"It's really is sickening," I said to Candy. She turned back to her food and nodded.

Across the cafeteria, my sister and her boyfriend stood at the soda machine, in each other embrace, exchanging amorous actions and being cutesy-cuddly. This was enough to change my mind about getting a soda. I could hear her giggling from where I was seated and further; I wasn't really interested in what he was saying to her.

"Oh come on Kyra," Sammy chirped. "Its not that bad. I think it's pretty cute. I mean, it's the glory of love and everything."

Candy made a gagging noise. Our dear Sammy was such a romantic. She believed in falling in love and knowing somebody was the one and all tat other Harlequin crap. Not that I didn't, though. But there was only so much PDA I could stand.

I said, "I'd rather not witness it during my lunch hour. I mean, seriously, did I tell you how sick it was when I walked into her room the other day and they were totally making out and everything. I mean, who knows what would have happened if I hadn't interrupted?"

"Nothing that hasn't already happened," Candy said smartly.

"Okay, that was your fault for not knocking," Sammy said, still in my sisters defense. "And plus, no one is forcing you to look at them. It's a big cafeteria. You could look at someone else. Like, say, Mike Walters over there."

Her gaze shifted to the right, where Mike sat with his friends. He was one of the best football players in our school, former cross country champion, had looks, a decent amount of money, and was pretty good in school. It was easy to see why girls liked him. Heck, it was easy to see why guys liked him. All this of course, gave him rights to be one of the schools biggest players.

"Look all you want girls, but you'll never have." Candy- ever cynical.

"Shut up, you know you'd be all over him of you had the chance," I told her.

"Yeah, but I probably won't"

I could tell she didn't fell like she was really missing anything. She'd had her fair share of guys. None of those threats of "sin" stopped her from getting some. I guessed it helped that she was Atheist. She never really believed that she was going directly against God. I'd only met her last year, when she's moved to our town from Houston, and though I couldn't automatically say she was my best friend, we were really close. She was the more outrageous, eccentric part of our trio, where I was the mellow, normal girl, and Sammy was our perky good girl. My family wasn't super religious, but I still believed in God, or at least some higher being. But where I was protestant and barely religious and Candy wasn't at all, Sammy was very into God. Her family was very Christian. They went to Church every Sunday unless something came up and made it impossible, and every Christmas and Easter they helped with the festivities, and her mom even taught Sunday school every other week. A bit of an odd trio, but we balanced each other out, I guess.

Sammy frowned, pushing her dirty blonde hair over her shoulder. "Please, Candy. I doubt that's there's any guy in this cafeteria that would say no to you. I mean, you're trailing right behind the cheerleaders with your history count, and it's not exactly a secret."

Candy shrugged and speared some of the Ravioli. "I am what I am." she said.

"Yeah," I said, "boy crazy."

She smiled. "I like who I like."

While we were laughing, Jen and Taylor sat themselves down around our round table and started on their food.

"Hey girls," Taylor said. "What's up?'

"Nothing," Sammy said. "Just discussing Candy's boy habits."

"Mm." She bit into her sandwich.

Taylor and Jen were both good friends. I hadn't grown up with them like I had with Sam, but we still hit it off pretty well. Taylor was African American with gorgeous green eyes. Her dad was a talent agent, and she was pursuing modeling as her career. I always felt really small when I stood next to her. She stood at 5'9", a whole six inches taller than me.

Jen was the kind of girl who seemed shy at first, but after half an hour in her company, you could feel like you've known her all you life. She wasn't the immediate knockout that Candy or Taylor were, but she had a more subtle beauty. She was doe-eyed with luscious dark hair and fair skin.

"Dude, you need to tell your sister and her man to get a room, " Taylor said to me. "I was trying to get a soda and they were all there on the side making lovey-dovey faces at each other. It totally threw me off and I ended getting a Mountain Dew instead of a Coke. Seriously." I laughed into my water and turned to Sammy.

