Again, there's not much to say for this chapter. I've hit a bit of writer's block again, so it may be a while after the next chapter until I have more content for the few of you reading. If you feel so inclined, leave a review and let me know how I can improve. I feel like the story is moving kind of slowly, but I chalk that up to my need to make everything as detailed as possible (thank you university English). Besides that, I hope you all enjoy this chapter, and I'll see you again soon!
After catching him up on what had happened in my life, Raoul attacked me with a hug. I had managed to hold my tears in, and as much as I wanted to let them out and sob into Raoul's chest, I also didn't want to attract any more unwanted attention to myself. After a moment or two, we parted from each other's embrace.
"I'm so sorry Christine. I wish there was something I could do." Raoul comforted me with his words.
"You have nothing to be sorry about. None of it was in your control; or mine for that matter. What's done is done, but I'm lucky enough to still have my mom." I said, wiping a few stray tears from my eyes. "But we've spent enough time talking about me. What's new with your life?"
"Nothing much." He said with a shrug, "Phil is pushing me to follow him into the family business, which means I barely have time to do anything else besides studying. Even if I don't have work, if he catches me doing something besides studying, he gets all up in my business about it." I wasn't shocked by this, as his older brother was made to take over the family business after their parents died in a tragic car accident when Philippe was only 20 and Raoul was 2. "Phil married this girl, Sarah, and I live with them and their two kids. They're little rascals, but I love them nonetheless." I was surprised at this, as I never thought Philippe was capable of stopping work long enough to fall in love, let alone start a family.
"That surprises me, but I'm glad that everything is great for you guys! What are their names?" I asked.
"Abigail and Christina. They're 5 and 3. They have a lot more energy than I do, that's for sure. I'll have to have you over sometime to meet them." He suggested.
"That sounds like a great idea! I would love to meet them!" I was excited at the thought. However, our plan-making was cut short once again by the irritating bell. We both groaned at our time together was cut short. My eyes shifted to meet his. "The world is not in our favor today, is it?" We both chuckled at the comment.
"No, I suppose it's not. I don't suppose you have Physics with Peters this next hour?" He asked.
"Unfortunately, no. I have Algebra 2 with Mrs. Giry." I audibly groaned at the thought of doing math this early in the morning.
"Do you have your schedule on you?" He asked, "Maybe we should just compare them now so we know what time we do have to hang out." Thinking slightly ahead of him, I began to fish for the folded up piece of paper from within my purse.
"Sure! Here's mine." I said, holding out my wrinkly, mess of a paper. He turned back towards me, his neat, crisp piece in hand. We exchanged papers, eagerly looking over the piece that had been handed to us. As my eyes scrolled down the page, I was slightly saddened to see that there was only one more class that we had together.
"Well," I met his eyes as he began speaking once again, "at least it's theatre. I'm assuming you still love singing and acting, given that you're in the class." I chuckled at his comment.
"Yeah. I do. I know it sounds super cheesy or whatever, but theatre has just been the one thing I knew would be there for me." As few as they were, tears began to form in my eyes. It was no secret to those close to me that I thrived in theatre. However, I didn't want to take the chance of making a scene, especially in front of my newly reacquainted friend. "Through everything that's happened, I knew that as long as I could find a stage, I would feel at home." I sighed, closing my eyes for just a moment. Upon opening them, I saw Raoul staring at me, nearly dumbfounded. I felt my cheeks turn a bright red, as I was sure I had made a complete fool out of myself at this point. "I'm so sorry. Like I said, it's super cheesy. I didn't mean to go on like that." I awkwardly giggled.
"No! You're fine. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to stare like that, but-" He stopped suddenly, surely searching for the words to say. "I never thought of it that way. For me, it's just always been a hobby that I enjoyed in my free time. Especially with, well, everything you've gone through-.". He paused for a moment. "The way you paint it, it's just so beautiful." We both smiled awkwardly at each other, knowing that we both had stumbled on long enough. "I guess I'm the one who's being cheesy now, huh?" He gave me a sly smile.
"Oh no! You're fine! I didn't mean to-" My speech stopped mid-sentence as he placed his hand on my shoulder.
"Christine…" There was something in the air, you could just feel it! We were both speechless. I'm not sure if it was teenage hormones or the fact that we were rushed with emotions after being reunited. I'm not sure if it was just me, but I swear I saw Raoul inching his face closer to mine as if he was going to kiss me. The late bell rang through the nearly empty hall, alerting us that we were late once again. We both jumped back as the bell brought us back to reality, forcing us to leave our own little world behind. We both opened our mouths to speak but struggled to find words. After a moment or so of stumbling for the words to say, I finally spoke.
"Well, I guess we had better get to class then, huh?". I chuckled, awkwardly shuffling my feet, awaiting the appropriate time to leave.
"Heh. Yeah, I guess we probably should." His eyes shifted to the floor as he matched my shuffling feet. "I'll see you in theatre then?"
"Yeah, I'll see you then." I held my books close to my chest as I began to walk into the next hallway at a fast pace. Once I was certain that I was going the right way and saw that I was out of sight of Raoul, I stopped in the hall and lightly fell back against a locker. I had never felt this way before.
"What am I doing?" I thought to myself, realizing my need to get to class. I did my best not to dart down the hall, thoughts of Raoul clouding the back of my head.