Grabbing my doodled notebook, I slam my locker shut and tuck a lock of loose hair behind my ear. I quickly notice my eyes fixed on a pair of new kids and divert my eyes back to my locker. They hold hands and stare into their schedules, lifting their heads now and then to point at a classroom and mutter something inaudible to each other. There are two of them, a thin girl and a strong boy, his muscles outlined by his tight black shirt.
My gaze immediately wanders towards the girl. A loose v-necked t-shirt draped over her shoulders displaying a tattoo; three jet black crows printed on her right collarbone, flying into her heart. Her black skinny jeans emphasizing her toned curves, her worn and shabby black converse squeaking across the linoleum floor. The boy strikes me as strong, and muscular. His muscles bulge under his shirt, and his medium-length shaggy black hair is rustled up this way and that.
They both approach me. My entire body freezes as I grip onto the folders in my hands even tighter. They get closer, and I try to act cool, as if I wasn't just boggling at them with my tongue hanging out of my mouth. After all, no one else stopped to stare at them, or at least they hid it better than I did. They finally reach me and my jaw gapes open, searching for a sound in my raspy, dry throat, only managing to produce a squeal.
"Hi," the girl smiles at me "I'm Tris, and this is Tobias." she gestures her hands towards the boy who just smiles back and gives a little wave. "We're trying to get B-101, Math with Ms. Smith. Do you know where that is?" she asks me, reading off her crumpled schedule.
"Ummm, yeah," I reply "I'm going there now actually"
"Great" It's the boy who responds this time. He looks me straight in the eye and smiles kindly, sending a shiver down my spine. His voice surprises me, its low and masculine, rich. I don't move.
"Oh right, math," I say after an awkward silence. I begin to head down the hallway and nervously I run my hand through my hair. Tris does the same almost in sync with me. We both chuckle sheepishly as Tobias rolls his eyes at us.
"Hey," Tris says, jokingly punching him in the stomach. He chuckles and he puts his arm around her, kissing her gently on her lips.
"So, are you guys like, a couple?" I ask awkwardly, keeping my head down and continuing to walk through the now almost empty hallway. "Stupid, of course they're a couple" I murmur to myself, but they don't hear.
"Yes, I mean, I guess," they both reply, grinning at each other like two charltons' from Alice in Wonderland. I nod automatically and continue walking, my head exploding with questions. As we walk, they continue to murmur between themselves, holding hands and playfully bumping into each other.
"We're from Chicago," they tell me after a moment of silence.
"I've always wanted to go to Chicago," I reply, quickly looking back at them over my shoulder.
"Like, factions chicago?" Tris asks, a state of bewilderment clearly displayed on her face.
"Ummm, what are factions? I shake my head as I ask her this. They both explode into hysteria at my reaction, clutching their stomachs. Low booming chuckles coming from Tobias and more of a soft, gentle laugh from Tris.
"Excuse us," Tris blurts out, still dying of laughter. Once we arrive in class, I show them where to sit and then plop myself down into my seat, exhausted from practically doing nothing. I do my usual routine for the CATS. Biting my nails and stretching, finishing early, everyone in the class staring at me like I'm an alien. When the bell finally rings I grab my notebooks and linger around the doorway, waiting for Tris and Tobias. When they approach the door I pounce on them.
"Do you need help finding your lockers?" I ask, scratching the back of my neck indifferently.
"No, we're good, we know where our lockers are" Tobias responds this time.
"Oh by the way, what time is the train?" Tris asks me.
"Yeah, the-oh, the bus, right what time is the bus,"
"4:00" I answer, squinting my eyes suspiciously. There's an awkward silence before Tobias blurts out:
"Cool then, see you around?"
"Yep, see you," I reply, and take off towards my locker, half racing away from them. I stumble back down the teal staircase, and look back over my shoulder to see them heading in the wrong direction. This time I'm the one who chuckles, and begin to pack up my bag.
Tris and Tobias, odd names, odd people. Trains, factions, what were they talking about? Beginning to walk home, I slumber past the lush green park and over the bridge that crosses the park lake. Through the jungle gym, and a few more blocks down. I arrive home and jam my key into the crooked keyhole. I turn the key and my head at the same time, both cracking as I do. Taking one step in the house, I abruptly stop to the faint sound of laughter, coming up the newly rented house on the left to mine. My heart begins to pound in my chest as I turn my head, sharply. I catch a glimpse of Tris and Tobias snaking there way into the front door, embraced in a passionate hug. Tris waves as they quickly duck into their house. Neighbours, I mutter to myself, striding into the kitchen and plopping the keys down on the kitchen table. Great, just great.