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Chapter 2: Une Rencontre Surprenante 

    Alex observed the smaller girl who seemed to be rooted in her spot. After she had gotten over the shock, and frankly disgust, of being sneezed on, she allowed to her eyes to fully take Avery in. She analyzed her from her messy bun of chocolate brown curls, her soft freckles dotting her nose and cheeks to the way how her frame almost seemed to tremble with fright as Alex looked on at her. 

   "Hm," Alex hummed before she brushed past Avery, her friends following in tow. The group walked away with an admirable amount of coordination. 

   Avery let out a sigh of relief as she watched Alex's retreating figure, her body instantly relaxing. She couldn't help but send up a silent prayer that the situation didn't go as poorly as it could have. Given her reputation, Alex Rivers was not someone that was to be messed with especially not when she was with her friends. Avery couldn't even fight a piece of paper, much less her. 

   She could only hope that Alex and her fellow school mates (those who gathered to watch the altercation) would forget that this had happened and she would never have to hear about nor think about it again. 

  She knew that for them to forget it would have to be a miracle, but that didn't stop her from hoping. And boy, did she hope as her feet stayed rooted to the floor and she screwed her eyes shut to let in a few deep breaths. 

   The weight of her embarrassment lightened as the school bell rang, signalling it was time for everyone get to their first class. The students who were once crowded around her scurried off to go to their individual classrooms, giving her space to breathe. She was never a fan of crowded areas.  

   Once everyone was gone, Avery could finally move again and she walked briskly to her locker where she saw Carson leaning against it. She put her hand to her forehead as she tried to calm down from the rush of anxiety that situation had just given her. 

"What did I tell you about not dying while I was gone?" Carson joked, standing up correctly. His locker, coincidentally, was right next to hers. After he opened it, he presented her with a box of tissues. "I think these will come in handy for next time," he winked before chuckling. 

   Avery felt her cheeks flare and she held her head down. She groaned, "Carson, I can't believe I did that."

   After she had gathered her books from her locker, he swung his arm over her shoulder. His fingers caressed it lightly in an expression of comfort as he led her to their class.  

   "Hey, don't worry about it too much," he attempted to reassure her, "Give it a few hours and everyone will move on to the next piece of drama."

   When they reached their classroom and Carson had opened the door, Avery's anxiety sky-rocketed as the eyes of her peers in her Calculus II class seem to shift to her position.  Carson gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze before they parted ways and went to their separate desks.  It was Avery's idea at the start of the term that they should sit far away from each other, so as not to distract themselves but she was starting to regret that now. Her anxiety and the occurrences of merely just 5 minutes ago, left her feeling embarrassed and isolated. 

   Avery opened her notebook and tried her best to follow along with the class.


   To say Alex was thrown off-guard would be an understatement. Never had she encountered someone with the audacity to bump into her, much less sneeze on her. Sure, Alex had a feeling that it took the freckled girl a while to recognise just exactly who she was when she had bumped into her, but that thought put her off even more. 

   After spending the last few minutes in the bathroom, wiping herself off with tissue and hand sanitizer, Alex went to rejoin her friends in their special area. 

   Their special area was a small classroom in an abandoned block of the school campus. Since the school was so big, no teachers had thought (or cared) to check there for delinquent students who may be skipping classes. It was an unspoken rule throughout the student body that Alex and her crew had marked that block as their territory and anyone who dared to tell administration would face the consequences. 

   "Surprisingly, Freckles didn't leave that much snot behind," Alex commented to her friends. 

"Why the fuck would you tell us that, Lex," Kaden wrinkled his nose in disgust before taking a drag from the spliff he lit. 

   "Oh, sorry I didn't realise that hearing about the event would be more traumatising than being a victim to the event," Alex bit back, grabbing the spliff from Kaden. 

    Jason scoffed at the two's antics, playing with his switchblade. His legs were perched on a desk as he rocked back and forth in his chair. He had never been one for much words. He was tall and muscular and had a knack for intimidating people with his build and silence. 

  "Why call her 'Freckles'?" Sam asked, "Hers aren't even that prominent. I hardly think it's a feature that's worth a nickname." 

  "Because," Alex started, flicking Kaden on the back of the head to annoy him, "It's unique. I've never seen freckles on a brown girl before."

"Woah, is it even okay to call her that?" Kaden asked, looking at Sam.

"Kaden stop looking at me because I'm the only black person in the room," Sam rolled his eyes. He shifted towards Alex, "I get what you mean. It's not every day you see freckles on a brown girl."

   "You guys are talking way too much right now," Jason gruffed. 

"Calm down, Grumpy Pants," Kaden retorted, rolling his eyes. In the blink of an eye, Jason was holding Kaden by the hair with a blade to his neck.

"Okay, okay, okay," Kaden repeated with his hands up, surrendering. Jason tightened his hold on him and growled, before shoving him off. Though he was also kind of built (and kind of slow), Kaden knew that he was no match for Jason. 

   The bell in the small classroom rang, announcing it was time for the next class. 

Alex got up from her chair and grabbed her bag, "Well boys, it was nice spending first period with you but I gotta bounce."

"You don't have to," Sam replied, "You just know you have the same free period as Freckles right now and you probably want to intimidate her."

   Alex smirked at him, "What can I say? I'm a predictable gal."

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