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Unfolding

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Chapter 2

Last First Day

“It’s never too late for a new beginning in your life.” - Joyce Meyer


I spent the majority of the weekend in bed watching Netflix. The hit I suffered during Friday’s game was a lot worse than I thought it was going to be. When I woke up on Saturday morning, my entire left side was throbbing and the color of my skin had turned a dark shade of purple.

It’s safe to say I was not thrilled to be spending the last weekend before senior year on bed rest, but what can you do.

I woke up on Monday morning feeling slightly better, although I still limbed around to get ready. Lifting my shirt up and staring at my hip in the full length mirror that hung in my room, I saw my skin had taken on a yellow-ish shade. I groaned as I finished getting ready for school.

I decided on a pair of black skinny jeans and a maroon top with my black convers. I ran a brush through my thick wavy brown hair, sprayed some perfume, and hastily smeared some red lipstick on. Taking one final look in the mirror, I have to say I was impressed with myself. I had put in an effort into looking somewhat decent for the first day.

Yes, you read heard that right. I said I made an effort to look presentable. Making an effort to me was brushing my hair and putting on some lipstick.

As I walked out of my room, I found mom busy in the kitchen making some scrambled eggs and toast.

I was surprised to see her because normally she would have already left for work.

“Morning.” I said reaching for a cup above the sink.

Coffee first thing in the morning was a must for me in order to be able to function properly for the rest of the day.

“Good morning sweetie.” She greeted me with a warm smile as she set a plate of food down in front of me.

Mumbling a thank you, I began scarfing down the food. “You didn’t have to do with mom. Poptarts would have sufficed. I don’t want you to be late for work.”

“Oh don’t worry sweetie.” She replied waving her hand dismissively. I frowned, knowing full well that she usually left for work in the morning by the time I got up for school. “They know I’m coming in late today.”

“I can’t believe my baby is a senior in high school.” She gushed, pouring her own coffee in a travel mug.

“Not soon enough if you ask me”. I muttered, rolling my eyes.

Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t know what kind of demon from hell came up with the concept of high school, but if his intent was to torture us for four fucking years, well he succeeded.

It’s safe to say I hate high school with a passion. It’s nothing but a bunch of drama filled horny teenagers waiting to stab each other in the back.

If you had asked me how I felt about high school during my freshman year, I would have replied something along the lines of ehh. Back in freshman year, my biggest worry was the school work I had to complete. I used to be a part of a rather large friend group, I had a crush on the cute boy in our year and everything was just fucking dandy.

However, after having a falling out with said group, I began to resent high school and all it stood for. I mean come on! Is it really necessary to pick on kids who aren’t as popular as you, or start stupid rumors aimed at ruining someone’s reputation.

I think the fuck not!

Yet, that was high school for you. Which is why, today I am celebrating that next year around this time I will be in college, somewhere far far away.

“Sweetie, don’t be such a grump.” My mom scolded which earned her a glare from me. I loved her to death, but how can one person be so positive and happy? Especially in the morning.

Taking my last sip of coffee, I dumped the plate and mug into the sink and kissed her cheek goodbye as I picked up my backpack. “Thanks for breakfast mom. See you after school. Love you!”

“Love you too sweetie.” She replied. “Have a good first day!”

.......................................

Pulling into the parking lot of Northside College Prep, I was greeted with the sight of dozens of students making their way into the large building, while others stood by their cars presumably catching up after a summer apart.

There were more people than usual in the parking lot for 7:15 am, but that was always the case on the first day of school. It seems like everyone tries to make a good impression on the first day, but as soon as its over people go back to being themselves.

Me on the other hand, I was anal about punctuality. It made me physically uncomfortable to be late, which is why I usually got to school 15 minutes before the first bell rang. It gave me just enough time to leisurely gather all of my books and find the seat I wanted in class.

