“Alright, class. Today we’re going to have our first lab. So turn to page 15 in your workbooks and read over the objective.”
Most of the students begin to groan as Hillard continues to set lab materials on different surfaces around the room.
“Oh, stop your complaining. You don’t even have to do a lab write up for this one. We’re just doing a class discussion. After you’re done reading the instructions, feel free to get up and start. When you’re done, sit back down at your table so that we can start the discussion. Hop to it.”
The classroom is quiet for a few moments before everyone starts slowly getting up and moving to a station Hillard has set up. I stand up and look to Jenna to see which station she wants to go to first. However, she just rolls her eyes at me and gets up, walking to the closest station to our table. I follow her and we begin the first physics challenge Hillard has assigned.
After awhile, everyone in the class seems to be laughing and enjoying themselves. Hillard wears a large smirk as he watches all of us, obviously proud of his work. Even Jenna is warming up to me, but I can still feel her small wall of hate that separates us.
Suddenly, I hear Harrison’s light laugh, reminding me that he is in my class as well and causing me to turn toward him.
I watch as Harrison throws his head back in laughter and then pokes his partner’s sides, causing her to pull away laughing. I continue to stare at him for a few moments, studying the way that he looks at her and the smooth smile that he wears. His body language is turned more toward her and he looks relaxed. It’s obvious that he is more focused on winning her attention rather than the lab, and he is definitely succeeding.
If I’m not mistaken it looks like Harrison is still flirting with his dyed red haired partner even though he is officially dating Claire. It’s a little confusing to me why he would openly flirt with another girl in front of a whole class of students who basically watch his every move. Isn’t he worried about his actions getting back to Claire? She would most likely unleash a world her own personal version of hell on him and I can imagine that it wouldn’t be very pretty.
I turn back around and notice Jenna staring at me, a small smile playing on her lips. I can’t help but let her smile bother me and I furrow my brow a little at her.
“Jealous?” Jenna’s voice takes me by surprise and I can see the amusement on her face, causing me to furrow my brow even more.
“Excuse me?” I can hear the annoyance in my voice. Why would she ask me such a ridiculous question? I am definitely not jealous of Harrison flirting with another girl because my feelings for him are nonexistent.
“I saw you staring at him. It’s okay if you’re jealous.” Jenna continues to smile and turns back to the materials on the table in front of us.
For some reason I feel my heart rate increase, showing the obvious irritation rising inside of me. I don’t know why her accusation is getting such a rise out of me, but I can’t help but be frustrated.
“Not at all.” I keep my voice calm as I tell her the truth. If I show how annoyed I am then she’ll probably just think that I’m getting offended because I am jealous. Jealousy is the last thing on my mind though and I need to prove that.
“He’s my friend and I just don’t want to see him make stupid decisions and cheat on his girlfriend.” I shrug as I turn my attention back to the lab. I hate how side tracked I have become just because of Harrison Lunn. He has a way of mixing things up in my life. Hopefully this isn’t going to be a reoccurring and never ending thing.
I hear Jenna let out a loud laugh and then cover her mouth of she shakes her head. She then contains herself and looks over to me slightly.
I raise a brow at her and open my mouth to ask her to explain, but before I can say anything Hillard is calling us back to our tables.
I take my seat next to Jenna, who still looks highly amused, and keep my eyes on the stack of books in front of me.
I block Hillard and the rest of the class out as they begin the class discussion, more focused on Jenna’s words.
What did she mean by “too late?” Is she implying that Harrison has already cheated on Claire? That can’t be true. He’s dating the prettiest and most popular girl at Wilson, which gives him no reason to cheat. He would be an idiot if her were to cheat on Claire. So why does a part of me not feel so surprised if he did happen to cheat on her? Is Harrison really capable of stooping that low? Don’t get me wrong, Claire isn’t exactly my favorite person and it’s a little amusing to see someone mess with her, but at the same time Harrison’s actions bother me. A relationship is sacred and should involve two people who are committed and faithful, but Harrison definitely isn’t doing his part.
Suddenly the bells rings and I shake my head a little to clear my thoughts. I completely ignore Jenna as I pack my bag and make my way out of the classroom.
