chapter 1(The girl in the picture is Valery)
She wore black skinny jeans, a black Pantera shirt, and black leather jacket. Her black boots were grey, with black studs. She stood at the front of the class room, her gauges and face piercings showing out against her pale skin. Her long, red-streaked, black hair framed her face perfectly.
Everything about her screamed out: New girl. I mean, the teacher had her standing in front of class. Poor kid.
“So, where are you from?” Mr. Darby asked, as he filled out some of her paper work.
A smirk flitted across her lips, “Not around from here.”
I suppressed a snort. No duh she wasn’t from here, we were all sun-tanned…and I guess rednecks or hillbillies. This girl…was probably from the city.
Mr. Darby chuckled and put the papers down, turning toward the class. “Class, this is Valery…Clash? Is that right?”
Valery nodded, amusement in her eyes. “Yep.”
I straightened in my chair a little, noticing that the chair next to mine was the only one open.
‘Great. I get the weirdo…’
Mr. Darby waved a hand toward me, “Take a seat next to Drew Donovan.”
I half-waved at her, giving my most dazzling smile that most girls fall for. She simply stared at me and made her way over. As she sat down, I turned toward her, holding out a hand.
“My name’s Drew Donovan, you’re Valery?”
I noticed that her eyes were laughing at me, “Yeah. Didn’t you hear my name back up there?” she ignored my hand, turning toward the board.
‘Weird. Usually girls fall at my feet. Whatever.’ I shrugged off the feeling, and turned to the board myself.
Valery took out a pencil from her studded backpack and didn’t bother shrugging of her leather jacket. I watched her from the corner of my eye, seeing that she took out a notebook that was tattered and old –of course it was black- I saw poems and doodles strewn about across the pages.
Valery made an annoyed noise. “It’s not polite to stare, Drew Donovan.”
My mouth opened and closed as I turned away from her, writing down the math warm-ups.
I heard Valery’s pencil scribbling in the seat next to me. I had to admit, this girl caught my attention, and the other’s too. No one moved here. We were a pretty small town, here at Radiator. We weren’t even on the maps.
It was the middle of junior year, and I guessed that Valery wasn’t too happy about moving here. No one wants to be the new kid, and move in the middle of the semester. So, I decided, why not give this girl some sympathy?
“Valery…uhm, since you’re new here…I could walk you to your next class?” I turned toward her.
I sensed a smile from her that never showed to the surface.
“Look…Drew. I’m appreciate the thought, but I’m a big girl and can handle a small high school.” She continued scribbling on her notebook, not looking up at me.
I nodded, “Well, you know. Just trying to be friendly.”
Valery put her pencil down, turning toward me. She searched my face with her grey eyes. And then smiled.
“Uh huh. Well, you know, I don’t really like people and tend to stay out of other’s way. So, I’m just asking that you do the same to me. See what I’m saying?”
I nodded again, bewildered that she would say that. I was just trying to be nice and get to know her. Jeesh. “Crystal clear.”
Valery smirked, “Great.” And she turned back to her scribbling.
The bell rang after a few awkward moments and Valery was the first out of her seat, already walking out the door. I stared after her, weird, confused feelings racing through me.
‘Who does she think she is?’ I felt like I was thinking like a girl, so I dropped the subject and walked to my next class.
Valery was already there.
I sat down next to Valery, knowing it would annoy her. “Well, look at that. We have class together. Guess it didn’t really matter about walking you to your class.” I smirked.
Valery glared at me, getting up, searching for a new table. Every seat was taken. She sat back down.
“I thought we agreed about staying out of each other’s way.”
I shrugged, “I decided that I would rather patronize the new girl.”
I got another icy glare from her, “How funny. Well this kitty has claws.”
I gave her a once over. “I wouldn’t pin you as a kitty. More like a…Doberman.”
She just shook her head, taking some papers and slid out of her chair, handing them to Mrs. Lott. Valery went through the exact same thing as she had in math. She gave the exact same answer about where she was from.
Valery came back and sat down, a thousand pair of eyes following her. She smirked a cold smirk at me. I smiled a grin that made her falter a bit. Good.
Valery started scribbling on her notebook pages again, and this time I wasn’t afraid of getting in her personal business. I leaned into her, looking down at her pages, so close I could smell her shampoo hair.
She tensed, and tried to scoot away from me, picking up her notebook and hugged it against her chest, “Nothing. Drew, have you ever heard of personal space?”
“Nope.” I grinned at her, knowing my dimples were showing. I kept pressed against her, looking into her grey eyes.
She opened and closed her mouth as if to decide whether to speak. Or maybe she was stuttering.
“Problem?” I asked.
“Personal. Space. You’re invading it.”
I sat back in my chair, smirking like a little kid.
She glared at me again, putting her notebook back down, “I said stay out of my way. And I’ll stay out of yours. We had a deal.”
“No,” I corrected her, “we had an agreement. I saw a new side…I like to be in your way, gets on your nerve doesn’t it?”
Valery snorted, flipping her hair. “Doubtful.”I smiled at her, a plan forming into my head. “If it doesn’t get on your nerve…come to the party tonight. It’s around the block by the supermarket. Every high-schooler is going to be there. It would be a shame for you not to come.”
Valery stared at me, her lips quivering. “You think I’m going to go to a party, where I know no one, and where it’s just filthy, drunk, high kids? You’re crazy. And even if you do get on my nerves, I’m not going to a random party to prove it wrong.”
