“I can’t wait.” Nina said for the umpteenth time that day. She and I were sitting on the school steps early in the morning, basking in the hot summer sun.Our skin soaked in the late may heat and our eyes collected the vitamin D that we needed.
“I’m excited as well. When is Mrs. Morano going to give us the permission slip?” I asked. We had been discussing the annual trip to Paris, a trip every 12th grader in High School looked forward to and a trip that they all enjoyed. Nina shrugged.
“I think today.” She mentioned. She bubbled with excitement, and I had to roll my eyes fondly at her. Ever since we had gotten into the AP classes at the high school, Nina could not stop jumping up and down. She acted like a two year old in an eighteen year old girl’s body.
“Is Antony going?” Nina asked shyly, speaking up from the serene silence of the morning. I shrugged again. Antony was Nina’s crush, yet she was unable to form proper sentences around him.
“Do you ever know anything Adrienne?” Nina huffed in agitation. I smirked.
“Do you ever stop asking questions Nina?” I retorted, shifting my position on the school steps. She scooted away from me, mocking a frown and I sighed in annoyance. We were waiting for Antony and his best friend, Hugo. Mrs. Morano had asked them to come in the school before class to discuss the trip with them, as they were the oldest in the class and as she put it ‘the most responsible young men.’
“Will you ask him out?” I asked. Nina blushed, and after a few moments she shook her head.
“Y-You know I can’t do that Adrienne. Every time I see him my heart just begins pounding and my mouth clams up.” She sighed. “Maybe it’s hopeless”.
“No way! You can’t just give up on Antony like that! You’ve had a crush on him ever since we were in eighth grade!” I exclaimed. She shrugged.
“You’re not a give up person Nina. C’mon cheer up. Antony likes you! I know it.” I consoled.
“How do you know?”
“I just do. I’m a psychic after all.” I teased. I made an impish expression, mimicking a psychic you’d see on T.V. and Nina laughed.
“I suppose so” she said. She gazed out at the roaring streets before us, and I jumped up from the steps, continuing to encourage her, as I could tell that she didn’t believe me.
“Besides, we’re going to Paris! The literal city of love. You’ll see. By the end of this field trip, you and Antony will be walking to class hand in hand,” I said firmly. Nina gave me a look.
“Nice one Adrienne.” She muttered. I glanced from her face to see Charlie and Louise walking towards us. They were talking and laughing loudly together, and they were also the only other two girls apart from Nina and I in the AP classes, which was great, because it would be awkward sitting in a class with only one other girl and eight boys, excluding the teacher.
Louise’s hair is a curly, vibrant mass of black which always glistens in the sun, especially after a rain storm. She has bright, almost neon blue eyes and a splash of freckles over her cheeks, something she’s proud of.
Charlie has short, blue and purple hair. Her eyes are dark and they match her dark brown skin color. She’s more boyish, often sporting shorts and shirts. I’ve almost never seen her in a dress, but thinking about it now, she’d look better in a tux than a dress.
Nina’s a mix of both girls: She has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, all matching with her dark brown skin color. One of her eyes are covered by her hair, which surprisingly doesn’t bother her very much. I tried her look once, and it just didn’t work for me.
I have blue hair and green eyes. My hair used to be black, until sixth grade, when I wanted to dye it. I choose blue because it went well with my hair. It also made me forget them...
“Hi girls!” Louise chirped, waving her hand. She was the most optimistic in the class, always lively in the early morning. Charlie waved quietly, assessing us with her dark eyes.
“Are they done?” Nina asked. Charlie shook her head, her dark hair bouncing. She cocked her hips, frowning at the rusty metal doors.
“Nope. Not a sign of the two. But we caught Jeremy and Lucas. They went inside to get the homework packets from math and science,” she said. She shivered. “Math. The devil’s name!” I shook my head, and Charlie winked at me.
“You know I’m right, Adrienne.” She said. I shrugged.
“Maybe. Maybe not.” I shot back. She pouted at me, but I slapped her playfully on her arm and she broke out into a laugh.
“Why? We don’t leave until next week?” Nina asked. Charlie shrugged.
“I don’t know. Maybe to get a head start? I hope Lucas doesn’t strain himself with work though. He has enough on his plate as it is.” Lucas was an engineer and a salesman, as well as Charlie’s boyfriend. Worry etched in her voice, and I laid a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it gently.
“Lucas is a grown man now, Charlie. He knows how to manage his time and his personal life.” I consoled. Charlie smiled ruefully.
“Yeah...I know. I just don’t want him to become stressed.” She said.
“Your worry isn’t misplaced, Charlie.” I agreed. “If Lucas needs anything, he’ll ask you.” Charlie grumbled under her breath.
“Let’s hope so.”
“Jeremy hopefully doesn’t rush through his work.” Louise added, speaking up. Like Charlie was dating Lucas, Louise was dating Jeremy, the son of Cutie Pie’s CEO. It was a company that made things for babies, which was ironic, because not only did Jeremy have a baby face, but he also played the roll perfectly of a spoiled teenage Daddy’s boy. It was hilarious.
“He most likely will leave it until the last day and then hurry and scribble some answers onto whatever sheets he didn’t lose.” Charlie snorted.
“Same old Jeremy.” Nina muttered.
“Probably. But that’s what happens when you have a rich dad.” Louise said, trying to stick up for her boyfriend.
