I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be
but if I had to walk the world I'd make you fall for me
I promise you, I promise you, I will
--When in Rome, The Promise
The high school chemistry teacher droned.
The class fidgeted. Some even talked quietly in the back. The teacher wasn't aware. He lectured in a strange little bubble with his eyes half-closed. Like meditation.
A guy in the second row glanced at the girl next to him and rolled his eyes.
The guy didn't have to listen. He already knew the material. Once, he thumbed through the book just to make sure he would get to learn something new before the end.
"I'm going to kill myself," someone whispered nearby.
"If you do, please take him with you," another said.
The guy turned again, and the girl looked down at her desk.
His normally ordered brain spun. Not enough traction. And his throat felt tight.
"Hey, I could--" he whispered, but stopped.
She looked up.
"I could, um, help you with this stuff. If you want. This dude is the worst."
"No, I've got it," she said. "He's just putting me to sleep."
His brain still spun, but now his throat was tighter.
He told himself to keep his mouth shut. That was the smartest thing.
She smiled at him again.
He smiled back.