Sweet oblivion (sweet se.., p.21
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       Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1), p.21

           Bailey Ardisone
 

  ~Nari~

  I really began to wonder how that boy could attend school for just one day and seemingly not ever come back. Did he get confused and was just in the wrong class that day? Or was he really skipping over a week's worth of school? It only made him more mysterious, and of course that bothered me. Not once had I seen him since he stole my seat, and so I no longer expected to see him when I walked in. Today was no different, completely forgetting about him by the time class ended, and I made my way to Algebra.

  Apparently letting my guard down was a big mistake because not expecting him at all had me completely floored when I walked in and there he was in all of his sexy glory.

  You had got to be kidding me. He looked like he just stepped out of a magazine, mysteriously gracing us with his presence. His black hair was tousled, and his angular face never looked more handsome. Not that I’d had the pleasure of seeing it that often to really say…

  The sharp cut of his jaw was peppered with scruff from not shaving, and the way he looked up at me from under his eyelashes gave me heart palpitations. Again, he wore dark pants and a dark grey fitted long-sleeved shirt pushed up to his elbows, similar to the first time I saw him. Realizing I was gawking at him, he smirked at me then. I consciously forced my mouth closed after feeling it was hanging open.

  As I made my way to an open desk, I started to feel afraid again. He seemed dangerous. I looked over at him, deciding to face my fears, and sure enough he was already looking at me. I forced a smile, refusing to let him know he frightened me. Wasn’t that always how it went? If you showed fear, it only made the shark or lion more interested in you, making them attack.

  I chuckled to myself, feeling silly for comparing a person to ferocious animals. He wasn’t going to attack me.

  …was he?

  I didn’t even notice that class had started when Mr. Dale suddenly called me. “Ms. Woodlinn!” he practically yelled. He must've been calling my name several times.

  I jerked my head up. “Uh, yes?” I replied sheepishly.

  “Were you not listening? Pay attention, Nari. This is important. What is the answer to the equation on the board?”

  “Umm…” Oh great. Everyone was staring at me. I had no idea what the answer was.

  Let’s see

  5a-3(3a+1)-8a=45

  What the?? It all looked like gibberish to me! “Umm…” was all I could keep saying as I tried to think. I didn’t want to look stupid; I had to get this right!

  “Negative four,” a smooth, clipped accent that was going to end up haunting me in my dreams called out.

  I whipped my head around to stare at Mr. Smartypants, and apparently everyone else was just as surprised as I was by him. He sat there, completely calm and unbothered by the full attention. Actually…he almost looked bored again.

  “Thank you, uh...” I quickly turned my attention back to Mr. Dale, waiting to finally hear what this guy’s name was. Surely, the teacher would know. But, Mr. Dale only looked completely confused, like he had never seen this strange boy before in his life. “Wait, who—”

  It sounded like Mr. Dale was going to ask who the boy was, but just then the strangest thing happened. Mr. Dale closed his eyes and lightly shook his head before saying, “Ah, yes, thank you, Mycah.” He had the strangest look in his eyes, like he was dreaming, and when he said the words they came out sounding very distant.

  I looked around the room, wondering if everyone, or at least anyone else saw what I had just seen, but I seemed to be the only one. Of course.

  I sat back in my chair, completely baffled, and a new wave of terror washed over me. Who was this guy?

  In his absence, I had contemplated working up the nerve to ask him about my sculpture when I saw him again. Then after not seeing him for days I started to wonder if I’d ever get the chance…now I wasn't so sure I wanted it anymore.

  So Mycah was his name? It sounded so normal and...nice. I never would've guessed that. He looked more like an Al Capone or Hannibal Lechter or Captain Hook. Okay, maybe he wasn't actually a movie villain, but Mycah just sounded so human. And he definitely felt anything but human to me.

  I glanced his way one more time. He was scribbling on his right arm with that same silver metallic Sharpie I saw him with before. For some reason, I found the notion that he was left-handed hot. Ugh.

  But then that made me notice he didn’t have paper. Or books. He had absolutely nothing with him except that Sharpie.

  Strange.

  When I thought about it, I didn’t remember seeing him with any books that day in my Literature class either. Not that I was able to focus on anything other than my own shock of seeing him in the first place.

  His eyes suddenly shifted to mine, so I instantly averted my gaze back to my own trembling hands that sat in my lap. God, was he nerve-racking.

  Now that it was lunchtime, I desperately searched for Zaylie. I spotted her sitting by herself and rushed over to sit with her. I didn’t even stop to get food first. I lost my appetite somewhere between walking into Algebra and witnessing freaky phenomena.

