continued from “Pick a high school, any high school you want”…posted May 10, 2010….
“Arie?…You awake?…” a voice called from the distance, and it sounded suspiciously like Luke…and not the one I was currently dreaming of…wait. What is that smell??
“Ugh..what the eff?” My nose scrunched up and I continued to let the curses roam free out of my mouth while I tried to escape the horrible stench.
“Language Miss Huston, language,” a stern yet laughing voice commanded from beyond the disgustingness of smell. Hey, I know that voice…
“Nurse Dillon?” The smell, those were smelling salts. And… Omg. I passed out in front of Luke, on Luke. My eyes shot open and I blushed furiously at what had happened. I sat up with the speed of a rebounding Dodo Clown and looked around, searching for the calling voice from my dream. A wave of dizziness slapped over me and Nurse Dillon held my arm while she continued to talk,
“He’s gone Miss Huston, I sent him back to class. Said yintz gave him a right scare. He carried you to the office he did, right like a knight.” I gently laid back down, well, I wasn’t given much of a choice what with Nurse Dillon’s one hand now pushing me back down and the other one setting aside the smelling salts. “That’s one nice boyfriend you’ve got yourself there. He refused to leave, but I said I’d give you both detention if he didn’t get hisself back to class, and what with exams right around the corner he mumbled about you not being pleased if you got a detention.” Yep, darn tooting I wouldn’t be pleased. I would’ve cursed him to high devil’s home if he got me stuck with detention because he was trying to play white knight. Stupid do-gooder. Still, I couldn’t help but smile. It was nice of him.
“Now, Miss Huston. Not to be all digging n all, but have you eaten today?” Her brown eyes were flecked with amber and bored into mine. She must’ve been really pretty when she was young and she still had this way of charming any information out of you. She was also one of the only people I’d let touch me, or know the truth about what’s going on.
“No ma’am.” With an unnatural speed for a woman her age, she bent down and was back up in a flash with a tray of food.
“Well, that’s what Mr. Goodman and I thought. Before I sent him back to class, I made him get you a full tray of food.”
At the sound of Luke’s name I blushed. I reached for the tray and was surprised when she held it out of my reach, “Arie. You be good to that one. And make sure you thank him for all he did.” Again, her eyes searched mine for any semblance that a lie was going to pass my lips.
“I will ma’am. And thank you.” He wasn’t mine anyways.
She assessed me once more, this time with one eye closed (which totally made me giggle) and then the tray was in my lap.
“You finish off every last bite then go to class.”
I nodded, a granny smith apple in my mouth.
By the time I was released from the caring clutches of Nurse Dillon, I’d missed first period. Although Luke was a year older, we had shared some classes last semester because I took almost all AP classes. This semester though, we didn’t have any together. All the better. I pulled the straps to my backpack tighter so that I felt suffocatingly cocooned. I exhaled and continued onto my second class: Trig. Tiffany was only in my first period soc class.
I’d have to see her, and him, at lunch which meant I had until then to figure out what I was going to say I bought her, and how I could repay him.
♥ ♥ ♥
“Toodles!” I saw her blonde curls waving some of her flock away from down the hall and I rolled my eyes. Of course Tiff would have her hair done for her birthday. She was probably at the salon at 6 am…ie. 2 hours before it opened. I mean, not that the curls do anything to really take away from her personality, she’s super nice.
“Hey biatch!” well, Wtheck? She’d never called me that before, I swear. New fad? Maybe. It’s probably because I didn’t decorate her locker. Damn high school politics. As she approached me I thought I saw a flash of steel in those keen grey eyes of hers. Then again, maybe I just imagined it. After all, I did pass out this morning.
“Happy birthday girl! You look fantabulous.” My perma-headache had subsided somewhat so I actually smiled fully at her.
“You think?” Again I rolled my eyes and watched her spin, giving her a polite yet dignified clap. It’s us. The role we play is set. I’m the best friend and she’s my best friend. She really was wearing a cute little spring/summer number…if I’m not mistaken, by Marc Jacobs. She’s a queen of Saks, preferring the New York Saks to the downtown Pittsburgh one. She’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about the preference and which designers make NY better. Tiffany is Old Pittsburgh money. I am No Pittsburgh money. But I know all the designers out there and vow to one day go to school to become a clothing designer. Tiff’s been a mannequin for more than one of my designs and I run the fashion show every year as one of the many artists being showcased.
Looking past me her eyes lit up, and I started to blush right away. I knew who was behind me.
