All throughout class Odessa had been completely restless, fidgeting around in her seat and constantly looking at her watch. She’d been tapping her pen on her notebook, until her table and lab partner, Tracy, gave her an irritated look. Odessa looked at her apologetically. Kiko had curiously been looking back at her. “What’s wrong with you?” Kiko mouthed the words to Odessa.
Odessa only shook her head in response. She’d been stealing glances at The Boy, who was sitting on the other side of the classroom. Should I say something to him after class or not? she’d been debating all throughout the period. He’d almost caught her looking at him a couple of times, but she played it off.
Ms. Corinthos had been noticing Odessa’s eccentric behaviour, as well. “Miss McBain, are you sure everything is alright? You’ve been restless since class began. Do you need to see the school nurse?” Ms. Corinthos continued.
Odessa quickly responded. “No, no, Ms. Corinthos. Everything’s fine, thanks…positive.”
Kiko gave her another curious look, shook her head and returned her attention back to their teacher. Right then, Odessa decided to make a conscious but difficult effort not to look over at The Boy, for the remainder of the class. This dude has got me acting the complete fool, and I don’t like it! she berated in her mind. All she wanted was for this horrible and embarrassing day to be over with.
Finally, class was over and by the time she decided she did want to approach to him, he’d already gathered his things and bolted the room. Odessa was disappointed. Maybe he knew I wanted to talk to him, and I probably scared him away. Man! I am such a jack-ass! As she was leaving the room, Ms. Corinthos called her to come speak with her for a moment.
“Miss McBain, are you sure there’s nothing you’d like to tell me? You were awfully unusual today, with all that sneezing and fidgeting. You aren’t sensitive to anything in the room, are you?”
Odessa wanted to laugh at the conveniently ironic question. Teacher, you have NO idea! she wanted to say. Rather, she answered: “It’s just been a bit of a rough day for me, that’s all Ms. Corinthos. You know how Mondays can be? I promise not to be distracting like that, next time.” she waited, hoping Ms. Corinthos would be satisfied with the reply.
Ms. Corinthos gave her a brief, skeptical look. “Well…alright then. But, if there’s anything you need to tell me, such as allergies or any other problems, please do inform me,” she encouraged.
“Sure thing, Teacher!” Odessa replied, with Ms. Corinthos giving her another odd look. “Well, uh, I’ll see you on tomorrow!” and with that she quickly left the room.
As she exited Kiko was standing right by the doorway, waiting for her. “Okay, what in the H-E-double hockey sticks was all that in there!? I haven’t seen you wiggin’ out like that in ages!” Kiko pointed out. “Especially with you sneezing and all that after that Tim-guy came in. The way you two were looking at each other, I swear, if I didn’t know any better…” Kiko stopped to ponder. “Wait a minute, did you and that Tim-guy have some kind of a summer-fling on the ‘D-L’, or something?!?” she cried. “Oh my goodness! How could you keep something like that from me! No wonder you were acting all weird– “
“Shhhh, Kiko! Will you keep your voice down, Good Lord!” chastised Odessa. “And no, there wasn’t any fling between that Tim-guy and me, thank you very much!”
Kiko gave her a look, egging her on. “Well come on, spill it out! The suspense is killing me!”
“Good then!” Odessa said.
“Ode, girl, I will make you late to detention if you don’t tell me what’s going on?” threatened Kiko.
“Oh detention! Dangit, I almost forgot about that!”
“Well it’s a good thing I said something. Now come on, stop stalling and spill the beans, for chrissakes!”
“Okay, okay, Keeks. Good grief!” Odessa caved in. The girls had now reached Odessa’s locker. “I don’t have much time to go into to details now, but I can tell you that he’s the guy I…” and she mumbled some sort of gibberish.
“What? What was that? ‘Dessi stop being silly and tell me!!” Kiko impatiently demanded.
Odessa was silent for a moment. “He’s the guy I saw at the auto shop with my pops,” she finally admitted.
“Oh snap! Really! Ohhh, that’s so cuuuute!!” Kiko squealed.
“Damnit, Keeks! Can’t you keep your voice down?! You’re embarrassing me!”
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, but I can’t help it! Alright, I’ll let you go so you won’t be late... But, we are most definitely continuing this convo tonight,” Kiko pointed to Odessa whilst leaving her side. “Talk to you lataz, oh Sneezing One!” she teased, running off before Odessa could yell at her.
Moments later, there was a light tap on her locker door. “Kiko, I swear I will knock you out if you don’t leave me-- “ she started, stopped, and yelped after closing her door slightly to see who she thought was Kiko. But she was surprised, delighted, and scared to see that it was The Boy curiously looking at her, with a little smile playing at the corner of his mouth.
“Hello there… is this a bad time?” he asked in that deep, quiet voice of his.
Odessa gulped. Once again, The Boy, has caught her off guard. He’s really good at that, she reflected. But being this close to him, again, was a bit overwhelming for her she realised. “Uh, sorry…I, uh, thought you were, uh, my friend,” she stammered. “Your name is Tim, right?” asking as if she didn’t know.
“Yes, that’s right” he responded, offered her his hand for a shake, never taking his eyes off of her.