  “Zales, you are never going to believe what happened this morning,” I could barely get the words out fast enough. I desperately wanted her opinion. Surely, after I tell her, she’d just explain that I was a crazy person and belonged in the loony bin. I would gladly accept that answer over what I had been contemplating instead.

  “Does it have anything to do with that Mycah bloke?” she asked chewing through food and with eyes wide open.

  “Uh, yes! How did you know?” I asked, my eyes matching the size of hers.

  “Oh, everyone is talking about him. I guess he is just visiting and staying at that O’Malley’s Bed & Breakfast over on Maine Street. All the girls are going on and on about how hot he is, and all the boys are complaining about how annoying he is. The boys are just jealous,” she explained with an eye roll.

  I temporarily got stuck on the information of where he was staying. The O’Malley B&B—that was the one Rydan’s parents owned.

  “Okay, so what happened??” she pressed, growing impatient at my silence.

  “You know how we haven’t seen him in a week and a half and he is supposed to be in our Literature class?” She nodded eagerly, so I continued, “Well, as you know, he wasn’t there again in Literature, but would you believe me if I told you that sure enough, there he was just sitting there in my Algebra class?!”

  “Stone the crows!” she practically shouted in a thicker than usual Australian accent.

  “…Stone the…what now?” I asked, shaking my head in confusion.

  “Oh, sorry.” Her face was completely red. I realized it was another one of their Aussie terms and busted out laughing, she joining me.

  “Okay, go on go on!” she ordered after we both tried to get serious again.

  “Okay, so, I’m sitting there in my own little world, not realizing that Mr. Dale called on me to answer some stupid equation. When I finally take notice, I have no idea what the answer is. It was seriously the longest math equation I had ever seen.” I couldn’t help but be dramatic with my story—Zaylie was completely enthralled. “I just stared at the board, not having any idea how to solve it. But then, out of nowhere, Mycah calls out the answer, and I can tell Mr. Dale has no idea who he is, but then all of a sudden, this weird thing happens with his face and he then magically knows who he is!” I finished by throwing my arms up in the air and letting them fall back down.

  ....I swore I could hear crickets…

  She just stared at me, as if waiting for more, like my ending wasn’t actually the end and I was about to finally announce the big surprising news.

  “Zales?”

  “Wait, is that it?” She clearly was expecting more, and I didn’t live up to the hype.

  “Uh, yeah. Don’t you think that’s weird?” I started questioning everything I had been feeling and that maybe my reservations about this strange guy were uncalled for. Maybe I was making something out of nothing after all.


  “Maybe I had to be there. It doesn’t really sound that strange. Maybe Mr. Dale was just trying to remember his name.”

  “Oh….maybe.” The realization from her words hit me like a ton of bricks. Granted, a lot of "maybes" hung in the air, but it sounded so simple. Even though it didn’t seem like that at the time, it had to have been the manifestation of my fears causing my brain to play tricks on me. She had to be right. But then…how did you explain my sculpture? Something wasn’t sitting right with me, but I decided to ignore it.

  “Will you look at them?” she exclaimed suddenly.

  “Who?” I looked around the room, truly confused.

  “Sabrina and Mycah. Over there.” She pointed to where they were in the corner of the cafeteria. “They make a cute couple.”

  I didn’t respond, or couldn’t respond, as I sat stunned staring at the scene playing out before my eyes. Sabrina, looking perfectly gorgeous as ever, fawned over Mycah as he stood leaning against the far back wall. The horrible and completely unforgivable part was the pang of jealousy I suddenly felt.

  “Will you quit starin’ at the bloke? Jeez, Zales,” Desmond said as he and Liam were passing our table. Were they friends now?

  “Hey, pull your head in, Des. I mean, can’t a gal look?” Zaylie countered her twin brother with a mischievous grin. Desmond stopped and turned around then, like he had a comeback for her. Looking to me, she continued, “I don’t know what he sees in her really. She was horrid to me just the other day. I was in the dunny washing my hands, and she walks up next to me while applying her lippy and has the nerve to say to me, "I love your shirt. Where’d you get it? Goodwill?" She then rolled her eyes and left!”

  I didn’t know how to reply, unable to decipher her words quickly enough, but thankfully I was saved by Desmond who interjected with, “Will you quit your earbashing! You’re giving me a headache.” Then he finished walking away, shaking his head.

  “Did you get it at Goodwill?” Liam asked, clicking his tongue and shaking his head like it was a sin as he walked backward following Desmond. He let out a laugh as he turned around to face the right way.

  Zaylie stuck her tongue out at his back and giggled at me. I really wasn’t sure if I understood everything that they had been saying, but I couldn’t keep myself from giggling along with her.

