That night I was exhausted by the time I got home from school. None of my classes had gone as badly as the class with Ms. Rebuke, but that experience had made me so self conscious about meeting new teachers that I’d been wound tight all day. I’d only had one other class with Eduard, AP European History, but he’d come in late and hadn’t been able to sit next me so I hadn’t really spoken to him at all despite the fact that I saw him more times in the hallway than seemed strictly natural.
My other classes had all been fairly nondescript. As promised by the weed laden Mr. Bumblebee, my AP English Lit class had been pretty entertaining. Not only did Mr. McGonagall insist on reciting his terrible poetry at us, between readings of Lord Alfred Tennyson and other classics, but the kid sitting next to me, despite being completely silent, had added to the whole affect by drawing sketches of what appeared to be a family of wolves acting out the strange scenes that McGonagall described in his poems. Wolves gathering together to chase after a large whale eating fish in a river, wolves jumping from a train on a collapsing bridge, wolves welcoming a visiting princess with flowers and bunting. I had been fairly shocked that the teenaged boy beside me had known (and was able to draw) what bunting was, but I had already decided to simply roll with whatever this school threw at me. A few scribbled notes in the margins beside his sketches introduced him as Seamus. That had caused me to raise an eyebrow at him. The guy had long chestnut hair pulled into an elegant ponytail, almond eyes the color of coffee and skin the color of a dark oak, about the same color as my own. He had smiled at my raised eyebrow, a beautiful toothy grin that brought his face to life.
Half Navajo, half Irish. Navajo genes clearly dominated in the looks department, he had scribbled in the margins.
I had smiled at that and scribbled my reply.
I’m half Tibetan and half English myself.
Well, that was sort of true. My ancestry was a bit more complicated than that, but that was the simplest breakdown for the purposes of passing notes with new friends.
Our scribbled conversation had continued through most of class and I’d spent the rest of the day hoping to see Seamus again, but hadn’t run into him.
The rest of the day had been fairly uneventful. I had registered for the swim team, but practices wouldn’t start until the following week as there appeared to be a conflict for pool usage until then. The rest of my classes had blended into one another, being decidedly lacking in either ‘batshit nuts’ instructors or fellow students who communicated almost entirely via wolf-sketch.
I had come home ready to collapse into bed, especially after the night I’d had previously, but I decided to be a responsible not-quite adult and microwave myself some left over Chinese food before showering and collapsing into bed with a good book.
Luckily, none of my classes had assigned much in the way of homework, seemingly wanting to ease students into the transition from summer. I’d have to give an oral account of everything I’d done over summer vacation in Spanish tomorrow, but as that was something I was so well versed in I didn’t feel the need to prepare.
I wasn’t sure what time it was when I finally drifted off to sleep while several chapters into a delightful book, but I was disconcerted to find the lights turned out when I woke up a few hours later. I didn’t remember turning them off. Nor did I remember leaving the window open, but the breeze that caressed my face definitely brought with it the smell of pine needles and fresh earth, and those were not smells that originated inside my air conditioning unit.
I casually reached for my bedside lamp with one hand all the while sliding my other hand under the pillow next to my head to grasp for the cell phone I vaguely recalled shoving under it after spending more time than I’d actually wanted to checking Facebook instead of reading.
In the same moment my left hand turned on the bedside light my right hand connected with my cell phone.
The light blinded me briefly even though I’d closed my eyes as it came on, but soon I was able to see a dark figure standing on the far side of the room.
“Step any closer, and I’ll call the cops,” I said, brandishing my cell phone. Of course, I’d already hit my speed dial for police dispatch, but whoever the fuck was standing inside of my room didn’t need to know that just yet.
“I’m sorry, Vic,” said a vaguely familiar voice as the figure stepped out of the shadows. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
My jaw dropped as Eduard stepped into the light of the lamp.
“What in the name of ten kinds of fuck are you doing in MY BEDROOM?” I shouted.
