The Romantic

He was a romantic, but less like Cupid and more like Sid Vicious. He didn't follow the rules, sneered at popular culture and couldn't stop staring at her. She just rolled her eyes, pretending not to care.

Author's Note: I should be working on Lace and Cardboard but I was so angry last night, and I couldn't write about Lee when I was angry. So, I started something new and now it's something real. I hope you enjoy. I'll be writing this when I'm angry, so expect some twisted things.

"I can see the truth so clear
In your eyes"

-If I Never Knew You, John Smith/Pocahontas

Stacey tapped her pencil impatiently. Apparently the new-kid at school was supposed to be in her second period class, but twenty minutes had already passed and he hadn't surfaced. Other girls around Stacey were displaying impatient habits: Carol Parker was spinning a piece of her stick straight hair around her manicured finger and Rosa Thach was throwing glances at the open classroom door. Some of the other students in the class didn't know about the mystery new-kid but were surely learning from word of mouth.

Stacey glanced at the old and discolored analog clock above the white board. There were only twenty-seven more minutes of class left. Was the new-kid held up in the office? He wouldn't be skipping class already… Would he?

Stacey wouldn't know. She didn't even know his name. All she new was that when he had walked in he had stolen the hearts of all the girls in the hallway. It's a shame I don't have a first period, Stacey thought with an inward sigh.

A peal of laughter emitted from the hallway, drawing Rosa's attention. By the way her eyes widened and her mouth drop, Stacey and Carol knew who she had seen. Carol promptly straightened her shoulders and threw her chest up. Stacey gave the girl a weird look, because, quite frankly, Carol didn't have much of a chest. Stacey looked at her own chest, which was also small, and threw her shoulders forward. She wasn't as comfortable with flaunting her body as Carol did. In fact, Stacey didn't believe in flaunting what she didn't have. Granted, she enjoyed wearing dresses and nice clothes to school, but it wasn't like she was trying to impress anyone. Stacey liked fashion, so fashionably she would dress.

"Take it from me, if you want his attention, all you have to do is throw your shoulders back," Carol whispered before applying a bit of lip gloss. "At least your boobs are bigger than mine."

"I just want to know what the big deal is about," Stacey said, rolling her eyes. Was she really friends with a girl like Carol? Yes.

The sound of sneakers on tile sounded and the most beautiful boy Stacey had ever seen walked into the classroom. The new-kid was about six feet tall and of a more mature build. His muscles were well defined under the gray t-shirt he wore, and his legs were encompassed by a pair of black jeans that hung loosely from his hips. His hair was black—no, dark brown-- and short but long enough that he could coolly run his thin and tanned fingers through them.

Stacey noted his mischievous grin and the two rings he wore—one on his right thumb and the other on his left middle finger. He wore an old black leather cuff on his left hand and he had no backpack. No books, either, just a pen sticking out of his front pocket and folded papers in his back pocket. He was a total bad ass, and it made Stacey practically salivate (not that she actually would).

"Oh, he's just your type," Carol giggled into her friend's ear, eyes still glued on the new-kid.

"Excuse me, but I'm in this class," a smooth and deep voice said, sending shivers through all of the girls. Carol practically turned into a puddle and Rosa flushed visibly. Stacey gave Rosa a sympathetic smile to which the other girl returned. "Name's Keoni Vinson. I'm new."

"Do you have a pass?" Little Mrs. Sanchez asked, putting her hand out. "New or not, there is no excuse for being more than twenty minutes late class."

"I got lost," Keoni said, shrugging his shoulders.

"He's Hawaiian, that's so hot," Carol said, eyes still glued to the tan Olympian-like boy standing at the front of the room. Stacey was going to ask how she knew, but noted the iPod touch in Carol's hand. It was opened to a Google screen.

"You're crazy," Stacey told her friend.

Mrs. Sanchez eyed Keoni carefully, and surprised the class when she allowed for him to be seated. Mrs. Sanchez was a very strict English teacher, even with her laid-back teaching style.

"Never again, Mr. Vinson," Mrs. Sanchez practically growled. Keoni simply threw her a lop-sided grin. "You may be seated next to the empty desk beside Stacey."

"Ohh!" Carol giggled, clapping her hands joyfully. "He should just sit next to Stacey, Mrs. Sanchez! Meghan never comes to school."

