Chapter Eleven - I'm Angry and He Compliments Me
Snap. Out. Of. It. Those 4 words repeated in my head but that wasn't the only thing stuck in my head. I hit my head on my hard mattress, I've been doing this of the past 10 minutes, non stop. My neck started to ache but I wasn't stopping until the message got across.
I threw the soccer ball back into the air, catching it in my fingertips. She's still not gone. I flipped over and scrolled through the usual facebook timeline. Desperate chicks who let boys walk all over them posted statuses, guaranteeing any guy reading it a 'good night out.' Normally I would message that sleazy girl, even to get my mind off things but I couldn't.
I didn't want to be thinking about her. This isn't me. I don't think about girls. I mean I think about girls but I don't think about one individual girl, repetitively. I shouldn't remember the girls name let alone remember her soft brown eyes, but I do. She consumed my thoughts and it scared me a little. I can't be right in the head.
It happened ever since, I helped her get home when she was drunk. I had to smile because she actually got drunk. Either way, when she asked me to stay with her I felt a sigh of relief because deep down I wanted to stay. But why? She is a nerd that used to be invisible to me not even a month ago.
I've read about this, all the cheesy romance novels we had to read in English class has given me an understanding but I can't help but question, am I experiencing it? Girls rave about how the boy won't get out of their mind, how they get butterflies when they speak to him. For a guy like me I just get one vibe from hot girls; sexual attraction.
But not with Al, well I do get the vibe of sexual attraction but I get more as well, I experience a whole other feeling. I get nervous around her sometimes. Me? Mr Confident, but yes I get nervous around her. It's more than desire or lust with her. I feel like a little six year old boy who likes the girl down the street, who gives her flowers and since he can't understand his own emotions he ends up punching her with excitement. Did I just refer to Al as 'liking' her?
Now I'm definitely fucked up. This is why I haven't gone to school for a whole week. Some say I'm a truant but I'm just avoiding her. I thought this way, if I didn't see her all these foreign feelings would go away. But no, she has invaded the most private thing that I own. (No, it isn't my genitals considering they aren't private to half the girls at school)
Monday came and I decided to give up. At this rate, she would never escape it so I may as well get an education. Wow, I really mustn't be myself if I just said I should get an education or the fact that I said mustn't. I need to keep it together.
I put my uniform on, not bothering to tuck in my shirt which wasn't even ironed. I tied my tie loosely so it hung around my neck from beneath my collar. Instead of wearing my blazer for 'school regulation' I wore my leather jacket.
Not even bothering to have breakfast let alone say goodbye to my- spoke too soon. "Good bye Luke," her disappointed voice said from behind me.
I spun around and put on the most innocent smile I could pull. "Mum, I thought you were still sleeping." I lied.
"Are you going to give me a hug?" She asked expectingly.
Don't get me wrong, I love my mum, she's been nothing but a rock for me. Shes gone through a lot and I'm just being a selfish son. So I enveloped my mum in a hug, kissing her on the cheek I walked outside and hopped on my bike. I was already late for first period and I considered skipping all together but then I remembered it was English. Al was there.
I drove as fast as I could, being in the speed limit of course, I wasn't risking being pulled down to the police station again. There was only 10 minutes left to the period when I arrived and the normal Luke wouldn't have bothered showing up but if you haven't noticed, I'm not the normal Luke anymore.
She sat there as I leaned into the doorway. Petite and happy as always, she liked English but preferred history. I decided to take my seat just in case anyone caught me staring at Al. Her head snapped and she smiled instantly when she saw me, then happiness changed to concern.
"Are you feeling better?" She whispered to me as I got out my book.
I was about to open my mouth to reply but the teacher interjected before I got the chance. "Glad to see you've joined us Mr. Brooks, now if you wouldn't mind beginning on the work. In Silence!" He said, emphasizing the words 'In silence' and I got her message quite clearly.
I sighed and pretended to work when in actual fact I was just looking at the girl beside me. She caught me a few times and asked me 'What?' while blushing but I just shook my head and smiled to myself.
What a douche.
"You look better, do you feel it?" She asked the moment we left the classroom.
"What?" I asked, enjoying her concern, she looked so cute.
"Well you were gone for a whole week so I assumed you were sick," she informed me and I laughed.
"Oh no, I just didn't feel like going to school." Relatively quickly all the concern drained out of her body which was replaced with anger.
"YOU JERK!" She began to shout but then she noticed the amount of people staring so she lowered her voice to verbally abuse me. May I say, her voice low and bitter was turning me on.
"How dare you? I've been worried a whole week about you, thinking that you had influenza." She began and I had to interject.
"Aw Al, you think about me." I got the reaction I was looking for, heat seared through her body.
