Tough Love

April Parker's life is a mess... Then she meets a boy, and he helps her through life. Will she learn how to love again? Or will the one person she starts to love leave? April doesn't want to take chances. She doesn't want to be left behind again... Will she make thing better? Or end up pushing him away?

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8. Chapter eight: Partners

~Tomorrow at school~ 

APRIL

      Me and Harry still aren't talking to each other. This morning he didn't even bother to wake me up. Instead of waking up to his cheeky smile, I woke up to the sound of my annoying alarm clock. He didn't look at me once today, it's like he thinks I'm medusa or something. Now we sit in first period awkward and silent, and it's killing me. The silence is deafening, I never knew silence could be so loud. I can't believe Harry could sit in silence for so long without feeling uncomfortable. Still, he sat there unmoving pretending to pay attention, averting eye contact with me. The worst part is I didn't know how to feel about Harry now. One part of me wants to punch him for ignoring me all day, and being a total dick these couple days. I mean, just because I'm friends with Adam doesn't make him any less important to me. The other part of me wants to kiss him and call him mine, and forget this whole thing ever happened. But there's something stopping me like an invisible force or whatever. Everyone I've ever loved... Their all gone, they all left me, and if that ever happened with Harry I don't know what I would do. So I guess it's better for everyone if I just forget the feelings I have for him. 

       Two periods passed and Harry still hasn't said anything to me. I'm sitting in third period talking to Jade about the assignment the teacher is giving us. 

"... So our assignment is as follows," Mrs. Copeland revealed as she toured down the aisle of students while ensuring that all attention was focused on her and not any where else. The usual suspects were nodding off and required a gentle tap of her ruler to their shoulders. "You will work with a partner and write a poem," her smile evenly matched the collective groan of the class. "It is due at the end of this period and one of you will read it in front of the entire class. I want you all to learn how to convey emotion through words. I want to engage your creativity." 

She put a piece of paper on an empty table with a bunch of names on it. "Come up and find your partner on the list." Mrs. Copeland walked back to her desk as kids crowded around the paper to see who their partnered with. I waited for the crowd to die down before I go up. I looked down the line to find my name. The list is mainly joining a lot of girls and boys together, gays and popular kids, nature lovers and slackers, braniacs and jocks. She picked out the least likely of friends and stuck them together. I finally found my name. I almost pass out when I see who my partner is...

April Parker with Adam Reed. 

I wanted to slam my head against the desk. After what happened yesterday with him and Harry, I can't look at him the same. I could I turned around to see Adam staring at me, amusement clear in his eyes. I walk over and sit down next to him. 

"Hey," he smiled. 

"Hey... Partner," There are so many things I want tell him, but that's the only thing that manages to come out. 

"Okay. So, you probably don't like doing poetry. Lucky for you, I do." Adam told me with a smile, offering to do all my work.

I felt my heart sink, as my own sense of fairness crept over what he wanted. I wanted to give him something to do and his smile made it seem like he'd enjoy the assignment, but it was half mine. "I need to earn my grade." I said quietly. "I can't let you do all the work and take credit for it. It's not right."

"Okay then, I'll do the work and you come to my party tonight. Seems fair right?" He winks at me, my heart flutters. Wow, he really wants me at that party. 

I smile, "Deal." 


     After he finished the poem, he wouldn't let me see it. He kept saying to wait until he reads it. 

"Adam, would you like to read your poem?" Mrs. Copeland asked him. He got up to the front of the class and started reading. 

"I get butterflies, every time you look at me, touch me, talk to me.
Big cheesy smiles across my face. 
You fill that empty place, deep in my heart, where it has been lonely for such a long time. 
I hope we never part.
Because if we did…
I don’t know if I could take it..
I feel so much for you. 
When your not with me, I miss your touch.
Feelings for you come more and more each day. 
I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way..
Do you understand what I'm trying to say?
You know how to make me smile.
I hate being away from you, even for a little while.
I can't control my feelings, 
I can't help but want you all to myself.
I can’t think of enough words to explain. 
My feelings for you are simple and plain." 

Aww! That's so sweet! The class applauded shortly after Mrs. Copeland, who looked amazed. 

"Mr. Reed, that was... Incredible!" She took his paper smiling. Adam walked confidently back to his seat next to me, kinda glowing and grinning from ear to ear. "I take it you liked the poem?" He asked. 

