Not As It Seems
Author's note: I started to write this piece a couple years ago before putting it aside. I found it a couple... Show full author's note »
Heated ConversationTapping her fingers absently Lilly cringes as her knuckles ache. Glancing at them she catches sight of the swollen areas on the top of her hand, not noticing until then.
“Come here, honey, let me get you cleaned up,” looking up, Lilly smiles at Mrs. Karl, watching as the young nurse makes gestures for her to follow her. Before standing up off the old bench she cradles her hand to her chest before trailing behind Mrs. Karl into her office.
The first thing that catches her attention is Drew, passed out on the couch pushed off towards the side of the room. Quietly she walks toward him, gasping as she looks at his face. His nose is swollen and the area under his eyes and around his nose are already bruising, a deep blue purple. As he continues to snore she stares at him, before turning back towards the nurse who is watching her.
“Don’t feel bad,” Mrs. Karl says, “He deserved it if he tried to do something...” trailing off she glances at Lilly, obviously hoping that she tells her what happened. When Lilly remains silent she sighs before patting the chair next to her.
“Let me take a look at that hand.”
As Lilly notices how the nurse pokes at her hand, she’s oblivious to the ache at the moment. Looking at Drew.
But I don’t feel bad. Not at all. She thinks, surprising herself.
Shrugging off the thought, she focuses on the wrap being put on her hand. Chuckling the nurse says,
“You sure do know how to throw a punch,” Lilly smiles at the nurse in response, trying not to flinch as her hand burns when the wrap gets tighter.
“It’s not broken, but the bones are bruised so just keep the wrap on for a few weeks and you should be fine,” she says, taking one last final look at her wrap job before smiling and walking over to Drew and checking his temperature.
After saying goodbye and getting a hall pass, Lilly heads for her locker, grabbing her things before walking to 4th hour Chemistry with Mr. Hark.
Walking in, she ignores everyone’s stares, handing her teacher her pass before making herself walk normally to her seat in the back of the room. Stopping at the edge of her lab table her stomach churns as she tries not to meet Adam’s gaze, having forgotten he was in this class too.
Sitting down she puts her bag down before carefully placing her hand her lap, obscuring the bandaged view from the many people still staring at her. Looking straight at the front of the room, managing a light smile and hiding everything she’s thinking.
Mr. Hark continues class, going over the lab we are to do,
“You are going to be gathering DNA from these strawberries,” he says, motioning towards the bowl of strawberries next to him before continuing, “Look at the person sitting next to you. That is you’re lab partner for the rest of the semester.” He gestures for them to start and everyone goes to get the supplies.
Turning toward Adam, Lilly smiles weakly, although it doesn’t matter. Adam is staring right at her bandaged hand, a frown etched into his perfect face.
Before he can say anything she stands up to get their supplies before Adam gently pushes her shoulder down, not meeting her eyes,
“I got it,” he says, voice low. Lilly waits, beginning to read the instruction they were given while she waits for him to come back.
As they begin go to crush the strawberries in a beaker, Lilly flinches as she goes to wrap her right hand around it to pick it up before quickly picking it up with her left.
Not wanting to show she’s in pain she continues,
“You want to crush them? I’ll read the next instructions,” she says, handing him he beaker, face flushing embarrassingly as their hands brush.
As she glances down to read, she finds her mind traveling,
Why are you freaking out!? Its only Adam. She tries to tell herself as she starts to read the instructions over again, determined to act normal.
Closing her eyes she tries to stop her head form spinning from all the emotions swirling around in her. When she takes her hand off her face she sees Adam’s face, eyes squinted in worry.
“Let’s finish this,” Lilly says with a fake smile that she knows Adam sees through. But he doesn’t say anything, just starts doing the rest of the steps while Lilly spaces.
Five minutes before class ends and everyone is cleaning up Adam leans over Lilly as she works, waiting until she straightens up.
