I scampered out the door and looked around. Lucas was nowhere to be seen amongst the crowd of students. I turned my head around the corridor and walked a few steps ahead, but he was fast and had already left.
I was trying to block the anger that filled me. For some reason, my temper was hardwired to my tear ducts. I usually cried during arguments, an embarrassing tendency I had. Fighting back my tears, I moved through the crowded hall towards my next class.
The rest of the day, I went from class to class, jotting down the notes, occasionally thinking of my unpleasant encounter with Lucas. It wasn't fair. He was mean and somewhere at the back of my mind, for some stupid reason I could not help but think that his words had an underlying meaning.
The final bell rang at last. I walked slowly to the parking lot where Cee had parked. She was already there scrolling through her phone. She waved at me as she saw me heading towards her. We stepped inside the car and Cee cranked the engine to life.
"Have you finished your column for tomorrow's deadline?" Cee asked as she adjusted the rear view.
"I'm still working on it. I need to dig in some books to spark some inspiration." I replied.
"To the library then!" Cee concluded and we began on our way to the public library.
"Earlier today, I saw Lucas leaving Biology, is he in your class?" She asked.
"Unfortunately yes." I groaned.
"Did something happen?"
"He gives me the creeps." I replied nastily and began ranting on about the unfairness of it all.
"That is so rude." Cee frowned.
It was a bit thick, his judgement was irrational and inflexible. It was unavoidable to wonder that he hated me for absolutely no reason. It had to be something else, something else must have happened before he entered the class and took a seat beside me. His words must have been about another aggravation. It was impossible that he could take such a sudden, intense dislike to me.
A few minutes later, Cee parked her Ford in the parking lot and we hopped out of the car.
Inside the library, after getting our books, we took a table near the "paranormal fiction" section.
I began reading the book, hoping it would spark some inspiration so I could finish the article I had due by midnight.
"Want some?" Cee asked passing me bag of chips.
"What's up with you? You're being awfully touchy today."
"Blame Mr. McKnight." I replied dryly. Blame Lucas, I thought to myself.
"No I'm not talking about today. You've been crabby since the last two days."
Blame the note I found under my pillows, two nights ago. Blame all the confusion and terror I have had since then. I thought to myself.
"Are you listening to me?" Cee shook my arm, snatching me out if my thoughts.
"Umm... I better focus on finishing this article." I replied.
"If you say so." Cee turned away from me and continued with her book.
After finishing the potato chips, Cee wandered off to discard the packet. A few minutes later she came back with two romance novels.
"I'm gonna get these issued later." She said setting up the books on the table and taking a seat beside me.
"I think we should go now, I've had enough of the ideas I need." I suggested.
"Okay" She closed her book and we sauntered to the checkout counter.
We stood in the queue for a minute or two, when my eyes landed on a tall guy dressed in black from head to toe, his back facing us. He stood in front of one of the bookshelves, maybe deciding on which book to read. There was something strangely familiar about this person and I realised that when he turned around.
I instantly turned back, wishing he had not seen me. Just when I thought, everything was under control, Cee' eyes caught him.
"Is that Lucas?" She spoke.
"Hmm ... where? " I tried to play dumb.
"Over there" She pointed out in his direction.
"Hey, you're next." I informed her, hoping it would divert her attention from him.
"Lucas" Cee whispered, practically teasing me. I put a hand on her mouth to shut her.
"Cee please..." I pleaded but it was too late, he heard us and his eyes settled on us. We froze on our spot.
To our astonishment, he smiled at us, or maybe at me. I removed my hand from Cee' mouth and turned in other direction, wishing he won't come our way. After we got our books issued, we were headed towards the exit, when Cee spotted Zach. As she turned his way, I stopped her.
"Hey..." I tugged at Cee' arm. "I'll wait for you in the car." I said.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, you go ahead, I don't feel like it."
"Here you go!" She handed me the keys of her ford. "I won't take long." She smiled.
Outside the sky had shifted shades from gravel gray to an inky blue and the air was laced with a faint fog. The wind suddenly turned from chilly to icy, but that wasn't the reason I felt increasingly ill at ease. The feeling was back. That cold, heart-stopping feeling that someone was watching me.
I stole a look to both sides. Nothing abnormal in my peripheral vision. I spun a full 180 degrees, no one could to be seen around. Pulling up all the courage, I continued walking, when suddenly someone tapped lightly on my shoulder. I turned back in horror, a little spooked.
It was Lucas.
"Woah.... are you okay?" You look a little pale." He mocked.
"What the hell are you doing here?"
"What is a library for? ... I'm getting a book... obviously."
"I mean what are you doing here right now."
"Oh right... here." He handed me a notebook. "You left this in Biology."
"Thanks" It was my notebook.
"By the way, you can try and improve that handwriting of yours. I'm not saying it's that poor but there's always a room for refinement." He laughed.
"That's none of your business." I scoffed.
"As your biology partner, it definitely and totally falls under my business to point out your drawbacks" He paused and then took a step forward, I backed a little, "like I did today, in class."
The fear I had felt earlier has now subsided. My resentment creeping in again as before.
"Stop with your bullshit already and find a new partner for biology." I snapped .
"I already did. I talked with Mr. McKnight and he thinks we will make good partners."
"Am I interrupting something?" Cee cut me off.
"Not at all, we're done here." I snarled and turned back on my way.
* * *
At home, Grace was busy packing her stuff.
"Do you need a hand." I asked as I leaned by her door.
"Oh no, I'm almost done." Grace answered, "How was your day?"
"Exhausting" I waved showing disapproval.
"Anything new?" Grace showed concern.
"Nope, just same old same old." I said, "I'll be in my room, call me when the dinner's ready."
I changed into my pjs and opened my laptop. I began typing my article, typing all the ideas I've gained earlier. I finished my article before eight and then decided to do some homework.
After dinner, I was exhausted and jumped into bed and drifted to sleep.