The first chapter!
“The way I’m just not coming back-”
“You’re coming back.”
I snapped my head at her, eyes wide and frightened. “Says who?”
Oh, was that her only reason? “Eh”. I shrugged and kept hopping along.
“She’s got a point, you know,” Kace butted in.
“Ew, no math terms.” I was feeling sick.
He looked at Maya confused. I just glared back at him.
We’d just come back from math, and I was officially done with school. Then again, Maya told me I always said that.
“I don’t understand why I need this. In fact, I don’t need this. I hate math. What is that class even for? It’s highschool all over again.”
“High school was fun.” I couldn’t tell if Kace was being serious or not. If he wasn’t, he was just doing it to try me. But if he was being serious, he was still trying me.
“High school sucked!” I slammed my locker for extra effect and made a satisfactory hmph noise when I heard the insides rattle. But then I pouted as I thought of how many years that poor locker must have gone through, being slammed like that. I pressed my left cheek to it and whispered a quick apology, feeling guilty. Maya smirked knowingly at me, but I furrowed my eyebrows and silently pleaded for her to give the locker and I some privacy.
But when my stomach growled again, I knew the time to feel guilty was up.
“Guys, can we please go get some food?” I was starving. Absolutely starving. I was surprised I could still stand. My stomach was growling loud enough to bring a hurricane to Pittsburgh.
“Where should we go?” Kace asked. A strand of his dark hair fell in front of his eyes as he looked down at his phone. I would have reached for it myself, to tuck it back and out of the way, but I was too short. To my surprise, Maya did so instead. She stretched over and gently flicked the hair back in its place. Kace acted like he didn’t notice, but I knew he was giddy. I myself couldn’t help but grin. She is such a sly dog…
“Okay, I just texted Maxwell and asked if he’s down to go too.”
Maya looked up at him. She was taller than I was, but Kace was a giant.
“Wait, which place did we choose?” Maya asked.
“I thought we could go to Chipotle,” Kace responded.
“That’s fine with me,” I spurted out. I didn’t care where we were going. I just wanted some food.
Kace looked at Maya hesitantly. “Are you good with Chipotle?” That grin grew on my face again. But of course, Maya was so stupidly good at brushing things off. She just nodded and looked back at me.
“I think Sammy might pass out if we don’t get her some food soon.”
I really would. I did my best to look sad and pitiful.
“Okay, okay,” Maya laughed. “Let’s go. Come on, Kace!”
“Alright, he said we can meet him in the lobby.”
I took off.
Correction: I tried to take off.
The second those words left Kace’s mouth, I was ready to hop into Maxwell’s car and drive myself to Chipotle. The problem was that I forgot a key piece of information.
I’m a teensy, insy, weensy bit clumsy, as some claim.
And so, when I turned the corner, aiming to run to the stairwell at the end of the hall, I slipped. My foot slid to the side, hit the wall, and sent my whole body flying back. My head even ricocheted off the floor when I fell, and I think I somehow felt it in my eyes.
I heard my friends running over to me. And for a second, the devil in me, or the devil I quite literally am, told me it would be a good idea to pretend to pass out. I decided against it, not wanting to give them heart attacks. But oh, how cute that would be - two lovers who never admitted they were lovers huddled together, crying over their loss...And then me dying in anger because they stood there crying instead of helping me.
“Sammy, are you okay?” Maya frantically patted my shoulder, and I just kept staring at the ceiling, hoping my eyes were glazed over like in the movies.
“M-Maya?” I croaked out. I let out a small cough to cover a laugh, but the fear in Maya’s eyes made me think she believed I was swallowing my own blood or something. Kace stood bent over her, ready to help her if she asked for anything.
“Sammy?” She leaned in.
I jumped back up in a sitting position and started laughing my hunky dory pants off! I couldn’t do it anymore. It was just too funny. Kace just looked confused, glancing between Maya and I with his hands stretched out in either direction.
But Maya started smiling, knowing she couldn’t stay mad for long. “That still wasn’t funny!”
I looked down at the floor, ashamed. But when I gazed back up at her and Kace with my lips pouty, my eyes sad, I still only had one question. “Can we eat now?”
Kace shook his head and grinned. “Yeah, let’s go. Maxwell’s still waiting.”
I jumped up on my feet, but suddenly felt the urge to sit back down when I realized I’d actually hurt myself. Is it possible to bruise a skull? My arms and back ached too. I was sure the bruising would show up in the morning.
But was that going to stop me from running to that food? Absolutely not.
My small feet slammed against the stairs with each step, my short, cropped hair flying in front of my face. When I reached the hall and saw Maxwell, I grinned like a fool.
