Atlas is only in one of my classes, history. The whispers, stares, and whistles have followed me everywhere I’ve gone today, and at first it was kind of annoying me, but I’ve adapted and now I kind of like them. It’s like they are pouring themselves into me, making me stronger and more powerful than before.
Atlas is already there sitting in a desk towards the back, talking with a fellow popular jock. I stand frozen in the doorway for a few. It’s like the reality of my crazy plan just popped out of a closet and body slammed me. My brain starts yelling at the rest of me, “God Nix! Snap out of it! Move!”, but my body doesn’t listen. This is just so weird. Your fighting one guy in the city streets one minute and then trying to gain his trust, and love, the next.
Atlas’ friend notices me and slyly nudges him, with a not so subtle nod in my direction. Atlas looks up, the depths of his indigo eyes finding mine.
That snaps me out of my trance. I hold the eye contact for a second and then I make my way over to the empty desk next to him.
With a flip of my hair, I sit down as gracefully as I can and then proceed to pull my textbook and notebook out of my backpack. I open the notebook and pretend that I am reading my notes, letting my long hair fall down like a curtain between me and Atlas. Really, I’m watching him, trying to predict what he’s going to do. I don’t want to be caught off guard.
I see him running a hand through his spiky dark hair. I see him turning back to his friend, a total guy conversation going on between them without using any words. Just ****** expressions and a few crude hand motions. I see him glancing at me, looking nervous as hell.
Huh. Atlas Rivero, the hero and most popular guy in school, is nervous to talk to me.
“Hey Nixie,” he says, obviously trying to appear confident.
So he decided to speak! I move my curtain of hair out of the way and close the notebook.
“Oh! Hey Atlas,” I respond, flashing him the sweetest smile I can muster.
God this is humiliating.
“Well I-uh, well, I was wondering if you…” he pauses, face turning bright red.
His friend just face-palmed behind him and I am experiencing second-hand embarrassment from this pathetic attempt. When did Atlas become such a spaz? I’ve seen him interacting with other girls and he seems totally cool and confident, his usual swagger in full swing. What’s so different about me?
“Have you gotten your ankle checked out yet?”
“Oh, oh no. But it’s fine. Really no need to worry about me.”
“You sure? Because I can see how swollen it is from here and it’s not very pretty. If you want I could take a look at it. My uncle has been teaching me some stuff about injuries,” he offers.
“That would be great!”
That would NOT be great. Thinking of Atlas that close to me makes my insides twist into little knots that I’m not sure I’ll be ale to untie.
“Great-” he says breaking out into a bashful smile “-lunch together in the side yard?”
The side yard. A grove of willow trees on the outside perimeter of the school. Also, the best place to make out in the school. Smooth Atlas, real smooth.
Atlas quickly realized what he had just proposed.
“I didn’t mean it like that!” he said, ears turning pink, “I just thought that you wouldn’t want the whole school watching.”
“It’s fine. Side yard it is,” I say, reaching out to putting a reassuring hand on his kneecap. His expression turns into one of shock. Shoot*. Is it too soon to make contact?
Before Atlas could respond to my move, a sharp voice silenced the classroom.
“If it’s alright with you two, I would like to begin class.”
I sharply pull away from Atlas, and now I’M the one who’s blushing. How long was the teacher standing there? And when did the bell ring? I duck down, ignoring the stares and snickers.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spy Atlas’ friend giving him bro-hugs and high-fives. Glad one of us is excited. This is the most I’ve ever interacted with Atlas and now that I’m really watching him, he appears even hotter than before, if that’s even possible. His tousled dark hair perfectly complements his indigo eyes. And his flawless caramel skin paired with his light freckles and tall, typical-high-school-star-quarterback build is enough to make any girl topple head over heels. Atlas could have decided to go after any other girl in the school, but instead, he had to go for the one girl who doesn’t like him back. Nice going Atlas.