I don’t want to think about Harrison’s life anymore. What he chooses to do is his own decision and I shouldn’t be worried about whether he’s cheating on Claire or not. It really shouldn’t concern me and keeping my opinion to myself is probably in my best interest.
I nod to myself as I continue walking down the hallway, agreeing to give Harrison the benefit of the doubt. He has declared himself as my friend and I choose to think he is staying faithful to Claire.
“Do you always have to walk so fast?”
I look over to find Harrison walking next me, a wild smile taking over his face. I return his smile and shrug.
“I wasn’t aware that I walk fast.”
“You do. It’s like you’re always on a mission.”
Harrison begins to hum the Mission Impossible theme song and I can’t help but let a soft giggle slip out.
He beams down at me, looking slightly triumphant.
“That is the most beautiful noise I have ever heard in my entire life.”
I lift a brow at him and roll my eyes, suddenly unsure whether he is being sarcastic or not.
He laughs gently and throws an arm around my shoulder.
“What am I going to do with you, Grim?”
I’m not exactly sure what he means, but I choose to laugh instead of question him about it. There’s no use in trying to figure out what Harrison means about anything anymore. I just end up with a headache and getting immensely sidetracked.
We make easy conversation as we walk to the “popular” hallway. Other students turn to look at us due to Harrison’s arm still hanging around my shoulder, but I ignore them. I hate having the attention on me, but I just want to reassure everyone that Harrison and I are just friends.
We finally reach the hallway and Harrison slips his arm off my shoulder and takes my hand in his as he stops my by the doors that lead outside.
“Do you want to go have lunch again?”
I give him a weak smile, noting the fact that Claire is already waiting for him and she’s probably staring at us right now. I take my hand out of his and run it through my hair, showing everyone around us that their potential worrying is pointless.
“I can’t. I have to go meet up with Daniels in order to talk him about the audition meeting.”
Harrison raises a brow and tilts his head to the side a little.
“Oh, yeah. Wilson’s performing arts department is putting on a play for the Fall and the meeting to learn about the audition requirements and dates is on Monday. Daniels likes my input on a lot of his decisions and ideas.” I shrug, realizing that Harrison probably doesn’t care about any of this.
“Who is Daniels?”
“The performing arts coordinator. He directs all of the shows.”
Harrison nods and smiles at me. “That’s awesome!”
I bite my lip, a bit surprised by his words. His tone was completely genuine and despite all the irrelevant information I just gave him, he actually seems interested. I assumed that Harrison would be just like everyone else at Wilson and make fun of me for my involvement with theatre, but he doesn’t.
A smile slowly spreads across my face and suddenly I feel like hugging him, but I refrain from doing so. It’s so refreshing to have someone not make fun of me or tell me to give up on my passion because it’s lame. Instead, Harrison’s interest is completely true, which just sparks something in me that I can’t explain. It’s intoxicating.
“So you’re auditioning for the play, right?”
I nod. “Of course. It’s kind of my thing.”
He smiles and searches my eyes for a moment. “I’m sure you’ll land a leading role.”
I shrug and let out a soft sigh. “Well, not many people try out so you could be right.”
Harrison laughs and shakes his head. “Don’t sell yourself short. I’m sure you’re amazing and I’m coming to watch your performance. I’ll be there opening night in the very front row.”
I let a wide smile take over my lips as I stare up at him. I don’t even know what to say anymore because I’m just excited to hear that someone is actually going to come to one of my shows. I have never had anyone in the audience come to a performance just to see me. They’re always friends or family of other people on the cast, but no one has ever specifically been there for me. My parents never had the time and my friends just never cared enough. They were more worried about being seen and labeled as one of the geeks.
Harrison and I smile at each other and I open my mouth to say something, but am immediately cut off by Claire who is yelling Harrison’s name from across the hall. I glance in her direction to see an annoyed expression across her face, causing my smile to fade a little. I turn back to Harrison so see him still staring at me.
“That’s my time to shine.”
He winks at me and then gives me a cocky smile, instantly becoming his normal self again. I don’t even know which way is up with this kid anymore, but I try to shrug it off. We’re just friends after all and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got bored with me and no longer talked to me by next week. That’s why it’s better to keep Harrison as a friend, but not let him get any closer than that. Letting people in has never been my style, especially when that person is conceited and confusing like Harrison Lunn. Who knows what stunt he’ll pull next, which is why it’s especially important for me not to get too close to him. Friends I can do, but nothing more than that.
