A/N: I know you all are wishing me a very painful death right about now. I'm honestly very very sorry for the delay, as I did have this written for about two months now.

Now, I did go back and make a few minor revisions to previous chapters. There's nothing that anyone has to go back a read to understand any future chapters. The most important thing was the school social pyramid. I know I said that it was the normal cliché – bitchy cheerleader, ruling jocks, that sort of thing. However, I changed it a bit. Basically, the jocks are now pretty nice and smart, while the cheerleaders are not too well known. If anyone is confused on this, you could e-mail me (or leave a review) or look back on chapter 2.

I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors and such, as this chapter has not yet been beta-ed.

Chapter 4

I plopped down on the black leather couch in the den, the wet strands of my hair spread out behind me. The lavender scent of the shampoo drifted past my nose, making me sigh in contentment. This was much more appreciated then smelling like the soil from Kayla's backyard.

I took a moment just to relax and reflect on how things went today before getting up to warm up dinner. My plan, to put it lightly, was a total failure. Kay and David were in the closet for about 5 minutes. How were they supposed to bond in so little time? I was expecting them to be there for hours! To top it all off, I now had a friend out for my blood for embarrassing her, and she had no problems getting into my house.

I scowled at the unfairness of it all. Why couldn't things do my way for once? I was a good girl who always did my homework and cleaned my room when forced to. All my hard work has to receive some appreciation. I reluctantly pushed myself off the couch to go get something to eat, preferably something covered in chocolate.

While walking towards the kitchen, my eyes swept across the glass of the sliding door. Stopping short, I turned to look again. I could have sworn that I saw something move. I cautiously moved closer, hoping to get a better look. Something stirred near the clump of trees in the backyard, making the shadows move slightly.

I jumped back, feeling rather freaked by now. This scene was a little too close to the horror movies for comfort. With trembling hands, I grabbed the long, pointy metal pole resting near the fireplace. I never figured out what that was for, but it looked lethal enough to hurt someone if need be. I slowly turned the lock on the door and slid it open, mentally preparing myself to run if things looked bad. Gripping my weapon, I stepped outside and jabbed the pointy end into the air.

"Show yourself!"

The lights above the sliding door turned on when there was motion within its range, so they flashed on unexpectedly, almost making me tumble down the stairs in fright.

I looked at the cause of my fear and blinked. It was that pesky white and brown stray cat that Kayla had once mistaken for a baby! She had insisted it was because we saw it from my bedroom window and it was far away, but I still didn't see how a cat resembled an infant in any way.

Feeling stupid about getting jumpy over a stray, I went back inside and replaced the metal rod. All those scary movies had to be getting to my head. I always did get tenser when I was left home alone at night.

Today, my parents had gone out to dinner and my younger 8-year old brother was sleeping over a friend's house. I had opted not to go with my parents because I wasn't particularly fond of seafood, and that was the specialty of the restaurant they were going to.

After rifling through the fridge and finding some leftover chicken, I settled back on the couch and opened up an empty black and white composition notebook. With neat handwriting, I titled the top Matchmaking Plans. I stared at the heading for a moment and then frowned. It sounded so bland. Most people made fancy operation names for these kinds of things, didn't they?

I ripped out the paper and started again. Operation: Make Friend and Popular Jock Fall Madly in Love, MFPJFML for short. Hmm, maybe the name was a little too long? How about, Operation: Make Friend Less Dense to Feelings? That was MFLDF. No, it didn't have the same ring to it. So, operation MFPJFML it was.

Happy that I now had a proper heading for the book, I proceeded to make a list.

Matchmaking Ideas:

1. Lock in closet: was tried with semi-successful results. Must remember to pick a closet that doesn'thave a key on the inside next time. That might decrease the changes of subjects escaping to murder the innocent matchmaker.

2. Blind date: has much potential, but Kayla would be suspicious and might not agree. There's also the problem of me not being on speaking terms with David. It would be essential to get him to agree to meet somewhere. Maybe I should get an accomplice.

3. Dare: I could dare Kayla to kiss/go on a date with David. The only problem is that Kayla is probably smart enough not to accept any dares from me. And it's not like I could force her to do them anyway.

4. Bet: Bet Kayla that she can't resist David's charms. However, there's a problem of David not making any direct advances…

5 . Get Kayla to somehow kiss David. I heard somewhere that you could tell everything about a person through a kiss or something like that. This could be accomplished through a game of spin the bottle, but I'd have to ring the bottle somehow so they don't end up kissing random people.

