It was the first day of senior year and Ms. Summer, her homeroom teacher was assigning partners for the project. Natalie thought it was pointless, assigning relationships and forcing interactions could only result in temporary and meaningless relationships. Natalie believed this arrangement would be no different than the previous ones bearing that same contract. She knew when the project ended their relationship would end and they would become strangers again. “Natalie Chan and Johnathan Kim” Ms.Summer called out pointing to their assigned spot.
Natalie sat down, taking her binder and pencil case from her backpack. “Are you Natalie Chan the serial dater?” Johnathan asked haughtily holding out his hand.
Natalie rolled her eyes “And are you, Johnathan, the professional heartbreaker?” Natalie said shaking his hand. They had similar reputations, both well-known daters, and heartbreakers. Their only difference was their rules to relationships.
“I heard you rejected Kane,” Johnathan said with amusement. Kane was just another boy that didn’t bother reading the small text before deciding to confess, she never dated guys that liked her, emotional beginnings meant a heartbreaking ending, and she never dated to break hearts.
“And I heard you broke Cindy Miller’s heart,” Natalie smirked.
“So you listen to the gossip,” Johnathan said nodding his head.
“Isn’t it interesting to compare the reality and the dramatized version of relationships? I think you know too high school relationships are really quite boring and simple.” Natalie said innocently.
“Well, I heard that you have a golden rule to relationships, mind telling me what it is?” Johnathan asked.
“Then are you going to tell me yours then?” Natalie said crossing her arms, batting her eyelashes.
“Of course, you’re like this,” Johnathan said shaking his head.
Natalie opened her binder and took out a sheet of paper. “So for the project I’ve made a ‘get to know you’ worksheet we need to fill out, it has all the basic questions,” Natalie said, handing him the paper. “I’ll give you mine when I’m done.”
“Whoah, whoah, whoah, that’s it? You know that’s not how friendship works.” Johnathan said looking at his paper.
“So you want me to sacrifice my time to, eat with you, talk to you, text you, and be in your presence.
“Of course isn’t that how you build a relationship with someone,” Johnathan said matter factly.
“Johnathan here’s the thing I don’t want to form a relationship with anyone, including you. We can hang out and get to know each other for the project but after it’s done I want nothing to do with you,” Natalie said straightly.
“I’m glad we’re in agreement, a no string attached relationship is what I want,” Johnathan said smiling.
“So if we’re going to do whatever you want we’re still going to do the worksheet I made,” Natalie said insistently, holding out her hand.
“Let’s make a contract before we shake on it,” Johnathan said opening his notebook.
Natalie chuckled “Are you scared I’ll break your heart?” she whispered.
They looked into each other’s eyes and they knew the answer after all their rules were meant to prevent heartbreak but heartbreak like love is unpredictable.
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