Different Is Different

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 8 (v.1) - “I Wanted To See You”

Submitted: June 12, 2019

Reads: 17

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Submitted: June 12, 2019

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Over the next couple of weeks and as summer finally loosened its grip, a sort of odd routine started to occur. Monday through Friday, I got up and went to class. With each passing day, I started to look forward to calculus. Not so much because I never knew what Professor Jew was going to say or what he would wear. A few days ago, he was rocking a pair of acid wash jeans and cowboy boots. So fucking random. I think I focused on that more than anything else. But crazy pants Professor aside, it was a certain class partner who made the fifty minutes pretty damn entertaining.

 

Between Adonis’ side comments during Jew’s lecture and his surprisingly accurate knowledge of mathematics, running away from calculus on the first day had really ended up paying off in the long run. With Adonis as my partner and seat-mate, there was no way I would fail the class.

 

I spent lunch three days a week with Ty and Tamisha, and even went to one of the football games with them. Parties were still a no go, something that neither could really understand, but they didn’t abandon me. Twice a week, they hung out at my place. Not a lot of studying got done of course, but I wasn’t complaining. I liked it when they came over. Okay, like wasn’t a strong enough word. They were great and it had been way too long since I had friends like them who didn’t seem to care when I acted like a spaz, which was quite a bit.

 

At least twice a week, I turned Adonis down.

 

Twice. A. Week. At least!

 

It was to the point that I sort of looked forward to how he was going to slide it into conversations. The boy was relentless, but it was more of a running joke between us than anything serious. At least in my opinion.

 

I also started to look forward to Sundays.

 

Each morning since the very first, Adonis showed up at my door at all kinds of ungodly hours with eggs and something he’d baked. The second Sunday, it was strawberry muffins. The third Sunday it was a twist—French toast. The fourth and the fifth Sunday, it was chocolate cake and then sugar cookies.

 

That French toast was the shit.

 

Things were really… good with the exception of email and phone. At least once a week, I’d get a call from an UNKNOWN CALLER. I deleted the messages and the emails without opening them. There was at least fifteen unread emails from my cousin. One of these days I was going to read them, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that or call my sisters.

 

They hadn’t called me, so I didn’t see the point.

 

By the beginning of October, I was happier than I’d been in a very long time. The scent of autumn, something I missed while living in Texas, was in the air, long sleeves could be worn without sweating out of control and looking like a freak, and cramming for mid-terms during lunch included Starburst and Pretzels.

 

“Can someone please tell me where Kuwait is on this map?” Tyrone groaned. “Like is there a song I can come up with that will somehow remind me of this?”

 

“Basrah, Abadan,” I said, pointing at the blank map of Europe. “And then there is Kuwait.”

 

Tyrone glared at me. “Fucking overachieving bitch.”

 

I popped a pink starburst in my mouth. “Sorry.”

 

“Can you imagine a song with those names?” Mish dipped her fries in ice cream.

 

“That is so gross,” Tyrone muttered.

 

She shrugged. “It’s yummy.”

 

“Actually, I’m going to nerd out on you, so prepare.” I picked up a pretzel and held it in front of Ty. His eyes widened like a puppy about to get a treat. “Dipping her fry in a shake was a mistake. It rhymes. Think of it that way.”

 

His eyes narrowed. “That didn’t help.”

 

I sighed. “You want a song?”

 

“Yes.” He stood up at our table, in the middle of The Eatery, and shouted. “Yes! I want a song!”

 

“Wow.”

 

He raised his hands as several students turned in their seats. “What? What?” He turned back to me. “Was that a little too much?”

 

“Yes,” I said. “Most def.”

 

Mish put her forehead on her textbook. “Seriously,” she groaned. “I can’t believe he’s making us map Europe on our mid-term. I thought I’d left that shit in high school.”

 

“Give me a song, nerd,” Tyrone demanded.

 

“Oh, my God, you’re ridiculous.” Shaking my head, I placed my hands on the table. “Okay. Here you go. Bosrah to the upper left, upper left, Hafar to the lower left, lower left. Khafji on the bottom, on the bottom. Abadan to the top, to the top. And where’s Kuwait?”

 

“Where? Where?” Ty sung.

 

“It’s next to the Persian Gulf, where they hang out all day!”

 

Tyrone popped up straight. “Again! Again!”

 

I went through the song twice more while Mish gaped at the both of us. By the time, Tyrone whipped out his pen and started scribbling countries across the map, my face was the shade of a tomato, but I was giggling like a hyena.

 

And he got the map right, with the exception of putting France where the United Kingdom was supposed to be but I think he was just testing me on that one, because seriously.

 

I tossed a pretzel at his mouth. It bounced off his lower lip. On the redo, I got the pretzel in his mouth. He chewed and swallowed then shot forward, lowering his face next to mine. “Guess what?”

 

“What?” I leaned back.

