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What's A Girl To Do?
In Love At First Sight?
“Nicole? Nicole, wake up! You have school today, you know,” Alyssa Pennrod, Nicole Pennrod’s slender mother pleaded. She shook her daughter’s small body, but she remained still in her bed.
“Five more minutes!” Nicole grumbled.
“Nicole, wake up,” her mother coaxed.
”Five more minutes!” Nicole repeated.
“Nicole, you need to wake up now!” Nicole’s mother ordered. As Nicole tossed her pillow over her head, her sister Anna walked into the room.
“Anna, can you try and wake your sister up?” their mother begged. Anna shrugged her shoulders and walked over to the side of her sister’s bed.
“Nicole, get your lazy butt out of bed now!” Anna screeched. Her mother looked at her sternly.
“What? You told me to wake her up! You didn’t say I had to do it politely!” Anna protested. Nicole bounced out of bed, her short brown hair flying in every direction.
“Okay! I’m up, I’m up!” Nicole yawned.
“Nicole, get dressed. Anna, go on ahead to school,” their mother ordered.
“Hmpf! Fine!” Anna squeaked. She stormed out of the room with her nose in the air. Mrs. Pennrod followed her, leaving Nicole alone.
Nicole skipped over to her large dresser and looked at herself in the mirror and began to tame her hair. She tossed her glasses into a comfortable position in front of her deep blue eyes. Once she was happy with what she saw, she threw on a pair of blue jeans, a bright red sweatshirt, and her matching plaid scarf and hat. She ran out of her room and into the small kitchen of their New York City apartment. She buttered a piece of scorched toast and stuffed it into her mouth. She kissed her mother, father, and baby brother Linus goodbye and rushed out the door. Once she reached the outside of the apartment complex, she saw her two best friends, Charlie and Kaylee Burts, leaning against the side of the building. They spun around to face her, and the three began to walk to school.
“Nicole, you’re up early!” Charlie mocked. Nicole was never one to wake up early in the morning.
“Wait, what time is it anyway?”
“I don’t know,” Kaylee joked. Nicole looked down and saw a new watch on Kaylee’s arm.
“Kaylee, I’m serious!”
“We still have an hour until school starts!” she cried.
“Well, I could have told you that!” Charlie laughed, holding up his own watch to her face.
“Why’d my mom wake me up so early?” Nicole questioned. Charlie snickered and finally responded.
“Because you’re always up an hour late, causing us to be late, so I told her to wake you up an hour early! I thought that we would end up on time. But this schedule works too!”
“Dork. But how did you know to come out at the same time I did?”
“Nicole, our apartments are in the same building. I heard you screaming, â€˜five more minutes!’ And then I heard Anna telling you to wake up,” he answered.
“You mean screaming.”
“You can hear all that from your flat?”
“The walls are paper thin. We could hear you if you were whispering,” Kaylee explained. Nicole became worried that Charlie had heard every secret she whispered to herself.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” she giggled. As they continued walking, they saw a group of boys standing over by a mailbox.
“Hey, Charlie! Over here!” Oliver Malden screamed. Charlie looked at Nicole and Kaylee, and Nicole gave him a little shove.
“I’ll be right back, okay?” Charlie informed them.
“Okay,” the girls answered in unison. Nicole watched her friend run over to the group of boys and stared. She could only imagine about what they were talking about….
“Guys, there’s some chicks over there staring at us!” Miguel Santiago whispered inside the group of boys.
“That’s Nicole and Kaylee,” Charlie answered.
“Is Nicole the brunette with the glasses?” Peter Margo said, staring at Nicole.
“She’s kinda cute!” Peter said.
“I’ll say!” Alex Chesters agreed.
“Hey, she’s not interested in any of you,” Charlie said protectively.
“That’s all right… the other one is way cuter! But how do you know Nicole doesn’t like Peter?” Miguel asked cheekily.
“She’s my best friend. She would have told me.”
“Ha! I doubt that! Wait here, boys.” Peter said slyly. He ran his hands through his long auburn hair and walked over to Nicole. He brushed Kaylee to the side, and she folded her arms unhappily.
“Hey, Nicole,” he said with a flirty tone in his voice.
“Do I know you?” she asked.
“I’m Peter. But didn’t we meet in my dreams?” he smiled. He gave her a wink but she merely scoffed and said “cute. Now, if you’ll excuse me….”
“Wanna go on a date?” he immediately inquired. Kaylee’s eyes became wide, as she waited for Nicole’s response. Nicole looked over at her, but Kaylee just shrugged.
“No thank you.”
“Friday night.” he continued, completely ignoring her answer.
“Where’s Charlie?” she said, trying to change the subject.
“Meet you at The Town Café at eight!” he informed her.
“I really have to get going,” Nicole said.
“See you Friday!”
“What?” Nicole asked. She saw him run back into the group of boys, leaving her with her mouth hanging wide open. Kaylee started jumping up and down. Nicole had a date with the most popular boy in school! The problem was she didn’t want to go.
“On Friday night, Nicole is going on a date with me!” Peter laughed. Charlie looked shocked for a moment, and couldn’t say a word. Finally, he managed to squeak out one word.
“That’s right. She was so eager about it too! She even called me cute!” Peter exaggerated.
“Way to go, dude!” Miguel congratulated.
“You gonna kiss her?” Max Peyton asked impatiently. Charlie stared him down and looked at all of the other boys laughing.
“I’ll see you guys around,” Charlie finally said.
“Where are you going?” Peter asked, pulling Charlie back into the group.
“I want to get to school early, okay?” Charlie said, escaping Peter’s clutch. He ran back over to Kaylee and Nicole, not knowing what to say to her.
“So, I hear you have a date!” he managed to get out.
“I guess. If that’s what you want to call it,” Nicole responded flatly.
“You think he’s cute?” Charlie asked.
“No way! I’d never say that!”
“He said you did.”
“Well, he’s a liar,” Nicole sighed. Now she did not want to go on this â€˜date’ if it was the last thing she ever did.
“He’s nice though,” Charlie told her. He wanted Nicole to go on the date, because no boy had ever asked her out her entire life! He felt really sorry for her.
“I’m sure. Let’s just get to school, okay?” Nicole sneered.
“Sounds good to me,” Kaylee chirped.
“All right,” Charlie sighed.
“But, he doesn’t like me like me, does he?” she wondered.
“He thought you were cute.”
“Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no!” Nicole moaned.
“Calm down, okay? It’s one date.”
“But he tricked me into it!”
“Nicole, it’ll be fine. Let’s just get to school like you said.”
“I’d like that a lot,” Nicole breathed. The three walked to school together without saying another word to one another, but continued to wonder what the other was thinking.
