I glanced at my reflection in the mirror for the umpteenth time. The bright pink of my blouse seemed right for today, and today only. Yesterday, being Evangeline's funeral, I had worn all black in mourning. But today was different - in rememberance of Eva, we had all decided to wear neon.
And of course I'd opted for pink, since when you are Brooklyn West, most popular girl at school, you can get away with anything.
Adjusting my long blonde hair, I grabbed my school bag, and crept out my door before my health-food-fanatic mother saw me leave without eating any breakfast. If I was going to win Models Magic, then even a low fat cereal will have to be demolished from my food list.
The Audi was waiting at the bottom of the street, like I had told them to. The horn beeped twice, an impatient gesture I was going to hold against Pheonix and Kennedy for the rest of my life, as soon as I was visible through the window. Opening the car door agressively, I chucked myself onto the seat, then slammed the door.
"Someone's in a bad mood." Kennedy commented from the front of the car.
"Can you just drive please? I'll be late if you don't beat the early morning traffic."
Pheonix sighed from the front.
"And what's your problem?"
"Pheonix," Kennedy snapped, turning round to send me an evil glare. "is auditioning for the lead role in Hairspray today, but guess what? His partner isn't here!"
I checked the seat beside me. Now that she pointed it out, I realised that Willow wasn't in the car.
"I'm sorry, Pheonix," I apologised. "Willow is always late. She'll most likely be having a manicure, knowing her."
Willow is my best friend. Her reputation in my group is 'The TimeLoser', because she never turns up to anything on time. That's saying if she even turns up at all.
"How about Meadow? Jessica? Damon? Jonas? Greg? Where are they?"
I saw Kennedy glance at the dashboard. "We're meeting them at the school. But Damon... should be here anytime."
And she was right. The very second she spoke Damon's name, he appeared.
Damon, for your information, is gorgeous. His black hair swept across his face effortlessly, and his green eyes penetrated your own whenever they made contact. But the thing that got me most was his high cheekbones, and the almost luminous complexion.
Today he was wearing all black, which wasn't a surprise. His wardrobe was full of black clothes, therefore dressing for the funeral yesterday wasn't hard for him at all. And by the way, don't ask what I was doing sneaking through his wardrobe. It's a long story.
We sped off, reaching the highway in two minutes flat. Whenever I ask something of Pheonix, he always takes it seriously. So when I told him to drive quick, that is exactly what he planned to do. It was ten minutes before first bell that we arrived in the car park of Harwoods Theatre College. And there, waiting outside the entrance to reception, was Nate.
I scurried out of the Audi as Pheonix was parking it. Nate met me at the bottom of the steps, arms open wide to embrace me. I walked forwards, and returned the hug. "I missed you." I whispered in his ear.
"I missed you too. After Eva's funeral, you just left without saying goodbye. I was worried that you were going to commit suicide because her death scared you so much."
I laughed in spite of his concern. "You know I'd never do that. Life's a gift worth living to the full. You can waste it doing nothing, but you can't waste it for nothing." That's my motto, just to let you know. I believe in it one hundred percent.
"Evangeline's death was mysterious though, don'tcha think" Nate murmured back.
I lifted my head to stare into his sea blue eyes. I took in his new haircut - the short, traditional style for a guy on the football team. At least you didn't dye it white blonde I thought to myself. He was planning on doing so, and I was relieved he hadn't. His dark blonde suited him just fine.
I wrapped my arms round his large arm muscles. "Nate," I warned him. "I don't want to talk about this right now. Can we discuss it when they police question us again, instead? Evangeline was my best friend along with Willow."
A car revved behind me. "Speaking of Willow..."
The convertible beetle pulled up infront of us. The car door opened up, revealing Willow, the wavy brunette. She rushed up to me, shouting sorry all the way. "I'm so glad you didn't wait around for me! I was killing myself thinking you had. Oh..."
As soon as she said it, Willow knew she shouldn't have. Escaping mine and Nate's accusing glares, she rushed up the steps without hesitation.
"It wasn't her fault." Nate said for her.
"I know... Nate? What's wrong?" For Nate's muscles had stiffened up. I could feel the tension beneath my arms, and the jump of his jaw as I leaned my head against his chin.
The next moment, Damon walked past us. His travelling coat flapped behind his legs whilst he climbed the steep stairs to the school. I watched him go, before returning my attention to Nate.
He had been watching me.
I cut short his pitiful tone with a kiss. When we pulled away, he was smiling.
"You know what, Brook?"
"I love you. I really do."
The bell rang, signally the start of school.
"Nate, trust me. You don't have to tell me that for me to know, because I love you too. Oh, and I really think we should be getting to homeroom."
Together we ran up the two hundred and fifty year old steps. Hand in hand.