Damn it... Why did he have to go sit in the back? I’m not turning all the way around just to look at him!---
Sixth period seemed so long! Primarily because I was thinking of ways to look back at Jesse without seeming interested. All of my efforts, however, came to no avail. And before I knew it, class was over, and I had fallen asleep again… Damn it…
I stood up, knocking the ruffles out of my borrowed dress. I still had three minutes left to get to seventh period, but I was in no hurry…
“Wrong class. Right girl.”
I whipped my head around and found that Jesse was standing in front of me, leaning against Mr. Rainey’s desk.
“Just what the hell are you talkin’ about,” I retorted. “I know that you belong in here sixth period, you liar.”
He smiled crookedly and looked off to the side.
“Yes, I belong in here sixth period. Not seventh,” he said, pointing to the clock on the wall behind him.
I bit my bottom lip and winced at him, “You smart ass,” I hissed, grabbing my tablet from the desk.
And do you know he had the nerve to laugh at me? What gall! I turned briskly and walked out of the class. How dare he? He’s not so witty; the bastard took advantage of my sleepiness to one-up me. Damn him and his--and his… Oh, just damn him!
The long hunter green dress that Megan had lent me billowed angrily behind me as I walked--almost ran--to seventh period. And the longer I sat there in class, the more I realized that I was not sleepy anymore. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me… I loved Mr. Rainey’s class! Maybe his teaching has just gotten boring all of a sudden…
I can’t believe it rained all day. Ugh… How was I gonna get home? I called and no one picked up, which meant my mom must not have been there yet. So, I couldn’t nag her to come get me. Megan had to stay after school for something… and Cat was gonna stay after with her.
Maybe I should just go to the gym and wait with them as well… No, damn it! That’s not an option! I don’t wanna stay any longer, and I don’t wanna ride in the car with her mother. Who was I kidding? I can’t stand that woman.
I went to my locker and searched for something rain-suitable. Aha! I found an old baseball cap! I totally triumphed over Mother Nature this time!
I walked outside, still protected by the outer roof of the school. I thought to myself, how can I get home without looking like some raging idiot, running down the street?
No solutions came to mind. I’d probably be reported to an asylum by the end of the week at this rate. But who cares, I thought, I needed a break anyway. Let the white coats take me to a place with no homework and no nagging friends who try to wake me when I’m sleeping peacefully. Take me where the smart asses don’t get smart with you for fear that you’ll snap and kill them… Yea… I think I like the idea of going to a sanitarium.
For a short while, I sat and watched the rain while hugging a pole that hung from the roof of the school building.
I shook the dents out of my cap and placed it on my head. I lifted the hem of my dress, slightly, and stepped out into the rain. Then just as quickly as I stepped into it, I ran back under the roof again. That rain was too cold to be walking in. Almost instantly, chill bumps appeared like braille up and down both my arms.
“And you call me a weirdo,” Jesse said, who was apparently standing at the door watching me the whole time.
“Geez...” I said in a sigh. "Don't you have anything better to do?"
“What did a little rain ever hurt,” he asked coolly.
“What is it with everybody chastising me about the damn rain today?” I scoffed impatiently.
He looked a little sleepy himself. With his hands behind his back, he slowly walked towards me while staring out into the rain.
“Just step in it,” he encouraged me, “it’s really not so bad.”
“Oh my god, you really are some kinda rain-loving, emo freak, aren’t you…?”
“Interesting… So, let me get this straight… Liking the rain makes me some kind of freak?”
I thought about that for a minute. I guess this time he was right because Cat likes rain, and she‘s not weird. It makes her feel calm or something. And, a lot of people do use it to get to sleep and such…
“I guess not,” I grumbled under my breath.
The rain poured down harder, and he pulled an umbrella from behind his back. He opened it a little and spun it around. I looked over at him, wondering why he was teasing me. He knew I wanted that umbrella, and he would milk this moment for as long as he could to torture me. I thought that was kinda hot… rude, yes! But, kinda hot.
