Diana

At the local high school, there are the jocks, the nerds, the stoners, the rich kids, the artsies, and the populars. When Mr. Martinez, the English teacher, decides to put one student from each clique together as a group for a school project, each of them feel like it's the end of the world. They all used to be best friends, but after a giant fight in the seventh grade that's haunted each of them for years, they'd split up. But now it's time to face the truth. Should they forgive and forget, learn and love, or remember grudges and give hell for them? There's no getting out of being a group, so they'll need to work out their differences and try to be friendly. But when secrets are spilt and tears are shed, they might realize that they're not so different at all. It might've been Mr. Martinez that brought them together, but maybe it was really fate.

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NOTE: THIS IS AN UNEDITED AND UNFINISHED CHAPTER because I won't be writing any more of this book. But here's all I've written. Enjoy.

The Jocks

"Louis, what character do you want to do?" Diana's sweet voice comes from behind Louis. He gives himself a mental pep talk and then turns around to meet her brown-eyed  gaze. He has to swallow - no, it's a gulp - because he remembers her baby face from seventh grade, and he sees her eyes move to his Adam's apple which is bobbing nervously. 

I, uh..." His voice comes out high pitches and he has to cough loudly to get rid of it. "Sorry... I think either Pudge or Alaska."

Diana tilts her head to the side slightly, her sleek brown hair falling down her shoulder while her lips part. "Why not The Colonel? I feel like everyone always looks past him." Her voice has a charismatic ring to it and he almost falls asleep because it's one of those types of voices that could lull you to sleep with just a whisper.

"But won't it be a little harder to use him? We don't know enough about him. Well I mean we do, but Pudge, on the other hand, we know so much about, We know his thoughts, his feelings, his fears... everything, because the story is from his point of view," Louis argues and he starts to remember why he liked her in the seventh grade. She's looking up at him from under her eyelashes and her fingernails, painted as a French manicure, are tapping on the edge of the desk. And he glances at her lips and wishes he hadn't because they just look so soft and plump and kissable and he remembers-

"Uh, hey guys," Liam walks up to them, his hands clasped in front of him, hanging close to his body. Louis gives him a quick once over and smiles. 

Liam's gotten tougher looking in the years that have passed.

"Hey, Li," Diana greets him and Louis watches as Liam goes rigid. It only happens for a quick second, but Louis notices. 

Liam's face goes slack, his muscles get tense, and his eyes go wide. A normal person wouldn't realize that anything has changed, but Louis knows what to look for. This guy used to be his best friend; he knows how to read him.

"Liam," Louis mutters, so the boy won't make a fool out of himself. They may not exactly be friends anymore, but a guy still has to look out for another guy. Liam's gaze shifts to Louis and they both crack a small smile at each other. Louis's heart warms and he has a yearning to start crying.

Start crying?

Where did that come from?

Only a girl who was PMSing or a weak guy would say that.

"Uh, so Harry and I were thinking that we should all converse as a group so that we don't get mixed signals from each other." His gaze slips to Diana at 'mixed signals' and she flushes slightly, biting her lips. Louis has to ward off the memories that he was previously thinking of before they come.

"Makes sense," Louis comments and he and Diana get up from their seats at the same time. He's all calm and fine and has finally managed to be okay with being with his old friends- and then Diana's arm brushed against his. He freezes in place, trying to remember how to breathe and almost falls over.

"Louis, you okay?" she asks, craning her neck at him. Then she moves her arm and the heat of her limb is taken away, and he takes a lung full of air. He smiles at her, but his mind is somewhere else.

"I'm fine."

Diana, Liam, Zayn, Niall and Louis all walk over to Harry's desk, on the far side of the room near the windowsills so they don't block the aisle in between the rows of desks. Harry leans against his own desk, his hands behind him, and they all glance at each other nervously.  Louis is standing rigidly, sandwiched in between Niall and Diana and he can't relax. He bites his lip and looks at the floor, as if that would tell him what to say to his ex-best friends.

"Uh, so should we exchange numbers?" Niall finally suggests, eyeing Liam who's standing next to Harry and across from Niall, for back-up. Liam nods, quickly and shortly, and pulls out his phone. Niall already has his and Zayn does too, but Diana and Louis have to grab theirs. Harry is at his desk so he doesn't need to move.

"Hey Louis, would you mind getting mine for me? Since we sit right next to each other," she asks, her voice breaking the awkward silence that keeps falling among the group. Louis looks up at her and coughs, his face reddening slightly.

"Uh, sure. Where is it?"

"Outermost pocket of my bag."

The exchange is quick and short and Louis is glad for that. His face is as red as a firetruck now. He speed-walks to their desks, stepping around the kids that are still there, and heads over to his seat first. His phone is lying facedown on his desk, so that's easy. But he has to actually go into Diana's bag to get hers. 

His hands are shaking as he undoes the zipper to the pocket that she explained, but he doesn't even have to unzip it all the way, because her phone is peeking out of the small space. He reaches for it and takes it out, but several pieces of folded up notepaper fall out onto the floor as well. Louis bends down and picks them up, then looks back over at the group. None of them are looking at him. They're all engrossed in a fight about which character they should use. 

There are five pieces of paper in his hands. They're each folded up into quarters, and whoever wrote them - he's guessing Diana - used a pen which has bled through the pages a little bit. He's about to put them back, but then the paper on the top of the pile unfolds just the tiniest bit, and Louis sees his name.

What?

