A/N: Yes, another story...but the good news is: I'M ALREADY DONE WRITING IT! (Yay!) So now all you have to do is read and review to let me know what you think, and I'll post up the chapters very quickly. There are 9 in total.
My eyes flew open as I realized that the sunlight burning my leg meant that morning had arrived. A quick look at my alarm confirmed that fact, and the fact that it had not rung at the time I had specified. I had 20 minutes to get ready and get to school on time. Not a good thing, seeing how it was my first day.
"MOM!" I screamed, flying down the stairs to get breakfast. One of the two doors to the kitchen was right beside the landing of the stairs, and I hurtled through it at break-neck speed.
My mother, Anne Silver, looked up from her daily morning newspaper with a raised eyebrow. "Yes honey?"
"O-M-G!" I said, ignoring her wince and pulling juice out of the fridge. "You did not wake me up!"
I poured the juice into a wine glass, because no other glasses were to be seen, and slammed the fridge closed after putting the carton back.
She shrugged and returned to her paper. "Don't chat-speak," she demanded, irritated. "And it's your responsibility to manage your time. My classes don't even start until next week, but I've been up for an hour." As an afterthought, "The glasses are in the far-right cupboard."
My mother is a specialist in English - she taught high school level English in our small town, Tourney, and will be starting a new position as an English professor in this new city. Naturally, I was not happy with the move - having to leave behind friends I'd known since I was in diapers was very hard - so I rebelled in my own, immature, way by fitting chat-speak into daily conversation. And what do English teachers hate more than chat speak? Not much. In fact, I've learned that the one thing my mother hates more than chat speech is my father, who had run away with a floozy as soon as I was born. But I digress.
I was in the process of gulping down my juice so I glared at her through the bottom of my wine glass. "You're the mother. Jeez. T-T-Y-L!"
She didn't bother responding, so I quickly rinsed out my glass, tossed it in the dishwasher, and dashed back up the stairs to get ready in...10 minutes. Ahh!
"Excuse me...sorry...pardon me...watch out!" I winced as the guy flew into the lockers as I shoved by him, not realizing until too late that he was standing on a skateboard. "Sorry!"
I ducked my head and ran down the light-blue hallways of Bellmount High, searching for the administration office. Luckily, skateboard-dude was too busy getting rid of the stars he was surely seeing to bother chasing me down.
"I'll catch up with you later!" I called back, focused on finding the office. It wasn't until I turned the corner that I remembered I was new at the school, and therefore nobody should know my name. Backtracking, I turned the corner and came face-to-face with a girl I had not seen for over a year. "Dia?"
Lydia da Silva stood before me in all her preppy glory. She had been a good friend of mine from Tourney Middle School all the way up until freshman year of Tourney High, when she had moved to the city. We had lost touch, and I had forgotten that it was this particular city she had moved to. Now a senior, like me, she still looked the exact same as when she had left - the same black hair and oval face with its blue eyes and perpetually smiling mouth were in my view.
"What the hell are you doing here?" she exclaimed, making me wonder if she wasn't happy about seeing me. Well, until she grabbed me in a tight hug and started jumping that is. "I've totally missed you!"
When I managed to get her arms away from me - and cleared up my lungs enough to breathe - I grinned back at her. "Mom just got hired at the local university - we've moved here now. L-O-L!"
Dia's eyebrow flew up, although her smile didn't change. "Did you just L-O-L?"
I blushed. I was going to have to manage and avoid the chat-speech when I was away from my mother. "Long story..." The ringing of the bell cut me off. "Shit, I have to get my schedule - I'll tell you everything later, okay?"
She nodded. "Find me during lunch - everybody has the same lunch period here. I'll be in the cafeteria with the other cheerleaders."
Figures. "Sure, I'll do that!" I waved and headed in the opposite direction, and then remembered I didn't know my way around the place. "Hey, can you point me in the direction of the office?" I whirled around to find that Dia had left. Argh!
"Which one?" A low voice asked.
I turned my head to the left to see a guy holding a locker open. His face was turned towards me.
