Chapter 3

The alarm woke me up at 8.19 I closed my eyes thinking that I needed much more sleep, sighing I did my daily routine of my wash up, and then changed in to black jeans and a lilac top. I went downstairs and entered the kitchen to find my mum drinking tea and my dad rushing to find his car keys. 'Morning squirt, see ya love'. He said to me then my mum. I glanced at my watch to find that I was running late. I snatched a muffin of the table and grabbed my bag. 'See ya mum'. I yelled grabbing my school bag then running out the house.

I sprinted towards the bus stop as I saw it coming down the road. I was breathing heavily by the time the bus stopped. I hopped on and showed my bus pass to the driver. Looking around I saw a spare seat half way down the bus. Just as I sat down and got relatively comfortable I felt someone sit down beside me. I looked up startled to see Conner smiling sheepishly.

'Hey' he said casually.

'Hi' I said turning around to face the window. What was he doing sitting next to me. It's like he's asking for trouble. He should know by now that anyone who associates with me the "freak girl" are also shunned. But didn't seem to care. Not that he can be shunned since he's the resident Casanova.

'Why didn't you talk to me when you saw me yesterday?' he asked looking puzzled. 'You seemed kinda busy' I answered dryly.

'You could of at least said hi' he said sighing loudly, enough for me to hear. 'So could have you, but you didn't so why should I have said it' I said bluntly. 'Yeah well, I was about to, but you left'. He said moving slightly closer to me. Yeah right, he was about to, as if.

'Hmm' was all I said.

I heard loud muttering coming from behind me. So I turned around to see all of Conners friends pointing and sniggering at me. Feeling slightly hurt I looked at Conner and said 'what do you want'?

'What do you mean' he said looking bewildered again.

'Why are you talking to me, why don't you just sit with your friends and ignore me like everyone else?'

'Well to tell you the truth I'm not exactly sure my self. But I do know that I don't want to ignore you or anything.' He said smiling slightly. I was about to answer when the bus stopped. I looked around to find that we were outside the school. I got up and waited for Conner to get out first since he was sitting closet to the aisle. Getting out the bus I quickly headed for the front entrance, on impulse I stopped and looked back, I saw Conner standing by the school gates looking at me with a rather wound look on his face. Ignoring him I walked up to the building and went to my locker. Getting my English books out I stuffed them in my bag and turned around only to be jumped by Beth.

'Hey girl, what's with the long face' she said mimicking my look. Laughing I pulled her to a corner and told her a quick version of seeing Conner and Lucy Anderson in the café, then about the conversation that just happened in the bus.

'Well girly its clear to me that Conner likes_' before she finished of her sentence I slapped my hand across her mouth and gave her such a fierce look that it would made anyone quiver in their boots, but unfortunately it made Beth giggle. It sounded weird since my hand was still on her mouth.

'Its nothing like that, He's just acting slightly out of character'. I said quietly. 'Slightly out of character are you barmy or something, he's never given a blind bit of notice to anyone who's not in the "popular" crowd. I would say, my dearest friend, that he must like you_' I glared at her 'only a bit' she carried on 'to talk to you, mustn't he.'

'You've changed your tune, have you forgotten already, its you who said that there must be some kind of dare going on for him to talk to me, now your saying that he likes me. Give me a break.'

'I guess I'm slightly confused, just like you girly.' She said smiling weakily.

Not saying anything for a while I leaned against the wall, I was sooo tired. 'Listen Beth, I'll meet you after second period, outside the library' I said giving her a small smile then walking towards my next class.

Walking into the English classroom I felt sort of relieved because I didn't have Conner in my class, so there'd be no distraction. I sat down on the chair nearest to the door and looked out the window, hoping the hour would fly quickly. Sitting a little straighter I pretended to listen to Miss Fatimah whilst my mind went subconsciously to Conner.

I honestly didn't understand the geezer, what was his game? Why on earth was he still talking to me? Especially in front of his friends, and didn't he care that people might look at him strangely or talk about him without saying "flippin hell he's hot" or "damn I wish I was more like him".

Hearing the school bell bought me out of my reverie. I got up and quickly grabbed my books and ran out the room before the teacher could stop me for not paying attention. I walked to my locker and took out my geography books and put my English books back into the locker.

