I stare at Adam, and then glance at Neo. It was hopeless. There was no way to find out who was real and who was fake. I mean, I suppose there was a way, but I didn't want to find out. If Neo and I had been a lie this whole time... I don't know what I'd do.
I think I love Neo. Right? I don't feel anything immediate as I stare at Adam. But then again, I didn't feel anything right away with Neo either. Lucy, one of the twins in the room who had clearly stated that she thought Neo was the fake, said, "Scratch that! Both of them are frauds!"
"Do you really have a fox mark too?" Adam said, gulping. Nothing about it screamed lie at me. It seemed like an honest action, and his tone of voice didn't suggest any deceit either. Adam's grey eyes are now watching Neo and I's hands as they intertwine. Suddenly, a wild look enters his eyes. Adam reaches up and runs a tan hand through his dark hair, filling his cheeks with air and turning away from Neo and I.
"How's this going to work?" Cassandra, one of my peers, inquires. Mr. Suksod, my English teacher, watches from his desk in the far corner, sipping his morning coffee. He'd normally get upset when all twenty of his students started fighting. It happened quite often, since our school was known to gossip.
I look up at Neo before stepping away from him. His golden eyes flash with regret as he lets me pull away. Jackson lets out a low whistle. "Dang. The rejection is deep."
I glare at Jackson from the corner of my eye as I start for the door. "Clove!" Neo pleads.
I stop as my hand wraps around the doorknob. I don't look over my shoulder as I state, "I need fresh air." And then I walk out of the room, slamming the door behind me. If Neo knew what was best for me, and what was best for him, he would stay where he was. If I hadn't shown him my mark in the first place, none of this would have happened. I wipe hot tears away as they trail down my cheeks and off my chin. I was happy and fortunate to have Neo, who I thought was my soulmate, here at school with me. After all, it normally takes a lot longer to find your match. Maybe it was too good to be true. I just don't know how he would have seen my mark before I showed it to him six months ago.
Now, Adam exists in my world too. He seems legit. There's no real way to tell though. I'm no lie detector, and I don't trust the machines enough to use one on them. Someone grabs my shoulder and I whip around, smacking whoever it was in the face. Adam, blinked a couple times as his cheek became pink in the exact same shape as my hand. "I'm so sorry!" I squealed out as he stared down at me.
Adam just chuckled, the corners of his mouth curving up in an easy smile. Adam had chosen to cover up his mark with a heaping pile of band-aids. Self-conscientiously, I grasped at my own mark. Adam ran his hand through his dark waves again, opening his mouth but not producing a sound.
After a minute of awkward silence, Adam said, "I'm very sorry."
"For what?" I ask.
"For making things complicated. It's kind of my fault you're in this sticky situation."
"Not really. It was your first day today. You didn't know it was going to happen." I shake my head at him, sighing. "Neo and I had had many problems before this. I'm sure we - You, Neo, and I- will figure out what happened and deal with it quickly."
I watched his facial expressions carefully, making sure I didn't miss anything. There was nothing to see. "You know I'm not faking this right?" he questions me.
I look away. "I wouldn't have a clue. I'm not a good liar, and not good and picking them out. I suppose we will figure this out as we go."
Adam nodded, lost in thought. "I'm not supposed to stay here, you know?"
I blink at him for a second before replying. "But you aren't leaving before we figure this out?"
"I have no idea. Moved out here just under a month ago, and we have seven days of school left if I've calculated everything correctly. It depends on when my over-seas contract expires, or if my agent ditches me, which, considering the circumstance, could be very soon." He mumbles something to himself before continuing. "You know... I wasn't actually going to come."
"Why not?" I respond, surprised that he told me this.
"Because I knew I'd find something here."
"Why would that make you want to stay behind?"
"I'm scared of change," he murmured. "Ever since I was a little boy, my life has been changing. First was when my dad died in a plane crash on his way to Hawaii. Second was when my mother eloped with some random dude off the streets and left me for dead. Suddenly, I was in the foster system because no one wanted to adopt me. At sixteen, I got into a car accident that has left me with permanent scars..."
"Where?" I chime in. "Can I see them?"
Adam glances up at me as I pull him out of his own thought bubble. "They're across my back and left hip bone." He runs a hand through his dark hair again. I mentally note the habit as he stares at me.
Adam's face went bright red and he turned around and shifted his tank top so that it rode up his back halfway. I gaze at the jagged lines that spread across Adam's back. Most of them were centralized around the spinal area. "Can I touch them?" I ask.
"Uh... I suppose."
Gently, I trace the rough skin with my fingertips. It felt odd, but then again, I'd never seen or touched a scar like this before.
Suddenly, there was a cough from behind me. Adam and I spin around to find Neo standing there. His warm eyes are pained, but not angry with the scene he'd been witnessing. "Can I speak with you for a moment, Clover?"
"Sure, I'll meet you at our bench in a moment. Let me finish talking to Adam." Neo peers past me at Adam who eyes Neo right back. Without another word, Neo turns on his heel and walks down the hall and around a corner. I look back at Adam who's eyes are fixed on something over my head. I don't ask what it is, but I do throw a glance to where his mark was covered up with bandages. Reaching for it, I rip the pointless items off his skin. Adam immediately takes a step back.
"I covered that so you wouldn't feel uncomfortable," he told me, offended that I was ruining a thoughtful gesture.
"I know, and thank you for that. However, I think I'd rather you not look stupid and be yourself, mark and all, until we're in full agreement about what should be done," I tell him as I walk after Neo. He nods, a faint smile dancing about his face. I smile back and continue to walk in the direction of Neo and I's bench.
After a moment or two, I find my way to the bench by the fish pond. We hadn't been to see the bench for a while since we both became to busy to take a break. It looked the same as ever. White wood trimmed with black iron. A little worn, but it was still the bench nonetheless. Neo stands as I approach.
"Hey, Clove..." he states, a little hesitant after seeing Adam with me.
"Hey, Neo," I reply, wrapping my thin arms around his muscled torso. He sighs and kisses my forehead, seeming relieved that I didn't withdraw from his touch.
"Are we still okay?" he inquires of me.
"I suppose so..." I say, leaning back to rub my eyes. "I just hate the fact that one of you two is lying to me. I just wish the phony would tell me straight to my face."
"I don't want to see you hurt," Neo informs me. "It pains me to see you in pain."
"Likewise," I tell him.
"I'm here no matter what happens, Clove. I mean it!"
"Okay," I say, lowering my head to stare at our feet.
Tilting my chin up with his thumb, Neo gave me a small smile. "I love you, Clover Lyncaster."
"Love you too, Neo Savage." I give him a quick peck on the cheek before we headed back to class. Was perusing Neo while Adam was on the charts a good thing, or should I have put our relationship on pause and give Adam a chance. Either way, I knew I'd lose an amazing individual that could have been in my life.
How I hated complications.
Which one is faux, and which are you rooting for? Should I write more?