❝I love it when I catch you looking at me.❞
The lunch bell rings, echoing in empty hallway that would soon fill with hungry students. I slam the door to my locker close before resting my head on the cool material, heaving a tired sigh, people brush past me, rushing in the direction of the cafeteria, while I take a moment to regain the energy I wasted last period. Half of the day has been tiring for me, mainly crazy, every class I’ve been to the teachers or the students are giving me weird vibes and then there’s the sniffing— nostrils flaring as if taking in a scent that’s floating around them. It had me wondering if it was a good idea to skip that shower or not.
I sigh again, closing my eyes and listen to the different footsteps of others that fade into nothing the farther they walked. I was, once again, left alone in the hallway, my own little solitude; pushing my head up and taking a step back, I stare at the blue and white locker before I bend down and grab the top of my bookbag that was leaning up against the bottom lockers and swing it over my shoulder.
I was just about to turn around and head for the cafeteria, my stomach calling our for food, when my eyes clash with blue, wrenching a short scream from me.
His shoulder leans against the locker with a hand tucked in his pocket, my own hand laid on my chest as it heaved up and down heavily while I try to control my rapidly beating heart.
“Sup,” he says.
I narrow my eyes at him, my hand falling to my side. “Don’t ‘sup’ me when you almost gave me a heart attack,” I tell him, shuffling back at his closeness. “What are you doing anyway?”
“Heading to lunch when I saw you staring at your locker,” his lips twitch upward.
“Oh, um, okay.” I make a face.
“Want to walk together?” he asks, nudging his head in the direction of the cafeteria.
I shrug, hiking my bookbag up to pull both straps over my shoulder.
“Sure, why not.”
The clinking of trays against on the tables was heard from outside the double doors that leads inside cafeteria, conversations and occasionally laughs flow in the air. Dylan opens the doors and the sounds are much louder than they are from outside, I rub the lobe of my ear as a prickle of nervousness behind to stettle at the base of my spine
“Is it always like this?” I question, the sound of someone’s bellow of laughter overpowering the noise in the area.
He shrugs, “Mostly, we’re all coming back from a long weekend or holiday so people are catching up with one another,” he explains.
His blue eyes look from over his shoulder, seeming brighter than before as he wore a slight smile on his lips, “Come on, slow poke, I’m starving.”
My eyes scan the room, taking in all the students sitting with their group of friends and others standing in the lunch line grabbing what their stomach desired to take, speaking and catching up with each other.
Warmth wraps around my wrist as it pulls me to the left, leading to a table. As we pass by a table full of girls, one by one, they all turn their heads toward us, mostly me, their chests rising high— inhaling— and falling with deep breath. Their eyes follow us as we we walk by, one girl’s gaze shifting down to Dylan’s hand wrapped around my wrist: I tilted my head back a bit watching a sour expression cross over her face.
I turn away, frowning to myself, then look down to see him still holding my wrist as he leads the way, the tables we pass turning to cast curious glances.
′Why am I letting him touch me, again?′ I thought.
“Look what I brought.” I hear Dylan say out loud, “Fresh meat.”
I glare at the back of Dylan’s head as he releases me and moves out the way for his friends to set their eyes on me. I tuck my hand in my pocket, urging myself not to go for my ear, when I meet the eyes of the people at the table I see a familiar face.
“Abigail, hey!” Samantha waves from her seat.
My whole body relaxes when I see her face. “Samantha.”
Dylan turns toward me, “You know each other?” I nod.
“We have the same first period.”
It was his turn to nod, “Since you already know Sam, I’ll to introduce you to the rest,” he comments bedore turning my attention to the other people.
“This is Stella, Justin and finally Xavier.” he points out each one, individually, “There’s one more, but as you can see she isn’t present.”
A beautiful girl with light brown hair, beams at me showing all her teeth adding to her beauty, she leans over the table with her hand stuck out.
“It’s nice to meet you,” she speaks with a British accent.
I grasp her hand and give it one shake, “You too.” I say, releasing her and gently smiling.
She sits back down, pushing her skirt under her— the aura she gives off being proper and polite. The boy next to her places his arm on her shoulder that slides down to hold her hip, he raises his other hand in greeting.
“One and only Justin, nice to meet you.” he winks, causing the edge of my lips to quirk upwards as he earns himself a smack to the chest.
He laughs out loud, deep and carefree. I see it won’t be hard to get comfortable around him.
“I’m Abigail,” I tell them all, “But, I guess everyone knows that already.” I add while moving to take a seat next to Samantha.
“Why do you say that?”
I feel a burning gaze on the side of my face, glancing from the corner of my eye I see the boy— Xavier— staring at me intensively, his eyes piercing trying to peel far more than the top layer of my skin.
“I’m not sure, the minute I stepped into this school everyone’s been staring at me,” I explain with a tight smile. “It’s creepy.”
Justin scoots over to let Dylan sit beside him while he sets his tray of food— I didn’t know he had gone to get— down on the table.
“You’re new so of course they’re going to stare,” he says.
I bite my lower lip, rolling it between my teeth in thought. “I don’t know, they also. .” I trail off.
I realize everyone was staring at me, waiting for me to continue and I feel my cheeks heat up with rising blood.
“They, um, sniff the air,” they say nothing, but look. “I mean— I don’t know, every time I enter a room there’s at least a hand full or more people who sniff the air.”
No one talks, and I sit there awkwardly looking at all their faces.
“That’s weird.” Sam finally says.
I nod, “That’s putting it lightly.” I shrug indifferently, “Never mind. I’m being dumb for saying this.”
“No no!” Stella shakes her head, “It’s okay, it’s probably nothing, everyone will adjust.”
I shrug. “I hope so.”