The day that Riley met Flynn in a deserted boys bathroom and everything began to change.
|“Miss Brooks! Are you paying attention?”
My head snapped up as a ruler smacked onto my desk, centimetres from my head. I looked around groggily. The whole English class was staring at me with a look of amusement on their faces. I gulped nervously and looked into Mrs Court’s eyes. She was looking daggers at me.
“I’m sorry Miss but I wasn’t, I was asleep you see. One doesn’t pay attention when they are asleep.”
A smirk threatened to appear on my face, but I fought it down and held my composure. All around me I heard stifled laughter.
Everyone else thought I was funny; I doubted Mrs Court agreed. She looked me up and down once then sighed.
“I’ve had just about enough of this Riley; principal’s office, now.”
She didn’t seem angry when she said it; maybe exasperated, or even a little concerned?
That can’t be right . . . very few people in this place care about me at all, I don’t have that many friends.
I relaxed my face into a neutral look. It didn’t give away any emotion at all. I stood up and briskly walked out of the classroom.
Taking a deep breath, I curled my hand into a fist, brought it back and tapped on the door three times. A few seconds past, then a deep voice said, “Enter”. I stepped inside the office, taking time to close the door behind me. I didn’t want to be a part of the conversation that was to follow.
I turned around to find Mr Blake watching me very carefully; it was as if he knew what was going through my head. Mr Blake was our new principal; he was fairly nice and tried no to punish us, he was a firm believer in second chances. He also had a degree in psychology, so it allowed him to get inside our heads. I walked over to a chair, sat down uncomfortably and waited for him to speak. A few painful minutes past; then a few more and still he didn’t speak. He just sat there looking at me, as if expecting me to explain my actions. A sudden revelation came over me. That was it; he was giving me a chance to defend myself. He wanted to hear me out. As realisation came, I struggled to put words together to explain my actions in the classroom. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t explain it to anyone else, because I didn’t know myself.
Mr Blake’s forehead creased as he watched me find the right words. Moments later, he held up a hand to stop me struggling.
He sighed and continued to look me over. I suddenly felt rather embarrassed. I felt my cheeks redden and struggled to hold my composure this time. Mr Blake stood up and came and sat in a chair to my left. I may have been imagining it but I could have sworn I saw a hint of a smile playing on his lips, but I blinked and it vanished. He was probably rather amused at my bright red, blushing cheeks.
“You need to stop lashing out when someone gets a little annoyed, this is the fifth time you have been sent to see me in a month. I’m just trying to understand here. When you lash out, do you even know what’s happening? Are you aware of what you are doing?”
I looked him directly in the eye and took a deep breath.
“Yes I know I am doing it, but I can’t control it. No matter what I do I can’t stop it. I feel horrible after it happens. I just always have the perfect comment ready, and I seem to love to have the last word.” My voice had slipped into a tone of desperation, my breathing had increased and I could feel my heart beating strongly in my chest.
Blake didn’t say anything, he just watched me silently. After a few moments the silence started to become claustrophobic; it was suffocating. I moved in my seat becoming instantly restless. Standing up, I started to pace the office impatiently. Yet still, he just watched me grow more frustrated by the minute. After a good fifteen minutes had passed, I snapped. I whirled around to face him and yelled.
“Why haven’t you said anything? You’re just sitting there watching me. Are you trying to get me worked up?”
Just then, a victorious smile crept onto Mr Blake’s face and realisation washed over yet again. I slumped down in my chair, partly annoyed but mostly amused.
“Blimey, it doesn’t take much to get you worked up does it? But to answer your question, yes I was trying to get you worked up. I wanted to provoke a reaction from you. I needed to see for myself how and why your temper increases. It’s rather fascinating.”
“Pfft… great! So now I’m your latest psychiatric patient?” I said sarcastically, raising one eyebrow in a questioning look.
Blake laughed and I couldn’t help but join in. It did sound rather stupid when you gave it some thought, but the laughter quickly vanished.
“You’ve definitely got an attitude that’s for sure; and possibly some anger issues but I’m not going to evaluate you. I just want to learn more about you and your gift.”
Gift? My brain snapped into focus as it tried to work out what my principal meant by that word. It was a strange choice to describe my situation.
“Um… Gift? What the heck are you talking about?”
“I hope you can keep a secret but it all makes sense. I believe that what you are doing is not just to do with your attitude, it’s not just random; I think that you are channelling some sort of mystical power.”
My jaw dropped to the floor. I snapped it closed and began to stand up. I didn’t like this, he was crazy.
“You’re insane; I don’t know what you are talking about. It doesn’t make any sense and I’m not becoming something you can poke and prod and admire in some glass cage or a padded cell. That’s where I will end up if I Iet you do anything about it.”
I stood up fully and started towards the door.
“Riley! Come back, you’ve misunderstood my intentions.” He grabbed my arm and spun me around to face him. “I only want to help you.”
I ripped my arm from his grasp and grabbed at the door handle.
“No! You are a freak, leave me alone!” I swung the door open and stepped through it.
