I walk through the school doors as confident as I could ever be, especially after the long summer I just had. My eyes narrowed as they adjusted from the bright sun outside to the relatively dark interior of the large high school.
After about a full minute they got used to the dark and I realized that most eyes were on me. For a second I began to worry, but then I realized that they probably heard about what happened over the summer.
I sigh heavily, already dreading the school year that was to come. I glance over towards the bathrooms where I was supposed to meet my boyfriend, but he wasn't there yet.
Great, what am I gonna do while I wait for him?
At her usual popular table I spotted a blonde haired girl wearing a bright red dress with red heels and as much as that sounds gross, it was gorgeous. On anyone else they wouldn't look half as good as her, but she was model material and no one has any chance in competing with her. Her name is Jenna Bradshaw and she is truly a goddess and everyone knows it, even my childhood friend Max Cooper - who surprisingly wasn't over there bothering her right now.
Max is completely in love with her and before the summer it was only in a joking way, but now it is way different. Max is a football player, the clichéd jerk that only likes girls for sex, but he is different with Jenna. Somehow the most popular, richest girl in school has the heart of the most popular, poorest boy in school. It is really cute actually, Max and Jenna are a good match for each other.
I mean, Jenna has dated almost every guy in our grade and Max has slept with almost every girl in our grade. They are really impressive with how they get around, despite being super busy.
Also, don't get me wrong I'd be all for that "bad boy" act that Max has if it weren't for my boyfriend, Troy Hansen. Troy isn't exactly the most kind or caring person in the world, but he is still really sweet and cute. I am not gonna lie, the best way to describe him is to say he is an emo.
Troy may seem like he is out to kill anyone that breathes, but he is seriously really nice, when he wants to be. I know that is contradictory to what I previously said. Troy is just a confusing guy that comes off as mean and uncaring, but is really just a cliché fluff ball under all that sass and edge.
He has layers and despite being really straightforward with rarely ever leaving things unsaid he is a big part of what drives me to get up in the morning. It is really a help that he is in my life.
Now, his sister Maddi Hansen who is a lot like him is absolutely adorable. The main difference is she is more goofy with a much darker humor than Troy. She is very sweet despite her constant need to point out the obvious and insult people - with the best in mind. She is great person for Troy to have in his life, she is the sunshine that keeps him sane, something I could never be for him. I can't be half as close as the two of them are.
She is friends with Kurt Riley - or actually we all are, but she is closest to him - who is also on the football team. He is a very dedicated person and is almost always focused, but he is clueless. He doesn't know when he has gone too far and is easily confused when people get offended or angry with him. Despite being an absolute air head when it comes to communication he is a genius. Straight A-student, I don't think he has ever failed a test so long as I have known him. Trust me, news that him failing would spread like wild fire, because that is just how gossipy this school is.
The last person in our group is Joy Walton. She was, well, joyful. She was a happy-go-lucky person that let nothing interfere with how she saw the world. She was the nicest person you could ever meet, even if you searched the whole universe. Actually that isn't entirely true. She was happy for as long as I knew her, but I sort of always knew it was all an act.
She even told me when we first met, I saw it in her eyes the day we first talked that she was faking it. I decided to ask her about it and she burst into tears the very second, so maybe there is a real Joy somewhere. I don't know, but the person I knew probably wasn't her.
Well, after the summer she no longer put up the act. She has had a hard enough life as it is and I suppose the summer was the last straw, I don't blame her. We'll talk about that more in depth later, but now she is just a sad shell of a person. She doesn't even react to the things she used to bounce around the room over.
The summer has changed all of us, some for the better, most for the worst. The summer has changed people that weren't even involved. People that didn't know him, they had changed. The events had brought the realization that even teenagers can die young.
"Veronica!" I hear and whip my head to see the most beautiful girl in our school wave me over to her and I silently laughed as her entire posse shutters as I make my way over.
A grin makes its way onto my lips as the group of girls move away from the overly dressed girl they were surrounding moments before, "Jenna," I state with the small curtsy.
She stands from her seat and follows suit with a curtsy of her own, as it is our inside joke to do so, "How you holding up?" She asks, fully aware of the vicious glares of the girls around us.
"Been better," I reply with a sigh, "Have you heard anything from Joy lately? She has been ignoring all my calls and I'm really worried."
"I haven't actually," She states, almost reluctantly, making it obviously she is debating in her mind whether she should continue talking or not, "I went to her house, but I was only greeted with a red 'for sale' sign. I think she moved or is moving."
"No..." I mumble as my heart breaks even more for the girl I once called my best friend, "She can't be, she'd have told us, right?"
"I don't know, after everything with Dean I just...don't know. Anyway, your boyfriend is eyeing us down, you better go to him."
I look around and my eyes instantly land on the white hared boy while a slight giggle exits my mouth, he's so cute. I say my temporary farewell to the blond and make my way over to the pouting boy. It still amazes me at how he manages to stick out so much. It's obviously his hair, but his natural ginger hair would probably do the same.
