|Grasping at Straws
Author: fallingstar13 PM
We know the clichés. Jock falls for shy girl. Girl falls for best friend’s brother. Girl falls for brother’s best friend. But clichés never work out in real life. You can only expect to find them in books and movies. Then he came to our school. Oh boy.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 8 - Words: 27,966 - Reviews: 52 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 59 - Updated: 04-13-09 - Published: 04-11-08 - id: 2502896
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: We all know the clichés. Popular jock falls for nerdy, shy girl. Girl falls for best friend's brother. Girl falls for brother's best friend. But life never works out that way. Clichés never work out in real life. You can only expect to find them in Meg Cabot books and Disney movies. Then he came to our school. Oh boy.
Chapter 1- The Beginning of the End
Let me start this story by saying that I really wish I had my own car.
"Oh, for Christ's sake, woman, get your ass in the car!"
No, really. I mean, I own the little piece of plastic that properly entitles me to own such an object and be able to put it to good use, but do I have one of my own? No.
"Alright!" I yelled in response, grabbing my shoes and my backpack. "Bye, Mom!"
"Have a good day, sweetheart." My mom loves me best because I'm the youngest and the only girl. Okay, so I'm the youngest by about five minutes (and really, if you think about it, she should hate me for those last five minutes of torture she had to suffer through for me) and I have only two brothers… but I really think you're missing the point here.
I rushed down a set of stairs, out of the door, out of the garage, and hopped into the passenger seat. "What took you?" my twin brother demanded in greeting. "It's not like you weren't up ages ago."
"The later we are, the less time you have to fend off guys for me," I teased.
Jim laughed slightly as we pulled out of the driveway. "Alright. But that's also less time that you have to talk to Allie."
I snorted. "Less time that you get to talk to her maybe. Honestly? I'm afraid Coach is going to try and talk to me, and I'd rather not deal with that at the moment." He laughed in understanding. Seriously, the girls' varsity soccer coach is a very scary man. He's big and large and beastly. Not exactly someone you want to be talking to first thing on the first day of school.
"And you don't have practice today?" Jim asked, glancing at me. I fought back any tension I felt from his taking his eyes off the road, even for a second. That's the real reason I didn't have my own car. I'm such a jumpy passenger, everyone assumes I'm a jumpy driver.
"No," I said almost easily, though I was couldn't keep back the note of apprehension in my voice. Jim noticed and quickly looked back at the road. "He's giving us this week off since he's just such a nice guy."
"Then why would he want to talk to you?" Jim asked, amusement obvious even though he wasn't looking at me. Damn twin brothers. You can't keep anything from them.
"Well… remember how yesterday when I got home from practice, I was kinda sweaty, gross, and—"
"Thoroughly pissed?" he asked with a smirk.
"Um… yeah, actually," I replied with a slight smile. "Anyway, long story short, Coach probably wants to talk to me about the thoroughly pissed part of it."
He snickered. Such a darling, isn't he? But he could kind of understand where I was coming from. We're both on the varsity soccer teams (although different teams because of the different genders issue). And while my coach may be a beastly, scary man, his coach is the vice principal. It doesn't get much scarier than that.
Almost as soon as we pulled into our usual parking spot at St. Frances Xavier Catholic High School, our car was surrounded by soccer players. Hot male soccer players, to be exact, but I can look past their attractiveness to see what idiots they truly are. Somehow, though, I love most of them anyway.
I climbed out of the car (which is technically an SUV, but who's talking specifics) and was about to tie my shoelace when suddenly, I found myself being picked up. "Lily!"
"Put her down, Code," Jim said, somewhere between protective and amused as he got out of the car too.
Cody Tanner laughed as he put me back on the ground. "Have a good summer?" he teased.
"Just because you're a beast doesn't mean you have to use it against me," I said, propping my foot up on the running board and bending over and resuming my task of tying my shoelace without giving much thought to it. A whistle behind me reminded me why I should never, ever do that. "Hi, Hunt," I said easily, straightening up.
