Just Me(10)

By: L.A. Fiore



“Yeah. I’ll be right back.” I moved to the line right as Sebastian entered the cafeteria with Jim. His head was turned away from me, engaged in conversation with Jim, but, as if he could sense my presence, his shoulders tensed only seconds before his head turned and our eyes met. Was it possible that his body reacted to my nearness too? He didn't offer his customary grin but the expression on his face, one that read loud and clear he was interested, sent delicious little chills down my body. He passed by me, and I couldn't help glancing at him from over my shoulder only to see that he was walking backwards to keep his eyes completely on me. As you can probably guess, my body responded to his nearness. My damn knees went weak again. He stared at me hungrily and openly in the middle of the cafeteria with all those eyes watching, so maybe he wasn't embarrassed by his interest in me, because it wasn't possible for him to be any more obvious. His attention would most likely be short-lived though, but I planned to enjoy it while I had it.

My friends glared at me when I returned to our table.

“Is there something we don’t know?” Poppy asked as soon as I sat down.

“No.” Which wasn’t a lie and what little connection I did have with Sebastian, I wanted to keep all to myself.

“Well, that look he just gave you was not nothing.”

“Poppy, there is nothing going on.”

She reached for her cup of yogurt and her shoulders slumped. “I guess I just wish there was.”

You and me both. I said nothing and took a bite out of my apple.

All through lunch my eyes were drawn to the jock table where Sebastian sat. I wanted him to walk across the cafeteria, take my hand and lead me somewhere private. Wanted that so much that I was tempted to walk across the cafeteria to him, take his hand and lead him somewhere private.

After lunch I headed to my locker. As soon as I opened it, a note fell out. I unfolded the sheet of loose leaf paper to see a single line of masculine script that simply read:

I like email better than texting. [email protected]

For a few minutes I just stood there wondering how he knew which locker was mine before I folded up the note and stuck it in my back pocket. I grinned all the way to class.

***

Later that night I sat on my bed with my laptop and thought about what to write.

Hi Sebastian,

I like email better too. Is Bastian what your family calls you? My friends call me Lark. Are your sleeves the only tats you have? I’d really like to see them sometime. The little I've seen looks beautiful. I have been working on a design, but I haven’t settled on what exactly I want. Are you new to town or just school?

Lark

I realized it was kind of lame, as I sent it, but if I asked too many questions right out of the gate, he might have canceled his email account just to avoid my inquiring mind. A few minutes later, I received his reply.

Hey Lark, I like that.

No, my family calls me Sebastian, I just like Bastian better. I have another tat. I'll show it to you sometime. When you're ready to get your tat, I'll take you to my guy if you haven't got a place to go. I'll even find ways to keep you distracted while he's working. ;-) I’ve heard you’re an artist. Maybe I could see some of your work?

What were you laughing about that first day in English Lit?

He heard I was an artist? Had he been asking around about me? I liked the thought of that. My face heated—how could I possibly tell him what I had been laughing at, way too revealing, so I chickened out and replied simply: Night Bastian.

***

The following morning I woke up early and packed a bag for my week-long sleepover at Poppy's. Grabbing my laptop, I headed downstairs to find the girls eating with Uncle Eddie.

“Have fun this week,” I said, but Uncle Eddie’s comment stopped me as I started for the door.

“Are you sure you won't join us? I realize you're a senior, but this could be the last time we can vacation as a family.”

My heart stopped as I turned to him. Didn't want to join them? If he only knew. I heard my aunt’s footfalls down the hall, probably coming in a mad dash to keep me from revealing the true reason for my exclusion. Not that I intended to correct his assumption, because I had no desire to go where I wasn't wanted.

“I've a lot of school work and I don't want to get behind. Have a good time.” And with that lie, I hurried from the house. When I stepped outside, I was surprised to see Shawn’s car in the driveway. He hopped out and walked toward me, reaching for my bag as he did.

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