Destiny King woke up to the bright morning sunshine burning her eyes, and a pounding noise coming from her closed door. She groaned. “Just five more minutes, please!”
“Honey, you said that ten minutes ago. You need to get up now or you’ll be late for your first day of school. You’re finally a senior, I can’t believe it.” Her mother’s voice came out muffled from the other side.
Destiny rolled off of her queen-size bed, barely landing on her feet, and proceeded to trudge into her bathroom. She pondered the idea of showering, but after a couple of minutes, she gave up on the idea and put her hair up in her usual blonde ponytail.
She continued her everyday routine: brushing her teeth, putting on her deodorant, putting on her normal jeans and t-shirt, and applying just a touch of mascara that made her chocolate brown eyes stand out more. She looked at herself in the mirror, admiring her high cheekbones, clear skin, and her skinny stomach. She never really thought of herself as attractive, but she didn’t find herself unattractive either. The only thing she didn’t like about herself was her height. She was just a little over 5’1.’’
After making sure she looked at least decent, she ran downstairs carrying her overweight backpack with her. “What’s for breakfast, Mom?” She asked. But the rich smell of blueberry waffles answered her. She sat down at the table, taking a plate of waffles along with her.
“Destiny, is Ryder giving you a ride to school today?” Her father asked.
She nodded, eagerly taking a bite out of the waffle. “Nothing has changed from last school year, Dad.” She told him with a mouthful of food.
He shook his head and chuckled. “Manners, Destiny, use them once in a while, will you?”
She swallowed down the huge mouthful she had. “Yes, Dad, I will. It’s just I’m starving. You know how I am in the mornings, I-”
She was cut off my her older brother stomping down the stairs. He yawned and stretched his arms over his head. “Yes, Destiny, we all know how you are in the mornings. You’re a pig. You stink and you eat a lot. And you still remain skinny. Like you said, ‘nothing has changed from last school year.’”
She laughed while stabbing the waffles with her fork. “You know what, Jason?” She pointed the fork with mashed waffles on it at him. “I’m going to take that as a compliment.” She smiled and stuck the fork in her mouth.
He laughed with her. “Whatever, Des, that’s the only compliment you’ll ever get from me.” He sat down next to her, eyeing her plate of waffles carefully. “You know what?”
“I’m feeling a bit hungry all of the sudden.” He grabbed her plate of waffles and ran off with it.
She gasped. “Are you kidding me? Mom is making more waffles, eat those. That plate is mine, and I’m still hungry.” She gave him one of her special “death glares.”
“Aw, is my little sister mad? That’s too bad.” He grinned like a fool.
Destiny shook her head and was about to respond when a car honked from outside. “That’s my ride.” She said. She grabbed her backpack and headed for the door. “Love you all!” She yelled to her family, and walked out of the door.
She saw the familiar black, shiny porsche, and the familiar face smiling at her, and couldn’t help but grin back.
Ryder Benson has been her friend since first grade. They both talked a lot during class, and they instantly became the two trouble makers of their class. Since then, they’ve been hanging out, having sleepovers, anything else you would expect from two close friends. She knew everything about him, and he knew everything about her. They were just the best of friends.
“Hey Ry-Ry!” She yelled while rushing to get in the car.
“Hey, Des, do you want to stop somewhere like usual?” He raised his eyebrows in amusement.
“Duh, Jason stole half of my breakfast, again! He tells me I eat a lot, he’s the one talking. He eats like a pig.”
Ryder laughed while backing out of her driveway. “So do you! Have you seen yourself eat? You eat, I would say, about a thousand pounds a day.” He looked at her sideways, waiting for a reaction.
“I’m a growing girl! What’s your excuse?” She was trying hard to act mad, but couldn’t help the smile forming on her face.
“Men tend to eat more than girls, we want our muscles big and strong, just to impress you females. So you should be proud about the men who eat a lot.”
Destiny shook her head and looked out the window. “You’re ridiculous. No need to go into a full on lecture about it.” He chuckled at her statement. Everytime they had their fun little arguments, he would always go into a lecture. Whether it was funny or boring, he would always sneak one into their conversation.
He went into the the parking lot of McDonalds and parked close to the entrance door. He put a hand on her upper thigh. “I’ll run in there for you, what would you like?” His question got lost in the back of her mind; she was too focused on the hand on her thigh. Her and Ryder were really close, they would always comfort each other with a touch, but nothing more. So why did his touch make her heart skip a beat? “Des, did you even hear me?” He asked, bringing her back to reality.
