• tab He was standing by the window, rain was coming down like no tomorrow from the darkened sky. Every so often lightning would flash, brightening the room for a few seconds. The thunder was muted however, not because of the windows, or the walls. No, the glass was thin and the walls didn't even muffle outside traffic that much. I couldn't see his expression well either, my eyelids were drooping. But, as another flash lit up everything, I saw briefly. Was he...crying...?


    tab "...Picture a couple, a beautiful woman and a man with graying hair. They're walking in a forest, part of a trail from the local park they visit on weekends. They're laughing, and holding hands. Then, all of a sudden, they stop, hearing a noise from the trees. They look in the direction for about a minute, then start to walk again. But then...zombies burst in from all sides! They're hungering for blood, and brains, and--"
    tab "Woah, woah. Where'd this come from?" I asked, cutting off my friend's rambling. Jess ducked her head to the side, trying not to snort the milk she'd been drinking. My friend gave me a fake hurt look, cocking his head curiously like a puppy. "I mean, dude, I'm trying to eat here."
    tab We were at lunch, just a couple periods, or hours, after Alex scared Jonah off. Jess was sitting next to me, and my friend, Rick, across from us. Rick was always coming up with these crazy movie ideas and telling me and her about them, at lunch no less. Don't get me wrong, they were great ideas. Just...not so great when he was talking about gore when you were eating the cafeteria's spaghetti.
    tab Oh, Alex was at our table too. He was sitting next to Rick, practically wolfing down his food. You'd think he'd never eaten before. Jess had waved him over when she noticed he had the same lunch as us. My school had this block schedule. Four classes, with a 15 minute break between first and second, then lunch at third. Both mine and Jess's classes had first lunch out of four total, so that meant Rick and Alex had it too.
    tab Rick nodded solemnly and put on a straight face. "I'm sorry, m'lord. I had no idea I was disturbing your meal time."
    tab Jess had managed to swallow properly and began to laugh at his silliness. I rolled my eyes, poking moodily at my unfinished food. I wasn't someone who lost their appetite so quickly, but some days Rick just happened to creep me out so my stomach felt like it wasn't hungry anymore. Alex had finished his food not too long after Rick made the zombies come out. I sighed and pushed my plate towards him, wondering if he was still hungry. He raised his eyebrows at me, questioning. Those yellow eyes must've been contacts, I thought to myself, but why was I still wondering about them?
    tab "You might as well. I'm not feeling the hunger vibes anymore." I shrugged and watched him take the plate, digging his own fork into the spaghetti.
    tab "What's wrong with zombies?" Rick asked me, leaning forward across the table expectantly. His blue eyes were bright in the fluorescent lights of the school, almost like lamps, or flashlights.
    tab "Well, I dunno...They seem a little over-used." I replied, frowning as I thought.
    tab Rick paused for moment before nodding to himself. "Alright. Zombies are out. How about...vampires?" I shook my head again, this time not saying anything when he went to ask why.
    tab "What about werewolves?" Alex suddenly put in. We looked over at him, probably making him a little uncomfortable with everyone staring. He had finished my food and had his elbows on the table, hands clasped together and chin resting on them. "Everyone talks about zombies and vampires, but nobody thinks of the werewolves."
    tab "Soo, you're a were-freak?" Rick asked after he finished. Alex looked at him oddly, more like interest than confusion. "I mean, you sound like you like werewolves...And I thought..." Rick trailed off and shook his head. "Sorry, werewolves sound like a great idea!"
    tab Alex smiled at him friendily, and Rick went back to talking about his movie idea, this time replacing the zombies with werewolves. As he was getting to the part about one of the wolf men bringing the woman's head to show their pack leader, I noticed the conversation in the cafeteria had gotten a little louder. Other tables around us were starting to have to shout to hear someone across from them. I looked around, a tiny bit confused. Then I noticed Jonah was coming up behind Alex, grinning, fists clenched. He was probably going to try and get revenge for earlier, the increased noise would mask any sounds of the fight. That was...unusually smart for him.
    tab I started to call out to warn him, but he turned to look at at Jonah before I could. "Hello there, Jonah, right?" He said that calmly, and the sound cut through the other tables' speech.
    tab Jonah nodded in confirmation a couple of seconds before taking a swipe at him with one of his fists. Or not, I thought blandly. This time, Alex ducked in time for the meaty hand to pass above him harmlessly. Rick felt the wind of the force of it, and it luckily missed him. That was a good thing. But Jonah looked ticked.
