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Be True to You

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Be True to You

I, Peyton Saunders, have a problem. I am used to having problems, like the wannabes at my school, but this is too big for me to handle. And the worst part is, I can’t even talk to Addie and Jocelyn about this because they think I am totally ridiculous.
“Hey mom!” I said.
“Hey sweetie! How was school?” Mom asked.
“Good,” I replied with a sigh. As I walked up my giant granite staircase, I pulled out my phone and I instantly text all of my friends. I plop on my huge,
This is my entire story
pink, queen sized bed and feel the warm fall breeze of Palm Springs, California. I take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly puff out to relief the stress of another school day. As the phone rings, I don’t even have to check the caller ID to know that it is a joint call with my best friends, Addie and Jocelyn. I pick up the phone to hear those two already gossiping. As I join in, we talk almost the entire night about things like boys, clothes, plans for the weekend, or whatever gossip the school day has brought us. We all go the Palm Springs High School. This is the typical after school routine for Addie, Jocelyn, and I.
The next morning, I wake up to the most annoying barking my dog has ever made. Tiki is a Yorkshire terrier, and as cute as he is, his barking is getting out of control. As cruel as it sounds, I am seriously considering an electric collar. Once I finally got Tiki to be quiet, I hop in the bathtub for a quick shower. I start to think about my outfit for today. Since it is Wednesday, I MUST wear pink so that helps me a little. Out of the shower and an hour and a half of hair and makeup later, it’s time to get dressed. As I open the huge doors of my walk in closet, I know the perfect outfit to wear. I pick my Lucky Brand jeans, my pink Urban Outfitters t-shirt, my Tiffany necklace and charm bracelet, and my pink Louis Vuitton purse. I get dressed and am out the door to my pink Ferrari. I don’t eat breakfast because it just makes me gain unnecessary carbs. I am out the door and on my way to pick up Addie and Jocelyn.
Once they get in the car we start to talk about cheerleading and the day ahead of us. Addie brings up the fact that we get our partners for our semester long science project today. I really hope I get either Addie or Jocelyn. Knowing my luck I’ll get some really awkward guy who will get mad at me because “I don’t do any work.” No one understands me better than Addie and Jocelyn. We finally get to school and go to our lockers that are all conveniently in a row. We start talking about Ricky who looks so cute today. Ricky and I dated for 11 months and I was so happy with him until one day he decides to dump me out of nowhere in front of the whole lunch room. How low is that? It just breaks my heart every time I see him especially when he looks so good in his football jacket and my favorite pair of jeans that I bought for him. I wonder what would happen if we got paired together for the science project. Science is last period so I am going to have to wait all day to find out my fate. The bells rings and Addie, Jocelyn, and I head to our first class.
We have all of the same classes, which is perfect to keep up on the weekly gossip. At lunch we sit at the same table everyday. No one dares to sit there because it is ours. When I say “ours” I mean all of the popular kids. The table is at the center of the cafeteria so when Ricky broke up with me it was definitely public. Anyway, we talk about all of the latest gossip like the new girl who likes Ricky. That just isn’t right. Who does she think she is? I can’t deal with this. I have science soon and that is enough stress for me.
Two bells and many bathroom talks later, it is finally time for science. The suspense is killing me. I have to know who my partner is because this is a long term commitment thing and if I get someone that I don’t like, I don’t think I can survive. I walk into class, arm in arm with Addie and Jocelyn. As soon as the teacher walks in I feel a rush of nervousness in my stomach. I start feeling little beads of sweat forming on my forehead. My palms start sweating. The bones in my hands start to shake. This never happens. Why is this happening? I try to control myself by looking at Ryan and Chris, two really cute guys in my class. “As you all know, you will be getting your lab partners for the semester long project today,” said Mr. Rockenbach, our science teacher. Partner after partner, Mr. Rock just keeps reading off the list. Finally my name is called. “Peyton and….

Here it is, the big moment! I must know! This is too much stress!

“Peyton and Jeff!” Says Mr. Rock.

