Since today was Tuesday, and they had all made it a point to eat under the Japanese tree, December got her selection for the day and headed out towards the school courtyard.
It was beautiful as ever, especially with her friends conversing in a carefree way, which sort of reminded her of the college advertisement she saw on billboards and brochures. But unlike those, although it was slightly different than the usual ads, this scene did not look superficial to her.
Brooke was grinning as she pinched Jethro's arm, although her eyes probably told a different story, Jethro was wincing and trying to scoot away from her while blabbering apologies, Serena and Weston were both smiling as they were in a conversation that looked like they could be talking about the weather or the economical state of the country. Raven and Caleb both laughed with tears in their eyes at Jethro's antics.
"Well, what's got you brimming like little miss sunshine now?" Jethro, who looked up and noticed her as she approached, grinned.
December blinked. She didn't even realized she had been smiling so much, until she felt her cheeks hurt.
She inadvertently let out a giggle when she remembered what the reason was behind it.
Curious at the apparent happiness in her eyes, they were quiet, though all couldn't stop smiling for December had an infectious grin when she was in a jovial mood, as she clearly was. Walking slowly as to not put pressure on her knee, she carefully sat down between Brooke and Jethro and after sipping her strawberry milk, she looked at their expectant faces and said, "Guys, I've got great news."
Instantly, everyone started talking over each other.
"What, did you ace History or something?" Raven said, excitement on her face for her friend's achievement.
"Did Ms. McLeod finally stop being a bitch to you?" Brooke quipped with a raised eyebrow.
"Maybe Karen and her girl gang has finally come to her senses and stop pestering you." Serena wondered.
"Or move schools." Weston chuckled.
"Yeah, that'll be the day." muttered Jethro, to which he received another pinch on his arm from Brooke. "Ow, woman! Cut it out."
Caleb seem to ponder for a moment, with his hand rubbing thoughtfully under his chin. Then, a teasing smile stretched across his lips.
"Maybe someone ask December out."
For a moment, in the midst of the courtyard with other students chattering animatedly, they were the only group who had quietened down. It seemed as though Caleb's word were processing through their minds, as they didn't think of that first, and the probability that that could be it.
As they looked at December, whose face couldn't get any brighter with the sunny smile, as well as her reddened cheeks, it was only a scant second before everyone became raucous.
"Wait, is this for real?" Brooke asked, grinning.
"Explain yourself!" Demanded Jethro.
As the crowd gets louder, and they were getting nasty and weird looks from people around them, December shushed before beckoning them to come closer.
"Thank you for all your guesses, but Caleb scored a point in this one." At their speechless and gaped expressions, she further added. "I got asked out on a date."
If looks could be any funnier at the moment, the award would go to all of her friends. She was trying to give them some time to process that bit. But little did she know, their minds were way past processing that information. They needed more.
"Well?" Brooke and Raven said simultaneously.
"Who?" Jethro choked, right as he took a sip of his carbonated drink.
"Oh, right." Her cheeks were rosy as she said, or rather murmured, "Zach."
"I'm sorry, what?" Caleb interjected loudly, with an astonished expression. "Did you just said," – and he had the consideration to look around before bringing his tone down a notch – "Zach? As in, Zachary Wong? The captain of the archery club?"
December brought a finger to her lips and scooted closer until she was practically in the middle of their circle. Their still astonished expressions were starting to irritate her.
"Yes. We're talking about the Zach Wong." She said in a whisper, then after a pause, added, "And please stop looking at me like I made this up. Is it that hard to believe that I'm going out on a date with him?" She couldn't help her defensive tone.
Some of them looked away as they had guilt on their faces, while the rest looked apologetic.
"Wow, guys." December looked at them in hurt. "That's really grand to know that."
Raven moved forward and reached out to pat her knee gently. "No, D, it's not like that. We're happy for you, really. It's just…it's not often we hear these sort of things. I mean, what are the possibilities of someone having a crush on another actually getting asked out by said crush? I mean other than our resident couple Serena and Weston..."
