To Unbind and See
“Tobitha, would you mind staying after class for a moment?” said Mr. Winslow quietly as she walked by his desk.
“Of course.” She replied. She glanced apologetically at Jade who had paused next to her. “Maybe tomorrow?”
“Sure. Bye Tobitha.” Jade smiled good-naturedly and left.
Tobitha watched Mr. Winslow straighten the papers on his desk while the other students filed out. He was tall and fairly young, probably around 30. His sandy brown hair looked like it could use a trim. He was dressed more formally than the other teachers, but his clothes looked rumpled. There was something intense about him, his carriage made her suspect that there was more to him than a slightly frumpy history teacher.
The sunlight in the room was dreamy bright. Her head felt buzzy from the slowly receding chaos. Now that the other students were gone her Othersense was slowly recovering from the overload but her head felt heavy with it. She closed her eyes for a moment, letting her mind fill out into the silence, unclenching. She sighed tiredly. She could barely remember a time before she was always so tired.
She heard Mr. Winslow rustle some papers and she realized with a start that she should have been sensing his presence. She wasn’t, not even slightly. She reached out with her Othersense and it was like brushing her hand against a bank wall. She opened her eyes quickly and found that Mr. Winslow was staring at her intently with blue-green eyes and a knowing expression.
“What…” she began aloud but trailed off, surprised by the sound of her own voice.
“We were all very sorry to hear about your father. He was a good man. I suspect though that he didn’t have time enough to explain some things to you.”
She stared at Mr. Winslow, somewhere between baffled and alarmed. “Did you know my father?”
“I knew of him. He was something of a legend in some circles, though I’m not sure it was for the right reasons.”
Tobitha didn’t know how to interpret that response. “What did you want to talk about, Mr. Winslow?” she said, not wanting to talk about her father anymore.
“I’m going to ask you a few questions and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, just tell me and we needn’t mention this again, alright?”
“Alright, I suppose,” she said, feeling apprehensive.
“Since your father died, have you noticed a –change- in the way you perceive things? Heightened senses, strange after images, halos around some people and things?”
She nodded reluctantly, wondering how on earth he could know these things. Then she remembered that she had given up nodding or shaking her head because most shadows had become alarmingly colourful and bouncy recently, and nodding exacerbated the condition dizzyingly. She had to put her hands on Mr. Winslow’s desk to steady herself. Mr. Winslow touched her arm lightly. He looked concerned.
“Are you quite alright?” he asked.
She knew better than to nod again. “Yes, I just…” but she couldn’t think of a plausible excuse and fell silent instead.
“Perhaps you’d better sit,” said Mr. Winslow and didn’t wait for her response before leading her to a desk in the middle of the front row.
As soon as he had touched her arm she had felt a soothing coolness spread through her and the bright edges dim and the shadows begin to settle. She let herself look up and around directly, her vision comfortable for the first time in months. She looked up at Mr. Winslow and began to see a thin line of colour around him, Her Othersense began to sense them. He drew back and retreated to perch on the front of his desk, but the comfortable dimness remained. And so did the sense of his Otherness in the back of her mind, or rather his sameness.
“You’re like I am,” she said wonderingly. Her voice sounded distant. Then her mind snapped into focus. “That’s how you knew my father, you’re some kind of Other mix like us.”
“Yes. They want me to watch over you, make sure you know what you’re doing.”
“What I’m doing?”
“Yes, you need to know how to use your gifts, or at the least how to protect yourself. I can teach you all those things and –“
“No. Just tell me how to turn it off and let me go back to normal. Please.”
“I’m sorry Tobitha, but it doesn’t work like that.”
“Seems to me that it does. What do you call that dim-the-lights trick that you did just now? That seemed to work just fine.”
“I just helped you shield yourself a little. You were clearly overwhelmed.” He shook his head and more firmly said, “What I mean is you can’t ‘turn it off,’ there is no off switch for who you are, believe me, I’ve looked. And this is who you are. Ignoring your heritage is dangerous and in the long term ineffective.”
“I’m ignoring it now and it seems to be working all right.”
“It’s obviously not and you know it.” He paused. “Your father was a very powerful man. Being his daughter you’re bound to be just as powerful. You can’t let that go to waste, Tobitha. There aren’t very many of us left, you know. Every one of us is needed to fulfill our duties.”
