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Old 09-29-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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Stories For Boys (Chapter 3)

Title: Stories For Boys
Authors
: wo_speaking & allatonce10 (Love & Logic)
Rating
: PG for some language
A/N
: An offer Bono can't refuse...

*******************


As the first day of school progressed, whenever I went to my next class, my heart was left with nothing but a deep surge of disappointment. Audrey and I had only one class together. When the last bell of the day rang, I collected my jacket and joined my mates in the yard where we always met.


Edge was sitting in the grass, legs crossed with a guitar resting on his knees, looking towards the heavens and strumming away. Whenever Edge was playing his guitar, it was best to leave him be. He couldn’t hear anything but the hum of the strings and the whisper of the music. In fact, Adam, Larry and myself were all like that.


Larry had already went home, Adam told me, lighting a fag. I’ll tell ya, that fecker was not afraid to do anything on school grounds. He’s the only one I know who carries a silver flask, a lighter and a pack of cigarettes during all hours of the day.


On the opposite side of the yard, Audrey sat beneath an oak tree, legs outstretched, a book open in her lap. The harder and harder I tried, I still couldn’t bring myself to look away. An aura of tranquility shone around her like a glorious halo.


“So how was your first day back, Bono Vox?” Adam asked, his eyes following Meghan Connor’s backside as she walked by.


Shrugging, I answered honestly. “Strange. A lot has changed over a summer.”


Adam’s eyebrows scrunched, looking confused until setting his eyes the same direction as my own. Audrey hadn’t moved a muscle aside from her hands turning a page or pulling the loose strands of sun kissed almond hair away from her perfectly angled face. The sound of Edge’s soft acoustic guitar played in the background, combining with the wind so that it danced throughout the school yard, adding more romanticism to the picture perfect view of Audrey.


“Still thinking of that American girl, eh, mate?”


“Aye.”


“I dread to be the arse who tells you this, but every boy in the student body has been talking all about Audrey O’Neill and her older sister. They’re the freshest females on market.”


I turned to him with crookedness on my lip, “They’re not pieces of meat on a hanging hook, Adam. They’re women.”


He chuckled. “And I suppose you’re going to be the one to show her that?”


Focusing again on Audrey, a small smile filled my lips. Sure, I wanted to be the one to show her. I wanted to prove to her that I was not a boy who found enjoyment over breaking a girl’s heart. And I knew very little of her but that didn’t stop me from thinking that she deserves better than what was offered at Mount Temple.


Did I even deserve her?


Peeking up from her book, Audrey locked her eyes to mine. I didn’t dare look away. Nor did she.


“I want to be the one who shows her,” I said, speaking more to Audrey than Adam. “But that doesn’t mean she will let me.”



* * * * *



My first week back at school flew by like a blink and before I knew it, Friday morning greeted Dublin with a surprising arrival of sun and blue skies. Audrey was at her locker modeling a dark brown dress with elbow length sleeves that hugged every slim curve of her body. Girls in America must have different fashion sense than they do here and judging from the envious glares Audrey received from the female body, I wasn’t the only one thinking that.


Approaching my locker, I caught Audrey looking at me. However, the second I peeked towards her she just as quickly turned away. Chuckling to myself while coding into my locker, Adam greeted me with a very low, “Mornin.’” Today he wore his afghan coat and round sunglasses, an odd fashion that got a lot of people talking when he first arrived at Mount Temple. Adam is a very interesting individual: smart, posh, charming and very good with the ladies. There was not one person who disliked him-he was everyone’s friend.


“Ready for your favorite class in the whole wide world, Bono Vox?” Adam slapped me on the back as I grumbled. Why did he have to remind me that I was going to Gaelic? The only good thing about that class now was Audrey O’Neill. But even she didn’t see me.


In fact, she just walked on by, her hips swaying naturally, pulling me in as though they had their own gravitational force of seduction. Adam, as you would expect, whistled after she disappeared down the hall.


“Why can’t Irish girls dress like that?” He asked out loud.


