6 The Encounter I

Coming out of the library, I left the hallway and entered an almost empty one with barely any students walking around. I took a few steps to the wall of lockers, pinned my back on it, and slid down to sit on the cold, hard, and clean floor.

I took a series of deep breaths, like a practiced mantra, my fists trembling, my heart beating so rapidly that I could hear it. Those passing by just flashed me a curious glance and just passed by, minding their business as they should.

"Calm down, calm down..." I whispered to myself repeatedly, took one last deep breath, and exhaled. My agitation washed away almost immediately, my fists stopped trembling also.

Seeing this, I sighed. Normally, my outbursts were under control but sometimes, certain things triggered me and brought out a side of me, I usually kept hidden.

Hearing the guy threaten me brought back some bad memories I thought I'd gotten over. Ever since I came here, my control has gradually been slipping away.

Something I had cultivated for years. It was probably the raging teenage hormones my new body had. Another thing I had to work on before I do something extremely impulsive...

Shaking my head, I removed my bag from my back and opened it to take the notebook, the one I was writing inside before that son of a bitch interrupted me.

I opened it and started reading what I wrote, glossing over the details carefully. Maybe, something would pop up in my head as I read.

The bell rang, the sound resounding everywhere, tickling my ears. Seeing as the other students were walking back to their classrooms, I figured break was over so I got up and dusted my butt after positioning my bag where it was supposed to be.

The book was still in hand, I flipped the pages till I got to the last page and saw that I had physics next. Still had no idea where the classes were supposed to be.

It was then I remembered that, when I was coming into the school's main building with my father, my eye captured something like a notice or bulletin board, near it, around another building that had lockers. I think it was the physical education building.

Maybe it had the map of the school or something I could use as a reference to find my way around. With a goal, I smiled and walked in the direction I presumed it would be.

While I walked, I would read what I had written over and over again to be absolutely sure, I missed nothing and also to perfectly memorize the contents. I decided the burn the pages after I'm done.

Couldn't have anyone knowing what I knew just yet...

After a while, I reached the area and started walking along the lockers that one open space overlooking the P.E. building.

I remembered something as I was reading the book again so I turned my head to take off my bag but I must've forgotten to check in front of me first because I crashed into someone.

I stumbled back, the notebook flew out of my hands to the ground together with the books and items of the person I crashed into.



We mouthed at the same time as we both crouched down to pick up the things and when I raised my head to look at the person, I was surprised. It was Claire Bennet...

We made eye contact but she shifted her gaze and feeling a little embarrassed, I helped her pick up her books, not thinking of mine.

"You're Xander Andersen, right? Oh my God, you're way cuter up close." I heard an unfamiliar voice so I looked up and saw another girl standing behind Claire.

She was relatively tall, taller than Claire at least, with blonde hair wrapped in a simple ponytail, black eyes, light brown eyebrows, small pink lips, and an oval face marred with little blemishes.

On a scale of one to ten, she was a solid eight.

She was wearing a white sweater that had cream lines running on it, a cream-colored skirt that barely hung above her knees, white sneakers, and simple gold-colored earrings.

She had a nice smile on her face, her eyes twinkled as she stared at my face, as if she looking at a celebrity or something. How popular was the original?

I remembered her. She was Claire's bitchy friend turned rival who Sylar killed thinking it was Claire. What was her name again? Jacklyn or Jackie?...

"...Thanks, I guess?" I shrugged in response as I got up with Claire's books in hand. Her friend drew closer to me and I could see Claire picking up my book. Shit.

"Hi, I'm Jackie, Jackie Wilcox. A junior and the cheerleading captain. It's a pleasure to meet our town's best student." Her lips arched up into a bright smile as she introduced herself, extending her hand for a handshake.

Looking behind her, I saw Claire flip a page and started reading something. Probably what I had written. Fuck, I didn't want to draw attention this time soon but I guess that was out of the window now. Why the hell did I have to space out?

"I'm Xander Andersen, but you already know that. It's nice to meet you, Jackie." I shook her hand hurriedly with a fake smile and stepped over her, ignoring her surprise, to Claire whose eyes were opened in utter shock and disbelief.

"These are your books. Can I have mine back please?" I snatched my book from her and pushed the ones I was holding to her. She turned her widened eyes to my face, too stunned to react properly but her glossy lips parted to say something.

"How? How did yo——"

"Well, it was nice meeting you guys. I'll see you ladies later." Before she could finish, I commented dryly and walked past her, not looking back.

I heard her shouting for me to wait but by the time she said that I was already too far for her to even think of chasing me, disappearing after taking a turn.