He’s a dirty rotten liar! I’d rather wake up early every day than date that loser! And Charlie actually wants me to go on this date. Something weird is going on there, too bad I don’t know what. And Kaylee is so out of it. I kinda feel bad for her. Nobody came over and asked her out on a date! Anyway, I have to think of some way out of this. Maybe I could suddenly become so ill that I have to stay at home for the rest of my life… no, that would be no fun. Maybe I could say I’m allergic to food… no, that wouldn’t work either! Maybe I could…Nicole thought on the way to school. Every idea seemed to have a fault so she realized she would have to go on the date.
Boy, some luck I have.
Showing Some â€˜Sisterly Love’
The school bell rang and about twenty-eight students filed into Ms. Selta’s ninth grade English class. Her long dirty-blonde hair was twisted into a neat bun, leaving a few strands of hair surrounding her freckle-covered face. She smiled as each student entered the room, and waited for them all to take their seats.
“Good morning, class! Now, I trust you are ready for the long day that lies ahead of you. One of the challenges you will have to face is to read pages 548 through 568 in your English books,” Ms. Selta informed in her professional teacher voice.
“Ten pages?” Sadie Demmark, a dimwitted girl, asked. Kaylee looked over at Nicole and they began to giggle.
“Twenty pages. And it won’t kill you, Sadie,” Ms. Selta responded.
“Yes, it will.”
“Sadie, I’d appreciate a little more respect from you from here on out!” Ms. Selta ordered.
“Yes, Ms. Selta,” Sadie sighed as she slumped into her seat. The other students snickered and pulled out their books as well.
“Get to work, class!” Ms. Selta ordered. The class began reading their books, but Nicole felt someone’s pencil poking her back. She turned around and saw Kaylee holding a note out to her.
“Who’s it from?” Nicole whispered.
“It’s from Peter!” Kaylee responded. Nicole rolled her eyes and grabbed the note.
She unfolded it and read:
Hey Nicole! Meet me at the fountain at lunch! Peter
Nicole began to tear up the note as she saw Ms. Selta’s slim silhouette hover over her shoulder.
“Nicole, give it here,” she ordered, sticking out her hand. Nicole handed it over with a sigh of relief.
“Here you go, Miss Selta. You can have it.”
“Not the usual response I get, but okay.”
“You can also tear it up and throw it away!” Nicole continued. Ms. Selta looked confused and squatted down to meet Nicole’s eye level.
“Is something bothering you?” she whispered.
“Read the note,” Nicole answered. Ms. Selta unfolded the note and continued to look confused. She looked Nicole square in the eyes and saw the concern there. She looked around to make sure none of the students were eavesdropping and leaned closer to Nicole.
“See me after class,” she whispered.
“But I have science….”
“I’ll write you a pass,” she replied. She saw that the students were staring at her and gave a harsh look.
“All right everyone, quit staring and continue reading!” she ordered. The class suddenly became engaged in their work, only looking up to see how much time they had left. Nicole tried to stay focused on her work, but she could only think about the note, Peter, and what Ms. Selta wanted to talk about. She looked over at Charlie, who merely shrugged. Kaylee poked her in the back for a second time, and passed her another note. It read:
Meeting with Mrs. S? Tough luck. I wouldn’t go! Or better yet, I’d lie about the note. Say it was just a joke. -- Kaylee
After forty-five minutes of reading and answering questions, the bell finally rang. Students exited the classroom as quickly as they could. Charlie stood by the door and waited for Nicole, but Kaylee grabbed his collar and pulled him out of the room. She winked at Nicole, and Nicole felt Kaylee’s note bulging out of her front pocket. She sat down by Ms. Selta’s desk and waited for the lecture to come.
After every student had left, Ms. Selta joined Nicole at the desk.
“All right, you don’t have to talk to me about this, but it sometimes helps,” she explained while holding up the note.
“I swear I wasn’t writing it! It just ended up with me! I didn’t even want it!” Nicole blurted out.
“Nicole, I’m not talking about you passing notes. I’m talking about how you acted when you read what’s in the note.”
“It was nothing, Ms. Selta. Just a joke between Kaylee and me,” Nicole lied.
“Oh? But the note was signed Peter, not Kaylee.”
“It was just a joke. We were watching TV last night… and it was my favorite quote from the movie,” Nicole stuttered.
“Uh… it was a home movie.”
“On television?” Ms. Selta questioned.
“Well, I meant that we were watching movies. I get them confused. Ask anybody!” Nicole smiled with her own brilliance. Ms. Selta looked at her curiously, and Nicole hoped she couldn’t see the worried look in her eyes. Instead, she saw her teacher begin to write a late pass for science. Yes! Score one for Kaylee! Nicole thought. She graciously accepted the pass, and bolted out of the classroom.
Nicole ran down the hallway to her science class. She thought of the note that Peter had given her. She flinched at the idea of going on a date with Peter, but she thought it had to be done. When she reached Mr. Barimo’s science class she handed him the pass and looked for a seat. The only seat she could see was next to Peter. She groaned and sat next to him. He winked and she quickly looked away. That was all she did for the entire class period.
The bell finally rang and she raced out the door with Charlie and Kaylee as fast as she could. They dashed to their usual lunch table in the courtyard and tried to avoid Peter as much as possible. The three sat in silence as they ate their lunches. Nicole looked to her left to see she saw her sister Anna and Anna’s best friend Melanie Mannix racing towards them. Charlie saw them and jumped up in front of Nicole. His face lit up as she got closer. Nicole and Kaylee stared at Anna like deer caught in headlights.
“Hey there, Anna! How’s it going?” Charlie asked awkwardly.
“Beat it!” she screamed.
“I can do that,” Charlie replied as he quickly sat back down.
“Nicole! How dare you?” Anna asked angrily.
“I thought you said never to come in contact with you during school hours! It’s not my fault! You’re coming in contact with me!” Nicole retorted. Her sister rolled her eyes, and Melanie did the same.
“You’re dating Peter!” Anna yelled.
“He asked me on one stupid date. I’m not like his girlfriend or anything!” Nicole explained.
“But Peter is mine!”
“Alex told me that Matt told him that Amanda told him that Molly told her that Peter told her that he was about to ask Anna out! And you ruined it!” Melanie said. Charlie looked confused, but Nicole and Kaylee knew exactly what she meant.
“What were you doing around him anyway? He’s a year older than you!” Anna questioned.
“He wanted to talk to Charlie, and Peter saw Kaylee and me waiting for him,” Nicole explained.
