I tried to keep my eyes on the teacher, but they kept flickering back to his gorgeous face.
I couldn’t concentrate with him whispering to his friends like that. His husky voice sending chills down my spine and causing me to blush for staring at him. If this is how I acted when he was talking to his guy friends, I can’t imagine if the words were ever directed at me, if he ever actually spoke to me. But that would be something more to laugh about than anything else. The day that Harrison Cole ever looked at me would be the day pigs could fly and the day I would faint in ecstasy.
I was so busy fantasising about the golden-eyed, brown-haired god, that I hadn’t even realised that the teacher was talking to me. I glanced away from his face and back to the short balding man at the front of the room,
“Sorry Mr. C, please can you repeat the question?” I asked and he nodded
“If x is corresponding to y are the two lines parallel?” he asked
I nodded, “Yes.”
He smiled and then continued with the class, lucky for me that was an easy question and would be my class participation for this week. Another student asked him to go over one of the homework questions and I quickly started writing down the steps he did on the board. The bell rang right as he finished the problem and everyone started to pack up, some faster than others. I took my time not wanting to have to leave with the large group of other students. I adjusted my uniform skirt as it had twisted slightly from crossing my legs and then headed for the door.
I followed some students down to the lunchroom and then scanned the CAFF (Control Area For Food) for Sarah. Sarah was my best friend; we had been close since kindergarten, but high school had only solidified our bond. Were as close as two people could be without blood relation, but I considered her a sister anyway.
I spotted her small frame at our usual spot in the corner of the lunchroom and smiled making my way towards her and plopping down opposite her. She looked up from her Physics textbook with a smile.
“Hey Monty,” she beamed at me and I grinned back
“How was Geometry?” she asked I shrugged
“Okay, I guess,” I replied vaguely, blushing slightly when I thought about how I had really been staring at Harrison the whole time.
Sarah didn’t take notice of my blush and only started going on about some new law of Physics she had learned in her AP class. I just retrieved my pasta salad from my bag and started to eat my lunch, nodding along with what she said and trying to understand what she was talking about. It was hard having a best friend who was a genius because no matter how hard I tried to keep up, no matter what grade I got on a test it was never the best. It wasn’t like Sarah rubbed her intelligence in people’s faces; in fact, to everyone but me, she was shy about it.
Sarah was petite and had blonde hair, almost white that was smooth and pin straight cropped to just below her chin. Her eyes were wide and a sparkling blue, not even her chunky nerd glasses brought down her baby doll look, they only enhanced her innocent face and gave her quirky charm. I, on the other hand, was just plain and awkward; I had dirty blonde hair, bordering on brown. It was that awkward length between long and short, my eyes were a muggy blue-grey. I wasn’t fat or skinny but slim, I didn’t really have anything that was attractive about me, and I didn’t even have Sarah’s quirky cuteness. I would say that I had pretty long, slender legs for my build, but that was about it.
This was probably the root of everything. It explained why I had never mentioned having a crush on anyone to anyone ever. Sarah didn’t even know about my crush on the most popular boy in school. We hadn’t really gushed about a guy since sophomore year. Once Sarah got her boyfriend Dillon, a geeky (but sweet) boy from the tech and computer club, the topic never came up again. To be fair he was a perfect match for Sarah and I was so happy for her when they started dating two years ago. It had even caught the attention of the popular crowd for a little bit and they were labeled the “Geek Chic Couple” of our Class. Of course, I had been in the background of all of this. I mean I couldn’t get much lower on the social ladder than the invisible friend of the nerd.
Anyway, there is a little about the sad life that is me, Montana Ann Montgomery.
“So Dillon asked me if I wanted to go out this weekend to see the new James Bond movie,” Sarah said and I couldn’t help but let an amused smile spread onto my face.
“Really?” Sarah looked absentmindedly up from her book to give me a look,
“Yes,” I stifled a giggle. She frowned and closed her book “What’s so funny about that?” she asked and I giggled with a shrug
“You two don’t really seem like the type who would go see a crime-fighting secret agent movie, that’s all. I think it’s sweet.” I assured her. She pushed her glasses up her nose and nodded I could tell she could see the amusing side of it now because she had a little smile on her lips.
“That’s true, but Dillon is into all the gadgets you know? I don’t have the heart to tell him he’s more of a Q.” We both giggled, “Anyway, on to the main reason I brought it up, I was wondering if you wanted to come along with us.” She asked and I shook my head
“No, absolutely not. I will not ‘tag along’ like I did last time. I was such a third wheel Sarah,” I said frowning and she leaned forward
“No, you weren’t Monty. We loved having you.”
I snorted, remembering how I strolled along behind them the whole day at the Mall.
“I so was, besides, Dillon didn’t ask me he asked you,” I said and she shrugged
“He wouldn’t mind.” She said casually and I gave her a skeptical look
“Sarah, have you ever asked him about me coming?” I asked and she looked away awkwardly
“Well...” she started trailing off
“I didn’t think so. What’s up? You don’t want to spend time with Dillon alone?” I asked. I saw her shoulders drop and she leaned back in her seat,
“I don’t know Monty, we’ve been going out for almost two years now... and I just feel like we haven’t done that much beyond second base ... I don’t want him to get bored, but I don’t want him to expect...” her face was tomato as she struggled to finish her sentence. I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing.
