The Cold Inside (a serial novel) Chapter Twenty-nine part one
The Cold Inside
By AL BRUNO III
Wednsday January 11, 1995
So far this was shaping up to be the greatest year of Warren's life, even topping the year that he got a letter published in STARLOG Magazine. First they got back at Fred Trager, then they got back at Linda and now Tristam was promising something even worse for Kenny. It was all great stuff but now to be sitting here in the cafeteria having breakfast with Solana… To be friends with her? Bliss, pure bliss.
“And our coach is furious because the football team keeps making a mess of the storage rooms every day,” Solana ate her breakfast and talked at the same time and she did both with frightening speed. Warren didn’t understand how she didn’t stumble over her words, or choke or both. “So she shouts to Coach Benanati- You show some respect to my girls! At least they know how to win a game!- I could have died!”
The cafeteria was relatively quiet in the half-hour before homeroom. The only things they offered was cold cereal, milk, orange juice and toast.
“I can't believe it. The girls gym teacher showed some emotion?” This was the second breakfast for Warren but Solana always treated and he couldn't say no. A few days ago she had told him how sorry she had felt about what happened before Christmas and how immature she thought the other boys were. “You know what we call her?”
“The Terminator!” She giggled.
More students passed through the cafeteria but not to stop for food, they were gawking at the two opposites sitting together; even the janitor poked his head in and when he caught Warren’s eye he gave him a big thumbs up. Warren said, “You know, everyone is looking. Wondering why on Earth you’re talking to me.”
Solana shrugged, “So? I like this school and my friends very much but they don’t see you any more than they see me.”
“What do you mean?”
“All they see is of you is the boy they make fun of. They don't know anything more than that and they don't want to know anything more than that. It is the same with me. All they see is my outside but they don't know anything about me. Especially the boys, they ask me out they take me to the movies but all they want is…” She gave him a knowing nod.
“Maybe they just think you’re pretty pretty. I mean very pretty. I mean you know that your pretty.” Warren groaned inwardly.
Why am I trying to be smooth? I'm never smooth!
“Please,” She said with a wave of her hand, “they look at my legs they, look at my boobs but never my eyes. Only you look in my eyes.”
“They're… I… Whoo…”
The warning bell sounded. They both quickly got to their feet and emptied their trays into a garbage can. “I almost went out with Fred,” she said, “after his little party I'm glad I didn't. Maybe he deserved that car crash.”
They walked out into the hall. Warren asked, “What do you mean? Is this about Drew?”
“What they did to her was terrible.” Solana said.
“I thought it was just rumors.”
Solana frowned as they maneuvered through the crowded hallways, “So many people tell the same story Warren. I'm sorry.”
There was no time to talk further. They promised to meet again tomorrow morning and Warren headed to class. He felt giddy and sad all at once. Warren didn’t know what to tell Tristam first; that he had been right about Drew or that he was in love.