Chapter 2: The First Day
After I managed to make my legs move again, I went for the desk next to Erik's. I couldn't believe he was here, I didn't even know WHY he was here. Was he here to stay? He was in my school - in my class....that suggested staying right? It seemed to take me an hour to walk from the front of the classroom to the back. When I reached the desk, I sunk into it wondering briefly if everyone's first day was shaping up like this.
"Erik. Hi..." I paused briefly and keeping my voice low as Ms. Moore was starting roll call. "What are you doing here?" I asked looking at him.
"I thought you'd be happy to see me." Erik said softly.
"I am!" I said a little too loudly, attracting attention from the students around us.
"Genevieve Bartlett" Ms. Moore called coming to my name on the list. I raised my hand and waited for her to move on before turning back to Erik.
"I am happy to see you - I'm just surprised." I said smiling. "Very surprised."
Erik winked. "That was the idea" he said. "I've only got back yesterday but I've known for a couple days."
"Known what exactly?" I whispered, looking toward him.
"That I was moving here." he said as Ms. Moore called his name. He acknowledged her and then looked back at me to see my mouth still hanging open in surprise.
"You're staying?!" I asked loudly. Ms. Moore turned her attention on me. I blushed and caught Erik grinning out of the corner of my eye as I looked at Ms. Moore. "Sorry" I said meekly. She didn't saying anything but her look was enough to keep me from even looking at Erik for at least ten minutes. When her back was turned I looked back at Erik and smiled. I waited until he looked at me and mouthed "You're staying?"
He put his hand to his ear like he couldn't hear me and grinned. I gave him a half hearted glare and he finally nodded. I wanted to ask him questions but talking was out of the question so I pulled out my notebook and opened it to the first page. He was watching me and caught sight of his post it note goodbye still inside (now taped down as the sticky was long gone). I scribbled a few quick questions along the lines of "how, why, when..." and pulled out the paper and passed it to him. He scrawled out some answers but didn't hand it back. I was still looking at him questioningly when I heard a tap-tap behind me.
Now how long had she been there? Long enough I guess because she was not happy. I didn't say anything as she looked down at me. Again she didn't say anything as she turned and walked back to the front of class. Great start Gin. I paid attention through the rest of class. As the bell rang and she dismissed us I heard her voice over the den of scraping chairs. "Genevieve, please stay a moment." she said not even looking at me. I slumped back in my chair and saw Erik slip the note into my bag as he left the class room.
I waited until she approached and started to apologize but she cut me off. "You have detention this afternoon, don't talk or pass notes in my class Genevieve." she said simply and walked to her desk. I sighed and nodded, gathering up my stuff. Detention - on my first day. Great. As I stepped into the hallway, Erik materialized beside me. "Lunch?" he asked simply.
"Huh?" I asked looking at him.
"Will. You. Have. Lunch. With. Me.?" he said each word alone.
"Yes...wait, no, I can't. I have to have lunch with someone." I stuttered.
"Okay." he said looking at me curiously. "Can I take you home after school?"
"I have detention...for..." I looked back at Ms. Moore's classroom. "That." I said looking cross.
"Right. Okay." Erik said. "Then I guess I'll see you later." he leaned in and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before heading down the hall.
I made it to my still locked locker and leaned my head against it.
My moment was interrupted by a throat clearing. "Hey Gin." Veronica said feigning niceness. She wanted something or she was plotting something.
I turned and looked at her and saw her standing with a pretty girl I vaguely remembered from my disastrous first period class. "This is Mei-Ling" Veronica finally said when I made no verbal acknowledgment of her. "She's an exchange student from China that my parents..." she paused, looking annoyed. "agreed to house." she said eying Mei-Ling. I lost track of her explanation as I saw Erik pass and look my way.
When he was gone, the trance broke and I looked from Veronica to Mei-Ling. "What do you want me to do V?" I asked, fearing I missed this part. The look of annoyance on Veronica's face told me I was right and she did NOT want to ask nicely again.
