Chapter 1 : First Impressions
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This isn’t going to be one of those shitty love stories. I’ve written too many of those to just start another one. Well, “written” isn’t the correct word. More like “started”.
Either way, the weather outside is too perfect to pass up such an opportunity. I dunno why, but stories always seem to slip out from under my typing fingers when the furthest I can see out my window is only a few feet before the snow makes everything a white haze.
I stopped typing. The slippers slid off my feet as I tucked my legs up against my chest and wormed myself even deeper into the couch.
At about this time each year, I go through my miserable “why am I still single?!” phase. I blame it on the weather. I blame pretty much everything on the weather.
At sixteen years old, I have yet to have a boyfriend. Depressing thought. By sixteen, usually even that one person who always said, “I’ll never need a boyfriend!” isn’t single anymore. I still am. And I’m not someone who ever said that.
I don’t really get it either. I’m not ugly. I used to think I was. That was before I changed my look and everyone started complimenting me on my appearance. I’m not stupid. I’m not boring or dull either. My favorite things to do are to laugh and to have as much fun as possible. I’m not mean either. People say I’m easy to talk to. In other words, why wouldn’t someone want to date me? Hell, I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I don’t have some horrible deformation that makes me revolting to be around. I can even go as far as to say – I have more guy friends than almost anyone I know. Friends. That one word makes all the difference.
All I’m asking for is for someone decent to show up in my so far absent love life. Someone with decent looks, someone with decent expectations, someone with a decent sense of humor… I don’t need freaking Hercules to magically appear on my front door step to be happy. Just someone who would kiss me from time to time, someone who I could have a laugh with, someone who could make me feel good.
Instead I get weird, pimply stalkers pining after me. Oh, and I get a bunch of cute guys venting their feelings at me about their most recent crush. Just my luck. It’s like everyone decent takes a magical pill with their daily vitamins to make it look like I'm a dude. Then again, I wouldn’t put it past my brother to convince them to do so.
I shook myself from my reverie as I glanced around the room, illuminated only by the sickly glow emitted by my computer screen and the comforting reflection of the snow outside. Yes, I blame it on the weather.
Absentmindedly, I started squeezing some toothpaste onto my battered toothbrush. It was 3 AM, and I decided it was time to abort my habit of pulling all-nighters every single weekend. My parents still weren’t home. The toothpaste dripped out of my mouth and slowly oozed its way towards the drain. I spat.
I walked towards my room, stripping from the day’s clothes. I never bothered dressing up nice for the weekend, since no one ever saw me anyway. My parents were never home, and it took too much effort to call any of my friends over or to crash an acquaintance’s party.
Pulling a worn tee-shirt over my head, I quietly shuffled down the stairs. I didn’t like sleeping in my own room, it reminded me too much of when I was younger. I fell back onto the couch and pulled the quilt closer to my chest. As I was doing that, I accidentally nudged my sister’s century old lap top. It blinked a couple of times and then illuminated the entire room. As I started to close the lid, I read the words written across the screen.
“This isn’t going to be one of those shitty love stories.”
I blearily opened my eyes and groped around to shut up my alarm clock. Why the fuck do I do this again? Oh right, I don’t have much of a choice – it was either this or having a zero chance of getting to college. I groaned into my pillow and stood up; prodding my stomach to make sure my abs hadn’t disappeared over night. Sitting down on the hardwood floor, I started my daily dose of sit ups, getting used to the rhythm of the day. The school coach set the quota at two hundred sit ups per day, but he hinted more than once that going “above and beyond” would get us further on the team.
At least my ex-girlfriends appreciated my coach’s quota. They appreciated a lot of things my coach told us to do. Not that I can blame them – it does keep all the basketball players looking like they just stepped out of the latest “Health” magazine.
I finished the first hundred and decided that I would do the rest during practice. Anyway, it was time to shower; being late to school wasn’t appreciated, even when it was the star player of the basketball team. Getting up from the floor, I slowly made my way to the bathroom, cracked my neck, and got ready to go through another shitty day of school.
I hastily stuffed my homework papers into the deep dark hole which was my backpack. My duct tape covered, mangled, piece of shit backpack. Not that it was the source of my embarrassment. Or, maybe it could have been the source of my embarrassment if I didn’t happen to own only even more mangled, baggy jeans and old, thrift-store tee-shirts that always ended up either much too small or much too big. And not to mention, my free lunches, bra-less outfits, and lonely spots at the back of each classroom didn’t help much either.
