“Lexi, are you alright? You’re acting really weird.”
I look up from my granola bar to my best friend Jessica who’s sitting across from me. I guess I was completely zoned out, because she’s looking at me for an answer to a question that I missed.
“I’m sorry… I wasn’t paying attention.” I admit sheepishly and she rolls her eyes.
“What’s up with you?”
“What do you mean? I’m fine.”
“You’re not. Come on, you can tell me.”
I bite my lip and look across the room. The clock tells me that there’s only 6 minutes left of lunch. I should probably get going to my next class.
“I’m gonna have to explain later. I’ve got to get to class.”
I take my pink Jansport backpack from where I dropped it when I sat down and walk away as quickly as I can, granola bar still in hand. I can hear Jessica calling after me; she’s probably gonna be really mad later, but I don’t want to explain the thoughts going through my head. I can’t even make sense of them, and they’re my own thoughts!
I manage to make it to my Physics class before the bell which I usually never do. My teacher, Mr. Ward, looks at me with an approving look. I smile in return.
“Wow, you’re here on time.”
My lab partner Jimmy puts his books on our table and sits down. I’ve never really had a full conversation with him before.
“Yeah, I know.”
“So um, have any plans for this weekend?”
“What? … No, not yet.”
I look at Jimmy once before opening my textbook to the chapter we’re on. He’s never spoken to me before today. It’s kind of weird.
“Well, it’s still early. You don’t want to spend a Friday alone, do you?”
I give him my best blank stare and turn back to the board. I have never spent a Friday night alone. Jessica comes over sometimes, and whenever she doesn’t, I have 5 brothers who are usually around. Alone has never been an option for me.
“You know, there’s a party tonight at my house. You should definitely stop by.”
I stop in the middle of writing the date in my notebook. What could I have possibly done differently today to make Jimmy, one of the most popular guys in this school, invite me to his party? Maybe it’s the new mascara I bought. It’s supposed to make your lashes 3x fuller. I only bought it because it was on sale.
“Oh, that sounds like fun,” I say, and he smiles. “But I’m actually waiting for someone to call me back about plans so I don’t think I can make it.” I lie effortlessly, as if it’s something I’ve been doing for a while. Believe me, it’s not.
“Oh… Oh that’s cool. What kind of plans?”
I’m about to tell him to mind his own business, but the second bell rings. Now I can just concentrate on this class and hopefully he won’t speak again. Seriously, I feel like every time he does speak I get a headache.
A minute before the end of class I realize I have no idea what’s going on anymore. We’re learning something about ‘transformers’, but I can’t figure out how to do it.
“Um, Jimmy?” I ask quietly and hesitantly. “How are we supposed to figure this out?”
“Oh, it’s easy.” He takes my notebook and writes down an equation that I can’t remember ever seeing. “First you have to figure out what the voltage for side B is. So you put the voltage for side A over ‘x’ and set it equal to …”
His voice is lost in the sound of the bell ringing. I sigh and take back my notebook.
“Hey, I can show you again tomorrow. It’s easy once you figure out what equation to use.”
I smile slightly and get up from my seat so I can leave. I have History next with Jessica. She’s gonna be really annoyed with me for leaving her the way I did at lunch. So I take my time getting to room 238 and I end up being late, but that’s not unusual for me. I always take unnecessary amounts of time to get to my classes; I don’t like being rushed.
When I sit down in the seat across from her, I feel Jessica looking at me. She wants an answer for why I’m ‘acting weird’. But how do you answer a question you don’t even know the answer to? I mean, all that happened was that I met a guy. A cute guy who asked for my number and said he’d call me. That’s really nothing to be excited about, that’s something to be extremely nervous about. Because really, what if he doesn’t call at all? What if I was just a joke to him? That’d be so embarrassing… I mean, I know I’ll probably never see him again but – Oh, I’m being called on.
“Alexis do you have the answer to number three?” Miss Ricker asks me. I look down at my desk and bite my lip. I don’t even have the right papers out.
“Um I do, hold on…”
I dig through my backpack for my history homework and, along with the homework, I find a pack of gum and a headband that I’d lost last week. This is turning out to be a really good day.
