Perfect Chemistry

Brittany Fisher seems to have it all; wealthy parents, the perfect boyfriend and the "right" group of friends. But when Brittany is forced to become lad partners with Zayn Malik, a gang member from the wrong side of town, her perfect life starts to unravel.

Zayn is a bad boy, and he knows it, so when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it.

But as they grow closer, sparks begin to fly and they both realise that sometimes appearances can be deceptive. Will their emerging feelings be enough to keep them together when the world is determined to tear them apart?

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2. Chapter 2

 

*Brittany*

“My hair gets all frizzy in this car Amber. Every time I put the top down, my hair looks like I’ve walked right through a tornado,” I say to my best friend as I drive down my road towards Fairfield college in my new silver convertible.

          “Outward appearances mean everything” my parents taught me the motto that rules my life. It’s the sole reason I didn’t comment about the BMW when my dad gave me the extravagant birthday present two weeks ago.

          “Yeah well England isn’t exactly known for its calm weather. Besides, you look like a blond goddess with wild hair Brit. You’re just nervous about seeing Colin again”

          My gaze wanders to the heart shaped picture of me and Colin that I have taped to my dashboard “a summer apart changes people”

           “But distance makes the heart grow fonder” Amber throws back. “You’re the head girl and he’s head boy. You two have to date else the solar system would go out of alignment.”

Colin had phoned a few times during the summer from his family’s cabin, where he was staying with a few mates, but I don’t know where our relationship stands now. He only got back last night

           “I love those jeans” Amber says, eyeing my faded blue jeans “I’ll be borrowing them before you know it”

           “My mum hates them” I tell her, smoothing my hair at a red light in attempt to tame my blond frizz “she says it looks like I got them at a charity shop”

           “Did you tell her vintage is in?”

           “Yeah, like she’d even listen. She was hardly paying attention when I asked her about the new caretaker”

          No one understands what it’s like at my house. Luckily, I have Amber. She might not understand, but she knows enough to listen and keep my home life confidential. Besides Colin, Amber is the only one who’s met my sister.

          Amber flips open my CD case absent mindedly “what happened to the last caretaker?”

           “Tasmin pulled a chunk of her hair out”

           “Ouch”

          I drive into school car park with my mind more on my sister than on the road. My wheels screeched to a stop when I almost hit a guy and girl on a motorcycle, I thought it was an empty space.

           “Watch it, bitch” Alexa Sanchez, the girl on the back says as she flips me the finger. She obviously missed the road rage lecture.

           “Sorry” I say loudly so I can be heard over the roar of the motorcycle “it didn’t look like anyone was in this spot”

          Then I realise whose motorcycle I almost hit. The driver turns around; angry dark eyes, red and black bandanna. I sink as far down the driver’s seat as possible

           “Oh shit! It’s Zayn Malik” I say, wincing

           “Jesus Brit” Amber spits back, her voice low “I’d like to live to see Uni. Get outta here before he decides to kill us both!”

          Zayn is staring at me with his devil eyes while putting the kickstand down on his motorcycle. What was he going to do?

          I search for reverse, frantically moving the gear stick back and forth. Of course it’s no surprise my dad bought me a non-automatic car without taking the time to teach me how to master driving the thing.

          Alex takes a step towards my car. My instincts tell me to abandon the car and leg it, as if I was stuck on a railroad tracks with a train heading straight for me. I glance at Amber who’s desperately searching through her purse for something. Are you kidding me?

           “I can’t get this damn car in reverse. What the hell are you doing?!”

           “Like, urm, nothing. I just don’t wanna make eye contact with any of them lot”

          After what felt like hours, I finally managed to grind into reverse, my wheels screeched loud and hard as I maneuver backward and search for another parking spot.

          After parking in the west lot, far from a certain gang member with a reputation that could scare off even the toughest Fairfield rugby players, Amber and I walk up the front steps. Unfortunately, Zayn Malik and the rest of his gang friends are hanging by the front doors

           “Walk right past him” Amber mutters “and for gods’ sake Brit don’t make eye contact.” Well it’s pretty damn hard not to when Zayn himself steps out in front of me and blocks the path. What’s that prayer you’re meant to say right before death?

           “You’re a lousy driver” Zayn says with his light Bradford accent and full-blown ‘I am the man’ stance.

          The guy may look like an Abercrombie model with his ripped body and flawless face, but his picture is more likely going to be taken for a mug shot.

          The kids from the west side don’t really mix with the kids from the east side. It’s not that we think we’re better than them, we’re just different. We’ve grown up in the same town, but on totally opposite sides. We live in big rural houses and they live next to the train tracks on the outskirts town. We look, talk, act and dress different. I’m not saying whether that’s good or bad; it’s just the way it is. And, to be honest, most of the east side girls treat me like Alexa Sanchez does…they hate me because of who I am.

          Or should I say, who they think I am.

          Zayn’s gaze slowly moves down my body, travelling the length of me before moving back up. It’s not the first time a guy has checked me out, it’s just that I never had a guy like Zayn do it so blatantly…and so up-close. I can feel my face getting hideously hot.

           “Next time, watch where you’re going” he says, his voice cool and controlled. He’s trying to bully me. He’s considered pro at this. I won’t let him get to me and win his little game of intimidation, even if my stomach feels like I’m doing one hundred cartwheels in a row. I square my shoulders and sneer at him, the same sneer I use to push people away. “Thanks for the tip”

           “If you ever need a real man to teach you how to drive, I can give you lessons.” Catcalls and whistles from his buddies set my blood to boil.

           “If you were a real man, you’d open the door for me instead of blocking my way” I say, admiring my own comeback even as my knees begin to tremble.