I had to laugh. “Your guess is as good as mine. Did she…happen to look at me…by chance? Not, ya know, full on eyeballing but just a little bit? Even the smallest?”


Adam shook his head. “Sorry, mate. You have to remember, she knows every boy is watching her, talking about her, thinking of ways to get…well…ya know.”


I froze, eyes widening at what my friend had just told me. Why don’t I ever hear of these things? I get along with almost everyone and everyone almost tells me everything! Sure other boys have told me that they found the new girl mysterious and pretty, but none of them every mentioned anything of wanting to shag her!


“Well…I’m not like that.” I said in my defense now walking with Adam to Gaelic. “I just want to get to know her.”


“I can’t believe how bad you have it for this girl!” Adam boasted, smiling amusingly. “Is Bono actually seriously interested in a girl?”


“Shut up,” I shoved him and he laughed loudly, catching himself. “Just help me! Shit, I can’t even get her to
look at me much less talk to me! What am I doing wrong? I’m charming, aren’t I?”

“Well, obviously, the student body departs whenever you’re walking down the hall like the fucking Red sea!”


“Then why won’t she talk to me?”


Adam halted, stopping at the frame of the classroom door and pulling me to the side, waiting for what he had to say as two girls walked by, each waving and saying hi to Adam and I, batting their eyelashes. Psh…piss off.


“See,” I thumbed behind me. “They flirt with me all the time!”


Adam sighed and shook his head, holding back a smirk. “Listen, Bono,” He started, placing a hand on my shoulder. “You have a…reputation and unfortunately Audrey has probably already found that out.”


“Caitlin Kennedy…” Her name was poisonous on my tongue.


“Not only Caitlin, Bono. You’re known as a ladies man. I’m even known as a ladies man! It happens. What you need to do is either ignore her completely or figure a slick way to spend time with her. She’s not dumb. And she probably feels a bit out of place here. She’s American, she dresses differently, speaks differently. This is an environment she’s not accustom to. And you’ve only known her a week. Give her some time, she’ll come around. Don’t push it, let it take its course. Ok?”


Nodding, I couldn’t disagree with anything Adam just told me. To my dismay, I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve went on dates and kissed a few girls, even got a little further than kissing with one of them. And I was more than certain that someone would have told Audrey about that by now. On the other hand, I wasn’t a bad guy. Girls fascinate me. What’s so wrong with that?


“Now let’s get in there before Mr. Kelly pops a brain vein,” Adam joked and we entered the classroom in a fit of giggles. Audrey was at her usual desk in the far corner next to Adam, her book already out, her pen and paper in hand.


Her legs were crossed and her foot kicked back and forth as she twirled a strand hair between her fingers. She did this a lot. Only I would be so intrigued by something so irrelevant.


Mr. Kelly began his class with simple sentences, calling upon random people to either translate or write something on the board. Oddly enough, he didn’t pick on me today. Any other morning he’d be singling me out. He did, however, ask Audrey a few times, her sweet voice speaking Gaelic so wonderfully. No wonder why she didn’t like me. She was smart. Too smart. I was an average student – I didn’t care about Gaelic or math; I’ve always been a history person. But if I can’t even speak my native tongue, how does that make me look in front of her?


Throughout class Audrey wasted no time in my general direction. She either stared at the board, Mr. Kelly or her books. Adam dropped his pencil and she picked it up for him, smiling back when he said thank you and I felt the blood in me boil. Why would she smile at Adam and not me? It was unfair! Do I have to drop my bloody pencil to get her to notice me?


At the end of class I was fuming. Although it wasn’t Adam’s fault that Audrey smiled at him, I still couldn’t stop myself from being a bit cold towards our bass player. It’s not that I was mad, really; I was jealous.


When I the bell rang I collected my books (and my composure) and started heading out towards the door with Adam. The sound of my name in Mr. Kelly’s voice brought me to a halt.


“I need to talk to you for just a minute, Mr. Hewson. I will write you a pass in case this runs over to the next period.”


“Good luck with that,” Adam said sympathetically. He knew how much I despised these talks with Mr. Kelly. They were never pleasant.


