I run after Lewis, leaving my friends behind. I'll explain everything to them later. Time is ticking. I've only got two weeks to prevent the school shooting. I must act fast.
Unfortunately, I am cursed with two left feet, and the ground morphs into an ice rink... figuratively, of course. As I run, or rather topple my way over to him, yelling his name like an insane person, I crash against his hard back and hit the floor.
It did catch his attention, though.... along with several hundred others. Lewis stops and turns around, shooting me an icy look. My stomach churns.
"You okay?" He asks tonelessly.
Immediately, I feel uneasy in his presence. I can't shake away the serial killer image.
"Um... yes. Yes, I'm fine. I'm very... clumsy."
I attempt to pick myself off the floor but, thanks to my sweaty hands that slide across the tiled floor, I fall over again. My face hits the floor so hard my vision shifted to double.
God! I'm supposed to be on a mission, yet I can't even control my own body. Some hero I am.
Then, Lewis holds out his hand to me. I look at it cautiously. Blood drips from his hand, creating a crimson puddle on the floor. People are screaming. Crying. Writhing in pain. So much blood is filling the room, blood dribbling down the walls, painting the lockers, splattered across the doors, across his face, on every surface; the blood of so many lives... it's rising like a flood. I feel like I'm going to drown and suffocate in this bloodbath.
"Are you sure you're okay?"
His smooth voice brings me back to reality. I blink and the blood is gone. His hand is clean and pale, once again.
"Yes, I'm fine. Sorry, I just dozed off," I say.
I scramble to my feet, ignoring his help. No more faffing about! I need to get my act together if I want to be taken seriously.
"So, hello Lewis. You may not know me, but I'm Isabella Remora. We have Science class together and-"
"Yeah, you're Demi's friend, right?"
I blink in surprise. How did he-?
Then again, I shouldn't really be so shocked. Almost everyone knew me as Demi's friend. Heck, sometimes, I felt like her sidekick. That girl got a lot of attention for being a beautiful social butterfly.
"Yes, I am," I answer, struggling to fight the bitterness from my tone. "But you know what? I'm kind of done with her. I mean, I love her and all, but I wanna make some new friends. Maybe you and I could be friends..."
Ahhh, did I really just say that?! What was I thinking? Is it wise to befriend a potential psychopath? Even Lewis looks a little disturbed.
"Why me?" He asks, scrunching up his freckled nose in confusion. "You don't know me at all."
"Well, yeah..." I say, hesitating, "but I want to get to know you..."
A frown of suspicion darkens his face. I can tell he's trying to crack my ulterior motives.
"I just want to get to know you better because..." My mind races frantically for some justification. Ugh, think Izzy, think!
"...because I'm challenging myself to talk to people I've never really talked to before. I think it's a neat way to... um... y'know, make new friends."
Did he buy it? I'm not even convincing myself here! Still, I'm hoping that he'll fall for it... somehow.
"... Okay," he says, hiding behind a vacant mask. "I don't make friends with girls, though. No offense."
Then he walks away with his shoulders slouched. The air grows cold and empty around me.
Despite his nonchalant 'no offense', a part of me feels very offended. What is this guy's problem? First of all, he doesn't have respect for human life. Secondly, he's going to call off friendships based on what someone has, below their legs? How shallow!
I run after him again. This time I'm glad I didn't trip on thin air.
"What's wrong with girls?" I ask, walking by his side. He doesn't look at me.
"Then why can't you be friends with us?"
"I just can't."
This is so frustrating! I'm realizing how closed off he is. Something tells me that Lewis has many secrets he's been guarding for so long. I must get him to lower his walls and trust me.
But how can I make him trust me within two weeks? This will be a challenge.
"Maybe you had some bad experiences with girls in the past or something," I say, eyeing him with a sideways glance to observe his reaction, "but, trust me, we're not all the same. I think we could be good friends."
He comes to a sudden halt and turns to face me.
"What makes you think that?" His cold blue eyes burn into me with fierce intensity. "You can be friends with anyone else in this school... but you pick me. Why?"
I swallow nervously.
"Um... you know... I chose you because... uh..."
Why is it so hard to explain myself?
Maybe it's because I ran after him on impulse without doing any research or preparation beforehand. I've practically thrown myself into the deep-end blindfolded, and now I have to suffer the consequence.
"...because I think you're cool," I mumble lamely.
Oh for freak sake, I've had enough of this!
"Why can't you accept a compliment, Lewis?!" I snap, annoyed.
"You're cool because I think you're cool. I don't mean that in an arrogant way - like, oh, I'm so cool, that I know what cool is because I really don't. Heck, I'm probably the most uncool person ever. Even my own friends have confirmed that. But, yeah, that's why I'm attracted to you because you're way more cool than I'll ever be."
Honestly, I don't know what got over me. I'm not in the right state of mind. I feel overwhelmed by the weight of the school's safety on my shoulders. I want to be the main hero, not Demi's shadow, and the pressure is already getting to me, hence why I'm rambling like a moron.
He pauses for a moment, squinting his eyes, considering my words. His reddish-brown eyebrows furrow in a mix of disbelief and suspicion.
"You're attracted to me?"
I move back, feeling my face getting hot. Oh god, I just keep digging my own grave.
"N-no, I don't mean in that way. I'm not attracted to you like that because I have a boyfriend. But that's not to say that you're not attractive, because some people might think that, but me... personally... I'm attracted to your... coolness, like a moth to a flame."
Honestly, I won't mind if he shoots me in the head again. I'm spewing utter nonsense because I'm panicking. I don't know what to say. I don't know how to act around him. We've been in this school for almost five years, and we've never spoken once, until today. That's a lot of years to ignore someone, and then to suddenly strike up a conversation - especially one as awkward as this - how can I possibly make this interaction natural between us?
"...Right. Well, I gotta go," he says flatly.
I can't say I'm surprised. He walks away again, leaving me behind as I want to melt in my pool of humiliation.
Well, that's just great.
He probably thinks I'm some weirdo now.
It's after school.
Students are exiting the building and making their way home. Amongst the crowd, I spot his head of messy ginger hair, which looks like bright-orange flames under the dazzling sun.
Lewis is wearing his earphones, presumably listening to whatever type of music he's into. He seems like the type to enjoy heavy metal or emo music, but won't it be such a funny twist if he jammed out to girly pop songs?
Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. I need to go after him!
Just then, I get a text from my boyfriend.
Damian: Hey babe, I'm waiting for you by the gates.
Oh my god! How could I forget?
It's our six month anniversary and we'll be celebrating it today. I mean, I already know what's going to happen with him, since I've lived through this moment. He'll surprise me with a trip to the Roosevelt Zoo Park and we'll see the animals and ride the Ferris wheel while sharing a bucket of candy floss. It'll be a wonderful time with him and I do not mind reliving it again.
I need to form some kind of friendship with Lewis. We need to move past the awkwardness and build a foundation of trust. The sooner, the better.
I don't want to hurt my boyfriend. He did plan this special occasion for us. I don't want him to feel like I'm ditching him to spend time with another boy.
Oh, god. What am I supposed to do?
This story will not continue.