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Chapter 2: Awkward Much?
He, Daniel, drags his chair over to my desk. I can smell the stench of tobacco coming off his book bag. Instinctively, I crinkle my nose in distaste. Oops! Now I wish I hadn’t. I feel a faint blush rise to my cheeks.
“So, we’re partners.” He states in a monotone.
“Yes, I suppose we are.” My voice is much too high and talking much too fast.
“By the way, no one calls me Ekaterina, everyone; meaning the people who actual talk to me, call me Abigail.” I stick my hand out.
He looks at it and then looks back at my face.
I blush and draw my hand back. He grins suddenly, softening his hard features. “I’ve never been one for shaking hands.”
“Oh, ok…I’m, um, kinda old-fashioned and shake hands, like, all the time.” I stammer, feeling my flush grow deeper. Damn, why do I have to be so…shy?
He cocks an eyebrow at me, revealing his clear blue eyes. “Are you…scared?”
“No! No, not scared. I’m, uh, just very introverted. Shy.” I reply quickly, almost too quickly.
“Good. Then I think we’ll get along.” Daniel pulls out a duct-tape covered binder and opens the rings. He removes some paper and a pencil.
I open my own binder, a pink plastic binder with pink folders and dividers, pink pencils and erasers. Basically, I’m a pink freak. I feel self-conscious and I fidget slightly in my chair, causing it to squeak.
He looks back at me again. “Hey, chill. There’s no need to be shy. We’ll know everything about each other by the end of this semester. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become, uh, like me, or Heaven forbid,” he clasps his hands together and gazes Heavenward, “I’ll become like you.”
I giggle. He actually is kinda funny. “So are we…acquaintances?”
He stares at me, a puzzled look in his eye. “Acquaintances?”
“You know, the step before friends. Similar to a colleague, which is a work partner.”
“Yeah, acquaintances.” He smiles again then ducks his head into the rubric Mr. Hartwear is giving us.
Many people in our science class call him Mr. Hardware or Mr. Toolbox, and for good reason. He’s so deaf he doesn’t know the difference.
A little about myself: I grew up in Juneau, Alaska. I’ve never gone on vacation anywhere other than to visit my relatives, so I’ve never been anywhere other than Alaska, Canada, and France.
My mother died in a boating accident when I was five. My father, a successful lawyer, was crushed and almost shut me out of his life when he realized that I was all he had. I never met my grandparents because they died before I was born. My parents were only children, so I have no aunts or uncles either. I have one great-aunt Margaret, who really is quite eccentric, but plays part as our housekeeper.
I have always been shy. I hate it, but I can’t get over it. I’ve always been bullied by cheerleaders and football players because I’ve never gone out on a date, much less had a boyfriend. They’ve hated me since kindergarten. I have no friends.
So I bind myself to studies, and doing things the whole school would drop their jaw at. I am actually very athletic, but because I’m so shy, I’ve never told anyone. I’m educated in every form of dance and every formality of dinner and dinner wear. That’s how I spend my free time.
So we’re juniors, right? Well, the junior prom is this year. I can tell you right now, I’ll be staying home watching a movie with my dad and great-aunt Margaret instead of dancing with some cute boy who likes me for me.
I sigh and look down at my rubric. Lord, this project is going to take forever. But good can only come from it, right? Right…