At that, the aforementioned couple actually looked a little uncomfortable. Weston coughed slightly as Serena just shook her head hopelessly at a smiling Raven before her gaze flickered to Weston with a bashful smile.
December didn't miss that gesture, and so did her friends. She found that adorable somehow.
She continued, "...it's one in a million, and you're it. This is great." She mustered a grin at December.
"Yeah, we're just having a tiny bit of a hard time taking this all in. Don't mind your silly friends." Brooke nudged her playfully as the rest of them nodded in earnest.
While December was trying not to take it to heart much, she knew she couldn't hold it against them. They had always been there for her and believed in her, and she knew she could count on them.
As December started to say something, a petite student with curly hair approached them and shyly said, "Um, excuse me, I'm sorry to bother but I need to borrow your friends for a while." She then looked at Serena and Weston and said apologetically, "Mrs. Perez needs your help in the library. Apparently there's some problems with the key-in system and filing."
Weston frowned. "Where's Daryl? Shouldn't he be the one to fix it since he's stationed behind the desk?"
The girl blushed and cast her gaze down. "He's, ah, he's not there right now."
Weston raised an eyebrow at that, but while Serena had a confused look earlier, so did the rest of her friends, realization dawned on her as she nodded. "Okay, we'll be there."
Weston swung his gaze towards her in surprise. "Do you even know how to work that system?"
"No, but you do." She quipped cheerfully.
"That thing is a nightmare." He relented with a deep sigh as she tugged him up with her.
The blushing petite girl gave her thanks at them before walking off in haste.
"Well, we'll see you guys later. Don't forget to fill us in on the date, D." Serena winked before dragging her reluctant boyfriend after her.
The group settled into a peaceful quiet for a moment.
Then, Jethro groaned before stretching his arms up, receiving the stinky eye from Brooke which he ignored, and said, "She's cute."
"Every girl you see is cute." Brooke rolled her eyes.
"Every girl but you." Jethro muttered, and this time when she went to pinch him, he dodged it and went towards Caleb. "Damn, Brooke. You need to calm down. You jealous or something?"
Brooke's face was indignant as her nose flared. "The nerve to even say that! You wish, Jethro Hunters."
December shook her head at them. "Did you guys see that?" She was referring to the girl's reaction earlier.
Raven and Brooke both nodded. Even Jethro hummed his assent.
"Poor girl." Jethro said.
"I wonder if she knows." Brooke sighed.
"Know what?" Caleb was at a loss.
"She must have been so embarrassed. I don't know what I'll do if it were me." Raven added.
"Guys, what are we on about now?" Caleb tried again, a little vexed at being ignored.
December took plight on Caleb and said, "She was crying earlier. Her face, eyes and nose were red. What do you think happened with that Daryl guy?"
Caleb took that in and as the cogs of his mind worked, he blinked in realization. "Oh."
Then, a thought occurred to December and she looked around, as if seeing her surroundings for the first time. "Hey, have you guys seen Max and Katya today?"
Raven shook her head. "No, and they weren't in Chemistry either."
"Maybe they're playing hooky."
"From what I've seen when you introduced them to us all, they don't look the sort, especially the girl, Katya." Caleb said. Then, he tested her name again on his lips, and wondered, "Man, such an exotic name, and she's smoking hot too."
Unaware of Brooke's scowl and deadly glare directed at him, he continued, "I dare say she's even hotter than Karen. And I've always thought she was a goddess." before shrugging to himself. "She's still one to me, though."
Jethro and Caleb paused in thought before looking at each other as if they had the ability to communicate telepathically, nodding with a grin.
December frowned at them.
Despite being friends with the guys, she knew they didn't really know about the bad blood she had with Karen, other than usual dislike shown outwardly at times. And would it matter, considering how head over heels they were about Karen? She didn't like hearing her friends gush about her nemesis, but she couldn't just tell them that now could she - what right did she have over that?
