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The Girl with the Green Eyes - Part I
“Who’s she?” whispered Troy Dawson to his cheerleading captain girlfriend, Meghan Tang. He wasn’t the only one wondering it; it was the middle of February and here comes a new girl, straight out of who-knows-where. She was wearing an NDSU sweatshirt, blue skinny jeans, brown Ugg boots and a maroon-red scarf. Her hair was curly and as brown as a Betty Crocker brownie fresh out of the oven. She made eye contact with Troy and it was like the world had stopped from just a split second, enough time to question where he had come from. Her piercing green eyes sent him back to his visit to Paris with his rich aunt on his father’s side; he had seen a girl sitting at La Belle Vie with the exact same eyes. He would remember them anywhere. They were frightened, like a stormy sea about to attack a coastline without warning.
“Her name’s Laura,” piped up Melanie Botzkavitz, an office TA and the president of the school board’s daughter who seemed to know everything about anything relating to Half Moon Bay High School.
“Laura what?” Troy demanded, keeping his gaze locked on Laura’s, who clung to her backpack nonchalantly, quietly examining her new school while walking down the halls aimlessly.
“I believe it is Wallace,” Melanie said, and just like that stormy sea, Troy bolted without warning to greet the stranger with oddly familiar eyes.
When he introduced himself, looked back a couple of times innocently to make sure Meghan wasn’t showing any signs of confusion or jealousy—both often expressions—she chuckled. “I see they sent me the welcoming committee.”
“You don’t happen to speak French, do you?”
Her eyes emitted shock waves down his throat, like they radiated from her skin to his. It was as if to say: he remembered.
“No,” she murmured. “Where is Mr. Jenkins’ room? Room 204?”
“Down the Third hallway, to your right,” Troy said, his mind obscured with the memory of Paris. He could now remember a man lurking in the background, at a table behind the girl with the green eyes’. He could now make the connection: the girl was being followed, and she was silently begging for help.
But he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain.
“Um, could you show me?” Troy nodded mercifully. If the girl with the green eyes truly was Laura—and he had almost convinced himself so by now—he would do all in his power to make up for what he had potentially done back in Paris. He owed her.
When they made it down the Third hallway and to her right, the bell rang, indicating school was officially in session. Troy didn’t want to leave, and by Laura’s expression, she didn’t want him to go, either.
Out of the blue, Meghan appeared and lurched onto his free arm. She yanked on him gently, far enough to make the statement that he was all hers, and no strange girl could latch onto him like that.
“Well hello there. How kind of you to escort this new girl to her first day of class,” Meghan said in a rather nasally tone that Troy was starting to despise.
“My name’s Laura,” she explained, holding out her hand in order for Meghan to shake it. But Meghan just pulled Troy farther away and whispered in his ear while she glared at Laura, who threatened her relationship in Meghan’s jealous brown eyes.
Laura sighed, waved goodbye to Troy, and slipped into Mr. Jenkins class. Normally, Troy wasn’t the guy to just great the new kids—even if they were the most gorgeous females on the planet—and Meghan knew that. The problem was, Troy wanted to spend more time with Laura. He was beginning to believe she was the girl with green eyes in France. And with that said—she might still be in trouble.
Lunch came around and Troy, who normally sat by Meghan and her clique of friends, called Laura over, who was just about to eat inside the bathroom like it was an everyday occurrence. Unfortunately for Meghan, who secretly hated Laura’s guts, there was an open seat right across from her drooling boyfriend.
The NDSU sweatshirt-bearer sat down thankfully, eyeing the crew she was sitting by. One had dangly purple feather earrings and bright red hair; many with long black hair, light brown eyes and fake eyelashes; the other two were twins, Meghan and Martha Tong. Meghan was obviously not pleased with this new arrangement. And then there was Troy, with sandy blonde hair, tan skin and bright blue eyes. He was the outlier in the group.
“So, Laura, where did you live before this?” the redhead named Miranda asked earnestly while loading the Ranch on her Cesar salad.
“My dad was in the military for eight years,” she explained, digging around in her recyclable lime-green lunchbox, “so we moved around a lot. I’ve lived from Fargo to Los Angeles to Phoenix to Durham.”
“But you never went out of the country?” Troy pressed.
“Not in a few years.”
“Where did you live then—” Meghan cut her boyfriend off. “If you’re so worldly, why did you settle down in Half Moon Bay? There isn’t a military base around here for miles!”
“When my dad died two months ago overseas, my family took it hard. My mom decided it was for the best to settle down and unite in a small, peaceful town unlike any of our previous residences.”
Troy stretched out his hand. “I am so sorry.”
After a few minutes of Troy and Laura having a “moment”—the kind when their eyes meet and linger for several seconds—Meghan grabbed Troy’s hands and kissed them flirtatiously, although her intention was just mildly understood. Though Troy didn’t have the physical connection with Laura anymore, they were still connecting emotionally, something Meghan could never interrupt.
Finally, last hour came around, and Mrs. Hasti was gracious enough to pair Laura and Troy as English partners. They sat by each other, would conduct projects together, and would be together for every assignment. He looked over to Meghan, who was fuming across the room as her partner, a large boy named Mark with a hunchback and wore the perfume “BO” amply. The odds were truly in Troy’s favor.
“Can I ask you a question, Troy?” Laura whispered, her green eyes defensive and watching something in the distant.
“Of course, anything.”
“Why do you keep wondering if I’ve been out of the country?” Her eyes finally met his. He flinched at the beauty she inflicted on him, and instantly felt guilty for antagonizing her.
“I’m sorry, it’s just…I think I’ve seen you before.”
Troy’s heart skipped a beat. “So it was you?”
“Are you talking Paris, France, the year 2008?”
“That’s exactly what I’m talking about. At the La Belle Vie.”
Her eyes teared up and she sighed. “That was the day I should have died.”