.1.

The song of the day was 'Close To You' by The Carpenters. There is, in my opinion, no other song that could be more terrible that that one. Lauren requested the DJ to put it on repeat, and as her blue golf ball sailed into the last hole without any complications, I despised her even more.

"Top that." As she bent down to retrieve her ball from the hole, her huge ass flung up in the air and I wanted to throw my putter at it.

"Calm down, Kels," my best friend, Rayne, whispered. "Don't do something drastic."

"Now, why would I do that?" I flashed her a sparkly grin and dropped my pale yellow ball on that ugly green carpet crap. I suck at golfing, but I prayed to God that this stupid thing would go in that hole with ease so I could shut Lauren's big fat mouth up.

"We're waiting," Lauren said, tapping her manicured fingers on a large oak tree. "Today would be nice."

I tapped the ball swiftly, and bit my lip hard as it sailed over the narrow bridge and bounced hard off of a large boulder. Damn it.

"Ha!" Lauren exclaimed. "I win already!"

"Shut up," I snapped. My mom thinks I'm terrible for treating my cousin like this. But when she stops being such an asshole, I'll stop being a bitch. It's as simple as that. But since Lauren has the biggest behind in the world, I doubt she'll stop with the asshole-ism any time soon.

"You don't have to be so jealous." She waved the scorecard in front of my face. "You played a good game."

"Whatever," I sighed. "Let's just go."

"Sore loser," Lauren muttered. "Jamie wouldn't have been like this." Jamie's our other cousin and she and Lauren are like, best friends. She usually comes down every time Lauren does, but due to travel difficulties, Jamie remained in Orlando for fall break. Lauren and her mom had been here for four long days, and today was thankfully the last.

"Girls!" Aunt Sheila exclaimed. "How was it?"

"I won," Lauren chirpped. "Rayne came in second, and Kelsey lost."

"Too bad." My mom swatted a fly away from her margarita. God forbid something gets in the alcohol. "You'll get them next time, Kelsey."

"Yup." I grabbed a Cracker Jack from Rayne's bag. "Can me and Rayne go to the snack bar?"

"Sure," she answered. "We'll be here when you get back."

I gave them a half-hearted wave, not feeling at all guilty for leaving Lauren alone with the adults.

"You looked like you wanted to strangle your cousin back there," Rayne giggled. "I don't blame you. She was getting on my nerves. And that song! How can you like The Carpenters?"

"It is possible," I murmured, scanning the menu for something that sounded good. "I'm going to get a hotdog and a soda. What about you?"

"Just a water," she replied. "Why even bother eating? It'll just make me fatter."

"Rayne, you're not fat!" I moaned. "You are perfectly curvy, while I, on the other hand, am all angles."

"You're beautiful," she argued. "You have killer legs."

"Let's stop this now." I threw my hands up in defeat, and gave the cashier a 'What the hell are you looking at?' stare. He quickly returned to sorting his bills.

"Have you see the new guy?" Rayne asked, completely changing the subject. "His first day was on Tuesday and he's gorgeous."

"There's a new guy? When did this happen?"

"Tuesday," she repeated. "I've been meaning to tell you all day, but I guess I forgot."

"Name?"

"Um, Giovanni something. He's in my Physics class. He didn't say anything though. It's like he's got some big secret."

"Where's he from?"

"No one knows," Rayne sighed. "He just...appeared. Like a ghost."

I laughed and turned to the guy to place my order. "I don't think I'd bother with school if I was a ghost."

"He has these amazing eyes though," Rayne continued. "Like a hazelish aqua kind of thing. I think they're contacts."

"I think you're insane." I dropped a five in the cashier's hand, and he handed me a steamed-up hotdog container, a soda, and a water bottle in return. "You already have a boyfriend. A perfect one named Sean."

"There's nothing wrong with looking," she said. "And trust me, it's hard not to. I bet most of the female population at McCulkin has already tried to make a move."

I squirted ketcup on one half of my hotdog and mustard on the other half. "Are you sure you don't want some of this? It's going to be awesome."

She bopped me on top of the head with the bottle and covered her ears as 'Close To You' started again. "Jesus, this needs to stop," she mumbled. Even though I probably hated it more than she did, I sang along with my mouth full until she hit me again. I continued.

"Why do birds suddenly appear, everytime you are near? Just like me, they long to be, close to you!"

WHACK!

"You know you love it," I laughed.

Another blow to the head shut me up quickly.

.&.

School sucks in general, but it sucks even more after going back after a five day absence. My alarm clock rang obnoxiously at seven, but I smacked the snooze button and rolled back over.

I woke up again at ten til eight with my mom screaming up the stairs, "IT IS TEN TIL EIGHT! YOU NEED TO GET YOUR ASS UP!"

"Shit," I muttered, stumbling into the bathroom, and reaching for my toothbrush. I was still half asleep, so I probably brushed for about three seconds. After washing my face and throwing on jeans and a sweater, I flew down the stairs, reaching out to grab the keys on the kitchen counter on the way. They weren't there this time for me to snatch.

"Mooom!" I whined. "No! I don't want to ride the bus!"

"I'm sorry!" she exclaimed. "But I need it today. I've got a job interview."

"Another one?" I sighed, and then saw the keys gleaming between her fingers. "Can I just have the keys? Can't you just get a ride with one of your friends?"

"They're all busy."

Liar. "No, they're not. You're so lying right now."

"No, I'm not." She pulled on her coat and glanced out through the screen door. "You're going to be late. The bus should be there soon."

Bitch! "You're serious," I said.

"Very much so."

"But I can't ride the bus."

"Why?"

"Because."

She raised her eyebrows and dangled the keys in front of my face. "Sorry, babe. You loose."

"You're so unfair," I complained.

"Oh, grow up, Kelsey," my mom sighed. "You're seventeen-years-old. One little school bus ride isn't going to kill you. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm so late." She pushed past me and the screen door flung close after her.

"That weasel," I muttered, grabbing my backpack and racing out the door. The bus that runs through our neighborhood is pretty empty, from what I've seen the few times I've ridden it. Maybe that's because we live in a neighborhood filled with 2,000-year-old couples who scream at the squirrels, and young people with snot-noosed 6-year-olds that will run you over with their big wheels in the blink of an eye. There are few people my age that roamed the streets of our neighborhood, so I was suprised when I saw a guy leaning against a lightpole, staring off into space.

I finally reached the bus stop. He was the only one there, and with one look, I could tell he was the new guy. He was exactly as Rayne described him. Gorgeous and mesmerizing eyes. Eyes that seemed lonely and depressed.

I cleared my throat, and he glanced at me. His eyes travelled my body, from my scuffy laced-up shoes, to eventually, my face. He gave a slight nod in approval, and I wondered how something that beautiful could think I was decent. He had, has Rayne described, aqua-colored eyes with flicks of hazel, golden brown curls, and a natural tan. I had to introduce myself.

"Hello," I said. "My name's Kelsey Weaver."

He raised his eyebrows, stepped toward and pushed me against a tree. At first, I was alarmed and was about to breathe in his face so he would drop dead. But then he pushed my honey-colored locks away from my face and kissed me, hard, on the mouth.

My breath reeked. I knew that. I was planning on not speaking at all and then begging Rayne for some gum when I got to school. But now, with this guy's tongue in my mouth, he didn't back away like my morning breath even existed. I melted.

When he pulled away, he did it abruptly because the huge yellow school bus rounded the corner. I couldn't breathe. Finally, the bus slowly approached us and open it's doors.

"I'm Giovanni Rivera," he said over his shoulder. "It was nice to meet you."