"You should probably know that I kind of like making things explode - it's just a pastime of mine." Eddie and Patricia are struggling to complete a joint chemistry report what with all the secret admiring and dreamy thoughts going on.
When Eddie Miller had first arrived, Patricia immediately picked up a few things about him within their first couple of encounters. First, sarcasm and lame jokes were his best friend. Eddie mocked everyone and everything around him with little exception. Second, he was a hypocrite. He liked to throw around the nickname "Yacker" but he was the one who was constantly talking. And third, he was very well aware that he was cute and charming, making his self-esteem higher than Mount Everest.
But the last and most important thing was that it was Eddie Miller's mission in life to drive Patricia Williamson insane. She was absolutely convinced that he had been placed on this planet for the sole purpose of annoying her.
So when Mr. Sweet announced that she and Eddie were partners for the biggest chemistry assignment of the entire unit, Patricia wasn't surprised. It was fate at its twisted best. She figured if they both maintained their best behavior, they would hopefully come out of this mess alive.
After all, it's just Eddie. I can handle this.
Patricia's hand shot up in the air. "What's the topic of the assignment?" Normally, she would zone out and let someone else take care of the details, but she simply refused to trust Eddie. Even thought he did have a perfect smile and was attractive.
Her cheeks flushed the moment she realized that she was staring at him. As if Eddie could sense her discomfort, he turned around and winked at her. Patricia managed to muster a glare before turning her attention back to the front of the room.
How dare he look at me like that? Stupid American. Even Nina didn't go around blinking at Fabian like some kind of blind but adorable puppy dog. Because that's what he's doing. Staring at me like an adorable puppy would. He's so cute...
Patricia groaned out loud. What was wrong with her? She was supposed to hate him, not admire his devastatingly good looks.
Mr. Sweet quirked an eyebrow and gave her an odd look. "I didn't realize fireworks didn't appeal to you, Ms. Williamson. Most people find them fascinating but you've always been something else, I suppose. In any case, it is the topic if the assignment." He pointed back to the blackboard, emphasizing the assignment's due date. "I want these reports for next week. Class dismissed!"
Patricia scooped her bag up and slung it over her shoulder, hoping to exit as quickly as possible and avoid Eddie in the process. But when did anything ever go the way she wanted it to? Everyone else filed out of the classroom before she could reach the door and when she finally reached the door, Eddie was blocking it.
"Looks like we're partners," he rested both of his hands on either side of the doorframe to block her from passing. "What do you think about that?"
Patricia had to physically restrain herself from stomping her foot or better yet, from slapping that idiotic smile off his face. "I think, that Mr. Sweet has joined the 'let's make Patricia miserable' club!"
Eddie's hands fell from the doorway and he tilted his head in confusion. "Who else is in this club?"
"You're the president."
"Ouch," Eddie pretended to look wounded. "Really, though. I'm honored to have such a prestigious position. Thanks a ton." He looped his arm through hers and steered her out of the classroom. "I'll walk you back and we can get started."
Patricia's first instinct was to pull away, but she was surprised by how much she wanted to preserve the contact between them. "I can walk myself," she finally muttered, opting to keep her arm hooked through his.
"Probably," Eddie agreed. "But I'm still new and I might get lost. Let's just walk together, all right?" Taking her silence as acquiescence, he smiled softly to himself and reveled in the fact that he was practically holding the hand of the prettiest girl in the school.
Surprisingly, they walked in silence. Even more startling, it was pleasant.
Eddie carefully balanced his laptop on his lap and immediately pulled up the online version of their textbook. "Okay, what should we research first?"
Patricia narrowed her eyes and stared at him.
"What?" He immediately looked down self consciously, wondering if there was something on his shirt. He patted his hair cautiously, searching for something wild.
"Nothing," Patricia shrugged and joined him on the couch. "It's just that…you never work in any of your other classes. Only Mr. Sweet's. I was just wondering why that is."
Much to her surprise, Eddie's cheeks were tinged with pink. He tugged at his collar and didn't meet her eyes. "I just like science, that's all," he muttered. Eddie focused all his attention on the paragraph regarding fireworks, refusing to meet Patricia's eyes.
She giggled and pushed his shoulder. "Oh that's hilarious!" She let out a couple more laughs before she finally caught her breath. "I never would have guessed that you're secretly a dork. That was a surprise, Miller."
Eddie found himself grinning easily, vastly relieved that Patricia had found her own explanation for his behavior. She didn't need to know that Mr. Sweet was his father. Not yet at least. "Shut it, Williamson."
"Seriously though," Patricia said. "We should start with a basic background on fireworks. Mr. Sweet likes long drawn out introductions. It's stupid but I always do well when I do it like that."
Eddie couldn't help the stab of jealously he felt. Patricia knew more about his dad than he did. That was beyond messed up, wasn't it? He tried to dispel the self pity and focus on Patricia. He was glad they were partners and was pretty sure that though she would never admit it, Patricia felt the same. "And how often did you do that?"
"Practically never," Patricia wore an expression of pride and smiled widely when her answer was rewarded with a laugh from Eddie.
"Okay," he said. "Fireworks are explosive materials so that means they contain chemical compounds and other substances that when ignited, create energy in the form of heat, light, and sound. That's what makes fireworks so colorful and that explains the movement in which they fall and stuff."
"Yup," Patricia paged through a different chemistry book looking for further information. Lots of fireworks have black powder and that's usually made of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulphur." She looked up and frowned. "There's this whole complicated explanation that discusses how iron is oxidized and how the color is related to the atoms and and substances and stuff."
"Figure it out," Eddie said. "I want to try a little experiment."
"Experiment?" Patricia scoffed. "This is a written paper, we don't need to perform any experiments."
"Trust me." Eddie shot her one of his special smiles and winked…again. Patricia rolled her eyes and managed a dispassionate "whatever" even though she was practically melting on the inside, her heart beating fast.
He returned with his hands behind his back, clearly hiding a couple objects. Patricia was so absorbed in the research that she didn't even notice.
"Barium is used to create green colors in fireworks, calcium is used to deepen firework color, but calcium salts produce orange firework. Copper produces blue fireworks and lithium produces red colo - " Patricia broke off and finally looked up in response to an obnoxiously loud and obviously fake cough, curtesy of Eddie. "What are you doing?"
"Performing the best chemistry experiment of all time!" He revealed a 2-liter bottle of soda and a roll of Mentos mints. "You should probably know that I kind of like making things explode - it's just a pastime of mine."
"That sounds awesome," Patricia leaned in closer before hesitating, realizing what she had admitted. "I mean…how stupid."
"Don't even pretend, Yacker." Eddie opened the bottle of soda and unwrapped the entire roll of Mentos, positioning it carefully over the bottle. "This is going to be sick. Stand back though."
He dropped all of the Mentos in at once and the soda exploded everywhere. Even though Patricia had moved back, she hadn't managed to escape all the spray. A good amount hit her in the face. "Eddie!" she wiped at her face in disgust. "It's all over me!"
Eddie grinned cheekily and shrugged before whispering, "I don't mind." He leaned in and kissed her softly. He had wanted to this for weeks and finally he had gotten his chance and it was just as amazing as he thought it'd be. He pulled away quickly, expecting Patricia slap him or kick him or something.
Instead, she smiled at him shyly and blushed a gentle pink. "I was wondering when you'd do that," she admitted. She tugged his hand and pulled him back closer. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her again, feeling a little bolder. Because who were they kidding? When they had kissed it had felt just right and...
There had been the most brilliant fireworks.