A/N: Hey, this is my second short story so far! If you spot any mistakes or issues with this story, please tell me! A big, big, big and BIG thanks to Smileyfication (LOVEYOUFOREVER!)for editing this. She found the most obvious mistakes ever! I can’t believe I skipped over them all! Thanks for reading =)
To Take Chances
A Short Story
English was one simple word. Boring. Actually, make that two: Boring and irritating. My classes never changed. I had to tolerate the incredibly annoying person sitting next to me (who somehow got a living out of annoying me) and had to please the usually snappy teachers who love throwing kids in detention.
“Stop it!” I hissed at Declan, who was deliberately fiddling with my golden hair.
He didn’t listen.
I swatted his hand away and slumped back in my chair, pretending to listen to Mrs O’Connell. If you weren’t listening to Mrs O’Connell, you’d get detention. Period.
My life was miserable.
I have never found the one despite the fact that I was in junior year. I dated guys all the time, but ended up ditching them (or vice versa) because we simply didn’t click. Yes, you could call me desperate, but anyone in my position couldn't help but be desperate.
My best friend, Linda, always told me about taking chances on even the most trivial things. Linda was Miss Perfect. She had the looks, the brains and already a loving boyfriend. I wished her the best throughout life, and I knew her future was bright.
“Are you dreaming about me, Isabelle?” muttered Declan in his so called 'sexy' and ‘flirtatious’ voice. I knew better, he was simply mocking me.
“If I was dreaming about you I would be having a nightmare!” I exclaimed, snapping out of my reverie.
Declan laughed and said, “Don’t be so sure!”
I rolled my eyes.
I had been growing accustomed to day-dreaming about simply nothing. I was zoning out, my grades were falling and I got irritated easily. Ever since my mother died couple of years back, I couldn’t really tell my own emotions. I use to shout at the wrong people and sometimes lose it all together.
Declan never, ever helps in this matter. Every girl nearby Declan practically faints at the sight of him. Apparently, he is widely known for his shockingly gorgeous looks (I beg to differ!). All I have ever seen in him is dark brown eyes and black messed up hair that always comes in his face, plus his cheeky smirk. What the hell is so good about that?
Without even knowing it, I was staring at Declan, my facial features frowning slightly as I scanned his looks, contemplating on what the other girls really saw in him. I blinked, Declan was staring right back at me with great amusement.
“Checking me out, Isabelle?” he whispered, a smirk engraving his lips.
I frowned deeper.
I shook my head and went back to staring at the board with as much enthusiasm I could muster... Which was zilch. The ultimate question was: how do you be enthusiastic with Declan Parker around? The answer is that you simply can’t be.
After a couple of weeks of nothing, something finally changed for the worse.
My mouth dropped open when Mrs O’Connell declared that we would be having a collaborative assignment due next week... with the person you were sitting next to.
“But Mrs O’Connell! There needs to be some exceptions. Declan and I simply can’t co-operate!” I said, my voice rising at the end.
The class stared back and forth between Declan and I, amusement bright in their eyes. Everybody knew how much I hated Declan.
The problem was that Mrs O’Connell was always resolute with her decisions. “Sorry, Isabelle, but there are no exceptions. You will have to learn to deal with your partner.” With that she walked away.
The class snickered and went back to their work. This was going to be a nightmare. Declan had a habit of annoying me ever since first grade where he stole my colours. Since then, we were arch enemies.
“Hello, gorgeous! This is going to be fun, fun and FUN!” he said with mock enthusiasm.
I glared at him.
He merely chuckled.
I turned around in my seat, so that I was facing Declan. I put on my ultra exasperated expression and said, “You do the math, genius.”
Declan smiled, showing off his white teeth. “First off, this isn’t math!”
He explained to me what we were supposed to do in such detail that I, for the first time ever, understood what on Earth the point of English was. To my surprise, I listened to him intently. I was prepared for a few shouts and slaps, but Declan was serious throughout the whole session. The man really knew what he was doing!
“So how did you like that?” asked Declan, just after the bell went.
“Come on. Only a blind person wouldn’t have noticed that that whole session went successfully without you spazzing,” he stated. He then reached for my hair again and I quickly slapped it away. “See what I mean?” he added.
Declan knew that I hated it when people touched my hair. He deliberately messed with it so that he could piss me off. Boy, did he succeed. Sure, it was just hair! But he kept at it in the middle of a test. It was distracting and I had learned to hate people who disturbed my hair because of him. I tried bringing a hooded jumper to school but that was heaps worse. He would yank the hood off with such force that my head went backwards. He also came up behind me and quickly put the hood on tightly, covering my eyes and making me momentarily dazed.
