This is my first time publishing an actual story on fictionpress. I've revised this story once and it took my hours! So now it's a little polished... Just to let you know, there are also two endings in the end. But that's for later.
Right now, enjoy "Unspoken"
The cold February air blew harshly against Janice's delicate face, but she didn't mind. She was scanning the dark horizon, standing alone on the balcony just outside the mansion of the ever popular guy in high school, Noah Van Arden. He was her best friend's boyfriend, throwing the usual parties every weekend wherever it may be, and she happened to be invited. She insisted on coming along, but because her best friends promised to stay with her the entire time, she agreed to come, assuming that they would keep their promises. What she didn't think of, however, was that they would all be drunk. Not a thought about Janice entered their brain, but that was probably the alcohol taking effect, making them forget about everything. They knew that Janice didn't drink and had never been drunk in her seventeen years. She was proud of that, and would like to keep it that way.
All the time on the balcony, she'd been thinking about a particular boy that she had been crushing on ever since high school began. His name was Shane Morrison, a normal but good-looking guy. He had dark green eyes and short, wavy, dirty blond hair. No one really knew if he had ever dated because he'd never been seen showing passionate affection for a girl. Even though he didn't belong to the popular crowd, he still attracted girls but showed no liking in any of them.
Janice and Shane have never talked to each other before, but they shared secret glances every now and then in classes, which Janice would speculate in her mind and tell her best friends. Sometimes she thought she would see signs that meant he may like her, but at other times, she would think that he was only trying to avoid her.
She was thinking of what happened today in science class, when the teacher, Ms. Ross, mentioned that two elements were in a relationship and must communicate with each other in order for the equation to be equally balanced. Shane, who was sitting diagonally in front of Janice, slightly turned his head to the left, looking at her in the corner of his eye. When she caught his stare, he turned to look at the front of the class again, leaving her to picture what had happened in her mind. Janice continued to contemplate on this tiny action, thinking of why he would have done it. It was almost as if she had become obsessed with him and his little motions since she couldn't stop thinking about anything that related to him. She thought it was stupid because they aren't in love with each other. Heck, they don't even know each other. One thing she was sure of, though, is that he knows she exists.
"Come inside, Janice," a voice broke out in the darkness behind her. It was Dustin Brisley, who was one of the popular guys crushing on her for a while, but she completely had no feelings for him. He was charming and a really handsome guy causing all the girls at school to beg to go out with him. But he irritated Janice and she didn't know why. She had always tried to avoid him and would attempt to end the conversation that he would start with her. Of course he would be here tonight since he was the best friend of Noah, and Janice forgot this tiny piece of information.
"No, I'm fine here," Janice simply replied, rubbing one of her arms because of the cold.
"It's freezing out," he said and went to lean on the railing beside her.
When she didn't respond, he turned to look at her, but she ignored his gaze and stared at the moon.
"Your friends told me to tell you that they're leaving soon," he said a few seconds later.
Janice sighed with relief, but gave Dustin a slight smile and answered, "Thanks. I'll see you around."
With a wave, she went down the stairs and started to search for her friends, ignoring the action going on between couples everywhere. Even though Valentine's Day passed a week ago, everyone was still in the mood to celebrate the month of love.
"Janice!" her best friend, Serena Cooper, yelled across the small room. When Janice turned around to see where the voice was coming from, Serena quickly hugged her with a bottle of beer still in her hands.
"Where's everyone else?" Janice asked.
"Backyard. Can we go home?" Serena mumbled, but Janice was able to make sense of the words.
"Yeah, let's find everyone first, okay?" Janice replied and placed Serena's arm around her neck so they could both go out to the backyard.
All their friends were outside so it wasn't very difficult to find them. Most of them didn't appear drunk but Leslie Collins and Ayla Ackles were almost falling onto the ground.
"I already said bye bye to Noah so we can go now, okay? I'm going to go to sleep. Sweet dreams, everyone," Serena managed to say and collapsed onto the ground, letting go of the beer bottle.