“Look, Mr. Winslow, this is my first day in a new school, I’ve got too much to worry about already just catching up. I don’t have time for mystical duties.” She paused. “And for all I know you’re just some predator with lucky guesses and maybe I should report you for harassment.”
A startled, hurt look came over his face and he quickly looked down and retreated behind his desk. “I’m sorry if I gave you that impression. I’m only concerned for your wellbeing, Ms. Weston.”
“No, no, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. It’s just, I never asked for this, you know? I never wanted it and now I can barely get though my days and you’re telling me this heritage comes with duties. My father never warned me.” She took a steadying breath. “I can’t do this. I’m sorry, I can’t do this.” She stood but didn’t move from her spot.
Mr. Winslow was still looking down, not meeting her gaze, fiddling with a pen on his desk.
“I’m sorry,” she repeated and gathered her things and started to leave.
“There are signs,” he said quietly in a knowing voice full of portent that sent a shiver up her spine. “Something large and dangerous is headed this way. I just thought you should be aware of that before you make any decisions.”
Tobitha stopped at the door but didn’t look back and didn’t respond. The shimmery brightness was already coming back. She walked out of the classroom.
She walked back home, watching her feet on the pavement. She didn’t worry about getting lost. She replayed her conversation with Mr. Winslow in her head, dissecting every word and expression for deception or truth until the memory was fragmented and tangled in her mind
“We’re different,” her father had said as he stood over her bed in the dark. “I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to protect you, little bird.”
The memory was hazy, smudged. She’d been half-asleep. She wasn’t sure if it was a dream or if it was real.
“We’re called Otherkind,” he said, kneeling by her head. For a second she though she saw his eyes glow gold. “We see more, we have abilities that humans don’t. The wyrd, the wild, it’s in my blood so it’s in yours too. This isn’t fairy story magic, I’ve kept it from you for your own good, Tobitha. I hope you understand that.”
She’d tried to respond but she was still so deep in sleep that she couldn’t move.
“I might have to leave you. Things will change four you if I go. I don’t want to leave, but we don’t always get a choice about these things, do we little bird.” His voice had been rough, husky, like he’d been crying.
“Your mother is all human. Maybe you’ll be lucky, maybe you’ll be like her.” He reached out and smoothed back her hair.
“If things do change for you, be careful, don’t tell anyone. Watch out for the Otherkindred. I’m not sure what side anyone’s going to end up on after this, I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you.”
She must have fallen asleep after that because the memory went no further. Now here was Mr. Winslow, with his confusing aura and his cryptic words. It fit in too well to be sheer coincidence. Her numb shell of denial was starting to take a beating. There was no denying the presence of her Othersense, the misery it brought was too constant. It occurred to her that she would prefer it to be a mystic heritage to some terrible delusion.
As she walked her mind kept coming back to that lovely island of coolness that Mr. Winslow had given her for a few minutes; like a drink of water after a long thirst. But she couldn’t trust it. If she could just get rid of that Othersense she would be all right. She could ignore the rest of it: the dreams, the creatures that no one else saw, the strange jolts of foreknowledge, the fact that sometimes her anger made things fall off shelves or glass break; or that sometimes she could hear what people were thinking and feel what they were feeling.
She waited at her bus stop. A teenage couple sat on the bench next to her, giggling, oblivious to the world, sitting in a little cloud of amusement and attraction. She scooted away from them. Their happiness seemed cloyingly sweet.
Was Mr. Winslow one of the Otherkindred her father had warned her about the night before he died? Had that memory even been real? Tobitha pushed these thoughts aside.
Her mother was still at work when she got home. Their new house was hollow and quiet, cluttered with boxes, its walls bare. It was a three bedroom split-level, not big really, but enormous compared to the one bedroom apartment where she’d lived with her mother for the last six months while they’d tied up the rest of her father’s affairs. This house was unlived in and characterless, one of a cookie cutter development just outside of the city. It still smelled new. A clean start her mother had called it, barren Tobitha called it, but never said so aloud.
But then again she seldom said anything aloud to her mother these days. To keep herself from talking about her Otherness, she had mostly just stopped talking. Had her father meant for her to keep it secret from her mother, really? How could Sara not have known what her father was. Not long after her father was gone, Tobitha had tried to ask her mother about it a couple of times but Sara had quickly changed the subject and then began bouts of hysterical cleaning.
