him the papers.

“Oh, yeah. You’re on time.” He said and I just smirked.

“Uhm. Would you mind?” I asked.

“Oh, sorry, come in….” He said, opening the door wider to give way to me. I came in, then.

“And also….” I paused and took a quick look on his oh so naked chest.

“A shirt will do.” I said and he snapped, and then looked down.

“Hmm.Yeah, sorry about that.” He said and looked at me with a goofy lopsided smirk.

“Feel at home, I’ll just run upstairs for a sec.” He added and literally ran upstairs before I could even respond.

When he’s out of site I felt like I could breathe again after holding it for a long time. Well, seeing him like that is mind blowing, I never thought of it. I pulled away the thoughts and shifted it in looking around the house. It has a new black and white theme not like the usual brown and cream that it used to be, the furniture is changed to fit the theme and there are different paintings in gray scale, all abstract. I started to walk around and went in the living room. There are several pictures displayed on the drawer tops. Then, I stopped to look at one interesting picture. A picture of two boys, one tall and one is an inch shorter than the other, both are black haired but the other has black eyes, one has brownish black eyes. They are wearing t-shirts and high waist pants, they look adorable. I suspect Professor Hanely is the taller boy, it really looks like him.

“Who are you?” Someone asked behind me and it made me jumpy. I turned, only to see a guy with brown eyes, short black hair and with the same fair white skin like his, he is wearing a grey v necked shirt under his black leather jacket with his black pants. He leans on the wall lining with arms crossed as he looks at me as if I’m sort of a thief.

.” I’m Jadyn Avis, your neighbor.” I said and he lifts himself from leaning and walked close to me.

“Alright. Nice meeting you Jadyn. I’m Axel Hanely.” He said with a smirk.

“Nice meeting you too, Axel.” I said, giving him a quick smile. I could really smell the smug of his attitude.

“So…you’re here for Kent, right?” He asked as he sits on the center table of their living room.

“Yes, you’re right.” I said and he smiled.

‘The Hanely’s are all nuts…I must say.’

“You’re his admirer?” He asked and I laughed, then his face scrunches up in confusion.

“I’m sorry, that is just funny.” I said, controlling my laughter.

“I’m here for school reasons; he is helping me with our booth. I’m totally not his admirer.” I said and his eyebrows raised and he nods.

“She hates me.” Professor Hanely said as he went in the room. He is now wearing a white button-down shirt with black lining on the buttons cover, tucked in his black slacks.

‘I miss his abs already….hm, but it’s okay it’s still obvious beneath his shirt.’

“How did you know?” I asked, feigning innocence.

“Actions.” He said and turned to look at Axel who stood up upon seeing Professor Hanely. They stood close with each other, Professor Hanely towering over Axel. They had a short whisper talk and Axel started to walk.

“I won’t be back until seven.” He said then beams at me.

“Nice meeting you again Jadyn.”

“Me too.” I said before he went out of site.

“So, where are the papers?” He asked and I turned to him.

“Here.” I said as I hand him the papers and he gets it.

“Have a sit.” He said gesturing to the black couch behind us.

“Thanks.” I said and went to sit first, followed by him.’

When he sat down just an inch beside me, our knees touched and I felt a sudden electricity run through me.

‘What’s happening with me??’

His spicy perfume scent drowns me, filling my nostrils. It’s so addictive. He went to scan over the pages one by one and all I can do is look at him. His black eyes move as he reads so quick and his breathing.

“Do you think the concentration of this is enough?” He asked snapping me out of my viewing spree, but he’s not looking at me and so I leaned a bit forward to see what he is pointing out.

“Yes, that would be enough. I already calculated that; don’t you worry.” I said.

“You sure?” He asked jerking his head to look at me, surprising me.

Our nose touched, our face just so close enough, his breath fanning my face—minty. We were quiet and stared each other like we’re having a staring match.

‘C’mon do it!’

‘Do what?’

‘You know that one!’

‘I don’t know! I should do what?’

‘Duh1 Kiss him!!’

‘What? I can’t! That’s wrong!’

‘But you want it I know....’

‘…’

‘C’mon do it!’

‘I can’t.’

‘Yes, you can! Just lean more!’

Suddenly, he took back his stare and looked at the papers again, leaving me with a disappointed feeling.

‘You lost it.’

‘Whatever. That should not happen.’

‘Liar.’

“I guess this is good enough. I’ll check on this and inform you as soon as possible.” He said, dragging me out of my reel of thoughts.

