Anti Heroine

A Moment Out of Character

Jessie was bored. Bored of school, which hadn't even started yet, bored of TV, and bored of her family. There was only one thing that could shake this mood, and that was a trip to the book store, Wonderland Books. She read everything she could get her hands on, from history books, to sci-fi, to classics, to trashy teenage romance novels. She seeped up words from the page like a sponge, and adored the feeling of losing herself to the plot and characters.

At sixteen, Jessie had her license and drove herself to her haven. A sigh of relief escaped her at the sight of the rows upon rows of books. She headed straight for the fiction section; she needed something juicy, and carefully chose one with an amusing title and cover, about a girl forced into an arranged marriage, and headed for her favorite chair.

After a few hours she was thoroughly immersed in the life of Nalia and Chase, when a shadow loomed over the book. A boy with shaggy dark brown hair towered over Jessie, smirking.

Finally noticing him, Jessie jerked out of book world, "What?"

"Are you going to buy that, you've been here for hours and we are closing up." He responded cheekily.

Jessie suddenly realized in two quick sweeps of what he had said, and what he looked like, that a) this was one of the clerks and, b) that if the store was closing it was late. Shit, guess I have to get it now.

"I was just deciding if I wanted to buy it or not."

"Well, we are closing in fifteen minutes so hurry up and decide."

Glancing at her watch, Jessie realized just how late it was. She was in deep trouble. "Shit!"

Book store guy looked confused, "Huh?"

"I have to go," she responded, throwing him a twenty, "Here take this." She ran off, not even noticing the astounded yet smiling face of the clerk.

Climbing into her car and pulling the seat forward to get closer to the wheel, Jessie hurriedly turned on her cell phone, which beeped, displaying seven new voicemails. She pressed in her pin code and stuck her tongue out in frustration as her mother's voice increased in decibels with every message.

"You have school tomorrow," followed by, "Where are you?" and, "Don't expect any dinner," and finally, "No book store for two weeks, I know that's where you went."

Aw mom why?

Fifteen minutes later, she pulled into her drive way, cutting the engine and attempted to sneak upstairs to her room without her mother seeing her. No such luck.

Sitting in the kitchen tapping a rhythm against the table, was her mother. A formidable woman at 5'7" she had frosty blonde hair and a stick thin body. No one messed with Susan Sanders.

At 5'2" Jessie couldn't have been more different from her mother. Her pear shaped body and mouse brown hair completed the physical differences, not to mention her mother's strong attitude compared to her shy one. The pair didn't look or act like they were related. Even sitting, Susan Sander's regal attitude permeated the room.

"You were supposed to be home at six." Her mother said in a flat monotone.

Jessie winced, she knew she was in major trouble, "Sorry, I got lost in this amazing plot and didn't keep track of time."

"Go to bed, you are ground for a week on top of the bookstore." Her mother stood up and gathered the robe around her, walking out of the room and up the stairs in slow even steps.

What a great way to start the school year, Jessie thought, grabbing some chips and salsa and running up stairs to her room, at least I still have the library.

Jessie woke up late the following day, as usual, and only had time to throw own a tee shirt and old jeans, grab a piece of burnt toast, and sprint for school.

"Hey Jessie! How was your summer? Oh my god France was awesome! And where did you get those jeans they are SO adorable! Do you have work today? I do, wish I didn't, we should hang out tomorrow. Oh, there's the first bell, I gotta go!"

The perky blonde scurried down the hallway clutching her cappuccino in a death grip. Like she needed the caffeine.

Jessie turned to the girl, who had seemed invisible in the onslaught of a happy morning person, in a stunned silence, still trying to digest what the girl had said. The two looked at each other and burst out laughing, "Same old Lisa huh Lizzie?" she said to the bohemian dressed blonde, "Looks like she had a great summer, how about you?"

"Eh it was okay," Lizzie responded, "Oh great second bell, do you have German too?"

"Of course!" Jessie and Lizzie walked down the hallway arms linked, sharing summer experiences and laughing. The two sneaked into the class room and into two empty seats just as the last bell rang, and Mrs. Miller began to teach.

The two friends chatted under their breath, they could both ace this class easily, and Jessie finally summed up her dull vacation, ending with her trip to the book store.

"Oh he sounds cute!" Lizzie squealed, she must have been around Lisa too much over the last three months. Jessie had just finished her complete description of Book Store Guy, as he was affectionately named in her mind, "Guess we need to make more trips to Wonderland."

When Lizzie didn't get a response she looked over at Jessie, who had gone completely slack jawed. Confused, she followed her friend's gaze to an adorable boy at the front of the classroom.

"How cute!" she said, excited to have a new boy to lust after.

"That," Jessie said, "would be the one and only Book Store Guy."

Lizzie gasped and they both quieted down.

"I see, yes," Mrs. Miller mumbled to herself as she took the yellow slip from the boy's hand, "Class, this is Ethan Randolph, he is new this year." Turning to the slightly embarrassed teenager, she indicated the seat next to Jessie, "Please take the seat next to Miss Sanders."

Jess blushedshe was shy and awkward around new people. What!? I have to sit next to a boy?!

Lizzie broke the silence, leaning over Jessie and shoving her hand out, "Hey I'm Lizzie, nice to meet you, this is Jessie by the way.

Jessie attempted a weak smile and sunk into her chair, wishing the two would ignore her. Her slight blush had advanced to a crimson color from her neck to her forehead.

