Ch.1-The Office

I don't know if I'm enjoying this, or dreading it, Zach Eastburn thought, making his way slowly to the top of the stairwell. He was average height with deep, brown eyes and straight brown hair. He was more on the skinny side, but not so much that you had to look away to keep your innocence.

It was the second day of senior year, but that wasn't what was bothering him. No, it wasn't the teachers or the homework or the fact that he had to get up at six a.m. every morning because he lived an hour away from school. It wasn't even the responsibilities of being class president fourth year in a row or getting those last applications for college in. It was facing his best friend, Lauren Kojis.

I've blown my chances with her for sure, he thought, gazing at her from his stance on the stairwell. I've liked her since the 8th grade, but my extreme cowardliness freshman year proved that I could not do anything around her that made sense. She liked me that year. She made sure I knew it too, but somehow that didn't give me any more courage. I became all the more shy, and eventually she backed off. We stayed friends though, because her constant e-mails were hard not to reply to. Everyone knows I still like her, except her. I believe she has forgotten all possibility of that. I am so stupid! I should have asked her to that homecoming freshman year, I really should've. Stupid! Stupid Eastburn! Zach shook his head. There was no use thinking about this anymore. There was no point in trying to solve the impossible. He had blown it…with the girl of his dreams, and that's all there was to it. He sighed. I better get to my locker, he thought. I can't stand here forever.

"Hey Zach," called Lauren. She had gotten all her books together and was on her way to first hour A.P. English with Mrs. Wittkamper, the horrid English teacher that everyone wanted to get rid of.

"Hey," Zach answered, shaking off his previous thoughts and enrapturing himself with Lauren's beautiful blue eyes and curly, shoulder-length, brown hair—without her noticing of course.

"Did you finish your homework, last night?" she asked coyly, shifting her books from one arm to the next.

"We had homework?!" Zach asked in shock. How could we have gotten homework yesterday?!? It was the first day of school!!!

"No," she said, bursting out laughing. She loved to see the cute desperateness of his face just appear out of nowhere. "I was just kidding, you're so cute sometimes!" she said, swaying back and forth in a flirtatious movement. Zach sighed, momentarily forgetting that they were "just friends." Too bad that doesn't mean anything, he thought.

The five minute bell rang as a rush of freshman students past by Zach and Lauren

"Freshman…" Lauren muttered, shaking her head.

"Hey, remember, we were one of them once," Zach said. Lauren shuddered.

"Don't remind me," she said. He smiled. "Well, I guess we'd better get to class," she said.

"Yeah…mmhmm," Zach nodded along. Do I have to?

"So, I'll see you later?" she asked, slowly moving away from him.

"Yep," he said.

"Great! Bye," she said, turning around fully and walking down the hall, while her high ponytail swung from side to side. Zach sighed again. Bye….

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"Good morning Lauren," said Mrs. Wittkamper, from her reclining chair in the back of the English classroom.

"Good morning," Lauren answered as fakely polite as she could manage. She drifted into the classroom. She was trying to keep her anger down. Mrs. Wittkamper was one of those old teachers who just went on and on about her life, but expected you to bring in everything she wanted and have you be okay with her forgetting to give back half of your assignments. She glared at her. Why is she still teaching?!? She thought. Didn't she get like fired or something??? But just as her frustration was about to unfold, Kaci walked into the room, calming her down, a little at least.

"Hey," Kaci said, her short blonde hair bringing out the tones in her golden skin.

"Hey Kaci," Lauren grumbled slowly, still glaring at the figure in the back of the room.

"What's wrong?" she asked sarcastically. Although she knew very well what the matter was.

"Nothing…just…this," Lauren said gesturing to Mrs. Wittkamper with her head and gritting her teeth.

"Oh," Kaci said laughing, "That's why I get here after you, and everybody else." The bell rang.

"Huh??" asked Lauren, obviously confused. She always was, to some point, which made all her friends, especially her best, giggle a little, and try to cover it up.

"I know you're laughing," Lauren said, directing her attention to Kaci's giggles.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Kaci said, bursting out with laughter.

"Ugh," She shouted in all frustration, making Kaci laugh all the louder.

"Is something wrong?" asked Mrs. Wittkamper in the usual way, "Maybe you'd like to share your problems with the whole class, hmm?" Lauren's eye twitched.

"No, no I'm fine," she said, attempting to get out of it, and failing undoubtedly.

