There was something different about the classroom, and had been for the past five minute of homeroom. A new presence had taken up space in the formerly empty desk behind Emma, and she couldn't focus. She went between twirling her hair around her pen, to doodling on her paper, to the obvious staring out the window. Every few minutes, she would look over her shoulder for a few seconds, only to look away shyly. This new presence in the room was a guy – and a cute one at that.
Even worse was when the teacher assigned seats for homeroom class for the next four years – she was Mason and he was Merose. Thomas Merose as he introduced himself, his last name pronouced like 'mer-rose'. He had moved from Canda (of all places!) and was going to continue school in the US because of his parents jobs. Both his parents worked as mainstay news reporters, but they were still moved around a lot, which bothered both Thomas and his younger sister, Lela.
Emma couldn't focus from the moment that Thomas (or Tom, as he asked her to call him), told her that he didn't have a girlfriend but wanted to get to know some of the girls in the area. He admitted to her that he had a sip of beer at his eigth grade graduation party but swore that he wasn't going to touch it again, at least until he was of legal age. She kept glancing at his hand as he scribbled his contact information onto a card and how his signature looped slightly when he wrote out his name.
The extended homeroom, (by nearly thirty minutes, could it have been any more boring!?) seemed to drag on for ages and every time Emma looked at the clock, the second hand seemed to be stuck – and so was the minute hand. But finally, the bell rang, and the whole class jumped up, bolting from the room – leaving Emma and Thomas alone, just like she had secretly hoped.
"What do you have next?" Tom was holding out his class timetables, and Emma smiled internally – this was how she wanted it. He had started the conversation!
"Oh, Global History – you?" Emma mentally crossed her fingers.
"Oh, same, with Mr. Marshall?" Tom asked and Emma nodded, so they set off together, no words needing to be spoken between them.
The two of them repeated this pattern every day, heading from homeroom across the school to Global History, and it was only the beginning of something special – something unique.