Why is his name on a paper of Diana's?

He checks the group again to make sure nobody is looking, and then slips them into his bag. He feels like he's cheating and feels sly and untrustworthy, but he's just so curious. None of them have noticed that anything is wrong, so he just closes up Diana's bag and goes back to the five of them, a heavy weight of guilt deep in his chest. But he just ignores it, hands Diana her phone, and tunes into the conversation.

 

The Nerds

Once Liam and Harry stop coughing and mentally flipping out to themselves, Liam moves over to Harry's desk, and Harry stands up, his left foot firmly on the ground and his right knee on the chair of his desk. His large hands are covering his notepaper unintentionally, but all of his guards and walls are up, making it hard for Liam to understand what he's thinking. Liam is just nervous as hell and has to hide his shaking hands behind his back.

Liam is the first one to speak. He offers a smile first, which eases the tension a little. "Um, hi. So..." 

There's silence between them for a moment and they avoid each other's eyes. Liam swallows and waits for Harry to say something because he knows that Harry isn't mute, and he doesn't want to seem bossy. See, Liam talks pretty quickly, so what he says can come across a little overpowering and controlling, when he really tries to be the opposite. As Niall used to say, "the struggle is real."

"Yeah, hi. I think the best idea would for all of us to decide as a group what to do. It'll be more efficient," Harry says finally, his voice all rumbly and low. God, Liam knew he got older and bigger and more mature and stuff, but he wasn't expecting that. It's not even that he hasn't heard Harry talk in five years, but more that he hasn't hear Harry talk to him.

Liam scratches the back of his head, a nervous habit that he can't seem to break. A smile flits over Harry's lips unexpectedly and Liam tries not to think of why Harry would be smiling, but he fails.

Is he laughing at Liam?

Has Liam not aged as well of the rest of them?

Is he smiling because he was right for dropping his friendship?

More possibilities speed through his head, but he ignores them. 

"Nice idea. I'll tell Louis and Diana and you tell Niall and Zayn?" Liam suggests, and he almost says all of their nicknames instead of their real names.

If he hadn't caught himself, he would've said something like:

"Nice idea. I'll tell Lou and Di, and you tell Nail and Zap."

And that would've been very awkward.

Harry smiles again.

"Sure."

Then, they go off their separate ways, Harry loping behind him with his big long legs and Liam taking a step to the right to face Louis and Diana. 

The pair are in a casual conversation, but Louis's face is bright red- Liam fights off a laugh. He clasps his hands together in front of him and waits for a pause in the conversation. The pause comes when Louis begins to stare at Diana's lips and Liam feels so humiliated for Louis that he has to jump in.

"Uh, hey guys," he greets, his voice unsure. Diana lifts her head and looks at him for a second that seems to last a year,

Her lips part and she says with a sparkle in her eyes, "hey, Li."

Liam's world stops.

She called him by his seventh grade nickname. He wants to be mad at her for using the friend group's nicknames but can't bring himself to be. She's gained so much more beauty over the years and is fantastically flawless now. Not that it matters, but it's pretty hard to be angry at such a gorgeous human, especially when you have such a history with them, and Liam remembers the time when-

"Liam," Louis says quietly, and Liam snaps back into reality. How long has he been staring at her? Oh, God. He's probably made a fool out of himself now. He glances at Louis and smiles a bit, hoping to break the tension he's caused. The soccer player smiles back, and Liam feels a sense of longing. Louis is smiling his fake-ish smile, a smile that used to be rare. Now, Louis uses it all the time. What Liam really wants to see is a real smile, that he used to see so often. He wants to see Louis actually laughing and enjoying himself. He wants to slap the boy across the face and just shout "smile!" until he does. But Liam doesn't. 

He just lets heat color his ears, and he explains why he's there. The pair seem to like Harry's proposition, and they both get out of their seats. Liam walks over to Harry's desk, going around a row of desks so that they can be on the outer side of the room, and takes his place next to Harry and Zayn. His eyes flit around to each of them, but the awkward silence refuses to be filled. Finally, Niall takes his snapback off of his head, the green one, runs a hand through his hair, puts the hat back on and speaks.

"Uh, so should we exchange numbers?" Niall asks, his eyes on Liam and Liam only. Liam nods once and pulls out his phone, and the rest follow his lead. Except Diana and Louis. Louis starts over to go get his own device, but Diana stops him.

"Hey Louis, would you mind getting mine for me? Since we sit right next to each other." She fights through the silence that continuously makes the others' mouth clamp shut. The jock freezes in place. He glances up at her and coughs, and Liam notices color coming into his cheeks and the tips of his ears. 

Oh, silly Louis.

He coughs, and then replies, "uh, yeah sure. Where is it?"

"Outermost pocket of my bag," she says and he nods and continues walking over to their desks. So Louis leaves, and they all have to talk to each other.

"So," Harry finally rumbles out, and the ice freezes even more. Liam wants to go hide in a corner and never come out.

"I was thinking that we should do Alaska." Zayn's quiet voice comes from the side of thir gorup. They all look at him.

"What's your reasoning?" asks Niall, even though Liam is positive that he's never read the book.

Zayn smirks. "Number one, she's hot." Diana rolls her eyes. "Two, she's depressed and insane and really f*cking smart and witty and no wonder Pudge loves her. Plus, she's got the great quotes and monologue and mystery and she's clever and fun..."

Liam gets the feeling that Zayn isn't talking about Alaska anymore.

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