“Here, kitty, kitty! Look what I have here for you.” I dangled a piece of slightly dried meat I had managed to get from that stubborn shopkeeper. The battle for this small piece had taken me quite a while. He thought I was joking when I asked for twenty grams.
My eyes were trained on the little brown furball squashed up against the wall, unsure if it should attack me or just run away.
“Come here, kitty! Look, it’s yummy meat.” I took a small step closer but stopped when the little animal hissed and wanted to hit me with its soft paw armed with deadly claws. Oh, I just loved cats! They were definitely my soul animals.
I pulled away but left the meat laying on the ground in front of it. Its yellow eyes watched me warily when it sniffed the delicacy I had brought. Finding that I hadn’t poisoned it with my overly loving hands, it quickly started to gobble it up. I watched from a few feet away how the meat disappeared. The small cat was extremely thin and malnourished. A stray obviously. It wasn’t even adult yet.
I wished I could take it home with me.
Watching the cat glaring at me from time to time I couldn’t help a tinge of pity passing through my heart. I wasn’t used to trusting people. Maybe it had been hurt before. I smiled when I saw it lick its lips with pleasure.
“Ash, come back! Ash!” The cat hissed at the sudden shouts and ran between the bushes. Aww, I thought I had finally gained its trust. Ten minutes of patient waiting and cajoling completely useless in a second.
Turning around to look at what the sudden commotion was about, I saw a husky rushing up the street, its leash dangling behind it in the air. The shrill shouts of the owner made my ears hurt but the calls seemed to be completely ignored by the freed husky. I guess it must have gained an immunity for it if he had to hear it every day.
A shudder ran through my body when I imagined the dog chasing me. Running at top speed like that made it look more like a wolf chasing its prey than a supposedly harmless doggie. That was a bit scary. I would definitely run for my life, even if I knew it was a bad idea.
I caught sight of a guy walking a bit further ahead, completely unaware that a big dog was chasing him and about to reach him. The urge to run and push him out of the way came over me but I knew I wouldn’t make it.
“Hey! Look out, behind you!”
He turned at my desperate shout, letting me catch a glimpse of his handsome features before he turned to look behind him.
But it was already too late. As if in slow motion, I saw the dog getting ready to jump. Waiting apprehensively for the crash of the guy being pushed off his feet by the weight of the husky jumping on him, I was caught off guard when it wasn’t a shout of pain I heard.
“Down!” The command spoken by the stranger was short and resolute and to my surprise, the husky dropped almost mid-jump and laid on its belly obediently while wagging its tail like a puppy in love.
Holy pancakes…! That was cool! If I could make all the cats obey me like that I would be in paradise. Ah, but I still wouldn’t be able to take a cat. Mom wouldn’t allow it. Damn cat allergy.
I watched the guy gently patting the dog who seemed to be feeling over the moon by the attention. The peaceful scene after what had seemed to me like a catastrophe striking with thunder on the background made me smile.
Seeing that the situation had been resolved peacefully, I picked up my bag and continued to make my way towards the school. Ah damn, I had spent too much time chasing the cat and arguing with that shopkeeper. As if sleeping in and not making it to the first lesson wasn’t bad enough, I was in danger of being late also for the second.
Seeing the plain white building of my school coming into sight, I raised my pace to get out from under the warm sun into the blessed coolness of air-conditioned corridors.
Reaching my hand to pull the heavy glass door open, I was startled when a person from behind me got to it first. Glancing up to identify the owner of the hand, I stood face to face with the husky guy.
Wow, what beautiful grey eyes.
I was entranced for a second, forgetting my manners completely.
“Aren’t you going in?” he asked with a deep voice that had a slight accent that I couldn’t really place. It took me a few seconds to understand that he was holding the door open for me to get in.
“Uh… yeah, thank you,” I mumbled awkwardly when I finally caught on and slipped in quickly.
Did we have a student like that here? If my otherwise faulty and forgetful brain didn’t lie to me, I had never seen him before. Although I couldn’t really brag about my face memory - forget about the name memory - I was sure I would have remembered this one if I had seen him.
“Hey, could you tell me where the office is?”
The sudden question made me halt and glance back to check if he was talking to me. As he probably wasn’t talking to the plant next to him, I took that as a yes.
“Sure, turn left and walk to the end of the hallway. It’s the last door on the left.” I pointed him towards the office.
“Thanks...” He paused, raising his eyebrow in question.
“Scarlett,” I answered and smiled slightly. Wait a Moment… Did he just do that to get my name? He grinned with his white teeth in full view, making my heart skip a beat for a second. A heart-stealing smile, huh? Well, he won’t be getting mine that fast.
“Thanks, Scarlett. See you around.” He said before turning in the direction I had pointed to him. I watched his lean figure going farther away thoughtfully. But after a moment also turned and continued walking towards my locker to get my things before the bell released an army of zombie-like teenagers from their first lesson. I yawned. Maybe it was good that I slept in today.
