|Some Call it a Cliché
Author: The Fast Lane PM
"What was that! You're my brother's best friend! You can't just kiss me like that, it's WRONG!"Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 2 - Words: 7,205 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 01-07-13 - Published: 01-01-13 - id: 3088201
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
.o2. First Kiss
"Noeeel!" I exclaimed with false joy, throwing myself into the empty chair next to the biggest Physics nerd to ever walk the halls of Willow Creek.
Said nerd jumped slightly at my abrupt appearance, peering at me through tiny spectacles. "K-Kelsey?"
"The one and only! Hey, I was just wondering if you ever finished that God awful Physics review today?" I asked, quickly scanning the kids at the table – and seeing my objective, Layton, discretely peering at me over the rim of his blue Gatorade bottle – before settling once again on my pimply, Physics desk neighbor.
"Um, I- Uh." Noel Chambers-Leonard was probably the worst excuse to come to Layton's lunch table, seeing as he was hands down the most socially awkward person I'd ever met. But I didn't know anyone else here and Noel was nice enough despite his lack of social skills.
He muttered under his breath and I strained to hear him. "Pardon? What was that?"
"Uh, ah, yeah," he fumbled around in his bag for a minute before coming up with said review, completely finished. "Here."
I snatched it out of his hands. "Wow, thanks." I looked through it, not really seeing it. "I can't believe you have it all done. When'd you finish?"
"A-actually, I, uh, asked if you w-wanted to copy it today in, in class." he mumbled, not meeting my eyes.
Oh, dang. I inwardly cringed. "Oh, you did, didn't you?" I smacked my forehead lightly with his review that I still held in my hand. "Sorry about that. I'm always so zonked out by the time fourth period rolls around." I said, biting the inside of my cheek.
Noel gave a small shrug in reply, before stacking up his trash, which wasn't much; just a half eaten salami sandwich with no crust and a banana. He stood to his full height of 6'3, tray in hand, and headed for the nearest trashcan.
"Noel plays basketball, right?" I asked out loud, to no one in particular.
"Sure does," George Ramirez, a JV basketball player who also happens to be in my Physics class, said. "Best post on the team. Wouldn't believe it, but it's true."
I nodded. "I believe it." I looked at Layton and found that he was still looking at me, and not so discretely this time. "Hey there, Layton," I smiled and half waved at him.
A slow smile tugs at the corners of his mouth. "Hey there yourself. How was your weekend?"
"Fast," I said, resting my head on my hand.
"Yeah," he said, using his hand to brush away his hair that had fallen into his jade eyes. "Think a lot?"
I stiffened slightly. Last Friday night, in his mustang, Layton had asked me if I'd wanted to go steady. I had told him I would think about it. We'd had quite a few classes together last year and had really hit it off. When summer came, we didn't see much of each other and wasn't in much contact by mid-break, but became more and more involved again as the new school year drew closer.
I softly shook my head. "Not much. I actually avoided thinking for a good portion of the weekend." I admitted.
He half-smiled. "That wasn't the plan." He said, mock accusingly.
"I know, I know," I said, throwing my hands up in the air just as Noel, back from dumping his trash, was sitting back down in the chair next to me, resulting in me thumping him in his head. "Oh, my God, Noel, I'm sorry!" I said, covering my mouth with both my hands. "Are you alright – eh, Layton it's not funny!"
Noel rubbed his head for second, smiling sheepishly. "No, i-it, it's alright, Kelsey. No big deal."
Everyone at the table was chuckling now. "Well, I still feel bad nonetheless." I said around their laughter.
"Really, it's no problem. Didn't even h-hurt." He assured me in a rushed tone. "Your hands are tiny."
Now I was scowling, which made everyone at the table laugh harder. Even Noel began chuckling quietly to himself and he was the reason for all the laughter in the first place!
"Don't make such expressions, Kelsey. Your face could freeze like that," George choked out.
"God, you're cute," Layton said in a low tone, snickering slightly still.
I felt my cheeks heat up at his comment.
Not only that, it also set my mind back on track – back on my mission – the reason I sat at this table filled with most of the JV basketball team in the first place. Time to execute.
Once everyone had settled back down, I opened my mouth to address Layton and at that exact moment, the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch. Around me, everyone stood from their chairs and began traipsing about and Layton was lost in the crowd within seconds.
"Oh, just fucking great," I muttered to myself. My size was truly a curse at times.
