Kat daydreams about Dave during school...
He was looking me right in the eye. I blushed, but found that I couldn't break the eye contact. Something about those big brown eyes kept me staring into them. The way they glittered was mysterious and enticing. I had to see what they wanted. A moment later, I felt arms around me. He held me to him, firm arms on my back and eyes still staring into mine. By now, shivers ran up and down my spine. He leaned closer to me, his lips only a whisper away from my own. I had never been kissed before and wanted this so badly. I dared to lean forwards just a bit and...
"Katherine Smith!" a voice snatches me out of my fantasy world and sends me crashing back to reality.
Blinking, I find that instead of in a boy's embrace, I am sitting in a classroom with literally the whole class staring at me. Most of the other teenagers in the classroom are giggling or smirking at me. Ugh, I had really embarrassed myself this time. Just how long had I been daydreaming for?
Before I can get into any more trouble than I'm already in, I look up at the chemistry teacher and ask, "Yes, Mrs. White?"
Mrs. White, the chemistry teacher, gives me a hard look before saying, "When you're in class, I need you to be focusing on the material we're covering. You may daydream on your time outside of class. Someday, you will wish you had paid more attention to your classes. Now then, what was the acid you were supposed to use for yesterday's homework?"
A long silence follows Mrs. White's sentence. Everyone in class is grinning at me and laughing at my misfortune at this point. My cheeks flush bright red and all I really want to do is run out of the hell that is chemistry class! Looking at my desk and refusing to look Mrs. White in the eye, I mumble, "I don't remember."
"You don't remember or you didn't do it?" Mrs. White asks loudly.
I wonder if Mrs. White is trying to humiliate me in front of the class or if she is just trying to teach me a lesson. Either way, I slouch in my chair and make up a truthful excuse, "I would have done it, but my parents had me at church all night and-"
"No excuses," Mrs. White cuts me off. "Since you did not even attempt your homework, you will receive an F for the latest assignment."
I wouldn't usually beg a teacher for a better grade, but an F is just unacceptable. My parents expect nothing less than straight As from me. Giving Mrs. White my most pleading look, I beg, "Can't you just give me one more day to do my homework? If I get an F on this, it will move my overall grade down a few notches!"
"That's the point," Mrs. White smiles, convincing me that she actually enjoys torturing her students. "Who in this classroom can tell me what acid was used in yesterday's homework?"
At this point, I don't bother listening to hear what the correct answer to the question is. Why does it matter anymore? I'm getting a big, fat F and my parents are going to be pissed. Now that most of the attention has been diverted from me, I feel a tap on my shoulder from my right. I glance over to see my best friend, Abigail Alexander, looking at me sympathetically.
Seeing that she has gotten my attention, Abigail leans across the desks and whispers to me, "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I guess so," I whisper back, feeling depressed and worried. The last thing I want to do is sit through a long lecture about getting Fs from my parents when I get home. After making sure that Mrs. White is not paying attention to me, I continue whispering to Abigail, "My parents are gonna kill me though!"
Abigail just frowns. She doesn't even bother to reassure me that no, my parents aren't going to kill me. This shows you just how damn strict my parents are. Abigail offers, "Do you want me to come back to your house with you tonight? It will keep your parents off your back for a while."
"Thanks, but I think I'll just get it over with," I reply. I hate procrastinating or putting things off when it comes to my parents. If I'm going to get into trouble with them, I just want to get it over with or never have it happen at all. In this situation, I guess I'll just get their lecture over with since it's sure to come.
Mrs. White has gone back to lecturing, but since Abigail and I are sitting in the back row of class, we continue to whisper. Abigail gives me a curious glance and asks, "What was up with you earlier? Mrs. White had to say your name four times before she finally got your attention."
"She said my name four times?" I repeat, feeling my stomach sinking. If Mrs. White decides to give my parents a note about my inattentiveness, there will be hell for me at home.
"Yeah, four times. Everyone thought you had fallen asleep with your eyes open," Abigail replies wryly. "So what were you thinking about? I know you well enough to know that you were daydreaming."
Abigail does know me quite well. We were friends ever since we we could walk. Our parents had been friends and so Abigail was probably the first girl my age that I had ever interacted with. I sigh again and instead of replying to Abigail, I glance to the opposite corner of the room. Abigail follows my gaze and narrows her eyes.
"Are you looking at boys again?" she asks me, clear disapproval in her voice. "You know they're just a waste of time. Besides, the one you seem to be staring at is a troublemaker."
"Oh, who cares?" I ask, shrugging my shoulders as I continue staring at guy sitting in the opposite corner of the room. He has long ginger-colored hair and deep brown eyes. I'd be lying if I didn't call him extremely attractive. I add to Abigail, "A little trouble can be a good thing sometimes."
Abigail opens her mouth to say something to me, but at that moment, Mrs. White turns back towards us. Both of us immediately jerk back to our own desks and pretend to have been listening intently to what she has been saying. Apparently, we look fairly convincing because Mrs. White continues talking without popping a quiz question on either of us. Just in case, neither of us say anything more during class though. The last thing I need to do is get into more trouble with the teacher.
Truthfully, I could care less about my grades. I wouldn't give a shit about them if it weren't for my parents. Both of my parents are extremely religious. My father is a priest and my mother doesn't have a job. Instead, she spends all her time helping out in the church and volunteering for "godly causes". My parents are religious freaks. That's all there is to it. I've hated having religion shoved in my face for seventeen long years and now I despise it. As soon as I'm eighteen, I'm never going to step into a church ever again!
