“Hey Kira, can I talk to you for a sec?” Jaden called after her as she walked to her locker.
Books clutched to her chest, she turned and frowned, “Yeah, what’s up?”
He didn’t know how to go about it now that he had her attention. He’d taken his time to think about what he was going to ask and even talked himself out of doing it a few times, but now it was too late. Maybe he could lie.
“Uh…” he twisted his face a little wondering what lie to come up with. Her big brown eyes looked at him expectantly. “I was wondering…uh…”
“Yes…?” she moved to stand in front of him and continued to look at him expectantly.
Damn, maybe he shouldn’t have done it. It’s not like she would know what he was going to say if he lied now and never told anyone.
“Coming Jay?” his friend Scott asked as he passed on his was to his locker and slapped his shoulder.
He looked to his left at his friend, “yeah, just a sec.” Scott smiled at him then at Kira.
“Hey Scott.” She smiled at him in return before she turned her attention back to Jaden. She blinked at him, still waiting.
“Oh sorry, I was wondering if you could help me with an assignment.” He finally said when he looked to his locker and saw his friends waiting.
His eyes glanced right then left and back to hers, “Uh…Friday? Are you okay to help me on Friday?”
Her lips moved to the right a bit as she thought, her teeth bitting the flesh on the inside. Eyes widening a little she looked back at him. “Yeah, I think I can do Friday.”
He sighed. “Okay.”
“Uh… after school in the library? Is that okay?”
More students shuffled into the hallway from class to their lockers.
“Yeah I think I have time then.” She smiled at him again. She’d removed her braces nearly three years ago leaving straight teeth to go with that wide brtight smile.
“Okay, see you then. Thanks for agreeing to help me on such short notice.”
She smiled at that and shrugged, her books clutched to her chest moving up and down. “It’s okay.” She turned and began walking to her locker. Jaden looked at her retreating back for long seconds then at his friends and walked faster.
“So, what assignment are you working on?” Kira asked after they found a quiet place in the library and sat down.
“History.” He removed his books and waited for her as she did the same, then her brown eyes were back to his. She sat looking at him, waiting. “Uh…were covering the French revolution and I didn’t get a lot of the stuff when the teacher was explaining.”
“Okay, what have you done so far then?”
Opening his books, he looked at the few notes he’d made then opened his text book. “Not much.” For some reason admitting that made him feel weird.
“Oh my God are you blushing?”
His head jerked back at her question before he looked left to avoid her eyes and dipped. “No.” He grumbled. “I’m black how can I blush?”
“Uh…because your skin tone is light and I saw the red on your cheeks.”
“You’re imagining things.” He scrambled his books on the table and pushed his text book until it hit the top of her exercise book an she stopped looking at him.
“Whatever you say.”
“Let’s start, I know you have homework too.” He pushed his chair in. “What?” she was staring at him then a small smile graced her face.
“Nothing.” As if, now look who was lying? “We’ll start from the beginning of the chapter and see how we go.”
“Okay.” He stopped his perusing of the text book when he saw her moving to seat near him.
“What? You thought we would study with me across the table? How I’m I going to see what you pointing at? We have to sit next to each other, besides it’s not like I bite or something.” She said and pushed her chair in.
He could smell her perfume and even shampoo. Wow what kind did she use? He was so tempted to lean in and inhale deeply and sigh.
“You done?” she asked. He jerked back and blinked at her.
“You were smelling my hair, or tried to do so with subtlety but failed.”
He looked down and clenched his fists. Damn. He wasn’t doing this right. “Uh…sorry but if it’s any better, it smells nice. You smell nice.” He could feel his face heating up again and the tips of his ears too.
“Thanks.” There was that smile again. Her could see her eyes dilated now they were so close. They stared at each other for a few seconds before she turned towards the books.
“We better get started.”
He sighed, “Yeah.” He pulled his books to the side to give her space and leaned in.
After an hour of discussion and note taking, they sat back, flexed their shoulders and stretched. He thought by the time they finished he would be used to her perfume, but it was driving him nuts. Who was she wearing? It wasn’t too much to overwhelm his nose, maybe that’s what was undoing him. It was teasing him, mingling with her natural smell of peaches now and then.
“By the way, what did you really want to ask me on Tuesday?” she asked all of a sudden.
“Uh… Tuesday?” he racked his brains while trying to get her perfume from his intoxicated senses. Remembering the question he’d chickened out of asking, he rubbed his neck and looked down at the table. “Oh it was about the assignment. I know your smart and I wanted your help, why?”
She just stared at him, the brown pools of her eyes threatening to drown him in their warmth. “Jaden, I’ve known you for five years, do you think I can’t read you?”
“Uh… it’s the truth.” He tried to look at her without squirming, but his underarms were starting to sting before sweating because he was caught and uncomfortable.
“Just ask.” She said in that calm voice she used when they were all hanging out in the holidays and she didn’t want to do something.
He looked at the shelves and tried to look into her eyes but couldn’t. “I was just wondering, and its okay if you don’t, that um… do you um…?” he cleared his throat.
“Yeah…?” her eyes bored into his so he looked away again. His fingers were itching to touch her curly hair and play with it. But he couldn’t. He was glad she didn’t wear wigs like most black girls in the school.
“I was wondering if you want to go out with me.” He said and looked everywhere else than at her. He wanted to move his seat further from her. Wait, she wasn’t saying anything.
“Took you long enough.” she said.
He turned to look at her not realising he’d turned away bracing for rejection. “What?”
She smiled again, “yeah I’ll go out with you. I noticed the change in how you behaved around me last summer when we went camping, but I thought maybe you weren’t going to ask so I let it go.”
She wanted to go out with him? She’d known? He felt her hand on his and looked down at his clenched fist.
“Calm down, now that you have the weight off your shoulders you shouldn’t be panicking.”
“Uh… yeah” he tried to smile but it felt weak. Wow, she…?