“Class, we have a new student. Natalie, why don’t you stand up and tell us a little bit about you?” The little, old, English teacher made a gesture toward me and everyone turned and stared.
I stood, quietly, “Hi, I’m Natalie. I’m eighteen, and I moved here from Chicago.” I sat as silently as I stood up; some heads turned to look back at the teacher, but some gazes lingered on me.
English was always my worst subject and it dragged on for ages. The old woman was trying so hard to be engaging, but everyone sat there, half asleep.
The bell finally rang and I gathered my things. “Hey, there, it’s Natalie, right?” I turned to face the person that the voice belonged to and he was right there. He towered over me, and his shaggy blonde hair hid his eyes from me.
I took a step back just to collect my thoughts. “Depends. Who’s asking?” I grabbed my last book.
“I’m Kyle.” He held his hand out to me with a goofy smile on his face. I turned away, ignoring his attempt to befriend me, and walked to my next class. He walked quickly behind me and finally caught up. “You know, you won’t make many friends if you walk away from everyone who tries.”
“Who said I was trying to make friends?” A bitter harshness rang through my voice.
“Oh….Well, anyway, what’s your next class?” Kyle was like a lost puppy that decided to follow me home. “I can show you how to get there.”
“AP Chem. with Smith.”
“Me too!” Kyle was way too enthusiastic about this whole thing.
“Yay,” I said, sarcastically.
“You can sit with me and my friends.”
I shrugged, surrendering. Kyle was way too perky, but there was something vaguely familiar about him, and it didn’t quite sit right with me. Kyle and I walked into the chemistry room and I followed him to the table that three others were already seated at.
“Hey, guys, this is Natalie. Natalie, this is Evelyn, Darien, and Mike.” Kyle pulled out the chair for me and I quietly sat down.
“Dude! She’s hot!” Mike high-fived Kyle and they both laughed. Evelyn glared, annoyed, at Mike and kicked him in the shin.
“Don’t mind them. It’s nice to have another girl around. Where are you from?” Evelyn smiled, sweetly at me. She looked so innocent and pure but there was a tough edge to her. Her nails were painted in chipped black, and her hair was died various colors, but her clothes fell into a completely different style. Her eyes were big, green, and curious.
“The Windy City? What brings you to New York then? Did your parents get a new job or something?” Evelyn was trying so hard to be my friend and start a conversation with me while the three guys fooled around and laughed about the most absurd jokes.
“Actually, my mom died when I was born, and my dad left on my seventh birthday.” I played with the pen on my desk, sheepishly. I didn’t like thinking of my parents, “I moved here on my own just for a change.”
Why do you lie? Why do you hide what we are? You know what we want; why don’t you let us take it?
“Oh. I am so sorry.” Evelyn shot me an apologetic look. “So do you live by yourself?”
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“Damn! We should throw parties at your place from now on!” Darien jumped into the conversation. Everyone at the table turned their attention to me. I shrugged, opened my chemistry book, and pretended to read.
“Students, we have a new face among us. Natalie, you will need to go over what we have already covered in class. You seem to already be acquainted with Kyle so he will help you. We have a test next Friday and I expect you to be ready.” The teacher looked so stern and dull. He clearly did not want to be here but regardless, Kyle nodded happily beside me in agreement to help.
Chemistry was always my best subject so it shouldn’t be hard to get caught up. I already knew today’s topic so I just doodled on my notebook throughout the class.
Natalie, let’s have some fun. Stop trying to control me. I am who you are and you can’t hide me forever. Come on, let’s play. Let’s shut up that perky Kyle kid for good. I know you want to. You can’t hide your thoughts from me.
I closed my eyes to hide any chance of the black showing. I focused on pushing my own demon back down. I would not let it break free again.
“Are you okay?” Kyle whispered as Mr. Smith continued lecturing. I looked at Kyle and finally saw his eyes. They were such a dark brown that they almost seemed black. They were so dark but there was something strangely inviting about them.
“Um, yeah, I’m fine.” I was so lost in his familiar eyes. “It’s just a headache.”
“So when do you want to get together to go over the chem. stuff?” Kyle looked up toward the board and I was freed from his gaze.
“You can just give me the notes.” I didn’t need his help nor did I want it. I didn’t want anything to do with him. People just cause trouble.
“Not a chance. I was told to help and I am going to help.” Kyle was entirely serious about this. I sighed. I did not have the patience to argue with him.
“Okay, whatever. You can come over to my place after school. Meet me out front of the school and I can show you the way. It isn’t a far walk.” I really didn’t want anyone here to know where I lived but it just seemed like the easiest place to deal with all of this.
“Sounds good, except I’m driving and there is no way of getting out of it.” He shot me a sly grin and went back to listening to the lecture.
Chemistry and English were the only classes that I had with Kyle, but his friend Mike was in my Trig class. The entire class he failingly tried to flirt with me and constantly used sexual innuendoes on me. I ignored him with ease but it just seemed to come off as a challenge and he tried harder. Other than that, people avoided me and that was the way I wanted it.
“Hey, Natalie,” Evelyn came up behind me as I waited for Kyle outside of the school. I waved but said nothing more. “Who are you waiting for?”
“Kyle, he is helping me with the chemistry stuff against my wishes.” I shrugged. Evelyn’s mood seemed to drop a little when I said I was waiting for Kyle.
“Are you guys only doing chemistry stuff? Where? I can help.” Evelyn clearly didn’t want me alone with Kyle.
“I don’t want Kyle to help let alone you. Sorry.” I didn’t want to offend her, but I really didn’t need help, and I definitely didn’t want more people in my house.
“Okay.” She walked away and didn’t look back.
“You coming?” Kyle held out a helmet to me. He was seated on the back of black motorcycle. I looked down at my heels and tight skirt and looked at him as if he were crazy. He shrugged. Now I understood the grin he gave me.
I sighed, and handed my bag to Kyle. I took the fabric of my skirt in my hands. I tore it with ease up to the highest part of my thigh and did the same to the other side.
Kyle’s eyes widened and he looked up and down my body, hungrily. I sighed, took the helmet, and got on the back of his motorcycle.
“I own the apartment building on 5th Avenue.” As soon as the words escaped my lips, Kyle was off. As far as motorcycle drivers went, Kyle was definitely not careful.
“This is it.” I opened the door to my penthouse apartment. “Make yourself at home. There is plenty of food in the kitchen. I am going to go change.” I glared at Kyle.
I went and threw on a black tank top and jean shorts. When I came back out, Kyle was raiding my fridge.
“See anything you like?” Kyle jumped at my voice and faced me. Once again, he eyed my body with a bit of need in his eyes.
“Yea, I think I do.”
“You’re sooo funny.” I glared at him, “So, you want to start this now?” I walked into the living room and sat on the couch. Kyle sat on the other end of the couch and looked at me.
“Why did you move here? I mean really. I know you didn’t just move here for a ‘change.’”
Tell him. Show him who you are. You know you want to. Show him what will be the last thing he ever sees.
I shut my eyes and buried my face in the armrest of the couch. “Go away!” I mumbled under my breath.
“Natalie? Are you okay?” Kyle scooted closer to me on the couch, and put his hand on my shoulder.
“Don’t touch me!” I hissed with such wrath that Kyle stumbled back. Gah! My head burned with such fiery pain. “I’m sorry. You need to go.” I look Kyle in the eyes for just a moment; tears rolled down my face. “I’m sorry.”
“Natalie, what’s wrong? You should go to the hospital.” Kyle stood up and grabbed my arm.
“You need to go. Now.” I pulled my arm from his grip, and looked away.