Looking back, I didn't see anyone following me so I continued my walk toward the bulletin board in the distance, a wry smile decorating my face.

The situation had changed. Claire was now aware of me, meaning there was a chance I would be pulled into the whole mess earlier than I'd planned. It wasn't an ideal thing for me.

Stopping at the board, I use my left hand to wipe my face and sighed helplessly, leaving it there as another thought erupted in my mind.

If the situation had changed then it only meant that I had to change some parts of my plans to conform or adapt to the new situation. I was now in Claire's mind and I could use it to my advantage.

From what I knew of her, there was close to zero chance she'd tell her father about me. She hadn't even told him about what she could do.

She was in a phase in her life where she needed someone who could understand her, understand or sympathize with what she was going through and I could use that.

It could easily become her friend, someone she could trust and if I applied some tricks, trust me unconditionally. The pros of being her friend outweighed the cons or the troubles.

One was that her blood was virtually a health potion, only this one if memory served me right, could even bring someone who had died for a couple of minutes to hours, back to life.

Also, I could use her to take advantage of her father and possibly screw him over before he did that to me.

Hmm, my father used to say that a great thinker was one who could use any scenario, whether bad or good, to further their goals, and he was totally right.

The encounter was beginning to look more like a goldmine than a landmine and the corners of my lips curled up into a smile at this. I guess it wasn't a bad thing after all...

I just had to be a little strong to capitalize on it. Looks like I would be training the moment I got home.

Removing my hand from my face, I scanned the board and found the map. Taking out my Sony Ericsson, I took a picture of it and left the place.

With newfound energy, I used the picture to navigate the quiet school grounds and hallways and arrived in front of my next class. Lessons were already going on...

I opened the door and stepped into the class after thinking of an excuse.

"Mr. Anderson, care to explain why you are late?" The teacher said neutrally, standing near the chalkboard, his small black eyes squinted at me. His voice was soft but it also had a rough tinge to it.

The whole class was looking at me and I could hear some snickers from the back. The man was a short pudgy man with balding black hair, a worn and tired-looking round face adorned with a thick black beard. He looked like a man in his late forties.

He was wearing a white ironed shirt, black trousers held by a black belt, and polished black shoes. A silver-colored analog watch rested on his right hand.

"I'm sorry Sir, I was called in by the principal." I lied effortlessly with an apologetic look on my face. I hoped my new father wouldn't mind me using his name...

"I see. Well then take your seat, you're ten minutes behind the class. I won't go back for you, we are moving forwards." The teacher remarked nonchalantly, like he didn't care, waving his hand as he turned to face the board.

I looked around and found an empty seat at the head of the third column, directly facing the board. I sat down, removed a book and pen, and steeled myself to be bored out of my mind.

And bored I was throughout the class, almost dozing until the siren or bell rang for the last time, signaling the end of school for today.

"Remember class, read on Magnetism before you come to class on Wednesday. Don't say I didn't warn you." The teacher spoke, in a mysteriously threatening manner, as we all packed our stuff and started leaving, the class filled with the shuffling of feet, chattering, and desks screeching.

I left the class with the crowd and subsequently followed the tidal wave of students eager to leave the building, trying not to bump into anyone or make anyone bump into me.

In a few minutes, I came out of the main building and smiled, feeling relaxed as the cold air licked my face. The sun was above the horizon on the west showing it was early to mid-afternoon.

Putting my hands in my pocket, I walked towards the parking lot. As I was going there, I caught sight of someone familiar standing close to the parking lot.

It was Claire and she had folded her arms beneath her well-endowed bosom, her bag hanging from her shoulders as her eyes darted all over the grounds.

Sighing as I didn't think she'd approach this soon, I made myself clear to her as I drew closer and she spotted me like a hawk.

Our eyes met and using my head, I gestured for her to follow me and turned to walk in the direction of the American football field, visible on my right.

Walking there, I turned my head to the side and saw her following me, bringing a smirk to my face. Minutes later, I arrived at the field.

The perfectly trimmed green carpet grass with stripes stretched across a considerable amount of land and the stands lay on its left and right sides. It was empty, probably no one had practice today.

I stopped near the left stands and waited for Claire to reach me. She reached me but stopped, more than an arm's length away from me, her beautiful face looked anxious and nervous.

No one said a word and we stared at each other. Looking at her face and curvy body, my eyes scanned her thoroughly, studying her body language and after getting what I needed and seeing that she was getting uncomfortable, I broke the ice.

"What do you want Claire?"

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