Crystal's Teenage Years

Crystal was nervous as she made her way to the first day of high school with her best friend, Rachel.

They had been friends since they were in Nursery together.

There was one thing that Crystal always wondered and that was how she could ever be Rachel's friend... They were both complete opposites to each other; Rachel was the fun outgoing girl while Crystal was the quiet one. She hated being the centre of attention but her friend didn't care if she was. She wished she had her friends confidence.

"I'm so nervous," Crystal stated.

"Me too. But together we can get through this." Rachel tried to reassure her.

Rachel always had a way of getting through anything or at least knew how to build Crystal's confidence up.

"It's just so big." Crystal continued to say.

"Nothing is too big for both of us. Remember our saying..."

"... We can accomplish anything if we just stick together," they both said at the same time.

"Besides your sister is here, too." Rachel continues to reassure her.

"Jane won't want to speak to me, let alone see me," Crystal stated.

She never really got on with Jane. Her sister was always embarrassed about being around her younger sister and Crystal couldn't stand the way Jane spoke to her. They were always at each other's throats yelling and screaming. Even though Rachel didn't see that side, all she saw was the disagreements.

They both made their way through the school gates... where they could see the other students hanging around outside the building, all chatting away in their own, individual groups.

Crystal started staring at the building in front of her... It seemed bigger than when she first saw it but she knew that was just her imagination.

"Oh look, there is your sister," Rachel stated with enthusiasm.

Crystal didn't want to see her sister but she still followed her eyes in the same direction that her friend was looking. There were so many girls with the same dark hair and sun-tanned skin as Jane. Even though her sister's tan was fake, it came from a bottle. Crystal could see why her sister's appearance meant so much to her.

"Where?" Crystal asked

Crystal couldn't believe that Rachel had spotted her so easily... Too many girls that looked so alike. Especially, in the direction that Rachel was on about.

"Over there" Rachel started pointing in the same direction "Don't you see her?" Rachel continued to say.

One minute Crystal was focused on spotting her sister and the next she felt herself bump into something or someone...

"Hey, watch where you're going." That someone demanded.

Crystal couldn't believe that she had already embarrassed herself but she knew she should face this someone and apologise.

Crystal turned around and came face to face with that person, who happened to be a guy and a very good looking one; short, blond hair and bright, blue eyes. Crystal could feel her cheeks heating up... Oh, she so hated it when her cheeks betrayed her, like this.

"I'm sorry," Crystal heard herself apologise.

The guy continued to stare back at her but somehow his face expression slowly softened from anger to something else Crystal couldn't quite place.

Crystal slowly took a step away from him and wondered if he would start laughing at how red her cheeks had become but for some reason, he just continued to stare at her with that same expression which was making her feel so uneasy.

"I didn't mean to," Crystal said hoping it would make him look away from her.

"Don't apologise..." A smile was starting to appear on his face as he continued to speak to her "It was my fault, I should have moved out the way."

Crystal couldn't understand why he was saying that... It was her fault for not looking where she was going. How could he move out the way if he didn't know she was going to knock into him? Now, she knew what girls meant when they said that boys were so confusing.

Crystal smiled back, "It doesn't matter." She started backing further away from him but for some reason, she still couldn't take her eyes off him; that smile alone seemed to light up his whole face and she couldn't get over how attractive he was.

"It was nice of you to bump into me, " The guy said as he too continued to stare back.

Crystal stopped walking backwards when she felt someone place their hands against her back. She turned around to see Rachel shaking her head at her with one wide grin on her face.

"Wow, you have only just got here and you already have a guy after you," Rachel stated.

Crystal turned back to face the guy but found out he had turned his back to her and was now talking to his mates who were laughing at him. Now, she had embarrassed the guy in front of his mates, she doubted he would ever speak to her, again.

Crystal turned back to Rachel and started to answer her "No, he was only being polite."

Rachel started laughing before saying, "It was the way, he was looking at you."

So, Rachel had seen both of them staring at each other but that still didn't mean he liked her. Well, even if he did before, he certainly wouldn't now. Not after embarrassing him in front of his mates.

"Don't be silly" Crystal had to get Rachel off this subject, somehow. She knew what Rachel was like when it came to talking about boys; it was her favourite subject.