“Charlie! This is all your fault! Don’t you know that a dweeb like you cannot talk to a hottie like Peter?” Melanie snapped at Charlie. Charlie almost fell backwards out of his chair, but quickly regained his balance.
“I’m not a dweeb! Unless you like dweebs, Anna,” he said dreamily.
“Ew! Just stay away from him, Nicole!”
“Yeah!” Melanie added.
“And don’t even think about going on that date with him!”
“Shut up, Melanie!”
“Yeah! Oops, sorry,” Melanie said. The two stormed off leaving Charlie, Kaylee, and Nicole sitting alone.
Nicole stared into the blank sky above her and took deep breaths. Kaylee grabbed her arm in support, but Charlie sat motionless.
“I’m dead,” Nicole sighed.
“No, you’re not,” Charlie responded.
“Hello! Anna the Angry is out to get me!”
“She’s your sister! There’s some love in there somewhere.”
“Trust me, Charlie. She’s evil.”
“I highly doubt that,” Charlie defended. Nicole shot him an annoyed look.
“Did you not hear that fight, Charlie?”
“It was more of a discussion.”
“She told you to beat it!” Kaylee added. She knew her brother was a pushover, but never wanted to admit it.
“She didn’t mean it like that.”
“Why do you keep defending her?” Nicole cried, jumping out of her chair. Her expression looked furious, but Charlie couldn’t help but lie.
“I… I’m not… defending her!”
“Oh, no,” Nicole said. She fell back into her chair and her eyes became worried. Kaylee looked over at her, and she knew they were thinking the same thing.
“You like Anna!” Kaylee blurted out.
“What? That’s crazy. I do not like Anna. I mean… where did that come from?”
“You do,” Nicole agreed.
“Charlie, listen to me. You could do so much better,” Nicole hinted. If there was one thing Nicole knew, it was that she had liked Charlie for two years now.
“I have to go to my locker. Bell’s about to ring.”
“We have 20 minutes,” Kaylee reminded him.
“Well, I promised Ms. Selta I’d help her clean her room during lunch,” he lied.
“Bye, guys,” he said. The two girls watched him run off to the inside hallway. Nicole wondered if he would ever know her secret.
Nicole lay on her bed looking up at the ceiling. This day had been so eventful, and none of the events were positive. She got a date with a boy she didn’t even like, she got into a major fight with her sister, and she almost lost one of her best friends. Nothing could be worse than that. She suddenly heard a knock on the door, and trudged to answer it. She opened the door to see Melanie standing in the doorway, popping her gum annoyingly.
“Melanie? Anna’s not home and this isn’t even her room,” Nicole questioned.
“I know. I came to talk to you,” Melanie squealed.
“I thought that we never talk! I think we should start.”
“What do you want to talk about?”
“Just everything! By the way, I love your room!”
“Thanks! Uh, come on in.” she stuttered. Melanie waltzed into the room like a queen. She looked at the dresser and at the small, run-down bed.
“Listen, I am so sorry for what went down at lunch! I mean, I’m usually not like that,” Melanie said with a sweet tone in her voice.
“Yeah, well, we all have our off days.”
“I’m so glad you understand!”
“I guess if you spend enough time with Anna, you end up the same way as her!” Nicole joked. Melanie forced a laugh and posed a fake smile.
“You’re funny! Anna never told me about your great sense of humor!”
“Yeah, I’m full of humor!” Nicole continued. Melanie walked over to Nicole’s bulletin board to see a picture of Nicole, Kaylee, and Charlie standing in the middle of Central Park, their arms around each other’s shoulders.
“Hey, is this a picture of Charlie?”
“Yeah. He is my best friend,” Nicole sighed.
“Oh, I know. Seems like a great guy.”
“Has he ever… mentioned me? Melanie asked. Nicole looked at her curiously.
“Well… do you think you could-- I don’t know-- set us up on a date?”
“No,” Nicole answered flatly.
“Come on, Nicole!”
“Get out!” Nicole screamed as she tried to shove her out the door. Unfortunately, her weak arms and small body wouldn’t push her out.
“Just think about it!”
“I’ll get you out of your date with Peter!”
“Wait… you will?” Nicole asked. She stopped pushing Melanie, suddenly ready to listen to what she had to say.
“Totally. Just get me one date with Charlie, and you won’t have to date Peter.”
“I don’t know….”
“It’s a win-win for you and me!” Melanie persuaded.
“I’d have to ask Charlie.”
“Well, yeah. But do we have a deal?”
“Melanie, I don’t know.”
“Nicole… if you don’t say yes, I will ruin your high school life as we know it. You do not know what I am capable of. So, do we have a deal?”
“No!” Nicole shouted. Melanie became furious and slapped Nicole across the face. Nicole fell onto her bed with the force of the slap.
“Fine. Deal,” Nicole said, trying to hold back her tears. Melanie smiled and walked out of the room. Nicole continued to cry, but managed to dial the Burtses’ number on her cell phone.
“Nicole! Listen, I am so sorry for acting so weird today! I was just… stressed out I guess. Forgive me?” Charlie began to say. She could hear Kaylee yelling behind him, “is that Nicole? Let me talk to her!”
“Yeah….” Nicole continued.
“I guess….” Nicole said, not able to hold back her tears.
“Nicole, are you crying?”
“Nicole, we’ll be right over!” he yelled. She hung up her phone and sat up on the bed waiting for them. Less than two minutes later, Charlie and Kaylee ran into her room and hugged her until they couldn’t any longer.
“What happened?” Charlie asked.
“Melanie? What did she do?” Kaylee questioned.
“She came over, and she was really nice. Then she said, â€˜get me a date with Charlie!’ It was awful!” she explained, sniffling between words.
“Really?” Charlie asked, excitedly.
“Yeah. But I told her no! Then she said she could cancel my date with Peter if I did, and I said no, and she became angry, and I said no, and she slapped me, and I said yes! Charlie, I’m so sorry!”
“Nicole! Don’t be sorry. It’s not your fault. Listen, I’m not going on a date with Melanie, and you’re not going on a date with Peter.”
“But Charlie…” she started.
“We’ll figure something out, okay?” he said as he looked into her eyes. He kissed her forehead, and hugged her again. Kaylee joined in on the hug, and Nicole felt safe and loved.
“Okay,” Nicole replied. As they were hugging, Anna walked into the room, scoffing at the scene.
“How cute,” she remarked snidely.
“Anna! Hey, Anna,” Charlie said. He jumped off the bed, leaving Nicole and Kaylee on the bed by themselves.
“It’s Charlie. But you can call me Chris!”
“No,” she said quickly. She looked at her sister crying on the bed. She smirked as she thought of an awful plan.