Tobitha sat at the butcher-block topped kitchen island and stared at her math assignment. There was still light pouring in from the window over the sink. Tobitha’s mind began to wander. She gave up on the math. She left her backpack full of homework under her stool and went down to her room.
The walls in her room were a buttery yellow, the carpet a buckwheat colour that showed dirt too easily. The room looked so bare to her, just her bed and her desk. Boxes lined the walls and the closet door hid her clothes and her bureau. Over the weekend, she promised herself, she’d unpack, put something up on the walls. But then again, the blankness was restful to her tired eyes.
On an impulse she pulled the scrap of paper with Jade’s phone number on it from her jeans pocket and picked up her cordless phone. She waited nervously while the phone rang. She didn’t like answering machines, they had this strange power to turn her into a blithering idiot.
“Hello, Kanakaredes residence.” It was Jade’s sweet soft voice.
“Jade, it’s Tobitha.”
“Hi! I didn’t expect to hear from you so soon. What did Mr. Winslow want to talk about? You’re not in trouble are you?” Jade accused playfully.
“No, He just wanted to talk to me about make-up assignments.” She lied easily. She suddenly realized she hadn’t thought of a reason for calling Jade other than to ask Jade what she knew about Mr. Winslow. She glanced around her room hoping for a clue. “ I was just, um, calling to ask if you’d like to come over for dinner sometime this week, if you’re free.”
“How sweet of you. Of course, how about Friday? That way we can stay up late and watch a movie or something.”
Tobitha grinned. “That sounds good. What kind of movies do you like?”
“Oh you know, sappy girl movies, the usual,” laughed Jade.
“Say Jade, there’s something I’d like to ask you about.” She said cautiously.
“You sound so serious Tobitha, is everything okay?” Jade sounded concerned.
“Yeah it’s fine, it’s just some things that Mr. Winslow said that made me wonder. What do you know about him Jade?”
Jade laughed, “Is that all? I thought it was something awfully dire. You like Mr. Winslow don’t you? I saw you staring at him. I have to admit you’ve got good taste, he’s got lovely cheekbones and he’s so intense.”
“ No, God no, nothing like that, Jade”, she said blushing despite herself.” Just please tell me what you know about him.”
“ I don’t know much. He just started this year I think. He’s from around here I think, but he lived in England or Scotland for a while. Oh, and his first name’s Avery.”
“Does he have any sort of, um, reputation?” prodded Tobitha, somewhere between worried and hopeful.
“Tobi, just what did Mr. Winslow say to you that’s got you so worked up? Was it something inappropriate?”
“No. No. He was just telling me what work I should make up, like I said.” She said firmly. “ So what about Friday? Why don’t you come over at 6:30? Do you need a ride?”
“Nope, I’ve got a car. It even runs most of the time.”
“Good. Good. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Yeah, you still want me to show you around town after school?” Jade sounded hopeful.
“Um, I’ll have to see how much homework I get, but yeah, I’d like that,” she responded cautiously, leaving herself an out in case she was too exhausted after school.
Her mother came down to check on her when she came home from work. Tobitha was lying in the dark with an arm over her eyes. She’d known as soon as her mother’d come home, not because she’d slammed the door or clomped around noisily upstairs, but because Tobitha knew it with her Othersense.
Sarah stood silhouetted in Tobitha’s doorway. Tobitha could feel the choppy blue waves of concern floating around her mother and the sadness like musky perfume that clung to her mother’s pores. Tobitha sometimes wondered if she too was coated with melancholy. She couldn’t read herself.
“ I brought Chinese takeout, honey. There’s potstickers.” Said Sarah hopefully.
“I don’t think I want to eat.” She said quietly, her voice muffled by her arm.
“How was school?” Her mother asked, stepping into the room farther. “Did you like your teachers?”
She thought for a long moment before answering. Should she mention anything about Mr. Winslow? No. It would be too hard to explain, too hard to stop explaining. “They seemed nice enough. It was just my first day, too soon to tell really.”
“Not too much,” she said noncommittally. Her backpack was still under the barstool. She just wanted to sleep. “I invited a friend for dinner Friday.”
Sarah smiled and looked relieved. “That’s great Tobi. Is this friend a boy or a girl?
“A girl. Her name is Jade Kanakaredes. She’s in my math and social studies classes.”
“That’s wonderful. I worry sometimes that you’ve not been socializing enough lately. This is just what you need.”
