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Chapter 8: He Knows Me
MagicalInk @ TDA
I ignored Louis after the hand-holding incident, actually I ignored them all. Childish? Maybe. But I've learnt that they always seem to be amused by my reactions, and I refused to give them one. So I didn't speak at dinner, no matter how many times they tried to get me to say something.
People say I'm too stubborn for my own good. They're right, I know this. When I was a kid, I would sulk for ages if I didn't get something I wanted. I didn't scream (at all) or cry (much), I just sat there with my arms folded tightly across my chest and did nothing, I wouldn't talk or eat or let them touch me. I could do that for hours. Still can.
This is what they are all calling this, all three of them; sulking. And it didn't just last that night. I didn't utter a word when Louis woke me up or at breakfast, Jack said Louis can keep that job permanently, but he'd given up talking to me. By the time we got to class, I had figured out what he was doing; nothing. Just letting me do things my own way. I wouldn't be surprised if he had understood why I was ignoring them, though he may not know the exaact reason as to what caused it; it's to get to Lucy.
When Louis' around, she is more subtle about what she thinks. But once he's gone, it's full on talking about me and Louis and him holding my hand. It's more because it doesn't get to her cousin than just not wanting him to know, I think. He knows a lot more about what she thinks than he's letting on, because I know he understands what her subtle words mean, but he doesn't say anything. So, he knows and he must just ignore it. He has to know.
If we had known each other longer, I'd have accepted his silence; I'd have done the same. But we haven't known each other that long. That's the only thing that gets to me. So, Lucy is being ignored, the others only to prove I won't pull a face they can laugh at, and Louis let me.
It continued well into Friday afternoon; I spoke to Declan and Simon, to teachers, to Abby, but not to them. Not until the afternoon.
Our second to last lesson can technically be called our last, because what's a last lesson for others is our free period, the only one Lucy shares with us, and Abby let's Jack and I have this Friday off. So we spend it outside, while it's still September, still warm. We're by the lake. I lie on my back in the sun, can feel it warm my skin; my face, arms and chest (I opened up a few buttons a while ago). It's not too hot, but warm enough that the light breeze can keep me cool.
Lucy and Jack are in the middle of a heated duscussion, about what I have no idea, it's something new everyday, and Louis is quiet. But I know he's still here; the wind carries the scent of his aftershave my way, and he's close, too; I can hear him breathing.
I don't turn my head when I hear the crunching of grass on my right. "Mind if I lie here?" he asks quietly.
"No." My first word in front of them and neither of the other two hear, just Louis. He lies close to my side, his hand brushes over my arm when he moves it, but he's not too close as to cause Lucy to notice. She notices everything when she's looking for it. "What are they doing?"
"Arguing about Jack using his crutches," says Louis. We keep our voices quiet. It's peaceful out here and I don't want to disrupt that; does he thinks so, too? Or is he just copying me? "He thinks he should be able to walk without them when he's not in a crowd, so he can heal. She thinks he should listen to his healer and use them for the two weeks. He's only got a week and two days to go."
"He gets bored easily."
I finally turn my head. "What makes you say that?"
"I've never met someone who can ignore people for as long as you have," he admits. "Not even my brother, and he is good."
I smile, but make no sound; I don't want the others to notice yet. The longer I can put off Lucy saying something, the better. We're having a nice moment and I want to enjoy it before it's ruined. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Anything you want," he whispers. He sounds like he could fall asleep at any minute. It's completely understandable; the sun, the breeze, the calm and the quiet, it's like nature's very own lullaby. I've fallen asleep many times while here.
"Do you flirt with everyone?"
He laughs softly and I hold my breath as I wait, but they still don't hear. "No." For some reason, I'm glad to hear that. "I mostly focus on school and family, but I do still date and I flirt. I don't think much of it, though."
"What do you mean?"
"Flirting feels more like a casual thing to me, than a way of showing someone you actually like them. So, I'll flirt with a guy if they're cute but I have no interest in taking it further. Or if we've just met and we're having fun and know that it won't end in much more." As he explains this all to me, I feel more and more inclined to like him. I don't have to push him away for thinking he might like me, I don't have to worry that it's too fast because it's not been very long. Everything's fine, Louis and I are fine, Lucy can stop with her comments and Jack can stop saying I'm leaving for the dark side. "Why do you ask?"
Feeling so much better about everything, I simply shrug and relax on the grass. "I just wondered. I can be nosy like that."
This time, when we both laugh, it's louder and they finally realise I'm talking. They use that as a way to get my opinion on their little debate. Well, I say opinion...
"Tell Jackson he's being stupid and should listen his healer!"
"Tell Lucy she's not my sitter and I can do as I please!"
I don't hesitate with my answer. "I think that if Jack wants to be an idiot and ignore the healer, why stop him?"
They both take offense to that, Jack for practically calling him an idiot and Lucy for kinda agreeing with him, but it's only Lucy who says anything. "CJ!"
I pull myself up quickly, Louis follows just as fast because his shoulder knocks into mine almost immediately, and I give her the mother of all glares. Damn her!
"CJ?" Louis asks. "That's your name? Well, I assume they're your initials, but I can work with it. CJ, I like it."
I only just hear what he says. "I hate you, Lucy."
"Sorry," she says, though she doesn't sound as if she is at all. It was probably her revenge for not siding with her; she's always ruining my games when she's mad at me. I suppose I should be glad she called me 'CJ' and not 'Ciaran'; he still has to figure out my name, he just has a smaller list to work with now. "Free period is long over now, I'll be in the library, I have homework to finish before Hogsmeade tomorrow. Good bye, Jackson; Lewis; CJ."
