Lucas was eating lunch with his friends at the canteen when Madame Martin, their CPE, approached their table and asked:
“Lucas, sweetie, can I talk to you for a second?”
Arthur and Basile sneakered, Yann tried to stay serious and Lucas had no particular reaction. When he was in Seconde, the endearments the CPE used when she addressed him made him blush, but he had got used to them. Madame Martin had strong motherly instincts, especially when it came to Lucas because, apparently, he reminded her of her son when he was younger. As a result, she often called him “sweetie”, told him he was “a good boy”, regularly pinched his cheeks, and gave him homemade pastries (which he would never complain about, of course).
His friends often teased him about it, and sometimes complained that he was her favourite (which was true) and that it was not fair (which was also true). He didn’t care though, because he was the only Première having his own room, and he had her to thank for that. There were an odd number of boarders in their year and, since there were two beds per room, it meant that one boarder had the privilege of having their room to themselves. Madame Martin had talked to the person responsible for the room assignments and had put in a good word for Lucas, which he’d be eternally grateful for.
“Sure.” He said, getting up so he could follow her to a somewhat secluded spot, away from the clutter of loud conversations, cutlery clanging against plates, and chairs scraping on the tiled floor.
“I just wanted to let you know… you’ll have to share your room from now on. It’s our only option. A new student is transferring here and there is no other room available. He’s a Terminale and the Terminales’ floor is full, as you probably know.”
Having a student transferring in the middle of the year was very odd, even more so considering the aforementioned student was in Terminale. Changing schools during your Baccalaureate year did not seem like the best idea. Lucas was intrigued. He was also a bit disappointed about losing his single-room privilege, but nothing could be done about that, so there was no need to dwell on it.
“Er… okay, no problem. When does he arrive?” He asked.
Madame Martin cleared her throat, looking embarrassed.
“Well… he’s supposed to arrive tonight.”
Lucas was speechless for a second, thinking about how he was going to clear the mess in his room at such short notice when his last class ended at six pm. He finally recovered, and all he could answer was:
Granted, it wasn’t the most eloquent or thoughtful reply, but he didn’t have much else to say. He excused himself and got back to his lunch.
At the end of his last lesson of the afternoon, Lucas walked out hurriedly, leaving his friends behind. He passed in front of the reception desk, as he always did when he was going to the boarders’ building. He nearly kept on walking unperturbed, but then something registered to him and he did a double take.
Madame Martin was with a boy and she had a set of keys in her right hand. Upon noticing that, Lucas was simultaneously hit by two realisations: 1) this guy was most probably his new roommate, 2) he was the most gorgeous person Lucas had ever seen, hands down.
To Lucas’ embarrassment, the boy caught him staring and held his gaze. He smiled and Lucas stopped dead in his tracks for a second, right there in the middle of the hall. Then, he suddenly remembered his dirty clothes laying on the floor, the huge pile of school books and various sheets of paper scattered on his desk, and his unmade bed. He’d better hurry and sort it all out before Madame Martin and the new guy arrived to the room, else he would seem like the biggest slob ever, and what a great first impression it would be!
He bolted out of the hall and sprinted to the boarders’ building. Then, he ran up the stairs, skipping every other step. He wished he could skip more than one step at a time, but his legs weren’t nearly long enough for that.
Once he was finally in his room, he gathered everything that was strewn across the floor and stuck it in his cupboard. He then spread his comforter evenly over his bed and smoothed down the creases as much as he could (which wasn’t a lot, but at least he had tried).
He had barely started to sort out the mess on his desk when he heard a knock on the door. He sighed.
He stopped putting his things in order and started fidgeting instead, not knowing what to do with his hands now that they were free from their previous task. Why did he have to be so awkward?
“Hi… I’m your new roommate.”
The new guy’s voice was as beautiful as he was, smooth and melodious. Lucas had to mentally slap himself into answering instead of staring at him in silence like a weirdo.
“Hey… Nice to meet you. I’m Lucas.” His voice cracked in the middle of his sentence, because apparently nothing could ever go right in his life.
“Eliott. Nice to meet you too.” the new guy informed with a stunning smile, extending his hand to Lucas.
As they shook hands, he made the mistake of looking at Eliott in the eyes. Eliott was staring at him with such intensity that Lucas felt exposed, as if Eliott could see inside him. He shivered and felt too warm at the same time. What a strange sensation…
He noticed he was still holding onto Eliott’s hand and instantly let go, breaking the handshake that had already lasted far longer than was socially acceptable.
Eliott started unpacking then, and Lucas stayed exactly where he was for a full minute before his brain regained control of his body and put it into motion. Not knowing what else to do, he sat on his bed and checked out his notifications on his phone, unable to pay attention to any of them. All he could think about was the boy who was standing right there in his room. In their room. Lucas was screwed.