She continued, "When in actual fact you've been lazing out on your fat ass because you didn't feel like coming to school. I've been slaving for a whole week looking after the baby. Relentless, sleepless nights." I had to interrupt, I couldn't help myself.
"You still look good without your beauty sleep." It was a mix between being a smart ass and actually complimenting her.
She raged, I was waiting for steam to burst through her ears any minute now. "Then you just waltz in here, thinking you're the king. You compliment me when I'm obviously mad at you. You didn't even have the common courtesy to call me or to text me saying that you weren't coming for an entire week." Now I was going to be a smart ass.
"Now Al, that's your fault. I've already asked you for your number on several occasions but you wouldn't give it to me." I said, a smirk appearing on my face as I did so.
She mumbled, "Shut up" and she pushed me out of her way. She looked really hot when she was angry.
I could hear him following in behind me and I didn't want him to. I could feel the tears threatening to come up. Why did I have to be such an emotional girl? I couldn't cry at school, let alone in front of him.
He'd been avoiding me.
"Al, wait up." He said as I power walked my way through the corridors.
"What?" I exasperated, fed up with him following me. I could feel eyes on me, burning through my skin.
He saw something in his eyes and his face and tone softened incredibly. There was no longer amusement or a smirk lingering on his face, he was now worried.
"What did I do?" He asked, trying to wrap his mind around everything.
I tried my hardest to swallow the lump in my throat, to push back the tears threatening to come up, to spit out a word of anger but in the end I failed miserably. I exploded, in front of him and in front of the students walking the halls.
"It's what you didn't do Brooks." I half spat, half sobbed. "You didn't stay that morning, you didn't look after me the next morning, you just left. You avoided me for a whole week, I struggled to even do my work let alone our work. You didn't even try contacting me. You just left"
I felt like such an idiot, crying in front of him. My words were sour but I was just hurt. He was probably going to laugh, take my picture and show it to the whole school about with the caption 'Ugly Cryer' on it. I was expecting him to punch me, slap me, verbally torment me saying how he didn't need this shit. He didn't need me.
I was left to feel horrible the next morning, I was expecting his warmth but instead I felt stupid and embarrassed. I felt like that the whole week. I let the guy hold me for a whole night, where he could have taken advantage of my drunken stage (which he didn't) and it stung so much to see him just leave and avoid me.
Yet, he never fails to surprise me. Moments later, after staring at my face with a blank expression on his, he wrapped me up in his arms and he hugged me. Luke Brooks was hugging me. The invisible girl who he didn't know the name of, not even a month ago. I stood there, shocked at first, I mean I was just crying and now I stood so still, not daring to move a muscle.
After breathing in his intoxicating smell I began to mold into his form, wrapping my arms around his back like he did to me. I was hugging Brooks. He was hugging me. It was so wrong yet felt so right. I could feel the stares, glaring bitterly at me but I was too distracted at the fact that Brooks was returning some emotion.
We were so close, closer than we've ever been before. Our bodies were touching. Smart one Alex, that's what you do when you hug. I pressed my ear against his chest and I listened to his surprisingly unsteady heart beat. There was an evident pulse which was fast, like he had just endured a session in the gym. I couldn't help but question, did I have this effect on him? No I couldn't possibly. It was Luke that we were talking about. He was probably just turned on or something. Not by me though. I'm the last thing he would find attractive.
Hurt and reject was the core from deep within him. "Teddy, I never meant to hurt you. I'm so sorry. It's just... I had to leave before your parents came in and saw a teenage boy sharing the same bed as their daughter." They weren't excuses, I could tell by the look in his eye that he was telling the truth.
"Then why did you avoid me?" I asked him and now he couldn't even looked me in the eye. He ran a few fingers through his hair and then finally met eye with me.
"I was a bit distracted. I found it hard to focus so I took a rest." I didn't bother trying to depict if he was lying because the question of the words he used was bothering me.
Distracted, struggling to concentrate. "You aren't on drugs are you?" I questioned quickly, there was a beam in his eye and I could tell that he was going to make a sly comment but he didn't.
"No Al, I don't take drugs." He answered honestly.
"Is it mental health issues? I've been reading a brochure on anxiety and depression. It can really help if you see someone abou-" I was cut off when Luke began to laugh. This was serious. Mental Health is not a laughing matter.
"Al," he sighed. "I'm fine. Actually I'm great, okay now would you relax please?" he asked, amusement penetrating through his pores.
"Okay." I say after being assured that he was okay. Suddenly I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I had a little rant and now I'm relaxed.
"So we are good?" He asked me, ignoring the twenty girls circles around us.
"Better than good." I mumbled with a small smile and I began to walk to my next class. I was so tempted to say 'Show is over' to the group of demented girls but I didn't want to draw anymore attention to myself.
