Chapter 31

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Chapter 31- Nora's POV

I return to school on Monday morning with a brand new look. On Sunday I decided I felt well enough to leave the house and my mom agreed to to take me to the salon. I wanted a change, so I let the hair stylist chop off five inches of my long wavy blonde hair until it just reached my shoulders. I also requested that she dye it a lighter blonde, only I wanted her to leave in the darker highlights of my hair. So when I walked through the front entrance of Daytona Beach High this morning, I felt like a completely different person. I had straightened my new blonde hair, including the side bangs, and I had applied a lot more eyeliner and mascara to make my hazel eyes stand out. I could tell that some people were staring at me as I walked into my first period Pre Calc class. They were probably wondering who this "new girl" was, and then were completely taken a back when they realized it was me, Nora. And maybe that was the way I wanted it to be. I didn't care if everyone was gaping at me and whispering to each other about why I had changed my look. I didn't care because the old Nora that they were used to seeing wasn't someone I wanted to be anymore. That Nora had been hurt by Evan Rogers and wanted to cut herself every time she thought about it. All the new me wanted to do was forget that it ever happened.

When the bell rings, signaling the start of fifth period lunch, I skip out on the cafeteria and head straight to the library. Our school's library is practically a storage closet on the second floor because it had to be moved from its original space when the school was undergoing renovation. Our school is currently building an entirely new section of the main building that will include several classrooms, an auxiliary gym, and a bigger space where the new library will be placed.

I weave through the tight, crowded space until I am comfortably resting on a bean bag in the far corner of the room with a book on my lap. I only had ten pages left in Pride and Prejudice and the book had to be finished today because our English class was going to discuss it. As I'm opening the book and settling into the plush bean bag my eyes land on a familiar figure walking into the room. That familiar figure is Daniel Gonzalez. His backpack is lazily hanging off one of his shoulders and as usual, he has his earbuds dangling around his neck and a can of Coca Cola in his left hand. I try to just ignore him and instead focus my attention on the fate of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in my book. Unfortunately, I find my eyes wandering away from the page and I sneak another peek at Daniel. He's sitting down at one of the Dell computers set up in the "student research area." I can't help but raise an eyebrow at this. The library was definitely not Daniel's natural habitat, I knew that.

I choose to ignore him for a few minutes until I'm finished with my book and then I make my way over to where he's sitting at one of the circular tables. He's still clacking away on the keyboard, his eyes glued to the computer screen as he takes an occasional sip of his Coke. All of a sudden, I feel incredibly shy, like I did during the first week we became lab partners in Chemistry.

"Hey," I blurt, my voice sounding slightly strained and I silently curse myself for that.

I see Daniel's eyes widen a little when he hears my voice and then he looks up at me. "Oh, hi Nora," He says without smiling.

I can feel my heart sink. He didn't look very happy to see me. I knew it would be a mistake to say hello, but I did it anyway because I still had this small sliver of hope that maybe he would want to talk to me again. What shit luck I had.

"You know what, forget it. I'm sorry I ever bothered you," I say, struggling to keep my voice from sounding bitter.

"Nah, it's okay. I was just finishing up this History paper I have due in two periods," he says, running a hand through his dark hair.

"Well good luck," I say, giving him a weak smile before turning away and walking out of the library. Once I'm out of there, I realize that that was probably the most pathetic "conversation" we had ever had. I try not to clench my fists together in frustration as I walk down the second floor hallway towards the main staircase.

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