“Hey, maybe we could go on a date sometime,” Anna said sweetly to Charlie.
“No!” Nicole screamed. Kaylee sprung to her feet.
“A date? With you?” Charlie asked. He looked stunned.
“Anna, you really don’t have to!” Nicole pleaded.
“Shut up, Nicole!” Charlie whispered.
“But Anna, what about Peter?” Kaylee asked her.
“What about Peter? I mean, he’s your friend’s boyfriend.”
“He’s not my stupid boyfriend!” Nicole screamed.
“Charlie, right? Why don’t you go home? I’ll call you to confirm,” she said as she blew him a kiss. Charlie blushed and practically raced out the door.
“Bye then! Bye, Nicole. I’m next door if you need me,” he told her. Kaylee hugged her friend and ran after him, leaving Nicole to feel alone and uneasy. She followed Anna to her room and listened to her conversation through the door.
“You actually asked him out? You’re joking, right?” Anna’s friend Amanda Wilmer asked.
“No, and I’m actually glad I did!” Anna responded.
“What are you talking about? He’s a total dweeb!”
“Think about it. It would make Peter so jealous!”
“Anna, that’s been done so many times!” Amanda said, thinking of all the movies she had seen where the characters did the same thing.
“So? I’m going for a retro approach!”
“I wouldn’t do it. I mean, he’s your dorky sister’s best friend!”
“Nicole loves this kid! It would tear her apart!” Anna informed her friend. Amanda giggled at the brilliant plan.
“So you’re doing this to destroy two people? Very nice!”
“I know! Now, I need to call him to confirm our date plans.”
“Do it, girl!” Amanda said. Anna hung up the phone and dialed Charlie’s number. She grinned as he heard him say “Hello.”
“Hey, Chuck!” she said.
“So we’re still on for our date, right?”
“What? You were serious?” Charlie asked.
“I’m confirming our date. I’m really looking forward to being your girlfriend,” Anna lied. She snickered softly so that he could not hear it.
“Really? That’s awesome! Tomorrow night at eight?”
“That doesn’t work for me.”
“Friday night at eight. The Town Café.”
“See you then!” she giggled. She hung up the phone and smiled as she saw her plan fall into place.
“Sucker,” she whispered. Nicole had heard the whole conversation and was appalled at everything she had heard. She knew her sister was mean, but she didn’t know she was evil!
A Few Words Can Say A Lot
The next day, Nicole began walking to school by herself, scuffing her feet as she went. As she was walking, Charlie chased after her.
“Hey, why didn’t you wait?” he said after he caught his breath.
“I didn’t want to be late. Where’s Kaylee?”
“We have an hour. And she got sick last night. She’ll be okay. But why didn’t you wait for me?”
“I thought you would walk Anna to school,” Nicole admitted.
“What? I could’ve done that?”
“I guess,” she said blankly. They walked in silence for a few minutes. Every time Nicole looked over at him, she would usually giggle, but she turned her head away this time. She felt that he didn’t deserve a giggle anyway.
“It’s more fun to walk with you,” Charlie finally said.
“But she’s your girlfriend.”
“No, she’s not. I mean, one date does not mean she’s my girlfriend!”
“Oh, well, I thought it did.”
“Nicole, you need to listen to me! You know I’ve been crushing on her my whole life!” Charlie explained.
“Actually, Charles Jacob Burts, you never told me that you had a crush on my sister. And as best friends, that was something you should’ve told me! She’s my sister for crying out loud!” Nicole complained. She bit her lip at the sound of her own voice. She felt like saying that she was sorry, but she didn’t.
“Nicole, why are you mad at me?”
“I’m not really mad at you.”
“Yes, you are.”
“I swear I am not mad at you.” she replied.
“Well, I know you are mad.”
“Yeah, I am.”
“At Melanie? At Peter? At Anna?” he asked.
“You’re mad at her because she asked me out on a date?”
“She only asked you out on a date to get back at Peter and me. It’s a setup!”
“Shut up, Nicole! Leave me alone! You don’t have any reason to say what you did! I hate you!” Charlie screamed. They stared at one another for a long period of time, and then walked away from each other.
Nicole stopped walking for a moment, and remained extremely still. She turned around and watched Charlie storm off. She felt her eyes began to fill with tears. She ran as far away from the school as she could. She dodged the people on the street trying to sell her watches and hot dogs until she couldn’t run anymore. She ran to the back of an old theater far from the school, wiping the tears from her face. She ran over to the side of the building, and sunk down next to a wall. She buried her face in her hands and began to let the tears inside of her fall free. After every tear that fell to the ground, Nicole thought of one of the things Charlie had said. She knew that best friends had fights, but Nicole always felt like they were immune to fighting. Now she realized they were just like any other pair of friends out there. Well, that sure stinks, she thought. She also thought about Kaylee. She’s my best friend too! But Charlie was always more. He--he was my crush! she sobbed.
“Excuse me?” whispered a tall woman in her thirties. Nicole looked up at her. She had short chocolate-brown hair with matching eyes. Her sincere smile calmed the nerves in Nicole’s body. She smiled weakly as she began to stand up.
“I--I’m sorry. I d--didn’t realize that this theater was o--occupied,” Nicole stuttered.
“Oh, I didn’t mean to kick you out! I just wanted you to be aware that you were sitting behind a building.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Well, I didn’t know if you did. Who are you anyway?”
“My name’s Nicole Pennrod. Who are you?” Nicole questioned.
“I’m Cameron Kinsella. I work here.”
“You’re an actress?” Nicole blurted.
“Yes I am. I’m in the ensemble now, but you just wait a few years. Then you’ll see me in that lead role! Sorry, I got a little carried away. Why are you here? Shouldn’t you be at school?” Cameron asked.
“My school doesn’t start for another forty-five minutes. Well, I don’t want to keep you. I’ll see you if I ever get to see your show!” Nicole politely said as she started to walk away.
“You didn’t answer my first question,” Cameron yelled after her. Nicole stood still and walked back over to Cameron.
“You’re really smart. People usually forget about the first question they ask.” Nicole chuckled.
Nicole and Cameron sat down by the side of the theater, as Nicole retold the entire story, holding back tears as she went along. Cameron looked as if the situation had happened to her, and she didn’t remember freshman year being this difficult! She wiped Nicole’s eyes, and gave a small sigh.
“Just give it time. Things don’t heal in a moment,” Cameron advised her.
“But he’s my best friend. And I really only have one other friend. And that’s his sister.”
“You’ve got me, don’t you?” Cameron laughed. Her laugh was just as sincere as her smile.
“I guess you’re right. Should I talk to him?”
