Senior year. It was a relief, yet also stressful.
I arrive just a little after the bell rang, walking to my class from my car in the parking lot. I was anxious, knowing I’d end up getting a lot of shocked looks when I’d get to class. I had a stellar attendance, and so I dreaded knowing this would leave a scar on my status.
I had my textbooks in my arm and my car keys in the other. My car wasn’t the nicest, it actually used to reside at an old junkyard a few years prior. The thing is a 2000 Honda Civic with a poor and patchy job. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the thing would fall apart one day while I’d be driving. It was clearly in rough condition, but even looking past all those flaws, for some reason my mom thought it’d be great for me. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the kind gesture, but it could be quite embarrassing sometimes when holding such a high reputation at this school.
As soon as I walked through the first hall, I immediately heard a voice call out to me in excitement, “Hey, Danica!”
Turning to the voice, a girl had been waving at me from afar. Greeting her back, I quickly flashed her a smile and continued my walk.
A skater passed beside me in the hallway, blushing once he met my eyes. “Hey, Dani. I like your. . . Er. . . Face today. It looks good!”
I chuckled at his comment, politely nodding as he rode away. “Thanks, Dexter.”
I passed another classroom which had its door wide open, a group of girls hollered from inside, “Cute top, Danica!”
I thanked them as I continued towards my first period.
A teacher had been crossing the hallway ahead of me. He turned his head to me and his face lit up, “Good morning, Danica!” I waved smiling and he proceeded in his direction.
It’s like this the entire day for the rest of the year. Of course I’m not complaining, I’m very grateful I have great friends. It’d make senior year such a bore without them.
Finally, I reached my class before anyone else could greet me.
“Dani is here!” The class clown cheered, drumming on his desk.
“Hey everyone,” I waved, then turned my attention to the teacher, “Mr. Forte, my apologies for being late.” I pleaded taking my seat.
“No worries, since it’s your first, I’ll let it slip.” He smiled pointing his index finger at me. “But I won’t cover you another time.”
Everyone was happy to see me, except for one girl. That would be Abby. She gawked me across the room with a disgusted look on her face. Although it didn’t bother me, and it shouldn’t, so I continued smiling.
Abby and I used to be best friends up until sophomore year. At the same time, I had been dating a handsome guy that once went to our school— though now he’s across the world in a boarding school.
Abby and I ended our friendship when I caught her in bed with my boyfriend. I confronted her about it and she simply said, and I quote, “I liked him first, so I took him back.”
Long story short, the guy and I broke up that year, but she continues to hate me and I to her. What really gets under my skin is the fact that she has the nerve to be mad at me, when she was the one who wronged. Woe is me.
As if I can’t get enough of her rudeness at school, she decides to play the same sport as I do— Volleyball.
I continue to feel like I have to keep competing with her in absolutely everything I do. Though, one thing I’ll always be better at than her is academics, because that girl doesn’t have half a brain. She probably got hit too many times in the head with the volleyball.
The thought of her head getting hit with the ball made me laugh. I’d gladly pay to see that.
My good mood quickly soured when I realized I had practice after school. On the bright side, maybe I’ll get lucky enough and spike the ball at her head myself.
After school was over, I went home quickly to change into my athletic clothes, and there, I decided on walking back to practice. Though, it was more of a trot since I would be late if I didn't.
I proceeded down the sidewalk, heading toward the school. After about five blocks from my house, I noticed a shiny, black Porsche pull into the driveway that I was a few steps away from crossing.
This mansion was the talk of the past years, everyone wanted to know who’s it was, including me. Although, no one had seen the owner's face. Ever.
Rumor has it that the owner was a huge celebrity, and that this was one of their many homes.
My house wasn’t nearly as magnificent or grand as this one. Mine was one story with a simplistic design, as this was anything but that. Not to mention their towering, yet flawless gate that hugged the mansion.
I had a rush of excitement run up my spine as I stood frozen on the pavement, desperately waiting for the driver to hop it out.
When seeing them, I realized how wrong those rumors were. But, I wasn't disappointed at all.
A guy in his early 20′s got out the car, and took a swift glance at me.
He was remarkably handsome. He had a light complexion and gorgeous, dark eyes. His jawline was carved out symmetrical to his features, and his shiny hair perfectly shaped like the ones in pictures. He looked like a God amongst other boys.