The small, closed mouth smile that had been gracing Eduard’s lips fell and his eyebrows raised in perplexity.
“I just came to watch you sleep,” he said.
“What the fuck do you mean you came to watch me sleep? That’s the creepiest goddamned thing I’ve ever heard. GET OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU FUCKING PERVE!”
Eduard looked as though I had slapped him, but I wasn’t about to be deterred.
“Seriously, get out of my house before the cops get here,” I said, as he took a step closer.
“You called the cops?” he asked, looking for all the world like a stricken puppy.
“Yes, I called the cops, you sick fuck. THERE’S A STRANGE MAN IN MY BEDROOM.”
I have to admit I was partially yelling to make sure that whoever was listening over dispatch heard what I was saying. I had to hope that the gps chip in the phone would give them my location.
“But, it’s just me. Surely you don’t need them to come now?”
“Eduard, did I say or do anything today that made you think I wanted you to visit me IN MY BEDROOM?”
“No, not exactly but… but can’t you feel it, Victoria? Don’t you feel the connection between us?”
“No, Eduard. I do not. I feel no connection. All I know is that you’re a very attractive, but probably sociopathic classmate who has shown up uninvited not only to my HOUSE, but to my freaking BEDROOM, by all appearances having entered through the window, which, by the way, is impressive because it doesn’t have any trees or anything leading to it, but also incredibly creepy for the very same reason. Now, I’m going to ask you one more time to GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE.”
I was beginning to feel that Eduard might be a little bit slow as he persisted in not walking away from me even though I could hear sirens in the distance already.
“But, you’re supposed to be the one who understands me, the one who is finally able to love me despite my being… being a… m-m-monster.”
The way his lips pouted at that really made me want to hit him. I mean, really, it might have garnered some sympathy if I knew the guy at all, but for all I knew he WAS a fucking monster. After all, what the hell else do you call someone who breaks into your house at night to watch you sleep and then doesn’t leave even after you call the cops? I’d wondered earlier today if he was a freaking sociopath, and it looked like I might have been right.
“Get. Out. OF MY HOUSE!”
Instead of doing as I asked, the asshole insisted on stepping even closer to the bed and I finally decided to stand up and back away lest he try to pin me down.
This appeared to have been a mistake as he quickly overcame me and pinned me to the wall.
“Do you have any idea how good you smell?” he asked, winning the award for creepiest shit ever said to me in my entire life.
“No, and you have one more second to back away from me before I will be forced to kick your ass,” I said with more confidence than I felt. Eduard was a good six inches taller than I was, and had at least fifty pounds on me if I was any judge of muscle mass, but I was banking that he’d never been taught how to fight and I was hoping he’d underestimated my physical abilities.
I didn’t let him finish but stepped hard on his instep and buckled his arms at the elbow with simultaneous strikes from my forearms before reaching forward to grab the back of his head and pull his nose forward to meet my forehead. Even as I did this my knee came up and rammed into his crotch as hard as it could.
Eduard collapsed into a pile on the floor just as I’d hoped, but I felt like I’d head butted another pendulum and slowly braced myself against the wall to hold the dizziness at bay.
Just as I sank to the floor with my back to the wall I heard a rush of footfalls coming up the stairs. Without any announcement the door burst open and a bunch of armed officers in uniform flowed through the door with their guns raised. I’d never been happier to see a cop, or seven.
I was just getting to my feet when one of the officers crouched down in front of me.
“Are you alright miss?” she asked.
The voice caused a faint tremor of recognition to pass through me and I looked into the woman’s face and tried to focus my blurring eyes for a moment. It hurt, but through the pain I had a moment of full recognition just before my vision started to darken.
“What are you doing, here?” I asked the wild haired redhead in uniform.
“Shh…” she said, holding a finger to my mouth as blackness overtook me.
“Damn it, Gwen,” I muttered, as I slumped to the floor again and lost consciousness.
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