With Stalking the Stalker
"Target spotted," Lyssa Matson whispered to herself softly as she peered through her binoculars. It was lunchtime and she was doing her favorite lunchtime activity again. She shifted her position a bit so she could see her crush better through the window of his office. Her crush was the president of the student body and had his own room all to himself.
Lyssa sighed as she carefully leaned forward from her precarious position on a tree limb. Since his office was on the 2nd floor of the building, she braved the height just to see her first love. When the bell rang for class, she pouted but slowly slid down the tree. She straightened her appearance and happily went to her next class.
Lyssa considered herself a plain Jane. With her average height and average straight blonde hair, she didn't stand out much, except with having excellent grades. Her eyes were the color of milk chocolate and so expressive that it could mirror her own thoughts. She had a nice, slim body but she gave off the impression of being a complete geek by wearing the uniform in strict accordance to the school rules; a blue blazer with the school logo over a yellow jumper and a white, long-sleeved polo shirt with a red tie and a red-checkered skirt that was 2 inches above her knees. While other girls' skirts were hiked up to their mid-thighs, she deliberately lowered hers. The students could forego wearing their blazers but she wore hers. She didn't want unwanted attention from the boys except her crush but getting his attention would be an impossible dream because Lyssa was extremely timid. She didn't even have friends because she was too shy.
She was a sophomore when she first met the boy of her dreams. She had transferred from another school because of her father's promotion and relocation to another city. She got lost going to her next class on her first day and since she was so nervous and shy, she couldn't muster up the courage to ask directions. When the students in the halls began to dwindle, she began to panic and ran outside of the building. When she could calm herself down long enough to see where she was, she found herself in a pathway to the greenhouse of the school. Surrounding the pathway was a beautiful flower garden. Overcome with the fear of being out of class and getting caught by the hall monitors, she burst into tears. And that's where he found her.
"Why are you not in your class?"
She got startled out of her cries by a soft yet stern voice belonging to a guy. She wiped her tears hastily before she looked up. What she saw almost made her cry again, but she willed herself not to.
The guy standing in front of her looked intimidating and his blue eyes looked cold to her even behind the glasses. He was impeccably dressed in the school uniform; a blue blazer with the school logo over his yellow jumper and white polo shirt with the red tie and blue pants and he looked so good in it, as if the uniform was made for him and only him. He had a red band on his arm, a sign that he was part of the school's disciplinary team. Dealing with them was worse than meeting with the hall monitors, she heard. When he saw that she was about to cry again, he stopped scowling immediately.
"Are your new here?" he asked gently.
She nodded slowly and looked down, a little bit stunned by his abrupt change. She also heard that the disciplinary team were ruthless and gave harsh punishments and his change in demeanor made her a little glad. Maybe the stories were just exaggerated.
"Let me see your schedule."
She got her schedule from her book bag, and handed it to him without looking at his face. She thought she heard him laugh quietly but wasn't sure.
An awkward silence followed.
"Come on, little girl," he spoke softly. A hand appeared in her line of vision, beckoning her to take it. "I'll take you to your class."
She slowly raised her eyes to his and noticed that he didn't look mad anymore. He was even smiling a little. She gave him a tiny smile in return and took his hand.
His grip was warm and comfortable and that made her blush. She was glad he didn't notice since he was moving forward, leading her in the school building. He got her to her class and explained to her teacher why she was late. She didn't know what he said but when she looked at her teacher, she was smiling and nodding at him. He left her with a pat on the head with a whispered, "Good luck."
After her class, she found him waiting for her outside her room. He gave her her schedule back with a map of the school that could even help guide the most directionally challenged people. The places and rooms she needed to go and the quickest routes there were highlighted and tiny notes were scribbled so she won't get confused.
She was so overwhelmed with gratitude that she couldn't say a thank you to him. Her eyes must have mirrored her gratitude because he nodded with a small smile and turned to go.
She watched him walk down the hall. She watched him reprimand a student harshly because he had a piercing on his ear and she was amazed with the air of command and power that radiated from him. Even the biggest bully couldn't stand up to him. And that's when she found out that she had fallen for him.
