The Point Grey Secondary high school hall was already full when Norah entered the building. She looked at her watch and found that she only had ten minutes to go to her class before stopping by the lockers, so she decided to move as fast as possible.
Norah turned at the loud voices to see her friends coming towards her in unison. She closed the locker door and made her way to her classroom while Bethany and Josh joined her.
" Hey guys." She smiled at them.
Bethany was her childhood friend. They were just like sisters. Norah was way more close to her best friend than her sister, Sarah, at home. There was a time when Norah as a child just wanted to cut her ties with her own family because of Sarah and wanted to go to Beth's home to live there as her sister forever. But of course her parents stopped her from committing this kind of stupidity. They knew that both sisters just can't go along well. So they had very difficult time dealing with both of them.
Afterwards in middle school, Josh came along and they became friends. Josh was a nerd at first but now he was the member of basketball team of the school, so automatically he became popular.
"I just saw Justin with Mia over there." Josh said while pointing towards the other side of the lockers. "Don't tell me that you again came to school by yourself and that you hadn't even met him." He said in a weird tone and Norah just nodded her head, didn't want to let this conversation get out of hand but of course there was Beth.
"Seriously Norah, are you really stupid or are you just acting like one? " Beth's sudden shoutout almost shook Norah and she stopped in her way and turned to look at both.
"Please guys, I don't want to talk about this again. I know Justin is my boyfriend and I am not stupid. I am just being understanding. We're in a relationship but that doesn't mean he has to be around me all the time." She let out a big sigh as she said what she had already said over hundred times but they were not convinced.
Josh came forward and held her by shoulders. "I know that this is your first relationship but atleast you should know that there are many things that people in a relationship do. And as a boyfriend Justin should do the same." He completed the sentence and let out a sigh.
Norah just smiled at her friends's absurd worry and freed herself from Josh's grasp, "and what are those things Justin should do as a boyfriend? " She asked and started to walk away knowing that they both would follow her as they were having the same class.
"Like he should pick you up in the morning, carry your books for you, going to the classes with you, have lunch with you at the cafeteria, wait for you after the school and drop you at home." Josh said while reminding things if he had left something out.
"Exactly." Beth slapped his back in a gentle way and as they reached their classroom, she went ahead and blocked the entrance so that Norah could not avoid the conversation. "You heard him right. But Justin doesn't do anything right. It's like you guys are fake dating or he is actually dating that blonde Mia."
Norah pushed Beth gently so they all could enter the classroom before teacher came and put her arms over their shoulders as Beth was on her left and Josh was on right. "You guys don't need to worry. Justin like me and you know he proposed me in front of everyone at the cafeteria. So just relax. There's nothing going on between him and Mia. They're just friends." She said and her face lit up as she heard a similar voice. She looked up and found Justin waving towards them as he was calling her to come and sit next to him.
Norah smiled at her friends and dragged them where Justin was. She gave a peck to him on his lips and then they all settled down on their seats leaving the topic to discuss later.
In the evening, as Norah was waiting for dinner, she sat in her bed completing her homework. At once she was reminded of her upcoming history project which she had to done for the summer vacations with her group. She had always liked the subject so it was going to be interesting. Plus she wanted it to be different from other students. So she put her books aside and opened the laptop only to search on the search bar 'most mysterious and historical places'.
She was scrolling down the results when an image of dark woods crossed her eyes. She clicked the image to take a closer look. As she was examining the image, her dad called out from the downstairs, "Norah, Bethany is here." Hearing her dad's unpleasant voice, she was certain that he's not happy to see Beth.
After atleast 5 minutes, the door to her room slammed open and Beth stood there in a black cut sleeve frock that reached her knees. She had put on some makeup too. Norah was too surprised to say anything and before she could, Beth yelled at her, "Ms. Norah Florence Covey. Don't you think you should have been ready by now? "
"And why is that? " Norah rolled her eyes.
"Don't you know today's Nick Benetton's birthday and he is throwing a huge party?"
"Well, I wished him happy birthday today but his party?"
Beth rolled her eyes at her friend's lack of knowledge. "Norah... You were there too at the cafeteria when Nick was inviting our whole class to his birthday party." She said having a seat next to her, "and Justin will also be there. " She said and suddenly looked up at her in surprise, "wait, didn't he ask you to join him? "
Norah stood and started cleaning her room, "He didn't because he know that I'm not a party girl and that I'll definitely deny. So he..... "
"Oh really,, so is he going with Mia? " Beth dramatically asked while rolling her eyes at Norah's attempt to avoid the question.
She tried to calm down and grabbed Norah by her arms and tried to convince her, "okay listen, what if Justin really wanted you to come and he is alone there missing you like crazy. " She waited for her reaction and smiled sheepishly when her trick seemed to be working.
Norah thought for a second and then spoke up, "I think you're right Beth, it's been almost a year and we haven't even attend a party together." She played with her hair for a moment and then looked at her with an excited smile, "Should I go there? "
Beth was so happy to hear this that she almost yelled but calming herself she nodded her head and asked Norah to get ready as fast as possible because Josh was going to be their ride and he's on his way.
While Norah was changing herself into a black leather skinny jeans and a white blouse with a black leather jacket over it, Beth picked up her laptop and found the same image of dark woods on the screen. She curiously asked, "What is this place? This looks so scary but interesting at the same time."
"Hnm. It's a scary forest." Norah replied while curling her hair, "do you remember once I told you about my dream which I have been seeing for years? " She asked now applying lip gloss to her already pink lips while Beth just nodded.
"This is the same place I saw. That's why I was researching on it when I found it on the internet."
Beth was curious to know more about it but before she could say anything a horn blew from outside. Norah looked out of her window and found Josh in his car waving at her.
"Josh is here. Let's go. " She said now more excitedly then before as they ran downstairs.