Here’s my Chipotle ticket.
“Hey, pumpkin!” He yelled from where he stood. He was slouching slightly, his shaggy blond hair ruffled and flying over his eyes. He wore some black skinny jeans paired with a white sweatshirt, and his huge sneakers were a bright white too, nearly blinding me when I glanced at them.
I ran over to him in a hurry, trying not to think about how bad my running form must have been. Maxwell did track in highschool. And ever since he told me, I always felt self-conscious when it came to doing any form of exercise. I didn’t want to give him a reason to look down on me.
When I finally got to him, I gave myself an invisible pat on the back for reaching him without passing out.
He gazed down at me, that shaggy hair of his glowing as the sun beamed through the window.
“Where are the others?” he asked me.
I gazed back up at him and winced when I felt light headed again.
“Is something wrong?” His eyes squinted with worry.
“I fell up there. You see, I had to teach some punk a lesson. There was this huge guy who tried to tell Maya and Kace to move out of the way. “
Max blinked once, looked down at the ground, and then blinked again. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought he was trying to hold back a laugh. But no, that couldn’t have been right. My storytelling skills are too good. I flicked one of my hands to the side and ran the other through my hair, feeling like I was it.
“But of course, I was all like - ‘That’s disrespectful. You can’t treat people like that.’ And the big doof had the audacity to try to shove Maya! So then, I had to roundhouse kick-”
“She fell while turning the corner upstairs,” a monotone voice lied from behind me.
I jumped and looked back. Maya and Kace were walking towards us, and the two liars were grinning. Maxwell looked up and raised a hand.
“Aw, don’t interrupt her. She was just about to roundhouse kick-”
I interrupted. “Yeah, I wasn’t done!”
Maya playfully shoved me and ruffled my hair. I felt like a pipsqueak.
“We should go, you guys.” She glanced down at her phone. “I have class in an hour, and I’m actually hungry now.”
Max brushed back some of the hair Maya’d ruffled before looking up again.
“Yeah, let’s go.”
“To infinity and beyond!” I yelled.
“Up and away!” Max chimed in.
We raised our fists and lowered them in swift movements. I slapped his behind and he took off, me following close behind. As we zoomed to his car, racing down the sidewalk as we watched people stare, I could hear the hesitant steps of Maya and Kace, laughing as they followed us.
“You guys look stupid!” Kace yelled from behind.
Before I could spit back a response, Maxwell’s voice rang through the air.
“Y’all are the ones who’ll look stupid when we hop in the car and leave you guys behind!”
And with that, Maya and Kace suddenly sped up.
They were passing me, so I tried to speed up too. But of course, I failed. Tripping over my own left foot, I launched myself three feet ahead, right into a hard chest gently smoked with nice cologne. I’d stretched my arms out at my sides to brace for the fall, but they didn’t prove to be much help. It happened in an instant, but felt like hours as my face reddened and my body slid down to the concrete. My chin even got caught on the man’s belt, and I was sure it was red.
Maxwell ran over, but not before the guy placed a hesitant hand on my right shoulder. I looked up, and I choked. He was gorgeous. His hair was a dark chocolate sort of brown, and some of the strands curled at the ends near his ears. His eyes mocked by brown ones, and the bright blue seemed alive, like an aurora borealis. It appeared as though specks of night itself landed in his irises. They were thunderstorms, his eyes capturing the lighting flashing in dark skies.
His adorable nose led the way to plump lips shaped like bows for arrows. They were nearly red, but not quite.
Oh, damn, I thought. If I stare too long, he might stab me with his cheekbones.
But what scared me was the frown beginning to settle on his face, like he’d just found a huge wad of gum under his shoes. The shock was gone, and his eyes were thinning, the moment long forgotten. Max came out of nowhere and shoved me to the side.
“My apologies. She’s just a bit clumsy.” He glared at me. I innocently raised my hands before turning to apologize, but the man was already gone, striding down the sidewalk with his phone raised to his ear.
When he turned the corner, Maxwell burst out laughing.
“It’s not funny,” I grumbled.
And as he laughed, I rubbed the shoulder the man had touched, a bit confuzzled.
“What’s wrong?” Maxwell asked, thinking I was hurt.
“Nothing’s wrong,” I responded, still thinking. “It’s just that my shoulder feels weird - where he touched it.”
“It hurts?” he asked.
“No, it just...tingles.”
I gazed back down the sidewalk, getting the strangest sense that he was still there.
“Come on!” Maxwell said, interrupting my thoughts. “Maya and Kace are already at the car.”
Oh, no. We had to hurry. My Chipotle!
Penny for your thoughts?
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