She didn’t respond. Tobitha had withdrawn from everyone since her father died. Their sympathy, their concern, their pity, had pressed in on her. Her friends couldn’t figure out how to talk to her and she didn’t have the energy for their confusion. Her Othersense had blossomed open like someone tearing off a blindfold in the face of too bright light, leaving her raw and exposed and dizzy. She’d slowly begun to adapt, but she still didn’t like spending too much time with people. They spread their emotions and thoughts into the world every which way, not caring who they bombarded.
“You’re sure you don’t want any dinner? Maybe just some rice?”
“Yeah, no I’m sure. I just want to sleep.”
“Are you feeling okay? Do you think you have a fever?”
“No, I’m okay. Just tired.”
“Okay, well, get some sleep then. I’ll try to be quiet upstairs.” Sarah walked out quietly as though Tobitha was already asleep and softly shut the door, returning the room to darkness. Tobitha didn’t even have the energy to get ready for bed let alone do homework. Maybe she would get up early and do it then.
She’d left the curtains open. The moonlight was bright enough to bathe her room in silver gray, but too dim to read her watch. Out her window she could see the steep hill that was their back yard, the tall rough outlines of evergreen trees and a strip of muted grayness that was the sound in the distance. She lay on her side and stared out the window until her eyes wouldn’t stay open any longer.
She woke to gray early morning and the morning chorus of birds. She felt still, as though she’d slept too hard or had tense dreams, but she could remember only blackness. It was a relief. Her dreams had had been fraught with premonitions that had terrified her, not with their horror, but with their accuracy.
She rolled out of bed and went to shower, her movements automatic and thoughtless. She dressed in her most faded and worn pair of jeans and a soft cotton blouse that had been her mother’s when she’d been in college, and her father’s gray wool car coat before stepping out into the cold dewy morning. She trotted clumsily down the steep hill of their backyard to the cedar tree in the back corner of their lot.
It was an enormous old tree and its curving branches came all the way to the ground, shrouding the interior entirely. Tobitha eased between the branches and leaned against the ridged trunk of the cedar. Trees were good company. They were quiet and calm and unhurried. Every tree thought took hours to think, every tree breath took a day to breathe. They were infinitely accepting and infinitely peaceful. If only she could spend all day in the company of trees, then maybe she would be all right.
“Hello,” said a rough little voice next to her.
Tobitha started dramatically and looked to the branch beside her. There was perched a little being, the scale of a Barbie doll perhaps, with pale white skin and wild black hair and large black eyes. It wore a small smirk of amusement and recognition. It wore not clothes but had no discernable gender. Then again, Tobitha was not interested in looking to closely.
“Hello, Sh’a,” said Tobitha warily.
“I startled you didn’t I, girl.” It made a rough burbling sound that might have been a laugh.
“I thought I’d seen the last of you when we moved,” She said.
“You can’t get rid of me that easily, girl. You and me, we’re bound. I owe you. Let me repay my debt and I’ll never bother you again.”
“I want nothing to do with you. If I’d known how much trouble you you’d be I never would have rescued you from those dogs.”
“Oh, now, I know you don’t mean that. You couldn’t have helped yourself. Your father was the just same.”
“You don’t know anything about my father,” she retorted hotly.
“Really?” it said, its voice full of sarcasm and disbelief.
She flushed and turned away, caught out on her doubts. She shifted uncomfortably on her feet. “Don’t bother me again, Sh’a,” she said and trudged back inside.
She worked frantically to get all her homework done. It would be bad form to have nothing to turn in on her second day at a new school. Before her father died she’d been a perfect student, never absent, stoically punctual. It took her half the time it took the other students to do the assignments. But then after her father was gone she just stopped going. Her mother didn’t protest. Sara brought home her assignments from school occasionally but for the most part she just let Tobitha sleep her days away.
School wasn’t nearly as effortless now. But it was a step toward normal so she would persevere.
“What are you doing up so early?” her mother asked in surprise when she came upstairs, bleary eyed and still wearing her bathrobe.
“Homework,” replied Tobitha shortly, not looking up. She straightened and pushed her hair back in a habitual gesture that made her seem older than she was. “I made coffee,” she said.
The sky was heavy with blue grey clouds. The moisture in the air clung coldly to her skin as she waited for the bus. She pulled her grey knit hat more firmly down around her ears. She’d gone out to the bus stop early, to avoid her mother’s prodding for conversation. She sat alone, her backpack cradled protectively on her lap.