The class was like a swarm of buzzing bees when I stepped in. The teacher wasn’t here yet, leaving the students free to chat about their weekend and other pointless things. Like how the color of the nail polish was a tone too dark. Like I said, completely irrelevant stuff.
Sitting down on a seat next to the window – a must be place for me for lessons like History that bored the hell out of me – I turned around to find my best friend sitting there and grinning widely, his dimples clearly visible.
“You finally thought to show up. Slept in after last night’s activities?” asked Simon, raising his eyebrows, a knowing smirk playing on his lips. Benjamin, who was sitting beside him glanced up from his phone also.
After our short greeting, he dived back into the depths of his phone with a silly grin on his face. I was almost a hundred percent sure he was texting his girlfriend, Angela. The poor guy was head over heels for the girl. Although I thought she was one of the nasty representatives of the womankind. The girl just had TWOFACED written on her forehead.
Rolling my eyes at him, I passed Simon the copy of my notes I had promised to him yesterday.
“Thanks. What would I do without you?”
I glanced at his desk that only had a lonely notebook sitting on it, probably empty if I knew him at all. “You would get a life sentence at prison if failing all tests was enough of a reason to arrest people.”
He chuckled. “Don’t go ruining my future! If that was true, I wouldn’t qualify for the Police Academy.”
“Maybe that would get you to start studying by yourself,” I mumbled.
Mr. Williams walked into the classroom and the chatter died down instantly. He was the kind of teacher who you didn’t want to mess with – I’m not joking, no one wanted to fall victim to his sharp comments. even poking a sleeping lion seemed to be a better option.
“Good morning students. I’m very happy to see that everyone has made it to my class today...” He said with slight sarcasm while eyeing the only empty chair beside me as if it offended him.
“Watson!” his sharp shout made everyone turn towards the back of the class where the group of football players was sitting. Keith, the quarterback of our school’s team, sat ramrod straight in alarm, looking like he had just been woken up – which he probably was judging by his guilty look.
“What do you do at night?” Mr. William’s question incited a few giggles from the girls and smirks from guys while Keith was turning red in the face. I myself couldn’t stop an amused smile appearing on my lips. Here it comes. Even though it was a bit funny, I felt bad for the guy.
“I sleep, Sir.” He mumbled, his voice barely loud enough to hear.
“Hm, I wouldn’t have guessed from your behavior. But let’s see if you can show me that your well-rested brain can follow today’s lesson.” Mr. Williams went on with starting the lesson. I swear if his subject wasn’t so devastatingly boring, his classes would be one of my favorites, although I would never want to be on the receiving end of his comments, I couldn’t deny that he was a good teacher.
Mr. Williams started the lecture and after each passing minute, I felt my attention slowly drifting away. Once again I was reminded why I didn’t like History. Ten minutes into the lesson and I was dying of boredom.
My poor notebook was suffering under excessive doodling. Strange faces were watching me from the page’s corners and some weirdly shaped doodles reminded me how bad I was as an artist. It was hard to make out the difference between class notes and pointless scribbles.
The sound of the bell after what had felt like a whole year was like the ring of divine bells of heaven. I suppressed a yawn and packed my things in a hurry, wanting to get out of here as fast as I could.
“I’m counting on your notes again. I used all my energy to keep my eyes open so I didn’t manage to write anything,” said Simon with a yawn.
I rolled my eyes at his excuse that was already like a routine at the end of every History lesson. “It’s not like it’s the first time. I’ll make you a copy in the library later.” Well, from as much as I had managed to write at least.
As we stepped out of the class, I noticed an extremely angry blond walking our way, her cheeks flushed with color. Sensing trouble, I took a step aside, a bit farther from Simon. Oh, this should wake him up alright.
Simon was dazed as he held the cheek that had just received a full out wrath of a woman.
“We’re over!” the girl shouted before walking off with her head held up. Whew, that girl was stronger than the last ones. Most of them started crying after slapping Simon and just ran away.
I tried my best to keep myself from laughing. I failed. Bursting out with laughter, I saw how Ben also cracked a smile he couldn’t hold back.
“Hey! This is not funny,” complained Simon while rubbing his red cheek.
I patted his shoulder and pulled him along, away from the door we had been blocking. “But you totally deserved it! How many times has it been now?”
He glared at me but answered anyway. “Five.”
Ben gave him a consoling pat on the back. “You should just stop playing around. If not for ethical reasons, then at least to save your face from having a permanent handprint imprinted on it.”
“Why do they always hit the left cheek?” Simon crumbled.
I chuckled and shook my head. “Maybe because they’re all right-handed?”
Simon stopped abruptly, making me turn back to see what happened. He looked at me like I had just come up with a brilliant idea. “Of course! I’ll find a left-handed girl then.”
I rolled my eyes at his smug expression. He just never learned, did he?