He came a week after Goethe’s abrupt departure, like a sign from some god somewhere, telling me to move the fuck on already. I was in English, slouched in my seat and thumbing through Othello when the teacher cleared his throat, his nasally voice announcing that we had a new student, transferred in from out of state. I looked up and did a double take. It could have been Goethe, but at the same time, it most definitely wasn’t.
Goethe was built like a willow tree, tall and lean, but strong. He had thick blonde hair that he wore long enough to cover his eyes, and he seemed to be permanently smirking.
This guy had the same tall build, but he wasn’t as streamlined, built more like a bear than a tree. His hair was dyed black with lime green streaks throughout, spiked up in the front and left wild in the back. His brilliant green eyes sparkled, mirroring the huge grin on his face.
Every female in the room except for me swooned in their seats and sighed, batting big ol’ Bambi eyes at him.
The teacher introduced the boy as Aaron, and the boy gave a goofy wave that made all but one girl’s heart melt.
I was unimpressed, though I had to admit, he was kinda’ cute.
The seat beside mine was NOT the only free chair, but it was the one Aaron chose. He flashed a charming smile my way, holding his hand out. “Hi. I’m Aaron.”
I squinted at him, then gingerly shook his hand. “Anja. Don’t ask what it’s short for. I won’t tell you.” Then I pulled my hand back and turned to read my book again, pulling my hair around to hide my face.
“I already know what it stands for.” I whipped around when he said that, staring openly at him, and he smiled brightly. “Your legal name is Janaya. But I like Anja better. It’s prettier, to suit your beauty.”
Flushing with color, I looked back at Othello, trying to focus. In the corner of my eye, I saw him frown, but he left me alone after that, though he kept peeking over. If he were trying to be sneaky about it, he’d make a sucky CIA agent.
As it turned out, Aaron had another class with me, though I hardly expected it. He was in the same dance class as me. He was the only male dancer, and despite his muscled build, he was a pretty good dancer, using his strength to leap further and lift his partners higher. When it came my turn to practice lifts, I noticed his hands sat a bit lower on my waist, his touch lingering a half-second longer.
Maybe I was imagining things… Then I overhead a few girls whispering about how Aaron was staring at me, their voices tinged with jealousy. I looked over my shoulder and sure enough, Aaron was watching me stretch. It was bad enough to have Goethe watch from the sidelines when he was here, but Aaron would be dancing with us, touching us, practicing with us…
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