"Well, I'll drive," Lauren Hawkins suggested. She was in good shape, and was one of the girls, along with Janice, who never drank. She only agreed to come to the party because her crush, Jacob Kennedy, came. She found him attractive and started crushing on him last year ever since he'd been in two of her classes. He never noticed her; Lauren thought that it was because he was one of the popular guys and she was a regular girl.
They carried their drunken friends and brought them inside the car. Janice was the last one to be dropped off since Lauren lived right beside her. Before leaving, Lauren told her, "I'm going to call you later, if that's okay."
Thinking it was something important that she had to say, Janice instantly replied, "Sure, it's no problem at all. Thanks for the ride, Lauren." She exited the car and walked right up to her house to unlock the door.
The house was extremely dark and quiet since it was in the middle of the night, but Janice was able to silently go up the stairs. It was not only because she didn't want to wake her parents, although they were aware of where she'd been and was fine with it; it was also because of her strict cousin, Robin Hanes, who was against almost everything she'd ever done. Robin was only a few years older than Janice, but had made plenty of mistakes in her life which was why she was now living in the basement of her aunt's house.
On the way to her room, Janice's tiny black poodle, Leah, licked her leg, causing Janice to jump a little. She picked her up and brought her into her room where she laid Leah down. After changing into her pajamas, her cell phone vibrated, and Lauren's name appeared on the screen.
"Hey, Lauren," Janice greeted and plopped down on her bed.
"Hey! Sorry I'm calling so late. I just wanted to tell you something about Jake," Lauren gushed.
"It's fine. I stay up late a lot. Besides, it's a Friday and I could sleep in. Anyway, what about Jake? Did you see him at the party?"
Lauren slightly giggled and answered, "Yes, I did! He looked so cute! But you know what? He was constantly staring at me. He and his friends were outside talking and drinking so I kind of glanced at him every now and then and that's how I knew."
"Really? Do you think he likes you?" Janice curiously asked with a smile.
"I really don't know," Lauren said with a hint of sadness in her voice, "He would never fall for someone like me."
"But…do you want him to like you?"
Lauren hesitated to answer, "I guess so…"
"Then talk to him!"
"You're the one who should follow your own advice," Lauren said, trying to change the subject, "You've never talked to Shane before, but you're already obsessed with him."
"I am not obsessed with Shane! It's just a teenage crush," Janice sighed, "But you're right. I should talk to him, but I can't. I feel like such a coward. Whenever he's around, I'm always on mute."
Lauren sighed with her, "Me too. With Jake, I mean."
"If only a miracle would happen that would force me to talk to him. Then it'll all work out, right?"
"I hope it does for you. You guys would look cute together," Lauren giggled.
"And if you don't talk to Jake, I'll just force you to," Janice told her with a smile on her face.
"Oh, please don't!" Lauren begged.
"Then start saying 'hello' to him. It's not that hard, right?"
"Yeah, just a little," Lauren replied with a tiny voice.
"Fine, then just give him a small smile, that's it."
"If I do it, will you do it to Shane, too?"
Janice hesitated, but she agreed, "Um…okay."
Lauren squealed, happy that she was not going to do it alone, "Anyways, I think it's very late now. I need to go to sleep, but I'll see you in school on Monday!"
"Bye, Lauren!" Janice said at last and hung up her phone.
The weekend flew by fast for Janice since all she practically did was her homework. She was supposed to attend another party but she refused and her friends went without her. She had to finish an essay due on the following Monday instead.
Janice placed her bag on the ground and rested her head on the desk. Groups of students started to fill the classroom as Ms. Ross organized her notes for today's lesson. Janice glanced at each student who entered the room, and when Shane appeared with his friend, Mick Mitchell, she dropped her eyes and stared at the desk.
"Hi Janice!" Alexa Jones greeted happily with Lauren following her from behind. She was one of Janice's friends who had the same classes as her last year and they had become close.
Janice smiled and sleepily said, "Hey."