“I don’t see how it could hurt. I’m sure he didn’t mean it like he said,”
“Thanks, Cameron. I should probably get to school,” Nicole said, rolling her eyes.
“I’m usually here from ten A.M. to six P.M. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If I’m not here, and you really need some more girl advice, here’s my number,” Cameron explained as she tore a page out of the colorful notebook that she had been carrying. Nicole nodded; after they exchanged numbers she walked to school. Once she got there, she decided not to say anything to Charlie until the next day.
â€˜I’m Sorry’ Is All It Takes
The next morning, Nicole slowly entered the courtyard with nine minutes to spare until the first bell. She looked around for Charlie, but he was out of sight. She shoved her way through groups of cheerleaders, football players, and weird teachers just to make sure he wasn’t behind them. The search was long and tedious, but unsuccessful. The first bell began to chime through the halls, and Nicole ran for her homeroom door. She knew that Charlie would be standing there, and realized that she should have looked there first. As she turned the corner into the hallway, she saw Charlie standing off to the right side of the door. She smiled hopefully and walked toward him. He made eye contact, but quickly turned to talk to a group of boys. She stood still, and then saw Ms. Selta’s door slam open. Nicole walked into the classroom as if nothing had happened. She didn’t want another student-teacher conference.
The minutes of the class period seemed to drag. Nicole slumped down in her seat as Ms. Selta reviewed a book for what felt like the nineteenth time. She looked around the room to see her fellow classmates passing notes, doodling in their notebooks, and falling asleep at their desks. She glanced at Charlie, who was paying close attention to the teacher. He made eye contact with her, and rapidly looked away. Nicole sighed as she leaned further back in her seat. Ms. Selta peeked over at Nicole, who smiled and acted like she knew what was going on. Finally, the first period bell rang, and Nicole jumped up to wait at the door for Charlie. She saw him coming closer and smiled. He looked at her and kept walking. Where’s Kaylee when I need her? she thought.
Nicole ran to their second period science class and dashed for the empty chair next to Charlie. He rolled his eyes as the final bell rang. Mr. Barimo, the science teacher, scribbled their assignment on the board, and the class suddenly became absorbed in their work. Nicole finished early, as always, and handed in the assignment with forty-five minutes still to go. She watched as Charlie turned in his paper five minutes later, and she began to write him a note.
Dear Charlie, I am sorry for what happened. I didn’t mean to freak out like that, but you know that I overreact about everything. What do you say? We’re best friends! Truce? Please?????? -Nicole
Nicole stuffed it in her pocket and waited to give it to him after class. As the bell rang, she quickly handed the note to Charlie, and raced off to the lunch line. Charlie left the classroom, and read the note before anyone could see. He smirked. He hated that she was so jealous of Anna. I mean, she doesn’t like me. Does she? he thought.
He meandered over to their usual lunch table, only to see Nicole standing by her chair with Melanie. Melanie’s face was red with fury, and she kicked Nicole in the shin. Nicole collapsed to her knees, and Melanie dumped Nicole’s lunch on the ground next to her. She walked away with her head held high and an evil smile slowly creeping across her face. She tossed her perfect red hair as Charlie ran over to Nicole and helped her get up. Nicole looked up at him and forced a small smile. He put her arm around his neck, and helped her hobble to the nurse’s office. When they got there, he sat waiting for the nurse with her.
“Charlie, you forgive me?”
“I never said that.”
“Oh, well, I thought you helping me meant that you forgave me,” Nicole sighed. She put her most sympathetic face on and looked up at him. He smiled his usual forgiving smile, and Nicole became overwhelmed with joy.
“All right, I forgive you.”
“Oh, Charlie!” Nicole giggled.
“I missed your giggle for that one day,” Charlie teased. She punched his arm, and the two laughed and laughed until Nurse Rita entered the room.
Primping and Preparing
Charlie helped Nicole hobble home, with Kaylee on the phone. Between every word, there was either a cough or a sneeze, so it sounded along the lines of this:
“What cough happened achoo to achoo Nicole? cough”
Nicole and Charlie eventually decided to hang up the phone, telling her she’d get all the details when they got home. I should tell Kaylee I like him…I know I do! she thought. She shook the thought away as they arrived at the apartment building. When the two reached the stairs, they looked at each other and giggled.
“How are we going to do this?” Charlie laughed.
“Hop?” Nicole replied. The two hopped up the steps as fast as they could, and saw Kaylee waiting at the top step; her short, dirty-blonde hair flying everywhere, her dark green eyes tired, and her long pajamas dragging on the floor. She sneezed a few more times before they actually reached the top. They three ran into Nicole’s flat, avoiding her mom as much as possible, and raced to her room. Kaylee plopped down on her large beanbag chair, Charlie fell to the floor, and Nicole carefully flopped down onto her bed.
Ring! Ring! Ring! Rin-
“Hello? Nicole here!” she giggled.
“Hey, Nicole, it’s Cameron! I wanted to know how things went with you and Charlie today.”
“Cameron! Well, actually he’s kind of in the room, so I don’t really want to say.”
“Did it go that bad?”
“Quite the opposite. Cameron, I’ll call you back, okay?”
“Okay, Nicole. Talk to you later,” Cameron said as she hung up the phone. Charlie and Kaylee were leaning in as close to Nicole as they could. Kaylee coughed a few more times before anyone said anything.
“Who was that?” Charlie questioned.
“A new friend. She’s really nice!”
“What did achoo she cough want?” Kaylee squeaked. Nicole and Charlie burst out giggling, and it seemed as if the entire conversation had ended. The three friends positioned themselves on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. Nicole turned her head over to face her wall calendar.
“Tomorrow’s Friday!” she screeched.
“Very good, Nicole!” Charlie joked.
“The--the date is--is tomorrow!” she stuttered. Kaylee shot straight up and stared her friend in the eyes. Charlie smiled, but made sure Nicole didn’t see.
“I forgot all achoo about it!” Kaylee sneezed.
“We should probably get home,” Charlie lied. He wanted to make sure he looked his best for his date with Anna. He grabbed Kaylee’s arm, and the two ran out of the room. Nicole grabbed her cell phone, and rapidly dialed Cameron’s number.
“Cameron Kinsella speaking. How may I help you?”
“Cameron, the date’s tomorrow!”
“Oh, the date that started this fight?” Cameron laughed.
“Exactly! I don’t know what to do! Can you come over?”
“Come over? To your house?”
“Please, Cameron!” Nicole begged. There was a long pause before an answer.
