(Radio blaring "Do You Realize" by The Flaming Lips)
(Time – 7:34 am)
Oh god, another day to get through without a love and without a hope. I have to shower and pick up Brooke in an hour, damn. Thinks Riley about the first day of his Junior year at high school.
"Riley, turn your radio off!" screams his mother 5 minutes later.
Its wake up time for all you high schoolers, it's the fir— plays through as Riley rolls out of bed. He walks over to the bathroom door, turns around and turns up some music, and then he walks back into the bathroom to shower. Twenty minutes later, he steps out, dries off, and blows out his hair. Gets dressed in his favorite shirt that's worn in perfectly, and some new, nearly skin tight pants. He grabs some shoes out of his closet and hops down the steps putting them on. He walks into the kitchen and grabs the carton of OJ and gulps down a few sips.
"Don't forget to get your sister at the end of the day"
"Sure mom, whatever you say…"
"Riley, she'll be devastated if she doesn't get to see her big brother on the first day of school!"
"Yep mom, got it."
He grabs a piece of toast and walks out and hops in his Jeep Wrangler and tosses his books in the back seat. He drives over to Brooke's house and honks 3 times.
"Bye mom, love you," Brooke shouts as she walks out of the house.
"C'mon Brooke! We gotta get to school!"
"Hold your god damned horses Rye!"
She climbs in the passenger seat of the jeep. She is wearing the typical "preppy" girl outfit, a pink skirt, a pale green shirt with short sleeves. The only difference is that she wears fishnets on top of all black chuck tailors.
"So Rye, did you get you schedule?"
"Nope, it didn't come, you?"
Riley and Brooke never dated, but they are so close that it seems like they are. They've been best friends since the 7th grade, and know each other better than they know the backs of their hands.
They get to the school and climb out of the car. There is a hoard of kids walking up the steps to main entrance, but not many are going in.
"Rye, lets go in."
"Sure, I'll follow you."
They walk in side by side, Brooke grasping her books to her chest and Riley holding them loosely on his side.
"Riley, I don't want to see you sitting in my office too much this year."
"Sure thing Mr. K, I'll try my best. Oh, Mr. K, could I pick up my schedule now?"
"Yes, I was wondering why you looked so oblivious just now"
"Thanks. Brooke, you don't have to come with me if you don't want to."
"No, it's fine."
Riley, Brooke, and the principal, Mr. K, walk to the office to get Riley's schedule. Brooke stops at the door.
"I'll be out in a sec. Brooke"
Riley and Mr. K go into the office. They talk about the things that Riley did the year before and how he won't repeat any of them.
"I just need to print it out."
"You were supposed to get it in the mail; I don't know what happened there."
"Yep, me neither, can I go now?"
Riley walks out of the office and taps Brooke on the shoulder a few times. "Okay, we can go now." As they're walking Brooke looks distressed and decides to put her arm around Riley, but after she does it she realizes she doesn't know what to do, so she gives him a loose hug with her books pressing against his stomach.
"Sorry Rye, I just realized we only have 2 more years together, and I wanna spend a whole bunch of time with you"
"It's cool…. I guess."
"Okay, is your first class with me?"
"AP Soc…. Yep."
Brooke and Riley walk towards the class when this girl starts walking holding her schedule in front of her, and looking at the room numbers to see which is hers.
"Watch where you're walking."
"Huh—" says the girl as she turns and her face is in Riley's chest. All of her books fall to the ground. She steps back; you can see the embarrassment on her face.
"Look at this trip." Brooke says as she scoffs at the girl.
The girl is a little shorter than Brooke. She has rectangle black glasses and is wearing blue lipstick. Short blonde hair pulled out into pig tails. She's wearing a "Flaming Lips" shirt, and loose jeans. Her jeans cover her feet.
"Brooke, god. Hey, I'm Riley." Riley says as he crouches down to help pick up the books the girl dropped, and he extends his hand to greet her.
"Uh…. Hi, I'm Arien." The girl says as she reaches towards his hand. Brooke looks down in disbelief. Riley picks up the girls schedule and looks at what she has first, she's in their class.
"Hey, just follow us, you're class is with us."
Brooke pulls Riley aside and says "What are you doing?!"
"I'm not sure, she seems kinda cool."
