“Guess who is in all of my core classes?” I ask Kathleen as I slip down onto the bench by our outdoor lunch table. Jennifer is not here yet, but Anna and I walked together after physics and she is messing around in her bag.
“Who?” Kathleen asks. She is looking elsewhere, and I know that she is not paying much attention. It does not bother me, I just need to get it off my chest. To say it out loud.
“The new guy, Harry Styles.” I say and drop my bag on the dry ground beside me.
“Oh god, not you as well.” Kathleen sighs and glances at me, “Jennifer won’t shut up about him either."
My stomach tightens a little. “I just mentioned it,” I come to my own defences.
“Yeah-yeah,” Kathleen replies. “What is it about him anyway? I mean everyone, literally everyone, drools over him.”
“No they don’t!” I protest. The more she speaks, the more pathetic I feel - because I am captivated by him. He has a certain charm and an annoying amount of confidence.
“He is not even that hot.”
But he is and she knows that too. Kathleen does not want to admit that she finds him attractive, because (clearly) everyone else does too.
“I think he is pretty attractive,” Anna joins in as she places her lunchpack on the wooden table. “I mean, he is not my type,” she shrugs. And by my type she means the fact that he is a guy. “But he is not bad looking.”
I nod, “See, even A thinks that he is pretty!”
“I did not say he was ugly, just not as hot as everyone cracks him out to be.” Kathleen mutters.
I do not like the way she says everyone, as if all of the other people in this school has gotten their eyes on him. I know that if a girl like Juliane Summers decides that she wants him, she will get him. Even though he seems different from most people here, he is just a guy and I have never known a guy who would turn down Juliane Summers. Not even Harry Styles would be capable of doing so. !
Jennifer arrives a couple minutes later, and I am glad that our conversation about the new guy has ended, because I feel like she has a lot to say about him - a lot of opinions and views. But when none of us mention him, neither does she. She starts talking about how we girls should throw a party soon.
“We are seniors now. How fun wouldn’t it be?” She sounds excited.
“You sure anyone would show up?” Anna takes a bite of her apple.
Jennifer rolls her eyes, “of course!”
“Yes, of course they would. We are not losers,” Kathleen looks directly at Anna, who swallows. We are most certainly not the most excluded in this school, but we have our own friend group - and we have never thrown a party, we just attend everyone else’s. I am not sure I how I would feel about it, therefore I decide to sit quietly and take sips of my orange juice. The girls keep discussing the party, and Anna seems a bit undecided about it, while Jennifer and Kathleen seems passionate about the idea.
“I’ve got to pee,” I suddenly say and they all turn to look at me. I do not actually have to pee, but I do need to stretch my legs and I am not sure that I want to decide whether or not this party is a good idea.
“Thanks for sharing,” Jennifer smiles.
I let out a short air-blown laugh and stand up. “Adios amigos,” I swing out my hand, bow deeply and then step over the bench and away from the table.
“Au revoir,” Kathleen shouts after me as I turn to leave them.
“That is french,” I hear Jennifer laugh and a smile creep over my lips. I love all three of these girls, in different ways, but equally. We are the most different and strange group of girls, but our clear differences are rarely bad. We all manage to add something to the table, and sometimes it is dessert, other times a half frozen pizza that no one really likes. It depends.
As I move further away from my friends, I decide to go to the bathroom after all. I might not have to pee, but I would like to look in a mirror. When I get closer to doors leading into the cafeteria, I speed up a little. I push loudly through the doors, and do not get a chance to stop myself in my hurry, before I run directly into Harry Styles.
“Woah,” he exclaims and his eyes meet mine. Now I can see the colour, and for a minute I get caught up in the green. The relaxed smile of amusement forms on his lips once again.
“Barbie, right?” He asks, as if he is unsure. I swallow quickly and find the power to speak up.
“Barbara actually,” I correct him.
“Barbie.” He states and all of sudden I am taken back to last night. The conversation is terrifyingly alike. Does he do this with every girl he meets? A part of me hopes not.
“What’s the rush?” He asks and takes a step back, adding some space between us. I had not noticed that we were standing only centimetres apart.
“I...” I start out, not sure what to say nor how to explain that there actually was not rush. I was just weirdly desperate about getting to the bathroom.
He lifts his eyebrows. “You’re mute now?” His words are not exactly pleasant, but the hidden laughter in his voice does not allow me to feel offended.
“No, I... I don’t know why I was rushing,” I explain quickly, feeling my palms grow sweaty.
“Well, if you are not in a hurry, then perhaps I could ask you for a favour?”
I am surprised but manage to nod.
His smile widens a little. “I do not know these grounds very well,” he starts out, and I call tell where this is going. “And I would not mind a tour around the school.”
Absolutely not. I can not miss my third class because some attractive guy wants me to follow him around in the most plain place I have ever been.
“I am available.” I lie, sending him a soft smile. I pray to whoever is out there that he does not notice the slight redness of my cheeks.