I nod to him. “Your princess awaits,” I joke with him and laugh a little.
Harrison laughs and shakes his head. “See you later, Grim.”
I wave to him as he turns away from me. He jogs over to Claire, who still wears an unhappy expression, which instantly fades as Harrison lifts her into the air and spins her around a few times. I smile at both of them and watch as he puts her back down on the ground and plants a kiss on her lips.
Everyone else around me is staring at them as well, but I can see a couple of people glance over at me. I can’t help but feel slightly confused by their strange looks, but I continue to smile as I turn away and head towards Daniels’ office.
Even though I am slightly confused by everything that is Harrison Lunn, I can’t help but feel slightly pleased at the moment. Claire is obviously the number one girl in Harrison’s sights, which makes my concerns from earlier disappear, and he has also stated that he wants to go to my show. It’s nice to have someone actually show genuine interest in what I love to do rather than dismiss it like everyone else.
I think I was right about Harrison. He’s not as bad as he seems and I can’t help but want to see that side of him even more.
When the bell finally rings to dismiss the last class of the day, I quickly make my way out of my classroom and head toward the doors to the parking lot. However, I suddenly feel someone slip their arm through mine and look over to find Hannah smiling at me.
“Hey, Hannah.” I smile at her, still feeling ecstatic from my conversation with Harrison earlier. I don’t remember the last time I felt so excited about something and it’s a nice feeling.
“Someone is awfully happy today.”
I shrug as I continue to smile, not caring that she is currently leading me to the popular hallway. Nothing could ruin my mood and I have a night of dance to look forward to as well as no homework. Everything is somehow in my favor.
We reach her usual spot and continue to make light conversation, Dianna and Jacqueline joining us after a few minutes.
It’s nice to be able to talk with my friends and have a decent conversation. I don’t even care about the fact that they randomly look over toward the popular kids as they talk or occasionally pull out their mirrors to check their makeup.
“I really wish I could stay, but if I don’t leave now then I’ll never get to dance on time.” I finally say, keeping my voice chipper.
My friends all frown at me, but they still nod. Ever since they saw how upset I got the other day when they told me to give up my “lame” extra curricular activities, they have tried to be much more supportive. Sadly, their current response is considered progress in my book.
“I’ll see you all tomorrow.” I smile and give them all a small wave before I turn around and head out the doors.
There’s a slight chill in the air and I wrap my sweater around myself, instantly affected by the temperature change. I continue to make my way toward the parking lot when I hear a familiar laugh come from my left, causing me to turn my head. I see Harrison’s brown hair and the way his lips work against the girl in front of him. However, the girl he is currently kissing is not Claire. This girl has long brown hair and her eye shadow is heavily applied. I raise a brow at him, suddenly feeling my stomach tighten.
Harrison is cheating on Claire.
Harrison Lunn has the prettiest and most popular girl in school, yet he’s cheating on her. Every guy would literally kill someone to go out with Claire, but Harrison is just abusing his relationship with Claire instead? What is his problem? Just yesterday I was defending him and saying that he was fully committed to Claire, but it looks like I was wrong.
Just before I am about to tear my eyes away, Harrison’s eyes suddenly meet mine and I can see his smile falter slightly. I don’t react right away, instead I keep walking and continue to meet his eyes. After a few seconds though, I give him an embarrassed smile and look away, mentally scolding myself for feeling so flustered.
I can hear Harrison laugh and I instantly know that he is already playing tonsil hockey with the brunette again.
While I feel like Harrison should feel embarrassed or panicked by the fact that he just got caught cheating on his girlfriend, he didn’t even look like he was all that fazed. Sure, his smile fell a little, but within ten seconds he was back to his normal self and completely careless to what I might think or say.
Unbelievable. He is completely unbelievable.
However, I have bigger things to worry about than Harrison and who he is currently sucking face with. He’s just a small and practically insignificant part of my life. I have bigger and better things to worry about.
I pull into my driveway after dance and turn off my car’s engine, letting out an exhausted sigh as I lean back into my seat. I can officially say that it has been a strange day filled with a lot of ups and downs, but at least it’s all over now. All I have to do is go inside, wash my face, and climb into bed.
