Chapter .o1.
Here I Am

Okay. I am at that point in my life, where I would like to crawl into a dark hole and not come out. For a while. The ominous, Clifford-like 6th letter of the alphabet stared up at me mockingly. In normal terms? A big fat F.

On my Algebra 2 Test. The one that's going to bring down my teetering passing grade. I chewed on my bottom lip contemplatively, pondering the possibilities of me becoming a manager at McDonald's for the rest of my life. They don't require you passing Algebra, right?

"What'd you get?" Lenny asked me, her blue eyes bright with excitement. Of course. She got like, a 95.

I shot her a withering glance.

"Take a wild guess, then divide by half."

"That bad, huh?" she tried to be sympathetic, I'll give her that.

"Just because you're a math geek, doesn't mean the rest of us are below you. Weirdo," I muttered to her as she smiled laughingly.

"You're just jealous," she sang.

Yeah. In more ways than one. Not that she needed to know this particular fact. Lenny was beautiful, standing at five-foot-eight (over shadowing myself by one inch. Poo) with layered, shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair. She was thin, athletic, and had a figure I'd kill for. With the exception of her odd name, she was perfect. Well, excluding her odd obsession with…

"So, anyway, I was at the mall this weekend looking for a new shirt that I saw in this magazine, when the cutest guy ever walked by. Honestly, every girl in the vicinity, that wasn't like…lesbian, not that there's anything wrong with that, but…they wouldn't be looking at him 'cause, y'know….Right... Anyway, all the girls' eyes were glued to him and I was worried that the janitorial staff would have to clean up all the drool. He was that cute. He had these awesome green eyes, and…"

Boys. I won't torture you anymore, but you get the general idea. It honestly got tiring after a while.

I sighed and shoved the paper into my binder haphazardly, and then slid said binder into my book-bag, getting ready for the bell to ring…soon.

I pulled my long auburn hair from under the straps on my bag so it didn't, like, get ripped out of my head. That's why having long hair sucks. It gets caught and tugged on by almost everything. But…I loved it too much to cut it.

A shrill ringing broke through my thoughts, and I stood in unison with the rest of my class, walking like lemmings through the door. Hallways were like…death.

Over-dramatic? I think not. I have scars.


Lenny and I maneuvered the hallways and headed towards our lockers. Luckily, we had them in the same general vicinity, along with our other musketeer, Jake. I quickly opened the lock, and switched out my folders with the things I would need next period. Which was…uh, Spanish II. Eeek.

I totally forgot about that. We have a test.

I paled and made a weird squeaking noise, pouting at my forgetfulness. I turned around to ask Lenny if she had forgotten too, but instead almost got bowled over by some stupid little…

Practice deep breathing.

Do. Not. Kill.

"Watch where you're going, dumbass!" I yelled after the guy with my fist in the air threateningly. Ah. Hallway rage.

The person (whom shall not be named as of now, considering…I don't know who it is) stopped and turned around slowly. He grinned and raised one eyebrow amusedly.

My eyes widened in recognition, and I groaned at my own stupidity. He sauntered over to me as I contemplated making an Anna-shaped dent in the locker next to mine.

"Schmidt, I never knew you were so vulgar," he leaned casually against a locker near mine.

I glared at him in annoyance, "Well, now you do. If you'll excuse me, I've gotta get to class."

I tried to go past him and bumped him out of the way with my hip, but he just smirked and bumped me back before blocking my path. I swear, I could almost feel my eyebrow twitching in annoyance.

"Matherson, move. Please," I added on after a quick moment of thought.

Andy just raised one dark eyebrow at me in amusement.

"Why would I do that?" he asked me innocently.

Psh. As if he could ever be innocent.

'Never say never' some random voice in my head sang and I was tempted to look around wildly for a culprit, but decided to protect others from knowing about my waning sanity. Really, it was quite sad.

"Because I asked you to?" I tried smiling hopefully, "Nicely," I quickly added on.

He blinked with a blank expression and cocked his head in curiosity.

I should have known better.

Honestly. It was like regressing back into 4th grade with him sometimes. The teasing and the...

Okay, stop. I know exactly what you're thinking. And no. No way in hell. You know who made up that saying? I know you've heard it all your life and it's been used and contorted, but originally? Yeah. It was made up by some mother somewhere to make her daughter feel better about being a loser. Who was probably ugly. Harsh? Yes. True? Probably. It's a firm theory I'm sticking by. Besides, I'm about as attracted to Andy as I am to...a frog or something.


"Matherson, go away. Seriously, I know it's amusing and all, but her poor, fragile brain can't take much more," an arm (presumably attached to the voice. I hope. Just how weird would it be for a floating arm to talk? Let alone float…) slid over my shoulders.

Ah, Jake. My savior.

I looked up and grinned at the tall brunette, who grinned slyly back down at me. I basked in the glow of his bright smile and...

Okay, here we go again. I'm not in 'love' with my best friend either. I wish. But no. He's great though. Everything you'd ever want in a guy. Smart, funny, attractive, not a jerk, cares about you, and can actually keep up an intelligent conversation for more than 5 minutes. He's my best friend, and I love him in that sense, but, Jake is a 6' god (I'm convinced), who anyone would kill for.

