Chapter Five of "The Connection"

November 25, 2010
Chapter Five

i wake up exactly 15 minutes before my alarm goes off. i spend those 15 minutes picking out something to wear. i went through my whole closet at least four times before i settled on my dark wash skinny jeans and a light gray t-shirt that had swirly designs in silver sparkles on it. the shirt also had some random faded black cursive lettering in it, but it was small and i didnt really care what it said because i liked the way it looked and thats what really mattered to me. i used a white bag that had some gray flower-ish patterns on it and wore my plain black flip flops. today i didnt need Marianna to worry about how i looked, i did all the worrying myself. i continue on to do my hair, which of course, i cannot decide on a hairstyle for today. ponytail? no. pigtails? definately not. barrette clipped half back? maybe. just down? maybe. after about 5 straight minutes i decided on having my hair down but a clip pulling it slightly out of my face. once im satisfied i brush my teeth and do my make up. just some eyeliner, white eyeshadow, mascarra, lipgloss. i put all my books inside my bookbag and look at my phone to check the time. lovely, ten minutes to spare with anticipation eating away at me. i just dont know what to do with myself, so i try to sit down with the tv on, but i end up switching it off and pacing around the house. i dont normally get nearly this worked up over a guy, especially if i had just met him. then why did Jeff have me this anxious? i was checking my phone ever 30 seconds, much like late last night. when the time had changed to 6:58 i couldnt wait anymore. i grabbed my purse and bookbag and grabbed my house key on the way out. my mother left for work in the morning at 6 am, and doesnt get home until 4:30. i locked the door and stepped outside. it was june, so it was pretty warm outside. i headed down the sidewalk toward Jeff's house, and it took every bit of my focus to keep from sprinting. then i wondered, should i knock or just wait outside? maybe i should just text him when i get to the yard, what if his parents are sleeping? i am still worrying about this when i get to his front yard. much to my relief, he was walking down the driveway when i got there. i smiled and said "Hey".

"Good morning," he replied with a smile. he was wearing jeans and a black t shirt. his shirt had a Converse logo on it. i looked down at his feet to see if he was wearing Converse shoes as well; he was. we turned around to go to Marianna's house.

"So you ready for Shadow Middle?" i asked.

"I think so, but kinda nervous," he replied.

"There's nothing to worry about, some kids might seem intimedating, but they're harmless."

"Good, plus i have someone to help me out," he looked at me and smiled. "I really appreciate you being so nice to me."

"No problem." i still had some nerves, but it was a lot easier talking to Jeff than it was with... i refused my mind to go any further. He wasnt going to ruin this time with Jeff for me.

"So is it a long walk to the stop?" he asked me.

"Not really, its just up the street. There's not a whole lot of kids at our bus stop tho."

"That's alright with me." We got to Marianna's house, and she, too, was waiting at the driveway.

"Good morning, people!" she was smiling hugely, which i was positive was because i was talking to a guy without her demanding me to.

"Hey Marianna," i greeted her. she was wearing a denim skirt and a pink and white striped t shirt. she carried the pink purse i got her for her birthday last year.

"Hello," Jeff said, smiling. We continued on walking up the street.

"You excited for Shadow?" Marianna asked.

"Well i don't know about 'excited', but im not dreading it either so i guess that must count for something."

"So what classes do you normally like?" i ask him.

"Well, i'm really into writing and reading, so i guess English," he answered.

"Me too." Marianna chimed in, "Wow, how much do you guys have in common?"

"Well, i also like science, especially physics," i added.

"Same here," Jeff said. This was getting all too strange. It really feels like a set up, and i wonder if there's cameras planted everywhere, if Jeff's in on it too, maybe even Marianna. Like I'm the only one that doesn't know. I realized that also we both have blond hair and blue eyes. i dont think that matters as much, but it's still strange. it's like he's the male opposite of me.

"What do you like to write?" Marianna asked him. "Sami mainly writes poetry."

"That's strange, i do too! when i feel like i can't talk to anybody else about something, i write it down. it's hard to explain, but it just kind of molds into a poem, automatically has rythem to it."

"No, i get it. i feel the same way when i write," i told him. "Is it just me, or is this just to coincidental?" i asked.

"I feel the same way, it's too strange. We go to the same school, have most of our classes together, live two houses apart, went to the rollerskating rink on the same night, same time, we both love writing poetry and science. it feels... i dont know, set up or something."

"That's what i was thinking! like there's cameras planted all over the place. People just don't get this lucky." I imediately wish i would've chosen a different word than 'lucky'. i'm giving myself away here, its too early for that. i turned my head away from him and pretended to be looking at something across the street so he didn't see me blush. the few quiet, awkward seconds felt like hours to me. finally, Marianna said "we're almost to the bus stop, and the bus comes at about 7:15," she paused to check the time on her phone and continued, "It's 7:11 now." Jeff nodded. I made a mental note in my head to thank Marianna for saving my butt later. we had just arrived at the bus stop and we were running out of things to say, probably because of my awkward moment. Jeff said, "So are there any teachers i need to look out for?". i thought about that for a fraction of a second and Marianna and i both said at the same time, "Mrs. Hindle." we started laughing. i explained it to him, "Mrs. Hindle is really strange. She can't teach for crap and she's just plain annoying. she thinks she's cool, but she's not. she tries to make class 'fun' but it turns out 'stupid and boring'." Marianna added, as expected, "She wears bowling shoes!". when she said that, Jeff did a double take on her.

