Hello, I am Aquina Rose, and this is the first story I will post on Fictionpress.net, but I have been a member to Fanfiction.net under the penname "Gundam Girl" for fourteen months now. I hope you all will enjoy this story. I ask that you please review so I may make my work better by noting other people's views on my writing. Thank you!

Romeo & I

By Aquina Rose

Chapter One: Second Semester

January. There was a bit of a ring to the word. It told of all the things the new year promised. The first thing, unfortunately, was returning to school. After the long holiday break for Christmas and the New Year, it was on January the third that Devina Carlson was forced to trudge through the graying snow of a cemetery behind her high school. Since the street her house was in was right in front of the cemetery, her parents thought it would be better for Devina to walk to school, get a bit of exercise and help the environment by decreasing the use of their car while she was at it.

Devina thought it would have been much better if she had her own car.

Right now, the sky was kind of dripping. That was the only way she new how to describe it, she decided as the tucked her waist-length brown hair further into the hood of her magenta coat. It wasn't really snowing, but it wasn't really raining either. And it wasn't improving her mood for the beginning second semester of her junior year.

Devina liked school well enough. She received marks that her parents approved, and she had no problem paying attention to any of her teachers. She scored particularly well in World History. The school lunches were edible, sometimes even enjoyable. The only thing she didn't like about school were the people there.

She really only had one good friend. Luchrezia Perry, nicknamed Lu, was a pretty, popular member of the student council. She had been the president for two years in a row, and, with a new boyfriend every month, she was the only girl in her class her had never been without a date to every dance ever presented in her high school days. In fact, Devina still didn't know how she and Lu had ever become as close as they were. She wasn't popular at all. In fact, if she wasn't best friends with Lu, there was a good chance that the student body would never realize her existence.

Devina shook her head and she pulled open one of the glass doors to Clinton High. She did not look to the left nor the right as she passed swiftly through the lobby and up a case of stairs to the hall where her locker was.

She fiddled with the combination on the door between those belonging to a mediocre football player named Ryan and a cheerleader named Wanda. Not the best place to be, she had observed at the beginning of the year, when the said jock and prep were going out and yearned to be in each other's presence. For a while, it had been difficult to even get to her locker.

Devina stuffed her backpack and jacket into the slim, short space and turned when someone tapped her shoulder. Green eyes met brown ones as she saw Luchrezia Perry standing behind her.

"'Morning!" Lu chirped in her mezzo-soprano voice, cheerful as always. "How was the New Year's, Dev?"

Her blonde hair was pulled into a high ponytail and she was dressed in Old Navy faded jeans and a black sweater over a white, long-sleeved T-shirt. Black boots with three-inch heels completed the ensemble while gold hoops dangled at her ears.

Devina shrugged, feeling a little ordinary in her plain purple-and-yellow sweatshirt and Wal-Mart khakis. Though Lu was dressed just as non- extravagantly as she, her friend had a certain grace that made her look elegant in anything she threw on. "It was all right," she answered, hefting her text book higher up on her hip. "Deuce was around, so it was pretty fun."

Lu grinned. Deuce Carlson, Devina's older brother, was two and half laughs in one body. Not to mention he was outrageously hot. "I'll bet. Oh, Logan!" She swiveled on her heel to stop a red-headed student council class representative. "I need you and Kelly to go over this schedule for the bake sale next month, okay? Thanks!" She grinned and gave Logan a bit of a push, and he stumbled away with a paper in his hand, looking dazed. Devina understood why. Lu's beauty and charm often left men - and undeniably, some women - flustered.

The five-minute warning bell rang. Lu squealed and glared down at the stack of handouts she had in her arms. "I'll see you at lunch, Dev. I've gotta spend the first half of the day working. Bye!" With a turn of her heel, she was off.

Devina followed a group of students to her homeroom, shaking her head at how Perry could handle the stress of council president. She sighed; with August and soccer gone, it would be a long second semester.

***

"Found ya!"

Lu threw her bulging shoulder bag onto a chair and sat down opposite Devina. In the full cafeteria, one table held a single person, and the pretty Italian girl dropped onto it. Luchrezia never really understood why her best friend was always alone - she was smart, attractive, and funnier than most. What was not to like? Of course, a big reason for Devina's solitude was that she did not really like the rest of their class and preferred to be with just Lu and a minimum amount of Lu's other friends or go it alone.

"Hot dogs? I really shouldn't be eating this," Lu told her as she stuffed the fattening thing in her mouth. "So, what're you doing this semester? Track again? Or are you just gonna prep for summer soccer?"

"I'm giving up soccer," Devina said after swallowing a fork-full of coleslaw. "It's not working out."

Lu nearly choked over her carton of milk and she looked up with wide eyes. "But.but why?!" she sputtered. "That's all you do! And you're the team's best goalie-"

"Yet only you know that, remember?" Devina pointed out. "Keaton doesn't think-"

"Coach Keaton's sexist!" Lu cut her off. "Jeremy can't stop half the balls you can, but Keaton would let you off the bench because you're a girl - oh, sorry," she said, seeing her friend's expression. "But you get my point."

Devina smiled. "And you get mine. I won't debate over this. I'm tired of playing benchwarmer."