He looked away and grabbed a book from the locker. "Which office?"
He slammed the locker shut and turned back to me. "Come, I'll drop you off on my way to class."
I gaped at him as I fell into step. "O-M-F-G! The school is that big?" Damn, there goes my mouth with it's acronyms again...
"Did you just-" he looked at me and shook his head quickly "Nevermind, I don't think I want to know. What do you mean is the school that big?"
"You're going to drop me off," I reminded him. When he still looked puzzled, I elaborated "Is the school so big that you have to drive to get to the office?"
It was his turn to gape, and then he burst out laughing. The sound sent a shiver down my spine, for reasons unknown, but I became annoyed and jabbed him in his arm until he stopped.
"What?" I demanded.
He grinned at me, turning the shiver into a tingle. "That's just about the funniest thing I've heard...I just meant that I'm going by the office anyway, and I'll walk you to it."
Well, wasn't that embarassing? I humiliated myself in front of the first guy I met at the school...who happened to be one of the cutest I had ever met! Shaggy black hair, tall enough so that I only reached his chin, naturally tan skin, perfect white teeth, slightly crooked nose (disagreement with a tennis ball?) and, most importantly, his vivid green (I love green!) eyes. What a fool I am. "I knew that," I mumbled, trying to save face.
He grabbed my upper arm and pulled me to a stop. "I'm sure you did," he told me, his smile getting wider. "Now here's the office," he said, pointing behind him to a dark-blue door that proudly announced 'Main Office'.
"Thanks," I murmurred, grateful to escape with at least a little dignity intact.
"No problem," he said, still smiling. "By the way, I'm Jayden Reynolds."
"Middle name?" I asked without thinking.
His brow furrowed, probably thinking I'm a creepy stalker, but he answered anyway. "Alexander."
"Jar. At least it's a word," I mused.
"Jar? Oh...J.A.R.!" He chuckled. "You're an odd one, aren't you?"
I shrugged and blushed.
He rocked back and forth on the heels of his feet and then prompted me. "Well? Aren't you going to introduce yourself?"
"Oh. Sorry. Asha Silver."
He opened his mouth, but I answered before he could ask.
He grinned again and shrugged. "No good abbreviations with that."
"Alas..." I sighed, and then jolted as the bell rang for the second time.
"Shit, I'm late!" Jayden declared, shoving a hand through his hair. "I'll see you around?"
"Yeah, I guess. Thanks!" I called after his disappearing back.
I didn't expect a response, but he turned around. "Oh, and I forgot to add...don't accept rides from strangers even if they say they're taking you to the school's office!" he shouted as he walked backwards.
...and I thought he had forgotten.
The school is at least three times the size of my old one. How the hell was I expected to find my way around?
When I voiced my thoughts to the school's secretary, I received a disapproving stare.
"Mind your language, young lady!" she told me, her eye twitching in an uncomfortable manner to watch. What, "hell" is a forbidden word now? What happened to freedom of speech! Ahh!
Nevertheless, I mumbled a quick 'sorry' and ran out the dark-blue door and into the light-blue hallway. The crowd of students pouring into the hallway told me that I had been in the office for longer than I had realized - apparently it was lunchtime. With a grateful sigh I consulted the map I had been provided and wandered around to find my locker.
"113...140..." I figured it shouldn't be too hard because the locker numbers were increasing. I just had to walk around until I found 210. "...184...end of hallway...W-T-F!" Groaning, I peered around to see if there was a hidden hallway somewhere. Unfortunately for me, I was at a dead end, and 184 was the last locker. Apparently I had made a wrong turn somewhere.
"Lost?" came a voice from behind me.
I turned around to find a guy standing a few feet away. Blond, a couple inches taller than me, lanky, blue eyes...seriously, what was with me and getting help from random HOT guys? "Umm...that obvious?"
He laughed. "Seeing how you were swearing at a blank wall...yeah, pretty obvious."
His laugh was infectious, and I joined in. "I guess," I managed to get in between my laughter. "Please help!"