"Please, we'd all love to hear," Mrs. Wittkamper said, in that horrid, sweet voice of hers.

"No," she said distinctly.

"Are you talking back to me?" Mrs. Wittkamper questioned.

"Yes, I am," she said with a smart smile.

"Go to the office," she said.

"Fine," Lauren replied, firmly getting up and walking out of the classroom, slamming the door behind her. "Ugh." Kaci grinned. "That's Lauren for ya…"

…………………………………………………………………………………….

After a long walk down the short hallway, Lauren finally entered the high school office, surprised, and astonished to see her other best friend, Zachary Eastburn sitting on the waiting chair.

"What are you doing here?" she questioned Zach.

"Uh…," Zach started, a little confused why she was there, "Got in trouble again," he said, looking down at the floor.

"Zach!" she said, a gaping expression upon her face.

"But, what are you doing here???" He said cutting her off, and pointing a finger at her.

"Uh…, we don't really have to talk about that," she said waving her hands in his face. Zach laughed.

"I think we do," he said.

"Lauren Kojis," announced the principal, "please come in immediately." She gulped.

"Have fun, it's not that bad," said Zach, as she got up and headed into the principal's office.

"You should know," she said teasingly, shutting the door behind her, and getting a kick out of Zach's, "Hey!"

…………………………………………………………………

A few more moments passed, before another familiar face passed down Heritage halls. It was Caleb Conn, the final edition to the four-some. He was tall, and he was a red-head. In a word, he was "social". Caleb was friends with everybody, especially girls. And he was very protective over his gal-friends, let me tell ya. He was also a tease though, so who really knew when he was serious or when he was not? But they all loved him. I mean, it was Caleb!

"Hey Zach, Zach," whispered Caleb from outside the office, "Pss-tuh."

"What?!?" he asked, turning around. "Oh, it's you," he snickered. Okay, so I lied. Not everybody loved Caleb. Zach and Caleb were not on the best of terms. Mainly because Zach liked Lauren a lot and Caleb knew. Plus, Caleb had been closer to Lauren for years, and that was always something that Zach envied, but he tried to act nice around Caleb…for Lauren's sake.

"I heard Lauren's in there," Caleb said, laughing.

"Yeah, but so am I!" Zach retorted defensively.

"I see that, but you're always in here," he rolled his eyes, and wandered off, still laughing. Caleb Conn! If you and she weren't great friends…...I swear……

"Zachary Eastburn, please join us," announced the principal to the still waiting criminal. Zach jumped up, and headed in.

"Lauren tells me, it was your fault," the principal said, as Zach took a seat beside Lauren.

"What?!?" he asked, his eyes widening to the final degree as he turned to gaze at the all too innocent looking girl beside him.

"My reaction exactly, why don't you explain it to us, Lauren, again?"

"Well, you see," started Lauren, a bit uneasy, "Zach didn't say bye to me this morning," she said, making Zach raise an eyebrow, "And uh…I forgot my books, so I was frustrated, and uh….that made me burst out, and Mrs. Wittkamper sent me here, see!" she finished, looking confident in her tall tale.

"Do you believe this, Zach?"

"Uh…," started Zach, trying to think for a minute, if possible. He gazed at the principal's desk where Lauren had placed all her English books, and smiled. "Yes," he said, looking up. "Cause that's what happened, I apologize."

"Well," the principal said, clearing his throat and placing Lauren's books in her lap. She gulped. "Then, I guess both of you can go back to class, and I will be seeing both of you in lunch detention. You may leave now." A great silence filled the tiny area, and both, Lauren and Zach left the office with their books and supposedly headed to class.

"I did it??" Zach asked.

"You were supposed to cover for me!" Lauren said.

"I tried!" he said, throwing his hands in the air.

"You're not very good at lying are you???" she asked sympathetically.

"And you are? Let me see, was it 'he didn't say goodbye, which led to my frustration and…uh'" Zach said.

"Alright, alright, I get the point, but still!" she said.

"What??" he asked. I know she doesn't have a good come-back.

"I don't know!" she said.

"But I know, I did say goodbye to you," he said, looking at her dreamily. She didn't notice though, as always.

"Actually, I said bye, and now I am going back to my locker," she said, prancing off in the opposite direction.

"What about your class??" he asked.

"I don't want to get sent to the office twice," she said giggling. Zach shook his head and the walk proceeded, sending both of them separate ways, smirking the whole time.

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A/N: So…what do you think?