Chapter 8

A week had passed since the backpack incident between Riley and the Pink Girls and Kayla, and so far there hadn't been a word about it. Riley never questioned Kayla about her having a crush on him, and neither did the Pink Girls. In fact, it was as if it never happened.

Not only that, but Chloe hadn't tried to flirt with Riley, and Riley hadn't given her any attention. That's weird, Kayla thought, maybe she decided that Riley would never go for her, or maybe she accepted the fact that I liked him and was going to let me have him. She shook her head. There was no way any of the Pink Girls would be so generous.

Kayla had already finished over half of her book, and she was really intrigued. She never knew how exciting a novel could be. Any chance she had at home or school, she read as many chapters as she could. The girl only had a week and a half left until the project was due.

"Stay after school in the library," Cassie suggested, "that way you can be away from any noise or distraction going on at your house. You'll finish it in no time."

Kayla agreed, and did exactly as Cassie said. Her mother offered to pick her up late at school. She was very excited that Kayla was getting sucked into a good book. It was "refreshing" according to her.

The girl was also getting more time with Riley, having conversation with him at their lockers and at the beginning of their classes. Lunch was a different story though. Kayla only saw him twice a week in the cafeteria. The rest of the time he wasn't anywhere to be found. It questioned Kayla. She wondered if maybe instead of eating he wanted to work on school work. But who would skip lunch? Everyone has to eat!

Kayla shrugged it off, though. She learned several things about Riley, and figured that maybe this was something else he was passionate about. She wasn't going to take it any further.

Another four days passed, and Kayla finally finished reading her book. "It was the best book I ever read!"

"It's the only book you ever read,"Allison said with a chuckle.

Kayla gave a pout. She was, though, proud of herself.

"I knew you could do it," Cassie said with a grin.

Next was the project, and Kayla knew exactally what she was going to do. She had her mother drive her to the craft store and buy a poster board, markers, construction paper, glue, and glitter. Right when they got home, she started to draw the different faires she came across in the story.

"This girl really does look like you," Allison said as she held up the book and worked on her own project with Kayla at her house. "Cassie was right."

"But why?" Kayla asked suspiciously.

"The girl looks so curious walking through that gate. That's you."

Kayla blushed, and then had the idea of pretending to be the main character in the book for her presentation. She would tell the story and talk about each of the faires she came across.

"Those fairies are beautiful," Allison said as she pointed at her friend's drawing.

"Thanks," Kayla replied, "it's gonna look amazing once I add the glitter."

And it did. When the day finally came, Kayla took her poster with her to school. She couldn't wait to show it to her friends, Mrs. Shake, and especially Riley. He loved to draw, and if he saw her drawings he would be very impressesd.

As Kayla paced down the hall and walked by students, she could hear Krista's voice behind her, "Watch where you're going, you don't wanna bump into any walls." She then laughed with her friends. Kayla ignored her. She wasn't going to let them get to her anymore.

"Oh, is that for English?" Riley asked as Kayla got to her locker.

"Yes, you will see it when I do my presentation."

"Sounds good." Riley shut his locker and walked off.

Kayla was disappointing, for she was hoping she would have more time with Riley, but he seemed to be in a hurry for something. The girl sighed and shrugged it off. She decided that it was probably nothing. She couldn't wait to see what the boy had to show for his own English presentation. She grinned.

Instead of joining Riley in Music early, Kayla decided to take her poster to Mrs. Shake's class so she could keep it safe and neat.

"Don't worry," her teacher said, "I will make sure nobody puts a scratch on it."

"Thanks," Kayla said. She didn't want to admit it, but she really felt there was a possiblity that one of the Pink Girls would intentally try to destroy it, and she wasn't going to that happen.

Kayla then went to her locker, grabbed her music book, and along with Allison, Lola, and Lizzie, headed straight for the music room. "We've come along way," Allison said as she walked.

"Yes, you guys are getting a lot better," Lizzie said with a smile.

