Twists of Fate
By Lauren Duffy

Dedicated to Jesus, and everyone who makes me happy (you know who u are.)

Table of Contents:
Part 1- "I Have Loved You." .pg. 1
Part 2- "More Than Words." .pg.
Part 3- "Everything I Do, I Do For You." .pg.
Part 4- "This I Swear." .pg. Note- Yes the title's are the names of songs that inspired me, especially
the first one.

Copyright ©2004

Part 1- "I Have Loved You."
"The moment I saw you there,
I knew that my heart was won.
So even when life's too much to bear,
We've only just begun."

Connor stepped off the bus for the first day of school. It was the year 2025; his senior year. He sighed, knowing that nothing exciting awaited him inside those doors. Nothing he'll care to remember anyway.
"Connor! Wait up!" a female voice shouted from behind him. He turned and smiled. It was one of his closest friends, Reese. She smiled back and ran up next to him, eager to get into the building.
Looking at her, Connor noticed Reese was the same as she always was, happy and cheerful; feminine and beautiful. Her shoulder length, dirty blonde hair was naturally sun-streaked and smelled of strawberries. Her bright green eyes were wide with the excitement of seeing her friends again after summer vacation. Today, Reese wore silky, olive green, cargo Capri's, a beige tank top, and sandals. She hated the messenger bag fad and purposely used a backpack instead. Not to mention she had many-a-time ranted about how back problems might result from their use. Connor chuckled, remembering one of her outbursts, and looked towards the school again.
"What teachers do you hope to get?" Reese asked, crossing her fingers in the hopes she'd get good ones. Connor shrugged.
"I heard Mr. Anderson's good."
Reese smiled. 'He never talked much anyway.' she thought to herself. She quickly glanced at him and forced her eyes forward again. He looked good today, even he could admit that. He wore brown Vans sneakers, a black Led Zeppelin shirt, and khaki-colored denim cargo shorts. Connor's dark brown hair was swaying in the gentle breeze, ear length strands tickling his cheeks. His light brown eyes darted from person to person, determining their karma and their friend/foe status. He was a very odd type of person, not fitting into any real social category while Reese easily fit into the "goody-two-shoes" section.
Reese smiled. "Reese!" a voice called out from behind her. She turned to spot her best friend, Ashley, running towards her. Her light blonde ponytail swished back and forth as she tried to catch up with Reese. Her entire wardrobe consisted of Pacsun, complete with Vans sneakers, cargo shorts, and a Paul Frank shirt. Ashley's eyes were a light green flecked with orange, mirroring her spunky personality. She loved Linkin Park and P.O.D. and anything ranging from Christian hard rock to smooth jazz. She was one of the best friends any person could have.
"Aren't you excited? Getting to see everyone again?" Ashley said happily, practically exploding with anxiousness. Reese smiled and nodded, noting the fact that Connor was slinking into his own little world.
"Yeah, I guess so. How about you, Connor?" she said, pulling him back to reality. He smirked and nodded, ramming Reese into Ashley. Reese laughed as Ashley pretended to glare at Connor before laughing.
Just then, Matthew pulled Ashley's backpack, causing her to scream. Reese and Connor turned, laughing as Ashley freaked out.
"Don't DO that, Matthew! It scared me." Ashley said, pouting. Matthew put on a puppy face and wrapped his arms around her. Ashley kept up her pouting act for a few more seconds before smiling and hugging him.
She kissed Matthew' cheek before saying, "We've been going out for almost 4 years." Grinning from ear to ear, Ashley rested her head on Matthew' chest.
"You two are going to get married someday." Reese sighed, caught up in the moment. Connor just patted Matthew on the back.
"Congrats. I hope you have lots of children!" he said, laughing. Matthew and Ashley, disgusted, looked at each other and then Connor.
"I HOPE not. I only want a few kids," Matthew said, stroking Ashley's hair.
The bell echoed out of the schools open doors and rang in everyone's ears. Reese, worried, urged the others to go inside. Connor groaned, following Reese into the building. Ashley and Matthew weren't far behind.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Reese threw her loaded backpack onto the floor, sitting next to Ashley. Ashley had already bought her pizza and was happily dumping that and her cookies into the immense black hole known as her stomach. Reese laughed, pulling out her peanut butter and jelly sandwich and juice box. Her best friend shook her head.
