Before I start I would like to say that I'm looking for a beta-reader, just to be sure its good.
As Ariana walked down the hallway, I looked down in disdain. She hated me and I hated her. She thought I was a selfish jerk, and I thought she was a stuck-up snob. I was Shawn Riffs and she was Ariana Milana. There was no way we could ever co-exist peacefully.
Sadly I was forced to hang out with her from time to time due to the fact that one of my best friends was her cousin. There was no way we could avoid each other. We constantly argue about stupid things; most of them are caused by me anyway. She was approaching me and as always, I had something rude to say.
"Hey Princess," I commented sarcastically. "Don't you think you overdid the make-up today?"
She actually looked pretty today, but I wouldn't dare bring myself to admit it. She looked pretty everyday so why should today be any different? Ariana's long, jet black hair complemented her tan skin and her light brown eyes extremely well, but I liked beauty on the outside and the inside.
"Sweet Shawn," she replied calmly. "We've been fighting like this since we were two. Over fifteen years and you still haven't won a single argument."
Before I could even think of a comeback, my friend Zack had walked up to us. He looked at us with his famous smirk. If there was one thing that Ariana and I could agree on is that we both hated that stupid smirk.
"I see you two lovebirds are at it again," he remarked.
Why couldn't Zack just see that I had nothing in common with his cousin? He always try to pull that whole 'love and hate' scenario to every argument me and Ariana got in. We hated each other, but why couldn't Zack see that?
"I'm out of here," I muttered.
"Wait," Zack called out. "I have some news."
I stopped in my tracks. Usually whenever Zack had news it would be about which girl he was going out with this week, which I really didn't care for, but since today was the last day of school I figured he wouldn't bug me so much if I just listened to what he had to say.
"What news?" Ariana ask with a bit suspicion.
"You guys remembered when we won that basketball tournament?" he began. "Well my dad said that I did so good that he's letting me go to our beach house in Hawaii for the whole summer. Plus he said that I could bring two friends and guess who I'm bringing."
"No way!" Ariana and I shouted in unison.
"Yep," Zack replied. "Who else would I take besides my best friend and my favorite cousin? Now go get packed, we leave tomorrow."
I quickly took his advice and headed to my car; a black Mustang that I had received for my birthday. A whole summer in Hawaii meant no annoying little sister, no nagging parents, and no enemies; well except for Ariana, but I actually considered her a friend in some weird way. The drive home was uneventful as usual. We lived in the suburbs, so nothing ever happened. When I made it home, my sister, Luanne, was waiting by the door.
"Hey Shawn can you take me to the mall in about thirty minutes?" the fourteen year old menace asked.
"Sure thing, Lulu," I answered in a surprisingly nice tone.
The trip to Hawaii was already starting to rub off on my usual bad attitude. I was being nice to Lulu, the brat that had gotten me in trouble more times than I could remember. I walked in the house with Lulu behind me and for once she wasn't being completely annoying.
"Hey Lulu?" I asked her. "Why aren't you being like extra annoying today?"
"Well," she began. "Since I'm about to be in high school, I figured that it was time for me to be a bit more mature."
That caught me off guard. I had totally forgot that she was about to be in the ninth grade. It was bad enough that I had to deal with Ariana at school and then deal with Lulu at home, but now I had to deal with Lulu at home and school. I knew my parents would make me spend my entire senior year watching out for that little brat. I managed to calm myself down in order to focus on my trip to Hawaii.
"Mom! Dad!" I called. "Get down here, I got some news!"
They quickly came down. Mom had a disapproving look on her face, but Dad had a look of recognition. I wondered what was wrong with them. Before I could say anything I knew they would begin one of their stupid rants.
"So umm Shawn," Mom began. "Zack's father called last night and he told me that Zack was taking you and Ariana to Hawaii. Am I correct?"
"Uhh yeah," I replied quickly. "Its cool with you guys right?"
"Definitely," Dad answered. "You're seventeen years old. That means you have one more year before you go to college. You should enjoy yourself."
One thing I liked about Dad is that he was open-minded to just about everything. I knew he was only open-minded because he couldn't wait for me to get out of the house. His attitude was virtually the same towards Lulu.
"Its not that I don't want you to go," Mom continued. "It's just that you won't see us until the end of the summer."
"Trust me Mom," I began. "I think I can live without seeing you guys for a couple of months. So can I go?"
"Yes," Mom said after a bit of hesitation.
That word put me in a spiraling good mood. I had full permission to go to Hawaii and nothing could dampen my mood. When it was about time to take Lulu to the mall, I managed to hold in my happiness so that she wouldn't have a reason to annoy me about it. As usual she saw right through me.
"So are you excited?" she asked even though she knew the answer.
"Well I guess Hawaii is gonna be okay," I replied still trying to hold up my rash demeanor.
"Just be careful," Lulu remarked. "You know how reckless you are and you never think things through before you charge off and do something stupid."
Lulu was indeed wise beyond her years, but she was still starting to irritate me.
"I don't need you worrying about me," I shot back rudely. "I can take care of myself."
"You're such a jerk," Lulu said as she shook her head. "So are you and with Ariana gon-
"No!" I interrupted. "Why do you always annoy me about her?"
"Oh come on!" Lulu practically yelled. "You two are made for each other, but you're both too stupid and too full of pride to admit it. Why else would you hang out with someone you hate?"