"What? Bowling shoes?" Marianna and i started laughing. we tried several times to say something, but we always busted out laughing in the middle of the first word. eventually it was me that got it out. "she... she doesn't really wear bowling shoes, but her shoes look exactly like them! i'm telling you, she's a freak," i said, still giggling. Jeff was surpressing a smile, trying to act cool, but i could see past it. "Okay..." he said, but eventually, he couldn't help it and a gorgeous smile of perfect white teeth broke through. it wasn't forced, like when people are trying to be polite, it was a real smile. He leans forward a little, acting as if it's a bad thing to laugh, like he's embarassed. i thought that was cute. Jeff's smile was even more beautiful than... Rob's. I was afraid that if i let myself even think his name, i would get really upset again, but now that i had Jeff with me, i didn't even care. it was strange, considering i've known Rob and loved him for over two years, and i just met Jeff last night yet he is already filling the gap Rob had left. I'll have to thank Marianna for that later, too. We stand at the bus stop and then the identical twins Max and Pheobe get there. The Ingen twins are both tall and have blond hair so light, its almost white. to top it off, they are as pale as a sheet of paper. Marianna and i never really talked to them much, and they don't really talk at all. other than the five of us here, only one other person goes to our stop. Her name is Isabella and she is one of the most popular eighth graders in Shadow. She has slight curls in her perfect, dark brown hair. she has a perfect figure and her skin is perfectly clear. her eyes are crystal blue. she looks like a model from a magazine. as far as i can tell, the only make up she wears is eyeliner and lipgloss. she has almost every girl in school jealous of her. she's dating the middle school football star, Evan Kinds. most of the girls in school are also crushing on her boyfriend, which is a bad decision. i can't say i blame them, he's tall, clear skin, brown hair, and i heard from someone he has a six pack. personally he's not my kind of guy, but i can see why people call him hot. kind of like Taylor Swift: i don't like her, but i can see why everyone else does. i have nothing against Taylor, or Evan. Isabella appears nice, she smiles and speaks sweetly, but if you do the slightest thing to tick her off, you better watch out. not only can she ruin your reputation and destroy your self confidence, but she's friends with all the other mean girls in school which multiplies it. further more, her boyfriend-- and her friends' boyfriends-- are all on the football team and could take you down (which normally only happens to guys though). either way, she's not someone you want to mess with, so i stay out of her way.

i dont know how to put it, but i felt different today, more confident. our laughter lightens and i feel a buzz in my pocket. i take out my cell phone and see i have one unread text message. It was from Jeff, which i found odd. i hadnt even seen him pull out his phone. I looked up at him, and he winked at me. Curious, i opened the message. 'i pictured it a lot worse here but its ok when i got u w/ me. easier knowin sum1s gonna help me out. thx :)'. I wasnt entirely sure why he didn't want to say it out loud, but i just texted him back anyway. 'no prob, just watch out for isabella n u'll be fine. (shes the brunette, rly popular, not here yet). tld u, nothin to be worried bout :)'. i pressed the send button and slid my cell phone back into my pocket, acting like nothing had happened. there was obviously a REASON he didnt say it outloud, but i wouldnt question him for it. i heard his phone buzz in his pocket, probably because i was expecting it, and he waited to read it, most likely to act like i hadn't sent it. As if on cue, i see Isabella herself coming up the hill. I look over her breifly, white capris, hot pink t shirt, gray jacket. I watch Jeff's reaction. he looks at her, then looks over at me with his eyebrows raised. i give a quick, subtle nod, knowing he's asking 'is that her?'. He gives a light shrug, making it not too noticeable. to my surprise, he doesnt seem interested in her. her OR Marianna! i also find this confusing. Isabella smiles politely at us, and sees Jeff. she slows down a little bit when she doesn't recognize him. i feel my heart drop.

"You a new kid?" she asks in her candy-sweet voice.

"Uh, yeah," Jeff replies seeming almost embarassed. he seem to be embarassed at the strangest things.

"Welcome. I'm Isabella." she answered, her smile showing all of her perfect white teeth.

"Thanks," he said, returning his smile. the whole time i watch the miniture conversation, my stomach is twisting and flipping and churning. i try not to make my emotions noticable on my face, try to keep my expression clear. i try to act like i dont care about what is oddly eating my up inside. it still doesn't make sense to me why i care so much about Jeff, who i had just met last night. its just not normal, especially for me. i try not to get ahead of myself. 'don't get your hopes up,' i say, 'probably wont last long'. but does that help me? absolutely not.

i do find some relief, though, when i see her walk away, and especially when i dont see Jeff STARING at her walk away. Isabella had only been at the stop for a few seconds when i heard the bus pulling up from around the corner. it halts with a screech, fumes spilling all around us. i said good morning to our bus driver (as i do every morning) and take my usual seat, three behind the front on the passenger side. Marianna sits on the one across the aisle and Jeff sits infront of me. Bus 780 pulls away from Indigo and Saturn drive, leaving more fumes in it's path. Someone should do something about that. It's a wonder we're all not dead yet.

