An Angel's Job
Author: Lyndsay Noemia

Chapter 3
No Pun Intended

     The bell rang, dismissing Health. After a blur of classes without seeing Ephraim anymore, lunch began. Blythe, Melanie, and Tyler were all sitting at our usual table. As we were goofing around and laughing, a mysterious feeling overwhelmed me. My friends fell silent. Melanie began playing with her chocolate brown hair. That guarded look that Tyler's clear green eyes had around new people appeared. Blythe blushed. I turned to see an already familiar face. "Hey, sorry I ran out of class. I thought I was going to get sick." Ephraim said, with the look of a kid who broke his mom's favorite lamp.
     "Here, you can sit down." Ephraim situated himself in the plastic chair. "I bet it's because of the elevation."
     He looked relieved, somehow. "I hope Mr. Martinez isn't angry."
     I smiled at him, "No, he's a big pushover, especially to new students." He smiled at me, and then I remembered that my friends were with me. "God, sorry. I forgot you guys don't know each other. You already met Blythe, sort of." She blushed again and waved meekly. "This is Tyler." I pointed to him. "And this is Melanie. There's one more, his name is Gabe. He's Melanie's boyfriend." She blushed, a contrast to her ice blue eyes. "Everyone, this is Ephraim." We ate lunch in a sort of awkward phase. I talked to Ephraim as if we had known each other for years, while my friends stared at him. Art class was my last class and, until now, I was alone with the snobs.
     The snobs mirrored the looks they gave us in Health. The look was returned, again. We were painting anything we wanted, so I had chosen the Slytherin logo from Harry Potter. "You like Harry Potter?" Ephraim asked.
     I smiled, "Yeah, it's dorky, but the movies are great."
     He returned the smile, "No, I don't think it is dorky in the least. I've loved Harry Potter for as long as I can remember." He opened his binder to reveal a notebook covered in Slytherin, Gryffindor, and other Harry Potter related stickers. I laughed, conjuring a glare from the snobs again. More than a little annoyed with the amount of hate being beamed towards me, I asked, "Can I help you?"
     The cheerleader scoffed and I said, "Yeah that's what I thought, now turn around before I turn your jacket into an easel."
     She looked honestly horrified and turned around. "Idiot cheerleaders, all those spray tans must be staining their brains, if they have any." I muttered. Ephraim laughed loudly, which attracted the attention of the snob's boyfriend. "You think something's funny, freak?"
     Ephraim stopped laughing and I said, "Yeah, you're GPA, so turn around." I knew the basketball star wouldn't dare hit me, but that didn't mean he couldn't hit Ephraim. The caveman that all teachers considered an athletic genius stood up. Mrs. Debra, a senile bat, was oblivious to the six foot tall jock pinning Ephraim against the cabinet. Still, Ephraim's voice was calm, "I suggest you put me down, Caveman."
     The jock dropped him, pulling back his fist. In a blur, his fist connected with Ephraim's jaw. Or, so I thought. The amount of surprise in the jock's eyes mirrored the surprise I felt. Ephraim was holding the jock's fist inches away from his face. "Try to hit me again, and I will not be so merciful."
     The jock pulled back his other fist. Ephraim dropped his hand and dodged the punch. He then grabbed both of the jock's arms. In an instant, his arms were behind his back, and he was on the ground. Ephraim had his black Converse dug into his back. Mrs. Debra finally noticed the disruption when the jock yelled, "You freak, you're gonna regret this!"
     Ephraim pulled the jock and said, "You don't threaten me." Then in a whisper that only the jock and I could hear, "I've seen things you don't even have nightmares about. Do. Not. Underestimate. Me." With that the bell rang, dismissing the school day.
     Ephraim slammed his locker door before I even had a chance to try to catch up with him. He leaned his forehead against the cool black metal. "I'm sorry you had to see that." He said. I kept silent. His jaw tightened before he said, "God, now you probably think I'm some freak who forgot to take their medicine."
     I straightened up, "No, actually I've wanted to see a jock get the crap beat out of him for a while now. You need a ride home?"
     He turned and smiled at me, "Yeah, it won't be any trouble will it?"
     "No, none at all. I skip detention all the time. Mr. Chadwick has a soft spot for me for some reason, so he doesn't care." He smiled again and followed me to my car. Once in the car, my automatic reaction was to plug my iPod in.
     Ephraim held his hand up, "You don't mind if I plug my iPod in do you?"
     "Go ahead." He plugged it in, and soon a very familiar song was playing. "Is this Gills and Wings?"
     He looked surprised, "Yeah, but I thought they were like nobodies. I'm surprised you know them."
     "Know them? I own their entire album. Practically know every song by heart." I said with a laugh.
     As I drove and Ephraim's iPod continued to blast music that I loved, something swerved in front of the car. "What the-" A loud screeching of tires cut my question short. I felt Ephraim's hand over mine, jerking the wheel to the left. "Get down, now!" He yelled. I listened to him and crouched between the passenger seat and back seat. Ephraim opened the door. "What? Is it not enough you totaled my car this morning?"
     Laughter, "Sorry, Ephraim, but you know he's looking for you."
     "Well, I have a message for him." My ancient car shook with the force of something being thrown against it. I looked up.
     I was greeted by a manic smile that would have surpassed the Cheshire Cat. "Well, what do we have here?"
     The guy looked about Ephraim's height, maybe taller. His hair was coal black, and his eyes were like onyx. There was something almost angelic about him, but distrusting at the same time. He had a tattoo winding down his arm, the black ink contrasting heavily with his ivory skin. I heard the crack before the window was shattered. He opened the door and grabbed me by my neck.
     "Leave her out of this, Jasen." Ephraim said.
     He turned his attention away from me, throwing me against the hood of the car. "Why, cause I know you sure as hell aren't." He paused laughing. "Sorry, there was no pun intended."
     Pun? I thought. A groan escaped my lips as blood seeped down my neck. Ephraim was at my side, picking me up. "Jasen, enough. There is no need to hurt her." Something seemed oddly familiar about Ephraim holding me.
     "I will leave you alone this time, Ephraim. But be warned, we will meet again." With that, Ephraim and I were alone. Looking around with what consciousness was left in me, I noticed that the usually busy street was eerily deserted.
     Pain shot threw my head and neck. Another groan escaped, but it was louder and shriller. "Shh, it's okay. You're okay now." Ephraim was somehow holding me and smoothing my hair at the same time. "I'm taking you to the hospital." I felt my eyes begin to shut.


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