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Comments: 20

CHAPTER 1: Rooftops & Romance

“High school sucks.”

I look over at Matt with raised eyebrows.  Seagulls squawk overhead. The air smells salty and fresh, blowing in from the crashing waves below. The blue tiles of the roof feel warm under my bare legs, which have tanned nicely from walking around this summer in nothing but short-shorts. The sun twinkles against the tips of each tile so I have to squint to look at him. He looks back at me.

“What? It does. It’s all just endless homework and boring, ancient teachers and the same old people you’ve been going to school with your whole life.” He thrusts his tan arms skywards dramatically. “Where are the hot female teachers-in-training? Where are the wild parties on Friday nights? Where are the trips to lake-houses with your homies and good times and laughter?”

I roll over onto my side and slip my fingers into his blonde hair, ruffling it. “Sorry it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, buddy. I totally get where you’re coming from.” It takes some effort to mould my face into the serious expression I want, imitating his. I sit bolt upright, almost toppling off the roof in the process and bring my arms into my sides, hands fisted, probably looking insanely stupid. “Where’s my perfect love story?” I cry passionately to the sea. “Where’s the unrealistically-placed flower garden on the school roof, where my boyfriend and I can waltz and sing our feelings to the high heavens? Where’s the random musical numbers and back-up dancers showing up out of nowhere whenever something big development occurs?”

“Huh? Ash, what are you talking about?”

I swing my head over to my best friend. My eyebrows are pulled together and my eyes widen. “Don’t you see, Matt? Is this too much to ask for? All I wanted was for everything to be great. I wanted an amazing high school life that I can look back on. Fabulous pools, fabulous splash, fabulous parties, even fabulous trash.”

Matt is starting to look at me funny. “Fabulous splash? What the-“

“I need a little fabulous, is that so wrong-?“

And that’s about how far I get before Matt’s face twists in disgust. I burst out in laughter.

“I cannot believe it took you that long to figure out!” I shriek at him through bouts of guffaws.

He crosses his arms and looks at me with exasperation. “No, not that High School Musical crap. God, can’t you ever be serious about anything?” He sighs, rubbing his temples. I come off my high immediately. Matt is usually the jokey one. I was expecting him to laugh along with me. We used to love those movies, back when we were kids. What’s gotten into him?

“Hey, I can be serious sometimes,” I mumble, embarrassed at my behaviour.

He doesn’t respond. His blue eyes are staring straight ahead at a white yacht sailing away in the distance. But his eyes don’t look focused, leading me to think he isn’t really looking at it. He looks deep in thought. The longer this silence continues, the more anxious I get. And who wouldn’t be when your male best friend who is best known for his goofiness in whatever situation without fail suddenly clams up and goes all deep and thoughtful on you?

I can’t take this anymore. Extending a finger, I poke him lightly in the shoulder to gauge his attention. His stare doesn’t waver. “What’s up with you, Green?” My voice sounds like a cross between impatience and mild desperation. “I haven’t seen you like this since, well, since Lola happened.”

He flinches at her name. I regret bringing her up in an instant. Lola was Matt’s long-time girlfriend up till the last day of sophomore year. They’d been dating about two years. Then one day he just showed up at my house while my parents were out, pacing through the house and cry-yelling at nothing. I was more shocked than anyone. Lola was a nice girl. You know, the kind you’d find in the front pew in church or tutoring someone in the library. She was shy and quiet and never really said much. In fact, her one flaw was her inability to accept her boyfriend being close friends with other girls, namely me. She despised me. I semi-despised her. But Matt was head-over-heels for her, and she was head-over-heels him, so I decided I’d remain hush-hush about her bitchiness to me when he wasn’t there.

Then she completely smashed my best friend’s heart and stepped on it.

I’ll never understand why people cheat on their partners. Why do they do that? Can’t people just be happy with whoever they’re with, because some people don’t even have that. Think of all the old men out there, sitting on benches in parks, eating homemade cheese sandwiches alone. Think of all the cat ladies who are feeding pigeons right now. If  you won’t be loyal for yourself and the unfortunate soul you’re dating or married to, do it for them. And if you can’t, grow some balls and break up.

“It would be our third-year anniversary today,” Matt mutters gloomily. He leans back against the roof and closes his eyes. “But it’s not that. I wasn’t lying when I said I’m over her. Lola was a bitch. But,” he shuffles onto his side so we’re face-to-face, “being cheated on really sucked. And I always thought that in high school I’d, I don’t know, have this great love life and a long-term girlfriend who I love and we’d go to college together and stuff. I thought Lola was that.” He shrugs one shoulder flippantly. “I guess I was wrong.”

