A/N: Hey everyone... First Fictionpress story, shamelessly based a lot on real life. Just a fun little thing that will have a few more chapters...really we'll just see where it takes us. Hope you enjoy.
She never called him by his last name. When they met—in a biology classroom, of all places—she had not known who he was.
He had done well by himself, becoming captain of the football team after only three years at their prestigious boarding school. He was a senior—probably around 6 feet 2, and his eyes were a kind of chocolate brown.
He had been the first one to class—having never gotten a grade below an A-, and she had been second.
"Hi," she said, an acknowledgement. He nodded. He didn't usually greet people he didn't know.
She was tall, too—maybe 6 feet, and her smile was warm and friendly. She seemed unusually shy though, uncomfortable, but somehow his gaze didn't slide over her as it usually did with girls. Instead, it came to rest on her back, and the long, shining ponytail.
He sat behind her every day, and it wasn't long until they learned names.
Extra credit on a quiz one day—not that she needs it, he accused, pointing. She was the best in the class, obviously—was to name all the people in the class. He watched, intrigued, as she wrote down everyone's name.
"What?" She was mouthing something at him, and he couldn't understand.
"What's your name?" She asked again, daring the whisper this time. He wasn't far away, but he still pretended not to understand.
"You still don't know?" He said finally. Admittedly, he didn't know hers, either. She shook her head, negative.
"Andrew," he said, and she wrote it down. She got the extra credit—he didn't really care.
"Pohly," the teacher called. "Your quiz?" His head shot up—Pohly was his real name. No one ever called him Andrew, not even his teachers. It was just one of those things you knew—Pohly was Pohly, captain of the varsity football team, 6 feet 2 inches and approximately 230 pounds. He put on 15 pounds every year for football, and then promptly lost it in the winter.
People just knew this, just as they recognized his deep voice and goofy manner. Obviously, she didn't. The mysterious girl in his Biology class, who called him Andrew because she'd never been told any differently.
"Hey, Pohly," the guys would call, joking with him and asking him questions.
"Andrew, did you get number five?" She would ask, and he wouldn't respond immediately, taking a minute to digest that she was talking to him. Sometimes, he would be too busy watching her ponytail swing as she wrote, and would forget to answer altogether.
She took his place, always beating him to class. It was first period, after all, and he wasn't always eager to leave breakfast fifteen minutes before eight. They would usually be alone for five minutes before the hustle and bustle of other students filled the room. Neither of them would ever talk, unless it was a quiz day.
On a quiz day, he would pepper her frantically with questions. He would address the first one to the empty room at large—never saying her name—and when she answered, it was simply known that all the rest were directed at her, too. Once in a while, she would share her notes with him.
He never saw her outside of class—that would have been weird. She was a biology class girl. And then one day he did, walking by her on the path. It was drizzling slightly, and her hair was damp, but she hadn't put up her hood. Her face was shining, and she looked happy.
He didn't acknowledge her, and she knew her place, too. They walked by each other in silence. He was jock, and she was an academic.
He saw her a few times outside of class, but the drizzly day stayed stuck in his mind. The way the wispy bits of her hair had started to frizz and curl around her ears, softening her face. Her cheeks were pink from the chill, and damp from the rain, and she had been standing straight and tall, rather than her usual slouch.
He walked by her in the library one day—after a particularly disastrous quiz—and she said something.
"Hey Andrew! How'd you find the quiz?" She looked cheery and awake, her hair pulled back neatly and eyes bright.
"It was awful," he said. He had missed a class, the class where the professor had explained everything. He felt the compulsion to explain this to her—telling her about his lack of notes and knowledge—and was oddly relieved as she nodded sympathetically and commiserated. He finished with a "Whatever, I know I failed," and she frowned.
"I'm sorry," and it was gentle, heartfelt. "And it wasn't easy, either." He smiled at her, goofy persona back in tact, and they moved on. He realized later that she had never told him how she had found the quiz. Maybe it was because he had never asked.
"Andrew," she said one morning. "How tall are you?" He was taken aback—why did she care? And how did she not know?—but answered automatically anyways, along with a laugh.
"About six two," he answered, and a few guys in the class immediately began teasing her.
"Hey Pohly, which do you prefer, chocolate or vanilla?"
"Cereal mushy or crunchy?"
He laughed good-naturedly and answered them too, pretending not to notice the light blush that tinged her cheekbones from the others' teasing.
"How tall are you?" He asked her after class, and was rewarded with a gleaming smile before she grimaced.
"Six feet," she said, shaking her head woefully. His gaze was briefly distracted, as he watched the light play over her blonde head.
"No, that's great," he said, and meant it. "The taller the better!" She smiled at him, a little.
"I hate being tall," and it felt oddly confidential.
"Don't," he smiled, and looked her up and down briefly. "It makes you look like an athlete." She had laughed at that—she was an athlete—and turned to leave the classroom.
"Same to you."
He said something to her, finally. She had asked him a question, beginning with the traditional "Hey, Andrew—" when he cut her off.
"You can call my Pohly if you like," he said. After all, she was the only person who didn't use his last name.
"Oh," she said, surprised. "Would you prefer it?"
"I—no," he blanched, and realized that he liked it when she called him Andrew.
"Well then, Andrew," she said, stressing his name, and he had to bite back a grin. She could be feisty. "Did you finish all the multiple choice problems he gave us?"
His life had settled in to a routine by then, really, but he still got the feeling that biology girl was something he couldn't quite place. He saw her in the dining hall occasionally, and realized belatedly that she had a life apart from class and him.
