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The Dusty Room (Part 7)

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Of course, Heather had missed homeroom, and 15 minutes of first period. She felt guilty, she hadn’t been late for school ever, but she was so happy, it didn’t phase her. Heather scolded herself for not making it on time to see Josh and talk to him, but she would see him at lunch…which was only in another 3 classes. Not too, too long, right? Heather wasn’t paying attention to the lesson Mr. Hawlsaw was droning on about anyway, so she asked the new student teacher, who was walking around the room, checking to make sure everyone was taking notes effectively, to be excused to use the restroom.


Even though he could clearly see Heather had taken a total of three minutes of notes, he still handed her a pass, and urged her to be as quick as possible.


“Yes, of course,” Heather flashed a smile, and instantly she knew Mr. Elsin was a total push over. After quietly exiting the classroom, she was relieved to be in the hallway, away from the monotonous voice that belonged to the world’s most boring English teacher ever, Mr. Hawlsaw.


Her heart skipped a beat or two when she looked up and noticed a familiar figure walking about five feet in front of her. She wasn’t totally sure if she was right in who she thought it was, so she “discreetly” started walking with a little more noise to her steps. Thump, thump, thump. The person turned around and smiled at her. Yes, she was right. It was Josh.


Once he saw her, he waited for her to fill in the next few feet and reach him. “Hey,” he smiled down at her.


“Hey, I got your note,” she said. That was all she had been thinking about all day. No one had ever cared enough to leave her a note to explain something or tell her where they were, as strange as that may sound.


“Sorry I couldn’t tell you in person, but you were out cold by like 9, so I figured you were super tired and needed your sleep.”


“Thanks. What were we doing when I went to sleep anyway? I like, barely remember.”


“Just watching TV. It was a kinda boring show, and I looked over once and you were completely asleep. So I went downstairs, found a sticky note on the counter, and laid the note on your dresser. As you already know.”


“Yeah. My mom wasn’t home was she?”


“I don’t think so. I didn’t here anyone come in.” They had started to walk down the hallway, just talking, and Heather was extremely content with the silence that fell between them. “What’s going on with you too, anyway? If it’s not my place just say so. You don’t have to tell me.”


“Well, it’s not your place,” she looked over to see his face start to crumple with embarrassment…and understanding. He had just peered into a layer of her life, and she pushed him out and denied him access, which she had every right to do. “But I’ll tell you anyway because I don’t have anyone else to talk with. And because I want to tell you. Secretly, I’ve always thought my mom was sorta jealous of me. As beautiful as she is, when I was born, I think my father liked me more. He was in love with my mother, but I just never saw her return the love. My dad was a doting father and husband. He was perfect, but I always thought my mom never saw it. When he died, whatever relationship that I had left with my mom, completely shattered and disappeared. It was over, and now all we do is fight.”


“I’m sorry,” he said. “I shouldn’t have asked. It was impulsive.”


“No, I’m glad you did. I need someone like you…to press and make me talk about stuff. I normally don’t do that.”


He looked around, and there were no classrooms by or any students or teachers wandering around the hall, so he kissed her. Nice, sweet, and short, but Heather felt her head spin around a few times and found herself smiling when he raised his head from hers.


“I gotta get back to class,” she whispered, gazing up into his eyes.


He kissed her one last time, and they turned in separate directions to go back to the classes they had been avoiding for the past 10 minutes




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