|What If We
Author: waterlily314 PM
Anna Carlisle has the perfect plan to make her best friend, Jackson Hastings, fall in love with her... or does she?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Words: 3,759 - Favs: 1 - Published: 06-18-12 - id: 3033533
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Okay, here's the deal... I started You Belong With Me, and it was originally a Twilight fanfic on my fanfic account. My friends really liked it and said that I should publish it on fiction press as its own story. So I went ahead and did that, but then something in my head just told me: Hey! You're doing it wrong! So I stopped, because I loved Anna, but I didn't love her story; it was so so so predictable and I was bored. So I gave it some thought, and another idea popped into my head. This is a completely new story. Some names are the same, some aren't.
I apologize to those of you who really liked my other story, but if you really want to read it (all five chapters of it) it's on my fanfic account (same username). I hope you like this one, I see it continuing for a while!
"Anna, you're a life saver, I honestly don't know what'd I'd without you," Jackson said, smiling from his seat in front of me. I reached out to hand him my math homework, grinning back at him.
"Oh shush," I blushed at his words. The boy always knew exactly what to say to get my heart thumping. I could feel it now, pounding erratically in my chest as I took in his floppy, honey-blonde hair and cerulean blue eyes. He was gorgeous, so gorgeous it hurt. The familiar ache that accompanied every conversation with Jackson was now making itself known; it went hand in hand with the quasi heart attack he induced.
"It's true, Anna, don't shush me," he grinned, "I'd be lost without you, and that's a fact." He took the paper from my hands and winked before turning back around in his seat. My wildly beating heart skipped a step in its dance routine; one wink and he damn near killed me.
I put my hands up to my face to feel the heated flush that seemed to have taken up permanent residence across my cheeks. I rubbed my temples in the process to clear my thoughts; talking to Jackson tended to leave my mind all foggy. Frankly, it was a small miracle I was still able to form coherent thoughts around him.
Then again, we'd been best friends since the sixth grade, so after six years, I'd had a bit of practice. I even liked to think that I had gotten quite good at it, balancing my crippling adoration with the typical duties of a best friend. At the very least, I must've been doing okay considering he still hadn't noticed my feelings for him.
I looked down at the stack of papers in front of me and began to sort them, needing a distraction from all of the Jackson related thoughts swirling around my mind. I looked over at Luce, hoping to ask her what she got for number seven, a problem that had given me trouble for a good half hour. Instead, I was met with a look I knew all too well. Her face was sporting the common expression of barely veiled disdain she reserved especially for me whenever she caught a snippet of a conversation with Jackson.
I sighed, "Luce, please don't start."
"Anna, why do you continue to do this to yourself?" she asked.
"Do what, Luce? I'm just giving him the answers, I'd do it for you," I pointed out. Why did she always have to give me a hard time? It was bad enough being in love with a guy who didn't even give you a second thought, I didn't need the added burden of judgment from Luce too.
"He's using you Anna, and if you can't see that, then you're delusional," Luce said quietly.
"Using me how? We're best friends, this is what friends do for each other," I persisted, unwilling to lose yet another one of these arguments. "Just drop it, Luce, okay? I'm done talking about it," I said. Don't get me wrong, I loved Luce, and I wasn't really irritated with her, I was just tired of being reminded on a daily basis of how hopeless my situation was.
I focused once more on the papers in front of me, attempting to block out the many mumbled side comments coming from Luce's direction. School was always a great way to keep myself from dwelling on the many thoughts of Jackson that ran through my brain, and I often turned to studying whenever I needed to escape. I'd studied so much over the years that I'd built up quite the GPA by the end of my junior year. According to my dad there was no way Princeton wouldn't take me
"You're a bright kid, Anna," he'd say, "you're really gonna go places." I'd smile and nod with the occasional "Thanks, dad," but deep down my heart wasn't in it. The truth was, I didn't want to go to Princeton, I wasn't even sure I wanted to go to college at all. If I had my way, I'd go to art school, but Princeton was "our dream," and I couldn't be a wildly successfully surgeon if I was off playing finger paints and ceramics.