“Are those for me?” she squealed in delight and I was happy for her. I swear. Luke walked right past me and picked her up in a bear hug, spinning her around while making out. This was a feat only a prize star athlete could achieve and was usually reserved for the movies. Not in Tiffany’s world though. In hers, everything was possible.
On one of their rotations I saw he was holding a dozen lavender coloured roses in his hands. I inhaled deeply and walked past the love birds. I wish she saw what I saw in him. I wish she would stop messing this relationship up. Walking to the cafeteria, the side of my mouth quirked up. He’d messed up though. Lavender roses were my favourite. Calla lilies were hers- “of course they’re my favourite, I want them all over the place at our wedding!” That was something she’d said before the whole assistant makeout-and-more session. I sighed, I would just have to make it up to both of them that I didn’t remind him what her favourite flowers were. And chances are, knowing Tiff, she wouldn’t have remembered mine.
Outside of the cafeteria, and between the library, there was a kind of “modern” empty space, also known as a waste of space. Along the library windows though, was a seating ledge where all the senior jocks sat and on many a day, held up numbers to rate chicks as they walked by. Once the principal, Mrs. Gorgan, caught whiff, she’d given them all detention. It hadn’t stopped them yet though. They just do it infrequently, with no pattern except maybe mimicking a play in football. Today was one of those days-totally just my friggen luck.
They clapped for me, pretty much just as I had for Tiff. I turned just long enough to send them a scathing “I HATE YOU ALL.” look. And before I could avert my gaze, so I didn’t look at what my score was (shudder), I saw one that made me stumble. He held up a 10 and was looking at me with THE most intense look I’d ever seen. Shit I didn’t even know if I’ve ever been looked at like that. After I stumbled, I tripped over my own feet and landed in an inelegant pile right there. Serves me right. I don’t know what serves me right but something must. When he saw me stumble he dropped the number and did a light jog over. The rest of the jocks were laughing their butts off, like it was the funniest thing they’d seen since The Hangover. His hair was dark brown and cut pretty short, like he wasn’t trying to be cool or anything. He had deep set brown eyes and a look about him that screamed, “I know more than I let on.” Okay, so this day was just plain fabulous. Note the sarcasm here. It wasn’t fabulous. But it did keep getting weirder and weirder.
When he reached me he had this soft half smile going on that made my stomach do fluttery flip flops. I hadn’t moved, I mean really, I was in a no win situation here, so I could at least make sure I would stand with some grace. Slow and steady wins the race. He stretched out a huge hand down towards me.
“Need some help up?” Just then, there was a flurry of steps in our direction with a hollering voice leading the way,
“Arie! Arie!!!!” My eyes widened and the mystery guy stood up straighter to see what all the commotion was about. His eyes narrowed as he watched a frantic Luke practically throw himself down at my side. Luke grabbed my shoulders and looked into my eyes, “Are you okay? Arie are you okay?” I didn’t really know what the heck was going on this twilight zone of a day. I nodded and he did something that really shocked me, he pulled me into a hug and rocked me gently. His hands were in my hair and as my arms tentatively went around shoulders he whispered, “I thought I lost you. Oh my God. I thought you were gone again.”
I looked past him to see an unsure Tiff standing by, now a few people circling us. I cleared my throat, this was totally awkward. I patted his back saying, “Luke, I’m okay, I promise. I just tripped.” It was a bit of a maneuver but I managed to twist a bit to see the guy who thought I was a 10 still standing there, not knowing his role anymore. We locked eyes and he gave me a one handed wave as he backed up and away from this little scene. Before he turned away from me though, he held his hands up, showing me 10 fingers spread apart and gave me a wink. I blushed and smiled to myself, finally extracting Luke from me we stood up. He was talking as the three of us, me, Tiff, and him, walked into the cafeteria to get some food but I wasn’t listening. I thought about the guy, why I’d never seen him, who he was, and if he was kidding about thinking I was a 10. And jeeze, what if he said every girl was a 10 and I was stupid enough to believe it was just me? Meh. I shrugged and smiled even more. I looked back to where the jocks were seated and he was gone. Oh well, our school was only 3000 students large, there must be some chance that we’ll bump into one another again. When I tuned back into the convo, I realized that Luke was telling Tiff about our early morning meeting and what happened. She was looking at me strangely and he was looking at me with something akin to pity. But I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face.
“Whatever guys. I’m okay and lunch is on me. It’s the least I can do.” I smiled at both of them and as I picked up the tab, I almost forgot I hadn’t gotten paid yet and I’d be broke till Friday. Pay day. Oh well, who needs money anyways…especially when someone thinks you’re a 10?
To be continued….