He saw her being stupid with her friend—another girl he didn't know—and laughed from afar. He watched her go running with a boy—who was kind of chubby, and shorter than her—and he felt oddly angry. She asked someone to a dance in the gym, and he was there. He watched her as she awkwardly approached the guy, twirling her hair and blushing, looking nervous and adorable and absolutely beautiful.
He started to learn things about her—she was a year younger than him, and in the grade below. She was on varsity swimming—he saw her wear in the jacket one day—and she was running in the mornings right now. She never wore her hair down, but he imagined that if she did it would fall only slightly higher than the small of her back, in a long, wavy waterfall. He thought he would rather like to see it like that.
Nothing happened for a while. He slept through a couple classes, missed a few more. Life went on, college application went in, football season culminated in a big game. She was happy, bubbly, always there. She never missed a class, a homework assignment, a lab, never failed a quiz or answered a question incorrectly.
He thought for a while she was perfect. Especially when she was joking about how she got nine hours of sleep every night—and he barely got five or six. She made fun of him for drinking energy drinks, wrinkling her nose and telling him that she ate only natural foods. He laughed, looking at her slim
physique and wondering if she ate anything at all. But she was not like any of the other girls he knew, so he figured that she probably did.
He never really learned her name, and she never volunteered it. He was sure that the teacher used it sometimes, to address her and call on her, but he somehow never quite managed to catch it. He was constantly reminding himself, but it just never happened. He felt oddly uncomfortable with the situation, and wondered that, if and when he actually learned her name, he would ever use it. Maybe he would call her by her last name, like most people did to him.
It wasn't obvious, either, what her name was. She never doodled it on her binder or scraps of paper, never wrote it on her hand or the sheets they handed out in class. He had no idea whether people called her by her last name or first name.
She always carried a silver metal water bottle, and usually left class for a minute in the middle to refill in. Once, he asked for a sip. She wrinkled her nose at the germs, and wiped it with her sleeve when he passed it back. He didn't know whether to be offended or amused, so settled with just saying "thanks."
When she tossed her pack of gum to a guy next to him, he took a piece too, flashing her a winning smile. She returned it, muttering humorously "you owe me one…" at which he laughed. They both knew he owed her a lot more than just one—whatever it represented.
She asked him about wrestling—was he replacing the captain who'd torn his ACL? Yes, he was, if the discs in his back were alright. How did she know about that? Oh, she was friends with several guys on the wrestling team.
He found himself fervently wishing he was on the wrestling team, too.
Eventually, he realized that they were friends. They talked occasionally, exchanged smiles and glances, saw each other around once in a while. Most people would call that a friendship. He didn't have her cell phone number, and wasn't friends with her on facebook, but those weren't really things that mattered.
It was, however, a problem, that he still didn't know her name. He had given up on trying, really. He was sure he'd heard it millions of times, but wondered if he didn't tune it out, preferring instead to live in ignorance. She was his mystery, this girl. He'd never seen her before Biology, and wondered if he'd see her again when they stopped sharing a class. Somehow, he doubted it, but he also doubted he'd ever be able to forget her.
For that was the truth—she was becoming a problem, this girl. He found himself thinking about her in free moments—what it would feel like to run his fingers through that thick hair, put a hand on the curve of her thigh, what lay beneath the loose sweatshirts she normally wore.
It had all started, he decided, when he had told her his name. The moment her lips formed the word, "Andrew," as she scribbled it down hastily on a ripped out piece of notebook paper, he was a goner. He remembered, belatedly, watching her lips, admiring the color and the shape, and the way his first name seemed to fit perfectly on her tongue. It wasn't like Andrew was an unusual name—although it was unusual to hear in reference to him—just that when she was speaking to him, is somehow had some extra luster.
He knew he would have to do something about this, eventually, but he wasn't exactly sure how to go about such a thing. He wasn't really a touchy-feely kind of guy, and he didn't really have girlfriends. Girls liked him, sure they liked him, he was captain of the football team incase you'd forgotten, but he wasn't much of a girls kind of guy. He was boys' boy, a mans' man, the epitome of what every girl wants—remember the varsity football—but he wasn't that interested in romance in high school. Besides, none of the girls at school had really interested him so far.
And so it was to his great surprise, one day, when he found himself publicly defending her. They had been doing genetics problems as a class—dihybrid crosses, and fantastic stuff like that—and she knew all the answers.
"Wait, how do you know that?" Charlie Ganner was complaining, moaning again because he got another question wrong. That kid annoyed him so much, but Ganner was "cool," so he was nice to him.
"It's simple. They gave the genotypes of both the parents in the problem," she said coolly, not really looking at him. They had already had an exchange like this, and she was giving off a strong 'not worth my time' vibe.
"What are you talking about? It's blatantly not there. You're so wrong—you're probably just making shit up." Ganner dug into her, taking out his frustration on her. She didn't seem perturbed, but he didn't like it.
"Man, you're just taking random digs at everyone today," he said casually, throwing in a laugh for good measure. "Shut up, her grade is probably twice as high as yours." To everyone's surprise, Ganner did shut up.
"Yeah, twice, rough estimate," he echoed, also laughing. She smiled, swung her hair, and received full credit for yet another flawless answer.
He walked past her table in the dining hall that day, at lunch, and checked his pace a tiny bit, slowing just enough to catch a snippet of her conversation.
"…defended me against Charlie Ganner in Biology today…you know how much he hates me…" He realized she was flushed, and looked pleased. He felt something in his chest expand slightly, as he looked at her happy face. He was the one who had made her so happy.
He ate his lunch with a huge, goofy grin—even bigger than normal—plastered across his face, and found himself excited for Biology on Monday, and unwilling to wait out the weekend.