"See Sammy. I'm not the only one being bothered by June and her 'first true love'."

She gave me a face and said, "whatever."

"June seems really happy, though." Jen said thoughtfully. "I've never seem her like this with any other in guy since I came here. And three years is a lot of guys in you sisters case."

I looked to where June was sitting with her friends, holding hands with Devon. "Yeah, she's really crazy about him. And Devon really cares about her, it looks like."

"And speaking of being crazy, look who's coming." Candy said, looking over Taylor's head. My head snapped up in the direction she was looking, and my heart immediately shot up into double time.

Brandon Jones was tall, lean, blond haired, blue eyed, and most importantly, he was coming right at me. Well technically, he was coming my direction.

I tried not to stare. I really did. But he was just so stare-worthy, hot, amazing?

He stopped between Taylor and Sammy's seat, putting both if his hand on the latter's backrest. "Hey ladies," he greeted us warmly. He looked at each one of us, then his eyed finally settled on me. "Howsit?"

We all smiled back. "Hey Brandon." Taylor pulled up a chair form another table and set it between her and me. "Sit," she said, patting the chair.

"Aw," he said, sitting. "It would have been better if you just stood up and let me sit in your seat."

"And where would I have sat?"

"In my lap, of course. There's plenty of room." We laughed again and Taylor gave him a play slap. "Don't deny yourself, gorgeous. You know you want to."

"So," he said, turning back to face us all, "Its Halloween. Who's going to the Mathews' party?"

Indeed it was Halloween. Posters had been hung up all over the school displaying zombies and dark eyes. Some students had even dressed up. There were some screams and Harry Potters and some devils and I think even a Bad Pitt.

"I don't know if I'll go," Jen said. "I mean, HBO is having an all night vampire-movies marathon. Which is pretty cool." Jen, for all her quietness, was obsessed with vampires. I guess it was her "wild-side" or something.

"Oh well, I can't go. I'm going to be at the church with my parents giving out Candy and scaring little kids."

"Isn't Halloween like, against the Bible though?" I asked Sammy.

"Well. I don't really know. But it is an American tradition. Some friends of my dad were talking about it, and the Church let us use the schooling rooms for scary houses."

"Hmm." Taylor said. "Well, I know I'm going. I hear that Matt's brother is heading down from college with a couple of his friends and a couple of kegs, and I think it is too good an opportunity to pass up."

"Amen." Candy said, lifting her Snapple in Taylor's direction.

"Oh, feeling lucky girls?" Brandon teased.

"You girls are so promiscuous, you know?"

"No! Just confident is all." Candy flashed her best smile. Sam, Jen, and I shook our heads.

"So what about you, Kyra?" Brandon turned to me.

I thought about it. Matt Mathews (funny, right?) and his sister Liz always had a party on Halloween. Every year they had some cool surprise. Like two years before, when I was a freshman, they'd hired some cool, really gothic band that had started playing after every single light was shut off. Then last year they'd released real bats and everything into the house, and it was hilarious to watch other people lose it and run.

"I dunno," I said finally. "The parties are always cool. Maybe. You?" I directed the question back at him.

"It depends on whether you say yes to me asking you out tonight." He smiled brilliantly.

I was totally taken aback. I kind of just started at him for a couple of seconds, until I heard Sammy and Taylor giggle.

"Well, um...uh, sure. I mean, yeah, I guess I could say yeah." More giggling. I could feel a blush creeping into my cheeks.

He banged his hand on the table. "That's good enough for me. Be ready at seven thirty, right."

I nodded. He winked, stood up and left. As soon as he was gone, everyone burst into laughter. Jen kicked me from across the table, saying, "Oh my Gosh, he's one of the hottest guys in the grade. You're so lucky."

"I know. Hon, your are going to have fun tonight." Taylor almost looked envious.

