Chapter Seven

The alarm clock blared at exactly six-thirty. I wanted to rip it from the socket and hurl it at the wall but I knew that would cause a ruckus that I really wasn't in the mood to deal with. Besides, I couldn't just sit in bed and hide from my problems all day. I knew better than that. I'd just have to force myself out of bed and to the purgatory of high school and do my poetry presentation with Jacob Alexander. After that, I would never have to talk to him again. Ever. It would be perfect. No more craziness, no more fighting, no more confusion. Though, I would feel bad about Rachel. She was sweet and I had promised her a tea party. Maybe I could still have the tea party but just ignore Jacob's presence. Oh yeah, that would be easy!

I rolled out of bed and walked over to my vanity. Might as well try and do something with myself. I dusted some powder on my cheeks and nose and ran some eyeliner across my eyes. Once I had deemed myself as decent, I grabbed a long-sleeved purple t-shirt and my loose jeans. I didn't know why I was concerned with how I looked. I was never concerned with things like that before. I sighed and ran a brush through my hair. Once the unruly curls were finally in their places, I hurried downstairs to grab a granola bar. Parker was already in the kitchen munching on some sucrose-infused chemically-imbalanced pieces of cardboard along with something that resembled freeze-dried marshmallows. Mmmm…

"Hey, Kid."

"Hey, Parker. Lucky Charms again? When are you finally going to start eating better?"

"Hey, the marshmallows have some fruity flavor to them. That must be some redeeming value, huh?"

I rolled my eyes and grabbed a Kashi granola bar from the pantry. I quickly explained to Parker that I had to go to school early and to hurry up and not make me late. He seemed to understand but was still a little lost about my little diatribe last night over Jacob Alexander but then again, so was I. I still was perplexed why he would suddenly chose to act that way towards me when, just minutes ago, things seemed fine. I reminded myself that today was our presentation and we'd hurry and get it over with (because of the grade) and then hurry ourselves back to our non-relationship, relationship.

Parker cooperated after brushing his teeth and drove us to school. I had the poster rolled neatly in a tight cylinder in the front seat by my feet. Interesting facts lined the poster in splashes of obnoxious color – sure to win the attentions of most of our classmates and hopefully, Mr. Garner. As we pulled up to the school, I noticed the black Mustang in the back of the parking lot. Well there goes a sudden-shot-in-the-dark hope that he might be sick thus allowing me the fortune of not having to present with him.

"Good luck on your…thing," Parker said as I swung the door open.

"Thanks," I chose against adding, "I'll need it."

As I walked into the school, I tried not to scan the hallways looking for my current annoyance in life. Instead, I kept my eyes straight forward as I headed towards my locker. It was on the second floor so I trudged over towards the stairs. On the left of the stairwell, I saw him. He was leaning against the cemented tile wall with his arms folded across his chest. I tried not to look but I couldn't help it. He lifted his eyes from the ground and stared at me – a cold hard look that could freeze stone with a single gaze. I lowered my eyes back to floor and hurriedly took the stairs two by two. Somehow, I managed not to trip. The stairs were always a bane of mine. If I even dared to take them two at a time, I always tripped myself up and managed to fall. Today, rather it was adrenaline or just pure luck, I was able to go up two at a time without a single slip up. I wanted to gloat in my new-found ability but chose to hurry to my locker and get to Mr. Garner's class early.

After plugging my combination into my locker, I began to stuff my locker full of unneeded books. My first two periods were a breeze – Poetry and Study Hall. I always had my homework already done so Study Hall was a pointless time for me. I hated that my councilor, Mrs. Billings, put me in that class. It was either that or wood shop and she concluded that, due to my prior hormonal occurrences, me being allowed anywhere near a saw and sharp metal objects surrounded by a class of boys who could possibly find themselves on my bad side was probably not the best idea in the world. So here I was, stuck in Study Hall spending my time reading and ignoring the cruel stares from my peers. Being a "nerd" (i.e: liking recreations such as reading over playing Guitar Hero and actually speaking with some form of intelligence) was not a positive strike towards me in high school. But I didn't really mind. I had Hillary and I thought I had had Jacob on my side. Oh well, one was better than none.