If you are ever fortunate enough to find a male hopeless romantic in your lifetime, know that he is a blessing from the skies. You won’t ever find someone who will go that much out of their way to cheer you up if your love life goes sour. Memories of Matt baking me cookies out of a Jamie Oliver recipe spring to my mind, and several more. Matt spending his savings to get us concert tickets to my favourite band when he didn’t even like their music. Matt ranting at sappy scenes in The Vow with me when we went to see it in the cinema (god knows why) and getting kicked out, following yet another failed relationship of mine. Matt writing me a five-page essay on ‘why you’re too good for that douche anyways’. Matt, Matt, Matt. He’s so good at helping me recover from tragic relationships that sometimes I forget that he needs a bit of cheering up sometimes as well. He’s always been here for me no matter what. So now it’s time for me to be there for him.

I snort unattractively, grabbing his attention. “If you ask me, I’m glad it wasn’t. Meant to be, I mean. You deserve way better than her, kid. I never liked her.” As soon as the words are out I want to bang my head into a wall. This is how I planned to make him feel better? Way to go, Ash.

He looks at me, amused. Thank heavens for that. “I know you didn’t,” he smirks. “Can’t imagine why though.”

“You wanna know why?” I huff. “Well, for one...” I mentally grope for something. “She didn’t have good eyebrows.”

Matt’s shoot into his hairline. His grin widens. I almost pass out with relief.  And, he’s back. “What? You disliked my girlfriend because of her eyebrows?”

“Damn straight. Could you even call them ‘eyebrows’? They looked like a still shot of two thin, hairy sperms wriggling across her face.”

The sounds of Matt’s hearty laughter resonate through the air. I smile at his face, a picture of pure care-freeness and amusement. No way am I going to let a cheater like Lola ruin teenage love for him. When he comes down from his high, tears sparkle in his eyes.

“Oh, god, Ash. You are one evil MOFO,” he sighs, rubbing his eyes.

“You’re welcome.”

“But yeah, I did mean it,” he continues. His voice is even but still good-natured. “It would be nice if my soul mate would just drop out of the sky right now and land into my arms-“

“Are you sure about that? They don’t look very strong to me.” I squeeze his slim right bicep.  “She’d probably slip down the roof and fall to her death. You’d have to scrape her off my driveway-“

“And there she goes again,” he chuckles. Golden hair bounces from side to side as he shakes his head at me. He reminds me a lot of a golden retriever.

“Okay, okay.” I hold my hands up in surrender. A strong gust of air whips my black hair into my face. “Fine. But maybe you shouldn’t give up just yet. I mean, we have a whole year left. Maybe your grand meeting with your great, star-crossed lover is just around the corner. You never know.” I try to sound reassuring but end up sounding unsure to my own ears. Hard to convince someone of something you’re not sure of yourself. And I’ve always been sceptical when it comes to romance and soul mates and all that if-it’s-meant-to-be-it-will-be mumbo-jumbo. If there’s only one person in this world who you’re meant to be with, how the hell are you supposed to find them? And that whole theory contradicts with the way I have been going about my love life up till now: not really thinking it through and getting hurt later.

Matt laughs at me incredulously. He looks like he’s about to say something when a car beeping its horn sounds in my driveway. A sleek black Land Rover sits in front of my house. Matt’s mother’s head pops out of the window.

“Sadly, I have to go.” He begins to stand up and hops back into the house through the window in my attic bedroom. I follow after him, shutting the window behind me. We take the stairs two at a time and walk out of the front door. “Bye, Ash!” He calls out to me from the passenger seat of the car. “Tell me all about how your first week is later!”

“Yeah! Because you won’t be there to go through it with me, you bastard!” I shout back at him. As of Monday morning, we officially won’t be going to the same school anymore. My parents recently decided that it’s too much hassle to send my twin sister, Angel and I to two different schools, so it was best that I move. I didn’t protest. After all, Clearwater Prep is an amazing school and I’d be a fool to turn down my acceptance when hundreds of kids aren’t so fortunate. And I’m a lot better at adapting to new surroundingsthan Angel. I guess it’s my nomad-like way of going about anything social. I have a ton of friends. I’d talk to anyone in class. But I lack the tight clique other people have. All I’ve got is Matt and we were joined at the hip. Whereas Angel? She’d hate moving. She’d refuse to leave the popularity that ‘took like, forever to develop’ and have to start a new empire. So I guess that leaves it up to me.

