"And that was 'True Love' by Pink. Now, it's the time when I receive calls from you guys, 'fessing up to your crushes and me trying my best to set you u..I mean..help you guys out,"I pressed a button to receive a call.
"And this is our first caller. Heya! This is DJ Taylor speaking. What's your name?" I spoke into the microphone.
"Hi. Um...my name is Samantha. I'm 16 and from class 12," The girl on the other line told me shyly. Her voice was small and timid and I could almost barely hear her.
"Hey Samantha! Nice to meet you! How are you?" I asked, trying to break the ice.
"Uhm...good," she replied, still shy and quiet.
"That's nice to hear. Hey Samantha, would it be alright if you spoke a little louder? I'm afraid that some people can't hear you,"
There was silence on the other line and I was afraid that I had offended her. A few seconds later, she spoke again. "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm just really nervous right now. You know..about the confession and all," she explained to me.
"I see. Don't worry, I understand," I said cheerfully, trying to brighten the mood. "So, who has caught your eye recently?" I asked, excited. I always like listening to confessions. It wakes up the little teen girl inside me.
"Well...," she started to go quiet. "There's a guy in my class who I think is the sweetest guy you'll ever meet," she told me, almost too quiet, but I know how nerve wrecking it is, so I didn't say anything and just listened.
"His name's Bryan Lee and I've liked him for a few months now," she confessed nervously.
I could hear whooping in the background. "No, stop," I heard her whisper to her friends. I laughed at her reaction. She was just so shy.
"I see. I see. Don't worry. I'll have you guys together in no time," I told her, feeling confident because, after all, the Bryan that she was talking about was in my class as well. "Thanks so much," she told me before hanging up. I released the button and spoke into the microphone again.
"Okay, so that concludes the segment as well as my time for today, sadly. But don't forget to tune in to the school's radio station at 94.6 fm every Tuesday and remember, if you have a confession but you're too shy to 'fess up directly, you can always contact me, Taylor, at 0387745356 and I'll be sure to help you. That's all from me. This has been Taylor Young for your 4th period radio segment," I concluded and and pressed a button that played the ending tune. I took off my headphones and gathered my papers. I was getting ready to leave the radio room slash studio when Jackson walked in.
"Hey, there's cupid," He closed the door behind him.
"Hey Jackson," I greeted back, still packing up my stuff. "Aren't you supposed to be in class?" I asked, turning to face him while zipping my bag. He leaned back against the table and sat on it, hands in his pocket.
"Yeah, was about to, but I was passing by this room and I thought that we'd go together," He faced me. I faced him back.
"Oh. Well, that's very sweet of you. Thank you," I smiled, grateful at his consideration. He looked down at his shoes. Lately, he's been doing that a lot and I don't know why. I've known him since we were 9 when he moved in across from me the same time I moved into my house. Our parents introduced themselves to each other and since then, they sometimes come to our house and we would go to theirs. Every weekend, Jackson and I would go out to play at the park together and that was when we started becoming close friends. Now, 7 years later, we're best friends. Probably more than best friends. Is there a term to describe how close we are? More than best friends but not MORE than best friends, you know? Suddenly, I heard the 5th period bell rang.
"Oh my goodness. Jackson! We have to go or Mr. Harvey will give another detention slip for being late AGAIN," I opened the door and rushed out, almost leaving Jackson behind.
I started running down the hallway, trying to get to my physics class on the 2nd floor of the school. Jackson was in the same class as me and I didn't want him to be late 'cause of me. Mr.Harvey was a really strict teacher, but, in his defense, being a teacher at this school for 25 years, you have to be strict or no one respects you. I ran up the stairs, checking my watch every few seconds, trying to reach the class in time.
"Jackson! Jackson! Come on," I kept running, checking my watch. When I didn't hear a reply from Jackson (he usually replies me), I knew that I had left him behind...again. I looked down over the railing of the stairs.
"Jackson?" I called out. I saw him climbing the stairs slowly, trying to catch his breath. "Taylor. Just...keep...running," he said. He was panting heavily and I realised that he was trying to run to catch up with me. I totally forgot about his athsma.
"Oh my goodness, Jackson. I am so so so so sorry," I ran down, wanting to help him. He shook his hand as if saying 'no, no'.
"Run quickly or," he was starting to get his breath back. "Mr.Harvey will give you a slip," He panted, hunching over and resting his hands on his knees.
"I can't just leave you," I told him, bending down to face him to see if he was alright.
