Jini has never known love. That is, until she meets Mark. He's the perfect guy, everything she's ever wanted. But then things get weird: he disappears and won't tell where he's been and he always seems to be keeping secrets. Can Jini keep dating him if he's not being 100% truthful? Or will she find out what's really happening (and be able to handle it)?
P.S. This is just a copy to get the main idea across. I'm currently working on a different beginning to it. All this will still be in the f
I have two words for you: true love. What is true love? All I know it it could never happen to me. All those stories about a beautiful girl dealing with her wicked stepmother and finding her handsome prince in the end - I'll never be one of those girls.
My name's Jini Evans. I've five foot two, with long reddish-brown hair, hazel eyes and a hideous nose. I play football so I'm not fat exactly, but I'm not really skinny either. I live in Manchester, England and support Manchester United (never City). I have a few amazing friends, but have never had a boyfriend. You'd think an average sixteen-year-old like me would have, but no such luck
"Miss Evans, get your head out of the clouds!" Mrs Keane snapped.
I'd been doodling hearts around the name of my latest crush, Paul Miller. the way his emo-long back hair fell in front of his baby blue eyes took my breath away.
"Since you're not paying attention, I'm to assume that you know all this already. Which mean you can tell me what Edgar Allen Poe was trying to say in A Tell Tale Heart?"
"That your heart gives away your emotions even if you don't want it to?" I guessed.
Elysia Macari snickered behind her hands. Mrs Keane shook her head and continued the lecture; I tuned out seconds later.
Luckily, the bell rand not long after. I gathered my books and exited the room with one of my best friends Violet Parkinson.
"Did you have any idea what she was going on about?" I asked.
"Haven't the foggiest. I was texting Danny from under my desk," Violet answered.
Vi was the lucky one; she had the naturally think body of a model and shimmering black hair that cascaded down her back, just past her shoulder blades. The only things dull about her were her brown eyes. she also happened to be dating the football captain, Daniel Carrick.
"Meeting him for lunch then?" I sighed.
"Yeah, but you can come along if you like," Violet offered.
"That's okay. Jeremy's off sick today, so Jo should be free," I answered, turning the dial on my locker.
"Alright, see you in sixth period math then," Vi said before hurrying off to find Daniel.
I grabbed my purse and fished out my mobile so I could text my other best friend, Josie Andrews.
While I was the athlete and bookworm (when it came to fantasies like Harry Potter) and Violet was the girly-girl, Josie was the nerd. She's not the huge glasses and ugly clothes kind of nerd, but she was the one who got all the good marks and made me and Violet study for every test. She's shorter than me and Vi, with flaming red hair, dark green eyes and small round glasses. She was dating Jeremy Fischer, right full back on the football squad.
Hi Jo, Vi ditched for Dan. Lunch? I texted while I was walking towards the cafeteria. The reply came while I was standing in line the You Are My Solksjear ringtone going off.
Sorry Jeans. Taking Jeremy his HW.
I sighed. I really need to get myself a boyfriend. Guess it's the library for me.
The library at Manchester High is massive. It's filled with wall to floor bookshelves and comfy armchairs. Half the shelves are stocked with books to help you with school work and the other half filled with any story you can think of: Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Chronicles of Narnia - you name it, they had it.
It was always wonderfully quiet in here, a homey silence with low whispers, giving the impression that the books were trying to tell you their stories. I headed for the fantasy slash romance section, hoping my favorite, Twilight, would be among the others. It was just my luck that it wasn't, so I grabbed a book at random and went to settle into my favorite armchair...only to find someone already in it.
He was the most gorgeous think I had ever seen. His shaggy brown hair hung slightly in front of bright green eyes. His broad shoulders and obviously muscled legs screamed footballer. His tight button up shirt clung to every curve of his chest, his jeans were slightly tattered, both hinting at designer labels, and he had battered black and blue Pumas on his feet.
He has to be new, I thought to myself. I would have certainly noticed him before.
So, instead of snapping at him to get out of my chair, as I would have normally done, I settled into the closest one to him.
I was just getting into the book I'd grabbed when my phone rang.
I answered it as quickly as I could, not wanting to disturb the quiet of the library, and found a text from Violet.
Sorry 4 ditching. Shopping trip? OT?