It would have been so much easier if they just let me stay at the home. But no – my foster parents wanted a girl.
I was sitting down at my desk doing work.
The term “work” loosely meaning twiddling my thumbs and staring at the ceiling. This was the time the kids were supposed to stop by and ask me questions. I even wrote it in the class syllabus. “Students can stop by and ask questions half and hour before and after school.” I sighed and spun around in my chair. Why do I even bother showing up so early? The kids certainly don’t bother. They don’t even bother showing up after the bell, and certainly not before. I held my head between my hands, with my elbows firmly anchored to the desk. This wasn't how I imagined being a teacher.
As I sat there, unmoving, I heard a knock on the door. Before I could say anything, the door opened and my boss walked in, flanked by two men wearing expensive business suits.
The grin spread across my face as I walked into the center of my loud group of friends. It was with ease that I navigated these halls, and with ease that I made friends, and with ease that I found myself a girl to snog, and, of course, with ease that I got all the teachers to give me passing grades.
I found myself talking about one thing or another, making people laugh, and, in general, making them envious of my persona. I slug my arm around the pretty girl standing next to me, watching, with pleasure, as her cheeks turned a rosy colour, which was certainly not because of the blush she spread all over them this morning.
As bells reverberated across the entire school, I made my traditional joke about never getting around to breaking in at night and removing them.
With my backpack hanging from one shoulder, I picked out the couple of friends who shared my first class as me, and we head towards the classroom. Science. Ugh, what a bore. And I can’t even flirt with the teacher since he’s a guy.
The classroom slowly filled up with students, all chattering and milling about, reluctantly realizing that they had to sit down, as another school day would start within seconds.
Mr. McKinley paced around at the front of the classroom, glancing at the clock, looking even more nervous than usual. The student body universally agreed that he was one of the best teachers – too nervous to give detention, but not nervous enough to make them feel guilty about making fun of him. Of course, the girl students couldn’t help but notice that he was young and kind of cute looking. Too bad he taught Physics – it was one of the most un-sexy classes a teacher could teach.
As the students sat down at their desks, they also started to notice the two men wearing business suits leaning on Mr. McKinley’s desk. Then, they started to notice the principal quietly talking to the two men wearing business suits who were leaning on Mr. McKinley’s desk. Whispers broke out across the classroom. After a short while, it was universally agreed upon by the student body that this was either going to be very interesting, or very boring. Hopefully, it would be the former.
As the bell rang to signify the start of class, the door swung open and a rowdy group of students walked in, laughing at what the one in the middle was saying. The two men in business suits looked at the student in the middle with disapproval. One whispered something to the other. The other frowned. The group of students sat down towards the back of the classroom.
A girl sitting at the front of the class stopped scribbling something in her notebook and turned around, waving at the boy who had been in the middle. He smiled at her. She smiled back. A boy who could have easily been related to her scowled at the boy who had been in the middle. The boy who had been in the middle either didn’t notice, or didn’t care.
The boy who could have easily been related to the girl seemed out of place – mostly because he looked at least two years older than everyone else. The athlete who sat next to the boy who could have easily been related to the girl nudged the boy in the side and whispered something in his ear. The boy visibly loosened up and laughed.
At the sound of the boy’s laughter, a girl in the back of the room started and then blushed. She was a curious sight, as she seemed to be drowning in clothes that were at least two sizes too big.
Mr. McKinley cleared his throat. The students kept whispering and staring at the two men wearing business suits. Mr. McKinley cleared his throat again and this time started to talk.
“I’d like to speak with Albus, Lily, Cher, Hunter, and Gavin.”
The athlete and the boy who could have easily been related to the girl stood up from behind their desks. They frowned at each other and then looked at Mr. McKinley. The girl at the back of the classroom and the girl at the front slowly stood up, both staring at Mr. McKinley. The boy who had been in the middle shrugged and hopped up from his chair.
Mr. McKinley nodded his head towards the door. The aforementioned students glanced at each other and then proceeded to exit the classroom. The two men wearing business suits followed suit. So did the principal. So did Mr. McKinley.
The remaining students broke out in whispers. Soon, they had all universally agreed that this was, in fact, very interesting.
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