"Sierra, over here!"
"Over here baby, come on strike a pose!"
That would be me, Sierra Leone standing on the red carpet that millions of famous actors, singers, dancers...and whomever else is this famous, have stepped before. (Yah, I kinow...my parents named me after a country in Africa. Gets a little weird sometimes when you're talking about it in Geography...but anyway, back to my life!) A red rope tied to silver poles separates me from the millions of screaming fans and paparazzi's trying to snatch a quick pic, only to find my body guards a foot away to block their view.
"Come on sweet pea, one picture! That's it!" A bald-headed man dressed in all black pleads as he holds a grey, high-tech camera up to his eye. The lights flash and almost blind me. I bring my hand up to shield my face as he repeatedly does this.
"Sorry...too much to do. Catch me on stage!" I manage to yell back over the roaring fans.
I watch my body guards as they manage to drag the man back behind the roped-off barriers, and not giving any thought at all, I continue to walk forward, my light green, knee high dress flowing behind me. I urge on across the long, carpeted red floor that lies underneath of my black flats. I reach the beautiful gold doors just as a blonde haired, brown eyed boy jumps in front of me.
"Sierra! Remember me? Huge, huge fan! You know, Dylan from school? I was in like all of your classes together? Anyway, could I snatch a quick pic?"
Before he gives me time to answer, he wraps his arm around my neck and holds his phone out in front of him, in the form of taking a high selfie. *Flash*
I blink, baffled at how fast-acting all of this is. Dylan stuffs his phone in his pocket and manages to steel a quick peck on my cheek.
"Love you, Sierra! I'm cheering you on!" he yells back to me as my body guards once again push him back behind the roped-off barriers.
Loves me? He barely knew I existed until I became famous, but, whatever...he loves me!
I walk back over to where he was pushed back behind the ropes.
"Dylan, wait! I want to tell you something!" His eyes become wide eyed as he processes that I am paying attention to him. I hear all the other fans go in an uproar as I near the edge of the rope.
Tell? Who am I kidding, let's just show him.
I lean forward to kiss him, waiting for my lips to crash onto his soft ones, but my lips hit nothing but air.
I hear laughing...wait...shouldn't I hear applauding...what's going on?
It is then when I realize I am still leaning forward waiting for my lips to connect with Dylan's.
I snap out of my trance.
"What...huh? What's going on?" I ask, suddenly unaware of my surroundings.
"Snap out of it girl! You're daydreaming again!" I hear my friend Leila whisper/yell.
Oh...yah...I was daydreaming again...as I always am. So all of that was false...about me being famous...bummer.
I hear the other kids in the classroom still laughing. I blush, my heart filled with embarrassment.
"And Ms. Leone, what would be the answer to the question?" I hear Mrs. Steenburgen ask me. Gosh, that lady is such a witch. She is just the type of mean teacher you see in movies, black hair wrapped in a tight bun on the top of her head with a pencil hanging out of it, black knee high skirt with a white button-down shirt on, glasses at the tip of her nose, mid thirties, and black high-heels. Such a mean lady.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Steenburgen, I can't recall the question?" I say, sounding as innocent as possible.
"Yes...I see...would it be because you're daydreaming again?" she asks with a grimace on her face.
"Well...I wouldn't say exactly that..."
"Oh, then what exactly was it?"
"Fantasizing?" I hear someone sarcastically call out. All the other kids begin to giggle.
"No." I shoot back "It's called expanding your imagination...you see, I really want to be famous...and Mrs. Desire says it is good for you to expand your imagination."
"And how do you plan on getting famous?" she asks
"Well...I don't know...yet..."
"Why don't you put your imagination here in class...Ms. Leone? If you pay attention in class now, then it will surely pay off later. And we are not discussing anymore about that jibbish stuff Mrs. Desire teaches you, that is for art class only." she snaps back
She turns around and begins to write more Algebra notes on the board with blue expo marker.
"Class, let this be a lesson to you, don't waste your time dreaming, do it. If you waste your whole life wanting something, but not working for it, you will never get there...but for those of us who work hard, it will surely pay off....and let's just say that..."
