The guy smirked at me. He had a malicious glint in his eye, like he kicks puppies for fun. Uh oh, I thought. I mean, I was tough, and I could fight, but this guy… he was just downright creepy. He paused. A few more cronies came out and surrounded us. The moment the circle closed, he threw himself at me. I easily sidestepped, and he stumbled into his buddies. They quickly steadied him and flung him back at me.
I sidestepped again, but this time, I held out my fist at the last second, and his face collided with it, giving him a bloody nose. He turned around and snarled at me, blood dripping down his face--no, he literally snarled at me! Like an animal!
He started to circle me, and I circled with him, like in those old fight scenes. He tried lunging again-man, this guy was stupid-and this time I ducked. He flew right into one of his cronies, and they both smashed into the wall. At this point, a crowd had gathered, and there was a mixture of laughs and ‘oohs’ coming from them. But, as soon as he stood up, you could hear a pin drop; complete and utter silence.
I really hadn’t felt like fighting, so I’d tried to walk away. But apparently, he was an unfair player, because he grabbed me from behind. So, I judo flipped him. I then got down close to his face and said, “I don’t know who you are, but it would be in your best interest to leave me alone,” my eyes blazing the dark, stormy gray that they do when I’m very irritated. How pathetic; the guy actually cowered!
I smirked at him, and stood up. I quickly looked around, grabbed a wide-eyed Carter, and dragged him down the hall. “Wake up! Hey, we need to get to Forensics,” I said, trying to break him out of his trance.
When he finally came to his senses, he grinned goofily and said, “That was so awesome!” I looked down, trying to hide my tiny smile. When I looked back up, I laughed at his expression; he then looked at me and blushed, and then grabbed my arm and ran down the hall toward our Forensics classroom. While we were running, my hood slipped off my head and my hair came tumbling down around my shoulders. I didn't notice anything, seeing as I was too busy trying not to trip and fall flat on my face.
Carter turned around, his eyes widened, and he just stood there, staring at me. I was about to ask him what he was staring at, and then I realized that my hair had escaped. I quickly gathered it and stuffed it back underneath my hood, hiding my thick, dark brown, wavy hair, which reached my waist. When I looked back up, Carter’s eyes were an unreadable shade of dark blue. Without warning, he turned around and practically ran into the classroom, away from me. I walked in after him, and made my way to the very back after talking with the teacher. On my way, I caught Carther’s eye, and tried to give him a questioning look, but he just looked away as soon as his eyes locked onto mine.
Shaking my head, I walked to my seat, head down, hood up. I had thought that he was my friend, but I guess that he didn’t want to be seen with me. I sighed; I knew it was too good to be true. I didn’t put my earbuds in this time; I loved forensic science, and wanted to learn as much as I could. I took out my notebook and began taking notes.
Occasionally, when Mr. Otturo would take a break from speaking and allow us to catch up with our notes, I would begin drawing in my sketchbook. Mostly, I would draw things from home, my real home, in Italy. I drew my friends, my grandparents, my cousins, everyone I could think of. I drew my favorite place, a nook right by the ocean. My best friend, Nicoli, would come down to the nook with me. He and I would stay there for hours, talking, laughing, swimming, and singing. Sometimes, we would even draw each other. Mr. Otturo ended class early, and said we could do whatever we wanted.
Because Carter apparently wasn’t talking to me at the moment, and I didn’t know anyone else, I just continued to draw. I finally drew Nicoli. My goodness, I missed him so much; not only was he my best friend, but when we were in sixth grade, I developed a crush on him. Only a year before we left, so about two years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school, I realized that I loved him. It absolutely broke my heart seeing the look on his face when I told him that I was moving to America. I spent the rest of my time in Italy with Nicoli; I slept over his house and had dinner with his family every night. Well, I did that anyway ever since my real mom had died. We would sleep together every night-- not like that, we would only huddle close together and Nicoli would keep the nightmares away from me. Yes, I know, it sounds super cheesy, but it actually did help.
On my last day in Italy, Nicoli and I were talking, and then he suddenly leaned forward and kissed me, right on the lips. I was so shocked, that I didn’t move. When he pulled away, he gave me a small, sad smile, and then gave me a long, lingering, very chaste kiss on my forehead.
When he saw that I was incapable of speaking, he laughed and pulled me into a tight hug. He said, “So come ci si sente su di me, Naomi. Ti amo come la mia sorellina, niente di più, niente di meno. Mi dispiace, ma per favore, scriva a me e mi chiamano, e non mi odio.” (“I know how you feel about me, Naomi. I love you as my little sister, nothing more, nothing less. I am sorry; but please, write to me and call me, and do not hate me.”)
“Non potrei mai odiare voi! Ma, io, io capisco.” (“I could never hate you! But, I-I understand.”)
“Beh, allora, credo che dobbiamo dire addio. Visita me?” (“Well then, I guess we must say goodbye. Visit me?”)
“Certo che lo farò.” (“Of course I will.”)
After that, I began sobbing so hard, and so did he. We hung onto each other, not wanting to let go, but my witch of a step monster--I refuse to give her the title of 'mother'--pulled me away from him and dragged me to the airplane, and I was screaming his name and throwing a fit the whole time, but I didn’t care; I didn’t want to leave him.
While I was thinking of my last day in Italy, I had unknowingly started crying. I wiped the tears and finished the drawing of Nicoli; it was of him laughing in our little nook. I smiled when I finished, because it looked so much like him. Then I heard, “That’s really good. Who is he?”