Catch My Falling Star

A.N: Okay, inspiration hit me really hard while I was listening to some Avril song, so I figured why keep the inspiration pent up? I know I should be writing the climatic chapter of my other story, but I can't give up this opportunity to write.

This is a completely different high school drama (when I get to college, then my stories will be college dramas). They say write what you know, so I'm writing about high school.

I hope you guys enjoy.

All she could hear was the pounding of her Nike-clad feet and the shallow, rhythmic gaps of her breaths. She only had one more kilometer to go before the finish line, and she had yet to be tired. The brisk air felt wondrous against her hot sweaty face, while the sun felt overbearing and cruel. Another runner from the opposing high school came into her view, and she sped up slightly to whisk by the panting and tired opponent. Cross-country was Annette's life. She was born to run, and run she did. For the third year in a row, Annette Villas had taken her school's cross-country team to the state championships, and for the third year in a row, she was only a kilometer away from winning it once more.

Minutes felt like seconds, and she could soon see the hazy blob of the large crowd, cheering hysterically as they, too, saw her coming into their view. She ran faster, kicked in her reserves, concentrated solely on the finish line, and not on winning. Harder and harder she pushed herself until her legs gave way, and she glided into the finish line ribbon, arms spread out beside her, face turning towards the heaves to admire the clear blue sky and thank them greatly for giving her the pleasure of winning what she loved to do most. While many wrote, others painted, she ran. Since she was a little girl, running had been her life. She ran everything that there was to run. The 10K charity run-a-thon; she won in only an hour and a half, while it took others almost half a day to run. She ran the annual marathon to the state capital, which was an hour drive from her small hometown in Georgia. Indeed, Annette Villas legacy was to run, and she enjoyed every moment she could as she would hear the pounding of her feet and the rasps of her lungs burning for the air to push her farther and harder.

"YOU WON! YOU WON!" another runner screamed, as she jumped up and down in enthusiasm for her friend, Annette. Celia was thrilled that Annette had won yet another state championship. Not that she had doubted her friend to begin with, for Annette could run as fast as a bird could fly or a fish could swim, perhaps even faster.

"I did it. I did it," she kept whispering, walking around to relax the sore muscles from their exertion the last half of a kilometer. She bit her lip to keep the grin off her face, but the cheery atmosphere had infected her, and before she could contain, she screamed and danced as loud of her friend Celia. "I did it, Cellie, I won! I won! I did it! I can't believe I did it!" She threw herself into her friend's arms, and danced and swirled together as they laughed and cried, happy that they had succeeded in what they had started. The state championship run was long and grueling, consisting of almost a 10 mile run around the entire city and back. Amazed that she was indeed as good as everyone believed her to be, Annette cried tears of joy for she was as happy as any person could be.

When life had been downright hell-for many moments in her life were-she ran, and forgot all about the troubles and the tears. When life was too overwhelming for her small 17-year-old self, she ran to relax and prioritize everything that had become too much for her to deal with. Annette's life had not been easy, yet she had overcome everything to succeed in what she loved to do most. This was her last year home before going off to college, and she felt it was her responsibility to all those who had held her up on the highest pedestal to repay them for their faith in her. This was her last year home and she was going to leave a legacy behind to be filled by the next person who would come after her. There would be no Annette Villas the following year in Halton, but she would always be remembered for her amazing gift to run.

What shocked many in the town when she first began to run was her small size. Many of the other cross-country runners were tall, and if not, had been blessed with lengthy legs. For Annette's small 5'3" height, she was blessed with neither height nor endless stands. But what she had that no one else had was the passion-the fire-to run; to do what she could do best with nothing except joy and a warm smile.

"How does it feel, Ms. Villas, to be the only female to win the cross- country state championships three years in a row?" a nasal-voiced reporter called out, interrupting her tears and laughter with Celia.

"Unbelievable. I feel so blessed to be able to carry the title of all-state runner for the third and final year. I can't believe I did it!" she laughed to the reporter as she wiped a few persistent tears with the heel of her hand.

"What do you wish to say to all those who wish to follow in your footsteps?" he asked.

"To reach for the stars. Don't ever let life stop you from doing what you believe you were meant to do," she told him, an infectious smile warming her glistening tan skin and her blue eyes glazing with joy.

"Poetic," Celia added when the reporter left.

"I'm the forever romantic," she sighed, halfheartedly although Celia knew she was only jesting.