For some reason, being religious fanatics seems to have made my parents more strict in regards to everything...including school. They say I need to achieve As in all my subjects. After all, in their words, I should be studying hard as if I were studying for the Lord. Ugh, don't make me puke!
Abigail's parents, Mrs. and Mr. Alexander, are also quite strict. They hold the same beliefs as my parents and make sure that Abigail and her brother, John, are at church every Sunday. Abigail is the only person my parents let me be alone with or have over to my house. I love Abigail, but sometimes it seems like she's just a duplicate of her parents. She never wants to have fun and always wants to abide by the rules.
Finally, class finishes and I'm still trying to make up some excuse I can use with my parents when they ask why I got an F in chemistry. Sadly, I haven't been able to come up with any good excuses yet. The dog ate my homework isn't gonna work this time since Bridget, our Yorkshire terrier, hates me and refuses to have anything to do with me. She won't eat anything I give her.
"I'm going to leave your homework up on my desk here," Mrs. White tells us. "Come and take your paper and then leave the room quietly."
Everyone rolls their eyes and gathers up their books and papers on their desks. Mrs. White treats us as if we're five, not seventeen. I absentmindedly drop my books into my bag and send another look over towards the red-headed boy. His name is Dave and although I don't know much about him, I wish he would just send one look in my direction. I know he's too good for me and would never hang out with me, but still. Just a glance or a smile might be nice.
"Um, Kat? Are you good or are you just going to stand there all day?" Abigail asks, poking my arm and reminding me that I am just standing by my desk for no good reason other than to stare at Dave.
"Right. I'm coming," I tell Abigail before following her towards the front of the classroom to gather up my paper with the F on it.
The two of us approach the desk and start rifling through papers to find our own. There are so many papers here. An idea hatches in the back of my mind. What if I steal someone else's paper, erase their name, and then write my name over theirs? If I steal a paper with an A on it, my parents will never have to know that I got an F! Seeing a paper with an A on it across the desk from me, I shoot my hand out and collide with someone else's hand. The result is me cringing with a sore hand. This is what comes from my twisted plans apparently.
"I'm sorry," I say before looking up to see who's hand I have hit. When I look up, my jaw drops as I realize that it is Dave! I don't think I've ever been standing so close to him before!
"Don't worry about it," Dave replies, not even bothering to look at me as he looks through the papers on the desk.
Now probably would've been a good time for me to shut up, but I don't. I have to use this opportunity to talk to Dave! I might never get another opportunity to talk to him again. I say the only thing that pops into my head and ask briskly, "So, what's up?"
This time, I really do get Dave's attention. He looks up and brushes wavy locks of hair out of his eyes before he says, "Nothin' much. What about you?"
I can tell from the way he's looking at me that Dave is quite surprised to see that I am talking to him. Have I ever talked to him before? Probably not. However, I don't think about that and reply breathlessly, "Not much."
Dave's lip curls at my response and he gives me a knowing glance. The problem is that he seems to be reading into something about me that I'm not even aware of. Regardless, he finally finds his paper and shoves it into his bag before giving a nod in my direction and saying, "Seeya around."
"S-seeya," I stammer, gazing after Dave as he shrugs his bag over his shoulder and saunters out of the room.
"Here's your paper," Abigail says, shoving my homework in front of my nose and blocking my view of Dave in the process. "Are you ready to go home or do you want to hang out in the chemistry classroom all day long?"
"Let's go home," I reply a bit dazedly as I follow Abigail out of the classroom and pass by Mrs. White. I don't even pay any attention to her since my thoughts are on Dave still. I can't believe he actually bothered to speak to me! He's never talked to be before.
As soon as we are out in the hallway, Abigail turns to give me a frown and says, "You know, you've really got to get a grip on yourself, Kat!"
"Huh? What did I do?" I ask as I glance inconspicuously around the hallway for any signs of red hair.
"You don't even know what you did?" Abigail asks, reminding me of my parents. "I'll tell you what you did. You're slacking off with school and you're paying way too much attention to boys! Boys are trouble, don't you know that? You don't want to get mixed up with the wrong type of guys like that one you were talking to after class."
I resist rolling my eyes. When is Abigail ever going to learn to have a bit of fun? Besides, my hopeless little crush isn't going to go anywhere. We both know that. I point this out and say, "Dave doesn't like me. Besides, how do you know he's the 'wrong type of guy' anyways?"
"Haven't you heard?" Abigail asks, lowering her voice so that only I can hear what she's saying. "That boy lives all on his own in an apartment not so far from here. He makes money by dealing drugs."
"Well, I still think he's nice to look at," I giggle as the two of us step outside of the school. It's a warm, sunny day outside.
"Hmph. Come on. Let's at least get you home on time," Abigail sniffs, motioning me after her as she starts towards her car. "I guess I'm going to be glad that this 'Dave' doesn't like you."
I make a face at Abigail's back and follow her across the parking lot. I can't drive and have no car of my own, so my parents have arranged for Abigail to drive me home from school everyday. We're neighbors, so it makes a lot of sense and isn't any trouble for Abigail.
As we walk across the parking lot, I can't help but hope that Abigail is wrong about Dave and about boys in general. I want a troublemaker in my life. I'm sick and tired of being my parent's perfect daughter. Little do I know that I will be getting my wish very soon...