Damned to the Center Stage
Nikole woke up to the annoying bleeping of the alarm clock. Groaning, she got up and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. She barely had time to freak out before a small ball of fur and fluff jumped her. The little dog started washing her face with kisses and the events of last night caught up to Nikole. She shoved the dog off of her and stood up. It yipped and started running around her feet. Afraid of stepping on the little thing, Nikole scooted it out and closed the door. She was going to have to remember to keep it shut from now on. Pulling on an old grey sweater and a pair of faded jeans, she pulled up her long black hair into a rough pony tail and went to get her back pack and the flyers. The little dog followed Nikole all the way to the front door.
Slipping outside so the dog couldn’t get out, she walked to the end of her drive way where she could already see Jesse in her car. Nikole was miffed that Jesse had AGAIN chosen to park at the end of her drive way. It was at least 26 yards (about 80 feet) from her front door to the side walk. Nikole jumped into the passenger seat and Jesse started driving towards the school. Nikole leaned back into the seat.
“Why do you insist on parking at the end of the lot,” she asked.
“Walking is good for you, and the exercise keeps you alert,” Jesse said with a shrug. She had on a tan over coat, light green scarf wrapped around her head like Amelia Airheart, and big black sunglasses even though it was almost fall.
Nikole huffed then proceeded to show Jesse how alert she was by nodding off. She woke up whenever they got the front of the school where Jesse dropped her off before finding a place to park. Getting out of the car, Nikole spotted the vice principle patrolling the lanes. His name was George Ham but some students called him Hammy behind his back. Nikole was one of the people telling of the kids because she respected him to keep the name even though it was utterly embarrassing. She walked over to him, almost getting hit with a car on her way.
“Are you alright Miss Roberts,” Mr. Ham asked.
“Oh ya, I’m fine. Just not one hundred percent awake I guess,” she said.
“Just watch where you’re going next time.”
“Mm hm, I will. I was wondering, could I put up some lost dog flyers around school,” she asked.
“That would be fine, just don’t overdo it,” he said before turning to yell at some kids who were lounging around in the street.
“Thanks,” Nikole said, “I won’t.” With that she turned and ran off.
Going over to the main doors, she pulled the flyers and a roll of tape from her back pack and stuck one on each door. Jesse came over, finished parking the car.
“Here,” Nikole said handing her a stack of flyers, “can you hand these out?”
“Ya sure,” she said before walking off again. That was one of the things Nikole liked about Jesse, she never asked questions or delayed.
Nikole went through the hallways putting up the flyers and passing them out. Heading toward the office, she stopped outside where there was a large bulletin board with lots of ads and posters stuck to it. She put her pile down and started taping a few to the crowded surface. When she was finished she stepped back, right into someone. She had stepped onto the extra flyers and started to slip before she felt hands reach out to steady her. Grumbling a thank you, she turned around and saw Brett smiling at her. Blushing, she concentrated on her feet, wishing she had worn her hair down so it could hide her face.
“Hey Niki,” he said cheerfully, “what’s with the posters?”
“Oh these, just some lost dog that my neighbor dumped on me.” Bending down, she started gathering up all the flyers she had kicked everywhere. Brett bent down too, picking one up and reading it.
“Have you found it owner yet,” he asked, also helping grab the flyers.
“No, and he didn’t even have a collar so I guess he’s just a stray.”
“I can take him if nobody else wants him,” Brett offered.
Nikole almost dropped the re-stacked posters. “You would?” She couldn’t help the tone of disbelief in her voice.
“Ya, I love animals; dogs especially because I had one when I was little.” Nikole stood up and so did Brett.
“Ok, well at the end of the week if no one claims him, he’s yours.”
“Great,” Brett smiled before taking a scrap of paper and pen from his bag. He scribbled down a phone number before handing it to Nikole. “Call me when you know, ok,” he said before walking off. Nikole just stood there look at the cell phone number he had written down. HIS cell phone number, she reminded herself. A loud squeal caught her attention before Jesse threw her arms around her best friend, again knocking the flyers to the ground.
Nikole could barley discern the ‘Oh my god’ coming from Jesse. She sighed and bent to pick up the papers again, wondering where her life was headed then shuddered. This was going to be annoying. She also smiled to herself a little bit when she thought of Brett smiling at her. She could get used to that.