CHAPTER 28: Guidance Counselor & A Dangerous Lunch
If I thought the rest of the school day would be without event, I was mistaken. After the bizarre attack from the math teacher, Chinatsu wandered off down the hall, and Mrs Thomas went back to her office, leaving Angela and I alone. We watched the other students eye us warily and go to their classes.
“That was a good kick,” I finally told Angela.
She grinned. “I don’t know what came over me. Good thing I’m not in his class.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
“I don’t know what’s weirder, him eating a rat or trying to attack you. What’s he have against you anyway?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. I didn’t say as much, but I felt it was connected to last night’s assault. That’s not what puzzled me though. It was the few words he said to me. Icarus. This wasn’t the first occasion I’d heard it, but this time It had sounded almost derogatory. Was he calling me a name, or was it a code word, a clue to the vampire master’s identity? What did Icarus even mean anyway? And why did he say soon it would be my turn? My turn for what? The slave and master thing didn’t sound too promising either. After all, I didn’t think he was talking about Fifty Shades Of Grey.
“Things are definitely getting strange in Chelsea Valley,” Angela said, as we headed to our classes. Her Spanish Class was on the second floor so we climbed the stairs, neither of us very anxious to get there.
“What do you mean, strange?” I asked.
“Just people. Acting all funky and weird and shit. Guys hanging outside my house.”
I stopped. “What?”
She shook her head. “Yeah. Last night there were like three guys sitting on the low wall across the street. Just chilling. They kept looking up at my house like Lana Del Rey lived there or something. I looked out the window one time and they even waved at me. I shot them the finger and they all laughed.”
“Do you know who they were?”
“No, never seen them before. They were older, like college guys or something. Normally, I’d find that inviting, but last night it was creepy. The last time I looked out they had come off the wall and were in the middle of the street. Then this other guy came walking down the street and they took off. I guess they didn’t want anyone but me to notice them. Bunch of freaks.”
“Yeah, that’s freaky.” I wanted to tell her what had happened to me but I couldn’t. I felt like I would regret it later, but I had to keep my silence.
“But hey, my night was nowhere as bad as yours,” Ang added.
“What do you mean?”
“You know, your dad.”
I hung my head. “Yeah, it doesn’t get much worse than that.”
But actually it does. A worse notion is an invasion of evil vampires taking over the school and all of Chelsea Valley. I was hoping that Haru and Ryo were having some luck today finding Bram.
While Angela was stuck in Spanish Class, I had to endure Art. Normally it was one of my favorite classes, but I couldn’t quite concentrate on the assignment. The class was halfway over when Miss Thomas came looking for me and asked that I accompany her to her office.
Once there, we sat for a few moments in silence, her at her desk, me in the sofa chair across from it. Finally, she sighed.
“I am so sorry about your father, Nora. You and your mother have my deepest sympathies.”
“If there’s anything I can do…”
“No, I think we’re okay,” I said , trying to head her off from the typical spate of condolences that come at time likes this.
She nodded her head and seemed to be contemplating saying anything further. She picked up a pen and nervously twirled it between her fingers. After a moment, she set it down and said what was really on her mind.
“Mr. Sharp has been taken into police custody. He will be taken to the hospital to be evaluated. Detectives will want to question you eventually, I imagine. Are you okay with that? “
“Yeah, no problem.”
“The school will have to notify your mother as to what happened. But before we do, is there anything you’d like to tell me? Something the school should know?”
“You don’t know why Mr. Sharp attacked you?”
“No. He’s not even one of my teachers. I’ve never spoken to him or acknowledged him in any way before. I mean, I know who he is. He’s a popular teacher, but I wasn’t aware he knew me.”
“So what exactly happened?”
“Angela and I were walking down the hall. We saw some people outside the classroom and when we got there and looked in, he was at his desk foaming at the mouth. Then he got up and attacked me.”
She nodded, picked up her pen and jotted something down on a notepad in front of her.
“Did he say anything to you ?”
“No, mam,” I lied . I didn’t think she’d understand any of his words to me. There was no point in divulging them to anyone except my Asian vampire friends.
She made another note. “Are you sure?”
She sighed as if she knew I was lying. “Anything else unusual about him?”
“Eating a rat isn’t unusual?”
I didn’t look at her. Instead I tried focusing my attention at the window, wishing I could will myself out of the room.
“Look, Nora. You can talk to me. It’s okay. You can trust me.”
I wasn’t so sure about that. I mean, could I really trust her enough to say there were vampires in Chelsea Valley? No, I didn’t think so. It was best that the less she knew, the better off she would be. Ignorance is bliss.
“I know the things you go through as a teenager,” she continued. “I was there myself once. I know that the culture may be different than when I grew up, but the feelings are the same. I will understand anything you tell me and try my best to help you through it.”
I doubted very seriously she’d understand anything I was going through, but I decided to go out on a limb.
“What does Icarus mean?” I asked .
This threw her off big time. “Excuse me?”
“The word, Icarus. What does it mean?”
