Sweet oblivion (sweet se.., p.42
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       Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1), p.42

           Bailey Ardisone
 

  ~Nari~

  “Quiet down, quiet down. Take your seats, everyone,” Mr. James said loudly to be heard above all the students chattering. Everyone quickly went to their desks.

  “Did everyone finish reading Frankenstein?” he said. The whole classroom grumbled—most said yes, some didn’t say anything.

  I looked at Mycah; he was lightly smiling. I realized this morning I didn’t exactly think the whole Mycah-staying-the-night thing all the way through when I woke up. It was quite awkward—for me anyway. Mycah seemed completely cool, calm, and unbothered by it of course, per usual. I didn’t know what to say when I had to scramble out of his hold, so I ended up just running to the bathroom embarrassed. When I had walked out after getting ready, he acted like nothing happened at all.

  Maybe he was used to being in bed with girls who were practically strangers, but I certainly was not used to waking up to a guy hanging all over me. Then we stopped by his room at the B&B so he could get ready for the day too, but I told him I would just wait in the car. He never seemed concerned by anything, so I guessed I shouldn’t be so worried about it either.

  “Come on now, guys. This is a great book! I gave you two whole weeks to read it. Now, who can tell me a quick summary of the story?” Mr. James called out.

  Everyone was looking around the room. Finally, a girl raised her hand.

  “Okay, Lynn. Tell us.”

  “It’s about a boy who goes to college and while there, creates a monster. The monster kills people and all of the Doctor’s family. The End,” she summarized in a rush.

  “Okay. Those are the big things that happen, yes. Anyone want to discuss how the story made them feel? How do you compare it to how the monster is portrayed in Hollywood movies?” Mr. James asked, looking around the room.

  “Yes, Ashton.”

  “He’s a monster in the book, and he’s a monster in the movies. The movies are based off his character in the book. He deserved everything he got. He was extremely ugly and a murderer. The Doctor’s biggest regret was creating him. I would have hated him too.” Ashton snickered, turning his head toward some of the guys who also snickered while nodding their heads at him.

  “Okay, that is one observation. Does anyone see it from the monster’s point of view?”

  “Frankenstein is a love story. A tragedy,” Mycah didn’t wait to be called on before speaking. He stared down at his desk. His hands were put together, like when someone is praying. His chin rested on his thumbs, and the sides of his fingers were touching his lips. “Everything you see portrayed in movies is false. He wasn’t a slow, mumbling monster stumbling around with his arms straight out in front of him. The creature was beautiful, majestic, and graceful. He had tremendous speed and was highly intelligent. Okay, he was ugly and scary on the outside, but on the inside he was magnificent.”

  Everyone in the room stayed silent as Mycah spoke, even Mr. James. I felt mesmerized watching him as he put his arms down. One arm lay in his lap, and the other across his desk, both hands clenched into fists as he leaned forward.

  His tone was tense and wild with passion, each syllable crisp and clicking with his accent. “Dr. Frankenstein created the creature. It was his responsibility to be there for him—to protect him, take care of him, love him. Show him how to live. The creature trusted him, loved him unconditionally.”

  He looked at Mr. James, who seemed just as mesmerized as I did. Mycah’s face was so serious and pained as he said in a voice just above a whisper, “All the creature wanted was to be loved by his creator. By his father. He was brought to life only to then be abandoned by the one who created him?” He shook his head, sounding disgusted.

  He looked down at his hands, which were now both in his lap, palms up, but fingers relaxed. “He was like an orphaned child. Every time the creature asked for love, he was rejected. Yes, he killed the Doctor’s family, but it was the Doctor’s fault.” He looked up again at Mr. James, voice strong, “His abuse and mistreatment towards the creature is what fueled his actions. Then, whilst he finally had the hopes of living his life with a mate, someone to care about and love and to be cared about and loved back, the Doctor took it away from him.” He whispered, “Forever sentenced to a life full of misery and loneliness. All the creature wanted was love.” He clenched his teeth and almost growled, “Dr. Frankenstein was the real monster of the story.”

  I looked at Mr. James. He seemed to come to himself; his hazel eyes were wide and staring at Mycah. Did Mycah perform some type of mind manipulation on him?

  “Very good. That was a really great depiction of the story. I can tell you’re passionate about this. Well done.”

  I was amazed. Not only by Mycah and his book knowledge but also because I couldn’t help but ache for the monster as Mycah told his side of the story. It felt a little too close to home after the way he put it. I couldn’t stop glancing over in his direction, still taken aback by his perception of Frankenstein. He made it sound so beautiful and sad.

  I again thought of Rydan and how much I needed to repair the damage that was caused between us. I secretly grabbed my cell to text him without Mr. James seeing.

  ‘Ry, I am so sorry. You’ll still be there tonight, right? I need you. Please talk to me.’

