Chapter 4: Someone New

The campus was bustling with new and old students, the sun was out, and excitement was in the air as well as anxiety. The beginning of the year was always the most stimulating because everyone was feeling motivated and focused toward their schoolwork as well as happy to make new friends. Which was exactly how Naura felt.

She'd dressed in a nice casual outfit of white skinny jeans, a black short-sleeved blouse, and strappy black sandals. She had all of her belongings in a small dark brown purse with a long thin cross-body strap and her first period book and binder tucked close to her chest in her right arm. Her dark brown highlighted hair was in its long natural waves and pulled back into a high ponytail, a few wisps hanging in front of her face. She felt very put together, classy, and determined. She was going to walk all over this Sophomore year and show it who was boss.

Her first class that day was Math, also one of her most hated subjects. The campus was big but the building wasn't far. She was ten minutes early when she reached the classroom but it was already mostly full. The room was quite large, with stadium-like seating. She searched the room for a moment for empty seats before heading for one six rows back toward the center. She didn't want to be too close to the front but she still wanted to be in a good spot.

Saying her excuse me's, she worked her way through the row until she reached the seat and sat down in the small chair. There was one empty seat beside her and she wondered briefly if it would stay that way. The girl to her right did not seem to be the talkative type. She had straight light brown hair slicked back into a bun, glasses, and a very boring fashion sense. Typical nerd, probably a straight A student. People like her were nice but very focused on school and refused to let anything or anyone distract them.

Naura set her book and binder on the small table before her that served as a "desk" and reached down into her purse to pull out a couple pens and her phone.

No texts from Tyler. Just a few from Rachel, Lucine, and her mom.

There were a few excuse me's as someone made their way down the row, probably to occupy the seat beside her. Naura focused on replying to her texts and only moved her legs to the side a bit to let the person get by.

"You new here?"

Naura looked up from her phone at the person who had decided to sit to her left and was surprised by what she saw.

Whoever he was, he was pretty damn gorgeous. Like model status. Some type of middle-eastern but fair-skinned with thick black wavy hair, thick brows, brown eyes, and a gorgeous smile. He was dressed in a white elbow length sleeved shirt, black jeans, and brown leather tennis shoes. He wore a large round-faced stainless steel watch on his left wrist that clearly stated that he or his family were well endowed. He definitely had the whole package, from his good looks to his fit body. Was God playing a mean trick on her? This was surely the type of guy to help her get over Tyler.

"How could you tell?" she replied to his question, her eyes soaking up every inch of him.

"You just don't look like you're from around here." He continued to smile, making her want to melt.

"Is that a good thing?" She was flirting. Good. She hadn't completely lost her will to talk to men.

"Definitely. I'm Rez." He held out his hand.

She shook his hand, smiling. "Naura." Wow, his hand was so smooth and warm.

"So you just moved here?"

"Yeah, parents made me. You from here?"

"Born and raised. Wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

"Maybe I'll feel like that soon."

Rez continued to smile. "Feeling homesick?"

Naura shrugged. "Yeah, but that's to be expected. I do like it here."

"Well, if you'd like, I can show you around. There's a lot to do here. Trust me, you'll never be bored."

Was he asking her out? In a less than official way, maybe! She had no problem with him being her rebound, that was for sure. He was drop dead gorgeous. "Yeah, I'd like that. I've only been to a café and a few stores."

"No beach yet?"

"No beach." She twirled her pen in her fingers, ignoring the tingling in her stomach. The thought of him in less clothing made her feel all sorts of ways she hadn't felt in a while.

"We'll add that to the list then."

She wasn't going to move on but damn had she found a hell of a distraction. Any cuter and she might not have been able to speak English properly. Rez was the most attractive guy she'd met here so far. And just her luck, he'd chosen to sit next to her. She didn't really believe in miracles but this might just turn out to be one.

When class was over, Rez walked her out and they exchanged numbers. He gave her a hug and then was off to his next class. Naura felt like she was on cloud nine the rest of the day and found it almost impossible to focus in class. There was nothing better than meeting someone new when you were trying to get over your ex. And there was a definite bonus if that someone new was attractive beyond measure.