She still seemed thrown off, as if she couldn’t understand what my question had to do with anything, let alone teen insecurities or problems.
“Well…um….Icarus I believe, if this is what you are referring to…he was a figure in Greek Mythology. He flew too close to the sun. Um, I never was much into mythology myself. Perhaps you should ask your history teacher about it. I believe they may….”
“Okay, thank you,” I replied, heading her off from rambling even further. I didn’t think she’d be much help, but she had asked for me to talk, so there you go.
I got up from my chair. “Is that all? Can I go back to class now?”
“Yes, that’s it for now. I’ll talk to your mom about the incident soon.”
I didn’t know if she meant it as a threat, but it didn’t scare me half as much as the thought of evil vampires running up and down the halls.
“Okay, I’ll tell her,” I replied, and headed for the door.
I stopped, but only half turned to her. “Yes?”
“See you in summer school.”
I didn’t know it, but it would be the last time we’d have a somewhat friendly conversation.
At lunch, I met up with Angela and told her about Miss Thomas calling me into her office like she was the principal or something.
“Does she think you did something to make Sharp attack you?” She asked. “Because that’s stupid.”
“I don’t know, Ang. She was like trying to be my friend and stuff. It was kind of weird, the more I think about it.”
“She always seems weird to me. But then again most teachers do.”
That reminded me of something Miss Thomas had said. “Hey Angela, you seen Miss Lazenby today?”
She looked at me and frowned, as if the mention of our history teacher was another bone of contention between us. “No. We had a substitute first period. Probably stuck up Ryo’s ass.”
“Yeah I saw her there the other day too,” I agreed.
“I don’t know what he sees in her,” Angela lamented. “She’s moved in with him. I mean, Jesus, she may be dressing like she’s twenty these days, but she’s old enough to be his mom.”
I wanted to tell her I wasn’t so sure about that assumption, but I shut up and let her talk. The relationship between Lazenby and Ryo obviously upset her, even though I didn’t think there was anything to it. From my viewpoint, she seemed more like a servant or helper than a lover. But knowing Ryo, who could tell?
“I went by there this morning,” she continued. “He hadn’t called me since I went over the other night. The night you and I argued.”
“How did that go?”
She smiled. “Oh, he was gracious enough. Walked around shirtless most of the time. Yay for me.” She grinned and leaned close. “He has an awesome tattoo on his chest.”
Part of me almost told her I had seen it before, but that wouldn’t have turned out too well. I could tell she had fallen for him big time.
“Unfortunately nothing happened,” she said in a disappointed tone. “We watched some TV, talked about school and living in Chelsea Valley. I tried to snuggle up close, but then Miss Lazenby came in with some sodas for us and she kissed him.”
“She did what?”
“It wasn’t on the mouth or anything. But she kissed him on the neck and put her hand right on his chest. I could have killed her. The only thing that made me feel better was the irritated look he gave her. He said something to her like, ‘I have a guest,’ and she backed out of the room as if he said he was going to rip her head off or something. It was weird, but I got the impression something was going on between them. Still, the night went pretty well afterward. I just wish he would have made some kind of move on me. I mean hell, I was wearing my slutty best.”
She sighed as if remembering the night and all the things she had hoped that would happen but never did. “Anyway, I haven’t heard from him since then, so I went over before school. I didn’t make it past the door. She was there. I can’t compete with an older woman. Especially when she looks stunning in her low cut vampire dress.”
Angela frowned. “Yeah, she was dressed like Morticia from The Adams Family, but revealing a lot more skin. Not what I wanted to see this morning.”
I didn’t know what to say. “I’m sorry, Ang. I know you really like him a lot.”
For a moment I thought she was going to cry. “He’s a freaking dream,“ she said. “I just wish he would notice me as someone other than a guest.”
I felt bad for my friend. I knew she had it bad for him, but if Chi was right, Ryo was quite loveless, just like his tattoo said. I couldn’t tell her this though. I couldn’t dash her dreams like that. “Give it time,” I said. “He’ll come around eventually.”
“I hope so. I won’t be young and insatiable forever.”
I grinned. Now this was sounding like Angela again. I reached over and patted her hand. “You’ve got nothing to worry about. You are fun to be around, you have a loving heart and a rocking body, and you don’t give up, and…”
She pulled her hand away, a fake shock look on her face. “I knew it! The rumors are true. You are trying to hit on me!”
I laughed at her joke. “Don’t you wish!”
“What does she wish? That she could be as hot as she thinks she is?”
We both turned to the new voice. Someone had obviously approached the table while we were having our laugh. But neither of us were smiling now. Before us stood The Trumps, all three of them. Amanda grinned.
“I couldn’t let the school year end without returning a favor,” she snarled, right before her fist connected with my face. There wasn’t time to avoid the blow, but her aim was off. Instead of getting me in the nose like Chi had done to her, her fist met my eye.
The world spun and threatened to go dark for a second. I saw Angela try to get to her feet, but Amanda’s cronies shoved her back down in her chair. I shook my head, trying to throw the pain and dizziness off of me. Out of my good eye, I saw Amanda lean down until her face was level with mine. I noticed her nose was still a little off, as if it hadn’t quite healed right.