I smiled as I read it. Shopping with my friends was always a blast, especially when they let me drag them to Old Trafford, with it's Manchester United superstore underneath. I was just thinking of the jersey I'd been saving up for when the most wonderful voice pulled me from my reverie.
"United fan, eh?"
It was him.
I looked up to see his green eyes intent on my phone and the Red Devil charm hanging from it. I nodded, a sheepish smile on my face. "Yeah, ever since my dad took my to a match when I was three."
"Good side to choose. I hear there's a ton of rivalry between United and City fans here," he said. "I just moved here from Ireland, so I prefer the Celtic myself. I'm Mark O'Shea." He held out his hand for me to shake.
His fingers were warm around mine. "Hi, I'm Jini Evans. Welcome to Manchester."
"Thanks," he said as I reluctantly let me hand drop from his. "It's not as green here, but I like the feel of the city."
"That's good?" I answered. A paused followed. Eager to hear his voice again, I added, "So, what classes so you have this afternoon?"
"Gym, history and science," Mark answered, consulting his timetable.
"Brilliant! We have gym and science together," I replied. "I can show you to the gym if you like. The bell should ring soon."
"Alright. Let me get my books and I'll meet you back here?"
"Cool. See you in a bit."
I hurriedly gathered my things, checked out the book I had and headed for my locker. As I walked, I sent a test to Josie and Violet. Just met the most gorgey guy EVER. Tell you more when I see you.
I rushed to get my books and dashed back to the library.
There he was, waiting for me in front of the double oak doors. He smiled when he saw me, a smile that almost broke my heart. Did he see something in me that no other guy seemed to see? Never before had a guy ever smiled at me like that and whatever put that gorgeous smile on his face had to be good.
We talked about football all the way to the gym.
"See you soon," he said cheerfully as I turned into the girls' locker room.
Giddy with excitement, I frantically searched the room for Josie.
"Jo! Jo! Oh my god, he's amazing!" I shrieked the moment I saw her flaming hair.
Josie sighed. "Who's amazing now, Jini?"
"His name's Mark O'Shea. He just moved here from Ireland. He has the most gorgeous green eyes and a wonderful smile. I met him in the library when you and Vi ditched," I explained breathlessly.
"So when do I get to see this guy?" Josie asked.
"Right now if you like," I said, my voice muffled as I pulled on my gym uniform. "He's got gym too."
"Alright," Josie said, straightening up from tying her shoes, "let's go see this god-like guy of yours."
I giggled, hurriedly tied my own shoes, liked arms with Josie and practically bounced out to the gym.
"Where is he?" Josie asked impatiently.
"By the wall with Daniel," I whispered, pointing to Violet's blond boyfriend.
"The one with the brown hair?" Josie gasped. "Jeans, he's amazing! Let's go talk with them."
We walked over, me trying not to look too excited.
"Hey, Daniel. Who's your friend?" Jo asked, still examining Mark.
"Hey, guys. This is Mark O'Shea. Mark, these were my girlfriend's friends, Josie Andrews and Jini Evans," Dan said, introducing us.
"I've already met Jini. Couldn't have found the gym without her," Mark laughed; the sound was enchanting.
"So, Jeans," Dan continued, "ready to go down today?"
This took a moment to register. Then I remembered it was Friday - the one day of the week that the boys and girls had gym together and it was always a football match, guys versus girls. I was the girls' captain (which was appropriate, since I was the school junior captain as well).
"Bring it on Dan," I jeered. "You haven't beat us yet this term."
"Well, we have some fresh meat," Dan said, clapping Mark's shoulder, "you never know - he could be your downfall."
"We'll see," I said, reluctantly letting a little doubt into my voice; I didn't fancy having to face Mark in a match.
Dan turned out to be half right. The boys managed to keep it an even one all. I, on the other hand, had been totally right; Mark was an excellent footballer. He even managed to muscle me off a ball, something Daniel couldn't even do. He'd also been the one to assist George Iverson's second half equalizer.
After class, Mark was waiting for me outside the locker room.
"Nice goal, Jini. You have some pretty amazing footwork," Mark commented, his velvety Irish accent washing over me.
"Thanks, I've been practicing," I said, blushing, as the bell rang.
