Untiltled Book, Chapter 1

October 12, 2008
Chapter 1
Spanish Class

I watched silently from the back of the last row as Alex, the girl two rows over in the second seat turned to her friend and whispered intently. Alex stopped, listened, and giggled quietly as she turned back to her work. The boy three rows over in the first seat, the class clown, dropped his pen and reached for it like a contortionist. Alex smiled slightly, picked up the pen, and handed it to the boy. She stared at the page, numbered 442, our class work assignment, and willed her pen to fill in the right answers. She soon gave up and turned to her friend, two seats back, the fluent one, and in a whispered exchange learned that number three was ‘comio’, and number five was ‘gustan’. Her fluent friend, however, did not know the answer to number seven, so Alex whispered to the boy in front of her and received only a shrug in reply. She tore out a sheet of paper and wrote something on it. As Mr. Eduardo got up to investigate a noise in the hallway, Alex lamely tossed the crumpled note to the other fluent girl, who sat directly in front of me. Her friend did not see the note fall to the floor next to her and continued writing, the answers coming effortlessly. I picked up the note, read it, and looked at my own paper. I glanced at Alex as she mouthed, “What’s the answer?” I pretended to think for a minute before I shrugged, a playful grin on my face. She rolled her eyes and mouthed the same words again. I scribbled something on the paper and tossed it back to her. Mr. Eduardo still had not returned to the class, his voice still audible in the hall. Alex looked back at me, smiled, wrote a long note on the back of the paper, and tossed it to me.

