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A New Girl
“Ryder! Ryder! Sit up and pay attention now!” Came the screech of Mrs. Thompson.
Ryder Daniels lifted his head off of the desk and glared at Mrs. Thompson. He was up all night with his sister, and was incredibly tired. He knew that wasn’t her fault, but he really didn’t care at the moment.
“Ryder, don’t give me that look. This is class time, not nap time.”
Ryder continued to glare, “Oh, I’m sorry Mrs. Thompson. It’s just that your lecture was the perfect bed time story.”
The class immediately dissolved in snickers.
Mrs. Thompson’s mouth dropped, shocked at his outburst. This was not the usual behavior for Ryder. “Ryder, I think you need to go to the office, and see Mr. Keen.”
“Alright.” With that, Ryder gathered his things and left the room, all the students staring after him in surprise.
Jade Kale set in the office of Lake Dale High, the new high school she would now be attending. She waited on the guidance counselor to come through the door with her new class schedule.
When the door opened, she looked up expecting to see the nice lady she had just spoken to. Instead of her though, a boy she thought to be around her age walked in and threw himself in the chair beside her. She set in her seat, staring at him without realizing it. The boy, sensing there was someone looking at him, looked up and caught her eye.
Wow, he’s really cute, was her first thought.
He continued to stare at her until a plump man with small eyes that were so dark she thought them to be black came out of a back office. “Ryder, you may come with me to my office now.”
With one last look at Jade, he got out of his seat and followed the man. Jade felt the blood rush to her face. Well that was odd. I wonder what that was about.
While she pondered these things, the guidance counselor walked in. “Here is your new schedule Jade, why don’t you take a little while to look over it, and then I’ll find someone to show you around. Oh, by the way, you may call me Mrs. Lane.”
“Thank, you Mrs. Lane.” Jade said with a smile.
Jade looked down at her schedule. Odd, there was only 6 hours in a school day here.
1st English III
3rd Algebra II
4th Physical Education
5th Social Studies
6th Spanish II
For the most part, it was an easy enough schedule. Algebra 2 though, she might need to find a tutor. She heard another door open and looked up. Ryder was coming back out of the office. She again felt the blood flood her face. How embarrassing.
Mrs. Lane also took that time to walk into the office. “Ryder! It’s wonderful I ran into you here. Jade here is a new student, and needs to be shown around to her classes. Would you do that for me, please?”
Oh. My. God.
“I’d be happy to, Mrs. Lane.” He looked to Jade. “Hey, I’m Ryder Daniels. I suppose we could go now.”
Jade just gawked at him. His brow furrowed. Oh, no. What a wonderful first impression. He’s probably wondering if I’m mentally handicapped.
“Oh, right, yeah. Let’s do that.” Oh wow, I’m really embarrassing myself.
“Okay… Well let’s see your schedule and get moving.”
Jade handed him her schedule, and again, his brow furrowed. But it disappeared as soon as it had shown up, and he smiled. He has a really pretty smile.
“You have the same classes as I do, except for 6th hour. I guess you could just hang out with me all day, and I’ll walk you to 6th hour when we get out of Social Studies.”
Jade’s mouth flopped open. She quickly closed it. “Yeah, sure, that sounds good.”
They were then interrupted by a dull buzzing sound, signaling the end of 1st hour.
“We might wanna get moving.” Ryder said. He opened the door for her and they left for 2nd hour.
The bell signaling the end of 5th hour came much too quick for Ryder. For some reason he didn’t know, he didn’t want his time with Jade to end yet. That didn’t make any since. He’d only known her for about 5 hours. Why should he want to be around her?
“Okay, so you ready to go?” He heard Jade say as she came up behind him.
They left the class and he walked her down the hall to the fourth door on the right. “Well, here’s Mr. Garcia’s room. You’ll like him. He’s pretty cool.”
“Thanks.” She said.
“Well, I guess I’ll be going then. If you have any more questions or need help, feel free to find me.”
“I will. Thanks again.”
She turned and walked into Mr. Garcia’s room, and he left for Mr. Dran’s study hall.
He sat down in his seat, and was immediately lost in thought. I wonder if she likes it here. I hope she’s making friends. Why am I thinking about her? I barely know her.
