A/N: A side-story to our novel "What a Day May Bring". For readers of WaDMB, have no fear, this will not spoil anything for you. The way that this story will end, they're leaving for their senior trip. And for readers of this story, WaDMB will not spoil anything in this story for you either. So feel free to readboth.
And review. Please. With a cherry on top? (See? We asked nicely!)
The weather outside reflected Kaitlin Anderson's mood. Cloudy. For the first time in months, rain poured from the sky, causing the temperature outside to finally feel like the time of year it was - winter.
Kaitlin would have much preferred the sunshine.
Said teen nervously sipped her coffee, staring out the rain-streaked window of the small coffee shop. It was noon on a Sunday, and Kaitlin had nothing better to do. Not that she ever did, of course. Not since her mother had moved her to this small town. While she knew the people who had lived here all their lives didn't think the same, it was hard for her not to find this place excruciatingly boring on the best of days when she compared it to her old home in the city.
She was honestly surprised that this place had a coffee shop - she hadn't thought they'd even heard of things like this out here. Granted, it was no Starbucks, but it was better than sitting at home.
There weren't very many people out and about on Sundays here; they were either in church or at home, seeing as almost everything was closed. Still, there were a few people milling around the small shopping complex that held a grocery store, a movie rental, a pizza place, and this little coffee shop.
Kaitlin attempted to amuse herself by watching them. There was an elderly couple, neither of which looked strong enough to be out of their home, a worn-looking woman with three children of ages roughly three through nine and one baby, and some redheaded guy who looked like he had an attitude
Of them, only the guy appeared to be heading toward the coffee shop.
'Great. I hope he doesn't hit on me.' She'd had too much of that in the past week. Apparently, any new girl in the town got the boys attention.
Draining the last of her coffee, Kaitlin made her way to the counter, intending to get a refill. Seventeen was too young to be a coffee addict, Kaitlin decided, yet she was. Her dark brown eyes scanned over the menu. Before she knew it, she was next in line, and the girl at the counter looked extremely impatient. "Can I help you?" She muttered in a bored tone.
Kaitlin hesitated for only an instant. What did she want. As she opened her mouth to reply, a voice behind her spoke up. "Yea, I need a iced-hot chocolate. To go, please."
She whipped around to face the speaker, finding the boy from the street staring down at her. He's sort of cute. . The thought quickly left her mind as she glared at him. "I was next in line, you know."
"Yeah? And you were taking too long. Good Lord, it's a coffee shop. You tell the people what you want, get your order, and drink your coffee. It's not a difficult process."
"I didn't know what they had!" Kaitlin protested, watching as the girl at the counter handed the red-head his drink. Flustered, she turned back to the counter. " I need a caramel latte."
"New in town?"
She turned around, to find the teen still behind her. He took a sip of his drink, staring at her through blue eyes. He was short for a guy, probably no taller than 5'10, Kaitlin would have guessed. Thin, with shaggy red hair. . and was that blue tips at the end?
The girl blinked for a moment, taking her order from the girl, and nodding slowly. "I moved here a few weeks ago."
"Las Vegas. Why do you ask?"
He shrugged, "Just curious. You look like you're from a big city."
She nearly choked on her latte.
"Just what is so obvious about that?"
He rolled his eyes, "You obviously know nothing about small-town life. Otherwise you wouldn't be staring out the window of Rio Java looking like you're about to fall asleep."
Brushing a strand of hair out of her face, Kaitlin blinked up at him and replied, "You mean that there are actually things to do around here?"
The teen nodded, "If you know where to look." Dark blue eyes scanned her up and down, before he gave her a slight smile, and stuck out his hand. "I'm Caleb Motomiya, by the way."
She nervously took his hand, and shook it lightly, feeling a little more than uncomfortable. "Kaitlin Anderson."
"Starting school on Monday?"
The question startled her, though she wasn't sure why. "Yes. Monday morning, bright and early." She gave him a fake smile, which caused him to snort, and chuckle slightly. Alright, so he might be rude, but he did at least have sense of humor.
"Cool, I'm starting again on Monday. Haven't been there at all this school year. Looking forward to going back." He opened his mouth to say more, before a sound filled the air. He let out a small curse, looking down at his cell phone before answering it. Kaitlin was intrigued he didn't even answer the phone in English.
"I gotta go." Kaitlin watched as Caleb stood, and brushed a piece of hair away from his eyes. For the first time in the hour that she had known him, he gave her an honest to God smile. "It was nice meeting you, Kaitlin. I'll see you Monday?"
And with that, he was out the door.
Kaitlin twirled a lock of hair around her finger, anxiously waiting for the person who was supposed to show her around her new school. Why she needed anyone to show her around a school that would fit inside her old cafeteria she didn't know, but she was forced to wait by the office until her guide showed up.