When they shook hands the touch between them was sensational. The Boy’s eyes widened for a split second, blinked quickly and shifted his body. Odessa, on the other hand, shuddered.
“Are you cold?” The Boy asked.
“Huh? I mean, no I’m not,” she timidly answered. She swallowed hard again. Please don’t sneeze, ‘dessa, please don’t sneeze!! she kept yelling in her head.
As if reading her mind he asked, “Is there something you find allergic about me?”
“Wh-what?” she stammered.
“You sneezed the first time I saw you. I remember you from a little over a week ago.”
Odessa cleared her throat. “Uh, you do?” she asked nervously. And what about me taking pictures of you? She wanted to ask.
Tim paused for a moment, his expression now serious. “Of course, how could I forget such a face?” he coolly answered, and leaned against the set of lockers.
She wasn't sure what to make of that last response – especially if it was meant to be a compliment – but it was still enough to make her face burn and her knees buckle a little. “Well, it’s probably the sneezing that gave me away?” she laughed, continuing on with her nervousness.
“Hmm, perhaps…” The Boy said. He stepped closer to, still gazing into her eyes.
Please don’t sneeze, ‘dessa, please don’t sneeze!!
“So aren’t you going to tell me your name?” he asked.
Odessa was blank for a second. “Oh, I’m sorry, how rude of me right?” she nervously laughed again, but then she paused. Omigosh, what the heck is my name? she desperately tried to remember. The Boy calmly waited. “Um, it’s Odessa… Odessa McBain.”
“Are you sure?”
She chuckled lightly. “Hardly anyone calls me that, though. People usually call me something else like ‘Ode’, ‘O’, ‘Dessi’, Fiona – “ She stopped before she was about to slip and say ‘FiFi.’
“And that doesn’t that get confusing, at all?” he wondered.
She shrugged. “Not really, I’m used to it.” She was somewhat starting to ease up around him, which was relieving to her.
“Well, now that I know who you are, I wanted to tell you that I got the message during lunch, and that I’m very sorry for this morning,” said The Boy.
Odessa looked at him, clueless to what he was talking about. He reached from his back pocket a familiar-looking yellow note and showed it to her. Odessa read it. Are you freaking kidding me!?! He’s the motorcycle guy!? Today is just too much!! How much more of this can I take???
With the amount of embarrassment and regret that came over her, she was sure she would’ve looked like a strawberry Starburst, if she were lighter-skinned. He folded the note back up. “I’ll hold on to this. It’ll help keep me in check... And don’t worry, I had my own parking spot sorted out during lunch.” he smiled playfully.
Before she could respond, Gisella had turned the corner and saw the pair. “Oh there, you are Tim! I’ve been looking for you,” she said giving Odessa a frosty look whilst grabbing The Boy’s hand. “I remember you telling me that you keep your bike gear in the school office. So I was thinking that I could come with you to pick them up, and then afterwards– “ she looked at Odessa again “we could go to my grandmother’s diner. She makes the best milkshakes. I insist, and I won’t take ‘No’ for an answer,” she flirtatiously cornered The Boy, who seemed uncomfortable.
“Um…” he hesitated, “okay, sure.”
“Cool! Come on, let’s go then!” as she hurried him away from his spot.
The Boy looked back at Odessa and gave her an intriguing smile. “I’ll see you around then, Odessa. And it was nice to finally meet you,” and started walking away with a possessive Gisella, who gave Odessa one last, callous look before she and the boy were out of sight.
But Gisella’s behaviour didn’t matter. She’d actually spoken to The Boy without acting silly, well not completely anyway… He called me Odessa! she beamed inside. But then she remembered about the nasty note she wrote and groaned. “I called him a prick and a punk. I’m such an idiot!” she said slapping her hand against her forehead. Opening her eyes she noticed the time her watch displayed: 2:45pm, when she suddenly remembered something. She was already five minutes late for detention! “Shit, shit!” she cursed under her breath, closing her locker and running to her English class’ room.
When she got there, Mr. Campbell was already looking at her with heavy disapproval. “I see that you are late for your detention session, as well, Ms. McBain. Perhaps, a 500-word typed and double-spaced essay on the ‘Importance of Punctuality,’ due by class tomorrow should suffice for such irresponsibility.”
Odessa pursed her lips, stifling a big yell. It is just never-ending today, I swear! Instead, she nodded in compliance with the penalty.
As she took her seat at a desk, she began to pull out some of the assignments she could begin to work on. She took a look out of a nearby window and saw The Boy and Gisella at his bike. It was a nice looking bike, one with the colours of black, silver and red. The pair appeared to be in conversation, and when he spoke Gisella appeared to be hanging on to his every word, mesmerised. Odessa couldn’t blame her though. There was something very captivating, yet very mysterious about The Boy. A couple minutes later, they left the student lot with their respective vehicles, presumably going to the Diner Vega.
Odessa exhaled. “She’s probably more his type anyway,” she muttered to herself.
“What was that, Miss McBain?” Mr. Campbell sternly asked from his desk.
She tried to think quickly. “Uh…I said that I promise more early on tomorrow.”
Mr. Campbell paused for a moment. “Yes, well that remains to be seen now, does it not, Miss McBain?” he questioned, not waiting for an answer and returning to his work.
Odessa only smiled, in spite of herself.