Chapter 2: Connections

I agreed to drive Amanda home after school, ditching Sheila at school, but I didn't know she was trying to make things awkward by inviting Zach.

Amanda was singing off key to the radio in the passenger seat next to me and Zach was sitting in the back as I drove to their house. Once I arrived to the two story modern house, Zach bolted from the car and Amanda stayed inside my car. She didn't notice me staring angrily at her as she sang the last verse of Grenade by Bruno Mars. Once it finished I cut off the radio.

"Hey! I was listening to that!" Amanda pouted.

"Your home." I said flatly pointing to Zach slamming the front door.

"Oh…well since we both have the same homework…how about you stay over for a bit!" Amanda suggested.

"Um Amanda-"

"Great!" She opened the car door getting out and slamming it behind her. I sighed and had no choice but to follow. I caught up to Amanda and followed her through her house until we reached her pink and green frog and friend themed room. Different walls were a different shade of pink and her bed was both green and pink. Pictures of me and her and her other friends were scattered all around and frogs and bear stuffed animals sat on the bed.

"So…" Amanda said throwing her books down onto her bed. I went to the door and slammed it before exploding at her.

"He freaking heard you!"

"Who?" she asked playing dumb.

"Zach!" I sighed running a hand through my hair. "and I quote 'If you keep crushing on him you'll be Mrs. Loner!' Mandy!"

"It's not my fault!" She rolled over onto her back looking at the ceiling with Xavier Samuel's face on it. "He's not supposed to eavesdropping on our conversations!"

"He's a guy! He would wonder what girls think about him!"

"Not his sister!"

I plopped down on her bed too, looking up at Xavier.

"I'm hungry." Amanda said changing the subject. "Kitchen?"

I hadn't realized that I was starving until she mentioned the word 'hungry', my stomach was growling, waiting to be fed.

"Yeah." We both rolled over, off the bed, and onto our feet and walked downstairs to her kitchen. I opened the fridge looking for snacks while she looked in cabinets. I took out a carton of milk and Amanda placed cereal on the counter.

"I'll be right back." She skipped off in the living room leaving me to look for two bowls. I started to look around, opening and closing cabinets.

"Are you looking for this?" a voice said behind me. I barely heard that voice, and I never heard that voice talking to me! I turned around to Zach holding two bowls in his hand.

"Um, yes. Thank you." I grabbed them from him and started to pour cereal in both as Zach watched me. I felt awkward and a little embarrassed preparing food in his kitchen.

When I poured the last drop of milk in Amanda's bowl I threw the milk carton out.

"Actually we recycle our milk cartons." Zach said.

"Oh! I'm sorry!" I said preparing to dive into the trash to rescue the empty carton. My hand reached out to the garbage can but a hand grabbed my wrist. My face turned red and the room started to feel extremely hot.

"No it's okay." Zach laughed then let go of my wrist. I noticed he was holding three water bottles. I raised my eyebrow but Zach didn't notice. I never had a time in my life where I actually wanted Amanda to come. This silence was too awkward to be broken; it would just make things more awkward. I couldn't even think of a sentence to say to him.

"So, you like Mr. Loner?"

I looked up from the floating cheerios. So, he did hear. I started to scratch my arm, thinking of an answer. Think, Sydney, think.

"What do you mean?" Okay that's fine…now what will he respond? He opened his mouth but then Amanda skipped in. Thank you Amanda!

"Hello children!" As she passed Zach she hit him on the head with her hand and grabbed the two water bottles from his arms. Zach rolled his eyes and walked upstairs.

"I owe you." I whispered.

"No problem." She winked.

"Wait, so you planned this?"

She didn't answer but she had a smug expression on her face. I so don't owe her anymore.

The next two weeks were slow. They weren't filled with crazy hectic drama; they just were slow with homework from boring teachers.

I rested my head in my arms, on my desk. I couldn't fit anymore information in my head, even though it was the beginning of the year and we just stared learning about something new. I felt someone poke me in my side. I looked up to see my annoyed lab partner.

"Michael." Was all he said. His name was enough to send my glum expression into a joyful one. Michael and I have definitely gotten closer over the past two weeks. We passed notes, hung out after school, joked around in the hallways, and other stuff. I looked up and saw Michael looking at me. He waved a folded piece of paper. He pointed his thumb to the pencil sharpener at the back of the room. I got up (with a pencil) and made my way back there to meet Michael. He passed the paper to me, sharpened his pencil then made his way back to his seat. As I walked back to my seat I opened the paper and saw a number in it. Underneath the number 'Call Me' was written. I smiled and looked up at him. He smirked back then looked forwards at the teacher.

~After School~

When I got home I wanted to text Michael right away but I didn't know if that practically was calling yourself desperate so I asked Amanda.

"Maybe you should wait a while before calling him." She said. So I did wait. I tried passing the time by doing my homework, eating, surfing the web, reading, snacking, checking my phone for missed calls, arguing with Sheila, and snacking some more.

I checked the clock. 6:32. It's been a full three hours…what the heck-I can call him now. I went upstairs, grabbed my phone, and dialed his number. As the phone was ringing I heard a ping at my computer. Amanda IMed me. I sat down and replied to her.

Me: Hey, I'm kinda on the phone right now but I can talk.

People I IM or text call me weird for typing out the full words but I'm just like that. I can't really read the abbreviations.