“Oh my gosh Sarah, it’s not like Dillon would try anything like that at a movie theatre. In fact, I can’t imagine him doing anything like that ever let alone in a public place. You have nothing to worry about.” I said smiling; gosh Sarah’s worries could be entertaining sometimes. She tucked her hair behind her ears and furred her eyebrows. I sighed chewing on a piece of bowtie pasta.
I knew this was really a big deal for her. Her family was Catholic, I mean not surprising since we go to a catholic school, but Sarah’s family was practicing family and she had always worried about what her parents would think of her having sex before she got married, or at least engaged.
“Sarah, don’t worry. Dillon is a nice guy, a sweet guy he would be just as nervous as you would be anyway.” I said comfortingly and she nodded
“I know, I just, I’m going to be 18 and I feel like such an odd bird, part of me wants to wait and part of me wants to let loose and live in the 21st century.” Well if Sarah was an odd bird than what was I?
“Sarah, please I’m gonna be 18 in two months and I’ve never even had a kiss from a guy outside spin the bottle let alone a boyfriend or anything else.” She looked at me sympathetically and the light went off in my brain reminding me why I never mentioned crushes to anyone. She felt sorry for me. I know she did,
“Monty, you’ll find someone, don’t worry.” I continued eating, trying to stop my mind from wandering off to Harrison.
“I’m not worried Sarah, I’m just saying it to make you feel better, so you don’t worry.”
“I know, but I feel like I should be helping you, isn’t that what girlfriends do? They help their besties find their true love! We don’t do that.” She said almost wistfully
“It’s okay Sarah, I’m fine with it.”
“You never mention it though,” Sarah said skeptically and I could feel her studying my face. I nodded
“That’s because I’m fine with it.” I repeated. I was not fine with it. I wanted to have my first kiss so badly. I wanted a guy to notice me so badly. However, I didn’t want just any guy. I wasn’t going to date anyone for the sake of having a boyfriend, I wanted something special. I wanted sparks and romance and Harrison. I wasn’t going to tell Sarah that though, I didn’t want her trying to set me up with one of Dillon’s friends, which would be a disaster.
“Well, maybe you should try dressing up a little more. Or, just...” She said nodding to my knee length skirt and knee socks.
“What’s wrong with my uniform? It looks just like yours.” I asked looking down at our uniform; our school was a private Catholic school, we wore a uniform. How could I dress up my uniform? I wore my white polo shirt with the school’s logo on it, the pleated, plaid kilt and my navy knee socks pulled right up to my knee.
“It’s too... blah.” Sarah said pushing her glasses up. I shook my head
“Sarah, we all have to wear this.” I said and she sighed
“Monty, you can spice things up a bit. Its a uniform, not a chastity belt.” She said as though she was disappointed I didn’t see that. I laughed
“What do you mean?” she brought a finger to her lips in concentration.
“Well for starters you can undo that top button... or two.” She said and my hand went to my shirt collar in defence.
“You could roll the kilt up a bit and you could switch those clumpy black shoes for something cuter.” She said with a smile. I gasped looking down at my shoes.
“I like these shoes! They’re practical. What’s wrong with them?” I asked offended.
“Nothing I just, I don’t know... practicality? Really? I just feel like you should try a style or better yet do some research.” She said suddenly grinning at the idea. That puzzled me. What kind of research could I do?
“I don’t understand.” I said trying to ignore the whole idea, but Sarah pressed on in an upbeat manner.
“You know, look in some magazines, Cosmo maybe! Or go online, I know there are videos on YouTube that talk about relationships and stuff, you could get a view on what guys like in a girl, you could do research!” she squeaked. With each word she seemed more taken with the idea. She missed the point though. That it was an absolutely horrible idea. I wasn’t going to stoop so low, become so desperate that I would actually research ways to react, things to say, habits to have just to see if a guy might pick up on it and like me.
“Sarah, really? I couldn’t imagine that would help. Besides, that would be like cheating, it would mean I would try to do things that I wouldn’t do to catch a guy and that would mean that I wouldn’t be who he thought I was. I would be pretending to be someone I’m not.”
“Monty, lots of girls do it. It wouldn’t be cheating, it’s not cheating if you do research before a test or a quiz, it’s not cheating if you stalk someone’s profile to see the kind of things they like before a date so that you can have some things to talk about. This isn’t any different.”
“It is cheating though, it would me be me doing, whatever it was I was doing, it wouldn’t be stuff that I do.”
“Well, what if it is, what if someone likes your habits?”
“Well, then the videos really are a load of crap because I haven’t gone on a date since high school started.” Even though I was so against it, and I was, I was still thinking about whether Harrison might notice if I straightened my hair for school tomorrow, or if there was something that would make him tick.
What were his turn ons? And what turned him off?
