Surprisingly, I was the first one there.
“Good morning,” a cheerful voice greeted me. I looked up to see a balding man who looked to be in his mid-forties sporting a comb over and sparkling blue eyes. “I’m Mr. Porter.”
“I’m Abby,” I murmured, giving him a smile. He gave me a nod, letting out a slight chuckle.
“Nice to meet you, Abby. Please feel free to choose a spot to sit. We will begin shortly.” With that, he stepped out of the classroom, greeting other students as they made their way inside.
I decided to choose a spot somewhere in the middle. Being near the front would give off the impression that I knew too much, and sitting near the back would give off the impression that I didn’t know a thing at all. In the middle, I would know just the perfect amount.
“Hey, is this spot taken?” I glanced up startled, and into the ocean-blue eyes of a stranger. I shook my head, gesturing for him to take a seat. He flashed me a big smile, his pearly whites glistening in the bad fluorescent lighting. “Thanks.” I just nodded again, biting the inside of my cheek. He was cute, there was no doubt about it—but I wouldn’t date him. “My name’s Matt.”
“Abby,” I responded, looking to the side to peer at him with interest. Did he always go around introducing himself to random people just met? Or was it just a common thing to do, and I wasn’t aware of it?
“Are you a junior?” he inquired, his eyebrows knitting together as he saw me looking at him.
I shook my head. “No. Sophomore. Are you?”
“Yeah,” he nodded. “Wow, a Sophomore taking Chemistry? Man I feel dumb. You must be really smart.”
I looked away as he said that. “I guess…” Truthfully, I hated it when people mentioned stuff like that. I didn’t consider myself to be smart—I just didn’t mind doing all the work that all my classes provided. Good grades were just a bonus.
Thankfully, Matt and I didn’t have the chance to speak any further as Mr. Porter came into the room and closed the door. I peered around, noticing how full the class was. I hadn’t realized the Chemistry would be such a popular subject.
“Alright class, let’s get started. I hope you’ve brought along your textbooks with you, because today we are going to be beginning the first chapter.”
I pulled my textbook out of my backpack, flipping open to the part he was talking about. Chapter One: Matter and Change. I stared at the picture on the side with great interest.
“Now, before we begin, I also want to hand out safety contracts. They will be due—”
Before he had a chance to finish the sentence, the door banged open. Everyone in the class jumped, including Mr. Porter himself. Loud, raucous laughter was heard from the other end as footsteps ran down the hall.
“Alright, I’ll see you later, Chaz!” a voice yelled. I sucked in a breath, biting the inside of my cheek. It was him. The whole room grew quiet, the girls letting out sighs and the guys beginning to grin.
He walked into the room slowly, completely casual as if he interrupted lessons all the time. Which I guess, in his case, he most definitely had. Dark jeans hung low on his hips, a black leather jacket resting on top of his white v-neck. Dog tags adorned his neck, and black Ray Bans covered his eyes. He blew a few kisses to the girls in the front row and they swooned, letting out a long sigh and staring at him with dreamy eyes. I wrinkled my nose, trying not to laugh. What the hell?
“And who are you?” Mr. Porter’s voice cut through the silence. I raised an eyebrow at his tone—he sounded pissed, a complete 180 of what he was before.
A slow smirk appeared on the latecomer’s face as he threw his hands out. “I’m Justin Bieber!” aka the heartless asshole who has slept and broken the heart of just about every girl in the school.
“Well Mr. Bieber, is there any reason as to why you are late to my class this morning?” Mr. Porter’s voice was now calm, controlled. The only evidence of his anger was the coldness in his blue eyes.
Justin’s smirk got bigger, in fact, he almost looked smug. “I guess you could say I was…” He licked his lips, his voice becoming a little seductive. “a little busy with things, if you know what I mean.”
Another collective sigh escaped from the mouths of all the females in the room. I made a face. Ew. I can’t believe that he just admitted that to the whole class.
“I see. Well you have earned a detention right after school. I will see you in my classroom at 3 o’clock sharp.”
