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Another Time

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You watch the principal gesture towards the clock, her motions precise and inhuman. "It's lunchtime," she annouces. Suppressing a shiver, you quickly avert your gaze. "I'd still like to discuss your incident but we have all the time in the world. I'll see you tomorrow."

The principal doesn't understand your situation, she doesn't know there won't be a next time. "See you later," you mutter, gathering your belongings. One, tiny lie pales in comparison to everything.

You arrive at the cafeteria later than usual, cheeks flushed and teary eyed. Report surges through your body as your eyes sweep the area, noting the increasing decline of students-- a correlation to your grades. The corners of your lips curls into a frown and you quickly shake away the thought. You rather focus on eating for now.

Finding a table near the back, you fish around in your backpack something to munch on. It takes someone clearing their throat to distract you from digging into your store brought sushi. You glance over your shoulder warily, a nervous smile greeting you in return. It's strange. No one your age bothers with you anymore.

"Hi, I hope you don't mind me sitting here for today," the boy speaks. You want to tell him there are other seats, you want to him to go away, but instead you nod in acknowledgment. Without another word, he takes a seat and picks at the crumbs on the table with his fingernail.

You keep your attention on him, however, recognizing him from your homeroom. Sometimes you'd even spot him outside campus, an expensive camera in his possession and his expressions comical. He's the outgoing and friendly type and yet, you don't have the heart to trust him.

"I'm sorry for bumping into you yesterday," he suddenly apologizes, lifting his head up. He chooses not to comment when he catches you staring, perhaps he's used to it.

Crossing your arms, you release a huge breath. "Is that it?"

"Not really. I feel bad for kind of snapping at you when it's my fault," he elaborates, scratching his scalp sheepishly. A small lag in his movements doesn't escape your notice, though you don't have time to dwell on it after he starts talking again. "I'll buy you a cookie, or several. You know, as a peace offering?"

You drop your arms, thrown off-guard by the offer. It's not a common occurrence that a stranger wants to buy you sweets and you're under the impression he has an ulterior motive. "What?"

"You heard me!" He exclaims, grinning wide. Once more you nod, a little speechless. The boy sticks his hand in your face to further your astonishment. "So are we cool? And do you want to become friends..?" He trails off, uncertainty matching your own.

You find yourself reaching for a handshake, regardless your feelings and his true intentions, throwing caution out the window. "I'll consider it as soon as you buy me a box of cookies."

"I got thirteen bucks, in case you want a drink too," he adds, laughing. You hear your walls shattering when he squeezes your hand, as if promising to right all the wrongs. "Just don't go over the amount."

Maybe in another world, you believe he could be the most important person in your life. Maybe, just maybe, you'll stay a little longer.