I had asked for her phone number in return for the answer to question number seven. I unfolded the note and read it. On the very top of the paper was a heart. Underneath it, her flawless handwriting offered her number and a short message: “Meet me at my locker after class. I want to give you something.” She listed her locker number and asked for the elusive answer again. I wrote the answer, “Barcelona”, and toss the note back to her just as Mr. Eduardo re-entered the room. He saw me, the note, and the girl, and the frown on his face transformed into an understanding smile.
“Jose,” he said, still smiling, “Please don’t throw things in the classroom.”
“Sorry,” I reply, grinning giddily, “it won’t happen again.” The other students looked up, searching for the source of the distraction, the note. The end-of-the-day bell rang, and afternoon announcements commenced. So and so to see Mrs. Jones, the following people to report to detention, and so on. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the national anthem played and we were dismissed for the day. I gathered up my belongings as Mr. Eduardo walked up to me.
“Just out of curiosity, Jose,” he asked, “what was written on that paper you threw?”
“Just the answer to number seven, ‘Barcelona’” I replied, another grin on my face. He raised his eyebrows and smiled, humming, ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ as he walked to his desk. I shook my head, still grinning, and walked out the door, wishing him a good weekend as I leave.
The Friday crowd was anxious to get home, especially since this Friday ended our last full week of school. There were only three days that next week, all half days for exams, and then we were out for the summer. I dashed down the stairs, and nearly knocked over a seventh grader in the process. I ignored his cries of indignation and pulled open the double doors to the science hall. Eventually I reached Alex’s locker, and before I approached her I took a deep breath. She smiled as I approached her.
“Hey” she said cheerfully. “I want to give you something. I’m having a party next Friday to celebrate the summer, and I want you to come.” She handed me a brightly-colored invitation and smiled.
“Thanks, Alex. I would love to come,” I replied.
“There’s a catch, though,” she warned, a serious look on her face. “You can only come if you hang out with me up at Starbucks this afternoon and meet me and my friends at the pool tomorrow. Oh, and you can only come to the party as my boyfriend.”
“Okay,” I replied. “I agree to those terms.” Alex closed her locker and followed me over to my locker where I retrieved all my books to study over the weekend. As I swung my book bag over my shoulder and closed my locker door, Alex took my hand in hers. We looked at each other, smiled, and walked down the stairwell together. As we approached the carpool line, I saw my mother waiting for me.
“Just a sec. I’ll be right back,” I said to Alex. I hurried to the car and asked, “Hey mom, can I go up to Starbucks with some friends and then just walk home?”
“Sure, no problem,” my mom replied. “I can take your book bag if you want.”
“Thanks Mom, that would be great!” I exclaimed as I dropped my bag in the seat and shut the door.
“Go and have fun,” she called after me. I took Alex’s hand and offered to take her book bag for her, or at least one of her books.
“Sure, that would be great,” Alex replied, and handed me her math book. We talked for a while about exams until we reached Starbucks.
“Alright. What do you want?” I asked. “My treat.”
“Nuh-uh,” she refused. “I’m paying for the first date.”
“Um, no you aren’t. The man always pays for the first date. Now what do you want?”
“Aww, you’re so sweet,” Alex gushed. “Hmm, I’m gonna have the mocha frappacino with whip cream.”
“What size would you like?” asked the cashier.
“Tall, please.”
“No, she’s getting a grande,” I interjected. “Make that two grande mocha frappacinos with whip cream and…do you like those cookies?”
“Yeah, but…”
“And a chocolate chip cookie,” I finished, smiling at Alex. I paid and we sat down to wait for our drinks.
“You didn’t have to do that, you know,” Alex told me.
“I know that, but I wanted to,” I explained.
“You know what, I never got your number,” Alex reminded me playfully.
“You’re right! I completely forgot,” I replied. I gave her my number and added her to my contacts list. She does the same and I notice she has the new 3G iPhone. “You have the iPhone?” I asked. “That’s awesome. I have the Blackberry.”
“Yeah, I love the iPhone! It’s better than a laptop!” Alex exclaimed.
“Well, I don’t know about that, but it IS pretty cool,” I replied, admiring her phone. There was a short pause in our conversation when I got up to get our drinks. When I returned I asked Alex, “Where do you live? If I'm going to hang out with you at the pool tomorrow, I think it would be helpful if I knew where to go.”
“Oh, I live in Hampton Hall. It’s like a two minute walk from here. What about you? Where do you live?” Alex asked inquisitively.
“I live in Cambridge Park, right next to Hampton Hall,” I replied, elated that we lived so close to each other. “Do you go to the Britney Club pool?”
“Oh yeah! I go there all the time,” She replied. “That’s where we’re gonna meet tomorrow.”
“I’m technically not a member, but I go there too. I love the trail around lake, right next to the pool. Sometimes I just go there to walk around the lake and think,” I shared with Alex.
“Oh my god! You’re so adorable!” Alex said, taking my hand. Her phone rang, playing a familiar hip hop song. Annoyed, she answered it curtly: “Hello? Oh hi mom…yeah I’m at Starbucks…Now? Do I have to? Mom, please…Fine… Okay. Yeah I love you too. Bye.” Alex turned to me. “Oh my god, I'm so sorry, my mom has to work late and she wants me to go home and help our nanny with my brothers and sisters. Please call me later? If you call after seven we can talk for hours,” she apologized rapidly.
“Don’t worry about it. I should probably get some studying done before we hang out at the pool tomorrow. Can I walk you home?” I asked. Alex smiled. “I would love that,” she replied. I took one last sip of my drink before I cleared the table of our trash. I walked to the door ahead of Alex, holding it open for her.
“After you, ma’am,” I said politely, with a touch of humor.
“You’re so funny,” Alex laughed as she took my hand. As we walked, we talked about the gossip going around school, and how much our parents annoyed us. During our conversation, I thought about how eventful the day had been already. I only had wanted her phone number, but I was infinitely glad she had offered more than that. I liked Alex very much, and I was glad it hadn’t taken weeks or months to get her attention.
As we walked up to her house, I was immediately impressed. Alex lived in one of the nicest, no, THE nicest house in the entire neighborhood. It was a three-story stacked stone masterpiece that I had admired many times passing by.
“You live here?” I asked in amazement. “Your house is amazing!”
“Thanks,” Alex replied modestly. “It’s really comfortable inside.” Just then, a car pulled up in her driveway, a BMW 550i station wagon. “That’s our nanny, Clarissa,” Alex explained to me. “She takes care of my multiple siblings when my parents are at work. Which is like all the time. I should probably go help her out. Call me around seven, okay?”
“Okay,” I replied. “Talk to you at seven.” Alex turned toward the car, but came back and kissed me lightly on the cheek.
“Bye,” she said, and walked toward the car to help her youngest brother carry his overstuffed book bag into the house. I chuckled and turned back up the street, putting my iPod headphones in my ears and cranking up the volume all the way. This was one of those feel-good days where everything had gone perfectly, and nothing could ruin this moment. Life is good, I thought to myself. Life is good.

Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

artofthedeath said...
Oct. 30, 2008 at 12:46 am
loved it. I only wish relationships were like that. Excellent writing. I'm think about doing the same thing with my writing.
Johnnyp13 said...
Oct. 28, 2008 at 8:35 pm
Just so yall know, ive posted the second chapter. please comment and tell me what you think.
Cierra H. said...
Oct. 25, 2008 at 5:18 am
Personally, I don't think it needs another chapter. It's a perfect story the way it is. Sweet, romantic, and real. I loved it. I would like to see more fiction pieces from you. And if you can write like this "Alex" totally missed out!
Rho said...
Oct. 18, 2008 at 1:44 am
Nice story and well written. Character development is excellent. A good improvement to consider is envisioning as a movie. In this way story moves quickly, centering on the highlights. Like music, audience attention is short for stories as well. Keep up the great work!
Mako Spoony said...
Oct. 17, 2008 at 2:20 am
That is soooooo good, you should totally post the next chapter!
keep writing!
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