"I bet." They hugged once more unable to fully grasp that Annette had gone all the way. Annette had met the obstacle, and defeated with a smile on her face and a laughter in her step. "It's time to party, girl. We can't just not celebrate your triumphant win!" she rested her hands on her hips.

"I don't know, Cellie. I don't feel like going out tonight, I'd rather go home." At the moment, all she wanted was to lie in a nice warm tub and read her book. Going out and partying into the ungodly hours of the morning was better left for Celia.

"Oh shut up. I'm dragging your ass to a party even if I have to do so with you wearing that hideous uniform."

"It's comfy, and it does its job." Annette answered back.

"Whatever, you're coming with me to Jason's party whether you want to or not."

"Cellie." Annette whined, as her best friend and practically-sister dragged her to the car to get her cleaned up.

An hour passed, and by the time Celia was done fixing Annette up for the party, she would most definitely be the belle of the night. Dressed in a simple pair of stretch jeans, a simple black back-less shirt, and flip flops, Annette managed to keep her casual look with a dash of glamour to be just appropriate for the party.

"Girl, you are going to knock all those bitches out of the water!"

"Do you have to cuss, Cellie? I mean, c'mon. I catch your drift without those words," Annette reprimanded her. She never cussed. For some reason, Annette felt that she heard enough of it at home, she didn't need to be adding more words into the air by trying to emphasize a point; she could do that quite well without the expletives.

"Yeah, whatever. You caught my drift." Cellie had learned to just ignore those little scoldings, and instead walked to the bathroom to grab her keys.

"I really have to go? I'm so tired I'll probably fall asleep," Annette said in the best imitation of a sleepy voice. She REALLY did not want to go to the party.

"Yes, now come on." Grabbing her bag and Annette's large bag, Cellie walked out to her car, and waited impatiently for her best friend to trudge down the stairs into the brisk night air as well. If she wasn't Annette's best friend, Annette would have absolutely no social life. All she did was read and dig her nose into the books, working every minute of the day to getting accepted to the college of her dreams-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. True, it wasn't any Ivy League Princeton or Dartmouth, but it was a jewel on the crown in Annette's eyes.

It wasn't until almost five minutes later that Annette finally showed up, carrying the bag Cellie had left for her on the kitchen counter. Since Celia wasn't around to monitor her, she had slipped in a book, just in case she felt like ignoring all the callow and immature party-goers at the party. Armed with her book and a tube of lip-gloss, Annette headed out to car, preparing her ears for the blasting noise of the music that was definitely going to be there.

And there was a lot of noise. She could feel her hearing slowly dissipating, and the headache that was definitely going to arise because of all the noise that she wasn't accustomed to. Looking over to whine one more plea of reconciliation to her friend, she wasn't surprised to Celia practically jumping out of her own skin to go and dance and enjoy her livelihood. It still amazed her sometimes how completely polar they were. While Annette believed in Fate and love at first sight, Celia believed in jumping from guy to guy, testing 'each flavor out', as she carefully put it. Annette was dead set on Chapel Hill and becoming an astronomer, Celia wasn't even sure if she'd make it to the community college. Their beauty was also as different as night and day. Annette's features were soft yet strong, radiating a beauty that was dark and mysterious, yet compassionate and fulfilling all the same. Celia's features were delicate and childish, bright brown eyes bubbling with laughter and her soft dirty blonde hair aglow. However many their differences, though, one thing remained constant and true; their love for each other. Annette's life had been filled with many obstacles, and Celia had sworn to her to always be there; to always protect and watch out for her. For Annette may have unashamedly independent, but one flaw was her inability to stand up for herself. She would be put in a confrontation with someone, and she would freeze and take whatever the other person would dish out to her. The names, the shoves, and Annette would do nothing about it. Celia, on the other hand, would do something very much about it. She too would scream and shove the other person, letting them know that she was not a pushover.

"Hey, Annette, you there?" Celia's voice flittered into Annette's ears.

"Hm? Oh yeah, sorry. I'm just tired, that's all."

"Uh huh, yeah sure. That's not going to work Annette, so just give it up. I promise you, tonight is going to be a night you will never forget!" (A.N: That's foreshadowing, by the way)

The cool night air brought goosebumps on Annette's skin, and the dark walk to the front door felt like the walk a death row inmate would take before reaching the chamber. For behind those bright red doors, a whole new world would emerge. Bright lights, loud music, laughter, screams, and the pungent odor of sweat and beer flowing together would all swirl together to create the individualist realm of the party. As they approached the doors, Annette couldn't believe what she was doing. Albeit she was attending the party under complete protest, she carried her contraband tightly in her purse, feeling reassured by the rough hard texture of the book cover under her small clammy hands. If anything got to be too much, she could always escape to a corner and read; escape into a world where there was no such thing as underage drinking and obnoxious lyrics.

