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Dark Return-Part 2

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The rest of the class was unbearably awkward and strange and impossible, to the point of physical pain. My mind was reeling. My thoughts were no longer forming coherent words just loud screams of noises describing my feelings perfectly. My head was pounding right along with my heart. If a single person had said anything to me I probably would have started crying.
I couldn’t wait to get out of that classroom, and, if I was lucky, wake up from this nightmare if I truly was dreaming.
I counted down the minutes. Five, four, three, two…
Plop. A note landed on my desk in the back of the classroom. Elegant scrawl was written on it, and I had no doubt in my mind who it was from. The front said, To My Little Trouble Maker. Nico had used the childhood nickname he had given me; he was older than me by about two years (he had been held back) and he had always called me his “little trouble maker.” Actually, it described me pretty well.

HIM: My Little Trouble Maker, would you honor me by eating lunch with me? You would make me so happy.

What? Who is this person? I had no clue who this person was, but this was defiantly not the Nico I used to know. I hastily replied in my messy scrawled, my headache increasing greatly from the effort of having to talk to him.

ME: No. Nico, I don’t understand anything that is happening right now, but I don’t think I can even handle speaking to you. Please, just leave me alone.

HIM: Terra, you don’t understand. I need to talk to you. Now. I’m begging you. There’s things I need to explain. And, honestly, Terra, if I can’t be your best friend anymore, I don’t know what I will do.

ME: You haven’t been my best friend for a long time and you seem perfectly fine. You’ll move on. If anything, just give me some time.

HIM: I’m not as okay as you think I am. When you say time, do you mean a couple of hours? Because that’s about as long as I can wait.

Finally, thankfully, the bell rang, saving me from having to endure any more of this wretched conversation. Saved by the bell; how ironic, I thought wryly. Nico was looking around for me, but I easily slipped into the crowd of rowdy teenagers trying to force themselves out the door into the halls. I was unseen; I was pretty good at hiding myself from practice.
I thought I was in the clear now, finally away from Nico. Until I felt a warm hand on my arm, and I heard an angelic deep voice in my ear.
“Don’t think that you can just run off on me, little trouble maker. I’m not that easy to shake off.” He said ruefully. I could tell that he truly wanted to be my friend again, and I truly couldn’t take that. When he had disappeared, I had crumbled into a million pieces. But I rebuilt myself, and when I did I put up brick walls and barbed wire around myself; I wasn’t going to let anybody hurt me like that again, I swore that I wouldn’t, and so far no one had. But then I caught one glimpse of Nico again, and my world had crumbled to pieces in a tragic earthquake in seconds; that’s how strong of an effect he had on me. And I most certainly couldn’t handle that.
Conflicting emotions raged through me as I processed all of this in my mind, but at the same time new feelings were rushing through me. The warm hand on my arm was making me feel…strange. It wasn’t like I was uncomfortable with Nico touching me – well maybe a little bit after all we had gone through – because we were always so close and it never really mattered to us. But this seemed different, and filled with a lot more meaning. And as I felt his hand slide gently down my arm to my hand, and as I felt his hand try to wrap around mine, a small feeling of warmth stirred in me, but it left as soon as it was brought on.
I snatched my hand away from his, and rounded on him.
“Niccolo,” I said using his full name with a slight Italian accent like he had taught me. “This isn’t the time. I don’t want to talk to you, and I don’t want to see you anymore. We’re not friends anymore. We’re through.” Why did that strangely sounded like a break up?
A flash of sadness passed through his eyes, and then it was gone. His demeanor of over-confidence and slyness was back in place.
“You’ll come back to me, Terra. You’ll always come back to me.”



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