"Tired?" Alexa asked and sat down to the left of Janice while Lauren sat down to the right.
"I just hate Mondays," Janice replied.
"Ugh, me too," Lauren agreed, "I hope we don't get homework today."
"We probably will, but that's okay. Science is easy," Alexa said.
Dustin noisily entered the room, which made Janice groan internally because his seat was right in front of the girls. She already knew that he would talk to them the whole entire time in class, as he did every day to try and show his interest for her.
"Hey, cuties," he greeted. Usually, a popular guy does not greet a regular girl, but in this case, he was only being nice to Janice's friends for Janice's sake, at least that's what Janice thought.
This made Lauren and Alexa giggle a little and they both waved at him. Janice pretended not to hear since her head was buried in her hands and Dustin couldn't tell whether she was sleeping or not.
Because of Dustin's questioning face, Alexa said, "Oh, she's awake." She patted Janice's head and messed her hair, making her sigh heavily. Janice lifted her head to look into Dustin's cyan eyes.
"Hello, Dustin," she plainly said.
"What's up, Janice?" he asked with a dazzling smile. He usually talked to the girls every morning; they were used to it, but Janice was never in the mood to talk to him.
"Tired," she replied.
"Well, you don't look tired," Dustin commented, "In fact, you look beautiful."
"Um, thanks," Janice said uncomfortably, blushing a little.
"Since Serena and Noah are going to the movies on Friday, would you like to come with me?" Dustin asked, but before Janice could give him an answer, Ms. Ross told him to turn around and be quiet.
Thank goodness, Janice thought. She didn't want to go with him especially with Serena and Noah. It would seem like a double date, but she didn't know how to politely say no to him.
Shane turned his head to the left, sneaking a glance to stare at Janice. She, however, was copying down the notes that Ms. Ross was saying. When she looked up, she noticed his gaze and looked in his direction. He slowly turned around with a troubled expression printed on his face.
"So how about it?" Dustin whispered after turning around to face Janice.
"Uh, I don't know," Janice replied.
"Come on, I know you like scary movies."
"I might be doing something else on that day," Janice lied; she already knew she was going to be doing nothing on Friday.
"Okay. Well, let me know," he said before turning around.
Class finally ended, and Janice headed to math. She had it with her friends, Adelle (or Addie) Summers, Ayla Ackles and Serena Cooper. Shane was also in that class; in fact, he was in almost all of her classes, but she never spoke to him at least once.
"Do you have food, Janice?" Serena asked once everyone was settled. Janice and her friends all sat in one row thankfully; she never liked sitting with someone she didn't know.
"Nope, not today," Janice answered.
Serena groaned and her stomach made an unpleasant noise. All the girls looked at her with a blank face. "What?" she asked.
Ayla started to laugh and said, "Wow."
Mr. Milton entered the class with his notes for today's lesson. "Golly, you guys are loud today!"
"We're loud every day," a student in the back row answered.
"And that's why I made a seating plan," Mr. Milton announced with a sly smile.
Shocked faces appeared on students' faces and some groaned and whined.
"You're joking," Adelle said.
Mr. Milton heard her and answered, "Nope, I'm not. I have the seating plan right here." He pulled out a sheet of paper that had everyone's names on it.
"Is it in alphabetical order?" a student in the front row asked.
"No. I put the people who never talked to one another beside each other so there can actually be some silence around here," Mr. Milton replied, "Oh and awkwardness too, because guess what?"
That was when silence entered the room. It was as if Mr. Milton could sense our fears when no one spoke. But he continued and said, "There will be two girls and two guys sitting in one row."
"That's not that bad!" a student commented.
"At least it will lessen the noise thanks to your raging teenage hormones," Mr. Milton said with a laugh.
Janice's heart started to race. She thought about what was to come, and she didn't know how to respond to it so she kept silent like the rest of her friends.
"Front row!" Mr. Milton declared, "Serena, Brandon, Jennifer and Bob."