There were so many things that he did that made my heart race, little things he did that he probably didn’t even realize he did. Like crossing his arms when he felt awkward or pushing his sleeves up when he was getting excited about something, it was really just everything about him. Harrison Cole was the Mr. Popular at Wildwood High School.
He had the athletic gifts, the brains, the rock’n hot body and the perfect sense of humor: a mix between sarcasm and wit. Then there was me on the other end of the spectrum. I, Montana Montgomery was your typical, middle of the social ladder, not cool, not geek, not pretty, not ugly, not dumb, not genius, not anything above or below average. Even the fact that I had been crushing on Harrison Cole since the 7th grade wasn’t unique about me because just about every girl in the school was.
Would it really hurt to do some ‘research’? I thought. Yes. Don’t be so ridiculous, it has needy written all over it, besides things like relationships and love should be natural not forced. It should be destiny and fate, not calculating trickery.
“Okay, it was just a suggestion, besides if you landed yourself a cute guy then we could go on double dates! It would fun and I wouldn’t have to worry about Dillon and you wouldn’t be a third wheel.” I laughed at that, although I didn’t think it was good for Sarah to be worrying about her boyfriend. It wasn’t healthy to worry about your own relationship, or being with your partner in a relationship to the extent you tried to not be alone with them. Although personally, I didn’t think Sarah had anything to worry about anyway, Dillon was a gentleman and shy as hell.
“Sure Sarah, whatever you say.”
“What I’m saying is that a little preparation and help might not go un-useful. I always prepare for tests.”
“I’m not being tested.” I countered with a smirk and she smirked back.
“Maybe fate is testing you.” She responded. After that she let the conversation drop and started talking about other things, mainly to do with her extra credit work for Calc, but I wasn’t listening. What if fate was trying to test me? Did I really want to fail that test? Really the idea of failing any test didn’t sound like a good idea to my ears that were trained in the modern-day way. Failing was not an option for those who wanted success.
My conversation with Sarah was still haunting me that evening.
It was around 7:30 and I was just finishing up some homework for English. The teacher had given us a link to a video we had to watch and then answer a few questions. She hadn’t really given us anything to do in the lesson because she had forgotten to plan so she just gave us this so we could catch up.
Miss Louis was young and probably my favorite teacher. She had frizzy red hair that always had a pencil in it and round wire-framed glasses that she kept on top of her head. She was very enthusiastic when teaching and I had no doubt her brain was bursting with knowledge, she struck me as one of those people who stored away random facts that were interesting, but completely useless in life. Unfortunately, she was a little bit dizzy and unorganized, she had walked into our lesson and been so shocked to see us sitting there, she had thought she had a free, and then had left us to do as we please while she did God knows what on her laptop.
I finished the last question and smiled as I dotted the period onto the paper.
“There,” I said and let out a sigh as I leaned back in my desk chair. I swivelled around to look out at my room.
It was immaculate.
Completely and utterly tidy because that’s the way I liked it. I couldn’t stand a mess; I couldn’t stand having food in my room in case I got crumbs anywhere. I made exceptions when I was sick but was extra careful. Maybe you would say that my alphabetically organized bookshelf and my rainbow ordered sharpies were signs of OCD or a control freak, but really I was just orderly. If I was OCD then I wouldn’t be able to step foot in any other room in this house because my Mother loves her clutter. She likes things to be messy in a ‘cozy’ way, or so she says. Cozy my ass.
“I like it to look like someone lives here.” She always replied when I ask her why she refuses to take her twelve pair of shoes from the entrance and to her room. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
I spun back around to face my computer. I stared at the screen, the video tab still up. The little box at the top of the screen that said sign up. My fingers tapped on the mouse pad. Surely there was no harm... in just making a YouTube account.
So many people had one, didn’t they? It was common for people my age. I know watching YouTube is a thing. It just wasn’t something I had ever bothered to get into.
There are lots of funny, helpful and educational videos on here though. I should get one for educational purposes. It’s for the best, in fact, as a senior in High School I can’t believe I didn’t have one already! I quickly clicked the link before I changed my mind, entering my email address and filling in the required information. When it asked for my name I gave a fake name. I didn’t want anyone I knew stumbling over me and I didn’t want some psycho to be able to stalk me on here.
Although I also loved the idea of giving a fake name, like whenever I go to Starbucks I love to change my name up every time.
I had always liked the name Jenny so I typed it in. The last name was harder, Smith was too common and not satisfying enough and so when Stewart popped into my head I quickly put it in and so I guess I became Jenny Stewart. It was kind of exciting when I pressed submit and then went to check for the verification email (It always amazed me how fast those things got sent out).
Once I was on the search bar of my YouTube account my fingers hovered above the keyboard.
“Where do you even start with research like this?” I asked to myself, deciding to treat this like homework. I decided on just going to “Trending” and scrolling through what I assumed were the most popular videos, keeping an eye open for any videos that might be related to my topic. I was so caught up in scrolling that I almost scrolled right past the most beautiful face I think I have ever seen.
Immediately I sat straighter in my seat as his eyes landed on me, their bright green glow burning into mine even through the screen of my laptop.
A/N- Thank you all for read the first chapter! I hope you enjoyed it! Please tell me what you think :)