D.U.F.F.

Designated Ugly Fat Friend.

This is something I knew ever since I turned sixteen. I learned this because that's what I am. I'm Keila's and Gena's D.U.F.F.

I've know Keila Melendez since I was a little girl. Our mothers were best friend, so we had no other choice than to become best friend as well.

Keila is the only who can understand me, and I'm the only one who understand her. We've been through a lot together, and it has made us stronger.

Keila has always been the pretty girl, even when she didn't find herself pretty. That's when Gena came in. We were only seven when Ino came into our lives and changed them forever. We've been inseparable ever since. Even through high school, they stood by my side when they were the most wanted girls.

I know why I'm not like them. My eyes are completely weird. I'm too quiet. I'm fatter than they are. I don't dress as they do. I'm very small and I don't date.

That's why I'm the D.U.F.F.

I'm ok with this term, I save myself from being heartbroken and from all the drama boys caused, but lately it has been exhausting.

It seemed like every boy wanted to date my friends which meant that I was getting a lot of talk of the male population in school.

Being the D.U.F.F. worked only one way. The guy starts talking to me, he charms me up, invites me out and then he tell me that he wants to date one of my friend, and he wants me to tell them he's a nice guy.

I use to do all this but like I said… I grew tired.

Now let's cut to the chase.

Like today, I'm in school reading a book I had bought over the weekend when I felt someone lean beside my locker. I glance at my side and there is Kenneth Olsen, a guy who I've gotten to know quite well because I'm always partners with him in every lab, but I've never actually talked to him.

"Hi. Nichole Reyes right?" he asked as I close my locker.

"Yes," I said.

"I'm Kenneth," he said.

"I know who you are…You're my science partner every year," I said as I rolled my eyes. Either he's not as smart as I believed he is or he's nervous.

"Uh yeah… exactly. I know we've kind of known each other for some year but we've never really talked," he said, a grin plastered on his face.

"Uh huh," I nodded.

"Maybe you want to go out to dinner with me so we can get to know each other better," he said.

"Right," I said with a sigh. "Which one of my friend you are interested in?" I asked.

"What?" he asked, completely taken aback.

"I have three exams this week, and I have a lot to study, I don't have time for games… so which one is it?" I asked once again.

"Gena," he responded.

"Ok…Gena knows about you and she thinks you're cute. Go right ahead and talk to her," I said. I turned around and walked away, just like nothing had happened.

It was like this… every day and it didn't seem like it was going to change. It was something I would probably have to live with.

At lunch I sat along with my two friends and Kenneth at my table while the chatted along with each other while I read.

"Nichole…lunch is over," Gena giggled as they stood.

"Hn," I mumbled standing up as well. I waved goodbye, and went on to my class which I shared with Kenneth and Gena. Science.

I sat in my usual table waiting for Kenneth to come sit by me, but instead I found him sitting by Gena and Gena's partner came sat by my side.

"Kenneth changed partners," the boy said with a low chuckle as he placed his things on the table.

"That didn't take long" I sighed. I glanced at the boy and wondered. I've knew very little about him. I knew he was new and I knew he hung out with Charles Mitchell, Keila's most recent boyfriend, I didn't even know his name though.

"Is there something on my face?" he asked, a grin placed on his lips, teasing me slightly.

"What?" I asked.

"You are staring at me" he pointed out making cheek flush with embarrassment.

"I'm sorry… it's just I realized I don't know your name," I said.

"It's Cory. Cory Herring," he grinned.

"Well…nice to meet you Cory," I smiled softly. There was something about him that made my heart beat faster, and then I noticed that it was that he wasn't treating me like Keila and Gena's friend, but he was looking at me like a girl, maybe the way other guys looked at them.

I turned my head away and sighed. The boy beside me was not a boy but a man. He had tan skin, amazing blue eyes, perfect blonde hair and I could tell that he had a nice body. A guy like that would never even think that I was something special.

"I'm the D.U.F.F.," I whispered to myself. It was the only way I could kill any shred of fantasy in me.

For the next couple of days, Cory Herring and I became what I call good friends. It was like there was a connection with us that not even I could have pulled off with my own friends.

"It's love," Keila said when I told her that I felt something between Cory and me.

"It's not," I assured her.

"It is. No one has that connection with someone and not be in love," Gena said as she closed her locker. I thought of those words. Could it be that we were in love? Could actually mean that someone had really looked at the real me and had decided to love me?

I shook those thoughts away immediately. "It's not… I'm sure," I said.

Gena and Keila looked at each other and exchange worried glances. They thought of me spending my life alone without love scared them more than anything. To them, love was something everyone should have, even the mean people, it was something that just couldn't not be there.

"Speaking of which," Gena spoke up. "Here comes lover boy," she giggled. I rolled my eyes as they walked away giggling. I turned around and smiled as Cory walked my way.

Suddenly my pulse started to race and my palms started to sweat. What was wrong with me?

"Hi Nichole!" he said as cheerful as ever.

"Hey Cory," I greeted back as we started to walk side by side.

"So, you coming tonight?" he asked.

"What's tonight?" I asked. "Is there something I should know about?"

"It's the final basketball game of the season… everyone's coming," he chuckled.

"Oh…Well I don't know if you noticed, but I don't go to the games," I said with a light shrug.