She closed her eyes and tried to visualize an invisible wall around herself, impenetrable by other peoples’ stray thoughts and leaking emotions. She wasn’t sure if the visualization did any good, but it was better than doing nothing.
All throughout the day between classes and in spare moments she focused on thinking about her wall and pushing the chaos away from her. She was proud of herself for walking through the day with firm posture instead of the look of someone afraid of being hit. The halls were so crowded you had to push your way through in some places. She used her height to her advantage and tried not to hear every internal dialog as she walked by. Tobitha mused that the school should invest in traffic signs and lanes.
At lunch she looked for Jade’s face and her bright airy presence. She found an empty table in the corner of the cafeteria farthest from the lunch counter and methodically scanned the crowd. She hugged her coat more tightly. She just couldn’t seem to warm up. Tobitha couldn’t seem to locate Jade, but something else odd tugged on her Othersense as out of place. It was like the person at the Halloween whose costume wasn’t a costume but their truth.
There, by the door, her eyes were drawn to him like a compass finding North. The boy was average height, slim, his messy brown was streaked with russet. His choice of style was not Goth really, but black. What really caught her attention though was that the air around him fizzled with something like static electricity, but redder and more potent. He glanced in her direction and she couldn’t be sure from this distance, but she thought his eyes were amber. Not light brown, amber. Tobitha could feel his coppery Otherness from here. It was not a safe Otherness like Mr. Winslow’s. She quickly tried to picture her wall and ignore the boy.
In the end, Jade found her. “Tobi, hi.” Jade called and waved.
She smiled and watched Jade approach. Jade really was beautiful with her untamable black hair, striking green eyes, and her glowing grace. She wasn’t very tall, but she had long legs and a flamboyant style, just this side of tasteful, that was hard to miss.
Jade came up to her and gave her a one armed hug. Tobitha was too startled to respond for a moment but then she relaxed. Jade smelled strongly of gardenias. She pulled back and looked down at Tobitha.
“You look so worried all the time, honey. Are you okay?” asked Jade sounding so genuinely concerned it threw Tobitha off guard.
“My Father died.” She confessed surprising herself.
“Oh dear…” said Jade sitting down heavily in the chair next to her, her face twisting with sympathy.
“Last Spring. It’s getting better, but…” she shrugged.
“Tobi,” Jade said taking Tobitha’s hand. “So it’s just you and your Mom, then?”
“Yes. Just us in a big new empty house.”
Jade squeezed her hand and then sat back, absorbing this new information. “Come on, come sit with us. Did you bring lunch?”
“No, not really.”
“Well you can share mine then. I don’t recommend braving the cafeteria food. Sound good?”
“Good.” Jade stood and led her out the door to the green behind the school, and over to a group of students sitting on the sidewalk, their backs up against the school.
“Tobitha meet Molly, Bastion, Tal, John Sleet and Cessily Blake. Guys, This is Tobitha. She’s new.” There were assorted greetings and acknowledgements. Tobitha noted with dismay that one of the boys, Tal, was the same boy she’s noticed earlier with the Otherness in his aura. He seemed more ordinary now, but she could still sense it somewhat.
Jade sat next to Molly and Tobitha sat close beside her at the other end of the line. Jade pulled a paper bag lunch out of her backpack and started setting items out in front of her. Can of soda, sandwich in a ziplock bag, bagel chips, dried apricots and a bag full of Oreos.
“The sandwich is bound to be a little squishy because it’s got tomato in it. But I think it’ll still taste good. Do you want half?”
“Yeah, thank you.” She paused thoughtfully. “You know, I haven’t really eaten since lunch yesterday.”
“MY God, Tobitha. Doesn’t your Mother feed you?”
“Sure. I just haven’t been hungry for a while. Since, well, you know”
Jade frowned but didn’t comment. “Well why don’t you have the whole sandwich then - and the apricots. They’re full of all sorts of good vitamins you know.”
“I couldn’t.” she protested.
“Molly leaned across Jade and said, “Trust me, Jade here will keep bugging you until you do what she wants. It’s easier to just agree now.” She grinned.
Jade poked Molly in the side, playfully. “It’s true you know.”
Tobitha grinned. “Fine; I’ll take the sandwich.”