  I read over the message before hitting send and decided to erase the last part. If he didn’t answer my question or said no to it, then I’d tell him how much I needed him. I didn’t want to sound totally desperate right off the bat. I could get to that later if I had to.

  I caught Zaylie looking at me and knew she couldn’t wait to ask where I’d been, since this must be the tenth time this morning she had looked at me. I couldn’t wait to talk to her either; I really did miss her.

  When the bell rang, she ran over to me, and I threw my arms around her right away. I didn’t care if it would bother her or if it would seem overdramatic and uncalled for. It felt so good to be around people I could trust and get back to normal. I definitely needed normal right now.

  “Everything okay? Were you sick or something? You haven’t answered my calls or texts.” Her Australian accent was light, but still present. She pouted her lips for dramatic flare, however I could tell she was more worried than she let on.

  “I’m sorry. Yes, I was really sick and my…dad…took my cell away so I couldn’t let you know what was going on. I’m so sorry!” I hated referring to Ray as my dad, but didn’t really have any other option. I also hated lying to Zaylie, but I could see Mycah giving me death stares from the corner of my eye. Sheesh, I knew the drill, give me a break. That’s what I tried to portray in a stare of my own. He seemed to take the hint by walking out of the room.

  “Oh, that’s okay. I’m just glad you’re better now. Was it awful?” She squeezed my arm in an innocent friendly gesture, and it brought tears to my eyes thinking about just how awful the ordeal really was. I looked down, not wanting her to notice and shook my head to dispel the emotions. I wasn’t used to all of this crying; it was driving me crazy. I grabbed my things and started walking with Zaylie.

  “It was. Stomach flu. Not fun at all. But like you said, I’m better now and anxious for things to be normal again.” I forced a smile, realizing it could never be normal again if I couldn’t tell Rydan the truth. This lie, whatever lie I would be telling him tonight, would always be there between us. Would he even believe me? He knew me better than I knew myself. He was going to know I was lying. I cringed at the thought of never actually being able to fill the canyon that now separated us for the first time in all our days of friendship. If it ruined anything between us, I would be a miserable wreck. Maybe I could at least build a bridge across…it was a start.

  “Yuck, that sounds horrible. I’m sorry.” She pouted her lips. “You have your cell back now, though?”

  “That’s okay. And yes, I have it back. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be around you again finally.” I really couldn’t express that enough.

  “I’m happy too. It was boring without you, that’s for sure
. We’ll have to catch up later during lunch.” She gave me a quick hug as we got to the door. “Hey, I have to go to my locker before class. I’m so glad you’re feeling better! I’ll see you at lunch, okay?”

  I nodded in return just before she walked away. I looked up from just exiting the classroom and right into the tantalizing aqua eyes of Mycah’s. He leaned back against the lockers, lips pulled up into a half smile. I silently cursed my heart for betraying my "no guys" resolve every time it raced at the sight of him. He waited for me, and for some reason the idea of it left me breathless.

  I already had what I needed for my next class since it was just around the corner, so I kept walking toward it. I couldn’t let him get to me like that. I just couldn’t.

  Mycah followed close behind me. I stopped short before reaching the door, wondering if he was coming to my Algebra class too, even though yesterday he said he would only attend Literature. I turned to look at him, his expression bewildering to me.

  I lost all train of thought as he reached out and slowly tucked my long brown hair behind my ear, his thumb just grazing my jawline as he pulled away.

  “I’ll be back to fetch you,” was all he said, but the way he said those few little words made my heart skip a beat.

  “Okay.” I stared wide-eyed at him, not really sure what else to do. He meant after school, right?

  I didn’t get the chance to ask him before he turned around and started walking away. I stared after him, finding it hard to believe why someone so beautiful and amazing was even paying any attention to me. Granted, I still recognized he was dangerous. Very dangerous. But there was something so safe about him at the same time. And every time I gleaned new information about him, like his insight on just a simple book, I found myself feeling less and less of that danger. I watched as he gracefully walked away, making every girl he passed turn their heads and stare after him. Then, of course Sabrina, who was quickly becoming my worst nightmare, floated up to him and linked her arm with his. Oh, wonderful.

  Who was I kidding? He was only paying me attention because I was the only one with bad men in my life. There was no way I could compete with girls like Sabrina around—perfect, tall, and gorgeous. And I didn’t want to compete. I didn’t care, I had more than enough men in my life as it was. I didn’t need another one. As soon as I no longer felt scared to be alone, Mycah could leave.

  And I would keep telling myself all those things over and over until I actually believed them.

