I'm revising Saved By The Bell, sloooowly. Just tweaking some things here and there. I think I'm just going to redo/rework chapters and upload them one by one onto the old version. So if you're trying to read the story from the beginning, well, good luck.
High school is a funny place. No one else seems to be in on the joke, but I know it's being spun out all around these hallways, every single day. I just haven't found the punch line yet. It's the beginning of my junior year here, you'd think I'd have it by now.
It's an annoyingly nagging feeling, not knowing, and it's making me jittery. Maybe it's just caffeine withdrawal. I slide my eyes to the clock on the classroom wall. 9:02. Yep, definitely withdrawal. But there's only four hours til refuel.
Just at the thought, I yawn.
"Jill Kramer!" My train of thought is derailed by the bark of Mr. West, my Calculus teacher.
"Here, sir," I reply as brightly as I can. I still manage to sound like a zombie.
"Really?" He looks at me with his beady eyes, the hint of a smirk quirking his lips. "I was beginning to wonder." He goes on calling attendance.
Snarky bastard. Whatever, two can play at that game, I think as I lean my head on the grainy surface of my desk and let my eyelids flutter closed.
Kiss my asymptote.
By the time lunch rolls around, my head feels like it has a gorilla tap dancing on it. Caffeinated beverage firmly in hand, I plop into a booth on the far outskirts of the lunchroom. My friends' usual spot. We like routine.
"That smells and looks like gasoline." The first words my best friend Amanda says and I'm already annoyed. Oh, well.
I sniff my cup and the heavenly warm smell of roasted coffee envelops my nostrils in a bear hug. God, I love caffeine, and it loves me back.
"Tastes like it, too," I say as I take a sip. Nom. "Tastes like love."
Amanda rolls her eyes with a grin. She's not a coffee person, but that's probably for the best. Amanda on anything other than life… That's something I don't want to see. Even in my imagination. I shudder.
"Where's your lunch?" Grace asks, pushing her glasses back up the bridge of her nose.
I shake my cup. I see Amanda open her mouth, but before she can go on some long winded, unsolicited rant, I ask, "So what classes do you guys have?"
Only one with me, as it turns out; Amanda is in my Physics class after lunch. Which is good, because science is not my strong point. And because she's my friend, of course, mmmhmmm.
"Jack's also in our class," Amanda says, and her entire face turns fire truck red. Jack is the boy that Amanda "secretly" likes (secretly as in everyone lets her think it's a secret, but really skywriting "I have a crush on you" would be more subtle than she's been).
"Oh really? That should be…entertaining." I say, and then cover my tracks by adding, "He's a pretty funny guy." More or less. Well, actually, less, but he tries so he can have an A for effort.
I tune out of the conversation after that, sipping my coffee. My stomach rumbles, and I take another gulp of coffee. It really is the elixir of the gods.
After fighting my way through the post-last bell stampede in the hallways, I groan as I reach my locker, resting my forehead against the cool metal. One day down, a shit ton more to go. And just to think, I like school. This, this is me enjoying myself.
"Yeah, I think that about sums it up," a voice next to me says. A familiar voice.
I nearly get whiplash as I turn around. She's tan, that's the first thing I notice. She must've lived outside over the summer, but then again she's always tanned ridiculously well. The second thing I notice is that her eyes are sparkling and they're dropped on me like anchors. I've never been a good swimmer, so it's not surprising that I feel like I'm drowning.
"Hey, Hannah," I say, a smile automatically leaping onto my face. It's the first words I've actually said to her in ages, and they feel strange forging a path on my tongue. They're also squeaky, half an octave higher than my normal voice. Because of course they are.
"Hey, yourself. Looks like we're locker neighbors," she says, matching my smile. My stomach flips. Now why would it do that? I don't know, but it's very distracting.
"Oh," I reply. I'm not really sure what to do with that information. My brain feels like it's been fried – it has been a long day, really that's it – so processing is down for the moment.
Her eyes trail over my face and I feel myself blush. "I gotta go, soccer starts in a couple minutes. It was good to see you." Her eyes are like lasers, and I can feel her gaze burning my skin. "You look good, by the way. Cute top." She tugs on the hem of my t-shirt for emphasis.
"Thanks?" It comes out as a question. I don't think it's supposed to, but I'm not sure. I'm not really sure about anything at the moment.
"No problem. I'll see you later." She grins and walks away.
My cheeks are so hot, I think I might combust. This…should be an interesting year.