I watched Max pile his lunch from his tray into his pockets and I placed an extra apple on his tray when I walked past. He looked up and mumbled a thank you. “This for me?”
I grinned at him. “You or your friends.”
“You mean Alex?” his grin was wide and he was sorta cute with all the mess of hair and frumpy clothes. But not as cute as Alex.
“If he wants it. But you looked like you needed it more than I did.” I said as I went to sit with my friends. I still couldn’t believe Alex had fallen asleep in class. He didn’t snore but he looked peaceful – much more so than usual. I just wished I could have stared into those gorgeous blue eyes. How the fuck had I never noticed them?
Drew and Mandy were sitting at the end of a table and I sat down next to Drew. Mandy laughed, “So you in or not Nox?”
“In on what?” I asked.
“That bet we were talking about?”
“I can’t do that.” I said.
Drew laughed, “Told you he wouldn’t.” Drew knew I was starting to crush on the slacker skater kid who everyone avoided just because he looked like he was trouble.
“Joany heard from Jill that you sat next to him. Sounds like you are in to me.” Mandy added then grabbed her tray and headed out to the grassy hill where the rest of her people sat. She rarely ate with Drew. She was way too popular in her own circle to hang out with us popular kids.
My sister sat across from us still snapping her gum. She gave Drew one of those funny smiles that knew all too well what he’d been doing at the party in my room. Lucy looked at me with a right smile, “So I didn’t tell you, you know that loser you just gave an apple to?”
“Max?” I asked.
“You know his name?” Lucy laughed. “Yeah if that’s him I guess.” She smacked her gum, “Well he was looking for that other loser and he came into my room while I was reading. He was such a bumbling idiot, really like he didn’t know how to come in or leave. He just stood there staring at me. Turns out, he needs help reading. I told him I’d help him if he’d keep my secret.”
Drew laughed, “What secret is that? That you are a secret nerd? You know Luc, no one in their right mind would ever believe that kid much less if he said, Lucy Durante was reading a book. Does she even know what one is?”
Lucy giggled. “So true.” She smacked her gum and twirled her hair for effect, pulling her knee up to her chest and letting whatever boys wanted to look under the table see what she had to offer.
I sighed. “Luc, Dad’s gonna be pissed if you get sent home again for indecent clothes.”
She grinned, “Everything’s in school regulations. And I’m wearing shorts under this here skirt so the boys can look all they want.”
Drew made it an obvious point to look under the table and see for himself. He came up chuckling, “They say fuck off.”
Lucy reached across the table and smacked Drew. “Fuck off pervert!” She giggled.
I ate the rest of my lunch while our friends came and went and left us alone again until the bell rang. Mia sat down with us and Jace was next to her in one foul swoop my day went to hell.
Mia reached across the table and took my hands, “You are going to help with homecoming aren’t you?”
“I can’t. I have to be home after school.”
Jace laughed, “So Mr. Popular can’t make it. I will Mia.”
She looked at Jace with big brown eyes that turned to puddles of liquid lust when he smiled at her. “Thanks babe, but Nox is really good, we need him.” She turned back to me and smiled. “Come on Nox. I’ll owe ya. We all will. Your Dad can’t be mad at you, the picture is obviously fake.” She looked at Jace and smiled, “It’s really bad babe!”
He was a bright red in anger but he said nothing, “My Dad grounded me because I’m gay Mia not because of Jace’s dumb ass picture.”
She begged, even got down on her hands and knees and pleaded with me. “Fine. But you owe me.”
I sighed, “I have to go do something, I’ll see you after school.” Apparently I was going to be decorating for Homecoming after school tonight. Good luck with that I thought to myself. I could see my Dad storming into the school in a angry rage and pulling me out by my ear, or my hair, whatever he felt was necessary.
But I headed into the office. “Hey, Ms. Sinclair. I need to borrow the copier.”
“Go right ahead Nox.”
I copied my science notes and wrote down a quick note at the top for Alex. And then I headed to the grassy hill where he normally sat. Mandy was sitting there with all her friends, and Alex and Max were talking quietly to each other. I stopped in front of them on the side walk and waited for someone to acknowledge me. I didn’t want to interrupt. Alex and Max looked up when I cast a shadow on their conversation. They both frowned. I held out the photocopied notes to Alex. “For the class you missed.”
Alex took the papers from my hand and just stared at me. “Thanks I guess.” He said and went back to his conversation with Max. This time in even quieter whispers than before. The bell rang and I sighed, so much for that, I thought and headed back inside to get to my next class. I guess I shouldn’t have expected him to be happy about the notes. But I had hoped.