She continues to talk...or more like embarrass me...but I just tune her out. She is so mean and hateful.
My crystal blue eyes snap open, landing my sight on the classroom I was just ripped apart by Mrs. Steenburgen in.
"Huh?" I say again, confused.
I notice drool is running down my face from the corner of my mouth. I quickly wipe it away before anyone can see it.
"Ewww!" I yell, wiping the slimy wetness on my jeans.
"Girl, come on! We're gonna be late...again!" Leila says. She grabs my arm and pulls me up from my desk.
"Where are we going?"
"To lunch, of coarse! Goodness, drink some coffee, eat some chocolate, scarf down an energy drink, anything to make you stay awake in class!"
"Was I asleep?"
"Yes, as always...do I need to start setting a bedtime for you? I mean, I'll get you an alarm clock for your birthday..."
"No, I don't need anything..." I grab my books and rest them in the crook of my arm "It's just...well I don't know..."
We proceed out of Mrs. Steenburgen's class.
"Tell me now..."
"Ms. Leone, can you come here please?" I hear Mrs. Steenburgen say, rudely cutting me off mid-sentence, just as I am about to head out of her door.
"Catch you later..." I say to Leila
She mouths out a "Busted" and I give her and evil glare back. She snickers, her body fading as she walks down the long hallway. I put the best smile I can on my face and turn around to find Mrs. Steenburgen at her desk.
"Yes, Mrs. Steenburgen?" I innocently say.
I walk over to her desk and stand there awkwardly as she searches through some papers.
"You see this?" she asks me, pulling a paper of mine out of a yellow folder. It was a paper from the beginning of the year. A big red "A+" is marked at the top of the page.
"And you see this...?" Mrs. Steenburgen pulls out another paper of mine...a more up-to-date one, like one we took the other day and she hasn't passed back yet.
My heart sinks when my eyes process the big red "F" at the top. Uh-oh. This is not good...I'm going to be grounded for a week! I was supposed to get a good grade on this one! My parents are going to kill me!
"This is what happens when you don't pay attention in class. You started out good...then all of a sudden started to fail! Will you please stop daydreaming in class?! I know you are a lot smarter and more capable of doing better things...so please don't waste it on visual fantasies."
"Oh no Mrs. Steenburgen...I promise I won't."
"Good, now you are dismissed to lunch."
"Ok, thank you."
I once again proceed out her door. I turn around just as I get there.
"I won't let you down Mrs. Steenburgen, I promise!"
"I know you won't Sierra, now get to lunch before you get caught in the hallways alone."
I walk out her door. Man, I never knew that Mrs. Steenburgen cared about me...hmmm...this is a weird day...
"So...what did you want to tell me before Mrs. Steenburgen cut you off?" Leila says as we walk through the lunch line
"Just...you know..." I stall, picking up a strawberry milk from the freezer as we move along
"I want to be famous!" I blurt out
She starts to laugh.
"Oh Sierra, I already knew that! Why are you making it such a big deal?"
"I don't know...I just really want it all of a sudden..."
"Hamburger please, on rye bun" Leila tells the lunch lady, she then turns back to me while taking her tray off the shelf that the lunch lady put it on "Sierra, give it up. I know Mrs. Desire talks a big talk about following your dreams and that crap...but those things don't happen to people from a small-town."
She shrugs her shoulders, turns around, and walks off to the cashier.
"Same as her, but I want mine on white bun." I tell the lady. She hands me my food and I quickly turn around to catch up with Leila.
"But Leila!" I say, while at the same time punching in my lunch number
"But what? No offense, but it's not going to happen."
"Sweetie, listen to her, I had the same dream as you, but look where I ended up." The cashier lady says.
I look at her, baffled. This depressed lady has never said a word to me in my life.
"She's right, Sierra. Think about what Mrs. Steenburgen said, put your imagination where it will possibly count."
"But this does count! And I want it!" I yell to Leila. the lunch lady taps a couple things in the computer then turns back to me.
"You owe a $1.25." she says
"Oh, thank you." there was the gloomy lady I knew.
"Mmmmhmmm, now have a nice day you two."