"I have noticed," he said, his voice was barely a whisper. "Maybe you can come tonight," he said.

"And why would I do that?" I asked.

"Because I want you to come and watch me play," he grinned. I stared at him and I felt like there was nothing else would matter in the world.

"Fine," I said as I looked away.

"Then I'll see you tonight," he said. Suddenly I felt his lips on my cheek before he ran ahead. I stood frozen in the middle of the hallway, touching my cheek as they flushed. It was then I noticed…

I was in love.

That night I went to the game and sat along with my friends, because their boyfriends were also on the team. Keila had come all season because Charles was supposedly the star of the team while Gena started coming along mid season when she started dating Ryan Harper, her childhood friend who she almost hated and spent yelling most of the time. No one really knows how they ended up together and most guys are disappointed that the laziest guy in school had gotten the prettiest girl in school, but Gena said that it was love.

I quietly watched the game, I cheered when everyone did and I booed when everyone else did. In reality, to me there was nothing amusing about this sport.

Finally the game ended and I didn't even notice I was alone until I saw Keila's hair in the middle of the court kissing Charles.

Since I didn't know what to do, I decided to follow my friend but I got lost right when my foot touched the ground. It seemed like everyone had decided to come down to the court.

When I finally decided that I was lost, a strong hand grabbed my arm and pulled me out from the huge crowd.

"Are you ok?" Cory asked as he looked down at me. There he was, smiling at me like nothing was wrong when I was practically falling hard for him. "Was it worth it to come down here?" he asked.

"No…I didn't understand the game." I shrugged. "I don't even know who won."

"We did," he said with a chuckled.

"Oh…well congratulations!" I said with a fake cheery voice.

"You are just too cute," he said making my cheeks flush. "So, you coming to the party?"

"High school party?" I asked. "With beer and drunken teens almost having sex?"

"Pretty much."

"Then no," I shook my head. "Count me out."

"Come on Nichole," he pleaded.

"Fiiine," I rolled my eyes. "But you owe me one."

To this he chuckled again. He wrapped his hand around my shoulder and led me to his car. The drive was silent.

When we got there, he put on a random T-shirt he had laying on his car along with his team jacket.

"Are you ready?" he asked, once again wrapping his arm around my shoulder and pulling me closer to him. Didn't he know that when I was close to him I couldn't think as well as I usually did?

"Sure…"I shrugged. As we went in, I noticed that the party was completely cliché. Half of the girls were already drunk, and most of the guys were taking their opportunity.

Suddenly, a drunk girl threw herself onto Cory, causing him to step back and step away from me. I felt anger bubbled up my body as her lips got close to his. I turned around and kept on walking, trying to erase the image of Cory kissing some other girl.

I grabbed a random red colored plastic cup from one of the tables in the kitchen and went outside where it was more peaceful. I took a sip of my drink and cringed from the horrible taste.

"Why do people even like this?" I wondered out loud.

"No one does… it's the feeling of getting drunk that people like," I heard Cory say behind me. I turned around and smiled at him.

"Do you want it?" I asked.

"No thanks," he chuckled and stepped to my side. I giggled as well as I threw the cup away far in the bushes. "So Nichole… can I ask for something?" Naruto asked.

Those words… they were so familiar to me. They had been said to me all the time; I just never thought he would say them to me.

"I really thought you were different," I said angrily as I looked down at the floor.

"What?" he asked.

"I can believe it. I believe that you really wanted to be my friend," I yelled at him. He stood there without a word staring at me, confused and surprised, but I couldn't stay long, I could feel the tears coming. So I left, I walked away without looking back.

"Nichole wait!" I heard him yell after as soon as I stepped outside the house. He's hand grabbed me and turned me around. "I don't even know what just happened," he said.

"What happened is that you used me to get to my friends… just like every asshole in this freaking school!"

"What?" he asked. "What are you talking about?"

I took a deep breath and glare at him. "Look, both my friends are in a relationship, so I'm sorry you wasted your time befriending the D.U.F.F."

"D.U.F.F.?" he asked.

"Oh don't act like you don't know what it is, just leave me alone," I said and turned around to leave, but he spun me around.

"First of all… you are not the D.U.F.F.," he said angrily. "Secondly I know your friends are taken, my friends are their boyfriends and thirdly I'm sorry every idiot in this school treated you as the D.U.F.F., but like I said, you aren't the D.U.F.F. and I'm not like other guys," he said as I rolled my eyes. "The reason I became your friend was because I like you."

His words stunned me, but could they be true?

"The first one I befriended was Keila so I could get close to you. Kenneth didn't suggest switching partners, I did," he said. "And I've been trying to ask you out all this time but you won't let me."

"What…?"

He sighed and chuckled. "Nichole Reyes… would you please go out with me?" he asked. I felt like I couldn't move, like the whole world had frozen over. "Well?"

"How can I know… this isn't a trick?" I whispered softly, slightly looking away.

"I can happily show you," he said and leaned forward. His lips met mine and I felt like my whole body was floating. I kissed back as I wrapped my hands around his neck and he pulled me close to him.

After all this time of fearing that I was going to end up alone, I finally saw someone who cared about me and saw me as who I am and not as the D.U.F.F.