I looked at my short list forlornly. I would have to keep adding to it as I got more ideas, but now I needed a break. After finishing my dinner, I grabbed a blanket and settled down to treat myself with the CSI marathon I had been putting off for weeks now.

I got up Sunday morning at around 10:15 from the loud noises coming from the kitchen. Great; that meant my brother was home.

The first thing I heard when I walked into the kitchen was my mother's scolding tone.

"Adrian! Get off that table right now!"

"Yeah midget," I said with a yawn. "People eat there you know."

Adrian glared at me through narrowed green eyes, but jumped off the table at my mother's request.

"I'm not a midget!" he said indignantly.

I smirked. It was so much fun annoying siblings. "That's why you're only four foot five."

My brother threw a piece of pancake at me. "I'm probably taller then you were at age eight!"

I cut into my own plate of pancakes thoughtfully. That was probably true. Even now I'm still short at five foot two.

"Nicole," my mother said.

I looked up at the sound of my name. That tone always meant she wanted something.

"Yes?" I said warily.

"Could you stop by the grocery store later? I'll pick you up so you don't have to walk home with all the bags."

I contemplated my options. The store was only a fifteen minute walk from our house, and grocery shopping wasn't too bad. At least I could pick up some chocolate. Plus, being out of the house meant that I could procrastinate doing my homework a little longer.


After breakfast, I got the shopping list from my mom and pulled on a denim jacket. The mid-October morning was a little chilly, but not that cold. About halfway to the store, I realized that I had forgotten to change out of my pajamas. Well, it wasn't too bad. I had worn my red and black plaid bottoms with a black tank top to bed last night.

Finally reaching the store, I found a cart and proceeded to the isle where the first item on the list was located. I took the required fruit snacks box (my brother loved them) and after debating for a moment, grabbed a jumbo pack of chocolate covered pretzels.

Upon reaching cereals, I quickly located the Special K cereal my mom was using to lose weight and found my favorite Coco Puffs as well. Satisfied on getting half way through the list, I proceeded to get the peanut butter.

I was quite irritated to find that the very smart sales people had had the bright idea to put the peanut butter on the top most shelves. I stared helplessly at the red and white label covering the jar that proudly proclaimed the company 'Jiffy'. How was I supposed to reach the jars that were calling to me?

Placing my feet on the bottom most shelf, I grabbed onto the 2nd to topmost shelf and tried to hoist myself up. I only succeed in slipping and stumbling into the cart. Scowling at the peanut butter that was surely laughing at my predicament, I contemplated the best way to get it off the shelf and into my near-overflowing cart. In the end, I settled for jumping up and down in hopes of getting high enough to get a jar, or at least knock one off the edge.

"Need some help?"

I whirled around in surprise, and then flushed at the sight of someone standing right behind me. I was well aware of the fact that I had been jumping around like an idiot just moments before.

"That would be nice, thanks," I said shyly, tucking a loose strand of dark brown hair behind my ear.

I took a moment to observe the stranger while he got the peanut butter jar down for me. The first thing I noticed was that he was really tall; like at least six foot tall. He had dark brown hair done in little spikes and green-grey eyes. Well, he seemed nice enough.

"Here," mystery-man said, holding out the jar. "Though next time I would ask for the help of someone working here instead of trying to reach it and end up hurting yourself."

I smiled at first, thinking that he was just concerned about me hitting something and getting injured, but upon closer inspection, I realized he was mocking me. That smile quickly turned into a scowl.

I snatched the peanut butter from his hand. "Thanks," I said shortly, dumping the jar in the cart, not caring that it almost squashed the loaf of bread.

The stranger smirked, seeing my agitation. "You know, you had quite a close resemblance to a jumping jelly bean."

I glared. "Isn't it Mexican jumping beans? And it's not like they literally jump moron." I probably shouldn't have insulted someone I didn't even know the name of, but he was just so annoying, and I've only been in his presence for about 3 minutes!

"It's the point of the matter," he said. I swore this guy had the logic of a fish, in other words, none.

"Right," I muttered with a huff, turning to push my cart away. Being around crazy people too long can't be good for your health.

"Bye jelly bean."

I bit my tongue to keep myself from rudely responding to his mocking tone. Gosh, how could anyone stand that guy?! And what's with the stupid nickname that didn't make any sense?