"Ugh, history. I'll see you in science thought, right?"
"Yeah, see you there."
I literally floated to math, not hearing a word Josie said or even Violet joining us.
"Jini, are you listening to me?" Josie snapped.
"What's wrong with her?" Violet asked.
"She made friends with the new kid, who just happens to be Irish and absolutely GORGEOUS," Josie explained.
"Oh, yeah, I got that text. Spill, Evans," Vi demanded.
That seemed to bring me back to Earth. We sat in the back of the room and I told Violet everything that had happened since I'd seen her before lunch. Lucky for us, our regular teacher, Ms Fletcher, was off sick and our sub, Mrs Coute, hardly eye pais attention to what we were doing.
"I think he likes you, Jeans," Violet stated matter-of-factly.
"How can you tell?" I gasped, scribbling in a random number to make it look like I'd done something.
Jo rolled her eyes at me. "It's obvious, Jini. Even I could tell from the way he was looking at you in gym. It wasn't exactly staring, but the look on his face said it all - he's grown fond of you over the last few hours. Don't forget that he waited for you to change and reminded you that you had science with him. If that doesn't say 'I fancy you' with a capital F, I don't know what does."
"He was probably just being friendly. He is new here, and probably wants to be nice to the people he has made friends with," I replied stubbornly. "Obviously, I wouldn't mind if he fancied me, but he probably doesn't."
Both gave me The Look. You know, the one your mates give you when they think you're being thick about something? It was like that, but worse.
"Oh, come on. You two are seeing things. No guy that gorgeous could ever like me!"
Violet and Josie just rolled their eyes.
"You're crazy not to see it, Jeans," Violet said simply. "I haven't even witnessed how he acts around you and I already know he likes you."
The bell delayed my answer. "We'll just have to see in science then."
"Oh, so I get to meet him?" Violet cried.
"Yup, and I'm warning you now, he makes Alan Smith look average," I sighed, refering to my favorite footballer of all time.
Vi's eyes widened and Josie nodded in agreement.
The walk to the science lab seemed to take longer than usual. When we finally did get there, I was only half surprised to see Mark standing outside, waiting.
"Hey, Jini, Josie and...?" Mark looked questioningly at Violet.
"Hey, Mark. This is Violet Parkinson," Jo introduced since I seemed to have been knocked speechless by the sound of his voice.
Mark smiled and nodded before the four of us walked in together. We sat in the back corner: Violet behind me, Josie beside her and Mark beside me.
"Okay guys, get out your lab write p and divide into partners," Mrs Gerard announced from the front of the class.
"Come on Jo, let's be partners." Violet winked at me and I made a face back.
"Guess that leaves you and me," Mark said, watching all the other students pairing up.
"Looks like it," I said, almost hesitantly; we were dissecting frogs and such things made me queasy.
"Are you alright?" he asked. "You look a little green."
He gently tipped my face up with his knuckle.
I couldn't look him in the eyes as I confessed. "It's just that things like this make me kinda sick."
Mark looked thoughtful for a moment. "How about this then - I do all the dissecting and observing in exchange for help with this essay I have to do for English. Sound fair?"
"You are the absolute best," I gushed.
Mark smiled. "I know."
Mrs Gerard came around handing out the large plastic boxes so we wouldn't get anything on the tables. When she saw my face, she smiled sympathetically.
"Weak stomach?" she asked. When I nodded, she turned to Mark and asked, "So, you don't have a problem doing most of the work?"
"Not at all. Jini's going to help me with an English assignment instead," he replied.
"Good trade off then. Jini's one of the best English students when she pays attention to the material," Mrs Gerard smiled. "If you have to leave, Jini, please just do so. I'll know where you'll have gone."
I shot her a grateful smile and hoped it wouldn't come to that; I didn't want Mark to think I was totally weak.
"Alright, Jini, I'll get you to fill in the write up with whatever I tell you. Sorry it it's wrong, science isn't one of my strong points. And I'll need to to hand me the tools as well if that's okay," Mark instructed.
"Don't worry, I'm pretty decent in science - even if it's bad it won't kill me."
Mark turned and smiled at me. It was all I could do to keep from gasping aloud at how gorgeous he face could really be.
"Scalpel, please," he said, holding out his hand.
