The cafeteria was already crawling with hungry students. The crowd had swallowed me up while I was looking for River. Unfortunately, I couldn't find him anywhere. All these sweaty bodies and sweaty scents surround me. It was getting humid and sticky that I couldn't breathe. I just wish something or someone would help me get out of this sea of starving people. As if something or someone heard my thoughts, two hands-out of nowhere-one circling my waist, and the other covering my eyes pulled me out of the crowd. I tried not to kick and scream but I pressed my eyes shut hoping this is not kidnapping. I remained silent until I can't feel the bodies anymore. Before those hands turned loose around me, I already know who it was even I don't turn around. His cologne says it all.


  "Why do you have to scare me like that?" I turned to face him, my hands on my hips.

  "You were? But you don't appear scared. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."

  Why is it so hard to stay mad at someone who is so dear to you? Instead of ignoring him, I smile and shrug, "It's okay, just don't do it next time. Or I'll..."

  "You'll what?" he leaned closer to me and touched my chin with his index finger and lifted my face towards his.

  I stayed silent and unmoved. My cheeks were as hot as the sun.

  "Thought so," he winked. "C'mon! I saved you a seat." He looped his arm around mine and I tagged along with him.

  He led me to our table. By our, I mean him, me and some of his guy friends and their girlfriends. I didn't know River had this huge crowd of friends. I recognize some faces. I smile and wave as some of them nod their heads at me. Most were mischievous students in other classes—I've heard. When we were about to sit, two seats were already prepared for the both of us, side by side. My lunch tray and his are even prepared and untouched. Has River been waiting for me to eat lunch with him? Suddenly, I had this guilty feeling because I had let River wait when Clyde and I were inside the art room having pointless conversations. Clyde and I took our seats. I'm seated between Clyde and a guy I think his name's Ryan. He's a burly person, famous for his artistic talents—he vandalizes some school properties. Out of the corner of my eye, I kept on seeing River sneaking a few glances at me while I eat my carbonara.

  "Hey uh Blaire, right?" Ryan's voice sounded beside me.

  I swallowed and said, "Blaire."

  "So, are you and um..." Ryan nodded towards River, who is busy laughing with his other buddies, "...together?"

  I shook my head.

  A look of surprise came across Ryan's face as if he had been expecting a different answer from me. "Oh, so that means you're still single?" But it was already replaced by a different expression, like a confident look. He had this evil smirk on his face. His gray eyes on mine as if he could see me inside and out.

  I knew already exactly what he meant by that statement. So I said quickly, "But we're gonna be together. Soon." I emphasized the word soon so that he'll know he can't flirt or make any move on me.

  "So what are you two talkin' about?" River's voice had interrupted the awkward atomosphere between Ryan and me.

  "Nothing, just homework," Ryan answered right away. I guess he's not a good friend. I've got to tell River about him. It's the right thing, I think.

  "C'mon man, you? Homework? Are you kidding me?" River asked in disbelief while laughing.

  "Ok, you got me man," Ryan raised his arms in defeat. Is this guy gonna tell River the truth? "I was askin her if I could have her dessert." Guess not. Loser.

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