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C9 Nine

Ever since the incident, I haven't seen Landon in any of our classes the past few days. Even though I was thankful that he hasn't been around, I was still curious as to where he ended up.

Some students said he got expelled, or suspended. Some even said he was in prison. But from what I've heard, his dad would've had enough money to bail him out of any of these situations.

I opened the door leading to the private art room and sat in the same seat as I have since my first day of school. Plugging in my earbuds, I walked towards one end of the classroom where all the different size of canvases was stacked up against the wall. My eyes caught attention of the largest canvas, twenty-four by thirty-six inches. An idea popped into my mind as a small light bulb lit above my head. I dragged out the preferred canvas and tossed it on the floor. Lightly jogging towards the other side of the room, I grabbed a few loose sheets of newspaper. I pushed the rest of the stools and tables towards the side of the classroom and laid the large canvas in the middle of the room.

I smiled widely as I turned towards my bag, pulling out my personal art supplies. First, gluing all the new paper flat on the canvas, I grabbed the large paintbrush and dipped it in navy colored acrylic paint. I dabbed the paint onto the canvas, and rocked my head side to side from the beats of the chill music.

After what only felt like a few minutes, I dropped my brush with white paint on top of extra loose-leaf newspapers and stretched my arms. I released a loud groan, and yawned quickly afterwards feeling all the muscles in my body quickly tense and release itself in satisfaction. I sat up straight and observed my painting of an astronaut reaching for the moon. I bit my lip and smiled before removing the earbuds.


I jerked up in shock as I swiftly turned around on my feet. I was still squatting, however I had my legs crossed in an awkward way. I lost balance and fell back on my cushion. I looked up at the guy and there was Isaiah Chaser. Isaiah had his eyes locked on the painting behind me, his mouth wide open as he eyes glistened in amazement.

I awkwardly cleared my throat as his attention was quickly drawn back to me.

"Hi," I greeted, sending a single wave towards his way.

He chuckled and looked back at the painting, "Hi."

I pressed my lips together awkwardly, tapping my fingers against the hard-wooden floor.

"How long have you been standing there?" I asked.

"For about ten minutes," he responded, checking his watch. He had a chip bag in his hand, and was carelessly tossing potato chips into his mouth, as he observed the painting.

"You're a really good artist," he complimented.

I nodded and looked back at my painting, "Thanks."

The awkward silence still lingered as the only sounds that we can hear in the room are my fingers tapping against the floor and Isaiah's teeth crunching on the potato chips.

"How'd you know I was in here?"

"I saw you through the window," he casually answered. He pointed his chip bag towards the big glass window located right next to the door. It amuses me that he always had a chip bag in his hand, and as ironic as it sounds, he's one of the most talented soccer player in the school. Shouldn't athletes watch their diet?

I nodded at his response and packed up my art supplies before tossing them back in my bag. I took the dirty paintbrushes and tossed them in one of the bins with the sanitizers for the art teacher to clean them later on.

I picked up the canvas by the sides, attempting not to touch any part that it still wet.

"I just wanted to stop by, and say hi," Isaiah said as he licked his fingers and tossed the empty bag of chip into the trash can.

"Well," I trailed off, "Hi." I laughed as I greeted him again.

"This might be a weird question," Isaiah started, "But have you seen Landon around lately?"

I rose an eyebrow at him. "Shouldn't I be the one asking you that?"

"Why so?"

"I suppose you guys hate each other," I paused, "since, you know." I pointed at his face where the scars underneath his eye was almost fully healed.

He shrugged, "We're still friends."

I propped the canvas up on a standing position and rested my elbow on top of it. Confusion was plastered on my face as I rose an eyebrow at him. Last time I checked, friends don't beat each other up until they die.

"I mean we only fought because he had issues with his alliances," he continued, "I just didn't want to hit him back because he's still my friend."

I nodded slowly, still trying to understand the drama between these boys.

"Alliances?" I asked.

Isaiah nodded confidentially before he stopped his track. He froze in the middle of his nod and his eye sight was locked in the middle of nowhere. He said something he wasn't allowed to say.

"Alliances as in..." I asked again.

"As in...," he trailed off.

"His group of friends?" I suspiciously asked, attempting to make the awkward tension go away.

"Yeah!" he looked back up at me and nodded, pointing at me with his index finger. "His group of friends," he nervously chuckled before pressing his lips together and rocking back and forth.

I laughed slowly as I nodded.

"Want to just, leave?" he suggested.

"Yeah," I smiled reassuringly as I swung my bag over my shoulders, and clutching the canvas from the wooden backbone.

Before I reached the door, Isaiah quickly called my name.

"Aubrey, wait!"

I turned around accidentally hitting my canvas against one of the stools. I gasp and looked at the painting; nothing messed up. I sighed in relief.

Isaiah suddenly approached me with a paper towel, that looked like it has been damped with water. Without permission, he put a hand on my shoulder and with his other hand, he started to wipe the towel against my chin and nose.

Caught off guard, I shivered from the cold napkin pressing against my skin and Isaiah released a soft chuckle, "Sorry." He removed the paper towel and we made eye contact. He kept his dark brown eyes locked in mine as I looked away. I cleared my throat and turned back around towards the door.

"Let's go," I said quietly before I rush out of the classroom.

Isaiah released a small laugh before he quickly caught up with my pace.

"Want to walk home together?" he asked.

"Sure, why not," I agreed, ironically trying to avoid him at all cost. The vibe in the art room was incredibly awkward, and that fact that it was with me, made it one of the most awkward encounters ever.

"I just need to grab something from my locker really quick," I said as I stopped in front of my locker.

I dialed in my combination before pulling on the door. It didn't open. Confused, I reset the lock and redialed in the combination. It didn't open again. Assuming that the third time is a lucky charm, I reset, redialed, and pulled. No luck.

"Let me try," Isaiah volunteered, "do your combination."

I dialed in my combination for the last time, and with all his strength, Isaiah yanked open the door of the locker. It bounced open as it was shaking from to the strong force between the jammed door and Isaiah's strength.

Suddenly a thick white board slid out of the locker.

"What?" I mumbled underneath my breath as I caught the canvas.

"I never put my paintings in the locker, I'm always afraid of it getting messed up." I commented.

I flipped the canvas over and looked at the painting. It was the galaxy painting. The painting that Landon messed up a few weeks ago. The painting that I've worked so hard that day, only to be ruined by a jerk, purposely pushing my arm. But this time, the white streak was gone. Instead, someone had painted over the white streak, and fixed the picture.

"Are you sure you didn't put it in there?" Isaiah asked me, hovering over my shoulder.

"Yes, I'm sure."

I closed my locker as I held the canvas in my hand. I flipped it towards the back, hoping to find a clue somewhere but the canvas was clean and empty.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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