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Smile Sweetheart ch. 7
I woke up with a groggy, hangover kind of feeling. The thought of getting up and going to school was dreadful. I lifted my head to check the clock; I still had five minutes before the annoying, beeping alarm would go off. I felt around for the off switch, half dead with sleep, and hit my hand on the night stand. I cussed loudly, then found the switch on the clock, and shut the alarm off. I dropped my arm from the nightstand and just let it hang over the side of the bed, falling back asleep.
There was some loud knocking on my door that I really didn’t appreciate.
“Morgan, get up, you’re going to be late for school. You’re not going to skip school twice in a row,” my mom said flicking the light on, blinding me.
I groaned and threw my pillow over my head.
“Go away…” I grumbled grouchily.
“Don’t make me drag your butt off that bed, young lady,” my mom threatened.
“Do your worst, woman…” I challenged back through my pillow.
“Fine.” She grabbed my legs and literally dragged me right out of the bed. I crashed down on the floor, followed by some of the blankets and my pillow, with a shriek and a loud thud. I sat there, arms crossed, like a little two year old pouting, and stared at her, my brows furrowed in anger.
“Don’t give me that look young lady, I know you had a rough night, but that’s no excuse for you not to go to school.”
“Well I’m not getting up,” I retorted, questioning her authority.
“Fine, don’t get up. I won’t allow you to see your little friend, Nick. Have fun sitting there,” she said a smile twitching on her face, knowing she was going to get her way. I gave her a dirty look, but didn’t protest anymore, getting off the ground and picking up my covers and pillow. If I couldn’t see Nick I would lose my mind, and she had clearly known this all too well. My mom smirked in accomplishment; she liked being bossy when she had the chance. After I finished making my bed –to my much disdain- I grabbed a towel and undergarments, and then took a quick shower. My mom had made me two eggs and a couple pieces of bacon, which she arranged in a smile face on the plate. A little orange Post It was next to the plate: Turn that frown upside down! Love Mom. The woman probably already went back to her room to work. I grabbed the plate and pecked at it with my fork. Eating only a little, I brushed my teeth quickly, grabbed my bag, and then went out the door.
I trudged my way to the back of the bus, shrugging off the whispers and glances at me. I was sure that there would be lots of drama today. Heaven forbid the Goth girl and the new kid missed school for a day. The girl in the seat in front of me turned around and stared at me, waiting for me to look up from my iPod.
“Can I help you?” I asked, staring her in the face, raising a brow.
“I heard you and that new kid, Nick Bradley, skipped school yesterday. What’s up with that?” she asked chewing on some bubble gum. Wasn’t it a little early for gum chewing?
“So what if we did? What’s it to anybody?” I retorted, my bad mood showing more and more every second.
“Just wondering why he would skip, and how curious it is that you did, too.”
“We spent the day together. That’s it.”
“You spent the day together? Like what, a date?” she asked.
“No, not really…” I said, blushing a little.
“Oh, not really…?” she questioned, a smile starting to cross her face. “How come you’re blushing?”
“I’m not,” I said denying her, locking my jaw and blushing more.
“Something tells me it was more than just a little get together,” she said, a wide smile across her face now.
“Leave me alone…” I growled under my breath.
“So what’d you guys do? Did you go to his house or did he come over to yours?” I didn’t respond.
“Come on, tell me, please.”
“Why does it matter so much to you?” I asked sharply.
“Because, no one ever wants to be around you, and if he does it definitely means something.”
“Wow thanks so much…” I grumbled under my breath.
“Hey Nick,” a kid in the front said. I hadn’t realized that we had stopped at his house.
“Hi,” he replied with a small smile. He searched around for me quickly, spotted me, and then headed for the back. He took the seat next to me. The girl who was in front of me smiled intently at the two of us. She was really starting to creep me out.
“Hi Nick,” she said shyly, a little goo-goo eyed.
“Hey,” he replied with a polite tone.
“How come you and her weren’t at school yesterday?” she asked trying to sound innocent.
“We wanted to hang out together. Why?” he asked looking around at all the heads turned towards us.
“Oh I was just wondering,” she stammered for an excuse.
“Why does everyone keep staring at us?” Nick asked, getting a little suspicious.
“Are you two dating?” the girl blurted out.
“What?” Nick asked surprised, his normally calm voice raising an octave higher.
“Everyone’s been talking. You two seem like you’re dating or something. I mean you both skipped school, probably together. It’s kind of suspicious,” she said shrugging her shoulders.
“Well for starters people should really mind their own business, and yeah I think we are dating,” Nick said looking at me with approval. I smiled shyly and nodded encouragingly.
“Really?” the girl squeaked, astonished. “But how… you just got here… why her?”
