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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9. Making Friends...and Cookies for Niall

The boys and I continually grew closer as time went on. Before I knew it, I had been in Holmes Chapel for about two months. My father met all the boys and he liked them, so he wasn’t mad at me for hanging out with them. Harry was my best friend. He stopped slicking his hair back, changed his name to Harry, stopped wearing all that nerdy stuff and he was actually very cute. I would never admit it to anyone, but I had a slight crush on Harry. He was sweet, adorable, kind, considerate, polite… But he was also my best friend. And I promised myself never to fall for one of my friends, or for anyone, for that matter. It was way too dangerous, what with my history.

The fact was, I had friends, and I wasn’t eating lunch alone anymore. But I didn’t have a friend that was a girl. No girl wanted to hang out with the one that was in the “Rat Pack”, as the boys and I were called. So I thought that I would just have my guy friends. That was enough, right?

I walked into the cafeteria and Harry waved at me. “Hey, Annie!” He said warmly as I sat next to him. Niall nodded to me as he ate his sandwich, then grinned as I slid a bag of cookies his way.

“I made them in Home Ec.” I said happily. “I think they turned out great!” Niall tossed his sandwich away and reached for a cookie.

Niall Horan!” Niall flinched, his hand already inside the bag of cookies. Liam appeared, giving me a dirty look. “How am I supposed to help him not eat sweets if you are continually giving him sweets?” he asked me.

“Sorry, LiLi.” I said, pulling the cookie bag away. Niall looked at it imploringly. I slipped a cookie out and bit into it, then handed one to Harry. He ate it, then started talking to Liam about football. I snuck a cookie under the table to Niall, and he crammed it into his mouth before Liam could see. I smiled, then happened to glance over at the other end of the room, where a tall blonde girl stood with her tray of food, looking completely lost. She wore her hair down and behind her ears, and her blue eyes showed confusion.  She made her way over to an empty table and sat down, beginning to eat. I nudged Harry. “Hey, who’s that?” I asked.

“That’s Hannah. She’s new. Just transferred here from Doncaster; I think from around where Tommo used to live.”

“What grade is she in?”

“I don’t know.”

I stood up. “I’m gonna go talk to her. Wanna come?”

“I’ll come.” Harry volunteered.

“I have gym soon, so I’m gonna go. Ask her if she wants to go to my place tonight for a Scream marathon.” Liam said. He stood. “Niall, swallow your cookie, and let’s go. I’m getting extra credit for training you in boxing.” Niall reddened, and meekly followed Liam. I walked over to the new girl, Harry trailing behind me.

“Hi,” I said, sitting across from her. She looked up.

“Hi…” she said, tucking her hair behind her ear and closing the book she was reading. I snuck a peek at the cover—The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

“Good choice to read,” I said, pointing to her book. “I love C. S. Lewis.”

“Yeah, Until We Have Faces is good.” She said, eyeing me to make sure I wasn’t teasing her.

“I like The Screwtape Letters, myself.” I said. Her face relaxed, and she held her hand out.

“I’m Hannah Schmidt, from Doncaster.”

“I’m Annie Jenkins. I’m originally from London, but I’ve lived here in Holmes Chapel for about a month or so.” I motioned to Harry. “This is my friend, Harry Styles.” He shook Hannah’s hand.

“Nice to meet you, Hannah.” He said.

“What classes do you have after this?” I asked. She glanced down at her class schedule.

“Geometry with Mr. Carson, and then Drama with Mrs. Larkin.”

“Cool, Harry has Geometry with you and I have Drama.” We all looked up as the bell rang. “We’d better get going. C’mon, I’ll show you where everything is.” I stood up, and Harry hugged me quickly.

“See you after school, Ann.” He said quietly, using his nickname for me. “We are still going for coffee, right?”

“Yeah, of course, our Friday tradition…except it’s so cold today, I might get hot chocolate! I’ll meet you at the tree, okay?”

“Yeah, Niall’s coming with us today I think.”

“Okay.” I looked at Hannah. “Do you want to come with us? We’re just going for coffee at Starbucks.”

“Um, yeah, sure. That sounds like fun.”

X**************************X

Mrs. Larkin was sick today, so we had a substitute that didn’t know anything about drama. It was basically another study hall. Me and Hannah got to know each other, and soon found out we had loads of things in common, like we both loved Imagine Dragons, and hated The Wanted. We both had massive celeb crushes on Josh Hutcherson, and we loved drama, singing, and acting. We made plans to go see Catching Fire, the new Hunger Games movie coming out in a couple months. We were walking across the campus, laughing our heads off, when Allie, the head cheer leader, stepped in our paths.

“Well, look at this, if it isn’t Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber.” She snarled. I rolled my eyes.

“Is that the best you could come up with?” I asked, not amused. Allie rolled her eyes.

“So, I see you're hanging out with the Rat Pack.” She said to Hannah. “And I actually thought you were smart.”

“Well, I’m smarter than you, because at least they know how to have fun.” Hannah shot back.

Allie sneered. “We can have fun.”

“Yeah, well, we have fun too. We just do it in a way that we still feel good after the party’s over.” I said. Allie shot me a look, then glanced at Hannah.

“Last chance, Hannah. Last chance to be normal, like the rest of us.”

“What’s the fun in normal?” Hannah asked, and she hooked her arm through mine, pulling me away from the steaming cheerleader. I laughed.

“Well, that was fun!”

“Yes, yes it was.” Hannah giggled. “ONWARD TO STARBUCKS!” She bellowed, pointing forward. I laughed, and we skipped down the road.

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