“No you won’t” Justin contradicted easily. “I’ve got things to do, places to be. I won’t be serving anything after school.”
“Just take a seat, Mr. Bieber,” Mr. Porter ground out, a vein throbbing in his forehead.
“Alright, alright,” Justin concluded, raising his hands up in surrender. “I’m sorry for the interruption. It won’t happen again.”
A loud snort escaped from my lips as soon as he said that. In the silence of the classroom, I could guarantee that it was heard by almost everyone. Justin spun around, his expression turning into one of amusement as I looked at him with a sour expression on my face. Asshole. I didn’t know him personally, but I’d heard enough from all the girls that I helped to make him seem like a first class jackass. He just wanted to get into people’s pants, that’s it.
“Aye Shawty, how about I help you turn that frown upside down,” he cooed, biting his lip and sending me a flirtatious wink. I huffed and rolled my eyes, looking away from him.
“Okay, okay,” he exclaimed, sounding annoyed. “I get it! I’ll shut the fuck up! Happy?” Letting out a melodramatic sigh, he crossed the room, heading to the back to find a seat. I stiffened as he walked past me, scooting inward towards Matt, who noticed the movement. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Justin smirk—probably pleased with himself that he had “such an effect on me”. Why was it that he and guys like him found people’s repulsion so amusing?
It was only when the class became completely quiet again did Mr. Porter resume again with his lecture. Amidst the opening of notebooks and flipping of pages, Matt leaned in towards me, his mouth close to my ear.
“Hey, what’s the deal between you and that guy?”
I cleared my throat, keeping my eyes glued onto the lines of my empty sheet of notebook paper. They stared back at me, glaringly blue against the rest of the plain white surface. “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
“It didn’t seem like nothing,” Matt argued, a frown becoming etched on his face. “It seems like you hated him, like you wanted nothing to do with him.”
“That’s because I don’t,” I responded, my voice clipped. My tone made it clear that I just wanted him to shut the hell up and leave me alone, but of course he did no such thing. In fact, he did the complete opposite by plowing ahead into the conversation.
“No, seriously, Abby. What did he do to you?”
“Nothing!” I burst out, throwing my hands up in the air. Unfortunately, in the now-near-to-complete silence of the classroom, once again, my presence was heard. Mr. Porter looked up at me through his glasses, as did the rest of the class.
“Abby, is something the matter?”
I shook my head, feeling heat flood my cheeks as the rest of my body caught up with my embarrassing outburst. “No, Mr. Porter. Sorry.”
Porter sucked in a huge breath, shaking his head back and forth slightly. “Okay.” He raised his head and glanced at the rest of us. “Now, is anyone else inclining to make an interruption or can I actually start teach the material we’re supposed to be learning this semester?” Nobody said anything. Seeing that there was no one to oppose him, Porter sighed and started from where he left off.
I leaned in towards Matt, mirroring the position that he was in before. “Nothing. He didn’t do anything to me. It’s what he has done to the rest of the female population in this school that makes me want to bury him alive.”
Matt nodded in understanding, ducking his head to once again whisper in my ear. “So you’re the famous teenage girl therapist then, huh?” He chuckled. “Never thought I’d actually get a chance to meet you. Do you specialize in setting up dates too?”
Matchmaker? Well, I had never even thought of taking up that role as well. Damn, what else would people ask me to do next? Relationship counselor? Boy whisperer?
“Uhmm, no. Not exactly,” I whispered, looking at him in confusion. “But is there someone that you want me to specifically talk to?”
“Lissa Walters,” he said automatically, a grin coming onto his face. “I think you know her?”
“Yeah, I actually do,” I replied honestly, a grin coming onto my face as well. “I’ll tell her that Matt…”
“Southerland. Matt Southerland,” he replied in a hushed tone. “Tell her that Matt Southerland is in love with her, and has been for the past two years.”
And just like that, I could sense Lissa’s happy ending appear in full bloom—all with the help of Matt Southerland, my Chemistry partner.