She later found out that his name was Carl Stevenson, a sophomore just like her and one of the most brilliant kids in school. He excelled not only academically but also in sports and various activities. He wasn't known to mingle with the popular crowd because most of them were notorious rules breakers. They disliked him because at one time or the other, they were punished by him. He was only tolerated by some because he got friends who were popular and because some of the most popular kids in school liked him and respected him. He was no underdog and they admired him for that. He was also handsome with his blue eyes and even though he wore glasses, he exuded cool. He had sandy blonde hair and a nice, athletic body.
She got all this information from snooping, spying, stalking and her feigned disinterest when her classmates talked about the hot guys in school.
When she passed the halls or went to the cafeteria, she always looked for him. Her bangs covered her actions well. Every time she saw him, her heart swelled with happiness. And every time she saw him smile, she couldn't help but smile, too. Her day would seem dark and bleak if she couldn't find him. So, Lyssa made it a daily habit to stalk Carl, but never missed a class to do so. She wasn't that lovesick to sacrifice her hard-earned grades.
The year passed and they were already juniors. But her love for him remained unchanged. When Carl ran for Student Council President, she was awed by his self-confidence. Only seniors were known to run for the position but he surprised the whole student body. She watched him when he gave his campaign speech and was impressed by his magnetism and conviction. She wasn't surprised when it was a landslide victory. She watched him give his Student Council President speech and became proud of him. Here was a man worthy of her love, she thought. And she was satisfied to always be on the sidelines, watching him, as long as he was happy.
When last period ended, she gathered her things hastily and rushed out of the classroom. She was dining with her parents tonight at their favorite restaurant and it had been too long since they last ate together because of their work. She was just a few steps from her locker when she was jolted out of her happy reverie. Carl and his friends were standing beside her locker, talking. She paused and got bumped in the process by some girls who were walking behind her.
"Watch where you're going, nerd!" One of the girls snarled at her. The others glared at her as they passed by her.
"S-sorry," she stuttered but they were already gone. She blew up her bangs and muttered, "And I'm not a nerd. How mean. Just because I know how to use a book doesn't make me one."
She heard a chuckle and she blushed. She sneaked a peek at Carl and he was looking at her with amusement in his eyes. He strayed away from the group and looked like he was walking towards her. Dropping her gaze to the floor, she scrambled away. She didn't care if she was lugging all her books. She chided herself inwardly for being too presumptuous, thinking he was going to talk to her, as she raced to the bus stop. Somebody he knew must be behind her. She doubted if he knew her, if he still remembered the pitiful, wailing girl he had helped last year.
Carl stretched out his arms, pausing to take a break from working on the proposal for the next school activity. He eyed his friends, Nico and Sam, who were sitting in front of his desk. They were all in his office.
"What are guys doing here, again?" he asked wearily, removing his glasses to wipe them clean.
"Hiding from Terrence," they both said in unison without looking up. Nico was sending a text to his girlfriend and Sam was reading his History book while bouncing a baseball on one hand to the floor.
Carl smirked at them as he leaned back on his swivel chair. His office was big with off-white walls and straw-colored carpet. Bookshelves covered one wall while the other wall was covered with school trophies and pictures from various school events. There was one couch with a coffee table in front of it in one side of the room. His office was immaculate and organized but it was still comfy and he liked it. Especially when he had his peace and solitude, which was rare to have with his rowdy friends who always hung out in his office.
"And why hide here?"
Nico grinned at him.
"Because he's afraid of you."
Sam nodded while he flipped a page.
"Very afraid," he said in a bored tone.
"Well, he should be," Carl mumbled forbiddingly. "Everyone has the right to be stupid but he's abusing the privilege."
Terrence was the troublemaker of their group. He was creating trouble everywhere he went and kept making pranks on the other students, even the teachers. Carl had to rescue him sometimes when he got into scrapes and almost got caught. He was not too happy with Terrence at the moment because Terrence had recently blown up a school statue and Carl had to answer for that. Terrence was currently hiding from him to avoid his wrath.
