His Eyes

In that moment, I forgot where I was. Who I was. What we had been doing. I desperately wanted to look at him but was afraid of what I might see. I allowed myself to slowly move my eyes from the desk in from of him to his shirt.
It was black.
Just like his heart.

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2. Detention.

I look around. Everything is gray. Gray walls, gray tables, gray floors... everything. It's all just varying shades of gray. The standard clock above the gray board ticks slowly, moving agonizingly slow towards the giant 4 in the corner, when the hour will end. Detention seems even more bleak than I had imagined.

I walk slowly into the long, rectangular room, taking in as much of the scene as I can. To my right I could see a boy with dark tattoos running up his muscular arm sharing a cigarette with a young, pretty girl dressed like a secretary. And not the slutty kind, the perfect daddy's-girl, conservative kind. She looked nervous, he looked over-confident. I looked away.

To my left I saw a group of young boys, maybe four or five of them, with over-sized clothes all in black and hats popped up on their heads. They were laughing loudly and making wild gestures. I stared at one of their black shirts for a moment, remembering when I had stared at Chris's earlier in the day. The thought of Chris made me look away, searching the room for his presence. I found his broad shoulders slouching away from me near the front of the room.

I hesitated. Should I sit next to him? What would I say? Would he try to talk to me again? I couldn't make a fool of myself, not twice in a day, and especially not to him. But I was curious as to what he was doing. After a few moments, I settled on sitting a few seats away from him, in the same row. 

Clank! The muffled sound of the metal buttons pinned on my army green hobo bag hitting the linoleum floor made him look up. I tried to ignore the glance and sat down, just two plastic chairs away from him. I stared at the dirty floor between my converse. 

"Would you look at that, it's innocent little Miss May in the detention hall with all the troublemakers!" Chris teased. 

"I, well... I... I've never been here before." I managed to choke out between blushes. I waited, expecting him to blurt out "Shocker!" or "NO, really?" or some other form of sarcasm. But he didn't.

"It's not as bad as it looks. Here, everyone understands to not ask about other people's business. They usually will just stay in their own clique, so you have nothing to worry about."

"Oh." I'm great at holding conversations, I know. But I didn't have to fret for long, Chris began again.

"Sorry for earlier, I didn't plan on getting you in trouble too." 

"'Too'?" I inquired. "As in, you planned on getting caught and sent to Detention?" 

"Of course. I always come here after school. But remember, rule number one of detention hall: don't ask about other people's business."

I looked down at my sneakers again.

He continued, "But that's not to say I only talked to you so that I could get in trouble." He scooted two chairs over, so he was sitting next to me again. "I wanted to talk to you. You seemed so... different. Like there is so much more to you than you are letting everyone else see."

I blinked and looked at his chest. He was pretty spot-on. But I decided to defend myself. 

"And what are you, a shrink?" I lifted my eyes to his lips again. Still memorizing.

He smirked. "No. I just have a way of seeing people differently than most people do."

"And how do you see me, Mr. I-can-see-all-things?"

"I see you as someone who constantly wears a mask. Someone who acts happy and does everything she is supposed to do without question. The kind of person everybody wants to be. But that's not who you are really. There's more to you than that. I just can't figure out quite what it is yet."

I watched his mouth create these words in silence. So thoughtful. It slightly frightened me, how much he seemed to know about me already. I couldn't understand how he could have known any of what he just said. I looked away.

"But I also see you as someone..."

He waited. I looked up at his lips again. The bell buzzed overhead, one deep, long note, announcing the end of the hour.

"...who just survived their first detention. Not too bad, right? I guess I'll be seeing you tomorrow."

And with that, I watched him grab his black folder off the floor and walk out of the room, leaving me in the gray by myself. Everyone else had left already. 

What had he meant, "I just have a way of seeing people differently than most people do"? And how had he known so much about me, when we had just met today? Questions swarmed around in my head, making me dizzy. I just couldn't figure him out. I shook my head and tried to focus.

I grabbed my bag and mechanically slung it over my shoulder, like I've done a million times, and walked out into the sunshine again, away from the gray.

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