Humoring him at first with a flirtatious little head tilt, I ducked away when a faint blush tinged my cheeks. When a guy stands up in front of all his guy friends and the entire class and reads you a love poem he wrote about you, what in the world was a girl supposed to do? "I loved it," I replied. I found myself just gawking at Adam. I couldn't believe he had written something so beautiful for me. I was completely touched. I stuttered out, "I'm shocked you wrote it about me."

Shrugging as if it were no big deal, he appears to be relaxed and confident. "I just figured if I was going to be laughed at I might as well do something that will make you smile."

"Thank you," I noted happily. It felt so good to have all that anxious energy, the doubts, and the veiled comments gone between us. "No one has ever written me a poem before. It was beautiful."

"You're beautiful," He smiles. 

"Thanks..." My heart melted and my cheeks were glowing red. Before I can freak out that he just called me beautiful, he moves on to another topic. 

"So.. uh, I wanted to say I'm sorry for yesterday," he said, for once feeling bashful. 

"It's fine. Harry wasn't exactly being ‘friendly’ either," I sighed. My smiled faded as I thought about Harry and the huge fight we got into yesterday. "Actually, he got really mad about it, and now he refuses to talk to me. I pretty much hate his guts right now." 

I let out a sigh as I looked down at my legs. I could feel his eyes still glued to me. He opened his mouth to say something, then the bell rung. "Anyway, see ya later." I gave him a small (fake) smile before picking up my books and heading out the classroom door. I walked down the hallway to my locker, fidgeted with the lock and opened it. I grabbed my binder for next period and closed my locker. I felt someone grab my wrist gently. I turned to see it was Adam. 

"Uh, hey," I smiled. 

"I need to talk to you about something..." 

I nodded. I looked around at a completely empty hallway. It was just us, everyone had gone to class. 

"I know you like me April." Adam whispered, his blue eyes peering into mine. My heart was beating out of my chest. My stomach in butterflies as I heard the way he said my name. I looked down, it's easier to concentrate without his sparkling eyes hypnotizing me. He walked a step closer then, as he did that I instinctively took a step back. He took a step closer I looked up and I was frozen. He put his fingers on my chin the looked into my eyes. "I can see it in the way you look at me..." Adam added almost whispering. 

"I do like you... A lot," I said breathlessly as he took another step closer, our bodies touching now. There is no denying though, I truly did feel something for Adam. I wrestled with my thoughts, trying to think of something to say, but nothing came to mind. He's right, I thought. We sat in silence for a moment. I tried to think of ways to tell Adam that we would never work, and that I wasn't ready for a relationship, or that Harry would probably kill him before he got his hands on me. But I couldn't bring myself to speak up. A look of indecisiveness overtook my face, and the air became tense. 

"Then why won't you go out with me?" Adam demands, arresting me with his burning gaze. The fire has flared to life once more and I feel exposed beneath those smoldering blue eyes.

"Because you and Harry are both great guys... I can't choose right now," I whisper.

"I thought you hated him?" he concludes, reading me like an open book. "Why do you keep defending him?" He looks down at me, hurt and wounded but impatient and angry. I haven't seen him this serious before. 

He's right. I don't know why I keep defending him. He obviously doesn't care enough to talk to me or even look in my direction. Why do I still like him? I sighed and glanced at my feet, "I don't know-" I started to say, but was cut off by his hand reaching for my cheek. His warm lips colliding with mine, kissing me gently. I kissed back and I could feel how he smiled through the kiss. He had me pinned up against the lockers now, his lips on mine. The locker handle was stabbing my back, it hurt like hell.

I was kissing Adam. No, I was making out with Adam, in an empty school hallway. How much more of a slut could I be? There was absolutely no way around it, and you know the worst part? I enjoyed it! His lips were so soft and his hands in my hair felt incredible! How could something so wrong feel so right?! It took my entire being to pull away from that kiss. 

I put my hand on his chest and pushed him away lightly. I turned away from him, "I gotta go." I walked away as fast as I could and didn't look back once. 

****

All day in class I couldn't stop thinking about the kiss. I'm such a terrible person! I'm just playing with there emotions... Like they're my boy toys. Sooner or later I'm going to have to pick, or someone's going to get hurt. 

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