So, right about now you're asking yourself why I haven't leapt on him, ravished him, and locked him in my basement?

Uh, he's gay.

Yeah. Sucks how that works out, doesn't it?

Meh, it happens.

Well anyway, he saved me (thank god) from the monster of doom (that everyone else calls Andy) and walked with me to class. He didn't have Spanish with me and Lenny because he decided to pursue Latin. I shudder at the thought as I look at his homework each night.

Haha. Sucker.

Okay, by now you're probably wondering 'who the heck is this weird, eccentric girl and why can't she stay on topic?' so I shall answer it. My name is Anna Schmidt and I'm a 16-year-old sophomore. I'm 5'7, with long auburn hair, and blue-green eyes. There's really nothing interesting about me—I'm sarcastic and cynical, my parents were divorced when I was 12 (but honestly, whose parents are still together. Rhetorical, thanks.), and I love soccer. I'm a forward (I play center position, and Lenny is the left). I have an older sister who's in college, and an older brother who is a senior here.

I don't have an enemy that I've hated with a burning passion since I was 5-years-old, I don't go to a guys boarding school, nor do I have a deep burning desire to marry my best-guy-friend. I'm not in love/hate with my brother's best friend, and neither of my parents has forced me into a situation where I am almost forced to fall in love with an unimaginably hot step-brother.

Ultimately, I am cliché-less. that's not a good thing. Who doesn't want their night and shining armor? It always seems to be the hopeless romantics that are left without any romance. Not that I'm a hopeless romantic or anything...okay, but I'm still in the closet.

The truth is, love doesn't always seek you out. Everyone doesn't find their true love in high school, and I've seen enough bad relationships and divorces in my time to almost give up on it. There's still a small glimmer of hope but its fading. I can't keep believing in something I'm not sure is there. I want my cliché, and the sad, pathetic truth of the matter is: that it's not going to happen. Things don't happen in a pre-ordained way, and I don't believe in fate. It's all by chance.

But, enough with my philosophical and depressing rants. Nobody wants to hear that.

'It's a little late to be saying that don't you think?'

I glared at nothing as I told the little insane person in my head to shut up.


I shan't bore you with the details of Spanish class; just know that the end result was no better than Algebra. I'm sensing a pattern here. And it's not exactly a good one.

I trudged towards lunch with the weight of a dead person slung over my shoulders (Read: Bookbag) and grumbled incoherent words under my breath.

"Hey, sis," a deep baritone came from ahead. I glanced up, mid-ramble (jeez. can no one get through garbled thoughts in silence these days?) and stared at my brother blankly. He grinned.

Oh god.

"You're aware that there's no one else—excluding myself—in this hallway, right?" I glanced around to make sure, and then nodded, not quite sure what he was getting at. Did he have a point?

"So, who exactly are you talking to?" he raised one eyebrow (a movement I have not quite been able to master. Nasty little buggers—they don't listen to me!)

I sighed. I should have known. Honestly, there's really no point in having any faith in humanity anymore.

As they say:

"The shittith hath hittith the fan...ith"

I love that movie, but I digress.

I'm so far off topic, I don't quite remember—ah!

I scowled and crossed my arms, a sharp ache reminding me that I had a bag defying the laws of physics on my back, and replied, "Myself. Who else?"

"Right," he said slowly, sarcastically (hmm. maybe it runs in the family..?) "Because you have no friends or family to talk to. Ever."

I gave the pretense of thinking for a moment and then nodded eagerly, "Yep. Sounds about right to me."

"So, what are Jake, Lenny, and I? Chopped liver?"

I raised an eyebrow.

"If you want to be," I said slowly, and then turned my voice into the 'believe-in-yourself' voice all school counselors and therapists have, "You know, James, you can be anything you want to be. You just have to believe in yoursel--"

"Oh, shut up," he scowled at me, and I grinned in response. "Get to lunch," he said and gestured for me to walk with him.

I sidled up to him and looked up with that innocent-little-sister expression on my face. With the puppy-dog eyes and all.

"Y'know Jamsie, if you wanna be the bestest big brother ever," I gave a wide smile that radiated innocence, "You'd carry my big, heavy, book-bag for me, since you're so strong and tall." I blinked rapidly to complete the facade.

He gave a short, disbelieving bark of laughter, and I pouted in response.

"While my ego enjoys the false stroking it's receiving, there's just about nothing you could say to get me to carry that thing," I took this as a challenge and raised my eyebrow.

"Is that so? Hmm. Y'know, I haven't talked to Jenna in a while, maybe the two of us should catch up—" my sentence was cut off as my book-bag was ripped from my body. Oh yes. That was better.

I can feel my spine! It lives!!

'Oh yes. Rejoice.'

Oh, be quiet. You know that you feel as if a weight was lifted from your shoulders and you can breathe again.

'Uh, that's because a weight was lifted from your shouders'

Meh, technicalities.

