A few minutes later I made my way downstairs. I saw Mr. Anderson lounging on the couch, watching television. It was some random car show that held no interest for me so I moved on. I found Amanda in the kitchen, putting spaghetti on three plates. It smelled delicious and I was glad I was living with someone who could cook. Cooking was not one of my strong points. "Smells good," I told her, taking a seat at the table.
"Thanks, Emily." She handed me my plate and I dug in. I didn't realize how hungry I was until now. I was right about the food, it tasted as good as it smelled.
"Lucas, dinner is ready."
"Alright." He turned the television off and sat down next to me. "Is it good?"
I wanted to answer him but I had my mouth full of food so I nodded my approval. He laughed at my inability to talk and dug into his own plate of spaghetti.
After dinner, I offered to help Amanda with the dishes but she refused. "It's your first night here, you should be relaxing," she told me. "Let me take care of everything." I decided to watch television then. I sat down on the couch a few inches from my teacher. It was awkward being that close to him so I stealthily moved further away.
"Is there any particular show you would like to watch?" He asked me.
"No, Mr. Anderson."
"Oh, Emily? At home, you can just call me 'Lucas'."
"Alright…Lucas." Calling him by his first name felt weird. We settled on The Simpsons, a generic show with no really awkward scenes, if you know what I mean.
Amanda joined us in the living room not long after. She and Lucas were really snugly on the couch and it almost made me sick. I had to leave the room when I saw them making out right in front of me.
"I'm going to bed," I said, awkwardly. I wasn't sure if they heard me or not, they seemed pretty distracted. I climbed the stairs to my room and looked around. It didn't seem as inviting as it had earlier. It wasn't my room. Well, technically it was but it didn't feel like mine. I will have to buy all new things to make it seem more like me. I left the light off and just sat on the floor, thinking. About my parents and how I'll never see them again. About the fire and how on earth it started. Fires were weird like that, though. Sometimes they just come out of nowhere and other times, there are legitimate reasons for them. I wasn't sure which of those times it was. I wondered what Officer Johnson thought about the fire. He must be thinking that it was arson. I hoped that it wasn't and prayed that it was just an accident. I heard a knock on my door and told the person on the other side to come in. It was Lucas. He looked at me concerned when he noticed I was sitting alone in the dark. "Are you alright?"
"No," I answered and my voice cracked. I was on the verge of tears and tried my hardest to fight it.
There was no fighting it, though. I was never one to find pushing back tears easy, no matter who might be watching. They overflowed and I turned my back away from Lucas, so at least I wouldn't be facing him. He sat down next to me and just listened to me cry. I found this very odd because he didn't seem like a caring person in school. Not to me, at least.
The tears eventually stopped and I was able to find my voice. "You're so different at home then at school." I told him.
He chuckled. "I try to separate personal life from school."
"People would like you more if you were nicer, though."
"Who doesn't like me?" He put his hand over his chest, pretending to be shocked.
"Most of the students, you know."
"Do you like me?" The question caught me by surprise. How could I tell this man that he wasn't my favourite teacher? That I despised him? After all he's done for me, taking me in during my time of need…I decided to be honest with him and if he didn't like it, then that was his problem.
"I hated you."
Silence followed those words. He didn't respond and I sat there, patiently. I wanted to know what he would say. Ten minutes went by and the tension was growing. He seemed really hurt by this news and I wasn't sure why. "You hated me?" His voice was sad and soft, almost pitiful.
"Well…yeah. You always made fun of me and never helped me when I needed it."
"I thought we were just having fun. You never asked me for help, not seriously."
"Oh, my god Lucas. Nevermind. I really don't want to get into this with you right now." I stood up but he pulled me back down. I landed hard on my ass and glared at him.
"We are going to talk about this, Emily. I can't have you hating me if we're going to be living together."
"You know I would have helped you if you asked for it without an attitude. I knew you were struggling in my class."
"I was struggling because your lessons made no sense." I crossed my arms, defiantly.
"Everyone else seemed to understand it."
"Well, maybe I'm not as smart as everyone else."
"You can do anything you set your mind to." He gave me a kiss on my forehead and stood up. His actions surprised me and I just watched him go. Not knowing what to make of what just happened, I got ready for bed. Little did I know that things were about to get even weirder.