I inhaled deeply and felt the aroma of white roses fill my tense chest. Exhaling uneasily I sat down on the porch watching the sun appear on the horizon.
It cast a mesmerizing glow of fiery red among the dark clouds scattered across the early morning sky.
"Just breathe Casey, in and then out," a voice seemingly belonging to myself said assuringly. A small giggle left my dry lips and I tugged nervously at the hem of my sweater.
Its wooly fabric hugged my frame soothingly and for a few minutes I caught myself wondering why I was even the slightest unsure of my situation.
Today was going to be one of those days I would look back on for years to come and say; 'That was the day my life changed, the day I became whole'.
Alas, in this very moment I felt like a lost piece to a bigger puzzle. For some reason I knew exactly what picture the puzzle piece that was me belonged to - the past.
For the last few weeks I had denied my brain any kind of access to memory-lane, but this morning on the porch of my childhood home nostalgia got the best me.
There I was again, fifteen years of age sitting on that same front porch.
"Stop daydreaming love, you will be late!" my mother yelled through the open kitchen window yet again and she was correct. Besides who would want to be late for their first day of school?
Certainly not me, the straight A student with such a bright future ahead of her.
At this time I of course had no idea what this year had in store for me. Had I known I probably would have stayed seated, lost in the stereotypical teen dream of being someone else entirely.
However, in order for the story to go on I gathered all my will-power and forged onward into the blissful Monday morning.
"Have a nice day,Camsy!" my father called across the yard and waved from the garage.
Stopping in my tracks, I turned on my heels and returned his goodbye.
"Bye dad, see you at dinner!"
He nodded in agreement and disappeared into our all-around family car - Volkswagen Himalaya Blue with black interior.
Shortly after that I reached the end of our driveway. Like every other weekday I had to pick up my pace so I would not miss the bus.
Rounding the corner of the main road of Holmes Chapel, I caught a glimpse of the familiar yellow vehicle heading my way.
With a few to many feet between me and the bus-stop I took off running, while being cheered on teasingly by my best friend.
Panting and hanging on for dear life I finally sat down in the back of the bus.
"Wow, you made it!" Tamara laughed in my ear causing me to jump a bit. "Fashionably late as usual," Louis chimed in and nudged me as he squeezed himself into the same seat as Tamara and I.
My two friends high-fived one another. "Great observations you guys," I mocked them in annoyance and elbowed myself to a bit more space.
Louis pulled a sad face which of course made me giggle and thereby unable to stay mad at the both of them.
"So, how was your summer?" Tamara questioned me. I realize that this made us seem rather distant for BFFs, but due to her Italian heritage she spent her summers in Milan - lucky bastard!
"Any boys to look out for this year?" she went on and wiggled her eyebrows.
By then Louis had turned his attention to his soccer buddies.
"Not that I know of," I told her in all honesty. Never once in my life had I been good at the whole boy-meets-girl-thing.
If you are wondering about Lou, he was the exception to prove my incompetence and lack of knowledge when it came to the opposite sex.
"You are and will always be hopeless," Tammy sighed in disappointment.
"Hey you cannot blame a girl for having other things on her mind," I reproved her and received an acknowledging nod from Tomlinson.
"These meatheads are not worth your time," he then grinned in reference to his mates - such a vote of confidence.
Now I would love to tell you a story of how a cute boy bumped into me on the first day of school, knocked all my books onto the floor and fell for me the instant his hand graced mine while picking them up.
Sadly I must report that nothing out of the ordinary happened. In fact it was not until I was studying like mad for midterms that things started happening.
Characteristically for me I was camped in the library. Hiding behind several wobbly stacks of books I was lost in my own little Casey-world, as Tammy would have called it.
"Ahem." a throat was cleared somewhere out there.
I ignored it.
"Excuse me..." a boyish voice then ventured.
"Is someone in there?" he continuously wondered aloud and of a sudden one of the walls to my fortress of books began moving.
In the middle of a Shakespearian sonnet I was interrupted by a kind looking guy.
"Hi there," his rather rasp voice greeted me. Normally his actions would have annoyed me greatly, but there was something interesting about this kid.
Perhaps it was his curly chocolaty locks framing his slightly uneven face or maybe it was his bottomless green eyes and endearing dimples. I could not quite pin point it at the time, I just went with a gut feeling telling me that here I had come across something worth hanging onto.
Later in life I have realized that it most likely had something to do with the fact that a guy this good looking had taken an interest in me.
"Hi," I remember croaking as a sort of reply. The guy smiled his crooked smile.
"I am sorry to disturb your intensive reading, but I have a minor problem that I was hoping you could help me with," he began explaining and I very much appreciated his sincere apology.
However, I could not quite wrap my mind around why he would come to me for assistance. Sure I had more brains then average and most of my fellow students were outside enjoying the sun, but still no one ever asked me for anything - except maybe cheat sheets.
As if he had read my mind he went on to say:"I thought I would ask since you seem to have an extensive knowledge of this particular library."
With both arms he made a wide gesture towards the smaller bookstore spread across my cubical.
We both laughed.
"So, what is this problem of yours?" I asked after regaining my composure.
"Well, I...oh hold on, you have a uhm," he began, but cut himself off.
"A what?" I giggled, but my laugh quickly died out as he reached out for me.
"A tear," he stated silently and with a gently placed thump he caressed my cheekbone. "There you go," curly smiled and shrugged it off.
Slightly baffled by the whole situation and of course due to my lacking boy-skills, I just starred dumbfound at him.
"Any who, I have a Shakespearian issue at hand," he told me and shuffled through a couple of my books.
"It would seem I have come to the right place," he announced happily and wavered a copy of 'Romeo and Juliette' in the air between us.
Now, I may not have had a lot of talent for talking to the male specie, but me and Shakespeare we just got along.
"Indeed you have," I assured him full of confidence and my ego gained a pound of two.
"I am Harry, by the way," he introduced himself as I led the way to the bookshelves in the other end of the library lounge.
"Casey," I returned the favor and our eyes met in a smile.