After parking my car, I started making my way inside. I scanned the people around me, taking notice of the way the girls’ makeup was perfected, their clothes were brand new, and the guys shirts were pressed. I mentally rolled my eyes.

I was busy stuffing a bunch of notebooks in my lockers, yes I know its the first day of school- call me a nerd, when I felt someone behind me.

“Natalie!” Caroline Finley, my best friend’s, high pitched voice greeted me. As soon as I turned towards her, she wrapped her arms around me in a deadly hug.

“Caroline, I can’t breathe!” I gasped out as I awkwardly returned her hug. Caroline could be a little too enthusiastic, but that’s why we love her. Standing before me in a floral white summer dress, her blonde hair curled to perfection with not a single aspect of her makeup out of place.

All in all Caroline was the definition of beauty, and all the guys in our school knew it and weren’t shy about hitting on her. Unfortunately for them, she had a boyfriend.

Caroline has been one of my best friends since last year after the two of us grew closer in math class. Interestingly enough, the two of us used to hate each other prior to that. As a matter of fact, I used to call her a pornstar because of the way she dressed during and freshman meanwhile she and her friends used to think I was a stuck up bitch.

Oh how times have changed.

“I’m sorry!” Caroline replied as she let got me. “I just haven’t seen you all summer. I swear next time my mom wants to go on vacation, I’m cutting her off at four weeks.” Caroline and her mom had been out of the country all summer, so this was the first time I’ve seen her since school let out in June. Of course we’d Facetimed and texted each other, but I had to admit I missed my daily dose of Caroline.

“I missed you too Care.” I chuckled as I continued to sort through my locker. “How was Puerto Rico? What did you bring me?”

“Ugh it was amazing!” Caroline dreamily sighed as she leaned against the locker next to mine. “Mind you we spend most of the time with my mom’s family, but we spent a week in San Juan at the beach and I swear I fell in love. They brought the cocktails to you!”

“What are you two gossip queens yapping about now?” We heard a voice behind us. Just then Brooke Thompson came into view. Brooke was my other best friend, and she was the complete opposite of Caroline. Whereas Caroline was the preppy school girl, Brooke was the tomboy. With her dark blonde hair tied tightly in a bun, Brooke was wearing black joggers and a white Nike t-shirt paired with some Birkenstocks; not an ounce of makeup on her face. She had what I like to refer to as natural beauty. In my three years of knowing her, I don’t think I’d ever seen her wear makeup yet she was as gorgeous as ever.

Brooke and I have been friends a bit longer than Caroline and I, but once Caroline and I became friends the three of us became inseparable.

“Brookie!” Caroline yelped, and proceeded to bring Brooke into a bone crushing hug as well. “I was just telling Nat about all the sexy island boys I saw on my trip.”

“Don’t you have a boyfriend?” Brooke cocked an eyebrow at her.

“Oh shush!” Caroline laughed. “What he doesn’t know, won’t hurt him.”

I rolled my eyes at the two of them. Slamming my locker shut, I turned towards them. “Will the two of you ever stop bickering?”

“Nope.” They both replied simultaneously.

Some things never change.

“Can you guys believe it’s our senior year!” Caroline exclaimed as she wrapped her arms around mine and Brooke’s shoulders on our way to homeroom.

“I was ready to graduate three years ago.” I replied.

“Same.” Brooke nodded.

“You two are no fun.” Caroline pouted. “There’s so much to look forward to! the senior class trip, senior prank night, prom!”

“It’s impossible to forget when you’re here to remind us all the time.” I teased her. Before she could say anything else, the first bell rang. Brooke and I parted ways with Caroline as we made our way towards our respective homerooms.

Walking into the classroom with Brooke tote, we were greeted by our homeroom teacher Mrs. Craig. “Good morning ladies.” She gave us a warm smile. Mrs. Craig was probably the nicest teacher here at Northside. Her long blonde hair and friendly features didn’t make her look a day over 35.

