Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chapter 17: Tricks

The light shone down on the sunny afternoon, illuminating the park and adding a cheery tone to everything. However, a little black rain cloud seemed to be following after Tristan and Nora. While they were being a bit more cordial with each other after their conversation in the locker room, there was still a good deal of tension between them, and it was visible.

Nora was walking a good three feet ahead of Tristan, who was kicking rocks as he slouched behind her. When they reached an empty table to eat their lunch at, they practically sat on opposite ends of the table. Neither one of them spoke as they opened their lunchboxes and began eating.

“Hey, Nora!” Nora glanced over her shoulder and saw someone waving at her. It was a man about her age with dark blond hair that reached down to his chin. Nora recognized him as one of her co-workers and waved back.

“Hi, Nathaniel!” Nora called with a smile, instantly seeming happier. Tristan felt something burn inside his chest and he turned to look at the approaching man. Nathaniel walked over and sat down next to Nora, a wide grin on his face. He hardly glanced at Tristan.

“Nora! It seems like I haven’t seen you in ages!” Nathaniel exclaimed. Nora nodded.

“I know! I’ve missed talking with you.” she said with a smile. Tristan glared at the two of them as he picked up his sandwich and tore off a bite of it.

“Same here. But I guess that’s what we get for working on opposite ends of the park, huh?” Nathaniel said with a small laugh. Nora giggled and Tristan thought he might gag. He forced himself to swallow before he put his sandwich down. Just then, Nathaniel glanced up.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there. Who’s your friend, Nora?” Nathaniel asked politely.

“This is Tristan. And he’s not my friend.” Nora muttered, sending Tristan a glare. Tristan faked a smile and waved a little in greeting. Nathaniel looked at him, a little confused, then smiled in return. He then turned to Nora, the same confused expression on his face. “Long story. Don’t ask.” Nora mumbled, still glaring at Tristan. Tristan sighed and rolled his eyes, looking away from the two of them.

“So, how have you been? I heard about your daring robbery rescue, or whatever you wanna call it.” Nathaniel said, making small talk with Nora. Tristan tuned the two of them out, trying to focus on something else. Nora was probably the most aggravating and confusing person Tristan had ever met, and yet…seeing her with this guy made him feel all…weird inside… He couldn’t quite explain it, but it made him angry to think about this guy being friends with Nora, to think about her liking Nathaniel more than she liked him.

Just then, a light bulb lit up inside Tristan’s head. He realized that he was jealous.

This is so stupid… Tristan thought, shaking his head. I don’t even like her. Why in the world would I be jealous? Tristan put his head in his hands, resting his elbows on the table. He closed his eyes and repeated over and over to himself that he didn’t like Nora. He listed everything about her that made him angry or annoyed, and he tried to convince himself that she was the ugliest girl he had ever seen. However, he realized that his list of aggravating things about Nora wasn’t very long, and she most certainly was not the ugliest girl he had ever seen. But I don’t like her! he exclaimed inside his head.

“No, no, no, no, no…” he muttered to himself.

“Um…Tristan?” Tristan glanced up when he heard Nora’s voice. Nora and Nathaniel were both staring at him with puzzled expressions on their faces. “Are you okay?” Nora asked slowly. Tristan swallowed hard, not sure how to respond.

“Uh, yeah… Yeah, I’m fine. Just…a stomach ache, that’s all…” he lied, hoping they would believe him.

“Okay…do you need to go home?” Nora continued, looking a little concerned.

“No, no… I’ll be fine…” Tristan replied, looking away.

“Okay, if you say so…” Nora said with a shrug. She turned back to her conversation with Nathaniel and Tristan sighed heavily.

Why was his heart playing tricks on his head?

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