The students who were sitting in the front row gradually got up and stood by the door. The four other students took their place without much enthusiasm. Janice was impatiently waiting for her name so she glanced at Shane. He was staring at his own desk, showing no expression.
"Andrew, Adelle, Nathan, and Ayla."
"Catherine, Drew, Alyssa, and Justin."
"Fred, Joanne, Ethan, and Grace."
"Ella, Brody, Shannon and Eric."
"Shane, Janice, Carl, and Lily."
Ignoring the loud thumping of her heart, Janice sat down without speaking, consciously aware of Shane beside her.
"Alright, that should do it," Mr. Milton said, laying down his notes, "Get to know each other, because this will be your permanent seating arrangement."
"My social life is ruined!" Lily complained, "I don't want to sit beside him."
Carl, who sat beside Lily, fixed his glasses out of habit and cleared his throat as if to say something, but remained quiet.
"Get used to it, people," Mr. Milton said in response to Lily's complaint and then started the lesson for today.
Moments later, the bell finally rang, which meant it was time for lunch. Before Janice stood up to gather her things, Shane's friend, Brody, asked him, "Why the sad face?"
"It's nothing," Shane replied almost too quickly, glancing at Janice.
Confusion filled Janice's mind as if she knew he was lying. Why would he be sad?
"Come on, Janice, I'm hungry!" Serena shouted by the door.
Janice caught up with them, and at the same time, describing the look on his face in science class and telling them about Shane's response to Brody's question.
They reached Adelle and Ayla's locker so they can retrieve their lunches. "I think he likes you," Adelle blurted out.
"Addie, if he did, he would have talked to Janice by now," Serena said, "Now that they're sitting beside each other, it's impossible for them not to talk."
"He's shy," Janice told her, "He wouldn't make the first move."
"Then we'll force him into making the first move," Ayla said with an immoral smile.
"You better not hurt him," Janice said, "He's a nice guy."
"Yeah, so is Nathan Miller," Adelle teased Ayla with a smile.
"Aw, little Ayla is blushing!" Serena giggled with the rest of them.
Ayla narrowed her eyes and said, "I hate you all."
"Oh yeah, I talked to Jake today," Lauren gushed, smiling while walking with Janice and Alexa. They always walked home together every day after school, and it had become a routine for them.
"Good for you!" Alexa cheered.
"Ah, so you talked. What about?" Janice curiously asked.
"Well, he kind of asked me if I was going to the party being held at Noah's house this weekend," Lauren replied.
Janice and Alexa formed an "O" with their mouths, causing Lauren to laugh. She added, "I said yes!"
"Who are you going with?" Alexa asked.
"Um, I don't know yet," Lauren answered her honestly, "But I'll ask around."
"Guys, did you notice Shane's sad looks today in science class?" Janice asked from out of the blue.
"No, but of course you would notice," Alexa said.
"It's because of Dustin. He asked you out, but when you didn't answer, Shane got curious so he wanted to see the look on your face to see if you would say yes or no. See, he's jealous," Lauren explained her theory.
"I don't think so," Janice hesitated.
"He likes you, Janice!" Alexa said with a smile.
"No he doesn't," Janice told her, "Oh and did I tell you that I'm sitting beside him in math class?"
This time, Alexa and Lauren formed an "O" with their mouths.
"And let me guess, you haven't talked to him?" Alexa speculated.
"Nope," Janice simply said, as if the whole thing wasn't bothering her, but it did.
"Why not?!" Lauren asked curiously.
"I honestly don't know. I don't have the guts to even say hi. I'm such a – " Janice said.
Alexa interrupted her and finished her sentence, "Weirdo?"
"You could say that," Janice laughed along with the two girls.
She couldn't explain the reason why she wouldn't talk to him, but she really wanted him to like her. Even though she didn't believe the things her friends were telling her, she was trying to understand Shane's behavior. She didn't have a reason for his actions, and this made her as curious as ever, now that her friends were sure that he likes her. She continued to refuse to accept their guesses, ignoring their hopeful thoughts. What she didn't know was denial was the first step towards love.