Hope called and, like a good friend about to leave town for two months, I hop in the car and meet her at our Chinese restaurant. Packing can wait. I was just going to play World of Warcraft anyway…

But I digress. At the Jade Café, we sit down and order our usual: coke and waters. She can't have sugar—can you imagine that? No sugar whatsoever! I would die—so I was alone in my carbonated indulgence. After the waitress left we started talking about Thomas. Remember, her boyfriend who she doesn't feel anything for? Apparently he called her last night and they made plans for the summer. Hope has some music composition camp but Thomas is covering ground. From L.A. to New York to some film festival to England, he goes all after being a camp counselor for epileptic kids! Yep, he's perfect and to top it all off, he said he wanted to spend the one week he was home with her.

Let me tell you right now, how much I wanted to throw my rice bowl at her when she started whining about how she just wasn't sure that he's the one. I just had to keep telling myself that there're starving children in Bangladesh who would really appreciate a half-empty bowl of steamed white rice.

Come on! She's barely seventeen with another year of high school ahead of her and she wants the one. It's not what you expect to hear from a romance novelist but my quiet fuming was interrupted by Hope's squeaky voice.

"Is that Tony over there?"

I turn around and damned if it wasn't the dude himself, shoveling wonton soup down his throat! He was with his parents but that didn't stop Hope and me from trying to catch his eye. You'd think that two sixteen year old girls, one of which in possession of a boyfriend, would be better at getting a guy's attention. But after a while he looked up and saw my great mug. Believe it or not, he didn't run to my side and sweep me up in his arms. But it was enough for me that he looked my way. A nice reminder of why I liked him so much in the first place.

After a couple of minutes he got up and headed toward the door. For all I whine about Hope, I should mention that she can read my mind. When he passed our booth she motioned for the tab, dropped a twenty and let me bolt after Tony.

Now I know what you're thinking: I am such a filthy hypocrite. I go on and on about how it's too soon to worry about love at sixteen and how much boys suck but that doesn't stop me from going after Mr. Right In Front of Me. Up, I remember all that I said but it doesn't matter, Tony's here and I want a boyfriend before I go off to school!

Wait…is he still lung up on that one chick with a bad accent? I hope not, that would put a damper on my master plan. That didn't stop me from charging after Tony. When I found him outside, he was on his telephone giving typical guy answers ("yeah" "huh" "right") and pacing. When he saw me, he held up a finger, finished his conversation and hung up.

"Hey. Haven't seen you in a while."

That's the problem with going to different schools and losing each other's numbers. "Yeah, how're you?"

"Good."

What happened—we're awkward?! We were never awkward! He would crack jokes and I would smack him and we'd laugh. Now he's being like every other guy in school.

This sucks. Big time.

Hope came out of the restaurant swinging her keys on her knuckle. I never could get that cool, disinterested gesture quite right. Somehow the keys always managed to go flying and hit people in the forehead, very embarrassing. Anyway, she stopped by us and said hello to Tony before telling me she had to pick up her grandmother from the airport and had better run.

The two of us said goodbye and were left in silence. He said something about going back inside and I made a mental note to poke him on Facebook. Upon leaving I went into the Hollywood Video down the street. I was going to buy Mario Kart and shove Mario off a few race tracks.

Don't ask me why but it always is freakin' hilarious. But Mario could hang himself. The second I stepped inside the video rental I laid eyes on a god.

Black work polos never looked so good.

"Can I help you, ma'am?"

Ma'am. Do I look that old? I mean, I've been mistaken for Su's mother (she's almost three years older than me) but do I look like a "ma'am"?

"Mario Kart for the Wii?" I asked, smiling with a closed mouth, strangely aware of my coke-stained teeth.

"Yes ma'am."

He went to the back and brought out the box. After scanning it he held out his hand for my credit card and blinked a few times, "You live in Tuscan Plantation, right?"

It was my turn to blink. So I lived in one of the nicer planned communities in Suburbia many many people did too.

"I've seen you walk your dog; I live on Dawnlight."

Oh, well. I can go for the boy-next-door cliché. No problem, "Do you? I'm on Eastrise."

Tuscan's full of really cheesy names but my address is going to change pretty soon. Maybe I can get this guy to come around before then…

"Nice. That'll be thirty dollars even."

Oh right. I handed over my plastic, took it back with a lurid green bag and stumbled over my feet as I walked out the door. Real smooth but that's how I roll. As I started my car, I glanced at the clock and started swearing violently.

On top of missing my legal curfew, I still had to pack for a trip that was set to start at eight in the morning—nine hours from now! I need sleep so I don't crash at the wheel but how am I supposed to pack?!


When I walked into the house, I let out a sigh of relief. Tragedy averted. Mother was out on the couch and Liam sat parked in front of the big computer. My computer was whirring with a Skype message from Su on the screen. From the looks of it she sent it a while ago but I knew that she'd be sleeping like a log at this hour. I got onto the internet and logged onto Facebook. After I poked Tommy, I turned off my laptop and went to bed.


The next morning I woke up and started on my morning ritual. Once the computer was back up with the speakers shrieking Three Days Grace, I put on my glasses and checked all my emails. Then I was stuck…do I check Facebook?

He might have seen it already but what kind of loser checks their Facebook on a daily basis? I'll just wait for a notification to pop up in my email account.

Right. Before I could stop myself, my stubby fingers had punched in the password and I was staring at a screen that had changed little in the past nine hours.

"Ahh!" I groaned and slammed my head in my hands. I was lower than a hypocrite; I see my best friend after a month of absence and become a doddering fool. Dez has more dignity than I do—and she's obsessed with Match. com.

I needed a distraction. Packing might do the trick…if I can restrain myself from poking around on the computer.

Wish me luck—I'm going to need it.


A/N: I don't own Facebook, Hollywood Video, Nintendo Wii or Mario Kart, and World of Warcraft—just wish I did. Also, I know the third to last paragraph is funky with the website name and everything, but it wouldn't let me do it the right way and I get sick of fighting computers. Thank you everyone for reviewing, particularly GrannyP and cup of glee and sparkles