Don't Stay Close to Me

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“Aha, we finally made it!” Rich exclaimed as we completely moved out of the conference room.

“Yeah, I thought we can’t make it…” Shane sighed as she hugs our thesis draft copy.

“Yeah, me too…everything was on rush, you know.” I said as we strolled in the corridor.

“The Foundation Day was so fun that it made us almost forget this.” Rich said holding up her copy of the thesis.

“True much.” Shane and I chorus and we laughed.

When our laughter died, Rich pursed her lips pointing out on something or…someone. We traced where her lips are pointing and saw Mike, all sad and all but not the usual Mike. We stroll beside him, quietly.

“Hey!” We chorused and it made him jumpy. He shot us a dreadful glare but we just chuckled.

“Why so serious?” I asked patting his shoulder.

“H-huh? I wasn’t serious…” He said.

“Now, now, Mike… don’t deny it.” Shane said and he stiffened.

“I am just thinking things…” He said, looking down the floor.

“Thinking things for almost two or three weeks now? That’s weird.” Rich said.

“Take it easy Mike, things will be better.” I said.

“C’mon guys, I’m still okay alright.” He said, reassuring us with a smile.

“If you say so.” Shane said and we nodded.

“Well, let’s better celebrate for our success with the defense!” Rich declared.

“Yeah, right, let’s go!” We declared and we scamper to the canteen since after an hour we’ll be having a class.

“So, how was the defense?” Professor Hanely asked as he stood on the side of our table.

“After almost killing us, well, we’re okay.” I answered sarcastically and Shane, Rich and Mike snickered.

“Well, you, of all the groups included in today’s batch; is better and your thesis is the only approved one today.” He said and we all looked up at him.

“You are kidding, right?” I asked to him.

“Sit here and tell us about it, Sir!” Mike said pulling a sit for him.

“No need to be so hyper, I’m not kidding.” He said as he takes a sit.

“TELL US ABOUT IT HANELY!” I squealed, standing, leaning to him, and he put his hand on my face, covering everything.

“Don’t be so excited.” He said and I removed his hand then pout, slumping back to my seat.

“Okay, all of the groups who defended their thesis today hopelessly failed.”

“I bet it’s your fault.” I cut in, playing with my milkshake and he smirked.

“Practically, yes that’s true…yet it is also because they are not prepared and their results and evidence don’t go along with each other plus they have poor reasoning, they failed to have their thesis approved.” He said frankly.

“Ooh, that’s a bit harsh.” Mike said and Rich nodded.

“Yet, they still have a chance to defend their thesis, right?” Shane asked, the usual kind hearted Shane.

“Yes, they could…next week.” He said and I heard her sigh.

“It will be easier for them if Hanely isn’t there…” I said and I heard my friends titter.

“Really, Chubby cheeks?” He said smothering my right cheek.

“Aw!” I protested and smacked his hand.

After letting go of my cheek I pout and touched it.

“So that’s how you two being neighbors affect you.” Rich said.

“What’s the connection?” I asked sarcastically with one brow raised.

“Nothing I was just thinking…you two had good bonding times every weekend.” She said and they giggled. But I just gave them a ‘what-are you-saying-look?’

“Yeah, I can agree to that.” Professor Hanely said and I jerked my head to him, shooting him glares but he just smiled. A smile with dimples.

‘Damn, I haven’t seen that for a while…they are so cute…he’s so cute…’

“They are neighbors?” Mike asked and we turned to him.

“Late reaction much? Didn’t I say it out loud?” Rich said sarcastically.

“Sorry…I am not much a gossip guy, today.” Mike answered sarcastically.

“Yes, they are neighbors.” Shane answered the question, instead.

“How did you know?” He asked inquisitively.

“Well, we just went to her house and presto, we knew it.” Rich said.

“Sarcastic!” Mike said and we chuckled.

“Oh, well, I need to go I’ve got class at 10.” He said standing up from our table.

“Uhm, about the apparatus, we’ll bring it later this afternoon, maybe.” I said and he paused.

“Alright, what time?”

“At two.” I said.

“Okay, I’m out at one so I can help you.” He said and walked out of the canteen.

