Yay, another chapter. Current word count: 5328 :)


-picture day, yay-

That same week was picture day, which was basically like a death sentence. I absolutely abhorred picture day—sure, it's for the year book, your mom cataloging everything in your life, blah, blah, blah—but I kept freaking out, and not just because I wanted to not look perfect, just not weird (I am not describing my eighth grade picture…). But that was also the week that I hurt my right leg and was on crutches. Yep—that sure sucks. Happy Freshman Year, Leah!

One more thing that I abhorred almost as much as picture day: crutches. They dug up my arm pits and bruised my hands when I had to lift my weight to keep it off of my right leg. We had a soccer game sometime before that against some pushing, spitting, won't-keep their-damned-hands-down Mexicans, and a lot of girls, and including me, got hurt. However, I hadn't noticed it at first until I got off the bus that night and my leg gave away, leaving me nearly gloriously having a face-first welcome on the parking lot of my high school.

At first, I thought it was my knee, but apparently my leg couldn't decide what it wanted to be hurt. The next day at soccer practice, I went running on the track, stupidly thinking that running would help "stretch it out". Obviously, I had misjudged the actual friggin' pain I was in, because I ended up on the ground, and cried out in pain when I sprinted my last circle. Dana attempted to stretched it out for me, but I was crying and couldn't even get up off the ground, hence the crutches the next day.

So, wobbling around school for nearly a full week, picture day included, and lugging around a heavy-as-hell back pack stuffed to the zipper of all my text books because it was too much of a hassle to go to my locker and back, I had not only extensive back sweat and arm pits stink, but I discovered how much my deodorant sucked. I ended up getting a male-smelling kind that made my clothes smell like I was romping it around with dude on a daily basis and kept in my back pack.

-staying a little after-

Before the game, I had about forty minutes to kill until the bus would leave, and since I've never been all too fond of homework and tests, I decided to go to marching band's practice, to which Axel joked about stalking him (yeah, right). And even though I didn't to actually hear them play, as they were going over the movement to their show, it was still a lot of fun to sit there and hear them play and talk to a girl, another note that my social life is going well so far. Not exceptional or wonderful, but well…so far. I nerve knew how much fun it was, with color guard and marching band doing moves I could never imagine me doing, and Mr. U cracking jokes.

-axel and morgan-

That day before picture day was a Tuesday, and every Tuesday concert band and marching band would go outside so that marching band could practice. I sat and talked with Melody and another flute player named Maisa, and they were randomly talking about Axel. Originally, Axel told me he and Melody were cousins, but as Melody and Maisa talked, I realized they're actually exes.

Before I go on, let me just say that my particular "hots" for guys is rather…odd, to say the least. I like them with peculiar eyes, with big, straight noses, is tall and skinny—yes, I am an odd child. But everyone has a strange attraction for something, and those happen to be mine. I am usually attracted to the quiet guys, but Axel is something, erm…different. He dresses up when he's sad, hacked into the school's directory system more than twice, a great sense of humor, no fear, and just really cool to hang out with.

When Maisa, Melody and I were talking (Maisa and Melody more than with me…I got this feeling that Melody doesn't like me), they somehow started talking about Axel's ex-girlfriends. Apparently he dated a girl named Morgan, who I rode on the bus with a lot during middle school before one of my best friends Rachel joined the picture, and apparently Axel joked a lot with her and she never laughed at any of his jokes and their relationship was very short lived. (Axel told me later that she also cheated on him, which sucks, majorly.)

So, with that in the back of my mind, I was worried. Axel's outward appearance doesn't amount to what kind of person he really was, as his countless strings of girlfriends have shown me. At that time, I felt like I, too, was falling under his spell, which made me feel that excited and nervous feeling yet again. I was also worried because not only does he have a "past" with numerous girls—one of them being Melody—but I have only had one-relationship-on-week-one-date back in sixth grade. I haven't ever been kissed (except in kindergarten, but that's another long story—what do you think this is, a biography?) and how can I even be compared to the goddesses in my school like Melody and Morgan?

-weird taste in guys-

But…I did think Axel was cool and attractive, but I just wasn't sure I wanted to started a relationship, whether it be with Axel or not, during school or not. I never thought myself to be a whore or some kind of girl who dates any guy who comes around, but there was always this little part of me who wanted to have a guy who genuinely liked you for you and cared about you. But with college courses, two honors classes, and high school in general along with being a freshman, soccer, and homework, how was I going to have time?

