I was getting ready for school, trying to hurry because I'm in a little time crunch. It was the beginning of second semester at Hughston High school and I was surprised at how fast senior year has flown by. It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I first stepped into the school as a freshman, looking around at everything that piqued my curiosity.
I went into the bathroom and looked at myself one last time to make sure I didn't have anything embarrassing on my face. I looked into the mirror and saw the average looking fair skinned looking back at me.
I had braided my longish black hair into a crown on my head. My big light caramel brown eyes seemed to pop from my face with my dark hoodie. My tiny, and annoying, pointed button nose had their regular freckles fanning across it and my cheeks.
I finally stepped away from the sinks mirror and went into my room, grabbing my purse, keys, and phone to head out the door. I went downstairs and walked outside, knowing that Dad had already went to work.
I got in my silver Chevy Impala and started the engine before pulling away and driving towards Hughston High. When I arrived, there were several groups of students standing outside, chatting in the parking lot to catch up after winter break. I looked around and saw all of the familiar kids walking around, carrying bags, books, and some held nothing but their phones. I walked up to the table by the door to wait.
We weren't allowed inside before the bell rang and so that's why we had to wait in the parking lot and the little courtyard. Hughston wasn't a big place, so neither was its school. The student body was consisted of about 400 students, which wasn't that much, if you really think about it.
In a town this small, we rarely got any new people, and when we did, they were all they talked about, but I usually tried to ignore the drama and gossip. It was hard to ignore some of the louder speakers though. Apparently there were seven new kids this year. One in ninth grade, three in tenth, one in eleventh, and two seniors.
I pulled out my phone and began to read on my story app that I had downloaded a few months ago. I had gotten so into this one story, it was like I couldn't put it down and I absolutely loved it. I growled in frustration when I got to the end of the book. I hated it when the author hadn't updated in a while. I checked the authors profile to see that they hadn't updated in three months. I hated it even more to see that it hadn't been updated in so long, like the writer just disappeared from the face of the earth.
I jumped when the bell rang and stood up. I walked inside, heading towards my first period class which was English with Mr. Tyler. I walked in and sat at my empty desk in the far back corner. The classroom quickly began to fill up with bustling, talkative students.
As always, I kept my head down and began to read again before the late bell rang, which signaled the start of class. Mr. Tyler walked in and looked around the wide room.
"Just take a free seat mister Lewis," he said to someone. I looked around and saw that there were multiple free seats in the room. In an AP class of fifteen students, sixteen now, there were plenty of desks that weren't filled, considering the fact that there were twenty-five desks in all.
As the AP class, most of the students preferred to sit up front. I was one of the very few in the back row, but I didn't mind much. I didn't like being called on, and I never raised my hand for anything.
A guy stepped into the room a few seconds later, his eyes scanning over everyone. When they were nearing me, I put my head down again. I try not to make eye contact with anyone. I heard his footsteps walk towards the back, and then I heard the shifting of a seat.
I glanced from the corner of my eye to see that he sat two seats away from me, next to Cooper, who was always quiet and brooding. We were alike on the quiet part. He never raised his hand or spoke to anyone either. We sat at the same lunch table, but we never uttered a word in the three years he's been here. We sit and eat in comfortable silence on opposite sides of the table.
I'm assuming that Cooper and the new guy know each other. They started talking and looked like old friends, like they had an inside joke on everything. They both dressed alike too, with their dark clothes.
I didn't realize I was staring until the new boy swiveled his head around to meet my eyes. His eyebrow slowly arched in question and I felt my cheeks heat up as I turned away. Mr Tyler stepped up to his desk and addressed the new guy.
"It's Shane Lewis, correct?"
The boy looked up and nodded before turning back to finish talking to Cooper. I kept my eyes glued to either my paper or the board for the rest of the class period, unwilling to embarrass myself by being caught staring again..
The bell rang and I put my stuff away when I heard an unfamiliar voice further behind me as I began to walk out. "Who's that," they asked. Although he hasn't really talked that much, I knew it was Cooper's voice who answered.