I smiled, the butterflies multiplied in my stomach. On the outside, i was trying to be cool about, but the little person inside me was breaking down in a little happy dancing, singing "oh yeah, oh yeah." I looked down at my tray of food, still smiling, and even the Ravioli looked good.

"Aw, look at her. She's gotten all shy." Sammy poked my nose. It didn't even bother me when they started singing. "Kyra and Brandon sitting in a tree..."


"Miss Smithers, I would very much appreciate if you gave me your attention, and not the tree on the other side of the window. Now, what are the three branches of government?"

I racked my brain for the answer, which I knew that I knew, but was at the moment, just lost to me. After a couple of seconds Mrs. Depalo turned away, half-smirking. "Anyone care to enlighten her?"

See, she was why I hated U. S. history. I mean, in general, I was okay in school. Sometimes, it got tough, because I don't exactly have the best memory, so a kind of had to study some material really hard before it sunk in. Like Math and Physics. But Mr. Chan and Mr. Riley didn't give me such a hard time. But Mrs. Depalo...Gosh, I hated that woman. Ever since the first time I'd had her class, she freaked me out. By this year, it wasn't exactly secret that I didn't respond well to being put on the spot, but it never stopped her from doing it anyway. It really sucked that I had to end every other day with her. But seriously, the lady was a creep. She'd been teaching at this school for more than twenty years, which meant she was probably like, sixty. And it sort of scared me that she was always walking around with that wooden ruler.

But I digress

"Don't worry," one of my classmates, Alicia, who sat in the next row of seats, said to me. "Only seven more months and you won't ever after have to listen to her ramble again."

I smiled. "If we're lucky, she'll get a really bad disease of the mouth and never be able to talk again. "

"Don't get my hopes up."

I couldn't focus on my assignment for the rest of the class. So when the bell finally rang, I was out of there before Ms. Depalo finished telling us that what we hadn't done was for homework. After I'd gotten my stuff from my locker, I headed to Sammy's locker. I passed June the keys when I saw her in the hallway, and she grabbed them, never missing a beat and continuing her conversation with her friend Bell.

I got to Sammy as soon as she was closing her locker.



We found Candy at the car, leaning against the door. We all got in and Sam backed up and drove towards my house. Inside, we said hi to my mom, picked up a cookie from the cookie tin.

"Kyra has a date tonight," Sammy blurted out happily to my mom.

Mom wiped her hands on the kitchen towel and turned to me. "Really? With whom?"

"Brandon Jones." I tried be nonchalant, but I got butterflies form just saying it. I headed for the stairs before anymore could be aid on the subject, and my two friends followed. Once inside my room, I sat down on my bed and hugged one of my teddy bears. Then I gazed dreamily at the ceiling.

Yes, I had a girly moment.

"What are you doing?" Sammy questioned. "You have a date tonight! You have to start getting ready."

"He's not coming for another three hours!"

"Yeah, but I can't stay here until seven thirty. I have to be with my parents, remember? So you have to pick out what you're going to wear and everything before I leave."


We all three walked to my closet and started rummaging through the clothes. I'd like to think I had enough clothes. I mean, I went shopping every so often, when I had enough money or needed something new, but the clothes seemed so few now.

"Should I wear like, a dress or something?"

"No, that's like, way to formal. You don't even know where he's taking you." Candy tossed a shirt over her shoulder.

"Oh my gosh, you're right." I gasped.

Candy stared going through my underwear drawer. "What?"

"How am I supposed to find something to wear if I don't know where we're going?"

"Just pick something that would be accepted like, anywhere," Sammy said, holding up a pair of dark jeans. "Like casual but formal. Formual." She threw the jeans on the bed.


One hour later, we had narrowed it down. The choice was between a cute black skirt that was a little longer than mid thigh, a bright blue long sleeved shirt and blue flats, or the dark jeans Sammy had previously snubbed, a short sleeved dark blue blouse with lace, and some dark ankle boots. After several try-ons of each outfit, we decided on the jeans and blouse. Then Sammy rushed me into the shower, and I had not even fully turned off the water before she was making me sit and doing my hair.