Holy hell. Math had undoubtedly just become her new favorite subject.

The rest of the day was nothing special. Her first teacher had scared the shit out of her when he mentioned how difficult the class was going to be and how much work this year was going to be. Other than that, the day continued just as if it was any other day. She didn't run into Tyler or Chel, not that she minded, and Lucine and Sonya met her for lunch.

Once her second class finished, instead of mingling or exploring the campus, she headed straight back to her dorm. She had an insane amount of homework already and the last thing she wanted to do was procrastinate.

Lucine wasn't in their room when she arrived which she didn't mind. Lucine would only distract her with gossip and she really wanted to focus on getting her work done. Tonight she had plans to go to Rich's house for a family dinner and her mom said she was going to pick her up at eight. So Naura was going to get as much work done as she could before then.

Setting her stuff on her desk, she tossed her purse on her bed and sat down in the desk chair, choosing to work on her Math homework first. Essays were her least favorite thing to do so she was going to save her other class for last.

She was so immersed in her work that by the time eight o'clock rolled around, she was nose deep in her five page essay and hadn't even stopped for a water break. She hadn't noticed that Lucine was still out and hadn't checked her clock in the last hour.

A knock sounded on the door suddenly, startling her out of her concentration. Who on earth would be stopping by at this time? Naura flipped her book closed and checked the time on her laptop. It was five past eight. "Shit. Come in!"

The door slowly opened and in walked the last person she expected to see.

"Hey sis, how's it goin'?"

Why did she suddenly have a strange sense of déjà vu? This brought her back to her very first moment with him, when he had just moved in and had come to say hi to her the night before their first day at school their Senior year. She had been arranging her notebooks for the next day and that had been their first one on one conversation. My, how so much had changed since then.

Tyler closed the door and took a few steps toward her before leaning to the side against the wall and putting his hands in his jeans pockets. He wore a nice black fleece shirt with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows once again and looked pretty put together for just a regular night.

"It's going alright." Naura closed her laptop and pushed a piece of escaped hair behind her ear. "Made it through the first day."

"That's good to hear." He shifted his feet. "Your mom asked me to pick you up. I guess she's cooking some amazing feast for everyone."

Ah, that explained why he was here. She had wondered if he was even going to show up to the dinner, notorious bad boy that he was, always so good at ignoring his family.

"Oh, thanks." She stood and stacked her books, trying to ignore the awkwardness in the room. And most definitely the sexual tension. God, her mom could have at least warned her that Tyler was coming to pick her up. She wasn't prepared to be so close to him.

"No problem. So how was your night on Saturday? Did you have fun?"

God, she really didn't want to be reminded of her text to him that night. Especially since that night hadn't exactly turned out the way she'd wanted it to. "Yeah, it was really fun. I had the worst hangover the next day though."

"Get used to it. Hangovers are going to become a part of your daily life now."

"I was afraid of that." She moved to grab her purse from her bed and slip on her sandals. She was all too aware of his eyes following her every movement.

"Don't worry. You get used to it."

"Let's hope so." She moved to the mirror between the two beds and pulled out her chapstick.

"Yeah…, are you doing anything Friday?"

She applied a layer of chapstick, attempting to calm her racing heart. "Um, no….not yet."

"I was thinking we could maybe go get dinner or something? And my friend's band is performing at this one spot later that night if you're interested. Just a little something to show you around."

Naura smiled lightly but on the inside she was jumping for joy. She turned around and put the chapstick back in her purse. "Yeah, that sounds fun."

"Alright, cool." He almost seemed surprised she'd said yes. "Ready?"


The ride to their parents' house was long and filled with tension but they managed to make small talk about all that had been going on in their lives. Apparently Tyler performed at a local bar once a month and was working part time at a tattoo shop. Desk work of course because he wasn't too skilled on the art side of things. He saw his mom more often than he liked but their relationship had grown a bit. Not once did he mention Chel, which Naura was only half relieved about. She secretly wanted to know all about this Chel girl and his history with her. She was definitely the one who had cheated on him before he'd moved so why was he giving her another chance? Was it because he pitied her? Or did he still love her? Had he ever really loved her? Jesus, all these unanswered questions were going to drive her mad.

