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Catching the signal from one of her friends, Angela brushed her skirt, took a deep breath and walked towards where he was sitting. All through lunch she had been nervously chattering her teeth, keeping her eyes fixed on him sitting at the green picnic table. His hair was long and shaggy, hanging into his sharp blue eyes – she wondered if he could see. Or maybe, he really didn’t want to see. He was wearing his usual get-up: a crisp polo shirt and expensive jeans. She swallowed intensely and continued her approach. What if he doesn’t like me, what if his friends told him about how weird I am? She found herself standing but feet from him; he was staring blankly out in space. I’ve wanted to talk to him for weeks. It’s now or never, she realized.
“Hi Dylan.” At first he didn’t even look up from his stare, he only shifted slightly on the bench. Angela felt her lips start to quiver: this was the worst idea ever.
Then his blue eyes flickered as though he had awakened from a long sleep. A light smile spread slowly across his mouth.
“Oh hi, Angela right?” His voice was deep and southern. Angela’s heart soared – he had noticed her.
“Yeah, my friends call me Angie though,” she replied, squeaky as a frightened mouse.
He smiled stupidly. “I like Angela better. It sounds really pretty.”
He likes my name! she exclaimed joyously. In all her fifteen years she never felt that anyone appreciated her. Now someone did, someone she happened to really like.
“So you’re in my math class aren’t you? You sit up in the front,” drawled the savory voice.
“Um yeah, I always get stuck in the front. I guess the teachers just like me.”
“How could they not.” Dylan flashed her a grin. She almost melted into a puddle at his feet. Then she remembered why she’d even come over to talk to him. Whirling around, she saw her friends watching her earnestly from the shade of a towering oak tree. They smiled and gave her giant thumbs-up. She responded with the brightest grin she could muster and returned to Dylan.
He had been watching her, she noticed, as his eyes slowly turned back to meet her gaze.
“Friends of yours,” he asked politely waving to them. Angela smiled thinking that the majority of them had probably just passed out with glee. Every girl in school wanted to be the lucky recipient of Dylan Welsh’s sunny smile.
“Well I think I’m a hit,” he noted, shoving his hands in his pockets.
You sure are, she thought dreamily.
“Hey Dylan, come over here!” shouted a red-haired boy, Angela recognized as one of his friends from math. A whole group of them had gathered around four blonde girls sitting on a gray bench.
“Well, guess I’m needed. Maybe I’ll walk you to class later,” he said with a shrug. He picked up his bag and winked at her. She almost fell to her feet as he walked past her, thinking cheerfully, Dylan might walk me to class.
She heard a flurry of footsteps behind her and the next thing she knew, her best friend Amy had thrown her arms around her.
“Okay, so was I right or what. He does like you.” She hugged Angela so tightly that Angela thought her head might pop-off.
“I know, did you see the way he looked at her,” added bubbly Lynn, who jumped in with the twosome.
“And he wants to walk her to class later,” said Gina.
“Maybe, he said that he might walk me to class,” Angela replied trying to remain calm. She was over the moon, but she didn’t want to end up in a ball crying her eyes out when Dylan forgot about her.
“He’ll walk you to class. He’s such a gentleman,” Lynn purred.
“A good looking gentleman at that.” Amy mimicked jealousy and finally released Angela from her grasp. Angela saw the pasted on grins and glazed over eyes of her friends and smiled to herself. He chose me, he chose me.
“Hey though, you better get a move on, the bell’s going to ring,” Gina chided.
They all looked around for Dylan. “He was over there with all of the guys from math,” Amy said, pointing to a large group of people. Angela scanned the interesting looking crowd and spotted no flashy smile or captivating blue eyes. He must have forgotten, she thought trying not to succumb to misery. I am after all, a pretty big nobody.
“Angela!” whispered Amy excitedly. She yanked her friend out of her slump and forced her to look up. Dylan was walking towards the girls wearing his cocky smile. Angela would have leapt for joy, had Lynn not grabbed a hold of her sleeve.
“Hi Angela, so would you mind me walking to class with you,” he asked, winking at her. Angela almost felt her friends push her forward to respond, but she needed no prompting.
“Sure why not.” She put on her the most mature expression she could muster and led the way to the school. His firm presence beside her assured her that he really wanted to be with her.
He liked her, he must like her.
“So what class do you have,” he asked absentmindedly.
