Mikaela’s chin was propped up on her left hand and she was vacantly stirring the chocolate pudding with the plastic spoon in her right hand. The cafeteria was noisy, a cacophony of loud laughter and conversations. Mikaela ignored all of that, her mind was still heavy with the little conversation she had with Vinessa last night.
Though Vinessa was only 5 when her mother died and probably too young to remember her, there was just something about the way she sounded last night which made a small part of Mikaela question herself.
Just like Mikaela’s dream of fallen angels, Vinessa had been recently having dreams of their mother. At first, Mikaela thought it was just Vinessa’s subconscious coming into play due to the conversations their father and Tenille shared about their mother. Though with each dream Vinessa had, they seemed to appear a tad bit more real. There were times when Vinessa shared what their mother said in her dreams that Mikaela could’ve sworn remembering their mother saying the exact same thing when she was alive.
Mikaela quickly shook her head free of her thoughts and downed a spoonful of pudding when she noticed Erin and Kaden approaching her with lunch trays in their hands. “Took you guys long enough.” Mikaela reached over for one of Kaden’s fries but he slapped her hand and she instinctively pulled away, “Ow!”
“No! Bad girl!” he playfully reprimanded with a smile.
“If you ate healthy like me then she wouldn’t try and eat your food.” Erin opened up a packet of croutons and sprinkled it over her salad.
Kaden – who had in unnaturally green contacts today, with the tips of his spiked hair dyed neon green – disgustingly eyed Erin’s lunch, “Me man, not cow. Me eat meat, not grass.”
Erin muttered a few unpleasant words under her breath
Mikaela couldn’t help but giggle.
“Oh yeah,” Kaden wiped the ketchup that had gotten on the corner of his lip from his hamburger. “Mikaela,” he looked into her brown eyes, “Seth and I have class together and he told me to tell you that he’d be late. Just getting the syllabi and all other papers he missed yesterday.”
“Cool. Thanks Spikey.”
Kaden narrowed his eyes at Mikaela but kept his thoughts to himself.
“Do you have some kind of charming spell on you or something, MiMi?" Erin asked as she took a swig of her pink grapefruit juice.
“What are you talking about?” Mikaela responded, confused.
Erin subtly nodded her head forward.
Mikaela looked over her shoulder and noticed that Damien, who was sitting by himself, again, was staring at her while rolling a red apple in his hand.
He had a look of danger and allure etched on his face, and the second his seductive green eyes made contact with Mikaela’s innocent brown ones, he looked away.
“I’ll be right back.” Mikaela nervously smiled at Erin and Kaden. She paused, took a deep breath and slowly approached Damien’s table.
Damien was still spinning the apple on the table, if he noticed Mikaela approaching him, he showed no indication.
“You’re gonna have to actually eat that if you want to keep the doctor away.” Mikaela uneasily smiled and took the empty blue chair across of Damien.
Damien slowly lifted his head to look at her, he lifted his right eyebrow confusedly.
“The apple,” Mikaela pointed to the fruit in Damien’s hand, “you know, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’”
Damien stared at her wordlessly for a few seconds, “Oh.” He slowly nodded, “That was stupid.” His voice was bland and distant.
Mikaela nervously fiddled with her fingers.
“Sorry about yesterday.” Damien offered a small smile, his voice softening.
“Don’t worry about it.” Mikaela shook her head, “I just wanna know…”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Damien cut her off.
“Ok.” Mikaela breathed, accepting that she won’t get any answers from Damien. She gently tapped the table, searching through her brain for something to say to get rid of this awkward silence.
There was something about Damien that intrigued her. Something deep inside her kept telling her to leave him alone but she couldn’t. The more she got the feeling that she should stay away, the more she wanted to be near him. Something about the aloofness made her want to get to know him. “So…” she began, tucking her hair behind her ears, “how are you liking Port Orford?”
“It’s wet.” Damien’s shallow voice answered, barely making eye contact.
Mikaela laughed, “Tell me about it!”
Damien looked up at her, and as he sat there studying her features, he couldn’t help but admire how beautiful she was. The way her long eyelashes shaped her almond shaped eyes. The intensity and love in her brown eyes. Her full, pink lips, she was the perfect of natural beauty. “I don’t think we were ever properly introduced.” His voice was warm. “I’m Damien.”
“Mikaela.” She smiled, feeling even more drawn to this boy she hardly knew.
“Pretty name.” Damien smiled, He knew he shouldn’t be talking to her but she intrigued him.
“Thanks.” Mikaela blushed.
“Mikaela!” a male voice called her name from a distance.
Mikaela turned her head to the left and saw Seth approaching her, a small smile on his lips.
Mikaela shot Damien an apologetic look, which he shrugged off.
“Hey you.” Mikaela smiled up at Seth, who was wearing a light blue shirt and blue jeans.
“Sorry to interrupt.” He quickly glanced at Damien then back to Mikaela.
“Oh.” Mikaela cleared her throat, “Seth, this is Damien. Damien, Seth.”
Damien and Seth were about to shake hands but the second their eyes met, they both froze and an identical scowl draped both their faces. They looked like two wild beasts who were about to have a fight to the death.
Mikaela’s eyes darted between the two, “What’s up with you two?” her heart slowly starting to pound.
“Nothing.” Seth breathed, venom lining his voice. “We should go sit with our friends.”
“I…” Mikaela began but was cut off by Damien.
“It’s cool.” Damien said, holding Seth’s blood thirsty stare. “I’ve got to go anyway.”
“Good.” Seth spat.
“What the heck is going on?!” Mikaela slightly raised her voice, causing a few of the students to stare at her. She looked back at her table and noticed that Erin and Kaden was looking at her with a concerned look on their faces, she shrugged.
“Let’s go, Mikaela.” Seth lowly snarled at Damien and protectively placed his hand on Mikaela’s shoulder.
Mikaela gently shook it off.
Damien chuckled, “See you around Mikaela.” But instead of looking at Mikaela, he stared directly at Seth and smirked. “Hey,” this time he looked at her, put the apple to his mouth and took a bite, “will the doctor stay away now?” He winked.
“That was stupid.” Mikaela smiled.
Damien smiled and walked away.
Seth glared at him until he was out of sight, he turned to face Mikaela, “Stay away from that guy.”
Mikaela’s brown eyes widened with shock, “Excuse me?”
“Do you even know him?!”
“He just seems like trouble, I’m just looking out for you.”
“I can take care of myself, Seth!”
“Mikaela, I don’t think you should hang around with him. He just seems like trouble, like I said.”
“What is this?” Mikaela’s voice cracked, “National Hate-On-Damien day? First my mother, now you.”
“Your mother?” Seth asked confused.
It took a while for it to register in Mikaela’s head, she wasn’t even aware that she said it, “Nothing.” She shook her, “Just nothing.”
“MiMi, you ok?” Erin ran up to her best friend, Kaden following.
“I’m fine.” She forced a smile.
“Mikaela…” Seth’s voice softened and reached for her shoulder.
Mikaela quickly pulled away as if his hand was poisonous, her brown eyes narrowed at him and were filled with hurt and anger, “Just leave me alone!” She yelled and bolted out the cafeteria.
Erin slapped Seth at the back of his head, tousling his dirty blonde hair, “What the hell did you do?” She demanded.
“What I’m supposed to,” his voice was slightly above a whisper, “protect her.”
© Copyright 2016 Tony Hart. All rights reserved.