"There you are, shawty," Layton said, suddenly behind me, in a horrible interpretation of a New Jersey accent.
I whirled around with a huge grin. Oh, just perfect. "Layton!"
He shoved his hands into his pocket and looked at me with raised eyebrows; a questioning expression.
I opened my mouth again, ready to tell him my well thought out plan, but was interrupted when Tyrell Jones, a senior football player, slid right in-between us.
"Eh, excuse…you," I muttered under my breath, scowling once again. I really did need to stop – it was becoming a really nasty habit of mine.
Layton and Tyrell did that strange, male-only handshake – the one where they grasp hands and bump chests, as if establishing their masculinity or something. And then Tyrell glanced at me, said "Ryan's sis" in acknowledgment of my presence, and walked off.
I watched his retreating back with a grimace. "Well, that wasn't rude or anything," I said, more to myself.
Layton rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah, sorry 'bout that. What were you gonna say—"
"Layton! Dude!" Mac Light, a sophomore who was in my Honors Pre-Calculus class with Brooke, Brody, and Daphne, squeezed his way through the slowly dispersing crowd of students to get to us.
Layton shot me an apologetic smile, before nodding at Mac, who had finally reached us. "What up, man?"
"I finally found a good time to interview you." Mac said. I'd forgotten that he worked on the school newspaper. "How does today after school sound?"
What? No! I raised my hand to get their attention but immediately felt stupid for doing so. What was I, ten? "Uh, actually Layton—"
Layton looked at me expectantly. "Yes?"
My cheeks flamed again and I hesitantly glanced at Mac, who was regarding me curiously also. I hadn't expected much of an audience when it came down to crunch time, but a girl had to do what a girl had to do. I so did not want to ride the bus! And it was this thought that had me looking up into Layton Holloway's eyes and saying:
"I was just wondering if you wanted to do something after school—"
"Laytyy!" shrilled an, unfortunately, familiar voice.
"You've got to be kidding me," I hissed too low for anyone to hear.
Meghan Monroe, cheerleader extraordinaire, and literally one of the most annoying human beings to ever walk planet Earth, bounced over to us from where many of the sophomore cheerleading squad stood at the entrance of the cafeteria. She was at Layton's side in seconds, wrapping her small, dainty arm through his buff one.
"Want to walk me to English?" she said, fluttering her eyelashes at him. It hurt to look at her bright, platinum mane of hair that curled down her back.
Obviously, fate was not on my side.
"Alrighty, then," I mumbled to myself. I shot Mac a small smile. "See ya in Pre-Cal." I said to him, before swiveling on my heel and walking toward the doors, a little faster than my usually sluggish pace. I just wanted to get far, far away from that absolutely, total fail of a mission.
"Kelsey! Kelsey, wait!" I heard him mutter something to both Meghan and Mac in turn and then suddenly he was in front of me, blocking my way.
He rested his hands on my shoulders and leaned forward, so that our faces weren't so far apart. He was definitely invading my bubble. And I may or may not have liked it. A lot.
"I'm sorry," he said, his warm, minty breath washing over my face. "What were you saying, before you were so rudely interrupted?"
I blanched, whether it was because of his proximity or his attractiveness I didn't know. Probably both. Either way, all I got out was a squeaky "are you chewing gum?"
He blanched too at my randomness and then he was leaning away from me, laughing. "I am, actually. Want some?"
I shook my head in answer and also to clear my head. The cafeteria was all but empty now. I watched as the cheerleading squad filed out of the room, Meghan Monroe among them. She scowled at me until she was out of sight – and frankly, out of mind.
"What are you doing after school?" Layton's question had my eyes shooting to his, green on green.
"That's what I've been trying to ask you this entire time!" I said, exasperatedly. But I smile a little.
"What am I doing after school?" Layton asked, innocently. I nodded for him to continue. "I have a date actually, if you must know."
I felt a slight twinge in my chest and my lips turn down of their own accord. Layton Holloway was one of the hottest guys in the school, easily top ten. Of course he had a date. Never mind the many months we spent talking and flirting.
I crossed my arms and asked thinly – and as nonchalantly as possible – "with who?"
He smiles and leans forward, back into my bubble. His eyes twinkling. "You."
"Naughty, naughty girl!" Brooke exclaims, her jewel blue eyes widening. "Using Layton Holloway's feelings for you to get a lift. That's so cold and callous of you!"
