Paige continued struggling and writing whilst Ryan continued to pursue his hope of becoming an athlete. As for Rose, having often hid in Ryan’s shadow since she and her family had been adopted, she finally got the opportunity to move into the limelight.
For weeks and weeks Rose had been watching Oliver Newton and studying his every move. Her friend Morgan told her that she was virtually stalking him. You will probably think that Rose is crazy after this introduction but honestly, she isn’t. Rose simply had a crush on a very fit boy in her year.
A Diary Entry from Rose:
Yesterday was Monday 10th February and I had a busy day of History, English, Maths, French and Biology. I feel that Monday is the best day of my week. One of those reasons could have been because he was in all of those lessons. This could be seen as a ten year old girl’s fantasy but, for me, it’s serious.
Okay, so maybe it would be best if it was explained properly. This already sounds utterly complicated and confusing though it isn’t when you understand what I am saying. And, as this is a diary, it will be understood because it is strictly private. Lori and Jack promised that we could keep some privacy as they knew that it would take some time for us to adjust to sharing our hopes and fears with them when, to tell the truth, we are barely related. My best friend Morgan and I attend the local primary school, also known as De Winter Primary School. There's an extremely cute guy who arrived at the beginning of Year Five called Oliver Newton! And you've probably guessed from my description of Oliver that I fancy him. In the biggest way possible. He is the thing that makes my heart beat. Oliver is adorable, handsome, intelligent and well mannered. What more could you wish for in a guy? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
So, to continue with that Monday. I was sitting at the back of the classroom in History with Morgan and my other best friend Rhea. We were meant to be reading an article on Hitler and his character and taking notes on it but we decided to discuss boys instead which was much more interesting. I was about to launch into a description of why Oliver was so perfect and the reasons I longed for his attention when our teacher marched over and exclaimed in front of us:
"Morgan Nicholls! Rose Peterson! Rhea Kaur! What are you doing? I believe I specifically instructed the class to take notes in silence and you three are doing neither. Get on with your work now or you'll be back here at the end of the day."
With that she strode back to her desk and when I glanced up a few minutes later Josh was staring at me. I hurriedly looked back at the table and my work again. Fortunately we got the work done so our teacher let us off the hook and we didn’t have to go back to see her at the end of the day. We were safe from a lecture of why history was an important subject and how it should be taken seriously.
Morgan had Geography then but Rhea and I both had English. We were studying poetry and today’s lesson was focusing on Sylvia Plath. Last lesson we had written a paragraph on a poem called ‘Mirror’. Our teacher insisted on giving us a copy of someone else’s, someone who had done brilliantly, along with our own results. I thought this was so that she could highlight our flaws but no one really knows. I had got six out of ten one whilst Rhea got four. It didn't come as much of a surprise when the exemplar we received had been given ten and belonged to Oliver. He excelled at everything. That was one of the reasons I adored him so much – he was a perfect guy.
Oliver looked really embarrassed as our teacher pointed out the good points we should take note of from his essay, his cheeks were positively glowing rose red, as though I had used my blusher on him in excess so that he could perform as a circus clown! I spent the rest of the English lesson gazing at him and imagining myself making him turn a rusty pink similar to the previous rose red. That would probably be the death of me, my heart would soar so high.
At lunch I ate a chicken salad baguette whilst Rhea and I told Morgan all about the lesson with Oliver. It sounds crazy but we really were three overly obsessed children. There are so many in this world that I suppose you’ll have come across them at some point during your life. Oliver had that effect on people though. It was only me who really felt strongly towards Oliver; that was something that I often gave thanks for, competing with friends is never positive. Morgan fancied another boy in our year called Liam Prince and Rhea was dating Reece Young in the year above.
Later in Biology we had to research the structure of DNA in pairs. Our teacher randomly chose the pairs, hence the reason I ended up with Oliver!! I was shocked when she told us we would be working together but I was overjoyed at the same time. That was the best lesson ever. If it hadn’t been, it would have worried me. It was amazing to be close to Josh and talk to him without feeling awkward or forced.