Brooke and I caught up about random stuff as we waiting for our class schedules to be handed out. Each year, at the beginning of the new school year students were forced to sit through an hour of homeroom where they received their schedules and the homeroom teachers went over school’s code of conduct. It’s pointless if you ask me, but what do I know?

As soon as Mrs. Craig handed our schedules, Brooke and I got to comparing them. Unfortunately we only had 2 classes together; English lit and history. Caroline was quick to text our group chat and share her schedule with us. The three of us had English lit together, meanwhile Caroline and I also had Calculus and French together. I was on my own for biology and economics.

After homeroom ended, Brooke and I made our way to the third floor for English lit with Ms. Nguyen. As the three of us took a seat in the middle of the classroom, the rest of the students began to pile in. Some I recognized while others I had seen here and there but never caught their name.

Northside was a fairly large school so this didn’t come as a shock. Every year there were people I had never even seen before.

As the bell finally rang, none other than Aiden Cooper came strutting through the door followed by two of his soccer buddies. I recognized them as Mike Anderson and Cody Erickson. As Aiden did a quick scan of the room, his eyes locked with mine and a smirked formed across his stupidly handsome face. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” I muttered to myself.

For fucks sake.

Not once in the past three years had I had a single class with Aiden. And now, in the span of three days I’ve spent more time around him and interacted with him more than I have since high school started.

The universe was clearly out to get me.

As him and his buddies passed by my desk, I shrunk in my seat, hoping to blend into my surroundings. I was still embarrassed from Friday when he basically had to carry me off the field. And let’s not forget his stupid nickname for me.

Speaking of nicknames. “Hey princess.” Aiden winked and squeezed my shoulder as he made his way past my desk.

Now would be the perfect time for the earth to swallow me whole.

I was silently praying that neither Caroline nor Brooke had heard him, but as soon as he was past me, both of them whipped their heads in my direction so fast I’m surprised they didn’t snap right off.

“Um!” Caroline whispered. “What was that?”

“Nothing.” I replied coldly. Luckily, Ms. Nguyen chose that exact moment to begin her lecture.

I guess there was a higher power out there listening to me after all.

......

By the time eight period was finally over, I was ready to bang my head against my locker.

The teachers had already begun assigning homework, citing that our AP exams were taking place at the end of the year and we had no time to waste.

Oh, and did I mention, Aiden was in six of my seven classes. SIX! The only class he and I didn’t share was French; thank fucking god.

I had luckily been able to avoid Brooke and Caroline’s avid curiosity about the whole encounter in English with Aiden, but I don’t know for how long.

As I shoved the books I wouldn’t be needing into my locker, I grabbed my duffle bag and bookbag before I slammed the locker shut. The start of the school year meant that there was soccer practice every day after school. Yet, for once I was actually excited for practice, because it meant I could kick something.

I quickly got changed and made my way to the back of the school towards the soccer field. Neither coach Garcia nor Carla were there yet, but some of the girls had gathered in a circle on the side.

As I spotted Naomi, I made my way towards her.

She smiled when she saw me. “Hey girl.”

“Hi Naomi.” I replied setting my stuff down next to hers. “What is everyone whispering about?” I asked as I noticed all the girls discreetly trying to gossip about something.

Naomi was about to reply when a smirked formed across her face and Coach Garcia’s voice boomed behind me. “Gather around ladies!”

As soon as I turned around, I wished I hadn’t. Coach was making her was towards us with, you guessed it, none other than Aiden fucking Cooper in toe behind her.

“Oh come on!” I groaned out loud which earned me a few confused looks from some of my teammates.

“Alright ladies,” began Coach Garcia. “Carla will unfortunately no longer be with us this season due to a family matter. However, I have decided to bring Aiden on to help me coach. As you all know, Aiden has played varsity since his freshman year and is currently the school’s all-time leading scorer. He also won us the City Championships last year, so it’s safe to say you’ll be in good hands.”