"So what classes do you guys have?" Ethan asked. He had attempted to pay attention at first, but German was far from his favorite subject. "This place is really confusing, I could use all the help I can get to find my way around.

Lizzie jumped to respond, the gleam of a predator circling its prey in her eyes, "German, of course, trig, bio, English, U.S. history, and then painting."

Jessie ignored the question, Ethan looking at her expectantly, until Lizzie elbowed her in the stomach. "Ow!"

Lizzie just smiled innocently and nodded.

Rolling her eyes Jessie answered, "Fine, German, physics, pre-calc, English, U.S. History and photo."

Ethan smirked, "Guess we'll be seeing a lot of each other around here Jessie."

"What?" Jessie said, alarmed, "Let me see that," she then grabbed Ethan's schedule, an almost exact copy of hers except for name, advisor, and locker number. Her face fell. Great, now I have to talk to a guy and deal with all his potential fan club. Just great.

After German, Jessie waved good bye to Lizzie and Ethan trailed after her to physics. Jessie plopped down into one of the open seats, conveniently located next to Lisa and Adrianne Michaels, the queen bee of Jefferson High School.

Ethan took the seat next to Jessie, and she prepared herself for another onslaught of girls. Jessie had been friends with Lizzie and Lisa since grade school, but, when they had reached high school, Lisa had immediately been admitted into the cool group, and Lizzie and Jessie had been left behind, with the art geeks. Jessie was still friendly with her, they made semiannual shopping trips and saw movies, like old times, but that group wasn't enchanted with the shy, bookish, wallflower who didn't wear designer clothes.

The boy caught sight of Lisa and a confused look struck his face. Oh great, he already fell for her.

He defied this thought in his explanation, "I thought you said you had trig. And why did you change your clothes?"

Even if the populars and Jessie didn't mesh well, she, Adrianne, and Lisa burst out laughing. Through the giggles Jessie managed to blurt out, "They're two different people dork. Twins!"

The blonde stuck out her perfectly manicured hand and smiled. "I'm Lisa," of course, she had to give him her "come hither" smile.

And, of course Adrianne pushed her way in with her hand, "And, I am Adrianne, if you want help around her, I'm available." She flicked her glossy chestnut locks, shooting him a coy smile, hinting at the double meaning behind her words.

Practically steaming, Jessie wanted to rip out all the little hairs on her perfect head, every guy who walked the halls of Jefferson turned and stared at her. Naturally attractive in every way, Adrianne always had a date. Or at least a hook up. But why should Jessie care? She had no chance with him; she didn't even want a chance with him, or any boys. She clammed up if a boy asked her what math homework was. Plus, she had never been on a date, nor had any guy friends. She didn't really want to go on a date though, she was sure she wouldn't have anything to say.

Jessie found herself smiling at Ethan's response, give a celebratory dance inside her head.

"I think I'll be ok thanks, but if I have problems, Jessie can always help me."

His moment as a "good guy" ended with the last part, she may think he was cute, but that did not mean she wanted to spend time with him. And that be just Awkward. With a capital a.

"Wait," Adrianne said, "Are you two going out?" she gestured to Jessie.

"No!" Jessie said with fervor, "No. I only met him yesterday!" she repeated in hushed tones.

"Oh Jessie, does that mean there is a possibility?" Lisa asked.

"No!" Jessie squealed. She and Ethan turned scarlet when the class turned to look at them.

In Jessie's mind this day was going horribly, until Pre-Calc when some boys intercepted Ethan and took him off her hands. Lizzie look questioningly when Ethan wasn't attached to her hip in English, but she just shrugged. Alphabetically arranged seats in history ensured Jessie a seat right next to Ethan and Alex Smith. Over her desk the pair chatted about sports until the bell rang. She grabbed Lizzie by the hand and rushed from the room, happy to finally have lunch.

While standing in line, Lizzie quizzed her on everything that went on during History. Jessie just grumbled and grabbed food. She greatly disliked talking about boys, ever since 3rd grade when Jessie had her great romantic moment and professed her love to the now star quarterback, Jack, she has sworn them off. And now Ethan was ruining a good thing. The two friends sat at a table with the rest of Lizzie's group. Jessie usually sat there in silence, only answering questions directed at her, she wasn't really friends with the girls.

Talking to boys was not her only social anxiety, she didn't like talking to people she hadn't known since the sand box days. Every day, Jessie ate her lunch and pondered the results of her latest read, while Lizzie chattered happily with the other artistically minded, about the latest bands.

Today was a new day. Ethan really had changed everything. The whole school was talking about the "cute, nice, new guy."

As Lizzie and Jessie sat down, the other three girls who were already eating turned and smiled.

"Hey Jessie, hurry up and sit down," Molly said.

"Yea, you've been busy this summer huh?" Paige countered.

Jessie flushed scarlet and slid down in her chair, wishing they would just go away, "No, just a normal three months."

"Oh really? Then would you care to explain why half the girls in this school are giving you death stares and you've had a very cute stalker all day?" Emma asked sweetly.

Jessie was flabbergasted. How had the news spread through such a large school so quickly? She was fed up with this. She couldn't take the whispers and bold questions. She was about to do something extremely out of character.

She stood up and scream, "Look people, I just met Ethan yesterday, there is nothing going on!"

A/N this is my first story on fiction press, I hope you like it!