A and D (4)

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Geez, I screwed up. I didn’t mean to blame Dakota. It just slipped because I was upset. Man, I’d never heard her so quiet before. But I was counting the minutes.

When bell rang a couple of minutes ago, Dakota shot up from her seat and almost ran toward the door, ignoring me.

I quickly followed her to apologize. I watched her briefly say goodbye to Alyson.

Luke caught up with me.

“What’s up, dude?” he asked, concerned.

“I . . .” I trailed off, distracted as I tried to keep up with Dakota. She wasn't a runner so I should be able to do that in no time.

I think Luke nodded as though he understood.

“See you later at try-outs,” he called over as he turned to the other direction.

Soon, I caught up with Dakota’s pace.

“C’mon, Dakota,” I apologized sincerely. “I’m sorry. I just overreacted.”

She gave me the look that says, “You think?” Then, she focused on out-walking me. That was okay with me. She wasn't that fast.

“You have to forgive me. You owe me with the apple pie. So I say this makes us even.”

I had to admit, saying that wasn’t fair. But I was desperate. I think it worked because she stopped walking and . . . Oh. She pulled out a dollar from her wallet. She handed it to me. I just stared. Hmm, maybe it didn’t work.

“I’m not gonna take that,” I told her.

That's right. No way in hell was I gonna let her pay me for that.

Dakota rolled her eyes at me, and then started walking again. I ruffled my hair as I followed her.

“Please . . . D, I’m really sorry. I’ll make it up to you.”

We entered RST class. Mrs. Roberts was already in her chair, engrossed in reading gossips from the internet. Dakota sat on a vacant chair in between two occupied ones. I bet she was thinking that she could get away from me if I wasn't sitting beside her. So I turned to the guy on her right.

“Can I sit here?” I asked him.

“Dude, I’m already sitting. Are you blind –” he stopped talking when he looked up and saw me. He blinked as he immediately stood up and removed his bags from the chair. “Uh – sure, Aaron!”

I nodded. “Thanks,” I said vaguely. I turned to Dakota, and she looked pissed. She obviously didn’t expect that I would do that. I smiled. “You can’t give me the cold shoulder forever, D.”

She didn’t answer, just kept on ignoring me. It looked like there was no other way for it. . .

I sighed. “Fine,” I said, leaning to her. “Name it.”

She frowned in confusion, but she still wasn’t looking.

“Name anything you want. I mean it.”

Finally, she stared at me and scoffed. She shook her head as though she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“Just leave me alone,” she said coldly.

“And it took thirty-seven minutes for you to speak again,” I said, as I glanced at my watch and counted the minutes.

“Yeah, to tell you to leave me alone, Aaron.”

I gazed at her. I waited for a few seconds. She sounded like she meant it. And I think she did. I can see it in her eyes. She was seriously pissed at me.

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