I rolled my eyes, coming out of my trip to memory lane. “First off, that isn’t spazzing. That’s just slapping your hand away because I don’t like it in my hair. Besides, you are just so annoying!”
Declan stared at me as if I was speaking Latin.
I sighed and walked off. Some people just don’t know the meaning of irritation.
I woke up highly annoyed and aggravated, knowing that my day was going to be a failure. I just had one of those gut feelings, and my gut feelings were never wrong. It turned out to be that I was right. I spilled coffee on my designer clothing and had to stick with my skinny jeans and converse. When I had started eating breakfast again, I remembered that I still had to print my assignment. I spent the next 20 minutes searching for my USB. By the time I had printed my Chemistry essay, I was at least one hour late.
On my way to school, I remembered what day it was. It was the day my mother had died. I did all I could to think that it was just some ordinary day, but my bad luck said otherwise. My mind filled with negative thoughts and it felt like I had lost my mother all over again. Without a doubt, it was the worst feeling ever.
By the time I got to school, I was ultra depressed, and my day just went from bad to utterly terrible. I got detention and more detention for kicking the ball at the all famous Lucy Jane, captain of the cheerleading squad. Nobody knew how furious I was at the coach for actually being so gullible. Everyone could tell that Lucy Jane was faking her ‘broken nose’.
By the end of the day, I was miserable and just wanted to go back home and cry. It was what I did when I was under stress, and when I was thinking about Mum.
I was walking incredibly slowly towards the office for detention, my mind spinning with pessimistic thoughts. I was so distracted that I didn’t even notice a figure come out of nowhere.
The person was clad in black with a hoodie, jeans, boots and sunglasses. He came out of thin air and attacked me. I don’t know if tackling a girl into a locker is considered as attacking, but I screamed anyway.
The person jerked back and simply cracked up laughing.
I was boiling with rage. It was not funny to attack a girl for the sake of having something to laugh at! My eyes blazed as I clenched my fists in attempt of not going BOOM! My heart was still racing from the shock of being slammed into a locker, and I bit on my tongue, trying not to cry. I was feeling a mix of so many emotions. It all just combined together to make frustration, and frustration was one of the only things that made me cry. In the end, I couldn’t really prevent my outburst.
Declan looked up and saw my expression, his laughter cutting off completely.
“What the hell is wrong with you?!” I screeched, my voice echoing down the empty corridor.
Declan flinched at the shrill sound of my voice. He back pedalled a bit, putting his hands up in surrender. I bet he had never seen this irrational side of me.
“Gee, I meant no harm at all. Seriously, I was just mucking around,” he said defensively.
I snickered in disgust. “Yeah, just mucking around!” I mimicked. “You bloody scared the shit out of me! And practically attacking me for the sake of hearing me scream ain’t funny, Declan. When will you learn to grow up?!”
He stared at me, eyes filled with concern. “Isabelle, seriously I—”
“Do you seriously think I enjoy it when you yank at my hair, piss me off, poke me with everything imaginable, spread rumours about me, laugh when I get really pissed, make my boyfriends dump me, steal the books I need for studying! I failed in last semester’s Chemistry test because of you! I am not some toy that has no emotions!”
Declan stared at me, his eyes wide.
“Do you?” I snapped, my rhetorical question now becoming real.
Declan looked around, biting on his lip before quietly saying, “No...” In a more gentle tone he restarted his previous sentence whilst reaching for me. “Isabelle I—”
I slapped his reaching hand away with a loud ‘thwack!’
“No, Declan. Just leave me alone! I hate you! Don’t you get it? I have hated you all my life and you just continue to drive me insane! I hate it when you try to be seductive because it’s plain annoying. ”
To my surprise, Declan actually looked hurt. I didn’t dwell on his expression because I started walking away.
I don’t know. I just felt so furious over nothing.
“Is everything all right down there?” The cleaner called.
“Oh, I’m just fine!” I said with sarcasm. I walked faster and pretended that detention was going to be fun. I ended up convincing myself that a life time of detention is better than seeing Declan’s face again.
I felt a little embarrassed for having a hissy fit in front of Declan. Like, he doesn’t yank at my hair, he just plays with it. Hiding my books is nothing to have a row about either, but I do remember the time I failed in Chemistry because he stole my textbook... for fun. Declan didn’t really spread rumours about me, but bragged about all the times he was successful in pissing me off, making all the guys in the corridor snicker and say, “Had fun without your textbook?” Plus, he always laughed at me when I was pissed. It just made things worse. Oh, and the whole boyfriend thing. Jordan Birch dumped me because he claimed that Declan had convinced him in believing I was a spazz. Now that got on my nerves!