Keoni raised an eyebrow and peered at Carol and Stacey. What he saw were two very different girls. The girl that was giggly wore a tight v-neck shirt and leggings that seemed to pass off as pants. Her brown hair was stick straight, but Keoni assumed it was only so with the help of a straight iron. Stacey was the girl to the left, sitting next to two empty desks. She had pitch black hair that reached her shoulders in natural, lazy curls. She wore a simple white t-shirt and jeans ensemble, but a large necklace decorated her collar. Stacey was simple and demanded less attention than the other girl, Keoni quickly concluded. He also took special notice to her eyes, which were large and circled with dark eyeliner, emphasizing the darkness of her eye color.

"Sit next to Stacey," Mrs. Sanchez sighed, caving into Carol's girly demands. Giggling filtered through Stacey's right ear and the sound of a chair scraping on the ugly school tiled floors filed her left. She blushed.

"I really need a soda," Stacey sighed, leaning her elbows on her desk and rubbing her face with her hands. Her rings, which decorated the majority of her fingers, were cold to the touch and helped to clear some of her thoughts.

"I really need a stiff drink," Keoni muttered from the side of his mouth, eyes gleaming. Stacey looked to her left and was absorbed with his surprisingly hazel eyes. Keoni winked, giving her a side-ways grin.

"She doesn't believe in drinking," Carol supplied, leaning over Stacey to talk to the new-kid. Stacey wrinkled her nose at her friend's strong floral-scented perfume.

"You make it sound like I don't believe in God," Stacey said, pushing her friend away. Carol blinked at Stacey, and then laughed. "Okay, so I don't believe in God."

"What do you believe in?" Keoni asked, turning to look at Stacey. She's the better looking one, more natural, Keoni thought.

"She's a Buddhist," Carol answered. "My name's Carol, and I'm a Christian girl." Insert flirty smile, Stacey thought. And flirty smile, it was. Carol was so predictable that sometimes it made Stacey sick.

Keoni looked at Stacey, eyes alight with something she couldn't read. He was very straightforward, and obviously did not cringe when she stared back. She kept her face hard, not allowing her nervousness to show. His expression seemed thoughtful.

"I don't know what I believe," Keoni finally said, still looking at Stacey. Stacey was still holding her breath, making her chest hurt. She breathed, filling her lungs fill with fresh air. Stacey closed her eyes, focusing on her breathing to calm her busy mind. Thoughts were flying around her head and her hormones were getting in her way. A pretty boy wasn't going to throw her off balance.

"Stacey, stop meditating," Carol whined, shoving her friend lightly. Keoni watched as Stacey kept her eyes closed and controlled her breathing, her nostrils flaring a little when Carol shoved her. He wondered what was going through her mind, and if she was a freak. The girl couldn't be normal if one moment she had been staring at him with the darkest eyes he'd ever seen, and the next moment she shut herself off like a robot.

"I'm not meditating," Stacey all but hissed. "I'm calming down, so get out of my face."

Keoni sat back. Ouch, that was a little harsh. Carol simply rolled her eyes though, deciding to ignore her friend.

"What do you have next period?" Carol asked Keoni. Stacey opened her eyes and watched as Mrs. Sanchez ignored her row and continued to teach. Stacey decided that paying attention for the last five minutes of class wasn't worth it. So, she listened as Keoni answered, "Forensics."

Stacey wanted to shoot herself.

Another class with the bad-ass Olympian sitting next to her?

She didn't believe her heart could handle being anywhere near him, could handle him staring at her so openly. But what did it matter? It wasn't like he was staring because he thought she was beautiful. He was just staring because he probably thought she was a loser. More thoughts caused chaos in Stacey's head.

"Stacey is in that class!" Carol squealed, smiling broadly. Stacey ran her tongue over her teeth, feeling slightly conscious. Carol had bright white, perfectly aligned teeth thanks to her daily visits to the dentist. The first and only time Stacey had been to the dentist was when she was seven, and her parents were still together.

She quickly brushed the thought away.

"Cool, we can walk together. Right, Stace?" Keoni asked, smirking when she blushed. The bell rang and Stacey quickly packed her things and charged out of the room, Keoni not too far behind.