Shielding Lily(4)

By: Alexa Riley

“You’ve lived here your whole life. I think you know how long it takes to get the snow off your car.” Mrs. White’s not buying what Kristen is selling. A knot starts to form in my stomach. This girl is my tour person for part of the day. “Lily is behind you, and here is her schedule. You both have the same first class, so get a move on. I already let Mr. Cole know you’d be a little late.”

Kristen turns to look at me, and her pretty face scrunches for a fraction of a second before she smooths her expression. She plasters on her fake smile, making me wonder if she remembers me from this morning.

“Welcome!” she says in a half-squeal, making Mrs. White roll her eyes. I can see why she’s a cheerleader. She can really flip that pep on and off.

“Hi,” is all I say as I stand, grabbing my backpack. I still have on my coat, having shoved all my other winter stuff like my hat and gloves into my backpack. They don’t have a locker ready for me yet.

“I’m Kristen.” She reaches out her hand, and I take it. “I’m student body president and captain of the cheerleading squad.” She says it like she’s a politician.

“I’m Lily Parker,” I tell her, because that’s all I am. I don’t have a list of things to trail behind it. Not that anyone would care about it.

“It’s nice to meet you. Let’s get to our first class, then I can show you around.”

I follow her out of the main office and down the hall. Her mood changes the instant we are out of the office, and she hands me my schedule. She doesn’t give me another glance or say another word until we enter a classroom. The whole room goes quiet, and I swallow. I keep my eyes down the best I can and pray for it to be over quickly.

“Sorry, got stuck in the main office,” Kristen says.

“It’s fine, Kristen. Welcome, Lily. Please find a seat anywhere. We’ve already started,” the teacher says.

“Thanks,” I tell him, glancing towards the rows of desks filled with students. I go straight for the back of the room. There’s one empty seat and I grab it, dropping my backpack and taking my seat. When I glance to my left, I see a man that can’t possibly be a student sitting next to me. He’s a freaking giant. And he’s staring right at me.



The new girl walks in, and I recognize her. Well, not her, but her coat. She’s the woman I saw walking this morning. I wonder if that’s why she’s late. Maybe she had car trouble. I can’t get a good look at her since her head is down, but that’s her.

I don’t catch what Mr. Cole says to her, but I see Kristen give me a look and a wink before she takes her seat. But I don’t pay her any attention because the new girl has all of it. She walks down the aisle right beside where I’m sitting and takes the empty desk next to me. I sit up and look over at her, watching as she takes her coat off. She’s small, and I wonder for a second if she skipped a couple of grades. My eyes trail down what I can see and check her out. She’s probably only five feet tall, with wavy white-blonde hair. She fumbles with the buttons of her jacket, and I wonder if her hands are cold. Something in me wants to reach over and hold them so they warm up. She’s wearing a jean dress and my eyes trail down her legs, seeing the knee of her leggings are torn. Then I start to wonder if she fell, because I can see a small scratch where the fabric is missing. At least she’s wearing winter boots and I don’t have to worry about her feet.

As my eyes move back up to her face, she turns her head and looks at me. I feel my pulse speed up as our eyes connect and we stare at one another. Her big blue eyes are doe-like. So perfect and round with thick, black lashes around them. Her cheeks are pink and her lips are rosy, and I have the incredible urge to kiss them. I’ve never felt this kind of attraction to anyone before, and it takes me by surprise.

She looks away nervously, and I realize I’ve been staring at her like a creep for a solid minute. I feel bad that I made her nervous, and I want to make it right.

Sitting up in my chair, I lean towards her, and whisper as quietly as I can. “Hey.”

She looks at me and then looks up at the teacher. My eyes glance in Mr. Cole’s direction, but he’s in his own world, giving a lecture about King Lear and the importance of Shakespeare. He’s not so much as spoken ten words to me in the past six months, and I doubt he’s going to start now.

Seeing that the teacher doesn’t notice anything, she looks over at me in confusion.

“You okay?” I say, looking down at her knee. I don’t want to go full stalker on her and tell her I saw her on the side of the road, but I have this overwhelming desire to make sure she’s all right.

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