I headed towards my geography classroom; purposely taking my time knowing Conner was in the same class. I entered the room and sat down in my usual seat without looking around so I didn't know if Conner had arrived or not.

Putting me head in my crossed arm that lay on the table I waited for Mr Li to start speaking.

I felt someone put their hand on my shoulder and gently shake me. I looked up to find myself staring into Conner's eyes.

'Hey Tanya, the lessons ended'.

'What!' I jumped out my seat to find the classroom empty.

'Why didn't the teacher wake me up, why did she let me sleep through out the lesson?' I asked curiously.

'I told her that you weren't feeling very well and that you needed rest, so she just left you'.

'Oh'

I didn't know what to say. ' ' I got up and walked out the room, completely aware that Conner was right on my heel.

I went to my locker and put my stuff away then headed for the girls bathroom. I went inside and splashed cold water on my face hoping to clear my mind. What Conner did was unexpected, I never expected him to do something like that for me.

I walked out the bathroom and looked around to find the corridor empty. Conner must have gone after his friends.

I headed towards the library and was just about to open the door when I saw Beth running towards me.

'Hey girly, I see that you're awake now' she said smirking evilly.

'How did you know about that' I cried indigently.

'A little birdie told me' she said smirking.

'What have the gossip mongers of this god forsaken school been saying now' I said sighing extremely loudly.

'I heard from the "popular" crowd that you nodded off during lesson, and that your geezer defended you when the teacher was about to wake you up' she said slyly. 'Your never gonna listen are you, he's not MY geezer, he's just a guy that decided to be chivalrous for once.' I said making sure to look directly into her eyes, so she knew I was telling the truth.

'If you say so' she said, then started to open the door when we heard someone laughing hysterically, someone whose shrieks sounded distinctly like Lucy Andersons. Deciding to see what was going on, we headed in the direction of the laughter. What I saw seemed to make me freeze; there leaning against the lockers was Lucy Anderson, whose arms were wrapped around Conner. She leaned in to hug him and gave him a peck on the cheek. For some bizarre reason I had this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach not knowing what I was feeling or what I to do I turned around and walked towards the library.

I heard Beth following me, with a grave look on her face.

'Are you ok?' she asked softly.

'Yeah course I am, I mean Conner O'Neil doesn't care about me and I don't care about him, so everything's perfectly ok.' I said whilst walking briskly into the library.

By the time I sat down the bell rang again signalling the end of break.

I groaned and walked out the library with Beth. I went to my locker and got my business studies books out and headed for my class. Beth being in my class made us naturally sit next to each other (at the front of the room, next to the door). I smiled at her to reassure her that I was ok then began talking to her about the homework that was set, when from the corner of my eye I saw Conner walk in.

I looked at him. He saw me and smiled. I looked down to the table and ignored him when he went past me.

No sooner had everyone arrived, when the teacher walked in. Mr Malarkey was an all right teacher. He gave us more or less easy work but a lot of it.

'Right, business people of the future_' he always started like that. At first it was slightly funny but as the term went on, it got annoying.

I blanked out as he droned on. I felt someone's piercing gaze on my back. I instantly knew it was Conner. Who else would look at the "freak" girl?

I felt like turning round, but I knew better. I would NOT turn around, no matter what. The only reason I can think of that concerns Mr. Conner O'Neil's sudden fascination with me is that there is some kind of bet going on and unfortunately for me I am included.

Beth nudging me pulled me out my thoughts, I looked at her and she glanced at my textbook. Looking around I found that everyone was reading from it. I looked up to find Mr. Malarkey looking at me with one eyebrow raised.

I quickly opened my textbook and looked at Beth's page then found the appropriate page on my book.

Silence had descended upon the class as everyone did silent reading. But throughout the silence I still felt the gaze upon my back. Ignoring it completely I carried on reading.

Twenty minutes later the bell went off. I got up and grabbed my books then waited for Beth to get her stuff. We walked out the class together and went to my locker, Beth's locker was next to mine so we put our books in and headed towards the library, for we both had a free period.

Reaching the library Beth settled down on a chair and I went searching for a good book to read. I turned a corner only to find Conner leaning on one of the bookshelves. He was looking me, his face blank of any expressions.

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