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Leigh Chandler and her best friend Jada Stanford are starting off Junior year of high school with a bang. They meet Chayse Evans, a charming basketball player, and all goes downhill. Will Leigh and Jada be able to navigate the problems that arise when both have their eyes on the same boy, or will their new friendship go to ruins?

Anna Ester
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

I rolled my eyes. “Only the most boring day of my life”. I mean, what did she expect? It’s not like we ever actually do anything on the first day of school. In that way, nothing has changed since we were babies in elementary school.

“Hey, on the bright side, no one’s assigned any homework yet! This is why I loove the first day soo much” Jada giggled, playfully nudging me. I rolled my eyes yet again but couldn’t help smiling at my goofy friend trying to make the best of the situation.

We were sitting at a side table in the cafeteria at lunch, on our first day of Junior year. We were lucky enough to get the same lunch period, what with having only one class together, Physics. This year was sure going to be long. I sighed and began eating my lunch, letting myself stare off into space.

“Hey, hey! Earth to Leigh earth to Leigh! Hellooo!” Whoops. Got caught up in my daydream, but it’s not like that has never happened before or anything. “Any cute guys?” Jada asked with a smirk. I definitely didn’t want to tell her about this, but she’s an expert at my zone-outs and can usually tell what they’re about, so there would be no use lying.

“Okay, if you insist, that guy over there” I pointed in the direction of the dreamy boy, staring for a bit before turning back to Jada. I was prone to zoning out, like all the time, even in the middle of conversations. Jada liked to call it my “fun little characteristic” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) but it’s really just a problem. I mean, if I didn’t stop doing it so much, school could become so much harder with me missing half the information in lectures and instructions.

Anyway, this guy I had been staring at was cute, but what particularly attracted me was the way he seemed so shy. He was at a table of jocks, basketball kids I think, but he wasn’t contributing much to the conversation, if at all. In fact, I thought I caught a glimpse of a book. Ooh, he’s a reader! I’m swooning. “Wow you’ve got to be like, in love with him, you’ve zoned out twice staring at him” Jada teased, snapping her fingers in my face. I blinked. “Sorry, I don’t know what’s gotten into me”. Jada smiled, “You know, you have pretty good taste. I’d say he’s a solid nine, and I don’t go giving those out,” she winked. “That’s Chayse from the basketball team. I’m pretty sure he’s in my Precal this year, if you need a wingwoman”. I pretended to think about it, but obviously pushed the idea away. It’s not like he’d ever notice me anyway.

Changing the topic, I asked, “Hey Jada, what’s it like, y’know, having a boyfriend? Being in a relationship?” It’s not like she’s a pro, but she’s got more experience than me (proof: 2 > 0). “What, thinking about asking him out?” She looked toward Chayse but then laughed at my stony expression. So much for changing the subject. “No way! That’s never gonna happen” I exclaimed. Then an idea occurred to me “why are you so invested in this anyway? Careful, you might give me the idea you like him too” I grinned. “Leigh! Of course not why would you say that I’d never want a guy you want and let guys get between us no that would never happen why would you suggest that!?” she stammered. Guessing by how flustered she got, she definitely had a thing for him. “Suuure” I replied, rolling my eyes.

We dropped the subject (finally!) but things seemed more tense. I tried to lighten the mood by throwing the remnants of my string cheese at Jada. “Leigh!” she replied in frustration, but before I could start laughing she had grabbed her grapes and started chucking them at me, one by one. “Hey!” I exclaimed, laughing. I searched for something else to aim at her, all whilst being pelted with grapes. I settled on my pretzels and lightly tossed them at her. After a couple of seconds, we couldn’t take it and burst out laughing, clutching our chests and gasping for air. “We are so immature,” Jada giggled. “Yep, and I love it,” I laughed.

Suddenly I felt eyes on me, and looked around the cafeteria to find the source. Jada and I were still poking at each other and laughing like absolute buffoons. I snuck a glance over in Chayse’s direction and was shocked to find him watching us with an odd smile. I looked away quickly before he noticed or Jada picked up what was going on.

“Oh! Look at the time, we better get going” I blurted out before I could stop myself. Jada looked at me questioningly “... but we still have, like, five minutes. We’re fine.” I attempted to think up something to defend myself, but quickly realized I didn’t even know why I did that. Was I already getting weird about this boy? I mean he’s cute and all but why was I actively trying to get Jada away from him? I frowned, wondering how I could be such a jerk. This was definitely not fair to her.

“Really, we still have five minutes? I could have sworn the schedule said 12:40 not 12:45.” I did my best to play off the whole thing as a misunderstanding. Jada still seemed a bit confused but bought the act in the end. “No, see here it says 12:45” she said, pulling up the schedule. “I swear, school’s already messing with my brain and it’s only our first day back” I groaned, pretending to be put off that I was wrong about the time. Jada laughed, “or maybe you just need to pay more attention to these things”. I pouted, “it’s not my fault I’m so ditsy”, making a goofy face. We laughed and began packing up our stuff, as the five minutes were now coming to a close.

“See you after school!”

“Meet in the East parking lot, right?”

“Yes you dummy, that’s where we parked before school”

“Haha, later!” I paused. “Oh and good luck with the English teacher”

We headed our separate ways, chuckling to ourselves and bracing for the rest of the day. I often wondered how I had lucked out with a friend like Jada. It was just a shame we didn’t have more classes together this year, but that wouldn’t tear us apart at all, we wouldn’t let it.

I had first wanted to befriend Jada because I liked her. I’m bi, but no one knows this, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to tell anyone. But once the crush wore off, I felt more comfortable with Jada, and by the middle of sophomore year we were hanging out a ton. From then on, we became besties and have been virtually inseparable. I’m really glad about this, as all through middle school and up until then, I was basically that one loner girl who had maybe a couple friends here and there but never anyone close who I’d actually hang out with. Jada has helped me feel like a normal person, and even with my social awkwardness she still seems to like hanging out with me.

I walked into History and scanned the room, looking for the teacher. He seemed nice and told me to sit at the desk with my name on it. Well okay, now maybe a little less nice (assigned seats are annoying). I searched the desks, starting at the back. Once I finally found my seat, I sighed in relief and plopped myself down. I then looked up at the person in front of me, and found Chayse turned around, staring at me and smiling. “Hey, I’m Chayse, what’s your name?”

I just about died.

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