Creating the Perfect Boyfriend
Chapter One: Introducing the Word Shit
Wednesday, January 7
The only word going through my mind was 'shit'.
Here I was, dressed in my pajamas; a white v-neck and light blue pants with yellow ducks on it, sitting on the hard concrete sidewalk with my butt stinging in pain from the impact as the bells of Springway High School rang, informing me that I was officially late for school. Me, late? I was practically known for being on time. I have never ever been late for anything in my entire life. I repeat: Never.
I blamed my legs for not being able to run fast enough. I blamed my alarm clock that didn't ring in the morning and blared the digits 7:20 at me when I woke up. I blamed myself for not setting up three extra alarm clocks to wake me up. I blamed my school for requiring all students be in their seats by 7:30am. I blamed the stranger who crashed into me and spilled his cup of hot chocolate all over my white v-neck.
Well, okay. Fine. I crashed into the stranger. But technically, it wasn't not my fault. I mean, he was the one who didn't move aside when he saw a seventeen year old girl running at the speed of lighting towards him. I didn't have time to watch where I was going and avoid crashing into things...or someone. I woke up ten minutes before school started and my focus was on getting to school on time.
And look at me now; I'm late. I'm fucking late.
The grumpy-ness and cranky-ness of the morning was getting to me.
A hand appeared in front of me. It belonged to Mr. Stranger. From the tips of his fingers, my eyes trailed up his arm and stopped when it reached his dark brown eyes that were a shade lighter than mine. Despite not being a morning person and the annoying fact that I was late for something for the first time in my life, I took his hand and allowed him to pull me up.
"You owe me a new cup of hot chocolate," Mr. Stranger said with a smile on his face as he pulled me up. I quickly noted that he looked around my age; possibly the same age as me. I wondered why he wasn't in school right now but I didn't bother to ask him; it was none of my business. I figured he was probably just skipping class…or school in general, anyway.
I released his hand and sadly looked at my shirt. "You owe me a new shirt."
He raised a single eyebrow, looking slightly amused. "You're the one who crashed into me."
From a short distance, I spotted the security guard closing the front gate of Springway High.
My hatred for mornings flew out the window and in came desperation.
Oh, no. No, no, no.
"Don't close that gate!" I called out to the security guard, my arms out stretched. Remembering that Mr. Stranger was still standing in front of me, I hastily said to him, "I promise I'll buy you a new cup of hot chocolate the next time I see you!" before running at full speed towards my school gate, begging the security guard not to shut the gate.
"Jayne Rayson?" Pause. "Okay. Abse-"
"Here!" I breathed, leaning against the doorway of my classroom.
The fact that I didn't even have time to brush my hair this morning added to why my extremely dark-brown hair looked like a complete disaster. There were a few strands of hair in my face that I kept pushing away but it wouldn't stay back. I was also slightly sweating and my pajamas were wrinkled due to all the running I just did. My chest rose and fell quickly as I tried to catch my breath.
I know, I probably wasn't the most stunning sight you have ever see in your life.
Please, take your pictures later.
"Holy shit, Jayne's late." One of my classmates whistled.
"Oh, I love your pajamas!" My pajamas do indeed rock.
There was no sarcasm to that person's comment by the way.
Ignoring the several shouts from the class, Mrs. McDuffe, my AP U.S. History teacher, turned to face me. Her gaze intimidated everyone, including me. No one would ever break eye contact with her, no matter how intimidating her gaze was. No one could. The look in her eyes practically forced you to stare straight at it, forbidding you to turn away.
I started begging silently in my mind.
Don't say it. Don't say it. Don't say-
"Detention." Aw, damn. She said it.
When Springway High came into existence decades and decades ago, so did its tardy policy. If you're late to your class three times, you're sent to detention and if you're still late after that, you get a call home and possibly a parent teacher conference. I knew Springway High had a strict tardy policy but I didn't expect Mrs. McDuffe to be one of those teachers; the kind that send their students straight to detention when they're late for the first time.
"B-but why?" I said, mouth agape, praying to the people above to get me out of this situation.
Apparently, the people above are too busy laughing at my misery. Motherfuckers.