I automatically am relieved to know who my partner is, but that doesn’t mean I am happy with the choice. Jeff is a middle-class guy who is kind of quiet. He is pretty smart which is good for the sake of the project. But sometimes I just can’t deal with awkward. A major part of being popular is being social. We all sit next to our partners and wait for the assignment to come around. Now that I really look at Jeff, he is pretty cute. I guess I haven’t noticed this before because, well, I guess it is
because I have never really noticed Jeff before. Maybe this won’t be such a bad semester after all.
A few weeks into the project I was having a better feeling about everything. I started realizing that Jeff is a really sweet guy. He is so nice and really funny. He is one of the few people who I can actually have a real conversation with. I say “real conversation” as in talking about life and what happens in the world and not just gossip about other people. I know it has only been a few weeks but I kind of feel a little bad about myself. All Addie, Jocelyn, and I do is talk about other people. Whatever! We are still the most popular girls in the grade!
One day after school, Jocelyn and Addie came over. I was lying on my comfy bed; Jocelyn was on the floor, lying on her stomach reading magazines, while Addie was checking herself out in the mirror. Jocelyn says, “Hey Peyton, how is your partner for the science project? He seems like a dork.” When she said those words I felt this rage bubble up inside of me. I have no idea why this happened but I almost couldn’t control myself.
“HE ISN’T A…”, I nearly shouted. I paused took a deep breath and composed myself to say, “He is okay.”
“But isn’t he a dork?” asked Addie.
“Umm, yeah. I guess so,” I said as I filled with guilt. I felt so bad about what I said. Even though no one besides Addie and Jocelyn were here but I still felt some guilt hang over me.

“I couldn’t even imagine anyone who would want to date him, ” laughed Jocelyn.

“He is so ugly. Like really c’mon! Who would want to kiss that?” chuckled Addie.

“Guys! Stop!” I said.

“Whoa! Peyton, calm down.” Said Addie.

I felt so embarrassed. What if I actually like Jeff? I mean he is really sweet and I do think he is definitely a really good friend that I would like to have. But, dating?
On Thursday, we had a double period of science. This means an hour and a half of alone time for Jeff and me. I really wanted to take this time to get to know how I’m really feeling.
Jeff and I usually sit in the extra room across the hall. It is an abandoned classroom that isn’t needed anymore. No one really uses it. Even though there are a stack of old chairs and desks, it is still a very peaceful environment. Jeff and I moved four desks in a cluster so that we have enough space to work. Another plus is that we can leave our work just the way we want. So we get to start right away and waste no time.
We get organized and head across the hall. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see Addie and Jocelyn whispering, giggling, and pointing at Jeff and me. They get Ricky to join in and I just keep walking like I didn’t see anything. Deep down this really gets on my nerves. Ricky has no room to make fun of me after what he did, and Jeff is a really good guy so I don’t understand why they are being rude towards him. Do they know I might have feelings for him? I thought I was being very discrete. I don’t look at him differently then I do any other guy. Do I? Maybe once I was staring at his cute dimples, but I promise that I caught myself right away. Like I said, I just ignore them and keep walking. As I close the door behind me, Jeff instantly starts a conversation. I sit in a chair and the entire time we are talking, laughing, and having fun while working on the project. The world around me seemed to vanish as if it were just Jeff and I on the planet. From the moment I stepped in the door, I swear I never stopped smiling.
Friday was an even better day. Jeff and I were in the middle of the project when we came to an awkward pause in the conversation. As I glance over, I see Jeff looking at me. He smiles and I can tell he was engulfed in embarrassment. At first I didn’t understand why he felt this way, but after thinking about it deeply I think I understand. I realize that it must take a lot of confidence and guts to like a girl like me. I mean, like, I am the most popular girl in the school, and I do have a bit of a reputation of having high standards when it comes to guys. I know that if I was in Jeff’s shoes I would be scared, and it would definitely take me some time to build up the confidence to even talk to someone like me. I smile back, and we continue working on the project as I start a conversation. The bell rings about 10 minutes later. I am packing up my supplies and books when Jeff slides a piece of paper towards me on the desk. He walks out of the classroom with a smile on his face as I grab the note to open it. I look down and can’t help but let out a little shriek. I am overwhelmed with joy as I smile from ear to ear. On the note Jeff had written down his phone number, name, and a dorky little smiley face. I got so much excitement out of one little piece of paper that deep down I think I might have some feelings for Jeff.
That night Jocelyn, Addie, and I are lying on my leather couch in my basement. The minute I got home from school I started texting Jeff. I couldn’t help but get a little smirk on my face every time he texted me back. This is only a good thing when you’re alone, but not with your best friends especially when they don’t like him already.

“Who are you talking to?” asked Jocelyn.
“No one special,” I replied.

Jocelyn gave me a sarcastic look because she knew I was lying.