As I handed it to him, my fingers brushed against his, sending a strange sort of electrical shock through my system. If he noticed it too, he was good at hiding it.
And so it went on like that - me handing Mark whatever he needed and writing down whatever he told me to. I was quite proud that by the end of the class, I hadn't had to run out of the room like some fragile little girl who couldn't handle seeing the insides of a frog.
We walked out of the class together, Violet and Josie behind us, but obviously listening in on our conversation.
"So would Monday after school be okay for you to help me with that essay?" he asked, breaking the slightly awkward silence.
"Yeah, that should be alright. I'd have to get my mum to pick me up after work, so I could only stay until like four thirty," I replied.
"That should be plenty of time. See you on Monday." He gently touched my shoulder before veering off down the hallway.
"See you," I muttered, but he was already out of earshot.
Before I could even begin to gather my thoughts, Violet and Josie were at my side.
"Looks like Jini's got herself a boyfriend," Violet said in a sing-song voice. "Josie was right, he's totally into you."
"And it looks like you have a date on Monday," Josie crooned.
"It's not a date and he's not my boyfriend," I argued. "I'm just returning a favor, He dissected our frog and didn't make me do anything more than hand him tools and write down his observations."
"What do you know, Jini? You've always got your nose in a book or a ball at your feet - you can't even see what's right in front of you," Josie said, shaking her head.
"Forget about Old Trafford, I think our shopping trip today should be to find you a new outfit for your 'non-date'," Violet added.
I looked from Violet to Josie, knowing they were crazy, but also that there was no way I was going to change their minds, so I succumbed to their insanity.
"Alright, but I still think you're both off your rockers," I said, sighing heavily.
Violet and Josie smiled at each other in an almost maniacal way.
It was nearly five o'clock by the time I made it home, laden with shopping (I'd spent all the money I'd been saving for my jersey).
Violet had forced me into a pair of extra tight skinny jeans that she said made my arse look good. Josie had selected a low cute, black, form-fitting top. They'd both picked our silver hoop earrings and black flats. And, despite what they had said earlier, I'd dragged them to OT and bought a silver Red Devil pendant necklace.
"Hey, Mum! I'm home!" I yelled.
"Hello, darling. How was shopping?" she asked as I walked into the kitchen. (I'd called her earlier to tell her where I was going or she's have had the police looking for me in minutes.)
"It was alright. Violet and Josie made me buy a whole new outfit," I answered, opening the fridge for an apple.
"Alright, Jini, who's the new guy?"
I sighed; Mum always seemed to know. "His name's Mark O'Shea. He just moved here from Ireland. I met him in the library. We - well, actually he - dissected a frog in science. He didn't make me do anything because I told him things like that make me sick. So he made a deal with me - he'd dissect the frog and I'd help him with an essay he had for English. That's why we went shopping today - Violet and Josie thought I needed a new outfit because they think it's a date. They think he likes me."
I always tell my mum everything because I know if I don't she'll find out anyway. I still don't know how she does it.
"That's nice, hun. So when are you helping him with this essay?" she asked as she chopped carrots for salad.
"Monday after school. Is that okay?"
"Shouldn't be a problem. I'll just pick you up after work. Wouldn't want that new outfit to go to waste."
"Cool, thanks Mum. I'll be in my room, call me when supper's ready."
I trudged up to my room and flung my bags on my Manchester United bedding, disturbing my sleeping tabby, Minerva. She meowed angrily at me before hopping off my bed and padding downstairs.
I grabbed my laptop from my desk and flopped onto my bed next to my shopping. While I waited for it to load, I chomped down on my apple and thought about everything that had happened today, making a mental list in my head:
1. Met dazzling Irish guy in library.
2. Made friends with dazzling guy and found out he's an amazing footballer.
3. Agreed to help dazzling guy with English essay because he was kind enough to dissect our frog.
4. Bought new outfit because crazy/mental friends think dazzingly guy is interested in me.
I should help but notice that the "dazzling guy" was the subject of every note.
I shook my head to clear it. I was already obsessing over him and I'd just met him! At least I seemed to be friends with him. As I signed onto my e-mail account, I found myself making another list - this time about all the differences between Mark and all the other guys I knew at Manchester High.