  An hour later, when I walked out of Algebra, my heart seemed to have already forgotten that new mantra I had been chanting. It swelled two sizes bigger in my chest at the sight of Mycah in his usual stance across the hall, gazing intently at me. He had such a foreign way about him—a sly air that no other guy I’d come across possessed. And his smooth English accent didn’t help either. But he only had to stand there in that slick way of his, dark jeans hanging loosely from his hips, sleeves of his shirt pushed up to his elbows, straight black hair falling over his eyes, and I could feel my resolve come undone just a tiny bit more. This was getting ridiculous. I couldn’t keep letting my emotions get away from me. Why did I let him do this to me?

  Every guy that walked out of the room said “hi” or “hey” to Mycah, but he only acknowledged them with a polite nod of his head. All the girls giggled and whispered to each other as they passed, and I resented the fact I might have any similar reaction to him. I had to put a stop to this. I would get my emotions in check.

  “Mycah, I appreciate everything you’re doing for me, but really, you don’t have to be around me all the time.” I refused to let him think I was some weak spirited damsel in distress. Or that I expected him to treat me like a princess and he was now my appointed White Knight in charge of protecting me. Plus, I had to talk to Rydan tonight, and there was no way he was going with me. If I had any hope of resolving things between us, then Mycah had to stay far far away from Rydan.

  “Don’t I?” He sounded so collected like he usually did, I had a hard time knowing if he was joking or being serious.

  “No. I mean, at night, at my house and I’m alone, that’s one thing. But not here at school and even after school. That’s when I see Rydan. You can’t be there for that. I’m seeing him tonight.” That reminded me to check my cell to see if that was actually true. I really hoped he responded and would be there.

  My hands were shaking as I dug for my cell out of my bag. I didn’t know if it was from the upcoming confrontation with Rydan or from the way Mycah was looking intensely at me. I tried to ignore him, wishing I didn’t have such a strong reaction to everything he did. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it one bit.

  I looked up at him, instantly regretting it. He rested against the wall, one hand in his pocket, the other holding the back of his neck, smirking in his signature way that could make any female melt right into a puddle. Or the right male for that matter.

  “You alright?” His tone was anything but actually concerned, more like amused.

  “Yes, I’m fine.” I peeled my eyes away, breaking the hold he seemed to have on me. Just then, Liam walked up. He put an arm around me, making me bristle at his possessive gesture, and at the same time I noticed Mycah slightly stiffen from the corner of my eye. I looked up questioningly at him, but he kept his suave posture in tact.

  “How’s it going, Nari?” Liam asked as I wiggled out of his hold, but it was only replaced by Desmond’s.

  “Yes, how is it going, Nari? Where have you been?” Desmond was being just as playful as Liam.

  “’Sup, Mycah.” Liam decided to be polite, but his tone didn’t sound sincere.

  “Gentlemen,” Mycah greeted back respectfully, and I noticed his tone wasn’t exactly sincere either. Even though it was just one word, he clipped his consonants in an agitated way.

  “Ask Zaylie. I have to go take care of something real quick, sorry.” I pushed Desmond off of me and walked away as fast as I could. The last thing I needed was to be surrounded by Neanderthal boys.

  I finally grabbed my cell and looked for a reply from Rydan. He was my number one concern right now. I didn’t care about anyone or anything else until I made it better with the one person who had been my rock for the past seven years.

  ‘Of course I’ll be there.’ His text was short and to the point, and that was all I needed. I felt a huge wave of relief wash over me, but I knew it was short lived. I would now be spending the rest of the day figuring out what I was going to say to him that could possibly be good enough to make it better. At this point, it seemed to be a daunting task, and I really wasn’t sure if there actually was anything I could say that would repair the sting of betrayal I saw in his eyes.

  I felt someone following me, so I turned my head just enough to see through my peripheral that it was indeed Mycah like I suspected. I was suddenly very anxious to get away from him, and it was only because of how much I actually dreaded being away from him. I knew I wasn’t making sense, but the more I desired him the more I was afraid of him and felt I needed distance. Like my lungs were becoming intoxicated by his very presence and were desperate to breathe in clean, Mycah-less air. The more I wanted to be around him, the more I knew I needed not to be. I wasn’t familiar with these strange feelings I’d been experiencing, and I couldn’t figure out what they meant or what to do about them. All I could think to do was to get away.

  I walked straight into the girl’s locker room to get ready for P.E., not even stopping for a second to say goodbye to Mycah. He would just have to take the hint.

  Apparently he did take the hint, because I didn’t see him the rest of the day at school. And what I felt the moment I was truly separated from him scared me most of all. I hated how disappointed the separation made me. Actually, it was more than that. Something inside me ached when he wasn’t near. It was weird and strange...and no, I did not like it.

  “Nari! Wait up!” I turned around to greet Zaylie who called out for me down the hall and met her halfway. “I almost forgot; here is T
he Omen Machine. I finished it the other day and kept it in my locker for you. Text me the moment you’re done reading it!” She handed me the book she promised to let me borrow, and I took it excitedly.

