Art class was quiet, minus the occasional chatter that dented the silence floating around in the air. The smell of chipped wood and wet paint drifted into my noise and morphed with the outspoken silence, sending a wafting euphoria of nostalgia.
Around me, the classroom looked like an art studio of its own, rows and rows of shelves splattered in bright colours carrying paint palettes and brushes, bottles of paints, paper, pencils, pastels, etc. Anything used to create art sat upon those shelves ready to be used to create a masterpiece.
I stood at my easel, paint splattered all over my face and hands, and on the apron I was wearing to protect my clothes. I bit my tongue between my teeth while and stared at the painting in front of me, half finished. It left me clueless. Honestly, I didn't want to screw this painting up; one wrong paint stroke could end it all. That was always a fear I had, screwing up my work, but somehow, it always seemed to turn out okay.
With that in mind, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and continued painting.
"Wow! That looks incredible Adrien!" A feminine voice exclaimed from beside me. The perky tone had me looking to see none other than Marci, walking over with a smile on her face as she stopped to inspect my half finished painting at a close proximity. Her dark brown hair was tied up out of her face to prevent paint from getting in her long strands. Her brown eyes that reminded me of chocolate melts sparkled with jubilance.
"Thanks Marci. Yours looks incredible as well," I replied with a smile. She scoffed and shook her head.
"Nonsense. Mine doesn't even compare to yours. You have a natural talent," She said, reeling her head back as she stood, placing her hands on her hips.
I laughed, "well I appreciate the compliment. But seriously, your project looks good as well. As least you aren't like Daniel over there painting stick figures on his easel."
"Hey! I heard that!" I heard him shout from behind me. I turned around on my stool to see Daniel looking at me with a scoff, his dark brown dreads pulled back into a ponytail. I smiled at him and Marci laughed.
"How do you expect to pass this class when you're literally painting like a five year old?" Marci asked, moving over to Daniel, who shrugged.
"Hey, this was the only easy class okay? Besides, I'm a builder, not a painter like Adrien," Daniel said.
"Ahh, that reminds me! What are you guys doing after graduation?" Marci perked up, sitting up onto one of the tables so that she was facing the both of us.
"I'm thinking about graphic design, what about you guys?" Daniel replied, looking at Marci and then towards me. I sighed and shrugged my shoulders.
"Well...I was thinking of attending art school," I said. Painting was the only thing that kept me going; it was both a passion and a dream of mine to become a famous artist. If I ever saw my paintings in an art gallery, I would honestly faint. I wanted to sell my paintings and make money off them. It was something I loved to do. No other occupation caught my eyes besides painting.
Daniel opened his mouth to speak, but Marci cut him off, "no offense, but painting isn't really going to get you anywhere, is it? I mean, it isn't really a career."
"What are you talking about Marci? Adrien's paintings are fucking awesome. I bet he'd be able to sell them off pretty quickly. He has pure talent and a clear passion for it," Daniel said, making me smile. The compliment warmed my heart to the very core.
Marci shrugged, "Yea, but you know how hard it is to get noticed in those types of careers. Look at Preston, he wants to be a surgeon! He may be really good at playing the guitar but he's picking a career that will help him later in life. Plus, he would look really sexy in a doctor's coat, don't you think?"
"Just because you have a crush on him doesn't mean you need to gush about everything he does," Daniel rolled his eyes, clearly not amused.
"Oh come on, he's literally a dream man! He's smart, quarterback on the football team and he's not a douche bag. He's total boyfriend material!"
I watched the two of them bicker back and forth, Daniel throwing in a fake gag at some point when Marci went on and on about Preston. But while the two of them bickered, all I could think about were Marci's words repeating themselves over and over again in my head. I mean...she was right. Becoming an artist wasn't really a set stone career that would bring money in. It was just a dream that wouldn't come true—I could go to art school and try to sell my paintings but really, was it going to be worth it? Pay the bills?