“All right, what’s your address?” Cameron sighed. Nicole squealed as she gave Cameron her address. She hung up the phone, and waited for what seemed like forever for Cameron to get there. Her heart was racing faster then it ever had before. She suddenly heard a knock on her door, and saw Cameron there, smiling the same smile she had when they met the day before. Cameron walked in and sat down on the bed.
“I don’t know what to do, I mean I don’t want to go on this date, but it’s not fair to Peter, but it’s not fair to me, because I never even liked him in the first place, so I don’t think I should have to go on this stupid date, but maybe Peter’s really sweet, I don’t really know him, but maybe he’s a jerk, and I don’t want to go on a date with a jerk, Cameron, what should I do?” Nicole rambled. Cameron silently laughed as she got a firm grip on Nicole’s shoulders.
“First of all, take a deep breath, and just think it through. I say, give the boy a chance! It’s not like you have to go on a second date if you don’t like him,” Cameron calmly explained. Nicole felt as if the weight of the world had just been lifted off of her shoulders.
“I have another problem.”
“Another problem? It’s not like you are in love with another boy, right?” Cameron teased. Nicole looked uncomfortable for a moment, and Cameron felt the small teen’s shoulders tense up.
“You like Charlie, don’t you?” Cameron asked. She knew the answer.
“Yeah, I really do.”
“Are you sure?”
“What do you mean? I guess I--”
“You guess? Nicole…” Cameron began as she shifted through Nicole’s closet for outfits that Nicole could wear on the date.
“Well, I never really thought…. Anyway, I’m going on the date. What should I wear?”
“Nothing like changing the subject! Hmm, I think you should wear… this!” Cameron laughed as she pulled out a sundress with blue, orange, and brown polka dots covering it. It had a brown bow in the back, and it nearly reached Nicole’s knees.
“You really think so?”
“Definitely! As for your hair, did you ever think about curling it?” Cameron suggested. Nicole shook her head, and Cameron raided the room for a curling iron. The girls spent the next hour and a half curling their hair, putting on makeup, giggling, and talking about their favorite memories. As Cameron finished the last curl, Nicole dashed anxiously to the mirror and gasped. I look hot! she thought. She ran over to Cameron and gave her the biggest hug of her life.
Cameron looked over at the clock on the wall. It read 7:45. Cameron instantly broke the hug, grabbed her purse off the bed, and kissed Nicole’s glittering forehead as she started out the door.
“Where are you going?” Nicole asked.
“I have a personal life too, you know! And if I don’t leave right now, I’ll be late for a date of my own. Good luck tomorrow! You’ll have to IM me with all the details.” she tore another page out of her notebook and they quickly exchanged screen names. She squeezed Nicole tightly and left. Before Nicole had even a moment to breathe, Anna stormed into her room.
“Aren’t you a bit old to be playing with Mom’s makeup?” Anna snapped. She stared at Nicole, and had to admit she looked pretty good. Nicole smiled, and started wiping off the makeup.
“I’m just getting ready for my date with Peter. I want to look my best.”
“Why? Everybody knows he likes me!”
“Then why did he ask me out on a date?” Nicole shouted. Their parents stormed into the room, and Anna raced out crying. For the first time in her life, Nicole felt sorry for her sister! Nicole’s father left the room, realizing this was a girl issue, leaving Nicole and her mother alone. Mrs. Pennrod tried to talk to her daughter, but Nicole ignored every word she said. Eventually, she left the room, and Nicole was glad to be alone. She sank onto her bed and pulled out an old diary she hadn’t used in years.
Dear Diary, How are you supposed to start one of these? Well, I guess like this: I like Charlie. I don’t like Charlie. I don’t like Peter. I’m dating Peter. Make sense to you? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Do I like Charlie? That’s the question of the day. For now, I’ll say maybe. Do I like Peter? That’s the other question of the day. We’ll see tomorrow night, won’t we? Thank God for Cameron. I couldn’t survive without her. And Kaylee is usually helpful, but not as sick as she is right now. Well, I guess that’s it. I’m hanging my pen up for the night. Sweet dreams. ïŠ
Wait! I forgot to write something else! Does Anna have a nice side? I mean, she was crying! I don’t know why I feel sorry for her. She’s dating Charlie for crying out loud! But I guess I’m dating Peter. Maybe that’s why I feel so guilty. Well, that’s all I can say tonight. Again, goodnight, sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite! Oh, and wish me luck for tomorrow!
Nicole stuffed her diary under the bed and stuck the pen in her dresser drawer. She quickly changed into her pink pajamas and tucked herself into bed. It was only 8:00, but Nicole felt as though it were three o’clock in the morning. She felt like screaming “Goodnight, Charlie! Goodnight, Kaylee!” Instead, she whispered it to herself, but somehow knew her friends had heard. And in a way, she heard them say goodnight back. The peace only lasted a minute, for the thought of the date swarmed back into her body as she drifted into sleep, preparing herself for the next day.
Nicole woke easily the next morning, feeling petrified and excited at the same time. She rapidly got ready for school, and raced over to Charlie and Kaylee’s apartment. She knocked on her friends’ door and the two came bouncing out, Charlie happier than ever. They raced down to the school as fast as they could. Nicole enjoyed the cool wind hitting her face, and the feeling that her best friends were right there with her. For the worst day of her life, she was pretty relaxed. Once the reached the school courtyard, a large group of girls (including Anna) was chatting away with a group of boys (including Peter). The two groups stared at the trio, and Nicole’s relaxed feeling suddenly became a stomach-turning nausea. Kaylee squeezed her hand, but it was nothing compared to the cold stares coming from their peers.
Peter walked over to Nicole, and Anna walked over to Charlie. Peter smiled at Nicole, and she attempted to smile back as coolly as she could. He grabbed her hand and pulled her over to the group of boys he was talking with. Kaylee followed, hoping to meet a boy of her own. Anna grabbed Charlie’s hand and put on her best flirting face as she introduced him to her friends.
“Peter, what’s going on?” Nicole asked nervously.
“We’re going on a date tonight, right?”
“Yeah, but I thought the date started at eight.”
“Well, it does. This is normal behavior, though. At this school, you act all boyfriend-girlfriend-like until the date, just so everyone knows you’re going on a date,” he explained.
“That makes no sense at all!” Nicole exclaimed.
“What, have you never had a boyfriend?” he teased. Nicole looked down at the floor and the boys around her burst out with laughter. Peter dropped her hand, and tried to stop himself from laughing too, but it didn’t work. Kaylee grabbed Nicole, and the two ran off to the girl’s bathroom, leaving Charlie laughing along with his new friends.
Nicole and Kaylee reached the bathroom, and Nicole slammed the door; not because she didn’t want to be seen crying, but because she was full of anger.