The lunch bell rang overhead. Carl stood up and, to Nico and Sam's astonishment, began to strip in front of them.
"Uhh.. What are you doing?" Sam asked, throwing a bewildered look at Nico.
"A-are you okay, Carl?" Nico stammered.
Carl removed his glasses and dropped his blazer on the table, which was quickly followed by his jumper and tie. He began to unbutton his shirt.
"It's hot," he said smugly.
Lyssa almost dropped her binoculars. She blinked twice and then slowly peeked into her binoculars again. She flushed furiously. He was really undressing in front of the window! She never even saw a guy shirtless because she thought it immoral. But Carl's body was so pleasing to look at. His body was firm and lean and he even got abs. He also got muscles on his arms when he flexed.
She finally knew why the other girls like to ogle men. But when Carl began to unbutton his pants, her innocent mind couldn't take it anymore. She dropped her binoculars with a small shriek and scuttled down the tree in a flash and ran away, forgetting in her haste to retrieve her binoculars. Her mind reeled with the image of Carl's gorgeous body and she blushed all shades of red.
"Someone's out there," Sam informed them when he noticed the branches shaking.
Carl grinned smugly and took his hands off his pants. Nico suddenly burst out laughing, dropping his phone on the floor to clutch his stomach.
"No… frigging… way!" he exclaimed between laughs. "So that's why… I can't… believe it!"
Sam finally understood and shook his head soberly.
"She finally resorted to tree climbing," he deadpanned before snickering.
Carl finished buttoning up his shirt and pushed his glasses up his nose.
"If you're finished laughing," he said dryly to them, "You can go-"
The door burst open, interrupting him mid-speech. Terrence rushed in, looking down at the binoculars in his hands.
"There's someone spying on you, Carl!" Terrence thrusted the binoculars to his face. "I saw them outside. He must have dropped them when he climbed down and-"
Terrence was reduced to stutters when he saw Carl scowl at him fiercely, his gaze ominous.
"You… You just walked in your death, man," Nico informed him, laughing all over again. He gave Sam a high-five.
Terrence paled visibly and ran for the door like his life depended on it. Carl picked up Sam's baseball and threw it with accuracy at the back of Terrence's head. His aim was true. The ball bounced from Terrence's head and he fell to the floor, face first. He didn't move.
Sam nodded his approval.
"I think he's dead, man," Nico said, poking Terrence's growing lump on the head.
"Good riddance," Carl grumbled as he dropped to his swivel chair and sighed. "Unfortunately, idiots don't die young, or so I have been told."
"Well, back to the topic," Nico said cheerfully, sitting back on his chair.
"Don't you and Alayna have some making out to do?" Carl said, giving him a nasty glare which Nico ignored.
"She's busy," Nico explained. "And if I disturb her, there will be hell to pay. Her words not mine." He jabbed a finger at the window behind Carl. "So, when did she begin climbing trees?"
"Must have been when he took office here," Sam told him before going back to his book.
"Oh." Nico pondered on that information for a moment. "So was she already a tree climbing extraordinaire or did she practice first-"
Carl tuned them out and tried to concentrate back on his work. But his mind began to drift away. He tried imagining Lyssa's blushing face when he began taking off his clothes and chuckled to himself. He just couldn't help teasing her this time.
He had known Lyssa since sophomore year when he helped her get to her classroom. The trust and gratitude he saw in her beautiful eyes when he offered his hand for her to take jarred him completely that he struggled to keep a composed look on his face but inside, he was shaking. He never forgot her. His eyes began to look for her everywhere and he knew without looking if she was in the same room as he was. He had an uncanny ability to feel if something was wrong or out of place. And that's how he found out that Lyssa was stalking him.
At first, when he realized what Lyssa was doing, he was amused. He found it adorable and waited for Lyssa to gather up the courage to approach him.