"He couldn't take his eyes off you" Rachel continued going on "And you couldn't take your eyes off him."

"You have it all wrong," Crystal said as she started walking towards the main building and hoping it would make Rachel give up.

"You like him, don't you?" Rachel continued to say as she started walking alongside Crystal. 'He certainly likes you... 'Nice of you to bump into me' Rachel mimicked.

"Even if I did, it doesn't matter, now; I just embarrassed him in front of his mates so I doubt he will ever want to speak to me, again." Crystal finally admitted.

"If he does, then he isn't worth it," Rachel said as she opened the main door.

Crystal hoped that Rachel would drop the subject; she wanted to forget about him, completely.

"I think you're wrong about him, though," Rachel continued to say.

"We'll see, won't we?" Crystal responded, before following Rachel into the main building.

Later on that day, Crystal and Rachel were on their way to the school canteen when Rachel's eye caught sight of a notice on the wall.

"Look a notice for a school band," Rachel said with excitement in her voice.

Crystal looked up at the same notice with wonder, that was until she heard the last part.

"They want one person per year group... You should go; year 7 is to attend after school at the music block," Rachel continued to say.

"I can't sing for the whole school." Crystal quickly added, not quite believing that Rachel was even suggesting this.

Rachel turned back around before asking "Why not, you love to sing?"

Crystal could tell in Rachel's expression that she knew where this was heading. They had had a conversation like this a thousand times over. So, she couldn't understand why Rachel was asking this, again. "Not in front of other people," Crystal answered the same way as always.

Rachel quickly responded with the same response "You have to overcome that."

Crystal was now getting bored and didn't want to continue this conversation as she knew Rachel would never give up on telling her what she should do. "Come on, I'm hungry," Crystal moaned as she turned quickly and continued down the corridor. She knew in her heart that Rachel was right but it was easier said than done.

Rachel quickly catches up with her. "You really should go. I'll come with you if you want?"

"I'm not going!" Crystal responded in a high tone hoping it would make Rachel back down.

"But this is the best opportunity for you to get used to a small crowd." Rachel continued to encourage her.

Crystal instantly stopped walking and turned to face Rachel with an angry look on her face. "You call the whole school a small crowd?" She asked.

In that next moment, someone came up behind them before saying "Hello, again!" In a very cheery voice.

Crystal and Rachel both turn their heads to find the same guy from earlier, smiling brightly as he stared back at Crystal.

Crystal couldn't believe her eyesight. This couldn't be the same guy she had bumped into and embarrassed in front of his mates. She quickly blinked her eyes wondering if she was imagining him - But no, he still stood there waiting, as if waiting for an answer. "Hi!" Was all she could manage.

Despite the look on Crystal's face, he continued to smile at her. "I never got your name, earlier."

Crystal slowly opened her mouth to answer him but for some reason, she couldn't think of a single thought. Her brain had suddenly shut down. That was until someone nudged her shoulder which somehow got her mind working, again. "It's Crystal!"

"What a lovely name... Yes, I like it!"

"I'm Rachel!"

He took that moment to look over at Rachel, before turning his attention back to Crystal. "I'm Jeff!" The guy introduced himself.

"What year are you in?" Rachel suddenly asked.

"I'm year 8. I guess you're both in year 7," Jeff responded.

Crystal suddenly realised she was still staring and for the first time couldn't think what to say which made a change for her. "Yes, we are." She heard herself say.

"I'm trying to get Crystal to go for the school band."

Crystal couldn't believe that Rachel was still going on about that. She hoped that Jeff wouldn't be interested in hearing that.

Jeff's eyebrows suddenly lifted in surprise, before confirming he had heard right. "You can sing?"

"No, I can't!" Crystal suddenly snapped back which caused Jeff to take a step back in shock.

"Yes, she can," Rachel quickly added, before placing a hand on Jeff's shoulder. "Don't listen to her, she sings beautifully."

Crystal knew what Rachel was doing. She was trying to calm the situation before Jeff decided to make a run for the hills. She was so jealous of Rachel; of how relaxed she was around guys. Especially, good looking ones.

Jeff's smile slowly returned to his face, "You should go for it, then."