We, on the other hand, finished our meals and chit chat but most of the time, they teased me with Prof. Hanely. They found a new teasing item since Prof. Vex had evaporated from their minds.

‘Crazy friends…*Sigh. *’

“This is the last one.” I said carrying a big brown box then swiftly someone held the box, and holding a small of my hand.

“Let me take that.” Professor Hanely said, taking the box from me and so I let go of it.

His hands are so soft and warm that sent shivers in my body, making my heart skipped a beat.

‘Stupid reactive hormones…psh.’

“Thanks.” I said and he smiled. And he sauntered to my car’s trunk.

“You’re all set.” He said after slamming the car’s trunk shut.

“Okay.” I said. Then I heard Mike and Rich cleared their throat.

“Stop it.” I said and went in my car.

“Oh, no! You’re not driving your car!” Rich said pulling me out of my car.

“W-why? B-but…” I protested but I was already out of my own car.

‘I was dragged out of my car! Can you believe that?!’

“I’m driving your car!” Rich said, grinning while Shane rode on the passenger seat.

“What? But…”

“Bye!” She said and started the engine then pulled away from the parking lot.

‘And there goes my car with my two crazy friends….’

“See you there, J.” Mike said, leaving me, too.

“You too?” I asked and he just winked at me then ran his motorcycle out of the school.

“Oh, great!” I sighed exasperatedly.

“Here you go.” He said, tucking the helmet on my head unexpectedly then held my hand, pulled me towards his motorcycle, Yamaha YZF R15.

“You don’t expect me to ride that, do you? I’m in uniform, it means I’m wearing a skirt, duh!” I told him and then he turned to me after riding on his motor.

“Do you want to walk home?” He asked sarcastically and so I reluctantly agreed.

Sitting sideways, I tried my best to sit comfortably with my, oh so poor situation right now!

‘I’m so going to let them pay for this!!’

“Hold on tight.” He said and I timidly put my arms around his waist, practically, hugging him from behind.

Then, he fired up the engine and stated to run out of the school premises. As we travel along the road all I can see are blurry view of the streets, my hair strands that was not caught in the helmet slap my face as the cold breeze of the afternoon. With the air passes to us is his perfume, filling my nostrils then he sped up and I instinctively held him tighter.

‘I felt like I’ll fall, you know!’

When we reached his house, he parked in the garage immediately, I slid down the motorcycle and took off the helmet and put it on the garage table then combed my hair with my fingers, it is horribly frizzy now. He turned off the engine, he took off his helmet, putting it down then run his fingers through his hair and it’s done! His hair is fixed.

“Let’s go up, I assume they’re waiting for us now.” He said as he went off his motorcycle.

“Yeah, sure…I still need to get back to them.” I said as I walk beside him. And when we reached the door, he held it open for me.

“Thanks.” I said and walked inside.

As we walked in the living room, I saw my three ever beloved friends sitting in the couch and I with my ever-funny side, ran quietly ahead of Professor Hanely and went to smack their heads in one time making them bump on each other. Domino!

“Aw!” They cried in unison and turned to me while I burst out of laughter.

“You, meanie!” Rich grumbled, as she rubs her head.

“I didn’t see that coming.” Mike said.

“I was behind you, how will you see me, silly?” I said, ceasing my laughter and he just grimaced.

“But the question is, why am I hit IF I AM NOT INVOLVED?!!!” Shane asked dramatically.

“You went in my car with Rich and, mind you of the domino effect.” I said bluntly.

“Ah, okay that’s fair.” She said.

“Okay, let’s go get those apparatus.” I said and they stood up, still rubbing their heads.

Then I saw Professor Hanely smiling at us, amused, I guess.

“I’ll go and unlock the basement.” He said and sauntered out of the room.

We all carried boxes of apparatus. When we came down the basement it really amazed us, it was a big room, very big…the walls are painted white and the floor is white tiled and the place is also well ventilated and well lighted. Then, there were glass cabinets with different more kinds of apparatus and chemicals.

“It’s like a laboratory.” Mike said as amazed as we all are.

“It is…” Professor Hanely said.

“Do you experiment people here?” Shane asked scarily.

“No, silly…” He said, smiling—amused of what Shane said.