1. He had an absolutely radiant smile.
2. That smile had been directed at me several times today.
3. He was a remarkably modest footballer (unlike all the other guys, he didn't insist on talking about all his amazing plays in detail).
4. And for some strange, unknown reason, he seemed to be attracted to me.
I focused on my computer scream. Ugh. Absolutely nothing new. That was depressing. And then my screen went black. I gaped at my perfectly ordinary appearance in the black screen for several moments before I remembered that I'd forgotten to charge it last night.
As I continued to stare at my reflection, I began to wonder what Mark saw (if he saw anything at all). I shook my head again - I was getting ahead of myself. I still wasn't sure whether Mark liked me like that. All I had to go on was what my delusional friends had said. Then again, I would trust Violet and Josie with my life, so maybe they were right.
This time, I smacked myself in the forehead. Sometimes I surprised myself at how stupid I could be.
I heard the front door open and close and then my mum calling me for supper.
I snapped my laptop closed, plugged it in and headed for the kitchen.
Mum had already set out the salad and was now heading to the table with a huge plate of spaghetti - not my favorite meal. I made a face before I saw that Mum had placed a bowl of grated cheese beside my plate. In my opinion, cheese made everything better.
"Hey, sweetie. How was your day?" Dad asked, dishing out a large helping of pasta onto his plate.
"Alright, I guess. There's a new kid at school. His name's Mark O'Shea. He's quite the footballer," I answered, helping myself to a much smaller portion of spaghetti before heaping it with cheese and sticking it in the microwave.
When I turned back to the table with my cheese-covered spaghetti, I caught my mum giving my dad a meaningful look.
"Yes, Jini had a study date with Mark already," Mum announced.
"Oh, sorry, I forgot. It's not a date. She's just helping him because he didn't make her do anything when they were lab partners, dissecting frogs."
"At least you had the sense to fancy a footballer this time," Dad commented (he's the senior boys' coach at Manchester High). "I wasn't so sure about that emo kid you liked yesterday - could have been a bad influence."
I growled in frustration. "I'm eating in my room," I announced angrily.
"Alright, but you better not get any grease on the floor or your sheets," Mum called cheerfully to my retreating back.
I stormed up the stairs in a great huff. My dad always had to make a big deal about who I liked. To him, no one was better than a footballer. I'd like to date someone who played nothing but video games all do just to piss him off.
No, if I was really honest with myself, I would want to date a footballer. They were the best looking athletes in the world and if he made it big here in England he would have god-like status. I thought for a moment what it would be like dating someone who played for Manchester United, like Federico Macheda.
I threw my shopping bags to the floor before plopping down onto my bed. Sitting cross-legged, I grabbed my laptop and checked my email again. This time, there was something: an email from Violet.
I was talking to Daniel earlier and he happened to tell me that Mark was aksing an awful lot of questions about you. Like if you were single and what kind of guys you like. Daniel also said that Mark didn't seem to take his eyes off you in gym. And if Dan noticed it, it must have been pretty obvious. I wish you wouldn't be in denial - you're a very desirably person. Cute funny, an amazing footballer - what more could a guy want? I really hope you use this weekend to rethink your date with him on Monday. Love you lots and hope this gets through that thick skull of yours -you know I just want you to be happy.
I sighed for what felt like that hundredth time today before clicking "Reply".
For all I know, you're right and Mark fancies me. But I really don't want to get my hopes up about it - you know how depressed I can get. I'd mope for days if he rejected me. He's so amazingly good looking that he could have anyone he wanted. How could he possibly want me? Thanks for trying yo lift my spirits about it, but I'm just going to concentrate on how I'm going to get through the hour and a half with him. I always seem to get tongue-tied when he smiles at me, I don't want to look like an idiot when I can't talk to him. Love you too,
P.S. Mum told Dad about Mark. Now Coach Evans is all excited that I like the proper kind of guy this time - a footballer.
I sent this and then stared thoughtfully at my computer screen. Without being totally aware of it, I started to imagine what it would be like to have Mark for a boyfriend. He would be the kind of guy who would hold my hand in front of his friends and while we walked down the halls. I could see him coming up behind me and hugging me around the waist before whispering in my ear "I love you". This time, I sighed in contentment and let myself drift away into my fantasy world where anything was possible.