  “Thank you so much! I can’t wait to read it. I’ll definitely let you know when I’m done.” If I ever got the chance to read it, that is. I still had a huge pile of books that she gave me and was required to read as soon as possible. The way my week was going, who knew when I’d be able to.

  Desmond caught up to us looking very glum.

  “What’s wrong with you?” Zaylie kicked him in the shin playfully.

  “Man, it is so unfair. Mr. Isaacson is totally cranky. He didn’t believe me, and now I have to re-do the assignment or I’ll fail. Freakin-A! I did the bloody work! You saw it Nari, didn’t you?” He was speaking very animatedly. And loud.

  “What are you on about, Des?” Zaylie looked completely confused. He stood there silent and rolled his eyes.

  I started to explain for Desmond, “In Art class, Mr. Isaacson asked us to turn in our sketches of Man’s Best Friend.” A few days before I was taken, Mr. Isaacson gave us the assignment, and I worked on it that same night. I didn’t have a dog, but I took inspiration from a book I had on Boxers. I sketched a cute little boxer puppy sleeping in the corner of a couch. When the teacher noticed that Desmond hadn’t turned anything in, Desmond had the whole class laughing as he told everyone his dog "Bilbo" had eaten his sketch. “But Desmond said your dog ate his sketch,” I summarized for Zaylie, stifling a laugh.

  Desmond imitated Mr. Isaacson, rolling his eyes, “Are you trying to tell me that your dog ate your homework, Mr. Ryan?”

  I laughed out loud again, remembering what happened. “Aye, Sir!” he said as he pulled out a piece of what looked like shredded paper. It was a sketch of a dog and like he said, it did look like it was eaten. He held it up to the class and said, “He must not have liked it; I didn’t get his good side.” The whole classroom laughed and cheered.

  “Yes, and even though Desmond had the whole room laughing by holding up his half-eaten sketch, Mr. Isaacson did not look amused. I believe you though, Des,” I finished the explanation of what happened for Zaylie.

  “Awww, poor baby.” She patted Desmond on the head, feigning concern. He jerked his head away from her touch, pouting. I tried not to laugh, not wanting to hurt his feelings.

  “You could be my witness, Zales! You were there, you saw Bilbo do it!” He laced his hands together and looked to be about a second away from groveling on his knees.

  “What?! You can’t be serious. He wouldn’t listen to me. He’d only think I was saying that because I’m your sister! Get mum to do it,” she suggested seriously.

  “I guess you’re right. He’ll have to listen to her. Or maybe dad will be better...” He scratched his chin in thought, trying to decide what to do. Their antics reminded me again of Rydan, and I felt an overwhelming desire to get to him.

  “Hey, guys. I have to meet up with someone, but I’ll talk to you later.” I started to walk away.

  “Wait, want to go to the Homecoming Carnival with us on Saturday?” Zaylie asked in a hopeful rush.

  “Oh, this Saturday?” I tried to think if I could give a definitive answer or not. I totally forgot about Homecoming. I hadn’t even made my dress yet for the dance on Sunday.

  “Liam is going with us too,” Desmond happily added, pointing his finger at his sister.

  “Great, Des. We want her to come, not scare her away.” Zaylie rolled her eyes and hit him in the stomach. Desmond only shook his head and laughed.

  “Can I let you guys know? I should be able to, but I just want to make sure before I say yes.”

  “Of course! Just text me.” Zaylie hugged me, then they both waved goodbye.

  I walked outside and was immediately struck with ice-cold raindrops that seemed to fall harder and faster by the second. I was just about to run back inside, but as I whirled around, I ran right into a person’s chest seemingly made out of stone.

  I rubbed my aching nose caused by the impact and looked up. Mycah grabbed my hand and pulled me right up next to his body, shielding me from the rain. I immediately felt different near him, as if that strange, unknown part of me could now take a satisfied breath. I didn’t know how he was doing it, but we stayed dry as we ran to his car. It was like we were enclosed in an invisible bubble that the rain couldn’t penetrate. He opened the passenger door for me and I jumped in.

  I waited for him to enter and get situated before saying, “Thanks.”

  I was still trying to get over the shock of seeing him and the feelings it evoked within me. I half expected not to see him until later tonight and the other half of me thought maybe I wouldn’t be seeing him again at all. I didn’t like the second option, but it seemed worse not to at least expect it, just in case. He didn’t say anything, he just started driving.

  I looked out the window at the pouring rain and my stomach sunk. It made me worry that I wouldn’t be able to see Rydan tonight after all for two very important reasons. One, there was no way I could walk in this, and two, we wouldn’t be able to meet at our usual spot where we’d have complete privacy. And three if you wanted to count him not being able to ride his bike in the rain either, so he also wouldn’t have a way to meet.

  I watched as we drove past my street.

  “Where are we going?” I turned to look at Mycah, confused.

  Chapter Twenty-Three

 
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