Arien is collecting her books and says "Are we gonna be late?"
"Nah don't worry, we have plenty of time."
Brooke is still astonished that Riley is talking to this girl. She pulls Riley aside and says, "Riley, what do you think you're pulling here?"
"Sorry Brooke. She seems like she's new, so I'm gonna help her around."
"Fine just don't let her get in between…. Uh…. You and your school work. I'm making sure that you pass some classes other than this one."
The three of them walk to the class and sit down in the back. Brooke on the left, Riley in the middle, and Arien on the right.
Riley turns to Arien and says, "So, you're new here right?"
"Yeah. This place is huge."
"So, where did you go before you came here?"
"Um…. My house… I was home schooled."
"Oh, that's cool, your mom and dad wanted you to have some social interactions or something?"
"Well, my mom did…."
"Why not your dad?"
"Well, a few years ago, there was a car accident…."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Feel free to slap me right now if you want."
Arien laughs and says "No, that's okay, you wouldn't have known."
They continue to talk as Brooke writes a note to Riley.
You are an idiot. Seriously, why are you getting involved with this girl? She's the biggest loser out there. Don't get in too deep honey, please. I beg of you. You'd be happier with me someone we've been friends with for longer. 'Cause I know you're starting to like her ALREADY. Well…good luck with that. I hope you heed my advice.
She slides it onto his desk folded into a square and faces the front of the room. Riley looks down and sees it. He unfolds it and reads it.
"Brooke, you're an idiot!" he says as he crumples up the paper and throws it at her.
"Riley, I think I hate you, you're a loser too"
For the rest of that day, Brooke and Riley avoid each other and sit on completely opposite sides of the room. All of the classes before lunch, Arien was in with Riley, and only one other was Brooke. Arien and Riley sat together in one corner, and on the other side sat Brooke. At lunch, Riley goes up to Brooke. "Brooke…"
"Come any closer and ill shove your balls into your throat Riley."
"Okay then, see ya later."
You can tell by the look on Brooke's face that she was serious about that. She isn't one to joke about that.
The day goes on, Riley has two more classes with Brooke, and one with Arien.
"Hey, Arien," Riley shouts as she's walking towards the bus she rides, "lem'me give you a ride."
"Sure." She said, as they walked towards the parking lot. She stays a few steps behind him and watches him walk up to his car. "Wait, you don't drive that, do you?"
"Yeah, is that such a problem?"
"No, it's just I've never ridden in one before."
"Okay, well, I won't go off-road for ya!"
Arien giggles as she walks up to the passenger door. Riley reaches over and pops it opened for her.
She gets in, and they drive off. "Where do you live?"
"Over there." Arien says as she points to her left.
"Cool, me too."
They start driving towards the neighborhoods in that direction. Then all of a sudden "Shit!" Riley exclaims.
"I have to pick up my little sister, do you mind coming with me?"
"Not at all." She says as she glances up and mouths the words "thank you". Riley waits for a safe place to make a U-turn, and goes in the complete other direction to pick up his little sister, Lucy.
They arrive at the school where Lucy goes. Riley parks the car and says "Do you wanna come with me, or do you wanna stay in the car?"
"I'll stay here, thanks."
Riley walks away to go into the building to get Lucy. Arien reaches for the glove compartment as soon as he walks away, locked, she reaches towards the center box, also locked, she looks in the backseat and sees his books, and she picks one up and leafs through it for no reason other than to keep herself entertained.
Riley goes in to the gymnasium and looks around for either one of the teachers or Lucy. He's facing the other direction when he hears footsteps pattering up fast behind him.
"RILEY!" Lucy screams as he turns around and she jumps up on him. "Hey, big brother. How are you?!"
"I'm fine, Luce. Go sign out with the teacher and let's go."
"I already did!"
"Okay then, let's go!" Riley says as he crouches down to give Lucy a piggy back ride out to the car.
When they get outside of the building, Lucy jumps down.
"Riley," she whispers, "who's that in the car?"
"That's my friend, Arien."
"Oooooh, is she your girlfriend?"
"No, I just met her today."
Lucy doesn't listen and she runs up to the passenger door and jumps up, "HI!"
Arien screeches. Riley runs to the car and says "Arien! It's only Lucy, my little sister."