The guy strode over to where I was standing. "What do you need help finding?"
"My locker...it's number 210 but there are only 184 lockers in total!" I whined. "What are you laughing at?" I demanded when he started again.
"Sweetie, why not try the second floor?" he suggested.
I narrowed my eyes at him. "The school has two floors? How big is this place? J-H-C!"
"Actually, we have three floors." He grinned and started walking. I matched my pace to his long strides, wondering how I had not noticed the height of the building when I entered it. "And JHC?"
I gaped at him, and then blushed. "Umm...sorry, bad habit."
"Me speaking in acronyms..."
He laughed. "What is JHC?"
"Jesus H. Christ," I informed him, hoping he wasn't religious.
He nodded as if my quirk made perfect sense. "Up these stairs," he said, steering me towards a set of stairs I had passed - and apparently hadn't consciously noticed - on my locker hunt. "So what does 'H' stand for?"
I blanched. "Umm...well...I don't know..."
He rolled his eyes at my expression and cracked another grin. "So...this is the second floor!" he announced, gesturing widely.
"That's...nice." It looked exactly the same as the first floor, except the halls were still filled with people. Shouldn't they all be having lunch?
"Hey Ashton!" a group of girls called out, alternating between giggling at the guy beside me - Ashton? - and glaring at me. I'm hurt, really.
"Hi guys," he simply said as we passed them. I opened my mouth to tell him they were technically not guys, but shut it quickly when I remembered I was not one to talk - I was the one who L-O-L-ed in public. Besides, I'm sure he noticed they were quite the opposite of guys from the way they shook their...frontal assets...at him. Eww.
As soon as we cleared cleavage-central, Ashton whispered in a mock-horror voice "Freshman!"
I shuddered along with him. "So I'm assuming you're not one? And why have we been walking for years?"
He shuddered again and pointed to himself. "Senior," he announced, looking quite proud. "And here we are." He stopped in front of a blue - what else did you expect? - locker that looked like every other one that we had passed. Well, except for the tag that read "210".
I breathed a sigh of relief and uncoded the lock using the combination the office had provided. I couldn't wait to get rid of my bag and grab food - my stomach was soon going to be grumbling louder than a helicopter's propellor.
"Thank you SO much!" I gushed at Ashton as I stuffed the paper with my combo in my pocket (in case I forgot the code), pulled out my wallet, and shoved everything else I was carrying into the tiny space.
"No problem sweetheart," he said, leaning casually against the locker beside mine and nodding at bypassers who acknowledged him - which was pretty much everybody who walked by. "Will you ever get around to introducing yourself, or will I have to stalk you?"
I huffed at my own rudeness. Second time that day too. "Sorry, another bad habit. Asha. Asha Silver. And you're Ashton?"
"Ashton Bently," he confirmed, extending his hand.
"Nice to officially meet you," I said, shaking the offered hand.
He cocked an eyebrow. "No spark?" he asked, a curious tone to his voice.
"When we did the whole hand-shaking thing...no spark?"
Puzzled, I responded honestly. "No...none." What an absolutely awkward conversation to have with a guy I had known for about 10 minutes.
Ashton's eyebrows furrowed together, but then he suddenly grinned. "Well that clears things then. We'll be friends." He slammed my locker shut, looped his arm through mine, and dragged me down the hallway before I could blink.
"Wh-what?" I stuttered, trying to keep pace with this incredibly confusing guy. "Where are you taking me?" I hugged my wallet to me possessively with my free hand.
Ashton didn't slow down, but he did explain. "I follow my instincts," he explained. "You're a beautiful girl and I was initially thinking of starting something...but if there's no spark, then it means it's not meant to be. So we'll be friends. And we're going to the cafeteria. The odd-ball architect who created this place put it on the second floor."
His logic somehow made sense to me. Spark equal date, no spark equal friend. Got it.
Oh, and I'm beautiful. Yes, I'm preening in delight.
A/N: If you haven't read the A/N at the top, you might want to do so now.