SECOND CHAPTER

OUTSIDER IN THE CORNER

Alex Lawrence smiled sarcastically as he was watching the annoyed face of the teacher with the corner of his eye. It was obvious that the old lump wasn't taking it well again that his stubborn pupil refused to listen to him. That was quite weird considering the fact that Mr. Edwards was teaching him Math for four years. He was supposed to get used to his lack of interest for the subject. But obviously he still had secret hopes that some day he would do something to break through the boy's iron will.

Alex stopped paying attention to the teacher and looked from the window. He sighed and his cold gray eyes frowned with disgust. The whole school thing was suffocating him. Some of his tests and writing supposed there was more intelligence hidden inside of him than he showed. But nothing could make him concentrate on anything the others were doing at school. These "others" were even bigger reason for his hatred than the brainwashing. They all pretended to be absolutely perfect but he had learnt to see very well through their masks. They were fake and artificial to the point of impossibility. May be it wasn't fair to judge everyone like this but life wasn't fair.

All of them had done absolutely the same thing to him in a period he needed help more than ever. But all he got was just cold mockeries and even violence. In that nightmarish year his childhood faded away as unclear memory. That was the hardest part of the realization he was completely alone. Then he couldn't care less about what was going on. People and other "kids" were still laughing at him secretly but who could blame him they didn't understand? They were all morons by nature.

Once he was spying on what some other "good" boys were talking and he remained stunned at first by their lack of brain. Most of their conversation were about two topics: sport (damn, why everyone in that hellish town was so damn in love with sport?) and chicks. As they were growing up they included alcohol, parties and fucking.

Alex felt proud he wasn't part of their clique. For a moment he imagined himself dressed in the ridiculous baseball equipment, sitting among the other morons and wasting the air around with empty babbling. He barely kept his laughter with that thought.

His eyes fell on the girl in front of him… Alex had never been interested in girls. There was a time when he felt very excited by the female body but that was phase every boy gets through. He just never cared enough to get himself a girlfriend. Not that any of the proper lasses would like to be with someone like him. But that didn't matter anymore because he seemed to be unable to fall in love. Or to care for some other human being apart from himself. Of course, that wasn't something he would admit to that damn psychologist he was forced to visit.

To hell with all these gossips! Why everyone had to mess up with him and break through the little harmony he was trying to create for himself. And what was worst, they were "trying to help" in the time he didn't need it. The damned saints and their good intentions! It was all a big lie!

Some neighbor had noticed that Alex was coming home from school very rarely. It was true that he preferred his hideout in the forest than his aunt's company but he was trying to be there as long as it was possible. But they had decided that such behavior is alerting and it could suggest serious psychological damages. After all, everyone knows who Dana Lawrence had been. Like mother like child.

So, for some weeks he was obliged to visit that woman. She was trying very hard to break through his walls and make him talk of his feelings but none had succeeded in that area when it comes to Mr. Don't Touch me. Anyway, he believed she accepted him only as a career experiment, not as a human being. He was forced to stay with her for an hour. The rest was her job. And he wouldn't let the ambitious Susan Johnson use his therapy as a professional triumph. Alex Lawrence was anything but a test animal.

As he was thinking his heart started fulfilling with anger. The boy closed his eyes and tried to repress the dangerous feeling. Being angry was not the best way to survive in a town like this. Especially after everyone thought he was a maniac or serial killer. If he ever let the anger get the best of him they would do something even worst. They could take him in clinics, or Miss Johnson could start aggressive therapy with medicines. That was why he was taking great efforts to remain calm even in the most terrible situation.

A click of the door crossed his thoughts. Someone had entered the room and Alex raised up his head unwillingly. It was the school secretary but she wasn't alone. There was some unknown girl with her. Perhaps it was thew new student their head teacher mentioned today. He wasn't supposed to pay her much attention. For sure she was another so-called saint. But he did. For few moments he was unable to keep his eyes away from her. "What am I doing?" He thought with irritation.

She was definitely beautiful, and – thanks God – not blond. It seemed that this school was full of blondes. Her lovely wavy hair was falling down to her waist and the black curls were touching playfully the perfect shoulders. She had very pretty sapphire-blue eyes with piercing and intelligent look. The dark part of her face was contrasting very clearly her marble white skin. The stranger was wearing dress, which wasn't leaving much to the imagination but was emphasizing her elegance.

Alex noticed that he wasn't the only one impressed by the newcomer. All idiots was staring at her, some of them even gave a whistle. The girls looked a bit envious to their soon-to-be rival.

"But why do I care about that?"

He sighed and looked away. For a moment he thought she had caught his eyes and that made him feel ashamed.

"So, students, this is Lucy Kane from New York!" Mr. Edwards clinched through his teeth. His voice was soaked with irritation. Naturally, the old bastard hated being crossed. "OK, Miss Kane, you are free to sit wherever it is free of to stand up if you feel more comfortable that way, I don't care. Now, let's get back to work."

Unfortunately the little lady chose the worst place to sit: on the bench next to his one. Great! He definitely didn't need such close contact with her. That girl was embarrassing him and that wasn't good at all.

When Lucy sat their eyes met. This time he felt unable to look away. Edwards didn't notice that, he was too busy to draw on the blackboard.

While she was opening her books and notebooks the girl didn't stop staring at him. "What do you want?" He was about to ask. The worse was that he liked that in some part of his brain… No, no, no! That couldn't be compared even to illness. He shouldn't allow her that! What was that glimpse of flash in her eyes? Interest?

Alex Lawrence took all his efforts to look away. Then he did something he hadn't done for weeks. He opened his textbook and pretended to be completely drawn by what was written inside. His hand started copying the rows of numbers from the blackboard mechanically. In that moment he was ready to do anything but to let himself watch her.

That didn't help because he was feeling her intense gaze during the whole class. Some part of him shivered in fear.

Alex sighed with relief when he heard the school-bell. Now he had at least some time to get away from her nagging presence and to arrange his thoughts. He picked up everything with the velocity of light.

The rapidity was his big mistake. He ran quickly to the door, full of anxiousness to get out of here, when he almost collided with Lucy Kane. Boy, today the fate was really mean. Alex moved back a little and showed her with gesture that she can go first. The girl nodded and smiled shyly at him.

Oh, what if she thought he was some perfect gentleman?

A tiny layer of sweat was covering his neck.

Something very unpleasant was about to happen; he could feel it.

Hell, why always me?