"Now wait a minute," Cody said, frowning. "I pick you up, and you call me by my last name. He whistles at your ass and gets an abbreviated first name. Where's the justice?"
"He got my first kiss and you didn't," I said innocently, patting Cody on the cheek before heading towards the school building.
All the other boys (except Jim, who's just such a dear) 'oooh burn'ed at my comment. But hey, the truth hurts. Besides, Hunter was cuter. Not that I'm that kind of girl, you understand. It's just that Hunter was one of the two guys I had dated. Hunter and I remained friends and flirted often. (To be honest, I'm not even sure why Jim let him live.) Cody was just another one of my brother's many friends that took the open opportunity to flirt shamelessly with a girl who wouldn't become attached.
But whatever. On to more important things. Such as the fact that my best friend was currently chatting with a boy I somewhat recognized. I knew he had a twin brother, but I couldn't tell which one he was from where I was.
"Hey," I said cheerfully, joining the conversation.
"Hey!" Allie exclaimed brightly, hugging me like we hadn't seen each other all summer - when in reality, the last time we had seen each other was just two days prior. "Forrest is in our physics class too."
Ah, that was it. Forrest Sumter, the quieter of a pair of twins who both played hockey. His brother Grant was extremely loud and the definition of a hockey jock, only of the nicer breed. Forrest was the bookish, quieter one with a strange, hidden athletic ability. And yes, they are completely identical. Same height, same muscular build, same buzz cut hair (and for some reason, the look actually works for both of them). I was okay friends with Grant, but I rarely if ever talked to Forrest.
I smiled at him. "Cool. Seems like everyone is in our physics class."
He laughed slightly. "So I hear."
"By the way, you're skirt's crooked," Allie told me bluntly. I didn't care, I would have done the same for her… if I'd noticed.
I twisted it sharply so that the pleats fell correctly. Stupid uniform skirts. "Better?"
"Yeah," she said with a nod.
"Well, I guess I'll see you in class," Forrest said, smiling slightly.
"Okay," Allie said cheerfully. "See you then." She waited until he was out of ear shot to sigh happily. "He is so cute."
Okay, let me establish a few things right away. Allie and I? Pretty much complete opposites. Allie is loud and outgoing and constantly hyper. I can be loud with my friends, but I'm typically borderline bitch to people I don't know. Allie is trusting and loving and hugs everyone the first time she meets them. I never trust anyone except my brothers and Allie (and a few cousins), and Allie is constantly complaining that I'm so unaffectionate I should've been born a boy. She spends every moment of every day bouncing off the walls and running around doing things with large groups of people. I could spend half my day doing nothing but reading a book if everyone would leave me alone long enough to do it (granted, this was as long as I spent the other half of the day playing soccer).
Allie plays lacrosse, I play soccer. She's a math whiz and can't stand anything to do with history, I look at math and consider death while history class makes me happy. She has almost blonde hair, although she would spend all day arguing with you that it's brown, and blue eyes. I have black hair and green eyes.
We form the opposite ends of the spectrum.
So why are we friends, you ask? Well, my mom summed it up this way: Allie is the color yellow, and I'm the color blue. They're two completely different colors, but it takes both of them to make green.
My mom has a minor in psychology. She likes to make use of it whenever possible. But I think you get what I'm trying to say here, right?
"Your accent is thicker than usual," Allie informed me as she linked arms with me and the two of us headed into school. "Why is that?"
"Mom and Rus were yelling at each other last night," I said easily, shrugging. "Besides, it's always thicker when I'm tired or stressed or whatever."
"Are you tired or are you stressed or are you whatever?" she asked.
"Kind of tired. Mostly whatever."
"Hm. Well, I have it on good terms that there is a new and fairly attractive senior boy joining our school this year," Allie informed me, giving me the please-ask-me-how-I-know-that-I-dare-you look.
