C5 Chapter 5: A gift
Once inside, I went to my locker to get books for the next class. I opened my locker and confusion rose inside me. My lips parted in surprise as I looked at the new item in my locker.
A single beautiful flower lay on top of my books, the smell filling my nostrils. I carefully picked it up, admiring the beautiful coloured petals. The leaves were orange with a red stripe in the middle, the edges white. “Tris, come, we will be late!” Kenna called me. She looked at me and her eyes zeroed in on the flower. “Wow. Where did you find this?” She asked. “In my locker, but it doesn't have a note or anything attached,” I answered to her, looking around.
‘‘That is weirdly super romantic, I wonder who it is from though. Anybody that knows your combination?’’ Kenna asked and I shook my head no. The hallway was emptying by now, the lessons almost starting. I put the flower back in my locker and grabbed my books, not wanting to be late and determined to figure it out later.
The next class was our mentor class with Mr. Jackson. This was just a support class where we could catch up on homework, spend some time with our classmates and sometimes we had to do certain projects. Mr. Jackson had been our mentor since the start of the first year and we all really got along with him. We walked into the classroom, us being the latest ones to arrive and took the only seats available which were in the front of the class.
“Welcome SECOND years!!” Mr Jackson announced with his arms up high. “I'm so proud of you guys, you did it!” He added. The whole classroom smiled at that, feeling excited for the new year. “I need some help carrying some stuff from the teacher's room. Kenna, Beatrice, please?” Mr Jackson asked and opened the door for us.
The teachers' room was on the top floor in the other building, the school consisting of one main building and two smaller ones next to it. We walked with Mr Jackson to the main building while Mr. Jackson chatted away about what we needed to get from the room. “How are you doing, Beatrice? How is your mom?” He asked with a kind smile. “Good, sir. Thank you. Still working at the restaurant and still bringing leftovers home for lunch every Sunday.” I said while smiling back at him. He looked behind me and signalled someone over. “One second girls, I can use a bit more help carrying this stuff. I'm only now thinking how much it actually is.” I looked behind me and my heartbeat began to race when I looked into his eyes.
Mr. Hayes walked over with an easy stroll while Mr. Jackson walked into his direction to ask him for help. Kenna and I were left standing in the same spot. “He really creeps me out.” Kenna said with a serious face. I shrugged, not wanting to talk about him. “Did you see how he looked at you in class? Like he wanted to eat you.” She said with her eyebrows drawn up. I turned bright red at that and of course that was the moment Mr. Jackson and Mr. Hayes returned. “Ready to go!” Mr. Jackson said while leading us into the building. We followed him inside and got into the elevator together, all of us too lazy to take the stairs.
The teachers got in the back of the elevator, Mr. Jackson pushing the button sending us up. The lift doors were about to close but a hand pushed the doors open and five guys strolled in. I took a few steps back to let them in and walked straight into Mr. Hayes. My back touched his chest and my ass went full on against his private parts. I felt his hand graze my hip, holding me there for a second. I immediately stepped forward but couldn't step forward much with so many people in the elevator. I didn't know whether to apologise or just leave it, but since I didn't want other people to know what just happened, I didn't say anything. The doors closed agonisingly slowly and then travelled up. The guys started talking loudly and one almost elbowed me while animatedly telling his story, was it not for a hand stopping him.
Mr. Hayes grabbed the elbow meant for my ribcage. “Don't touch her.” He said. His voice was close to my ear and the top of his chest touched my shoulders. The smell of cinnamon surrounded me. I felt a few sparks and almost stepped back against him. But I stopped myself and took a step aside, creating more space between us. The guy looked at Mr. Hayes and roughly shook his elbow loose. The tension rose between them, the whole elevator silent. The testosterone levels were sky high and when the doors peeped and opened, there was a collective sigh from the rest of us. We all walked out and as I walked out, I thought I felt fingertips lightly touch my lower back. It was such a light touch though, I think I imagined it.
We all chose to ignore what just happened and walked to the teachers' room where some teachers were still having lunch. Ms Melissa saw Mr. Hayes and perked up, giving him a shy wave. Mr. Jackson gave me a heavy box to carry and it was so big, I could hardly look over it. I saw Mr Hayes walking towards me to help me but Kenna stepped in front of him, grabbing one side of the box to help me instead. “I can help her.” I heard Mr. Hayes say to Kenna. “No, thanks.” She responded to him and pulled the box so I was forced to walk with her. We walked outside towards the other building with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Hayes right behind us, also carrying stuff.
“Ball girl!” Someone shouted from the right. I internally groaned, just wanting to go back to class and then home and not get into more awkward situations. I looked and saw Javier running toward us with his friend, both without a shirt on. I mean, he didn't look bad with the sun shining on his abs. “Hi Javier.” I said to him once he reached us. He promptly took the box from our hands, looked at Mr. Jackson and Mr. Hayes. “Not very gentleman-like of you guys to let two beautiful ladies carry heavy shit,” Javier said with a grin.
Mr. Hayes looked like he was ready to murder Javier, he had some serious anger issues, I thought to myself. “I'm not a helpless damsel in distress.” I said to Javier, trying to grab the box back. Javier had a different idea though, putting the box in his other hand and putting his arm around my shoulders. He pushed me to his naked chest and started walking. “I'm looking forward to Friday.” Javier said loudly with a smile.
A loud BOOM sounded somewhere and I took a step back in time to see a few bricks of the school building falling off. Before I even blinked my eyes, Mr. Hayes pulled me away from Javier and away from the building, holding an arm around my waist. Kenna was next to him and was blinking her eyes, like she also moved too fast and had to orientate where she was. The stones and rubble fell in the spot where Javier and I had been standing and Javier barely missed being hit by the stone. He was on the ground, looking around in confusion.
I looked up at Mr. Hayes from the corner of my eyes, finding him looking at me with a protective look. “What's on Friday?” He asked me. The arm around my waist tightened and I stepped away after Mr. Jackson coughed, not answering his question. Why does he care? I thought but with all the commotion going on I didn't have a chance to think about it again.
People came running, having heard the crash. Mr. Hayes stepped to the front and dispersed the people, making sure the situation was under control. Mr. Jackson decided it was time for us to go after a few minutes and walked us back to the classroom with Javier helping to carry the stuff, who insisted he felt fine. Once we got back, we started the lesson where we started a project to improve our self reflection.
Our next class was supposed to be gym class but because the teacher was sick, it was going to be rescheduled to another day. Freedom was calling me and I couldn't wait to go home and relax. Mom was always off on Monday so I could spend some time with her. I said goodbye to my friends and Kenna drove me home. In the car, Kenna was thinking out loud about the whole rock-incident but I couldn't give her any answers to what happened so we left the conversation at that and she dropped me off at home. At home I did my homework and ordered a pizza with my mom and we watched our favourite program on TV.
“How was school, my dear? I heard you have a new school coordinator.” Mom said while taking a bite of her pizza. “Yeah, school was good. It's good to be back but I wish the summer holiday was a bit longer,” I responded, not wanting to have a conversation about the new school coordinator. “I heard he's quite the charmer.” Mom said, digging for information. I looked at my mom with a suspicious face, wondering where she heard that. “I guess so.” I said and I got up to take my dog Moose out for a walk.