nineteen

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We were in Chemistry on Friday morning, waiting around for our teacher to start with the experiment she had planned for today. She had left about ten minutes ago with the excuse to get something she needed for the experiment, and she had yet to come back.

I sighed and turned around in my rotating stool. I had agreed to be paired with Asher and Tyler while Gill, Sam, and another girl sat at the table next to us. My gaze wandered over the table's surface and the objects on it.

A few sheets of paper the teacher had handed us, a few pens, the usual boring stuff. Then my gaze got stuck on the Bunsen burner.

"Don't even think about it," Asher said as if he had read my mind. I raised a brow at him and cracked an innocent smile.

"Think about what?"

He shook his head and turned away, and I reached for the Bunsen burner and slowly turned around the lever that regulated the gas supply. Then I sparked a flame on the burner.

Tyler next to me shook his head as he watched me turn up the gas lever even more so the flame grew taller and stronger.

"Hey, Asher," I said, carefully pushing the Bunsen burner towards him as he turned back to me. Once he saw how close it was to him he backed away, leaping up from his chair and taking a step back from the table.

I watched him in surprise. "Hey, relax, it's just a small flame," I said, not smirking anymore.

He narrowed his eyes at me. "Stop playing around," he said firmly, and I closed the gas supply so that the flame died. Once it was gone he came back to the table and sat down again.

"Don't tell me you're seriously scared of fire," I said in disbelief. Asher always seemed so tough; I would have never imagined him to be afraid of a small flame like that.

Asher shrugged and pulled the Bunsen burner closer to him, out of my reach. "Fire's not something to play around with."

Before I could say anything to that the teacher came back, and her lesson finally started. I didn't forget about what had happened, though.

Great. Could there ever be a day where I didn't learn something new about Asher that I wanted to know more about?

I glanced at him from the corner of my eyes as his full attention was directed towards the teacher. Even now his dark eyebrows were slightly turned to a frown, leaving his whole facial expression to be near to a scowl. He always seemed so lost on thought, so concerned – I wondered if he even knew how to relax.

No, I knew he did. He was relaxed when we walked on that hill a few weeks ago, laying in the grass and watching the clouds above us. He was relaxed when he played soccer with his friends. He was relaxed when he drank coffee in my room.

I sighed and rested my head on the table's surface. He wasn't relaxed when Trevor was around, or when I played with fire.

I was growing more and more curious about mystery boy, and I wasn't yet sure if it was a good thing or something I should be worried about.

School finally ended at one, and I was replying to a text from Ruby as I left the building with Asher and his friends. It was a nice day out, and I now regretted not having put on shorts this morning when the weather had still looked rather cold.

"Hey, what are you doing later?" I asked as I put my phone away. I wasn't sure why exactly I asked – maybe because the thought of sitting in that empty house all day wasn't too tempting.

"I'm free if you wanna hang out," Gill said with a shrug. "You could come over to my house and help me bake something. My dad just bought me this pack of chopped almonds, I'm sure I could make some bomb ass muffins with it."

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