In the end, I thought that I only over reacted slightly, well maybe a bit more than slightly. Besides, he scared the shit out of me. Who the hell pretends to kidnap someone for the sake of hearing them scream? It’s completely bizarre! If it wasn’t the date my mother had died, I might have actually ignored him.
When I got to school, I immediately found Linda.
“Oh, my gosh have you seen Declan lately?”
Oh, have I?
“No?” I answered uncertainly.
“He’s, like, going through this depressed emo phase or something! Like, he hasn’t smiled all day and is barely speaking.”
Declan barely speaking? Please, that’s a load of crap! Declan talks all the time.
Linda continued about her over exaggerated update on Declan and I simply pretended to listen. I was so used to the way she did hand actions to pretty much everything, and never kept her inside voice. The day went pretty good, but then there was English to get through.
Linda was right, Declan barely spoke to me, but he didn’t look overly depressed. We ended up finishing our collaborative assignment first, since the whole class spent their time gossiping rather than studying. But I have to admit, Declan and I would have been doing the same thing if it weren’t for the silent treatment we were giving each other.
I realised that it wasn’t right. It wasn’t right having Declan not talk to me or annoy me. In fact, I felt uncomfortable and awkward because of it. I guess I deserved the cold shoulder from Declan. I had said I hated him, and hate was a very strong word. I tried to catch his eye but he didn’t even look at me!
Days continued without even a single word between Declan and I. It actually began to worry me. Yeah, I admit it. Go alert the media. I was just so accustomed to Declan’s constant habits of annoying me, and his mocking remarks. I thought English was the worst part of my day because of him, but he was the one that actually made it interesting. I noticed that without having a complication or something to distract you, life was boring.
The day we received an A+ in our assignment, we still didn’t say anything.
A couple of days later, I got the flu and skipped an entire week of school. I was glad I had actually. That way, I wouldn’t have to face Declan, who now made me feel self conscious and guilty. I spent my boring week in bed reading Nicholas Sparks, crying my eyes out at the end of each book. How depressing could I get?
When I got back to school, Linda found me in a heartbeat.
“There you are!” she called. “You have been away for a week! And Declan’s still being an emo.”
I laughed loudly, despite that I felt a different emotion in the pits of my stomach. I continued my day without even seeing Declan, let alone talking to him. I noticed the distant sounds of thunder as the day progressed. Soon enough, it was hailing.
By the end of school, more than three quarters of the students had left, and only a few people were left loitering, waiting for someone to come and pick them up. Only a mad man would walk home in this weather. I called my dad to pick me up and he gave me a, “I will be there soon,” when it really meant, “Wait half an hour.”
I sat down on the bench and waited in boredom. I put my hood up, covering all my hair just in case Declan came to pull a prank on me (not that it would prevent him from other mischief) and then remembered that I hadn’t seen him all day and he was probably still giving me a silent treatment.
I felt upset just thinking about it.
“Hey,” muttered a familiar voice.
Speak of the devil.
I turned around and saw Declan standing there, surprisingly looking a bit shy and nervous. I blinked a few times, trying to comprehend that he was actually talking to me. It was just so unbelievable. I hadn’t heard his voice in such a long time that it almost sounded foreign to me.
He stood awkwardly a few metres away from me, biting his bottom lip.
“Hey,” I said, trying to keep my casual tone. No such success. My voice wavered with nervousness.
He came and sat next to me, only a few centimetres away. My heart beat accelerated and my hands became clammy.
What was wrong with me? I mean, this is the obnoxious Declan for crying out loud! Yeah, he was talking to me after a month worth of: ‘Hmm’, ‘yeah’, ‘OK’, and ‘right’s. But he was still the same old Declan: pure annoying. I also noticed that I had trouble looking at him because of his intense gaze that could make people cringe in their seats.
“Declan, I’m sorry,” the words came rushing out of my mouth. I snapped my mouth shut, but realised I still had more to say. “Sorry for snapping at you and stuff, and saying that I hate you. I don’t hate you. I just don’t understand how you can be so persistent with annoying me,” I said with my eyes still focussed in front of me. I was never really good at apologies.
I guess that was an acceptable apology. I would much rather prefer us going back to the way we used to be, with Declan annoying the crap out of me, than not talking at all.
We sat there for a few seconds, in a very awkward silence. I could feel Declan’s gaze making holes in the side of my face.
“Look at me,” Declan suddenly said.
He then unexpectedly put his fingers under my chin and turned my face towards him. He was heaps closer to me than expected, his face merely inches away from mine. My eyes widened and my heart was practically hammering against my rib cage. It was like I was seeing Declan for the first time ever.
