It was the last day of school, and everyone was buzzing in excitement. Well, almost everyone. Zee sat in the corner of the smelly gym, nose buried in a book, occasionally looking up to give disdainful glances to her overly happy classmates, half of which were playing some basketball-related game that wasn’t basketball. The other half were either chatting in groups or playing some sort of hand-clapping chanting game that Zee nearly equated with a satanic ritual.
Needless to say, she was not willing to participate in any of these activities and was unsure as to why she had to sit in this gym with all these people for the next hour before she could go home. Not that she necessarily wanted to go home, because she wasn’t sure she did, but she certainly didn’t want to be where she was.
She was quickly realizing that there were a lot of things she was unsure about.
The obvious one was Zoya. What was her problem anyway? What would make her want to hang out with Tara and her horde of hateful hyenas instead of with Alice and Zee, who had been her best friends for years. Zee had some theories. The most likely one (meaning only that it was the only one that didn’t include some form of alien abduction, mind control, or both) was that she did it for popularity. For reasons Zee did not understand, Tara and her friends were a fairly prestigious clique. They weren’t like the snobby rich kids or anything, but for some reason (probably alien mind control), people seemed to like them. Zee couldn’t wrap her mind around any of it.
The not-so-obvious one was Jacob. Zee couldn’t wrap her head around him either. She kept finding herself looking at him, and was startled to see him looking back. It became a kind of staring-contest game, but neither of them talked about it. Zee hated this game. It released these weird butterfly-like insects in her stomach. She tried to net them and shove them away somewhere in like, her appendix or something with all the other useless stuff, but they kept escaping and it was getting ridiculous. She kept that to herself. She knew that if she told Gabriella or anyone the only thing they’d say was “Oooh you liiike him” which she did not find helpful. I mean, that much was kind of obvious, wasn’t it? Well, hopefully not obvious. If it was obvious people would gossip and she needed more people gossiping about her like she needed another knife in her back.
She was quite annoyed by the entire thing, actually. Partially because it was sure to cause drama eventually, as if she wasn’t already drowning in the stuff, and partially because it was the freaking last day of school. The very thought of this made her feel like she had been stabbed. An entire three months without seeing Jacob? Something in her sank.
Well, on the bright side, it was also three months without dealing with Tara, so it must at least be a semi-okay thing, right?
Zee stared at her book, processing her thoughts while she reread the same sentence over and over, not picking up a single word.
A pair of tennis-shoe clad feet appeared in front of her.
“Hey, Zee,” the person attached to them said.
She looked up and felt her cheeks get a little warm. She decided to ignore this and hope it went away quickly. “Hi, Jacob.”
“Are you going to do anything for the next hour or just sit here and read?”
She shrugged. “I’m certainly not going to do any of those things,” she said, referring broadly to the rest of the gym.
He nodded. “Well, would you like some company while you be antisocial?”
“I think that’s a little oxymoronic,” she pointed out. “But sure.” He laughed a little and sat down next to her.
Suddenly the next hour didn’t look so bad.