I let myself into my house and head upstairs to my room, feeling my body silently whining as I take each step.
When I finally reach my room I toss my dance bag on the floor next to my dresser and then stand in front of my mirror, eyeing the few strands of hair that have escaped my bun.
Suddenly, I hear my phone vibrate from my bag and I retrieve it from the side pocket, furrowing my brow as I see Harrison’s name light up on my screen.
Right, he put his number in my phone.
Harrison: It has been a day and I haven’t received one text message from you. Most girls would have sent me a text every hour on the hour.
I roll my eyes at his message, He’s even cocky through technology. Looks like I’ll never escape it.
Me: I wasn’t aware that I was supposed to text you. I thought I was just supposed to contact you if we were going to hang out.
I place my phone down on my dresser and reach up to begin taking my hair down, but my phone vibrates within a matter of seconds.
Harrison: That’s exactly what we’re doing. Open your front door.
My eyes suddenly widen as I stare down at the screen of my cellphone and reread his message. What? Open my front door? I can feel my heart begin to race as I feel slightly panicked. He’s here?
My phone vibrates in my hands again and I press my lips together as I read Harrison’s new message.
Harrison: Come on, Grim. Are you going to let me in or not?
I continue to stare down at my phone for a couple of seconds before sighing and then shaking my head a little. I place my phone on my dresser and make my way out of my room and down the stairs to my front door.
I can’t help but feel slightly confused as to why Harrison would possibly be at my house at eight o’clock on a Thursday night. Harrison already seems notorious for pulling these sort of stunts though.
As I reach the door, I stare through the peep hole to see Harrison standing on my front porch with his hands in his pockets, looking off in another direction. I take a quick deep breath before I unlock the door and open it, watching as Harrison slowly turns to face me.
“Grim! Nice to see you. Thanks for dressing up for me.”
I roll my eyes at him. “Like I need to impress you. I just got out of dance anyway and I would like to get some sleep. Did you need something?”
Harrison laughs lightly. “I need to talk to you. Can I come in?”
I raise a brow at him, feeling slightly uncertain if I should let him in or not. However, after a few moments I open the door wider so that he can slip inside.
“How do you even know where I live?” I ask as I close and lock the door behind him.
“I have my ways.” He flashes me a smug smile, but then laughs again. “I got it from Hannah after school. You should have seen her face when I asked for it. I thought she went into shock.”
I fold my arms over my chest. “Harrison, leave my friends alone, please. I don’t want to have to deal with the consequences of your actions.”
Suddenly, it hits me that I saw Harrison after school and he definitely wasn’t anywhere near Hannah. Especially since he had been outside of the school, shoving his tongue down a girl’s throat who wasn’t his current girlfriend, publicly proving himself to be a cheater.
“Wait, did you say after school?“
Before I can saw anything else, he cuts me off and turns towards my stairs.
“Let’s go upstairs, shall we?”
His proper and relaxed tone makes me narrow my eyes at him, but I comply and lead the way up to my room.
Once we walk through my bedroom door, Harrison makes his way over to my bed and lays down, placing his arms behind his head like he did the day before when we had lunch.
“Make yourself at home,” I joke as I stand in front of the mirror in front of my dresser and begin taking bobby pins out of my hair.
“There’s something I need to talk to you about, Grim.” Harrison’s voice sounds slightly serious and I already know what he wants to discuss.
“Okay, so talk.”
“It’s about that girl you saw me making out with outside of school.”
I stare at him through the mirror, continuing to pull out bobby pins from my hair.
“What about it?” I ask nonchalantly. His explanation is exactly what I’ve been waiting for, but I try not to seem to eager or interested.
“Well, first of all, I know that you probably think I’m sort of sleaze because you caught me cheating on Claire.” He pauses for a minute to check my expression. I nod at him, letting him know that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking.
“Is that the first time you’ve cheated on Claire?” I ask, turning around to face him.
The left corner of his mouth lifts into a small smile and he looks down.
Harrison meets my eyes again and laughs as he notices the irritation in my eyes.
“What?” He lifts his hands in the air and continues to give me his half crooked smile.
“Unbelievable.” I say as I turn back to my mirror and start focusing on brushing out my hair.