Raven glanced at December before shaking her head and sighing at them. "This is why we can't rely on them. They change their mind so quick when it comes to the female population."
Brooke only muttered with a scathing look at them. "God, they're such idiots."
Pierre walked to his lockers, his eyes were still unfocused. He had stayed up late last night, video-calling his cousins in Scotland who were curious to know how he was doing in the States. Time was forgotten as they reminisced their childhood together, and the next thing he knows, it was close to 4 in the morning.
Waking up late for class hadn't bothered him before, since his attendance outweighed the times he was absent. Still, he didn't want to start making a new habit, despite desperately wanting to sleep in today.
He wanted to attend a class, even if it was in the afternoon, because there was only one class which he liked on that Tuesday.
He took out some materials from his bag and stored it in the locker, and just when he was about to close it, a face beside him appeared and startled him.
"Oh, fuck." He murmured to himself in surprise, taking a step away from the close proximity of the person. "Karen…right? Can I help you with something?" He said politely, even though he was a little curious in what she wanted from him this time.
She would never get tired of the way the 'hottie' – as she dubbed him – said her name; there was some edge to her 'r' when he said it, like a thick accent to it and he looked damn cool, too. Thinking back to the word he said to himself - which she was sure wasn't intended for her to hear - made her a little out of sorts and she imagined all kinds of dirty things possible with him being the main star of her fantasy – well second, since the main star would be her.
She drew closer and said in a sweet but breathy voice. "Well, I'll let you know later if I needed anything." She shifted her body then so she was fully facing him, her back against his locker. "Actually, I was thinking, do you wanna hang out with me this Friday? There's a party going on at one of my friend's house." She gave him a sultry smile, one that accentuates her slightly pouty lips. "What do you say?"
Pierre had to admit, she was really gorgeous, and by the looks of it, definitely knows how to get her way. Although this was the third time they talked, this was also the third time she had asked him to hang out with her.
The first time, he had acceded, thinking there's no harm in that, but he soon found it boring – how she had talked to her girlfriends and pretty much left him sitting beside her like a dumbfounded person.
Even some of the guys, who either weren't making out with their girlfriends or talking to their friends had looked impatient and eventually left the table. One of them who followed suit had given him a nod – a chance to escape the apparent boredom. He hadn't hesitate, and they were too engrossed in a conversation about fashion to notice him. He also learned that day that the guy's name was Blake.
He wondered what the purpose was in inviting him, when all she was going to do was ignoring him and acted as though he was just there just for the sake of being another addition to her group.
The second time she asked him, he was saved by the bell, and he never thought he would ever be in a hurry to get to class.
And now, just as he was about to give his answer, someone else had already beaten him to it.
Putting an arm each on both of his shoulders, Caleb and Jethro grinned at Karen Joyce.
"A party, Karen? I'm kinda bummed I haven't heard anything about it." Caleb started, his grin never falter. In fact, he looked quite smitten with her beauty.
"Yeah, I hope you're thinking of inviting the whole team." Jethro said, suggesting that both the archery and football team be included.
Getting invited by the hottest girl at school to parties were every guys' dreams – Jethro could vouch – but he also thought putting a word for his club could essentially boost their status among the high ranks. He never understood for such a cool sport, it hadn't always made the talk of the school (of good things!), unlike the football and swimming team.
Karen was taken aback when they appeared beside Pierre and although she was annoyed to have someone else interrupted them, she plastered on a pretty smile. "Oh. Well, I must have forgotten to send the invites. We just started advertising it, after all." She giggled in a way that prompted people to understand the situation, but also that it wasn't a big deal.
It might be an actual reason, but somehow when he heard that, Pierre thought it was a lie which could have been better. It didn't make sense to him.
Unfortunately, Caleb and Jethro ate her words like lovesick fools.
