Yes, this is basically the same content, i just fixed the name issue that one or two of you saw. And i added like a sentance, nothing earth shattering. A new chapter should be up soon though! Thanks for the responses.

A/N: This is just something that i got an idea for a while back and i started to plan. I think i've rewritten this chapter about 17 times, so here goes nothing. They are all my characters and, the story is mine, so feel free to let me know what you think. I have a few different places i could take this and i would love the imput!

Yep, it was official. Cassie, my best friend and serial dater extraordinaire, had gone completely and certifiably insane. I mean, why else would she think that asking me to go with her on her random date Friday was a good idea?

The girl must have some sort of fairytale complex, and this was probably one of her sad attempts to convince me that Cinderella really had the right idea. I don't buy it. I mean, she has to be the only person out there who still thinks that Prince Charming really does exist. Please! The man didn't even have a name! I think that's why she goes through so many guys who seemed to have potential, only to get bored because they don't treat her like a princess, and who can blame them? They are high school boys; they can hardly take care of themselves. She wants the prince, she gets the toads. It's her fault. She of all people has just proven to me that love can not exist in the superficial world that is high school, not true romantic love anyway; teenagers just haven't experienced enough to not let the wrong influences in. Cass has yet to learn this. And I have no desire to be anything like her.

Anyway, back to the tragedy at hand. At first I thought she was kidding. Really, she knew that I had sworn off going with her after the last one, where I spent three hours listening to her and her date shamelessly compliment each other before being dropped off in the wrong neighborhood because they were both too busy staring into each other's eyes to notice, all for a relationship that lasted a whole five days. She also knew that I whole-heartedly disapproved of dating people who you either had just met, or didn't feel comfortable enough with to hang out one on one.

Bottom-line, she knew better. That is why I had no problem with promptly looking at her like she had three heads before slamming my locker shut and walking away.

"Come on!" She whined as she trailed after me down the hall. "It'll be fun! Plus, you'll get a free meal out of it…"

"As tempting as that sounds… No! This is the second time this month, Cass! I am not doing it again." I retorted, slowing down enough for her to catch up. "Plus, third-wheeling it on a Friday night is not exactly something any senior in their right mind would be up for. You are seventeen Cass. Grow up and go on your own!"

I knew it was harsh, but I would apologize later. Right now, she was hardly listening. I could see her mind working as we stopped in front of out Advanced Chemistry class. "Then don't third-wheel it…" she stated confidently after a full 30 seconds of silence. "Get a date… or just ask one of the guys to come as friends so you don't have to be alone."

"And where would I find said date?"

"I don't know. I could always ask Justin to bring a friend for you."

"Oh yes, a blind date. Great idea Cassie. Just send me up a creek without a paddle why don't you! And did you say Justin?"

"Yeah. Justin Blake. Remember him?"

"The Justin Blake? The one who helped Kyle throw all of my clothing into the lake at camp in the seventh grade? The one that got my brother to let him into my room so that he could put worms in all of my shoes? The Justin that that glued my bedroom door shut on my fourteenth birthday? Please tell me that you are talking about a different Justin Blake."

"Rachael, don't be so melodramatic! It's not like he is going to have a toad to put in your purse. It's been like a year since he transferred schools, forgive and forget!"


"Just do this for me! You have tons of guys at your disposal. Take advantage of it, God knows I would. Plus, it means a lot to me and you know I would do the same for you if you didn't have such high standards."

And there it was. The head tilt. It got me every time. Yes ladies and gentlemen, my best friend, the manipulator. I swear, with that head tilt she could have had Gandhi take up a gun. I looked at her. I rolled my eyes. I even dramatically sighed as I shook my head, but I could only manage a weak "fine but you'll owe me" before the bell rang.

This left me to contemplate why she had said that I had high standards as I made it to my seat. I mean, she of all people! The self appointed school slut was telling me what I was doing wrong.

Don't get me wrong. I love her, but she is not exactly the model of an upstanding citizen. I couldn't believe it. Me? High standards? Please! Ok, maybe my standards weren't exactly low. And maybe they weren't anywhere near as low as Cassandra's, but its not like I'm snobby and think that everyone is below me. I just find it easier to not like guys when focusing on their flaws.

I do this for one simple reason.

I don't date.

Well, I did, but I won't anymore. I think I have some aversion to letting people in. Well, ever since a certain person decided to steal my heart and stomp on it freshman year anyway. Yep, Kyle, the seventh grade panty stealer, broke my heart. I don't think he meant to, but that's beside the point. We ended up going on one quasi-date, after which he kissed me, only to ask out Aimee Sanders the next week. He claimed that if I had feelings for him, I would have had the confidence to tell him about them. No confidence? Needless to say, that changed, and boy did he get an earful. I mean, I had only been head over heels for the guy since the sixth grade! Me, no feelings? Ha.