But when a year passed and Lyssa never did, he grew frustrated. He always looked out for her, fending off bullies behind her back who tried to harm her. He was conscious of how her eyes lit up when she was happy, how even a tiny smile could make her look beautiful and the feminine grace she gave off. Here was an unpolished diamond, an innocent young girl who never cared what others think of her. The urge to protect her was powerful and so he did. But he couldn't prevent her from climbing trees, he thought grimly.
Sam was the first of his friends to notice Lyssa and her stalking. He told Nico about it and Nico was thrilled. After he snared the girl of his dreams with his friends' help, he wanted them to find theirs, too. But like Carl, they ignored her antics but still very aware of everything she did. Terrence was the only one who was still oblivious and Carl was grateful for that because he didn't want Terrence butting in his love life.
"Earth to Carl," Nico said, waving a hand in front of his face.
Carl glared at him and swatted his hand away.
"So, what are you going to do?" Nico asked as he leaned back into his chair. "You are going to do something about it now, aren't you?"
Carl said nothing. He just glowered at them to mind their own business. Of course, being his friends, they didn't.
"I'm guessing he'd rather wait until she falls off that tree by mistake and gravely injures herself," Sam supposed in his usual bored tone.
Carl scoffed at him.
"Of course, not. Did you think that I didn't think about that?" He ran an agitated hand over his hair, losing his composure. "I thought about cutting that tree but would that solve it? No. She'll only find another way, or another tree. I'd be cutting all the trees out there in the process but she'll still find a way."
"Well…" Nico looked at Sam who shrugged.
"But I did do something," he informed them tersely. "I tried to approach her. I tried to talk to her. But she would just run the other way or hide from me. I thought she liked me." He let out a bitter laugh then sighed wearily. "I've been too arrogant, thinking that she'd make the first move. Am I that unapproachable?"
He looked at his friends and they looked away from him, trying to hide their grins. He frowned.
"I am approachable," he grumbled at them.
Nico smirked and folded his arms together.
"Dude, you're not exactly sociable," he informed him. "You've got that lone wolf personality around you."
"And you always frown," Sam pointed out.
"And you glower at everyone you meet," Nico added.
"And you talk to people just to tell them off for breaking school rules. Ruthlessly."
"But those did not discourage Lyssa from climbing the tree," Nico ended with a flourish before bursting into loud guffaws.
Sam grinned and shook his head. He turned to Carl and asked, "Do you like her, though?"
Nico stopped laughing and looked at Carl expectantly.
Carl gave them each a long stare before sighing. He opened his drawer and took out an envelope. He handed it to Nico who immediately began to ruffle through the contents. Carl clicked several times on his laptop then faced it to them. Nico's jaw dropped. Sam's eyes widened.
Inside the envelope were candid shots of Lyssa from all over school, even from her house. The laptop showed Lyssa's profile and a compilation of her likes and dislikes. Nico and Sam gazes shifted to Carl who was looking sheepish. He was also stalking her all this time.
"I guess I just answered your question Sam," Carl said. "But it's hard going to confess it to someone who runs away."
"It's all about the timing," a voice chimed in. "We did it with Nico's Alayna, we can do it again with Lyssa."
Carl started to pick up his letter opener but Terrence stopped him first.
"Seriously, Carl," Terrence complained. "Just hear me out first before you skewer me with that, okay? I got a plan."
Carl gave him a dark look.
"Agreeing with you would make us both wrong," he began, approaching Terrence leisurely. Terrence whimpered and backed away slowly. "It's probably going to be something stupid, knowing you." He grinned evilly at him. "No, thanks."
"Hello there, little girl."
Lyssa jumped a little when all of a sudden, a guy she recognized as Terrence, one of Carl's best friends, appeared in front of her. It was early in the morning when she arrived in school the next day, hoping to retrieve her binoculars before someone else picked them up.
Lyssa tried to turn to go the other way but Terrence placed a gentle but firm hand on her shoulder and leaned over her.
"I know your secret," he whispered slyly in her ear.
"W-what?" Lyssa paled a little. Terrence suddenly produced her binoculars and waved it with a leer on his face. Lyssa's eyes widened in apprehension. Oh, God. He saw her.
