The first thought that flitted through my mind on the morning of the first day of my Junior year in high school was, "No, not again..." After a summer of relaxation and freedom, I was not ready to go back to the stress-filled environment of school. But, after thinking about it, I was somewhat happy to go back. I was actually really looking forward to seeing my friends, who I felt I hadn't seen in years.
Sleepily, I managed to climb out of bed and get dressed. Grabbing my brush and staring hard into the mirror, I tried to make my shoulder-length brown hair look somewhat acceptable. I then stumbled downstairs and grabbed a bagel from the kitchen counter. My mom was in the kitchen, making breakfast for my younger brother, David. "Good morning," she called to me as I scanned the hall for my backpack.
There it is, I thought as I called back, "First day of school today!"
"Yeah," my mom sighed. "You're getting so old now."
I rolled my eyes. "And that's a bad thing?" I asked.
"Anyway, I got to go now," I announced. "Have a nice day, I'll see you this afternoon." I walked over to give her a hug, then headed out the door.
I walked down the path to the street, where I knew Sasha, my best friend, would be waiting for me. We had been friends since elementary school, and our friendship had lasted for quite a long time. Until sophomore year, we had done everything together. But then, when she joined the cheerleading squad, Sasha started spending more time with her cheerleading friends and less time with me. But I didn't mind, for I knew that we were still best friends.
Last year for her birthday, Sasha's parents had presented her with a spanking new car. From that day on, we had both ditched our bus passes and arrived at school in style. Being Sasha's best friend did have its benefits.
When she saw me emerge from my house, Sasha smiled brilliantly. As usual, her blond hair was perfectly brushed, and her outfit was stunning. "Hey Kelly! How was your summer?"
"Great," I replied. "I miss the beach already."
Sasha laughed. "I know right? Same. Oh, and you'll never guess where I went for two weeks..."
The conversation went on like this for the whole five minutes of the trip to school. Once we stepped out of the car, Sasha was mobbed by her cheerleading friends. The pink and purple crowd pushed me aside, and I knew I was not wanted anymore. I sighed. Sometimes, it was hard being friends with one of the most popular girls in the grade. Grabbing my backpack, I waded through the crowd towards the main office, where I would pick up my schedule. As I made my way across the parking lot, a few other friends of mine came over to join me. After an intense session of swapping stories and comparing schedules, the bell rang, reminding us that classes would start in five minutes. Waving goodbye to my friends, I glanced over to where Sasha stood. She was leaning against a locker, in the middle of her crowd of fans. She seemed oblivious to the bell's blaring, and was caught up with socializing with people she hadn't seen in 3 months. Oh well. I was going to class on time, even if it did mean I was 'nerdy' for doing so.
The periods flew by. Even though there were different faces, the activities were the same--attendance, review of the course, and a stupid "Get to know your classmates!" game. Sasha was in my math and science class, which pleased me well enough. Of course, we sat next to each other. There were no cheerleaders in either of these classes, so she talked to me nonstop.
When the last period bell rang, ending the day, I was both happy and exhausted. For the most part, the day had been pretty good. Trotting over to Sasha's car, I pulled out my phone, answering texts and emails as I waited for my friend. I lifted my head when I heard someone approach. I could only see a head of blond hair, for the rest of the person was blocked by other cars. I assumed it was Sasha, and called out, "Glad you could make it. I was beginning to think I'd be-" But I stopped when I realized I wasn't talking to Sasha. To my horror, I found myself face to face with Ashton Irwin. My eyes widened, taking him in. Blonde hair, brown eyes, perfect smile...
"Oh, I..." I gulped and blushed. Internally, I was screaming. Ever since freshman year, I had had a crush on Ashton. He had moved to Massachusetts from Australia, and, luckily for me, his house was right next to mine. He was absolutely stunning, and I had fallen for him on sight. But there were two unfortunate factors: 1) Every other girl had fallen for him too and 2) Whenever I talked to him I always managed to look like an idiot. And this case was no exception.
"Um... sorry. I thought that you were Sasha. Er, well, she's kinda late and I've been, uh, waiting for quite a while... so yeah, sorry."
Ashton grinned. "Nothing to be sorry about. I hope you won't be waiting for very long."
I laughed. Or, at least, I attempted to laugh. All that came out was a little squeak. "Well, um, she gets 'caught up' a lot..." I trailed off. A painful silence ensued.
After a moment, Sasha came bounding up. When she saw us, Ashton with his hands jammed in his pockets, me fiddling nervously with my phone, she smiled. "Hey," she sung. "I'm here! Thanks for waiting." She then turned to Ashton and winked at him. "We best be going," she said, fluttering her eyelashes. "See you tomorrow!"
Ashton smiled awkwardly back at her. "Yeah... sure. See ya, Kelly," he said. Then he got into the car parked next to us and drove off.
I let out a sigh. "I don't know what just happened..."
Sasha laughed. "You still like him, right?"
"Yeah, but there's no way he could ever like me back. I mean, who would?"
Sasha patted my arm. "Well, in time, things will work out. Trust me."