Liam pulled into the parking lot like a mad man; nearly hitting three cars, and Leilani and Peyton. He smiled in their direction as he pulled into his parking spot.
"Hi ladies," he said, as he slammed his truck door shut, "you both are looking rather scared for your lives this morning." He beamed at them as if he had just said the funniest thing in the whole world.
"Very funny," replied Peyton with a glare, "you could have killed us."
"I was just having some fun Pey, your fine."
"Well next time have fun when there isn't ice on the roads." She scoffed as she and Leilani walked up to the building.
They stammered into the school, the warm air making them realize how cold they were. They walked down the hallway in silence, until Liam came to his homeroom class.
"Well my fair maidens, this is where you leave my presence."
Leilani hid her laughter. She didn't want to give him the satisfaction of thinking he was funny.
Once they were out of earshot, Leilani spoke,
"Liam can't drive, but he is kinda funny."
"Funny? He makes the jokes on the back of candy wrappers sound good."
"Oh come on Pey! You don't think he's even a little funny? Not even a tad?!"
"I guess sometimes. Why does it matter anyways? He's the same Liam we've always known."
"Yeah, he just seems funnier to me now. He's grown on me I guess."
"Ha yeah I guess. You know, one man I'd like to see grow on me Nathanial Erikson." She winked at Leilani as they walked into class. "I mean have you seen him lately? He looks like a Greek God or something."
"I guess I haven't paid as much attention to him as you. By the way, you might want to wipe up that drool before he walks in." They both laughed.
Homeroom was a drag. For thirty minutes they listened to Mr. Friskalo's monotone voice talk about the upcoming events at school. The only thing remotely interesting was the bonfire at the lake on Friday night.
"Do you think you can go?" Peyton whispered in Leilani's direction.
"Of course, my mom is on a business trip for three weeks remember?"
"Oh yeah, I forgot! Well we can take your Jeep and I'll just stay with you for,"
She stopped. Every eye was at the doorway. Standing there was the most beautiful girl either of them had ever seen. She was more beautiful than any model or actress they'd watched. She was tall with long brown hair. She had blonde highlights and the most amazingly green eyes. Peyton looked over to Leilani, who was still gawking at the girl.
"Who is that? Have you seen her before?" She said it in an almost inaudible whisper.
"I don't know, but I think we're about to find out."
Just then, Mr. Friskalo's dreary voice rang out. "Everyone," he said, "this is Arianna. Arianna please find a seat wherever you please and I will assign someone to help you to the rest of your classes."
Leilani couldn't look away. She was fascinated by her. The way she walked was like she was floating across the floor. And she was so beautiful. Before she had time to register it, Arianna had taken the empty seat next to her, and was talking to her.
"Hi! I'm Arianna." She said with a smile. "Who are you?"
Leilani sat there, not saying a single word. Peyton nudged her.
"I'm Peyton. This is Leilani." Peyton looked at Leilani sternly.
"Uh, hi. I'm Leilani."
"Where did you come here from?" Peyton asked.
"San Francisco. My mom just got a new job here. It was either move or live with my dad. I choose to move."
"Well I'm sure you will love it here. It's no California, but Oregon is a nice place. We enjoy it. Right Lay?"
"Yeah, it's a great place."
She couldn't stop staring. Arianna was like looking into the sun. She was so brilliant that it almost hurt Leilani's eyes. She had to fight to get the breath to continue talking to her.
"Ms. Summers? Are you listening?"
"Huh?" She looked up to see Mr. Friskalo looking at her.
"Will you be so kind as to show our new student around for the week?"
"Oh. Sure. Yeah. Sure."
"Well than it is settled. Arianna if you will follow Ms. Summers she will escort you out."
She stood smiling down at Leilani. Leilani stood. She was feeling nervous and little all of the sudden. She quickly stood and grabbed her things. She felt as if she was running out of the class. She stood by the door waiting for Arianna to come out.
As they walked down the hall, it took all of Leilani's effort not to stare at her. It was so quiet that she was startled when Arianna spoke.
"Where are you from?"
"Where are you from?"
"I'm from here." She giggled. "Why do you ask?"
"No. I mean what is your nationality? Like where are your people from?"
Leilani laughed. How could she have been such a nerd.
"I'm Hawaiian." She replied. "We moved here about six years ago. My dad is in the military."
"I knew you weren't from here. You're very pretty ya know."
A compliment? Leilani waited. She couldn't find any words to reply. Finally she caught her breath.
"Thank you. I like your shirt." Dare she say how beautiful she thought Arianna was? She decided to keep it to herself.
"Thank you. I got it from the from the festival last summer."
Festival? Leilani didn't say anything. She didn't want to sound stupid for not knowing what she was talking about. She must have looked confused because Arianna laughed.
"The gay festival in San Francisco last year."
Leilani understood now. She hadn't looked at the shirt before, she was just giving her a compliment. But now as she looked she understood the rainbow colored stick figure walking out of a door.
"So you know someone back in San Francisco that is out and proud?"
Leilani wanted to slap herself. Did she really just say out and proud?! Arianna just laughed and continued.
"Yeah I guess you can say that. We're pretty close." She laughed again. Leilani was beginning to notice that she had a very cute laugh.
When they reached Arianna's classroom, Leilani felt sad. She liked talking to her. After they departed Leilani's head was filled with Arianna. Why was she thinking of her so much. She just seemed like a good friend. That must be what it was. Leilani sat in her first period. She seemed to look at the clock every minute or so. It felt like time was taking hours to go by. Finally it was time for her to leave. She practically ran to Arianna's class. When she arrived there, Arianna was waiting at the door with a smile.
"I thought you were going to forget about me." She said
Leilani smiled. How could she forget.
"Are you going to be more talkative this time?" Arianna asked with a giggle.
Leilani smiled again. "I can try if you want." They both smiled at each other.
The rest of the day passed quickly. Arianna and Leilani spent all of their time out of class together. At the end of the day, Leilani offered Arianna a ride home. When they reached her car, Peyton was standing there.
"Where have you been all day?!" Peyton asked as the two girls walked up. "I have been looking for you all day. You weren't even there at lunch."
"I was helping Arianna around school. Sorry. Are you still coming over?"
"Well, yeah. I mean why wouldn't I?
"Cool. You can get to know Arianna too."
The girls climbed into the car. Peyton had a look about her that Leilani noticed as her 'I-feel-left out-of-my-best friends-life face. She knew that if she brought it up while they were around Arianna, she would deny that she felt that why. She would just ask when they got back to her house.
"Do you think it would be alright if I just came to your place for a while?" Arianna interrupted Leilani's thoughts.
Maybe she wouldn't get to ask when they got home.
"That's fine with me. Do you mind Pey?"
"Nope, it's fine."
The girls got in the car and drove to Leilani's house.