  “Anyway, have you read any of that series I lent you?” Zaylie changed the subject, looking very excited.

  “I have, and you’re right. I love it so far. I'm on the second book already. They’re so hard to put down!” I answered honestly. I’d been squeezing in some reading time before going to bed each night.

  “I know! They’re great. I can’t wait for you to get to the end of the second one. You are definitely going to be texting me, so be prepared for a shock!” she exclaimed seriously. Oh boy.

  “Oh, no worries there. You know I will.” I smiled at her passion.

  “Hey, you’re going to the Homecoming Dance next month, right? We could go stag together.” Her eyes sparkled as she took a drink of her water.

  “Sure, but I’m pretty confident you’ll have no problem finding a date. A guy will be asking you soon enough.” I knew I was right; Zaylie was gorgeous.

  “But I don’t want to go with just any guy. Unless the right one asks me, I’m going stag.” She looked down at her half-eaten food.

  “Oh my word. Who? Who’s the guy?” It was obvious she already had someone in mind she hoped would ask her. Her eyes shot up to mine, and for just a second I thought she was going to deny it.

  “Seth. He’s sooo cute!” she admitted, her already sparkly brown eyes now shining like glitter. I only laughed and shook my head.

  The next day, I started feeling paranoid. Mycah’s sporadic attendance at school gave my blood pressure a serious workout. Would he be there, or wouldn't he? It was now the magic question of each and every day. This morning was another no show. Go figure. I sat down for lunch, trying to ignore the groaning in my empty stomach. We had no food in the house, so I wasn’t able to make anything and I had no money. Great. I really hoped no one noticed I was only drinking water. I looked down, afraid someone would see my embarrassment written all over my face.

  “Is that all you’re havin’, mate? Just water?” Desmond noticed.

  “Oh, yeah, I’m not hungry. Just thirsty,” I said with a half-smile, trying to sound convincing. I’d feel even worse if I made them feel bad about eating without me.

  Zaylie chimed in, “Are you sure? I feel funny eating in front of you if you won’t be eating too.”

  “No! Please, don’t worry about it. Eat—I’m fine, really!” I knew it; they were too nice. I tried to make my smile bigger in an effort to assure them. It really wasn’t that big of deal anyway. It wasn’t new for me to go without food sometimes. Except normally, there weren’t people around to witness it.

  Just then, an unopened container of fresh salad slid right in front of me. I looked up, clearly shocked, right into Mycah’s bright blue eyes. For goodness sake, what was he trying to do to me?

  “What are you doing here?” the words mirroring my thought slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them. But he didn’t respond. He just stood there staring at me.

  He then leaned down over the table, blue eyes intently on mine, freezing me in my place, causing my brain to malfunction. Uhhh….

  “Would you mind eating this for me, love? I’ve bought too much and would feel bad tossing it.” He said it so smoothly, so light-heartedly and clipped by his accent that I almost couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking. He continued when I didn’t say anything, mouth slightly agape, still stunned, “If you don’t want to eat it now, you can just take it home or something.”

  “Thank you,” I managed to get out, perplexity exuding my entire being. He pushed off the table smiling, winked at me, and then walked away.

  “That is so sweet!” Zaylie squealed, hands clasped together in front of her.

  “Zales!” I was pretty sure there was only so much shock one person could take, and that gosh darn boy was quickly filling my limit.

  “Yeah, gross!” Desmond complained after me. He stared at Zaylie who was still swooning and looked disgusted. “It would really suck if I lost my lunch right now over your girliness.”

  “What?” she asked us both guiltily. I ignored her and began eating the salad. Why did he keep popping up randomly? Terror froze me in my place, fork left hanging in the air, as I imagined him being a crazy stalker.

  “You okay?” Zaylie asked, looking concerned.

  “I’m fine, yes, thanks for asking.” I shook off the anxiety, knowing I was once again being ridiculous. There was nothing to be afraid of.

  “No, she’s obviously not fine, Zaylie! She is clearly as bothered by your hideous outburst as I am.” Desmond stood up and rolled his eyes. “Bloody girls. So mushy...it’s disgusting,” he said under his breath as he walked away.

  “Ignore him. I always do.” Zaylie rolled her eyes and sighed before taking another bite of her sandwich.

  “You’re right. The best thing to do is just ignore him,” I replied, omitting the part I was actually referring to Mycah and not Desmond. She was right either way...boys were best left ignored.

  “Now let’s talk about dress ideas for the dance,” she suggested, growing excited. I forced a smile, not able to decide if this new subject was any better.

 
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