Zayn steps back, pulls the door open, and bows like he’s my butler. He’s totally mocking me, he knows it and I know it. Everyone here knows it. I catch a glimpse of Amber, still desperately searching for nothing in her purse. She’s clueless.

           “Get a life” I tell him

           “Like yours? Let me tell you something” he says harshly “your life isn’t reality. It’s fake. Just like you”

           “It’s better than living my life as a loser” I lash out, hoping my words sting as much as his words did. Grabbing amber’s arm, I pull open the door. More whistles and comments follow us as we walk into school

           “Holy shit Brit! You got a death wish or something?” she glared as I exhaled

           “What gives Zayn Malik the right to bully everyone in his path?”

           “Uh, maybe the gun he has hidden in his pants or the gang colours he wears” Amber says, sarcasm dripping from every word.

           “He’s not stupid enough to carry a gun to school” I reason “And I refuse to be bullied, by him or anyone else” At school, at least. School is the one place I can keep up my ‘perfect’ façade; everyone at school buys it. Suddenly pumped about starting my last year at this dump, I shake Amber’s shoulders. “We’re the eldest here now” I say, with the same enthusiasm I use for pep talks before Netball matches

           “So?”

           “So starting right now everything is going to be p-e-r-f-e-c-t.”

           “Yeah well I’ll make sure you have a p-e-r-f-e-c-t funeral. With flowers and everything” Amber mocked, walking off down the hallway

           “Who died?” a voice from behind me asks. I turn around. It’s Colin, hair bleached blond from the summer sun and a grin so large it takes up almost all of his face. I wish I had a mirror to see if my makeup had smudged. But surely Colin will date me even if it is, won’t he? I run up and give him the biggest hug.

          He holds me tight, kissing me lightly on the lips, and pulls back. “Seriously, who died?” he asks again

           “Nobody” I laugh “Forget about it”

           “It’s easy when you look so damn hot” he kisses me again “sorry I haven’t called. It’s been so crazy unpacking and everything”

          I smiled at him, glad the summer had changed either of us. The solar system is safe, at least for now. Colin drapes his arm around my shoulders as the front doors to the school open. Zayn and his friends burst through as if they’re here to hi-jack the school

           “Why do they even come to school?” Colin mutters low so only I can hear “half of them will probably drop out before the year is over anyway”

          My gaze briefly meets Zayn’s and a shiver runs down my spine

           “I almost hit Zayn Malik’s motorbike this morning” I tell Colin once Zayn is out of hearing range

           “You should have” he chuckles lightly “at least it would have been an exciting first day. This school is boring as shit”

          Boring? I almost got in a car accident, was flipped off by a girl from the east side, and was harassed by a dangerous gang member outside the school’s front doors. If that was any indication of the rest of the year, this school was anything but boring.

 

*Zayn*

          I knew I’d be called into the principal’s office at some point during the year, but I didn’t expect it to be on the first day back. I heard Dr Fletcher was hired because of his hard-ass personality at some college in London. So here I am, pulled out of gym so Fletcher can puff up his chest and ramble on about tougher school rules. I detect him sussing me out, wondering how I’ll react as he threatens me

          “…and this year I’ve hired two full time, armed, security guards.” His eyes focus on me, trying to intimidate me. Yeah, right. “I promised the police and governors I’d be personally responsible for rooting out the violence that has plagued this school for years. I won’t hesitate to suspend anyone who ignores school rules”

          It’s clear Brittany Fisher is responsible for me being here today. You think her jerk of a boyfriend will ever get called into Fletcher’s office? No way. The dude is an idolized rugby player. He can ditch class and start fights and Fletcher will probably still kiss his ass. Colin Adams is always pushing me, knowing he can get away with it. Every time I’ve been about to retaliate, he’s found a way to escape or rush to where teachers were in abundance…teachers who are just waiting for me to fuck up.

          I look up at Fletcher, “I’m not startin’ any fights” I might finish one though…

          “That’s good, but I heard about you harassing a female student in the parking lot this morning”

          Almost getting run over by Brittany Fisher’s shiny new BMW is my fault? For the past year I’ve managed to avoid the rich bitch. I heard last year she got a C on her report card but a little call to the school from her parents got it changed to an A. It would hurt her stupid little chances of getting into a good Uni.

          Screw that shit. If I got a C, my Ma would smack me round the head and nag me to study twice as hard. I’ve worked my ass off to get good grades, even though I’ve gotten interrogated more often than not about my means of getting the answers. As if I’d cheat. It’s not about getting into University. It’s about proving I could get in…if my world were different.

          The east siders might be seen as dumber then the west siders, but that’s bullshit. So we’re not as rich or obsessed with material possessions or getting into the most expensive and prestigious universities. We’re in survival mode most of the time, always having to watch our backs.

          The hardest part of Brittany Fisher’s life is deciding which restaurant to dine at each night. The girl uses her smoking hot body to manipulate everyone who comes in contact with her.

          “Care to share with me what happened in the car park? I’d like to hear your side” Fletcher says. Not happening. I learned long ago that my side doesn’t matter.

          “The thing this morning? Total misunderstanding” I tell him. Yeah, Brittany Fisher’s misunderstanding that two vehicles can’t fit in one spot.

          “Right okay” he mumbles, “well just try not to make these misunderstandings a bad habit Zayn” and with that I’m dismissed.

          In the locker room after I change, a song plays on the loudspeaker indicating it’s now sixth period. I pull the schedule out of my back pocket. Chemistry with Mrs Peterson. Great, another hard-ass to deal with.

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