James held his hand out towards Himeko, who shook it timidly, pursing her lips slightly.
“We should get to class,” she told Cerys when she let go of his hand. “You know how Mister Harrison is about bing late.”
Cerys raised a brow and checked her watch. They still had plenty of time, but she was not about to call her on it; if Himeko wanted to leave, she would leave with her. “Well, James, I guess will see you after you’ve registered for classes,” she told him. “Have fun with your unpacking.”
“Loads,” he replied sardonically, pushing a lock of wavy hair, a pale shade of blond, out of his eyes. “You enjoy Mister Ford’s lecture.”
Cerys gave him a quizzical look. “You mean Mister Harrison.”
“Ford,” he said again, with a wink.
It took her another moment, but when she realized what he was playing at, her face brightened into a grin that spanned from one ear to the other. “You, sir,” she said in a playful tone, “do not know what you have gotten yourself into.”
“I’ll have to wait to find out,” he chuckled, and started walking up the ramp of the moving truck. “Go on, don’t make yourselves late on my account.”
He waved to them as they started walking away, and they waved back before turning to head down the street. As soon as they rounded the corner, they found Peter leaning against a light pole, one knee bent, his boot against the metal. The girls stopped, surprised to see him there.
“Were you waiting for us?” his sister asked.
Peter nodded. “Who was that?”
“He’s new to the neighborhood,” Cerys told him. She gestured for him to walk with them. “His name is James.”
“He’s going to live in that house?”
“Well, yes, Peter,” Cerys replied. “Why didn’t you come over and meet him?”
Peter shook his head. “You know how people usually treat me.”
They were coming up to the last corner before the high school. “Peter, the sophomores and juniors are not ‘most people.’ I know for a fact that none of the seniors bother you. As for everyone else in the neighborhood, most people actually don’t mind. Geez, what is it about the both of you and this new kid?”
Traffic stopped, and they were able to cross the street. The gates to Oak Hollow High School were still open, and students were sitting around on the benches and picnic tables in the courtyard, or milling about here and there is the causeways.
“Didn’t you see his eyes?” Himeko asked as they headed towards their lockers. “I have never seen grey eyes that looked like that before.”
“They were gorgeous, weren’t they?” Cerys said with smile.
“That isn’t what I meant,” Himeko replied as she turned the dial on her lock. “They were really strange.”
Cerys shrugged. “Strange, or handsome? Plus, he’s funny!”
Himeko sighed and shook her head.
Once she was done, they walked with Peter down to his locker. They had managed to get one just a couple doors down from his older sister’s. She liked crossing paths with him throughout the day, to make sure that he was all right, and this was one way that they did so without it looking too obvious. As she got her books, she smiled to a boy who sat on a bench nearby. He put down his book once Peter opened his locker, got what he needed, and locked it back up.