So, the basic jist of the plot is actually really clichéd. I simply put my own twist to it. Consider this my writing experiment, haha. The first chapter's just an intro of sorts, but it'll be interesting to see how many people it appeals to.
It was official. I was in love.
I sighed blissfully. It was love at first sight. He was pretty well-known around town, almost to the point of being famous. Every girl eyed him with want and desire, but there was the fact that he wasn't good for them. Oh, no. He was bad, bad to the core.
He might've been a little crisp at times, but if people got to know him on an intimate level (such as yours truly), they would realize that he was all mushy inside. He was fragile at times; he had to be handled with care. One simply couldn't get enough of him.
Oh, but how I adored him. He wasn't blessed with good looks for nothing. The golden tan that sparkled under the harsh lights of the cafeteria, the innocent yet compelling way he looked at me as he sat in front of me. Ahhh…
He was beautiful.
He was also being eaten by a heartless monster.
I sighed dejectedly. "Delia, why must you handle Jacques in such a barbaric manner?"
Delia blinked those doe-like green eyes of hers, alternating her gaze between me and the half-eaten french fry in her fingers. "Jacques?"
"Yes, Delia. Jacques," I said, pointing at the french fry. "You ate Jacques, my one true love, without my permission."
Delia arched an eyebrow. "Why should I need your permission to eat a french fry that I paid for?"
"Were you not listening, Delia?" I pouted. "I just told you I loved him."
"TJ, you declare your love for everything I have for lunch, no matter if it's from the lunch line or from one of my mother's experiments," said Delia, rolling her eyes.
"You mean sandwiches," I corrected.
"No, I definitely mean experiments."
I didn't understand what was wrong with Delia, or anyone in her family for that matter. Mrs. Turney's sandwiches might've been different, but they were still unique and delicious.
That's how Delia and I became friends actually. First week of middle school, I found Delia sitting by herself during lunch, staring at a beautifully made sandwich. I swear I thought it was magical when I first saw it. Turned out Delia was disgusted by the tuna/tabasco splendor her mom had created, even going as far as to call it abominable. I, of course, wanted to try the new delicacy, so I gave her my plain turkey/cheese in favor of hers.
I found myself thoroughly impressed with Mrs. Turney's spin on what was officially dubbed 'saucy fish.' Delia, on the other hand, was delighted with my sandwich and continued to thank me profusely for the rest of lunch. I don't know why she did, though. She was the one missing out, not me. Tuna/tabasco was absolutely delectable!
Ah, sandwiches. They have the power to forge friendships and satisfy hungry tummies.
…Wait a second. Was that Grayson Fitzpatrick? Was he holding… no, it couldn't be… but what if…?
But it was.
"Hey, TJ? I need your opin—" "THERE'S NO TIME, WOMAN!" I yelled, startling Delia. I grabbed her arm and took off for the lunch lines. "THEY'VE GOT TATER-TOTS!"
Unlike most other public high schools, Pelikan High actually had cafeteria food that was not only edible, but also downright exquisite. However, nothing was more lust-worthy than the rarity that only appeared once every two months.
Why was I dragging Delia with me? Because—
"Why are you dragging me with you?" scowled Delia as she tried to wrench herself out of my grip.
Excellent question, my dear friend.
"Because you're the only one I know who has money," I said, pausing momentarily in my quest. "Besides, I know how much you want those tater tots too."
Delia looked pointedly at my grip on her arm and I let go of her, grinning sheepishly. "Sowwy."
My best friend simply chuckled. "It's only to be expected. Your gluttonous self has no control when it comes to these things. And you're right. I really do want to try those tater tots. Almost everyone I know has eaten them and it's all they can rave about."
I smiled widely. "See? This is our chance, Delia. I can feel it. We're finally going to get them. The line for them isn't too long right now. We can do this!"
"But we can't, TJ. I'm sorry," said Delia, giving me a sad smile.
I deflated. "Why not?"
She winced. "I'm… kind of out of money. I spent the last of my lunch money on those french fries."
At that moment, I wouldn't have been surprised if a bolt of lightning struck me right there and then, never mind the fact that I was indoors. For me, it was the end of the world as I knew it.
My heart was heavy with grief when I finally trudged back to our lunch table, Delia apologizing and offering to make it up in several different ways.
We sat down, a cloud of depression suddenly over our heads. Delia picked at her fries and peered at me apprehensively. "Are you still mad at me, TJ?"
I sighed. "I was never mad at you in the first place. If anything, I'm mad at myself. I'm so selfish sometimes, I don't have the right to call you my best friend. I just take advantage of you. I make your mother create delicious sandwiches for me, I spend your lunch money, I invite myself over to your place without permission, and so on and so forth."
I proceeded to bang my head against the table, causing Delia to yelp in surprise. "I'm a horrible person. Kill me now."
"TJ. Look at me."
I picked my head slightly off the table, just enough to see the girl in front of me. I thought she was going to comfort me in my time of need, but no. Instead, she decided to flick me right on the nose.
"Ow. That hurt more than it should've, Delia," I said, rubbing my poor appendage.
Delia nodded, evidently proud of herself. "Good. Consider that your punishment."
"You're so down on yourself, TJ," Delia explained gently. "You don't take advantage of me. Mom loves making those sandwiches for you seeing as how you're the only one who eats them. And I don't think anyone minds you coming over. You get along better with my sister than I do anyways and Dad's always discussing different food options with you. You're part of the family, TJ."
"But I take your money!" I protested.
"Mom always makes sure I have extra for you," assured Delia. "Besides, you're currently ranked 29 out of the 590 people in our class while I'm stuck in the 100s. You may eat, but you also tutor me whenever I need it. If anything, I'm always using you, hehe."
I scoffed. "That's stupid. I offered to that in the first place and when I don't feel like helping, I just toss you my homework. You don't really learn anything."
She smirked. "But my grade goes up regardless thanks to you, bestie."
I grinned broadly. "I'm pretty great, aren't I?"
Delia just laughed.
A flash of movement caught my eye and I felt my smile widen, if that was even possible. "Okay, don't freak out, but we've got a visitor."
Delia gave me a quizzical look as she munched on one of her few remaining french fries. "Um…"
It took all my willpower to restrain myself from bursting into laughter. When Delia realized that Ian had greeted us and sat himself down right next to her, her face had turned this interesting shade of pink and she began choking on the measly fry she hadn't finished swallowing.
See, the funny part in all this is that Ian, though only a mere five inches away from her, never noticed anything wrong with Delia. He just continued to smile at us in that seemingly innocent way he always did.
"Hi, Ian," I replied cheerfully.
Ian Legiant was Pelikan High's golden boy. Athletic, extremely good-looking, and the second most sought after male by the female population. You know, the usual. Unfortunately for those smitten women, it was common knowledge that fair-haired Ian was head over heels for a certain green-eyed, redhead beauty. But they were resilient, I'll give them that. They always held onto the hope that Ian would get tired of pursuing Delia and look at them instead.
Hehe, like anyone could compete with my gorgeous best friend.
Speaking of said best friend, she was a bundle of nerves. Oh, she liked him just as much, if not more, as he did her. She just became a tad bit tongue-tied around him.
"…u-um, h-hey there, Ian..u-um.."
Scratch that. Try more than a tad bit tongue-tied.
Oh, well. That was why I was here. TJ, to the rescue!
"So what brings you here, Mr. Legiant?" I asked playfully, poking him. "Surely you were simply drawn by our inducing and irresistible company, am I right?"
"But of course!" Ian voiced in a tone similar to mine, a familiar twinkle in his eyes. "What other reason is there for a man such as myself to be amongst two lovely ladies?"
"Oh, Ian. How you flatter us," I laughed. Ian was one of the few people who could banter with me simply for the sake of doing so. It was also the best way to get Delia some time to calm herself down in his presence. "Is the Basketball King instilling the fear of death into his fellow comrades?"
There was a gleam in Ian's brown eyes. "Of course. In actuality, it has become a necessity. The Knights of the Orange Ball refuse to follow their leader into battle without a healthy dose of exploitation."
I smirked. "You blackmail your teammates to keep them from skipping practice?"
He grinned back. "Only the seniors. The rest of them actually like coming to practice."
"Huh. Go figure."
And now, introducing... the woman of the hour!
"S-so what's up, Ian?" Delia said, doing her best to keep a confident smile.
I mentally applauded her. Fight, Delia! You can do it!
Ian turned towards her, giving her his full attention. "Well, I kind of wanted to ask you something."
Delia widened her eyes. "Me?"
"Delia," Ian began carefully. "If you don't mind, will you go to the Winter Ball with me?"
Ooooooh. He did it. He finally did it. Ian Legiant made a move.
All that was left was Delia's response... Oh dear goshness. The girl looked as flabbergasted as I was when I ate my first tiramisu all those years back. Mmm… tiramisu…
Like the nice person I was, I swiftly kicked Delia under the lunch table, making sure my foot collided soundly with her shin. She jumped, glared at me, and then turned to the expectant boy beside her.
"I, um, wouldn't mind—I mean, I would li- love to go with you to the Ball. Yes."
Oh, Delia. She could've said that very last word straight from the beginning and have gotten it over with, but no. She stumbled over that mess instead. I guess I can't criticize her, though. She did do it, after all. And Ian lit up like Christmas tree so I guess it didn't matter to him either.
"Congrats, Ian," I said, winking at him. "You don't know how long she's been waiting for you to ask, man."
Ian grinned sheepishly while Delia spluttered nonsense and turned red all over again.
"Hey, I almost forgot," said Ian, standing up. "I've got something for you, TJ."
I blinked. "Me?"
Even Delia was surprised. "What is it?"
The boy left our table and was back within two seconds. He dropped a platter in front of my eyes. "Voilà!"
My mouth dropped open, my eyes glazed over, and I ignored anything and everything else. On the other hand, Delia squealed with excitement and thanked Ian profusely.
"It was nothing. I owed her for helping me review for that Physics test." He smiled down at Delia. "I'll see you later, right?"
Ian soon left with a skip to his step, content with Delia's beaming face and her positive answer.
I, on the other hand, was still trying to process the sight in front of me. No matter how much I screamed at my brain to wake up, I was already well aware that I wasn't dreaming. This was real. Really real.
I thanked the world for this miraculous change in fate.
Half the contents of the plate were already devoured by the time Delia came back from la-la-land, where she was undoubtedly replaying the past ten minutes in her head on repeat. She opened her mouth to speak, but I cut her off just in time.
"I promise to go dress shopping with you as long as you treat me to dinner."
After yet another squeal, Delia returned to the dreamworld within her mind while I finished off the fantastic loveliness Ian left behind.
I smirked as I fingered a particularly tasty tater tot. "Hmm. I think I'll name you Anthony."
And Anthony was mine to love forever. My God, was he scrumptious!
Don't worry. I left one or two for Delia. I'm not that heartless.
(._.) - Food...
(._.) - Disclaimer will apply for the entirety of this story: Any mentioned anime/manga/character/brand/etc. is obviously not mine. It belongs to its original creator.