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“Oh well, obviously that’s not a lie. It was an amazing threesome with name calling, hair pulling, and everything intense. I’m surprised you haven’t heard my nickname yet.”

“And what’s that?”

“Mr. Wild.”

Bull crap.

“All right, Mr. Wild. What hair color do Jessica and Monica have?” I asked, knowing that he was lying.

“Platinum blonde, duh.”

“That was a lucky guess. Most of the girls here have platinum blonde hair.”

“And blue eyes.”

“Yup, perfect little Barbie dolls with perfectly big checkbooks.”

“Except for you,” he said. “You’re different.” He didn’t say anything else.

The palms of my hands grew sweaty, and I straightened up in my chair. His eyes stayed zoned in on me, and I was shocked by how comfortable I was with our silence. At the same time I was extremely uncomfortable with our silence. How could I be both things at once? I bounced my right knee and bit into my bottom lip nervously. “So you play the violin?” I asked.

“I do.”

“Are you any good?”

“Psh. Is Jascha Heifetz one of the greatest violinists to ever exist?” My blank stare met his shocked expression. “The answer is yes. Yes, I am good. And yes, Jascha Heifetz is one of the greatest violinists to ever exist. God. What do they teach you people at this school?”

“Not the top violinists, that’s for sure.”

“Well, it’s a shame because Heifetz…he played the violin like he was fighting for his life, as if he would cease to exist if it weren’t for the music he performed. The strings screamed and cried and cheered and laughed all at once.”

I wasn’t ready to admit it, or show it, but Levi made me smile. Not just on the outside, but on the inside, too. “Your personality is the complete opposite of your looks.”

“I know that my personality is outstanding, so I’ll go ahead and pretend that you didn’t just call me ugly.”

I snickered.

“Oh! She laughs, too!” He smirked.

Connor walked behind us and leaned in toward Levi. “Warning, warning, oddity sighting, oddity sighting. Save yourself.”

Levi gave Connor a laugh, but it wasn’t real. It was more one of those I’m-going-to-laugh-uncomfortably-so-you’ll-leave-me-the-fuck-alone kinds of chuckles.

“Friend of yours?” I questioned.

“Can’t you tell? We’re the best of buds,” he sarcastically remarked.

“Maybe you can give him some tips on growing facial hair. He’s been grooming that one chin hair for the past four years.”

“I’ll think about it,” he said, turning back to me. “It’s two, by the way.”

“What’s two? Two chin hairs?”

“No, I couldn’t really care less about Connor’s lack of hair dilemma. But you said it was just a coincidence that we had one class together, but we have two. You’re in my calculus class, too, but you never looked up to notice me.”

“So you noticed?” I asked.

“Noticed what?”

“Noticed me not noticing you?”

He laughed. “Touché.”

The teachers handed out sheets we were supposed to fill out in order to ‘get to know each other’. The sheets were filled with basic questions like what’s your favorite food, favorite music artist, favorite sport, are you in a relationship.

I blinked once. I looked up at Levi, and then back at the fact sheet. It didn’t say anything about a relationship, so it had either been in my head, or Levi had asked. “What?”

“I said do you have a boyfriend?”

“That’s not one of the questions on the sheet.”

“Aren’t we allowed to deviate from the list?” he asked.


“I think we are.”

“I think you’re wrong.”

Levi raised his hand, and Mr. Harper called on him; I cringed. “Yes, boy with the violin?”

“Are we allowed to add our own questions to the fact sheet, teacher with the impressive mustache?” Levi asked, his Southern voice really showing up within his question.

Mr. Harper curled the ends of his mustache with his fingers. “I welcome creative partner exploration.”

“Minus the sex,” Connor chimed in, annoyance in his voice. “This class blows.”

“Nice word choice, Connor. Your saxophone partner can look forward to in-depth conversations about life, politics, and human intelligence with you, I’m sure.” Mr. Harper smirked before walking over to Levi and me. “Where are you from, boy with the violin? I hear the accent.”

“Alabama, teacher with the impressive mustache.”

Levi was able to effortlessly slide into comfortable banter with anyone. He made it seem so charming, too.

“Ah! I met my Leonardo in Alabama many moons ago. Remind me to tell you the story of my da Vinci one day.” Mr. Harper walked off, humming to himself and twirling his mustache in a daze of false memories.

“So…boyfriend?” Levi turned back to me, giving me his full attention.

He wasn’t going to give up, so I gave in. “No boyfriend.”

“The guy with the red hair is just…?”

“A best friend.”

“That’s good to hear.”


“Because I didn’t want to step on the red-haired guy’s toes. It’s against the rules, ya know? Taking another man’s girl.”