Read Forever altered Online

Authors: D.J. Pierson

Forever altered (page 3)

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ChapterThree

Rocco

 

 

Whilewalking away from Alyssa earlier, I couldn’t help but want to take her all theway to her apartment door.  It took everything in me not to turn aroundand watch her as she disappeared from sight.  If these bastards knew I wasinterested in this girl, they would harass the shit out of me.  Evenworse, they’d harass her and then she’d probably never talk to me again. I’m not sure what’s up with her, but she seems so unhappy, broken even.  Iwould give anything to fix whatever it is.  Damn, this is totally not likeme at all.

WhenI walked in the laundry room last week, she was turned away from me so I couldbarely see her face.  Her brown, curly hair was hanging half way down herback.  The tank top and shorts she had on would have been enough to makeme stop and check her out anyway, but it was the hopeless look in herbeautiful, green eyes when she turned to face me that really caught myattention.  For the first time in my life, I couldn’t come up with a damnthing to say to a girl.  I’m not sure how long I stood there staring ather, but she looked away putting the rest of her clothes in the dryer murmuringsome sort of apology and saying she’d be out of the way in asecond.  

“Noproblem.  Take your time,” I replied dropping my bag of dirty clothes nextto the washer.  She pulled out a Philadelphia Phillies shirt from thewasher and was putting it on a hanger.  I’m not a fan of Philadelphiaanything, but baseball was something that I could talk about.  “Theydidn’t have such a great season, did they?”  She turned to me again. The look on her face was almost like she was wondering why I would talk toher.  That was when I noticed her eyes weren’t just sad, but had also beenbloodshot like she was crying.  What could have made this girl soupset?  If it was some guy, I would gladly beat the shit out of him. Why the hell did I care that this girl was crying?  When she didn’t sayanything, I nodded towards the shirt in her hand.  She seemed to catch onto what I was talking about.

“No,they didn’t.”  She went back to what she was doing.  Any other girlwould have been jumping at the chance to talk to me and I could barely keep hertalking.  “It kind of sucks when your favorite team doesn’t even make theplayoffs,” she finally added.  She finished up switching her wash over andturned the dryer on.  She left her laundry basket next to the dryer andgrabbed the few shirts she had hung up before walking around me to thedoor.  She shrugged her shoulders.  “There’s always next year,” wasthe last thing she said before she walked out and around the corner.  Theonly reason I didn’t follow her was I didn’t want her to think that I was somekind of stalker if she happened to turn around and see me.

Itwasn’t until Monday that I saw her again.  I recognized her in my Cell Bioclass.  I’m really not sure how I never noticed her before.  Shewalked in a few minutes before the lecture started and made her way to the backof the room to one of the few seats left open.  Once she sat down andsettled in with her notebook in front of her, pen in her hand, I realized shestill had that sullenexpression.  I foundmyself watching her throughout the lecture, wondering what was going on withher, and trying to come up with an excuse to talk to her again.  As soonas Dr. Willis dismissed us, I saw her throw her stuff in her backpack and therewas enough time to make it outside the door before her.  I didn’tanticipate being stopped before getting out of the room.

“Hey,Rocco,” Carrie said blocking the aisle.  “Where are you off to in such ahurry?”  She was one of those girls who made herself look so easy. It was nauseating that some girls had no self-respect.  I knew that Icould take this girl back to her room right now and do whatever I wanted toher.  Even if I wasn’t trying to catch this girl, Carrie wouldn’t stand achance.  I have no tolerance for her. 

“Ineed to take care of something, Carrie.  I’ll see you around,” I pushedpassed her before she could say anything else.  I knew it was rude, but itdidn’t matter to me. Of course, the brown haired girl was nowhere to befound.  She wasn’t anywhere in sight outside of the building either. 

Thenext time I saw her was when she walked into lab this morning a few minuteslate.  She hesitated as she stepped inside before making her way to herseat.  The stool next to her was open and I was hoping her lab partnerwouldn’t show up.  I would definitely go up and offer to be her partnerfor the day.  Just in case, I started gathering up my stuff.  Thenwhen Dr. Willis said her partner dropped, I felt like a kid on Christmasmorning.  It didn’t take long for me to head up to the open spot next toher. 

