Friday, September 28, 2012

No better than before



What in the world was wrong with Shannon Jennings? He blinked as he passed by the women's restroom. He better not try it here. It was like a little warning that went off in his head. Maybe he was just getting lazy. Going weird.

Of course, the more he thought about it, that guy came to mind. He winced hard. Shannon always presumed he was above this...kind of madness. In all of his 17 years, he'd felt like an alien, feeling nothing for no one. Well, maybe Lily, but she was like a little sister. She was the only reason he went to that stupid band camp, anyway. It was the last days of summer. The last time they'd ever get to spend any time together, and then she went and found someone to make out with, the first day they got there.

She warned him long before, his self-esteem was low. Didn't help much to think on it, having to move to his Dad's and all. It was his mother's plan. Besides, she'd gotten re-married, and she was expecting him to go viral. So just as a precaution, it was his father's turn.

He could see how his Dad's wife was suspicious of him, too. Thought he was a lazy bum who probably kept weed in his bedroom. She didn't have to say it, but he knew. Lily could call him all she wanted and tell him how to be, but it wouldn't change anything. He wasn't going to learn any new tricks. He was a loner through and through, who suddenly had an urge for women's restrooms, as of late.

He didn't mean to be filled with emotion, but he needed to throw some water on his face, wake himself up. And stop thinking about someone he'd never see again.

Shan walked on. Took a deep breath. It would be a new school. New beginnings. But at the moment, he felt like checking out Eragon. The book was like an old friend, actually. He'd carried around his battered soft cover for ages. But his mom tossed it away as if he needed to grow up. It was a teddy bear of sorts, according to her. But he needed it now. As if he could be reading the pages if he closed his eyes.

He went straight to the fiction to find it. But it wasn't there. He winced, thinking that was just wrong. Wasn't everyone still reading THE HUNGER GAMES? Shan gritted. He guessed he'd have to talk to someone at the counter. He hated talking to people, because he never knew what he might say. There were a few things he was really enthusiastic about. Books, was one of them. Except, there were too few he'd read.

"Excuse me." He would sound polite. He cleared his throat wondering if that was too gruff. Still, someone was turned away from him, chatting it up with the girl next to him. "Excuse me." And then their eyes locked. Suddenly, Shan squirmed, at the thought he might go limp and pass out on the carpet. But he held it together and he chewed at the inside of his cheek for a moment, then let slip as he steadied his eyes, somewhere other than HIS eyes. "Its..its you."

HIS smile was open. Almost giddy. But Shan could barely speak. He was feeling dizzy.

"I was..was looking for a book." He quickly said looking at HIS clean fingernails then Shan took a look at his own. Possibly, eye contact was impossible to retain.

"Are, you?" Oh, HE was chipper. All smiles, as HE came around the counter. What was his name? Why didn't Shan remember?

That was just a dream. Shan blinked. Remembering how stupid he must have sounded, going on and on about the Martin book. He just couldn't make himself shut up. And the first place he went after his little monologue was straight to the women's restroom. Thankfully, no one was there, as he thought he might pass out then. Shan hoped it wouldn't be a repeat today.

Shan gritted wondering if ...this guy even noticed. He hugged himself tight, trying to get a grip. Somehow, he always looked really angry when he did this.

Henry. As if a light bulb FINALLY went off. It was as if the hard drive in his head, might have been rebooted. Henry was quick in his step and went in the opposite direction that Shan had came. It was hard to keep up, but Shan did.

"I love this..book..you see.." Shan winced. There he went again, going on about a good book.

"I didn't know, you, lived here. I've never..." Henry was so casual and friendly.

"I just moved." Shan pushed his hands deep into his cargo pockets.

"Oh..um.."

Shan couldn't help but smile, maybe Henry wasn't quite as perfect as he thought. A bit gangly, but those teeth. A beautiful confident smile. How did he do it?

Henry got the book for him, soon enough in the Young Adult area.

"Thanks." Shan sighed. "I really love this book." It felt like holding on to a treasure. "Have you read it?" He was eager to get back to his man cave. Devour it, and put off having to speak to that little step-sister of his and all her darling friends.

"Yeah." Henry winced, still smiling. An unbelievable smile that Shan could only watch, but unsure to mimic. "A while ago."

"You should read it, again." He looked at Henry. Shan nibbled the corner of his lip, thinking Henry must see him as a loon. Maybe he was.

2 comments:

meg said...

I love this part of the story!

Scarlett and Eva said...

Aw, my favorite part too!