Just Jake

Feeling Good – Michael Bublé

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I tapped the end of my dulled yellow pencil on my notebook waiting for Mr. Smith to stop lecturing so we could line up at the door and get out of school. It was horrible to be a junior and still have an eighth hour class. Most of my friends were home by now while I was stuck sitting in U.S. History listening to conspiracy theories that happened during the Cold War.

"That's why the USSR didn't trust us, after the spy plane crashed," Mr. Smith stated dully before flipping to the next slide on the PowerPoint.

I let my head fall back against the cold white walls, made of pure concrete. The posters in Mr. Smith's room were lacking, the only bit of color came from the tiny window above the wall on the opposite side of the room I sat. I guess you could say I was lucky to be able to see out a window at all.

Casey Peterson and the other dance team girls were passing notes to my left. I watched as Jade passed Casey a bright green one with the word Landon?, scrawled on it and a giant curvy question mark tailing it.

Casey took a glance to her left where a few rows ahead was Landon Wilson, a gothic kid with thick black rimmed glasses was sitting in an uncomfortable looking posture, listening probably to Bullet for My Valentine. I could easily guess this since he wore one of their band shirts almost twice a week. Casey began to laugh uncontrollably, shaking her head in a big no and mouthing near the bottom to Jade. I wondered what that meant, but really with those girls it could mean anything.

I saw their glance drift to my side of the room and quickly looked down to avoid getting caught staring. Not that it would be unusual for guys to stare at them, I'm sure it happened so many times a day it'd be weird if no one did get caught staring.

I kept my vision on them out of the corner of my eye. I saw Jade look through the kids sitting in my section. Her eyes seemed to look directly at me and I found that my breath caught. She kept a tiny smile on her lips as she wrote down something on another post it, a light blue one this time. Since they were using Sharpie on thin paper you could still see the writing bleed through, and I positively saw my name with a question mark, Jacob?.

Casey's eyebrows furrowed and she bit her lower lip taking a look at me. I felt like I was breaking in a cold sweat. No I'm not completely shy of girls, but girls like Casey Peterson scared the crap out of me sometimes. Clearly out of my league, so I didn't even think she might know who I was.

She shook her hand in a so-so motion, then mouthed one word. Average.

I couldn't help but be a little upset, with being the average guy. Obviously all the girls want to date the jocks and popular boys, its high school after all. My window of opportunity for any success with those girls would probably be college when they learned that they needed to depend on someone smart and funny, not dumb and depressed with failure to make the D1 college football schools.

Then you know they don't want to date the freaks of school. The kids who spend to much time talking about the latest cult they're into or how much World of Warcraft they play at night. How they met their girlfriend online and have never met but they're still going strong after a year.

Finally the bell chimed three times, signaling the end of class and for us, the end of the school day. Casey and the dance team girls grouped together and walked out of the class. Since I was curious I trailed behind them to try and hear what all the notes were about.

"So let's meet at my house after practice," Casey announced to the rest of the girls who nodded in agreement. I watched them walk further and further away as their ponytails bounced in sync.

I trudged off to my locker in the back hallway of the school, near the metal and wood shop. I started pulling books out of my green North Face bag and shoved the ones I didn't need in my red locker. I sniffed in my locker smelling something funny from the locker to the left of mine. The kid, Dennis Rodman, who had that locker was a serious pothead so he probably had some of his stash in there for his drug deals.

I chuckled to myself and noticed something bright pink on the bottom of one of my black Adidas indoor soccer shoes. Gum? I quickly wiped it off with the nearest piece of paper, without knowing it was the history homework we'd just gotten. I cursed under my breath.

"Ah!" I screamed as a pair of hands pushed me into the locker from behind. I turned to see one of my best friends, Quinn Holiday smirking devilishly.

"What?" she asked innocently. "Did I scare you?"

"No. I was screaming with joy because it's the end of the day." I retorted sarcastically.

"Ummhmm." She hummed in disbelief. "So are we doing this English project tonight or what?"

"Umm…sure I guess." I said looking to see if I'd missed anything in my locker. Quinn looked at me unsurely.

"You guess? Well aren't you just boasting with confidence." She laughed. "Bad day?"

"Something like that." I said dully shutting my locker. I walked side by side with Quinn as we headed towards the junior parking lot on the west side of Kennedy Fredrick Central High School, named after the founder and nicknamed KFC.

"Did you see True Life on MTV last night?" Quinn asked changing the subject. One of my favorite things about Quinn was she knew not to press me on something.

"No, I had a Lacrosse meeting." I said. "Only about twenty guys showed up."

"Well, football is going on now too…so no offense but what do you expect?" Quinn said with a hint of an apologetic tone.

"That they could try something new." I laughed swinging my arm in front of me in a victorious gesture.

"Right like that will happen." She rolled her eyes. "But hey at least you have all the players that really want to be there fully committed and all."

"Wow." I said stopping and looking at her in awe. "That was so encouraging and insightful. Mind blown." I let out a tiny chuckle.

"Shut up Dawson." She giggled playfully pushing me away.

"Oh Ms. Holiday!" I said offended, putting my hand over my heart.

"Seriously Jake I'm sure you guys will still be great, anyway you'll always have me and Tucker cheering you on." She shrugged and looked at the mass of students exiting through the doors. Ryan Tucker was my other best friend, and had been since the third grade. Quinn and I had been neighbors since we were in dippers, but Ryan moved a few houses up from us in the third grade.