Not to mention, I didn't have the heart to tell my dad, he'd done so much to make sure I'd have a better future than what we had right now. When I brought home my first report card, full of "A's," he ran out to the bank and set up a college fund for me. The next morning he was circling the paper, looking for a second job. "Anything for my Anna," he'd say, and I'd smile and give him a hug, positive there was no better dad out there.
He did it all alone, too.
My mom walked out on us when I was ten years old; she couldn't stand the thought of only being a mechanic's wife for the rest of her life. It nearly killed my dad, he'd tried so hard to make her happy, and she had just tossed us aside like we were trash.
I still remember the day she packed up her ratty, black suitcase, promising she'd call me when she got to Aunt Emily's. I never got the call, and that was something I was perfectly fine with. I was happy she was gone; if she couldn't see how wonderful my dad was then she didn't deserve to be in his life. I didn't even consider how my life would change; I only cared about him. My dad saw things differently; he felt like a failure, like it was his fault I didn't have a mother anymore.
The first couple of years were pretty rough, hitting puberty with only your dad around isn't the most ideal situation, but I wouldn't change it for the world. He drove to soccer practice and art class; never once did I miss a practice or lesson. He was always there at dinner, ready to talk about my day, he even knew about my feelings for Jackson, that's how comfortable I was with him. I could tell him everything; everything except I didn't want to go to Princeton.
Luce thought I was a coward; she said that my dad would love and support me no matter what I chose to do, and I knew she was right. My dad would never hold the choice of art school against me; the problem was that I would hold it against myself. I didn't want to be the one to tell him all of his hard work had been for nothing; the two jobs, the many summers at med camp, all of it down the drain. Nope, I wouldn't do it. I couldn't do it.
"Hey Anna, are you sure number seven is right?" Jackson's question brought me out of my thoughts. I looked up from my papers to meet his gaze.
"Um, I'm not sure, to be honest," I started, "that one gave me a lot of trouble." Probably because I was thinking about you, again, I thought to myself.
"That's okay, I'll ask Melanie," he said, and with that he got up from his seat and sauntered over to a beautiful blonde in the front row. My heart twisted in my chest, and I felt myself blanch at the thought of…Melanie.
Everyone who had half a brain stem knew that if you wanted help with a math problem you didn't go to Melanie Bridges. Melanie wasn't really an expert on derivatives or polynomials, or even basic addition for that matter. She was more of a, "What color should I paint my nails for prom?" kind of girl, or a "Do you think I should sleep with him on the first date?" expert.
Hence my reaction to Melanie; I knew Jackson's current conversation with her was not at all about Calculus. I watched her twirl her hair around her index finger and giggle as Jackson said something to her. He had his signature crooked grin on his face, you know, the kind of grin that makes any girl within a fifty-foot radius of it stop and sigh. It's the kind of smile you fall in love with, I would know. Been there, done that, I thought to myself.
"No it's okay I'll ask Melanie," Luce mimicked, her voice all pinched with disgust.
"Luce," I warned, quietly.
She ignored me, "Oh hey, Melanie, can I ask what you got for number seven, and while I'm at it, do you mind if I shove my dick down your throat?"
"Jesus, Luce," I whispered sharply, "that was vulgar, even for you." She just smirked at me.
"You and I both know that little exchange," she said, pointing at the two of them, "has nothing to do with math." She looked down at her own homework, "Unless he's keeping track of how many times she's said, 'Oh my God, Jackson.' Counting constitutes math, right?" she asked me, her eyes wide and innocent.
I turned away from her, trying to hide the smirk that was creeping across my face. As much as I hated how much Luce despised Jackson, her side comments did make me laugh. I didn't want her to have the satisfaction of knowing that, so I typically feigned annoyance, something we both knew was total bull.
I heard the classroom door open, and in walked Mrs. McAllister, followed by her usual cloud of hairspray and the sound of fluttering papers. I eyed her as she walked to the front of the room; she had a mile long run in her stockings and two or three pencils sticking out of the messy bun piled on top of her head. Anyone who didn't know Mrs. M. might think she was a total basket case, and sometimes she was. She was also the best teacher I'd ever had.
I'd had her the past two years, first with Pre-Calculus, and now AP Calculus; I was thrilled to discover that I'd have her again at the beginning of the week when we had all first gotten our senior year schedules. Most people were less than happy, some I'd say downright miserable, a category Luce fit into nicely. I guess I couldn't blame them, homework the second day of classes was a bit of a wake up call for some, but for those of us who were "Ivy bound," not so much.