"Sammy, I'm getting the impression you're more excited about this date than I am."

She chuckled. "I'm excited for you. I mean, you've only been on two other dates before. And you've had your eye on Brandon a long time. I think it's about damn time!"

I shook my head and she smacked my shoulder for moving. For a couple of seconds it was quiet.

"I think I need to redo my highlights," Candy said. She was combing her hair with her fingers in front of the mirror at my dresser.

Candy has awesome hair, Its shoulder length and really dark, like black, only not the fake looking black, the shiny, natural looking, black. And it's all in layers, too, so it hangs really well around her face, which is longish. Every couple of weeks she goes and gets highlights. She always does a nice amber color to match her eyes.

"We should go tomorrow," Sam suggested. "Get it done while Kyra dishes about her night."

"If I can make it in one piece."

"June, get outta the bathroom!" I banged on the door. It was a quarter passed seven, and I still hadn't done my make-up. Candy and Sam had left at around six, on account of the little ones started trick-or-treating at that time.

"Go downstairs!" June yelled back.

"No! my make-up's in there."

A moment passed then she opened the door. "Make-up? You don't wear make-up."

"Yeah, well... I'm kinda going out so, if you don't mind, could I use the bathroom now?"

She stepped further into the bathroom, leaving room for me to enter. She moved out of my way so I could get my make-up bag form under the sink. We worked on ourselves in the mirror

"So who's the lucky guy?" I didn't answer. "Ooh, it's that Brandon guy, right? I saw him at his track meeting once. He's hot."

I nodded, carefully applying light gray eyeliner. June smoothed some gloss over her lips.

Somehow, June and I didn't look very much alike. Well, we had the same face shape and nose and our eye color was the exact same, but my skin was a little lighter than hers, and her lips were definitely a little fuller than mine. Not to mention that she had this glorious dark hair hat came down in cascading waves and my red hair was pretty limp. (But not then because Sammy had done such a good job with it.) She'd gotten her looks mostly from Mom's side of the family, and I Dad's.

June grabbed a small container of midnight purple eye shadow, put some on her thumb and smoothed it over my eyelids. "There," she said. "It goes with you shirt."

I looked in the mirror and even though the make-up was barely visible, she was right. The color resembled my dark blouse and looked great with the eyeliner.

"Thanks." I said smiling.

"Uh huh. So, you excited?"


She looked at me and suddenly, it all came spilling out about how I though I might do something wrong and make a fool out of myself seeing as in all my life I'd only been on two dates. I mean, it's not that I didn't like boys, and I wasn't hideous, but there just weren't many guys who caught my attention that way and most of the ones that did, I never really got a chance to talk to them.

She listened the entire time and when I was done, she gave she a big hg and a kiss on the cheek, careful to mess up my hair.

"Honey," she said, and I felt like she was going to turn into Mom. "Relax. You look gorgeous and he'll probably drop dead when he sees you. Be confident. If this guy likes you, it'll just click, you know? Like, don't worry about impressing him. It's like what they say in school. Be yourself. And you have my number. If you need to bail, just call me or something" I actually felt better. Even though June and I didn't talk that much, she was great. She loosened a button on my blouse, so that the first three were open. I suddenly remembered the date ad looked at my cell. 7:29. I ran to my room, shoved my shoes on, and headed down the stairs. In the kitchen, mom looked at me and told me I looked nice.

"But really, darling. Those shoes. Can you even walk in then? The front is so pointy. You won't be able to feel your toes."

"Chill Mom. There's plenty of room. And they're barely high." The doorbell rang. "Oh my gosh." I whispered. I took quick steps into the living room and opened the door.

Brandon looked great. His blonde hair looked the same as always, and his dark grey shirt matched his grey-blue eyes. Hey." I stepped back and gave him room to enter.

A/N Hey, thanks for reading. Review and tll me whatcha think, please!