It was starting to drizzle lightly, a misty rain that hung in the air rather than falling. A chilly breeze kept blowing the rain in Tobitha’s face. She was surprised how hungry she was, she practically devoured the sandwich. She munched on the dried apricots and listened to Jade’s friends chatter about homework assignments, favorite music, and popular television shows. She realized that she had thoroughly tuned out the popular culture in the past half year.
Jade leaned close to her, “you doing okay? Warm enough? Have enough to eat?”
“Yeah I’m doing okay. Listen, Jade, I didn’t mean to freak you out by telling you about my dad.”
“Honestly, I’m more freaked out that you say you’re not eating, and you look thin enough to blow away in the wind.”
“I’m really okay.”
“Yeah, well, just let me know if you need a shoulder, okay?”
“Thank you,” said Tobitha very sincerely. She wished she could tell Jade all about the strangeness and the Othersense. She could almost believe Jade would understand and not think she was a nutter. But she had to respect her father’s wishes.
“Hey Jade, Tobitha,” called Tal, “you guys interested in going to this club opening Friday? It’s called PentaCantus. It’s got this New Age Wicca theme.”
“Where’s it at?” asked Jade, and Tobitha winced inwardly at her grammar.
“Next to that Thai food place and that Yoga studio. It used to be that Star Cinema place on Water Street.”
“Yeah, I remember that place. You going Molls?” said Jade.
"Yep, and Bastion.”
“What do you think Tobitha? Do you feel up to experiencing the local culture?” asked Jade.
“Don’t you need to be 18 to get in to those things?” she asked cautiously.
“It’s my aunt’s club so we don’t need to worry about that.” replied Tal.
That made her nervous. If Tal was Other, chances were his relations were too. Were they safe? Would they find her out? “Well,” she said, mired in indecision.
“We’ll be there with bells on,” said Jade decisively.
“Great!” exclaimed Tal with a grin. “It starts at 8:30. Wear costumes, it’s this whole Halloween thing.”
Something occurred to Tobitha, two things really. She’d made dinner plans with Jade for Friday, and that Friday happened to be All Hallows Eve complete with full moon. “Jade, what about our plans for Friday?” she asked quietly.
“Oh. I can’t believe I forgot. Maybe we can have dinner beforehand, and then got to PentaCantus?”
“I’m not even sure I want to go to the club,” she said. The thought of a crowd of people and loud music seemed both daunting and enticing. She doubted the crowd would be 100% human, which piqued her curiosity but made her nervous at the same time.
“I don’t want you to feel pressured to go, but we’d like it if you came, and I bet you could use some fun.”
“I’ll have to see how much homework I have, but okay.” She said finally, still feeling uncertain.
Jade grinned at her and grabbed her hand. “You won’t regret it.”
Lunch ended and she steeled herself to get through the rest of the day. She was glad she would see Jade again in Social Studies. She was startled by how quickly she felt a connection with Jade, of trust and friendship. Jade was so happy, so tactile, it was a novelty and a strong draw. Tobitha was afraid of becoming dependent. What if Jade turned out to be something much different than she seemed. Then she wouldn’t be the only one, thought Tobitha darkly.
Social Studies turned out to be a long awkward class. She couldn’t stop staring at Mr. Winslow, in turns trying to find his aura, and then trying to ignore it. She kept hearing his voice telling her “There is no off switch for who you are, believe me, I’ve looked.” She watched his blue-green eyes for flashes of yellow or at least recognition, but he avoided looking at her for the whole period. At one point her called on her, using her last name instead of her first, as he did with the other students. She realized she hadn’t heard a word of the class.
“I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?” she said quietly.
“Why do you think Akenaten changed the Egyptian religion?”
“To take back power from the priests,” she said drawing on her well of knowledge. If there was one thing she knew about it was Ancient Egypt.
“Not because of his strong spiritual belief?” prompted Mr. Winslow, looking at her as though she were a puzzle piece.
“You asked me what I think. I think it was a political move.” She said defiantly, oddly annoyed.
“Is that so.” He was now looking at her like she was an uncooperative puzzle piece. He moved on to another topic and she returned to stare out the window at the heavy rain pouring down on the parking lot. She suddenly felt absolutely exhausted.
She followed Jade outside after school waiting until they went out the doors to talk, rather than trying to shout over the din in the halls.
“I guess it’s a little wet for the walking tour,” said Jade smiling. “Wanna drive over to the nearest coffee shop instead?”
“Okay, I could use a little caffeine,” knowing she had even more homework and even less inclination to do it than the day before.