I took the bait. "And how do you know that, oh great one?"
"Because, my darling Lily, I have strange connections that lead to even stranger connections that lead to successes and information."
"Well then, your source can't be very reliable when it comes to how attractive he is."
Allie rolled her eyes dramatically. "That's not the point, Lils. The point is that there will be a new guy in this school. He may or may not be attractive, but the added bonus for you is that he hasn't grown up with your brother and therefore does not know what danger he may or may not be placing himself in by being attracted to you."
I laughed. "Jay isn't that scary."
"Yeah, uh-huh. That's why you haven't been asked out since freshman year." I laughed slightly, trying to ignore any kind of tension I felt. Allie noticed almost immediately and quickly changed the subject. "So who's your homeroom? I forgot to ask about that. I mean, I know we won't be in the same room because life just completely sucks that way, but I am worried about how decent your homeroom teacher is, seeing as you're my best friend and all."
I managed a laugh for her sake. "Who says we won't be in the same homeroom?"
"Um, Lils? We're never in the same homeroom."
"We could be." She shot me a look, making me smile. "Okay, okay. Bensen."
"See?" she said dramatically, pulling me to a stop in front of her locker. "I have Smith. I told you we never have the same homeroom. Four years running now."
I rolled my eyes, leaning back against the locker next to hers. "We still have tons of classes together, so it's not really a big deal or anything."
"Yeah, I guess. Who does Jim have?"
"Dunno. He probably told me, but I don't remember. I was kind of busy kicking a stupid ball around all summer."
"Such violence for someone that kicks hella ass at practice every day," Jessica Brooke teased as she joined the two of us. Jessi was on the soccer team too, so she would know about my habits at practice from first hand experience.
"And you could always switch to lacrosse if soccer is kicking your ass too much," Allie said innocently.
"No thank you," I said cheerfully. "Am I in your way, Jess?"
"Probably," she said, grinning. "Feel better than you did when you left practice yesterday?" I scowled, making her laugh. "That's okay, I would have wanted to take her out too. I'm actually impressed that you didn't do anything worse than a bruise. I probably would have broken her leg."
"If I had seen her flirting with Rus before practice was over, I probably would have," I admitted.
"Was Sara flirting with your brother again?" Allie asked, sounding surprised.
I rolled my eyes. "Who else does she have to flirt with than my brothers?"
"She could always flirt with me," Grant Sumter said, sidling up next to us out of, literally, no where. Or, at least, I assumed it was Grant. Forrest probably wouldn't have been that straight forward. And, yes, I know what you're thinking. As a twin myself, I should be able to tell other sets of twins apart. But there's no problem with me being called my brother's name, so I've never had to personally suffer from being a twin. I mean, I'm not the prettiest girl in the school by any stretch, but I like to think that I certainly don't look like a man. "Who are we talking about again?"
"Good morning, Grant," Jessi said cheerfully. "Have a nice summer?"
"Decent," he said with an easy going shrug. "Family went back and visited the homeland once again, and we all pretended to be deeply touched by the wonders of Charleston, South Carolina. But seriously. Who did I just volunteer to flirt with?"
"Does it matter?" I asked a little wryly.
He shrugged, grinning. "Not really. As long as I'm dragging a girl from the crowd of adoring fans that always worship the soccer pussies, I consider it a success." His grin told me he knew which part of his comment was making me give him a look, but he didn't say anything further. "Move a bit to the left, could you, Lily? Thanks."
"Sara Meacham," I said, not being able to fully keep the smile out of my face. "And you watch it about making fun of the soccer players."
"Oh, live a little," Grant said easily, plopping down on the floor and spinning his combination into the locker. "Just because you're a soccer player doesn't mean you have to be in love with the guys that play soccer. You could always go for a hoc—basketball player. You know. Just saying. Take Allie here, for example. Just this morning, she decided to branch out past her confined reaches of soccer player association and talk to my brother. And she's still alive, isn't she?"