A heavy sigh left my lips as I glanced back to my half finished painting, a frown tugging the corners of my mouth. It felt like bricks dropped onto my shoulders, weighing them down while my heart fell into the pit of my stomach. I probably shouldn't take what she said to heart, but I couldn't help it.
Just as I picked up my paintbrush, I heard Marci squeal and when I snapped my gaze back over to her, I immediately noticed Preston stepping into the classroom, bag shrugged over his shoulder as he made his way over to the three of us. The art teacher, Ms. Sawyer, smiled Preston's way and said hello. He quickly returned the greeting.
Then, Preston was facing me with a smirk on his face, blue eyes staring into my green ones. Soon, he was standing beside me with his arm dropping around my shoulders, and I leaned into him.
"Hey guys, whatcha up to?" Preston asked casually, making me raise a brow at him.
"Shouldn't you be in music right now?" I asked, but Preston shrugged.
"My teacher let us leave early—the bell rings in like five minutes anyways," Preston said, then nodded his head towards Daniel while giving him a fist pump, to which he returned with a simple greeting.
"Are you going to the Halloween party at Annie's on Friday night? Everyone's going!" Marci interrupted. Preston glanced over to her with a raised brow. Daniel snorted, shaking his head while crossing his arms.
"Yea, she told me about it during music. I said I would go...as long as Adrien agreed to come with," Preston looked back to me, a pleading smile on his face. I rolled my eyes, scoffing at him.
"Really? You can go without me you know," I said, but Preston shook his head.
"Nah, wouldn't be the same without my best friend there. Come on Adrien, it's our last year of high-school! Go to the Halloween party with me," Preston pleaded. I hesitated. I wasn't a huge party fan. I've been to a few before, but I wasn't a total party animal like Preston was. A Halloween party did sound fun though.
"Alright, I'll go," I sighed heavily. I gasped as Preston quickly pulled me into a hug, lifting me off the ground.
"I fucking love you! You'll have so much fun, I promise," Preston grinned from ear to ear, making me laugh.
"Yea Yea, Okay."
When lunch time came around, while Daniel and Marci left to head to our usual lunch table to sit with the rest of our friend group, Preston and I stopped at our lockers to put our binders and textbooks away. Younger grades were pushing and shoving their way through the hall, stopping at their lockers to meet up with their friends.
"I'm fucking starving," Preston groaned as we walked through the halls. We made our way downstairs after closing our lockers, heading down to the cafeteria. I rolled my eyes at him.
"You're always hungry," I laughed. Preston shrugged, holding the door open for me as we walked inside the cafeteria, steering towards the baked goods on sale.
"I'm a big man with muscles. I need to eat," Preston smirked. I scoffed, shaking my head, grabbing a vanilla cupcake from the display and then grabbed myself a small box of poutine from the lunch lady before I followed Preston to the cash line-up.
Once Preston finished paying for my food, I thanked him with a smile. He really didn't have to buy my lunch, but it was nice having him pay for me. I would have to return the favour eventually. We made our way down seating area of the cafeteria, steering towards our usual table where our friends were already sitting, chatting and eating their food.
"Hey guys! About time you joined us!" Kourtney was the first to greet us with her usual enthusiastic tone. I flashed her a smile, sitting down beside her with a chair as she scooted over to make room for me at the table, Preston sitting down on the other side of me.
"Yea well, I had to buy the prince his lunch for him," Preston smirked. I smacked his shoulder, followed by a glare, but he just cocked his head to one side, giving me an innocent smile.
I flushed red, turning my gaze away from him, "I told you you didn't have to buy it for me. My mom gave me money for lunch."
"I'm only kidding, I wanted to spoil my prince rotten," Preston sang, brushing his fingers through my hair in a playful manner. I didn't say anything, and instead dug into my poutine.
