Read Part 1 Here
At first no one noticed the petite brunette slide through the door and quickly walk to the back of the room with her head down. The only seat available was next to an eccentric blonde who perked up as Taylor sat down.
“Hi, I’m Zoe,” she said quickly, and Taylor’s ears perked up when she heard the girls British accent. Thankful to meet someone who had not been a student when she left, she turned to introduce herself. But, before she could even finish the thought, the art teacher walked in.
He was what could easily be considered tall, dark, and handsome. His long brown curly hair sat on his shoulders. Paint stained and ripped jeans draped off his hips, as if they were made just for him. As he looked up at the two new girls in the back of the room, Taylor noticed his green eyes sparkle as though they had met before. Taylor shuddered, trying to place the man in her memories somewhere.
“Good morning class. I am Eric. I will be taking over for Mrs. Trevor this semester while she is on maternity leave. Even though I don’t normally teach the AP art class, expect to be pushed to new artistic levels in this class. Now I believe we have two new, or rather one new and one returning student with us this year.”
The class all moved at what felt like a synchronized head turn and started whispering. She could see they recognized her immediately. Damn.
“Most of you probably remember Taylor. She has just moved back from Seattle where she has been studying with some of the worlds most up and coming artists.” Why did teachers like to torture students by talking about them in front of the entire class like this? “Perhaps even I will be learning from her this year. You would be wise to pick her brain.” It just kept getting worse. At this point her face was bright red. “We also have sitting next to her- Zoe. Zoe joins us from London. Her parents are teaching for the year at LSU. Girls, we are happy to have you both.” Zoe seemed to relish in the spotlight, smiling at the whole class and waving.
The class turned back to the front of the room as Eric began discussing what the year would entail, how they would survive their final projects, and not to believe the rumors of it being an impossible task. Taylor finally let out a deep sigh, not realizing how long she had been holding her breath. Zoe tapped her arm and passed her a note.
Yeah, I just didn’t leave on the best of terms with my friends and
She stopped. Why am I telling this to her? She is a perfect stranger for Christ sake. But before she could finish her thought, Zoe grabbed her hand and squeezed it. A rush of calm came over her and she glanced up to meet Zoe’s eyes. They were grey. She blinked trying to focus. How was it possible for someone to have grey eyes? It was as though the clouds from an upcoming storm were waiting patiently in her eyes. They jumped as they heard footsteps approaching them. Looking up Taylor saw her ex-friend Katherine sauntering over to them. Her blond hair swished as she tossed it over her shoulder. Did she think she was on a catwalk at a fashion show? Her tight jeans left nothing to the imagination, but neither did her low cut tank top with that lace bra just barely popping up around the edges of her cleavage. Katherine was traditionally beautiful, and she knew it.
“Katherine.” Taylor slid her chair back as Katherine leaned against her desk.
“Tay!” She reached out to hug Taylor, and Taylor put up her hand to stop her.
“What do you want?”
“Whatever are you talking about Tay, Tay?” She batted her eyes pretending to be innocent.
“You know exactly what I mean. We are not friends. What do you want?” Taylor crossed her arms and glared at Katherine.
“We have been friends since kindergarten, when we fought over William in my tree house. We should let the past go; can’t let a lifetime of friendship be lost over a silly misunderstanding, can we?”
“You can’t be serious! Your tongue down my boyfriend’s throat is a misunderstanding? No Katherine, you stopped being my friend long before that moment. I was just too blind to notice until you shoved it in my face.” At that moment the girls were both leaning over the desk towards each other. Clearly sensing the tension, Zoe jumped in.
“Hi Katherine! I’m Zoe. I don’t think we have met.” She reached out to grab Katherine’s hand and turned her away from Taylor. Katherine’s face lit up and turned toward Zoe. She began gushing over the new girl and pulled her in for a hug as they walked out of the classroom. Zoe looked back and winked at Taylor. She was going to owe Zoe big for not only getting Katherine out of her face, but also for having to endure what was most certainly a tour of the school she was getting right now. Taylor flinched at the thought of what Katherine could be telling her, but pushed it out her mind.
As Taylor packed up her stuff, Eric walked up to her.
“How did you exhibition in July go?” Taylor met Eric’s eyes and that was when it all came back to her. He was at her show. He was Hayley’s cousin. Not wanting to let on that she didn’t recognize him, she quickly jumped to Hayley.
“It really would not have happened if it weren’t for Hayley.”
“Oh, I disagree. Don’t let yourself get lost in her shadow like all the others. You have a talent, and I intend to make certain the whole world, well the whole town, knows it.” He patted her shoulder and walked away. Taylor was speechless. What did he mean ‘others’? The bell rang.“Shit,” she cursed under her breath; she was late for class. As she reached down, she noticed that Eric had slipped a late pass on top of her bag.