Saving Grace

*Previously- Grace is cleared from the nurse’s office and, upon her exit, is run into by a boy who seems to know something about her that she herself doesn’t…*

The way he looked at her, his shoulders slumped and his eyes searching hers as if he was trying to recognize some part of her, trying to search for something that was not there — it hurt.

It made her heart ache in a way she could not understand, not when the man who caused it was a complete stranger to her. What was she supposed to remember anyway? Just how did he know who she was? “Who are you? To me?”

He looked away from her, taking his hands off the piano, laying them in his lap. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Try me,” she took a step closer, eyes narrowed, trying to meet his gaze again. “You won’t know until you try, and you are starting to freak me out. You could start with how you know my name.”

She heard him sigh, a long, drawn out sound like wind whispering through trees.

“It’s not that simple, Grace. All I can tell you is that very soon you will need my help, at least do your best to remember that.” She couldn’t believe he was talking to her like she was a child.

“Not that simple? It’s not simple enough for you to just tell me how you know my freaking name? Will you stop being so cryptic for one minute to give me a straight answer? Or are you too good for that?”

He did not respond, at least, not at first. He opened his mouth to speak again, but the door behind them opened quickly.

The sound of rain pounding against cement outside was louder than before as a hooded figure ran in, soaking wet and shivering. “Oh Grace, there you are! Hey,” Sam pulled off his hood, revealing dusty-blonde colored hair pulled back into a ponytail.

A few rebellious locks had fallen into his face and stuck to his forehead and red cheeks. He walked toward her with a cheerful smile that shifted into a frown as he noticed Connor standing up to stand behind her.

“I’ve been looking for you for a while…” A while? It had only been an hour at the most that she had spent here, if Sam had been trying to find her, wouldn’t he have called her phone? He could have texted or left a message.

“Uh yeah, I’m here. I went to see the nurse about my head … Everything is fine by the way,” Grace replied, but she had a feeling that Sam was only half listening. “What are you doing here?”

The question wasn’t directed at her, she realized as she followed Sam’s gaze toward Connor, stepping out of the way as her friend glared down at him.

If she were Connor, she would have been terrified, she had never seen Sam like this before. He was usually kind and caring and gentle. Not this towering, intimidating force of nature.

“I was just leaving,” Connor brushed past him without another word, disappearing back into the halls, leaving Grace to wonder just what that had been all about. His words earlier still echoed in her mind.

“Stay away from that guy,” Sam muttered beside her, looking down at her with that familiar, warm gaze that always made her feel safe. “Connor is trouble, everyone on campus knows that.”

Trouble … just what had he done to earn himself that title? What was meant to steer her away from him only made her more curious, despite her annoyance at him evading questions.

“Why were you trying to find me, Sam?”

“Oh, yeah,” he murmured, as if only just remembering what he had come here to do, “I was wondering if you had seen or heard from Piper at all today, we were supposed to go out to lunch but she never showed.”

Lunch, had it been that long? How had time passed so quickly? “It’s not like her to skip out on something without saying anything, you know?”

“Yeah, not like her at all.” Maybe it was just Connor’s words playing with her head, but something about it did not sound right.

* This is a weekly fiction series. For previous scenes, refer to our website at ndsuspectrum.com/savinggrace

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