Only Louis answers her, I bet he's only being polite. "I'm gonna go, too. My leg's starting to cramp. I'll see you guys later." His crutches crush the grass as he leaves; I knew he'd still use them.
"So, what now, CJ?" I narrow my eyes, more so at what Lucy did than at him. But he misinterprets that. "I can go back to Key if you want?"
I dread the thought of that name sticking any longer than it has to. Since it doesn't have to... "CJ is fine, you deserve a clue after all."
"I will figure it out," Louis promises. "What now?"
"I just want to sit here and enjoy the sun," I answer. To leave would mean moving and I don't want to do that. Besides, it's not like I have anything better to do. "What do you want to do?"
"Get to know you better."
"Besides my name, haven't we all told you enough?" I grin. But it drops quickly when he runs his hand down the side of my face, just like he did in my room. He doesn't ask what I think he does, though.
"How do you know when I'm coming?" I tap the side of my nose. "That's what my siblings do when they want me to keep my nose out of their business."
I like his siblings. But that's not what I meant. "My sense of smell." I guess it's time I finally told him. "You're the only one in this school with that aftershave."
I hear him sniff. "Oh. It's French. My grandparents got it me one year. I'd never had it before and wasn't sure, but they talked about how expensive it was and I felt bad about not wanting to use it. So I used it everyday, so I could use it all and have something else. But they decided to get me a bottle every Summer when I visited and again at Christmas. It's not bad actually, but I very much look forward to something new."
I swear to God, if he gets rid of his aftershave, I'll kill him... I did not just think that!
"Interesting," I force out. Of all the things to say...
"Not really. Can you really tell what a person's like just by by touching them?"
"You watch way too many movies," I laugh.
"I only watched them when I used to stay at Uncle Harry's or Ted's," he tells me. "Can you?"
My laughter dies down a little when I realize he genuinely wants to know, but I don't lose my smile. "I don't know, I've never done it before."
"That would be weird, do you think? Knowing things about a person just by touching them, it sounds more like a super power," Louis says.
I agree; imagine that actually working. I admit, I'm intrigued. I wonder how much I can figure out about Louis with just my hands. I stand up before I have a chance to change my mind. When am I ever gonna get this close to him again? This is a good excuse... Er, experiment.
"What are you doing?"
"Are we leaving?"
I shake my head and hold out my hand. He takes it and I pull him forward. "I wanna try it. Lucy says you have blond hair and blue eyes; that's all I know about you physically." I raise my hand to my hair and move it across; it stops at his forehead, just below a small fringe. "About an inch or so taller than me."
Both my hands go to his face and run down his cheeks gently. "Slightly round face."
My hand goes back up to his forehead and down. "Straight nose, kind of small. Girly." He snorts and his nose crease; he obviously disagrees with my joke. "Thin lips, they're chapped; you bite your lip." That was just a guess, but he nods. I continue my path down, until I reach his neck. I hesitate, but Louis urges me to continue. Swallowing my nerves, I start at his shoulders. "Strong upper body, stronger than me anyway. Toned, but not overly so; you excerise, but not all that often. You're still in shape, so you try. You can't really tell unless you're this close, you have more of a runner's build. Do you run?"
"Every morning, for about an hour, before I wake you up."
"You wake me up at six thirty!" I counter. Seriously? I just can't imagine me getting up that early!
"I'd wake you up later than that if I thought you'd actually get up on time," he says. "But you don't. So I'm not."
I ignore that and carry on. I stop at his hips. "And that's as far as I go in that direction," I mutter, but he hears me; he pretends to be disappointed. I go back to his arms, go down to his hands and hold them in my own. "You use your hands a lot, but not enough for them to be so rough. It's something else. You write; more than just homework?" He says no. "Something else, something that requires your hands."
It's all quiet for a moment, while I think. I'm thinking purely innocent things, by the way. He does it often, I can tell, so it's gotta be something he loves. I've never been around him for whatever it is, so it's private, somewhere he can be alone. Lucy's never said anything about a hobby, so she either doesn't know or he's made her promise to keep it quiet. I don't think it's anything bad or he wouldn't love it. What would I do that would require space and time alone if I were him? I know what I do as me, though I can't here as there isn't one. But he doesn't do what I do, he's not a -
I spoke out loud again, but I'm glad this time. "Art. Do you paint?"
He snatches his hands away. "How did you know that?"
My eyes widen. "I'm right? You do art."
"Yeah, but how did you know that?"
"I thought about what I would do if I were you from what I had to go on; you use your hands; no one knows so it's private. I thought about what I do; I'm a very different type of artist, but it made the most sense."
"You're right; piano playing is a very different type of artist." I raise an eye-brow; I didn't know he knew that. But I don't actually call myself an artist; I think of performing arts as more drama and dance. I prefer musician; it makes me sound cooler. "You have long fingers, suitable for playing the piano. My grandmother tried to get me to go to lessons, but I never got the hang of it. Plus, when you're bored or nervous, you move your fingers and it looks like your playing. You don't even realize."
...I still do that? I shrug. "Yeah, I play. My primary school teacher taught for an hour me every day after school from the age of five. I practiced at home and at my grandparents and I fell in love with music. It's my thing, you could say. See, it's not just me who notices things, I just use my hands rather than my eyes. Does that answer your question?"
"Yeah and I was right; it's like a weird super power, I don't think I'd have thought of artist."
I smirk and lie back down. I want to enjoy the afternoon in the sun. "Yeah, well, you're not as brilliant as me."
Lying with me, Louis agrees in amusement. "Probably not, no."
"Questions for you," I start. "Is your brother as good looking as people claim him to be?"
"Better," he says. "But he's straight."
"Don't ruin it," I moan, but I get the feeling he sees right through it. It's like he understands me, he knows me.
A/N: Yay for another new chapter. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about the boys. :)