“Verity,” Lou grabbed my arm and spun me round to face the parking lot; I scanned the area and saw Zoey getting into Codi’s car. “She’s wearinghisjacket! She’s wearing my boyfriend’s jacket!” With my brow furrowed slightly I wondered if it were an emergency because Zoey had a lesson next and she’d asked me to show her where it was, but deep down I knew it wasn’t an emergency. Why? It was Codi and her gang, they were renowned for skipping class, I just hoped Zoey didn’t get caught out. I spun round and watched as Lou legged it to her car, tears streaming down her face, I ran after her but she had already fired the engine. I sighed as watched as she reversed and sped out the parking lot, I’m sure there was a reasonable explanation for Zoey to be wearing Ray’s jacket, like the weather for instance…recently it had been unseasonably cold and windy.
I would have gone after Lou but I had cheerleading practice and I couldn’t bail on my team, homecoming was in two days! As I made my way to the gymnasium a hand fell on my shoulder, I spun round and saw Will Randol smiling down at me,
“I was hoping to catch you,” he smiled, I gulped…he was going to ditch me wasn’t he?
“Hey,” I smiled and rearranged my hair to make it look a little less windswept,
“Look Verity, the way we arranged to go to homecoming together wasn’t very conventional and I want to do it properly, do you have a minute?” he asked, I beamed and nodded, truth was I didn’t - I was already five minutes late for practice. He took my hand and led me outside again, the wind blew my hair across my face and Will tucked it behind my ear for me. “Verity Piper, will you go to homecoming with me?” he asked,
“Yes,” I replied quickly far too quickly, Will smiled,
“You’re going to look beautiful,” he whispered, I blushed and looked down; I was pleased he was over six foot two; he couldn’t see my horrible red cheeks matching my hair.
“Verity, are you coming to practice?” Molly asked as she passed us on her way to the gym,
“Yeah, one second,” I told her, “Sorry Will, I’ve got cheerleading practice now,”
“Yeah, I’ve got football practice too,” he informed me, “Hey do you want to get a drink after?”
“Sure,” I smiled, “I’ll meet you here at four?” I checked,
“Great!” he enthused and we walked off in opposite directions, I with Molly to the gym and he to the field.
After practice I combed through my hair, reapplied my makeup, even giving myself time to text Lou as I headed to our meeting place, I wasn’t looking and almost walked into him,
“Steady,” he said as he stopped me falling over, I looked up from the phone and smiled,
“How was practice?” I asked, hitting send at the same time,
“Not great,” he admitted, “it’s too windy to practice our attack, so we only concentrated on defence which we’re already pretty good at. How was yours?” he picked up my sports bag for me and walked me to his car,
“Good,” I smiled thinking about it, “we’ve got the routine almost perfect, but if this wind keeps up, I’m not sure we can do all our fly work, it’s too dangerous,” Will nodded putting all the bags in the boot and opening the passenger door for me, I climbed in and watched as Will rounded the car and got in his side, my heart picked up a beat as he smiled at me. I’d never felt so vulnerable and jumpy before, and I didn’t know why…perhaps it was because I was sat next totheWilliam Randol.
“Why have we never done this before?” he asked pulling out the parking space and driving out the school gate,
“Beats me,” I said flicking through his CDs,
“I’ve got the worst music taste, do excuse me,” he muttered looking embarrassed,
“Well hey…” I said pulling out The Beatles “There’s one song on here which may just be my favourite ever…” I put the CD in the player and selected the track, “Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right,” I sang, Will smiled and joined in with the “Do-do-do-do,”
Four Beatles songs later Will pulled up at a mansion, it had a big balcony overhanging the drive and a porch on the ground floor directly below it, the drive was over a hundred meters long and it was surrounded by hedges, secluded from the road. “I would have taken you our and I don’t like to boast,” Will smiled, “But I make the best milkshakes,” he grinned and got out the car, we ran to the porch because it had begun to rain heavily, Will got out the house key and opened the door, we piled in and shut out the bad weather.
“Is it a secret family recipe which has travelled down through generations?” I asked,
“That would be cool,” he smiled and led me to the large open plan kitchen where everything was marble, “but truthfully I was just hungry one day and stuffed a whole lot of crap into the blender, et voila!” he smiled and indicated I sit on the stool. I watched as he skilfully added certain things, including ice cream, vanilla pods and cream into the mix, “You wouldn’t believe me if I said it’s low-cal?” he joked,
“I couldn’t care less; I’ve never been one to care about calories,”
“Good, because it’s totally full-fat,” he smiled passing me a glass with a straw coming out the top, he watched intently as I took a sip and I grinned to show my approval.
“C’est magnifique!” I told him, he smiled and joined me on the stools, “You are most certainly a man of many talents,” I told him, “anything else hidden under your sleeve?”
“There is one thing I haven’t told anyone yet,” he whispered leaning closer, I sipped at the shake and looked into his eyes, “I’ve been accepted into Harvard,”
“Are you kidding? That’s amazing!” I told him, he smiled and leant back, “But it’s only November!” I exclaimed,
“They give out two hundred applicants’ acceptance letters before Christmas, and another six hundred after,” I put down the milkshake and offered him a high-five, he looked at my hand and smiled, “what are we, twelve?” he asked. I let my hand droop down in rejected embarrassment; Will leant in and pulled my head towards his. His lips touched mine gently, I could hardly breathe, I put my hands on his face and kissed him back, he pulled me closer and then we both suddenly jumped as the front door slammed open. We pulled apart looking guilty as Will’s dad came in, he looked exactly like Will but an older version, he smiled at me and then turned to Will.
“It’s blowing a storm out there son, news is that a tornado’s on the way,” I widened my eyes,
“A tornado?” I asked,
“It’s due to hit places to the west of Springfield harder, like Joplin,”
“Dad this is Verity, Verity…Dad,” Will introduced us,
“Hello Mr. Randol,” I smiled and shook his hand across the breakfast bar,
“Nice to meet you Verity…Will I’d advise you to take Verity back home, we don’t want her to be stranded here if the tornado hits,”
“Got’cha,” Will hopped off the stool and grabbed the car keys, I finished the last of the milkshake and followed Will out the kitchen,
“It was nice meeting you Sir!” I called, Will put his hand on the small of my back as we got outside, the wind had picked up even more and the trees in Will’s front yard were swaying drastically. We got into his car and headed to my house, I was surprised he knew where I lived, I didn’t ask him how he knew though because the sound of the rain was enough to drown out a screaming baby. It was pouring by the time he pulled up at my house,
“I’d offer for you to come inside, but the weather’s crazy and it’s getting worse by the second!” I called over the wind and rain,
“Thanks for coming!” he shouted back,
“Bye!” I waved and pegged it inside with my sports bag and purse, once inside I collapsed on my bed and couldn’t stop grinning…he was hot, he was clever, he was rich, he was a good cook and I’d only just got to know him.