A glint glittered in her eyes as she thought of something. "Actually, why don't the two of you come along too? Bring your friends, or girlfriends even." She was beaming at them now, though her smile was mostly directed at Pierre, who was pondering again on his thoughts.
He had been to parties before, back in his hometown and even crashed some, courtesy of Oliver and his friends. It hadn't been all bad, but he wasn't in a hurry to jump into the next wagon of parties.
He already had an answer on his lips, but as he shifted and made a move towards the other direction, he spotted Katya walking towards him, her soft eyes making direct contact with him, as if imploring something.
And just like that, he broke them and turned to his companions, saying, "Yeah. Why not?"
Jethro and Caleb grinned as though they just hit a jackpot, while Karen looked like she just saw gold.
"That's great! I'll text you guys the address later." She added a little wink at Pierre before sauntering away when the two guys were busy talking over each other.
Pierre glanced at her briefly, momentarily ignoring his two friends who were seeking his attention, before looking at the direction he saw Katya disappeared to. He hardened his gaze and shook his head at no one before sighing quietly to himself.
"Man, not gonna lie, I did thought you were gay at some point." Jethro grinned, lounging on the sofa.
The three of them were hanging out before their classes at the library, the place that was quite hidden in the alcove. Pierre, Jethro, and Caleb met with Sid, who had been taking naps before being rudely awaken by Jethro making inappropriate noises in a high pitched voice.
The ploy had worked but Jethro paid the price when Sid tackled him onto the couch and locked him in a chokehold, making the air rushed out of him until he admitted defeat.
With a pleasant looking Sid on the couch, and a disgruntled Jethro on the other end, Caleb only said, "What? Don't look at me like I should have saved you. You should know better than to mess with his nap."
Jethro only grumbled, before his demeanor changed and he spoke his thoughts.
Pierre looked amused as he said, "What makes you think that?"
"A normal hormonal guy wouldn't ever avoid the hottest chick he wants to get it on with. And you did that several times."
"What makes you think I would even want to, as you put it quite loosely, get it on with her?" Pierre raised his eyebrow. He didn't know whether to be amused or annoyed that they would simply assume what he wanted.
"Like I said, a normal guy would. Clearly you hail from some outer space ship since you don't seem to have the hots for her." Jethro replied hotly.
Caleb raised an eyebrow at Jethro. "Okay, man. I know you're frustrated with him but don't project your needs on Pierre. He probably has a girlfriend. Or he's asexual. Don't judge." Then, after a pause, he continued. "Be that as it may, I don't get it either since you never tell us almost anything! I told you this before, and I'll tell you again. I don't know how you can avoid such an angel. You must be an idiot to refuse the goddess that has graced this earth with her presence in our school."
Pierre chuckled deeply before smirking. "That sounds poetic, Caleb. I think we've all just found out your hidden talent."
Sid half grinned while he yawned before saying, "Uh, wait, what's going on?"
"Didn't you get the text? We're invited to Karen Joyce's party. Well, it's her friend's but who cares." Jethro said, eyes lighting up like he saw Santa on Christmas.
Sid paused in thought before his eyes went wide. "Karen? Our Karen Joyce?"
"Fiona better not hear you say that." Caleb muttered.
Sid looked dejected before he shrugged. "We broke up."
Everyone went still.
Then, they exclaimed, "You broke up?"
"How…did we not know this?" Caleb frowned at him.
"When?" Jethro asked, stunned.
He didn't consider himself as someone who believed in love, considering all the romantic crap he pulled to annoy his friends. But out of all the couples that he knew, including Weston and Serena, Sid and Fiona were so compatible with each other that it was hard to imagine them not being together for a long time.
Sid looked a little uncomfortable as he cleared his throat. "Over the break. And…well, I just don't feel like telling everyone about it." He shifted his body so he could lean against the couch comfortably. "Besides, we've got our own issues. Too much to handle, so we just broke it off."
