If you ever become someone, don't ever let anyone buy you a drink. The next thing you know, they'll sit down with you and start talking, and you'll never be able to get rid of them.
So there's this new kid. His name's Seth. Seth, psh. A pretty boy name. And a fitting one at that. Every girl in this school (except, of course, for me) is drooling all over him. I should be building a rowboat, but I don't have any wood. Maybe Seth has some, he's bound to have learned that he might need it.
"You may take the empty seat next to Mae," the teacher said, pointing his finger towards me. Brilliant. Every head in the class turned in my direction. Or Seth's direction, but they still had to look at me to see him. I rolled my eyes and looked down at my desk. Unfortunately, this didn't stop Seth from leaning over towards me, making sure I could see him, and going, "Sup?" flicking his head in a manner I can only guess he thought to be cool.
"Do you have any plywood?" I asked, receiving the blinking stare of utter confusion I had hoped for. He didn't seem to know how to respond, so he turned to a couple of girls behind him and started working his magic. Or at least, the magic he and the girls thought he had.
This, my friend Amy tells me, is why I don't have a boyfriend, or many friends in general. Because I'm mean to people. Which is completely false. I have plenty of friends. I'm not going to suck up to people I don't like just so I get invited to every party on the face of the planet.
Anyway, who needs a boyfriend? I am perfectly happy the way I am. As if I don't have enough to deal with, what with homework and club meetings, and friends, and family without having to deal with a one. A boyfriend, I mean. The whole moving everything out of the way to make plans every Friday night, and going to dances and the mall and the local malt shop thingie so everyone can see us together, and blah blah blah.
And then the whole messy issue with breakups. Yeah. Something I'd rather avoid right now, when I have more important things to worry about. Like, say, my future.
Amy and I are about as different as they come, so don't ask me how we became best friends. She is a) popular b) blonde c) more concerned with her hair and her latest boyfriend than getting into college and d) was voted most likely to become a professional model. I was voted most likely to become a bounty hunter.
Okay, not really, but I bet if that were a category, I'd be the winner.
She's not a clone, though, despite her female cliché tendencies. She is a vegetarian, and very concerned with the environment, and only doesn't want to go to college because she wants to going to join the Peace Corps. I fully respect this, though I don't think I'd ever be able to spend six months in the middle of the jungle, curing sick monkeys or whatever.
I, on the other hand, am not pretty and do not want to join the Peace Corps and help people. I have poop brown hair and "freaky" light grey eyes, and would barf if I had to put a bandage on something bleeding. I want to stay as far away from the wild as possible. This won't be too hard, though, considering I want to work with computers.
But the point is that due to her pretty/daintiness, the new guys naturally go for her. Which is the only reason, I suppose, that he ended up sitting with us at lunch. Right in front of us. As if I didn't already have enough trouble digesting the cafeteria food, without having to look at his stupid, pretty-boy face.
"Hey ladies," he said, doing one of those weird little guy head nod thingies. I made my best effort not to roll my eyes, for Amy's sake, but I simply couldn't help it. He looked frustrated, but didn't back down.
"So," he said, looking right at me, "Amy tells me you're the president of the computer club." I nodded. Yes. Laugh. Get it all out. I am the president of the computer club. But that doesn't mean I'm a nerd. I think.
"Sweet, I'm really into computers too. I want to be a programmer. I'll probably join."
"Hm," I said, trying not to look at his eyes, which were blue. VERY blue. Electric blue. But not even this stopped him. "I'd have to say my favorite program is Photoshop. The possibilities are amazing. Though designing websites with HTML...that's amazing too. The way that so much can come from something so little."
I smiled a bit at that. I felt the same way. Maybe he wasn't so bad after all.
Trust Amy to go, "huh?" and blink at him. She's not dumb, Amy, she just doesn't know much...alright, anything, about computers. In fact, the only electronic device she knows how to use properly is her cell phone, and that's only after hours and hours of practice.
So, following Amy's advice to be nicer to people, I go, "Well, there's a meeting after school in room 119, if you want to come."
He grinned and looked all enthusiastic about the meeting, which resulted in him (I don't even know how, exactly) spilling my drink. In my lap.
After the initial surprise, I tried not to make a face, or start yelling at him, which I would usually have done. Only because a) I'm trying to be nicer to people, and b) because he likes computers. That is the only possible reason I could come up with for why I didn't hurl his drink at him. I took ten deep breaths (as Amy recommended I do when I felt particularly homicidal) and stood up and went, "I. Am. Going. To. Get. Some. Paper. Towels." (I had to force it out real slow as to make sure I kept calm).
I stomped over to the condiments table, only to find that they were completely out of towels. "ARRRAHHG!!" I said, throwing my hands up in the air, and whipping around, only to find a very small and startled freshman standing right there. "What?" I demanded, making him look even more afraid. "There were no paper towels. Schools should always keep paper towels on hand. PAPER TOWELS ARE VERY IMPORTANT-" I stopped and whipped around to the side, figuring it was a lost cause. I would just make myself more upset than I already was.
But you know who was standing there? Yeah. Seth. And I smacked right into him, blinding myself temporarily, due to the fact that my face was crammed into him. It surprised me how tall he was. I suppose I'd only seen him sitting down before, but still. He was significantly taller than me, and also, I noticed, smelled very nice. But I tried not to think about this.