"I have to go but come over this afternoon, make sure you can stay for dinner." He told me, now I'm not oblivious but this emotion was rare, foreign almost, the vibe portrayed but Brooks was nervousness.
It was odd but I couldn't help but smiling. "Is this a date?" I teased just egging on his reaction.
He composed himself before replying, replacing nervous Luke with confident Brooks so quickly. "What ever you want Teddy, just know that I expect a good night kiss on the end of the first date." He said, we were about a meter away so we were speaking at a normal volume, just so no one could really hear us.
"Consider this me rejecting your date offer in that case." I continued to tease, it was something that I became good at with the teachings of Luke.
"Okay A,l" he said turning on his heel. I could hear the smile in his voice, he knew me so well. "See you at 4:30pm." With that we were both on our ways to second period.
Since then I was in an extremely good mood, in such a good mood that not even my pestering friends couldn't bother. They wanted to know what's up, they suggested things which all revolved around Brooks which made me smile even more. Just his name made me smile. Now I sound like a stupid fangirl, head over heels for this guy.
I sighed inaudibly and I munched on my sandwich as we sat on the bench. "Hottie alert, heading our way." Luke? Once again I sighed, it was only Colton. Wait Colt? Coming our way? To talk to us? At school? In public? Had he lost his mind? His reputation was on the line, associating himself with us.
"Hey there," His voice rang with a smirk. Brooks' wore the smirk better.
"Hi." I replied after my friends were apparently incapable of speaking.
"How are you?" He asked, descending his body to sit with us on the bench.
"Fine." I said in a questionable voice. "And yourself?" I asked, for my manners sake.
"Good thank you." He said, equally as politely which was new for him.
"Colt," I whispered.
"Hm?" He asked.
"What are you doing? What are you up to?" I questioned him and he looked hurt.
"Can't I just have a conversation with you, without being up to my old schemes?" He asked me.
I evaluated his words. "No," I replied and he frowned.
"Ally, I told you, I'm over that, I'm done pranking you, hurting you. I'm finished." He announced.
"I don't understand." There had to be a catch. It was Colt we were dealing with here for petes sake, there was always a catch.
"Would you like me to translate it in another language? Finito." He said being a slight smart ass, I laughed because it reminded me of something I would say to Brooks.
"Please, let us be on good terms." He asked with such desperateness.
"No." I replied simply and Lilly almost choked on the orange juice that she was drinking.
"I honestly was not expecting that." Colt said, not knowing what to say.
"How couldn't you? You haven't apologized." I bit back, so much for manners.
He opened his mouth but I interrupted. "Save it Colt, maybe some other time" I got up off the bench, adjusted my skirt and pulled my love struck friends along with me.
"And this is Daniel," Brooks introduced the boy with brown hair and piercings to me. No wonder they were friends, the five of them, tattoos everywhere.
Maybe I haven't mentioned this but Brooks has two lips piercings which basically scream trouble. This, along with his incredibly smooth charm and good looks have made him to be the true bad ass and sex god that he is. The lip rings are a mechanism to force your eyes to look at his lips and once you've looked there, you have big desire in the pit of your stomach to place your lips on his.
Now I'm not a fan of sharing saliva, never tried it, I'm extremely grossed out at the thought of it but after meeting Brooks and looking at those plump, desirable lips I can't help but push out all the rest.
"Are you finished gawking at me?" His cocky voice rang through my eyes.
"I um.." I mumbled. Caught out.
"Next time you want to ogle me just ask me to take my shirt off, I wont mind." He leaned in to whisper in my ear. "But you may want to close your mouth before you start drooling," he warned and I slapped his arm, shutting my mouth as I did so.
"So how did you meet our Luke?" James asked me and the boys listened intentively.
"Well," Luke began to answer for me. "She walked up to me on her hands and knees and begged me to allow her the honours. I objected and saved her from the horrible future awaiting her. Ever since, she has felt compelled for follow me around like a lost puppy. I don't mind the attention but it's a struggle to get her out of the toilet, that place is private you know?" he fibbed to his friends.
Normally I would become extremely defensive but I just found myself laughing. That story was so dumb, not even close to being believable. "What actually happened was that he cursed me in becoming his partner for a project." I told them and they laughed.
"So Alex, what do you do in your spare time?" Beau asked, slightly suggestively.
"Normally just homework." I answered honestly and they laughed.
"This one has a good sense of humor Luke, good job." James said, nudging Brooks.
"And that James, would be Al being serious." Brooks informed and their jaws literally dropped open.
"So you are one of those smart kids huh?" Daniel added, I couldn't depict whether it was a statement or a question.