“I can’t believe them! So what that I’ve never had a boyfriend? The way they all laughed and Charlie did too… I just can’t…” Nicole started. The ringing of her cell phone cut her off. A new text message had just come in from an unknown number.
Unknown: I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to laugh. I really like you. I dont care that you’ve never had a boyfriend. You’re really special to me.
Nicole: Who are you?
Unknown: Who do you think? It’s Peter.
Kaylee gasped and Nicole stared down at the text message. She had been sure that it was Charlie, but it wasn’t. It was Peter! The boy who she thought she despised really cared about her! Maybe he’s not as bad as I thought… Kaylee read the text over and over, sighing and giggling.
“Man, I wished he asked me out instead of you!” she admitted. Nicole punched her in the arm, and the two girls laughed for a good three minutes. As they left the bathroom they saw Peter and his best friend Alex Chesters, waiting outside the door.
“You got my text?” Peter smiled. Nicole nodded and blushed.
“Did you get my text, Kaylee?” Alex asked. Kaylee looked confused for a moment, and then saw Alex quickly typing a text message for her. Kaylee giggled, and pulled out her phone, waiting for the text to be sent.
Alex: You’re really cute.
Kaylee: OMG, really?
Alex: Want to go out tonight? Peter can’t go on a date unless it’s with a group, and I really want to go with you.
Kaylee: I have to ask my parents, but I def. want to go with you.
The two couples walked down the hall, headed for the group of boys and girls who had laughed at Nicole, but the bell blared through the halls before they had time to reach them. They headed to their classrooms, and Nicole suddenly felt that nausea feeling come over her again. As she sat down in class, she thought, I like Peter! I mean, he’s so sweet, and he really cares about me… but Charlie didn’t even seem to care! I thought he was my best friend! So much for that loser! Why is freshman year so difficult? Too much drama!
By the end of the day, Charlie hadn’t said a word to Kaylee or Nicole. But the girls didn’t seem to mind. Nicole was in heaven, and Kaylee was oblivious to everything but Alex. When it was time to leave school, the girls ran home (without Charlie) to get ready for the big date. Nicole was overwhelmed with happiness, which was the exact opposite of how she imagined this day would be! As she ran up to her flat, she dropped Kaylee off at her apartment and then dialed Cameron’s number.
“Hey, Nicole!” the friendly voice answered.
“Wish me luck, Cameron!”
“Good luck, sweetheart. And don’t forget to IM me tonight after it’s over!”
“Like I’d forget that!” Nicole joked. She hung up the phone and started to get ready for the night.
Nicole slipped into her polka-dotted sundress, and began to curl her short brown hair. It took her about an hour and a half to get it into perfect ringlet curls, but she knew it would be worth it when she saw Peter’s face. She quickly took off her glasses, and slipped her contacts in, which she only wore on very important occasions. She plopped down into her chair next to the desk, now covered in makeup, and began to put of foundation, blush, eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, and the perfect shade of pink lip gloss. By the time she was done, she thought she looked even better than Anna. Oh no, Anna! she thought. Nicole raced down the small hallway to Anna’s room, and saw her squeezing into a jean miniskirt and a bright red tube top, and then staring at herself in the mirror. A split second later, Anna had caught Nicole’s eye and slammed her against the wall.
“What were you doing looking in my room?” she hollered.
“I was seeing what you were wearing for the date tonight!” Nicole whimpered as she escaped Anna’s clutch on her shoulder.
“Fine. Whatever. We have to go now, so get your little friend Craig and let’s get going.” Anna ordered. Nicole ran down the hall to the Burtses’ door and rang the bell numerous times. On the fourteenth ring, Kaylee appeared at the doorway wearing white pleated shorts and a â€˜70s styled yellow and green tank top. Her hair was pulled up into a cute, messy bun, and her bangs practically covered her glistening eyes. She lost her radiant smile as Charlie entered the hallway wearing dark jeans and a Fall Out Boy T-shirt that was covered by a black jacket.
Anna waltzed into the hallway and grabbed Charlie’s hand, and the four walked out of the apartment building together. They raced to the Town Café. Once they reached it, they saw Peter and Alex dressed in outfits very similar to Charlie’s. Peter and Alex walked up to Kaylee and Nicole and pulled them inside, Charlie copying their every move. Once they were inside, Alex and Peter led them to a table covered with a lace tablecloth. There were three red roses in the center. The girls sighed in disbelief, and stared adoringly at the boys. The three girls sat on one side of the booth with the three boys on the opposite side. Nobody spoke for several moments, but once in a while a giggle would be heard or a smirk would creep across someone’s face. The first time anybody said a word was when the waitress came to take their order. After that, there were more awkward silences, giggles, and smirks, but Anna was the one to break the silence.
“So, Charlie, you look hot tonight!” Anna remarked.
“Really? You really think so?” Charlie asked, his eyes glowing.
“Totally. Don’t you agree, Nicole?” she asked. Nicole looked uncomfortable for a moment. Normally, she would have said, “Hot? Charlie? You’re kidding, right?” She loved to pick on Charlie in a friendly way. But instead, she squeaked out,
“yeah, he looks hot.” And as she said this, her phone began to ring as a new text message came through.
Unknown: I think you look beautiful.
Nicole: Peter, you’re so sweet.
Unknown: This isn’t Peter.
Unknown: Guess again.
At those words, Nicole froze. There was only one other guy at the table, and that was Alex. What am I going to do? Alex likes me too? But Kaylee loves him! Why me? she thought. As she looked over at Alex, he smiled a braces-filled smile and winked his right eye at Nicole. She looked away and turned red in the face.
“Nicole, are you all right?” he asked. Nicole tried to answer “yes” but couldn’t. She was able to shake her head no, and everyone at the table--except Anna-- stared at her with concern.
“Come on, I’ll take you outside. You probably just need some fresh air,” Peter said as he took her by the hand and pulled her outside the restaurant.
“Nicole, I’ve liked you for over a year now. I know you think I’m a huge jerk, but I just have to act that way around my friends. It’s kind of expected of me. But if you could please see the real side of me, I think I’d be able to show it to everybody,” he explained.
“Oh my goodness, Peter, you’re right. I did think you were a huge jerk, but I wasn’t sure, which is why I didn’t flake out on this date.”
“Nicole, you are the sweetest person in all of New York City!” he yelled. Before she could respond, Peter had grabbed her by the waist and kissed her. Being her first kiss, she didn’t know what to expect. This is better than the movies, she thought as they kissed. She looked him square in the eyes, and all she could do was smile.
