99% Faking It (Dating Dilemma)(6)

By: Chris Cannon

“Accio Keds,” I said and waited for a split second to see if it might possibly work. Nope. Still a Muggle. Damn it.

I dug out a pair of black booties that laced up like combat boots. Thank goodness there was a zipper on the side because I didn’t want to unlace those suckers every time I took them on and off. The only problem with the boots was now my fun new Harry Potter socks wouldn’t show. Whatever. I checked my cell. I needed to get my butt out the door if I didn’t want to be late.

Because life seemed to have a strange sense of humor, I hit every red light on the way. Half a block from school, I was about to drive through an intersection on a green light when some old man and his poodle decided it was a good time to cross the road. I slammed on my brakes and prayed the guy behind me was paying attention. I heard brakes squealing and horns honking. When I checked my rearview mirror, the guy behind me was shaking his fist at me. Like this was my fault. Jerk. Once the dog and his owner were out of the street, I accelerated more slowly than I needed to, just to give the guy behind me some grief because, in my opinion, sometimes karma needed a little help. The guy took a right turn and I went back up to normal speed.

I pulled into the Greenbrier High School parking lot and found a halfway decent spot. Maybe everyone was running a little late this morning. After turning the car off, I sat there for a moment. I didn’t have any tests today. My homework was done. I could do this, but that didn’t mean I was happy about it.

“Monday mornings suck,” I announced to the world as I climbed out of my car.

“We might be soul mates,” a masculine voice said from behind me.

I turned to see a guy with cool hair, ripped jeans, and a black leather jacket striding toward me. And suddenly my morning didn’t seem so bad. I smiled at him. “You’re new.”

“The hair gave me away, didn’t it?” He grinned. “I’m Trey.”

“Lisa,” I said.

“Here’s a test to see how small this town really is. If I said I’m Clarissa’s cousin, do you know who I’m talking about?”

“Does your cousin date Charlie Patterson?” I asked as we walked toward the main entrance.

“Damn.” He reached up and ran his fingers through his hair, brushing it back off of his face. “It’s worse than I thought.”

“Greenbrier isn’t that small but my best friend Nina dates Charlie’s cousin.”

“Should I give in and go buy a flannel shirt right now?” he asked.

We did wear a lot of flannel at this time of year. Our town wasn’t exactly a fashion capital.

“Maybe,” I said. “But it’s not that bad. There are three hundred people in the senior class and about twelve hundred total in the school.”

“Could be worse, I guess.”

“Where did you move from?”

“Just outside of Chicago. My high school had twice as many people,” he said. “And zero to no flannel.”

I was suddenly glad I hadn’t put on a flannel shirt this morning. “We’re halfway through March, so flannel weather should be over soon.”

“Good to know.” We climbed the steps to the front door. “Which way is the main office?”

I pointed to the right. “Straight that way.”

“Thanks, Lisa. I’ll see you around.”

“See you.” I watched him walk away. He was cute and funny and could hold a conversation. Maybe I’d found someone who was worth the drama.

Matt, West, and Nina were already sitting at our lunch table by the time I made it there. The cafeteria smelled like sloppy joes. I was pretty sure the red stuff on the meat that wasn’t real hamburger wasn’t really barbecue sauce, so I stuck with my standard peanut butter and jelly. “So, I met Clarissa’s cousin,” I said to Nina.

“The guy with the cool hair?” she asked.

I nodded.

Matt snorted.

“Do you have an opinion you’d like to share with the class?” I asked.

“He’s trying too hard,” Matt said.

At least he was putting forth some sort of effort. I didn’t say that out loud because I doubt Matt would appreciate it. It’s not like he was a slob, but he didn’t seem to care about clothes. Then again, he looked like the poster boy for the broad-shouldered, all-American guy next door no matter what he wore. “Where’d you meet Trey?”