She regretted coming early, although it had seemed like a good idea that morning. She hadn't wanted to be late for her first day, but sitting on this bench being stared at by everyone who came in seriously made her wish she had slept in.
A tall blonde girl started to walk by, then saw her and came over. Kaitlin instantly felt like she was under a microscope. When the girl nodded to herself and smiled at her, she realized she had passed some sort of test.
"Hi; I'm Adelle Richardson. You're new here, I take it?"
Slightly wary, Kaitlin replied, "Yeah. I don't suppose you'd know whoever's supposed to be showing me around?"
The blonde blinked, then nodded. "Most likely it will be Shannon. She usually does things like that. Why, I don't know - who needs a guide to find their way around this place?"
A small smile found its way onto Kaitlin's face. Maybe this place would be alright, after all.
"I was actually thinking that myself."
The two girls shared a smile before Adelle started to walked on down the hall toward her locker. Only a few minutes later, a very pretty red-headed girl came in through the doors, her face flushed bright red. She looked around for a second before she saw Kaitlin, and instantly ran over to give her a hug
"You must be Kaitlin! You're going to have a great time here - this is a wonderful school. Okay, so most of the guys can be kind of perverted, but it's not really any worse then other schools. I'm Shannon O' Conner, by the way, nice to meet you!"
Kaitlin stifled a laugh, sharing another look with Adelle. "She's talkative, but I promise, she's harmless. . . . sometimes." Shannon shot Adelle a glare, but the blonde didn't seem to take notice.
"Ignore Adelle. She doesn't know what she's talking about." Shannon retorted, but a smile was evident on her face. "Come on, I'll take you around."
It took Shannon a grand total of ten minutes to show her from class to class, and that included stopping in the hall and talking with a few people. As the girls made their way to their home room, tall, dark-skinned boy poked his head out of the last class room. "Irish! Where have you been?"
"Showing the new girl around, nosy." Shannon replied, leaning upwards and giving the boy a small kiss.
"You didn't see that," Shannon's boyfriend replied, grinning.
With a smile that matched his own, Kaitlin made a motion over her mouth. "My lips are sealed."
"Good, good" He replied in a good-natured voice.. "The last thing we need is another PDA suspension." At that, Shannon's cheeks tinged the slightest bit pink.
Kaitlin decided she really didn't need to know.
"Sweet Lord, are you two still together?"
All three turned at the new voice, and Kaitlin heard the boy take in a breath as Shannon squealed. "Caleb!"
The red-head gave a grin and a wave as he met them in the middle of the hall, taking a quick look at Kaitlin. He nodded toward her, and was soon enveloped in a hug by Shannon. "Heh, nice to see you too. Joshua, seriously, you have to keep this girl restrained. Do you see how she just threw herself on me?"
Shannon's boyfriend, "Joshua", rolled his eyes and stuck out a hand. "Nice to see you back at school, Caleb. We've missed you, seriously."
"I'm glad to be back," Caleb replied, looking around the school in a nostalgic way. "This is so much better than . . ." He sent a quick look to Kaitlin, before shrugging. "Well. . you know where I've been."
The other two teens nodded.
Shannon sighed sadly, then seemed to perk up immensely.
"Well, at least you're back. Now, I don't suppose you've met Kaitlin yet, she's just moved here-"
"From Las Vegas. Yeah we've met," He stated, glancing over at Kaitlin as he did so. For some reason, Kaitlin felt embarrassed.
"Really? Where'd you meet?"
Kaitlin nodded, finally seeing a chance to break into the conversation.
"Yeah, we met there. He stole my place in line," She added as an afterthought, glaring at him slightly, then smiling again. "That place was the only one around here that has the right kind of coffee for my caffeine addiction. I don't know what I'd do if this town didn't have a coffee shop. . ."
She trailed off, embarrassed by the slightly pained look on Caleb's face and the downcast faces of the others. Just then, Adelle poked her head out of the classroom, saw Caleb, and sneered. Kaitlin nearly jumped; Adelle looked positively malicious, and she had seemed rather nice earlier, if a bit cold.
"Hey, Motomiya - coffee, hmm? From one addiction to another, I guess. You'll never change."
Caleb bristled, Joshua caught him by the arm, and Shannon glared at Adelle. Kaitlin just blinked; it was quite apparent that she was the outsider here, because she had no clue what was going on.
"That was mean, Adelle," Shannon said, breaking the heavy silence that weighed on the group. Adelle said nothing and disappeared back inside the classroom. Kaitlin coughed slightly, drawing all eyes to her.
"Um. . . . excuse me but. . . am I missing something here?"
She was met with six pairs of eyes on her, and she muttered, "Forgive me for asking . ."
What had she gotten herself into?