"Did you realise that Joanna's ex-boyfriend is our biology teacher's son?" My best friend Carly whispers to me. Carly's a day younger to me. Our birthdays are in January, 30-31st. She has blonde hair, blue eyes, boys chase her all the time, so in simple words: she is HEATHER.
"Keep it low Carrot. Mr. Ramone's coming our way." Mr. Ramone’s the librarian at Richardson High, my high school. As soon as I told Carly that, Mr. Ramone stared down at us from the opposite side of the table.
“May I know what you ladies are talking about?” He has a history of snapping at students.
“S-s-sir, we were exchanging history notes.” I respond before Carly opens her big mouth.
“Then why don't I see your history textbooks out?” Crap. We are so doomed. He must’ve seen the fear on my face so he said, “Continue whatever you’re doing BUT if I hear you both talking, I will most certainly assign you different seats.” He gets on his heel and walks to scold the crap out of other students.
I sigh and glare at Carly until she doesn’t tear a page from her rough notebook and writes ‘sorry’ on it.
(note passed to Brooklyn)
C: Sorry Banana. Chocolate Milkshake on me?
B: I don’t have a choice, do i?
C: Nope. Anyway. Look at that cute boy stealing glances at you from the seat by the window.
B: Haha. good joke.
C: No, seriously. Look there Brooklyn.
He is the most peaceful guy I've ever seen in my life. Dirty light brown hair. Circular reading (I think?) glasses. Muscular body. Head in his book. AND THERE - I caught him looking at me. The moment we lock eyes, he looks away as if he was just trying to take a look around the library. I’ve never seen him at Richardson.
C: HE IS SO CUTE!!!!
C: You caught him looking at you, didn’t you?
B: yup. He has such beautiful hair.
C: HAHAHAH. You’re already dreaming about being in his arms, aren’t you?
B: HELL NO.
Even though I refused, Carly knows me too well. I already AM imagining us together, me in his well built arms. Okay, no no no.
“You don’t even know his name.” My mind scolds my heart.
As soon as we’re out of the library for Lunch, Carly throws her arm on my shoulder and pops her gum. I cringe and after noticing my expression, all she does is laugh like an idiot. We soon reach our usual spot in the corner of the cafeteria where my other two best friends and their boyfriends sit. Sophie - Brandon. Radhika - Owen. Carly - Josh. And me, the seventh wheel.
“BROOKLYN!” Radhika pulls my sleeve when she notices me placing my bag at the table.
“Hey Rad.” I reply with a bit of a bounce in my step. I guess that was a bad move since Radhika laughed softly and put her hand in her boyfriend’s hand.
“Yo Brooke.” Brandon raises his fist for a classic fist bump and I oblige. “That guy with the earplugs two tables from us seems to be stealing glances at you.” Was it that obvious?
“Er, yeah. You know him?” I ask, trying to act as if i’m not flustered.
“Yep. New kid. Lucky. He’s in third period English with me.” Lucky. That’s an interesting name.
“Thanks Brandon.” I reply sincerely. He nods and heads off to get tacos with Radhika. I don’t really know what to do. Should I walk casually upto where Lucky’s sitting and say hey. Or should I wait for a few days? I consider asking Carly but she’s not visible in the cafeteria. Probably gone to buy a drink with Josh. Thinking about the whole situation, I sit and end up downing my whole water bottle.
The next day, I sat in the same spot in the library as I sat the day before and looked around to see if Lucky was sitting anywhere near and ended up feeling disappointed after realising he didn’t come.
Ten minutes later, I catch a glimpse of Lucky looking around for a seat and his eyes finally land on the empty seat next to me. I quickly pick up my bag and place it below my chair. He gives a small, tight smile and walks over to the seat. He flicks a paper edge from on top of the seat and places the book he’s reading on the table. ‘Chasing Lucky’ by Jenn Bennett. Huh. I really didn’t take him for a romance novel reader. And the funny thing was that his name is Lucky and the main character’s name is Lucky too.
(Brooklyn passes note to Lucky)
Brooklyn: CHASING LUCKY’S A GOOD BOOK.
Lucky: You’ve read it? And hey i’m Lucky.
B: Yessir. Didn’t really take you for a romance novel fan tbh. And hey I'm Brooklyn..