-the stuttering phone number-

At the end of the period during picture day, Axel plunked down next to me on the chair during last period band. Because he sits directly behind me, he's been able to kick and scoot my chair forward every chance he got, and let's just say Mr. U didn't seem to care because I know he noticed. I felt like I was getting high off of the attention Axel randomly started pouring down on me and I felt my face blush a horribly red tomato red that from then on always made fun of. He first asked me how I was and I forgoed telling him with beautiful detail about my hands, arm pits and body hurting and sweating and that I had serious back sweat and instead told him that my sinuses were bothering me (not a complete lie…they were bothering me…kind of…). He commiserated with me for a second before asking me if I had a cell phone. After I said yes, admittedly a little more worried than usual, and after accepting with him that he would stalk me, he grinned and I gave him my number.

I was so nervous about giving a guy my actual number—which hasn't happened since Lee asked me for his, which is another extremely long story—that I stuttered and stumbled over the number at least four times, and I still got it wrong and took another two weeks before he had my real number.

-blossoming social life, maybe-

I was really wanting to go to the next home football game that Saturday to support/play with them in the stands with the marching band. One of my best friends, Rachel, suggested me doing it, and though I was wary, she asked Mr. U and he said it was cool. I always did kind of want to see a first person point of view of being with marching band in the stands and to actually see them do their show. Rachel said she and her dad would pick me up and excitement started to invade me. I started liking this feeling of somewhere to be on a Friday night and to actually be with Rachel, Nydia, Allie and others.

That wonderful news was a big, bright spot in my boring, dreary life, especially since I felt like shit. I had a very interesting fourth period Spanish class that day that made me feel both embarrassed and protected:

-the fans were really loud-

I was late because I was quickly figuring out how heavy I actually was because I was carrying my body weight plus my ignoramus back pack around all the time. I sat in near the corner and set my crutches and back pack in the aisle because I didn't expect anyone to go back there since I was crammed in the corner. Later that period, however, two girls who were sent by the office to give the kid behind me a piece of paper appeared. As the girl with the note approached through the aisle, I warned her about my crutches and back pack, light-heartedly warning her about not tripping and falling over with a small smile. In a strange reaction, he scoffed and snorted, and as she turned away, she says something nasty and bitchy and horrible—but I had no idea what. Because at that particular moment, the fans in our class were louder than they ever were before and blocked her voice out, and I didn't hear a word she said.

But when she finished, no matter whether I heard her or not, the other girl there with her snickered and my face blushed as, as if on cue, all the heads in the entire class room turned to gauge my reaction. I was embarrassed and upset—and even though I had no idea what she said, it didn't matter anyways because I simply said, "It's not even worth it."

I don't remember my audiences' reactions, but I did remember one particular jock's reaction: "you're crazy" before turning around, shaking his head. But I was serious when I said that—my God is too big and too great for me to have even give it another thought—and now on the rare occasion that I look back it, I don't feel embarrassed, just sorry for the girl who said whatever she said to me.

-alan's reaction, pt 1-

Well…perhaps I lied. I did noticed one other person's reaction. But first, some background information: in elementary school, there was this guy a year older than me named Alan who had the biggest crush on me. He'd walk me home from the bus stop, which he passed his own home to do so, played with me, talked to me, and even chased a couple boys around the neighborhood when they teased him about liking me. I didn't even like him, and thought he was extremely annoying, but I still have these fond memories of when we were younger and he was always there for me. I wish I knew him for what he really was: a nice, funny, cool guy who would, one day, loose all his baby fat, grow out his gold hair, and have a wizard taste in music.

-looking back-

There's this one memory that I'll never forget. It was the last day or third grade for me and fourth grade for Alan, and when I stepped off the bus, I shouted "I'm a fourth grader now!" And Alan, joining my excitement, "I'm a fifth grader!" When I was younger, my mother would work nearly all the time and Alan's mom had to babysit me and the last day of school was no different. Alan and I usually hung out outside a lot, but since we live on a cul-de-sac, the normal can get boring pretty fast, so we amused ourselves in the woods behind the cul-de-sac. That day, Alan took his lightsaber (as he was obsessed with Star Wars at that time) and we went to this cliff-like thing in the apartment complex across the street, where the rocky cliff opened up to the shallow river below. We took turns going on the side of the cliff, each taking turns of holding each other up with Alan's lightsaber, to pick and pull apart the rocks on the side to collect on the grassy ground to chuck back into the river.

I was second to go, nervous and excited about doing this, and as I hung there, attempting to pick rocks out to use to throw over the edge, I held onto the lightsaber for dear life. "Don't let go, Alan," I whimpered in fear, eyeing the rocky river below that then seemed devilish the closer I was. "Don't you let go."

"I won't," was his assured response, a little of breathe. "I won't let go."

-alan's reaction, pt 2-

Since he moved onto middle school while I stayed for my fifth grade year, we haven't seen much of each other or really talked. But that day, when I looked over to see my old friends' reaction, he was staring at his desk, his jaw clenched tight. I'd fancy that he cared, but I could have just been on crack or something because maybe he didn't care? I suppose I can never know.

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