Ryder was pulled from his thoughts, and into the present. Ryder looked up, into the eyes of his ex-girlfriend, Tara. His felt his eyes widen. He hadn’t talked to her since he dumped her last month.
“How have you been? I haven’t talked to you in a while.”
Yeah. And I was kinda hopin’ it would stay that way. “Oh, I’ve been fine I suppose.”
“That’s nice. I hear there’s a new girl. Have you met her yet?”
I really don’t wanna talk about Jade to Tara. “Yeah, I’ve met her. She’s really nice.”
Tara’s eyes narrowed. “Oh. I see. Do you have any classes with her? I haven’t seen her all day. But they say she wasn’t in class 1st hour.”
“Yeah. I have her in all my classes except 6th hour.” He didn’t want to say that for some reason.
“How wonderful.” She practically sneered. “I guess I will be seeing her 1st hour tomorrow then, since we do have English together.”
Oh. Wow. I’d forgotten that.
“Yeah. I guess you will be able to meet her then. You might like her. She’s a really nice girl.”
“Oh, I’m sure I will.” With that she went and sat in a seat across the room.
All through the hour, it seemed as if Tara kept flashing looks his way. Or it might have been his imagination. Either way, he was exceptionally relieved when the bell rang. Ryder jumped from his seat, and practically ran from the room, avoiding any more conversation with Tara.
“Hasta Mañana, Mr. Garcia.” Jade said as she walked out the door. She headed to her locker, keeping her eyes open, hoping to see Ryder. She had had a wonderful first day. Everyone had been very nice to her, especially Ryder. There was something about him, that she was really interested in. She had only just met him, and she had already been thinking about him all through the day.
She was beginning to look through her locker for the appropriate books she needed to complete her homework, when she heard a very familiar voice.
She whipped around. It was Ryder. She smiled hugely. “Hey.”
“So, how was your first day.” He asked.
“It was fantastic. Everyone seems really nice. And you were right, Mr. Garcia is really nice.”
“Yeah, he is. And most of the people here are nice, but it just depends on who you run into. So how are you gonna get home? Do you have a vehicle?”
“Oh, yeah, I do. But I didn’t drive today. I was just gonna ride the bus.”
“Well, how ‘bout you get the rest of your books, and come with me to my truck. I’d be more than happy to give you a lift.”
Should I say no? I really have only known him for a day. But I think I can trust this guy. “Okay. Sure.” She said with a grin.
“Great. Here, let me help you with those.” He said, reaching for her books.
They left for the parking lot. He led her to a very large black truck.
“This is mine.”
He opened his door, and put her books in the middle of the seat. Then he walked to the passenger side and opened her door. She stared up at the seat. It seemed to be a good three feet off the ground.
“Is something wrong?”
“Um… I’m not sure I can pull myself up there.” She admitted with a blush.
He laughed. “That’s not a problem. I can give you a boost.”
Instead of giving her a boost though, he just grabbed her waist and lifter her into the seat. She could feel her heart hammering from his touch. Pathetic. I really can not believe I am crushing on a guy I barely know.
He smiled at her again before shutting the door. Before he could make it around to the drivers side of the truck though, I really pretty blonde girl walked up to him.
“You forgot your books in Study Hall, in your attempt of getting out of there so quickly. I wondered why you were moving so quick, now I see why.” She said with a harsh flick of her eyes toward Jade.
“Thanks, Tara. I gotta go now.” And he turned around and left her standing there, a blank look on her cold face.
“Sorry for the delay,” he said with a shy smile.
“No problem. I don’t think I saw her today. Who was she?”
He started the truck. She thought she could sense he was trying to stall. “That was Tara James. I forgot my books in Study Hall. She was bringing them to me.”
“Oh. Well, she didn’t seem very happy to see me. But I’m not really sure why. I don’t even know her.”
He seemed to ignore that comment, and looked as if to be concentrating on driving.
And finally a response, “She’s my ex- girlfriend. I dumped her last month, and she seems to not be letting go very easily. I don’t think she likes that you’ve been with me all day. And I think she doesn’t like you, because she thinks I like you.”
“Oh.” Her heart fluttered. Could he really like me to?
“Yeah. So where is it I am taking you?”
“Um… Go straight down this road, and take the second right. My house is the first one on the left.”
He followed her instructions, and pulled into the drive of one of the nicest houses he’d ever seen.
