I woke up slow that morning, my alarm clock screeching at the top of its capability. I smashed my hand on the snooze button, hoping to get just the littlest bit more of sleep, but then it was my mom's turn. I heard her stomping up the stairs before her screams could reach me. I quickly jumped out of bed and closed the door, just as she rounded the corner. She didn't even bother knocking. I covered myself dramatically.
"Don't you mind? I'm trying to get dressed here."
She glared at me, and then smoothed out her business suit. "I'm going to be late for work, so do you mind getting yourself to school? Maybe you could ride your bike."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah right, I'll just take the car."
"No, I don't think so. Your father is going for a job interview today."
"Maybe he can ride the bike," I said raising my eyebrows. "Everyone knows he needs the excersize."
She pointed her finger at me. "No. Now get ready or you'll be late." She walked out of my room, but before closing the door turned and said, "I don't want to be called today, hearing about you hurting some other hopeless kid ok? I've got meetings all day and won't be able to tolerate it."
"Sure," I said before slamming the door in her face.
After dressing in baggy boy jeans, ripped black converse, a black tank top that read "Atreyu" and my trench coat, I slipped on my book bag, put on some eyeliner, and then headed out the door. I gritted my teeth as I walked past the beat up station wagon towards my bike, my headphones in my ears. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was blasting into my ears, giving me an uncontrolable head bob. I got on my bike and then pedaled towards school, letting the air blow through my shoulder length black hair. The closer I got, the more cars I saw with classmates inside, and kids riding bikes or taking the yellow school buses. I turned right and rode into school, a burning sensation to skip burning in my stomach. I didn't bother locking up my bike, seeing as most people don't want to mess with me. I was only a Sophmore, and yet more than half the school didn't make eye contact.
I met my friends Stacey and Xavier by my locker.
"Hey Calie," Xavier spoke up with a smile.
"So," I asked, opening my locker, "How did your date with Loui go last night?"
"It was ok," he said with a shrug. "But she was really girly, and I can't handle that kind of stuff." Xavier dressed in baggy black pants with chains, Combat boots, and lots of band t-shirts. He never wore very many jackets other than his trench coat, and his hair was wild. He usually wore blue eyeliner, and had two snake bites. The first time I saw him I thought I had been in love. Turns out he was just going to be a friend. Lots of the popular chicks were attracted to him because he was a "bad boy" and wanted to change him, and find that inner heart that would be lost forever inside that scrawny body of his.
My friend Stacey dressed in skinny jeans, royal blue converse, also lots of band t-shirts, and plaid jackets. She had short spiky hair, wore dark black eyeliner and had a piercing in her nose.
"Turns out," Stacey spoke up, "She actually tried to seduce him."
"What?" I nearly cracked up as I took out my History book and slammed my locker. I turned towards Xavier. "Loui McCander actually tried to seduce you? How?"
"No need for details," he laughed, punching me softly in the arm. "Stacey will probably fill you in later."
"You told her?" I asked as the first bell rang.
"No, I was there," she said. "You know how you dared me to stalk Alex Martin? Turns out he was at the same resteraunt. He found out I was stalking him, and actually found it flattering. His friends said it was creepy, but he kissed me."
"That's a surprise," I smiled. "So are you two going out?"
"Are you kidding? No, he's too 'old school'." She grabbed my jacket sleeve. "You know, you should really get a boyfriend. I hear that they just opened up this crazy new club downtown for people like us. I bet you anything you'd meet someone there."
"I dunno," I said with a shrug. "People like me just don't...connect."
Xavier smiled. "There are a bunch of commercials on television for this place called eHarmony. You meet like your match and everything."
"Aren't those things for people over 18?"
"So get together with someone a few years older." Stacey shrugged. "What could it hurt?"
That afternoon after school I checked no one was home yet, and then went on the computer. I slowly typed in eHarmony.com, hesitating just the slightest. It felt weird, and I would have to lie about my age. I clicked on W for woman, and then typed in my age. I bit my lip, and then typed in 21. I clicked the search button and immediately, names and pictures were littering the computer screen. I looked through a bunch of them, leaving messages on a few, winking at others and such. I began to have fun, playing these people in thinking there was a young girl interested in them.
Then I found one that caught my eye. The boys name was Connor, and he was 23. His profile described him as someone like me, and I pouted as he didn't have a picture. I clicked on "send message" and then began to type.
-Hey Connor, my name is Tammy. I'm new on here, and just happened to stumble upon your profile. I don't have mine up yet, but you sound pretty much like me.-
I clicked "send" and then pressed the button that said "wink". I hadn't wanted to lie about my name, but I figured it would make it all the more fun.
It was only a few minutes before he had replied. I shrugged and clicked on his message.