"Prepare yourself for the fun tonight. My Grandma is here too."

Oh Jesus. "Wonderful. The woman who hates my mom and possibly me too."

Tyler smirked as he turned the car off. " She doesn't hate you or your mom. She just is grouchy as shit and old-fashioned. Divorce is a big no-no to her."

"That much I could have guessed."

Tyler reached over and patted her thigh, a move that immediately had her reminiscing over their relationship. "Don't worry. She doesn't bite," he said before stepping out of the car.

Naura felt a tingling in her leg where his hand had been. She took a couple needed deep breaths and then stepped out of the car. Just one little touch from him was all it was going to take to send her emotions haywire. She needed to come up with a no touching rule where any type of contact was out of the question.

The house was somewhat lively when they entered, conversation coming from the kitchen, and a….a cat?

A gray and brown striped tabby came walking into the foyer as Tyler closed the door and brushed up against Naura's leg, purring loudly.

"Is this your mom's?" Naura asked as she kneeled down to pick up the friendly feline. It continued to purr and closed it's eyes as she lightly petted it's head.

Tyler walked over in front of her and scratched under its chin. "Nope. Must be your mom's."

"My mom's never had a cat before."

"Must be to help with the separation anxiety. Her first and only born child is off at college."

He was definitely mocking her but the cat sure was cute. She rolled her eyes at him. "Very funny. Must have been your dad's idea."

Tyler shrugged. The cat was practically melting at his touch. "Could be."

"Tyler? Naura? Get in here and leave the cat alone!"

That was Rich, followed by a laugh from Leann who apparently was having a conversation with Theresa.

Tyler rolled his eyes this time and headed for the kitchen, Naura just behind him with her new friend in her arms.

When they entered the room, Rich was at the counter chopping vegetables for a salad and Theresa was at the stove stirring pasta in a pot, a glass of white wine in her left hand. Leann sat at one of the kitchen bar stools on the other side of the island that separated the kitchen from the living room, a glass of white wine in her hand as well. Creepy Grandma Eileen sat beside her and gave Naura a funny look when she spotted the cat in her arms.

"What's with the cat?" Tyler asked, reaching past his dad to grab a chopped carrot piece and toss it in his mouth.

"Her name is Alley like Alley Cat. She was a stray your dad picked up from down the road." Theresa moved to kiss Naura on the cheek before returning to her stirring.

"Not so much a stray anymore," Naura said, smiling when the cat, or Alley, nuzzled up against her chest.

"Yeah, well the house felt a little empty with just the two of us anyway so she came at the perfect time."

Tyler smirked at Naura, a silent "I told you so".

Naura pretended not to notice and moved to lean against the fridge, continuing the pet Alley.

"So how was your first day of school?" Leann piped up, smiling brightly at Naura.

Naura smiled politely back at her but made sure not to come off too friendly. "It was good. Made some new friends and the teachers are pretty cool so far. I only had two classes today."

"Yeah, they have a great faculty there. Meet any cute guys?"

Oh shit. This was not a conversation she wanted to have around Tyler, even if it did seem like he was more focused on talking to Rich.

Her mom decided to speak up, sipping on her wine. "Yeah, there's a lot of attractive guys out here, Naura. And I'm sure your school is full of them."

Naura shrugged lightly. "Yeah, there's a few. I met one today but I really want to focus on school this year." Although Rez was a welcome distraction, she really meant it when she said she wanted to focus.

"Ooo really? What's his name?" Leann seemed strangely interested, probably trying to form a bond where there was none.

She didn't stand a chance.

"Rez. He's in one of my classes."

"Sounds hot. Well, I know you want to focus on school and you should but don't forget to have a little fun. Some of my best years I spent in college. Right Theresa?"

Her mom nodded, turning away from the pot and taking another sip of her wine. "Yeah honey, take advantage of every opportunity because the next three years are going to fly by."

Thank God Tyler wasn't paying attention to this conversation because she suddenly felt incredibly nostalgic. She'd hoped to be spending the next three years as his girlfriend.