After finishing at my locker, I made my way to the poetry classroom. Mr. Garner wasn't there when I entered but the door was unlocked so I sat down at my usual seat and unrolled the poster. I thought it looked pretty good for an attempt between two socially defects. From my judging, I think it deserved no less that a ninety-six but that was only my opinion. The door shook open and I looked up expecting to find Mr. Garner. Instead I found the pebble in my shoe.

"Ugh," I rolled my eyes and turned my attention back to the poster.

"Look, Mia, I just want to get this over with…"

"Me too," I sigh.

After about five minutes of silence, the bell tolled and wouldn't you know, Mr. Garner called us to present first. I grabbed the poster and our paper we had written. Sighing, I flung the poster angrily into the arms of Jacob Alexander who hissed a thank you. I took my place as far as I could from Jacob and began to read our paper.

"He was famous for his heart-wrenching, bone-chilling dramas. He was known for his passionate, heated sonnets, he was William Shakespeare. What many do not know about Shakespeare was that he started not only many theatrical firsts but also common words we use today. In fact, William Shakespeare was the first to coin the word 'assassination.'"

The presentation lasted about fifteen painful minutes. Each minute dragged further and further as I focused my eyes upon the paper in front of me instead of the cantankerous annoyance only a few feet away from me. After the reading of our paper, Jacob took over. He sounded like a pro as he easily discussed important and interesting facts about William.

"Very good job," Mr. Garner clapped, "You may put your paper and the poster on that back desk."

I slipped coldly past Jacob and made my way over to my desk. I still was at a loss for his behavior. What could I have possibly done to make Jacob react in such a harsh way? I decided to not let it bother me too much. After all, now that our presentation was complete, I would never have to talk to him again. That is what we had agreed yesterday, right? Right? Then it suddenly hit me. We had made that agreement long before we had started working, long before I met his sister, long before we found ourselves actually getting along. Is that what his problem was? Did he think that I would suddenly drop him after just hours prior of being friends? Jacob probably thought I was going to uphold to the agreement and I would end up hurting him and Rachel. I sighed and crossed my arms heatedly over my chest. I should have known! Suddenly I felt terrible about what had happened. I would never hurt Jacob…unless he gave me a good reason to but I would never just brush him off like he assumed I would. I could hardly wait to talk to him and let him know I was sorry. I have never been a fan of apologies but I figured I could make an exception for Jacob Alexander.

After several more presentations (all not nearly as good as ours), the bell finally tolled. I grabbed my bag and swung it over my shoulder before following Jacob out the door. He let the door shut on me, not even bothering to hold it open for me as I was hot on his heels. I exaggeratedly sighed as I shoved the door open and tornadoed my way after him.

"Jacob!" I shouted as I he walked off, ignoring my presence, "Jacob!"

No luck. He wasn't about to turn around and I wasn't about to let him get off that easily.

"Jacob! Don't you dare walk away from me!"

That got his attention.

"What do you want, Mia?" Jacob sighed, as if in defeat.

"I want to apologize."

"This should be good."

"Jacob would you pull your head out of your own digestive organs and listen to me for once in your life?"

I didn't care if half the hall was staring as us as if I had just shouted out I was pregnant with his baby. I didn't care that his face was growing rouge and my cheeks were warming. I didn't care that I probably looked like a madwoman and I didn't care if my fists were clenched. I did care, however, that Jacob Alexander looked like a kicked puppy. It was kind of cute in an odd sort of way.

"Look," I sighed, lowering my tone, "I know what your problem is."

"You know what my problem is?" Jacob scoffed.

"Yes. You thought that I would hold true to our deal, that I would continue my life was if you had never been a part of it."

"I-I thought that's what you wanted."

"My God, Jacob! Are you that dense?" I rolled my eyes, "You're an idiot you know. I would never just leave you like that. I mean, I don't do that to friends."

"Friends?" Jacob's eyes widened.

"Yes," I nodded, "Friends."

"I guess…I might be able to accept your apology."

"Good. Tell me one thing, Jacob."


"Why would it be such a big deal to you if we did stop being friends?"

"Why do you?" He dared.