That evening I began to design a card to send to Oliver on Valentine’s Day. In my opinion it was going to be magnificent. I planned to draw a History text book with a big heart in the centre which obscured some of the words. He loved history as much as I did and Morgan had informed me that he had a secret desire to go to Cambridge University to study history. I wanted a border of hearts too and a happy Valentine’s Day phrase on the front, at the bottom.
I also went to Tesco’s and bought some heart shaped chocolates and a bottle of aftershave which smelt heavenly; I expected Josh would like it too seeing as I had followed him into Tesco’s once to see what type of aftershave he wore. Absolutely normal obviously! And no, I seriously am NOT a stalker!! I am not going to go as far as saying I would do that to get a guy! Seriously!
Anyway, skipping ahead to Friday the fourteenth of February. I sneaked the card and carefully wrapped presents into Oliver’s form room before anyone else arrived. Someone who I went to athletics with called Rowan-Mae was in the same form as Oliver and she said had promised to report if he opened them and what his reaction to his gifts were. When I got to my form room there was a bunch of flowers lying on the desk closest to the door and a card was precariously balanced on top of them. There was a small gift next to that too. One was addressed to ‘Rose from History’ and the other to ‘Morgan Nicholls: BLGE’. (Whatever that meant).
I decided to wait until Morgan and Rhea arrived in the playground to go and look at the flowers and the card which accompanied them. I was excited to know who had sent them, if it was Oliver, oh, I thought my heart might break in two or melt into a puddle and leave me trying to mend it forevermore. The pieces of a love I had been longing to acknowledge for so long might finally be falling into place like a jigsaw puzzle being solved. Oliver was perfect. Oliver would be a dream come true.
My fingers trembled as I held my card and slid my thumb under the seal.
“It is!! It is!!” I cried moments later, my eyes brimming with tears of joy. “It says ‘With Love from Oliver.’ Look!!!”
“Mine is from Liam!! He actually sent it!!” Morgan hugged the small card and gift to her chest.
Rhea stood at the edge of the playground by the window where she was hugging Reece. They were so cute together and he was clearly attached to her. It seemed as if they had forgotten hat anyone else existed in the school, let alone the world, at that precise moment. However, I did want her to pay an interest in what was happening to me and Morgan; it was so exciting, and that was what friends were supposed to do, right?
At that moment Oliver came through the door at the far end of the room as Liam split away from his friends in the playground and came over to our form room. Both of the boys were heading towards where Morgan and I stood.
“Do you think …?” Morgan began as I said in utter wonderment, “Are they coming to speak to us?”
There was no need to answer for they had arrived in front of us.
“Morgan,” Liam offered awkwardly. “Will you come here? I want to ask you something.”
“Sure. Let’s go to the comfy sofa in the corner!” Morgan glanced at me and smiled mischievously before going with Liam.
I turned towards Oliver who was now standing next to me.
“Rose, I got your card and the presents. They were gorgeous. And I just want to say that I think you are gorgeous too. I love your quirky nature and I … ummmm … Rose will you go out with me?” Oliver stumbled over his words before spitting the question out. To say I wasn’t shocked would be a lie but I did have a sense of satisfaction that this was finally happening after waiting for what felt like a decade.
“Oliver, of course I will.” I whispered.
Okay, okay. I know you’re supposed to be hesitant and not show your love too early in the relationship but I wanted this so badly that I couldn’t help myself. I am young and immature regarding love, however much I try and act otherwise. Once I’d said the words Oliver enveloped me in a gentle hug. It felt like the warmth of a bath filled with bubbles on a winter’s night, like laughter after drinking too much lemonade, a feeling of near perfection.
When I was on the phone to Morgan that evening I discovered Liam had asked her out too. All three of us had a boyfriend now and the fourteenth of February was the perfect date for match making to happen! It seemed to me as if Cupid really did exist and had released his arrow straight in my direction. I could go to sleep happy, believing I was the luckiest girl alive. I haven’t told my siblings yet but I will soon and I know they’ll be delighted. I can’t wait for what is going to happen.