While coach was giving her little speech, that little shit had the audacity to smirk and nod in agreement. I don’t care if he was fucking David Beckham!

“Natalie.” She said turning her attention, as well as everyone else’s, towards me. “Aiden will be specifically working with you one-on-one during this season.”

As soon as she finished her sentence, my face fell and all I could do was give her a tight smile and nod.

“Good.” She continued. Then she turned to Aiden. “Is there anything you want to add?”

“I just wanted to say that I’m looking forward to a winning season with you guys.” He replied as he kept his eyes trained on me the entire time.

Coach Garcia nodded. “Great. Now let’s win some games ladies.”

Naomi who had been standing next to me this entire time, leaned in to whisper, “This is going to be the best season ever!”

I turned and shot a glare. If looks could kill, she’d be dead right now.

Aiden took this as an opportunity to make his way to where we were standing. “How’s your hip, princess?”

“Stop. Calling. Me. Princess.” I gritted out each word slowly, hoping he’d get the hint and stop with that awful nickname. He was unphased by my comment and stared at me expectantly waiting for my answer. I rolled my eyes and finally gave in. “It’s fine. It still hurts when I move but I’m pretty sure it’s starting to heal.”

“Good.” He nodded apprehensively. Then, he turned to the rest of the girls and shouted, “Five laps around the field.” He turned and looked at Naomi and I. My mouth was still hanging open in shock at what he said. “That means you two as well! Chop-chop!”

Naomi and I began jogging side by side and I had to grit my teeth to stop from wincing in pain. Naomi must have noticed because she asked, “How’s your hip? I’m sure if you tell coach you’re still in pain, she’ll let you sit out.”

“I’m fine.” I said dismissively. We were barely on our second lap and I was already huffing and puffing. The most coach had ever made us run was two in the past, and here this idiot was making us run five!

I saw Aiden talking to Coach Garcia as the two of them watched all of us run. As I looked around, I noticed Naomi and I were not the only ones who had begun to slow down.

“Let’s pick up the speed ladies.” Aiden shouted smoothly. “You’ve got three more laps to run and I’d like to go home before nine tonight.” I shot him another one of my famous Natalie glares, hoping he’d somehow drop dead.

Unfortunately, no such luck.

By the time I had finished all five laps, my lungs were on fire and my hip was throbbing again. I limped my way towards my bag to get some water, and I noticed all the girls were mimicking my action. Looks like I’m not the only one ready to pass out after that. Yet regardless, there were still two or three girls who weren’t too tired to adjust their shorts and tops, batting their fake eye lashes at Aiden. I rolled my eyes at them.

One of these days I think my eyes are going to get stuck in the back of my head.

“Split into teams of 8.” Aiden ordered next. “Except you Natalie. You’re sitting this one out.” I began to protest when he cut me off. “I’d like to see you play this season. You can’t do that if you don’t let your injury heal properly.”

I looked to Coach Garcia for help, but it seemed she was letting Aiden run the show now. He continued, “We’re going to scrimmage. One team grab the red vests, the other team grab the yellow. Since you’re one short, Coach Garcia will sub in for Natalie.”

I watched as everyone followed his directions without missing a beat.

“Who died and made you king of the fucking world?” I hissed at him once everyone was out of earshot.

“Me.” He smirked in reply. “You know, I thought you would have chickened out after the second lap but you impressed me.”

“I don’t need your praise.” I sneered. Truth was, I hated not completing something until the end. Even if it meant I was nearly going to pass out from pain and lack of oxygen to my lungs.

“What the hell are you doing here, anyway?” I continued.

He seemed unphased by my comment and didn’t for a second take his eyes off the scrimmage that had begun. “I’ve decided to share my talents with those less fortunate.” He smirked. “Plus, I’m getting gym credit for it, which allows me to take an extra class this year.”

“And you couldn’t have chosen any other fucking sport?” I hissed at him as I watched the corners of his lips twitch in a smile.

