Brooke drew a thin black line along her eyelashes and tilted her head, evaluating her handiwork. “More color?”
Megan leaned over Brooke’s shoulder, and squinted. “Yeah.” Brooke smoothed the frosted purple wand over her eyelid. “Perfect.” Megan said as she began pulling at Brooke’s skirt.
Brooke slapped her hand. “Megan. It’s short enough. Mrs. Williams already has her laser eyes on me. I don’t need her tape measure treatment today.”
Megan pouted, rolled her eyes and then spread another layer of gloss on her lips. “I saw him this morning. He is so hot.”
Brooke smiled at their reflection. The door banged open. Rachel flickered a glance at them and entered the stall. Brooke’s smile widened. “So Megan, what’s Derek’s story, anyway. Why would someone that cool come to our lame Christian school?”
Megan’s brow crinkled but then she noticed Brooke’s “play along with me” smile. “Nowhere else to go. He’s gotten kicked out of every public school in the city. Major partier, I heard he even has a kid.” The toilet flushed. Rachel walked to the sink, eyes down.
Megan leaned toward Rachel. “Wash thoroughly, Rach, lots of unholy people use this bathroom, and watch out for the new bad boy at school, he’s hunting for some innocent little girls.” Rachel wiped her hands on her skirt and disappeared into the safety of the hall.
Brooke opened the bathroom door. Derek stood near the water fountain. He wore the uniform khakis oversized, an inch away from breaking the “no sagging” rule. A band-aid covered his earlobe. He raised his chin at Megan and Brooke. Megan giggled, Brooke locked eyes with him and held her breath.
“Wow, he stared at you all the way down the hall. He thinks you’re hot!” Megan squealed when they reached the corner. Brooke fanned her warm face.
At lunch, Brooke sat on the edge of the gender dividing line. Derek stared at her. Brooke stared at food that she wasn’t eating. Megan pulled at Brooke’s polo, changing the landscape of Brooke’s body, Brooke readjusted her polo, but not until she noticed Derek’s eyes reading her silhouette.
After school, Brooke and Megan sat on the lawn waiting for their rides. Derek found them. “Hey. You waitin’ for your mothers?”
“Yeah. What did you do to your ear?” Megan asked. Derek ripped the band-aid off. His rhinestone stud glittered in the sunshine. “So do you like our prison?”
“Not really. Everyone’s real uptight. Except you two, you look like you know how to have fun.” Brooke looked sideways at him. “right, Brooke?” Megan elbowed Brooke’s ribs. Brooke leaned away from Megan and closer to Derek. “We might need to hook up sometime.” He said as she leaned into him. Brooke closed her eyes. His warm breath caressed her neck, a trail of goosebumps tingled along the path.
Megan stood. “Gotta go” she said and headed to her mom’s minivan.
“Good. She was getting annoying.” Derek said. “You believe the religion stuff they dish out here?”
“My parents do. I haven’t decided.” Brooke looked at her watch.” My mom’s late.”
“Good, we can hang out.” He leaned closer to Brooke. She could smell a mixture of cologne, sweat and his skin. Her body tingled and she felt dizzy. “How old are you?”
“I’d have guessed older. Got a boyfriend?”
“Not at the moment.” He smiled and Brooke struggled to breathe.
“Are you one of the good girls who can’t date?”
“I’m not even allowed to wear eye makeup. I’m getting pretty good at sneaking though.”
“I’ll bet you are. Maybe we could pull off an overnight sneak sometime.”
“I’d get killed.”
“Some things are worth dying for, Brooke. I’ve been told that I am.”
His words buzzed in Brooke’s mind. “Maybe, sometime.” His eyes narrowed. His smile sharpened.
“Find me when you’re ready. I don’t play games.” He stood, and reached down and pulled her up. His lips grabbed at hers, promising things that Brooke didn’t know existed. Her stomach took a rocket ride through her body, landing with a thud behind her belly button. He let go and walked away. He didn’t look back.
A noise snapped Brooke’s attention to the school. Her mother stood on the sidewalk. Brooke knew that all had be seen and heard. It was replaying behind her mother’s water filled eyes. “Let’s go, Brooke.”
Brooke followed her to the car. She rubbed her eyes and stared at the black and purple streak on her hand.
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