I stood, staring at the mirror in my small, white bathroom. While I examined myself, my brain began subconsciously pointing out my flaws. I wasn't necessarily the most attractive guy around, but I certainly wouldn't consider myself ugly by any means. I have shoulder length, auburn hair that naturally comes into a slight outward curl at the tips - which is nice, because it rarely gets into my eyes. My face is slightly rounded, thanks to my small cheekbones, and I have a few small freckles that hang out around my nose. I'm fairly thin, and lanky, which seems to run in my family. One of my features that decided to scream out at me this morning was my nose: even though people rarely noticed, it was slightly crooked. Small imperfections like that don't bother me much, though. I'm still able to get girls most of the time. I suppose I can attribute that to my smooth talking and wit. I pride myself in my ability to think quickly, and on the spot. I also suppose it could be because of my eyes. They're an icy blue - the majority of the time. They like to change color depending on the weather: grayish if it's to be a rainy day and a much deeper blue if it's to be sunny. At least, that's my theory. I constantly receive complements on them.

Today, my reflection revealed my eye color as a grayish blue. I suppose it'll be another rainy day in Tampa, Florida. I shrugged, turned from the mirror, and entered my room - which always seemed to be in disarray, no matter how hard I tried to keep it clean. Stepping over dirty clothes, and caseless CDs, I made my way to my door. I twisted the lock on the door, swung it open, stepping out into the still dark hallway; evidently, my parents were still sound asleep. I sneaked to the kitchen, where I grabbed my simple breakfast of dry cereal, to go. I made my way back to my room, where I grabbed my small, black backpack, and my keys. After getting ready and throwing on my sweater, I carefully grabbed my gold pocket watch, which has my name engraved on the front: Brendan C. Rayne. It's my favorite accessory, and I always make sure to keep it spotless. I gently set it in the pocket of my jeans and then I stepped out of my warm house, and into the chilled, wet, morning air.

While my prediction for rain had been true, I was definitely not happy about it. I sighed, while I struggled to keep my car in the middle of the road, as it constantly attempted to pull itself into the massive puddles that had formed. The constant torrent of rain continued even as I stepped out of my car, once I had arrived at school. I sighed. Great. I locked my car and quickly ran to the cover of my very small private school. I stepped inside, and was greeted promptly by my math teacher. I flashed a smile and made my way to my first class: Biology.

I quietly opened the door, stepped inside, and began walking to my seat. I was surprised at seeing a new face sitting at my table. I sat down next to her, and introduced myself; stirring her from her work.

"Hey, I'm Brendan." I extended my hand. She stared at it for a moment, smiled and took it. She had a very pretty smile.

"Hi, I'm Leah. I just transferred here."

I smiled. "I noticed. Believe me, nothing goes unnoticed in a school this small. Need any help getting around?"

Her hazel eyes brightened up ever so slightly. "Yeah, thanks. That would be great. I had a hard enough time finding this class."

"Okay," I chuckled.. What's your next class?"


"You're in luck. My next class is English as well. Maybe we'll get to sit next to each other again." I smiled, and she sighed in relief as she smiled her eye-catching smile. I could get used to this girl.

Biology seemed to pass very quickly, seeing as I didn't pay very much attention. I had heard everything that our teacher went over once before, and, apparently, so had she. So, we made the time pass by getting to know each other. I told her about myself, and how I had grown up in Tampa. She responded with telling me about how she had recently moved here from a small town called Crested Butte, in Colorado. She told me about herself, and her family, and I was content to just listen. I was so deep into the conversation, that I didn't even hear the bell ring. Once Leah stood, I followed suit, and grabbed my backpack. We waited for the room to clear out, then began walking to English; continuing our conversation.

Entering the classroom, I realized that we wouldn't be sitting next to each other. I could see the disappointment in her eyes, but she made no point to voice her opinion. With a quick, 'bye', we made our way to our seats, and were forced to suffer through a class without someone interesting to talk to. English passed fairly quickly, though, even without Leah to talk to. As soon as the bell rang, I gathered my stuff, and waited at my desk for her to shove through the crowd of students exiting the classroom. She approached me, a smile of relief on her face.

"Okay." I said. "So, what's next?"

She pulled out her schedule, looked it over for a moment, and then answered. "Pre-Calculus." She looked at me hopefully.

I sighed. "No dice. I've got History."