"Jeez Preston, way to make Adrien's heart go crazy," Phoebe teased, sitting opposite us on Joseph's lap, curling spaghetti around her fork. Her curly auburn hair was cut short at her shoulders, brown eyes playful and glowing. The blush on my face only worsened, and I had no doubt my face was as red as a cherry. Though, I chose to hide my embarrassment by stuffing my face full of fries.
"Please, Preston makes any queen's heart go crazy," Marci piped in. She turned to Preston and smiled sweetly. I frowned. Preston chuckled, shaking his head.
"Please, ladies, I'm flattered. But I only have my heart set on one queen," Preston chimed, smirking wide.
"What?? Who?? Is it someone we know?" Phoebe's eyes widened in surprise. Hell, even Kourtney and Joseph were stunned into silence. And who am I kidding? I was too.
I snapped my gaze up to Preston quickly, blinking a few times. He liked someone? How come he never told me this? Maybe he was joking? I wasn't sure. Great, now I was curious as to who the hell it was, but the more I thought about it, the more my chest felt heavy for some reason.
"Is this a joke, or do you actually like someone??" Marci blinked, eyes wide. Preston shrugged, leaning back in his seat as he pulled his lunch from his bag.
"Maybe I'm joking, maybe I'm not."
"Oh, don't play with my emotions! Who is it? Is it a he? She? They?" Kourtney spoke up, leaning closer.
"Come onnnn! Tell us!" Phoebe groaned, stabbing her spaghetti with her fork.
"Who needs to tell us what?" A voice chimed in. I glanced up, seeing Asher walking over with Daniel, their hands tangled together. He raised a brow at us, a curious but amused look on his face.
"Fucking Preston! He has a crush on someone and won't tell us!" Kourtney exclaimed, blonde strands falling in her face from her ponytail.
"Seriously?" Daniel said in disbelief. He looked to Preston, but he just smiled and said nothing.
"I don't believe this," Asher, letting go of Daniel's hand, sitting down in a chair, "Is this true? Or are you just playing with our emotions because you're a fucking sicko?"
Preston laughed, throwing his head back, smacking the table, "I don't know, that's something you guys have to figure out."
"You suck!" Phoebe stuck her tongue out at him, flicking a piece of spaghetti at him, "I will find out who it is that you like!"
"Have fun figuring that mystery out," Preston chuckled, and with that, he picked up his chocolate milk carton, and took a sip.
Once the school day was over, Preston and I decided to walk to the bakery that was a ten minute walk away from the school to grab ourselves dinner. Our parents were going out on a date with a few friends and wouldn't be back till late at night. Though, just because we were eating now didn't mean we weren't going to order pizza later—because we were.
We sat in the farthest booth in the corner of the bakery that was next to a window, making it able for us to look out and people watch. Preston, being the foodie he was, ordered a plate of rice and potatoes, and of course, a blueberry muffin to snack on after he was done. I had only bought myself a plate of lasagna; I never really was a big eater so one piece was good enough for me.
"You know what? We should do a couple's costume for the Halloween party on Saturday, what do you think?" Preston asked when we arrived home, glancing at me with a smirk while pulling out his house key from his pocket.
I narrowed my eyes at him, "a couple's costume? Are you really that cliche?"
"Uhm...yes?" Preston chuckled, pushing the door open, gesturing me inside, "you first, your majesty."
I rolled my eyes, shaking my head with a crooked smile before moving inside the house. I kicked my shoes off, tossing my bag onto the bench in the mud room before moving into the living room, Preston trekking behind me after tossing his bag, stretching his arms up over his head.
He arched his back slightly as he stretched, letting out a groan of relief. The hem of his shirt rose up slightly, and I caught a glimpse of the prominent v-line dipped into the hem of his jeans. I bit my lower lip between my teeth, staring at Preston for a moment longer before looking away, and sitting down onto the couch.