When I make it to him he suddenly looks away and crosses his arms, "Aww, sweetie, did something happen?" I ask, tauntingly, in the five years I have known him he has only ever been able to stay mad at me for more than five minutes once. It is really cute watching him try, actually.
He grumbles a string of words I couldn't quite hear before sighing, "You said you'd meet me here, but you were off talking to that ho."
I giggle once again before pulling his hands into mine and I smile at him, "It's fine, you know that she can't hurt you. Even if she tried I'd come and save you, my big baby."
He looks away from me again and mumbles the cutest thing I could ever hear from someone the same age as me, "You don't know that...girls are scary."
I burst into an all out laughing fit and end up attracting a lot of attention, but I couldn't care less as to what they thought of me, I was happy for the first time in awhile. I have already been subject to public humiliation and judgment, it is only natural when you are the face of the school.
My boyfriend turns a dark shade of red as all of the eyes fall onto the two of us, he gave up on trying to endure it in about five seconds, and drags us off to our first period - which we have together, like always. I am surprised after knowing me for so long that he still hasn't gotten used to it by now, I mean, come on dude.
When we arrive my laughter fades and I find a seat away from the other six students in the class. We all awkwardly ignore each other - which is extremely difficult as we every so often catch each others gazes. The six people were all people I knew too - Jackson, Max, Jared, Joy, John, and Alex.
John and Alex are making kissy faces in one corner of the classroom and my respect for how openly gay the two are increases considerably. The drama behind John and Alex is truly amazing. I mean, everyone knew that John was gay - he made it painfully obvious that he is. Alex on the other hand has dated so many girls that it is genuinely concerning that he came out as gay - not bi, gay. Not to even mention the fact they have been secretly dating for years, while Alex has been dating chicks left and right.
By the wall closest to the window Joy sat staring out the window and even through the slight sight I got from her reflection her eyes were very hollow and sad. I miss being by her side, comforting her while she cried about how her parents had been ignoring her more than usual or about how she missed her younger brother. It is really depressing thinking about Joy's life and how she kept it hidden so well.
Jared was sitting next to Joy and he was trying his best to cheer up his girlfriend - making dumb jokes, telling stories that would usually make Joy jump at the chance to talk. Jared had only been dating Joy for a month or so before the incident took place, which is really unfortunate for him. Anyway, Jared is a really nice, persistent guy and if he can't get through her shell no one will, so I have faith that she will get better eventually.
Jackson and Max sat somewhere among the middle laughing and making their own dumb jokes about girls they'd like to hook up with, the conversation somehow always ended up back to Jenna though. Max's "secret" love for Jenna is really adorable, actually.
I sigh and that attracts the attention of Jackson and Max who smile before making their way over to us. Jackson greets Troy with a simple nod then turns to me and starts up a conversation, "How you been, sweetie?"
I cringe at the name - which is strange since he had always called me that, it is just weird since I am with Troy, I guess - but ignore it and speak, "I've been better," I say for the fourth time today. "What about you two?"
They just shrug and change the topic, "Do you know this teacher? I heard he is pretty chill and let's us talk during class, we should all sit together." Jackson suggests with his usual bright smile, any other girl would probably fall for that look in an instant, but I've already been there, so it doesn't attract me one bit.
As much as I would love to accept the offer, I can't force friends onto Troy like this especially since they all don't like each other, "Maybe next time, Troy and I need to be lovey dovey, so we can't."
"Of course, relationships are hard work, hanging out with an ex is a bit much, sorry for suggesting it," Jackson huffs while standing and heading back to where he was sitting before.
Max looks at me then back at him, "The whole Dean thing has got to him so I should...yeah," he states before heading after Jackson.
I glance over towards Joy who is now looking at me and I wave, which she responds with a sort of scoff before turning back towards the window. She would usually be over joyed with how Troy and I are together and dating. I guess her excitement for ships also sadly died along with her brother.
"I feel bad now..." I mumble while grabbing onto Troy's hand from across the table, "I miss Dean."
Instead of getting angry, Troy smiles, rubs my hand with his fingers, and responds, "I know you do, we all do."
An almost grin appears on my face as I look at him with my tear filled eyes, "You're the best, you know that?"
He chuckles in return before he jokingly says, "Well of course I am."
I punch him lightly on the arm just as the bell rings and students slowly begin flooding the room. I sigh as within ten minutes class will begin and the school year will officially start, and I already know it is not gonna be a good year.
"V, everything will be fine..I promise," Troy says as if he read my mind while rubbing my hands in his and for the first time in a while the sadness isn't so unbearable.
A genuine smile crosses my lips and tears prick my eyes again, "Thanks Troy...."
"Whatever you need, I'll be here for you, alright?"
I nod my head and just a short two minutes later class starts and the dreadful year begins.