"I'm okay. I'm okay," He told me, He made a motion with his hands for me to go. "Go. Go. I have my inhaler in case of anything," He pat his pants pocket to reassure me. I slowly got up, believing him. In our friendship, he was always the carefree one whereas I was more the busybody, worrying about everyone. I guess that was why I started my matchmaking business on the radio.
"Are you sure?" I asked. He nodded, still trying to catch a breath. "Okay," I turned around reluctantly and ran for the stairs, heading to my physics class.
I ran into the classroom just as Mr.Harvey set his books down on the table. I tried to sneak in but the door (it just HAD to) slammed shut forcefully because of the force I exerted on opening it. The whole class turned to look at me and I froze on the spot, in front of the door. Mr Harvey turned around (in all his manner; grey hair, flannel pants, white shirt ironed to perfection,red tie that he has worn for god knows how long).
"Ah, Miss Young. Glad to see that you're on time to class on a Tuesday...for once," He glared at me, probably remembering all the detention slips he has given me. I flashbacked to all the hours spent in detention.
"Where's your friend? What was his name? Mack?" he asked me, a bit snobbish, raising one eyebrow, which I was used to by now. I mean, you don't spend one whole year in Mr. Harvey's class and getting 16 detention slips without getting used to his demeanor. "Jack-son," I corrected him, saying Jackson's name by the syllable. "Yes, him," Mr. Harvey was still glaring at me. I took that as a sign to sit down. I walked to my seat, still looking at him, scared that he'll throw a whiteboard marker at me or something bigger, or smaller, whatever he was in the mood to throw. I eventually got to my seat and sat down, quickly taking out my physics reference book. Mr.Harvey eventually turned toward the whiteboard to start the lesson. I felt like he was just waiting for me to slip up so that he could give me a detention slip. Better be on my best behaviour then. Eventually, I got so engrossed in my work that I didn't hear the class door open and close. I looked up and saw Jackson walking into class, panting. I widened my eyes, freaking out internally. I knew it. I knew that he wouldn't be okay and yet he asked me to leave him alone.
"Sir," He tried catching his breath. Mr.Harvey turned from the whiteboard to him. "Ah, Mackson," He lowered his hand from the whiteboard, stopping at the middle of a word.
"Jackson," Jackson corrected.
"Sorry I'm late sir. I just had an athsma attack," Jackson explained. I gasped a little too loudly. Everyone turned to face me. I looked around awkwardly. "Sorry," I sunk into my seat. I turned back to look at Mr.Harvey, who was genuinely shocked.
"Oh. I didn't know that you had athsma Jackson. Of course. I understand," he told him. Wow. I have never seen Mr. Harvey look concerned before. This was something rare and new. "Thank you sir," Jackson politely lowered his head and headed to his seat. His eyes met mine and he winked at me. My mouth dropped open. Ugh...Jackson..such an actor. He eventually sat down at his seat. His friend pat him on the back. He turned around to face him and listened to what he was saying to him. He laughed and looked at me. I creased my eyebrows and cocked my head to one side, curious at why he was laughing at me. Was it about my conversation with Mr.Harvey in front of the class just now or about my clearly audible gasp. Gosh, I was such an embarrassment. I eventually gave up trying to guess and tried to concentrate on my work.
Mr.Harvey left the class for a while to get our exercise sheets (which he conveniently forgot to photocopy) and left us teacherless for a few minutes, but not before warning us to be quiet or he'll give us all detention slips for every day of the week for the rest of our years in this school. I seized my chance to tell Bryan Lee about Samantha. He sat only three seats away from me, in all his boy-ishness. His black hair perfectly gelled to spike up at all the right places. His paper white skin used to scare me when we were 14 but now, I actually find it interesting, like a jellyfish. Thankfully, Bella Hart, who sits next to him, didn't come to school today. So, I headed towards her seat and sat next to him.
"Hey Bryan," I said as I sat down. He turned to face me from his work. He immediately smiled. Bryan always smiles. It's probably a reflex for him. "Hey Taylor," He greeted back. I decided to casually start a conversation and build up toward Samantha's confession.
"So...Mr.Harvey is on a detention roll today, am I right?" I said, to start the conversation. He laughed. "Yeah. That's why I'm finishing my work," he joked, leaning back and pointed at his book with his pen. I laughed 'cause I didn't know what else to do.
"Bryan, you're so funny," I said, making a point to fake slap him on the arm so that I looked like I genuinely found it funny. "You know who else thinks you're funny," I said, suddenly stopping my laughter, trying to subtly tell him. He raised his eyebrow. He was so charming sometimes.
"Who?" he asked me.
I leaned in to whisper. "Samantha from class 12," I told him. His face changed to shock, but not the shocked 'What?, but the pleasant shocked like he couldn't believe it and he was happy about that fact. "Samantha Williams?" he said, practically beaming.