Pierre observed him. Sid hadn't been as energetic as he always was today, and he also saw a difference in the guy's appearance. His eyes had dark bags that was apparent and a dull complexion. And looking at his even skinnier frame than before, he'd say he might have lost a few pounds. These could explain why he slept in soundly earlier before Jethro woke him, and his slightly grouchy attitude.
"You still like her, do you?" Pierre asked, more like an affirmation to which he nodded slowly.
"Yeah. But we gotta have our own spaces for now." Then, he cleared his throat again to which they all got the hint that he wanted to stop talking about it.
"Right. Well, like they used to say, there's plenty of fishes in the sea." Jethro tried to make a joke.
Caleb hit the back of his head. "You're so fucking insensitive." Then, to Sid he said, "Uh, don't let it get you down, man. Who knows, maybe you guys will get back together someday."
Sid, with his hollow eyes only nodded a fraction.
Not knowing what else to say, Caleb nudged Pierre to say something.
Getting the message in a few seconds, he nodded.
But wracking his brain for some uplifting message strangely had never been so difficult at the moment, and so with a lack of anything better to say, he just blurted out the one thing he could think of.
"So, uh, I'm not gay."
They all brought their gazes slowly to him.
Then, Sid laughed. "That's so random."
"Unexpected, but okay. Thanks for letting us know, man." Jethro moved forward and patted Pierre's back.
Caleb looked at him in a brotherly affection way before he grinned. "No matter what, you're still one of us and we love you."
"Good to know." He muttered. They're making me feel like I just came out or something. Pierre shook his head with a small smile. At least the tension's dispelled.
There was still time to kill before the next class would start. The air-conditioner wasn't working well against the sunlight that brightened the room. Caleb went to turn the lights switch off while Pierre was conversing with Sid about archery and the correct postures when aiming.
Jethro had stood up earlier and got himself comfortable on the couch by the window pane. He closed his eyes for a moment, basking in the sunlight as his friends talked amongst each other. After a while, a frown passed his features as he thought of something.
"Hey Sid," he called out, eyes still closed. "Did you know that Zach's into December?"
The peaceful murmurs amongst them dissipate when they heard Jethro's question.
Sid tilted his head, thinking about the matter. "Well, I don't know for sure, but I did teased him about it. He wears his heart on his sleeves sometimes." He chuckled.
"He has that in common with December." Jethro glanced at them and grinned.
He chuckled. "Why, did he finally asked her out?"
"Apparently. We just heard about it from her at lunch earlier." Caleb said, his expression though pleasant was somehow unreadable.
While they all seemed to take that information in stride with cheerful and pleasant remarks, Pierre was the only one who was quiet as he ponder on his thought.
So, the president of the archery club seemed to be going out with December…
He didn't think she would have a crush on him. Nay, he backtracked, he didn't think she would have a crush on anyone at all. And why would he? He didn't know anything about her, especially since they just made some peace.
Nevertheless, what she does in her spare time wasn't even his business, if they were going out, then that means the feelings are mutual. He should feel fine about this news.
At least, Pierre would like to think so.
Somewhere in the empty corner of the academy, a girl waited impatiently for the other person on the line to answer her call.
She had very important news to impart; after all, what she has to say would play a huge role in what could happen to her future…as well as everyone else.
When the other person on the line answered, a slow smile graced her lips as she spoke into the phone.
"Everything's set in motion."
"Hmm…are you sure about this?"
"Of course." She answered.
The anonymous person chuckled. "I knew you're devious, but doing this is pretty cunning of you."
Though the girl prided herself with her abilities, she found herself annoyed hearing that comment. Sometimes, a girl had to do what needed to be done to achieve her goal.
Still, she wasn't as irritated with the person as their comment was. Letting out a small laugh, she said, "Not quite, actually. But this coming from you…well, I'll take that as a compliment."
A thought kept replaying in her head, even a while after the conversation ended. She thought no words could ring truer than that, especially with the things she had planned in her mind.
I'll have what I want, by any means, anyhow.699Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡtzSdEKRivO