Billie III

I sighed as I strode down the hallway, away from Ribco. It was kind of satisfying to get something accomplished, I guessed. Well, it seemed like I got something accomplished. I couldn't really say, though. I brushed my bangs out of my face as I walked, stopped, and looked around.

What was I doing again?

Wait... English was last block, so it was time to go home. Whoops. I probably shouldn't have walked on ahead of Ribco because I honestly had no idea as to where I was supposed to go. This school was flipping huge. I was pretty bad at navigation as a rule, and this place cranked my inability to read a map up to eleven. Well, there was some distinction as to what classes were in what hallway, which was nice, but I digress. I needed to find the front door. Okay, no big deal.

I spun around on my heels, and found myself face to face (a bit more like face to shoulder) with a familiar brunette.

Garrett blinked. "Oh hey Billie."

I sighed. "Hi."

"Heh." He smirked, which never ceased to make me blush a little. As if that wasn't enough, he leaned forward so we were basically face to face. "You look like you're unhappy to see me."

"Not to far from the truth there."

He stood back up. "I honestly don't understand why you're so friendly with Ribco and so rude to me."

I shrugged, and started walking. Garrett matched my pace and didn't seem like he was going to really push it. That was something. Between that morning and the same afternoon, he'd toned down his ego a good bit. It was pretty obvious that he was acting differently than normal. Not that I really knew his normal, but whatever. Something must've happened.

I brushed the thought away and kept walking. Garrett waved to some people we passed in the hallway. I smiled at my biology partner, who seemed really nice. A red-head girl, who's name escaped me. Garrett followed my gaze curiously, since she was the only person I'd actually made eye-contact with.

"Good first day?" The tall boy asked me calmly.

I snorted quietly. Apparently, he'd forgotten our little scuffle at lunch. Well, maybe that was for the better. If I had him and Ribco all apologizing to me in one span of seven minutes, I'd feel really awkward. He didn't really need to apologize, though. It's not like my argument made much sense, so whatever.

Shrugging was my basic fallback, so I went with that. "Yeah, it was alright."

"Any guys ask you out?"

I scoffed loudly, looked at my feet as I walked. "You're just stealing my conversation topics from lunch." We stepped out of the school and rounded the corner. The apartment complex was up ahead by just a couple of blocks.

He stopped, but caught up again. "Yeah, about lunch..."

Oh crap. He was gonna apologize. Abort mission! Well, there was no where to abort to, so I just looked at the ground, bumping into a crap-load of people along the way.

"That was really confusing."

I blinked.

"What were you talking about?"

I sighed, and chuckled (as quietly as I could) in relief. "It was nothing. Don't worry about it." I felt my face heat up, knowing he was looking at me, though his gaze was probably quizzical and confused, not deep and longing. Well that didn't matter. I wasn't really interested in his affections.

He snorted. "Okay then. I figured it'd be fine."

Of course you did, I thought. Well, maybe he did. I couldn't really say. Garrett came across to me as an egotistical jerk, of course, a good student, judging by him being in honors classes all over the place, and really spacy. More like oblivious to people's feelings, really. There wasn't anything wrong with that, per say, but it could get annoying. I hardly knew the guy, and I could tell that.

We walked on without making any conversation, and before long, we reached the apartment. The lobby was pretty empty, since it wasn't yet Chicago Rush Hour (thank god), and there was a clear path to the elevator.

"Hey," Garrett started as he looked around the elevator absent-mindedly. "Why didn't you sit with Anne at lunch today?"

I blinked. Why didn't I? "Well, her table looked full, and I didn't want to bother her, so I just figured I should stay out of the way." I didn't want to make eye-contact, because I knew my face was crimson with embarrassment. How stupid I must've looked. I was too nervous to sit with my own best friend at lunch. It was as if I worshiped her, the way I'd said that. Not good job on my part.

He laughed, though it sounded a bit more like a girly giggle. "You're such a scaredy-cat."

"A who-what?"

"You're too scared to talk to your best friend? You should seriously buck up a little. It's not like she'd make you leave."

I nodded. "I guess that's true..." Wait... "How do you know how Anne would act?"

The boy shrugged. "Well, she and I walked together today, and talked about you. She really likes you as a best friend. Believe me, I can tell."

Believe you indeed. He sounded so knowledgeable of Anne. Well I didn't know the whole story at that point. I mean, they could've had other classes together, like choir or something. And they did leave the class together from English. This was confusing me. I stepped out of the elevator with little gumption and headed for my apartment slowly.

"Where're you going?" Garrett called after me. With just a couple of long strides, he caught up. Damn guy with his long legs.

I sighed. "Home, obviously." Just looked down and don't let him see your face. Gosh, I must've been super red. "I've got some stuff from Biology to work on."

"You know," Garrett said, stopping. I couldn't help but stop and see what he was doing. He took a step forward and looked me in the eye like he had in the hallway. "You should really look at me when we're talking," he said coolly, brushing my bangs out of my face. The rest of my long hair fell far behind my shoulders, but I didn't think my hair was his focus. "Because you actually have really pretty eyes."

Abort mission. No, I couldn't really move. I was about caught, and he could see my ridiculously red face perfectly. I thought about my eyes and the last time I'd looked in the mirror. They were greenish-brown, I think. Maybe a bit more brown than anything. Were they really pretty? I'd never thought so myself.

"Ah-em."

I blinked, and Garrett looked up. Well, of course I followed his gaze to the door of the Vanning-Settington Apartment. Ribco was leaning on the door frame, looking at us with a poker face. He had left before us, which explained why he was already home, but that wasn't important. WHAT.