"Not to mention manipulative," Brody chimes in, slinging an arm across the back of my chair from his seat beside me. He leans toward me, as Layton did earlier, but my stomach doesn't flip and my cheeks don't heat. This is Brody; absolute knucklehead and brother from another mother and all that business. "When did you become so much like me?" he asked, half smiling.
"Oh, pshhh," I push his face away with my small hand. "Cold, callous, and manipulative are antonyms of you, Brody."
"So you admit it? That was a cold, callous, and manipulative move you pulled!" Brooke exclaimed at the same time Brody said "And the synonyms are…?"
I ignored the latter. "It wasn't really like that," I said to Brooke. "I do have feelings for the guy," if my reactions to him were any indicator...
"Then why'd you turn him down last Friday?" Brooke asked haughtily.
"That little punk asked you out?" Brody asked seconds later.
Again, I ignored the latter. "Because – It's just that – I don't know," I said finally. "I guess I'm just not really ready to be in a relationship. It's only like the second week of school, ya know?"
Brooke was quiet for a minute. "Well, you should've thought of that before you sought him out today!" she said.
"Hate the bus that much, huh?" Brody asked, digging out a ratty looking spiral notebook from his backpack.
"I hate it so much that it's almost palpable." I mumbled, resting my head on my desk. I eyed Brody. "What 'plans' do you have today anyway?"
Brody smiled, revealing a row of straight, white, perfect teeth, and settled back in his chair, a picture of ease. "Well, if you must know, I have a date with destiny."
"Interview at McDonald's?" Daphne guessed, piping up from her desk two rows back.
"Burger King actually," Brody reposted.
"You're joking," I said numbly.
"Yep." Brody shot me another smile. "It's Subway, actually."
I groaned and rested my head against my desk again. Harder this time. "Can you be serious for one minute of your life?"
"Minute, no. Second, maybe."
I smiled at the mere stupidity of it all.
"I find it so selfish of Ryan that he'd run off to hang out with his friends and have fun, leaving you hanging in the dust of his car – and license – to fend for yourself." Brooke said, surprising me a little. Brooke rarely ever sided against my brother.
I mumbled "my life in a nutshell" at the same time Daphne said "nothing wrong with having a life".
Brooke tilted her head in Daphne's direction and said lightly "nothing wrong with minding your own business either."
The corners of Daphne's mouth tilted up in a sinister smile. "And I suppose there's nothing wrong with pathetically pining after a guy who's taken either."
Brooke quickly inclined her head away from us, but not before I caught sight of her flaming cheeks.
Daphne: 1 Brooke: 0
"I ain't taken?" Brody asked questioningly, holding a controlled expression for a good ten seconds before finally cracking, the cutest dimple in his chin appearing as he smiles wide. Leave it to Brody to attempt to make every tense situation…less tense.
"Mr. McKinnon!" Mrs. Elizabeth Greene shrieked, suddenly standing before us in a mint-colored button up and sharp black dress pants, her bronze hair up in her signature sloppy bun.
She pointed one of her claws at Brody's head. "How many times do I have to tell you not to wear your hats in my classroom?" She all but screeched.
He looked up at her through some of the longest eyelashes I've ever seen on a human being. "Mrs. Greene." He addressed her calmly. "This is a beanie. Not a hat. There's a distinct difference between the two."
Around me, people snickered. Even Brooke looked to be fighting laughter, her episode with Daphne seemingly forgotten. Mrs. Greene's face scrunched together like an English bulldog as she glowered at Brody with her dark, beady eyes.
Talk about if looks could kill…
Brody, probably sensing it wouldn't be wise to press our elderly teacher any further, raised his hands in silent surrender, before reaching up and ripping off his beanie, unveiling his shiny, lustrous brown curls.
Mrs. Greene waited till he had stuffed his beanie in his backpack before stiffly walking to the head of the class. "Everyone get out your homework. Mr. McKinnon will come around to collect them." She whirled around to look at Brody, daring him to make some smartass comment.
He turned to me, his blue eyes wide. "She scares me," he whispered and I laughed, because the thought of six-three, two hundred and some pounds Brody being afraid of small and frail Mrs. Greene was absolutely absurd.
Brooke looked over my shoulder at him. "Then don't antagonize her all the time!"
Brody grumbled whilst snatching up our homework worksheets before getting up and retrieving the rest.
"So," Brooke said, turning her whole body to face me. "What are you gonna say to Layton when he asks you out today?"