Once everyone was out of the classroom, I was standing before my Gaelic teacher, staring at my feet and aimlessly around the room. I wasn’t nervous. If anything I was irritated. Yes, Mr. Kelly I am poor at Gaelic. Yes, I know I have to pass. No, I don’t want after school lessons with you. I want to make music with my muckers after school, not study a subject I had little care for.


“Paul, how are things?” Mr. Kelly asked, leaning back in his seat and propping his hands on his large belly. “School going good?”


I shrugged. “Yes, sir. Things are fine.” There was no point in being cheeky. He was an all around nice man and I was a pain in the arse. Why make matters worse for myself?


“Good to hear. I know you don’t want to be here in this class, Paul. But you have to pass this course if you want to further your education. Is there anything I can do to help you? Maybe we can have after school lessons like we did last year? It seemed to help a little.”


“Mr. Kelly, with all due respect, our after school classes didn’t help worth of-”


“Paul,” he warned.


“I wasn’t going to say it! I’m doomed, Mr. Kelly. I just can’t speak Gaelic! It makes no sense; it doesn’t fly off the tongue! The only way I’m going to pass if someone else takes my test for me or by some miracle I wake up tomorrow morning speaking it like Audrey O’Neill.”


The mention of Audrey must have sparked Mr. Kelly’s imagination because the moment her name flew out of my mouth Mr. Kelly flew up in his seat. Great. What brilliant idea did he have circuiting around in that gigantic head of his?


“Speaking of Audrey,” He started, rubbing his hands together. “Maybe you should ask her for tutoring sessions?”


“What?”


“Well, I obviously can’t help you – and a smart, pretty girl like Audrey might just keep your attention instead of an old, Irish bore like me. She speaks Gaelic well, she can write it and read it. She’s very intelligent. I’m sure she would be more than happy to help you.”


Was he really saying what I thought he was saying? Ask
Audrey for tutoring? No. No way. Not happening. Wasn’t it embarrassing enough that I made a complete fool of myself on the first day of school in this class? “I…I…uh…Mr. Kelly, really, I couldn’t ask her of that. I’m sure she has her own things going on an-”

“I already asked her if she would tutor if I needed her too. She was more than happy to take up the offer. Why so pale, Paul? I didn’t give out any names. I just asked her in general. You’re not the only one who is failing my class,” he chuckled before settling into a serious tone once again. “I’m out of ideas, lad. If you want to pass Gaelic you’re going to have to do
something. Just ask her. I’m sure she won’t have the slightest problem. You can go now. See you Monday.”

There were so many things I wanted to say – so many things Mr. Kelly did not understand. Audrey O’Neill was the last person I wanted to ask for help. She would see how dumb I really was in Gaelic and I would make a mockery of myself! However, Mr. Kelly’s advice was the only thing on my mind throughout my next few classes. All I could really do was wait it out until lunch when I was with my mates and ask them their opinion.


Adam and Edge were already in our spot in the corner of the caf, both digging into home cooked meals their mothers had made. Hurrying over, I plopped into the seat across from them, receiving odd glances in return, Edge’s eyes wide in mid-bite.


“What the hell is wrong with you?” Adam asked with a tinge of hilarity. “Mr. Kelly fail you already?”


“No,” I snapped sharply. “You’re not going to believe this but Mr. Kelly suggested that I ask
Audrey O’Neill for tutoring. How can I ask her for tutoring? I can’t ask her that! I’d look like a dumb block!”

Edge snickered. I flung a piece of Adam’s sandwich at him, “It’s not funny! He said he already talked to Audrey about tutoring and she agreed to it. He didn’t mention me ... but still! If I go up and ask Audrey to tutor me she will know that Mr. Kelly was hinting towards me. This is the most humiliating thing ever.” Pouting, I hid my face in my hands and let out a long, drawn out groan. This could not be happening! I would wake up tomorrow and all of this would’ve been a dream. Wake up, wake up!


