Author: worthwritingfor PM
Ali's trying to convince everyone she's not anorexic, and failing. Xavier lights a cigarette whenever he thinks of his dad, thus damaging his health. She gave him a ride home. That was only the beginning. HIATUS.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Chapters: 11 - Words: 22,723 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 02-05-13 - Published: 11-02-12 - id: 3070839
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
My brother was downstairs with a fruit basket, waiting for me. I knew that it wasn't for me – it was mostly full of blueberries –, so I raised my eyebrows.
"Please tell me those are just peas holding their breath," I said to Ian, grabbing my bag off the chair and shouldering it.
My brother rolled his eyes. "Okay, for one, blueberries don't even look like peas."
Uh, yeah. They do.
"You know how sick those make me!" I said. "Get them out of here before you have to rush me to the hospital."
"Relax, Ali," he said, standing up from his spot on the stool. "It's only if you eat them. And besides, these are for the neighbors."
I cocked an eyebrow. "Uh, unless you're talking about the carnivorous Jenkins' across the street, then I'm guessing we moved overnight."
Ian jerked his head over to the kitchen window. I looked through it and found myself staring at the retreating form of a moving van. A family of four stood out in the front yard of the house next to ours, admiring the sheer size of it.
"I bet the new neighbors like blueberries," Ian said, taking one from the fruit basket and popping it in his mouth.
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, well, go ahead and find out. I gotta get to school."
"See you," he said, moving over to the kitchen. He dug in the fridge for some breakfast while I exited the house.
The neighboring family was one of a mom, a dad, a son, and a daughter. The son seemed to be around my age while the daughter was only around ten. I sighed; the epitome of a perfect family.
I got into my black car and pulled out of the driveway, stopping by the mailbox. I took a deep breath and rolled down the window, opening it up.
"Bills, bills," I muttered, moving each useless letter I came across to the back of the stack. I didn't find anything really personal, so I stuffed the mail back in the box and drove off, trying to keep my anger under control. I didn't need another speeding ticket.
I found a parking spot easily. I got out of my car and shifted my bag on my shoulder. My best friend, Elle, ran over to me.
"Ali!" she exclaimed, throwing her arms around me and engulfing me in a suffocating hug. I patted her back awkwardly.
"Elle," I said with false enthusiasm.
She pulled back, her brow creased. "What'd you get in the mail?"
I slammed my car door, aggravated. "Nothing, that's the point," I said. I dragged Elle into the school courtyard and sat us down on the grass.
"I'm sorry," she said sincerely. "I'm sure your parents will write soon."
I sighed, running a hand through my black hair. "I seriously doubt it, but thanks for the optimism."
I suppressed a groan, settling for an eye roll.
"Ignore them," Elle said, folding her arms over her knees. "They're just jealous because their last name isn't named after a fruit." She winked jokingly.
I felt something hit the side of my head. It fell to the ground and I picked it up, examined it, and then threw it roughly back at my tormenter. It was a blueberry.
Shannon Bailey, resident bully, had been the bane of my existence ever since I was twelve and moved to this little town. She found out about my blueberry allergies on my first day, when I'd accidently eaten them from a fruit cup I'd gotten at lunch. She found my choking hilarious and decided that it was her personal mission to practically kill me. Actually, I don't think she knows blueberries could hurt me that bad; she just wanted a good laugh.
What's worse is that everybody actually liked her. Either that or be tormented as well. She had a boyfriend, Craig, who handled all of the boys, keeping them in a nonexistent line. He intimidated everyone but the really popular kids. Same went for Shannon. They'd just get bullied by them like they did us.
"Let's get to class," Elle said, before they could throw anymore blueberries. I nodded and followed her inside.
The halls of Millington High were busy and loud. You were either talking with a friend, studying last minute for a test, or spreading the next vicious rumor that everyone would undoubtedly believe. If not, then you were practically an outsider. That's how things worked around here.
Elle and I stopped, turning to face the boy running up to us. He was a junior with the biggest crush on me, but he didn't know I knew about it.
"Danny," I said, forcing a smile. "How are you?"
He grinned back up at me. I was about two inches taller. "I'm great! And you?"
I shrugged, waving my hand dismissively. "Can't complain."
"Got that right," he said, and then suddenly looked nervous. "Uh, anyway. I was wondering..."
I averted my eyes. Here we go again.
"Do you have a date to prom yet?" he asked, hope gleaming in his pale blue eyes.
I held back a grimace.
"Um, listen, Danny…" I trailed off, taking a deep breath and closing my eyes momentarily. I opened them and gave him a hopefully convincing apologetic smile. "I'm just…keeping my options open. You understand that, right?"
The little light in his eyes diminished. "Uh, yeah, I guess." He shifted on his feet. "I better get to class." He hurried away.
"Is it wrong I feel guilty?" I asked Elle, giving in to a frown.
She tried to play it off. "Nah, Danny just needs to take a hint. 'S not your fault you have higher standards."
She started walking back to our first period class. I scoffed and jogged to catch up with her. "Since when do I have standards?"
"Uh, since you turned down that cute new boy a couple years back?"
I scoffed again. "He was a sleaze. What, did you want me to just go out with some shady guy who flirted with everything that breathed?"
She held up a hand defensively. "I'm just saying. You could give someone a chance sometime. You never know" – she gave me another wink – "you may just find the love of your life."
I scoffed for the third time that day.
My friend Eli and I made our way to our regular lunch table, carrying identical orange trays. We sat down across from Elle and our other friend, Abigail, who were having a contest on who could jug Gatorade the fastest.
"Freaks," I muttered, but smiled nonetheless.
Abi finished first, smirking in victory. She munched on a French fry while Elle pouted, staring at the quarter left of her blue sugared drink with animosity.