I slumped in my seat. "You really think he'll ask me out again?" I asked miserably.
Brooke put the eraser part of her pencil to her mouth in silent contemplation. "Hmm. I don't think he'll ask you, like, straight forward, you know?" she waited for my nod to continue. "I think he'll be really discrete about it – like casually bring it up in conversation."
I looked at my desk and frowned.
"So? What will you say?"
I shrugged, scratching my initials into the wood of my desk with my pencil.
"Kelsey! You have to have a game plan! You can't walk into something like this blind!"
I paused for a minute, before looking at my friend. "I don't know. A little help?" Because God knows, I needed it. I'm far from the boy expert that Brooke claimed to be. Hell, the only boyfriend I'd ever had was Carl Jacobson in the second grade and I broke up with him a day later when he tried to kiss me.
"Well do you want to date him?"
"Yes? No? I don't know." I said, confused at my own answer.
Brooke scowled. "That's really helpful," she deadpanned. "I don't see how I can help you if you don't even know what you want."
I sighed. She had a point.
"Miss. Hopper and Miss. Pearson," Mrs. Greene said in an ominously calm voice and I cringed. From my peripheral, I saw Brooke sit up straighter in her seat. "Perhaps you'd like to discuss with the class what's so important that you have to talk over my lesson?"
I started to apologize, but Brooke talked over me. "Yes, Mrs. Greene. We were actually wondering if we answered number nine on the worksheet correctly." She said, even fooling me she was so straight-faced. "We worked on it together last night and it really stumped us."
Mrs. Greene's eyes softened at the edges. One couldn't stay upset at Brooke Hopper, the Golden Girl, for too long. "I see. Well, maybe Mr. McKinnon," she gestured to my brother's best friend who was turning in the stack of homework worksheets he'd gathered into the turn-in bin. "Can solve the equation on the board for us?"
"Ah, nah, Mrs. G, I'm good," he said with a silly smile on his face, as slinked back to his seat.
But Mrs. Greene was having none of it. She grasped his huge bicep as he made his way past her and ushered him to the front of the classroom, steadfastly ignoring any of his protests.
'What the hell' Brody mouthed at us.
Daphne and I chuckled while Brooke mouthed back with a helpless expression 'sorry!'
Layton pulled up in front of my red brick townhouse, the one I've lived in since I was twelve. He put his black, 67' mustang in park before turning to face me and settling back into his seat.
So this wasn't going to be a quick goodbye. Then again, I hadn't expected it to be.
"Thanks. For everything," I said lamely. It hadn't been too bad of a (date? Or just a friendly luncheon?), save for a little awkwardness in the beginning. When the final bell had rang, signaling the end of school, I had met Layton in the parking lot and he'd driven to Chili's.
We'd discussed trivial things. I'd asked him about basketball (season didn't start for another two months) and his classes (he slept in all of them). And he'd asked me about my friends (they were fine) and about my classes (nothin' but A's. Then again, it was only the third week of school…). It was all just very hesitant and very courteous.
And throughout our time at Chili's, not once was dating ever mentioned in our conversation.
But from the way he was looking at me now – with a set, determined expression – I had a feeling that was about to change.
"It's no problem at all. Really." He said sincerely.
I smiled hesitantly at him and reached for the door handle. "Okay, well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow—?"
I was cut off when he leaned over and pressed his lips firmly against mine. My heart jumped into my throat and I made a small squeaking sound but that didn't deter him; in fact, just the opposite. It urged him on, and he reached up and pressed his warm, soft hand against my cheek.
Very slowly, I melted into the kiss. Wanting to reciprocate in some way, I wove my small hand through his dark, thick hair. He moaned from somewhere low in his throat and leaned deeper into me, pressing me securely against the window.
My first kiss was long and hard (and unexpected) and it sent my heart soaring. All our pent-up attraction for each other, that's been building since the latter half of my freshman year, tumbled to the forefront as we released all of it through our lips that remained melded to each other.
Suddenly he wrenched his lips away from mine to stare at me with wide green eyes. I noted, with satisfaction, that I wasn't the only one breathing heavy. "Still gotta 'think about it'?" he asked, 'it' being our relationship status.
"N-no?" I huffed out, feeling like Noel Chambers-Leonard.
Layton didn't seem to notice that my answer came out more of a question then a statement. Or maybe he did, but just chose to ignore it. Which was fine by me.
"Good," he growled, before pressing me to the window with his lips again.