Hide in the Cafeteria

I finished a meatball I was eating before answering, “If I don’t see him, I don’t have to talk to him about it.”

Julia’s eyebrow went up, “How do you know he doesn’t want to talk to you about it? Maybe he has something he want to share about the problem?”

“He has my number. He could have contacted me anytime if he really want to.” And so far, after the last day or two, he hasn’t even bothered to see if I texted him by mistake. He didn’t even respond to it, even if I did intentionally send it to him.

The thought of William choosing not to respond didn’t sit well in my mind; I started to think that maybe I really wasn’t worth his time. The fact that he even had my number was because we were assigned as lab partners in Chemistry, so we needed to stay in touch when it came to finishing projects. And, on top of that, the only real time we would talk to each other would be during school hours, and we usually only talked about school stuff for a matter of minutes—nothing ever personal in terms of conversations. I’m pretty sure I was only seen as a schoolmate in his eyes.

With a forkful of noddles near my mouth, I brought it back down and put the lid on the container. My stomach started knotting up again, making me lose my little appetite.

“You alright, Emma?” Julia asked, worried.

I nodded slightly, putting the container back inside my bag, “Yeah. Just full right now.” I leaned on the table, burying my face in my backpack.

I’m such an idiot, kept running through my mind. I was careless when I was typing up that message to Julia, and I know exactly how it happened. As I was typing up the text, I haphazardly lobbed my phone onto my bed, thinking that I had put in Julia’s name as a receiving number. My phone landed face down on my bed and the fabric of the blanket must have replicated a person’s finger touch, accidentally selecting William instead, considering the fact that I don’t know his last name. I really need to make sure to change the sorting option of my phone from “Last Names First” to “First Names First.”

I lifted my head up to ask Julia a question, “Your last name is Wei, right?”

“Yeah, why?”

My head fell onto my backpack again, my theory being confirmed. “No reason.”

I didn’t bother bringing my head back up to see Julia’s expression. I just let myself hide in the small folds of my backpack, trying my best to hide my face in its black and brown leather colors. I closed my eyes and let my body relax, my shoulders dropping, releasing a bit more stress. Lunch had just begun, so I knew that I’d have to keep my face down for quite some time before my next class began: Mathematics. As much as I hated trying to solve an equation, it would have been a good way to help forget about my mistake for an hour. For now, the loud laughter and chatting around me would drown out my thoughts. Some time had past, at least, that’s what it felt like. I hear conversations switch from topic to topic faster than a well-known radio station. The sound of food trays being stacked and placed on top of nearby trash bins rang in my ears. Footsteps past behind me, and the double doors were constantly swinging open. With a quick glance, I pulled my phone out from my pocket and looked at it underneath the table, realizing that only ten minutes had past since I sat down—there was still forty minutes left for lunch. I cursed myself out under my breath, wanting to just get the day over with.

Little did in know that my day was about to change.

I heard the double doors open one more time, followed by a pair of voices talking.

“Did you finish up the English homework? I never understood the last question; it made no sense to me.”

“Yeah. You can copy it when we get to the table.”

“Thanks, Will.”

Copyright © 2019 by Luka Tatsujo

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