WhatI didn’t expect was how this girl somehow manages to send me on an emotionalroller coaster.  At first, she just sat there staring at me.  Thelook on her face was a mix of confusion and something else.  Maybe,disgust?  She was hard for me to read.  I considered returning to myseat alone in the back.  I was glad something made me stay when sheexplained why she was so quiet.  It was hard as hell to stifle my laughwhen she said she sucked in Cell Bio.  I know there must have been astupid ass grin plastered on my face, but I was so relieved her hesitation hadnothing to do with me.  Then when she didn’t remember talking to me justlast week, she crushed me again.  Starting the lab was the only way tokeep from staring at her.  There was no way she was going to see how sheaffected me.

Asshe tried to figure out what page the lab was on, I reminded her of our briefconversation in the laundry room.  I let her struggle for a few moments tofind it before telling her the page number that was written on the white boardat the front of the room.  Then she said something about having a badmonth, so I took a chance at trying to get her to open up.  She didn’t gofor it, but the smile she gave me instead, along with calling me a ‘super hero’was much more rewarding.  “I’ll take it, for now,” I mumbled to myself.

Throughoutthe experiment, I found myself studying Alyssa more than what was under themicroscope.  The way she bit the one side of her bottom lip when she wasconfused about something.  How her eyes would light up and she’d smilewhen I’d explain something to her and she finally got it.  She would erasewhat she was writing over and over if it wasn’t as perfect as she would likeit.  I also noticed things she didn’t do.  She never once touched herhair.  She didn’t have a fake laugh when I talked.  She never triedto get me to look at any other part of her, not that I wasn’t trying.  Themost important thing I noticed was the whole time we were working, the sadnessthat had been on her face every other time I’d seen her was gone.  

 Whenshe offered to write the lab up by herself, I felt as though she knocked thewind out of me again.  I wanted nothing more than to spend time with heroutside of here and she was taking away my best excuse to do that.  Thenmy stupid ass had to go and make her think she was incapable of doing the labon her own.  If she only knew how impressed I was that she was sosmart.  After smoothing that over, I set up a time to work on it as soonas possible.  Hell, I would have gone back to her room right then to workon it.  Of course, my roommates had to be waiting for me at the worstpossible time.        

NowI’m sitting here in the dining hall with them, but thinking about her.  Isent her a couple texts but she only replied to the first one and it was onlywith a smiley face.  Normally, I would think that’s cute, but I want totalk to her.  I should have blown them off and walked with her.  Iwonder why she isn’t texting me back. 

“Yo, Matthews.  What the fuck, man?”  Logan tossesa fry at me and it lands in my lap.  Obviously, he had been trying to getmy attention.  I glare over at him and he knows I’m about to punch him forthrowing food at me.  “What do you think?  You in?”

“AmI in for what?” I ask irritated then throw the fry on the table in front ofhim.

“Whatthe hell?”  Now Shane is going to get on my back.  I shouldn’t bedistracted by her not texting me back.  These guys are going to pick up onit.

“Wewant to hit a bar off-campus tomorrow night.  I’m getting sick of thechicks here,” Logan says.  “It’s time for a challenge.”  Achallenge?  He means he wants to find someone who doesn’t know him, somaybe he’ll have a chance at getting laid. 

“I’lllet you know.  I have some shit to take care of,” I say because I’d rathernot tell them I’m meeting Alyssa.  “If I get done early enough, I’ll letyou know.”

“Whatshit?” Shane is a pain in my ass.

“Ihave to meet with my lab partner and write up a lab.  It probably won’ttake that long.”

“Youdouchebag!” Logan says.  They are all staring at me smirking.  “Youwant her.  I fucking knew it.” He starts laughing, but I don’t think he’sfunny.