"Okay, people, homework out! You know the drill, pass it to the end of the row, and then up to the front," Mrs. M. called out, plopping her papers on her desk before turning to the board. She picked up the chalk and launched right into the day's lesson: integrals. I looked to Jackson who caught my eye and waved my homework in the air. He made a show of putting it into the pile to be graded, and I smiled my thanks.
"Integrals," Mrs. M. said, "what do we know?" She waited patiently for someone to raise his or her hand. No one did. I sighed and started to lift my own in the air when the door to the room opened with a long squeak. I turned around, hand partially raised to see who it was, and my eyes were met with a mop of unruly dark hair and a brightly colored "Rugrats" t –shirt.
Andrew Davis waltzed into the room and sat himself in the back row. He was the picture of nonchalance, lounging in the seat, nothing on the desk in front of him.
"Mr. Davis, so nice of you to join us," Mrs. M. drawled, a smirk on her face, "please, feel free to get out your homework."
"Oh yeah, that," Andrew said, scratching his head, a goofy grin on his face. "Funny story, I actually don't have it. But," he held up his hands in front of him, building the suspense, "what I do have is a kick-ass-"
"Mr. Davis," Mrs. M. warned.
"Sorry, kick-butt, explanation," he finished with a smile.
Mrs. M. smiled knowingly from the front of the room. She crossed her arms over her chest, chalk still in her hand, "Okay, Mr. Davis, you can tell me about it after school today, in detention."
Andrew kept on grinning. He got up from his seat and bowed deeply, earning a bunch of giggles from around the room. "With pleasure, Mrs. M. You know how I look forward to our weekly after school dates," he replied before sitting back down in his seat. Mrs. M. just laughed and turned back to the board, resuming the lesson.
I furrowed my brow with confusion, and turned back around in my seat. Andrew Davis was a puzzle, if I had ever met one. He took all of the advanced placement and honors courses available to him, and then didn't complete the assignments.
It was a miracle he was even on track to graduate, academics apparently were not his strong suit. What he was quite good at though was providing the class with live entertainment on a daily basis. Everyday he'd walk in with some insane excuse as to why he didn't do the work from the day before, and if he couldn't give his excuse, he'd find another way to extract a round of laughs from the class.
I turned back around to look at him, and he caught my eye. He waggled his eyebrows, causing me to whip my head back around. My cheeks flushed with embarrassment; I never knew how to handle attention from the opposite sex, as if that wasn't painfully obvious already. Luce saw me hiding my face with hair, and fixed me with a stare.
"What's up?" she mouthed, knowing better than to talk in this class. I shook my head to reply nothing and focused my attention back to the board. My eyes flitted to Jackson's blonde head, as if on instinct, and I felt myself start to get lost in thought.
Sometimes I wished I could be more like the Melanie Bridges of the world, content with being vapid so long as they attracted attention from boys like Jackson. It would be easier, that's for sure, to focus on the simplicities of being a girl as opposed to the thoughts of longing that ran through my brain.
The problem was I wasn't that kind of girl now, and I was never going to be. That was something I had to get used to, fast. I didn't have time to worry about boys, and clothes, and make-up, and who was hooking up with whom behind the athletic equipment shed. I was too busy being the brain. I sighed at the thought; good-girl Anna Carlisle, first in her class, and last in the heart of the male population at Woodrow Wilson High.
"Anna!" Mrs. M. snapped. I whipped my head up from behind the auburn curtain I had camouflaged myself with.
"Y-yes?" I stammered.
"Are you with us, dear?" she eyed me with concern; it wasn't typical that I lost my focus in class.
I cleared my throat, "Yes, I'm sorry, what was your question?" My face burned, and I avoided eye contact with Luce and Jackson.
"I asked what the bounds would be in this situation?" Mrs. M. questioned.
I studied the problem on the board before replying with ease: "Zero to four." She nodded that I was correct and turned her attention back to the board. I exhaled with relief. Get it together, Anna.
