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The teacher is sitting at his desk in the back of the room, a boring video on cell reproduction is playing, and I have my head on my desk. I should be watching, taking the required notes, but if I lift my head up, I’ll stare at him. I don’t know why I like him, love him, I mean. He’s rude, he’s mean, and I can even say he’s not that attractive. But my heart aches for him. I love him.
“Kendra, are you ok?” The boy next to me, Robert, nudges me with his elbow. We share a table. I wished I shared one with him.
“Leave me alone, Rob, I’m trying to sleep,” I mumbled softly so the teacher, Mr. Howard, wouldn’t hear. The volume on that movie wasn’t up very loud.
My heart was beating fast, being in the same room was hard. I wanted to cry, to run from that room, to be anywhere but there.
“Kendra, head up,” the teacher called me out from the back. I tried swallowing, failed, and lifted my head up slowly, brushing my black bangs from my face.
“Thank you,” Mr. Howard went back to grading papers.
I focused my eyes on the projector screen, listening to the man ramble on about cells. My eyes slowly moved to the right side of the screen, then the posters on the wall, and then to Max. Once my eyes were on him, I was frozen. His dark hair was combed back from his face, waving beautifully, in my opinion, down to his shoulders. He had his head propped up on his hands on the table. He stared at the screen and as I watched him his eyes moved from the screen to me. I gave a small wave and he just made a face at me. I looked back at the screen, pain in my chest making it hard to breath. That was the normal between me and him during science.
I watched the video till the teacher flicked on the ugly florescent lights and said the bell would be ringing soon. He walked over to his VCR and fiddled around with it, trying to rewind the movie. I glanced over at Max, who was turned around in his chair, talking to Harper, who was laughing and twirling her bleach blond hair around her index finger. I have nothing against Harper, were actually friends, but just the fact he was talking to her made hatred rise up in me. I was such a jealous freak.
The bell rang and I stood from my chair, pushing it in with my foot and walking towards the door.
“Hey, Ken,” Max hurried over to me, bumping my shoulder on purpose.
“What?” I looked at him, trying to seem casual, like normal.
“Are your cells reproducing?” He glanced down, towards my chest, then back at my face, smirking like a monkey.
“Shut up,” I said stepping out into the hall.
“Shut up,” he mimicked me, but followed my to my locker. I sat my stuff in it and he through his binder in the bottom.
“Give it back later,” and then he was gone. I saw him running after Nick, one of his friends. I grabbed my bag and shut my locker, my heart pounding. I made it outside into the sunlight and headed towards my bus.
“Hey, Kendra,” my friend Maggie poked me and walked beside me. She rode my bus, too.
“Hey, Mag,” I said glancing around, seeing if Max was around. I made it to my bus and climbed aboard. Me and Maggie took our seats together in the back as usual, across the aisle from each other. Our bus never got very full, so everyone had their own seat. Nick climbed up the steps and my heart jumped to my throat when Max walked up after him. They both walked down the aisle to us, Nick sitting in his seat behind me. Max plopped down next to me.
“Hey babe,” he said winking at me.
“Why are you on my bus?” I asked scooting an inch away from him. If I was to close I might have a heart attack.
“Going home with Nick. Nick lives across the street from you, right?” He leaned towards me, our shoulders touching.
“Sorta,” I said, my muscles tensing up.
“Cool,” he spun around, legs hanging in the aisle and started conversations with the people around us. I took a deep breath and looked at Maggie, who was doing something on her phone. “Good idea, Maggie,” I thought to myself, pulling my own phone from my pocket. I fiddled around with it, not having anything really to do. I texted a few people and then waited. None returned the favor.
“Nice phone.” Nick leaned over the seat, his head close to mine.
“Thanks, Nick, but you can’t have it,” I joke. Nick made a face and then put his hand on my head. I flinched at first, hoping he would move it, but he didn’t. Max turned around and Nick ran his hand through my hair.
“What are you doing, Nick?” I laughed turning around, running my own hand through my hair.
“Nothing,” he sat back down in his seat.
Max looked at me for a moment the turned back to the aisle. Was he jealous? My heart fluttered like a butterfly on steroids.
“Nick,” Max turned to look over the seat, glancing at me, then back at Nick.
“What,” Nick said sitting up straighter.
“Got any sticks?” Max held out his hand to Nick, who dropped a cigarette in it. Max turned to me now.
“Switch me seats,” he said sitting down. I stood up and scooted past him, and I felt his hand brush my butt. I acted like I hadn’t noticed and when I looked at him pulling the window down he was grinning. He lit up next to me and seemed content curled up by the window. I just shook my head. He nudged me with his elbow.
“Want some?” His face seemed sincere, like he meant it.
“No,” I said shaking my head. He shrugged, but his eyes stayed on my face as he popped it back in his mouth.
“What,” I said squirming in my seat, nervous.
“Nothing,” he said, and he pulled his eyes away to look out the window.