Also, I'll be attempting to hang out online (any help spreading the word on these posts would be much appreciated!): I have a post at Blood, Sweat, and Books today :)
And now back to the short story. Parts I & II.
~At first I thought I escaped the attention of the very “wacko” (Mary’s word) James, but I had a few additional classes with Richie I hadn’t noticed before. In my defense, Richie could have been an extra chair in the back for all the attention he drew. He didn’t run with the rest of us, but we did share English and Photography. And that meant James shared the classes with us.
James found seats next to me in both. In English, he made Drew move; just stood over his desk, gave Drew this look that spoke something in guy-speak, and Drew grabbed his stuff and retreated to another seat.
“I meant to ask your name, before,” James said, leaning across the aisle. I could smell him—some kind of soap and male smell that reminded me a bit of the scent-stuff Dad used when he went hunting, only pleasant.
“And you’re asking now?” I didn’t look up from the book I pretended to read.
“Yes. My name in James Henniker, though apparently most of the school knows that already.”
“Word travels fast. Especially with new students.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
“And why do you want to know my name?” I finally looked up. I instantly regretted it. He was too close, staring at me with a look that brought back the wiggly feeling.
“So I can talk to you. I imagine it would be better if I knew your name if I ever tried calling you.”
I burst out laughing, shaking my head. “I don’t know what they normally do in Germany, but around here, if you’re thinking I’m going to give you my phone number, you’re out of luck.”
He drew his brows together and narrowed his eyes just enough to make me swallow hard. “What is it that people normally do around here?”
I had no idea how to deal with his directness. Mary would know exactly what to do, but I hadn’t had any real practice. Now this guy wanted my number? After barely saying ten words to me?
“I don’t know,” I admitted. Thankfully the class was called to attention and I had the excuse to turn my gaze to the front of the room. I spent the next hour attempting to pay attention while my mind spun.
Thankfully, he didn’t seem to notice the ten times I glanced at him, trying to make sense of what made me want to reach over and scrawl my digits across his notes.