 

He blinked two times. “Here comes your boyfriend.”

 

Looking over my shoulder, I spotted Adonis entering the doors with not one girl but a girl on each side of him, gazing up at him like he was the last eligible, hot guy on campus. I rolled my eyes at Tyrone. “He’s not my boyfriend.”

 

“Gurl, you got competition.” Tyrone folded his arms on the table. “That’s Kay and Leslie—beta, delta, boogie-sigma-chi-latte- VPs.”

 

Tamisha’s brows lowered. “That’s not even close to a sorority name.”

 

“Whatever.”

 

“It’s not a competition, because it’s not like that between us.” Slowly, surely, I looked over my shoulder. The trio had stopped by the couches. Adonis was paying attention to whatever the two girls were saying to him. One of the girls, the redhead, had her hand on his chest and was moving it in tiny circles. My eyes narrowed. Was she giving him a breast exam? Maybe she’s studying to be a doctor. I turned back to Tyrone.

 

He raised his brows.

 

“They can have him,” I said, throwing three starburst in my mouth.

 

“I don’t get you two,” Tamisha said, closing her book. Study time was over. “You guys see each other practically every day, right?”

 

I nodded.

 

“He comes over every Sunday and makes you breakfast, right?” she added.

 

Tyrone flipped me off. “I hate you for that.”

 

“Yeah, he does, but it’s not like that.” Thank God I never told them about him asking me out because I’d never hear the end of it then. “Look, we’re friends. That’s all. It’s not like we’re having sex. 

 

Are you gay?” Tyrone demanded.

 

“What?”

 

“Look, I’m the last person to judge your sexual preference. I mean, come on.” He jerked his thumbs back at him. “So are you gay?”

 

“No,” I said. “I’m not gay.”

 

“I’m not either, but I’d go gay for you.” Tamisha smiled.

 

“Thanks.” I giggled. “I’d go gay for you too.”

 

“How cute,” Ty said. “Not the point. That fine, mother fucking specimen of a man is all up in you—oh my God, he dropped the wannabes and is coming over.”

 

My stomach knotted and I prayed to God, Shiva, and Zeus that Ty didn’t say anything that would make me want to kill him later.

 

“Damn,” Tyrone said, shaking his head. “He makes jeans look like they were molded to fit his—hey, Adonis! How’s it going?”

 

I closed my eyes.

 

“Hey, Tyrone. Tamisha.” Adonis dropped into the seat beside me and nudged my arm. “Beautiful, Bliss.”

 

“Hey,” I murmured, acutely aware of Ty and Mish staring at us. I closed my textbook and shoved it in my bag. “What are you up to?”

 

“Oh, you know, mischief and mayhem,” he replied.

 

“That so reminds me of Harry Potter,” Tamisha said, sighing. “I need a re-read.”

 

We all turned to her.

 

She tossed her long hair back. “What? I’m not ashamed to admit that random things remind me of Harry Potter.”

 

“That guy over there reminds me of Snape,” Adonis said, jerking his chin to the table behind us. “So I understand.”

 

The guy with the jet-black hair did kind of look like Snape.

 

“Anyway, what are you guys doing?” Adonis shifted and his leg rested against mine. I swallowed. “Playing with starburst wrappers?”

 

“Yes, that and we’re studying for our History mid-term next week. We have to map out Europe,” Tyrone explained.

 

“Ouch.” Adonis knocked me with his leg.

 

I knocked his leg back.

 

“But Bliss, wonderful, Bliss…” Tyrone glanced at me, his grin spreading, and my eyes were narrowing waiting on what’s about to come out of his mouth. “She’s been helping us study.”

 

“That she has,” Tamisha added.

 

Adonis sent me a sidelong glance, and I scooted away from him.

 

Popping his chin on his hand, Tyrone smiled at Adonis. “Before we started studying, I was telling Bliss that she should wear the color red more often. It makes her sexy with that hair of hers.”

 

My mouth dropped open. He had so not even said that about the stupid sweater I was wearing.

 

“Do you like the color red on her, Adonis?” Tamisha followed.

 

Oh my God.

 

Adonis turned to me, his brown eyes making my skin jealous. “The color looks great on her, but she looks beautiful every day.”

 

Heat crept across my cheeks as I let out a low breath.

 

“Beautiful?” Tamisha repeated.

 

“Beautiful,” Adonis repeated, closing the little distance I’d managed to put between us. He nudged my knee again. “So did you guys learn anything from studying?”

 

I let out the breath. “I think we got it.”

 

“Because of you.” Tyrone glanced at Tamisha, and my stomach dropped. “Bliss came up with this song to help me remember where the countries were.”

 

Oh no.

 

“Sing him your song.” Tamisha elbowed me so hard that I bounced off Adonis and ricocheted back.

 

Interest sparked in Adonis’ eyes. “What song?”

 

“I am not singing that song again.”

