After school, I went into the auxiliary gym and ran, like I usually did. In the fall I was on the cross country team, but now that spring sports would be starting soon, I would be getting ready for softball. Running was good for anything, though, and I did it every day.
My good friend, Derek, usually ran with me. Today was no exception. He was a boy, obviously, so he was much faster than I was. He typically paced himself, though, so we could run together.
"How about another one?" he asked me after we finished our third mile.
I bent over, stretching my hamstrings and trying to catch my breath. I shook my head. "Sorry. I can't. Too much homework."
He shrugged and bumped me as we walked to our Gatorade's together. "No one asked you to be such a nerd."
I laughed. "I'm so not a nerd."
"No, you're not. I'm just kidding. Andrew Harper doesn't date nerds."
I whipped my head around quickly. He knew?
He chuckled. "Becca Peters told me. She's telling everyone. You're hot news, today, Sophia."
"How does Becca know?" I asked him.
He shrugged. "I don't know. Becca knows everything. Hey, I bet it'll be in the school paper tomorrow."
"Or on Facebook tonight," I grumbled.
I rolled my eyes. I didn't know how Becca Peters knew about my date with Andrew, but once she found out, that pretty much meant the whole school knew. She gossiped more than little bitties in an Alabama beauty parlor.
"Don't worry about it," Derek said, picking up his Nike bag. "It's not like anyone's going to be talking shit. Except maybe the jealous girls."
"Thanks for that motivating statement, Derek."
He laughed, and tugged me under his arm. We walked out of the gym together and out to his truck.
I had been friends with Derek about as long as I had been friend with Cambree. I knew him through sports, mostly, and we had a lot of classes together over the years. He used to be this total dork-really, I'm not being mean, even he knew it-then, like me, puberty hit him like a bus, and he just filled out, and well, he wasn't a dork anymore. He was actually, kind of cute now.
I'd actually teased him a couple of months ago about his earring he'd gotten.
"You think you're big and bad now, huh?" I'd told him. But he'd known I was only teasing. If we weren't so close, like brother and sister, close, I'd think he was cuter than he was, and maybe, just maybe, I'd be crushing on him.
But I'd known Derek way too long for that.
"It's too bad you have homework," he said as we both dropped our gym bags and book bags into the back of his truck.
"I agree," I said. "Why?"
He chuckled. "Because I was going to say we could go Paulette's and hang out a little bit."
I shrugged and climbed into the front seat of his truck with him. "I wish I could. That would be fun. More fun than AP homework."
"Who told you to take AP classes?"
"The crazy little voice in my head."
"That voice is going to have you committed, you know."
"I know. But you're going to come visit me in my white padded room, right?"
"I don't know. Do they let visitors come on that floor?"
"They'll do it for me."
He laughed, and so did I.
This was what I loved about Derek. He got hotter, and he was completely oblivious to it. Well, maybe not completely, but Derek would never blow me off the way Cambree did. I knew I could always count on him no matter what to be there for me. I learned a lot by being best friends with him and Cambree over the years, too. Guys were simple. They told you what they wanted and how they felt and you never had to wonder. With Cambree, she always seemed so flighty lately, and I didn't know what to think about it. Derek would never run off with the populars and leave me hanging.
Derek dropped me off at home. I told him goodbye and that I would see him tomorrow for our run at the same time. He told me he couldn't wait, then I got out of the truck and went inside.
It was already after 5:00, so I went straight to my room and started on my homework. Like I'd told Derek, I had plenty to do, and I wanted to knock it out before dinner. By 6:00, I realized that was really unlikely. I had already been given a new novel for AP English, and my teacher, Miss Turner, wanted two chapters read by tomorrow, plus a one-page journal entry on each. Then there was my biology homework and AP US history.
I sighed, rubbing my temples as I pushed myself away from my desk for a short break. And this was only the first day of school.
I heard a knock at my door.
"Come in," I called.
"Soph?" came my mother's voice. I turned to see her peeking into my room. "Dinner's downstairs. We got Chinese."
"OK," I replied.
"How's the homework coming?"
"It's coming," I sighed.
She gave a sympathetic smile. "Tough first day?"
"Yeah, I guess. Well, uhm, not so bad." She raised her eyebrows, waiting for me to finish. "Well, do you remember that guy that dropped me off after the party Saturday night?"
Her eyebrows went higher. "Mhm."
"Well, he sort of asked me out today. To go see a movie Friday night." My mother didn't say anything, so I continued. "He's on the basketball team. It's a double date. Cambree's going, too."
Finally, my mother smiled. "Well. You sure had a nice first day back, huh?"
So I smiled back. "Yeah, it was great. So can I go?"
"We'll talk to your father about it after dinner."
"Oh, no! That means no."
"Sophia, it doesn't mean no."
"Yes it does. Daddy won't let me go out on a date and you know it."
"Now, Sophia, how do you know if you don't ask?"
"Now, come on," she said. "Your dinner's going to be cold."
My father was an architect. He had an office in our house, so most of the time, he stayed home all day working on drawings for clients. He was sort of a big deal in Detroit. I thought he was, anyway. He was always going to important meetings, and working late, and every month or so, he took a business trip to a fabulous city like New York, or L.A.