"You're fifteen minutes late." I glanced at the clock hanging above the doorway and noted that she was right. The security guard finally let me through the gate after getting a nice jolly laugh out of his system when I got on my knees and begged him to let me through. Damn security guard.
"I don't tolerate tardies," Mrs. McDuffe continued. My gaze suddenly fell onto the mole on her upper lip that was noticeable from a mile away. The inner me said to snap out of it before prying my ears open to listen to Mrs. McDuffie. "-people would be coming into my class late every day, barging through the door like you just did a second ago if I didn't enforce detention upon them."
"But I'm never late," I automatically defended.
"She's like known for always being on time," Hannah Seong said, trying to help me out.
"Yeah, just let her off." A few of my other friends added.
"Yeah, let me off," I agreed with a grin on my face.
Mrs. McDuffe didn't faze. "No."
From the students, there were many, "Come on, Mrs. McDuffe. Let Jayne off."
I looked at the class with watery eyes, filled with happiness. I can see it now. One big white wedding. I'll marry them all.
When I turned my head back around to look at Mrs. McDuffe again, her face was still stern and serious with no sign of softening up. She crossed her arms against her chest and said to me in a grumpy voice, "Fine. I'll let you off, but just this one time. If you're late once more, you're off to detention."
"Yes ma'am!" I saluted and ran over to my seat in the middle of the classroom. Right when I seated myself down, exhaustion fell over me; my legs felt heavy from all the running, my arms felt tired, and my head had this buzzing noise in it. My two-story house was fifteen blocks away from school, I have the right to feel exhausted.
"Okay, class!" Mrs. McDuffe shouted, clapping her hands to get everyone's attention. "Please take out last night's homework and pass them to the front. I'll be collecting them. And no, I don't accept late homework!" People started passing their papers up to the first person in the row, who handed the stack of papers to Mrs. McDuffe.
And then I realized that due to the fear of being late when I woke up, I completely forgot about my backpack and left it at home.
Shit, shit, and once again, shit.
A wave of noise hit me as I entered Springway High School's cafeteria. The bottom half of the walls were tiled while the other half was painted white and smooth. The floor shined as if it had just been waxed and the ceiling lights were all turned on except for the one in the very back that broke a few days ago. Two thirds of the school spend their lunch time in here while the other third would go outside to the yard where picnic tables, basketball courts, a small stage, and a fresh field of grass and trees were available.
I dropped myself into a seat and in a glum tone, I said, "Good afternoon."
Eric Torres raised an eyebrow at me and gave me a concerned look. And I have to say, he looks absolutely cute like that. I could never get over how cute he looks. He is the cutest Filipino guy in this school after all. Cody Stolin, on the other hand, plainly glanced at me with his Russian eyes. I felt a tinge of jealously as I watched him stuff half of his hamburger into his mouth. Why couldn't I do that? I had such a small mouth that whenever I ate burgers (or any other food), I was forced to compress it and even then I had to take small bites.
"Did ya pet goldfish die or somethin'?" At least, I think that's what Cody said. He was talking with his mouth full.
Cody asked me that in a manner that was meant to ask me if something was wrong but something else was going through my head. I felt myself becoming pale and soon enough, my head was making contact with the cafeteria table over and over again. "No, no, no, no! I hope not! I can't believe I forgot to feed Orange this morning!"
Cody shot me the are-you-insane look.
I stopped banging my forehead against the table and glared at him. "Stop looking at me like that."
"Are you trying to…glare? You look like your squinting," Eric informed me politely.
Cody burst into laughter at that, some food falling out of his mouth.
I let out a groan, my chin pressed against the coldness of the cafeteria table. "I was late for the first time in my entire life today, I left all my stuff at home, forcing me to borrow paper from people in every single class and being unable to turn in any of the homework I did, I just realized that I forgot to feed my pet goldfish, and now your laughing at me? You really suck."
"Brilliant insulting skills," Cody said, his laughter calming down. "By the way, your breath stinks too."
He was right. I had tasted the disgusting bad breath in my mouth all morning. I would only open my mouth to speak when I absolutely needed to, not feeling comfortable sending the smell of my horrible breath into the noses of my acquaintances. That was the thing that was probably bothering me most-my bad breath. The taste in my mouth made me want to barf. I didn't bother to brush my teeth this morning. The thought of brushing my teeth didn't even occur to me when I woke up this morning. Do you see what having the possibility of being late does to me?