“Idon’twanther, asshole.”  The second it leaves my mouth, I realizeit’s a lie.  “It’sgottaget done.  I’mfree, she’s free.  No big deal.”

“Ithought you always worked alone on that shit?  How come you have a partnerall of a sudden?” Shane asks.

“Herpartner dropped the class today and I was the only other free person. It’s really not a big deal.” 

“Yousaid that.”  I can tell he’s trying to figure out what’s going on in myhead.  I don’t usually keep this kind of shit from him.  “She’s in myAccounting class.  Alyssa, right?” I nod at Shane.  I’m a littlepissed that he knows her and I’m even more pissed it bothers me that he knowsher.  “Wonder why she is taking both a science class like Cell Bio and abusiness class like Accounting.  What’s her major?”

“Don’tknow,” I admit.

“So,what is it about her that interests you?  She doesn’t seem like yourtype.”

“Itold you, Shane.  She’s just my lab partner.”

“She’scute, but you normally go for the girls who drool all over you and dress likesluts.  I didn’t see any drool and she definitely doesn’t dress likethat.  She may be good for you.”

“Well,well, well.  Look who just came in.”  As Logan says that, a jolt ofexcitement that Alyssa may be here races through me.  She’s handing thelady at the door her card to scan when my eyes finally find her.  She’swith two other girls and one of them is Julia, Tommy’s girl.  Julia isalways partying with us and she has never brought any other girl except for herroommate, Erin, with her.  “Thought she was just your lab partner, Matthews?”I turn to look at him and his smirk is back.  Knowing there is nothing tosay that will convince him otherwise, my mouth stays shut.  Even thoughthe guys are now watching me, I cannot help but look for her to come out intothe Dining Hall. 

Asthe three of them walk to a table across the room from us, I see Alyssa isactually laughing at something one of the girls is saying.  I didn’t thinkit was possible, but she’s even prettier when she’s laughing.  Even from adistance, it’s obvious that whatever had been botheringherhas returned.  Maybe Julia will tell me what is going on with her. 

“Sincewe’re finished, let’s go say hi before we head out.”  Logan is standingand gathering his crap.

“No,man.  Leave her alone,” I say even though I’m all for it.  We put ourtrays on the counter then head over to their table.

“Hey,Jules.  Didn’t think you’d be functioning after last night.  Youlooked pretty wrecked,” Logan blurts out as the three of them look up. Alyssa and the other girl exchange a look before Alyssa’s bright green eyessettle on mine.  She looks shocked to see me.

“Please,Logan.  I could out drink you any day.  Don’t insult me,” Juliaanswers but she’s looking at me.  “Hey, Rocco.  What’s up?”  Inod towards her.  “Guys, these are the girls Erin and I live with, Leahand Alyssa.”  She motions towards the four of us, “Logan, Shane, Troy, andRocco,” she says.  Small exchanges are made. 

I’llregret it if I don’t take the chance to talk to her.  “Hey partner,” I sayand it gets me a small smile.  Since the other guys sat down with them, Islide into the chair next to her, no doubt intentionally left open for me by myfriends.

“Hey,”she says.  “Thanks again for your help today.”

“Noproblem.”  I like that she’s talking to me.  I was afraid she wouldbe uncomfortable since my text messages went unanswered.  “Maybe I’ll evenbe able to get you an A before this semester is over.”

Shelaughs lightly, “I really doubt that.”  My hands are sweaty, so I leanforward putting my elbows on my knees and my hands under the table.  “Ireally don’t get it.  I’ve never had trouble in any class I’ve ever takenbefore.  You must think I’m a total idiot.”  Before I can answer her,Shane has to open his big mouth. 

“Whyare you taking that class, anyway?” he asks her.  Alyssa looks away fromme and over at him.  Damn him for interrupting our conversation. He’s really pissing me off today.  “I’m in your Accounting class.  Itjust seems like an odd combination of classes.”

“I’min an Allied Health program, but my concentration is Administration andManagement.  Lucky me.  I get to take hard science classes and boringbusiness classes,” she explains.

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