And his tattoos. They covered every inch of his skin, apart from his impeccably, carved face. Every detail on his skin almost seemed significant and endless. It was hard to not stare, especially with all that muscle beneath the blanket of ink.
Swallowing hard, “Is this your house?” I asked anxious.
He smirked, “Of course,” he spun his keys around his finger as he took steps towards me. Every step he took, closing the space between us, I felt a bolt of awestruck plummet into my body.
His eyes lingered onto my body, and he looked at me head to toe. He stopped in his tracks in front of me and he looked at me in the eyes, “Name?”
I scoffed at him, “I don’t give my name to strangers.”
He chuckled, “Let’s fix that then, I’m Eric. You must be?”
I pursed my lips together, folding my arms in defeat, although I hadn’t really put up a real fight. Possibly because quite frankly I didn’t want to, “Danica.”
“Cute,” he winked at me. I felt the fireworks spring in my stomach. Or was that nausea? I couldn’t tell. All I knew was that apparently I had been an awful flirt.
I cleared my throat and blinked away my hypnotic state of mind. “Cool, bye.”
I turned on my heel and sped walked away. I heard him speak loudly, “See you around, Danica.”
A hopeless smile grew on my face. The way he had said my name, with that deep, velvety voice of his.
It laced my name well, I thought to myself.
I was having a bad week. I had so many things going on at school, not to mention volleyball. My head was going to spin out of control.
I also couldn’t stop thinking about Eric. Was it bad that I was? He was just so much better than any other guy I’ve ever seen. He puts high school guys to shame.
His eyes were vivid in my head. It’s been days ever since I’ve seen him and I’ve been going to practice on foot, hoping I’d run into him.
Wow. That sounded a lot more desperate than I thought.
“Danica?” A highly irritated voice interrupted my daydreaming. That’s when I realized, I was in class, and that was my teacher.
“Yes?” I focused on the board, trying to keep up.
“What’s the answer for number five?” He almost gritted through his teeth.
Analyzing the long equation, I calculated it quickly in my head and in nearly ten seconds I had my answer. “Positive fifteen, squared, over 7.” My voice sounded uneasy, unsure if I was correct or not.
Shock came across his face as his eyebrows flared up. Then he cleared his throat, “Very well, but as a piece of advice— distractions keep those from reach of their full potential.” After that pointless discussion with my teacher, he continued his lesson without anymore interruptions.
The last bell rang soon after half an hour or so after that brief interaction.
I dashed out of school and drove home.
At home, I changed into my athletic clothes and scurried down the street, heading to my school.
Before I took the turn to get to school, there he was. In all his handsome glory.
I nearly fainted when his eyes met mine. He smiled catching a gaze at me, “Why, hello there, Danica. Leaving to practice I see?”
I shot him a smirk, “How’d you know that? Are you stalking me?”
His brows furrowed, then he let out a hard laugh, “You’re wearing your athletic attire, and you have a sports bag on your shoulder.”
I grew red, how stupid could I be to think that?
“Oh,” I said, smiling sheepishly.
“I just got back from business in New York. Would you do me the favor and join me for dinner after practice?” He smirked at me.
I stammered on my words for a second, “I don’t think that’s a great idea— I don’t know you too well.”
“I don’t bite, Danica.” He smiled, “Besides, I make an awesome chef.”
I still wasn’t completely sure, so he pressed on when he noticed my resistance.
“If you ever feel uncomfortable inside, you could always get up and leave.” He shrugged.
I folded my arms, still unsure of what to decide. I shouldn’t have even hesitated, my mom taught me better. But those eyes. . . And that smile was so alluring.
“I’ll think about it,” I finally said, hesitation drowning my voice.
“What could I do to make you feel welcome?” He suggested.
“A thousand dollars,” I joked.
“Done,” he shot back, as if the number didn’t scare him.
“What? No, I was kidding.” I sighed, “I’ll think about it, okay?”
He smiled, “So, it’s settled.”
“Don’t get your hopes up if I don’t show up.” I pursed my lips.
“You will,” he winked, “I could see the excitement in your eyes.”
Wow, was I such an open book? I need to be more composed.
“Um, ditch your boyfriend, will you?” He shrugged.
I laughed, “That's easy, because I don’t have one.”
He cracked a smile and nodded, “Even better.”
I shouldn’t have said I’d come. I couldn’t have. My mom expects me to be home at a certain time.
Well, we all have to live a little on the risky side. Besides, I was dying to see what was inside that house.