I was still curious as to who the hell Preston had a crush on. It came out of the blue, and because he never told me about it, I was wondering if he was pretty serious about the person he liked. I mean, Preston was a great guy so I wouldn't doubt that whoever he liked, probably liked him back. I was happy for him, if I was being honest with myself. Usually, he would just go to parties and hook up with whoever he found attractive. But for some reason, I still felt an odd feeling in my chest.
I felt Preston hop onto the couch beside me. I gasped as he wrapped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me towards him. I looked up at him, and he stared down at me with a cheeky grin.
"Come on, I still think that costume idea is brilliant. You know what we could dress up as? A nun and a priest; and you can call me father."
"Eh?! PRESTON!" I screeched at him, smacking him in the chest. He bursted out laughing. "What the fuck, I am not doing that!"
"I'm kidding!" Preston laughed, amusement shining in his blue eyes. He quickly took a few breaths to calm down and cleared his throat, "Okay, how about you dress up as a sexy police officer and I'm the sexy prisoner that you're arresting huh? Push me against the wall and cuff me, baby."
"Preston Liam King! I swear to freaking god!" I shouted at him, sitting up and smacking him the chest once, twice, and thrice, making laugh loudly a second time, quickly grabbing onto my wrists to push me off him.
"Oh come on Adrien! I think you would look hot in booty shorts."
"Booty shorts?! I am not doing that Preston!" I moved to smack him again, but he quickly stopped me.
"Okay okay! Fine, no sexy police officer. What do you want to dress up as for the party then?" Preston smiled crookedly at me.
I rolled my eyes at him, pushing up off the couch, making my way to the kitchen, "I'm getting a drink."
"Did I make you thirsty baby?" Preston called out in a sing song voice. I whipped around to send him a glare, flipping him the birdie.
"Stop calling me baby, and I think you're the one who's thirsty," I scoffed, turning back around as I moved into the kitchen, grabbing a water bottle from the fridge and twisted the cap off.
I dipped my head back and took a long sip of water, letting out a heavy sigh afterwards. I couldn't help the blush that was coating my cheeks from the way Preston was acting, and I willed the embarrassment to go away while I stood in the middle of the kitchen.
It didn't take long before I heard music playing from the living room, coming from the stereo. I shook my head, a chuckle escaping my lips once I realized the song Breakthrough from Lemonade Mouth began blasting through the house.
Then, I turned to see Preston standing over by the couch, dancing his way towards the kitchen while singing out loud along with the chorus. I laughed loudly, smiling wide as he sashayed over—Preston may have been a good singer, but when it came to dancing, he wasn't that good. Sure, he was a complete party animal but ask him to choreograph and he'll twirl around like a five year old in ballet class.
He grabbed onto my hands when he reached me, pulling me against him, one hand moving to my hip, making me dance along with him. We moved in sync, and eventually Preston used one hand to spin me around, before pulling me back against him, all while still singing along to the song.
We continued like that, dancing around the kitchen before moving into the living room when another song started playing—Diamond Heart by Alan Walker. At that point we were singing our hearts out, jumping around on the floor and the couch, pumping our fists in the air and swaying our hips. Basically, it was a two man party.
I gasp as my foot suddenly slipped off the couch, making me stumble and fall, crashing directly into Preston.
"Shit!" Preston cursed loudly as we both fell to the ground with a loud thump, quickly grabbing onto my waist. He landed on his back with me on top of him, our faces merely inches from each other.
We stared at each other with wide eyes, neither of us moving right away. I blinked a few times, a blush slowly creeping onto my face from the position we were in, my legs straddling his lap, with Preston gripping either side of hips.
"S-sorry," I stammered, quickly jumping off of Preston, stumbling onto my feet. My best friend stared a moment longer before letting out a chuckle, sitting himself up in the floor.
"And I thought I was the clumsy one."
I scoffed at him, "my foot slipped!"
"Yea yea, if you say so, baby," Preston teased me with a smirk. The blush on my face only got worse and I quickly flashed him a glare.