They walked back into the Town Café. Nicole had hearts in her eyes, but once they sat down, Alex and Charlie had the check in their hands and Nicole saw that somebody else had eaten her meal. But she didn’t care. Peter Margo had just kissed her! And he wasn’t a total jerk! It was the best night of her life. At that moment she realized that she wasn’t in love with Charlie at all. And she was glad.
As the three couples walked home, Kaylee and Alex were kissing the entire way; but every so often Alex would look at Nicole, which creeped her out. Anna and Charlie walked home hand in hand, but Anna wasn’t acting like she liked him. Nicole knew that the twinkle in her eye meant that she actually liked him! But Charlie’s happiness had gone downhill, and he also kept looking over at Nicole, though she didn’t notice. As they reached Charlie, Nicole, Anna, and Kaylee’s building, Alex gave Kaylee a hug, then winked at Nicole before turning the corner of their street. Peter kissed Nicole goodnight, and she felt as though fireworks were going off in her head. A perfect kiss to end a perfect date. Anna went in to kiss Charlie, but he shook her hand instead. The four raced up to their rooms, and Nicole quickly looked on her computer. She saw that Cameron was online, and saw an IM pop up on her screen.
Once A Cheater…
CameronKinsella: Hey, girly! How did it go?
HeyThereNicole: He kissed me.
CameronKinsella: He did?! And…
HeyThereNicole: I loved it.
CameronKinsella: Ah, young love. It’s so cute.
HeyThereNicole: Yeah, but something was wrong with Charlie.
CameronKinsella: Oh? Isn’t he in love with your sister, though?
HeyThereNicole: I thought he was. But it looked like she was in love with him more than he was in love with her!
CameronKinsella: Don’t worry about it, Nicole. I’m sure it’s fine. Anything else happen?
HeyThereNicole: Alex likes me.
CameronKinsella: Who’s Alex?
HeyThereNicole: He was on a date with Kaylee. I don’t know what to do!
KayleeinNY has signed on.
HeyThereNicole: Cameron, I have to go. Talk to you soon!
CameronKinsella: Bye, sweetheart! <3
CameronKinsella has signed off.
KayleeinNY: Nicole! I think I am in LOVE with Alex!
HeyThereNicole: Kaylee, no you’re not.
KayleeinNY: Yes, I am! I’m coming over right now.
KayleeinNY had signed off.
HeyThereNicole has signed off.
Before Nicole even had a chance to turn off her computer, Kaylee came spinning into her room, already in her pajamas. She had a picture of Alex in her hand, and Nicole could see his perfect, short red hair and his gorgeous blue eyes. Nicole smiled awkwardly, and pulled out her phone. She knew she had to tell Kaylee before it was too late. She sat her friend down, and gave her the cell phone. Kaylee read the text, and her smile vanished. She handed Nicole the phone, and sat on her bed in shock.
“I don’t believe it. I thought… he… liked… me…. but… he… likes… you!” Kaylee cried. She felt the warm tears rolling down her cheeks and the comforting embrace of her best friend. An instant later, Anna walked into the room with a look of concern in her eyes.
“Is Alex cheating on you already?” Anna asked.
“What… are… you… talking… about?” Kaylee cried again. This time, her tears seamed to multiply.
“He cheated on me two years ago. We were dating, and then he started dating Melanie. You know what they say, â€˜once a cheater, always a cheater!’” Anna sighed. She walked into the room, and sat with the two girls on the floor.
“So… how… was… your… night… Anna?” Kaylee asked. She had stopped crying, but she hadn’t fully recovered.
“It was wonderful! For once in my life, I got to be myself!”
“What do you mean?” Nicole asked.
“I’m not a mean person! But Melanie is. And since we’re best friends, it’s just kind of… expected. And Nicole, I’ve liked Charlie for a while now.” she admitted.
“But I heard you talking to Amanda about getting even with Peter and me!”
“That was a lie! It was the best excuse I could come up with so that I could get a date with him. I told Peter to ask you out, so that you wouldn’t ask Charlie out first.”
“Did… you tell… A--A-- him… to ask me… out?” Kaylee sniffled.
“No, that was just him seeing a pretty blonde, and asking her out, and then seeing a pretty brunette, and flirting with her.” Anna guessed.
“Oh. Wait… Nicole, you like Charlie?” Kaylee asked.
“Um… I did. I don’t any more, though, I swear! I like Peter!”
“Funny, yesterday you hated him.”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t really know him.”
“So… Anna, does Melanie know that you like Charlie?” Nicole inquired. Anna and Kaylee stared at her for a moment, and then the room was silent.
“No.… Why?” Anna finally asked. She had no idea what was going on, but Kaylee did.
“Because she wanted me to get her a date with Charlie.”
“Oh, I knew about that. I told her that I liked Charlie, and she has to have everything I have. And that one thing that she thought I had was Charlie.”
“Why are even friends with her?” Kaylee asked.
“I’m not anymore. Everyone found out that I went on a date with him, and now everybody thinks I’m a dork because I went out with a ninth grader.”
“You can sit at our lunch table tomorrow,” Nicole offered.
“Thanks. I’d really like that. I better get going… I have get some sleep. Night, girls!”
“Goodnight, Anna!” the girls said in unison. Kaylee hugged Nicole and left as well. Nicole changed into her pink and orange striped pajamas and grabbed her diary from under the bed.
The date was fantastic! He kissed me… and he is an amazing kisser. Everything is starting to make sense now. I mean, I don’t care that Anna basically forced Peter to date me. I’m glad she did. And poor Kaylee! But she’ll bounce back soon. Really soon. ïŠ Anna and I are friends now. Imagine that! She lost all of her friends, so it’s the least I could do. But I want to help her get revenge on Melanie… how? I haven’t figured that out yet. I’m going to call Cameron tomorrow. See if she wants to head down to Central Park. Hope so! Wait… no I can’t! Helping out at school… cleaning the courtyard. Yippee. Well, I better get to bed. Goodnight world! This is Nicole Pennrod, over and out.
She stuffed the diary back under the mattress, and wiggled her way into her bed. Right as she became completely comfortable, three new text messages appeared on her cell phone’s screen.
Peter: Goodnight, Nicole! <3
Charlie: Night, Nicole. Best friends for life right?
Cameron: Just saying goodnight, sweetheart. Don’t sweat it about Alex and all that! :-)
She began to type back to her friends, one at a time, starting with her first almost- boyfriend:
To Peter: Goodnight, Peter! <3 <3 <3
She blew a kiss to the text message as she hit the send button. She then started to type Charlie’s text message.
To Charlie: Night, Charlie. Best friends for forever and a day! See you in the mor