“I hear you are a cutter,” she whispered, so no one else could hear. She grabbed my arm and with a sharp jerk stretched it out on the table. “So, let’s cut.”
I tried to pull my arm away, but she kept it pinned to the table. With a devilish grin Amanda pulled something out of her back pocket. At first, I thought it was a knife, but I quickly realized it was something worse. It was a jagged piece of metal that had apparently been broken off of something much larger. As a result, it had a jagged edge and I could imagine the damage it would bring if it should slice through the skin of my arm. I feared not only the painful and bloody mess it would make, but also the possibility of infection, like tetanus or something.
I struggled against her grip. She had the advantage, as I was seated and she was hovering over me, allowing her full weight to come to bear on holding my arm in place.
“No, don’t,” Angela pleaded on my behalf.
The weapon hovered over my arm.
“You can beg for mercy,” Amanda snarled at me.
“You wouldn’t give it,” I replied between clenched teeth.
She laughed. “You’re right. I wouldn’t.”
My other arm was still free, but the positioning of Amanda’s body prevented me from reaching her with it. Instead I gripped the edge of the table, intending to shove my chair back in hopes I could break free of my assailant.
Chrissie Trump prevented me from doing so. While her cousin Kari had hold of Angela’s struggling form, she grabbed my free arm pulling it behind my back and holding it there. I grimaced from the pull of the muscle in my shoulder. Pain erupted in my arm and back, and it felt like it was shooting straight for my head and the already hurting of my punched eye.
I wondered why no one was helping me. Maybe I’d gotten used to being rescued, but I found it odd no one was coming to my aid. Haru had promised to protect me, to make sure nothing bad happened to me, and yet here I was fighting for my life with an insane for revenge Amanda Trump. And where was Chi? Luhan? They both had been looking out for me during school, so why was I now on my own?
As I was being held in place, and Amanda taunted me with the prospect of opening up my arm from wrist to shoulder, I managed to twist my head around. I noticed nearly everyone had scattered to the four winds. While a few onlookers remained, those who would grow up to be the kind to stop at fatal car crashes and gawk, everyone else had made themselves scarce. It reminded me of the old westerns dad used to watch. Bad guy walks into the saloon and everyone backs out of the way or hides behind something so as not to get struck by stray bullets.
“Not going to beg?” Amanda hissed, bringing me back to the immediacy of my plight. The jagged piece of metal hovered over my arm.
“No,” I muttered weakly.
I felt the sharp metal touch my arm. It rested lightly against my flesh, not cutting into it. Yet.
“How about now?”
She leaned closer and I could almost hear Angela whisper in her head for me to go ahead and beg. But I was done with this. I was tired of living in fear of the Trump bitches. They had terrorized the school, and I was determined my days of running and hiding from them were coming to an end right now. I shook my head and mumbled something anguished under my breath.
With an evil grin and a vain flip of her long blond hair, she leaned so far down her ear was nearly at my mouth. She laughed between gritted teeth. “What did you say? I don’t think I heard that.”
“I said, bite me,” I spat and turned my head towards her, sinking my teeth into her scrawny little neck.
She screamed and let go of my arm, trying to pull away. Chrissie let me go too, backing up enough that I could scoot my chair away from the table. I reached up with my once imprisoned arm and grabbed the slut by her hair, pulling her towards me. I bit down harder. I felt the tearing of her skin. I tasted blood in my mouth. It was pretty nasty and I spit it out, back onto her mauled neck. I let her go and shoved her away from me. She had dropped the jagged metal on the table top. I picked it up and pounced on top of her in an animalistic rage. She was holding her bloody neck with one hand and started to shriek at the top of her lungs, “Help! She’s killing me!”
I felt someone grab my arm and try to pull me off of her. It was Angela. “Don’t do it, Nora,” she begged, and managed to twist the metal shard out of my hand.
Something collided with my head. Kari had picked up one of the cafeteria chairs and hit me with it. The room spun and threatened to go black.
Amanda was still screaming her head off when I fell over, my head hitting the cold school floor. I could hear footsteps running towards us. Looking up, I discovered someone had finally come to save me, but with my fading vision I couldn’t tell who. I couldn’t even find the voice to declare they were too late. Through my hazy view I could see Angela, dumbfounded and maybe a little angry, looking at me as someone knelt by my side. Their features were a blur, but the concerned, worried look told me Haru had come to save me at last.
I closed my eyes, knowing I was safe now. He wrapped his protective arms around me and cradled my head to his chest. I could feel his heart beating against my ear, but it didn’t sound right. The beat was off slightly, sounding stronger than I remembered from our intimate times together. I managed to open up my good eye as he scooped me up and cradled my body to carry me away.
“Haru?” I asked.
He smiled. I could see his beautiful white teeth through the haze. His intense dark eyes. His long black hair with the purple streak through it. It wasn’t Haru. It was Ryo.
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2017, 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.