Anyway. As I said, I did date. After the whole Kyle fiasco, I dated Jim, Sean and Aaron. None of them lasted very long. Jim, well we had nothing in common. Sean was afraid to kiss me incase he would hurt me (who said that football players were inconsiderate?). And Aaron left for college two months after asking me out. That last one was a mutual breakup, but really I wasn't too broken up about any of them. Cassie claims that I must be an android and devoid of all feelings. I just like to think of it as my dating strategy. Pick guys I won't get too attached to and I won't get hurt again. And it worked until Aaron left for college. I realized after my second pint of Ben and Jerry's that I had come awfully close to fully falling for him. That left me with the idea of a full dating embargo.

Plus, as crazy as it sounds, I like being single. I actually enjoyed spending my Friday nights hanging out with a group of friends or at home, but Cassie always had to come in with her head tilt and force me to reconsider.

I figured it couldn't be that bad. I could just ask someone to come as a friend. No strings attached. No date. Just two single friends accompanying two other friends on their date. Plus, having someone hot to flirt with all night was always fun (I said I didn't date, not that I wasn't a normal, hormone driven teenager).

It would be fine. That was my mantra as I opened my Chemistry notebook and tried to focus. It was barely a month into the school year and I could already tell that it would be just like the others. I would do the readings, again. I would know all the information, again. And I would painfully sit through all the lessons that I already knew, do I wouldn't have to pay attention, again.

So there I was, bored out of my mind as I listened to Mr. Samuels go on about polyatomic anions, which I figured out sophomore year. This left me completely free to go over my list of possible friend/dates.

I had quite a pool to choose from. I mean, I happen to be a social chameleon. Lunch with the jocks, after school with the actors, plus the school day with the brains, student council officers and newspaper staff kept me socially active. I knew that not many people could claim to have the same kind of diversity in their life or that of their friends about 75 percent of them were male (having a brother who happened to only be a year older, and failed kindergarten had its unavoidable perks). So yes, I had my options.

Going around the room I made a list.

1. Danny, James, Wes and Rick: The Jocks. All were three sport athletes and all around good guys. They would all make sure to show me off, although they would be much better at dinner if they could only learn to chew with their mouths closed. Trust me. It isn't pretty, and I would know, I eat lunch with them. Don't get me wrong, they are amazing guys, but when their pizza and fries come spurting out like Mount Vesuvius, an umbrella would be nice. I could get past that for one night, I'm sure. Then again. They take all their dates to the movies because it's a quote un-quote cheap date that leads straight to the back seat (it really does amaze me that with ideas like that, Danny and James find any girls at all…) and I don't want the people working there to think that I'm like that. Plus they were all like my brother. So they were out.

2. Brian Davis. He sat with us at lunch too. He would be an ok choice, but I felt that asking him would be awkward. I mean we had known each other since we were in diapers, he knew too many embarrassing stories (damn bookclub-going mothers) which would just give Justin more fuel for the fire if he had kept up his evil ways. Plus he's like a brother to me, and dating siblings is illegal in most states.

3. The theater guys. Problem with them was that the believably straight ones (all four of them) were all taken, and although I love Ben and Robby dearly, they both have a little too much fashion sense for their own good. And Ben used to date the ticket guy.

Kyle. He was sitting in the corner, paying attention as usual. Now, after all the heartbreaking and yelling, we somehow were friendly. I mean, sure my heart ached a little when I talked to him, but who could blame me. I mean, not only was he an amazing baseball player… but to see him drum. I recently took up hanging out with his band after play practice on Thursdays in the band room. Hot was an understatement. He wouldn't be all that bad of a choice. I mean, talent and interesting things to say? Check. Great looks? Double check. Heartbreaking asshole? Oh yeah, check. So maybe I moved him down to the last resort pile.

The rest of my lunch table. Aiden, my brother's best friend, was possibly the best guy in the group. He and Wes were the only ones that didn't gossip like old ladies on a porch, and he was blunt. I enjoy honesty, but on second thought he had a soccer game. Max could work too, now that he'd forgiven me for the sixth grade (a girl dumps milk on a guy once… and it was his fault… he asked me out!). He's turned out to be pretty nice for an immature asshole (I think that's what I called him back when we were eleven.. maybe it was immature butthead… potato, potahto), and even if he is still a total prick he's insanely loyal. Problem was, he asked me to a dance freshman year and I didn't want to lead him on. I'm not completely oblivious; I know that all the hair pulling meant something.

Wil Jacobson. Only guy left in the room. Still hasn't forgiven me for a certain incident last year. Next.

Aaron. I knew for a fact that he would be in town for his sister's wedding. I couldn't risk the feelings coming back though could I…?

There I was, with a list of at least ten guys in front of me, and I was beginning to think that Max was shaping up to be the one with the least potential damage when Wil, speaking of the devil, felt the need to interrupt my ever so productive train of thought.

"So you're my partner…" he said in his usual soft, hesitant voice.

"Way to sound confident, William." I saw him cringe at the sound of his full name. Wait, what did he say?

"Nice to see you too."

"Back to your point…?"

"When did you quit being fun?"

"Your point William?" (Picking on him was kind of fun.)

"You're my partner." Crap.

"I got that part… for?"

"The elementary school demos." Double crap. " You know, find an experiment, do it for the little kids…"

"I'm not stupid! I know what it is." It was at the end of the month. That meant work outside of school. One on one. With Wil. Triple crap.