I met Matt Hunter last summer when he moved in across the street

I met Matt Hunter last summer when he moved in across the street. His parents became friendly with mine very quickly, and they thought it would be cute if we were friends too, so they introduced us and tried to get us to hang out and everything. It didn't work.

Matt was such a jerk. He criticized everything I did, ignored all my attempts to be friendly, and just treated me like shit. After awhile, I tried to avoid him whenever I could. By the end of the summer I was tired of seeing him, and more than ready to go back to school.

I knew he was going to be going to my school, but I was sure everyone was going to hate him as much as I did. I was wrong. Matt became the most popular guy in my school like, overnight. He was all anyone was talking about, and as soon as everyone noticed what an asshole he was to me, my already questionable social status dropped just as quick. I was always the girl no one really talked to, but no one really had a problem with. Now, I was just uncool, and as such, the subject of public ridicule. Everyday, I had to go to school and deal with insults from the whole in-crowd, especially Matt, and then I had to go home and still live across the street from him.

It was going to be one tough year.

Chapter 1

Monday morning I was up before my alarm even went off. I went through my whole morning routine, shower, teeth, hair, etc. I even put make-up on. I put on the outfit I had picked out the night before: my favorite jeans with the hole in the knee, with a black tank top with a baggy khaki colored long wrap-around sweater. I kind of like to hide in my clothes.

I wanted my first day back to be perfect this year. I was a junior! Two years left, and I was gone. This year, I was going to become popular.

As soon as I walked into homeroom, I knew nothing was going to go as planned. The first person I saw was Matthew Hunter, sitting right in the back of the room, dead center, smirking up at me. And the only place to sit in the whole room was right in front of him.

Sighing, but not willing to make a scene by either refusing to sit down or asking someone to move, I sat down in the empty seat. What did it matter, anyway? I was going to show him. He was such a jerk everyone was going to hate him anyway, and he would totally eat his words when he saw how popular I was going to be this year. This was my school, not his.

"Jen." I ignored him.

"Jen!" He whispered louder, and poked my shoulder hard. I still didn't move, even to acknowledge the pain in my shoulder.

"JEN!!" He shouted this time, making the entire room, including the teacher, turn and stare at us both. Great. Perfect!

"What?" I hissed, turning around finally. "How can I help you, Matt??" He was such a skater. He was dressed all in black, even his jeans, and his hair was sticking up all over the place at all these crazy angles.

"Hey." He was still wearing that horrible smirk on his face, his lip twisted like he knew something I didn't. I waited, but he didn't say anything else.

"You shouted to the whole room just to say 'Hey'?"

"Your sweater's too big, you look weird. You should buy a new one."

"This is new! Besides, I don't care what you think! Leave me alone!"

"You should buy a new one."

I turned around. But I felt bad that it was his first day and I wasn't being more sympathetic to that. Bracing myself, I turned around again.

"Do you need any help finding the office or anything?" Please say no. Please say no.

He scoffed. "Like I want anyone to see me with you. They might think we know each other or something."

"I was trying to be nice!"

"I don't need you to be nice to me, Walker. Just turn around and check your make-up."

Ugggh! Whatever.

Matt was in every one of my classes that day. He sat in the back, and every time I made a comment or asked a question to the teacher, he would snort.

By the time I had my lunch break, I was so frustrated I wanted to scream. The jerk was distracting me so much, I wasn't even thinking about making a good impression on the in-crowd! I ordered the complete wrong meal in the cafeteria, right when Camile Meyers, the most beautiful, most popular girl in the Junior class walked by with all her little groupies. One by one they turned, looked at what was on my tray, looked up at my face in disgust, and pushed past me. It was the longest 30 seconds of my life.

When I saw Kelly, my best friend since I was 10, sitting at a table in the cafeteria I was so relieved I almost cried.

"Kelly, you won't bel-"

She cut me off. "Jen, there is a new guy this year, and he's sooo hot! Megan saw him at his locker earlier, and she said he's even cuter than Cole Anderson, and he's the hottest senior this school has ever seen! We have got to meet him! I think-"

This time, I cut her off. "That's what I'm trying to tell you. He's such a jerk. I met him this summer and he's done nothing but make my life miserable since the first moment! He's not even cute, and there's no way anyone in this school could like him anyway! He's way too rude and sarc-"

Just then, I looked over at the popular table, and saw the worst sight I could have imagined. Matt was sitting there, next to Cole Anderson, high-fiving the captain of the football team and laughing his head off. As I watched, they all turned their heads toward me, sneered, and started laughing again.

Great. Just Great.

Chapter 2

I looked at Matt as he walked up to me. "What do you want, Hunter?"

"Just to talk to you, why?"

I sighed. "I don't think I can deal with all your shit today. I'm sorry, but it's been a long week, and I'm not really up to par, and I don't need you to make my life miserable. So, just, don't kick me when I'm down, ok?" I mumbled the last part, staring without seeing at the ground between our feet.

I didn't really expect him to listen. He never listened. But I watched as his brown shoes turned around and slowly disappeared from view.

Wow. That's never happened before.

"I can't believe you just said that!" Kelly said, coming up behind me.

"Why not? It was the truth."

"Well, duh! But I thought you didn't want him to know how much he gets to you?"

"Oh yeah. You think he could tell?" I asked hopefully. Kelly just rolled her eyes at me and walked away.

I walked into my last class of the day, Computer Applications. My favorite class, because I'm really good with computers. Besides, it's the ONLY class that doesn't have Matt in it!

The real reason I've always loved the class is because when you get your work done you get to get on the Internet. I was checking my email, and I got this random note through the schoolwide system. I couldn't tell who it was from, but it simply said:

You look pretty today.

Nice. It really made my day. That is, until on the way out of class, some idiot threw his foot in my path and tripped me, making me fall and all of my stuff go flying everywhere. Most people kept rushing past me in the hall, kicking my stuff out of the way in their hurry to get out of school, some even paused just to laugh at me, but no one helped. I chased down my last pencil, threw it all in my backpack, and took off.

I ran all the way out of the school, wishing more than anything that I was home already, blasting Fall Out Boy and writing in my journal about my crappy day, and all the crappy days I expected to follow it. I got all the way out there and realized…I missed my bus.

The parking lot was almost completely empty, it being Friday and all. The only people I saw were the Football players heading to practice. I was going to have to walk home.

Standing there, after the day I had had, now forced to walk 15 miles in the hot sun just to get home, I burst into tears. I couldn't take it. I just sat down in the parking lot, exactly where I was, and cried.

"Hey!" I looked up to see…exactly the same person I never wanted to see again! Matt had pulled his car up right next to me and was leaning across the passenger seat, yelling out of the open window. "Jen!"

I looked up at him, and he put the car in park, jumped out, ran around and kneeled down in front of me before I could blink.

"What's wrong, what happened?" He asked urgently, looking me up and down as if he were searching for bruises or blood or something.

I was so embarrassed I could have dropped through the ground. Don't let him see my weaknesses, my ass! I buried my head in my arms.

"Why are you crying?" Matt pulled my hands away from my face, leaving me staring into his clear green eyes.

"I had a bad day, and I missed my bus. It's stupid, ok, I know! But I'm stupid! So just go away, Hunter. Just go away!" I tried to pull my arms away from his hold, but they wouldn't budge. He stared at me for about 30 seconds then pulled on my arms until I stood up with him.

"C'mon. Get in the car, I'm taking you home."

He let me out at my driveway. As I ran away from the car, I could've swore I heard his voice. "You're not stupid."