Crystal couldn't believe she now had the both of them ganging up on her. Why couldn't they understand that no matter how much she loved singing, she would never be able to do it in front of other people? "I already said, I'm not going!" She turned to face them both in turn, before turning around and continuing the way she had been going. She knew she was being rude but anything to get them of that subject.

"Crystal doesn't like crowds," Rachel suddenly announced the main reason behind all this.

Jeff took one last look at Rachel before rushing off after Crystal. "Then this allows you to get used to that," Jeff said as he caught up and walked beside her.

"That's what I told her." Rachel came upon Crystal's other side. "But she just won't listen."

"Well, I'm going to try," Jeff suddenly announced.

"You should go, now," Rachel whispered, before nudging her shoulder against Crystal's.

Crystal was surprised to hear that herself. Instantly, making her turn back to him.

"Yes, I'd like it if you would."

Crystal continued to stare back at Jeff enable to find her words, once again; Had she truly found someone that had the same interests as her? Besides her sister, not that she had ever sung in front of her but had certainly heard her sister, who she envied for being able to hold high notes for so long.

At that moment, she noticed that Jeff was now raising his eyebrows and staring at her in confusion, making Crystal realised he was waiting for her to respond. She slowly turned back around before saying, "It won't even be worth trying."

"Don't say that." Jeff's voice had certainly gone very quiet.

"But it's true. Especially, with my luck." As much as Crystal liked the idea of singing with him, she knew it would never happen.

"Your luck could be changing."

Oh, how Crystal wished that was true - An image suddenly started appearing at the back of her mind, of Jeff and her standing beside each other on stage and the audience was giving them a standing ovation.

"Well, got to go."

The image instantly faded from her mind as if to remind her it was only a pipe dream.

"See you both around."

Crystal instantly stopped walking and turned around to see Jeff rushing back the way he came. "See ya, Jeff." She called after him.

Jeff continued down the corridor as Crystal stared after him, hoping she hadn't scared him away. After he disappeared from her view Crystal turned towards Rachel to find her grinning back. She knew instantly what her friend was thinking and Crystal was determined to make sure she kept them to herself. "Don't you dare say a word," she warned her before dashing off down the corridor in the opposite direction that Jeff went.

"Oh, look, there's your sister, again." Rachel suddenly announced.

Crystal stopped, once again. Turned back around to find her sister heading straight towards her.

Rachel instantly backed up against the wall as Crystal's sister marched straight passed her with a few other girls following behind. Neither, of them, paid her any attention as they glided down the corridor with determined looks on their faces, instantly making everyone else move out of their way.

Crystal stood her ground staring in shock on how her sister could make everyone crawl away from her with just one look. She knew that death look was directed at her as if wanting to end her life right there and then.

Jane stopped right in front her glaring down at her as if waiting for Crystal to do the same as everyone else. "Crystal!"

That word alone sounded frightening. Jane always spoke to Crystal this way. Especially, in front of other people. "Hi, Jane," she said before stepping to the side as everyone else did.

"Tell Dad, I'm going to my friends tonight. Will you do that!"

It sounded more like a warning than a question but Crystal was so used to the way Jane spoke to her. "Yeah, I'll tell him," she responded.

Jane instantly continued walking with her mates following behind as if she was royalty. Rachel slowly walked over to her as they both continued watching as the 'queen made her way to her throne' so to speak.

"Oh, Crystal." Rachel suddenly spoke as if what they saw never happened. "I won't be able to walk with you after school," she continued to say.

Crystal turned with a sad look on her face. "Why not?" They had always walked to and from school together.

"I need to have a word with the music teacher about something."

"Why, all we learned was the basics?" Crystal asked in surprise.

"I'm thinking of learning to play an instrument. Wouldn't it be good if I played backup music for you.?" Rachel asked with that wide grin of hers. "In the future." She quickly added after a small frown suddenly appeared on Crystal's face.

"Do you want me to wait for you?" Crystal asked with a doubtful look.

Rachel quickly started shaking her head. "No!" She instantly went quiet for a moment before adding, "I could be a while."

Crystal slowly nodded her head before they both continued walking. She didn't say anything there and then but she was certain there was more going on then Rachel was saying; for one thing she had never shown an interest in music what so ever. Except, listening to her sing...