Lauren fidgeted in her seat. She did her best to write down as much as she could from the teacher’s lecture but her neighbor distracted her.
Not because he was talking to her but because he was doing nothing.
In contrast to how busy she was, Alex Carter hadn’t move an inch since coming to class.
She knew Alex liked the front, his back facing everyone else. She was surprised when he took the seat next to her instead. Not only that but also it looked he had no intentions of listening to the teacher. He took one look at the board then, that was it.
His right foot was on his left knee, back slumped against the back of the chair. His arms were crossed over his chest. He stared at the floor in front of him. His brows were knitted closely together. Sometimes they twitched while the frown on his lips never left.
He came inside with this expression and as time went by, it became worse.
Lauren shook her head, realizing she was staring at him again. She turned to the front of the class and took notes of the new things the teacher wrote on the board.
When class was over, Alex was the first one to stand and leave. Lauren hastily fixed her things and ran after him.
“Hey!” she said to get his attention but Alex didn’t turn. She moved faster until she could touch his shoulder.
Alex jumped and spun around. The scary look was gone. It was replaced with surprise. Lauren swore his brows rose higher when he noticed her.
Lauren panted. Alex wasn’t that tall but he sure moved fast.
He didn’t speak nor did he leave. He patiently waited for Lauren to catch her breath.
“Sorry for startling you. I noticed you acting strange in class so something must be troubling you. I—” Lauren’s eyes widened, “Not that I’m nosing around your business or anything! Oh gods, I’m sorry it came out that way! It’s just... just... I hope you get it sorted out. In the mean time, you can borrow my notes. I hope it... helps you somehow. It’s the only thing I could think of”
Lauren presented her notebook like a burnt offering. She bit her bottom lip. That was the longest thing she ever told him, considering it’s the first time she actually spoke to him.
Alex’s casted downwards toward the notebook. He stayed still, mouth slightly opened.
Lauren’s heartbeat seemed louder in her ears. Please say something, she pleaded.
Alex’s eyes met hers. That’s how Lauren realized she actually said it out loud.
Alex smiled. He looked at her like he found her helpless.
“You’re Lauren, right?” Alex’s voice was like honey, drawing people to him, “Thank you for your concern but it’s okay. I’ve already read about the lecture before. If you have any questions though, feel free to ask. I’ll help you out”
The bell rang, signaling that there was five minutes left until the next class.
Alex patted her head then, left.
Lauren was a statue. She seemed no longer human. She wasn’t even breathing. On the inside, her heart was erratic.
She was a sucker for cute. Cute toys, cute puppies and cute boys. Alex was a cute boy. Not to mention, he was really nice. Hopefully, she’ll get a chance to talk to him more.
Colin had his earphones on. As he walked, he tapped his hands on the front of his pant pockets, following the beat of the drums. He didn’t pay much attention to anyone. He was immersed in his own world.
One of his teammates passed him by. He lifted a hand for a high five and Colin obliged. That was when he noticed a blonde girl, standing near his next class. Her eyes were blank. She was more lost in thought than he was.
He checked his watched. There was three minutes left before class began again. He frowned.
He walked up to her and tapped her shoulder. She squealed.
Even with music in his ears, Colin heard it.
He removed an earbud and said, “You okay?”
“Uh... yeah, yeah” she cleared her throat, “I’m fine”
Colin watched her as she fixed her hair and straightened her clothes. She held a notebook close to her chest. When he thought she was done, she did it again.
She was fiddling, Colin could tell. What got her so rattled?
“You sure you’re okay?” he asked again, his tone more serious.
It seemed to wake her up. She blinked a few times and looked at him for the first time. Her eyes were brown, almost black, but they shined. The fluorescent lights reflected on them, like specks on polished crystals.
Colin stopped breathing.
She smiled and assured, “I really am okay. Thank you”
Colin was a statue.
When he didn’t say anything, Lauren awkwardly brushed a hair strand behind her ear and bid him goodbye.
Colin was no longer human.
The bell rang again, signaling the start of class.
Mr. Smith walked down the hall. He hummed as he did, timing it with his steps. He was a little late on purpose, giving some time for the students to catch up.
Even from far away, he spotted a student standing near the door. His brows rose up, curious at what the young man could be thinking about.
When he reached the student’s back and cleared his throat, there was no response. He did it again, still nothing. His curiosity grew.
Then, it hit him. The student’s behavior could only mean one thing.
Oh, how Mr. Smith loved teasing.
He side stepped and nudged the student’s shoulder with his, saying, “What’s her name?”
He watched the boy’s face. It was Colin Hale. He’d never seen him behave this way before.
Colin seemed to wake up when he heard Mr. Smith’s question. Then, slowly he answered, “I... I don’t know”
Mr. Smith was taken aback. The young man actually answered him. He took a breath and wrapped an arm around Colin’s shoulders.
“Come now, education first, Mr. Hale. Then, you can think about love”