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“Wake up… Kisa? Wake up” I groan shifting in my sleep. “Kisa?” There is a light tap on my shoulder and I swing my arm out hoping to hit whoever is trying to tear me from the dream world. My hands come back empty and I sit up, tired and confused.
“Hello?” I shake my head thinking that I must’ve imagined the whole thing. I look over at my alarm clock and jump up. I pull my hair back into a loose ponytail then put on my soffee shorts and a t-shirt. I grab my bag and flip-flops and run out the door. I catch Zoe just as she’s getting in her car.
“Cutting it close there, aren’t you?” She smiles to let me know she isn’t really mad at me.
“’Slept late, sorry Zo.” I get in the passenger side and she backs out of her driveway. Once we are on the highway I turn the music way up while she rolls the windows down. I mock cover my ears laughing a little when Zoë starts belting it out at the top of her lungs. This is tradition.
We get to the school, walking in just as the first bell screeches through the hallways. The sound has students everywhere covering their ears and flinching on their way to their lockers. Zoe and I move cautiously toward our assigned lockers and put our things away.
I pick a fresh notebook and head to first period DCC . I sit in the exact middle of the classroom and wait for Zoe. I look up when an unfamiliar voice asks if he can sit in the desk beside me.
“Yeah, sure you can.” I smile and, like a dork, push my glasses back up. He dimples back at me and stretches out a hand.
“Hey, I’m Luke.” I look at his hand, letting him sweat for a few heartbeats. I grasp his hand loosely in my own.
“I’m Kisa.” Like it’s a cue in a play Zoe walks when my name is on the tip of my tongue. She looks pointedly at Luke then sighs and goes to sit on my other side. “Sorry Zoe, he kind of just plopped down there.” The lie tasted sour in my mouth but I didn’t want her mad at me.
“Its fine, Kisa, I know your weakness for cute guys.” I smile sheepishly and turn to face the front just as Mr.McAllistor comes into the classroom.
I sneak peeks at Luke for the whole class period and jump a little when he turns to meet my gaze through my bangs. He passes me his schedule and gestures for me to compare mine. The corners of my lips pull up in such a way as to convince the people around me that I am smiling rather than grimacing. I compare our schedules and find that we have four classes together.
I draw small arrows by the classes that we have together and toss the refolded paper onto his desk. Luke smiles up at me and when the bell rings he pauses by my side on his way out the door.
“Would you like to walk with me to Calculus?” Luke asks after my books are tucked away in my arms.
“Yeah, sure. I’d love to.” First we go to my locker and I dump the weight off into a heap. I pull another notebook from the top shelf and loop the pencil bag handle around my wrist.
“First day of school, first period of the day and your locker is already a mess?” I turn to find Zoe behind Luke’s shoulder.
“Hey, don’t judge me!” Zoe smiles and walks down the hall in the opposite direction of Luke and me.
“Are we going to my locker now?” Luke asks as he steps that way. I nod, following after him. I wait patiently for him switch out notebooks and empty his arms of his books from last class. “Ready.” He smiles down into my eyes. For a second I feel an odd little flutter, like butterflies, but then it’s gone. I smile back and we walk to Calculus.
Luke sits down in the desk beside me and opens his notebook to start doodling. I watch his hands fly over the page and my gaze morphs to one of complete awe at the beauty he creates there. When the late bell rings Luke jumps a little in his seat then looks over at me. His eyes on mine give me that odd flutter again and I resist the urge to squirm.
“You have really pretty eyes, Kisa; they remind me of the stars.” My face floods with color and I look down and away from him. I mouth the words thank you, barely audible. In my mind’s eye I can see Luke smiling. The blush darkens, spreading heat down my neck and back over my ears. I breathe out slowly and find the flimsy peace of mind that allows me to lift my head. “Shy?” I shake my head, biting my lip. “Fine, don’t admit it. That’s okay though, very cute.” Luke says quietly.
“Shh, stop it.” I whisper back.
When class is over I move quickly down the hall, away from Calculus. I am still flushed from the shower of compliments from Luke. I repeat the locker scene from an hour before and when I turn this time its Tiffany behind me.
“Hey Ki, want to walk to class with me?” I smile taking the arm she offers. “I heard there’s a new teacher here now for science.” She says to make conversation or to gossip, I don’t know.
“Oh?” I ask, not really paying attention as we pass Luke at his locker. We turn the corner and shorten our step so we don’t run into the boys ahead of us. Tiffany drones on, not minding in the least that I’m not listening. The group of lacrosse guys in front of us stops dead in their tracks and turn to converge on Luke. Tiffany’s arm is ripped from mine when she falls. I try to catch her before she hits the ground and as I’m reaching I see that Kieran has the same idea. I smile and move to get of his way as he helps her up.
“Hey, are you okay? I’m Kieran, by the way.” He holds Tiffany up by her shoulders. “Let me carry your books? Are you headed to science too?” I step around them and on to science.
I’m in the class room for barely thirty seconds before Tiffany and Kieran come in. They’re chatting animatedly as they sit down on the desk tops closest to me. I tune them out rather than listen to their conversation and tap my pencil against my desk.