Chapter 31, Intertwined
I slowly stir awake, blasting sounds coming from my alarm clock becoming louder and louder as I become more conscious. I groan covering my head with a pillow, but I can still hear the muffled blaring as I blindly hit my bedside table, trying to shut the damn thing off.
7am. If there is something I hate in this world, it is seeing that little number displayed on the screen of my phone when I'm forced to wake up in the morning, and the brightness of the screen practically burns off my corneas. I'm definitely not a morning person, I'm the definition of a night owl. I literally don't get sleepy at night, well most of the time. During the day my energy is super low, and if I rest my head anywhere for more than a millisecond, I'm instantly asleep. But at night al the lights in my brain come on and I feel as energized as if I had been chugging six gallons of a mixture of coffee and redbull. It doesn't really help when I go to sleep at four am and have to wake up at seven to go to school. Hence my hatred towards my alarm clock and mornings in general.
Just a few more months and my suffering will be over. I can't believe I'm so close to graduating. And I can't believe I still have no clue as to what I'm going to do after I graduate. Shaking my head I tuck that thought right back into it's confined place in my mind where it rarely gets any attention.
I let out a yawn as I finally get off my bed, takeing my sweet time stretching before I head towards the bathroom. The ceramic tiles are cold against my bare feet when I go in to turn on the shower. I look in the mirror and almost jump back startled by my own reflection. My hair is a tangled mess, my skin looks grayish, and the circles under my eyes are darker than Johnny Depp's in Dark Shadows. Yikes, I'm definitely not a morning person.
I rest my phone on the sink and put some music on before I get in the shower. I let the warm water wash off my exhaustion and I run my hands over my face, all the way back to my hair as the water travels down my back. As water beads run down my skin, the image of Noah in the pool with his wet hair, his shiny skin, and his muscular body, flashes in my mind, and a tingling feeling runs up my spine and sends heat rising to my cheeks. What is going on with me lately? I spin to face the faucet and turn on the cold water.
After that painful but much needed cold shower, I walk back to my room with my bathrobe on and my hair wrapped in a towel. I skim through my closet and decide to go for a basic outfit for the day, a green crewneck sweatshirt, a pair of light wash ripped jeans and my black vans.
I sit at my desk in front of my little mirror and toss my hair around as I give it a quick blow dry. When I'm done with that I stare at myself and notice I still look slightly dead, so I apply a little bit of concealer under my eyes and rummage through my makeup drawer for my mascara. As I start slowly applying it...
The startling sound almost causes me to stab my eye out with the mascara wand. Was that a car honking? I get up and walk over to the window, pulling the curtains open and lifting the glass, the fresh air of the morning hitting me instantly. I look down to see a white audi A3 with black tinted windows, and a gorgeous specimen of a man leaning against it. Noah sees me and a wide grin spreads across his face as he lifts two fingers to his forehead to casually salute me.
I'm suddenly in need of a second cold shower.
"Noah, what are you doing here? It's 7:30 in the morning."
"Well, isn't it obvious? I'm driving you to school. Now come on, are you coming down or not?"
"You're insane." I say shaking my head and chuckling as I turn away from the window.
"You know you love it though."
I speed around my room going through a mental checklist. Backpack, keys, phone, wallet, got it. I rush down the stairs and meet Noah outfront. His hair is messy and fluffy in the sexiest way possible. He's wearing a black, short sleeve v-neck shirt and matching black jeans. "You ready?" he asks opening the passenger door for me and I nod as I slip into the seat. He closes the door after me and gets in the driver's seat, revving the engine to life and we're on our way.
As we drive through the town, I look out the window lost in thought. That is until my stomach decides to make it's own rendition of a whale's mating call. I blush embarrassed from the very obvious grumbling that just came from my insides, and I wrap my arms around my belly trying to muffle any other noise that might want to make a performance.
"Someone's hungry." Noah says with a smile, and that just makes me blush ten times harder. "Did you have breakfast this morning?" he asks.
"No, I didn't really have the time." I reply.
"Say no more." he says, suddenly making a left turn.
He drives a couple of blocks down the road and then stops, parking the car in a Starbucks lot.
