When I was finally ready, it was seven forty-five and I was running out the door. Sue was already at the car, waiting impatiently. “We need to hurry or we’ll be late!”
“I know, I know.” I unlocked the car and we jumped in and raced to school. “I hate closing on a school night, and my alarm didn’t even go off!”
“Yeah it did, but you didn’t even move.” She laughed. “You just kept right on snoring.”
We parked in the school parking lot, which was to the right of the school, and ran inside the doors just in time for the warning bell to ring. We slid into History just as the class bell rang, and earned a cocked eyebrow from the teacher already writing on the chalkboard. I headed for the only other empty seat in the back while Sue headed for the one in front on the other side of the room, Chase smiling and shaking his head at us.
Retrieving my notebook and pencil, I was about to start taking notes when something in my peripheral vision caught my eye. Turning my head slightly, I saw Connelly. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but there he was, sitting beside me. “We meet again,” he said with a smile.
“Oh, hi.” I smiled almost shyly, which was very unlike me, and sat down.
He turned sideways in his seat and extended his hand toward me. “I don’t think we were ever properly introduced, or rather, I never got your name.”
“Dakota Riley, but everyone just calls me Kota.” I was smiling too much when I was around him, but his accent, the way he looked at me… there was just something about him… No I need to stop. I scalded myself. I took his hand, and as soon as we touched a jolt went through me like lightening, and not the kind they talk about in books when two people find true love. No, this was like an abrupt hit in the chest and I let go of his hand like it had burned me. The shock made me feel so many things at once it left me surprised and confused. A light erupted in my eyes, though it didn’t come from any outside source, and a stirring started deep within me like something had been awakened. I was wary, my every muscle tense like I was under threat of attack, and after blinking the light from my eyes, I saw Connelly had had his own reaction as well.
He was so tight, several veins were popping out and I thought he might break his desk from gripping it so hard. He was leaning as far away from me as he could, his expression mirroring my own bewilderment, and we stayed like that for a few minutes. What the hell was that? I thought, and my gut told me something was terribly wrong, but try as I might I couldn’t see what I was freaking out about. Why him? Looking him over, I saw nothing dangerous or out of the ordinary, though there was a sharp smell I couldn’t pinpoint. At the back of my mind there was a suspicion of how he had reacted as well, but how could it be suspicious when I was doing the same exact thing? He obviously felt the same off the wall sensations I did. I reassured myself and, slowly, I fought the overwhelming urge to fight or run and said tensely, “That… was weird.”