Chapter Two: Sakari
It'd been about two weeks and I still sat there. I had nowhere else to sit and he didn't seem to mind. It was always the same. I'd be there, with my lunch bag and a book or occasionally homework, and he'd come up, smile at me and sit down. There would be silence, and for a brief second I'd think about saying something, but I'd choose not to.
After the first day he started bringing a notebook with him, in which he'd draw while he ate. I carefully peeked over whenever I was sure, he wasn't looking. Every day seemed to be something new. There were drawings of people, my favorite so far was a baby surrounded by pillows. She was holding onto a stuffed animal, it looked like a giraffe but from the angle I was looking at it, I couldn't be sure. She looked like him, and it made me wonder if it was his sister or something.
There were a few pictures like that one, with the little girl, always smiling, in different positions, sometimes in a crib, sometimes in a pile of leaves... she was adorable and I wanted to know who she was.
The other pictures were always something random, a bird sitting on a telephone wires, a deer near a brook, buildings sometimes, or a dirt road with the branches of the trees hanging over it, leaves scattered on the ground. He was definitely a talented artist and I started looking forward to seeing what he was drawing every day, even though I'd never let him know that.
I started thinking about him and Nadia noticed. Her cold hand was in mine during the long walk home after school one day and she started smiling. "You're thinking about someone." She said, her happiness showing through her tone of voice.
I glanced down at my seven-year old neighbor with a confused smile. "Maybe. How did you know?"
Nadia grinned, an expression that I loved to see on her young face. "You haven't said anything since we left my school. And you always ask me how school was. And you've got that look on your face. I don't know how to explain it, but I can just tell."
She's always been smart for her age and I laughed lightly. "Well, you're right. I am thinking about someone." Her grin grew and she started begging to hear about it. So I told her. "There's this boy -"
She started squealing. "I knew it! I knew it! You like him don't you?!"
I slowed down as we got closer to her house. "I don't know him enough to like him." I said, ruffling her hair. "I'll tell you more tomorrow. We should hurry up. Your mom's probably wondering where you are."
I dropped her off at her house, and she hugged me before running in to tell her mom all about her day. Her mom and my dad had met the first day we moved in, and over the weeks me and Nadia had become friends.
Dad was home late every night, so I'd be home until around nine alone. I stayed up waiting for him and we'd eat dinner together and talk a little before I'd head to bed. I'd shower in the morning, blow dry my hair and then run out to meet Nadia and we'd walk to school together.
That boy was late one day, finally sitting down halfway through lunch. I glanced up, he smiled, I smiled, and I turned my attention back to my book. I heard him open his notebook and heard the scratching of a pencil for a few minutes and I was just about to peek when the noise stopped.
"I'm Damien." He said suddenly and I looked back up. He was staring at me, his hair hanging over his forehead.
"I'm Sakari." I replied quietly, trying not to stare at his face. Before today I'd never paid attention to what he looked like. I had thought that he had plain brown hair, but with the light shining on it through the maple leaves above us, it was actually just a shade lighter than I'd thought... it was cute. His eyes were a pale green or hazel and he was definitely cuter than I'd remembered. His hair hung over his forehead, and it looked really soft. I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear self-consciously.
He grinned. "That's a really pretty name."
"Thanks." I said uncertainly, biting my lip, wanting to ask him a question, but afraid to ask it at the same time. "Um, I'm not trying to be rude, but why are you talking to me?" I set my finished apple core into the now empty bag and started picking at my fingernail polish, something I do when I'm nervous.
He shrugged and the smile, I was starting to love crept onto his face. "I want to get to know you. I guess I'm kinda hoping we can be friends."
I raised my eyebrows slightly and then dropped my gaze to my book. "So, why haven't we ever talked before? It's been like two weeks, and we just sit here."
He shrugged again. "What's wrong with just sitting?" The bell rang and he got up, smiled and walked away. I looked down at the table, a smile forming on my face and I chuckled lightly, looking back up to see him, blend into the crowd. I bit my bottom lip with a goofy grin on my face as I picked up my stuff and headed inside.
That was the start of it all. The next day he sat a little closer to me at lunch, not across anymore. It made trying to peek at his drawings a little harder, but I noticed that I didn't mind it. Sometimes I'd glance up and he'd be looking at me. He'd smile slightly and quickly look away while I'd blush and look back down at my book.
Weeks passed and eventually we were sitting side by side, sometimes quietly, both in our own little worlds, sometimes one of us would say something, start a conversation, and the lunch would be filled with us chattering and laughing.
We never talked about our personal lives, the talking was always light and passed over topics like homework, weather, the snobby girls who brushed past me, knocking me into a locker, the same girls who would flirt endlessly with Damien who would just shrug them off.