"Her? That's just Jasmine. She doesn't talk to anybody though." Without thinking, I squeezed my eyes shut without stopping and rammed into a desk when I heard my name. I dropped my bag and of course, I didn't zip it up, so my books went flying everywhere.
I stopped and took a deep breath before quickly picking up my things and shoved them in my bag. As soon as I made sure the zipper was closed, I speed walked out of the classroom, my face most likely resembling a tomato.
At lunch, I get my tray of cafeteria food and walk to my regular table. Cooper wasn't there yet, but I didn't mind. I sat down and grabbed the apple from my plate, since it looked like the only thing I would actually eat. I wouldn't have gotten anything except for the fact that if you don't bring lunch, the school requires you to get some from the lunch line. I think it's just a waste of money.
I took a crunching bite out of the apple when I heard footsteps coming closer. I glanced up and saw Cooper sit down across from me like he usually did. His dirty blonde hair fell over his hazel eyes as he looked at me. I looked back down to pay attention to the story I was reading but was surprised to hear Cooper's voice across the table from me.
"Hey." I looked up to meet his eyes. I almost looked around to make sure there wasn't anyone else around, but i didn't want to seem stupid since he was obviously talking to me.
"Um, h- hi," I said skeptically. He's never spoken to me before so I wasn't exactly sure what to do. His lip pulled up in one corner in a barely there smile and continued to talk to me.
"It's Jasmine, right? Jasmine Johnson?"
He sounded like he was kind of proud to remember my name and I nodded. I felt myself smirk and I looked back down at my phone when I spoke.
"We've been sitting together for three years and you had to ask to clarify my name," I muttered. After a few seconds of silence, I risked a glance up to see that he was studying me with a calculating expression.
"Yes. We never talk so… Do you mind if a friend sits with us," he asked after trailing off, glancing over my shoulder. I bit my lip and slowly nodded, turning my attention back to my phone when I heard heavy footsteps come toward us. I kept my eyes glued to my phone as the other person sat down beside Cooper.
"Hey Shane. Did you hear about that deal that went bad last night? I heard that Cason got shot but-" I cut him off when I glanced up sharply.
"If you're going to talk about drug deals, shoot-outs, and gang banging, then let me know so I can leave," I said quietly. Cooper stared at me in surprise. A smirk appeared on his face as he looked at me.
"That's the most I've ever heard you say at once, Jazz. You should speak more. Your lips look sexy when you do it," Cooper said. I felt my cheeks heat as I glared at him.
"Why are you being so rude? Is it because he's here," I asked, nodding my head towards the new guest, Shane, without looking at him. Cooper didn't say anything, just kept staring at me with an amused look on his face.
Before Cooper could say anything, Shane surprised me by speaking up. "Leave Bambi alone Coop. She's not bothering anybody." I threw a grateful glance towards Shane when Cooper seemingly shut up, ignoring the flare of indignation at the nickname.
I looked back down and kept my eyes on the story in front of me, tuning them out as they talked about what they did over winter break, getting drunk at parties, and talking about some hot girl that they had met. By the time the bell rang, I had finished my apple.
I scooped up my tray and my bag then walked out after discarding the trash. Pounding footsteps bounded towards me and I looked to see Shane running up to me. "You dropped this in first period," he said, holding the book out to me. It was my personal notebook. Not a diary or anything like that, just ideas or random thoughts that I have, sometimes sketches. I reached out and grabbed the black and white spiral from his hands.
I dipped my head in thanks and walked away.
I pushed my way through the crowded halls towards the bathroom. I finally got there and quickly washed my hands when a few girls walked into the bathroom, talking loudly.
"Did you see the new guy? I think his name was Shane or something like that," one of them said.
"Yeah, he's in my second period. Total he is a total hot cake. I wouldn't mind a slice of that," another girl said. They looked at me and I turned my head away.
"Hey Jasmine. Haven't seen you around lately," said the first girl, whom I recognized as Jessie McCarthy. "Hey," I mumbled. I dried off my hands and scurried off, but stopped when Jessie called my name again.