“I said, unbelievable.” I set the brush back down and turn to him again, obvious frustration in my voice. “But then again, I guess it is believable considering it’s you.”
I walk into my closet and close the door behind me as I change into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. When I walk back out into my room, Harrison gives me an amused smile.
“What?” I snap at him.
“Why are you so mad about this?”
I stop and furrow my brow at him. “I’m not mad. I’m just frustrated because you’re completely abusing the sanctity of your relationship with Claire and being unfaithful, yet you think it’s funny. This isn’t a joke, Harrison. Peoples’ feelings are getting hurt here.”
“Did you really expect me to stay faithful to Claire?”
“Well…” I look down at the ground for a moment before meeting his eyes again. “I thought it was possible.”
Harrison stands up from my bed and takes a few steps toward me.
“Quite the opposite, Grim. I’ve kissed a lot girls at Wilson already, slept with quite a few of them as well.” He flashes a proud grin and I wrinkle my nose at him in disgust.
“How on Earth do you keep that from Claire?”
He raises a brow at me and laughs.
“What are you talking about? Claire knows. Of course she knows.”
“What?” I give his a look of disbelief. “Has she cheated on you too?”
Harrison rolls his eyes. “Oh, please. Of course she hasn’t cheated on me. She can’t afford to lose me. If anything, she’s still convinced that she’ll be the girl I'll chose in the end and she’ll be able the change me. Whatever.”
Harrison’s smile fades and he looks down at the ground.
“What do you mean she can’t afford to lose you?”
He shrugs and meets my eyes again.
“Every girl at Wilson wants me, Grim. Well, besides you. She feels empowered by the fact that she holds the title as my girlfriend, even if I’m messing around with other girls. It’s like I’m still with her, even though…I’m breaking the rules a little bit.”
“So why date Claire if all these girls want you and all you’re doing is cheating on her the whole time? You’re just making your reputation worse.”
“For the last time, I do not care about my reputation.” He tilts his head to the side a little and smiles at me. “As for Claire, she just helps me look more desirable to everyone else. Imagine how great all those other girls feel when I still fool around with them even though I’m in a relationship with Claire.”
“Is that really the reason?” I ask, shaking my head at him.
“Maybe. Maybe I’m not that shallow. Maybe I started dating Claire because I wanted to prove that I could have a girlfriend.”
“That sounds like you caring about your reputation.”
“I don’t. Look, is Claire pretty? Yeah, she’s the second hottest girl in the whole entire school. Do I like Claire? Yeah, she’s a cool girl. She’s not a game changer though. I’m damaged goods, Grim. Sometimes I just need a little pick me up to fill this empty void that people like me have.”
“Well, I hope you find what you need to officially fill that void someday.” I roll my eyes, keeping my voice flat.
“I think I already have.” Harrison winks at me and grabs his coat off of my bed.
“I better go so that you can get some shut eye for school tomorrow.”
I furrow my brow and look down at the ground as he shrugs into his coat, thinking about his words.
“Second hottest girl?” I look back up at him.
Harrison nods as me and lets a small smile play onto his lips.
“Who’s the first?”
“Ah,” Harrison steps toward me so that he is now right in front of me. He lifts his hand to my eyes and smooths the spot in between my eyes, causing me to unfurrow my brow. He then leans forward and presses a kiss to the same spot. I feel my heart race suddenly from the touch of his lips on my skin.
Slowly pulling back, he meets my eyes again. “A little mystery never hurt anyone,” he whispers.
A large grin suddenly spreads across his face and he pats my shoulder, making it seem like the moment between us never happened.
Before I can even say anything, Harrison has already left my room and is making his way down the stairs. I continue to stand there, my eyes still wide, as I hear my front door close and Harrison’s car start up outside.
Once I hear Harrison’s pull away, I shake my head slightly in order to bring myself back to the present and let out a small sigh as I walk into my bathroom.
I don’t know what part of Harrison’s and my conversation should bother me the most, but I try to force myself not to think about any of it. I don’t want to acknowledge his small gestures toward me or his confusing words. I can’t allow him to get into my head, but maybe I should start giving him a little more credit. He actually opens up to me a little, which I highly doubt he does with anyone else.
Harrison and I have a strange friendship, but at least it’s a friendship.
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