"Ok, thank you, we will."
Leila and I begin to walk forward again towards our table.
"As I was saying, no, it doesn't count. You're going to get your heart broken when you realize what I said was right and then you'll be stuck with nothing as a back-up plan. I suggest you drop the dream, just like I dropped my dream of marrying One Direction, and turn back to reality-where it will count."
"Leila, you don't understand..."
"Oh but I do sweetie...I do."
"Then how do you understand?"
"Because I've wanted millions of things in my life and I never got them!" Leila screams. The whole cafeteria stops what they are doing and looks at us. I can see her cheeks turn red.
"Leila, I'm so sorry...I know you haven't had the best of a life...but you have to support me on this one."
The cafeteria turns back to what they are doing.
"Ok fine, whatever it is I'll do so you can just shut-up."
"Yes! Thank you so much, this is why you are my best friend!"
"Yah, yah, it's because I'm awesome like that."
I roll my eyes as I pull the chair out from underneath the grey table and sit down.
"Hey girls, so how's everything going?" I ask my three other friends sitting at the table.
"Oh good, yah...same old, same old..." Christy says, barely looking up from her phone.
Christy is a girly-girl. She has jet-black hair that reaches her shoulders, side swept bangs, the newest of clothes-which today is a brown and pink floral dress with black flats, a brown belt, and pink leggings-, green eyes, and is always on her phone. She's pretty, but boring.
"Well I had a crazy day!" Nikki, a bubbly red head girl chimes in. She is another one of my friends. She is also a girly-girl, wearing floral dresses every day. Today she has the same format as Christy but with blue and brown. "First, I totally forgot my homework, then my dress got stuck in the door, then Beau asked me out, then-"
"Wait...did you say Beau asked you out, like the hottest kid in our grade Beau?!" Leila chimes in.
"Yah, first he came up to me in health and-"
"Oh you should've seen it...the way she reacted! It was hilarious!" Christy chimes in, now more interested in the conversation then her phone. "First he was all like-"Hey, so like I think you're really pretty, man." She says, using a deep voice to imitate Beau. She then laughs to herself and continues to play on her phone.
"Shut up, Christy! That is totally not how it went! So first, he came up to me while I was reading about the human bones in my health book. He started to talk about how pretty I was, and this and that, and how he thinks I'm cute." As Nikki was telling us this she was twirling her red hair around her finger. "He offered to help me on my homework and of course I was like hec yah! Then, before the bell rang he simply asked me out."
"And what did you say?" I asked
"I said yes, of course!"
"That is awesome, Nikki! Good for you! But not to be like rude or anything...but shouldn't you be sitting with him at his table..."
"Well...I was going to...but then I was afraid he wouldn't want me to sit with him...you know...like I might kill the fun."
"No way girl! You are his girlfriend now! Therefore you are supposed to be with him every chance you get while at the same time keeping you're distance when he needs his "man time."
"So you think I should go sit with him?"
"Yes!" Leila and I both say at once
I point to her. "Jinx, you owe me a quarter!"
"No way, you owe me one from last time!" Leila defensively says
"Whatever..." I laugh, while rolling my eyes.
"Guys!" Nikki yells, gaining our attention back "So should I stay or should I go..."
"Go!" we both say at once...again
"Okay, I'm doing it!" Nikki picks up her tray and excitedly walks over to Beau's table, which consists of Dylan, and four other popular guys.
"You go girl!" Leila yells
I watch Nikki walk up to Beau nervously. It looks like she's asking him something...probably to make sure she can sit there with him. A smile forms on my face when I watch Beau grab a chair from another table and push it up to his. Nikki politely sits down with her tray and begins a bubbly conversation.
"Well, I guess it's just the four of us..."I say
"Yah, I guess so." Leila rhetorically answers
"Speaking of four, we might as well just make it three, because I haven't heard anything from Jenna this whole time!"
"What?" Jenna snaps her head up and pushes her black glasses up on her nose. She is such a nerd...but a nerd that boys would find cute...like a cool nerd, if that's possible.
