Slammed, p.8
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       Slammed, p.8

         Part #1 of Slammed series by Colleen Hoover

  "I know," she whispers. "It's a family name. But if you call me Eddie Spaghetti I'll kick your ass!" she threatens mildly.

  "I'll keep that in mind," I laugh.

  "Cool, we have the same third period," she says as she inspects my schedule. "It's a bitch to find. Stick with me after class and I'll show you where it is."

  Eddie leans forward to write something down and her slinky blond hair swings forward with her. It falls just below her chin in an asymmetrical style. Her nails are each painted a completely different color, and she has a variety of about 15 bracelets on each of her wrists that rattle and clank every time she moves. She has a small, simple outline of a black heart tattooed on the inside of her left wrist.

  When the bell rings, I stand up as Eddie passes me back the schedule. She reaches into my jacket pocket and pulls out my phone and starts punching numbers. I look at the schedule she has returned to me and it’s now covered in websites and phone numbers; in green ink. Eddie sees me looking and points to the first web address on the page.

  "That's my facebook page, but if you can't find me there, I'm also on twitter. Don't ask me for my myspace username because that shit’s lame," she says, strangely serious.

  She scrolls down the remaining numbers jotted on my schedule with her finger. "That's my cell phone number, that's my home phone number and that's the number to Getty’s Pizza," she says.

  "Is that where you work?"

  "No, they just have great pizza."

  She moves past me and I start to follow her out the door as she turns and hands me back my phone.

  “I just called myself so I have your number now, too. Oh, and you need to go to the office before next period."

  "Why? I thought you wanted me to follow you?" I ask, feeling slightly overwhelmed by my new friend.

  "They have you in 'B' lunch. I'm in 'A' lunch. Go switch yours to 'A' lunch and meet me in third period."

  And she's gone. Just like that.


  The administration office is just two doors down. The secretary, Mrs. Alex, makes rolling her eyes a new form of art as she prints my 'new' new schedule just as the second bell for third period rings.

  "Do you know where this English elective is located?" I say before I leave.

  She gives me somewhat lengthy and confusing directions, assuming that I know where 'Hall A' is, and ‘Hall D.’ I wait patiently until she's finished and walk out the door, more confused than before.

  I wander across three different hallways, entering two wrong classrooms and one janitor's closet. I round the corner when I finally see 'Hall D' and feel some relief. I set my backpack down on the floor as I place the schedule between my lips and pull the rubber band off of my wrist. It's not even ten in the morning and I'm already pulling my hair up. It's that kind of day already. I gather my hair in a bunch and pull it through the rubber band twice. I pull at my hair to tighten it inside the band.


  My heart nearly jumps out of my chest when I hear his voice. I turn around and see Will standing next to me with a confused look on his face. I pull the schedule out of my mouth and smile as I instinctively wrap my arms around him. "Will! What are you doing here?"

  He hugs me back, but only for a second before his hands wrap around my wrists, removing my arms from around his neck.

  "Lake," he says hesitantly. "Where…What are you doing here?"

  I sigh as I thrust my schedule into his chest. "I'm trying to find this stupid elective but I'm lost," I whine. "Help me!"

  He takes another step back against the wall. "Lake, no…" he says, putting the schedule back into my hands without even looking at it.

  He's horrified to see me! He turns away from me and clasps his hands behind his head.

  I don't understand his reaction. I stand there, waiting for some sort of explanation when it dawns on me. He's here to see his girlfriend! The girlfriend that he failed to mention. I snatch my backpack up and immediately start to walk away when his arm reaches out and pulls me to a stop.

  "Where are you going?" he demands.

  I roll my eyes and let out a short sigh. "I get it Will. I get it. I'll leave you alone before your girlfriend sees us." I'm trying to hold back tears at this point, so I step out of his grasp and turn away from him.

  "Girlfr-no. No, Lake. I don't think you do get it." he says.

  The faint sound of footsteps slowly becomes louder as they round the corner to Hall D. I turn to see another student barreling toward us.

  "Oh man, I thought I was late," the student says as he spots us in the hallway. He comes to a stop in front of the classroom.

  "You are late, Javier," Will replies, opening the door behind him, motioning for Javier to enter. "Javi, I'll be there in a few minutes. Let the class know they have five minutes to review before the exam."

  Will closes the door behind him, and we are once again alone in the hallway.

  The air is all but gone from my lungs. I feel pressure building in my chest as this new realization sinks in. This can't be happening. This can't be possible. How is this possible?