“And miss out on the free entertainment from you?” He replied smoothly. “Not a chance.”

The remainder of practice was spent watching everyone scrimmage while I sat on the sidelines with Aiden. For the most part, he was buys jotting stuff down on a clipboard and on occasion he would yell out directions for the girls to follow. I was bored out of my mind just sitting there doing nothing for two hours, that I almost jumped of joy when he said practice was over.

Gathering all of my stuff, I waited for Naomi so the two of us could leave together. I was her ride home after practice.

As the two of us waved everyone goodbye, I heard someone running to catch up with us.

“Wait up.” Aiden said as he fell into step with us. “You were really good out there Naomi.”

“Thanks.” She replied shyly tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. Then, Aiden turned towards me. “And you, make sure you continue to ice your hip. I’m giving you the day off tomorrow as well but on Wednesday I want to see you on the field.”

“Yes coach!” I sarcastically replied. Truth be told, I was glad he was giving me another day. I’m not sure if my body could handle the impact of the ground every time I took a dive. As we approached my car, I noticed that Aiden’s Audi was parked right across from it with Lucas Miller leaning against it.

I knew Lucas from a few classes we had shared together in the past, and I have to admit he’s gotten hotter than the last time I saw him. He let his jet black hair grow out a bit, his piercing grey eyes bore holes into your soul, and his sharp jaw seems to have gotten even more refined. All in all, he looked like he had just stepped off a magazine cover.

“Yo man!” Lucas said as he spotted us. Pushing himself off Aiden’s car, he made his way over to us. “What took you so long. You know I can only study for so long before I get bored out of my mind.”

Aiden rolled his eyes. “Is that what you call making out behind the bleachers with the first desperate girl willing to give you the time of day?”

I snorted at his comment. He’d know all about that wouldn’t he?

Let’s just say that following Friday night’s incident, I put my detective skills to use and found out as much as I could about Aiden. Call me a stalker but this guy knew where I lived now! Plus, in all my years at Northside, I’d never really heard of the guy other than the fact that he was some hot-shot soccer player. Sure, he’s extremely attractive and you’d have to be blind not to notice him, but I’m not surprised since we don’t run in the same circles.

I tend to stick close to Brooke and Caroline while I focus on school, and even before I became friends with the two of them, not much was different except the people I used to hang out with.

After some FBI worthy detective skills and a few calls and texts back and forth with Caroline, I put together that Aiden is Northside’s very own player. He’ll fuck anything with legs, and he never dates any of the girls he fucks around with. He has a reputation for using girls to get what he wants, and then tossing them aside like used rags. He’s a total douche if you ask me, and you’d have to be stupid to fall for his crap. But, desperate is desperate.

“Ouch!” Lucas feigned hurt as he pretended to stagger back in pain. “You hurt my feelings Aiden.” Then he turned towards me. “Natalie, always nice to see you.”

“Hi Lucas. How was your summer?” I smiled at him. Lucas didn’t have a much better reputation than his best friend, however, despite his fuck boy reputation, Lucas has always been nice to me. I saw Lucas turn his attention towards Naomi once he saw her standing behind me.

“And who might you be?” He smirked as he walked up to her and extended his hand. Naomi looked him up and down before replying with an overly sweet smile, “Not interested.”

Aiden and I both burst out laughing while the smirk off Lucas’s face fell. He was quick to recovered however. “Just you wait and see sweetheart. We’ll see if you’re still saying that in a month.” Naomi just rolled her eyes and gave him the finger before she opened the passenger’s door to my car and got in.

Aiden snickered besides me. I glanced at him, hoping he would clue me into what was so funny, but he gave no indication of doing so. Instead he said, “Remember to ice your hip princess. I’ll see you tomorrow.” With that he grabbed Lucas by the shirt and steered him towards his car.

This was going to be a really really long school year, I sighed.

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- Kitty Kat

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