By Jamie Day

Chapter 1

Danielle watched the clock that counted down slowly enough to be torture when you were sitting in Ms. Larson's fifth period Home Tech. Class listening to her yell.

"Sit down right now or you're out of here." Ms. Larson screeched to Max, one of the popular kids. He was the kind of person that sometimes you got along with because he was funny and sometimes you didn't get along withy him because he was trying to be funny at your expense.

Seven minutes. In seven minutes the bell would ring. Danielle couldn't wait as she sat talking to Ashley, her cousin. Ashley was a very different kind of person. You loved her or you hated her. Danielle and Ashley were inseparable.

Four minutes. The reason Danielle was counting down was because one of her best friends and her crush since sixth grade of Junior High, Ben, was in her lunch this year. They had hung out all summer so they had been happy to find out they would have time to hang out during school.

Or, at least, she had been happy. Ben hadn't shown much emotion since freshmen year. Today the whole group, those of them who could go, without getting in trouble, was going out to eat for lunch. It was their first year of open campus. They were juniors. It was the fourth day of school on a Friday and on Friday's they didn't have any classes after lunch so they decided to make Friday-Eat-Out days a tradition.

Thirty second. Danielle smiled as she counted in her head the way Ben and her had counted in seventh and eighth grade when they had both had Study Hall last period of the day.

Twenty second. Nineteen tick tock. Eighteen tick tock. She smiled when she remembered the time she had started singing the National Anthem in seventh and everyone looked at her so Ben joined in so it wouldn't embarrass her as much. Ten tick tock. Nine tick tock. He was such a good friend to her.

"Danielle, hurry up," said Ashley. Five second. Dani threw her backpack over her shoulder and stood up.

"Sit down or you're in big tr…" Ms. Larson began before she was interrupted by the bell and everyone ran out of the classroom.

Ben met them halfway like he usually did. And, as usual, he was silent and watchful. Danielle walked up to him and gave him her greeting hug that he had always gotten from her. "Hey Ben." She said shyly. She liked him so much but she could never say anything to him about it. Then what would he say to her.

"Hey, Dani." Ben replied. His black shoes black, baggy pants and black shirt and neck chain contrasted sharply in accordance to her white and pink shoes, regular form fitting, but not too tight, jeans, and her baby blue wife beater. He hair was dark brown, whereas his was jet black with electric blue tips they had all talked him into getting. His eyes brown and hers blue. The looked so opposite but felt so similar and looked so good together.

As they waited for the rest of the group Ben put his arm around Danielle like he normally does. That's one reason why Dani hadn't gone out with anyone since eighth grade. Everyone thought she was going out with Ben although she wasn't. Dear God, how she wished she was.

When everyone got there they arranged rides. Melissa, Sulieka, and Tasia would go with Kayd in his car, Ashley and Devin would go in Kenny's car with him, because Devin's broke down again, Amanda would go with Chris, and Dani would go with Ben.

Tasia was dating Kayd. Ashley and Devin were going out. Amanda and Chris were dating. Melissa and Sulieka's boyfriends were brothers and were vacationing still. Melissa and Sulieka are cousins. Kenny's girlfriend broke up with him two days ago and he was still trying to get over it. Dani wished she were going out with Ben but didn't know how to tell him and Ben couldn't say anything to Dani about his feelings or he could damn them both.

Everyone got in their assigned vehicles and took off to meet back up at the local Burger restaurant called Jimmy T's soon.