She walked down the hall. She hated her walk. It was kind of slouchy and uncertain. Hannah gripped her pile of books tightly and dug one end into her hipbone and hugged the other end to her chest. She looked down at her feet. The blue jeans were frayed, and partly concealed her cherished, yellowing Adidas® sneakers with dark blue stripes. She smiled down at her shoes. They represented her entire middle school life, as far as she was concerned. Not too big, not too small, rounded just the right way. Who cared if the once-white leather was written on and scratched off in too many places to count? Not Hannah. Even though this was no longer middle school, and Mildred was dead, she couldn't seem to part with them.
Hannah looked up and squeezed through some popular classmates hugging in the hall. She grinded her metal-covered teeth; she hated it when people held up traffic to hug. Hannah whipped her head around her shoulder. It was Shalik and Jameel. She turned away, disgusted, and almost crashed into Mr. Clark, the so-called "dean" of the student body. With angry thoughts in her mind about hallway traffic holdups due to hugging, Hannah walked quickly down a less crowded hellway, as she liked to call them, this time with her head up.
She froze in her tracks.
There he was.
Looking right at her.
Walking right towards her!
He was saying something.
Hannah jerked her legs into action. She suddenly became very aware of the tiny zit that had popped up on her face last night. She struggled to look relaxed, but her walk became nervous and jerky. She walked on, looking at him. God, he was gorgeous. It was only a matter of time until they would catch up to each other.
Why was he waving to her? She didn't even know him. Well, other than her three-year obsession with him, and former conversations online, she didn't know him. And anyway, he most certainly didn't know her. Oh, boy, he didn't know the first thing about her. No one did.
Nervous excitement brewed in her intestines. These were not butterflies. Forget butterflies, she almost chuckled. These were pigeons.
He seemed to be looking at her stomach. He thought she was fat! And then, his eyes shifted away from her. Oh god, what if he thought she was ugly and changed his mind? No. That couldn't be.
Time sped up. She was dying. He was talking. She couldn't hear him. "What? I can't hear you," she said, but he didn't pay attention, just kept talking.
Huh? She was confused. She stopped walking. Her mind flashed back to a scene in a movie she watched with Sarah. The girl thought the guy was waving to her. She made a fool of herself and waved back, said hi. He was actually waving to the person behind her. "What a moron!" the girls had shrieked with laughter at the poor soul. And then it clicked. It was her.
She could hear every single person in that hellway's watch tick and then let out a slow, deep beeeep for 11:00. Ice. She turned to ice. She wasn't moving. He wasn't moving. Particles in the clouded oxygen in front of her face were even holding their breath. She spelled it out.
He was not talking to her. The words made no sense. They were mere letters to her; vowels and consonants mixed together in a big spaghetti pot and served on a cold, smelly dish in front of her face. He was talking to the person behind her. No. No. It made no sense. It wasn't possible. She jerked her head up. She screamed. Look at me! But her mouth stayed closed.
He did not notice her.
Her cries were to no avail. She was invisible. He didn't see her. He. Did. Not. See. Her.
She spun around the room. She was everywhere. She circled around his head in imaginary circles that turned to almond-shaped spirals, like his beautiful, dark eyes. His dark eyes, which were blind! His stupid, striking eyes that did not see her! They did not see her, standing there, hoping, begging, and pleading with him. Just turn around. Please.
And yet, she was nowhere. She stood, grounded on the spot, back hunched, fingernails digging into her flesh. She would have usually like to say that they dug so deep that they drew blood, but no, my friend, that was not the case. Her fingers failed to produce even the tiniest speck of crimson to show her anguish.
Tears blurred her eyes.
Shadowy shapes of teachers and students glided to and fro as the skinny girl ran to the stairwell. She was shuddering. Her body was convulsing. What was she doing? She shook herself, and leaned against the back wall, head up at the dingy ceiling tiles. She also would have liked to say that a single tear ran down her thin, abused cheek, but there was none of this. Sad, romantic moments never happened to Hannah. The tears fogged in her eyes and were just barely starting to spill over. She had stopped heaving. She merely leaned, limp, against the trusty wall and held on to her tears for all she was worth.
Just as one was about to drop, there was a collision.
A sophomore ran right into her ribs, headfirst.
She gasped in pain and fell backwards. Her tear leaked out of her right eye and splattered on the floor. The floor was littered with bits of dry dirt, wrappers from candy bars, and old notes. She felt a hair barrette dig into the hand she put out to cushion her fall. It hurt.
Hannah found herself on the floor, with Donte looking at her. "My bad. You a'ight?" he asked her, helping her to her feet.
She wanted to scream at him. No! I am not all right! Look what you have done to me! He had pushed her to the ground, right when she thought things couldn't get any worse. His big hands proved to be very strong as he lifted Hannah off of the ground. "Sorry," she mumbled. "It's cool," he responded and ran away, chasing his friend. Aaargh! Nothing could express her frustration. She straightened her plain t-shirt and jeans, which she saw had another beautiful rip in them now, just over her now- bruised knee. She gathered her senses, and collected her books, which Donte had piled up for her. She examined the damage. There was none that was serious, but they were all in the wrong order. She put the pile on the stairs and proceeded to straighten it up, and when that was done, heaved them back to her chest. Her ribs ached. There was also now a slight limp in her step as she stumbled into the girls' bathroom. She put her books on the floor and walked into a stall, and sat on the toilet seat. She had forgotten her hall pass. It must have fallen from her hands as she walked out of her classroom in the freshman wing. Hannah shuddered and took a long breath. She counted to ten. She sat on the toilet seat, her head in her hands. She had the worst headache ever. She wanted to go home, and it was only 11:00. She tried to cheer herself up. Give it another try. It wasn't working. Why hadn't he noticed her? Every time she saw him walking down the hallway, she almost died. Every time, he never bats an eyelash in her direction. It wasn't fair! Was it possible that he did not feel for her the deep passion that was eating her heart? He had no inkling of her feelings. None at all. "Anybody in here?" a voice startled her, interrupting her thoughts. She said nothing. He spoke again. "Hello?" Oh. He was talking to her. "Yes, I'm in here," she squeaked. It was probably the janitor. She quickly flushed the toilet, not wanting to hear his words. She undid the lock to the stall and walked out. She turned to face the male intruder and let out a gasp.
Fiction » Supernatural Rated: T, English, Drama & Angst, Words: 3k+, Published: 1/13/2004 Updated: 2/21/2004}
6 Chapter 1