Fortunately, the boy conversation ended quickly and the women moved on to gossiping about the strange neighbors. Naura played with the cat and tried to contribute to the chat until dinner was ready. She was slightly surprised by how Tyler's attitude had changed toward his dad. He wasn't the same angsty teenager he had been before. They actually were having a semi normal conversation about school and work. She overheard Rich ask if he had met any girls and was relieved to hear his answer was "None that have stuck." She hated pining over him but hearing this did ease her pain a bit. If anything was going on with Chel, it wasn't going anywhere serious. At least not yet.

The dinner was also somewhat normal. They all sat at the dinner table like a regular family and were able to converse without arguing. Tyler still didn't speak to his mom much but he actually answered her questions without the dripping sarcasm he was so accustomed to. Naura avoided making eye contact with him and kept her attention on her food or conversation with Leann who seemed intent on creating some sort of relationship. When dessert was served, she began counting the minutes until she could leave and go back into hiding in her dorm. Being around Tyler too long was bad for her mental health.

As soon as everyone finished, Tyler told them he and Naura needed to head back because they both had a ton of homework to finish. They all said their goodbyes and Naura was all too eager to get going, leading the way out of the house. She seated herself in the passenger side of Tyler's car shortly before he did the same in the driver's seat.

"Anxious to get out, are we?" Tyler smirked lightly as he started the car.

"That's an understatement," Naura stated drably.

"Oh c'mon. It wasn't that bad," he said, turning to look over his shoulder as he backed out of the driveway.

"Maybe for you. Your Grandma seriously freaks me out. I don't think she smiled once the entire time."

"She's just a little rough around the edges."

"Rough like a chainsaw."

Tyler laughed as he pulled out onto the main road. He reached over to turn on the radio and switched it to a light rock station.

Naura turned to stare out of the window, feeling a little more comfortable in the car. She watched the trees pass by in a blur and started to zone out, the music easing her into a calm mood.

"So you met a guy, huh?"

His voice startled her out of her daydreaming. She hadn't expected to have a conversation on the way home and she certainly hadn't expected to hear that come out of his mouth. She turned to look at him. "Um, kind of. I don't know."

"And what kind of a name is Rez?"

She smiled. Why did he even care? "A middle-eastern name. He's in my math class."

"And I thought you had something for David."

"No, he's not really my type." Was he jealous? She couldn't understand his sudden interest in the new guys she'd met. Pure curiosity didn't seem plausible. "And the last thing on my mind right now is men."

"Well, I'd definitely stay away from David. He has a reputation. I don't think I know this Rez guy, though."

"He's alright." If alright was another way of saying Sexy As Hell. She now wanted to bring up Chel seeing as how he'd opened up the door to discuss romantic interests. "What about you and Chel? You guys seem pretty…close…"

Tyler sighed, avoiding her eyes and keeping his focus on the road. "Chel and I have a history. It's never going to go beyond that."

So were they hooking up? She wanted so badly to ask but she didn't want to show she cared. "I don't see how you can be friends with her after what she did to you."

"Well, people change." The way he said it made it seem as if he wasn't just referring to Chel. "And she doesn't have a lot of good friends."

'And you don't need to babysit her', she wanted to say but instead she held back. "Well, she's lucky to have you."


The conversation ended then and floated into an awkward silence. When they reached the parking lot, Naura thanked him for the ride and told him she would be fine walking back to the dorms by herself.

She was somewhat upset she realized, as she made the short trek to her dorm building. Was this Chel girl really that important to him? She didn't give a shit about her so why did he care so much? God! Guys were so frustrating.

When she got back to her dorm, Lucine still wasn't back which she was grateful for. She jumped into her pajamas and went straight to bed, hoping to sleep off her frustration. She was tired of getting her hopes up and waiting for him to show even just a hint of wanting to get back together. This back and forth business with her emotions was going to end in a breakdown and she didn't want that to be how her Sophomore year ended.

But how was she going to let him go?

A/N: Review puhleaaaaaase!

And also, another request! I just posted a short story on Amazon so if you guys could buy it and share with your family and friends that'd be great! And any good reviews on it would be much appreciated. Thank you so much! Here's the link: /dp/B00G4UO4XY (add amazon. com to the beginning) or just search for Alysha Carson