“Why am I the bastard? You’re the one who’s leaving,” he laughs at me, waving enthusiastically. “Don’t worry! It’ll be fine. I’m sure you’ll find an equally hot, equally talented guy to take my place.” He winks at me one more time before his head disappears inside the car. The window rolls back up.

Mrs. Green still has her blonde head poking out from the window. She smiles warmly and waves when she sees me before pulling out of our large driveway. I look after their car until it’s no longer in sight, speeding off down the stretch of road that lines the beach.  

Submitted: August 09, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Miss Melodramatic. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:


R Anonymous

Whoa! I'm already hooked to this

Sun, August 10th, 2014 9:19pm


Thanks so much :) I hope you enjoy the rest!

Sun, August 10th, 2014 2:45pm


WOW! First, wow. Second, Kmu! I love the start of you novel. I will definitely keep reading more! A big like from me !! Matt is funny! :P

Mon, August 11th, 2014 3:41pm


I'm so glad you like it! I will definitely keep you updated :)

Mon, August 11th, 2014 1:34pm


Yeah, i can i agree with R Anonymous and Allyson that your novels is really awesome.
I liked it so much and i liked reading it as well.
It was very well written and very well described and the imagery to this novel was pretty cool and very interesting.
So keep on writing and always keep your spirit high :)
Oh, and a big like from me;)

Mon, August 11th, 2014 11:27pm


Thanks Lulu :) I'm glad you like it

Tue, August 12th, 2014 1:41am

Julian Pansy

That is why I love Romance story, they are just interesting. I like your story, too. :3

Fri, August 15th, 2014 8:40am


I'm glad you like it so much :)

Fri, August 15th, 2014 3:58am


This is so interesting, and I really mean it! The thing that I loved the most was one, the eyebrows man! And also, their friendship, is so realistic and amazingly written. I hope you update me on this!!

Sun, August 17th, 2014 4:42am


Thank you! Hahaha, my friend always comments on people's eyebrows, so she was my inspiration. I'll keep you updated :)

Sat, August 16th, 2014 9:48pm


Okay, first I want to say that I am returning the favour to all of the people who have read and commented on Beating The Player as a thanks. This includes you (: So, I will be reading at least two of your works for now and will eventually end up reading all of them and giving some long comments and feedback. It's my way of showing how much you all mean to me.
Secondly, I want to say since this is a novel, I probably won't have time right now to read all of your chapters right away. I will come back to them though!
Haha, come on Matt! Even I got the high school musical reference xD
I find it a bit odd that he's a highschool boy who wants a long-term relationship. Not to put down your characters, not at all. It's actually a bit relieving. I wonder if they secretly have feelings for each other?
I love her sense of humor and how they act around each other (: This was amazingly written and like I said before, I'll be back for more -Suz

Sun, August 17th, 2014 5:49pm


Glad you like it :) Yup, I decided to make Matt a bit different from you average guy haha. Feelings will be revealed later on in the story. Happy reading :)

Sun, August 17th, 2014 1:03pm


Haha, I love it :) The snide remarks are incredible and they made me laugh! I think this is beautifully written :) It's well understood and the descriptive words you use are awesome! I wouldn't have been able to think of all the words you used :P ~Jess

Wed, August 20th, 2014 9:35am


Thank you for reading :) if you like, please read on x

Wed, August 20th, 2014 2:55am


Hi Miss Melodramatic.

I have only managed to read chapter one because i am so pressed for time but i love it. Im planning to continue reading the other chapters but i had to give you a thumbs up for your writing.

You are very descriptive making it easy to follow the story. Your witty language is keeping me hooked!Keep it up.

Kindly spare a second or two to check out my story "61 minutes nonstop." I would really appreciate an honest comment.Thanks

Wed, August 20th, 2014 10:00am


I know how that feels (being short of time with a bunch of stuff to read), so I really appreciate you taking the time out to read this! I hope you do continue to read and give me feedback :) and of course, I shall check out your story

Wed, August 20th, 2014 4:06am


I just got done reading the first part and i will certainly carry on reading the rest when time permits. Reading it made me feel like these people could be my friends,i felt like i knew them. Very well written, i am very impressed. Thanks for giving me something new to read. Yaaaay!!

