"Exactly." Everyone agrees with an exaggerated expression on their faces.
Unexpectedly, Mr. Hernandez comes back a while later. "Follow me," he commands. His hands are crossed across his chest while he leans his back against the door frame. One of his feet is resting on top of the other. No one dares to make a noise. I know what's on the minds of my classmates: They are probably thinking, Mr. Hernandez is bringing us to the dean's office.
He gets out, and everyone reluctantly follows suit. Everyone holds a nervous expression on their faces, excluding me. Well, I don't feel nervous at all. Britney walks beside me. She's been whispering like a bee in my ear.
"Right?" I just nod.
I notice this is not the way to the dean's office.
The dean's office is on the second floor, and we are heading to the third floor. The library and our seniors' rooms are on the third floor. So, I bet we're heading to the library since we didn't bring the science book.
He stops right in front of the library's door. I see the librarian standing in the door frame. She seems to expect us.
She smiles wide at Mr. Hernandez before she looks past his shoulder and runs us with her gaze through her thick eyeglasses. I restrain myself from raising an eyebrow.
My eyes catch Tyler inside the library. He's sitting at a round wooden table. Across from him are probably his friends, whose backs are facing us. Tyler's hands are placed against the table, while he whispers something to his friends, since talking loudly inside is strictly prohibited. Their table is just adjacent to the front door. So, the first thing my eyes caught is them. From where I stand, I can see his eyebrows knit together while he talks.
He looks downright serious.
It must be an interesting topic.
We head inside as Mr. Hernandez beckons us to go. The library is wide and a little bit spacious. It's mostly likely the size of a combined four rooms.
Tyler looks up. His eyes look past me. He seems to be searching for someone. I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of disappointed when he doesn't look at me first. I restrain myself from turning my head behind me to see what—who he's looking at.
We walk past their table.
Britney is still at my side, I wonder why she is quiet. I tilt my head and I'm welcomed with her face, smiling teasingly at me.
I arch an eyebrow. "What happened?" I ask her.
She leans over and whispers in my ear. " What's that kind of look?"
"You stopped at their table and stared intently at Tyler." She gives emphasis to his name, then points her finger where he sits. I follow her finger with my gaze, and my eyes meet Tyler's lean back. I see his shoulders shake while he silently laughs hard. He's trying to muffle his laughter with his fist. Across him are his friends, whose faces have already reddened. They look like they are about to choke on something. I'm curious about what they are laughing about. That must be really funny.
I draw my attention back to Britney. "So?" I reply. It's not that big of a deal. I take a seat, and so does she.
"You looked like a creep "
I just roll my eyes at her.
Mr. Hernández instructs us to get the science book and orders us to read pages 35–40. After we read it, we'll have to make an easy regarding what we learn. I tell Britney that I'll get the book, she tells me to be fast. I don't reply and immediately head for the shelf that contains most of the educational books. My eyes quickly spot science books that are lined up on a shelf.
I head for it and get two.
I head back and my eyes catch the empty table where Tyler and his friends were sitting. I know I didn't take five minutes looking for the books, so, it's like their presence earlier is just a mere illusion. Why is it every time I divert my attention from him, he will be long gone once I turn to look at his spot, whether he's eating, talking, laughing, or sitting.
I don't think much about it and just head for our spot. I don't see Mr. Hernández after he instructed us what to do. He probably left after he gave us his instructions. After we finish reading the pages, we write our essays quietly. It doesn't take me ten minutes to finish it. I then pass it to our class president after doing countless proofreads, I really make sure I'm satisfied with my essay. I ask Britney if she's done already because I want her to come with me to the bathroom. I've been holding my pee for a while and my bladder can't seem to hold it any longer. She shakes her head and begins writing and erasing her essay. She's been erasing her essay. I can sense by the crease that is forming on her forehead that she's becoming irritated.
"Don't be such a perfectionist,” I say. She heaves a sigh and releases an irritated breath.
I tell her I'll go to the bathroom, and she just nods her head and says nothing. I ask our class president for permission before I head out toward the bathroom. The polluted and humid air outside feels uncomfortable and suffocating. My nose hurts every time I breathe. It almost takes two minutes of fast walking before I finally reach my destination.
I halt my steps as my eyes catch who's inside. I've already seen him thrice today. He's with one of his friends. He turns his head when he notices me standing awkwardly in the door frame. He unexpectedly greets me with a nod as he meets my eyes. I'm caught off guard and stunned for a moment. I don't know what to react.
Only my parents and Britney know that I'm gay. I don't really look gay on the outside. I also dress up like a straight guy, and my voice sounds manly too, but believe me, I'm so gay on the inside. Ever since I stepped out of the closet, I have never dressed myself up like some gays do, but I'm not against it, I just don't feel like doing it right now, and also, it doesn't mean that you're gay, you also need to dress up girly.
I try to regain my composure and assess whether I appear manly enough, then nod back and walk inside. Discomfort is gnawing at my chest while I take a piss in one of the cubicles. His friend says good bye and leaves him first, so the discomfort I feel inside exacerbates even more because it means we're now all alone. Well, It's not that it's a big of a deal.
Yes, it is. Says the back of my head.
I look at him from the corner of my eye. He's taking himself in in the wide mirror by my side, trying to fix and style his jet black hair. His hair accentuates his intense blue eyes, making him look even more attractive. They seem to glow in the dark.
I walk toward the mirror when I'm done, I turn on the faucet and wash my hands. I notice a black cap on the side of the sink. It must be his. A small letter T is embroidered on its right visor. Tyler. I guess.
Usually, silence is my kind of comfort, but now? I wish one of us would break the silence. He is one step away from me, but I still can smell what he reeks of: fresh mint and the candy he's chewing.
Suddenly, I hear him hum a song that I've been, coincidentally, listening to lately. It's a song by one of my favourite singers.
I'm filled with anticipation as he starts singing it, but I don't know whether to laugh or not because of his voice. He is out of tune while he's confidently making riffs and runs. I look down, trying to hide the smile that is slowly forming on my face. I'm trying hard not to burst out laughing.
When I feel that any time soon, my mouth will betray me, I immediately make my way outside. I walk with long strides as I walk across the hallway towards the library.
Brittany must be finished with her essay by now. I turn my head back and am surprised to see that Tyler is looking in my direction while leaning his back against the jamb of the door frame. His figure is a bit fuzzy from my view because I'm a bit far already. I can barely figure out his expression. I don't know if he's looking at me but it seems like it.
The cap by the sink earlier is now on his head. A while later, he suddenly leans off the door frame and heads off toward the opposite direction. I don't think much about it and just hasten my pace back to the library.
Cool air immediately engulfs my body as I open the door of the library. I notice that the majority of my classmates are now whispering and laughing quietly to one another. How many minutes have I been in the bathroom?
On the other hand, Dyann and her friends huddle around a guy flirtatiously. I see them giggle every time the guy, who I assume, our senior, whispers something.
I wonder, don't they have a class today? Or maybe they just ditch class so that they can flirt with someone like Dyann. They seem to be everywhere today; on my way back to the library, I noticed a group of seniors gathered on the stairway leading to the fourth floor, talking and laughing loudly.