“Biology, it’s really dull,” she replied, looking up to see his reaction. A grin spread across his lips again and his eyes were fully ignited in interest. “Funny, I have English and it’s pretty dull. Guess we have a predicament you and I.”
“Predicament?” she asked.
“We both have boring classes. Why should we sit in boring classes when we could do something else?” He waited a few seconds and then gave her an encouraging smile. “I have a car here. We could go hang out at the mall”
A car? she was impressed. But leave campus during school: that was a road she’d never traveled before. He sensed a little unease.
“What never skipped a class before?” he asked, toyingly. She glanced up at him with naïve eyes.
“Well here’s your chance. What do you say?”
She looked behind her at the still lunching students. Her friends were probably hiding behind bushes watching the two of them together. They were probably still in shock that he had even bothered to notice her. He was one of the coolest guys in school after all, and he’s hanging out with a low-life freshman.
She decided that she didn’t care and just focused on Dylan leading her to his car. How would they get past the security at the gate? She felt the confidence radiating from his body and figured that he probably knew how to sneak out successfully. Adrenaline pumped through her veins: wait till her friends found out about Miss Perfect skipping school to be with a guy she barely knew. Well, she’d been shyly smiling at him most of the year and she swore he’d smiled back a couple of times. So they knew each other, right?
Dylan trail blazed through the hundreds of cars in the parking lot before stopping at a shiny black Lexus.
“Well here it is,” he boasted, laying a hand on the knick-free hood. From what little she knew about cars, Angela gathered that the car was in mint condition, and it had tinted windows.
“Cool, is it yours or do your parents own part of it?” she asked, realizing seconds later that she had probably just asked the dumbest question in the world. He must own it.
“Yeah its mine.” Dylan fiddled with the keys and unlocked the car with a satisfying click.
He threw his bag into the backseat and walked around to the passenger door. Carefully he opened the door and held it at the ready.
“Coming?” His blue eyes flashed with excitement and his smile was almost more addicting than the morning caffeine fix she always drank before school. Angela was nervous again: did she really want to risk cutting class?
Just look at him though, he’s so perfect. When will you ever get a chance to ride with someone like him again, screamed her thoughts. She looked deep into his eyes and made up her mind.
With an energized giggle she jumped into the passenger seat and watched as he, after closing the door, leapt over the hood to the driver’s side.
“Awesome, let’s ditch this place!” He cranked up the Lexus and it roared to life. She felt a rush of excitement hit her like a massive wave: she really was going through with it. Dylan sat next to her grinning from ear to ear as he backed the car and threw it in forward, speeding through the security gate at the front of the school. With immense satisfaction she watched the gate grow smaller and smaller as they raced down the main street, probably a little too fast.
“So the mall, I haven’t been there in forever,” she said, turning to him. Dylan half-smiled but kept his eyes on the road. She almost sensed something different about him, something maybe dangerous.
“We are still going to the mall right,” she asked rather nervously. The trees were speeding by the window, nothing but green blurs. They definitely were not going the speed limit.
“Sure,” he replied. This time Angela knew, he was lying through his teeth. The devious sparkle in his eyes had been replaced by a serious glaze. And he wasn’t smiling anymore. Her heart sank, she couldn’t believe she’d let herself fall for him. He was the perfect guy, too perfect to be normal. This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, she thought miserably.
She glanced into the side mirror and saw terror glittering in her green eyes and she hoped he couldn’t sense the fear she was sure she was radiating. Was there a chance he was just trying to scare her? Should she dare to see if his expression changed?
The Lexus slowed as they neared a pull-off point along the road. Dylan put the car in park and leaned away from the wheel. Angela’s heart fluttered inside of her and she felt the world start to spin in a very petrifying way. Her hands were shaking anxiously on her lap and she closed her eyes, fearing what would come next.
A warm sensation crept up her arm and she realized that Dylan’s hand was resting on top of her trembling hands steadying the rocky motion. Her eyes flickered open and she saw that his warm smile had returned and his eyes were once again, sparkling.
“Sorry, believe it or not, I’m a pretty private guy. I really didn’t want to kiss you with all of those people watching,” he said softly, stroking her hand. He leaned closer to her until his lips brushed against hers and she felt a zap of electricity converge between them. All along he had just wanted privacy. He was a confidential person, just like her! He had feelings for her. And Angela finally smiled confidently: someone truly and wholly cared for her, just the way she was.