I paid attention for the rest of the period, taking notes with extreme detail; I wasn't going to slip up twice in one day. Finally, after what felt like forever, the bell rang, and we all jumped from our seats. I gathered up my papers and lingered slightly, hoping to walk out with Jackson.
"Okay everyone, page two fifty-four, problems thirteen through thirty, due tomorrow," Mrs. M.'s voice rang out over the room, and a collective groan responded back. Looked like I wasn't doing anything except homework tonight. This was the fourth assignment I had gotten that day, and it was by no means the smallest.
"Hey Anna, wanna work on the homework together tonight?" Luce asked. I smirked, knowing exactly what her invitation meant: I'd be doing the homework and Luce would be flipping through the channels, most likely settling on some reality TV trash.
"Yay!" She clapped her hands, "It's a date."
"What's a date?" Jackson interrupted. Luce's grin immediately disappeared and she grumbled some unintelligible response.
I smiled brightly at him, "Luce and I are just studying tonight, that's all."
"Oh, can I come?" he asked.
"Yes!" I said, at the same time Luce said, "No!" I glared at her, mouthing: "Be nice!" She stuck out her tongue in reply, always the mature one.
"You might want to be a little nicer to me, Miss Collins," he said to Luce, "after all, I've scored you two an invite to the party of the year this Friday." He grinned at me, waiting for some kind of response. All I could think was, Ugh, a party. Instead of saying that, I planted a fake smile on my face.
"Wow, Jax, thanks!" I tried to keep my tone bright and carefree. This is what normal girls do, Anna, I scolded myself, they go to parties, and flirt with boys, and sip lukewarm beer. I shuddered at the thought.
"Yes, thank you, your highness, for gracing us with an invitation to the most coveted event of the season." Luce mocked. "Might I ask if there will be ale and spirits there," she continued, "or perhaps strippers? Surely there will be strippers, considering how classy all of your parties are?"
She laughed at her own joke, and I hid a giggle behind my palm. Luce was so confident; I'd never have the balls to speak my mind like that. We'd been best friends for twelve years now, you'd think some of it would rub off on me, but no dice.
"Do you mean, like, alcohol?" Jackson asked.
Luce rolled her eyes, "Excuse me, please, my brain cells are insisting I leave before more of them continue to suffer." She rushed into the hall and out of my sights. Jackson turned to me, a disgusted look on his face.
"I don't get why you hang out with her, Anna, she's so…weird," he finished.
"Jax," I started.
"No, no, I get it. Best friends forever and all that bull," he replied. I frowned; it was actually more than that. Luce was the only person I could be completely open and honest with, besides my dad. Even she had him beat in some categories, considering I could tell her about my dreams of being an artist.
I ignored Jackson's comment and dug around in my bag for my agenda book. My hand rummaged around some more, but I couldn't seem to find it.
"Crap," I muttered, "I gotta go back to the room, can you wait for me? I forgot something." I asked him.
"Ugh, Anna," he whined, "Come on, I wanna get a good seat in lunch." AKA "I want to get a seat by Melanie." I rolled my eyes.
"Go ahead, I'll catch up with you later," I said.
"Are you sure?" He asked, and I nodded my head yes. I turned my back and scurried in the direction of Mrs. M.'s room, coming to a halt in front of her door, which was cracked slightly. I heard voices inside; not wanting to barge in on an important conversation I stopped, choosing instead to eavesdrop.
"You know, no one would hold it against you if you chose to hand in your homework with everyone else." I heard Mrs. M. say to someone.
"I know," that someone replied, "but I've got a reputation to uphold, Mrs. M. Can't go giving them the wrong idea about me."
Mrs. M. laughed, "Okay, Andrew, mum's the word."
Andrew? Andrew Davis? I asked myself. Andrew Davis was handing his homework in after class, to uphold his reputation… as what? Most likely class doofus, I answered myself. Hmm. Weird.
I backed away from the door, suddenly not wanting to face the inhabitants of the room. I could get my agenda book tomorrow; I always kept a double copy of my assignments in my notebooks.
I turned on my heel quickly, hoping to avoid Andrew; God forbid, he knew I had been listening, that would be one awkward encounter. Instead, I clutched my books to my chest and walked off to lunch, wondering what it was that I had just heard? Well, I now knew one thing for certain: there was a lot more to Andrew Davis than I had originally thought.