After picking up a few more items and paying, I carried the bags outside and called my mom to come pick me up. I tapped my foot impatiently while waiting for someone to drag themselves out of the house to come get me. My arms would probably fall off from the weight if I tried to carry all these bags home.

"Still here?"

I jumped in fright, sure that it was some serial killer trying to murder me. Instead of an old guy with a gun, I saw mystery man from the peanut butter aisle.

Well, obviously I was still here as I was standing right in front of him. Debating whether to voice my thoughts or ignore him, I settled for glaring.

"Don't tell me that you don't have a way to get home after looking like a brainless idiot trying to get peanut butter."

Who are you calling a brainless idiot you freak! I'm not the one who associates 'jumping' with 'jelly beans'?! I couldn't take it anymore. "For your information, I do have a ride. It's just not here yet."

He gave me a look; the I'm-going-to-pretend-to-believe-you-but-you're-really-an-idiot look, and walked off into the parking lot.

I took deep breaths and started counting to ten to calm down. 1: stay calm. 2: don't let the annoying moron get to you. 3: remember, violence is not the answer. 4: peace, think peace! 5: okay, this stupid counting thing really isn't working. 6: I think the many shopping bags I have would make good weapons. 7: No, I can't risk breaking the eggs. 8: My mom better get here soon…

By the time my mom pulled up, I longer looked like a teapot with steam coming out of my ears. Instead, I had resorted to scowling darkly and glaring at the lamp post, scaring the many kids that walked out with their parents.

The first thing I did when I got home was take out my anger on the bagel I was trying to cut. It ended up looking like a sponge with multiple stab wounds, so in the end, I threw it out and went to take a shower.

10:00 that night found me looking at a blank word document, trying to type the essay I had due tomorrow. Sighing in frustration, I went downstairs to find something to eat. Maybe food will get my inspiration flowing. The first thing I saw when I opened the fridge was the peanut butter. Immediately, the memories of the grocery store rushed back, along with the anger.

I shut the fridge with a snap and grabbed the pack of Oreos sitting on the counter. Pulling one apart, I licked the cream off inside before eating the cookie part. I honestly didn't know why I was so pissed off about the guy at the grocery store. Sure, he was dead annoying, but it wasn't like I would ever see him again. Thank god for small favors.

Cramming one last Oreo in my mouth, I headed back upstairs feeling slightly better. I resolved to forget about this morning and just concentrate on getting my work done.

Before falling asleep, I couldn't help thinking, jelly bean…that's such a stupid nickname…

A/N: How was that for some entertainment? I'm curious, what role do you all think the mystery guy will play in future chapters? And any comments on the nick name? That's based on an experience of mine, though it was not as dramatic as the grocery store incident and I wasn't called 'jelly bean' Tell me what you think!

Thank you to all who reviewed!

jennycraig10: Thanks for the compliments! And don't worry, you will see more crazy actions for Nicole. A friend of mine actually did comment that I made her character exactly like mine, except more outgoing. Not to comforting is it?

The::Sky::Is::Crying: I live to make you laugh The Winnie the Pooh was a spur of the moment type of thing, but I'm gland I put it in if it adds the humor. My characters are based on real people, so they give you a big thanks for liking them!

Lilac Kisses: Your edits are a big help, so I thank you for taking the time to type everything out in your reviews. If you're reading this, please send me an e-mail on the beta-ing status! I did send you quite a bit, so I don't blame you for taking awhile with life to handle as well.

Cherryblossoms89: I really hope the happy color theory isn't true. I just made it up as the spur of the moment thing, but I LOATHE yellow. I'll definetly take a look at your story, but I haven't had time yet.

Special: Writing style is something I work at, so I'm happy that it's paying off. Someone did comment on the tense switching, so I'm trying to concentrate on that, but I sometimes do it subconsciously by accident. I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far!

Stuge: Well, here's your update. Though I know that you're irritated at my lack of updating, I would appreciate you asking more nicely. I don't know if you meant to sound rude, but that's the tone I was getting.

Hikari Princess: Hikari means something like 'light' doesn't it? I've always liked that name. Good penname choice I didn't really mean for Nicole to have a one-tract mind, but I guess I made it seem that way. Note to self: must work on giving her a life. Anyway, thanks for reviewing, and lucky for you, I updated the day you reviewed! So you didn't have to wait four months like the other old readers