"I'm going to get something to drink. You want anything?" Celia's voice yelled through the roaring music.

"Um, a water would be great," she yelled back, trying to hear her own voice. Celia nodded, and left her to go in search of the refreshments. Suddenly without her best friend there, Annette felt bereft of the security that followed Celia like a shadow. Now that she was alone, she didn't know what to do or how to act. Should she just stand there and wait for her friend? Or she should go somewhere that couldn't become a landing zone for a flying body? Unsure, she opted for the first, and stood put, keeping her fingers crossed to avoid any possible calamity. Looking around to take in the party, she saw a group of guys she recognized from her journalism class setting up some equipment in a corner of the once- living room. What caught her attention, however, was not the entire group, but just one in particular. She had seen him from Journalism, but couldn't quite put her finger on where she'd seen him before. Sort of like remembering a vague dream, Annette felt as though she'd known the guy before. Feeling a bit odded out by the sudden 'sixth sense' about the stranger, she decided to go looking for Cellie.

After about 30 minutes of searching for her lost friend, Annette gave up her attempts, and plopped herself unceremoniously onto the luxurious couch, and waited. If Celia wanted to find her, then she'd make a point of looking for her as Annette had done for the past half hour. As the hours passed, she could feel the panic rising up inside of her. Where was she? She had known Celia for almost her entire life, and never once had she ditched her friend for something-or someone-else. What happened now to make her suddenly disappear?

The beginning notes of a song filtered into her mind, but she was too preoccupied about her friend. What if someone tried to kidnap her? What if someone forced her to--? No. That wasn't it. Celia was probably caught up talking to someone, and forgot how long she'd kept Annette waiting. That had to be the answer. Why else wouldn't she come back?

"Okay, guys. I'm sure you guys all remember this song from our last performance, so enjoy!" a deep sultry voice spoke out into the microphone. As Annette heard the voice, she looked up, to find that the boys from her Journalism class were beginning to play their instruments. One stood comfortably in front of a microphone, another was off to the side with a guitar, a third stood on the other side with something that looked like a guitar-probably a bass-and finally, a fourth, the cutest in Annette's opinion, sat behind the singer, waiting for the opening notes from the guitar. Something about the fourth captivated Annette's eyes, and she took in his sight as one would take a glass of water on a hot sunny day. She drank in his amazing features, his dark brown hair that lightly touched his ears in loose waves and curls. She memorized his stunning green eyes, and his taut noticeable muscles as he pounded onto the drums and equipment all around him. He may not have been one of the greatest looking guys she had ever known, but there was something about the way his brows furrowed together in earnest concentration that lured her attention to him. She was like an avid mortal, staring up in love and adoration for the god before her. He was not her god, but he was her angel.

"Do you hear yourself?" she muttered to herself. "Your acting like a ridiculous little girl with a school crush. You don't even know him," she spoke to herself. For once, she thanked the loud music that drowned out her words, because if anyone had heard her talking to herself, they would have figured she had just escaped the local mental hospital. "I am not crazy. I just think he's cute, that's all. I mean, c'mon. Not like he'd notice me anyways. He's probably this extremely popular guy who could have any beautiful girl he wants-probably already has two-and hear I am, pining for him just like any other dufus. Oh yea, Annette, you're not crazy." She kept talking to herself every once in a while, stopping to check her watch and look around to see if Celia was anywhere nearby. Finally tiring of the constant searching, she pulled out her book in the middle of the performance, and drank in the written words in front of her summer blue eyes.

She didn't know how long she'd been reading, and didn't even notice when the couch sagged in with someone's weight. She probably wouldn't have noticed that she was leaning until she smelled the deep musky scent of the warm body next to her. Being so submerged in her book, she didn't look up from her book until she heard a deep chuckle resonating from the warm lithe body next to her. "I admire the fact you can concentrate in all this noise," the body spoke to her.

"What?" She looked up and noticed the very person she had memorized hours ago, green eyes shining in amusement at the sight of Annette, reading her book calmly and attentively in the middle of their performance. "Oh my God, I am so sorry." She jumped away from his as though he had just burned her, and tried to hide the blush that stained her cheeks furiously.