    tab The blockhead swung again, and Alex slid out of his seat to dodge to the side. It went like that for a minute, him avoiding and Jonah getting more red-faced during the ordeal. Nearby tables stopped talking and stared, just like whenever someone got into a fight with someone else. No one really spoke. Jess, Rick and I were staring at the pair too. Alex was an expert at this. I mean dodging, not actually fighting. Oddly, it looked like he could predict every move of Jonah's.
    tab "You don't have to come after me, you know?" Alex called almost playfully, moving so an empty lunch table was between him and his adversary.
    tab "Shut up!" Jonah practically shouted back, effectively getting the attention of the teachers overseeing the lunch period.
    tab Alex blinked his odd yellow eyes curiously and caught the lightweight plastic chair Jonah had decided to throw at him deftly. He set it down and backed away when the meathead advanced on him, stepping up onto the table and over. I was pretty sure this would have gone on longer, until the wrestling coach strode and placed himself in between the two.
    tab "You're coming to the counselor's office. Both of you." Nice. Typical way that all teachers dealt with student problems.
    tab "But, sir." Rick stood up and spoke calmly, if not a little uneasily. "Only Jonah tried to start a fight. Alex just avoided him."
    tab The coach looked at Rick before responding, calm as well. "You're coming too, then." Rick groaned, resenting his outspokenness then, but followed as the teacher led Alex and the livid Jonah out of the cafeteria.
    tab Several moments passed in silence. I mean, the whole room was quiet. Then as one person began to speak, the bell rang. Jess and I thought it courteous to throw away the styrofoam plates of our two missing friends, before leaving ourselves. I walked her to her class, we kissed goodbye, and I went to mine just down the hall.
    tab The next class passed by quickly. Halfway during fourth, the last class of the day, the door opened and Alex walked in, sheepishly giving a written note to the teacher. He chuckled uncertainly, and the 28 year old looking History teacher dismissed it with a careless wave. Alex took the empty seat beside mine, and I gave him a thumbs up sign concerning the meeting with the counselor. He shrugged and gave a wolfish smile before our teacher went back to the lesson.
    tab My mind wandered while the teacher spoke. It did sometimes, but not very often. I kept thinking about earlier, in the cafeteria. Alex didn't, in the least, fight back. It reminded me of when Jonah punched him before first period. Not meaning to be dissing a new student, but that was suspicious. Scaring away a bully, then dodging every move he threw at you later. Yeah, not the most normal thing in the world.
    tab The bell rang it seemed in no time, jerking me from my thoughts, and we both left the school together. Despite my unwillingness and wanting him as a friend, I decided that it probably wouldn't be a bad idea. Jess fell in step with us, and we all walked down the sidewalk leading out of the school campus to the neighborhood that me and her lived in. Alex explained that he lived down that way as well.
    tab "Hey, Alex?" I asked suddenly, barging in on the conversation he and Jess were having and laughing at. "What was the deal with the counselor?"
    tab "The counselor?" He repeatedly absently, then shook his head as he remembered. "Oh yeah. I guess the usual. Warnings. But Jonah was given detention for a day. I managed to get Rick out of it."
    tab "Do you know why he went after you?" Jess asked curiously, her moss green eyes glinting in the sun.
    tab Alex shrugged. "Probably because of earlier."
    tab I snorted hard, instantly regretting doing that. My eyes watered as I rubbed it gingerly.
    tab "Zak, one day, you're going to snort a bug up there!" Jess's laugh was like a small bell. Alex departed from us at the entrance of our subdivision. His house was farther down. We said goodbye and turned onto the road into the neighborhood. Jess smiled to herself and hummed a little tune while she and I walked.
    tab "Jess? Why did Jonah corner you before first?"
    tab Jess frowned and her lips tightened into a thin line. "Homework. He wanted to cheat." I was pretty sure that that wasn't the real reason, but she looked upset a bit. In fact, casting my mind back to what Alex had said, while he defended her, I was more than a hundred percent sure that it was something else. But I didn't pry. We stopped beside her driveway and I pulled her into a gentle hug, wising that we didn't have to part.
    tab "If he does that again, call me. Even if it's during school."
    tab "Zak, you're overreacti--"
    tab "I don't care if I am." I replied, pulling back to look her in the eye. "I love you, Jess. Alright? I don't want anything to happen to you." Jess glanced to the side before leaning up and kissing me. We stood for locked a minute or so before she broke away and skipped up to her porch, glancing back and smiling. I waved at her back when she disappeared into her house. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a big black dog sitting by a tree. Our gazes met, then I swore it winked at me with it's glowing yellow eyes. A chilled shudder ran up my spine and I began to walk. When I glanced back again after I reached my mailbox, it was gone. Like it had never been there in the first place. Weird.