I nudged her with my shoulder, “Oh, come one, Valery. It’ll be fun. Crazy is sometimes a good thing.”
She shook her head, eyes going dark, “Then you have no clue what crazy is.” Valery stood up just as the bell rang, the darkness in her eyes gone, “Well, nice meeting you, but school’s over and I’d like it to be the only place we talk to each other. See what I’m saying?”
“Actually, I don’t,” I said as I stood up, “You have trust issues, I can see that, but I can help you. So I’m not staying out of your way or whatever bull crap you make up. I’m ignoring it. You’re stuck with me.”
Valery looked taken back, and she blinked at me with surprise. Before she could get anything in the argument, I left the room, leaving her watching my back.
I knew she wasn’t going to come. So why did I care? I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I didn’t like the thought of me liking her, but I couldn’t lie to myself, I do. A lot. Which was weird, because I’m that popular guy that goes around dating cheerleaders, not caring for any of them. Yet, I cared about this random stranger that probably hates my guts. I watched the front door, hoping I would see her walk through any minute. I kept fading in and out of the conversation me and Samantha were having. I nodded, saying ‘uh-huh’ every so often.
She caught my attention, and I looked down at her, “Yeah?”
“Well, I was thinking…maybe we should get a room…and…” She bit her lip, giving a shy smile.
Whoa. I did not like her that way…maybe Valery…wait no. Stop.
“Uh…Samantha…look, I don’t like you that way…and I mean…it’s…no.” I glanced back at the door.
“Oh, uhm, well this is awkward…I, uh, see you around…” She left.
I blew out a relieved sigh, keeping my eyes pinned at the front door, handing tightening on my drink.
“Miss me?” a voice whispered in my ear.
Startled, I jumped, sloshing my drink on my shirt as I turned to the voice. Valery.
Valery snickered, stepping back from me, “Oops. Sorry about your shirt.”
I knew surprise was written on my face, “How- why did you come?”
Valery shrugged, smirking. “I thought about what you said. About the crazy thing. And, I dunno, decided to try this party thing out. It’s quite…overwhelming.”
I laughed, “Well you haven’t been here when we have alcohol. But, parents are here…so it’s toned down. If you think this is overwhelming…then…you’re screwed for the next one.”
Valery snorted, leaning against the wall. “Who says I’m coming to the next party?”
I shrugged, taking a sip of what was left of my drink. A lot of people were staring at Valery and me, whispering things. What jerks. Music started blasting and people moved to the giant living room, grinding to the music.
“People dance like this when parents are around?!” Valery shouted to me over the music.
“The parents aren’t watching the kids. They’re upstairs making sure no one’s…you know.” I shouted back at her.
Valery seemed to get it and smirked. A guy bumped into her, sending her straight into me. I caught her, ignoring the empty cup that fell from my hands.
“You okay?” I said into her ear.
She looked up at me, nodding, she tried pulling back out of my arms, but the crowd was swelling in around us, dancing and grinding to the music.
Valery kept close to me, looking pale. I put my finger under her chin, making her look at me. She looked into my blue eyes, I tried to force myself not to lean down and kiss her; I instead made her dance.
Valery seemed a little relieved and confused, as she twirled around, holding onto my hand, I brought her back to me, grabbing her waist. I smirked at her.
“What are you doing?” she asked, shaking her head, “I can’t dance. And this even isn’t the right music.”
I looked down at her shirt, seeing she hadn’t changed from school. “Not you kind of music?” I asked in her ear, dancing a slow dance.
She chuckled back in mine, “Yes and no. No it isn’t my music, but we’re not dancing the way we should be.”
“Oh, really? Who ever said someone couldn’t slow dance to pop music?” I asked her, brushing my lips against her cheek.
“Hmm…well…let’s see. Pop is dance music. Slow dance is meant for slow dance.”
“And metal is meant for head-banging?”
Valery laughed. Actually laughed. She dipped her head back, laughing.
I smiled, feeling like I was a three-year-old and just achieved a piece of candy for doing something good. Valery looked back up at me, smiling.
“Yes, Drew. So let’s dance the right way.”
I blinked and she led me deeper into the crowd, moving her hips to the music. I put my hands on her waist, moving with her. She slid her arms and linked them around my neck, smirking.
“Surprised?” she yelled over the music.
“Uh, duh. You listen to metal and rock. Whatever Pantera is. I didn’t think you knew how to dance. You said it yourself.” I called into her ear.
I felt her laugh against me, “I don’t know how to slow dance. Big difference.”
The song ended and Valery pulled away from me, “I have to go.” She went through the mob of people-which wasn’t that much. We were a small town. Yet I couldn’t find her.
I went out front, looking for her, I caught sight of her getting on her motorcycle. Sweet. I jogged over, just as she started getting her helmet on.
“Valery, wait. Where are you going?” I touched her arm.
“I’m going home…where else would I be going?”
I shook my head, “You can’t leave, not yet. You just got here. I thought we were having fun-“
“We were. But I’m tired and I don’t like people. Plus…it’s a school night, and I have to get home and get these paper works signed.”
I tugged gently on her sleeve, “C’mon, Valery.”
She shook her head, “Drew, I have to go, my uncle will freak if I’m not home soon.”
I made a sad face, “Are you coming to school tomorrow?”
Valery hesitated, “Yeah…”
“Good. See you tomorrow.” I kissed her cheek and ran back into the house before she could punch me.