He was busy with work, just like my mother, but rarely did we miss a chance to have dinner altogether at the table. Sometimes we went out, but almost always we were together. Cambree said sometimes she was sort of jealous of that. I wasn't sure why. I'd always rather have eaten in my room, like she did. But thinking about it, I guess I did understand her yearning for the conventional family that I had and she didn't.
"So, how was everyone's day?" my father asked, cutting his steak.
"Good," Olivia volunteered. "I got invited to Sarah Matthews' sleepover party this Friday night. Can I go?"
"I don't see why not," my dad said with a smile. "Kori?"
My mother didn't seem to have any objections. "I'll just need to speak with her mother, first," was all she said. And that was a usual response from my otherwise overprotective mother.
"How about you, Sophia?" my dad asked, turning to me. "How was your day?"
I looked at my mother, but she said nothing. So I cleared my throat. "Uhm, it was actually really good, daddy."
He smiled back. "That's good, Soph. Good classes."
I shrugged. "They're alright. My AP classes are pretty hard, though. Oh, and a boy asked me to go see a movie Friday night, and I was wondering if I could go."
My father's eyebrows went up. "Do I know him?"
I shook my head.
"It's the boy I told you about, Liam," my mother said. "From Saturday night."
"The one who brought you home?" my dad asked. I nodded. "How old is he?"
"He's a senior. I guess he's seventeen."
"Sophia, I don't think that's such a good idea." He looked to my mother. "Kori, what do you think?"
My mother shrugged. "I think we can give it a chance. Obviously, I'd want to meet him, first."
"I agree," my father said. "I just think seventeen is too old for you."
"Dad I'm almost sixteen," I replied with a groan. I really hoped this wouldn't be an issue. Me dating had never actually come up with my parents, so I guess I never knew what to expect them to say when I brought it up. I wasn't expecting this, though.
"She's right," my mother said. "Sophia is almost sixteen. And she's responsible."
"I've never given you any reason not to trust me, before, daddy," I reminded him.
"Sophia, it isn't you I don't trust," my father said calmly, taking a drink of water. "It's the boy."
"Daddy, you don't even know him."
"You're right, and until I do, I have no reason to trust him with my daughter."
I sighed. I looked to my mother for help. "Mom."
"Liam, she's right," my mother said calmly. "She's never given us a reason not to trust her, and she is almost sixteen. It's just a movie, after all, sweetie."
My father looked from me, to my mother, and then back to me. He let out a deep sigh. "I guess I'm outnumbered."
"It's a house full of women, daddy," Olivia sighed, shaking her head.
My father just laughed. "You're right, Olivia, it is. Alright, Sophia. I'll cave. But I want to meet this boy. Understand."
Although, I'm sure at that point I was so happy I would have agreed to become a nun.
After dinner, I went straight up to my room and called Cambree.
"They said yes!"
She squealed her reply. "Yes! Now we can double! This is so awesome, Sophia! Hey, after school, me, Laurel and Taryn are going to the mall and getting our nails done. You should go!"
I reluctantly agreed. Honestly, I didn't want to go do anything with those girls, but, as selfish as it may have sounded, I didn't really like the idea that Cambree would be off having all this fun with them and without me.
But a thought occurred to me.
"Oh, wait. Are they going with us Friday night?"
"Of course," Cambree replied in a tone that suggested I should have already known this. Disappointment hit me, but I didn't say anything. We talked a bit longer, then I told her I had to go and finish my homework.
I was still working on my homework when later, Olivia-without knocking-waltzed into my bedroom and plopped down on my bed.
I rolled around in my computer chair, and sighed. "Can I help you?"
She smiled. "What's Andrew Harper look like?"
I laughed. I couldn't help it. My sister could be annoying when she wanted to be, but most of the time, she was alright.
Olivia looked like me. We both had the same straight, dark hair, even though mine was practically black, while hers was more brown, and our eyes were the same blue-grey. But we couldn't have been more different. I was a lot more reserved than my sister, and I knew it. She had boyfriends, or I guess whatever a twelve-year-old could consider a boyfriend. I guess, as hard as it was to admit, my sister's extroverted personality allowed her to be a bit more experienced with boys than I was, but at the same time, I liked how she was being the typical little sister, wanting to know all about this guy that had asked me on a date.
"You'll see him Friday night," I told her.
She plopped down on my bed, lying flat on her stomach. "He sounds cute," she said with a smile.
I gave my sister a crooked smile and shook my head. "Olivia, I have homework."
She poked out her bottom lip. "So, I really have to wait a whole week to see him?"
I nodded and mimicked her pouty tone. "Yes, you really do. Now go, Liv. I have to get this finished so maybe I can get some sleep tonight."
So my sister finally left, and just as I was about to go back to my homework, my cell phone vibrated with a new text. I furrowed my eyebrows at a number I didn't recognize. Then I opened the text.
Hey. This is Andrew. I got ur number from Cambree. What's up? :)
The smiley face had gotten me. Homework forgotten, I leaned back in my chair and texted him right back.
Not much, Andrew.:) What about you?
A/N:::HI!! IF YOU STILL WANT TO STAY UPDATED, COMMENT ON THIS CHAPTER SO I CAN KEEP ORGANIZED. AT THE LEAST "KMU" SO I'LL REMEMBER :) THANKS FOR READING :)