“Bono,” Adam said slowly, snagging my interest. He leaned forward and Edge joined in, chewing while looking back and forth between Adam and I as we exchanged ideas. “This is
perfect, Bono.”

“Perfect? How?”


“Don’t you get it? Remember what I told you earlier? Well, if you ask Audrey for tutoring-”


“Ah, yes. For tutoring-”


“Tutoring would lead to-”


“Audrey. Which means that we would have to spend time together-”


“Thus, her getting to know you and you getting to know her. It’s perfect!”


“Yes!” I exclaimed. “So what if I make a complete arse of myself! I’m used to that by now, right? If it means getting her to talk to me then what am I waiting for?”


“She would have to talk to you then.”


Adam and I smirked, leaning back in our seats in unison, feeling achieved. Our plan was full proof and sure to work! She couldn’t turn down a failing student!


“So, I know you two are proud of yourselves but,” Edge said between bites of his food. “There’s only one problem.”


Adam and I turned to him. “And just what would that be?” I asked. “Where is the flaw, Dave Evans?”


“The
flaw, Paul Hewson, is you finding the bollocks to actually ask Audrey O’Neill for tutoring. And we all know that’s going to be a problem.”

“What are you talking about?”


“Oh, come on. Out of all the years I’ve known you I have never
once seen you so nervous around a girl! Whenever she walks by you turn to mush!”

“And your face gets all red,” Larry added, appearing out of nowhere, finding a seat next to Adam. “Not to mention you kind of just…freeze.”


“So more than likely if you try talking to her,” Edge warned, “you’ll probably stutter like a bleedin’ idiot.”


I couldn’t believe what my ears were hearing. Mush, blush and stutter? No. That wasn’t me. I’m sly, and wonderful at talking! Hell, if there’s one thing I
do know it’s that I love to talk. Nevertheless, no matter how hard I tried convincing myself otherwise, I knew my mates were right. Audrey had a way of turning me into a boy again.

“Shite, you guys are right.” I huffed. “What if I get one of you guys to ask her for me?” Knowing damn well that none of them would do it, I took a chance and asked anyway. “Like you all said, I would just turn into a bleedin’ idiot. So spare me the humiliation?


“Nope,” Edge said defiantly.


Larry shook his head. “Not happenin’.’”


I looked helplessly to Adam, my last resort. Even he couldn’t help. “Sorry, mate. This is something you have to do on your own. If you can’t ask her for something as simple as tutoring, how can you ask her more personal questions? You have to suck it up, Bono. Her locker is right next to yours. Just ask her after school. It won’t kill you.”


“Yeah, she seems nice,” Edge included. “If she tells you to piss off at least you know she’ll let you down easy.”


“…thank you, Edge for your comforting support.”


“Anytime, B. Glad I could help.”


As the day progressed, I would look for Audrey at her locker between classes, convincing myself that I would ask her no matter how nerve-racking it was.


My first attempt was after biology. She was putting some papers into a folder and reading over something. No one was around her. It was the ideal time to set about asking. I shook off the jitters, cleared my throat and made my way toward her.


Ok, this was it. I can do this. She’s just a girl. A girl who just happens to smell terrific. And has nice clothes. And nice hair. And great skin. And beautiful emerald eyes. Eyes that were focused on…me.


We were face to face. Did I really just get this close to her? When in the hell did that happen?


“Hey Paul.”


Did. She. Just. Say. My. Name? To me? And she’s smiling at me! She’s actually smiling at me. Oy, get a grip on yourself, Bono! Don’t be so immature.


“Uh-hey-Audrey,” Shite, I was
stuttering! Damn you, Edge! Remind me to kick his arse after school. If they never had mentioned anything I wouldn’t be like this right now!

She blinked, staring at me with a frown. Her lips upturned and she giggled tensely. “Are you ok, Paul? You look a little…pale.”


“Fine, fine. I uh…was just…Mr…erm…Oh, is that the bell? I’m going to be late!”


“What are you talking about? I didn’t hear the bell.”


“Have to go!” I pushed by her and took off down the hall, not daring to look back. I could see her confused face in my mind and it only made matters worse. First attempt was a total failure.


