The buses were late. Cory unzipped the gym bag at her feet and pulled out a slim paperback of Candide. The words on the page swam before her eyes without comprehension. Over the top of the book, another set of eyes met hers.
The boy had on jeans with a slit over each knee, topped with a polo shirt. A lacrosse stick rested on his right shoulder. She recalled seeing him during lunch periods, but he wasn’t in any of her AP classes.
David Randall. Though she had only been at Glenwood High a few weeks, she already knew who he was. Everyone did. David, like the famous statue. He was always followed by a group of other guys who hooted and cheered when he slapped a girl’s butt or made jokes about some geeky kid. His own Greek chorus. But sometimes he was kind of funny. Yesterday in the cafeteria he invented a tater-tot tossing game. He lobbed ketchup-laden tots at the dropped ceiling, and allotted points for ones that fell directly in cups of water placed underneath. It was popular, that is, until the lunchroom monitor stopped him.
Cory dropped her eyes to the page, but every skin cell prickled on high alert as he approached.
“Hey, I read that.”
Cory lowered the book.
“Want to know how it ends?” he asked.
His brown eyes looked at her from under a sweep of overgrown bangs. She wasn’t sure what to say. “I read it already. In French class, last year.”
The confident look on his face seeped away.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish