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The Unfortunate Seating Choice
It was when I had my nose in Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities, for probably the fiftieth time, that I felt a presence next to me. It wasn't a dreadful sort of presence, but it wasn't appealing either. There was a person next to me, I realized. A person sitting next to me, looking at me; a person acknowledging that I was, well, also a person. That was definitely not a feeling that I was used to.
After marking the paragraph I was on, I lifted my nose from deep within the book and prepared myself to, not so kindly, ask whomever this person was to leave.
"Hi!" Beamed a small, rather adorable face as soon as my eyes met gleaming brown eyes. A dainty hand with pale pink nails shot out in my direction. "I just moved here."
The cloud of confusion cleared from within my head. This pretty, petite girl with brown, almost red, hair, almond shaped eyes, and a bright, sweet smile, was only acknowledging my existence because she didn't know. She did not know that I was never looked at, never talked to, and never admitted to be breathing by another person. I almost laughed at the girl.
Instead I calmly looked down at her pink painted hand, met her brown eyes once more, then I glanced around the room from my perch that was the desk in the far back corner of the classroom as usual. I counted three other empty seats and she just so happened to choose the always empty seat that was next to me. I saw a girl sitting a seat down from the small girl next to me glare scrutinizingly at the pink nailed girls back.
"You do know there's three other empty seats," I informed her. "Save yourself now before the Perps get you.
I slowly lowered my hand as my smile degraded into a frown. Following the boy's gaze, I glanced around the room. He was right. There were three open seats, but all three were next to skimpy blond girls with way too much makeup on. I concluded that those were the "Perps" he was talking about. I pursed my lips because I was really hoping that there weren't people like that at this school, but I guess there's people like that at every school.
"I'm guessing those are the 'Perps' you mentioned," I glowered, returning my attention to the boy only to find that his attention was back on his book. I took this opportunity to study him once more. His dirty blond hair was paired with sharp green eyes. He had a round boyish face that made him look almost innocent. It was the look on his face while he read that I could not get over. It was soft and open, totally different from the stone cold look his face took on when he looked at me. I continued to study his face, noticing faint freckles on his cheeks and the long eyelashes that accentuated his green eyes. Then I blinked and his face was tense again.
"Stop," he hissed, still looking at his book, "staring at me."
The girl blinked then her eyes widened and her face reddened.
"Oh sorry," she giggled nervously. "I was totally spacing-"
"Go sit somewhere else," I interrupted. God, this girl was annoying. It was people like this that made me glad that I was isolated. Who did she think she was? Her nervous face was quickly exchanged for furrowed eyebrows and pursed lips.
"You want me to go sit by the ‘Perps'?" she asked dumbfounded. The girl glanced over at the blond girls in miniskirts that kept staring back at us with narrowed eyes.
I raised my eyebrows at her.
"Oh I get it," she huffed, sitting back and crossing her arms. "You think I'll fit in perfectly with those self centered, pompous girls."
"Precisely," I answered. "Well then," I made a shooing motion with my hand, "go on."
Her glossy lips were a flat line as she took in a deep breath. Making no effort to move, she kept her arms crossed as she looked straight ahead. I waited ten seconds before I sighed in defeat then returned to my book, hoping that she would continue to be quiet for the remainder of the class period.
Two, agonizingly long minutes ticked by when the teacher finally hobbled in. He was a wide-set man with a salt and pepper comb over and a measly mustache. The girl next to me twisted her face into a grimace.
"Welcome back students," welcomed the teacher in a gruff voice. "I hope you like where you are sitting because that's your assigned seat for the rest of the year."
God, please no.
I couldn't help but let an audible groan slip and this resulted in the stubborn girl to laugh. All three of the Perp girls looked back at the girl and scowled, but I couldn't manage to feel sorry for her. I mean, I did warm her.
"You might as well tell me your name now that you're stuck with me sitting next to you," chuckled the girl.
I turned to meet her brown eyes once more. "West," I grumbled.
"West," she repeated quietly as if to try it out then she nodded approvingly.
I waited three seconds. "So," I drawled.
"Oh," she exclaimed. "I'm Rikki." She shot out her dainty hand once more.
Ignoring her hand, I looked back at my book. "Well if you don't mind Rikki, I would like to read my book."
All Rikki did was smile.