Two months I’d been in this shithole of a school, otherwise known as Claremont High. If Shayla was here then together we’d be making fun of these arseholes who wear sweaters when the temperature drops below 20 degrees Celsius or how they call football, soccer and Rugby, football but it had been over 6 months since I’d spoken to my former best friend, I missed her like crazy but the way we had left things had been really awkward, the biggest lesson I learnt from the whole shitty situation is that sex can destroy a friendship in minutes that you’d spent years building, I’d never be making that mistake again.
I’ve made one friend here, Lucas, who seemed pretty decent. He likes the premier league and supports Manchester United too, the team I’ve worshiped since I was 4 years old when my Grandpa had taken me to watch them play. Lucas and I share a few classes together so I’ve gotten to know him pretty well, he’s popular and can be a bit of a smartarse when he’s in a group but when I invited him over to watch Manchester United take home the win against Newcastle in March I got to see a different side, he wasn’t the cocky showoff that needed constant attention, he was actually a really awesome lad, someone I formed a genuine connection with and who I think we could be lifelong friends.
Lucas has it tough at home, his Dad consumes more alcohol in a day than my Dad has had in his whole life and he was a mean drunk too, first he would start insulting Lucas, knowing his Mum, Gail, would step in to defend her son and then Roy would have an excuse to make his wife feel like complete shit. The only person off limits to Roy’s verbal assaults is Lucas’ 12 month old sister, Charlotte but I’m sure, in due time, Roy would find something about his daughter that ticks him off.
Being an only child who had lost my Mother the year before I felt a great sense of comfort to be taken in by Lucas’ Mother and treated as I was her own, she often throws the offer out to stay for dinner when she knows my Dad is working night shift. Lucas was starting to become more and more like a brother, someone I could trust, which something I never thought I’d find in friend ever again, not after what Shayla had done.
“Hey Lions” Lucas called out to me on the walk into the assembly hall at school on Monday, our principal, Mr Scott, insisted on holding these damn assemblies weekly, which usually consisted of him blowing smoke out of his own arse and wanting praise for it.
I stopped walking and waited for Lucas and that quiet kid, who he hung around with who I could never remember the name of, to catch up. Lucas handed me $20 reluctantly.
“That will teach you to bet on Leeds to win” I laughed, taking his money happily. That was the foundation of our friendship really, we were both fiercely competitive, always finding things to bet on. It started out small but was slowly snowballing, the amounts climbing with each bet we made.
“I’ll be winning that back in no time” The cocky shit grinned at me and I had no doubt he would either.
We find some seats in the middle of the hall, sitting behind the most gorgeous blonde girl I’ve ever laid eyes on. How had I been coming here, 5 days a week for the past two months and not noticed this stand out before?
Her laugh was so melodic as her friend told her a story about how she’d heard her parents getting it on the night before. I recognised her friend, she was in a few of my classes and caught my bus home and got off at the stop before my own.
Next to the absolute stunner sat a meek, brown haired girl who looked younger than the other two, she occasionally joined in their conversation but her focus seemed to be more fixated on another girl in the row in front of her, she would cautiously peer at the girl and then look away as if she was caught she’d get into trouble.
I was so drawn to the blonde, her coconut perfume was intoxicating and her long blonde hair was so shinny and her pale pink, plump lips looked perfect for kissing. I had to know more about her, she was just intoxicating, I couldn’t focus on anything else but her.
“Lions!” Lucas’ voice bellowed through the barrier of my intense concentration on the beauty before me, making both her and her friends turn around and stare at me for a brief moment before they returned to their conversation. “Were you even listening to me?”
“Sorry, I zoned out for a moment, what’s up?” It took everything bit of strength I could muster to look away from the Goddess in front of me and focus on the friend next to me.
“I asked if you wanted to come watch the Bears play tomorrow night? You could introduce yourself to the coach and see if he could get you on the team now that Harrison has transferred schools.” Lucas knew I’d been dying to get onto the school’s football, sorry, soccer team, since I arrived but I was told straight up that there were no spots available and I’d have to wait until next year to try out.
“Yeah, thanks mate, that’d be mint” He always had my back, which made me wonder if he knew the name of my future wife sitting in front of me, I needed an in and he was Lucas Stephenson, known to everyone around here and loved by all. “Do you happen to know who that is?” I whispered, last thing I needed was the girl in question hearing me ask about her and thinking I’m some big loser.