I give Miss Ricker some answer that I’m assuming was right because she moves on to the next person. I really need to get organized. Maybe I can do that to avoid looking at Jessica, who is STILL looking right at me. You would think she’d realize I’m not giving in. I take out a new folder and pull out every single piece of loose-leaf from the bottom of my bag and flatten it out. Then I stick them in the folder and close it and put it back into the bag. I look up at the clock to see how much time I just wasted. Okay. 3 minutes.
“Lex, are you gonna talk to me at all?”
Jessica is sitting sideways in her seat, not even bothering to hide the fact that she’s talking to me.
“Hey Jess. How have you been since last period?”
“Seriously, you know what I mean. Something happened. You were acting so weird!”
“Okay fine. Just chill out, I’ll tell you. You know how I had the guidance meeting this morning?” She nods. “Well, first of all, Mr. Brown is making me apply to more schools, which is ridiculous, right?”
“Oh my God, really? Why? You were done applying!”
“I know! I mean, I don’t have the time to do more apps. It’s gonna cut into my social life.”
“… What social life?”
“Oh… yeah you’re right. Anyway I got off topic. Instead of going to English I decided to walk around the school. You know my luck, I bump into this really gorgeous guy.”
“And? What happened?”
“Basically, he has my number and said he would call me.”
She stares at me for a good 20 seconds, and probably would have gone longer if Miss Ricker didn’t tell her to pay attention. A few seconds later I get a note on my desk with the words ‘are you serious??’ written on it.
I nod and she claps as quietly as possible. I haven’t had much to report in the boy department recently, so I guess that’s why she’s really excited about this.
Now she’s writing at an alarming pace and I’m kind of wondering what energy drink she could have had this morning. I’ve never seen anyone write as fast as she is right now. She’s still writing so I turn back to the notes on the board. I should probably take notes if I want to pass school and go to college. While I’m writing a sentence about Richard Nixon I unfortunately look over at the clock. Sitting just below the clock is Danny Allen. I dated him for a year. He, of course, catches me looking and I quickly turn back to my notebook. I just ruined all progress I made after he dumped me 3 months ago. Just one look makes me question why I hate him. But I do hate him. And for good reason. Let’s just leave it at that.
Jessica finishes her note at the very end of the period, which is also the last of the day, and when she hands it to me, I notice it’s only a small paragraph. How could this have possibly taken the whole class?
“It’s actually not very long.” She says, noticing the look I’m giving her. “I just couldn’t write this note and class notes at the same time. So it’s only like, a half of a page but it took me forever.”
“Okay, well I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Yeah, but I’ll text you later for help with math.”
I laugh and wave as she walks away to her own locker as I head to mine. After getting everything I would need for homework I walk out to the parking lot and get in my car. I bought it myself. It’s a 2006 Honda Accord. I bought it last year after saving up all of my money from work, birthdays, and whatever other holiday I got money from. Okay, and maybe Jacob, my oldest brother, helped out a bit. Okay, he helped out a lot. He felt bad that I had to ask my brothers for rides places, and they usually said no.
My brothers basically take care of me. My parents travel a lot so we’re often left home alone. You might be thinking, ‘What kind of parent does that?’, but believe me, we’re pretty used to it. Actually, when they’re home I feel stressed, and the second they leave again I feel 10 times more relaxed.
“Can you like, not park there?”
I roll my eyes at my brother Max’s request. I parked in the spot his ‘girlfriend’ Kelly usually parks in. But I don’t really care, nor do I like Kelly, so I’m not moving.
“No, there’s nowhere else for me to park.” I say and put my backpack down on the kitchen table.
“Yeah… But Kelly might stop by -”
“She always stops by.”
“Whatever, be a bitch about it. By the way, you left your cell phone here.” He takes my backpack from where I put it and places it on the floor. I check my pocket for my cell phone only to discover he’s right. “It’s been ringing since 2:30.”
“Really? Did you see what number it was?”
A small part of me is excited and hopeful, and the other part is preparing me for disappointment.
“No, I didn’t check. It’s on the living room table. Obviously someone’s trying to reach you.”
Yeah, and it’s either a really good looking guy, or someone completely random and unimportant to me.