View Full Version : When Trains Collide (Chapter 3) (Language)

March 23rd, 2013, 02:03 AM
The first day back from break dragged on for the both of them. They saw each other’s cars but never crossed paths. It killed them both, she just wanted to see him, even if it was only for a few seconds. He wanted to see her with her friends, laughing and joking the way she always did with them. She was so mature and reserved in his class, he liked to see the funny, sarcastic side of her. She could let loose with them, he wished he could bring that out of her too.

He walked through the parking lot after his last class, finally ready to go home. The day was long on it’s own, but not seeing her in the middle of it to perk him up made it that much worse. He was dying for a cigarette and searched his pockets for his lighter. Nothing. In the middle of cursing himself, he heard a familiar song. A song that took him back to his first year of college, partying and skipping class with his friends. Where could it be coming from? He scanned the lot for the source, and found it coming from no other than Jade’s car. He was shocked. He was impressed. “She’s 20, how the hell does she know this song?” He thought aloud. Not only did she know it, she loved it. He could tell by how loud it was, her driver’s side door open. She didn’t care who heard. He wasn’t surprised, she kind of aired on the side of “I don’t give a damn” when she was in his class. This confirmed it. He had to make a move. Those two weeks of not seeing her killed him, and he never wanted to feel like that again. It was now or never. He was close to his car, but he’d have to pass hers to get to it. He sauntered up toward the back of her car.

She saw him in the rear view mirror. Her stomach dropped into her legs. This was the first time she’d seen him all day. There he was. She was always too busy hanging on his every word to realize just how physically attractive he was. Maybe he wasn’t to everyone, but he was her type in every sense of the word. On the shorter side of average, broad shoulders, black hair, a little premature gray on the sides, and his eyes. The only true green eyes she’d ever seen. He was wearing her favorite color on a man, black. Black suit pants, a black button up with no tie, and a black wool coat. She couldn’t have written a better description of a man her type. She noticed he was walking closer and closer to her car. He didn’t look nervous, he wasn’t. He knew he had her, she knew it too. She wasn’t the type of girl to hold eye contact, she quickly averted her eyes from the rear view mirror to her radio, turning the volume down.

“Hey, Jade.” He said it a little more excited than he wanted to.

She didn’t even look up, she was playing it cool. She lit a cigarette, exhaled, nodded her head just slightly. “Hey, how was your break?”

He knew how hard she was trying to maintain her composure, he’d never call her on it. He’d let her think she was fooling him, for now. “Fine, relaxed a bit. Stayed as far away from work as possible.”

“Lucky you, I got two days off in two weeks.”

“Aw, poor kid, those part time, 6 hour shifts can be maddening.”

Without missing a beat she added “6 and a half.”

“Oh, my mistake. Hey, you got a light?” What a stupid question, she was smoking right in front of him.

“Nope.” She started grinning.

“Really? Damn, how’d you light that then?”

“Snapped my fingers.”

His face dropped and he looked at her with a contrived pleading look in his eyes. “Come on now, it’s been like 3 hours since I’ve smoked.”

“That sounds like a personal problem.” She looked right at him, tried to hide her smile. When she couldn’t anymore she started laughing and put her head down. “Alright, alright. Here.” She made it a point to blow her smoke in his face when he bent down to light his cigarette. He coughed dramatically. She started at him.

“The hell’s wrong with you?” She started laughing. “Need me to call someone?”

“You smoke girly cigarettes. All menthol and minty and whatnot. Gross.”

“I think you’ll be alright.” She wasn’t trying to hide her smile anymore.

“Smartass. Got that powerpoint for me?” They both noticed he cussed in front of her, which added a bit of familiarity that neither of them saw coming. It just kind of slipped out, it fit.

“Shit.” She could be familiar too. “No, I’ll bring it by your room Wednesday, if I don’t forget again.”

“You’re lucky you did such good work in my class, I’ll let it go.”

She started up at him and grinned. “I know you will.”

“Cocky little thing, are we?”

“You don’t know the half of it.” She said it so proudly. He ate it up.

“I’m sure I’ll find out…someday. But I’m heading out, I expect that paper to be on my desk at 9 on Wednesday.”

“9? Oh, no. I don’t have class til 12:30.”

He arched his eyebrow, something she realized he did when he was getting cocky. “Sounds like a personal problem.”

“You’ll get it at noon.”

“I won’t take it at noon.”