“No, but I do know her friend” He whispers back before leaning in close to the girls in front of us. “Hey Katherine”
“Hey Lucas, call me Kate, Katherine is what my parents call me when I’m in trouble” The blonde girl giggled, obviously in awe that Lucas was talking to her, her friend next to her looked floored but the younger one couldn’t give two shits.
“And what’s your friend’s name?” Lucas asked, beaming at my girl who blushed crimson red, fuck she looked cute when she blushed. “I liked to know all the names of the girls in my class, it will help when I’m campaigning to become school captain one day”
“I’m Veronica” The beauty replies, looking from Lucas, to myself, back to Lucas and smiles shyly. “Veronica Kreslin, we have history together”
Veronica Kreslin, the name that will be forever etched into my heart.
“Do you girls wanna eat lunch with us today?” Lucas asks the group and their eyes go wide, like they’ve just been invited to be Brad Pitt’s date to the Golden Globes. Calm down girls, it’s just lunch but then again, my own heart was racing a mile a minute at just the thought of sharing my lunch hour with Veronica Kreslin.
“Sure, do you mind if we bring our friends, Kristen and Petra, along too? They’re super nice, you’ll love them” Kate gushes.
“Bring whoever you want, as long as you’re there” Lucas charismatically throws out, always the charmer but never one to get tied down.
“Sorry for the delay” Mr Scott’s booming voice from the stage interrupts us, bringing the conversation to a halt. Lucas holds out his hand for a fist bump, which I happily give, the man has done me a solid.
“I’ll keep this short because we’re in for a busy day of adjustment. With the influx of new students as well as greater classroom sizes the school has been faced with a bit of a dilemma in that we now have too many students cramming up classrooms, placing an impact on teachers and the focus they can have on each individual in the classroom so the facility have decided that for years 7 through to 10 that there will be extra classes added.” He tries his best to explain but from the hushed whispering and confused faces it seems that every student is as thrown by this as I am
“For explain, if you were previously in 9-5 you may now be in 9-4, 9-5 or 9-6, depending on your class rankings. This will not, in any way change your Math, science or English classes, they will remain the same but your timetables will be different as of today and you will receive you new timetables in your new roll call classes which will now be done alphabetically with years 7 through to 12 sharing the same roll call” He continues, I look at Lucas who I’d had shared roll call with since I got here now I’ll be stuck in a room with no one to talk to.
“The new roll call assignments have been printed on sheets of paper and pinned to the back of the room” cue all heads turning at once. “In a cordially fashion, within your year groups, please make your way to the sheets when your year advisors say so. Year 12 we will start with you” A loud hustle is heard throughout the gym as students make their way down to the back of the hall, there’s mixed reactions from those reading the sheets, some cheering, others shouting profanities. Finally its our turn to go down and check and I find my name next to room 10.
“Hey, we’re roll call buddies” Veronica says beside me, pointing to her own name a few above mine. I can’t help but run my eyes down the length of her delicious, curvy body, the girl is a perfect 10. “Bridget is in ours too, that cool, it’s her first year here and she’s not adjusting too well yet but this way I can help her out”
I’m guessing Bridget is her sister and was the girl who was sitting next to her, they have similar features but different coloured hair.
“I’m Sam Lions” I tell her, realising I hadn’t introduced myself to her at all and she probably thinks it’s Lucas who wants her, not me. I need to get on her radar.
“I know” She giggles softly, “You’re the new kid from London who hangs out with Lucas, everyone knows who you are.” I’m from Leigh, 2 hours outside of London but I didn’t want to correct her, I was just ecstatic she was talking to me.
We walk to our new roll call room, me making small talk just to keep her attention on me, when we arrive in the room we have our names marked off and are handed our new timetable. I study mine, making a mental note of what class I have straight up.
“I’m still in 9-1, what about you?” Veronica asks peering over at my sheet.
“I’m now in 9-1, I was in 9-2 before but they were waiting on my transcript from my last school anyway and had said I’d be put in 1 if they saw I was up to the challenge” I boast, I’ve always been a pretty intelligent student, comes from having a Father who is a doctor and a Mother who was a nurse, they were on me to keep my grades high so I’d be successful in life, although with my dream goal, grades won’t mean a thing.