"You haven't said anything!" I say
"Oh, sorry..." she innocently says "I've just been working on my homework...after being absent for the past two days I have a lot to catch up on!" she stifles a laugh then hurriedly bows her head down back to her homework.
"Oh, ok...do you need help on anything?" Leila offers
"No! I mean...no thank you..." Jenna says
"What's that about? I'm not that dumb...am I?"
"No, no! Not at all! It's just that...well the last time you helped me with my homework...I missed seven problems..."
"Oh yah, sorry about that..."
Jenna hurriedly puts her head back down, too engrossed in her work to carry on the conversation. Her strawberry-blonde, naturally wavy hair falls in front of her face as she works. Unlike Nikki and Christy, she isn't as girly-girl as them. She just usually wears name brand jeans with boots and a cute t-shirt.
"Well...back to us three..." I say
"Ok, never mind it's just going to be you and me today, Leila...because Christy is too into her phone to notice anything."
Christy doesn't even look up as I say her name...whatever...
"So...about the famous thing...what's your plan?" Leila asks me
"Hmmm...well you know how I like to sing..."
"Well...that's an option."
"Yah...you're also good at acting too."
"Or you could be a famous athlete."
"Nehh, even though I'm athletic, there are still numerous amount of people better than me."
"Ok...so what else are you good at?"
"I'm pretty crafty."
"Yah, you are! You could be an artist!"
"Yah, but the only thing with that is I'm not that crafty."
"Hmmm...so you either need to work on acting or get really good at singing."
"Yah, I guess so." I pick up my green beans with my fork and shove them in my mouth.
Leila continues to babble on about other things I could do, but I stare at Dylan's table. I see him laughing to Nikki's conversation. Actually, the whole table is. I wonder what she could be talking about. Good for her, I'm glad it worked out between her and Beau. Now I wish I could just be apart of that table, but I would be sitting by-
"Sierra!" Leila yells, snapping me awake from my thoughts
"What?!" I yell back
"Can you please stop staring off into space?! I'm trying to help you here!"
"Oh yah, sorry." I still am looking in the direction of Dylan's table
"What were you even staring at anyway?"
Leila looks at me and then follows my eyes to Dylan's table. I quickly turn my head before she figures out what I was staring at...or more like who.
"You like him...don't you?"
I almost spit my green beans out.
"Dylan...for the past couple weeks you have been staring at him."
"No! I mean, no. I was just checking on Nikki to make sure she was okay..."
"But she hasn't been sitting over there since today..."
"Oh, I know..."
"So who were you staring at?"
Oh gosh, Leila can't find out I like Dylan, then she'll make a big joke about it.
"You know, these green beans could use some salt." I take my fork and poke the green beans, trying to change the subject.
"Sierra!" Leila grabs my arm and shakes me, almost making me choke on the green beans "Who is it?!"
"Nobody! I already told you...goodness, don't scare me like that...I could've joked!"
"Oh, sorry...but why won't you tell me who it is."
If I don't tell her she'll bug me about it for weeks on end.
I let out a sigh and give up on holding my secret.
Leila gets wide eyed, and for once Christy and Jenna look up from what they are doing, it catches their attention.
Everyone starts busting out laughing...except for me.
"What?! What's so funny?!" I snap
"Dylan?" Leila says through giggles "You like Dylan?"
"Yah, what's so wrong with that?"
"I was just not expecting Dylan!"
"Yah...so what? Why is it so funny."
"Well think about it, Sierra," Christy chimes in "He's totally not your type."
"Yes he is! What makes you say that!"
"I may not know that much about boys...but when one is an athlete and one is an artist...it doesn't usually work out..."Jenna says
"I'm not just an artist, I am an athlete too."
"Yah, but sweetie, he is a major jock. You just play sports to keep you fit. You're interest lies in the art department." Leila chirps
"Yah, so what! You know what they say...opposites attract..." I defensively snap back.
"Since when?" Christy laughs back
"Since-well I don't know but I've heard it before!"
"Whatever..." Leila roles her eyes
I take a bite of my hamburger and chew it, trying to give me something to do instead of grinding my teeth from the anger inside of me.
