I subconsciously flip my pencil over and tap the eraser on the desk lightly, thinking. The only hobby I have is observing. I watch people, observing the world around me, taking mental notes. Humans are interesting creatures, and watching their habits and routines is interesting. But I can’t write “people-watching” on an ‘about you’ paper. I don’t know why they still have these, but I continue filling mine out, anyway. There’s not much to know about me. I don’t watch t.v., so I don’t have a favorite movie or show. I don’t like reading, so I don’t have a favorite book.
I leave the answer blank, like most of my other answers, and move on. Favorite color? I don’t have one. Never have. I don’t really think about that. I see the world differently than most, I think. Everything is just data being stored in my brain for no apparent reason. Almost like my brain is a room filled with filing cabinets, every memory or piece of new information a file to be stored away. I don’t seem to experience emotions the same way others do, either. I don’t think about irrelevant things like favorite colors- what’s the point of it?
So I skip that question, too.
I don’t end up filling much out in the end, just some things like “Siblings?” or other questions I can answer easily. Fact questions. I don’t see much of a point in doing this in the first place, anyway. Why do the teachers and schools need to know what our favorite animal is? How is that relevant in any way to how to teach us?
I snap out of my thoughts and stop tapping my eraser on the desk, a habit of mine I do when I’m thinking. I don’t realize I do it most of the time, but when I get lost in thought or I’m concentrating, I subconsciously do it.
I lift my head and look around the room, having finished my paper early. My eyes land on a particular girl near me (three rows in front and one to the right of me.) Cherry Parker. The most popular girl in school. But what’s odd is that she’s not like the usual “snobby bitch” popular girl. She’s overly kind to everyone- in an annoying way, and she smiles way too much.
Her hair is a color I can’t quite name. Red doesn’t exactly describe it- but it’s not brown, either. I look up shades of reddish-brown hair colors, just out of curiosity, having my phone carefully hidden under the desk. Sometimes when I think of something or question something, no matter how stupid or insignificant it may be, I’ll have to find the answer. Sometimes it’s nice because I learn more that way; but sometimes it’s terrible because, for example, I won’t be able to listen or concentrate on anything until I figure out how to spell a word someone said three hours ago. I’ll lose sleep over something as small or minor as that.
So, sneakily, I pull out my phone, typing into the search bar. I scroll through the lists and colors, trying to find one similar to this girl’s hair. I wonder if it’s dyed? Mahogany, maybe? Russet? Burgundy or auburn? Auburn seemed too red though. It’s more of a dark brown with a tint of red, but in the light it seems more like red with a tint of brown. It was extraordinary. I decided to just call it dark auburn, for now, anyway.
The girl turns and looks at me, as if she could feel my gaze on the back of her head. I snap my head quickly the other way, resting my chin in my hand and facing the window. I only saw them for a second, but her eyes were a bright aqua blue- not quite turquoise, but not quite blue, either. I haven’t even met her yet and I’m already intrigued.
I don’t particularly like lunchtime. It’s too crowded, too loud. It smells terrible, too. But it’s also a good place for people-watching. I picked a spot in the corner, closer to the door but away from the trash cans, and sat down. There wasn’t anyone sitting there, and now that I’m sitting here, I suspect no one will come, either. I sat in a spot where I could see everything in the room, and hear all of the main things, but also far enough to not have to deal with the humans. A girl named Courtney was complaining to her group of friends near me, and her voice was loud enough that I didn’t have to eavesdrop to hear.
“-and then he just blew me off! He even left me on read! Can you believe that?!” She exclaims. She flips her long brown hair over her shoulder and continued ranting about her boyfriend, something I didn’t care much about. I don’t know how, but the annoying and cliche popular girl is friends with Cherry- the sweet, nice girl.
They weren’t friends the first two years of high school, so it must have been a recent thing. And, judging by the way Cherry’s lips seem strained to keep the smile, and the way her eyes keep glancing away periodically, it doesn’t seem that Cherry is very fond of her. Her eyes flick over to her best friend, Sophia, a few times, but Sophia seems very interested in what Courtney is saying, nodding along as she complains more. If I had to guess, I'd say Sophia wanted to be friends with the popular girl, and dragged Cherry into it. And Cherry, being the nice girl that tries to make everyone happy, probably just went along with it.
Cherry just sits there, nodding along and paying close attention to what her "friend" is rambling about. Courtney was going back and forth between ranting about her boyfriend, Charlie, and continuously asking Cherry questions, so Cherry didn’t get a chance to eat much of her food by keeping up with answering everything.
“Hey, are you going to eat that?” Someone at the table asks, pointing to Cherry’s food. Her gaze snapped over towards them.
“Huh? Oh, um, no, you can have it if you want,” she said, passing it over to them and giving them a small smile.
“Really? Sweet!” They exclaim, taking it, gladly. She went back to looking at her friend, listening to what she was ranting on about. Cherry’s smile looks more forced than before, her eyes down more.
I notice a girl walk in, and I turn my attention to that. The popular boy, Charlie, was hiding by the corner and he finally walked in a few moments after the girl. They both sat at different tables and didn’t say anything to each other, but I can tell something happened, though I don’t care much.
“Oh my god, Babe, hi!” Courtney smiled, kissing her boyfriend as he sat down beside her. He smiled back, but I saw him glance at the girl from before after. They shared a look and he went back to talking with his girlfriend. His dirty blonde hair was messier than it was earlier and his black and blue school colors letterman jacket was crooked some, as if he had put it on in a hurry. “Where were you? You were gone for, like, 15 minutes. Are you okay?” Courtney asked.
He smiles at her, “Yeah, I’m fine, Baby, don’t worry.” He pecks her lips before standing up and leaving, saying that lunch was almost over.
So the popular boy is cheating on the popular girl. Interesting. I figured it would’ve been the other way around. I glance at the clock and realize he was right, we would be leaving soon. Wanting to avoid the large crowd of people, I stood up and grabbed my untouched lunch. It wasn’t much, just a muffin I had made the previous day in a paper bag, but I wasn’t too hungry. I was about to leave to go throw it away when I saw Cherry furrowing her eyebrows. I noticed her hand go to her stomach for a second and her hand shook slightly. I sighed. She has a problem saying ‘no’ to people, I assume, and was trying to be nice, but now she doesn’t have any food.
Everyone stood up and started making their way out of the cafeteria. I followed the crowd, trying to stay towards the back so I don’t get pushed around by the lot of people. We finally made it back to grab our stuff and wait for the bell since lunch for us came at the end of class. Right before the bell was about to ring, I walked over to Cherry’s desk and dropped the paper bag on her desk. She looked at the bag and then at me, her aqua blue eyes confused.
“You didn’t eat at lunch.”
She looked even more confused at how I knew and why I cared, but the bell rang before she could say anything.
Saved by the bell.
I didn’t bother saying bye, it’s not like we’re friends or anything. I don’t have friends. I don’t bother with that kind of thing. I readjusted my bag on my shoulder and left the room, heading to my next class, ignoring her stare I could feel on my back.