I didn’t see Rory again til sculpting class, late that afternoon.
There was no chance to talk then. It’s not exactly the sort of class that you can talk in. It’s just too noisy.
He was concentrating really hard. Or so I thought. Now and then, he would glance at me, but if I looked towards him, he would turn away. Strange.
I thought maybe I should at least ask him if he was okay, but after class, I lost track of him.
It was just as well. I had an evening class, and only an hour to find dinner.
I was sitting with Mandy, as usual, listening to her chatter away about her life drawing class, giggling over the nude model brought in for that day.
“You’re such a child, Mandy,” I scolded with a small smile.
“I can’t help it, Jade, really I can’t,” she giggled.”It was a male model. They always look so funny to me.”
I smiled and shook my head, turning my attention to my food. It looked really good, and smelled even better. But it tasted off. Like ashes in my mouth.
Mandy saw my expression as I tried to chew.
“Guess I’m not as hungry as I thought. Perhaps I’m coming down with something,” I said, gathering up my bag and books.”I’ll see you back at our room later, okay?”
“Sure,” Mandy replied, for once sounding subdued. She watched me leave with worried eyes.
I hadn’t been able to eat any dinner, but I popped a few supplements. It took the edge off for awhile. The pills were a poor substitute for the fruit, but they helped. I’d just have something more filling later.
I was surprised to find Rory waiting for me outside the classroom.
“I thought you usually went back to the dorms by now,” I said.
“Thought I’d walk you back tonight,” he smiled.
“Oh,” I said surprised.”That’s nice. Why?”
“Well, Mandy said you weren’t feeling well, so-” he stopped his explanation as he caught the expression on my face.
“Are you walking me to the dorms because you want to, or because you thought you ought to?” I ground out angrily. I felt almost irrationally furious.
“Well, uh…both,” Rory stammered.
“So you’re playing White Knight?” I folded my arms.
“No!” he said forcefully.”I…I like you Jade. I wanted to walk you home, anyway. And hearing that you’re not feeling well worried me. Is there anything wrong with that?”
“No,” I said shortly, then sighed.”I’m sorry. I guess I’m just irritable because I’m feeling sick.”
“That’s okay,” Rory smiled brightly.
Once outside, we walked down the deserted pathway in silence for awhile.
“I like you, too, Rory,” I finally admitted, breaking the silence.
“You do?” Rory asked, startled.
“Of course I do.”
This seemed to make him very happy.
Outside my door, we stood for a moment. Impulsively, I leaned over and kissed him, before walking through my door.
“Wow,” I heard him say, dazed, before I shut the door.
Mandy looked up as I walked in (thought, personally, I thought I was floating).
“Had a good night?” she asked.
“Mm hmm,” I said, absently. I sat down at my desk, completely forgetting how hungry I was.