"Here ya go!" A small tube of toothpaste and a green toothbrush was placed in front of me.
I moved my gaze up and saw my best friend smiling at me, her hand on her gigantic purse. She has everything you need in that purse. Extra pens and pencils, a huge brush, nail clipper, black eyeliner, mascara, water bottles, pepper spray, bags of chip, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, packets of tissue, used tissues (though, I don't know why anyone would need those…), eye drops, medicine, money, nice smelling lotion, not-so-nice smelling lotion, chapstick, watermelon lip gloss, a compact mirror, and the list can go on and on.
Kiera Veronese flashed me her perfect white smile. "You'll have minty fresh breath for the rest of the day!"
I felt my mood lifting up slightly as I shouted out a loud, "Yay!"
The people that were sitting on the table behind us, turned their heads around to look at me. The group consisted of two of my friends, one acquaintance, and three people I didn't know. I smiled back at them, waving with one hand while the other held up the tube of toothpaste and the toothbrush Kiera gave me. They all laughed as if it was an inside joke; as if they understood how happy I was to be able to get rid of my smelly breath the second I brush my teeth and scrub my tongue.
"It takes so little to make you happy," Eric commented.
"Because I'm a happy person!" I said with a wide smile.
"Not five seconds ago," Cody added.
I let out a sigh, wondering how I became friends with him in the first place.
Right. He let me borrow his pencil in eighth grade. Apparently, that means 'you're now my permanent friend!' in his language.
"Tell me," Kiera said, seating herself beside me. "How did you get that humongous stain on your shirt?"
Automatically, I looked down. There it was; the fading-but still noticeably brown-stain. No body allowed me to forget about it the entire morning. Everywhere I went, people would say to me 'You know, you have a huge stain on your shirt'. I was too lazy to explain how I got it, so, I simply told a white lie and said 'I don't know how I got it'. By the time the twentieth person I asked me, I started replying with an irritated shout: 'Yes, I know!' and then I would mutter to myself (quite loudly), 'Damn Mr. Stranger and his hot chocolate'. Though, it is my fault for crashing into him…but no body needs to know that.
"I don't know," I said to Kiera.
But she wouldn't settle with that answer. Instead, she questioned me until more than what she wanted to know came out. I ended up telling her about how I got the stain, what I was doing before I got the stain, and what happened after I got the stain. Cody and Eric listened attentively to my story as well. Kiera, I believe, had a hidden secret power that makes people talk.
"And here I am with a big stain on my shirt," I finished.
"Was he cute?" Kiera said, referring to Mr. Stranger. "Did you flirt with him?"
I gave her a look of disbelief. "I didn't have time to think about whether he was cute or not, let alone flirt. I was going to be late. Late, I tell you, late." I paused for a brief moment. "Though, he does looks around seventeen, just like us. I remember thinking that when I glanced up at him."
Kiera didn't blink. "You notice how old he looks but not if he's good-looking or not?"
I blinked once. "Yeah."
A sigh escaped from her lips as she began patting my arm. "You are very interesting, Jayne."
I took it as a compliment.
The rest of my school day was fine. Great, even, especially after I brushed my teeth in the girl's bathroom once lunch was over. With the taste of freshness in my mouth, the smile that appeared didn't go away for a long time, Mrs. Patterson didn't seem that boring, and Madame Levi seemed ten times more bouncy and hyper. Everything was fine. And then I got home. Ladies and gentlemen, the word shit is now back repeating itself in my head all over again.
"You have a boyfriend, Jayne?" Grandma Dawn asked me, her eyebrows rose.
"Yep," I said smiling. "So, you can cancel all those blind dates you made for me."
Feel free to write BIG FAT LIAR on my forehead.
I kept a straight face while my mind was going insane (my mind has been overdosing on the word 'shit' all day). There was no way that I was going to ever tell her that I currently didn't have a boyfriend. If I did, she was going to force me to attend all of those twenty. eight. blind. dates. And I can't say no to that. I just can't. In all honesty, I couldn't stand up to her (or any of the adults in my family, in fact) and deny her what she wants. My grandma is not a nice little old lady. She'll be the scariest person on Earth if you ever dare interfere with her plans. The only way for me to get out it would be to lie. But you'll still love me even if I lied, right? Right?