"So...are you going to ask him out?" Jenna asks
"What?" I say, almost spitting out my food "Girls don't ask out guys!"
"Sure they do...remember last year when I asked out Grant..." Leila says
"Yah, and think of how that relationship ended!" Christy laughs
"Shut up, Christy! Grant and I just weren't good together..."
"Yah because you guys got into trouble all the time!"
"Let's just say that we were better as friends..."
"Mmmhmmm...whatever..." Christy rolls her eyes and laughs
"Anyway, as I was saying...it's totally fine to ask out dudes."
"Yah, but I want him to be interested in me, and shows that he likes me...you know..."
"Yah, I get what you mean...but sweetie, some guys are chickens when it comes to asking out girls, and secretly they might like you...but they're too scared to ask you out."
"Yah, I know...but still..." I stall, picking up my banana and peeling it
"I'm still pretty sure he won't say yes..."
"You don't know that until you ask!" Leila gets up from the table "Come on, let's go ask him." she grabs my arm in attempt to lift me up from the table
"What?! Are you kidding?! No way!" I grab onto the table, keeping her from pulling me up
"Come on! Or else I'll bug you about this for the rest of your life!" she grips her shoes to the ground and pulls harder on my arm
"Stop! This is useless! For one, the whole cafeteria is staring at us and it's embarrassing, and two, you know I'm not going to do it, no matter how much you bug me!"
I yank my arm away from her grip.
"Fine!" she let's go and throws her hands up in defense.
"Just trying to be the great friend that I am..."
I giggle "Yah, whatever..."
She sits back down.
"So...are you just going to let this be another one of your fading crushes..."
"Well...I guess. I mean, I'll get over him right? It's just another one of my many crushes..."
"I don't know...how long have you had this crush?"
"Halfway through seventh grade..."
"So you've liked him for over a year now! What the hec?! You never even told me!"
"Well I would've...but you never noticed and I knew you would overreact..."
"Well!" she huffs "I see where I stand in our friendship!"
I sit there in silence waiting for her to cool down. Jenna and Christy don't care, they continue to pay attention to whatever they're doing, they think it's just another one of our many fights...which it sort of is.
I rest my hand on Leila's shoulder.
"Leila...if it makes you feel any better...you were the first person I told."
"Oh Sierra, you know I can't stay mad at you...but why did you keep it from me for this long?"
"Because, as I said, I knew you would make a big deal about it..."
"Only because you're my friend and I want you to be happy!"
I shoo away the thought with my hand while holding my milk in the other and sipping it.
"It never would have worked anyway. You know how my parents feel about me dating...and besides, I don't want to dedicate my junior high year to a boy."
"Whoa! Stop right there, girl, you are 14 years old, get your game on! Plus, it will not waste your eighth grade year! I promise. All I do when I'm dating someone is talk to them between classes and sit with them at lunch. Like, that's all I do. The only thing I committed extra time to was the time I was dating Grant and we decided to go to the movies on Valentine's day. Like, that's it. And it was fun! So don't worry about that gibberish stuff..."
"I know, I know. I just really don't want to get involved with all of that...what if he rejects me? And plus I don't want to start drama with all the other girls that like him..."
"You worry way too much. Just go with the flow, like me. Your life will be a whole lot better."
"Or a whole lot worse." Christy laughs
"Once again, Christy, shut up." Leila snaps
She snickers and then continues to text on her phone.
"And I'm about to throw that phone up against the wall! You spend too much time on it!"
"But it keeps me quiet, doesn't it?" she asks with a smirk on her face
"Not quiet enough, you still manage to blurt out a couple of mean remarks."
Christy glares at Leila and Leila gives the glare right back. These two fight more than me and Leila, I honestly don't understand why they are friends.
"Anyway, as I was saying..." Leila says, turning her attention back to me "Take my advice, just use it for a week and see how it goes."
"Ok...I'll give it some thought."
"Oh no. No, no ,no ,no." Leila wiggles her finger at me "You will do it."
"Ugh, fine I'll do it..." I sigh
"Yay!" Leila balls her hands up and happily shakes them "Step one of operation Dylan, completed!"