Samstag, 12. Januar 2013
She came at dawn Chapter 2 - Intrigued
“Sometimes the one thing you are looking for is the one thing you can't see.”
Melissa and Greg were already waiting inside the game center when Laila and Tom arrived fashionably late.
“Hello, you two. We were afraid you would let us down, but I guess you’re not that scared of a competition.” Melissa said with a warm smile.
“Sorry guys. We got a little carried away.” Tom’s apology sounded a tad nervous, and so Greg used the chance to tease him a little.
“Ah, carried away… I see.” He grinned like a teenage boy, and as a reward Tom’s face heated up within a second.
“Gahh! Not what you think! It was…”
Bang! Laila was quick to stop her date, with a fairly hard punch on his spiky head, from spilling any idiotic stuff. “Ouch…” Tom winced while rubbing his head.
“Serves you right, idiot!” Laila growled before facing Greg and Melissa. “We were late because he got a little carried away by holding on too tightly during the drive and so we missed the exit-ramp.”
Trying to excuse the situation, Tom still felt the need to defend himself. “I was scared because you drove so fast.”
“Sissy…” Laila mumbled with a slight hint of regret.
Melissa had watched the conversation silently. Tom was right about her being cold, but somehow I don’t feel disturbed by it. Quite the contrary, it makes her very intriguing. She seems to like him, yet she isn’t able to say anything nice. I wonder what lies beyond that icy mask…
“Alright, I think we can go over to the eight ball match then. So, it’s guys versus chicks? Or do you need the help of a man, sweetheart?” Greg said in the sweetest voice.
“Well, let me know when you see one.” Melissa countered with one of her disarming smiles, and her boyfriend had to admit that he had just lost the first round. “Ugh, crash and burn. I shall repay you in the match though.”
“We’ll see about that.” The convincing voice of the chestnut-haired woman made it hard to believe that she actually wasn’t really good at playing pool, but she had learned that to intimidate the opponent was always a good tactic. Greg, knowing quite well that Melissa wasn’t the best player, just smiled at her and gave her quick peck. Not really sure what to do while the happy couple was billing and cooing, Tom and Laila looked the other way.
“Oh dear, don’t be so shy you two. We’re on a date after all.” Melissa loved how the words made both of them blush.
“Yeah, sure. Umm, let’s start already.” Tom stuttered and walked over to the pool table. Greg followed him with a mischievous grin, leaving the two women behind.
“So, Laila…” Melissa started, trying to initiate a conversation.
“To be honest, I’m not particularly good at this.”
“Really? You seemed quite confident.”
“It’s always good to scare the enemy first.” Melissa smiled at the other girl, but Laila’s expression remained icy. Does she never smile?
“I see.” was the short response of the stoic girl.
Not wanting to let the conversation die away, Melissa tried again. “Have you played pool before?”
“Sometimes.” But Laila answered one as syllabically as before.
“Good. Maybe we’ll be lucky.”
“Luck? Where’s the point in winning something because of luck? It’s about being better.” For the first time, Melissa could sense some real emotions in the husky voice of the other girl. She had to admit that she was equally impressed and relieved about the combative spirit.
“I feel a bit better now that I see that you’re at least motivated.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll kick their asses.” Laila said and walked over to the bar. “One beer.” She ordered, her voice cold as ever, but Melissa wouldn’t let her get away so easily. “Make that two, please.” She added and smiled at Laila again, who looked at her with puzzled eyes.
“Sorry.” The raven-haired girl said.
“I didn’t think you would drink beer.”
“How come?” The British-girl gave her opposite an incredulous look.
“Umm, well look at you.” She unintentionally let her eyes wander up and down the body of the brown-eyed beauty.
“Yes?” Of course, the action didn’t go unnoticed by Melissa, but she didn’t want to scare her away with an improper comment.
“I mean you look more like you would drink Champagne.”
“Oh, is Laila judging people by their looks. I am bit disappointed now.” She locked her eyes with the emerald orbs. The sound of Melissa’s voice saying her name and the captivating gaze of the deep brown eyes made Laila fall silent. She didn’t know why, but she felt as if the other girl was looking right through her.
“There you go. That makes 4 Dollar each.” The bartender said as he brought the two beers. Laila handed over the money before the other girl had even searched for her purse. They both turned around and leaned backwards against the bar, sipping on their beer.
“Thank you…” Melissa wasn’t really used to be treated to a drink by another girl, but didn’t complain either. At first, Laila said nothing. Only the silence of Melissa seemed to make her speak again after a while.
“Sorry for assuming things like that. It was stupid.” She said while focusing on the pool tables on the other side of the room.
“It’s okay.” Melissa wanted to say more, but she wasn’t so stupid as to interrupt the other girl now.
“No, it’s not. I, especially, should know not to be so superficial.”
“Does that mean you get judged by your looks often?” The British-girl asked.
“I guess I can’t even be angry about it. After all, I’m not the average college girl.”
“You’re going to college too?” Melissa’s eyes got wide in surprise. She felt stupid for looking at the other girl like that, but the news came like a bolt from the blue.
“Who’s the one judging by looks now?” Laila said before she looked into her opposite’s eyes with a light smile. Melissa was a bit stunned by the newly discovered image that crossed the lips of the other girl.
“I’m… I’m sorry.” Oh my, since when does someone make me stutter like a little girl…? “What are your subjects?”
“History and English literature.”
“Really? I’m studying English Literature too. I never saw you in any of the classes, though.”
“That’s because I just transferred here a few weeks ago. I will pick up the studies next semester. I wanted to use spring break to get to know my new surroundings.” Laila explained.