"Oh, don't fret, little girl," Terrence said, patting her head. "I'm not going-"
A stomp on the foot shocked Terrence that the pain didn't register until a few seconds later.
"Ow!" he howled, holding his foot and jumping up and down.
Lyssa didn't linger any longer but fled away. Oh, God, what had she done? She thought frantically. What was she going to do? She was sure that he would tell Carl. She knew what an imp Terrence was, always creating havoc and she was sure that after what she had done to him, he would be even telling the whole school.
Lyssa looked back to make sure that he wasn't following her when she bumped into someone. Lyssa closed her eyes on impact and they both fell on the floor. When Lyssa opened her eyes, she was on top of someone. Not just any someone, it was Carl.
She let out a sob. Of all the rotten luck! Carl's hands were around her waist and he was lying on the floor. Lyssa tried to move but his hands tightened. He groaned in pain and Lyssa immediately grew worried.
"A-are you okay?" she asked.
"No," he managed to croak out. "My head hurts like hell."
He let go of her and they both slowly sat up. He groaned and began to look around, squinting. Lyssa watched him nervously. All thoughts of running away vanished when she saw his glasses on the floor a foot away from them. It was broken.
"Where the heck are my glasses?" he grumbled, patting the floor beside him. "I can't see."
Lyssa shrunk back at those words.
"Your apology isn't going to make me see," he muttered then groaned, holding his head on both hands. Lyssa crept closer to him and touched his head hesitantly.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, holding back her tears. "I… I didn't mean to hurt you. I didn't mean to break your glasses."
"You broke them?" he asked her with another groan.
"Please," she began earnestly. "Let me take you to the infirmary. You're hurt."
"I'll be better when I'm in my office. Take me there instead."
She knew better than to argue with him. Taking his broken glasses and pocketing it, she took his arm and helped him up. He wobbled a bit before standing up straight. He put an arm around her shoulders to help him walk better.
Their closeness made Lyssa blush. This was how she always dreamed it would be, wrapped up with his arms around him. She wrapped her other arm around his waist to hold him closer. They began walking towards his office.
Terrence threw a murderous glare over the two idiots chortling with amusement behind him. He was sitting on the floor, massaging his poor foot.
"I hate you," he spat at them.
"Serves you right," Nico said, leaning on Sam for support because his stomach ached from laughing. "Carl's brilliant. I bet he knew…"
"That Lyssa's a vicious monster disguised as an innocent, young girl with pretty, brown eyes? Good luck with him," Terrence muttered resentfully.
Sam and Nico burst into laughter again.
"Thanks," Carl told her when he was seated on his swivel chair with her help.
"Umm.. You're welcome," she mumbled before taking a step back. "I guess I should leave now."
"Wait," he called to her before she could leave the room. "Please, stay. I want to ask you something."
Lyssa paused and gulped. Did he know already? Was that what he was going to ask her? Her first thought was to leave but before she could, he asked her, "Can I ask your advice?"
Lyssa whirled around and eyed him dubiously.
"Advice on what?" she asked timidly.
She watched Carl's face slowly redden.
"About this girl that I like," he muttered embarrassedly.
Her heart sank. So, he had a girl he liked. And it wasn't her. She bit her lip and looked longingly at the door but decided she'd stay. She was curious to who caught the school president's interest. She ignored the painful pang in her heart and sat across him
"What about her?" she asked softly.
"Well," he began, mussing his hair. "I've always liked her since last year. She's smart, beautiful and she doesn't give a crap to what others think of her as long as she's happy."
"Wow," she mused sadly. "She seems like a great girl."
"Yes, you are, Lyssa."
Lyssa's eyes widened.
"What?" she whispered.
Carl stared straight at her eyes and she had the feeling that he could see her clearly even without the glasses.
"I like you, Lyssa," he told her.
Lyssa couldn't believe her ears.
"You're joking right?" she asked dubiously.
"Why would I be making jokes when my head is killing me?"
Lyssa didn't know what to say. So, she did what she always did when she was near him. She stood up to leave him when he spoke.