Wed, August 20th, 2014 4:18pm


Thank you to YOU for reading it! I'm glad you like it and I'm glad you're enjoying it :)

Wed, August 20th, 2014 11:04am


Your writting is really descriptive! I'm really enjoying it! Keep me updated, please! :D

Wed, August 20th, 2014 8:51pm


Yay! I'm really glad you like it and I'll certainly keep you updated :)

Wed, August 20th, 2014 2:20pm


It is really an an amazing start of the story. There is a lot to learn from you.
The kind of imagery you have drawn , it feels as if I am watching the scenes being played right in front of me. Loved every bit of it.

Thu, August 21st, 2014 6:16am


Thanks so much! I'm glad you're getting into the story :)

Wed, August 20th, 2014 11:35pm


Great start! I will keep reading! :D

Thu, August 21st, 2014 12:48pm


Thank you! :)

Thu, August 21st, 2014 9:01am


This is a cute start :) Their close friendship is obvious and very strong, so much so that his girlfriend was jealous of her :S The humour was genuine, too, and not at all forced, and the High School Musical (I was so obsessed with those movies xD) quote make me smile. Even though it's only the first chapter, you've created a connection with the characters already, and the way you haven't overloaded us with details about every little part of their lives makes it more enjoyable, and gives the reader something to wonder about, which makes them come back for more. Your descriptions were good, as was your dialogue, and it was a really good start. Good job; I'll add it to my R.L and hopefully read more :)

Thu, August 21st, 2014 10:11pm


Thank you so much for the deep analysis. Comments like this always make me smile. The effort and uncertainty that comes with starting a new novel is always worth it :') I hope you like the rest!

Thu, August 21st, 2014 3:22pm

Zero Flash

Interesting, your novel is almost entrancing. I shall finish this for sure and give you a second comment. So far tho a great thumbs up. Could you check out my most recent poetry. The Falling of the Leaf. Would love your feed back. Thank you for this wonderful read.

Fri, August 22nd, 2014 6:11am


Thank you :) And I will definitely check out your work :)

Thu, August 21st, 2014 11:46pm


Great start wid a Novel..thankyou for inviting me to read it..I hav kept it on hold wil read the rest later..keep d gud work :)

Fri, August 22nd, 2014 10:23am


Thanks! :D

Fri, August 22nd, 2014 5:36am


All smiles. I finally got to it, sorry I was catching up on a lot of other reads but I'm glad to have finally reached your story. As always, they grab my attention and inspire me to improve in my own writing skills :) Great start by the way. It was funny!

Fri, August 22nd, 2014 9:31pm


Oh don't worry about it. You're here now ;) And thanks x

Fri, August 22nd, 2014 2:54pm


Very interesting start! I like the characters already! Like! Reading on!

Sat, August 23rd, 2014 3:21pm


I'm glad you like it :)

Sat, August 23rd, 2014 8:30am

Criss Sole

I thought this was an excellent beginning, and I am really liking your sense of humor. I find the protagonist and her best friend to be very interesting characters, so I am looking forward to reading more.

Sun, August 24th, 2014 9:52am


Thank you for reading :)

Sun, August 24th, 2014 3:36am

Nikki Evans

Ash is kinda a dreamer who tries to be a tough girl but I think she really has a kind heart, especially the way she teasingly treats Matt. The comment she made about Lola eyebrows was hilarious!!

Fri, August 29th, 2014 3:53am


Haha thanks! :D

Thu, August 28th, 2014 10:44pm


This was such a Cool, Awesome, and off the heezy first chapter. I thought your dialogue was spot on, and I already adored Ash and Matt. The way you portrayed their frienship was so genuine, and i thought they were both hilarious together. I liked how you explained how they feel about realtionships and the whole soul mate mojo, it helps you connect better with the characters. And boy, can Ash and Matt dream about what kind of boyfriend/ girlfriend they want. I thought it was funny when Ash said she want a life like Highschool musical, and i told Matt to lay off her, i'll bet a lot of people dream about having Highschool Musical dream, i know i did once. And i would so take Troy any day, along with sining with him. So anyway, you did a good cliff hanger with her going to a different school, and i was sad that her and Matt won't be in the same school. But i do wonder what awaits her at this peppy school. So you betcha i'll be back for more. And i'll read some more as soon as i get the chance :}

Sat, August 30th, 2014 4:49pm


Thank you for reading! Yup I tried to make Ash and Matt seem as close as possible. I hope you keep reading. There'll be a lot more of those two where that came from! :D

Sat, August 30th, 2014 11:34am

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