I slammed on the breaks, causing Lulu to hit her head against the glove compartment. She took the hint and didn't speak for the rest of the way to the mall. The mall in our town of Summer Rains was the only place, besides the movie theater, that teenagers had to hang out. Since everyone in Summer Rains pretty much knew each other, it was nearly impossible not to run into someone you know. We stepped out of the car and I began one of my usual speeches I did whenever I drove Lulu somewhere.
"Okay Lulu," I started as I glanced at my watch. "Its 5:30 so we'll meet back at the car at 7:00 sharp. If you're not here, you'll get left. Got it?"
"Yes sir," she answered sarcastically while rolling her eyes.
We went into the mall and headed in opposite directions. I wasn't that type of brother who was over-protective of his little sister. I actually didn't care what Lulu did. That was just the type of person I was. I decided to buy some swimming trunks at 'Tidal Wave', a swimming store that had a ridiculous name. I strolled in casually.
"Hey Shawn," one of the cashiers called. "Come here for a sec."
"Red," I said with little enthusiasm. "I didn't know you were working at Tidal Wave now. What happen to the job you had at Shoe Fly?"
"I got fired for stealing a pair of shoes," Red answered. "You know I can't hold on to a job for more than a couple of weeks."
That statement was utterly true. Red Loomer was known around Summer Rains for his inability to keep a job. It was a mystery how he kept getting work. Surely the people at the unemployment place would have his picture on the wall.
After I finished talking to Red, I decided to browse the store for swimming trunks. After finding a pair, I went into the changing room. As I looked in the mirror, I couldn't help but to be surprised. I had always been tall and skinny, but I could finally see that I was beginning to take on a more muscular form. However I desperately needed a haircut especially when I noticed my dark hair falling in my eyes. I was too busy staring at myself in the mirror that I didn't realize that I had left the door to the changing room open.
"Shawn?" a familiar voice called out.
I spun around to see my worst nightmare. I wasn't surprised since this was the only swimming store in Summer Rains. I decided to attempt to act civil towards Ariana, but I couldn't resist saying something rude.
"Hey Princess," I began. "Obviously you like what you see because you didn't even try to look away."
"Yeah I'm soooo about to die because you're soooo hot," Ariana replied sarcastically.
"What do you want?" I asked quickly.
"Well I saw Lulu and she told me that you were here," Ariana answered. "I just wanted to tell you that I'm flying first class when we get on the plane. Oh yeah and Zack is psyched about the trip. He's already done packing. He should be at the food court right about now. I think he's even more excited than that time we all went to Niagara Falls."
After she finished talking, I bought about three pair of swimming trunks and after paying Red, Ariana and I headed to the food court to meet up with Zack. When we got there, Zack was scarfing down at least three hamburgers. He always ate like a horse, but he never got any bigger. In eighth grade I thought he had a tapeworm.
"Hey guys," he said as we took a seat. "You want something to eat?"
"Zack!" Ariana started. "Fast food is so unhealthy. Even Shawn can tell how many calories are in those hamburgers and he gets nothing but C's in math."
There was nothing I could say considering that statement was true. We talked about the trip for a while until I saw Desiree Evans. She wasn't the most popular girl in school but she was definitely the best looking and the most unattainable. She was extremely smart, but she disliked the whole 'all pretty girls are dumb' stereotype so I had to be careful when I talked to her.
"Hey Zack," I said as I pointed to Desiree. "I think its time for me to make my move."
"Desiree Evans!?" Ariana nearly yelled. "You know I don't like her. She's always been Little Ms. Perfect."
I ignored her and proceeded to walk up to Desiree. By the time I was all the way to her, I knew exactly what to say. I grabbed a magazine about this new Chick Flick from one of the tables and skimmed through it so it would look like I was actually reading it, although I did catch a few key parts. It didn't take long before Desiree noticed me.
"Shawn Riffs," she said with a bit of surprise. "I didn't know you saw the movie 'Two Loves'?"
"Well," I began. "It's just that I'm a sucker for Hidden Romance. I know you must think its a bit silly for a seventeen year old guy to be interested in something like this, but the struggles that Monica and Rodney had to go through to find out they're in love were so captivating."
"I never thought you were so sensitive," Desiree said quietly. "Maybe we could hang out sometime. You have my phone number right?"
"Yeah, I'll catch you later," I replied.
I walked back over to Zack and Ariana. They had heard the whole conversation and Zack was in a fit of laughter. I had a triumphant grin on my face and my arrogance had yet again increased.
"Hidden Romance!" he laughed. "I've never heard of anything more ironic!"
I could already sense where he was getting at and from the looks of it Ariana could too. I just walked away partly because it was almost seven and I needed to get home so I could pack, but mostly because I didn't want to hear what else Zack had to say. By the time I made it to the car, Lulu was already there with a bag full of crap.
"Took you long enough," she teased. "You and Ariana get enough make-out time?"
"Shut up and get in the car," I shot back rudely.
As usual, the car ride home was uneventful. Lulu was talking on the phone to one of her friends about her summer plans and I had to focus on the road. We got home around seven-thirty and I quickly ran up to my room to pack my things for Hawaii. At that time I had no idea that during the next three months I would experience a series of events that would change my outlook on the world forever.