I was sitting in the lunchroom, staring out the foggy window at the grey sky. The rain fell heavily, creating a mist that hung in the trees of the school ground. I should be used to Vancouver's fall weather. We tend to get more rain in the North Shore than the mainland. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure if my depressing mood had to do with what I saw outside or the trigonometry exam next block. A moment later, my musings were disrupted by a familiar voice.
I stopped halfway from taking a bite into my BLT and turned around, tucking an errant lock of my black hair behind my ear. "Oh, hey, Nate," I sighed. "What's up?"
Instead of answering, Nate was rather fixated towards a certain area across the lunchroom. Wondering what had him distracted, I followed his gaze and shook my head. It was always the same thing. Trista Collins, one of the popular girls in the school.
"You still like her, don't you?"
"What do you mean?" he asked, leaning in closer to me while still keeping a visual on the pretty, blue-eyed blonde.
"I saw you yesterday, sneaking looks at Trista during history instead of paying attention to Mr. Daniels."
Nate's eyes went wide. "Did anyone else see?"
"I doubt it. Everyone else was too busy trying to listen to what Mr. Daniels had to say about our upcoming exam. Like I said, you still like her, don't you?"
"I dunno. Maybe a little."
"I'm sure it's more than a little, Nate. You were staring at her like a lovesick idiot."
"Can you keep it down please, Soph? I really don't want people to know I still like Trista Collins.
"You do?" came a soft voice from beside me.
Nate groaned and buried his face in his arms. I turned around and found my other best friend, Maddie, smirking at the top of Nate's brown head.
On my first day as a freshman, I was unsure about a lot of things, but I never regretted becoming friends with Madison James and Nathan Connor. I wasn't one of those students who were lucky enough to still have old friends from elementary. I did have one close friend, my neighbour named Eric Rogers, but since he's three years older, attended a private high school, and had moved away two years ago, I was left alone. I guess I was just lucky enough that we all ended up with the same home room.
"Hey, Maddie," I grinned.
"Hey, Soph," she grinned back, swiping a French fry from my plate. "So what's this I hear about Nathan and Trista Collins? I thought after such a disastrous date, he'd have given up on having any chance with her."
"Thanks for the encouragement, Madison," grumbled Nate.
"What if you tried asking her out again?" I said, glaring at Maddie taking a seat across from us.
"You remember what happened with my date with her, right?"
"Um, of course we do," said Maddie. "You whined to me and Soph about blowing it."
"Like you should talk," retorted Nate. "I'm sure your lack of love life isn't so hot either. Unless you're still mooning over that asshole, Carter Reynolds."
"I'll have you know, my love life is none of your business. And I am not mooning over Carter Reynolds. Besides, why should you care who I like and don't like?"
"Who said I did?"
"Then why are you—?"
"Alright, enough you two!" My shout caused a few heads to turn our way. "I really don't feel like listening to another one of your guys' arguments. Drop it."
Maddie immediately clamped her mouth shut, avoided my glare, and began fiddling with her fork, pushing the filling of her chicken pie around in the shell. Nate, whose ears had gone red, had his head bent back down, staring determinedly at the table.
"Nate, you didn't blow it," I said.
"You weren't there. You didn't see how awful it was. Both of us hadn't said one word to each other during the entire dinner. And you didn't hear how loud her sigh was when I had suggested ending the date early."
"No, I didn't, but I think you might be wrong about losing your chance with her. Not when she's been staring at you during this entire conversation." I swore I heard a cricking noise coming from Nate's neck as he whipped his head towards Trista. "I don't know about you, but judging by her pretty smile and the small wave she's giving you, I think she still likes you too."
"Do you think she might say yes to me if I ask her out again?" Nate's voice sounded hopeful when his expression turned to confusion. "Hang on. I thought she's dating Dylan Davies?"
"Who am I dating?"
I tried not to let out a groan and hesitantly turned around.
Dylan Davies is the most sought out guy around campus. He's boyishly handsome, with dirty-blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, a chiseled chin, broad shoulders, and a crooked smile. Besides being a model part-time, girls also loved him because he's the captain of the football, soccer, basketball, and baseball team.
"So, who is it that I'm dating?" he asked us.
"Nathan wants to know if you're dating Trista Collins," said Maddie.
"Not when I'm still trying to ask out Sophie," answered Dylan. "So, Taylor, I was just wondering if you've figured out what your answer is to my question."
"Um, what was the question again?"
"I guess you must not have heard me since you probably were busy admiring my good looks."
"That must be it. I guess you'll have to remind me then."
"You always seem to make me laugh, Sophie, unlike some of the airheads in our school."
If you're wondering why someone this hot is making me want to hurl my half-eaten lunch out of my stomach instead of doing the conga, it's because I can't stand him. He's always strutting around with his head held high and an over-bearing attitude towards people he deemed lower than him. He even has this mannerism of knowing he could get any girl he wanted. It also didn't help when lots of girls are constantly flocking to him, groveling at his feet. Sorry, that's not for me. I'd rather have someone with a brain instead of someone who constantly admires his own reflection in puddles when it rains.
Okay, I'll admit that I was once one of those girls who used to have a huge crush on him. That was before he broke my heart.
I was never one of those outspoken students and always kept to myself. It also didn't help when I was also one of the kids some liked to tease. I wore huge glasses that covered most of my face, had braces on my teeth, pimples all the way down from forehead to chin, and a funky hairdo because the hairdresser accidentally had left the perming solution on too long. I also wore sweats a lot since I'd rather go for comfort more than style. I just never knew that if you wore glasses, some people automatically assume you're a genius. And this is where Dylan came in.
