Take Me Home

Brett Pennington wasn't a fan of Valentine's day. Every year it reminded her of her parents longing for a boy. To make things worse, her birthday was on Valentine's day. When she met One Direction, all that changed.

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3. Homeroom

"Wait, so he hasn't asked for his jacket back?" Abby asked me.

"He hasn't even seen me since then," I said, for what felt like thousandth time. "How could he have taken it back?"

"He could've texted you," Madi pointed out. "He has your number, doesn't he?"

"Yes, but that's not the point," I said. "The point is that we have lunch together, and that's after homeroom, and homeroom is now." I looked at them both in the eyes. "I'm terrified of seeing Zac."

"Why?" Abby asked. "That's something that I still don't understand!"

"Me neither!" Madi said. "You just have to give him back his jacket. He'll understand that you still had it from this morning."

"Or maybe you should retell your story slower so that we can understand why you're so terrified," Abby said. Madi nodded her head excitedly like a bobble head.

"Goodbye girls," I said, rolling my eyes to them and heading off to my homeroom. Sometimes, I just didn't understand those two. For two very different girls, they sure had the same logic process, and they both thought in the same narrow minded way. Both of them, upon seeing me in the jacket, had bombarded me with questions, both relevant and irrelevant to the subject. I hadn't thought much about how I was going to give Zac his jacket. I'd been to busy warding myself off from the twins.

I entered my homeroom, where my more rational friends were sitting. Marissa and Jada smiled up at me. I couldn't help but remember how I'd met them... and wonder, not for the first time, why I even talked to the twins. Maybe I was just enjoying diverse personalities. Every time I saw Marissa and Jada, I was always reminded of the girl who played football during recess (RB, no big), who, after one too many trips to the nurse, was ordered to stick to the playground for a while. These two immediately took me under their wing, bringing me away from the pre-formed cliques who had ridiculous standards.

"Who's jacket?" Jada asked. I smirked at her. "Unless in the last twenty-four hours, you've acquired the possession of a Letterman's jacket."

"You caught me," I said, casually. "It's not mine."'

"Do we know the owner of the jacket?" Marissa asked, raising a brow at me. I knew that they both knew who's jacket it was. In their opinion, it was the only person who would give me their jacket. I thought that was very unfair, because I'd worn my share of Letterman's jackets in the past.

"You both already know that it's Zac's," I muttered. Both of them laughed. Jada opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted by the bell. Almost immediately, the announcements on the board started playing.

"Hello to everyone in our school," said the anchor, who I knew was Bailey from the Varsity soccer team. She was sitting alongside Ryan from the Varsity hockey team. "We have major news for our school."

"First, the Sadie Hawkins dance is coming up," Ryan said. I groaned. Why were they even mentioning it on the school news? The dance was still a ways away. Why did everyone care about it. "Make sure you girls ask your guys, and you get your tickets to it." He turned to Bailey. "Anything you want to add here Bails?" Bailey giggled.

"I was going to say the cheesy line where I ask you, but this is some breaking new for all you fangirls out there," Bailey looked into the camera. "This morning, One Direction was on the Morning show with Ryan Secrest here in the Minnesota radio studio of KDWB. Liam mentioned that he had quiet the eventful morning this morning, saying that he met a girl at a gas station. He never said where the gas station was, but he did say it was the most normal encounter he'd had in a long time." I chuckled.

"That's funny you guys," I said, "cuz I met a guy named Liam at the gas station today-" I trailed off with the next thing that Bailey said.

"He said that he met a very upfront girl, who seemed to have no idea who he was. She did mention One Direction, but quickly dismissed that reference. He said that she then pulled a Purple Sharpie marker from her boot and wrote her number on his arm." My jaw dropped. "I don't know about any of you, but that girl had major guts to do that. He said that he' considering texting her, and hopes that she continues to treat him like any other person, because really, that's what he is. Said she had a unique name that he'll never forget." Bailey chuckled. "I don't think I could do that to anybody, let alone Liam Payne. If anything, I'd hyperventilate. I don't even think that she knew that she was talking to THE Liam Payne. That lucky girl."

