Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 56)
“Why do you even have cars like that?” I wondered aloud. “If you’re looking for privacy, there are plenty of used Hondas available.”
“It’s an indulgence,” she admitted with a little half-smile. “We all like to drive fast.”
“Of course,” I muttered.
Under the shelter of the cafeteria roof’s overhang, Jeremy was waiting with his eyes popping out again. Over his arm was my jacket.
“Hey, Jer,” I called when we were a few feet away. “Thanks for bringing that.”
He handed me the jacket without speaking.
“Good morning, Jeremy,” Edythe said politely. I could tell she wasn’t trying to overwhelm him, but even her smallest smile was hard to take in stride.
“Er… hi.” Jeremy shifted his wide eyes to me, trying to reorder his scrambled brains. “Guess I’ll see you in Trig.”
“Yeah, see you then.”
He walked away, pausing to glance back at us twice.
“What are you going to tell him?” she murmured.
“Huh?” I looked at her, then at Jeremy’s back. “Oh. What’s he thinking?”
Her mouth pulled to one side. “I don’t know if it’s entirely ethical for me to tell you that.…”
“What’s not ethical is for you to hoard your unfair advantages for yourself.”
She grinned a mischievous smile. “He wants to know if we’re secretly dating. And exactly which base you’ve gotten to with me.”
The blood rushed to my face so fast I was sure it was beet red before a full second had passed.
She looked away, her face suddenly as uncomfortable as mine felt. She took a small step away from me and gritted her teeth.
It took me a minute to realize that the flush that embarrassed me so much was probably something else entirely to her.
That helped cool me down.
“Um, what should I say?”
She started walking, and I followed, not paying attention to where she was leading.
After a second, she looked up at me, her face relaxed and smiling again. “That’s a good question. I can’t wait to hear what you come up with.”
She grinned, and then her little hand shot up and brushed a piece of hair off my forehead. Just as quickly her hand was back at her side. My heart spluttered like it was in actual distress.
“See you at lunch,” she said, brandishing the dimples.
I stood there like I’d been Tasered while she pivoted and walked off in the other direction.
After a second, I recovered enough to see that I was standing right outside the English classroom. Three people had paused by the doorway, staring at me with varying shades of surprise and awe. I ducked my head and brushed past them into the room.
Was Jeremy really going to ask me that? Would Edythe really be eavesdropping on my reaction?
McKayla was already in her normal seat. Her greeting wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was used to. She was smiling, but it felt like a polite thing, not like she was really happy to see me.
“Hey, McKayla. Uh, how’re things?”
“Good. How was the movie last night?”
“Oh, right, yeah. I didn’t actually see it. I got lost and…”
“Yeah, I heard,” she said.
I blinked, startled. “How?”
“I saw Jeremy before school.”
“He said you didn’t miss much. The movie was lame.”
“That’s good, I guess.”
She was suddenly really interested in her fingernails. She started chipping the purple paint off one. “Did you have, like, plans before you went? I mean, Jeremy thought you might have, and I wondered—why even go through the charade, you know?”
“No, no, I was totally planning on the movie. I didn’t expect that… I would get lost and… stuff.”
McKayla sniffed once like she didn’t believe me, and then looked up at the clock. Ms. Mason was working on something at her desk and didn’t seem in a hurry to start class.
“That was really cool that you went out with Jeremy on Monday,” I said, changing the subject. “He said it was great.” Or I was sure he would have, if I’d asked about it.
She looked at her nails again, but her ears started to turn a little pink. “He did?” she asked in a completely different tone.
“Yeah.” I dropped my voice to a whisper. “Remember, I didn’t tell you anything. Like, I totally didn’t tell you that he thinks you’re the coolest girl he’s ever known.”
Her ears were even pinker now. “Man code. Right.”
“I said nothing.”
She finally smiled a real smile.
Ms. Mason got up then and asked us to open our books.
I thought maybe I was off the hook with McKayla, but when class was over, I saw her and Erica exchange a look, and then McKayla was picking at her nails again while we walked outside.
“So,” she said.
“I was just curious if, you know, we were going to see you at the dance after all? Like, you could totally hang with our group, if you wanted to.”
“The dance?” I looked at her blankly. “No. No, I’m still going to Seattle.”
She seemed surprised, but then she relaxed. “Okay. Oh well. Maybe we can get a group thing together for prom. Share a limo.”
I stopped walking.
“Uh, I wasn’t really planning on prom.…”
“Really? Shocking!” McKayla laughed. “You might want to mention it to Taylor, though. She says you’re taking her.”