“Well, thanks for the ride. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah,” he said with a smile, “Hey do you wanna ride tomorrow morning? Your place is on the way to school for me.”
She grinned. “I’d like that.”
"Cool. See ya later." And he backed out of her drive. She could swear she saw him grinning as he drove down her street.
Ryder was still smiling when he pulled into the drive of his house. He was going to see her tomorrow morning. That thought kept him smiling the entire rest of the afternoon. I like her. But why? I barely know her. She's nothing like the girls I've dated before. Nothing like Tara. Tara. She'd better not mess things up. Things are over and done with her, but she doesn't seem to grasp that.
"Hey, Rye, it's really late. What are you doin?"
Ryder turned around, and saw his little sister standing in the door frame of his bedroom dressed in her pj's with her hair all rumpled. He smiled.
"Hey, Lexi. I lost track of time. I'll go to bed here in a minute. You want me to tuck you in?"
She smiled and nodded her head.
He got up and went to where she was standing. He picked her up and carried her down the hall to her bedroom. He laid her down in her bed and pulled the covers around her.
"Good night, Lexi. I love you."
"I love you to, Rye."
Ryder woke around 5 A.M. to the sound of his annoying alarm clock. He got up and took a shower and put on some clothes. He left the bathroom and headed to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for him and Lexi.
When he finished breakfast, it was around 6 A.M.. He went upstairs to Lexi’s room and picked out some clothes for her. He wasn’t sure if they would look right together, he was kind of new at the whole dressing a kid thing, but he was sure they would do just fine. He went to her bed, and shook her shoulder until she rolled over and stared up at him.
He smiled at her. “Good morning, sunshine. It’s time to get up and get ready for school. I’ve got some clothes out for you, and there’s french toast in the kitchen when you want it.” He told her.
“Okay.” Was her response.
“If you need help with your, er, hair or somethin’, just yell.” I really hope she is getting better with her hair, ‘cause I’m not.
He left her room, and went back to the kitchen, got some toast, and went to the living room to watch T.V. He turned it on, and Spongebob was playing. Guess this’ll do.
“Hey bubby, can you help me get somethin’ to drink?”
He turned around and looked at Lexi. Well, I guess her outfit isn’t horrible. And I guess her hair is… Decent. Maybe when I take her to school, Jade can give me her opinion on it.
Jade. Thinking of her made him smile.
“Yeah Lexi. I’m comin’.
When Lexi had finished her breakfast, they were ready to leave. Ryder fastened her into her booster seat, and they left for Jade’s.
“Hey, we’re gonna stop and pick up a friend of mine.”
They pulled into Jade’s drive about 10 minutes later. She walked outside, wearing a pair of shorts, with a blue Hollister T-shirt and flip-flops. She looks good in blue.
She opened the door. “Hey, Ryder.”
“Good morning, Jade. Do you need assistance again?” He smiled. He liked teasing her.
She scowled. “No, I think I can get it.”
He watched as she threw her books in the seat, and struggled to pull herself into the seat. He laughed, but she eventually got in the seat.
She glared at him. “I’m glad you think I’m so funny.”
“You are.” Her look softened.
“Bubby, who’s that?” He heard Lexi say from the backseat. He’d almost forgotten her presence.
Jade spun around in her seat, and looked at Ryder in confusion.
“This is my little sister, Lexi. Lexi, this is my friend Jade.”
“Oh. Hello, Lexi. It’s nice to meet you.” Jade said to her.
“Hi, Jade. Are you my bubby’s girlfriend?”
Jade’s face flushed. Ryder noticed that she did that a lot. “Oh, er, uh, no.”
Ryder burst into laughter at the awkwardness Jade was projecting at that moment. “I’m sorry. She’s very curious. I have to take her to school.”
She smiled kindly. “Okay.”
“Um… Hey, really quick. Does her outfit match okay? And her hair, can you fix it? I’m really not good at getting her dressed.”
Jade looked at him. He could see the smallest hint of confusion on her face. Then she turned around and looked at Lexi. “Oh, wow, Ryder. You have… no skills at doing hair.”
And, when Jade leaned over the seat and started fixing Lexi’s hair, he realized he was starting to like her more and more by the minute.
He has a little sister? She’s adorable. And I can see how much he cares for her. That’s really sweet.