Mandy: Who r u on the phone withhh???

Me: Michael…

"Hello?" a voice said on the other end of the phone, and it sounded quite annoyed.

"Hey!-um hi, Michael?" I said. Damn I sounded a bit too perky and desperate.

"Yeah who is this?"

"Sydney…"

"Oh, hi Sydney!" His voice lightened up. I sighed in relief.

"So what's up?"

"Nothing much. I just got in a fight with my mom, that's kind of why sounded a bit, mad."

Ping!

Mandy: So wat is he sayin?

Ping!

Mandy: Hello???

Ping!

Mandy: Sydney, u better answer me!!!

"What's that noise in the background?" he asked.

"Oh it's nothing. My friend is just annoying me with IMs."

I furiously typed back a response to her and clicked enter.

Me: Oh we are just talking about the weather nothing much-what do you think Mandy?! And shut up for a minute, please!

Ping!

"ARGH!" I shouted. I heard Michael chuckle.

Mandy: =O fine I'll shut up but only 4 a 1 min. I'm counting…

"So…um…are you busy this Friday?"

Am I busy this Friday…Well there is this thing where-WAIT SYDNEY! He's asking you out!

"Nope-no. I have nothing planned." Oh gosh, desperate again.

"Well I was wondering do you want to go out with me this Friday?"

Ping!

I growled as I spun around to face the computer and heard Michael laughing.

Mandy: times up! So watcha talking bout? C'mon tell me!!!

"Sure I'll go out with you this Friday!"

"Great! Oh and try to dress more on the casual side."

"Okay, so I'll talk to you later?"

"Yeah, bye." Then he hung up. I didn't have time to be mad at Amanda right now, I have a date! Like in all the teen movies where they jump on their bed in celebration, I got up on my bed and started to jump up and down singing at the top of my lungs 'I got a date! Whoo!'

Me: Help me!!!

Mandy: Wat happened? R u hurt?

Me: If I were hurt would I be at the computer IMing you or at the hospital?

Mandy:…hospital?

Me: Correct. For once. But I need your help!

Mandy: 4 wat?

Me: I can't believe I'm saying this but…clothes! Casual!

Mandy: ???

Me: I've got a date! =D

48 Hours Later~

I stood in front of the mirror, slowly pulling the brush through my hair when I heard a honk outside. I looked out my window and saw Michael poking his head outside of a black Range Rover.

"Is your hair done now?" He joked seeing the brush in my hand. I rolled my eyes and made my way downstairs and out the door.

"Hey." He greeted me, with a smile too.

"So what are we going to see, since you said it was a surprise?"

He just smiled and drove. When we got to the movies he paid for everything like a gentlemen. The movie tickets, popcorn, and drinks. My face broke out into a huge smile once I realized he was taking me to see that romantic comedy movie I have been talking about since the day I saw the preview.

The movie was like any other ROM COM. The girl, Cara, was dating a guy, Andrew, happy with her relationship until the Andrew cheated on her. She dumped him then we fast forward and the Andrew comes back into her life. So Cara gets her best guy friend, Jason, to be her boyfriend to make Andrew jealous.

"No! I said I don't want you back in my life Andrew!" Cara said.

"You know you want me back-"

"I hate you!"

Suddenly, my attention was ripped away from the screen when an arm went around my shoulders. Butterflies filled my stomach. I decided to be brave and rest my head against him. I couldn't concentrate on the movie anymore and only inhaled the scent of Michael's cologne. The movie ended and as we made our way out Michael's arm was still around my shoulders. Envious single people watched us as we walked past laughing with each other.

"This isn't the way to my house…" I said to Michael when we were driving.

"Who said anything about you going home yet?"

"But my mom said that I have to be home by-"

Michael cast me a mocking glance and that's all that took me to shut up. Once we reached our destination, he told me to close my eyes. I did as I was told and felt a hand tug me out of the car. Once I walked about 20 feet and he told me to open my eyes and I opened them to a surprise. A blanket with everything was sitting there in the middle of the park. It was about 12 at night but I didn't care. This was so romantic!

"Michael!" I squealed. I hugged him and then sat down. "This is just…"

We both got to the eating right away (well not so much me, Amanda said it was a turn off when guys see a girl eat in front of them). I figured out a lot more about Michael that I didn't know before. Once we finished and everything was done, Michael got up and started chasing me around, like a game of tag. Once he caught me he slung me over his shoulder and brought me back to the car.

"Michael put me down!" I laughed hitting his back lightly. He brought me to the car and he drove me back home. I joked the whole way about how fast I was for him and how he couldn't catch me, he denied that he was slow and said he was just going easy on me. When he pulled into my driveway I faced him.

"I had fun Michael." I said quietly.

"I'm glad you did."

I smiled at him and he looked at me with those close to onyx eyes and before I knew it, he kissed me. His lips were pressed against mine softly then he pulled away.

"Good night Sydney." He said. I fumbled for the door handle as I got out of the car and went inside my house. Of course my parents were fast asleep inside their bedroom and didn't care what time I came home. I didn't know whether Sheila was home or at some party getting drunk. I didn't know either if Amanda called me a trillion times.

All of it didn't matter right now.

I snuggled underneath the covers with a huge smile on my face because right now I had a kiss by a guy who could possibly be my boyfriend and actually like me.