L: Is it good? Cuz I just started reading it. And about that, Grams made romance novels my thing. I don’t really tell people about my Romance Novel Habit.
b: it’s really good lemme be honest. Ur gramma has good taste and don't worry about your secret, it’s safe with me.
L: Gramma does. And thanks.
b: ur new? How do you find Richardson?
L: It’s good up till now. Gonna wait for the bad things to come crashing in on me.
b: HAHAH. Wanna sit with me in lunch break?
After reading that, he didn’t pass the note back but turned in his place towards my side and looked at me. He looked happy. “I’d love that Brooklyn.” He whispers after leaning in towards my ear. I nod and get back to reading the novel I picked up from the thriller shelf with a happy heart.
“CARLY!” I shout over the cafeteria crowd. The moment she heard her name, she turned around to look at me and came rushing through the crowd towards me. As soon as she gets out of the hug I envelope her in, she waves the paper in her hand in front of my face and I immediately grab it to see what that is. It's a form for the 'help-the-library' campaign in which students help put new arrivals on their shelves and clean up the library. I've done it for the past three years so why not this year? I think to myself. I kiss Carly's cheek and rush off to find Lucky.
"LUCKY!" I hug him as a reflex when I bump into him. Surprisingly he hugs me back. His strong and warm hands around my lower back. He smells like coconut and vanilla. Once I realise what the hell I've done, I stammer and red crawls into my cheeks. "OH, uh, I'm sorry Lucky." I try to avoid his eyes.
He looks right into my eyes and says, "It felt good, you know. A girl just throwing herself at me in the most caring way possible." And he flashes his gorgeous smile at me.
"Caring?" I ask genuinely, "What makes you think I care about you?" But the answer is written all over my face. I like him. A lot.
"What, you don't care about me?" He asks with fake hurt in his voice.
"I, er, n-no, I didn't mean-" I stutter.
"Chill Brooklyn. I'm just playing with you!" He breaks into a huge smile.
I let out a breath and shake my head which makes my hair fall on my face. "So, what's that in your hand?" He asks me.
"Oh, it's the help-the-library form." I don't need to elaborate more since I see a hint of recognition on his face.
"We donate books and help the librarian, right?" He says excitedly and I nod. Slowly we find a table for just the two of us outside the cafeteria where the sun is blazing. He opens his bag and takes out a sandwich he probably brought from home. "What sandwich is that?" I ask, pointing at his sandwich with my mouth full of chicken teriyaki from the Subway I got before school started. Pretty soggy but works.
"Just the simple cheese and bread." He says while looking at me. I give him my best attempt at a warm smile and he smiles back.
"So, are you free after school? We could head to the central library and give each other book recommendations?" I look at him blankly and he adds, "If you want, that is."
I take a minute to reply. Carly'll understand if I bail on her for one day, won't she? We had initially made plans to go to a mall nearby to grab drinks and check out few brands but one day won't hurt, would it? I hope not though. "Yeah, that'll be pretty fun." And I give him a shoulder nudge.
Once the bell for our next class rings, we both get up from our places and share a high five and get going to out classes.
"Psst...where were you Brookie?" Carly elbows my left arm when I get into English class and take my place.
"Lucky and I hung out, and I had trouble handling my books so I got a bit late. Sorry." I whisper back.
"We're on for the evening, right?" She looks pretty hyped about that but I have to be honest, don't I?
"About that..." I bite my lower lip, "Is it fine if I hang with Lucky, please?" I ask nervously.
"But....BROOKLYN! We haven't hung out in ages, ever since my boyfriend came into the scene and school started!" She pouts and I can see the hurt in her eyes. "But it's fine, I mean, Karma hit back, didn't it?" I give her a puzzling look so she clarifies, "I've blown you off so many times just for Joshy and you never said anything. Go have a good time." And at that moment, Ms. Iris entered the room as if she were paid to walk in when two girls were having trouble.
I mouth thank you to Carly and she beams at me, then gives me a side hug.
Maybe after today, Lucky and I go out more, that is if we hit off, and then I won't be the seventh wheel in my group. And I'll find my Prince Charming. (Cliché) I smile at that thought and squeeze Carly's knee under the table.