I put ketchup on my burger but didn't bite into it. Eli looked out the wall-length window to our right.
"It's gonna rain," he sang, his brown eyes crinkling. "Oh, how lovely are thee."
I rolled my eyes. "We are not in Drama class, Eli; you can stop with all that poetry crap."
He gasped, his dark-skinned hand flying to his chest. "I am deeply offended."
Abi flipped her blonde hair over her shoulder. "People these days have no appreciation for the arts," she said, throwing a pointed glance my way. Then her eyes widened suddenly. "Dang, he is cute."
I cocked an eyebrow and turned around in my seat. All I saw was a boy with a tray, looking around the room for a place to sit. I frowned. He seemed awfully familiar.
"Semi-cute," Elle corrected. "He's only one hundred percent cute if he's got a nice personality."
I rolled my eyes and picked at my burger. It was getting cold but I didn't care. "Don't victimize him," I told Abi. "Look at 'em; he's new."
"Not new enough," she said. "Look where he's headed."
I turned again and nearly gasped with surprise. He wasn't.
Normally new kids headed for the least intimidating table they could see. But, on rare occasion, some ventured over to the "popular table," the table reserved for the prettiest and flirtiest seniors in the school. I guess this kid never got the memo; you gotta work your way up to that level.
But then I saw her.
Blaire Banks, the supposed "hottest" girl in school. She was always single, never staying in a relationship for too long, and had no tolerance for people outside of her group – also known as every person who didn't live in an expensive mansion or owned a fancy sports car.
Her rich daddy was my brother's boss, so I wasn't allowed to be too mean to her.
"Guess she reeled him in faster than Abi could," Elle observed, chewing on a celery stick.
I turned back to my friends. "She always does."
My burger was now officially cold, so I pushed it away and leaned back in my seat.
"Ali?" I looked up at Elle. "Aren't you gonna eat that?"
I looked at my meal with sudden distaste. "I'm not that hungry."
"Come on, Al," Abi said. "You're a twig, you need to eat."
"I am not a twig!"
Eli took my burger from my tray, not caring about my whole lack of appetite one bit. "More for moi."
I averted my eyes from Elle's suspicious stares, looking out the window until next period.
It was raining, just like Eli's prediction. I rushed my car with my calculus notebook over my head, quickly unlocking it and getting inside. I felt bad for whoever was walking home.
I pulled out of the school parking lot and started dreading getting home. I slowed down as I drove alongside the sidewalk, deciding to blame the rain today.
Something caught my eye out the passenger side window. It was a boy, walking in the rain and smoking. I was sure he went to my school. He carried a backpack and was on the courtyard sidewalk. I sighed heavily. Curse my good conscious.
I stopped beside the boy and rolled down the passenger window, leaning over in the seat so I could see him better.
"Hey!" I called through the downpour. He stopped and turned to me, surprised. "Need a ride?" I asked.
I saw him raise both his eyebrows, as if he wasn't used to nice people.
"Uh, I'm good," he replied. He took a long drag from his cigarette and continued walking.
I sighed again; stubborn boy. No wonder I didn't know him.
"Get in the car!" I said. "I can give you a ride."
He seemed to be contemplating it now, and I resisted the urge to smile. I could be so persistent when I wanted to be.
He threw the cigarette on the ground and smashed it with the toe of his shoe before opening the car door. He didn't get in, though.
"I'll get the seats wet," he said.
I shrugged. "'S only water. Come on."
He hesitated before getting in the car and shutting the door. He seemed to be less cold, at least.
Then I realized he was the new boy.
"Address?" I asked as I started driving again. So much for a slow ride.
He told me, and I frowned.
"Well, now I know why you look familiar," I said.
He cocked an eyebrow. "Why do I?"
"You're my new neighbor." I smiled. "I'm Alison, but you can call me Ali."
"Xavier," he said, green eyes sparkling. Abi was right; he was cute.
"Your…brother brought us a fruit basket," he remembered.
I nodded, chuckling.
I thought about mentioning how smoking could seriously damage his lungs, but decided against it. His life wasn't mine to live.
"How was your first day?" I asked him.
"You sound like my mom," he said, smirking to let me know that he was joking.
I frowned. "Really?"
"Yeah." He furrowed his brow. "Doesn't your mom do that?"
"Uh…" I cleared my throat. "No, she's not that…type." Were there even types of mothers? I didn't think so.
Way to make things awkward, Al, I chided myself.
"You never answered my question," I said, glancing at Xavier again.
"About my first day?"
He hesitated. "It was…eventful," he said.
"How so?" I asked curiously.
"Well, this girl, Blaire, kind of asked me out."
I choked on my spit.
Xavier's eyes widened. "Are you okay?"
I calmed down, nodding. "Yeah, I'm fine." I cleared my throat. "It's just… What did you say?"
He snorted. "No, of course. I mean, come on. It's my first day."
I rolled my eyes. "Blaire doesn't get the concept of time to form actual feelings. She dives right in." I winked at him. "She must've thought you were cute."
He smirked, and I suddenly got the feeling I've inflated his ego.
I stopped outside of his house.
"Thanks for the ride," he said, getting out of the car.
"No problem," I replied. He shut my door, gave me a little wave, and ran into his house, trying to avoid the rain. I pulled into my driveway and rushed inside as well.
Okay, so this is the filler story I promised my Sticks and Stones readers. And if you aren't one of those readers, then this is just any other story that's caught your attention. :)
On this story, I'll update every Friday. Um, follow me on Formspring, too! The link is on my profile. Ask me stuff!
Review and tell me what you think! :)
© 2012 by worthwritingfor. All rights reserved.