Chapter 8

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Riley

I couldn't believe he wanted to walk me to class and sit with me. He makes apps and he skis. I don't know if this guy could get any more perfect. I am letting myself get carried away. He is probably just a really nice person and he feels sorry for me. That has to be it. Maya ran up to me at my locker after 2nd period. "You won't believe what I just heard Hot Guy say!" She shrieked. "First of all, I don't care what some guy said and who is Hot Guy anyway?" "Your crush, Grayson obviously." She told me. "He is not my crush. But what did he say?" I asked embarrassed to admit I really wanted to know. "Yeah, he's not your crush. Okay, whatever you say Riley. Anyway, I was just in class with him and Kirsten. She was trying to hang all over him by the way." "Maya, just get on with what he said," I plead. "Yeah, right, okay, she said that he shouldn't bother with you because you are trailer trash."  "What? Oh my God! That is so embarrassing." Tears started to form in my eyes. I don't cry! What is happening to me? "But I didn't tell you the good part. So he tells her that it doesn't matter where people live, but how nice they are and that she was not nice!" She stood in front of me with wide eyes, waiting for my reaction. "Are you sure?" I asked.  He defended me from Kirsten, the meanest cheerleader in school. "I am absolutely 100 percent sure. I was sitting right there." 

We started walking toward English class. Grayson will be there too. I was embarrassed, but also a little flattered that he stood up for me. "Oh, she also told him you have amnesia." I stopped in my tracks. "Great, now he thinks I'm crazy." "It didn't seem like it to me." She offered. "Let's just see if he says anything to you in class." She suggested. I sat in my usual spot in the back with Maya next to me. Would he come sit on my other side like in first period? I really hoped so.

I felt those electric tingles that I always get when he's nearby. I wonder what that's about? Is it him or is it me? Maybe I really am crazy. Sure enough, he walked in the door. He looked straight at me and smiled. That smile could melt all the hearts in this school. I couldn't help but smile back. Maya nudged my arm and cleared her throat as he made his way over to us. "Told you so." She said under her breath.

"Hi Riley, I meant to tell you earlier that you have really nice hair." He looked away after he said it and then I saw the color of embarrassment all around. I guess it was worth the extra effort I spent this morning. I never wore make up or curled my hair. Was I turning into a love-sick teenager all of a sudden? "Thanks. You, um, have really nice hair too. It's a cool contrast to your steel blue eyes." Oh God, no, I didn't just say that? Why did I tell him that? He's going to think I've been obsessing over his eyes. "I mean, artistically speaking, of course." I added awkwardly. "Of course." He replied smiling.

Maya sat there staring at us. Her colors were all happiness. She was a good friend. Heather walked in with a smile until she saw Grayson sitting next to me. Then her colors erupted with jealousy. Didn't she have enough of the guys at this school wrapped around her finger. She sat down directly in front of him and turned around. "I'm glad we were able to sit by each other like we planned." She said just loud enough for me to hear. His color turned confused along with a little harvest gold irritation. That was all I needed to see. I knew she was trying to get to me.

Class started, and I could still feel the electricity. But it began buzzing in the back of my scull a little stronger. I rubbed my neck to sooth it. Then I felt one shooting current in the front of my head like a migraine starting. I rubbed my head. Grayson looked at me and whispered, "Are you okay?" "Headache" I replied. He nodded and suddenly the pain stopped. I moved my hand from my forehead. He was still looking at me concerned. "It's better." I replied to his questioning gaze.

After class, he walked me and Maya to my locker. "So, um, I was wondering if you would maybe like to eat lunch with me, and you too Maya, of course." He seemed so nervous. He had no reason to be. I couldn't have said no to that. "Sure, that would be nice. Meet me here." I suggested. "Great, okay, see you then." He turned and walked to his next class. Maya grabbed me and hugged me around my neck. "I knew it! I knew he liked you!" she cheered. "Shhhhhhh! You don't have to announce it to the whole school." I told her. "I cant help it. I'm just happy for you. My little girl is growing up." She said with a ridiculous grin on her face.  "Tomorrow, I am bringing you some make up and I am going to give you a little color before school." She told me. "Maya, you really don't need to do that." "I know, you are beautiful with out any. But I just want you to try. It will make your eyes really pop."  "Okay, I guess so. But please don't go overboard. Just a little enhancing." I warned her.