Sadly, Grandma didn't seem to believe my lie one bit. She proved this point by slamming her small cup of tea onto the coffee table in my living room. Her icy blue eyes stared straight into my brown ones. The wrinkles on her face were clear as day and yet, she still had this touch in her that made her look beautiful. She shot me the look, my thoughts disappeared in a second and I began squirming in my seat, having the sudden urge to tell her the truth.
I found myself darting my eyes around my living room and examining it to keep myself from looking at my grandma. The living room wasn't humungous but it wasn't puny either. It was just the right size. Not too stuffed and not too empty. Excluding the black single seated couch I was sitting on, the rest of the couches were pure white, matching the color of the walls. The painting my mother painted of the ocean was hung above the wooden shelf. Along the dustless top of the wooden shelf were pictures of the family: my dad, my mom, my ten year old brother, my fourteen year old sister, and me. I noted how there wasn't a single picture of my mom and dad together without the kids. Dad stored all of those in a cardboard box hidden away in the attic when they got a divorce.
"Well," Grandma said, folding her hands together. I averted my gaze back onto her. A smirk was making its way onto her face as her deadly glare was replaced with a confident look in her eyes. "You're going to have to introduce me to this wonderful boyfriend of yours. After all, I have to approve of this boy; to make sure that he's the right one for you."
I plastered on a convincing fake smile. "Of course I'll introduce you to him."
Grandma's smirk didn't falter. Instead, it grew wider and even wider when she said, "Let me say this loud and clear to you, Jayne: If I find out that you were lying to me about having a boyfriend, your going to suffer through much more than the twenty-eight blind dates I have arranged for you. This will be your last chance to tell the truth, deary."
Images of my grandma murdering me with a toothpick appeared in my mind.
I cleared my throat and smiled weakly. "It's like you think I am lying."
She quirked a single eyebrow at me and said with a flat tone, "I do think your lying."
Well. You didn't have to be so honest about it.
Grandma leaned back into the softness of the couch and made a hand motion, shooing me off. "Now, you can go to your fish."
"Huh?" I said, confused.
It took me a minute to register what she had said-my mind was too preoccupied with how I was going to ever get out of this lie of having a boyfriend. And then I remembered shouting 'I'm coming for you! You better not be dead!' the second I stepped foot into my house and right before I was about to dash towards my room, Grandma called me over and wouldn't take no for an answer.
I was out of my comfortable seat in a second.
"My baby, my honey, my love!"
Thunk, thunk, thunk. The sounds echoed through the house and went right through my ears. The feeling of smooth cold wood against my feet came as I stormed up the stairs to the second floor. My brain was over flooded with my desperation and concern. Mouth wide open, two front teeth showing, dark brown eyes bulging out, and looking just like that, I flew into my bedroom and towards the fish bowl on my night stand.
I picked up the fishbowl and held it at eye level, starring at my gold fish.
My upside-down floating goldfish.
"Orange?" I said, shaking the bowl slightly.
"Orange…" Tears were starting to form.
Orange is dead because I forgot to feed him this morning. He's dead. He's dead. He's dead. I killed the love of my life, the one that has been with me through everything, the one that cost me all the money I had in my wallet that day (damnit, you better not be dead-I paid three dollars for you!); my one and only goldfish. Just when a waterfall of tears were about to escape from the edges of my eyes, my goldfish flipped back around and started swimming around the bowl animatedly.
That conniving little twerp of a fish.
"Orange!" I scowled, two tears escaping from my eyes. "You were playing dead?"
He stopped swimming and starred innocently at me.
"You would be down the toilet by now for tricking me if I didn't need to dump my complaints and worries on you," I said with furrowed eyebrows. I threw myself onto my bed, some of the water from the fishbowl splashing out. Ignoring the water spots on my bare arm and the covers on my bed, I smiled slightly and said to my fish, "Get ready to listen up, buddy."
Author's Note: There you go! :D. Chapter number one. Tell me what you think about it so far. Thank you VelvetxKisses for being my amazing beta reader :). And thank you very muchos for reading my story!
06/13/10: Re-edited chapter 2 + chapter 3.