Chapter 1 - Katrina
I smile to myself as I step into the teen section of the public library. I'm immediately relaxed, my shoulders dropping from my ears, my steps lighter, my smile easier. I'm home.
The bookshelves lining the perimeter of the room muffle the screaming in my head. The towering displays hide me from people's eyes. Here, I don't have to talk if I get hit with a nonverbal mood. I don't have to stand up and tell my class three things about myself, or share what I did over the summer every new period. I can just Be.
Walking down an isle, I run my hand over the book spines, feeling the bump-bump-bump run through my arm. I love that feeling. I love books. My hand stops over a promising title, but I force myself to keep moving. I'm looking for something specific. Catching Jordan. I read it on my kindle a while ago, and really liked it. I just need an actual copy now, so I can really get into it. And so I can look back through the book to decipher all the football references. I like football about as much as Jane liked G when they first met in My Lady Jane. AKA not at all.
Anyway, I suppose I could ask a librarian for help finding this book, but I don't think I can without panicking right now. Besides, wandering through the shelves is way more entertaining.
I turn into the next isle and scan the titles in front of me. Nothing. I step forward, eyes locked on the books. My hand hovers in midair, twitching as I look. I glance down, checking the bottom shelf. My eyes flick to the left, and I see it. Grinning, I squat down, reach...
And slam my head into someone else's.
"OW!" someone says.
"Christopher Columbus I'm so sorry! Sorry!" I say, blinking back stars as I stand up. "Are you okay? I'm so sorry! Ugh, I'm so sorry!"
"I'm good," the person says, standing up. "Sorry. Are you okay?" I blush and step back, staring at the ground. If I know this person, I will die right here. Whether I will die of concussion or embarrassment, though, remains to be seen.
"Yes. I'm okay. Sorry." I take a deep breath and look up.
Oh thank god. I don't know them.
It's just a regular guy. He looks about my age, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He's wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, and he's about a foot taller than me, though about everyone is one to two feet taller than me, so no surprise there. But the most important part of this is, I DON'T KNOW HIM!
I can more or less relax again.
He just stands there. I just stand there.