“This is where I test the experiments stated in your manuals… sort of checking them if it’s correct or not so it could be edited and so will give you the right thing.” He continued and we just nodded.

“You can put those here and I’ll take care of them.” He said and so we did, then the three; Mike, Shane and Rich went up.

Then Professor Hanely stoops to unseal the boxes and I helped him unpack the boxes as I check on each of them.

“Are the apparatus complete?” I asked after unpacking, reassuring that I’ve brought all the apparatus back.

“I don’t know.” He said sarcastically and I shot him a glare then he chuckled.

“It’s okay if the apparatuses are incomplete, you don’t have to worry.” He said after chuckling.

“Hi!” Axel greeted as he stands at the basement stairs.

“Hey. I thought you won’t be here until dinner?” Professor Hanely asked as Axel went down.

“Well, the practice was fast…actually Coach just scolded us so I just skipped.” He said and Professor Hanely just shook his head while I turn to check on the apparatus again.

“Maybe we can play…I can beat you now.” He said.

“Can you?” Professor Hanely asked teasingly. As usual.

“Ow, there are lacking apparatus.” I said, pouting.

“I said it’s okay, if it’s incomplete.” He said and I turned to him my lips pursed to one side and he smiled.

“Hey, you’re one of the girls in Brookswind Academy dance troupe, right?” Axel asked to me.

“Yes, I am and you’re in Quint’s basketball team.” I said surely.

“Yup. You’ve got nice grooves there…. sexy I must say.”

“Well, thanks but I don’t aim for sexiness I aim for stunts.” I said and he smirked.

“Hey, J, you missed these!” I heard a familiar voice said, Rich.

“Come down here Rich!” I yelled and went up steps to meet her…and Shane, too as I hear Axel and Professor Hanely chat about having a basketball game.

I helped them carry the apparatus down the basement and then, out of the blue someone took it.

“Let me.” Axel said, taking the box from my hand.

“Thanks.” I said and he nodded.

“I’ll get that for you Rich.” I heard Professor Hanely said and when I looked at my side, I saw Professor Hanely took the box from Rich, they’re smiling at each other—and without warning I felt a sudden squeeze in my heart, my throat tied in a knot and a bitter taste touched my tongue.

A strange but known feeling—I’m just so familiar with it, I looked down at my shoes…I don’t know why but I can’t take it to see them like that…

‘You’re jealous…’

‘But why should I?? I shouldn’t. I mustn’t. I don’t have the right to get jealous.’

‘Yet you just did…YOU’RE JEALOUS!’

‘That’s why I’m rethinking this…reassessing this so I should not feel this….’

With the spur of the moment I felt my body shaken, dragging me out of my reel of thoughts; brawn arms around me pushing me down to a duck from behind and I heard boxes fell and crashing sounds of fragile glasses breaking.

“I’m sorry!!” I faintly heard Mike rushing down the stairs.

My eyes on the floor my senses went back gradually and the first thing it captured is a spicy scent. My nose took all the pleasure of it. He pulled me back to standing position and then touched my cheek to carefully move my head to face him and so I twist so I am comfortably standing, facing him.

“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” He asked and I can his black eyes filled with concern, then I felt my heart throb sending wild pulses in my veins and arteries.

“Hey, Jadyn…” he called to me and I snapped.

“A-ah…I…I…I’m okay.” I said blinking, and then shook my head.

“You’re not hurt, are you?” He asked.

“Yeah…I’m okay.” I said, nodding.

Then he let go of me carefully, keeping me steady of my stand while I put my hand on his arms, his muscle so firm and hard, to help myself too.

“Thanks.” I whispered and he nodded.

“You’re fast.” Shane said and I looked at her.

“Adrenaline.” He simply said.

“But you sure want to kill me for breaking the apparatus.” Mike said; his face sorry.

“It’s okay, at least no one’s hurt.” He said bluntly.

“You sure? We could…”

“Don’t worry about those.” Axel said, and then we turn to him.

“He can buy new ones…he always does that every year.” He said as he steps across the boxes and sprint up the stairs then looked back to Professor Hanely.

“Hey, I’ll be in the court. Be there, I’ll beat you today.” He said to Professor Hanely.

