The person shifted in his seat, as if he sensed my eyes on him. When he turned back, I realized why he looked so familiar.
It was Lucas.
I instantly dropped my gaze to my book, after receiving a lopsided smile from him. Seconds later, someone tapped on my table and I didn't have to look up to know who the person was. He settled on the empty chair in front of me.
"We keep finding our way back to each other!" His voice was full of humour.
"An unfortunate coincidence indeed!" I said without looking at him.
I heard him snicker at my reply, "Don't be a whiner Katherine." He said, "What if we are fated to walk side by side."
This time I looked up, "Side by side. . . But on different ends of the road." This time I looked him straight into his eyes expecting his face to fall by my sudden retort but instead he grinned.
"You're getting cocky Katherine, I like that." He shifted forward in his seat. "Five days a week with me and you're already catching onto my humour. Should I consider that my charms are working on you."
I rolled my eyes and got up from my seat, " I should probably leave!"
"Guess what. . . I'm leaving too." He stood up as well.
We left the café together. Outside it was completely dark now and wind blew lightly.
"Need a ride home?" He asked.
"My home is just a few streets away. I'll walk." I turned away from him, towards my path.
"I can walk you home." He was instantly by my side. His hands were inside the pockets of his jeans. He walked casually but with confidence.
"You don't have to."
"I've nothing to do right now. Besides. . . I like keeping you company."
I wasn't looking at him but I could tell that he smirked after saying that. Someway or another, he always find the perfect smug replies.
"But I don't like your company" I didn't liked the way he always provoked me like he wanted some kind of reaction out of me so he can judge me.
"You don't like my company or you're too shy to admit that you do."
"I don't like your company, it's as simple as that. " I replied.
"Now that's what I call a lie." He laughed. "You and I, we have a long way to go." There was more to the statement than it actually conveyed.
"What do you mean?" I narrowed my eyes at him.
A smirk played on his lips and his eyes laughed along, "I was talking about the way to your home." He pointed on the street ahead.
I rolled my eyes and started walking.
"By the way, what are you doing in this neighbourhood? Last I checked you lived somewhere around the Portland Grills. What brought you here?"
"I was taking a tour of Portland and found this place. Besides I wanted to see you, so I drove here." His response was clear cut.
"Where did you live before Portland?" I ignored the part where he said he wanted to see me. What threw me off was he knew I lived around here. But it could be possible that Cee told him.
"I was in South California."
"What made you leave the place?" I questioned.
"My father wanted me and Zach to be here, so we transferred here."
"What about your parents? They didn't come along?"
"No. We live on our own."
"Why did they send you here?"
"Is this an interview?" He pointed out.
"Not really. . . I'm just curious." I tried to hide the fact that I was actually trying to get information out of him, though all my attempts were going futile. He was an expert in responding discreetly.
"If this is what you call curiousity then I must say you're curious about all the wrong things."
"I don't think so. Since I don't know anything about you. " I pressed.
"I guess we never got a chance to talk properly." He paused and then stopped walking. I stopped too and he extended his hand out to me. "Hello. . . I'm Lucas Maguire. And you are?" For the very first time I saw a warm friendly smile on his dazzling face apart from his regular smug expression.
I was bewildered by the sudden change in his mood. He wasn't the same Lucas I knew from school.
He raised an eye brow and tilted his head sideways as a nod. "Come on. . . play along."
I shook hands with him "Nice to meet you Lucas. I'm Katherine Grayson." He was being genuine but I was well aware about what he was doing. Something that he always did . . . he was dodging questions.
"Now let's continue where we left off." He spoke and before I could continue with my questions, he asked me one of his own. "have you always been here in Portland?"
"Yes, I've always been here."
"You live with your parents?"
"No . . . They died when I was nine."
"That must have been terrible Katherine." He was suddenly sympathetic, "So who do you live with now? Foster parents?"
"No. My mother's best friend Grace took my custody after their death. I've been living with her ever since then. I don't know what would have happened if I ended up with one of those foster families."
"Katherine. . .You're not afraid of what's around. You're just apprehensive about what's coming next. You're just afraid of the things you can't control." His eyes appraised me.
"What do you mean by that?"
"I'm stating facts about you." He answered non-chalantly
"What makes you so sure?" I challenged.
"It's all written on that pretty face of yours. You try so hard to not be bothered by anything but it still pesters you." What was he trying to prove? Is this some kind of disturbing joke?
"Can we not do this? "
"Talk about me."
"You can try dodging this conversation, but you are well aware of what I'm trying to say." He said, "You can keep things to yourself, but you cannot continue to do this forever. At some point you have to stop and take a moment to deal with it."
"There's nothing I have to deal with." I wasn't sure if I was convincing myself or him.
"You sure about that?"
"If that's what you want then okay." He said and we continued walking again. I was glad this conversation came to an end. "But hey. . . I want you to know that you can talk to me, if you ever feel like sharing something."
"You're hardly the person I would share something with." What was wrong with him? Was he trying to provoke me or was it that obvious that some things were bothering me.
"You don't trust me or you're scared of me?"
"Both" The confession slipped out on it's own.
He laughed, "Come on Katherine, I won't bite."
"Who knows! " I scoffed.
We walked in silence for a few minutes before we reached my house.
"Thanks for walking me home. . ."
"Aren't you going to invite me in?"
"Nope." I laughed.
"Rude. . .Your loss." He shrugged.
"Good night Lucas." I smiled.
"Good night Katherine." He turned on his way back and I watched him walking away till he was out of sight.