New boy, old girl. He's joining their school 6th form, and she's supposed to be signing them in. When he sees her, something hits him hard, but he doesn't know what it is, and she seems totally oblivious. When he summons up the courage to say hi, she finally notices him... but the fact she's a year older than him - and the fact they do totally different subjects means they never stood a chance, Right? Alternate POV, retelling events from both sides.
I was late. Horrifically late, and it made me feel so stupid to walk into the “common room” alone, fwhen I reckoned there’d be about... two hundred other people in there, looking at me. I swore and pulled my jacket around myself, comforted as I felt my lighter heavy in my pocket, knocking against my leg.
If I got stressed, I could disappear for ten minutes. There wouldn’t be anyone to stop me. Taking a deep breath, I stepped through the doorframe and pushed open the double doors.
Nothing went silent. Nobody stared. Nobody even looked up.
I went to sit down, to try and be inconspicuous, but a voice stopped me, slightly hoarse, as though its owner was recovering from a sore throat. I looked up at the sound.
“Sorry! Excuse me?” She half rose from her seat and I turned to face her properly. She smiled and waved me over. “You have to sign in... so we know you exist!” She laughed lightly and retook her seat. “Name?” She was entirely too cheery for ten-past-eight in the morning, but I swept a hand through my hair and looked her over.
“Nathan. Nathan Bailey.” I smiled as I watched her look through the register file, searching out my name. She had her hair in plaits either side of her head and was chewing her pen as she read. “It’ll be at the top.”
“Don’t get sarcastic with me.” She said under her breath and I had to smile. No girl I knew had spoken to me like that in about four years. Obviously, she either had no fear, or no common sense. “Nathan Bailey. You,” She looked up at me, and for the first time I locked eyes with her. I didn’t take in the rest of her face, just the near-electric-blue that was her eyes. I didn’t process the words as she said them, though I heard her say them.
This didn’t happen to me.
“Sorry?” I managed to add an air of disbelief to the single word as I looked down at her, shaking my hair out of my eyes with a quick flick of my head.
“I said, you are not on these lists. That’s why I was talking a while. So don’t get sarcastic with me.” She smirked lightly and dismissed me with a wave. “I’ll find a teacher to talk to you in a minute; you’re not the only one that’s had that problem.” I swallowed and looked away on the pretence of searching for a chair. I was trying to hide the blush on my face from her.
I hadn’t blushed for a girl in... forever.
I forced my legs to move as I crossed the room, my fingers curling into a fist as I risked a glance over my shoulder. She wasn’t even watching me. Girls were supposed to watch me. Girls were supposed to glance over their shoulders to see if I was watching them.
This was messed up.
“Hey!” A voice disturbed me and I looked up to see a dark haired boy with bright green eyes staring back at me, “I’m Alex. You?”
“Nathan.” I grunted, looking down at the chair I had been about to sit in. Instead, I shoved my hands into my pockets and hoped my fists would unclench. I was pissed at her, and I didn’t even know her name.
Alex kept trying to get me to talk, but to be honest, I was getting stressed – I didn’t have a form class, so who would I register with? I didn’t have a clue who she was, and yet I kept looking at her, watching how she pulled on her braids as she talked to all the people signing in, welcomed them to the school politely, with a smile. Watched as she stood up, revealing the black jeans that clung to her in a very nice way, and the blue shirt that she wore that was belted around her waist.
“Hey, Nathan?” A small pause, “Nate?” I glanced at Alex; he was frowning and trying to see where I was staring. Before I could reply, there was the loud scraping of a chair and I had turned to see the source of the noise. She was up on her feet, walking towards a teacher in a suit, holding out the paper she’d registered us all on, and then she was gesturing at anything and everything and talking loudly and I was walking across the room, wondering what she was saying.
“Hey?” Both the teacher and she looked up as I said the word. “Where’re the loos?”
“Out these doors, turn right before you end up outside and you’ll be facing the boys’ toilets.” The teacher spoke before she could open her mouth and she smiled at me as she took a step back to let me pass them both. I smiled back at her, trying not to pull the insane grin that was desperate to explode onto my face, but knowing I probably looked like an evil genius in the process.
“Listen, Katie, really, I have to thank you for coming in so early to get them all registered-” The door swung shut before I could hear her reply, but now at least I knew her name.
I pushed the door to the toilets open and caught my face in the mirror. I looked confused, stressed, worried and flushed. I was all of those things, but I didn’t need to actually think about it. I sighed and looked down at my shoes. Today was going to be long. Bare long.
“Okay guys!” I pushed the door to the central room of the block open as her voice hit my ears again. “Sorry about my voice, but you’ll have to shut up and listen,” A few people laughed. “Outside, we’ve got three guides from my year,” She was older than me too? “And they’ll take you around the school; let you know what’s where, and who does what...” She coughed violently and her face went bright pink, half-embarrassment, and half-exertion. She stopped after a few seconds, but when she opened her mouth, the teacher I had seen her speaking to earlier spoke for her.
“Those of you who haven’t yet been given a form, could you wait behind, and Katie here will take you on your tour then bring you back here to sort you out.” I looked over at her; she was waving, looking slightly embarrassed, her face still pink. I swallowed.
Extra time with her and those curves?
I was so screwed. Literally, so screwed. I swallowed and threw myself back down into the seat I had so-nearly taken before Alex had accosted me. The crowds dissipated around me after about five minutes and I sighed, looking around at the other people sitting there looking awkward and uncomfortable, just like me.
Two girls and three other guys were looking between each other; they looked as though they hadn’t noticed me in the corner, trying to look inconspicuous and obviously succeeding.
“Okay guys!” Katie’s voice sounded from the chair she had been standing on and addressing us from ten minutes ago. She had sunk down into the chair and was staring up at the ceiling. “Who are you, again?” She rose quickly and put a hand out to steady herself, the table catching her as she sat down on it.
“I’m Robyn,” A girl in the corner said, she had a slight accent but I wasn’t about to ask where she was from. “And this is Elle.”
“Right.” She nodded, “And guys?”
“Adam.” The last one said, smiling widely at her and running a hand through his hair. She smiled back and nodded at him as he rose and swung his bag over his shoulder.
“Nathan.” I found my voice carrying across the room before I could stop it. Six pairs of eyes turned to look at me and I felt the blush rise up and begin to burn my skin. “Shall we get going?”
Her lips curved up into a smile and she laughed, nodding slightly as she pulled on her plaits again. Her smile was quite beautiful, made her eyes light up and showed just enough teeth to make me wonder if she was a biter.
I pushed the thought out of my mind as fast as I possibly could, and tried to follow her as slowly as possible, but as quickly as I could. I wasn’t going to follow her, to fall for her, to start something I knew I’d never be able to stop.
I rolled my eyes and shoved my hands back into my pockets, trying to stop my mind from ticking over and focussing on her again. I didn’t look at the way her hips swayed as she walked.
Okay. Maybe I did.