I noticed that people started staring at us at lunch sometimes, gossiping no doubt.
Eventually, I heard the rumor. I'd walked into the bathroom, unnoticed by two girls who were sharing bits of gossip. From what I heard, Damien and I were dating and we'd obviously met somewhere before and that's why he sat with me the first day. When they saw me they had the decency to look embarrassed and scurried off to class. I brushed it off, deciding to ignore the rumor. It didn't matter what other people thought. Damien seemed to think the same thing and occasionally we'd share the rumor with each other, laughing at how absurd they'd become.
"Have you heard?" Damien said, plopping down beside me and opening his carton of milk.
I shut my book. Today was obviously not going to be a quiet day and I was starting to realize that we didn't really have quiet days anymore. "Possibly. It all depends on what we're talking about."
He looked around before leaning over to whisper conspiratorially. "That we're planning on eloping to Vegas."
I stifled a laugh, lowering my voice to play along. "Well, I guess that's why we robbed the bank. We need money to get to Vegas."
He started laughing and I grinned. "Are people seriously saying that we robbed the bank?"
I nodded still grinning. Just last night the only bank in town had been robbed. About two thousand dollars had been taken and the police had no suspects. "Wow." He laughed again and then looked down at his lunch. "This looks nasty."
I chuckled and looked down at his tray. "Why didn't you bring a lunch like you have before?" It was some sort of slop between two pieces of stale looking bread.
"I forgot to." He said frowning. I smirked and handed him a little Ziploc bag of pretzels.
Three hours later, I was walking home with Nadia, sharing every detail with her. "He's just so different from anyone I've ever met." I said, squeezing her hand slightly.
Her smile lit up her face as she giggled. "I'm glad. You look happy." She paused for a minute before tilting her head to the side and giggling again. "Do you like him?"
I nodded slowly, seeing her grin grow even bigger. "Yeah, I think I do". I bit my lip and smiled to myself. Yeah, I think I do... that was an understatement. I knew, completely, that I liked him. But there was no way I was admitting that to anybody, except myself. I took a deep breath of the crisp fall air and spun around. "Isn't it just beautiful out here?" Nadia giggled and I flushed.
"I think that the next time you see him you should talk to him, tell him you like him, or at least find a way to hang out with, outside school. He makes you smile and you really are happy. It's better than the days when you're sad." I knew she was referring to the seldom days that occurred when he for whatever reason, missed school and I wasn't as happy and giggly on the walk home.
I shook my head. "No, I just can't do that. What if he doesn't actually want to hang out with me? Maybe to him I'm just some girl to pass the lunch hour with?"
"I want to meet him." She said, crossing her arms over her chest and staring up at me. "You can tell him that too. And some day, when I do meet him, I'm gonna tell him that he's perfect for you." She nodded her head emphatically as if her nodding would show how serious she was. Then, hugging me around the waist, she said goodbye and skipped into her house.
I rolled my eyes, but smiled and headed towards my own house. "Maybe she's right." I muttered to myself. "Tomorrow at lunch, I'm telling him I want to hang out with him." I nodded once and then laughed. "I'm turning into Nadia."
"Is that you Kari?" Someone called out and I walked into the living room slowly.
"Dad? I didn't expect you to be home until nine... what are you doing here?"
He grinned. "I got the day off. And I also got a raise. I know you've had a little trouble fitting in at school so I thought maybe I'd let you go shopping sometime. Don't worry about the money, I can give you some, I know making some friends is important to you." The happiness in his eyes was relieving. For the past month, since we'd moved here, we'd been living with just enough to make ends meet.
It was for his job that we moved here to this tiny town and the pay still wasn't very good. We'd lived paycheck to paycheck for most of my life, and we were able to get state aid food stamps for food we needed. "You got a raise?" I asked, jumping over to hug him. "That's great!"
The house phone started ringing and dad went to answer it. I sank onto the couch, watching the football game through the static on the tv.
Amaya - Thank you! I hope you enjoy the chapter!
Grace - Thanks. I hope this is soon enough ha..ha, Thanksgiving kept me from posting any sooner... I hope you enjoy it.
Milena - Ha..ha. It feels so good to be posting again. Aha..ha I usually put too many smiley faces in too. Some of his songs will definitely be in the book, just not yet. Hope you like it.
Alexis - Thank you! I love getting feedback from my readers. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I'm glad you like it! Thanks for letting me know why too. I try to keep it balanced... A lot of times when I re-read my chapters before posting I realize that it sort of drags on, so I'll edit it and try to make it better. This chapter might be a little boring at times... it gets a little descriptive but it was the best I could seem to make it. Thanks for the comment. I hope you like this chapter too!
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