“You can stay and watch so you’ll witness it” He said, turning to us and we just nodded.

“I bet you can’t.” Professor Hanely said confidently and he just smirked at him, turned his face and walked out of the basement.

It’s 3:30 P.M. and we’re sitting on the bleacher watching Professor Hanely and Axel play basketball. Yup, they have a basketball court in their house, another change with the Hudgekins’ house. Axel is wearing a red jersey shorts with white line on its side and a white tank top while Professor Hanely is also wearing a white tank top but with navy blue jersey shorts.

The deal of the game is the first one to score 100 will win. And as of now, Axel has thirty while Professor Hanely has, well, forty-five. He’s good alright.

“Play hard, bud…if you want to win.” I heard Professor Hanely say but Axel smirked.

“I’ll beat you.” He said then he moved and dodged from Professor Hanely’s defense and shoots.

Unluckily he missed and Professor Hanely got the ball and then run to shoot to his side of the court; and I can see Axel’s face scrunch up. He’s annoyed….

“100!” Professor Hanely announced as the ball gets in the basket. After an hour and a half, someone got a hundred score.

“Nice game. Okay, you beat me this time…” Axel said panting, his hands on his lap.

“And the last times….” He answered, breathily but smug.

“Nice game…We never knew you play Sir Kent.” Mike said as we go down from the bleachers.

“I know…” I said and they all turned to me.

‘Your mouth!!!! Be careful!’

“What? I saw him play with my idiotic brother.” I said defensively and he just smiled while they just disregard my comment. I actually mentally face palmed myself.

Mike, Rich and Shane had a chit chat with Axel as they sat on the benches on the corner of the court while I’m left alone…spinning my cellphone with my hand.

“Whoops!” Someone said, my phone disappearing from my hand.

“Hey!” I protested, looking up and saw Professor Kent tower me.

“So, what did you name me?” He said as he strolled and sat beside me, scrolling in my phone.

“Give me that!” I demanded, reaching for my phone but he just holds it away from me and I gave up and sat back at the bench scowling.

“So, you named me Mr. Jackass-hole…very creative.” He said, grinning at me and I just stuck a tongue at him.

“Ha-ha. Here” He said and I grabbed my phone from his hand.

“It suits you.” I said and I saw him smile as he drinks water from his bottled water.

And I don’t know what struck me but I stood up and smacked the bottle making it flip over and the water poured all over him, then I skedaddle out of the court.

“Why you….” I heard him mumble before I’m entirely out of the court.

I am distant enough from the court when I looked back, he’s not there. I slowed down then I saw a shadow coming and I sped up again. I sprint downstairs, taking two steps at a time.

He was two meters away from me and so I used up my stored energy to hurry.

“I’ll catch you, Feisty, and you’ll surely pay for what you did to me!” He threatened and I laughed and looked back at him.

“Really? C’mon Mr. Jackass-hole!” I teased taking a fast turn.

‘Oops, wrong turn….’

I got in the kitchen and stopped in the counter, I swirled around and Professor Hanely just caged me in his arms, his hands on my either side, resting on the counter; he is too close for my sake and his face close to mine.

“Caught you.” He said, panting.

“Yeah I can see that…” I said sarcastically, breathily and he laughed, his minty breathed fanned me then, he lays his forehead on mine.

“Jadyn.” He called.

“Yeah?” I asked as I look up.

His forehead slid down as my head went up, his nose touched the side of my nose below my eye, and then my lips brushed his, sending electric shocks in my system. I don’t know who moved first but what I can feel is his lips on mine—soft and warm; and nipping on each other’s lips. I run my hands on his nape then my other hand went up to brush my fingers through his soft black hair while his hands moved up to the small of my back. He pushed his tongue in and I part my lips to let it in, pulling his head closer to me I can feel the hunger in his kiss and I respond greedily.

‘I do miss this…I missed our kiss…’

‘His lips on me…his soft and warm lips that I really longed for….’

‘It’s just him who can make me think upside down….’

He nudges against me on the counter and I pulled him to me, pressing my body against him. His arms surround my waist holding me in place. I can feel our body heat exchanged as I scorched and melt in his arms.

“Hey Guys!” Someone said coming to the kitchen.

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