Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cool With A "K" PART 29 - CHAPTER 15

Walking through the hallway at school the next morning was all a blur to Leo. It was like his brain was moving so fast that it eventually stopped all together.
Leo wandered into English with a dazed look on his face. He sat down by me and Chris the "burnout".
I studied Leo and said, "Hey, are you okay, Leo?"
Leo looked at me and said, "Huh?"
"I said are you okay." I repeated, "You don't look too good."
"Oh..." Leo said, "No, I'm fine."
Julien came into the room and sat with us, "Hi, guys."
Leo stared at Julien, eyes wide, for a long time.
"Hiiii, Julien." Chris and I said together, smiling at him flirtily.
Leo put his head down on the desk and stayed like that for almost the entire rest of the class.

Mouse opened her locker and a piece of paper fell out. She picked it up and unfolded it, reading it:

Meet me outside on the playground today after school.

On her way to her next class, Mouse stuck a sticky note on Geoffry's face as she passed him.
Geoffry excitedly unfolded the paper and looked at it:


Geoffry sighed to himself, "Someday we will be together, my love."
He put the sticky note in his pocket and walked to class.

Chris and I were the first to sit down at lunch. I sat down across from him and we talked about Julien.
"So, how long are you going to keep up this bad boy thing?" I asked, gesturing to his clothes.
Chris sighed doubtfully and said, "I don't know. Dressing like this and acting like I'm more important than everyone boosted my self-esteem for a while, but now I don't know. I think he likes Tae-Hyun the most. More than me or anyone else..."
I shrugged and said, disappointed, "Well... Good for her, I guess."
"Yeah." Chris said, sighing, "The least we can do is be happy for her."
Alice came over to us and Alice said, "Hey, you guys. Wha'cha talking about?"
In unison, Chris and I sighed wistfully.
"Oh, nothing." I said, "Just our failed attempts to be attractive."
"W-well, I think you're plenty attractive." Leo said as he came to the table.
I raised an eyebrow at him and said teasingly, "I thought you said you were over me."
Leo sat down and said, "Uh, yeah, I did. D-does that mean I can't compliment my female friend on her looks?"
Alice and I looked at each other and I said, "I... Guess."
"Leo, are you feeling alright?" Alice said, "You look a little pale."
Leo grabbed her hand and put it on his forehead, "Oh, thank you, Alice. You're so sweet. Hahaha..."
Alice's eyes widened and she said, "Leo... Leo. Leo. Leo. Leo."
Chris rolled his eyes and pulled Alice's hand away from Leo's. Alice quickly took her (cellophane-wrapped) hand sanitizer out of her blue box and rubbed some onto her hands.
"Eight seconds." Chris said, "Good job, Honey."
Leo's gaze shot to Chris and he said nervously, "What did you say?"
"'Doesn't matter. I was talking to Allie." Chris said.
"Ohh, okay. Good." Leo said, sighing with relief.
"Hi, Leo." Julien said, coming up behind Leo. Leo turned around and yelped.
"O-oh, Julien, it's you." He said, laughing nervously.
Alice stood up and said, "Um, Leo, Hon. Do you think you should lie down or something?"
Leo looked at her and said quickly, "Yes! And you come with me!"
Alice looked at Chris and I, and we shrugged. Hesitantly, she left the lunchroom with Leo.
Chris and I exchanged a look and Tae-Hyun came to sit down.
"Hi, you guys." She said, looking at Julien, "Hi, Julien."
Chris whispered to me, "So, he gets a name, then?"
I snickered and Tae-Hyun asked, "Hey, where is Alice?"
"She just took Leo to the nurse's office." I said. I noticed Julien's expression darken slightly. Weird.
Tae-Hyun's smile faded and she didn't say anything, but the look she was giving me was definitely worry.
"What happened?" She asked quietly.
Chris shook his head and said, "Don't worry, it's nothing big. He was just acting a little weird and Allie suggested he lay down, so she took him to the nurse."
Tae-Hyun nodded and, sitting down next to Julien, snorted, "Psh, I'm not worried about Leo."
I grinned a little bit when she said that. Secretly, I really hoped Tae-Hyun and Leo would get back together. Despite the fact that Chris and I had both had a crush on her when we thought she was a boy, she and Leo were really adorable together.
And no, I am not saying that because I want Julien to be free or anything. I'm supporting my friends.