"Why do you keep running away from me, Lyssa?" he asked in a weary, defeated tone.
She inhaled sharply and halted. She didn't know what to say. She wanted to look at him, to see if he was serious but she was scared.
"Ever since I first laid eyes on you last year by the flower garden," he began quietly, "I never forgot you. But every time I tried to get close to you, every time I tried to talk to you, you'd vanish. Some guys have their limits, too, you know."
"So, you're giving up on me?" she asked before she could stop herself. "I… I mean…"
She heard him stand and move towards her. He stopped behind her and if she would just move back an inch, she would be leaning on his body. She cleared her throat to hide her embarrassment.
"I'm not stupid to let go of the one person in this school who loves me enough to stalk me but who never had the guts to face me."
She jerked her head up and turned to look at him. Her face was growing hot with embarrassment.
"Y-you knew?" She shook her head in disbelief. "You purposely lured me here, didn't you?"
He grinned widely at her. She was struck dumb at how handsome he looked when he smiled. And his words finally registered on her. He didn't want to let her go.
"Of, course. But I didn't plan on bashing my head on the process. I am, however, wearing contact lenses."
He took a step near her and she took a step back. His smile dropped.
Carl wasn't sure if his plan was working anymore. She won't even look at him. He wanted to be able to talk to her alone so that he could admit his feelings for her. And he wanted to hear if she felt the same way, too. Carl was always direct and he didn't want to skirt around the issue anymore. And stalking her all this time made him realize that it was time they finally confess to each other, faced to faced.
"I'm tired of waiting, Lyssa," he muttered softly. "I'm tired of looking at you from behind. I'm tired of stalking you."
Lyssa's mouth dropped open.
He nodded and took hold of her hand before she could move away.
"I did," he announced proudly. "How did you think I knew that you were following me around? We were, in fact, running around in circles. Lyssa, I love you."
Lyssa's eyes began to water. She couldn't believe that he told her he loved her. Surely this was all a farce. Maybe Terrence put him up to it. But his eyes told her he was serious. He looked hesitant and hopeful at the same time. And she wasn't a fool to let this moment pass and regret this every single day of her life.
"I do, too," she answered shyly and was rewarded with a brilliant, relieved smile from Carl. "I guess brilliant minds think alike."
"I don't think so," a grumpy voice said. They turned around and found Nico, Sam and Terrence by the door. Terrence looked extremely unhappy but Nico and Sam wore wide smiles on their faces. "You guys are more of a 'violent people think alike' quote. Gosh, you totally are perfect for each other."
Lyssa dropped her head on Carl's face, her face red. Carl laughed and hugged her close, giving his friends the thumbs-up.
The next day, Lyssa went to the tree that she always climbed during lunch. She looked above and was slightly perturbed at how high she had to climb everyday just to see Carl.
"Don't you dare get on that tree again, Lyssa."
Lyssa spun around and saw Carl standing not far from her. She leaned back on the tree and bit her lip tensely.
Carl walked towards her with a smirk on his face.
"Of, course." He leaned over her, an arm bracing him just above her head and she looked up at him. "Did you think that special performance I did the other day was for Nico and Sam?"
She blushed and dropped her gaze to his chest. She was so mortified that she couldn't say anything.
Carl tilted her head up slowly. She was surprised when he slowly gave her a peck on the lips. When he pulled back, he held a lock of her hair up.
"Your hair got caught on a twig."
Lyssa slid to the ground, holding her lips. Her face was bright red. Carl laughed and began to walk away. She thought that he was leaving her when she noticed that one of his hands was beckoning for her to take. She beamed and ran to catch up with him. She timidly put her hand in his. She heard Carl sigh with contentment and her smile grew..
She was never climbing trees again.
Hi! It's me. Finally. Made this one because I was bored. And it was indeed a long one. I added up details about their school life, that's why. Ha ha! Terrence's story is up next and I had fun writing it.
I'm currently regrouping my thoughts for the story "Ice Melts for Love" so doncha worry!^^