“Sure you will, I was your best student, I earned a little slack.”

“Alright, you got me this time.”

“And it won’t be the last.” She started to shut her car door.

“Why am I not surprised?” He called over his shoulder as he walked to his car.

Wednesday couldn’t come any quicker. She set her phone alarm for 8:20 so she could have the paper in at 9. She woke up and thought to herself. “He’s gonna take that damn paper at noon.” and tried to go back to sleep. She normally had no problem with that, she wasn’t happy if she was up before 11. But this morning was different, she couldn’t shake her butterflies, couldn’t quiet her mind. She got up, smoked a cigarette, grabbed an energy drink, she hated coffee, and opened her window before laying back down. This was the first time in weeks she could enjoy her morning without sleeping until the last second and frantically rushing out the door. She silently thanked him for that, but she wouldn’t walk through that door before noon, just as she said.

She stared down at her phone in the school parking lot, 11:50. Warren would be taking his break after his first class soon. Sure enough, there he was, lighting a cigarette no more than 5 feet from the building. He had to walk by her car to get to his. He stopped mid-stride when he saw her sitting in her car, clearly in no hurry to be anywhere. He just smiled and laughed, “I should’ve known.”

“Well I did tell you it wouldn’t be here til noon, didn’t I? I don’t wake up early for my boss even, what makes you think I would for you?”

He tried to contain his laughter. “You know, I’m not really surprised that you’re not a morning person.”

“What makes you say that?”

“The way you walked into my class at 1 in the afternoon looking like you woke up ten minutes before you had to leave.”

“That’s because I did wake up ten minutes before I had to leave. I hate mornings.”

“Why? It was so nice around 8:30 this morning.”

She wanted to say she knew, but that would mean she was awake. She’d never let him know it was the thought of seeing him outside of class keeping her from falling back asleep.

“I’m sure I didn’t miss much.”

“You’re impossible, kid. Got that paper?”

“As I said I would, but you can’t have it now..” He looked at her with a puzzled look, she continued “it’s 11:53, I said you’d get it at noon.”

“And I said I wouldn’t take at noon.”

She looked at him with a playfully challenging expression on her face. “Bullshit.”

“I may consider taking it if you walk with me.” He raised his eyebrow and smiled.

“Really? Did you lose your way? That Alzheimer’s can be a bitch. Don’t worry I’ll help you find your way back to the home.” She was really on her game.

It was then he’d realize the age jokes would never end between those two. “No, I know my way. But if you don’t have a babysitter, you’re likely to get into trouble. Walk with me.” He got her there, she nodded in approval. She grabbed her paper and got out of her car. She reached into her pocket for a cigarette, put it in her mouth and looked for her lighter. Before she could look in his direction, he was holding out his in an attempt to light it for her. She grabbed it from his hand and lit it herself.

“You always this hard to be nice to?” He asked, lighting his own cigarette.

“I don’t need you to light my cigarette, I’m a big girl.”

He looked her up and down, she was so small. But she was strongly built, she had to have been an athlete before college. A perfect balance between muscular and petite. He opened his mouth and started to say something. She cut him off.

“I don’t wanna hear your stupid height joke either.”

He was impressed with how quick she could be, no woman had ever matched his wit before. It baffled him. He held out his hands in front of him. “Who said I was gonna make a height joke? I’m offended you’d think I’d stoop so low, Jade.”

“Well, Warren..” They both paused, it was the first time she called him by his first time. “it was either that or you were checking me out.” She checked her phone. Noon. “Here you go.”

He stared at her. It was the first time his eyes truly met hers. He would stay there for forever if he could. She shook her head a little to break the trance.

“I should get to class. I’ll see you on your next break?”

“Wouldn’t miss it.” He winked at her and grinned just a little, which they both found to be a bit cheesy for his standards. But it didn’t matter, it fit. She felt like she’d seen that wink and grin a million times before. She laughed, shook her head, and walked to her first class.

She found focusing on the lecture was much harder than it usually was. She didn’t have to try very hard to grasp anything they were saying, which to some teachers came off as lazy. She’d look like she was minutes away from falling asleep, make no effort to hide that she was texting or drawing on her notes. Her and her friends would make jokes and laugh in the middle of a silent classroom. Then she’d surprise them and answer three or four questions in a row. She liked it that way. She liked being perceived as a screw-off and then wowing them with her intelligence. It was a mind game for her, nothing ever was done by accident.