"I guess that'll do…for now." I muttered, I glanced over at Quinn. She was glaring at me behind a curtain of dirty blonde hair that had fallen across her face.

"You better be nicer, that is, if you want a fan section at all." She threatened. She of course never could pull off looking dangerous or scary.

"We'll always have Ryan then." I reminded her.

"Please." She huffed. "I've had that kid locked in my control since fifth grade."

Sadly this was true, Ryan had always had this tiny crush on Quinn. I didn't blame him since she was gorgeous, which is funny to me that she wasn't popular. Then again she did band up until last year, which by no means do I consider bad, but some people like to make fun of it. Debate for two years didn't seem to help her either.

"Damn it Quinn." I whispered. "Why do you have to point out all the flaws to my argument points."

"I've been lethally trained to argue." She raised an eyebrow and smirked. I smiled back at her and tousled her hair, which she really hated.

"Jake!" She whined as she attempted to put her hair back to normal. I gave in and helped her since it was too sad to watch her do it by herself.

We both got in my car, a tiny dark blue Honda Civic, and started to drive out of the parking lot. This took some time considering how many kids actually attended KFC. I admired Jared Miller's 1969 Shelby Mustang. If only I had a car like that…

"So which do you think…?" Quinn asked from the passenger's seat changing from the radio to a CD she made me a week ago. E.T. by Katy Perry started blasting through the car and my subs. I had to admit at least my car had a sick bass.

"Quinn seriously?" I asked pointing to the CD player. "I can feel my masculinity fading."

"Masculinity…? I'm pretty sure that requires a six pack and muscles to start. You could try it, you could go to the YMCA with me on Wednesdays and Thursdays." She offered with a sweet smile. "But that didn't answer my question."

"Yeah sorry I didn't hear it." I said half paying attention because the engine of the Mustang revved and Casey Peterson hopped in the car with Jared Miller. He gave her a long kiss, before cutting someone off and speeding out onto the street.

"God, you are such a guy." She waved me off with her hand. "Between the car and Casey Peterson."

"Sorry." I turned towards her with a grin. "I'm just admiring the good things in life."

"Then why aren't you admiring me?" She asked with a joking tone, but there was a little tinge of something else.

"Maybe because I've seen you in that Clifford costume at the book fair." I teased. Yes, I distinctively remembered the fourth grade book fair, since our parents were in charge and made Quinn, Ryan, and I volunteer. Ryan and I ran when they brought the Clifford the Big Red dog costume, leaving Quinn to do the dirty work.

"I had to because my two best friends left me." She gasped with her mouth dropped open.

"Wow, your friends suck." I laughed. "You know something else, you ended up scaring some of those children."

"Maybe a few, but at least I made most happy. I gave out a lot of hugs that day." She pointed out.

"Child molester." I coughed and laughed.

"Ugh, you're so immature. Just drive Jake." She looked off but I could still see her smiling in the passenger's side mirror.

We got to my house in ten minutes after we finally were able to escape the school parking lot. My house was a white two story in the cul-de-sac with lining giant weeping willows in the back. Quinn and I had built a tree house in the back the summer of fourth grade, well not us, our parents did. We still went up there a few times but we'd switched to my bedroom which was in the basement. I had to do a little convincing with my parents to score it but it was well worth it. My parents also hardly cared since the only girl I had over was Quinn, and they knew we were just friends.

The house was quite since I was the only one home, since it was only three thirty. I put my keys on the normal coat hanger spot, and then Quinn and I headed downstairs.

We sat down in my entertainment area, consisting of a giant blue bean bag from LoveSac and an L-shaped couch. There was a big flat screen that was our family's old one before my mom won another off a radio contest.

I laid out on the couch as Quinn sat near my feet, looking through a sheet of paper.

"So it says…read a book…then we have to make that book into a short film version." She explained and I watched the Wisconsin Badgers play the Missouri Tigers in football. I had put it on silent so she would think I was listening.

"Sounds good." I yawned. Quinn looked up and held her hand out.

"Remote." She demanded. I looked at her like she was crazy.

"But…but it's my favorite team." I lied. There was a massive amount of Michigan gear spread across my room. Even the school flag was hanging next to us above the couch.

"Don't make me come over there." She warned and put her hands on her tiny hips.

"Please you're so small." I laughed. "Even Ryan could take you."

"Yeah, maybe Ryan…but probably not you." She grinned and walked over to me. She tried to grab the remote, but I hid it behind my back. She didn't give up and tried to turn me over. She was getting close so I did the only logical thing, and surprised her by pulling her onto me so it was out of her reach. She gasped as she fell and landed on my chest, she instantly stopped trying to get the remote.

She looked up at me, her hazel eyes meeting my dark brown eyes. I could smell the mint on her breath and practically taste it. Then, it seemed like she was even closer. Were her eyes shutting? Am I imagining this?

Suddenly there was a loud crashing sound from the storage room across the hall and Quinn and I jumped. She tightened her grip on me, but I slowly got up and out of it. I looked around for a weapon, only finding my lacrosse stick. I picked it up and walked towards the storage door. There was another loud rummaging sound, and I raised the stick to beat the intruder with it.

I held my hand to the door, taking a deep breath. Before I could even get to the handle, the door swung open widely and I was tackled to the ground.

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Just a note that all titles are songs that you can listen to related to the chapters somehow – hope you like them. Thanks for reading.

-soccerfied

Music video below on Youtube:

/watch?v=Edwsf-8F3sI

Might have to copy and paste.