"Why don't you ever BUY your lunch?" Ashley complained. She could count all the times she had seen Reese buy lunch on one hand. Giggling, Reese sipped her juice box before answering.
"I don't want to get up to throw it away," she said, giving her usual answer. This subject came up almost everyday. Reaching into her lunch box, she pulled out chocolate chip cookies. "Oooh! Cookies!"
"When DON"T you have cookies?" Ashley laughed, leaving a bit of the pizza on the plate. Reese smirked.
"When do you actually FINISH your lunch?" she smiled, pointing at the 'ends'. Possessively, Ashley pulled her plate closer to herself.
"I like my ends." she whined before laughing again. "You know what, Reese?"
"What?"
"You and Connor should go out. You're so cute together!" Ashley stated, sensitive side appearing. Reese smiled and shook her head.
"Ash, you say that everyday! We're just friends." Reese blurted before eating a cookie.
Ashley studied her friend. 'It's so obvious, Reese. You just don't get it, do you?' she thought, 'You're always teasing each other and when ever he shows up, you give him and only him a smile no one else gets a chance to see. With him you'd be so happy, Reese. One day you'll see that too.'
Quizzically, Reese looked at Ashley. "What is it? You can't have a cookie!"
"Sorry, Reese. I spaced out." Ashley said, covering up her thoughts.
"Hey! Peanut Butter Cup and Pokemon Master! Can we sit with you guys?" two boys said, approaching the table. They were Bryan and Mark, two of their closest friends. They dropped their backpacks off before going to buy lunch.
Mark was the taller of the two. He had short brown hair and puppy brown eyes. Whenever he was nervous or not doing something, he would constantly fiddle with his fingers, irritating everyone. He was very sweet and a bit introverted when it came to public situations. Mark was wearing his high school sweatshirt and jeans, an outfit he wore at least twice a week, and sneakers.
Bryan, however, was tall and lanky. He had reached 100 pounds only last year and was proud of that accomplishment. The ringleader of the group, he always had both the first and final say, not to mention that he's also the most extroverted of them all. Bryan had bright blonde hair and blue eyes that turned green when he wore certain colored shirts. Wearing one of only a few pairs of shorts that he would continue to wear until late October, he capped off the outfit with a pair of old sneakers.
Bryan and Mark returned to the table with their own slices of pizza and Poland Springs. Reese was squeezing the left over juice from her juice box and Ashley had already thrown away her ends. The table was quiet as Reese put away her lunch box.
"Hey, you guys? Don't you agree that Reese should go out with Connor?" Ashley asked, wanting another opinion to help get the idea through Reese's somewhat stubborn head. Reese sighed as Bryan and Mark grinned at her.
"Defiantly," Bryan said, "You two have liked each other since, like, 5th grade."
"No! Only a few times." Reese looked down to hide her blush.
"But you'd complement each other! You are what the other needs," Bryan said, stating what he had observed over the years.
"I thought you didn't believe in love." Mark smirked.
Bryan glared at his best friend. "I do, just not for kids our age. I think we're too young. But that's not the point. I didn't say love in the first place."
"You implied it, Monkey-child," Reese teased, using the nickname that she had given him 6 years ago, the year after she had met him and Ashley.
"Alright, think whatever you want, but the point is that you'd be a great match. It could work out at our age although high school relationships don't usually work out."
Ashley laughed before pretending to glower at Bryan. "Hey! What about me and Matthew? We've lasted almost 4 years! How's that for your statistics? Nyah!" She laughed.
Bryan and Mark rolled their eyes. "You're still IN high school." Ashley shrugged, wanting to leave the tender subject. Seeing her friend's distress signals, Reese decided to speak up.
"Oh, Bryan! Remember that time we played man-hunt at Mark's house and were so scared of that dog? We were practically crying!" Reese laughed. Bryan nodded and smiled.
"That was funny."
"No it wasn't! Not while it happened anyway." Ashley blurted.
"Obviously," Bryan said, chuckling, "You practically cut off my arms circulation." Everyone laughed, lifting the uncomfortable air.
While the others drifted off into talking about other inside jokes, Reese looked out the large glass window and into the parking lot. 'It's 6th period." she thought, 'I wonder what class Connor's in now.'

