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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Point to Pathos: Chapter 4, Part 1

     She was sitting there on the far right edge of the bench with a her classmates but for the first time ever, Jacob actually sat next to her with his right arm and leg pressing against hers. They all cheered as the StarMiner shot up into the sky from Doren Space Port in the distance, leaving a trail of blue distortions behind it. Anhe couldn't enjoy the beautiful sight that night. She had never been this close to Jacob. She had never really talked to him outside of the typical greetings and short acknowledgements but they just happened to share the same group of friends and enrolled almost in the same classes.
     She could smell a hint of his cologne. It was sweet, but definitely masculine. She recognized that smell. It was Boshce. Professor Blake wore it too. But it smelled quite differently on Jacob. It smelled more inviting.
     It was their routine to sit on the bench at the top of Cider Hill every Sunday. They would hang out there until the StarMiner disappears from view. They would arrive early to claim the only bench placed in front of the large old tree sitting near the cliff overlooking the city.
     Anhe looked to her left. She saw Jacob looking up to the sky like the others. He was smiling. She caught herself staring for too long but he didn't seem to notice. His eyes were transfixed upon the pulsating light show in the sky.
     Suddenly, Jacob turned to look at her and widened his smile. She nervously subvocalize a "hey" before turning away to catch the now dissipating blue trail.
     "It never gets old huh?" She said, mustering up some sort of courage to lightly nudge him. She felt that time stood still as her bare elbow rubbed against Jacob's forearm and tapped Jacob's waist. Though it was unintentional, she knew she left her elbow there for longer than she should.
     Jacob was looking straight at her, still smiling.
     "Yeah, it's awesome to watch," he said.
     Their friends had already started to get up from the bench and Anhe realized that her elbow was still resting on top of Jacob's arm. He began to move as well and Anhe immediately pulled her left arm closer to her. Anhe just sat there watching his every move. Jacob stood up, stretched, and yawned before slowly walking towards the other side of the bench to be reunited with his best friends Robert and Shava.
     "Are you ready to go Anhe?" The voice snapped Anhe off from her daze. It was Irwind who was standing behind her. "Is everything alright?"
     "Yes, everything is fine," she said but she knew she didn't sound convincing enough. She stood up and put her arm around Irwind's waist. "Another awesome launch!"
     "You are a funny one Anhe," he said as they started walking towards the rest of the group.
     "Are you guys hooking up or something?" Teased Hyze when Anhe and Irwind reached the group.
     "Don't be silly. Anhe is such a dork," Irwind said, pushing her away from him.
     "Screw you Irve," she responded and smacked him lightly on the head.
     "It's not like Anhe would hook up with anyone who is not Chise right?" Shava suggested and giggled.
     "Whoa Shava... Whoa!" Robert interjected.
     "Yea Shava, like what the fuck?" Irwind said. "Gotta slow down on them bytes."
     Anhe never liked Shava. If not for the group, she would never hung out with her. It wasn't that Shava had done her wrong. Shava was close to Jacob so the instinctive precaution Anhe figured may just be fueled by some degree of jealousy. Shava had never addressed Anhe directly however until then.
     "Forget it guys, she's OC," Anhe said while looking at Shava who was staring back at her with a callous smile on her face. "Let's go."
     When the group reached the transporter station, Anhe saw that Jacob and Robert pulled Shava aside to talk to her away from the everyone. Jacob caught her looking at them and he immediately grabbed Shava's wrist and the trio walked towards Anhe.
     Anhe didn't know what to think about the situation. It was mildly amusing and somewhat exciting because of Jacob's involvement but she could do without the Shava factor.
     The trio arrived in front of Anhe with Shava standing in the middle of the two guys. She looked a little annoyed.
     "Hey Anhe," said Jacob.
     "Hey guys," she responded. "What's up?"
     "Well," he continued before pausing. He lifted his right arm and scratched the back of his head.
     "Anhe, I'm sorry," Shava said, looking at Jacob as she was uttering those words.
     "Uh, she's right there in front of you, Shae," Jacob told Shava.
     Shava sighed and turned to look Anhe straight in the eye. "Sorry Anhe, I didn't mean what I said, it just came out you know?"
     "Apology accepted. It's cool Shava," replied Anhe.
     "Hugs?" Shava asked, extending her arms out towards Anhe.
     "Sure," she said and accepted the hug but giving minimal effort from her end of the embrace.
     "See, that wasn't so bad, right?" Robert asked.
     "Okay, I know I did something wrong alright? Can we just move on?"
     "I already did," Anhe said. She took a glance at Jacob and saw him looking back at her with a smile on his face. She quickly alternated her gaze towards both Shava and Robert, hoping to not look too obvious in front of them.
     "Aw isn't that sweet? Are you two best friends now?" It was Irwind who had been watching the whole thing unfolded from a distance and waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
     "And you called Anhe a dork?" Robert quickly said, shaking his head.
     "Hey, we are all dorks here." Jacob said, laughing.
     "All of you can be dorks if you all want, don't include me in that equation though," said Shava.
     "I don't mind," Anhe said. "But only today okay?"
     "You can be the dork queen of the day Anhe," said Irwind and everyone chuckled.
     "So are you guys heading back to the dorm?" Jacob asked.
     "Well yeah," Irwind responded. "You guys aren't?"
     "Jacob lives off campus. We normally hang out at his place before we head back," Robert said. "He actually got a pretty slick apartment. Rich bastard."
     "Oh please, Bob," Jacob said, dismissively. "The place isn't that great. It's alright though."
     "Oh that's nice, I didn't know you live off campus," Anhe said and suddenly, she felt a rush of heat building up on her cheeks. She knew she was being too aggressive too soon.
     "Do you guys wanna come along tonight?" Robert asked.
     "No, it's okay," Anhe responded, almost immediately. She looked at Irwind and said, "We should really head back to the dorm."
     "What? Heck no. Sure, I want to go," Irwind said. "It's not like we have anything going on for the rest of the night."
     "Uh, we are talking about Jacob's place here people," said Shava. "It's not like it's your bachelor's pad, Bob."
     "It's alright," Jacob said, laughing. "You guys want to hang out with us for a little bit?"
     Anhe turned to Irwind again.
     "I really don't think we should," she said.
     "What's wrong with you?" He responded and said to Jacob, "Let's do this!"
     "We really don't want to trouble you," Anhe insisted. "Three's already a crowd."
     Jacob laughed. Anhe found his laugh utterly irresistible.
     "We are all friends here," he said. "Come on, it will be fun."
     "Alright," she said to Jacob then looked at Irwind yet again. "But it will be a short visit, okay?"
     "You aren't my mother Anhe," Irwind replied mockingly. "You need to learn to relax."
     Hyze, who had stepped into one of the transporters with the remainder of the group noticed that they were missing a few people. He saw Anhe's little gathering not too far away from the door.
     "Should we hold the transporter for you guys or what?!" He yelled out. "Some people have early classes tomorrow or have you forgotten?!"
     "Go on ahead, bud!" Robert yelled back.
     "What's up with those guys?" Hyze whispered to himself as he pushed the button to close the door in front of him.
     "Isn't it obvious?" Iztec, who overheard him said.
     "No, it isn't."
     "Really? You know... That fucking Chise," he said, looking around the room at the others and laughed. Everyone else were either smiling or laughing along with Iztec.
     Everyone, except for Hyze.

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