Now that Ball Caps and Khakis is out, and Where No One Knows has been accepted, I’m gearing up to submit my next project. I shared a snippet from it a few months back, and I’ve decided to share another today.
Friday morning, avoiding Talia was easier than the day before. It was a good thing, because I was in a seriously bad mood. Thanks to Rob, I hadn’t gotten to sleep until three o’clock. I was exhausted, and having to talk to or even look at Talia would probably have sent my temper over the edge.
During first block, she wasn’t in class, which surprised me. She almost never missed school. I caught myself hoping nothing was wrong and then reminded myself I didn’t actually care.
Except I did. No matter how angry I was, I couldn’t magically stop caring what happened to her. If we’d still been speaking, I could have found out what was going on, but since we weren’t, I would have to either keep wondering or stop thinking about her.
So I went back to trying to convince myself I didn’t care.
After class, Rob came over to my desk. “Talia isn’t here.”
“I see that.” I looked up at him. “What does she have to do with anything?”
He shrugged. “I figured you might know why. You still aren’t talking to her?”
“I just stopped talking to her yesterday. Why would I start again so soon?” I stood and grabbed my books. “I don’t want to talk about her. I only want to get through today so we can have the weekend. Are you coming over tomorrow?”
“I didn’t ask yet. Probably.”
We walked out of the room and into the chaos of the hallway. Rob stuck so close to me he kept brushing against me. It irked the hell out of me, but I didn’t say anything to him. Changing classes was one of the times he was likely to get pushed around or yelled at, and I wanted to make sure nothing happened. Or at least witness anything that did happen so I could report it, as if reporting anything would do any good.
We’d almost reached our next class when someone grabbed Rob’s arm and yanked him away from me. I whirled around. Craig and Seth had Rob between them, one holding each of his arms. Craig also had a handful of Rob’s hair, and Rob’s mouth was open in a cry I could barely hear over the rest of the noise.
Other people stopped to look, then kept right on walking. None of them gave a crap what happened to Rob. If they stayed, it would be for entertainment purposes only.
My heart raced, and fury rushed through me. Clenching my fists, I frantically looked around, hoping I would see someone who might help. Of course, I didn’t.
I couldn’t do much. I was only about half the size of the morons. But I damn well wouldn’t let them hurt Rob again.