I could tell Jeff was nervous, but desperately trying to hide it. I recognized the look in his eyes, i saw it all the time in the mirror. i wanted to reach out and take his hand, tell him its going to be okay, but i stopped myself. i think he noticed i picked up on it though, when he looked me in the eye and gave a smile that said "thanks". i gave the slightest nod and smiled back. i could almost hear his voice in my head 'Thanks a lot, im just kinda nervous.' I tried to answer in my head 'No issue, it's gonna be okay,' even though he obviously couldn't hear me-- except i heard his voice again.

'I really appreciate your support on this, especially when we just met.' i froze. i felt my eyes getting wider, no matter how hard i tried to control myself. Okay, i did NOT just read Jeffs mind.

"C-can you hear me?!" i asked in my mind.

"Oh. Yeah, kinda." i heard. i thought i was going to pass out, yet i felt as i was flying at the same time. This was the weirdest thing i have ever felt in my entire life. even though the blur in the bus window showed we were moving, and everyone else on the bus was moving, Jeff and I were frozen in time away from the rest of the world. Our eyes locked and I had the deer-in-the-headlights look. "I guess I forgot to mention that..." Jeff thought.

"Right. So this is for real? I'm not going crazy?" i asked.

"Nope. I'm telepathic," he answered. Then i rememberd Marianna, and i looked over at her to find her staring at us.

"What's going on? Did i miss something?" she looked confused. she has no idea what confused is. i looked to Jeff and he was looking at me.

"What do we say?" i ask.

"I don't know, you know her better." I take in a deep breath.

"I'll explain later." i say to her. As expected, i see her desperately-wanting-to-know-the-details look come onto her face. i try to ignore it, but i can feel her eyes piercing through me. it's hard enough to look back when you know someones staring at you, but me with Marianna is an entirely different story. We're closer than sisters. i keep my eyes glued to the floor for as long as i can, but when i do finally look up, she is still staring at me. she raises eye brows in a question. i shoot her a hard look as if saying 'not now'. But of course, Marianna is extremely stubborn so her eyes remain on my face for the last five minutes on the bus. when you have something you desperately need to tell your best friend, but you can't do it in public, five minutes is a lifetime. i open my phone and pretend to be looking at pictures (Marianna knows i do that a lot) but i'm really trying to figure out what's going on with Jeff and me.

"Why didn't you tell me?" i ask in my mind.

"It's not exactly something you say when you first meet someone."

"Yeah, I guess so. I'm not used to this, just so you know. and heads up, Marianna is very stubborn and will question us-- more likely question ME-- as soon as we get off the bus. we're almost there by the way."

"'Kay" he answered in his mind. The bus rolled up to the school and the doors swung open. All three of us sprang from our seats and rushed toward the school. I was out first and waited for Marianna and Jeff. we walked through the double doors of the front entrance, Marianna on my left and Jeff on my right.

"Okay, so where are we going from here?" Jeff asked, the slightest tone of nervousness in his voice.

"We'll go to my locker first, then Marianna's. After that, we'll go to homeroom. You're in the same as us so you can just follow us." i explained. he nodded that he understood. i could tell Marianna had her desperately-wanting-to-know-the-details look on her face with out even looking. Our trio weaved through the crowded hallways and stopped at my locker. i quickly did my combination and yanked my locker open. i gathered my books as quickly as i could and slammed it shut. Marianna always said i was violent with lockers.

before walking away, i noticed a folded up piece of paper laying on the ground at my feet. "To: Sami" was written on the front in a careful hand writing i knew so well.

'Hey Sami,


Didn't mean to upset you yesterday. I didn't notice you really liked me until then.

I'm sorry i hurt you, i wasn't thinking. I feel really bad and i hope we can still be friends.

Love, Rob'
The last line kept echoing in my head 'love Rob, love Rob, love Rob.' Why did he say LOVE instead of 'from' or 'your friend' or something other than LOVE? This was SUCH an eventful two days. i didn't have time to take it all in. i slid down the wall and sat on the floor. Marianna quickly joins me and Jeff stands there awkwardly and out-of-place like he doesn't know what to do. I feel the hallways swirling around me, all the familiar faces blurring in and out of focus. the ground seems to be moving underneath me and i lay my head back against the cool metal of the lockers. i feel my eyes going heavier. this is just so much pressure, i dont know what to do with it all. my head has been one giant balloon, inflating more and more with information i feel like it's going to pop. the only reasonable thing is to let some of the air out, so i loosen my grip on the opening. I let everything go, my balloon of a head flying insanely around the corridor. i have a math test today-- that's the last thing i remember before the whole world goes dark.





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