  "Will," I whisper, not able to get a full breath out. "Please don't tell me-"

  His face is red and he has a disdained look in his eyes as he bites his lower lip. He leans his head back and looks up at the ceiling, rubbing his palms on his face as he paces the length of the hallway between the lockers and the classroom door. With each step he takes, I catch a glimpse of his faculty badge as it sways back and forth from his neck. He flattens his palms against the lockers, repeatedly tapping his forehead against the metal.

  "How did I not see this?" he says as he drops his hands and turns toward me. "You’re still in high school?”


  "I am sick of wanting

  And it's evil how it's got me

  And every day is worse

  Than the one before."

  -The Avett Brothers, Ill With Want

  Chapter Four

  Will turns and leans with his back against the lockers. His legs are crossed at the feet and his arms are folded across his chest as he stares at the floor. The events unfolding have caught me so off guard, I can barely stand. I go to the wall opposite him and lean against it for support.

  “Me?" I reply. "How did the fact that you’re a teacher not come up? How are you a teacher? You’re only twenty-one.”

  “Layken, listen,” he says as he ignores my questions.

  He didn’t call me ‘Lake.’

  “There has apparently been a huge misunderstanding between the two of us." He doesn't make eye contact with me as he speaks. “We need to talk about this, but now is definitely not the right time.”

  “I agree,” I say. I want to say more, but I can’t. I’m afraid I’ll cry.

  The door to Will’s classroom opens and Eddie emerges. I selfishly pray that she, too, is lost. This cannot be my elective.

  “Layken, I was just coming to look for you,” she smiles. “I saved you a seat.” She looks at Will, then back at me and realizes she's interrupted a conversation. “Oh, sorry Mr. Cooper. I didn’t know you were out here.”

  “It’s fine Eddie. I was just going over Layken’s schedule with her.” He says this as he walks toward the classroom and holds the door for both of us.

  I reluctantly follow Eddie through the door, around Will, and to the only empty seat in the room; directly in front of the teachers’ desk. I don’t know how I am expected to successfully sit through an entire hour in this classroom. The walls won’t stop dancing when I try to focus, so I close my eyes. I need water.

  “Who’s the hottie?” asks the boy I now know as Javier.

  “Shut it, Javi!” Will snaps as he walks toward his desk, picking up a stack of papers. Several students let out a small gasp at this reaction. I guess Will isn’t his usual self right now, either.

  “Chill out, Mr. Cooper! I was paying her a compliment. She’s hot! Look at her!” Javi says this as he leans back in his chair, watching me.

Javi, get out!” Will says as he points to the classroom door.

  “Mr. Cooper! Jeez! What’s with the temp? Like I said, I was just…”

  “Like I said, get out! You will not disrespect women in my classroom!”

  Javi snaps back as he’s grabbing his books. “Fine! I’ll go disrespect them in the hallway!”

  After the door shuts behind him, the only sound in the room is the distant second hand ticking on the clock above the blackboard. I don’t turn around, but I can feel most of the eyes in the classroom on me, waiting for some sort of reaction. It’s not so easy to blend in now.

  “Class, we have a new student, this is Layken Cohen,” Will says, attempting to break the tension. “Review is over. Put up your notes.”

  “You’re not going to have her introduce herself?” Eddie asks.

  “We’ll get to that another time.” Will raises up a stack of papers. “Tests.”

  I’m relieved Will has spared me from having to get in front of the class and speak. It’s the last thing I would be able to do right now. It feels like there is a ball of cotton in my throat as I unsuccessfully try to swallow.

  “Lake,” he hesitates, and then clears his throat, realizing his slip. “Layken, if you have something else to work on, feel free. The class is completing a chapter test.”

  “I’d rather just take the test,” I say. I have to focus on something.

  Will hands me a test, and in the time it takes to complete it I do my best to focus entirely on the questions at hand, hoping I’ll find momentary respite from my new reality. I finish fairly quickly though, but keep erasing and rewriting answers just to avoid having to deal with the obvious; the fact that the boy I was falling in love with is now my teacher.

  When the dismissal bell rings, I watch as the rest of the class files toward Will’s desk, laying their papers face down in a pile. Eddie lays hers down and walks to my desk.

  “Hey, did you get your lunch switched?”

  “Yeah, I did,” I tell her.

  “Sweet. I’ll save you a seat,” she says as she turns to leave. She stops at Will’s desk and he looks up at her. She removes a red tin from her purse and pulls out a small handful of mints and sets them on Will’s desk. “Altoids,” she says as he stares questioningly at the mints. “I’m just making assumptions here,” she whispers loud enough for me to hear her. “But I’ve heard altoids work wonders on hangovers.” She pushes the mints toward him.

  And again, just like that, she’s gone.

  Will and I are the only ones left in the classroom at this point. I need to talk to him so bad. I have so many questions but I know it’s still not a good time. I grab my paper and walk over to his desk, placing
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