"Isn't it a little early in the school year to make a pass on her?" Ribco asked sounding rather bored. I blinked. Well, this was quite the awkward staredown. I didn't feel like moving (or like I could move), and Ribco was looking at us expectantly. Gosh, how embarrassing...

Garrett straightened up and sighed. "Nice try, blondie, but I've got more class than that."

"Wouldn't have thought so myself, but you can think whatever you like." Ribco turned around, as if to give us space, and Garrett was scowling at him indignantly.

I sighed. "Can you guys grow up a little bit please?"

Neither of them listened.

Shaking my head, I turned to the door of my own apartment. I didn't really need to trifle with their affairs, since it wasn't really my business.

Was it?

Ribco flew past me and towards the elevator while Garrett entered his home, looking a little irritated. He honestly wasn't that bad of a guy. Neither was Ribco. They were both fine in my book. I wondered what I was to them.

Well, that didn't matter. Not that I actually had any Biology to work on. I had some more important things to take care of. But there was an obstacle course to go through, first. There was my sister, who was sitting in the living room, an Xbox controller in her hand. And my mother, standing at the kitchen counter, chopping carrots.

"Welcome home!" My mom said with a bit too much excitement in her voice. Well, it was my first day of high school, so I guessed that she would be curious as to how it went. April looked over her shoulder and smiled, though she didn't seem too concerned with how my day had gone. Well, talking to my family was a good way to get my mind off of those annoying boys.

"Hi," I said pleasantly, and began to explain my day, saving my mother the trouble of asking me. I'd had Biology first, then percussion class, then Algebra II, then English. So my day was loaded down with academic stuff. I was scared of getting Algebra homework on the first day, but my teacher was pretty cool, so it was alright.

The talk went on for a little while, and involved giggling quietly, drinking coffee, and listening to my older sister's advice. But, c'est la vie, I "had to homework," and went into my room. Even though I enjoyed talking to my mother, it was nice to get a break. It had been a weird day.

Stupid Garrett and Ribco. Well, I had another guy to talk to, and I knew he wouldn't be difficult. I set my bag down, reached in, and pulled out my glasses case. Glasses in hand, I sat down on the floor of my room with my laptop.

It took a minute, but the average sized, average speed laptop started up and came to my home page thing. I pulled up Google Chrome, which opened my internet home pages, though it took a minute. Well, Laptops will be Laptops.

Lo and behold, I had an E-Mail. My heart skipped a little faster as I clicked the linked to view the message that flatlineHeartbeat had sent me. He'd only sent it about twenty minutes before. Well, all the more reason to reply as quickly as I could. My face was warm and my lips carved into a permanent smile as I read his message.

From: flatlineHeartbeat

To: devilsSnaredrum

So you're starting school, huh? Pretty cool I bet. The big city schools don't really interest me too much, but I bet you'll do well. My high school in Hyde Park is pretty nice, actually. We started last week, but you probably remember that, knowing you. :)

How're things going with your neighbors? You said they fight a lot, which actually sounds pretty interesting, as long as they don't actually hurt each other too badly. You know... :D At least you get to sit back and watch, but if they pull you into it and it gets out of hand, let me know. I wouldn't mind showing them the behind of the toolshed in my back yard. ^^ Not really, but don't get too deep involved in the fight. You can still be friends with them if you want to, but you know.

Well, I'm rambling like an idiot, so I'll stop now and do my Biology Homework.

I pulled my knees to my chest and rocked back and forth on the floor. Gosh, I loved reading what he wrote. I just took me up to cloud nine to read an E-Mail he sent to me of all people. I giggled to myself, sounding a little bit like a fangirl, but I honestly couldn't help it. Gosh, I really loved that boy. The only reason I remembered he started school the previous week was that I couldn't stop thinking about our constant messages. It probably would've slipped my mind otherwise.

Not wasting a moment, I sat forward again. I had to respond to his note.

From: devilsSnaredrum

To: flatlineHeartbeat

Hey! Yes, I just started school today, and it went pretty well. My percussion class is really cool, and I love my teacher. You'd love him. My backpack is hugely full with all these text books, and it was terrible walking me home. Well...

It was a pretty interesting walk home, actually. One of my neighbors, the big-headed one, he has a tendency to be kind of flirtatious, and... yeah. It was awkward. We were outside the two apartments, and he leaned forward really close to my face and brushed my bangs out of my eyes...

Yeah, it was really weird. So his brother came out and saw us and started teasing him, and they just kind of stormed off. Not that this is any cause for tool shed beat-uppings (not that you really would. Right?), but I think that counts as involved. Thanks for caring, but I still don't think they're really bad of people at all. They just need... something. I don't really know.

All strangeness aside, it's been a good day. Since it's the first day, I didn't get any homework, though I was pretty scared about Algebra II class. Not that I'm complaining.

Hey, you know how Linkin Park has died? Yeah, well I rediscovered one of their old songs that's really good. "Valentine's Day" from Minutes to Midnight is actually really good. Do you know it?

Okay, I'm done. This message is a bit long. Do your Biology homework like a good student.

I hit the send button nervously, hoping he wouldn't think badly of me for writing such a weirdly long E-Mail to a guy I barely knew. We had met, but obviously didn't go to the same school or anything. We met for a recital set up by our private teacher, and got to talking. So we ended up exchanging E-Mail handles. My parents teased me relentlessly about talking to him for so long there, but I didn't care.

The neighbors still made me nervous, but that's just me, and I jump at everything. I figured this guys was different. I really hate saying I'm "in love," but there's not a much better way to put it.