That same look of disappointment from earlier filled her eyes, and I shared a bit of the same disappointment.

"Well," I said. "We should have lunch after that, so I'll just meet up with you in the cafeteria. Sound good?"

She nodded, and began looking over her schedule again. Figuring that she was just looking for the location of her class, I stopped her.

"Hey, it's cool. I can walk you to your next class."

She gave me a puzzled look. "Won't that make you late for yours?"

"Well, yeah." I chuckled. "But don't worry about it. My teacher's pretty cool. It'll be fine."

She smiled. "Okay, thanks. Again."

"No problem."

While I walked her to her class, we began talking again. This time, we talked about random things, ranging from pets, to the weather. By the time we were outside of her class, I felt like I knew more about her, than I did about anyone else.

"Well." She hesitated. "I'll meet you in the cafeteria, then?"

I nodded. "Yup. See you then. Good luck in there." I flashed her a smile, and she smiled back. I waved, turned, and made my way to my class, hoping that it would pass as quickly as English.

As soon as the bell rang, I was up, and heading toward the cafeteria. As I fought my way through a crowd of students, I realized that I hadn't set a specific meeting place. I mentally hit myself; the cafeteria was the biggest room in the entire school. After shoving past countless different people, I could see the door to the cafeteria - and, standing right next to it, was an expectant looking Leah. As soon as she saw me, she smiled, and placed herself next to me.

"Well, it took you long enough." She snickered.

Playing along, I smiled. "Yeah. I'm sorry, I'll try not to do it again, like, ever."

We both laughed, and found our place in line. After getting our food - Leah, with a discreet salad, and me, with as much junk as I could pile onto my tray - we found our own little table off in the corner, where we could talk uninterrupted. As we sat down, another girl joined us, who greeted Leah, then introduced herself to me.

"Hi. I'm Tara. I'm in Leah's pre-calc class. You don't care if I join you, right?"

I stuck my hand out, and she took it. "No, I don't mind. I'm Brendan. Nice to meet you."

In my mind, I felt a little jealous; I wanted to just be able to talk with Leah one-on-one as it had been, but, lucky for me, Tara wasn't much of a talker. So, Leah and I pretty much talked amongst each other the entire time, with the exception of the few times that Leah tried to include her throughout the conversation.

"So, what made you move to Tampa?" I asked, as she poked around the green lettuce of her salad with her fork.

She sighed. "My parents got divorced."

My heart sank. Even though I shouldn't have, I felt like an asshole for asking. "Ah, damn. That sucks. I'm sorry."

She seemed to force a smile. "It's okay. My mom was born near Tampa, so she decided to move back, and, naturally, I came with her. My dad's still in Colorado."

She paused, and I sat in silence, not knowing what to say; I was never really good in these sorts of situations. Finally, she cleared her throat. "So, what about you? Did you move here from somewhere? Or were you born here?"

"I was born here. I've been here my entire life."

"Really?" She asked. "Have you never visited anywhere else?"

I shook my head. "Nope. I know, it's sad. I've been stuck here my entire life."

She laughed. "You really need to get out more. Like, out of the country."

"Well, I've always wanted to visit Italy. Or maybe France."

She thought for a moment. "France would definitely be my first choice."

She turned to Tara, who seemed to be lost in thought. "What about you?"

Tara shook her head, as she snapped out of her reverie. "Wha-? What are we talking about?"

Leah laughed. "Which country would you visit?"

"Hm... I think I would visit Germany."

That was all we could get out of her before the bell rang. We all stood, and began gathering up our trays, as the lunchroom became a mess of people heading to their next classes. After making our way through the crowd, and dumped our garbage, I turned to her. "So, next class?"

Without having to look at her schedule, she quickly responded. "History."

"Ah, I have Math, then French." I frowned. Her eyes brightened up.

"You're taking French? Perfect. I am too." She smiled, and I returned it, surprised.

"Okay, sweet. So, then, I'll see you in French. Know where your classroom is? I won't be able to walk you to your class, because I don't know my math teacher as well as my other teachers. I don't know if I would be able to talk my way out of being late."

She laughed. "It's okay, thanks. Tara and I have the same history class as well, so she can lead me there."

I nodded. "Okay, then, seeya."


With that, she turned and began chatting with Tara, as they made their way to class. I stood there staring, feeling slightly jealous that I wasn't in Tara's shoes. I shrugged off the feeling, though, and began walking to my penultimate class.