Time TableWords today don't mean what they did twenty years ago. Words like satisfaction, or even kink. Words like hard, or come.
Zachary turned the page of his geometry textbook as he thought about Katherine, always writing the words into her stories.
Always 'tagging' them to certain pages. Teenage girls needed to find something to vent out the sexual tension they'd pent up.
For some people the real world was enough, sex, making out with a peer you've never talked to at a party.
But Katherine like two write it. Write about boys kissing in closets during seven minutes in heaven. Write about nerdy boys who worked in coffee shops who fall in love with the star football player. And for more of a cliche than a plot twist, they need each other more than anything in the end. But that didn't happen in the real world.
Love was a lie and sex was a sin, but everyone was doing it. Drinking was reckless, but it was such a thrill. Reading was for nerds, and sports led to innuendos about steroids.
Zachary was no nerd, was no jock. Zachary was what his peers called a 'watcher'. One whom was too afraid, or too smart to do anything on his own, so he watched other people make mistakes themselves.
Like Liza, a third year who was pregnant, and everyone knew it, excluding her boyfriend Dylan, captain of the football team.
This wasn't a teen movie, where they'd stay together for the baby, but he'd cheat on her and fail a drug test and ruin the rest of his life. No. Life went on. Liza would be on maternity leave, yes, but she'd still finish school. She'd probably graduate early, and Dylan wouldn't be forced to pay child support until he finished college.
Zachary adjusted his glasses glancing at the back of Katherine's head as she wrote feverishly into her notebook.
Zachary pictured the worst with how she kept glancing up at the geometry teacher, Mr. Ives. Zachary knew she had one of those teacher-student crushes on him, but hadn't expected her to write any 'smut', in her words, about him.
Soon the bell rang, and Zachary was three paces behind Katherine as she slowly put her things away until everyone was gone but she, Zachary, and Mr. Ives. She went to his desk, and it seemed neither of the two noticed Zachary at the back of the room.
Katherine still spoke in a hushed voice as she gave a paper to Mr. Ives. But Zachary heard her say. "I don't mean it in a weird way." she chuckled. "It's just-...I've never wanted to....a person-...just think on it?"
Zachary waited for her at the door, but she didn't launch into conversation like she usually did. "What was that about?" Zachary asked, voice small as usual, but all the more condescending, also as usual.
"Do you remember the portrait project that I told you about?" she asked, voice shaky from her anxiety. Zachary nodded, and although she didn't see him she continued as they passed people in the hall headed towards the lunch room. "I asked him to be my model."
Zachary stared at her. "I know, it's silly...but I can't stop drawing him...and I'd rather he knew about it. Maybe then I wouldn't feel so creepy." Zachary had seen her drawings. He'd actually seen the one of a man, a bearded man with half of his face graphic lines. Zachary hadn't really thought about the particular drawing until now.
"You're really in love with him, aren't you? You know it's just a fantasy. You're seventeen, he's nearly thirty-" Katherine glared at him. "I know. God, Zachary, don't you think I know that? And I'm not in love with him, I'm just... I think maybe I admire him...too much." Zachary nodded in agreement.
As they entered the cafeteria Katherine suddenly began to grin. Zachary just waited for her to explain herself as always when her expression changed drastically in a matter of seconds, but she said nothing.
If it weren't for the fact that Katherine was over-the-top passive about everything he would have sworn she was bipolar by now. "Hey look, it's my too lame ass friends." Polly said grinning as she approached the duo. "God, Pol. If you weren't smiling I'd call you a bully." Polly kissed her cheek. "I'm okay, how are you?" Katherine scoffed. "You're an idiot." Polly grinned. "You know, I think you're pretty too, thanks Kitty."
Zachary frowned. "You're asinine, Polly Macbeth." Polly pouted moving to kiss Zachary's cheek as well, but he dodged it. "Eating lunch today?" Polly asked. Zachary looked at the white board littered in black magic marker. "Nope." he answered shortly before making his way to their designated table.
"Zach." Katherine chirped to get his attention away from the book he was reading and instead direct it towards her. "As you know, today is Friday." Zachary snorted looking back to his book. "As you know, you need oxygen to survive."
Katherine frowned and Polly cackled. "As I was saying, today is Friday. And since last Friday, I have been collecting information." Zachary sighed. "Oh no..." Katherine just went on smiling. "And you're always one to say fate is merely coincidence, and love is a lie, and that we all make our own path in life, or whatever, but since Friday I've noticed a pattern."
"Or more like a schedule, see you're first three classes are English, Chemistry, and Fine Arts, correct?" Zachary looked up. "Yeah, but why-" Katherine interrupted his questioning and continued. "And fourth period you have boys athletics. Sometimes Geometry, and after either you have lunch."
"Why are you explaining my schedule to me?" Zachary asked with a shrug as he put his book away. Polly was looking at Katherine's open binder seeming impressed. "Just to make sure I got it all correct. And the last four periods of the day are in the second wing of the school, where you leave us, but I've also noticed you have two of those classes with someone else I've been studying closely." Zachary was amused. "You know, if you were this devoted in school you wouldn't be failing three classes." he taunted. Polly guffawed. "Why are you studying two people anyway?"
Katherine cleared her throat. "You haven't let me get to the good part yet. I've only done my research because, Zachary is such a hard person to convince." she said. "Anyway, Nate Greeley has been watching you. This lunch period, in the halls. I've noticed every time, and I've taken note of it. Look."
She passed her binder to Zachary. "On the back of the first two pages is where your schedules cross and on the next two is a time table. I've take the time between classes to write when he's looking at you. And if I calculated it correctly than he should actually be glancing this way between the next five to ten minutes."
Zachary sat in his seat dumbfounded. He had recalled all the times this past week that he'd seen Katherine's journal in her hands, but he'd never expected this. He thought she'd be jotting notes down for some fan fiction, or smut she was writing for a less popular 'ship' that she had devoted her entire day to.
Now Zachary sat staring at her binder, unspeakable things jotted down on the paper in Katherine's pretty hand writing. "You can take it if you want to. Check it out for yourself." she said. Zachary swallowed. "This is completely ridiculous, Nathaniel Greeley? He's in varsity track, and sits with all of the so-called 'popular' group of people. You can't be serious?"
Katherine just grinned glancing across the room from where the three of them sat. "See for yourself." she said out of pure amusement. She sounded like a know-it-all. She sounded like Zachary, sure, and full, of herself. So Zachary knew before he'd even looked back that Nathaniel Greeley's eyes would be on him. And Zachary had checked, there was no one else behind him that Nathaniel could be looking at. There was no argument he could give Katherine except. "Merely coincidence. He just happened to be looking in this direction...or maybe he is just dozing off."
Katherine chuckled in amusement. "Talk to me when you've checked the table for the rest of the day sweetie, okay?" she damn near teased him before getting up to retrieve lunch with her best friend Polly, their hands finding each other's as they made there way to the line. Zachary glanced back in Nathaniel's direction, but his gaze was averted.
It wasn't odd to feel dissatisfied in this situation. Zachary knew that, but he was pleased as well. His argument could still be valid. If not entirely than at least somewhat... at least.