Veronica holds her timetable next to mine to make comparisons on our classes and I breathe in her heavenly scent.
“We have a lot of the same classes now except your electives are way different to mine” She was doing history, geography and drama and I had chosen woodwork, French and physical activity and sports studies.
“I picked woodwork because I’m good with my hands” Yes, I’m flirting, shamelessly but she doesn’t seem to catch on anyway so I continue to explain my choices. “French because I already speak it fluently anyway, coming from the UK, my family would travel to Paris often enough that I wanted to pick up the language and physical activity and sports studies because I love playing sport, any sport, especially foot...soccer”
“Well it looks like we have PE next so you can show me some of those fancy foot skills in soccer today because I am shit” She laughs, that laugh, its like music for my soul, I need to make her laugh more and often. I need to make her mine.
“I’d be happy to help you out” Or take you out, somewhere fancy, shower you in romance and make you feel like the princess that you are. Ok Lions, play it cool, let’s not scare her off yet.
Bridget enters the classroom, gets her name marked off, grabs her new timetable and slumps down in the seat next to her sister, looking miserable, I wonder if her mood has anything to do with the girl she was checking out in assembly?
“What’s up with you?” Veronica turns her attention to her sulking sister.
“I used to have roll call with this girl, Amber and now I’m stuck here with you” Bridget complains.
“Gee, thanks sis” Veronica playfully slaps her sister. “Is Amber your friend?”
“Not exactly, I don’t want to talk about it” Bridget’s hostile response makes Veronica turn back to me and roll her eyes, mouthing the words ‘drama queen’, I smile at the two girls and their cute sibling drama.
“You’re all free to go now that everyone has their timetables” The teacher announces from the front of the class, we all file out and Veronica hugs her sister and tells her she will see her at lunch.
Veronica and I go our seperate ways to change for PE but meet up again to walk out onto the field at the back of the school. I do a quick glance of the faces in my new class and see Lucas, which indicates that we will still be sharing a lot of the same classes, this is awesome, my best friend and the hottest girl in school are all in my classes.
We are told to break off into groups of four to practice feet techniques, something I could do in my sleep so this should be easy.
“Hey, can Kristen and I join you two?” Veronica calls out and Lucas and I say yes in unison. Veronica and her friend Kristen, who is pretty but not as gorgeous as Veronica, make their way over to us with a ball in hand, Veronica throws the ball in my direction and I waste no time showing off, trying to impress her. I’ve been playing football since I was 7 so I know I’m good, as cocky as that is. I pass the ball to Kristen after I’m done.
“I like a man who lets me touch his ball” Kristen jokes and Veronica blushes, unable to look at me.
“I think Sam would prefer if you sucked them” Lucas joins in, making me cringe. Shit, I don’t want Veronica to think I’m some guy who sleeps around. Lucas is meant to be helping me, not working against me.
“I’m not like that at all” I try to defend myself but it falls on deaf ears as Lucas and Kristen continue to berate me. Clearly me showing off has ticked Lucas off and now he’s looking to get back at me.
Lucas attempts to pass the ball off to Veronica but it goes sailing past her and she has to go running after it, I use this moment to shoot Lucas a dirty look and he just shrugs and smiles.
By the time PE is over I’m struggling to figure Lucas out, I wait for the girls to leave before I say anything though.
“What was that?”
“You know what, making me look like some horny lad in front of Veronica, I really like this girl and I want to ask her out, last thing I need is for thinking that I just want to get into her pants”
“Dude, relax, it was just playing, she knows that” He says so calmly, like he hasn’t just destroyed my chances with her, she didn’t even talk to me for the rest of the class, she just kept her head down the whole time while the other two stirred the pot. “Let’s make a bet”
“A bet? On what?”
“Veronica. Let’s bet, whoever scores a date from her first gets to make her his girlfriend and the other has to back right off” What the fuck, up until this morning he didn’t even know who she was now he’s going after her too?
“Nah mate, not on this one”
“Why? You know you’ve got this in the bag, she’s completely into you, it will just be a little competition so that when you win her it will feel so much sweeter” I’m hesitant to accept but he does have a point, she was making conversation with me all through roll call.
“How long have we got to seal the deal?”
“Alright you’re on”
I hope I don’t live to regret this.
A/N This is just a teaser, setting the story for how Sam met and lost Veronica the first time around.