As Alice and Leo walked to the nurse's office, Alice said, "Okay, if you have a thing for me after nine and a half years, please speak up now, because I'm already a little disturbed."
"No, no, no, Alice, that's not it at all." Leo said, putting his head in his hands and pacing around in the hallway, "But you are attractive. Remember that. I am attracted to you and Angela without being in love with you."
Alice studied him suspiciously and said, "So... Why are you acting so weird?"
Leo stopped pacing, his back toward Alice and his head in his hand.
"Alice," He said, "Can I tell you something?"
Alice nodded, "Of course."
"Something that you absolutely 100% can't tell anyone ever?" Leo asked.
"Not even Chris?" Alice said.
Leo turned to face her and said, "Especially not Chris. And Tae-Hyun... And Angela... They would all kill me."
"God, what did you do?" Alice said.
Leo's jaw clenched and he closed his eyes, "So, you won't tell anyone?"
Alice nodded again, "I promise."
Leo sighed deeply and turned away again.
"It's... About Julien." Leo said quietly, "He, uh... He kissed me."
Alice's eyes widened in surprise and she said, "What?!"
"We were arguing and I was saying that he wanted to get rid of me like I wanted to get rid of him." Leo explained, turning to face Alice, but not looking at her, "Then, he asked why I would want to get rid of him and I told him to stop playing stupid and then he kissed me and said, 'Oh, don't worry, I'm not after your girl.'"
Alice stared at Leo for a long, long time before concluding, "You're lying."
"What?! Alice, why would I lie to you about this?" Leo said, "That's disgusting."
"Exactly." Alice said, nodding, "You want it to look like Julien attacked you while you were innocently minding your own business."
Leo shook his head and said, "Alice, please, you gotta believe me. We've been friends for years and I needed to tell someone. This has been eating away at me ever since last night."
Alice gave him a confused look and Leo continued, "Come on, I really need someone to talk to about this."
Alice's expression shifted to pity and Leo sighed, "I just... I can't forget that look he gave me. I mean, he's still a guy... It's almost like he was asking for my help or something..."
"Well..." Alice finally spoke, "Maybe it was his... Weird... roundabout way of waving a white flag."
Leo shook his head and said, "Alice, what do flags have to do with anything?"
Alice pursed her lips and said, "What I mean is maybe he was trying to tell you that he means no harm. I mean, it's not like he signed up to visit here and live with you so he could meet girls."
Leo studied her suspiciously and asked, "Was that a gay joke?"
Alice gave him a weird look and shook her head, "Uh, no. What I'm saying is maybe... It wasn't meant as a romantic kiss to him. Maybe the gesture would mean less in France than it does here."
"No, Alice, it wasn't like that." Leo said, "I know, I sound weird, but it... I can't explain it to you. Just the way he looked at me, he almost looked... Sad."
Alice nodded understandingly and Leo scoffed, "You know, whatever. I sound like an idiot. I'm sorry, I guess I'm just freaking out a little."
"No, I get it." Alice said, standing next to Leo comfortingly, "You sound fine. No person in the right mind should expect a straight reaction from you after something surprising like that... Pun not intended."
Leo grinned at Alice and said, "Come 'ere."
Alice hugged Leo, laughing. Then she asked, "Did you shower this morning?"
Leo laughed, "Of course I did."
But when he and Alice walked down the hall, back to the lunchroom, Leo sniffed his armpit and grimaced.

Leo and Alice came back to lunch and sat down.
Chris asked Alice, "So, what's going on?"
Alice and Leo exchanged a look and Alice smiled, turning back to Chris.
"Nothing big." She said, "No worries."
Chris and I nodded and Chris said, "Okay."
Leo let out a sigh of relief and Alice passed him a knowing smile.

His secret was safe with her.

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