First day back for the new school year. Alice headed through the front gates with mixed feelings. The last day of year nine had got her really confused. When she was happily racing for the bus she had heard someone call out from behind. She had turned to see Nathan Valenziano try to catch up to her through the crowd. The mass of people weren't budging so he cupped his hands around his mouth and called out, "Alice! Want to go out sometime!?"
Almost as soon as he had said this he was drowned by the tide of people and Alice continued to her bus without calling a reply. Alice and Nathan had been in the same S+E that year and had to sit next each other so they had conversed quite a few times before... the question. What confused Alice was that a popular guy like him could like your everyday girl like her.
Alice didn't have to wait long to see Nathan. During recess he and some of his friends walked past where she sat with her friends. She stared at him as he went but he didn't even acknowledge her. "He's just too confusing." Alice whispered to herself.
"What?" Her friend Carolyn interrupted her thoughts. Carolyn was the type of person who would hear one word of a conversation and always ask what it was about even if she knew she wasn't supposed to know.
"I need to tell you a secret." Alice whispered. "Promise not to tell anyone."
Carolyn's voice became hushed, "I absolutely promise." She held out her pinky finger and Alice wrapped her own around it.
Alice and Carolyn went to a private place under a shady tree and Alice told her about the last day. When she was done Carolyn sat in silence. "I don't know if he was kidding or not." Alice sighed.
Carolyn opened her mouth to say something but the bell rang and they walked off to their classes.
When it was lunch time Carolyn and Alice talked more about what they knew about Nathan.
"I've never really liked Nathan." Carolyn confessed. "I don't know how he became so popular. He always used to think he was the best. Possibly still does."
Alice laughed, "Possibly."
"We need a code name for him."
"Like what?" Alice tilted her head.
"Oh my gosh. Yes." Alice jumped up, "It's perfect."
Alice's last class of the day was S+E and you'll never guess who was there. Nathan. I bet you can't guess where the teacher put him? Right next to Alice. When his name was called out she found herself going bright red. He sat down roughly beside her. "Hey." He murmured, searching his bag for something.
"Hi." Alice responded.
Nathan looked up at her and smiled before continuing to search his bag.
They didn't talk for the rest of the lesson and at the end of class Nathan was the first one out the door. Alice walked out of class to see him talking to Ken, one of his friends. "Are you coming to the skate park this arvo Nat?" Ken asked, pushing his blonde hair out of his eyes.
"I'll be there." Nathan nodded.
Alice continued walking and go to her bus where Carolyn and Suzan, another friend of hers, had saved her a seat. The bus ride home was normal and so was the trip on the train. Her younger sister, Cathy, joined her at one of the stops. They got to end of the train journey and waited for their mum to pick them up. Alice sat, staring out the window. Then she realised they were driving by the skate park. Alice ducked down under the window. Suddenly, there was a loud bang like the sound of gunfire and the car came to a halt. Alice's mother said a few words that are not very appropriate and called the toe-truck man. "Come on, out the car." She said when the man arrived. "Well have to sit on the curb until the taxi comes."
Alice gulped and slowly got out of the car with her back to the skate park hoping no one would recognise her.
She sat down on the curb with her sister while her mother talked to the toe-truck man. Suddenly from behind she heard a thud and something gently touched her back. She whipped around to see that a skateboard had rolled into her. She looked further to see Nathan and she gasped. He was lying on his back, winded. Alice panicked and quickly pushed the skateboard back over in his direction just as he got up. His gaze locked with hers and he raised his eyebrows. Nathan stomped on his skateboard and flicked it up so he could pick it up and put it under his arm. Alice looked away and down at her hands. Shortly after, the taxi arrived and she quickly jumped in.