They pulled up to the curb of Lake Dale Preschool. Ryder was getting Lexi out of the truck. He carried her inside, and through the window she could see him hug her goodbye.
He walked back out to the truck, and they left for the high school.
“Your sister is really cute. And sweet to.” She said to him.
He smiled. “Yeah, she is.”
“How old is she?”
“She turned 4 last month.”
“Oh. So, why do you take her to school, and not your parents?” She saw him stiffen. “Oh. Never mind. I don’t want to get into your personal business.”
“No. It’s fine. I take her to school because I like the time with her. I like being the one to take her places.”
“That’s really sweet.”
“Yeah. And my dad’s in prison, and my mom never comes around anymore. So I’m kinda the only one she has to take her anywhere. I’m the only one she has at all.”
Ohhhh. So that explains the outfit and her hair. He’s the one taking care of her. I didn’t see that one coming.
“That’s awful. But it’s nice that you’re stepping up for her. Not many would.”
She looked up and realized they were at the school. He parked the truck and they set there for a while in silence.
“Well, you ready for the day to start?” He said with mock enthusiasm.
“Oh, yeah. You know it.” She matched his tone.
He grinned. He jumped out of the truck, and slung his bag over his shoulder. Then he went to her side of the truck and opened the door for her.
He offered his hand up to her. “Some help?”
She took his hand, and he helped her slide onto the pavement. When she landed, his hand seemed reluctant to let her go.
“Well, let’s get this day of fun started!”
She laughed. “You’re very fluent in sarcasm aren’t you?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He said, smiling.
They started to walk to the school, when Jade looked up and saw Tara staring at them three cars down. She doesn’t look happy.
When they got in the school, she went to her locker and unloaded her bag. She grabbed what she thought she would need for English, and walked to Mrs. Hicks’ room. When she walked in she grabbed a seat by Ryder. They were talking, when Tara walked up to them. “Hello, Ryder.” She turned to Jade. “ And I’m assuming you’re the famous Jade. I’ve heard so much about you.”
Jade’s face heated. “Uh, yeah. I’m Jade.”
“Fabulous.” She sneered.
“Tara, I think class is about to start. You should go to your seat.” She heard Ryder say. He sounded a little mad.
She looked at him. Yeah. His face was definitely red.
Her eyes narrowed. “Thanks for the advice, Ryder. But I think I can take care of myself.” She stalked off.
Ryder looked at Jade. He seemed to be embarrassed. “I’m sorry about her.”
“Don’t apologize. You can’t help how she is. I understand why she’s jealous. I would be to.” Oops. I didn’t mean to say that.
His eyes widened in surprise. “What-”
And then Mrs. Hicks walked in. Woohoo. Saved by the teacher.
“Okay, class, today…”
And that was about when Jade zoned out. The rest of the day passed in a blur. It was only when Ryder was leaving her at the door of Mr. Garcia’s room did she realize the day was almost over.
“So, meet me after school? I can drive you home again?”
“Okay. See ya then.” She replied to him.
Class was over quickly. She practically ran to her locker, where she threw her books in her locker. No homework today!
She turned around, and ran right into Tara. Jade’s heart fell.
Tara’s face was all around mean and cold at that moment. “I see you’re getting close to Ryder.”
Jade looked her in the eye. “I guess so…”
“Yeah? Well, don’t. He’s mine.”
“Um, I’m fairly sure you two are broken up.”
“Broken up? No. We’re on a break.”
Jade felt sick, but she continued to stare at Tara.
“Don’t tell me you were starting to fall for him?” She laughed, a very cold sound. Jade felt it belonged in a horror movie.
Jade was tired of messing with her. She just turned around and started to leave. But something was blocking her way. Or rather, someone.
She looked up at him. He looked furious, and he was glaring at Tara.
Tara hadn’t realized she’d had an audience until the precise time Jade had. Her mouth fell.
“What was it you were saying, Tara?” He asked.
“I…well… I, uh…” She stammered.
“We’re done with. We were done with a month ago. Get that through your head. I do not want you.” He looked at Jade. “ I want you.”
Both Tara’s and Jade’s mouth fell open to the ground.
“What?!” They screamed in synchronization.
“You heard me.”
Tara screamed and stomped off. Jade felt her face flushing. And then she smiled from ear to ear.
“Yeah.” And he grabbed her hand and pulled her to him, and kissed her softly.