“Hugo doesn’t have anyone do his work, and he’s just as rich as Jeremy.” Charlie pointed out.
“They’re cousins.” I grumbled, but nobody paid any attention to me.
“So? Hugo’s smart. He’s literally the perfect boy.” Louise nudged me. “And he’s single~.” I brushed her hand away.
“Yeah. I know.” I mumbled.
“I’d bet my dollar Hugo has a crush on you.” Charlie stated. “It’s kinda obvious.” I scoffed.
“Really? I don’t see it.”
“Well, that’s because you are oblivious.”
“What? It’s the truth!”
“Okay!” Louise pulled Charlie back before we could continue our banter any longer. “We should be heading back to the tree. I want to catch Jeremy before class starts.”
“Sure.” I said. I briefly clapped hands with Charlie, a sign to show no hard feelings, and the left, Louise skipping and dragging Charlie past the paved playground with her. Why we had a playground in high school, I had no clue.
“I feel like we are the only two single girls in the school.” I whispered to Nina after they left. She shrugged nonchalantly, brushing her skirt.
“Yeah. I mean, you have more of a chance with Hugo than I do with Antony.” She said. I blanched.
“Yeah, right. And I’m the Queen of England!” I sneered. Nina narrowed her eyes.
“Think what you want to think, Adrienne, but I think that he likes you.” I gave her a side glance, snorting. “No! Really! You’re all he talks about when he’s with Antony and the other boys and you guys both blush around each other whenever we put you in a group project together! Plus, he’s really touchy with you”. I gaped at her. “Face it Adrienne; you have a chance. A fat one.” Nina looked out to the courtyard with a satisfied grunt, while I melted into a puddle of goo.
Thinking about it now, Hugo and I were pretty touchy with each other. Weather it was a shaky brush of the hand or a mix up of crayons, we touched each other, a lot. At times, whenever the drama club put on a play, we always found ourselves playing the lead male and female rolls, which were usually love interests. My head swarmed, and while I didn’t want to admit it, Nina was on the right track. I made a slight hacking sound and Nina turned to me, smirking.
“Well, am I right or am I right?” She asked, unable to hide the glee in her voice. I bluntly nodded my head, my heart pounding. Nina grinned.
“Then tell him Adrienne! You can do it!” She encouraged. I scoffed, waving my hand.
“Look who’s talking.” I waggled my eyebrows. She flushed.
“Listen Nina, I appreciate the help but, I don’t think Hugo will ever know about this.” I said. I bit my lip, knowing no matter how bad I wanted to tell him how I felt, that I’d never have the courage to do so. Nina opened her mouth to respond, but shut it just as quickly, like a fish gasping for air. I frowned.
“What? What is it?” Nina smiled, and suddenly, a strong, very heavy scent of cedar and new plush seats hit me like a ton of bricks. A scent that was standing right behind me.
“I’ll never know about what”? The owner of the voice behind me asked. A masculine, very familiar voice.
“Hugo” I yelped, jumping up as if I were an electrified cat. Blonde, blue eyed Hugo chuckled behind me, lending me his hand to stand.
“You okay Adrienne?” He asked cautiously. With a hot blush covering my face, I nodded. “Sorry about scaring you. I just heard my name and I was curious.” I brushed my jeans, coughing to regain my speech that I had somehow lost the capability for.
“It’s nothing Hugo. Just naming all the people we think are going on the field trip.” I nudged Nina. “Right Nina?” She opened her mouth to disagree, but closed it seeing my glare and nodded.
“Cool. I’ll bet the lovebird couples will be coming.” Hugo guessed, stuffing his hands into his pockets and leaning back.
“When you say ‘lovebirds’, I think you mean Louise and Jeremy. Charlie and Lucas act more like best friends rather than lovers.” Nina said. Hugo laughed.
“That’s true. But at least we’ll only need three hotel rooms,” he mentioned.
“Oh yeah. The four of us can share, then Louise and Charlie can share with Jeremy and Lucas,” I said. “Speaking of which, where are Jeremy and Lucas? Antony too. I know they went inside but why are you the only one out/”
“Mrs. Morano let me out early and kept Antony inside, since he has patrol anyways. Lucas and Jeremy are using the restroom.” Hugo explained.
“And Mrs. Morano gets the last room alone, unless she’s bringing someone with her” Nina spoke up.
“Most likely the nurse, Mr. Johnson, but that’s about it.” I said. The door slammed and Jeremy and Lucas ran past us, both looking flushed and excited at the same time.
“What happened?” I asked, my eyebrows furrowing. They ignored me, instead clapping Hugo roughly on the shoulder that made the latter stumble slightly.
“See you later Hugo and good luck! Hi Adrienne! Nina”! They called, racing past us in a cloud of smoke. I coughed an turned to look at Hugo, wondered what they meant by ‘good luck’. Hugo suddenly turned red, his eyes darting to me.
“What was that?” Nina asked. Hugo coughed and shrugged, running his hands through his hair in slight aggravation.
“I guess for the test...?” He suggested meekly. I raised my eyebrow.
“But we don’t have any tests...” I pointed out. Just before Hugo could answer, the bell rang.
“Oh, would you look at that! The bell rang. See you in class Adrienne, Nina!” He shouted, racing up the stone steps to the building. Nina and I glanced at each other before shrugging and following him to class. It probably wasn’t important anyway.