-Hey there Tammy, nice to meet you. I've only been here for a couple of weeks, and haven't found anyone yet. Though you seem interesting. Do you mind telling me some simple things about you?-
I smiled slightly. This could be fun. I began to reply.
-You haven't met anyone? What a drag. Maybe this website doesn't give you what you want at all. LOL. Where to begin? I like to mess with people, I'm pretty stubborn. I enjoy break dancing, and sometimes playing with my little brother Pete. I've got a little brother, you know, Pete, and a mom and dad. I live in Michigan (obviously ha ha), and I'm pretty hard to connect too. I'm not very open. Years of my parents not listening kind of encloses the inside you know?-
I clicked send and waiting patiently for a little bit before I heard a beep. He had messaged back.
-Wow, it's amazing how similar we are. I have an older sister named Lilian. I don't particularily enjoy dancing, but maybe you could teach me sometime:) I'm pretty hard to connect to also. I've been shunned out a lot, and it's hard to come back.-
-Well,- I began typing, -if you're really interested I could teach you some cool moves. How does tomorrow afternoon work?-
It was only a few seconds before he messaged back. -Where to meet?-
-At starbucks,- I immediately began with a grin. -The starbucks at the corner of 150th and 2nd, at 3:00pm. Does that work for you?-
-Absolutely,- he wrote back. -I can't wait.-
-Ok, I'll be wearing a black trenchcoat with a sticker on the back that says my name. Look for me!-
I clicked off and then screamed with laughter. What was this guy going to think when I showed up instead of a 21 year old?
The next day at school I stopped Stacey and Xavier in the hallway, almost laughing my head off. "I took your advice and looked at the place, um, eHarmony."
Xavier raised his eyebrows. "Really?"
"Yeah, I met this guy named Connor. He's 23."
"23?" Stacey broke out into laughter. "Wow, you're really hitting the bar."
I shrugged. "I'm not really that interested. I figured I'd freak him out and then run off."
"You are evil!" Xavier smiled, shoving me playfully. "You are so gonna break his heart."
"He'll get over it," I replied with a wave. "After all, meeting online is really the worst place to meet isn't it? There's no telling they say who they say they are."
"He could be some creepy stalker," Stacey spoke up. "Maybe he's a porno or something."
"Interesting theory," I said rolling my eyes. "Anyways I'm meeting him after school today at the starbucks. It's going to be great. He wants me to teach him some of my breakdancing moves."
"Already?" Xavier asked as we began walking towards class. "Wow, that was quick."
"He seemed really interested."
"Well good luck!" Stacey said as she departed for her class. "Tell me all about it later."
I made my way towards starbucks after school. I made sure to put my name on my back. Tammy was in big pink letters; I was trying to get it to stand out. I entered the coffee shop, avoiding the long stares I got. I wondered if he was already here. I looked around, looking for someone dressed like me but there was no one. I took a seat in one of the chairs, turning my back to the door so that Connor would see me. It was twenty after three before I sighed and stood up. He had probably stood me up. Typical, it's what most guys had done to me in my past life. But then I heard a teenaged voice speak my name.
I turned on my heel to see a boy around my age. He had long black hair that was flung in his eyes. He had startling green eyes, and two snake bites on his lips. He wore skinny jeans with a long chain down to his knee, and wore a t-shirt that said "Linkin Park". His hands were in his pockets, and I noticed a studded bracelet on his left wrist.
He broke out into laughter. "Wow, guess we both had the same idea. You don't look 21."
"And you don't look like your 23."
He shrugged. "Like I said, we both had the same idea. How come you didn't stand me up?"
I smiled mischeviously. This guy was a lot cuter than I had thought. "Well I found it would have been a lot more entertaining to see the look on your face when you saw this instead of a 21 year old."
"I'm shocked," he replied, "But fascinated. How did you come up with it?"
I shrugged. "My friend Xavier told me about the place, but I came up with the idea for entertainment."
Connor nodded. "So...are you gonna head on home or can I buy you a drink?"
"Really? I figured you would have left already."
"I probably would have if it weren't you standing here."
I put my hands in my trench coat pockets. He was a bit taller than me, probably by a few inches. But god, he really was cute.
"Sure, I don't mind you getting me a drink. As long as I don't have to pay," I joked.
He laughed and we made our way to the line.
"So," he began, "Is your name even Tammy?"
"No," I said. "My name is really Calie."
"And my name isn't Connor," he spoke up. "It's really Steven."
"Let's start over shall we?" I said sticking out my hand. "Hi, I'm Calie."
He gave me a wide toothed smile and put his hand in mine. There was a soft warmth that radiated into my body. "Hey there Calie, it's nice to meet you. My name is Steven."