I walked up beside him slowly and put my hand on the umbrella handle. He looked over at me a little confused, and when the timing was right, I snatched it from his hands and hightailed it through the rain.
“Damn it!” Jesse yelled and called after me, but I didn’t dare to look back.
I laughed to myself for being able to pull that one off. Gah, I’m such a genius, and boys are just plain stupid.
When I got to the edge of the block, I decided to look back. And, lo and behold, Jesse was chasing after me.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” I said in a panicky voice. “He’s gonna kill me!”
I didn’t think he would run out into the rain without an umbrella! But, he did say he liked the rain. So, why wouldn’t he chase me through it? Gah! I didn’t think this one through. Damn it! I looked back again, and he was right at my heels.
“Okay, okay! You win,” I said panting.
I stopped in the middle of the street, feeling the misted, icy wind blow underneath the umbrella and against my skin. I’m gonna freeze to death if I give him this umbrella back.
“You could’ve tried asking,” he said calmly, placing a hand to his forehead to keep the rain from falling into his eyes.
I stared at him for a little while, and he didn’t ask for the umbrella back. He didn’t even attempt to snatch it from me. I probably would have deserved it if he did.
“I don’t think that’s how it goes.”
He looked at me, visibly puzzled, a wry smile forming upon his lips. Then he put his cold, wet hands on mine and slowly pulled me and the umbrella over to him.
Oh--my--frickin--goodness… I’m gonna die… I looked up at him, shivering and remorseful. If he wasn’t so serious about me taking his umbrella, I might have thought this situation was kind of hot… Who the hell was I kidding… It was hot. It was enthralling! But realizing such didn‘t make me feel less intimidated.
“Look, I’m sorry… It’s just a stupid umbrella.”
True… It’s just a stupid umbrella,” he said looking down at me, “but why did you take it and run off if it was so stupid?”
His grip around my hands tightened a little, and I began to feel a little threatened. But damn it, I wasn’t backing down for anyone. I’m Jennifer Brighton, damn it.
“If you wanna be such a jerk about it, here,” I said shoving the umbrella over his head, “take the damn thing.”
I yanked away my hands and stormed down the street. I should really try to think things through more often. Damn it’s cold…
“Jen, wait,” he said running up behind me and catching me by the arm.
“If I wait any longer, I’m gonna catch the flu. Just leave me alone and let me go home.”
“You can use the umbrella if you want. Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal.”
“Then, damn it! Why would you chase me down like I’m some kind of dog and chastise me for taking the damn thing if it wasn’t such a big deal? Make up your mind!”
“Taking the umbrella wasn’t a big deal. The thing is that… I kinda wanted you to ask me for it so that I could walk you home under it…”
Ah, damn it… I stood in the rain--for what seemed like forever--trying to comprehend what he had just said to me. I forgot that I was destroying Megan’s dress--she was so gonna kill me later by the way--and I forgot that I was getting every inch of my body soaking wet…
If I didn’t get home soon, I was gonna be sick for sure. But none of that seemed to matter--not at the moment… The hot guy wanted to walk me home even though I tried to steal his umbrella… Score for me?
“Um, yea sure,“ I muttered, “but… There’s no need for the umbrella now, is it?” I said, lifting up my arms and hopelessly dropping them back at my sides.
Jesse held the umbrella over me and smiled. --
There was only a block or two left until I made it home, and the walk was--pleasant… After talking to Jesse more civilly, he didn’t seem like such a smart ass after all.
He walked with me onto the porch and paused for a minute, like he was gonna ask for a kiss… or a hug… or something. I was ready, ready to comply with whatever it was. All he had to do was ask.
“See you later?” he said instead.
“Yea, sure,” I replied, a shy smile breaking through my tough facade.
Then he turned around and walked down the steps. I watched him disappear down the street until the misty-blue rain swallowed his fading frame.
© Copyright 2016 Jennifer Brighton. All rights reserved.
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