The second try was after math and this time I had Adam with me, encouraging me on. “Just do it,” he encouraged. “It’s tutoring, not a date.” Date, tutoring, talking. Whatever. It was all the same to me. They all required Audrey O’Neill.


Adam pushed me harshly, shoving me until I was halfway between him and Audrey. She saw me and grinned, shaking her head and clearly amusement.


“Hello Paul,” she said my name. Again.


“Hi. Uh…I was just wo-”


“Audrey!” Miss O’Neill interrupted from behind me, swishing past and coming between Audrey and I. She turned to me and smiled apologetically. “I’m sorry, dear. I need to talk to my sister for just a second.” I could definitely see what Edge saw in her, but my heart belonged to her younger sister.


“Sure,” I smiled and walked back to Adam who was laughing hysterically. I punched him in the gut. “Shut up, Adam. This is impossible.”


I slumped back into the lockers, feeling defeated and cheap. It was as though I was destined to not even ask Audrey for a pencil, let alone tutoring.


During my last class, I came to a conclusion that I was going to just have to give it up completely. I would fail Gaelic. Again. And I would fail getting to know Audrey the American.


At my locker for the last time, I grabbed whatever books I needed, threw on my leather jacket and headed towards the exit, ready to leave school behind and play some music with my friends. It would be my only getaway.


Throwing my jacket on over my shoulders, I heard someone calling my name. Ignoring them – not wanting to be bothered – I continued on, humming to drown out all other noise. Until, that is, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I stopped and rotated on my heel to face my distracter. That face was Audrey.


“Hey,” she smiled, slightly out of breath. “Didn’t you hear me? I was calling for you.”


SHITE!


“No,” I lied quickly. “I’m sorry.”


“It’s alright,” She assured, grabbing me by the sleeve of my coat and pulling me to the side so that we weren’t standing in the middle of student traffic. “Did you want to ask me something?”


“Erm…well…yes…I…er…”


She was standing so close. Her fingers were still on my arm, the heat of her skin soaking through my jacket, burning me like a wild flame. This was the first time we were actually face-to-face and,
mercy, she was even more beautiful up close. Her skin was smooth, alabaster, her small nose spotted with light freckles. Her lips were glossy and in her eyes of jade sparked tiny flakes of gold, framed in long, curly eyelashes.

“What is it?” She asked again.


“Huh?”


“What do you need to ask me?”


“Oh! Ha, silly me. I was…er…just wondering. Well, um, Mr. Kelly kind of…warned me about, uh, Gaelic and…er…lessons and, and, tests and…”


“You’re not making any sense.”


“Mr.Kellyaskedmetoaskyoufortutoring.”


Her lips widened. “Oh, tutoring! Yes, yes, of course! When are you free?”


…it was really that easy? Wow. I’m such a gack. She’s agreeing to tutor me? Finally, God was on my side for once! Now answer her, Bono, and be cool about it! Mention the band! That always wins the ladies over. Yes. That’s what I’ll do.


“I have band practice today but not until later tonight.”


“Um, ok, so how about around three? I will be at my sister’s today after school. Uh, here,” She trailed on, reaching into her bag to get a piece of paper and a pen, talking along the way. “Here is her address and her home phone if you need to cancel or need directions. It shouldn’t be that hard to find. It’s right by Cedarwood. Do you know where Cedarwood is?”


“Yes, actually, I live right down the road from there.”


“Terrific!” She beamed. “That works out well then. So I’ll see you around three?”


“Yeah, I’ll be there.”


“Great!” She gleamed her white teeth at me one last time. I held the piece of paper with her sister’s address in my hands, my heart thumping wildly, loud in my ears and mouth dry. “Oh, Bono, one more thing,” She added from a few feet away. “It took you that long to ask me for tutoring lessons?”


Shaking now, I shuffled my feet and scratched my head even though it didn’t itch. “Well…you know us Irish boys. Full of pride!” I chuckled uneasily.


She narrowed her brows and snorted. “Full of pride? You Irish boys are full of
something...”
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