“C’mon! Just tell us!” said Jocelyn.
“Seriously guys. It isn’t important,” I claimed.
“I am going to get it out of you sooner or later so you might as well tell us now.”
“No I think I will pass.”
“Peyton. We know you have standards so it’s not like it is Jeff or someone low like him.”
“Actually is it Jeff. And he isn’t low! He is a really sweet guy and I can actually hold a conversation with him! Unlike some other people, not naming names.”
“That hilarious! You actually give Jeff the time of day! And what do you mean you can actually have a conversation with him? That’s what we do all the time.”
“No we don’t! All we ever talk about is other people! Jeff and I talk about life and what happens in the world like things that are actually important! So please just don’t make fun of him.”
“That’s stupid. He isn’t even popular.”
“It doesn’t matter! He is still a great guy whether he is rich, popular, or fits your opinion of someone I should date or not.”
“Calm down! I was just saying. Whatever.”

I never thought Jocelyn would treat me like this. This is exactly why I don’t want to tell them that I like Jeff, enough though they have gotten the idea.
Jeff and I had texted for a good week or two after he gave me his number, plus we have been working on the project for almost a month and a half now. We are really close friends, and I would definitely consider dating.
At school, Addie and Jocelyn gave me the cold shoulder for a while. I would still sit with them during lunch and all, but they seemed to be better friends while I was just the third wheel.
It was on a Tuesday when I came to a major decision in my life. Jeff and I were video chatting when he decided to tell me he has feeling for me. I was jumping out of my skin inside while telling him that I have feelings for him as well. He asked me out and there you have it, Jeff is now my boyfriend. The only issues are Addie and Jocelyn. I don’t care what others think that much anymore because I like Jeff for who he is and he likes me just the same. But, I’ve seen those two in action before, and it can get pretty feisty. I already know now that when they find out they will think I am a joke. They will make fun and always have a nerve picking comment to make. That is just the way they are and as used to it as I am, it is VERY annoying.
The next day in school, Jeff meets me at my locker before first period, which is science. As stereotypical as this sounds, he carried my textbook to class in one hand and I held the other. With a smile on my face and a good feeling inside, we walked to class together.
As soon as we walked into the door, all eyes are on us, especially Addie’s and Jocelyn’s. They both glared at me then looked at each other in disgust. Jeff saw this happen and shyly let my hand slip out of his. I could tell he was embarrassed. I grabbed his hand and held it tight. I wouldn’t let them ruin my relationship. If that’s how true friends act, then they aren’t my true friends.
Again that week, Jeff and I were just about to kiss when Jocelyn made Ricky come up behind us and shove Jeff. I saw Addie and Jocelyn laughing hysterically. He banged into the lockers that we were leaning on and just stared down at his feet. I pushed Ricky back as he walked away laughing with Addie and Jocelyn. Ricky turned around, and I made sure he saw me kiss Jeff like I meant it. And boy did I! Ricky’s faced turned red, and I knew he still felt something for me, which is most likely why he has been so rude. He really needs to get a taste of his own medicine, and I know that me dating Jeff is killing him inside.
My problem now isn’t Jeff and me figuring out if I like him or not, it is Addie and Jocelyn. I thought they were my best friends. We have been through so much together. We have basically grown up together. Now after all of that, Jeff is the one who I know will always be there for me whether we are dating or not.
The year went on and Addie, Jocelyn, and I drifted apart. Jocelyn and Ricky dated for a few months until he broke her heart, just like he did to me. Addie and Jocelyn are the “most popular” girls in the school but I really could care less. Jeff and I are still going strong after almost a year now. We went to prom and spent spring break together with my new group of friends. I became close with three other girls named Lily, Ryan, and Bailey. We are like sisters now and we hang out all the time. We also hang out with Jeff and his closest friends Logan, Lucas, and Andrew. Dating Jeff has not only led to great things between us, but it has also really helped me find my true self. I learned that good friends, and in some cases those who are more than friends, are more important then a social status. I used to think that being popular was what life was all about, but as I look back to the person I was at the beginning of the school year, I couldn’t believe that I was that girl. Yes, I still am my girly girl self with my fashionable clothes and my cute little dog, but on the inside I am more than that. I found true happiness throughout this year, and I can’t wait to see what other stories the future brings for me. Going forward I will always remember: be your true self, have character, love endlessly, and always take chances because no matter what happens your true friends and the ones who really care will stick by your side the entire journey.
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