Note: V-day is here! Sorry if this clogs anyone's inbox.
"Loser, loser, double loser, eating out of a TRASH CAN!!"
Gentry was vaguely aware that his table-mates were throwing pieces of paper at each other. And that Kylie still shared his table, talking loudly, although she wouldn’t look at him. But at this point, he no longer pretended to pay attention.
His mind switched off, and let nothing in or out. Soon he would graduate, and never see them again. All this conversation amounted to nothing. It never delved deep enough to establish a connection; they could never settle down long enough to listen. Because the moment you opened your ears to someone, you inevitably opened your heart--- a commitment they didn’t have the time or energy for.
“Oh MY god NOWAY!”
A commitment. Gentry’s gaze lingered on Zach. He'd been staring at him for the last few minutes, remembering how many students came in that morning asking about the test location, only to leave with long, grim faces and timid resignation.
But not Zach.
No one else had hitchhiked to Church.
That took something.
His fingers ached to brush over the nape over Zach's neck. Linger just long enough to nudge his shoulder and exchange warm glances; long enough to share silence from words unspoken that—
No. Gentry exhaled. He had to stop having these daydreams. They were what got him into this mess in the first place, the idle fantasy of that “what if…?”
Fact was, Zach could handle himself.
He didn’t need it.
So Gentry duly turned away--- yet it was too late. Zach had already spotted him. He put down his book and briskly walked over to the table, slamming his hands down and looking them all over, particularily Gentry. Kylie didn’t notice right away, she went on talking,
“… Ohmygod, I hate sluts…”
“---They hate you too.” Zach cut in, then leered over all of them, “Got something to say?”
“Um, were we talking to you?” Drawled Jenny. The table laughed, because laughing overpowered awkward silences.
Zach pulled away sourly, and turned to go back to his corner of the room.
“Zach.” Mr.Handson spoke up.
“I’ll need you to go to the office.”
“I didn’t do anything—”
“I know.” Said Handson, “But the note’s asking for you, something about a dress code violation.” He pushed a yellow note into his hand, “While you’re there, I suggest you go see the nurse. That lip ring looks atrociously swollen.”