"Huh," Marissa said. "That sounds like something you would do Brett."

"Guys, that girl's me," I said, stunned.

"Alright Brett," Jada said. "We've had our jokes in the past how you're going to meet one of the members of One Direction, but I feel like you would've recognized them from two football fields away."

"Guys, I'm not joking," I said, insistently. "He's the reason why Zac and I are fighting. I saw him by the cappuccino machine."

"Brett," Marissa groaned. "I'm not really up for your jokes now." I stared at them, pressing my lips together, thinking of something I could do that would make them believe me. What had Bailey said could I use for my proof?

"I can't believe I didn't think of this before," I muttered and reached down into my boot. I pulled out a purple Sharpie marker. "Believe me now?" I asked as they stared at the Sharpie with slack jaws. "Think about it guys," I said. "Who is insane enough to keep the emergency Sharpie in her boot, or be called 'upfront with a unique name?'"

"And who's insane enough to give a random stranger her number!" Jada exclaimed.

"Right!" I said. "Only I'm that insane!"

"Brett! Are you mental?" Marissa said. "How didn't you recognize him?"

"That's what I've been asking myself for the past couple minutes," I admitted. "He's the reason why Zac and I are fighting."

"Hold on," Jada said. "Back it up, rewind. You and Zac are fighting? And this isn't pointless because...?"

"It's not about anything pointless to him," I said. Then I paused. A ton of the things we argued about weren't pointless to me or  Zac. "Well, it makes more sense," I amended. "He's made because I supposedly ignored him to talk to the guy at the gas station." I lowered my voice, because we were getting stared down by Ms. Nguyen, and so that I could successfully execute my voice that I used to imitate Zac. You know, that voice that you make for everyone even though no one really has that voice in real life? Yeah, that voice.

"Were you?" Marissa asked, my voice of reason.

"No!" I said. At least, I didn't think so. I think I referred to him at least twice, if not more than that.

"You're sure?" Jada asked, looking skeptical. She could see right through me. She knew when I was lying and she knew when I wasn't sure about anything. She was giving me that look that she usually gave me when she knew that something was up.

"I'm not sure, okay?" I said. "I'm pretty sure I did..." Jada raised a brow at me. "What does it matter anyways?" I said, angrily. "It doesn't change the fact that Zac's mad at me. Even if I completely ignored him, why does he care anyways?"

"Maybe he wanted to meet Liam too," Marissa said, weakly. "You never know. Boys are sometimes obscure with what they want."

"Still doesn't justify why he got mad," I grumbled. "It was Liam Payne."

"Doesn't justify you ignoring him," Jada countered in a sing-song voice. I pouted at her. I thought it was a pretty legitimate reason.

"Doesn't justify him being a girl about it," I tried, knowing that it was a lost cause. It wasn't a valid argument and I knew it. It was very frustrating to know that I couldn't say anything to argue about it.

"You're going to have to give him back his jacket eventually," Marissa pointed out. "Do you want to give it space?"

"I don't want to, but I feel like I should tell him who it was," I said. Then I remembered something. "You guys! He might not believe me if I say that I had no idea that it was Liam Payne!"

"Why wouldn't he believe you?" Jada asked, clearly confused."You didn't know who it was and you know it."

"But, when he introduced himself-"

"HE INTRODUCED YOURSELF AND YOU STILL DIDN'T KNOW?" Jada and Marissa exclaimed in disbelief.

"Shh!" I admonished. "Not so loud! Yes, he introduce"

"And you still didn't know?" Jada looked at me like I was stupid.

"No! I didn't put the dots together," I muttered, narrowing my eyes at her. "What I'm trying to say is that when he introduced himself, first he was surprised, then I said 'like Liam Payne' and apologized for the One Direction reference because guys don't like fan-girls."

"I still can't believe that you didn't know," Marissa said, staring at me in disbelief.

"It explained the funny look he gave me when I made the One Direction joke," I noted. Then the bell rang, signaling the end of homeroom. I unconsciously gulped in fear.

"Brett?" Marissa asked, clearly worried. "Are you okay?" I forced a nod and a smiled.

"I have to be," I replied. I sighed. "It's time to face the music."

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