"Yes genius," I retorted and once again the boys laughed. What was so funny? Is there something on my face?
"So Teddy I've got something for us," Brooks said and my body shivered when he referred to us as 'us'.
"And what would that be?" I questioned skeptically.
"Hopefully a condom." I heard Jai snigger and I found myself laughing as an instant reaction.
"No" Brooks said, shooting him a glare.
He held a rectangular object in front of my face. It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the close proximity but when I saw what it was I instantly smiled.
"He said that we had to watch it so I thought we may as well watch it together" Brooks said with a small shrug. 'He' being my English teacher.
"Stop being so cute before I vomit" James interjected, cracking a smile on everyone's face including Luke's.
"Okay" I said quietly. He led me to the lounge room and I took a seat on the couch after being instructed to.
"Press play" I said eagerly waiting for the opening credits to start. Immediately I took a mental note that this was the newer version from 1995 of The Scarlet Letter. Where Demi Moore attempts to put on a British accent and fails miserably.
And yes, this is the one mentioned Easy A. A word of advice, if you don't want to be sitting there cringing for a good hour and a half, rent the older version, do it for your own sake. Once Demi had said her first word Brooks looked at me like 'What have we gotten ourselves into?' I smiled and rolled my eyes, waiting for the torture to commence.
"Well that was.." I trailed off not meaning to offend Luke for having such a terrible idea.
"Horrible," he finished off for me and I chuckled.
"My poor ears." I said dramatically.
"Cry me a river Al." He teased, composing his posture on the lounge.
Only if you'll wipe my cheek at the end. "Boo Hoo," I began and decided to add a quote but looks like Brooks had the same idea so we ended up saying it in unison.
"You whore." We looked at each other like idiots and then ended up laughing.
"I told you Al, swearing will become a bad habit." He warned me.
"Speaking from experience." I said raising my eyebrows.
"Yeah, yeah." He said, elbowing me slightly. Then I realized just how close we were sitting.
We're we sitting this close this whole time? I looked back at Brooks who shuffled even closer. Thump. Thump. Thump. My rate rate increased as I saw him itching closer. Was he- will he-
"Finally that's over." Beau exclaimed, rejoining us in the lounge room, followed by the rest of the boys.
"Were we interrupting something?" Daniel teased suggestively.
We couldn't have said no any faster, "No".
This made them look around with cheeky grins on their face. "Oh but we did, didn't we?" James teasing as he spoke each syllable.
I faked a yawn, "Well, I better be heading home." Taking note that it was 6:12pm. Almost late for dinner, again.
"Oh but you could stay." Beau said, the mischievous grin shinning off his face.
"I have to be home in time for dinner." I informed them.
"Do you always do what your parents ask?" Jai interrogated as I walked towards the door.
"Yes." I replied and he chuckled.
"Well sweetie, if you are going to be hanging around Luke, this goody-two-shoes game you have running won't last long." He replied.
And boy did I know it.
"Luke, be a gentleman and walk Alex to her car." Beau half instructed half teased.
"I was doing that." Brooks mumbled as he opened the front door for me.
"So who is this boy that you are spending all your time with?" My mum questioned as I dug three small holes in my chicken with my fork.
"Luke Brooks, mum." Tara said, enjoying this way too much. "He's the school's bad boy." She just had to add. I glared at her from my seat and she smiled at me evilly.
"Bad reputation." Tara muttered under her breath but just loud enough so my mother could hear.
"How so?" My mother questioned but Tara just shrugged and shook her head, not saying another word.
"I want to meet him." My mum said after no one replied to her original question. Great, just great.
If you don't already know, European parents have a tendency to be extremely nosy and unbelievably protective (Not meaning to offend anyone). I'd know this from first hand experience, at the mention of a boy my mothers Italian protective instincts would kick in immediately and she would want to know every detail about the boy and meet him.
"You don't need to meet him, he's no one." I told her, mumbling slightly as I swished my chicken in my sauce.
"Really? Seems like you have a crush to me." Tara said happily, taking a bite of her broccoli.
"Wouldn't be the first," I shot back at her and she shut up from then on. I wasn't going to bother denying it. I know that I was drunk when I first admitted it but they say 'The truth comes out when you're drunk'.
Soon then the conversation died down to a minimal. After washing my dishes I skipped upstairs and finished on my homework but I couldn't help but find myself doodling his name on the back of my exercise book. That was the first sign of something going wrong.
Next was his words repeating inside of my head 'You look sexy' each time I heard his name in my head it made me smile.
It was then that I realised that I was in grave danger because this crush was going to develop into something bigger. Not too extreme where I say the L-word, not that close.
But this was crush material like Colton Mayes in primary school crush and that was some deep shit.