“Okay.” I said then we’re silent.

“Uhm, I’ll be going now.” I said, breaking the silence.

“Yeah, sure, I’ll walk you out.” He said and I nodded as I stand up. Then he followed.

He walked me out of his house with an awkward silence. I’m really getting used to it.

As soon as I reached home, I rode in my car and drove to school.

‘You regret it now?’

‘What?’

‘Don’t what me! You regret that you didn’t kiss him!’

‘No, I’m not.’

‘Yes, you do! You miss it! His lips! It’s been in your dreams.’

‘Shut up.’

I pushed back all my thoughts and concentrated on driving my way to school. When I arrived, I went straight to our department’s building.

“Jadyn! The results are out!” Rich gushed to me from behind, hugging me.

“Let’s see then.” I said and we ran to the wide screen TV next to the Dean’s Office.

“I loss.” Mike said.

“How?” I asked.

“I failed with Professor Tan’s Exam.” He said and we gaped at him.

“Really?” Shane asked and he nods.

“Don’t worry we can eat it out later.” I said and he gave us a small smile.

We went to our class today and afterwards attended our own meetings. I had a long meeting with my officers in the Club and it went along just fine. Hours before my practice my friends and I dine together in the canteen, everyone’s treat since we don’t want Mike to mope just because of failing in Professor Tan’s exam. Right after that I went to the troupe’s practice. While having our 15-minute break ‘Notion by Kings of Leon’ my new ringtone blasts and I quickly took it.

“Hello?” I said unsurely because it’s an unregistered number.

“Hi, Feisty. The chemicals are ready and can be used anytime and also some apparatus.” The guy on the other line said, surprising me, yet his voice is calm but playful. Oh, I just know who he is.

‘How did he get my number?’

“Oh, Thanks…Sir.” I said.

“No prob. Bye Feisty.” He hung up before I could even ask, how he did he get my number. I saved his number so I won’t be surprise if ever he would call again. Then, my phone buzzed. It’s a text message from him.

From: Mr. Jackass-hole

‘Yup, I named him, Mr. Jackass-hole.’

I got your number from Francis; in case you’re wondering.

****END of MESSAGE****

‘Oh, okay he just answered my mental question…what is he, a psychic?’

I typed a response.

To: Mr. Jackass-hole

Okay. I thought you’re being a stalker.

****END of MESSAGE****

And I sent it, a minute after my phone buzz again.

From: Mr. Jackass-hole

Stalker? For getting your number? If I am a stalker, I don’t need this because I always see you beside my house, Feisty.

:)

****END of MESSAGE****

I felt a sudden burst and my heart throb, my hands now clammy. I quickly typed a response.

To: Mr. Jackass-hole

Stop calling me Feisty. It can’t be my nickname! :P

And so, you are always looking at me. My, my, that’s no good Hanely.

****END of MESSAGE****

I sent it and again a minute after I got his response.

From: Mr. Jackass-hole

Feisty is your nickname for me.

Well, Feisty, you’re my neighbor I can’t close my eyes just not to see you.

Besides your chubby cheeks gets my attention.

****END of MESSAGE****

‘Chubby cheeks?? How dare he is to say that!?’

I touched my cheeks, pouting, and then I opened the reply box.

“Hey, whom are you texting with, and you seem to enjoy it?” Andrew asked sitting on the top rail of the auditorium seat.

‘Enjoy? Am I enjoying texting with him?’

“How could you say so?” I retorted, with one brow raised.

“You’re smiling like crazy, while typing in your phone.” He said and I felt my face heat up.

“Am I, really?” I asked and looked at Gin and he nods with small smile.

‘Oh my gosh…!’

“Guys, let’s resume our practice!” Sef shouted and they all got up right.

“I am not yet done with you. You should tell me whom are you texting with.” Andrew said as he walks to the stage.

‘Damn, I’m so obvious!’ I mentally face-palmed myself.

Yet before I go to the stage, I spare a quick text to him.

To: Mr. Jackass-hole

Chubby cheeks, I’m not! You, meanie!

I’ll get back to you sooner! Now, I still have a practice.

****END of MESSAGE****

I sent and then, there’s a quick response from him.

From: Mr. Jackass-hole

Take your time; I’ll be around Feisty CHUBBY CHEEKS.

****END of MESSAGE****

I don’t know why but instead of being pissed; I find it amusing that it made me smile.

“J, come over here now!” Sef called and I repress my smile.

“Coming!” I said as I scamper to them with a repressing smile. I just feel light hearted today.

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