Three Months Ago

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Keith shot up in his desk at the sound of a meter stick cracking inches away from his face. The class laughed at his reaction as Keith blinked the sleep from his cloudy head.

The teacher slowly walked back to the front of the classroom, "As I was saying," he picked up a dry erase marker to write on the board.

Keith was still dazed from getting violently woken up and squinted an angry stare at the culprit. He ignored what Mr. Marcus was saying and looked around at his classmates. Most of them were taking notes, a group of girls in the back left corner were on their cellphones, and two guys were playing paper football in the front right lab table. One of them was Lance, he knew that much. Everyone knew Lance. They said he was the most enjoyable person to be around in this hell of a high school.

Keith leaned his head on his elbow and stared out the window. It was a cloudy October afternoon. From his window, he could see cars pass by and started to count them. After reaching ten, he got bored and turned back to the teacher. He tried to pay attention, but the paper football game was more entertaining to watch. Lance flicked the football too hard and it hit the board next to the teacher.

Mr. Marcus jumped at the sudden hit and turned around slowly with a hand on his hip. "Lance, pay attention. This will be important for the project."

Lance held his hands up in defeat and let out a slight chuckle, "Sorry, teach."

Mr. Marcus turned back to the board once more and continued his thoughts.

Keith watched the boy as he and his friend stifled their laughs. Keith smiled in amusement. He had never been around Lance until this semester. They sat on different sides of the classroom, so he had never spoken to him; but he wouldn't refuse if he wanted to talk. Keith thought the boy was interesting.

Mr. Marcus caught his attention again. He held up a clipboard, "Alright, so I have assigned you partners for this project."

The class collectively groaned.

"I know, I know: you hate me. Moving on, here are the groups:"

Keith dazed off again. He hated group projects with a passion. Working with people was hard for Keith. Many found him annoying or thought he was an asshole.

"Keith Kogane and Lance McClain."

Of fucking course, Keith thought in disgust, I should've known a classic cliche like this would happen. He glanced over at Lance to see his reaction. He had his head tilted back to balance a pencil on his lip. God, I hope he's not an idiot.

Mr. Marcus finished reading off the names, "Alright, go to your partner and start planning. And grab an outline on your way."

Keith looked back at Lance, who was continuing his ridiculous activity. Keith sighed and stood up to grab two outlines and walked over to Lance's desk. He set down one of the papers in front of him and stood staring at him.

Lance looked down at the paper, then up at Keith, "What is this?"

Lance's voice was sweet and smooth like honey. It never bothered Keith before, but hearing it directed at himself, it surprised him. He realized that he had been staring too long and quickly replied, "It's for the project. We're partners."

Lance placed his hands behind his head to look cool, "Partners, huh? Cool." He pulled out the now empty chair next to him, "Sit here."

Keith turned away slightly to hide his blush, "Yeah, okay. Alright." He took a seat and calmed his face before interacting with him again. "I'm Keith Kogane."

Lance let out a slight laugh, "I know who you are, silly!"

Keith blushed again and purposely dropped his pencil to give him time to gather himself, "Oh, I know you, too."

Lance flashed his classic bright smile, "That's good." He stared at Keith for a moment, then reached into his bag, "Oh, let me give you this." He pulled out a pen and a torn piece of lined paper. After writing on it, he handed it to Keith.

Keith took it and looked down at it curiously. XXX-XXX-XXXX Lance ☆

"Text me and we will meet up or talk or whatever."

"Oh. Alright."

When Keith returned home, he lied on his bed and stared at the paper Lance had given him. Would it be strange if I texted him now? Keith thought about it for a minute, then took out his phone.

K: Hey, this is Keith.

Keith waited for a reply as he walked downstairs to get a snack. After picking up a bag of chips, he heard his phone ding. He set the bag on the counter and shut the pantry door.

L: Cool. You at home now?

K: Yeah. What about you?

Keith tossed a chip in his mouth as he watched the screen.

L: Nah, I'm at a coffee shop.

K: Homework?

L: Yeah. English. Kill me now T^T

Keith chuckled. Lance talked to him like they were friends. Crunching on another chip, he texted back.

K: Am I interrupting? Or are you trying to distract yourself?

L: Haha You caught me. ^ - ^

K: Homework is important.

L: But it's boring. I want to do literally anything else right now.

K: Do you struggle with English?

Lance's reply took longer than the others.

L: ...yes

Don't do it Keith, he begged himself.

K: Do you need some help?

Keith dropped his phone on the counter and scolded himself, "Why did I do that?!"

"Why did you do what?" Keith's dad asked, sitting on the couch in the living room.

"Something stupid." Keith ruffled his hair.

Keith's dad laughed, "Oh, son."

Keith's phone dinged.

L: Would you?!

"Oh my god," Keith stared at his phone for a minute.

K: Yeah. If you want me to.

L: meet me at the coffee shop on Harris

Keith ran upstairs to grab his jacket, "Dad I'm going out to meet a guy!"

"Go get 'em," his father said, jokingly.

Keith ran out the door, "Thanks Dad!"

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