I noticed how his black hair came into his eyes in a seductive sort of manner, how his cheeks were flushed and how his soft pink lips were slightly parted. It was like I was looking at Declan from a completely different perspective. He... he was hot.
Yeah, hot. Brilliant choice of words, hey?
Declan noticed my reaction and put one hand on the small of my back, pulling me closer. I was no longer facing him sideways, but front on. His hands lingered at my waist whilst our noses were almost touching.
“Did you know that you are the blindest girl I have ever met?”
What? He was insulting me right in front of me face? And I meant that literally, right in front of my face. Declan somehow read my expression and started speaking again.
“You can never see what is right in front of you,” he stated.
I still didn’t get what he was talking about. What is right in front of me besides Declan? “Huh...” I muttered.
“What do you see?” he asked.
“I see Declan Parker talking mumbo jumbo.”
Declan’s smirk came in place. “No seriously, what do you see when you look at me. How do you think I feel towards you?”
My heart beat faster. “I see you as an irritating English partner, and I think you love annoying me.”
Declan rolled his eyes. What? I was telling him what I really saw in him!
Suddenly, Declan’s loose arms around my waist became tight, pressing my body against him. “What do you see now?” he purred.
My answer was a big: “Uhhhhhhm...” I was literally speechless, and going through silent shock. “Um, I see... you in a r-really intimate pos-position... with me.”
Declan laughed quietly, still not loosening his position. “How do you think I feel about you?” he asked in a soft whisper.
“I think you have a thing for making me feel... weird.”
If I were to lie, Declan would catch me doing so. “The whole... uh.... butterfly in stomach thing. And the... making me lose m-my words.”
I gave up. I was seriously losing it. I felt so vulnerable that I had to lower my gaze from Declan’s.
Declan loosened his grip, allowing me to breathe again. “You’re still blind as a bat, Isabelle. Do you seriously think I like annoying you? Do you seriously think I get a living out of hearing you say you hate me?” he said, his voice getting serious.
“What do you expect me to think then?” I asked, I myself getting frustrated in not understanding what on earth he was going on about.
“I,” he said slowly, taking his time in answering my question, “expect you to believe what you think is the impossible. Face it, you have a thing for me.”
My mouth dropped open. I was flabbergasted. I didn’t have a thing for Declan. Yuck! I was about to start my counter argument when Declan did something completely bizarre.
He kissed me.
You know the saying: The best way to make a girl shut up is to kiss her. It was seriously true. It was like my world completely faded and there was nothing but Declan. I forgot about our silly arguments and simply kissed him back. Gosh, I must have been dreaming!
When we parted, I noticed that my fingers were curled around Declan’s hair. I immediately let go.
“You were saying?” said Declan.
Shit. I had a thing for Declan and I wasn’t even prepared to admit it. “What about you then?” I snapped. “If you were to kiss me, it means that you... well, have had something going on for me.”
Declan rolled his eyes. “Duh.”
My eyes widened in confusion. That wasn’t the answer I was expecting.
Declan frowned, slightly impatient. “This is what I mean by blind, Isabelle. I am right here, loving you and you don’t even see it. You think Jordan Birch dumped you because I convinced him you were a spazz? No, I told him you were mine. I’m sorry for annoying you, but you look really cute when you’re frustrated.”
Those were the sweetest words I had ever heard from Declan, and the most honest words from any guy.
When Declan kissed me again, I realised I was completely wrong about him... about us. For some weird reason, he didn’t seem as annoying, but the complete opposite. It was like I secretly longed for him and I only just realised.
It was like magic. Declan and I started dating from that very day, forgetting our childish issues about being annoying and simply got on with life. We laughed at our trivial fights and absurd style of giving each other silent treatments.
It was just like that, we loved each other. Nobody was surprised. A lot of people were saying: “About time!” when they saw us kissing behind the shed. It was like they were anticipating on this happening, Linda in particular.
A couple of weeks before our first kiss together, I would have never thought Declan would be the one for me. In fact, I would have thought he was anything but! Like Linda use to say, I need to take chances, even on the most unimportant things. Because who knows, maybe the things we regarded as nothing were the most important part of our lives from the very beginning.
A/N: Thanks again for reading. This story was originally named ‘Taking Chances’ but unfortunately, the name was already in use. That's why the picture for this short story says 'Taking Chances'. AND the picture is from Wattpad that's why it says 'By: Caysha'. Anyway, for some reason I think this story isn’t as good as Make the Most of Now. Is it too cliché? Please give your opinions because I love critique and feedback. Remember that I am still improving xD If you liked this story, please become a fan and comment.
© Copyright 2016 Ashlyn Heart. All rights reserved.
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