 

Ty beamed up at Adonis. “It’s the Kuwait song.”

 

I shot him a death glare.

 

Adonis laughed. “The Kuwait song? What?”

 

“No,” I said again. “I am not singing again. That is so not my talent.”

 

“What kind of talents do you have?” Adonis asked, and when I looked at him, I kind of got hung up on the cut line of his jaw, of the way his dimples showed every time his mouth moved. What the hell? Adonis was staring back at me, brows raised. “Bliss?”

 

“Do tell,” Tyrone coaxed.

 

Tamisha nodded. “Talents are fun.”

 

“They can be when used correctly.” Adonis’ gaze dropped, and I sucked in a soft breath. He leaned over and there wasn’t more than an inch or two separating our mouths. I heard Tyrone’s audible gasp. “Tell me what your talents are, gorgeous.”

 

“Gorgeous,” Ty murmured with a soft sigh.

 

“Dancing,” I blurted out. “I danced. I used to dance.”

 

Curiosity filled Adonis’ face. “What kind of dancing?”

 

“I don’t know.” I grabbed the pack of starburst and dumped the rest of them into my palm. “Ballet, jazz, contemporary—that kind of stuff.”

 

“No shit?” Ty exclaimed. “I did tap when I was like six, for about a month, and then decided I wanted to be a fireman or something like that. That shit was hard.”

 

Tamisha smirked. “I tried dance and discovered I had no coordination or grace beyond shaking my ass. Were you any good at it?”

 

I shrugged. “I took classes for about ten years, did some competitions and a lot of recitals.”

 

“Then you were good!” Tamisha said. “I bet you did all those crazy turns and tricks.”

 

I used to be able to do a ton of them and was at one point crazy flexible, but the thing I was really good at, had been the turns—the fouette tour—arguably the hardest series of spins in ballet.

 

Adonis had been quiet for a few moments, a very odd thing indeed. “My sister did dance since she was around five. Still does. I think she’d cut someone if they made her stop.”

 

Shoving the last two starburst in my mouth, I nodded. “Dancing can be addictive if you like it.”

 

“Or are good at it,” Tamisha interjected.

 

Adonis bumped me with his shoulder. “Why’d you stop?”

 

I loved to dance, loved every part of it. The training, the rehearsing, and especially the anticipation leading up to the moment you stepped out onto the stage. The crowd watching in anticipation. Nothing felt like that moment when you waited in the wings for your name to be called; the first breath you took as you stepped onto center stage and stood under the bright lights. The quiet moment when you closed your eyes while you waited for your music to begin, knowing that everyone was focused on you and only one. 

 

Shrugging my shoulders, I reached for what was left of the pretzels. “I guess I got tired of it,” I said finally. The lie was a big one. I didn’t grow tired of dancing. I missed it more than anything, but I couldn’t stand for people to stare. “Does your sister do competitions?”

 

He nodded. “She’s traveled all over and spent the summer at a school for Ballet on a full scholarship.”

 

“Holy shit,” I gasped, my eyes widening. “She must be damn good.”

 

Adonis smiled proudly. “She is.”

 

Envy grew like a cancer, deep and invasive. That could’ve been me dancing at one of the most well-known training centers in the world. It should’ve been me, but it wasn’t and I needed to just deal with that.

 

Conversation sort of just fell apart after that, at least for me. Adonis chatted with Mish and Ty while I was lost in my own thoughts until it was time to go to class. I made plans for another study session and then said my goodbyes.

 

Adonis followed me out in the bright sunlight and the cool breeze that said colder weather was near. He didn’t say anything as we walked over to Greengate. Sometimes he did that, and I never knew or could begin to speculate on what he could be thinking during those quiet moments.

 

It was in that moment, as we crossed the garden and he waved at a group standing in front of the elderly man statue, that I realized how different he was than when I saw him with the two girls earlier. It bothered me and it didn’t know why I even cared.

 

“Are you okay?” he asked when we stopped by the benches in front of Greengate.

 

I squinted up at him. “Yeah, I’m fine. You?”

 

He gave me a tight-lipped smile and nodded. “We still on for tomorrow night?”

 

“Tomorrow night? Oh! The calculus assignment.” It was for our mid-term grade. We’d have to be finished by the following Wednesday. “Yeah, works for me.”

 

“Good.” Adonis backed away. “See you then.”

 

I started to turn, but stopped as something occurred to me. “Adonis?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“What were you doing in The Eatery? Don’t you normally have class, like right now?”

 

His lips curved up at the corner and those damn dimples appeared. When he smiled liked that, it felt like a balloon had suddenly inflated in my chest. “Yeah, I normally have class right now,” he said, eyes as if they were tanning in the sun. “But I wanted to see you.”

 

Words left me as I watched him pivot around and hit the walkway, heading in the opposite direction of my building. I stood there for a moment and then turned. There was no stopping the smile that split my lips and it remained.


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