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Staring at the zit on the teacher's forehead, Connor tried to keep himself awake while Zit-face tried to tell the class what should be expected from her. On his blank sheet of notebook paper, he began to draw a small picture of himself shooting Zit-face. After viewing the final product, he looked back up at Zit-face, still rambling.
"You will need one 1 inch binder just for this class," she said, writing just about everything she said on the board. 'It's only the first day and she's irritating me.' Connor thought, wishing he was still at home sleeping.
"Pencil is the preferred medium although blue or black pen is also accepted." Zit-face went on and on, about the things every teacher says while thinking the other teachers don't exist.
'God, I HATE math class. Will this ever END?' Connor thought, once again, turning to himself for entertainment. Some girls in the back of the room were giggling as they fiddled with their cell phones. Zit-face didn't notice. 'Is Calculus actually needed in the real world? Geez, it's going to be SO stupid.'
"Here's a sample problem that you will be learning about in tomorrow's class," Zit-face said, ignoring the students. The problem was so complicated it was pointless to try and figure it out. 'We're not genius' here. Do you even know the answer, Zit-face?'
"Does anyone know the answer?" Zit-face said, pausing. The room was so silent, you could actually hear drool hit a desk. It was pathetic. Oblivious, Zit-face went on teaching.
"The answer is 69 because." she began. The class snickered, seeing the perverted importance of that number. Oblivious once again, she asked, "Why are you all talking? " Some moron who had been flirting with the cell phone girls earlier in the period raised his hand.
"Yes, Simon?"
"I just wanted to know. who's the 6 and who's the 9?" Simon said before he and the entire class burst into laughter. Even Connor laughed. Zit-face gave a disgusted look.
"If you're trying to get rid of me, I have tenure!" she shouted just before the bell rang. Still laughing, the class quickly exited the room.
Connor was walking to his next class when suddenly, he heard a voice call his name. Immediately recognizing it, he saw that his best friend, Joey, was walking beside him.
"What class are you going to next?" Joey asked, hoping Connor would be in his class. Joey had short black hair and dark brown eyes, matching his seemingly dark personality. At school, he was very quiet and focused, only speaking to his closest friends and teachers. As soon as school ended, he returned to his hyper, friendly self again. He was wearing a navy blue Beaver Creek shirt that Reese had gotten him a few years ago and denim shorts. He was wearing his track shoes today so he could continue to keep himself conditioned.
"Umm." Connor said, glancing at his schedule, "Social Studies. How about you?"
"Same. Do you have Zellweger?" Joey said, pulling his own schedule out from his back pocket.
"Yeah. Do you?"
"Cool! We're in the same class!"
"Word." Connor and Joey said simultaneously. They laughed for a bit and then continued talking.
"Do you still like Reese?" Joey inquired, wanting to know about his best friend's love life.
"Every time you see me, you ask me that same question."
"But every time you say yes."
"True. and this time isn't any different. Yes, I do still like her," Connor irritably replied.
"You should ask her out," Joey snickered, feeling annoying today.
"How many times have we gone over this? No!"
"Connor's scared! He'd never ask her."
"Yeah I would. I just don't think she likes me," Connor said, staring at the ground. He hated everything about this subject.
"And you'll never know-"
"Until you try. I know, I know. I'm just not going to do it."
"Your loss, man," Joey teased, faking disappointment.
"Shut up, Joey," Connor laughed, lightly punching him. Joey hit Connor back just as they entered their class room. 'At least I'm only with Zit-face once a day.' Connor thought, chuckling.
He then remembered the party that Ashley was having that Friday. It was a back-to-school man-hunt party, complete with a trip to the local pizza parlor. Connor smiled. 'Reese'll be there.' he thought.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Connor and Joey climbed out of Connor's mom's SUV and shut the door behind them. They were in front of the pizza parlor in the downtown section. It had a very fun and familiar aura surrounding it, inviting everyone inside. The smell of pizza lured them inside. Upon entering, Reese, Ashley, Matthew, Bryan, and Mark had already gotten a table and were frantically waving at them.
"Hey, you guys! How long have you been waiting?" Joey asked, releasing his out-of-school persona. After a chorus of "Hey!" 's, he and Connor sat down.
"Not long," Reese blurted even though they'd been waiting for 20 minutes. A waitress came over to the table. She was tall, pretty. and she was really Bryan's brother, Danni. They looked nothing at all alike, not to mention that Danni looked like no one else in the family.
"What do you guys want? Are you actually ordering?" Danni said sarcastically, rolling his eyes at his little brother and his friends. Not to mention that they caught him working as a waiter in a pizza parlor at age 22. It was his part-time job.
Everyone ordered drinks and 2 large pies to share as quickly as possible so they could be rid of the older beast. After his brother left, Bryan noticed that his brother was wearing the same shirt he had been for two weeks.
Laughing, Ashley shouted, "Hey, Danni! Do you ever WASH that thing?" The table cracked into hysterics, angering the manager.
Nicknamed Beetlejuice by Bryan and Mark, she sauntered over to the table, slapping and then grabbing Reese and Matthew' shoulders.
"If you don't keep quiet, I'm going to RIP YOUR HEART OUT!" she shouted, glaring at Bryan and practically crushing Reese and Matthew' shoulders. After she left, the table was silent.
"How many times has she done that over the years? Like, 12?" Mark squeaked, breaking the stillness. Everyone laughed and nodded, air returning to its normal, fun status.
"So what will the teams be? I should have brought my gear." Joey, dismayed, said before grabbing a few sugar packets. Down the hatch they went. The only thing that was going through everyone's minds was "WHY? HE"S GOING TO BE SO INSANE!" but they all knew in the end it'd make the night even more fun.
Immediately, Ashley said "Oooh! Matthew and I need to be on the same team!"
"Shush! I have them already planned out!" Bryan said, pulling out a piece of folded paper. After spreading it out neatly on the table, Bryan moved a little candle so everyone could read it:
Man-hunt teams- Round 1
Hunters Hunted
Joey Ashley
Connor Matthew
Mark Reese
Bryan

Man-hunt teams- Round 2
Hunters Hunted
Reese Joey
Matthew Bryan
Connor Mark
Ashley

After everyone figured out what team they were on, Danni arrived with the pizza and drinks. Happily, each face was stuffed with at least 2 slices of pizza, gearing up for the game ahead.

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