My Friend Marcel

Annie's dad has moved around a lot, and she has never been really able to make many friends. Finally her dad gets a steady job in a tiny town outside Cheshire, named Holmes Chapel. When Annie starts a new school year at Holmes Chapel Public High School, she meets a nerdy boy named Marcel Styles. As she gets to know him better, she realizes that he's not the geek everyone thinks he is. Annie gets Marcel to open up and become himself, and they become fast friends. But soon, Marcel finds himself falling for his friend...what will happen when her biggest secret is revealed? Will Marcel still like her? Or will this secret tear Annie and him apart...forever?

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6. B.S., Purple Unicorns, and Harry Styles

In about an hour, Marcel and I had cleaned up the entire kitchen. We were sitting at the table in the dining room, trying to figure out my math. “Okay, so if there’s a number on top of another number, you assume you divide, right?” Marcel asked for the seventh time.

“Yes.”

“So if it’s a complex fraction, when there is a fraction on top of a fraction, what would you do?”

“Divide?” I asked slowly.

“Yes.” Marcel leaned back and smiled. “Review time! What’s the quadratic equation?”

“Negative ‘B’ minus or plus the radical of ‘B’ squares minus 4 times ‘A’ times ‘C’, the whole thing over two times ‘A’.” I recited.

“What's the Pythagorean Theorem?”

“A squared plus B squared equals C squared.” I put my head on the table and yawned.

“If there were fifteen bananas and twenty seven vines of grapes, and there were twenty people, how many different ways could both fruits be divided so that each person has an equal amount of bananas and grapes?” I lifted my head slowly and glared at Marcel, who blinked at me innocently.

“Purple, because unicorns don’t wear hats.” I snapped.

“Correct.” Marcel closed the book. “I made that one up myself.”

“Thanks, thanks a lot.” I groaned.

“C’mon, let’s go do something!” Marcel grabbed my arm.

“I’m not supposed to leave my brother alone.” I quickly checked on Danny. He was asleep on the couch. “We can just hang out here.”

“That’s fine.”

“We can play a game or something. C’mon, I have like a bazillion in my room!” I led him upstairs and into my room. “Ignore the mess, I didn’t have time to clean up.”

“No problem. Do you know how to play B.S.?” Marcel asked.

“I do. And I am very good at it.”

“Not as good as me.” Marcel grinned.

“Oh, it is so on, Styles.” I grabbed a deck of cards and dealt them quickly. We played quietly for a little bit, until there was a huge pile of cards on my bed.

“Three threes.”

“Bull.” I immediately said. Marcel groaned and picked up the stack of cards.

“Darn it…” he muttered. I grinned, and he looked over at me.

“Hey, do you know anyone else other than Louis and me?” Marcel asked as he shifted the cards in his hand to make room for the new ones.

“No.” I watched him for a minute, then put all of my cards in numerical order.

“Okay. When your dad gets home, I’ll take you to meet some of my other friends. They’re not all as weird as Lou.”

“Really?” I asked, tossing down a card. “One four.”

“Yeah. We’re a group of guys that just hang out together. There’s about five of us. There used to be six, but Ed left cuz he had to move. Two fives.”

“Bull. Are they all nuts?” I asked.

“Seriously? Darn it! And nah,” Marcel grabbed the cards and made a face. “They’re all weird in their own way.”

“Okay, give me names. One six.”

“Bull!” Marcel said proudly.

“Look for yourself.” I said. His face fell, and I grinned. He lifted the card and pouted.

“Darn it.”

“Who’s the best? I’m the best!”

“Okay, okay, I get it, I get it. One seven.”

“Bull. So what are your friends like?”

“DARN IT!” Marcel grabbed the card and stuffed it into his hand, muttering under his breath. “Okay, first, there’s me. Obviously.” I grinned, and he continued. “Then there’s Zayn Malik. He’s kind of quiet, but once you get to know him, he’s really funny, especially when he tries to dance. He wants to be an English teacher. He’s also kind of the bad boy of the group. Most of the girls at our school have a crush on him. I don’t know why…We call him Vain because he’s always looking in mirrors or reflections in windows to make sure his hair is perfect.” Marcel rolled his eyes. “Then there’s Liam. We call him Paynee, because that’s kinda his last name and we’re not very original. He’s really a nice guy, and he does know how to take a joke. Liam wants to be a gym teacher, so he’s into all kinds of sports.” Marcel resituated himself to be more comfortable.

“One eight.” I said.  He ignored me, and I grinned.

“Next is Niall Horan. We call him Irish, or Leprechaun because…well…he’s a short Irishman. He’s really close with Liam, and he wants to be a sound engineer. He’s a really nice guy, and he’s good for a laugh. He gets crazy with Lou though…But it’s okay. He really loves Nando’s and Derby. One nine.”

“Okay, what else? One ten.”

“Well, there’s Louis. He’s a lot of fun. Me and him have been friends pretty much forever. We live next door to each other, so that’s fun. We call him Tommo, because one time we were messing around with a video camera, doing this ‘Game Show’ called ‘Megamind’ and he called himself, ‘Louis ‘The Tommo’ Tomlinson.” I snickered. “He wants to own a restaurant when he gets older, which is funny because he can’t cook. Once he tried to cook for my mum, and he nearly burned our apartment down.” I laughed.

“Well, what about you?” I put my cards down.

“What about me?”

“What do you wanna do when you grow up? What's your nickname? What do you like to do?”

“Well, my name is Marcel Harold Styles.” He said dramatically. I giggled “The boys call me Harry, or Hazzah, as you well know.”

“Harry. Harry Styles.” I tried the name out on my tongue. “I like that.”

“Then you can call me that.” He grinned, and my heart fluttered. No. Don’t do this to yourself, Annie. He’s just a friend. Remember, you are never going to fall in love. Never. Keep reminding yourself that. I cleared my throat, and he continued. “I like to hang out with the guys and I don’t really mind doing schoolwork. I like music, especially. I hate Kidz Bop.” I laughed at that. “I like some classical, but mostly I listen to regular music. Like I like Justin Timberlake, and Robbie Williams.” I nodded.

“So what do you want to do when you grow up? You know everything about everyone else, but what about you?”

Harry (funny how fast I took to calling him ‘Harry’ instead of ‘Marcel’…) took a deep breath. “Okay, but don’t ever tell anyone this, okay?”

“My lips are sealed!” I said dramatically.

“Okay, well…I really want to sing, or act, or do something in the arts. Because I really like that stuff. I’m not very good, but I love it.”

“I didn’t know you like to sing!” I said.

“Well, it’s not something you tell people regularly.” He said.

“Well, I think you’d make a splendid actor.” I said in a posh British accent. He smiled. He has a really nice smile…And those dimples! Wow!

“Thanks, Annie.” He leaned forward, and his eyes flickered down to my lips. Oh, sweet carrots…Is he going to kiss me? Annie, what have you gotten yourself into… He took a deep breath, and leaned a little closer. I tilted my head up, and he moved closer…

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