Kayla beamed back, and entered the music room with her friends. Students were setting up their music stands and tuning their instruments. Kayla could see Riley at his usual spot, tapping his symbols with his drumsticks.

The girl grabbed her own instrument and then hurried over to her spot next to Riley. She then took a look at him, waiting for the boy to say something. But he didn't. She decided to start the conversation today. "H-Hi Riley."

He noticed her in an instant and smiled. "Hey."

"Ready to play some music?"

"Ready as I'll ever be." He chuckled.

Kayla let a sigh and scanned the room for Tricia, Krista, and Chloe. They haven't made any smart remarks to her yet but they were giggling and eying her down. That wasn't a good sign, but Kayla, deciding to not let them get to her anymore, shrugged it off.

"Alright," Ms. Hannah started, as the class began to hush up. "We only have two more weeks until our concert, so let's work hard and get this song down perfectly."

Kayla nodded in agreement. Although she was nervous to play in an orquestra in front of a lot of people, she wanted to get this song down. The girl tightened the grip on her mallet as she gave a look of determination.

"For those of you that are struggling anywhere in the song, come down here during lunch and I'll help you."

Kayla knew for certain that she didn't need any assistance with her instrument. She knew all the notes and she had it pretty easy. That made her feel exceptional.

"Alright," Ms. Hannah continued, "let's start the song."

Kayla raised her mallets with her eyes shut, getting the feel of music traveling through her soul. It was one of her favorite parts of the class. She struck down on her instrument when Ms. Hannah started her conduction. The song began.

As the class played, Kayla kept taking glances of each ot her friends playing. She first watched Allison and Lola in the Strings section, their eyes glued to their music sheet and their arms moving the bows across the strings back and forth. Lizzie was playing her flute gracefully. She had that same expression Kayla had when she played her xylophone, as she blew into her flute.

It was a beautiful scene, Kayla herself, and her friends playing the song magnificently. Then there was Riley. Riley and his drums. He played like a rock star, and that melted Kayla. She loved to watch him play, just as much as she loved to talk with him, and look at his wonderful tatoo sketches.

The girl placed her hand to her heart and shut her eyes. She was bewilded of how she felt about this boy. It wasn't the same feeling she felt for her family or for her friends. Visions of them together traveled through her mind. Visions of them walking in the hall while holding hands.

Kayla never once before thought of herself having a boyfriend, because she never really had a strong feeling for a guy. Of course, besides holding hands, she didn't know how it worked. She didn't know how to date and keep a relationship going. She didn't care. She wanted Riley, and that's all that mattered.

At that second, Kayla just realized she was about to miss her turn, and quickly slammed her mallet down on her wooden instrument. She played the wrong note. Oh no! She wondered if anyone noticed, so she checked to see if anyone was looking at her.

Nobody was, not even Riley, though Kayla wasn't surprised since his instrument was loud. Still, she thought, every instrument makes a difference.

She was right. Seconds after Kayla played the wrong note, she could hear Chloe saying, "Klutz." Kayla stared at the Pink Girl, who was playing her violin, able to keep her eyes on her sheet music, yet her attention on Kayla. Well, that takes care of today.

"Wonderful," Ms. Hannah said when the song was finished, "you guys have really improved. I can see that you have been practicing at home."

Kayla's part was so easy that she didn't need to practice at home. She got enough of it just playing in class. She smiled at that thought. For once, something came easily to her.

Allison gave Lola a high five before turning to Kayla and holding out her thumb to her. Kayla did it back. She was having a lot of fun in this class, despite that the Pink Girls were practically watching for any mistakes she would make.

Kayla didn't see Riley again until English. He, still, was absent in lunch, and the girl couldn't figure out why. Still, she was excited to see him in her last class and couldn't wait to show her presentation.

"Okay," said Mrs. Shake as everyone sat in their seats, "today is the day you share your book projects. Now, since we only have an hour, I ask that you make your presentation no longer than three minutes. Who would like to go first?"

Riley immediately raised his hand.

"Alright, Riley, go ahead."

The boy stood up with a stack of papers in his right hand, and then started in front of the class.