Since Dylan's usually interested with the most popular and beautiful girls, I was surprised when he had talked to me that I found myself helping him more often than I should. I always lent him my homework to copy whenever he said he was too busy. Numerous times Maddie and Nate had warned me that Dylan was just using me. And being so naïve back then, I told them I didn't think he was like that. Boy was I wrong.
In ninth grade, I was in the library researching material for my science project when I had overheard Dylan and his friends laughing about me. What hurt the most was finding out that my friends were right. Dylan was just using me to get good grades and would only date me when hell froze over.
I couldn't believe how stupid I'd been. I had even begun changing my appearance to look better for him. My hair was loose instead of in a ponytail, I wore clothes like the ones the popular girls wore, and even had applied gloss to my lips. Yeah I know, pathetic of me to change for a boy. But because I always become so disabled and couldn't produce the right thing to say until after it's over, I had run home crying instead of confronting him. I was just grateful that my mom, Eric, Maddie, and Nate had managed to get me out of my depressing mood. Once I got my confidence back, I then had the courage to walk away from Dylan when he had asked for my help the next day.
Now that you know everything, you're probably wondering if Dylan laughed at me back then, why he would want me now.
A couple of summers ago when I had my braces removed, Nate and Maddie had also suggested I try a new look after my parents bought me my first pair of contacts as a birthday gift. I had gotten my hair straightened and parted to the side. My olive complexion was enhanced with just a subtle amount of makeup. Even my brown eyes looked brighter and rounder than before. Although once it was time to show off my new look, I felt nervous and had been afraid of what other students might think. That feeling quickly dissipated once everyone began complimenting me and doing double-takes. I even heard Dylan had asked his friends about me. He thought I was a new transfer student until someone had told him who I was. But before he got the chance to ask me out, a guy named Darien Andrews had beaten him to it.
It felt great having my first boyfriend that I didn't even think about Dylan anymore. But then three months later, I got my heart broken again by Darien. Since then, I've been hesitant when it came to dating guys. Although I still don't know why after two years of rejections, why is Dylan still trying to ask me out? And as for Maddie and Nathan? As much as they were tempted to say something to Dylan back then for what he had said, it's nothing worth fretting over. The past is the past. Now that I'm done with my ranting, let's get back to the story, shall we?
"So, Sophie, do you want to catch a flick with me tomorrow night?" asked Dylan. "There's this great movie I'm dying to watch and would rather go with someone as cute as you instead of my friends."
Like you have any, I thought, looking over at Maddie and rolling my eyes.
"If you want, Madison and Nathan can join us, too," he added.
"That sounds like a great idea," said Maddie. I gave her a look.
"Shall we meet after school by your locker then?"
"After school it is."
I gave Maddie another look.
"Then I guess I'll talk to you all later."
Once Dylan was out of earshot, I turned and glared even harder at my so-called best friend.
"What the hell was that all about?" I seethed.
"I don't understand why you won't give him a chance when someone like him has the major hots for you," sighed Maddie.
"Well duh. Who wants to go out with someone who always wants to just talk about himself? I mean, didn't you hear what he just said to me?"
"You can't blame him for thinking that way. He is totally hot."
"Then you go out with him."
"Who are you two talking about?" Nate asked, joining in the conversation.
"Done with your mooning?" asked Maddie.
"Yes. So, who are we talking about just now?"
"You and I are joining Sophie and Dylan tomorrow night to watch a movie."
"You actually said yes to that arrogant jerk?" Nate asked me, looking shocked.
"I didn't agree to anything. Maddie felt like being my spokesperson and did the arranging for me."
"Why would you go and do something like that to her?" Nate asked her.
"Because I think Dylan Davies is actually a nice guy," she said. "Most girls would kill to be in your shoes right now, Soph."
"Then why don't we go find one who does want to go on a date with him," I said. "I'm sure they'd enjoy it more than I would."
"Because he asked you and not them," sighed Maddie.
"Why are you always butting into other people's business?" said Nate. "If you weren't such a nosy person, Sophie wouldn't be so miserable about this situation you've put her in."
"I was only trying to help."
Before I could say anything to her as Nate crossed his arms and turned his head, Maddie threw down her fork. It made a loud clanging noise against the table.
"I…I've got….got to…go."
I watched as she hurriedly headed down the length of the table and stalked out of the cafeteria doors before smacking Nate in the back of his head.
"Why did you have to go and do something like that?"
"Soph, we both know how much you can't stand Dylan Davies, and she's trying to force you to go out with him," said Nate.
"That still doesn't mean you can say something so hurtful like that to her. Now go find her and apologise."
"Because I don't want to be stuck in the middle like the last time you two argued. It almost drove me insane when you both wanted me to pick sides."
"We do not argue like that."
I lifted my hand again.
"Fine, fine," he sighed. "I'll do it if it makes you happy."
Nate stood up, took a huge gulp of his Coke, grabbed his physics book, and took two steps away from the table. Giving me a nod, he then let out a heavy sigh, squared his shoulders, and broke into a swift trot.
"Good luck," I muttered under my breath.
I was wondering if I was saying it to him, or to myself, as I watched my friend run out the doors.
Tomorrow night should be a lot of fun. Yeah, right.