Summary: Rae (the runner) + Keiran (the nobody) + Nadine (the Barbie doll) + Samuel (the not-so-bright hottie) + A Midsummer Night's Dream (the school play from hell) = Ay Caramba!

Note from the author: Fiction of the romance genre? Me? Yes, it has come true! Weird it took me this long, for I've always liked triangles, especially love triangles. But rectangles? Whee, even better! Review and I shall be forever grateful.

Disclaimer: All the ideas, characters, plot, etc., in this story belong to me unless otherwise noted. Infringement of anyone's copyright is unintentional.

Ay Caramba!
by Nickety

Chapter One: My timing sure stinks
I know you're going to ask what my name is, my age, what I look like, all of my problems, and what my purpose of being here today (and the days after) is, so I'll just tell you that my name is Rae, I'm female, and I am a runner. Erm, I think that's enough in the meantime, yes? You'll probably get that other introduction-crappola in some other paragraph.


Now if you want my completely truthful opinion on this whole matter, I will automatically say that fourteen is too, too young to get involved in (cringe) love, and deceit, and heartbreak, and other - um - (cringe) love crap soap operas deal with. I mean, puh-lease. This generation is growing up way fast. Heck, I walk by a kindergarten school and a kid is telling the principal to go get marinated, chopped, and fried in hell.

(Not that I wouldn't agree with the guy), but back when I was a tiny tot, I substituted 'hell' for 'down there' (accompanied by pointing downward and making my eyebrows go up and down a couple of times as if I were saying, "You know what I mean, dont-cha? Eh? Eh?")

And yowza, can you believe the stuff those innocent little kids know about? I'd bet they knew even more about what babies pop out of and how they get there than -

Where was I?

Oh yes, the 'fresh-into-high-school-love' deal. Well, all I'm saying is that we should leave the drama and the woozy (cringe) lovey-doveyness to the adults. I mean, after all, we're only fourteen. We have our entire lives to wait for our first (twitch) kiss, right? We should focus on our studies, right? We don't need a boyfriend or a secret-admirer to know that we're good enough for someone, right?

And we shouldn't love until we're old enough ... right?


Ignorance? Thy name is -

"Rae? Rae ..."

Clunk, clunk, clunk. Someone is rapping my door, each knock a sharp clunk, clunk, clunk to my forehead. I push it away, still drifting about in my blissful sleep.

Oh, what a wonderful dream it is! I am swooping and soaring above the clouds on the back of a hawk, breaking free of the limitations of only being human. Together we fly, the sky so clear and blue as I had never seen it. I can feel the wind whipping itself across my face, my hair blowing out behind me ... and then, once we reach so far up that the clouds are just a sea of pillows below, we dive.

Like a bullet shot from the sky, we zoom downward, the first fall of a roller coaster -


Clunk! That time I really snap, and wake with a jolt. Eh? I open my eyes and stare at a whole array of blurry black and white shapes, mildly amused, and then realize that my cheek is stuck to the pages of some book or what not.

"Rae, hurry up or I'll - "

With a forceful wrench, I pull my face off the page with a riiiiip (ever slapped a piece of Duct tape on your face and then tore it off? It's a little like that) and curse silently.

"Alright Mom, I'm awake already!"

After five minutes of hurried scrambling and mumbling about my burning cheek, I burst out of my room like a stray cannon, frantically combing my dark, long hair with my fingers and hurtling down the stairs to the kitchen. There is my mother by the stove, looking like she is about to cause me bodily harm.

"You're going to miss the bus again," she hisses while I finish pulling my hair into a ponytail and start looking around for my backpack. "I swear, Rae, if this continues you're going to give me a heart attack ..."

"Uh huh," I mutter distractedly.

I pull on my old, hole-filled sneakers (which I am obviously wearing for comfort and not looks), now dearly wishing I hadn't gone running at the Merced Park yesterday ... by the time I'd gotten home, I'd had about two seconds to study for my English test (which our teacher had claimed would jumpstart the third quarter ... yeah, right) before plopping straight off to sleep ...

Heck, what bad timing.

"Ay - where are you going without your breakfast?" she asks loudly as I start out the door.

"Bye," I call in response, dashing out. The sharp cold flushes my cheeks and I take a deep breath. Freedom! I begin to jog slowly down the icy street in my large, black hooded sweatshirt. It feels good to be running again, however slowly, but as negative 100 degrees isn't exactly great track weather, my joints stiffen and I just keep getting slower.

By the time I turn a corner and spot the bus stop sitting comfortabely at the end of the street, I am shivering uncontrollably. I glance at my watch.

8:26! I missed the bus ...

I kick some person's bushes that were lining the sidewalk. If only I'd run faster! No point in moping, though. I'll just have to wait for the next one, I think glumly, and then walk toward the bus stop where someone else is also waiting. A boy I'd never seen before, medium height, messy brown hair, and very thin, as though he hadn't had a solid meal for a long time. He looks up as I plop down next to him.

Someone to wait with! Great.

So maybe my timing isn't that bad.

"Hi," I say.