Suzanna said nothing but sat up straighter in her seat, laughed on the inside, because when the teacher slammed the desk, his two double chins jiggled like backup dancers to his beer-belly. And his glasses slipped down his sweaty potato nose. She really hated the nickname ‘Suzie’. It made her sound like a daft bimbo.
I am not a bimbo!
Besides, it wasn’t her fault she hadn’t been paying attention. It was the teacher’s. He was the genius who’d made up the seating chart. And the chart, the glorious chart, had blessed her with Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome right in her line of sight. Sighing, Suzanna rested her elbow on her desk and her chin on her elbow, tossing an annoying blonde curl out of her face yet again.
She turned a deaf ear to the teacher, although he had the privilege of admiring her new earrings, and focused instead on memorizing the illegally handsome jawline and three-quarter profile of Mr. TD&H, two seats up, one seat over. It was the second week of school, and he still hadn’t so much as looked at her. The nerve of some people!
The squeaking of the marker on the whiteboard continued, but the teacher’s voice rumbled, “Strike two, Miss Martin,”
Rustling noises floated up around her as people turned in their seats to glare at her, and Suzanna would have been indignant, if it wasn’t for the brilliant-beyond-words-blue eyes of the dark, mysterious boy she had been observing.
She was struck breathless, and stared dumbfounded at him.
He blinked at her.
Suzanna wasn’t even upset when he turned back around in his desk. She was glad, actually. She couldn’t have him getting in trouble with the porky teacher on her account. Obviously they had just shared a moment; a heart-stopping, soul-felt moment.
He blinked at me! She thought, sitting back and fanning herself with her hands a bit. He blinked at me! What does that mean? Oh my god, he must feel it too! I need to talk to him! We’re totally meant to be! It wasn’t a fast blink either, so he definitely wasn’t just looking at me. He was looking at me. I need fresh air!
And not a moment too soon, the lame electronic buzzer over the intercom that the school had the audacity to call a bell sounded. Students all around gathered their things and stood, chattering, and headed for the door. Suzanna followed their suit. But she was careful to leave her English textbook balanced precariously on the top of her small stack of other books as she made her way to the door.
Suzanna was especially careful to squeeze out the door just ahead of the boy with dreamy eyes. As soon as she’d made it we of the doorframe into the crowded hallway, a precise stumble in her four-inch heels that needed replacing sent her pre-positioned text book whamming to the ground.
“Oh, no!” She exclaimed, both hands flying to cover her mouth in carefully thought out shock. The rest of her books tumbled to the ground. “No, no! Today is not my day!” She wailed. She hitched the strap of her purse securely on her shoulder before starting to crouch down and reach for her dropped articles.
Right on cue, “No, don’t. Let me help you.” Not only were his eyes heavenly, but his voice too. Like velvet, except less cliché.
“I’m so sorry! I don’t even know what happened,” Suzanna blustered. “Thank you so much!”
“It’s not a problem,” He piled her things neatly as though they’d never been dropped, and straightened up, offering them to her.
Suzanna looked deep into his eyes. Deep into his soul.
He shifted uncomfortably. “Uhh…Did I miss anything?” He broke eye contact, to sweep the floor with his brilliant azure gaze.
Oh how adorable! He’s just a bit shy too! She squealed in her head. “No, nothing’s missing. Thank you,” She said again, reaching out to take the books while searching for those eyes again, waiting for another moment to share. She grabbed his arm instead of her books. Accidentally, of course.
Surprised, he jerked his arm back and sent the books tumbling to the floor all over again.
“Will you two move it?” One of the half dozen kids still stuck in the class room yelled. His friends grumbled in rude agreement.
“Sorry, sorry,” Suzanna muttered, screwing her purse and perfectly unwrinkled skirt. She ducked down and snatched her things herself. “Sorry.” This last one was to the boy with beautiful eyes.
“It’s not a problem. But can you move? My next class is on the other side of the school, I can’t be late,” He let an awkward two syllable laugh out.
“Yes, no problem,” She sidestepped neatly out of the doorway to let the surge of irritated classmates through at last. She called to his retreating broad shoulders, “It was nice to meet you!”
“So, Suzie. You were really riling up Mr. Porker in history today, daydreaming and all,” A tan, all muscle boy, Josh came up grinning to Suzanna in the lunch line. Josh was her neighbor, and they’d been friends since their diaper days. Not best friends, but pretty close. Suzanna laughed when he used the not-so-fond nickname for Mr. Porter.
“Oh, I try,” She returned, falling into step beside him, and then halting when the line did. “It’s fun to watch his flub jiggle around.”
“Guess what. I heard it’s jello day for lunch!” He chortle, standing on tip toe to see how long of a wait they had.
“…that is…disgusting.” She frowned as he shrugged. Suzanna leaned this way and that, trying to see for herself how far they had to go, which actually wasn’t very far. “Eww. I can’t even talk to you now.”
“Yeah, you will. You love me. And hey, I saw you making gaga eyes at Liam in class today,” He suddenly looked dejected. This baffled her.
“Why would you care?” She jutted her chin out indignantly.
“Nevermind,” He grumbled, scuffing his feet on the ground and walking towards the slushie machine as Suzanna shook her head and headed towards the salad bar.
Boys are so confusing.
Coming out of the food court and into the main cafeteria, Suzanna was shocked to see that she wasn’t the first one at her table.