“Meet at my house after school?” he asks eyes searching hers. About to decline she meets his eyes and stops speaking. The coldness is gone, but something else is there that she’s never seen before.
Nodding she finally says, “I have a lot to tell you,” he nods too, and they stand like that for a while. Looking at each other, caught in the moment.
When the loud bell rings Lilly jumps and quickly gathers her books, brushing her hair back from her face as she walks out the door, making herself not look back at Adam.
When the final bell of the day rings, Lilly walks out of her Trigonometry class to the school parking lot. Glancing around for her red, beat up Chevy pickup, she steps off the curb before remembering that her mom had driven her to school that morning.
Looking around she finds the buses, all pulling out and fully loaded with kids.
“Dammit,” she mutters, walking back towards the school. Sitting down on the bench right outside the main doors Lilly breathes in the autumn air and pulls out her phone to call her mom. Turning it on it flashes twice before turning off. Dead. Groaning she leans back on the bench, pulling her sweater tighter around her shoulders as she feels a chill run through her.
Not realizing she’d dozed off, she jumps up quickly when she feels a rough finger trace its way down her cheek. Startled she looks around, seeing Adam sitting next to her, laughing at her reaction,
“I thought you might need a ride,” he says, no longer laughing but still smiling.
“You thought correct,” she smiles back, glad the tension is gone.
When they pull out of the parking lot, Lilly fiddles with the radio before she settles on one of Adam’s favorites, who raises his eyebrows but doesn’t comment.
Arriving at his house, Lilly lets herself in,
“Is your mom home?” she asks as he throws his keys on the counter in the kitchen.
“Nah, still at work,” he says rummaging through the fridge before producing two Dr. Pepper’s and some chips from the pantry.
Walking into his bedroom, Lilly glances around. She hadn’t been there since the beginning of summer and things had changed a little. Gone were the movie posters and car bed sheets he’s had since he was little, which had been replaced by blue sheets and shelves lined the walls, full of soccer trophy’s.
Lilly set down the food and walked to the closest shelf, gently picking up a large trophy.
“You’re finally putting them up,” she says, smiling at the golden masterpiece before looking at Adam.
“Yea, it’s about time,” he says, clearing his throat.
Setting it down she sits down on his bed, cracking open her soda and sipping slowly from it, feeling the bubbles in her nose. Noticing he’s still standing she motions for him to sit down, patting the seat next to her on his bed. Sitting knee to knee, Lilly starts talking,
“I have so much news to tell you,” she says eyes lighting up before continuing, “I saw Lucas today, he was in my house, and he started to tell me a bunch of stuff which I didn’t understand because Dylan didn’t,” she stops seeing Adams face.
“Wait, wait, wait, who’s Dylan?”
And Lilly tells him everything starting after she left the party, how she met Dylan, how he knew her dad, and finally Lucas being in her house. He stay’s silent the whole time while she talks and when she’s finished they both sit there for a moment, waiting.
“So when is Dylan going to tell you the rest?” he asks.
“I’m not sure… whenever Lucas gets him to I guess,” She says.
“Okay,” He says standing up.
She waits for more, but is met with silence, “Okay what?” she finally asks.
“Okay, I am going to help you with this, whatever this is,” he says, gazing at her seriously, “Whatever your choice is, I’m here for you.”
Looking at him, she takes in the hole in his sock. The way his jeans hand loosely on his hips. The way his plan v neck t-shirt shows the muscles in arms and stomach. The way his chin is held high as his lips curl in a slight but serious smile. And finally the way his dark hair is just long enough to fall into his deep green eyes.
When he walks towards her she feels her heart beat louder. Suddenly, she flinches, surprised by the pain in her hand when she looks down and sees his hand gently lifting her right hand, still bandaged.
“What happened anyways?” he asks, curious.
“I punched Drew,” Lilly mutters.
“Does it hurt?” he asks.
“A little,” she admits honestly.
After a moment he says quietly, “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” she asks, bewildered.
“I left you alone with him.”