Kayla had her eyes glued to Riley, eager to see what he was about to show. Whatever it is, it will be wonderful.

"My book was Eregon," Riley started as he held up the book that had a picture of a dragon's head on the front cover.

Kayla gave a long gasp. She knew this was going to be good and couldn't wait to hear about it. She ignored Chloe, who was giving her smirks, knowing how interested Kayla was with Riley's presentation.

The boy passed out drawings to the class he made about the story. When Kayla got her turn to take a look at them, she couldn't believe her eyes. Pictures of people and dragons were sketched out perfectly.

When Riley was finished, the class gave an applause, including Kayla. She was probably the loudest one.

"Thank you Riley, that was very nice," Mrs. Shake said. "Now, who would like to go next?"

Kayla didn't want to go next, so she kept her hand down and let other students volunteer. A few of them seemed interesting but most of the stories the students read were boring, as far as Kayla was concerned.

But what made everything exciting was Riley. He, being a goofball, was leaning forward in his desk and staring at each student who gave their presentation, with a goofy grin on his face. Kayla couldn't help but giggle. She didn't care if the Pink Girls gave her evil looks.

Before she knew it, it was Kayla's turn. She was the last person to share her project, and that made her apprehensive.

"Go on Kayla, you're up," Mrs. Shake said.

"This should be good," Tricia said sarcastically while her friends giggled.

"Class," Mrs. Shake said sternly and then nodded at Kayla, who grabbed her poster and stepped up in front of the class.

Kayla hated talking in front of people, but she really wanted to impress Riley and Mrs. Shake. So she took a deep breath and sat her poster up on a stand.

"How beautiful," Mrs. Shake said.

Kayla gave a shy smile and cleared her throat as she stared out to the class, but didn't focus on anyone. "My book was 13 Treasures," she began, "It's about a girl who can see fairies, but nobody else can." She then started to describe specific fairies that were mentioned in the story. She pointed to her poster which had the title 13 Treasures on it made of purple construction paper. Under the latters were drawn fairies scattered all over the poster, colored in, and then covered with glitter, that spread all over the poster. The class seemed very pleased with her work.

Kayla knew that her were drawings weren't as good as Riley's, but they were very pretty and that's all that mattered to her. "This fairy here that has the-" She stopped when her eyes were now on Riley, who was giving that same goofy grin.

Oh no! Riley not now! The girl looked away, trying to hold back a laugh, and continued on with her presentation. "The one here holding the mouse head is-" she stopped again.

Riley was leaning forward so far that his bottom was practically off his seat.

Kayla giggled, and that got the class puzzled.

"Is that part of the story?" Krista asked, although the tone in her voice was full of hate.

"Krista," Mrs. Shake said firmly and then nodded at Kayla. "Go on, you have one minute left."

Kayla nodded back and then shifted her head back to the poster and began to explain each of the fairies she had drawn. When she was finished she turned to her class, and still, Riley was giving that same silly smile. Kayla laughed softlly and went back to her seat.

The Pink Girls smirked and gave Kayla a head nod before whispering. Kayla didn't like the sight of that but she tried not to care. She wasn't so sure what Riley thought of her presentation. He gave the same expression to everyone.

Kayla received an applause, and that's when the bell rang. She took a deep breath and began to gather her things. She was glad that was over. I embarrassed myself! Why did Riley have to be so funny? She couldn't stay mad at him, though.

"Very nice work," Mrs. Shake said to Kayla as she sat at her teacher's desk.

Kayla smiled and then left the classroom after picking up her things. She had to get to Riley so she could get his response. But when she got to her locker, he wasn't there. "That's weird" she said to herself.

The girl sighed and put her things away and then grabbed her backpack. She hadn't seen any of her friends yet, so Kayla decided to walk out to wait for the bus early. As she made a turn in the hall, something strange caught her eye. She jumped back to hide and took a peek.

There, in front of a row of lockers, was Riley, and right by him was a blonde haired girl, leaning up and giving him a peck on the lips.