“Kat?” Suzanna peered at the dark haired girl sitting at her otherwise empty table. Personally, she didn’t know Katerina Neverseen. Like her last name, the girl was almost never seen. She skulked around the school with her spunky side braid and grim facial expressions. Suzanna didn’t know what to say. “Hiya.”
“Mmmph,” was the expressive response.
Suzanna placed her tray down and sat, leaving one empty seat between the two of them. “I never knew you were in this lunch period.”
“Yeah, I am.” She toyed with the end of her braid that hung over her shoulder. “Thanks for noticing. And I’m also in your history class, and English class, and-“
A crash interrupted whatever Kat was going to say next, and the two girls watched a third one get back to her feet after tripping over one of the legs of their table and dust herself off. She laughed uncertainly and then turned to them. “Are these seats taken?”
Suzanna and Kat spoke at the same time.
“Make yourself at home,” Katerina grinned, which looked out of place on her otherwise dreary face. Suzanna couldn’t help but suspect that the other girl enjoyed throwing the status quo to the wind. This new girl was pale like the inside of a potato and Suzanna noticed she had eyes that were golden/bronze, probably some weird contacts or what not.
“Thanks,” the new girl still looked uncertain, but she sat down between Suzanna and Katerina anyways. “I’m Becka, by the way. Becka Cygnet.”
“Like a baby swan?” Suzanna asked. She wasn’t entirely sure, but the word rung a faint bell.
“Haha, yeah, like a baby swan.” Becka nodded, unrolling her brown paper bagged lunch. And spreading it out on the table. From the looks of it, she was a strict vegan.
Katerina saw fit to comment, “Vegetarian, huh?”
“Vegan, actually. I don’t see a point in killing or using animals for food,” Becka said, talking to the table.
“What would you say if I told you I shot animals with arrows on a daily basis?” Katerina inquired.
Becka, and Suzanna for that matter, didn’t say anything.
“I’ll take that awkward silence as a good thing, then,” She hunkered down even lower in her seat, glaring at the world with a vengeance. Then, before the ensuing silence could become too much to handle, she said, “Suzie, right? Yeah. Hey, Suzie. Who’s that hunk that keeps staring at us? Well, you, specifically.”
“What? Oh, Josh? Haha, he’s not staring at me. He’s just-“ When Suzanna glanced across the cafeteria, she saw Josh’s eyes dart away. Strange.
“No, he’s cute,” The new girl added her two cents, as if she’d been in the school long enough to know who the actual cute guys were.
“He’s my neighbor. That’s just weird,” Suzanna shook her head.
“Yeah, besides, Suzie’s got her sights set on a new beau,” Kat said, smirking at the new girl’s confused look. “You wouldn’t understand, you’re not in AP History.”
Whether the dig went over Becka’s head, or she just ignored it, Suzanna didn’t know. But the new girl turned her full attention to Suzanna. “Suzie? Never known anyone with that name before. But Suzie, it sounds like you have a classic love triangle on your hands. I’m so happy for you!”
You’ve known me for three minutes… Suzanna thought. But then Becka’s words actually sank in. “A…love triangle?
And then the moment of truth struck her.
…Oh my god. She’s right! He loves me! And he loves me too! It must be true! What am I going to do? I’m so conflicted! Oxygen… need oxygen!
“Are you hyperventilating?” Becka peered at Suzanna.
“No!” Suzanna managed in between hyperventilations.
“Here, use my paper bag!” the new girl held the bag up to Suzanna’s face.
“No, don’t use the bag! It’ll kill her with all the CO2 to her brain,” Kat slapped the bag away.
“Oh, so you’re the expert on this now, are you?” Becka demanded.
“Trust me, I’ve had my moments,” Kat smiled to herself.
Between huge gulps of calming oxygen, Suzanna recovered and said, “It’s okay, guys. I’m fine. But I think you’re right. I feel like my life is a young adult novel now!”
Becka laughed, rolling her amber eyes. “Oh, don’t even get me started. I mean, really, who actually falls in love with a vampire and has a werewolf for a best friend that is also conveniently in love with her.”
“And on that note, what guy, let alone two, would think a girl who kills helpless deer and helpless tributes like a barbarian has been traumatized three times too many is amazing enough to fight over?” Kat rolled her eyes. “What is the world coming to? People actually read that stuff like they’re in a cult.”
“Haha, cults. Like Bronies?” Suzanna couldn’t help but put that in. Some of her nerdier friends liked to talk about the interwebs frequently, so she vaguely knew about the many groups out there.
“…I don’t understand. What is a ‘Brony’?” Becka looked genuinely confused.
“Nevermind, it’s an inside joke with the world,” Suzanna muttered.
“And the new girl doesn’t get it. Let me put my shocked face on,” Katerina’s sarcastic remark drew a laugh from Suzanna.
Suzanna’s friends, the rest of her lunch table, walked into the cafeteria. She had just opened her mouth to introduce the two girls with her to them, but one of her friends spoke first.
“Suzie, you’re here early! You should have waited for us, so you wouldn’t have to be sitting here all alone.”
Baffled, Suzanna watched as her friends filled in the all of the empty seats.
A/N: As a disclaimer, I want to tell you that this is my first (only) attempt at a comedy, and it threw me completely and utterly out of my comfort zone. But I promised myself I’d try my hand at one of these someday, so here we are. And unenthusiastic ‘ta da’.