"Aw, you don't have to blush. It's okay. Honestly." He laughed softly at the sight of her, trying to calm down her anxious nerves.

"Sorry about that. I just get so into the book, and I swear to you, the world could be ending, and I wouldn't notice."

"I can tell. I bet you're one of those girls that would save her books instead of her wardrobe if the world was ending," he predicted. There was something about the way his voice carried, and how his eyes exuded warmth and affability that just made Annette want to melt and tell him everything about her.

"Actually.yeah, I am."

"Well, I was wondering, if you could tell me your name. I noticed you looking over my way before we started playing-"

"Oh God," she groaned, hiding her face into her hands. Could the world please swallow her up now?

"And I noticed that you were talking to yourself-" Better yet, just shoot her, she thought.

"Oh no. I promise you, I'm not crazy. I just do that if I'm nervous."

"I don't think you're crazy. But, I do think that maybe you should tell me your name. Because it's not every day that I meet a girl that can read during a party like this one and talks to herself." He laughed softly, truly amazed at the perplexing girl beside him. He had noticed her when she first got there, but couldn't go out and meet her because he had to set up for the performance. And when he noticed her talking to herself, he knew that she was no ordinary girl. When he saw her reading-at a party no less- he knew that she was someone special.

"My name? Are you sure about that, because I mean, I don't know. I'm not the kind of girl you'd want to hang out with." She was stalling for time, but for some unknown reason, she couldn't exactly decipher why. She wanted him to know her name; she wanted for once to be the girl that had captivated the attention of a boy, instead of Celia; but her mind told her that it wasn't right.

"Okay, if you're not the kind of girl who I would hang out with, show me a girl who would fit my 'liking'."

"Okay.her." Annette pointed to a girl off in the corner dancing with another person. Her hair was long and blonde, her figure wouldv'e made any supermodel jealous, and the tight and enticing clothing was more than enough to lure any guy within a 10 mile radius into her grasp.

"Nah. She's too skinny. I might break her trying to give her a hug." Annette laughed at his response, and looked around for a different girl. The game continued for almost an hour, each time, he would say something that would throw her into a fit of giggles and laughs.

"No. Too fat." Or "Can we say trailer park?" or "Too tall. I'd need platform shoes just to reach her nose."

"Okay, then, what kind of girl would you hang out with?" she asked.

He didn't answer her directly, but instead looked at her pointedly, as though to say something. Sitting there under his stare, she got the impression of who it was, but didn't want to prove herself wrong. He couldn't possibly mean her, could he? Looking behind her, she noticed Celia walking into the room-and her heart sank. He wasn't looking at her, he was looking at Celia, whom had once again captured the attention of all those around her with her extraordinary beauty.

" about your name?" he tried again. hopefully, she had gotten his message.

"There you are, girl! I looked everywhere for you!" Celia cried out, pulling Annette into a warm hug. "Oh, hello! Who's this?" she asked her when she noticed the handsome stranger standing very close to Annette.

"I'm Jonathon Wild."

"I'm Celia Marks." Annette looked from Jonathon to Celia, and with every moment that her spent sending suggestive looks towards the very guy who had captured HER attention, she could feel her heart shatter into millions and millions of pieces. Once again, she had been the one forgotten, and Celia had been the one remembered. The two of them-being Jonathon and Celia- talked for a few minutes, before Annette told her friend she was leaving, and went outside to wait by the car. She could feel the tears streaming down her cheeks as she walked to the car, and scolded herself for knowing better than to believe that someone had found her to be the beautiful one.

Celia didn't get to the car until 15 minutes later, a grin plastered widely on her face, and a small piece of paper in her hands. Annette didn't have to guess what it was on that piece of paper. It was Jonathon's phone number, she knew that. "Are you okay?" Celia asked when she noticed that Annette was extremely subdued to be leaving a party.

"I'm just tired."

"You will not believe it, girl-"

"Can you take me home please?" Annette cut in.

"Um.sure," Celia replied, a bit thrown off that Annette didn't want to hear that Jonathon had been very interested in Annette. She figured that she probably was just tired, she held onto the piece of paper for safekeeping, and turned on the car, taking Annette home.

Meanwhile, Jonathon was packing up the equipment and thinking of the amazing girl he had met that night when a thought donned on him. She never did tell him her name.

A.N: The end of Chapter 1. I hope everyone enjoyed it. Please review, even if it's short and anonymous. Let me know what you think!

Much love, Miche