“I see. I guess that means we’re going to see each other from time to time. If you need help with your schedule or anything feel free to ask.”
“I will remember that. Thanks.”
The boys were waving them over to the table for getting the match started. With another stunningly confident smile Laila started walking over. Melissa looked after her, still amazed about the strange aura the girl gave away, before she followed silently.
“Lady’s first?” Greg said, handing the cue over to his girlfriend. Not so convinced anymore, Melissa turned around to the raven-haired girl. And although she thought she had hidden all of her insecurity, Laila gave her reassuring nod. The deep green eyes seemed to pierce right through her. She turned around with a light sigh and opened the game with her first shot. The luck seemed to be on her side as a ball landed in one of the middle pockets.
“I’m impressed. You have the solids.” Greg said with a hint of amusement before turning to Tom. “That leaves the stripes for us, pal.”
“Good, I like them better anyways. Let’s see if Melissa can stand the pressure.”
The brown-eyed beauty said nothing as she aimed for another pocket. Somehow the cue ball didn’t do what Melissa had planned and so the yellow ball with the number one on it remained on the table.
“Too bad ladies, it was a good try though.” Tom and Greg grinned at each other like children, and Melissa found it really frustrating to see her boyfriend behaving like this. She went over to Laila and handed her the cue.
“Don’t be. We just started. They need to do better first.”
Sadly, that was exactly what happened. Greg scored one ball after another until only the black eight was left.
“I’m sorry ladies, but this is goodbye. It was a pleasure beating you.” His voice was victorious and Melissa seriously thought about hitting him with the cue for his arrogance, but someone seemed to have mercy as Greg missed the final shot.
“Oh sweetheart, I’m so sorry that you missed that one.” Melissa said in the sweetest voice with such a sarcastic undertone that Greg didn’t say a word when he left the table.
“Don’t worry, Laila. They play this stupid game every week. It’s not a shame to lose.”
“We won’t.” Her pool partner said in a low voice. Melissa wasn’t quite sure if she had heard her right.
“We won’t lose.” The confidence in Laila’s voice made Melissa fall silent as she looked after the raven-haired girl, who circled the table a few times. Obviously taking a closer look at the situation, Laila took her time before making a move. She looked so concentrated that none of the others dared to interrupt her. Finally, she positioned herself over the table. Melissa didn’t know why, but somehow adrenaline started to make her heart beat faster. She was sure that this game was lost, but the self-confidence of the other girl gave her a small flicker of hope. The emerald eyes were focused on the cue ball, only for a split second before the shot was made they looked up, instantly locking with her brown ones. The brief moment stunned Melissa deeply. Uncertain about what to think of her reaction, she didn’t notice the success at first. Laila had pocketed two solids with only one shot and even the boys seemed to be quite impressed, judging by their shocked faces. The girl didn’t comment on her shot or anything as she positioned herself for the next shot. Ball after ball disappeared in the pockets until only the black eight was left.
Laila turned around to Melissa and gave her little smile before she won the game with the next strike. Greg and Tom were at a loss of words as their jaws dropped in union.
“This can’t be…” Tom mumbled after his mouth had become too dry to leave it open any longer.
“Great Tom, you found someone who is able to embarrass you even more than yourself.” The words of Greg didn’t sound as sarcastic as Tom had hoped for.
“I had no idea that she’s a professional.” Tom said in disbelief.
“That sounds so wrong…” Thankfully, Greg had whispered the comment. Otherwise, Tom was sure Laila would have punched the boy in his face.
“Pity, we didn’t bet.” Melissa said as she walked over to the boys.
“Yeah…pity.” Greg answered, obviously pissed about the situation. He turned to Tom. “It’s time for some beer, don’t you think?”
“Definitely.” He walked over to Laila, who was leaning against a wall with the cue still in her hands. “Do you want something to drink?” The girl only raised her glass to show that she was good. She didn’t even look Tom in the eyes. Melissa wasn’t sure if it was a sign of annoyance or shyness. She couldn’t comprehend the mysterious girl at all. After the boys had disappeared, Melissa and Laila were alone again. Not quite knowing what to do, Melissa looked over to the raven-haired girl, who was sipping her beer. Somehow the double date is not going so well. It’s not the best tactic to get drunk with Greg while his date is standing here all alone. Tom really is dense at times. Maybe I should go over and talk to her. She always has that aura around her that she is lost.
“I’m amazed.” Melissa said nonchalantly as she leaned against the wall next to Laila.
“That boys are sore losers? I’m not. I am used to it.”
“I bet.” She paused and looked at the profile of the silent girl. Her skin looks soft compared to the rather rough attitude and her lips are beautifully shaped. The more Melissa took in the features of the stranger the more she had to admit that Tom was indeed right by calling her a stunning beauty. When Laila suddenly looked up, catching Melissa’s gaze, the taller girl felt a bit embarrassed about staring.
“Do you wanna learn how to play?” Laila asked out of the blue, tearing the other girl out of her thoughts way too abruptly.
“Ex… Excuse me? Melissa was a bit at a loss for words as she stared into the shining emerald eyes.
“Pool? Oh of course, the game. I’m not good at it.” What? Am I twelve now?
“That’s why I’m asking you if you want me to show you.” Laila was a bit flustered.
Now, get a hold of yourself and stop babbling like an idiot. “My my, if Laila wants to teach me that badly I can’t decline.”
The other girl couldn’t hide the light blush that rose to her cheeks as Melissa spoke in her most alluring voice. Much better. I’m back on track. Melissa thought, not knowing how fast she would be losing focus again during the upcoming private lesson…