I didn't know why she was suddenly talking to me now. Although she was always nice and we had been friends at the beginning of middle school, she had changed into a typical, cliché, popular high school girl.
I looked at her once more in expectation. "There's a party that I'm throwing this weekend. I wanted to invite you, get you out there a little, you know?" I was surprised by the invitation, wondering what brought this all on.
"I- I don't think I'll make it. I'm not really into parties, but thank you though," I said softly. Jessie bit her cheek and even her friends looked at her in curious surprise. She walked towards me and I flinched for no reason. She smiled kindly and held out her hand.
"Can I see your phone?" I looked at her in confusion, wondering why she wanted my phone, but I pulled it out and unlocked it anyways before handing it to her. She tapped on the screen quickly and handed it back to me.
She had put in her number and sent herself a text. I looked up at her in question but she just smiled again. "You know, so I can see if you changed your mind. I can give you a ride too, if you need one."
I didn't know why she was being so nice all of a sudden. I gave her a small smile and turned to walk out of the bathroom. I hurried to class, not wanting to be late for art, one of my favorite classes. I walked in just as the bell rang and Mrs. Carter looked at me expectantly. "If everyone will take their seats, then we may begin," she said.
I looked around to see that I was the only one standing. I ducked my head and walked to the back, towards my usual seat, to see that it was already occupied. By Shane of course. I froze for a moment, unsure whether to confront him about taking my seat or take the other empty seat next to him. As the person that I am, I lowered my head again and slouched into the empty seat beside him.
Mrs. Carter started the class with telling us about our next projects in class. I listened intently while she spoke. Our project was to create something about someone or something that inspired us. I twisted and wrung my hands in my lap, waiting for her to hand out the assignment papers so we could read over it.
Suddenly, it felt like someone was watching me. I looked up but saw no one's gaze upon me. I turned to the right to see that he was the one staring at me. I quickly looked away and focused on Mrs. Carter. At least, I tried to focus on her. It was like Shane's eyes were burning a hole in the back of my head and I squirmed in my seat.
As soon as the bell rang, I jumped up, already having my stuff packed. When I was heading out of the door, Mrs. Carter stopped me. I turned to look at her, fully aware that the classroom wasn't empty yet. I walked to her desk and she started talking.
"I wanted to ask you to do something for me," she said. I nodded once, waiting for her to continue. "Well, there's this showcase and I'm friends with the woman whose running it. She's taking in artists and she said that I could pick a student to have their work put in the showcase." She stopped and looked at me, but I was waiting for her to finish, wondering where she was going with this conversation.
She sighed and said, "I wanted you to be my chosen artist, Jasmine." My eyes widened in surprise and I vigorously shook my head. She laid a hand on my arm.
"Please Jasmine. You have such an amazing talent, but you rarely use it. Do this for me, please. It can help you with art scholarships in college. Please just consider it," she pleaded.
I looked at her for a few seconds and reluctantly nodded in agreement. She smiled kindly at me and handed me a sheet of blue paper from her desk.
"This has all the information on it. All the guidelines, rules, and procedures, along with the deadline," she explained. I nodded and took the paper before leaving the classroom. When I stepped through the door, Shane was standing there, leaning against the door.
I glanced at him and kept walking, eager to get away from his unsettling stare. "Jasmine," I heard a voice call behind me. Why does everyone want to talk to me today?
I turned around and Shane was walking towards me in the crowded hall. He came towards me and for the the first time all day, I allowed myself to take in his appearance. He actually wasn't that bad looking, if you're into rugged and sexy.
His wavy dark hair was pushed out of his face like he had run his fingers through it several times. He had brown eyes with little golden flecks in them and his strong, sharp jawline was clean shaven. He had a straight nose that came to a point and his lips were full and parted.
He came right up to me and asked "So when do you want to start on the project?" I stared at him blankly, wondering what he was talking about. He rolled his eyes and sighed. "You know, the project that she assigned us to work on. Together?"
