Chapter 8 - Notes

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I was sitting against a tree in the courtyard; it was just off the lunch room. Taylor began sitting with us again, it made me very uncomfortable. I was enjoying the solitude. It gave me a small piece of home in a way, because I felt like I wasn’t surrounded by people out here. I felt isolated, protected.

I was reading Of Mice and Men; I had already read it some time ago. I was reading it as a refresher. I glanced up, seeing Harry leaning against a wall, drinking a can of pop. He was alone. He glanced up at me, our eyes locking. I was so anxious. I went back to my reading, and the next time I looked up, he was gone.

I started down the hall to finish off the rest of my day, I heard someone shouting for me. It was Rachel. “Why didn’t you sit with us? You’ve been avoiding us too.”

“Y-You’ve been really nice to me but… I think I need some alone t-time. I’m just having a hard time ad-adjusting to this school. I need to get my head on straight. You all are s-so great, but it’s overwhelming. I’m sorry, I h-hope you don’t mind.”

“Oh,” she frowned. “Well, if you’re sure?” I nodded. “All right, well, any time you want to chat again?”

“I’ll let you k-know, thanks Rachel.”

I wasn’t sure what else to do. I didn’t want to be around anyone right now. I was so anxious I couldn’t even speak well anymore. I needed time for myself. It was the only plan I had to try to feel comfortable within myself again, in an environment that appeared to be out to get me.

 I got to my locker at the end of the day, and cleaned out the bottom. I wrote a sticky note.

I tried to tidy it up for you. Find anything interesting yet? You can take my textbooks if you’d like them.

I walked down the hall, heading outside. I hung out at home for the rest of the night; I didn’t like to get out much. I was living day by day, so uncomfortable, I had no idea why. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around this new lifestyle for myself.

The following morning I opened my locker, and smiled when a note fell out. I opened it up. You did clean it up. I’m not looking for any specifically.  I don’t want my own books; you think I’d want yours? Why are you sitting out in my spot at lunch now?

I frowned, and wrote out a new note. I’m sorry, but you are clearly a compulsive liar. You wouldn’t keep coming back to my locker if you weren’t looking for something. You lied about helping me too, why? You’d think you’d want to brag about winning against the town’s ‘It’ boy. Your spot? I didn’t know you had claim to an entire courtyard. I have to sit there, Taylor sits with everyone at lunch, and he scares me. I’d rather sit out there, it’s calming.

I folded the note and tucked it back into the locker. As I did, I found Harry staring; he got up and walked away. It was so odd. Why wasn’t I threatened by this guy, who was breaking into my locker? I had no idea. Everything about this town was changing me. I was never this shy, well; I suppose I wouldn’t know that would I? Being around peers is very hard. High school was so hard; there were all these weird unwritten rules, the way I way my hair means something, same with the jeans I wore. If I was in sports basically decided who my friends were, if I wanted friends that is. If I swam upstream I’d be labeled a freak. I didn’t get how these kids could go their whole lives living like this.

I opened my locker and lunch, and a piece of paper fell out. I picked it up.

Compulsive liar? That’s your observation? It may be a good one. Want to hear mine? You are shockingly… brazen in written context but you can barely speak to me when working on a lab? That’s strange, don’t you think? I really am looking for nothing. Of course I lied about helping you. I don’t brag. You shouldn’t be scared; you have all the power over him. One black mark on his little record like that, sexually assaulting a girl, his daddy can’t buy him out. It would make him lose his acceptance to all those big universities he got into. I have claim to a great deal. Although I don’t like sharing my silence with anyone, I’d rather you sit there than with that sleaze.

I thought of a little response and grabbed my lunch. I bought water, and sat under the tree. It was warm so I hid in the shade. I didn’t see Harry till the end of lunch; he was sitting against a brick wall again, drinking water. He didn’t look at me, not once.

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