"That's the one," I smiled, glad that he probably reciprocated the feeling. His eyes shifted around, as if trying to process that information. His eyes looked like they were sparkling.
"Are you doing one of your matchmaking business again?" he asked, looking sceptical. I feigned being offended. "Wha...I...okay, technically yes. But! It's true that she likes you 'cause she called and confessed during my segment," I bit my lip, waiting for his reaction. He turned to face me. "You're serious? SHE called?" he asked, eyes lighting up.
"Yes!" I enthusiastically replied. Suddenly, Mr. Harvey barged into the class, carrying the freshly photocopied exercise sheets. I bet if he threw that at me, I would be severely covered in paper cuts. He put the papers down on his desk and when he looked up to, he saw me sitting somewhere I wasn't supposed to sit. His expression turned annoyed.
"Taylor Young, get back to your seat!" he raised his voice. I quickly got up and ran to my seat while he continued with, "Or I'll give you two detention slips. One for disturbing people while they're doing work and two for making me mad,"
The whole class laughed. I sat down and faced my book. Goodness, this was so embarrassing. I turned to see if Jackson was laughing and he wasn't. Thank goodness for Jackson. If he was, I'd be so embarrassed.
The bell rang, signalling that the 5th period was over. I grabbed my books and was going to head toward the door, when Bryan came up to my desk.
"Hey," He knocked on my desk with his knuckles. I turned around and smiled. "Hey. So, I'll tell her Saturday then?" I said to him, regarding him and Samantha. He adjusted his bag on his shoulder. "No, it's okay," he told me. Huh? Wait, I was confused.
"I thought you like her?" I asked him, thinking maybe I misheard what he said.
"Yeah, I do. That's why I want to ask her myself," he told me, grinning widely, eyes smiling. I smiled back in a 'Oh, I get it' kind of way. "Okay. Sure," I nodded, fangirling at how cute they were gonna be as a couple.
"See ya," He waved and caught up with his friends.
"Bye," I waved back. "Damn cute," I murmured to myself but Jackson heard me.
"Didn't know that you had a crush on Bryan?" he teased, nudging me. I looked up to face him.
"Oh. No, I wasn't talking about him. I was talking about him and Samantha. Don't they make a cute couple?" I asked.
Something in hs eyes, though I don't know what, changed. Like, instead of it being dark (like when he walked up to me just now) it looked like it was brighter, like....relieved? I didn't know why but I decided to leave it. He's always been overly-protetcive of me. He put his hands on my shoulder in a friendly gesture and steered me toward the door. "Come on Taylor. Head to the chem lab or you'll be late again. I looked up at him. "I was not late for physics," I told him, joking around. He laughed and just said, "Sure, sure," We walked down the hallway, heading toward our lockers. Mine was only a few lockers away from his, which was a good thing. In case of emergencies (forgetting textbooks and reference books), his was the locker to go to.
"So anyway, I really didn't expect them to like each other. How cute is that?!" I exclaimed, telling Jackosn the story of Bryan and Samantha, or how I like to call them 'Bryantha', which I came up with just now. Jackson laughed.
"Yeah, that is cute," he said, a little distractedly. "Listen, Taylor. I want-" But he was cut off when Maddie Simmons greeted me.
"Taylorrrrrr!" She ran up and hugged me. "Thank you, thank you, thankyou, thank you, thank you," she said rapidly, releasing me from the hug.
"Your most welcome Maddie!" I said, as optimistic as she felt. "Soooo, you and Tom are a thing now, right?" I asked, grinning.
As if on cue, Tom Mason (school's runner, slick brown hair, hazel eyes, machine gun arms) came up from behind and put an arm around her shoulder. "Yes," Tom said, matter-of-factly.
"I knew it!" I said, almost jumping up and down.
Maddie giggled like she was in love and stared at Tom with goggly eyes. He stared back and believe me when I say that that was the cutest thing I've seen them do. It was hard to believe that they hated each other when they were 8. After a few (very long) seconds of staring into each other's soul, Maddie turned back to me. "I have to go," she told me. "See you later?"
"At lunch," I waved goodbye and headed for my locker again. "So...how many people have you paired up?" Jackson asked me, falling into step beside me.
"20 people," I said proudly.
"And how many couples have worked out?" he asked again.
"8," I replied, grinning like a child that ate too much candy. I could see from the corner of my eye that his eyebrows went up, as if he couldn't believe it. "Wow," he said. "How did you manage to do that?" he asked me.
I shrugged playfully and said, " 'cause I'm the love guru?"