I remembered the paper that Mrs. Carter had handed out to us. I knew that she had said to work in partners but I wasn't paying close attention. I felt like smacking myself over the head. The one time I didn't pay attention in that class!
"Um… We're working together," I asked quietly. He nodded, looking bored and I just shrugged. "Whenever you want, I guess," I said. He smiled and looked at me.
"How about now?" I stared at him blankly again.
"What," I asked, dumbfounded.
"What do you have next period?"
I could lie and say I have biology next period, but then again, he might be in my biology class too. I had a free period next, but I didn't want to spend it with him or anybody else.
"Um… I don't really want to do it now," I mumbled, looking away from him.
"Okay then. When do you want to meet after school," he asked. I looked up at him, alarm shooting through me. "Um… now is fine, actually," I said quickly and quietly. He smirked and nodded, leading us to the library. He went into one of the private studies in the back of the library, sliding the door closed after I stepped in.
I took a seat at the round table and he plopped down right next to me, which was a little uncomfortable. He pulled out the paper Mrs. Carter had given us and set it between us so that we could both read it.
We had to do a project on something that awed or inspired us personally. We had to do it separately then find a way to collaborate with our partners and make it into one. My eyes roamed over the paper, reading the words slowly and carefully so that I would have an excuse not to look up at him again.
"I know you're done reading," he said suddenly. "Your eyes have been moving in the same spot for a little longer than necessary… unless you find me distracting," he said smugly. My cheeks heated and I sat back in my chair, bringing my face further away from the paper.
"So what kind of art do you do," he asked me after a few beats of silence. I glanced up at him quickly then averted my eyes back to the table, as if it was the most fascinating thing in the world.
"I- uh… I draw... mostly. Sometimes I'll paint, but I'm not as good at doing that," I mumbled quietly. "What- what kind of art do you do," I asked. It was silent again for a few more seconds before he answered.
When I glanced up again, I wasn't sure if he had heard me, but he had the tiniest hint of a smile pulling up his lips. "I've never done art before. I'm more into music, actually, but I wanted to try something new." My curiosity piqued a bit but not enough to make me want to ask what he did in music.
"Well, there's not really much we can begin with on this project. At least not together. We have to start off alone and collab. So I don't see the point…" I trailed off of my mumbling when I saw that he was dragging his gaze over my face, searching, for what, I wasn't sure.
"I think we're mostly here, for now to brainstorm Bambi," he said, using the stupid pet name again. "Actually," he began again. "I think I have an idea. Photography counts as art, right?" I nodded in answer to his question so he continued. "Well then, how about I do something in photography and you draw or paint something and we'll see what we come up with and put it together. I'm sure we can get it done within the two week due date."
I thought over the idea and it sounded like it could be really cool. I had no idea what I was going to put on the paper. Very quietly, I asked, "What inspires you?" I lifted my head and when I met his eyes this time, I couldn't look away. He held my gaze for what felt like an eternity, and it felt like he was probing into my thoughts with his chocolate orbs.
"I don't know yet Bambi," he said quietly. I felt the moment had broken once he spoke and I shifted my eyes back to my hands in my lap. "I guess we'll have to figure it out soon," I whispered. With that, I stood up, gathered my thing, and walked out of the sliding door.
There was a reason I was alone all the time. Not because I couldn't make friends, but because I didn't want to. If they found out what was really wrong with me, then they wouldn't want me anymore anyways. That's why I had to keep my distance from everyone as much as possible. I don't have to worry about the pain of strings because there will never be any strings attached.
Wow. 3,629 words guys. I'm sorry that it's so long for a first chapter, but I wanted to get all that in there and let you know who she was first, you know? Anyways, love you guys. Please Comment, like, review, and follow me! Be sure to hit that heart at the bottom too please!
A/N Hi my dear readers! I just wanted to tell you guys that if you go to my profile and follow me, I'll follow back and you can stay posted on all of my updates, new books, and I even let people help me choose what to write next! I used to go and follow and thank everyone individually, but there are a lot of people adding my stories so it's just a lot of work, so be sure to follow me and I'll follow back:)