“Riley, you have immense power; anything could happen if you don’t learn to use it.”
“Just shut up and leave me alone, you’re crazy!”
I sprinted down the corridor. Anger roared through me. I could feel the power soaring in my veins.
What was happening? My heart started pounding; my eyes were burning in my skull. I tripped and tumbled down the deserted corridor; heading for who knows where. '
I leant on a door and fell through it. Crashing onto the hard tiled floor I screamed in pain as the burning sensation became unbearable.
After what felt like hours of intense agony I felt a reassuring hand squeeze my shoulder and shake me gently. The burning was still there behind my eyes but it was more of a numb feeling now.
My eyes flittered open and I touched my forehead gingerly. It throbbed painfully. A pair of bright blue eyes swam into focus, and the rest of the features soon followed. A head of messy blonde hair and a perfectly formed face that wore a concerned expression; hovered over me carefully, surveying me for damage I presume.
His face relaxed as he saw I was awake. A gentle calm settled over the room, instantly soothing me.
I looked at my mystery man and asked,“Where am I?”
“In the boy’s bathroom, do you remember what happened?”
I shook my head, which turned out to be a bad idea, as it caused me to feel faint and dizzy.
“I remember a lot of pain, and then I think I blacked out. How long have I been in here?”
He shrugged and said, “I’m not sure I found you about five minutes ago. I’m Flynn by the way.”
He smiled and I think my heart stopped. It dazzled me with its perfection and I began to feel faint again. I nodded and tried to form words of my own; I was stunned.
“Oh um, nice to meet you Flynn, I’m Riley.”
I moved to sit up and he placed a supporting hand on my back. That little gesture unusually warmed my heart and his touch sent electricity pulsing through my veins. I suddenly felt quite awake and active, all of the pain and burning had resided and the electricity gave me a new found energy.
I attempted to stand up and discovered I wasn’t as energized as I’d thought, but my poor balance caused Flynn to put another arm around me. He stopped me falling and helped me lean against the sink.
I smiled stupidly and he grinned his winning smile as I looked myself over in the mirror. I didn’t look that bad, only my eyes were strange. They were blood shot and shone a pale shade of violet. What? Violet! My eyes are grey. I leant in closer and in that second they reverted back to their original shade of silvery grey. I shook my head slowly; I must have been imagining it. I glanced over at Flynn watching me silently he didn’t seem to have noticed anything except my change in mood.
“Is something the matter Riley?” His concerned look formed on his face as he studied me closely.'
That simple sentence caused my already heated heart to warm to an even higher temperature. And something else clicked as I played that question over in my head. In his beautiful voice was hidden something even more surprising.
“You’re English?” I asked, a playful smile settling on my lips.
He smiled again and ran a hand through his already messy hair. Gosh, was this boy trying to kill me?
“Yes I am from England, is it really that obvious?”
He joked and I sighed internally; I really was a big sucker for a British accent.
“No not at all.” I said sarcastically and we both burst out laughing.
Our laughter rang around the bathroom and I realised this was the first time I had really and truly laughed, and felt comfortable at the same time. I don’t know what it was about Flynn, but he seemed to bring out the best in me; it was strange being happy, girly and nice. It actually felt like the real me, I wasn’t going to complain.
The bell screeched through room and sliced through our moment of euphoria. It snapped us back to reality and I realised that I didn’t even know what it was signalling.
“Which bell was that?” I asked Flynn.
“That would be the lunch bell. Which means this place is about to get swarmed with teenage boys, so we might want to move.”
“Oh yes, that’s a good idea.”
I didn’t particularly wanted to leave this room strangely enough but it was time to get back to life. I looked around for my school bag. It was nowhere to be found, I knew I’d had it when I came in here earlier.
“Looking for this?” Flynn smiled as he held up my school bag. He helped put it on my shoulder and placed a hand on my back, gently pushing me out of the bathroom. The corridor was crowded which made it easier for us to sneak into the flow of students going about their lunch time business.
We walked through the school heading for the quad where everyone went to eat lunch. As we approached, Flynn looked at me and stopped me by placing a gentle hand on my shoulder. Yet again electricity went flowing through me.
“Eat lunch with me?”
I looked at him and his beautiful blue eyes shone with hope. I sighed slowly and took a glance over my shoulder at my few friends who were all watching intently.
“Raincheck? I think my friends are a little worried about me.”
He smiled in understanding but it didn’t match his other smiles. I looked at him apologetically and his composure slipped. Just for a second I could see that he felt slightly rejected.
“It’s fine, I’ll see you later then.” He turned and started to walk away. I felt horrible. So I tried to make him feel better, with the promise of a future meeting.
“You better! I’ll hold you to it.” He didn’t stop completely but he faltered slightly and ran a hand through his hair. I took this as a sign that he was smiling. I grinned also and turned towards my friends. What had this boy done to me? I felt like a completely new person, I practically skipped over to my group. I never skip.
This day went from bad to absolutely brilliant. I didn’t know anything about Flynn only that he made me feel happy and alive and I wanted more of it.