"Just show her around, introduce her to people. She speaks English fairly well." Veronica said and without waiting for a response she turned away from us. "Thanks Gin! You're the best!" she said waving.
"Is she your friend?" Mei-Ling asked.
"Hmm?" I asked turned back to Mei-Ling. "Sometimes, sometimes not." I said rolling my eyes. I stuck out my hand. "Hi I'm Genevieve, but you can call me Gin or Ginny." I said with a smile. She shook my hand.
"So what is her problem with me?" Mei-Ling asked after the introduction.
"Well, you're cute, smart probably, seem to have a good fashion sense. But mostly?" I said pausing a moment. "You're breathing the same air she is. Don't worry, she's like that with just about everyone." I said trying to reassure her. I showed Mei-Ling to her next class and told her I'd catch up with her later. My next couple classes were dull, which given my morning so far, I was thankful for dull.
I found Todd at lunch and tried to ignore the looks I was getting from Erik.
Todd was still eating but I really wasn't that hungry - or wouldn't be until I cleared this up with him. "Todd, I'm not sure how we ended up on different pages but...." I stopped. He had stopped eating but wasn't looking at me. "Todd?"
"Hmm?" he said, still not looking at me. "Go on"
"Um...well, we're friends - we've been friends for a long time and when we went to the dance last year it was great....but it was as friends." I said biting my lower lip.
"And the kisses?" he asked looking up at me finally.
"Well...." I trailed off as Erik approached and put his food down next to me.
"Erik....please?" I asked looking at him. He continued to sit down, intent on sitting next to me and apparently show Todd some male dominance thing.
"Who is this guy Gin?" Todd asked glaring at Erik.
Erik put his arm around my shoulder before I could say anything and and I just looked down at my food. "Right." Todd said. "Got it..." he said and got up, leaving his plate behind.
"Todd." I said shrugging off Erik's arm. "Todd, please, let's talk..."
He didn't look back but he paused. "Nothing to talk about Gin. As you said - we're just friends." and he walked away. Erik looked smug even as I smacked his chest.
"What the heck Erik! I told you I was having lunch with him...why couldn't you just walk away for one lunch?!" I said, my voice raising with each syllable.
He looked dumbfounded and confused as I got up and walked out of the cafeteria.
Veronica slithered up to Erik as I walked off, she was always trying to know everyone and everything. Probably trying to get all the details about Erik's life - particularly as they pertained to me. I shook my head and silently wished him luck.
I didn't have any other classes with Todd or Erik. My last class of the day was with Veronica and we walked toward our lockers in silent company. As we got closer, we saw a gathering crowd and hurt raised voices. "Oh what now?" I muttered pushing my way toward the front
Todd was insulting Erik, that much was clear although I missed the majority of the insult. Within a moment, Erik made his move and I just shook my head. And right in front of my locker too.
The crowd grew more animated as a real fight escalated. Veronica was standing near me and smirking. "Two guys fighting over you..." she said. "How romantic" she mocked.
I rolled my eyes at her. "Shut up V." I said
Most experienced high schoolers can detect when a teacher or faculty arrives on the scene and the same was true this time. In a blink of the eye, half the crowd disappeared, eager to be elsewhere as Ms. Moore, followed closely by Principal Watts, arrived on the scene.
The rest started moving when she cleared her throat and gave them a piercing look. "Don't you all have homes to be going to...or detention" she added looking in my direction. I looked once more at my blocked locker and then then headed away from the scene, lingering only once I was out of her sight.
"Well boys?" she said looking from Erik to Todd and back again. Neither spoke or tried to wiggle out of it. She nodded. "Both of you, detention. You can join Ms. Bartlett there this afternoon." From around the corner, I raised my eyebrows; detention with Erik AND Todd....that couldn't end well...
End Chapter 2