Paige and Tucker
Author's note: Based on true events.
Paige:My name is Paige. Not like pages in a book. But, well, me. I’m fourteen, and I live in New Jersey with my mom and dad. I have two other siblings, a brother and a sister, but they’re much older than me. So I guess it’s kind of like being an only child since my sister’s married and has a son and my brother just graduated from law school and got engaged recently. I don’t really know what I want to do with my life, but my friends always say I could be on Broadway one day. Maybe. I’ve already memorized Mary Poppins, which is one of my favorite musicals ever. Now I’ve just got to get an audition. But until then, well this is pretty much my life.
I go to Highland Park High School, and I was actually new a couple years back in seventh grade. I made friends pretty fast and everything is pretty much going okay for me. Bad grades here and there, stupid guys, people who annoy me—luckily, they don’t know I’m now officially a black belt in karate—and basically everything you expect in your stereotypical high school. I’m a freshman girl with brown hair and freckles and a laugh that sometimes drives my friends crazy. But hey, I’m just being Paige.
The summer before my freshman year, I went to camp as always, Ramah and then Encampment. It was different from regular school. My town was pretty diverse, so we have kids of all colors, religions, and backgrounds. I thought it was cool to be a part of a school with so many kinds of people. During the summer, I’d spend time at Jewish camp and then when September—and my birthday!—came around, it was back to my school friends. I sort of categorized my friends by school and temple and camp. It felt good to have friends from all over. It made me feel special because a lot of kids mainly had their friends at school and that was it. Lucky for me, I had an entire other family to look to.
Anyways, summer. That was what I was talking about. So I’d gotten back from my camps and stuff, and had gotten together with my best friend, Christina. We’d talked about the same stuff we’d always had since eighth grade: Broadway, school, and boys, of course. I’d recently broken up with my boyfriend, so I had been kind of sad at the time, but for some reason, Christina had kept mentioning this guy named Tucker.
Now when we were still in middle school, all I’d remembered was that Tucker was a popular jock with blond hair and glittering blue eyes. He’d had a girlfriend last time I’d heard and she was a year younger than him. But Christina had told me that they’d broken up over the summer because they wouldn’t have been able to see each other in school for an entire year since the high school and middle school were separate buildings.
“And since you’re single and he’s single,” she’d said. “I think I’m going to play matchmaker this year.”
“You’re crazy,” I’d laughed. “You’ve been saying that all last year.”
“I’m never wrong,” she’d continued, “Just trust me on this one. He likes you, which is probably another reason why he broke up with Angelina.”
“You think so?”
“I know so, honey,” she’d answered.
School started soon enough, and I couldn’t help but notice that Tucker had gotten taller, his voice had gotten deeper, and his dusty blond hair had grown a little longer. He was definitely cuter than before, but I didn’t know if I liked him quite yet. I mean, was Christina right about Tucker?
Then he glanced over at me and gave me a hint of a smile before turning away. Hm. Maybe.