"You are sad, sadistic, evil excuse for a human being," he stated matter-of-factly.

I shrugged.

"I'm your little sister. It comes with the territory."

We entered the cafeteria.

Well, it was more like a zoo, really, but whatever.

I scanned the crowd with my eyes until I saw where Lenny and Jake were sitting and I gestured towards them for my pack mule. I dear older brother.

"That-a-way, oh servant of mine," I was so gonna milk this for all it was worth.

He looked at me, unamused, but did as I said anyway. Oh, the powers of black-mail.

"You're aware that I'm gonna get you back for this, right? Like, three-fold?"

"Probably. But right now, I'm the winner, and you suck," I said maturely.

He just rolled his eyes and threw the bag on the table, acknowledging my friends before setting off towards his own friends.

"Hey, guys," I said as I slid into my seat across from Jake and beside Lenny. Lenny grinned at me as she inhaled her food, and Jake just glanced up from a book he happened to be reading. I stole a couple of fries from Lenny's plate before she swatted me away and pulled my legs underneath me to sit Indian-style in the booth.

"What'd you have to do to him this time?" Jake asked, disinterestedly.

I shrugged one shoulder as I pulled out my Chemistry books, doing homework for next period.

"Blackmail," I replied simply.

"Mmm," he nodded in thought, as he continued his book. I vaguely wondered what it was about, but couldn't be bothered to ask.

I tapped my pencil against my paper as I chewed my lip in thought. These equations were pretty hard. It might also have to do with the fact that I wasn't paying attention during yesterday's lesson, but really, who can pay attention in Chemistry anyway?

Not me, apparently.

I scanned the crowd with no purpose considering I couldn't focus anyway. Then, a certain person caught my eye.

He was across the room, leaning against the wall, surrounded by other guys. He seemed bored and zoned out, but there was just something about him that drew my attention to him. That's when I noticed it—a guitar case sat beside him. That would be when I did a double-take. I couldn't tell while he was sitting down, but I would guess he had a tall, lean frame. He wore a loose brown t-shirt and worn light blue-denim jeans that had scattered holes in them (but I could see that these holes were actually made by him. how cool). He had longish shaggy blonde hair that hung in front of his eyes (Um, hello, across the room here. If I was a hawk, I'd tell you what color his eyes were. Jeez.) and he wore a leather bracelet on his right arm.

Hello there. What? So I'm a sucker for musicians. Shoot me.

I looked away before I was caught staring—that was a bout of embarrassment that I could deal without, thank you very much.

When I turned back my attention to the front, I could see Jake's eyes looking at me in amusement with his lips turned up in a smirk.

Ah, crap.

"Eh heh heh heh," I laughed nervously, "He-ey, Jake," I grinned weakly, "What-cha readin'?"

He just grinned slyly in response, raising an eyebrow.

"He-ey Anna," he mocked, "Who ya checkin' out?"

I whimpered and begged to be saved. Lenny's head snapped up like a dog that caught the scent of prey.

Oh, please help me. God, why do you hate me? Why?!

"What?" she asked him, seriously. He just shrugged and grinned, her head snapped towards me, and I squeaked and backed away in fear. "Who? Where? When, why--"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Lenny, calm down there," I raised my arms and waved them in front of my face. My first line of defense, as pathetic as that may be.

She sent me a pointed glare.

"It's nothing Lenny," I quickly continued before she could butt in, "Besides, I don't even know him, and you know that I can't point anyone out to you. You are the most obvious person I have ever met. The whole cafeteria would know."

She pouted and quivered her lip pathetically.

I sighed and shook my head at her, "Um, no. You know that I'm right."

She sighed, but nodded anyway.

I sighed in relief and resisted the urge to wipe my forehead. I glanced back over at the guy and recoiled in horror (and I made an awkward squeak as well, but that part's not really necessary…) when I realized he was looking over here, I spun around quickly and faced straight in my seat, and physically forced myself to complete my Chemistry homework.

Yeah. They were all wrong. Probably because I was freaking out inside because that guy might've seen me staring at him like some dazed dork.

Oh, how embarrassing. And Lenny would not let me hear the end of it until either a) she died, b)I told her, or c)I died. Neither of those options were ones I would particularly like to pursue.

Besides, I'd never have to see that guy again anyway.



A/N: Well, what did you think? Continue, discontinue? Got any suggestions? Feel free to click the wonderful 'Submit Review' button. I will love you forever. Mmk. This was a story floating around in my head for a while, and it could be complete crap, but I actually like it. So I'd appreciate some feedback if you'd like. I already have the next chapter over half-way written, so it's just a matter of finishing and posting it. And if I have enough inspiration (wink wink, nudge nudge) it could even come out within the next couple of days. So get reviewing! XD.

I am sure that there are plenty of spelling errors, and other errors similar to that, so if you'd like to tell me so in a constructive way, or give me other advice, it's completely welcome. But there is a line you cross that will hurt my feelings and make me cry. So let's not go there. Yay! 'Til next time, I bid you adeau. (Don't yell at me. I dunno how to spell that)