When Shawn and I got outside, we sat on the picnic tables. He put his arm around me and pulled me into him.
He’s a very touchy-feely person.
“You know,” he said looking over at me, “I didn’t expect you to pack a punch like that.”
I blushed. I don’t know why, but I did. “I’ve had quite a bit of practice, growing up with a brother and all,” I said.
“Really?” He exclaimed. “I never expected you two to be the type of siblings that fought all the time.”
“We don’t now, but we used to.” I clarified. “I also had a lot of issues at the school I used to go to.” I looked down at my hands. They were interlocked together and resting on the table.
“Do you mind me asking what happened?” He asked. He sounded very sincere like he actually cared. Most people don’t and I don’t like to talk about the things that happened in that school, but he seemed genuine enough.
“Well—” I started, but I was cut off by Shawn’s friends.
“Shawn!” I heard a guy shout.
Three guys and two girls walked over to us. I recognized them from before.
They sat down with us and seemed too happy to be outside right now. I mean, I love being outside and getting out of class, but considering the circumstances, no one should be too happy to be out here.
“Shawn, nice job getting us out of class!” The red-headed boy said, clapping him on the shoulder.
“Hey hey,” Shawn said. “That wasn’t my work, I was just involved.” He nudged the guy and smiled a little.
“Who’s the girl?” Another boy asked. He had black hair and tan skin.
“Oh my gosh,” the girls said. “You were the girl in class!”
“Are you alright?” One of them asked. She also had dark hair and tan skin.
I nodded and shook a little. Shawn squeezed my waist as if reassuring me.
“I’m Lydia, by the way,” she said. “This is Stephany or Steph as we call her.” She points to the girl next to her who had medium brown hair with a reddish tint to it. She was very pretty. Both of them were.
“Since we’re introducing people,” the red-headed boy said, “I’m Brian.”
The boy with dark hair joined in. “I’m Matt.”
“Matthias,” Brian said under his breath. I could tell it was meant for everyone to hear.
“Shut the fuck up!” Matt shouted. Everyone started laughing and I smiled a little.
“His real name is Matthias,” Shawn whispered in my ear. His breath was warm and it tickled as it brushed against my skin. “He hates the name Matthias so he goes by Matt. It’s actually very funny.”
Once everyone quieted down, the third boy started to speak. “Now that everyone has shut up,” he said, failing at holding back a smile, “I can introduce myself. I’m Ian.” He reminds me of Shawn. His hair is the same shade and they have the same goofy look on their face when they’re happy.
“So what’s your name?” Matt asked.
I began shaking again and my anxiety was getting the best of me. They were very kind and I felt somewhat comfortable around them already, but social anxiety is a bitch and won’t let you live your life the way you want to. Shawn squeezed my waist again, but I didn’t stop shaking this time, it just escalated because I knew the longer I waited, the more awkward it would get. I looked down and grabbed Shawn’s leg to at least try to suppress some of the shaking, but that didn’t work either. I shoot up out of my seat and look down at him.
“I’ll be right back,” I said quietly.
I quickly walked away and headed towards my locker. I had a few of my meds in there in case I got too anxious. I could hear footsteps behind me and someone gently grabbed my arm. I turned around and tried not to fall over because of how light headed I was at the moment.
“Hey,” he said softly, “are you alright?” I shook my head.
“I don’t have much time,” I said. “You can come if you want, but I need to go now.” He lets me go and follows me, keeping pace.
By the time I made it to my locker, I was shaking like there was no tomorrow. I felt the panic attack and I was struggling to open my locker. I got it open and got to my meds before anything worse happened. I slammed my locker and popped the pill in my mouth, sliding my back down the locker until I sat on the floor. Shawn kneeled down with me and rested a hand on my inner thigh. I quivered at his touch because I didn’t expect it, but I was alright.
Not really, but I knew I would be in a few minutes.
“What’s wrong?” Shawn asked me.
I took a deep breath. “Meeting a lot of new people at once is very stressful,” I replied.
“I’m sorry.” He said.
I looked up at him and I could see the open guilt on his face. “Don’t be sorry,” I said, “it’s no one’s fault.” I covered his hand with mine and relaxed.
“Are you alright now?” He asked. I nodded and he helped me up off the floor.
“Where the fuck is Jack?” I asked. Shawn shrugged.
“That call must be taking him quite a while.” He said. “If it were my sister, no offense, but I would’ve said ‘Hi mom, some baked teacher just groped your daughter, but it’s alright now because we beat the shit out of him.’”
I laughed a little. “Best way to describe it,” I said, smiling.
Shawn put his arm around my waist and squeezed my side with his hand, gently. “Let’s go find your brother.” He said, leading me out of the building.
I can already tell the rest of the day is going to be a shit show.