Pine (part 2)

(Continued from yesterday. Click here to go back to the beginning.)

Jennifer walked into second-period Algebra wearing a close-fitting, short-sleeved salmon top and jeans. Jace looked up to see her nonchalantly flip her hair over her shoulder, sending a scented breeze wafting over his face.

In fifth-period study hall, Jennifer read. Jace took out a pencil and sketchbook, and he drew. From his seat two rows behind hers, Jace filled a page with sketches. At one point, Jennifer peered in his direction. Jace quickly buried himself in the papers on his desk. It was only partially an act. From his mental snapshot, he saw dark eyes, sultry, staring at him, which with talent and skill he transferred to the page.

In sixth-period English class, Jennifer sat at the desk directly in front of Jace. At one point, she turned to him. “I broke my pencil. Do you have an extra I could borrow?”

“Yeah.” He always carried surplus sharp pencils. Jace handed one to her.

The bell rang signaling the end of the day. As Jace started his walk home, Jennifer caught up to him.

“Jace!” She proffered the borrowed pencil. “Here’s your pencil. Thanks.”

He took it, but just for a moment, she held on to the pencil, would not release her grip, and Jace wondered whether she wanted to keep it. As far as he was concerned, she could. It was only a pencil.

“You were really a life-saver,” she said.

“It was no big deal,” Jace replied. It was only a pencil; he had only saved her a trip to the pencil sharpener.

“Well, thanks anyway.”

They talked as they walked, mostly trivia–school, the weather, the ball game–until they reached Jennifer’s house.

“Well, this is me,” she said.

Jace said nothing.

(Click here for part 3.)

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