The school parking lot was a complete mess. I pulled in hoping it would be organized like my school’s lot was. We each knew where to park our cars: the geeks got the far lot, the preps had the center, and the popular kids, or status monsters, got the upper lot closest to the school. Since the sixth grade, I had called them status monsters as it referred to their needy desire to get noticed in school. They would do anything to become popular, even turning themselves into status hungry demons, therefore the name stuck.
There was no designated space for my kind because well, I didn’t have a category. I wasn’t a geek. I was definitely not preppy. I sure as hell was not a status monster either. I was one of a kind. My spot was usually where the last possible space was. Usually late to class, my best friend, Lily, and I would hit the doughnut shop for our usual coffee and sour cream doughnut. When we rolled up to school after scarfing our breakfast and rocking out to the newest song by our favorite band of the month, we’d find a parking spot wherever it was available. We’d walk as slow as we could to our first period class and just barely make it before the tardy bell rang. To put it simply, we were not excited about getting to class, ever!
But this school was totally different. I sat in my Honda with the air conditioning on full blast watching the mad chaos ensue in front of me. Most of the kids were waiting for other people to park their cars while they were stuck behind them. The cars blocking the entrance were there because the drivers were merely chatting it up with friends, planning out their summer on the first exciting day of summer school. I sighed heavily when I noticed my chance. Far off in the distance a lone spot was open. I jammed the gear shift into drive and took off swerving around students and cars until I smoothly slid into the tight spot.
I killed the engine and grabbed my new bag. I refused to go to summer classes with my junior year backpack. No way! I had purchased all new items for the next four weeks. This was a new school and a new chance to actually become someone different. A clean slate. No one here knew me, so my past history was erased. I would be Sadie Peters, popular and outgoing, instead of Sadie Peters, a shy nobody that no one pays any attention to.
I looked up at Alcott High’s newly rebuilt entrance. It was the town’s oldest school, but it held the most history. It was the very first school built in Laurel Lakes when it was a small town. Now that the town has grown immensely, they needed a new school built, and that’s how Ridgeline High, my school, was built. While I liked my school for various reasons, I loved the history of Alcott. To me it held hope and immense change. After a complete and utterly disastrous junior year, I could only see promise staring me in the face.
I would be taking courses that were required for senior year now, so that when next year started, I would only have a half-day session. Then, after school I would be taking creative writing courses at the local college, preparing me for a university and hopefully an internship at a publishing firm. I had it all planned out. This was just the first step in my well thought out plan. A plan devised with Lily many years ago. We hated this town and wanted to get out as soon as our diplomas were in our hot little hands. I frowned at the thought of Lily at home sleeping in while I was here. She was spending her summer serving ice cream at Scoop’s while I was here. Scoop’s was the best place to meet guys in the hot weather, and she had been looking forward to this summer job all year. While I was jealous she was going to be surrounded by town hotties all day, I knew I had to do this. Besides we planned to meet up at the lake after school.
It will be fine. You’ll meet new people and have a fresh start. I told myself. Take that first step.
I took it with my eyes forward and head held high. But I failed to miss the hot guy walking straight into me. His books flew out of his hand, and I fell on my ass. Everyone in the quad looked directly at me and laughed. Not the start I had hoped for, at all. I looked up from the gravel into the eyes of the hottest guy I’d ever seen in Laurel Lakes.
“Are you all right?” hot guy asked me. I stared in astonishment. His blue eyes dug into mine like he was searching through my soul.
“Uh, yeah. I’m good, you?” I mumbled.
“I’m actually doing great. I’ve never seen you before,” he said as he pulled me from the ground. “I would remember a face like that.”
I smiled from ear to ear as I brushed myself off. Maybe it was too soon to say I failed my fresh beginning.
“I’m Sadie,” I told him even though he didn’t ask my name. He threw me off by noticing my face. “I go to Ridgeline.” He smiled and rolled his eyes upward. “That’s where they’re hiding you, huh? I hate Ridgeline, but I won’t hold it against you,” he admitted. “I’m Nash Rylan. Nice to meet you, Sadie. What are you doing here? Did you fail Economics?”
I laughed. You’d have to be an idiot to fail Economics.
“No, I’m taking English Lit now, so I don’t have to take it next year,” I confessed. His wide smile actually faltered slightly, but not slight enough that I didn’t notice. “I want to have half a day next year that way I can get extra credits.”
I looked down instantly feeling shy at telling him all of my plans. Then I wondered why he was here in summer. Did he fail a class?
“I totally get it,” he said as he rubbed his neck with his hand. “I wish I was that ahead of the game. I actually failed Economics.”
Oh my God! I just called him an idiot. Thank god I didn’t say it out loud. That was another thing I was working on with myself, thinking before I speak.
“Too bad we won’t have a class together,” I blurted. I mentally kicked myself for not thinking before saying that. Still I had to work on it obviously.
“I was gonna say the same thing,” he said with a smile.
“Yeah, really. I’d love to get to know you more, Sadie.”
I was not prepared for this. I wasn’t prepared for any guy interaction, let alone guys this hot. The most I had was my guy friends. I never dated, so I had zero experience when it came to guys. I just stood there dumbfounded.
“Can I get your number?” he asked finally.
“Sure!” I said eagerly. He pulled out his cell and handed it to me. I added my name and number to his contacts list. I even added a small heart next to my name. That way he’d remember me.
I handed him back his phone and realized my hands were shaking. He took it and bent down to pick up his pencil that fell, no doubt, when I ran into him.
“Can’t forget this!” he joked. “I can’t fail now, I have my trusty pencil, and I got the prettiest girl’s number. It’s gonna be a good day for me.”
The bell rang out loudly. I wouldn’t be late at this school. Another rule for myself: no more slacking when it came to class.
“I should go,” I said walking away. I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay with him and keep talking. Keep staring at his beautiful face.
“Okay. See ya!” He waved at me and then turned to join his friends. They all greeted him, and at that moment he turned to look at me again, showing me his bright smile. I waved at him and smiled back. I hardly ever smiled like that, not unless it was something extremely funny or I felt really happy.
Nash made me smile because he’d given me just what I was looking for when I signed up for summer school. He gave me optimism. I would be whoever I wanted to be without anyone or anything to hold me back.
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