There was pin-drop silence other than the click of my combat boots against the floor. The hallway was completely empty as I walked through it. All the classrooms along the hallway had their doors closed, shutting out noise of the poor kids being tortured.
I didn't bother to walk all the way to the Principals office. Instead, I took a little detour and ended up in the cafeteria twenty minutes before lunch would actually begin for me. As I pushed the double doors open and walked into the pristine white hall, I could see that it was completely empty.
There for a few staff members behind the food counter who were shooting me suspicious glances. I ignored them. I was about to turn around and walk out when I noticed it.
Or rather him.
I could recognise his big black specs even from the other end of the cafeteria. His tousled black hair was somewhat standing in spikes. I hadn't noticed him earlier because he was literally drooping on the table, a plate of food kept beside him. He had a spoon in one hand with which he was pushing around the food on his plate half-heartedly. I could only see his back as he laid his head on his arm on the table. I walked up to his table, my boots silent against the carpeted floor.
"Hasn't anyone ever told you that it's bad manners to play with your food?" I called out playfully as I jogged up to him.
Mr Please pushed himself off the table immediately and stared at me with bleary eyes.
I grinned at him and took the seat opposite. "I wasn't hungry" he explained as he pushed his thick, messy hair off his forehead.
I looked down at the Chinese fried rice on his plate and felt my own stomach rumble.
"So what are you doing?" I said "Bunking class?" I grinned proudly at him. A day under my care and I was already having positive influence on Mr Please. I wanted to pat myself on my back.
"No... No" he shook his head "I always have a free period before so I come here for an early lunch. I don't ... don't like the lunch crowd here"
Translation- I'd rather eat lunch early and give a miss to meeting the school bullies.
I shook my head at him "Why are you so afraid of these pansies? One punch in the gut and they won't know what hit them!" I exclaimed.
He laughed "It's easy for you to say. You're the trigger happy girl"
I winced at that. He had no idea how right he was.
"Eh... whatever" I shrugged and got up. My stomach was now the host for an Olympic race of rats. I had to get food now or risk turning crabby at Mr Please. And I didn't want that cause he's too sweet already and he will most probably bear my bitchiness with a grin.
I walked up to the food counters and a guy emerged from a back door, staring at me with apprehension.
I ignored him and looked over the menu he handed over to me. My jaw dropped when I read the list.
From cheese burgers to Indian food, they had it all! I even spied a small desert section on the other side.
My stomach growled loudly again and I looked up embarrassed at the catering guy "Uhmm... I'll have two taco rolls... and uhm...one large French fries and one large coke. Yeah, that’s all" I nodded at him.
He stared back at me "That's all?" he repeated in disbelief.
I gave him a dry look "You have a problem?" I glared.
"Nahh" he said, as he got out the tray "It's just that the girls here never have anything more than a salad"
I snorted and he grinned at me.
"Say, are you that gal Alexis Gomez?" he asked as he slid my tray across the counter to me.
I paused and looked him up.
Long, lanky hair and crooked teeth. Both his arms were entirely covered in tattoos. He barely came up to my height. I tried to remember if I knew him from somewhere but I came up blank. There was another protest from my stomach and I gave up trying to remember.
"Yeah" I shrugged and started walking across the cafeteria.
"Hey, I was really fascinated by the stories I heard" he shouted after me "Specially, the one where you put super glue on the Principal's chair. That one demands respect." he laughed "Hey! Could you..." his voice slowly faded away as I walked fast. I reached Mr Please and slid on to the seat opposite him.
|Holden Nowell||as Ned Baxtor|