Chapter 18

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By Monday morning I'd calmed down a little. I looked like a dead raccoon, but at least I wasn't excusing myself to cry every twenty minutes like I'd done throughout Saturday and Sunday at home.

"She's staring at you," Aiyana muttered into my ear. I looked up, finding Mrs. Rivers staring at me. I looked away, discovering that I hadn't even put a book in front of me to pretend I was at least doing something. She was having us solve some exercises, but my mind was hardly in the class — heck, my physical being would have disappeared as well if it could.

I quickly took the textbook that was open in front of Aiyana, and it thankfully worked. She stopped looking at me, and instead, she headed for another group of students. When the siren for the end of the period went, I got up with the rest, only to hear Mrs. Rivers voice asking me to stay back. I sighed under my breath, settling back into my seat as I watched the other students leave the class. When they were all gone, I heard Mrs. Rivers approach me, her heels clicking against the tiled floor until she decided to stop in front of me.

"You never got back to me on the universities and colleges." I groaned immediately when she mentioned it, scolding myself over it. I'd been so caught up in thinking about Felix that I'd completely forgotten about it.

"I'm sorry. I forgot," I said, looking over at her to catch her nodding.

"It's fine, just please bring back the pamphlets and magazines later on," she said, making me nod.

"Okay," I said, turning to my bag that was sitting on the wooden desk. I made to pick it up before getting up and making to walk away.

"Ben," Mrs. Rivers said, making me pause in my tracks and turn over to her. "Did something happen?"

I felt my throat clog up at her question. Yes, something did happen, but I don't think it's the kind of something I'd just tell me critical thinking teacher. I thought as I shook my head. I cursed under my breath when I had to reach out for a stray tear, breaking down whatever front I'd been putting up in front of her.

"I'm sorry..." I trailed as I rubbed my now stinging eyes.

Mrs. Rivers nodded before pulling a seat from the table I'd been sitting on and taking a seat herself. She crossed her legs, tapping the chair beside her. I sighed, moving to take the seat. When I'd settled down I just gazed at anything but her, waiting for her to talk.

"So what happened?" she asked, making me bite my bottom lip as I tried to look for where to start.

Was I really going to tell my teacher about my nonexistent love life?

"I know this is a stupid thing to get worked up over," I started, turning to look over at her. She stared at me, her hand resting on he entwined fingers.

"Err... Okay, it's about me and Felix," I finally got out. She still just stared at me, as if asking me to silently continue.

"I really like him. Like, I really, really like him," I chuckled rubbing my eyes with a loose fist as I felt my chest burn. "He likes me too — I think, but he's confused and I'm not sure he knows what he wants. Thinking about everything was frustrating so I just cut whatever was brewing off, but now I'm upset. I don't even know if I'm making any sense—"

"You are," Mrs. Rivers' voice rang through the empty classroom.

"So let me try and recollect this," she said as she pouted her red painted lips before pushing back the fringe of her pixie cut. "You like Felix, and Felix likes you... romantically?"

I nodded at her part question, part statement. She mirrored my action, making to continue talking. "But he's confused, and you don't want to deal with that so you cut everything off?"

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