Lu sighed. "All right, all right. The soccer days are done. You could always join up with me in tennis." She laughed when Devina made a face. "Or not. Any ideas then?"

Devina shrugged. "Not really."

The council president nodded. Then her face lit up. "Hey! Why don't you stick it with the after-school drama group!"

"You're kidding," Devina said blankly.

"Nuh-uh! You can pull it off. I know you can act as good as your brother, I've seen you do all those TV imitations and stuff." Digging around in her backpack, Lu produced a yellow flier. "Why don't you at least audition? You're always saying how you admire Shakespeare and stuff."

Devina blinked, taking the flier. "Romeo And Juliet? What, are you joking?"

"I don't joke about school stuff, you dummy. I'll get tossed down for that. You could do tragedy."

"Not romance," Carlson assured her and folded up the flier, sticking it in her pants pocket to throw away later. "I hate mush."

"It's not much, it's class," protested Lu. "Just look into it. I hear Scott Wilkinson and Ray Knight are both trying out for Romeo."

"The highest part I'd get is the nurse," Devina rolled her eyes. "And that's if I'm lucky."

"You never know until you try," Lu said, quickly finishing off her coleslaw and downing her milk. "Right, I've got to be in the library for a dance committee meeting. We're starting to plan Valentine's Day. Ugh, we just got done with Christmas."

"Like you're tired."

Lu winked. "You're right, I love it. Give it some thought, okay?" she added. "I'm not begging you to audition, but I think fine arts will do you some good. It'll expand your creativity. See ya!" And like a flash, she whirled out of the building.

"See you." Devina pulled out the flier again.

Clinton High Drama Department!

Please join us whether you love theater or just want to have fun!

Romeo And Juliet auditions January 11-17th.

See you there!

"Juliet?" Devina scoffed. "Yeah, and next I'll be ask to join the cheerleading squad."

***

"Hey, heads up, Montgomery!"

A black-haired boy turned just in time to catch a Frisbee. "Nice throw, Scott!" Keith Montgomery shouted back. "Are you doing anything Saturday? Me and Rob were gonna go see Matrix: Reloaded."

"Can't, man. I'm in the library."

"The library?" Keith froze mid-toss. "When have you ever wanted to be at the library?"

"Since I decided to try out for Romeo with drama!"

Out of shock, he tossed the Frisbee. Scott was an aspiring actor. "Really? I thought you only liked minor roles."

"I do. That's why I'm looking for one of the explanatory scripts. I want to try out for Mercutio. He dies."

Keith grinned. "Ah. Blood. Now I know why you want the part."

With a laugh, Scott Petersen caught and tossed. "Hey, man. Why don't you try out?"

"For who, your killer?"

"Nah, you could do that anytime. No, you should try out for Romeo." Scott dropped to his knees to catch a bad pass.

"Romeo?" Keith lowered his arms to signal a time-out. "Why in hell would I do that?"

"Because you're a softy at heart." Scott grinned at his friend's answering glare. "No, because I can see you doing it. Crashing a party; killing Mercutio's killer, a guy named Tybalt; getting the girl, then dying in the end, too."

"Everybody dies?"

"Just about. There's a scene at the end where your lady fair has to kiss your dead lips, so you score without trying," Scott informed him. "And the Juliet'll probably be real hot, too. I mean, they can't have an ugly Juliet. It just won't happen."

"That's lucky to hear. But I can't act.I don't think," he said doubtfully.

"Sure you can," Scott told him. "You tell so many lies that you've got your technique down pat."

Keither laughed. Drama, huh? "Well, maybe I will try out. I'll catch you at the library, how's that?"

"Sounds good. Now, you better stretch, this'll be a high one." And Scott let the Frisbee fly.

***

Devina approached Lu the next morning with a slight smile. "I'll do it," she told her. "I'll try out for Juliet."

Lu squealed. "Great! Are you sure? I mean, you don't have to, it was just a suggestion. There's no pressure, and you don't have to have an after-school activity, I only thought if-"

"Lu!" Devina exclaimed on a half-laugh. "I said I'd try out, didn't I? I talked to Deuce, and he thinks I have a shot at it."

"Ah." Lu nodded. "The brains behind all of this. I should have known you'd listen to your brother."

Devina shrugged. "He is the actor."

"Indeed he is. Well - well, cool! I'll tell you what, I'll even go to the library with you on Saturday to find a script. That way you can sort of prep yourself, all right?" Lu giggled happily. "I'm glad you said yes. But I gotta run to the copy room, Lauren forgot to copy the news again. Oh, awesome!" And she hurried off with a grin on her face.

Once she was gone, Devina didn't resist a grin either. She'd never done drama, but it was beginning to sound like a lot of fun. She remembered seeing Deuce act the role of Robin Hood when he was a senior six years ago. He'd been excellent. A little uncertainly, Devina wondered if she could possibly have that kind of talent.

Well, she'd see, wouldn't she? The worst that could happen was she wouldn't get a part. And she seriously doubted that she'd be scarred if that happened. So, she reverted back to the attentive expression she wore in classes and headed off to calculus one.

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Thanks for reading chapter one, and I hope you look out for chapter two, which should come out fairly soon. If you liked it (and even if you didn't like it), please review and tell me what you thought of chapter one of "Romeo & I." Thanks!

- Aquina Rose