"Only because I was talking to your brother and not you," Allie said easily, slamming her locker closed. "Do you need to go to your locker, Lils?"
I nodded before turning to Jessi. "Catch up later, okay?"
"Alright, I'll see you," she said, giving me a brief smile.
"I'll be sure to flirt with Sara as much as humanly possible," Grant said mock seriously, saluting me in the process.
"Bye, Grant," Allie and I said in unison before going on down the hall towards my locker. Lockers were chosen randomly, like homeroom, so even though Allie and I weren't that far apart alphabetically (Freck and Fawkes, respectively), I was on the opposite end of the senior hallway.
"You know, they're both really cute, but Forrest is more my type, don'tcha think?" Allie asked me cheerfully as I opened my locker.
"Definitely," I agreed. "You and Grant are both really outgoing, so you really wouldn't work together well." She nodded even though we both knew I was just repeating advice I had heard her give to other people. Allie is, well, pretty damn amazing when it comes to giving advice. If our newspaper had an advice column, it would definitely belong to her. My advice giving abilities are limited to what I've heard her tell other people and what I've learned from living with two brothers. "Besides, he was encouraging me to date basketball players."
Allie laughed. "Oh, the horrors of even thinking to ever date a basketball player!" I shot her a dry look, making her laugh again. "Oh, come on, Lils. Not all basketball players are bad."
"Oh, I have no personal problem with basketball players or baseball players or even – gasp! – hockey players. It's just their sports I can't stand. Yuck."
"Pish posh apple sauce," Allie said, waving her hand. "You're just afraid to venture out of your comfort zone. Besides, you like hockey well enough."
"I wasn't actually referring to hockey in that statement." I grinned. "And to have a comfort zone, you have to actually date." She laughed in agreement as Jim and a couple of the other soccer boys came over to join us. Well, not join us exactly; Jim just needed to get into his locker and it was (conveniently) right next to mine.
"Hey, twinlet, did Mom give you money?" Jim asked. "For lunch," he added in answer to my mild confusion. "Hi, Allie." She smiled at him in greeting.
"Oh. Yeah. Hold on a sec." I closed my locker and bent over to rifle through my backpack. "You only get one whistle per day, Hunter," I added in after thought. When I straightened to hand the money to Jim, Hunter was pouting rather pathetically.
"Only one whistle per day? That's not fair, especially if you keep bending over like that."
"You can't see anything, dumb ass," I said, still smiling slightly despite his idiocy.
"I know that, but I like to use my imagination," he said, grinning cheerfully. He dodged a swipe at his head from Jim, laughing slightly. "Dude, she's smiling. See? No harm done."
"I know, but that was more than I needed to know about what goes on in your mind when you look at my sister," Jim said, making a face of disgust.
"Well, you already knew Tanner was thinking it, I just said it first."
"He's got a point," Cody piped up, grinning.
"This is quickly becoming a slightly awkward conversation," I said, raising an eyebrow at the pair of boys grinning at my brother innocently.
"Agreed," Jim said quickly. I opened my mouth to ask him something, but he filled in the answer before I could even say anything. "Smith. I didn't think you were paying attention when I told you last night." I nodded. We're twins, we sometimes have moments where we know exactly what the other one is going to say before they say it.
"That's who I have," Allie piped up.
"Really? Cool." He might have said more, but a loud bell interrupted him. He slammed his locker closed with a sigh before looking to me. "You ready for this?"
"For my senior year? The beginning of the end?" I asked cheerfully. "Hell yeah."
Heh, funny connection Grant and Forrest Sumter's names. First person to figure it out wins a cookie. A hypothetical cookie, that is, because I don't know how to send edible cookies over email yet. I'll give you a hint: Grant made a reference to it while talking about his summer. It only made me laugh because I'm a nerd.
I don't think anyone can possibly understand how badly I wanted to name this story Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining. But that seemed a little wordy. Hm. Maybe a chapter title later on.