"Hi Arielle, I'm Lucy! Are you my brother girlfriend?"
"Well, not ye—no I'm not."
"Come on Luce, come get in on this side." Riley says as he walks over to pick her up. He holds her under his arm like he carries his books and she bounces up and down as he walks around the car with her. He sets her down and pulls the seat forward. "Get in now."
"Okie dokies!" She says as she hops in.
"So Lucy, how do you like elementary school so far?" Riley asks as they start driving away.
"It's super! I love it! I'm gonna go for the rest of my life."
Arien lets out a little giggle. Lucy just turns and looks at her with this bug-eyed expression.
They pull up in front of Arien's house and she gets out. The moment the door closes and Riley says bye, Lucy hops up into the front seat, and screams "Riley's got a girlfriend!" three times. Arien looks back, laughs a little and turns back around and goes inside the house. Riley is bright red.
"Lucy, sit down and let's go home."
"But Riley! I wanna hear about your girlfriend."
"When you sit down I'll tell you about her."
Riley and Lucy ride home, all the while Lucy saying "Riley's got a girlfriend."
They pull in and Riley gets Lucy out of the car, they both go into the house and Riley says "Okay Luce, get yourself some food, I need to go call someone."
"Is it your girlfriend?"
"No it's someone closer."
Riley runs upstairs and calls Brookes house.
"Hey Mrs. Butler, is Brooke there?"
"No, she's not home from school yet; do you know where she is?"
"No, she wasn't out there so I couldn't give her a ride home, I'll go look for her."
"Thanks Riley, I appreciate that."
Riley runs downstairs and hits the front door dead on. "Sorry, I locked the door." His mom says.
"It's cool mom" Riley said while trying to talk with the wind knocked out of him as he's unlocking the door. He runs out and leaps into the car.
He drives up towards the school, and there's Brooke, walking along the side of the road. Riley drives up a little further and spins around.
"Need a ride?" Riley says to Brooke as he creeps along beside her.
"Yeah, but not from you."
"Brooke, I'm sorry. I called your house wanting to apologize, but your mom said you weren't home. Please, let me drive you home, it's gonna start raining."
"Well, okay." Brooke says as though she were persuaded.
She climbs in and there's water on her face. Riley reaches his hand out the window and says "It's not raining yet though…."
Brooke turns to Riley and starts bawling her eyes out. "I'm sorry Riley," she says through tears, "I hate not talking to you. Can we forget today ever happened? I'll be more tolerant of girls you like, 'cause after all, I am only a friend."
Riley pulls the car over to the side of the road. "Brooke, you're more to me than a friend, you're the best friend I could ever have," it starts to rain, "no one beats your position in my book, not a girlfriend, not anyone."
"Thanks." Brooke says as she wipes her eyes.
"Now let's get you home." Riley says as he reaches back for the wheel.
A car comes speeding past them.
"DAMMIT!" Riley screams. Brooke giggled at it. "Well, I'm glad you're feeling better."
Riley and Brooke drive to Brooke's house and Brooke gets out. She starts walking up to the door when Riley gets out too. He runs up to Brooke. "No wait…" and he hugs her. She pulls back a little, looks up, and in that one moment they feel perfect, like nothing can happen. In that moment, Riley leans in a little further, and kisses her. He stands back up and says "Sorry, it was something I felt like I had to do."
"It's okay, well…. uh…. I guess I'll see you tomorrow morning."
"Yeah, bright and early, as usual."
Riley drives home. He parks and walks into his house. His mom is in the kitchen drinking coffee, "Hi Riley."
He continues to walk upstairs. He sits down at his desk. Turns some music on quietly and hits the calls button on his phone.
You have 10 new messages.
He presses play.
Riley, its Arien, I just wanted to say thanks for everything today, I really needed it.
He smiled when he heard it. The next message came on,
Riley, its me again, are you gonna come pick me up tomorrow morning?
Riley listens to the rest of the messages. They're all from Arien. Riley starts thinking This girl seems like the coolest person ever, but she seems like a little bit of a stalker, I wouldn't mind being friends with her at all, and maybe more, I don't know, I need to think more.
The phone rings and Riley picks up. "Hello?"
"Hey Riley, its Arien, I'm glad I caught you at home…"