“Are you serious right now, Lauren?” Alex asked behind her.
The bell just rang for their lunch period to start. The other students in their class piled out in front of them and headed for the door. It became crowded. Alex and Lauren took their time. Alex let Lauren step ahead of her down the aisle of chairs. That was when Lauren told her something that startled her.
Lauren glanced over her shoulder, a cheeky smile on her face.
“I am dead Sirius.”
Nonetheless, the cheerleader laughed at her own joke. The both of them had reached the front and walked side by side. The crowd had dispersed by now. The doorway was now scarce with only a few passersby like them who weren’t in a hurry.
“Isn’t that better though?” Lauren reasoned with her, “It’s still a double date even if Max doesn’t know.”
The cheerleader wanted to pat herself on the back. She had come up with an idea to turn that stupid idea of a double date into her advantage. She was glad she had extra cheer practice the week before. She wouldn’t have been able to change the terms, otherwise.
Alex raised an eyebrow, “A double date? Which one are you dating?”
She wondered how Lauren could still consider it as a double date. She would never have thought that it would end this way. Then again, she should have known Lauren had something up her sleeve.
“You, of course.”
Alex faltered a step.
“Then, the other two are dating each other?” She snorted, “Yeah, right.”
“Why? You wanna date one of them?” Lauren giggled.
“Oh, no. I’m not answering that. It’s a trap question” Alex scoffed, stepping out the doorway.
“What’s a trap question?”
Alex jumped. She turned on her heel and found Logan leaning against the wall of their classroom. He had one leg bent, the foot pressed against the wall. His hands were tucked in the pockets of his hoodie. A few students that passed by glanced over at him but he didn’t seem to notice.
He pushed himself off the wall and approached the two girls.
“So? What’s the trap question?” He asked again.
“What are you doing here?”
Logan frowned skeptically, “That’s a trap question?”
Alex gave him a deadpan look, “It is if you choose not to answer.”
“I was waiting for you, of course.”
Alex squinted her eyes. Logan had his signature lopsided smile on his face. She’d begun to find it suspicious during the time that she’d known him. It almost seemed like he used it to distract people from noticing his true intentions. Something she witnessed, especially in front of her grandfather.
“Why?” She asked cautiously, her eyes still scrunching.
“To get lunch” Logan shrugged.
“What do I look like? A cafeteria?”
Lauren bowed her head and shielded her face with a hand. Alex couldn’t be that dense. On second thought, since she spent most of her life by herself, it was highly likely that Alex just couldn’t see through the signs because of it. Lauren knew Alex had a bookworm side to her. Did she ever read romance books? Not only did Logan pick her up this morning but he was also picking her up for lunch.
It didn’t take Lauren even a second to realize why Logan was here.
“If anything, you look more like a snack than a cafeteria” Lauren cut in. The pair shifted their eyes in her direction, “Logan would have probably eaten you for lunch by now.”
Logan hiccuped from the snort he held back. He placed a hand over his neck, covering it up. Alex snapped her head towards him, a crease between her eyebrows, “You’re into cannibalism now?”
“Yeah, yeah” he replied in nonchalance, “Come on, let’s go before I end up eating you.”
Lauren stayed a few steps behind the two. She pressed her lips together. It wouldn’t look good to openly stare at them with a giddy smile on her face. Instead, she glanced around the hallway and checked if anyone noticed the three of them. She was late to realize that she probably should have done it earlier before she made her comment.
The pair didn’t seem to mind their behavior.
Ah well, no one looked at their way twice so far. It was probably still fine. Logan wouldn’t do anything rash while on campus.
Two fingertips tapped Lauren’s forehead, “What are you thinking so deeply?”
The cheerleader blinked, releasing the tension on her brows. She whirled her head to the right and caught Colin’s curious brown eyes on her.
“Nothing much” she replied, glancing at the floor. Did he always have that glint in his eyes?
Colin leaned down so his mouth hovered next to her ears. He whispered, “Is it a secret?”
“If it was,” Lauren whispered back, a teasing look on her face. She still didn’t look at him, “Why would I tell you about it?”
Colin straightened up his posture. He crossed his arms over his chest and peeked at the ceiling.
“You have a point,” he said after some time, “Then, I’d just have to earn more of your trust. Just like I did during that cheer routine.”
Lauren wished she didn’t use a ponytail hairstyle. With all her hair out of her face, she had nothing inconspicuous to shield her cheeks if she blushed. She could almost hear what Colin told her when she fell into his arms. Normally, the other boys in the team would have lifted her back up so she could land on her feet.
Their pose lasted for a number of seconds. It became noticeable to the rest of her teammates. Since then, they’d teased her about it.
“I—I…” she stuttered, “I can only let you catch me like that if you’re wearing the mascot costume.”
“I can’t always wear that. It’s school property” Colin pointed out. Then, he held up a finger, “What I can do is wear a sweater though. Would that be okay?”
Lauren opened and closed her mouth like a fish. She tried to put words together that would question how would they even end up in a situation like that outside of cheer practice? The words seemed to be at the tip of her tongue but her voice won’t say them.
Somehow she felt a premonition where the conversation would lead to.
Alex and Logan pushed the doors open for the cafeteria. Alex checked for Lauren over her shoulder. She raised her eyebrows at the sight of her companion but kept the door open, Logan mimicking her.
They let the two walk ahead of them before they let the doors go. The pair didn’t even seem to notice their gestures. Alex and Logan huddled their heads together, observing the two from behind.
Colin had his eyes on Lauren since he just asked her a question. On the other hand, Lauren had her eyes on the floor.
“When Max said Lauren and the mascot looked cozy together” Logan whispered, “I didn’t think he actually meant it.”
Alex gave him a look that involved half of her face scrunching together, “How can you not know when your best friend likes someone?”
Her question immediately directed her mind to when Jae revealed he actually knew Max’s secret. Then, it wandered to the time she witnessed Colin smoothly give Lauren his number. His persistence to drive her home clearly showed his interest. It had been weeks since then. Did boys not talk about their love lives with each other?
“Well, I’ve been busy trying to be your best friend” Logan retorted.
“So your excuse is that you’ve spent less time with him to not notice?”
Alex elbowed his ribs, “Be a better friend.”
Logan scoffed, “That’s rich coming from you.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
The two of them went in line for their food. Alex grabbed a tray and craned her neck. She wanted to decide right away what to eat before it was her turn. She didn’t want to linger too long in front.
“You rarely reply to messages” Logan said behind her.
“I’m not used to texting anyone,” she explained without looking at him.
“If I called, would you answer then?”
“I’m an awkward bean. Calls scare me unless you’re my parents.”
“So the only way to talk to you is in person?”
“Not unless I run away” Alex shrugged.
“Should I kabedon you first before talking to you?”
At this, Alex tilted her head up to his face, “What does that mean?”
A lump appeared in Logan’s throat. He didn’t know how to reply. He had been prepared to not be ready for her reply. What he didn’t expect was her lack of knowledge about it.