“He’s worse off than I am,” she says laughing, relieved when he joins in.
“Why’d you punch him?” he asks.
“He tried to kiss me again,” she says darkly. He looks confused for a second before he steps back.
“You didn’t want him too,” he says.
“No, I shouldn’t have kissed him the first time,” she answers even though it wasn’t a question.
Looking at her for a moment he turns towards the window and opens it, letting tee cool breeze go through the hot room. When he turns back that same look that he had earlier is back, confusing Lilly with its hunger and longing.
But when he blinks it’s gone and he says,
“I don’t like Samantha,” Adam says dryly.
“When you saw us holding hands and when she kissed my cheek,” he stops her from interrupting him by getting a bit louder, “I know you saw it Lil. I don’t really know what happened, but I was completely surprised when she kissed me.”
“Okay,” She says.
When he walks towards her she feels her heart catch. Her skin burns from his fingers as he traces her jawline carefully, looking deep into her eyes, before softly running his rough fingers through her long hair.
Surprised Lilly stands frozen until Adam wraps his other arm around her waist, not pulling her closer, just watching to see if she wants him to kiss her.
Curious, she slowly leans closer, stretching on her tiptoes finally giving into the urge to push his hair away from his eyes, before going to wrap her arms around his neck. Their breath mingles in the cool air through the window.
“Adam?” a loud voice yells from below and Adam and Lilly freeze, faces almost touching.
“Adam where are you?” Adam’s mom yells, getting closer as she comes up the stairs.
Lilly’s eyes go wide as she untangles herself from Adam, sitting back on his bed and pulling at the blanket underneath her.
Adam goes to the door, opening it as his mother knocks. As Lilly watches, Mrs. Ross walks through the door, long hair in a braid, with jeans and an old Beetles t-shirt on. Smiling at Lilly she asks,
“Not getting into any trouble are you?” she teases, just like she does every time they are together in Adam’s room, little does she know she’s closer to the truth than ever.
Face burning, Lilly is thankful that Mrs. Ross doesn’t notice and clears her throat, laughing, “Never.”
“You staying for dinner?” she asks, leaning against the doorjamb.
Adam goes to stand by the window, letting the cool breeze roll over his face.
Lilly tries not to look at him as the strong wind ruffles his hair and the smell of pine fills her nose.
“No I can’t, I’m helping my mom cook tonight,” Lilly replies, easily coming up with the lie that goes undetected by Mrs. Ross, but she hears Adam chuckle quietly behind her.
“Okay, well some other time, you haven’t been here in a while, we’re starting to miss you,” Adam’s mom says smiling.
“Definitely,” Lilly says as she leaves, closing the door behind her. Lilly stares at the door for a moment before turning to the window and Adam feeling awkward. But the moment their eyes meet, the awkwardness is gone, and they both start laughing.
Adam’s clutching his stomach, still laughing as he says, “Your face is beat red.”
She laughs throwing the pillow on the bed at him, “You’re the one who had to stand by the window to cool off,” she winks.
“So, what are you making with your mom for dinner?” he asks, his mouth turned up on one side, giving a half smile.
Sticking her tongue out at him, Lilly ignores his question and stands up, grabbing her stuff.
“Why aren’t you staying?” he asks, more seriously this time.
“I have to go see if Dylan’s been there,” she lies.
And I don’t want to have to resist you all night at my house. She thinks.
He smiles, knowing what she’s thinking but doesn’t comment. Walking towards the door she stops, turning around to see Adam watching her.
“B-Bye,” she stutters. After another awkward moment she turns to leave again but she feels his hand softly wrap around her wrist. Pulling her around he folds her into his arms, hugging her. They stand like that for a while before Adam leans back and cups her chin is his hand.
“Call me if you find out anything,” he says his voice rough with emotion. Pulling away Lilly nods and walks down the stairs and out the door. Walking down the street to her house, trying to get her breathing to return to normal before she goes home for the night.