"JAKE VILLIN,” I repeat under my breath as Mr. Kleeman comes around to record our seats as these were going to be our permanent seats this semester. Villin sounds familiar. Where had I seen it before? I open my App and type his name into the search bar. It pulls up a profile under that exact name with a blurry, grainy picture of a young man with one hand over the left side of his face.
Oh, he writes Science Fiction. Under his real name. And his profile picture looks like he took it in a bathroom mirror.
I study at the photo and then look at the jerk sitting behind me. It baffles the mind how bad boys are at taking flattering pictures of themselves. He has deep-gold skin, a razor-sharp jawline, dreamy black eyes, and a reflexive smirk to make any girl weak in the knees.
Yet, his photo has the sex appeal of a police line up of homeless guys who had been caught urinating in public.
You won something I’ve never heard of called the Star Light Ray Bradbury Awards last year, and you have all of 200 followers...wow, I think. It’s like I’m in the presence of a celebrity.
“If you follow me, I might even follow back,” Jake offers with a shrug of his big shoulders.
“Nah, I’m good,” I say. “I wouldn’t want to dilute the quality of your following pool.”
“You sure? New girl?” He asks and pokes me with the tip of his blue pen. He leaves a small blue mark on my arm. “I’m only asking you once.”
“You know I’m new here?” I ask with my most saccharine smile. It’s time to change the subject before he asks me for a little more than a follow. “No one else realizes that I’m a transfer.”
“I would have remembered a face like yours if we had been going to school together for the last two years,” Jake says. “Because who can forget a nose like that?”
I roll my eyes. Okay, it is painfully obvious that he regretted saying something nice, so he threw in an insult to even things out. Jake Villin is such a loser.
“Okay, I guess I’ll just forget about being on your hotlist then,” I joke. “And keep your pen to yourself please. I’m not an android who wants to be poked.”
Or a she-wolf who wants to be marked, I think to myself wryly.
Nick is in my New York History Class! Squee! I can barely contain myself even though I know now that he has a thing going on with Ruth. Nick is sitting with his group of friends on the right side of the classroom. He waves at me as I walk in. The only vacant seat left is on the left of the classroom by the windows. That is about the extent of our interaction until the bell rings. I glance in his direction whenever I’m able to without seeming creepy. He’s too busy horsing around and passing notes with the other boys to notice. I see that he has a letterman jacket too. Nick keeps it stuffed into his backpack because he’s so hot he doesn’t need it. No one shoulder cover up muscles like that. I only wish that rip on his collar was deeper. Maybe, I can be the one to help him with that.
Our teacher drones on about Battery Park and how it’s named after artillery batteries. I like history a lot, and there’s nothing more exciting than learning about New York History while sitting in the shadow of the One World Trade Center. Yet, our teacher Mr. Elliot is putting me to sleep with his monotone voice.
I start to play with my phone as the clock ticks past the midpoint of our forty minute period. Because I am bored, I look up Jake Villin’s account. He has a random section on his profile where he posts rants. I smirk as I see that he mentions me in a rant on why he hates the Werewolf Teenyboppers.
If this App recommends WilderLuna15′s “Punished by the Alpha” series to me one more time, I’m going to give it a one-star review in the Apple iTunes store, Jake threatens in his rant. It makes me want to laugh. I know lots of people hate my story because it has like twenty million views, but I don’t even know who they are. Poor Jake Villin. He knows who I am, but I have never spared a single brain cell thinking about him. Until now.
My eyes drift back to the right side of the classroom. Nick is taking notes and listening intently to the lecture. I think about how his profile looks a bit like Justin Beiber. Nick is taller though, and not as buff. He’s just perfect.
I can hardly believe it when I see Nick waiting by the door for me after class.
“Hey,” he says again and leans against the door frame. I notice that a tuft of his hair keeps falling into his eyes. He is so dashing that I completely forget that I have to get to Physics in two minutes, and it’s about four floors away. “So, do you have lunch now?”
I curse silently and keep smiling. No, I have lunch sixth period. It’s the worst lunch period. Who needs to eat two periods before school ends anyway? I would give anything to have a fifth-period lunch like Nick. Maybe he could even walk me to the cafeteria!
I shake my head.
“No, sixth. I wish I had fifth,”
“Oh, that sucks. I have Physics sixth period,” Nick says with an embarrassed smile. I wonder if he’s implying that if he didn’t have Physics - if he had a BS class like New York History - that he would cut class to eat with me. No, stop it, I tell my overactive imagination.
“Hey, tell you what,” Nick interrupts my dreamy fantasies about running my fingers through his messy hair. “Friday afternoon, we always hang out in the Hudson River Park. It’s just across the street from here. Want to come?”
I nod. “YEAH!” I cough. “I mean. . .yeah. . . if I don’t have anything else to do.”
“Great,” Nick says and takes out his cellphone. “Give me your number. I’ll text you where to meet up with us. The gang likes to pick up snacks beforehand.”
As Nick also gives me his number in return, I have to stop my heart from going into overdrive. Stay cool, Cori! Stay cool! You are totally not going to faint or start gushing blood from your nose from the hormonal overdrive. No, pull it together! Wave goodbye! Don’t look back like a clingy loser.
The bell rings. Oh shoot, now I’m late for Physics. I need all the goodwill I can get in that class because I’m terrible at the hard sciences. I wave at Nick and run past him.
I clutch my phone in my right hand and try to suppress the helpless smile on my face. Before I even get to the eighth floor, huffing and puffing, the phone buzzes.
“Do you like Auntie Anne’s pretzels? We’ll meet there on Friday. Okay?”
I squee while staring down at my phone outside the classroom. Oh shoot, the teacher has already started drawing balls and equations on the board. Oh well, if I’m late, I may as well be more late.
“Sure,” I text back. “You’ll have to tell me what’s good. I’ve never had those before.”
Omg, is this like a date? I’m sure that by “the gang,” he meant the horde of boys in letterman jackets surrounding him in New York History. Maybe, I was mistaken about Ruth and him. Maybe, Me+Nick is still happening. I just have to make it through the week. Friday seems impossibly far away.