“What’s going on?” some kids asked.
The girl turned to face the others, “Nick Bradley and Morgan Hoffman are dating!” The whole bus turned to chaos as a bunch of kids crowded around us, others gossiping like crazy.
“Are you really?” some kid asked.
“Why would you choose her?” a girl said in a disgruntled tone.
“She’s a better person than you people give her credit for,” he protested, wrapping his arm around me.
“Move out of my way,” a familiar, snotty voice demanded. Shannon came into view in between the mob. “Are you serious? You end up with that girl?”
“You’re so full of yourself Shannon! Maybe if you didn’t try to sell yourself to every single guy maybe you’d actually end up happy, instead of a prissy, stuck up brat,” I retorted, tired of the endless insults. Some people snickered, but quickly shut up with her icy look.
“Well at least I go out with people; if it weren’t for Nick you’d be all alone still. How’s that like? A world with no friends, I can only imagine how sad that must be for you.” She stuck her lip out and ran her finger down her cheek like a tear, “So sad.”
“Leave her alone, Shannon,” Nick said, pulling me closer to him in comfort.
“Fine, ruin my fun,” Shannon grumbled. “She better watch out though, because this fight isn’t over.” She walked back to her seat; everyone seemed to follow her lead and slowly peeled back to their seats.
“What fight?” Nick asked me.
“Over you,” I whispered.
“What a drama queen…” Nick hissed, “She’s not going to win me over, trust me.”
“I hope not. She’s going to throw everything at you though, so be prepared.”
He leaned down and kissed my forehead gently, “You’re all I want.”
“Aw, he’s such a romantic!” the same girl in front of us said, admiration flowing from her. The bus finally pulled up in front of the school, saving us from anymore annoyance.
We walked side by side, being watched by everyone we passed by. The hairs on the back of my neck and arms were standing up straight, and I was walking stiffly from all the tension. Some football players, who Nick had befriended in his visiting day, punched him in the arm playfully, but smiles dropped and they gave him a very confused look when they saw me.
“Dude, what’s with the Goth girl?” the buffer one asked.
“She’s my girlfriend,” Nick said calmly.
“Your girlfriend? Man, you could have gotten some hot cheerleader chicks and you settle for her? That’s pretty messed up.”
“She’s better than you guys give her credit for, seriously.”
“Alright, whatever you say. I wonder if she looks hot without all those black clothes on,” the guy replied, analyzing me up and down. “Maybe we can find out?”
I began to feel extremely uncomfortable and in an almost whisper, looking for an excuse to escape, I spoke up, “Umm…I think I should start getting ready for my first class…”
“Yeah ok, see you guys later- oh hey dude, since your new, why don’t you come to the football tryouts tonight? Heard you played for Oakdale. I’m sure you’d be a great addition to the team. You can bring your little girlfriend to cheer you on, too, if you want.”
“Ok, sounds good. Later,” Nick replied with his charming politeness.
“I seriously thought he was going to rip my clothes off…” I said, when we were far enough away, looking back; they were still watching us. The buff guy waved to me, and snickered with his buddies.
“I got that impression, too. I don’t think bringing you to the tryouts would be a very good idea.”
“These people all used to ignore me, now that I’m with you it seems they can’t get enough gossip about me,” I looked back again, “or they want more of me then I’m willing to offer.”
“You can still come to the tryouts if you want to though, just for some moral support, you know? I won’t let him touch you, I promise.”
“How generous of you,” I said sarcastically. He gave an impish smile, kissed my forehead then headed for his locker. I sighed heavily then went to mine. The people next to me seemed to notice me more now, too.
“So are you going out with the new kid, Nick Bradley?” the girl on my right asked.
“Yeah I guess I am. Everyone seems to be making a big fuss about it.”
“Well because you’re dating a total hunk, I mean I haven’t met this Nick kid before, but man, is he some eye candy. You’ll have to introduce me to him sometime,” she said with a wink.
“What’s your name again?” I asked sheepishly, embarrassed that I didn’t know her name and she was my locker buddy.
“Margie, Margie Gonzalez,” she replied, fluffing some of her auburn colored hair, that curled perfectly around her petite face. “You’re um, Megan right?”
“Morgan, actually, but I’ll be sure to remember that so you can stare at him,” I replied dryly.
She chuckled, “I think I could get used to you, Morgan.”
“Thanks, I guess,” I said feebly, with a shy smile.
“Maybe you should come over some time? You know, have a girl’s night out?” What was with all the bizarre generosity?
“Umm…well…sure I guess.”
“I’m going to head to class, bye.” She waved, and then took off.
“Well, that was random…” I said talking to myself, getting a weird look from Margie’s locker partner.