“Oh, just get me a caramel frappuccino and an Egg McMuffin.” Destiny reached into her pocket, getting some cash out, but a warm hand stopped her from getting any. She looked up at Ryder, and noticed he was giving her a dazzling smile.
“Hey, don’t worry about paying, I’ll pay for you.” Before she could reply, he was gone, opening the door to McDonalds, and disappearing inside.
What was this that she felt towards her best friend? Her best friend who knew all her secrets, who slept in the same bed with her at sleepovers when they were younger, who helped her through the bullies, and the guys who broke her heart; he was just her best friend. Right? So why did her blood rush to her head when his hand was on her thigh, or when he gave her one of his killer smiles? Could she even remotely like her best friend?
Before anymore thoughts crept inside her head, Ryder had entered the car__making her jump__with her food and drink in his hands. “You okay there?” He asked, almost laughing.
Destiny shrugged. “Just hungry I guess.” She snatched the food from his hands and greedily digged in. After a couple more big bites, she had finished her Egg McMuffin, and looked up to see Ryder staring at her, his eyes filled with amusement. “What, have you never seen a girl eat?” She asked, swallowing all the food in her mouth.
“Well, knowing you all my life, I’m not exactly sure I can call you a girl.”
She punched his arm, or rather tried to. Once her fist made contact with his bicep, she stopped. “Ryder, have you been working out?” She asked, curious about how strong he had gotten in the past week since she had seen them.
He smiled cheekily. “Actually I have; you like what you see?”
She could feel a small blush rising in her cheeks and looked out the window, not answering his question. On the corner of her eye, she saw Ryder shrug and slowly put the car into reverse, heading towards school. Once he was focused on the road, Destiny too this time to really look at Ryder. She noticed his hair was longer and darker from the summer sun. His skin was darker, it made his emerald green eyes stand out. His stomach was flat, maybe even a six pack hid under his shirt. She noticed that all his muscles were bigger now, it fitted him quite well. Even his eyes had something different to them. His plain green eyes now held a gold fleck to them.
As if sensing her stare, Ryder looked over at her. Destiny quickly looked away, but not fast enough. “Destiny, is something wrong?” He asked, his voice concerned.
“Oh, nothing at all, I promise.”
“Are you sure? You were staring at me for quite a while. Do I have something on my face? Does my outfit not match? My mom didn’t pick out my clothes for me for once.” He chuckled and continued to concentrate on driving.
Destiny looked over at him, “No, you look fine, great in fact. It’s just,” she was trying to find the words to tell him about these strange feelings she’s been having. “Well, you know, nevermind. Forget what I was saying. You look good.”
Ryder shrugged and went back to concentrating on on the road. But he still had a curious look in his emerald green eyes. “So, Destiny, who are you taking to the dance?”
“You mean the ‘Back to School’ dance the school throws every year?”
She shook her head. “I don’t think I’m gonna go, dances just aren’t my thing.”
Ryder raised his eyebrows. “Oh c’mon Des, you should really go. I bet a lot of guys are dying to take you, and you would look beautiful in a dress.”
“On the first day of school, yeah right. And what are you? My gay best friend?”
He chuckled. “I couldn’t be gay even if I tried. But are you thinking about going to dance? I kind of think you should.”
She gave him a big smile. “I don’t know. I don’t want to go there alone and see my best friend dancing with millions of girls. That’s totally a self-esteem booster, you know,” sarcasm rang in her voice.
“I know. But I’m not sure I want to go with any of the girls who will ask me. If any girls ask me anyway,” he looked at her sideways and something sparked in his eyes. Destiny remained silent, which let him continue on. “But, I do have one girl I kind of want to take to the dance. She’s smart, beautiful, could be mistaken for a dwarf…” He trailed off.
Her eyes lit up. “Are you saying she has a beard,” she giggled.
There was nothing funny in Ryder’s expression, he was serious about this. “No. I’m saying she’s short,and funny, and she can be very sarcastic at times,” when Destiny said nothing he continued, “she’s also blonde, she can stand up for herself, she’s strong and lovable, caring and tough, and I feel like I can’t live without her. She’s also my best friend.”
It took a couple of seconds for her to comprehend this, and then she laughed out loud, ignoring the little pit in her stomach. “Kayla? You want to take Kayla? You know that she dyed her hair, right? She’s a natural brunette.” She giggled a few more times before finally settling down. “But seriously, Ryder, you you know Kayla likes bad boys, and, well, you are NOT bad boy material. No offense.” She smiled sweetly at him, but was taken aback when she saw the sad expression on his face. “What? did I say something wrong?”
Ryder’s smile was sad. “Yes.”
“What did I say? You know you’re not bad boy material, I even said no offense! I mean I guess you-”
“It’s you.” His voice was almost inaudible, she swore she imagined it.
“What’s me? Ryder, what are you talking about?”
“You! Don’t you see? I was talking about you! I want to take you to the dance. I like you, Destiny. I want to be the one that you have your hands behind your date’s neck, I want to be the one to put my hands on your waist, I want to be the one to slow dance with you, I want to be the one whose body is only centimeters from yours, and I want to be the one who you kiss. I want to be that guy. Your guy. I’m asking you to the dance. You’re the only one I want to go with.” Ryder finally took a deep breath out, as if he was holding it in.
Destiny was shocked, but she felt the pit in her stomach slowly rise. Did Ryder really just tell her that he liked her? How did that make her feel? She felt tingles flutter in her stomach. Was she actually having butterflies in her stomach? Only Ryder could make her feel this way. She set a hand on her stomach to try and stop the queezyness. “Ryder, I-I don’t know,” she stuttered through her words, “just w-wait ‘till we g-get to school. Kay?”
Ryder nodded, not making eye contact with her. The rest of the drive to school was filled with silence. But, strangely, not awkward silence; it never was awkward when she was with Ryder.
Once they pulled into the parking lot, Ryder parked the car, got out, and zoomed to the front door, not looking back for her? What is wrong with that kid? Yet, I think I like him, she thought. Destiny got out and sprinted to catch up to Ryder, ignoring all the weird looks everyone was giving her. “Ryder! Wait, would ya?” She yelled after him.
He still ignored her and went on inside, almost slamming the door behind him. “Ryder, you are unbelievable,” she mumbled to herself. She ran inside and went straight to his locker, lucky enough to find him stuffing his books into his locker. She looked at the clock: 7:10; “My gosh! Mom lied to me!” She exclaimed to herself. Okay Destiny, you have twenty minutes to make it right with Ryder, to tell him you want to go to the dance with him, to-
Her thoughts were stopped by a slam of a locker, and she realized he was walking away from her. “Ryder! Please wait!” She yelled after him. Without caring about all the stares she was getting, she ran after him. “Ryder! C’mon, please. I didn’t even say anything bad! You’re overreacting!”
Ryder immediately stopped and turned around to face her. “Overreacting? Overreacting! How could you say that? I’ve had to go by and watch you date guys and-”
“You’ve dated other girls.”
“I didn’t mean it though! I saw none of those girls in my future! Throughout my whole life it’s only been one girl. You. Destiny King, I’m in love with you.” He set his hand on her cheek, lightly caressing her. “I’ve been in love with you my whole life. For as long as I’ve known you I’ve been in love with you. I just wanted one dance, one dance, with you. The girl I love. and I’m sorry if you don’t like me back. I’m sorry that our friendship is probably ruined now. But you know what? I don’t care. I want to be more than your friend. I want to be your boyfriend, the guy you see in your future, the guy you love. I want to be that guy. Okay? So no, I’m not overreacting, because my feelings for you are over the top. I love you, Destiny King.” Anger filled his eyes, but in them, she also saw love. Love for her.
“I don’t know Ryder, I can’t really think with-” She was interrupted by his phone going off in annoying beats of a song. He just kept staring at her as if he didn’t hear his phone going off. “Uh, Ryder,” she pointed to his pocket, “your phone. Please answer it; it’s giving me a huge headache.”
He pulled his phone out of his pocket and stared wide-eyed at the caller I.D. All the anger flooded out of his eyes when he looked back at her. “I gotta take this. Just stay here. Okay?” The only thing she could do was nod and watch him run off and disappear around the corner.
She shook her head. “Stay here my ass!” She mumbled to herself. She sprinted down the hall and stopped just before the corner. She spotted him, pacing between the lockers, his phone to his ear. Destiny hugged the wall and tried to hide herself as she strained to hear Ryder’s phone call. There were whispers coming from both sides of the hall; she couldn’t concentrate on just Ryder.
“C’mon Destiny, you’re a great listener, just concentrate…” She took deep breaths in, and slowly blew them out. Minutes passed and she still couldn’t hear what Ryder was saying. All she saw was his mouth moving and his face was pulled into a frown. “C’mon…”
Pulling her hand behind her ears, she cupped both up them so the whispers were drowned out from her brain. But she still couldn’t hear Ryder! She squinted her eyes in concentration, and tried as hard as she could, but it was no use. Ryder was too far away and he wasn’t getting any closer to her. She focused so much on Ryder that her brain started to thump against her skull.
Then, all of the sudden, she could hear Ryder’s conversation loud and clear. She could also hear the person, or rather guy, on the other end of the line.