I gaze out of my window. Any moment now she will appear at the end of my road, walking on her way to cheer leading practice, which is everyday before school, starting at 8:15. Today, she won't be walking alone.
There she is. She is looking radiant, as ever, her hair tied back in the custom cheerleader ponytail. I rush down the stairs, grab my heavy rucksack and yell:
"BYE MOM!" As I leave, slamming the door behind me. What am going to do for half an hour at school I do not know, but I can't pass up on a chance to talk to her. She approaches my gate just as I am walking through it.
"Oh, hi Sam!" She smiles, pulling out her head-phones and stashing them in her handbag. She fiddles with her fringe as I stare at her, mouth working, unable to say anything. "Sam..?"
"Uh... Hello.. Brittany.." I stammer, after about a minute of agonizing silence.
"Want to walk to school with me?" She asks brightly. "I don't want to pass up on the chance to have human company for once!" Do I? Does she even have to ask?
"Uh, sure," I say, trying my best to sound nonchalant.
"Why you headed to school so early anyway?" She asks as we set off down the road. My eyes widen, and I stare at her, totally rabbit-in-the-headlights.
"Uhhhh... Well... you see.." I mumble.
"Oh, it's a secret, huh?" She laughs.
"Yeah.." I murmur, looking away as my cheeks flush a bright pink.
We chat for the rest of the way to school - and by we, I mean she chattered away, and I gave monsyllabic answers. By the end I was practically beating myself up for letting nerves get to me.
"Well, I better get to the gym, coach hates it when we're late! See you around!" She says when we reach the school gates. "Bye!"
"Bye.." I call after her. I sigh, and slump on the nearest bench. I unclench my fists, only to see that my nails have left crescent shaped indentations on my palms. I sigh again, and get out my book.
I should have known this would be a bad idea..