"Noah, you really don't have to..."
"No no, no complaining." he says holding up a finger to my mouth and interrupting me. "You haven't eaten, you're obviously hungry, and we're already parked here, so now you're going to tell me, how do you like your coffee?"
He delivers the question with the cutest dimpled smile, which makes it very hard for me to keep my brows furrowed at him. I appreciate what he's been doing for me the past few days, but I don't want him to feel like he has to do this. He's still looking at me, expecting my answer, and with that damned charming smile plastered on his face. I sigh giving up, knowing there's no use trying to resist him. "Iced." I say in a low, shy voice.
"Milk or black?"he asks.
"With milk" I mumble.
"Be right back." he says getting out of the car before I can stop him.
I see him go in, and a few minutes later he comes back out with a light brown drink in a plastic cup in one hand, and a little paper bag in the other. He gets in the car handing me the coffee, and I peek inside the bag to see a big cinnamon roll.
"Noah you're literally the sweetest fucking guy ever." I say sighing and rolling my head back, annoyed at how perfect he is. "Thank you, but you really don't have too keep doing all these nice things for me."
"Well, get used to it darling. Because I like doing them, and seeing you smile or blush whenever I do. So like it or not, I'm going to keep trying to be 'the sweetest fucking guy ever'. Sorry." He shrugs, clearly not sorry at all, and as I stare at him pulling out of the parking lot, I think, I do want to get used to this.
We finally arrive at school, and even though we took a detour, we still have a few minutes to spare before class starts. Noah gets out of the car and circles around to open my door for me.
"Such a gentleman." I say with a hand on my chest and he laughs.
I slip on my backpack staps, and as I'm about to start walking towards the building, I feel Noah's hand holding onto mine and I turn to see him walking beside me.
"Are you sure about this?" I ask looking down at his long, slim fingers laced with mine.
"Absolutely." he replies with a reassuring smile. I smile back and, hand in hand, we walk inside the building.
As expected, we receive quite a few stares, and I notice some people whispering to their friends as they look in our direction. Some girls shoot daggers at me while others just look genuinely surprised. I see Mason talking to Brianna, and when he frowns at me, Brianna turns around and hands me a disapproving look. Honestly, I couldn't care less about either of those two's opinions, so I just brush them off as Noah and I walk past them.
My head gets knocked right down from the clouds when I spot Tyler at the end of the hallway. My heart sinks down to my stomach when his eyes meet mine, and it shatters in a million pieces when his gaze travels down to Noah and I's intertwined hands. His look turns into one of disgust and anger and I take a step towards him, opening my mouth to say something. But before any words can come out, he slams his locker shut and storms out through the back door of the building.
I'm about to run after him, but his words echo inside my head. 'I think it would be easier, for both of us, to stay away from each other. I can't be around you anymore when you keep hurting me.' He's right, I keep hurting him over and over, and because I know that if I run after him now I'll just make things worse, my feet stay glued to the ground as a single tear runs down my cheek.
"Hey, it's alright. It'll be okay." Noah says turning my head to face him and using his thumb to wipe away my tear. He strokes my cheek soothingly and I instinctively wrap my arms around him, not caring about the fact that we're standing in a hallway crowded with people watching us. He holds me in a tight embrace, calming me down until I feel like I can keep the tears at bay and not break down in front of everyone.
The bell rings and I pull back from Noah.
"Let me walk you to class." he says.
"Okay." I reply in a whisper and he takes my hand again as we walk towards my classroom.
We stand outside the door, and he steps in front of me so I can face him.
"I'll see you after practice, okay? We can go back to my place and talk about this. Or not talk about it, if that's what you want."
"Okay." I say again looking down.
He leans in to give me a soft kiss on the cheek."See you later darling." he says as he starts walking backwards and I wave at him with a sad smile. He then turns around and jogs down the hall to get to his own class.
I look inside the classroom to see my teacher has already started with the lesson. Great, I'm tired, I'm late, and I'm emotionally wrecked again. I take a deep breath as I step inside, bracing myself and hoping that this day doesn't get any worse.