But today was different. She really wasn’t focusing and made no effort to look as if she was doing so. Even though the next break would only mean seeing him for about ten minutes, she couldn’t contain her excitement. Class wasn’t even half way over and she already felt that if she sat in her chair for another minute she’d explode. She was restless in nature, which contradicted her cool, lazy, indifferent exterior. Her mind was always racing, she couldn’t turn it off. She whispered to one of her friends that she was going to the bathroom, which she had no intention of doing, and left the room. She started walking aimlessly around the hallways, stopping to get a drink or read a flyer taped to a wall. After about ten minutes, she went to turn the corner to head back to her class and nearly ran right into Warren. She gasped, she wasn’t ready for him. He noted her shocked expression and started to realize this calm, collected girl could just be shaken by his presence. He reveled in it, but, against his own nature, he’d never prey on it.

“I didn’t scare you, did I?” He laughed and looked around the hallways, not a soul to be seen and every classroom door was shut. It was safe to talk to her.

“Eh, just wasn’t expecting anyone to be out here.”

“Shouldn’t you be in class, kid?”

“Shouldn’t you, sir?” She did have a point.

“I have a guest speaker today. He’ll take up the rest of this class so I get to go home. What’re you doing roaming around here? Slacking as usual, I’m guessing. Wanna go smoke with me?” He nodded toward the door.

“I got bored, we’re learning easy stuff. And I thought you’d never ask.” She sighed. “Thank you for giving me a reason not to go back in there.”

They walked through the parking lot, not really heading anywhere specific. She paused. “I talk to you once outside of your classroom and you’re already making me skip class. You’re a bad influence.”
He looked at her with an overly dramatic shocked expression. “Me?! Bull, God knows how long you were roaming around before I came along.”

“About ten minutes. I was on my way back til you asked me to come smoke. You’re corrupting my young impressionable mind. First it’s a smoke break, then it’s skipping my homework, then I fail out of here. And it’ll be all your fault. How can you live with yourself?”

He leaned his shoulder into hers, knocking her slightly off balance. “Oh will you knock it off?” He laughed. “I think you’re very capable of making your own decisions, you are a big girl after all. Even if you don’t look it.”

She smacked him on the shoulder. “Hey, you’re the one who hit on me, like em young eh?”

“Shut up.”

“Just remember, any kid jokes you make fall back on you liking a 20 year old.”

“Who said I liked you?” They both stopped, he looked at her, trying to keep a smile from creeping up. She looked at him and didn’t say anything, but he could almost hear her calling him an idiot aloud. They both broke out laughing at the same time.

They ended up making their way toward his car, stopping and lingering there. He had something on his mind. She was uneasy. They stood there in silence finishing their cigarettes. He made it a point to look distracted at every little sound around them. She made it a point to focus on her cigarette. He kept looking at her like he wanted to say something, only to avert his eyes to someone getting out of their car or the passing traffic. She caught him looking at her.


He cleared his throat. “Come home with me.”

“What?” They both know she heard him. She knew what he said, but it took a minute to process, she couldn’t believe it.

He straightened up, shoulders back, eyes locked on hers. “Come home with me.”

“I have two classes left..well, one and a half, thanks to you.” She made jokes when she was uncomfortable. But she wasn’t uneasy over the question; she felt guilty telling him she couldn’t.

“Alright, I won’t make you start messing up in school. But give me your phone.” He didn’t wait for her to give it to him, he slid it out of her hand while she was checking the time.

“What’re you doing?”

He handed it back, putting it back on the lock screen so she couldn’t see what he did. “Well, if you won’t come home with me, you can text me until you come over after class.”

“What if I have plans for after class?” She couldn’t make it that easy for him, no matter how charming he was being.

“We both know you’d rather come see me.” His confidence could make her buckle, he knew that.

“Fair enough. If I do decide I feel like texting you, when should I?”

“Right after I pull out of the lot.”

“But you’ll be driving, that’s dangerous you know.” She couldn’t help but be amused with herself. She texted while she was driving all the time.

He sighed. “God, kid. You’re so difficult. Fine, it takes me twenty minutes to get home. Text me then. Exactly twenty.

“Fine, fine. My class is over in..” She checked her phone. “Shit, ten minutes, have I been out here that long?”

“Go on, get back in there. I’ll talk to you in twenty minutes, starting when I leave the lot.”

“You might.”

He rolled his eyes and got in his car.