Beep. beep. beep.
Nick opened his eyes and groaned at his alarm clock, peeking with one eye open, the other buried in his pillow. It was 5 but he wondered if he could get away with sleeping for another hour before….
“All right, I’m up.” he mumbled, his hair in disarray as he got up and shuffled to the bathroom.
Nick rolled his eyes as his mother continued to yell. He got dressed first and took the stairs two at a time, finding his mother smoking in the kitchen.
“Breakfast isn’t going to cook itself you know.” she snapped at him.
“Yes, mom.” he said with a fake smile. When her back was turned he moved to the fridge to get breakfast ready and rolled his eyes again, he couldn’t wait to go to school.
Amanda wasn’t really looking forward to her first day at Oceanview High. She was back again after being in New Jersey for five years. All she could think about was how much she wanted her parents to get along so she didn’t have to be here again, despite the friends she had made in elementary school.
“Amanda! Time to get up, honey.” Sarah called. Amanda got dressed for school and came down to a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon, her aunt sitting at the table with a cup of coffee.
“Do I have to go to school?” Amanda asked as she ate her toast.
“Unfortunately you do, sweetie. I’m sure you’ll make some friends, and it will work out fine,” Sarah told her. Amanda nodded, but the one person she wanted to see had fallen out of touch with her.
Amanda thought of him often, what he was doing or how he was. She had written him letters but he didn’t answer back. He was so interesting to her and she felt some kind of connection when she looked at him.
Oceanview High School was a big place for her because she’d never been there. It was early and she had to go to the office to get started, but she couldn’t find it. As she looked around she came across a boy in front of his locker, he looked to be about 15, her age.
“Could he be…” she thought. He had blonde hair like the boy she remembered. Then she shook this off because there could be a million others like him. He closed his locker and walked towards her, his arm laden down with books.
“Oh…hi.” he said, smiling. He had deep blue eyes and small scar lingering over his left eyebrow. He sure looked like the one she was thinking of.
“Did you need something?” he asked, distracting her.
“I just thought you looked like someone I knew.” Amanda smiled as she blushed slightly.
“I see.” he said. He didn’t seem very chatty.
“Can you tell me where the office is? I’m new here.” Amanda asked. The boy was looking at her now the same way she’d looked at him.
“Is your name Amanda?”
“How did you-” she wondered. When she looked again, she finally realized.
“Nick?! I can’t believe it. I didn’t recognize you at all, I mean you’re…” she said, marveling at his height.
“Tall?” he smirked.
She could remember the first time they met at ten…..he had been so small then. Amanda and Nick had met five years ago on the playground, when he was being bullied by some kids. They had tricked her into kicking a trash can down the hill, Nick ending up being inside it. He was not that scrawny little boy anymore, he was now almost six feet tall.
“You’ve really grown.”
“I eat my vegetables.” he joked, blushing again.
“Well, the office is just down there. Maybe I will see you around.” he added. Amanda nodded and went to hug him, but he moved back….blinking as if he were afraid to be touched.
“See you later, Nick.” Amanda whispered as he took off towards class…..wondering why he had acted like that.
“You need help?” a voice asked her after she’d been to the office. She recognized that voice right away, it was just the same as it had been back then.
“Wow, Amanda is that you?”
“I see you haven’t changed, Brian.” she giggled. He was handsome but she remembered the ten year old he was when they met….the kid who beat up the ones bullying Nick.
“Nah, I just get better with age. Where you headed?”
“Funny, that’s where I’m going. I will walk you.” Brian said, smiling. They talked long enough to find out he was on the basketball team.
“The bell rang, how come you’re not in class?” Amanda teased.
“I like to be fashionably late. I live dangerously.” he said, winking at her.
“You? I will believe it when I see it. Man it’s good to be back here again, I missed it.”
“Wait until Nick sees you. He wouldn’t shut up about you when you left…he really missed you, Amanda.”
“I saw him already. He looks so different we didn’t recognize each other….he’s so tall.” Amanda laughed.
“You wouldn’t think it was possible, he eats like a fly.” Brian said before stopping himself.
“Nick isn’t doing good, Amanda. He doesn’t eat during school. I think he’s getting sick.” Brian told her, the tone of the conversation changing. Amanda suddenly became worried. She hadn’t noticed but Nick’s clothes hung off of him and he was pale, like he was sick. Now that Brian had mentioned it, she really wondered what was going on.
“He’s always been like that but you will see at lunch.” Brian explained. The whole morning Amanda thought of Nick and hoped he was really ok.
Some things could always be answered later.