"Hey, look," he said, putting his hands on my upper arms to keep me from walking away, which had kind of been the plan. I'm really really sorry, I didn't mean to. I-"
"It's fine, Seth, whatever,' I said, thinking over and over, calm, calm, calm… "I just need some paper towels. So if you'll please excuse me-"
I tried to walk away, but it was no use. This guy was strong. He had let go of me, but the decided it would be a good idea to grab my arm and pull me back towards him.
"Please do not TOUCH me," I said, more frustrated about not being able to do what I wanted than I was mad about the whole yanking me thing. But that was certainly part of it.
"Sorry," he said, sounding sincere and letting go, pulling something out to show me. "It's just that I found some paper towels and it didn't look like you fond any there."
"Oh," I said, turning bright red against my will. "Um. Thanks. Sorry." I took the paper towels, feeling like an idiot. And to top it all off, when I looked up at Seth's face, he was smirking. Smirking.
"Got quite a temper there, dontchya?" he went, crossing his arms and looking down at me, with that stupid smirk plastered on his face.
I glared. "Well MAYBE if you hadn't SPILLED MY DRINK ON ME, you wouldn't be seeing my temper." He looked flustered for a moment but just smirked again.
"So," he went, "I guess I owe you a drink then, eh? How about I pick you up at seven tonight and I get you a replacement?"
I raised an eyebrow at him, trying to figure out whether or not he was making fun of me. He looked completely honest, but I couldn't risk him laughing at me, and then telling the whole school about it.
Not that I would have said yes even if I were sure he was honest.
I rolled my eyes and went off again, taking the paper towels with me past our table so I could pick up my backpack, and towards the bathroom.
"What're you…?" Amy blinked at me, obviously not having heard me and Seth's previous little conversation. I didn't bother to respond to this, afraid he would make it to the table before I left.
As if I wasn't already upset enough, when I got to the bathroom the paper towels weren't dong much to help the condition of my pants. I noticed the hand dryer and could practically feel a little light bulb popping over my head and clicking on.
So I walked up to it and turned it on, hoping it would succeed in drying me. So, naturally, this girl walks in and instead of using the bathroom or fixing her hair or whatever, she starts staring at me.
"What?" I demanded, punching the blow-dryer button again since it turned off. She walked slowly to a stall, looking at me the whole time. I rolled my eyes at the world, especially my pants, and headed to my next class. Despite my best efforts, I still got there about thirty seconds too late.
"Tardy, are we Mae?" the teacher said, squinting one of his eyes and raising the opposite eyebrow at me, in a manner I can only call freaky.
"Well, I had to-"
"That was a rhetorical question, Mae, now take your seat."
"SIT DOWN." he roared, hurling a piece of chalk at this kid's desk, causing him to jump about twenty feet in the air. I sighed and did what he said, not wanting to draw any more attention to myself. I passed a desk filled with Seth on the way there, and he did head flicking speal again, but I just ignored him. Actually, I was able to continue ignoring him until seventh period, when he was in my class. Again. My digital graphics and animation class. Thankfully he wasn't sitting anywhere near me again, though I could still see him. He kept looking over at me, and whenever I noticed he would either look away really fast, or waggle his eyebrows at me. I made an effort not to look in that direction.
All was going well until the computer club meeting after school. It was in the same room as the graphics/animation class, so I didn't have to go anywhere. However, Seth decided it would be a good idea for him to plop down next to me. I rolled my eyes as people started filing in, including my closest computer club buddy, Jessica, who took a seat on my other side. She raised one of her eyebrows as if to say, "Who's that guy?"
I tilted my head to the side and flicked my eyebrows up once, quickly, frowningly slightly, to say, "I haven't figured it out yet, but maybe if we ignore it, it will go away."
"Alright, kids," the teacher, Mr. Wittling said. "I have exciting news. We'll be doing a real world project. Mrs. Vandenbelt, the government teacher, has to give a special presentation and needs pamphlets etcetera made, but she doesn't know how to use a computer."
Someone in the back of the room snorted. "Not everyone," Mr. Wittling said, "Miss Larson, was born in the technologically advanced age of computers, where they teach this all at school."
She turned red and slumped in her seat, but didn't say anything more. Mr. Wittling kept talking. "So we'll have a little competition to see which of you will have to privilege of doing this."
I smiled. I was usually the one who got to do these. We got some basic information and had to create a preview of what we would be making. Mine turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done, which is the only reason that when I looked over at Seth's computer, my jaw dropped.
His was good. Really good. Maybe even better than mine. …Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but it was still very well done. I was impressed.
But that didn't mean that it was going to beat mine. And it didn't.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" said Mr. Wittling, coming up behind us. Seth began explaining his idea, then I explained mine. Mr. W looked them over repeatedly before going, "These are both extremely well done, but it different ways. It was going to be a tough decision, but I've come up with a better idea."
Better idea? What was he talking about? What could be better than giving me the job?
"I would like you two to work together on this project."
"It's quite large, and may take a couple of weeks, but I think you two can handle it."
You have to be kidding me.