At lunch I waited at my locker. I couldn't believe how nervous I was. What if I said something stupid? Or if he changed his mind? I was biting my lip when I felt him come around the corner. I sighed a breath of relief. We walked to the cafeteria. I got free lunch. So I had to get in line. He stood with me. "Where's Maya?" He asked. "Oh, she said she had to do something, but that she would join us another time." She really just wanted to let us be alone.

We decided to take our lunch outside. It was a beautiful day. We didn't get many of those in Pacifica. We always had a layer of fog here. But at the beginning of fall, we had what they called our Indian summer. It was about 3 weeks of nice weather. I loved not to have the gloom of the cold fog for a short time. "So, tell me a little bit about yourself." He said. I thought for a moment. What was there to tell? Sounds like he already heard about the amnesia and he thinks I live in a trailer park, which isn't far from the truth. "I don't really know what to tell you. You've probably heard all the bad stuff already." "Actually, I haven't heard much. And I wanted to hear about you from you, not other people."

"Okay, well, I have two little Foster Sisters that I love like my own. They're twins. I would do anything for them. I'm also trying to get a scholarship for college next year. And, I don't know anything about my life before three years ago." I said the last part looking down at my hands. "Riley, look at me." He said softly. "I don't care if you are in Foster care or if you don't remember your past. I care about who you are. What kind of person you are. If you want to tell me about any and all of your problems, I don't mind. I would be happy to listen. But that doesn't affect how I look at you. Your circumstances don't make you who you are. What you do with your circumstances does. And from what I see, you are making the best of yours." He said it so sincerely. I looked him in the eyes. Then I looked around him. I saw honesty and concern flying everywhere.

I felt a little overwhelmed by him. He kind of took my breath away. This kind, gorgeous guy wanted to sit here and talk to me. I could hardly believe it. I decided to open up. "Thank you for saying that. Most people judge me on my old clothes and where I live. I appreciate you wanting to know the real me. But you might be teased or harassed for it. I don't want that to happen, and if it does, I'm really sorry." "I can handle it Riley. I'm a big boy. I don't care what other people say."

I couldn't help but smile. "You must be dying in that hot sweat shirt. Do you want to go sit in the shade?" He asked. I was really hot. But I didn't want to move. I liked being with him out in the sun. I might need to wear something else tomorrow. That kind of sucked. I didn't have many choices. "No, thank you, I'm perfect right here." I told him.

The rest of the conversation was easy and interesting. He told me a little about his apps. That was fascinating. He also told me stories about living in the snow. He talked about his parents and some of his old friends back home. Sounded like he really had a nice life. I was slightly envious, but mostly happy for him. He was smart and well rounded. I told him about my love of science and art. Lunch was over way too soon. This one, half hour conversation was probably the best I'd had since my amnesia. I had no idea if I enjoyed talking to guys before then. But I sure did right now.

I looked forward to my two classes I shared with him at the end of the day. He sat with me again. Back at my locker before going to work I met up with Maya. "Thanks for the disappearing act at lunch." I told her. "No problem at all. You guys looked pretty cozy." She teased. "Yeah, it was really nice. He's an amazing guy. I just hope he doesn't break my heart." "He doesn't seem like the type honestly. But if he does, I will break is perfect nose." She joked. "Let's hope it doesn't come to that. I can take care of myself. But thanks for the backup girl." She gave me a hug and I headed to work.

That night at home, I fed the girls quickly and got them ready for bed early. I locked our bedroom door and worked on my homework in there. I wasn't taking any more chances. I heard Hank come home around 10:30. I felt the strange electrical buzzing again around that time. But thankfully no headache. Hank was banging and slamming cabinets in the kitchen. Sounded like he broke a glass. But eventually he slammed his bedroom door shut and I was able to sleep.

AN: thank you for reading. If you like the story, please vote.

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