She was the girl who sat in front of him in the next row of desks. Patrick didn’t have to stare at the back of her head all the time, but he could at least see a little bit of her profile. He often watched her during class as she paid attention to the teacher and actually did her schoolwork. Not him, though. He was too distracted by her.
And he didn’t even know her name.
She was the new girl in school. She had just moved to their town a week ago. She seemed to be shy as Patrick never noticed her talk to anyone before. Their lunch schedules alternated every week. He didn’t have lunch with her last week, but he was hoping that she would have the same lunch as him this week.
Patrick assumed that she found someone to sit with at lunch all last week. That would be awful if she didn’t, but now she was going to have to start all over because whoever she sat with last week wouldn’t be at her lunch this week.
Except for Patrick, hopefully.
He peeled his eyes away from her to look up at the clock. There was five minutes left in the class and then it was lunch time. He would follow her where ever she went to make sure that she had the same lunch as him. Sure, that sounded like a creepy thing to say, but the cafeteria was a battlefield during lunch. If he lost sight of her, that would be it. He would never know if she was actually in the lunch room or if she was in a different class.
Patrick was just trying to make sure that she had someone to sit with during lunch, that was all. And why couldn’t it have been him? The two of them could be friends and then maybe eventually even more. He didn’t know anything about this girl, but he knew she was gorgeous. That had to count for something, right? I mean, he didn’t feel like this around any of the other girls he had gone to school with his whole life.
The bell rang and Patrick took his time as so did the girl. Everyone else around them had already gathered up their books and popped out of their seats the moment the bell chimed. Patrick closed his textbook slowly keeping an eye on the girl in front of him. He was hoping to leave the room at the same time as her, if he could time it just right.
“Patrick, can I speak to you for a moment?” Mrs. Stevenson said from her desk at the front of the room.
“What? Why?” he asked aloud.
His teacher raised an eyebrow, but not in an offended way. She just seemed confused he had responded in such a tone.
“Sorry,” Patrick muttered. He put his head down and walked past the girl suddenly afraid to look at her, though she didn’t seem to pay any mind.
“I know you have lunch now, so I won’t keep you long. I just wanted to let you know that you skipped the last couple of questions on your test.” Mrs. Stevenson had his test sitting right in front of her on his desk.
“Oh,” Patrick deadpanned. Crap. He had been paying too much attention to his new classmate and the time that he didn’t pay too much attention to his test. He didn’t want to mention that the questions he did answer were complete guesses.
“Is everything alright? Was there something you didn’t understand?” Mrs. Stevenson asked nicely.
“No, I just… I had a lot on my mind. I couldn’t focus.” Patrick replied. He looked over his shoulder. The girl was just leaving the classroom. Wow, she was slow.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” his teacher asked.
Patrick looked back at her and shrugged his shoulders. He really just wanted her to let him go so he could chase after a potential girlfriend. “No, I think I’ll be alright. I’m sorry about the test.”
“Maybe after school you can come finish it? If you leave all this blank, you’ll end up with a F, at the most.”
“Oops…” Patrick scratched the back of his neck. “Okay, yeah. After school today? That works.” He started to walk backwards.
“And I’m here if there’s anything you would like to talk about. School related or not.” Mrs. Stevenson smiled at him.
“Thank you,” Patrick smiled back at her. He knew he always liked her, even though he despised her math class.
She had put her head back down getting back to grading papers and that was Patrick’s way of knowing that he was dismissed. He quickly turned around and sprinted out the door only to crash right into his new classmate just outside in the hallway.
“Oh, I am so sorry!” Patrick held tightly onto his books even though hers went flying to the ground. He was just about to dash off again before realizing who he crashed into. “Oh…”
“It’s okay,” she smiled sheepishly and bent down to pick up her books.
“Here, let me…” Patrick squatted to the ground holding his books in one hand and picking up hers in the other.
“No, it’s alright. Your hands are full.” She replied picking up some of the books.
“What were you doing standing out here? Are you lost?” Patrick asked. He immediately bit his tongue after speaking. That was a stupid thing to ask. She had been at the school for a week now. Of course she knew where she was going. She was just extremely slow for whatever reason.
“I was just… Um…” she stood up and tucked some hair behind her ear. “Waiting.”
“For what?” Patrick asked and then pressed his lips together. He couldn’t look at her directly before and now he couldn’t shut himself up.
“Me?” Patrick was taken aback.
“I wanted to see if you had lunch now. We didn’t have it together last week… I noticed…” she muttered looking down at the ground.
Patrick chuckled. “Well… I’m glad I’m not the only one. I was packing up slowly because I was going to follow you to see if you went to the lunchroom or not.”
“That’s creepy. Why didn’t you just ask?”
Patrick swallowed a lump in his throat and looked the other way. Then she laughed.
“I’m Violet.” She said.
“Patrick.” He smiled. “Shall we?”
“Yes. I’m starving!”
And they walked down to the lunch room together.