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Riley's Tale on the Opposite Gender

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At 8:30 A.M., I was currently trying to open my locker while the boys were leaning against the lockers beside mine as though they were my bodyguards. Talk about dramatic, right? 

"Hey Riley." 

I turned my head so that I could see Cassy waving at me and giving Sawyer an one arm hug. It took all my courage to not show any sign of repulsiveness and kept my face impassive. I checked Cassy out from the top of her cross and hearts racerback cami to the bottom of her high waisted jean shorts. What made my stomach twisted into knots was her warm and friendly smile and outgoing personality. 

Forcing a smile, I said, "hey Cassy."

Very quickly, I turned away and reached into my locker so that I could pick up my textbooks and shove them into my bag. But to my utter dismay, when my gaze landed on Cassy again, I found her and Sawyer kissing each other. 

"Get a room, you two," Vincent said, rolling his eyes. 

Sawyer and Cassy broke a part and Sawyer wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "We will, later," he said, joking and slipping his hand around Cassy's waist. 

"Make sure you lock the door because knowing Riley, she's probably going to walk in at the wrong time again." Vincent responded, smirking at me. 

I elbowed Vince lightly in the stomach. "You're not funny." 

"I was just joking, little R," he said, using Spencer's nickname for me. 

"Don't call me that," I said, frowning. . 

"Aw, don't be like that, little R," he responded as he swung his arm across my shoulder.

"I'm older than you," I reminded him, pushing him back. "I'm anything but little!" 

"But I'm taller and stronger than you," he retorted, grinning triumphantly. 

"You're like the annoying younger brother I never had," I muttered under my breath.

"Older brother," he corrected, nudging me playfully. 

"Younger," I said firmly.

"Older." 

"Vince," Sawyer said, glaring at his brother, "just play it nice. Stop harassing Riley." 

Vince frowned, chuckling softly. "Fine. Whatever." 

I gave Sawyer a warm smile of appreciation and he responded by shrugging although a small smile also curled onto his lips. 

"Oh, Riley, we should definitely hang out after school. Let me show you around sometimes," Cassy chimed in, grabbing onto my arm. 

I smiled halfheartedly as I nodded my head, "Yeah, sure, maybe." Without really wanting to hurt Cassy's feelings, I pulled my arm out of  her grip and took a few steps back. "I should probably go now. I don't want to be late on my first day," I muttered. 

"Oh okay," she responded, "I understand. I'll see you at lunch then?" 

"Sure," I mumbled, cascading my gaze down to the floor as I walked pass her and Sawyer and headed towards my class just down the hall. 

 

Lunchtime used to be a no-brainer for me for me. Every day from kindergarten until eleventh grade, I sat with Mandy, Eva and Terri. Not once did I have to worry about finding a new niche to fit into. Yet all of that was in the past. Now I was holding a tray of cafeteria food, wondering what to do with myself. I did a quick scan of the cafeteria. I didn't recognize anyone but mostly everyone seemed to be friendly enough to approach.

If only I could get over myself and make the first move, I thought. 

"Riley, over here!" came a voice out of nowhere. Seconds later, I saw Amy waving at me and gesturing me to go over to the table where she and another friend was sitting at. 

"Hey," I said, grinning. 

"Do you want to sit down with us?" Amy asked, scooting closer to the her friend so that I had room to sit down. 

"Thanks," I said shyly, sitting down. 

Amy smiled and began her introduction. "This here," she swung her arm across the girl's shoulder, "is my best friend, Mina Cannon." 

"Hey there," she said, waving. 

"Hey," I replied nervously, giving her a quick once-over. Mina had long wavy brown locks that fell over her shoulders and she was wearing a burgundy sweater that was matched with a pair of skinny jeans. 

"Gosh, I'm starving," Amy announced, taking a bite out of her lunch.  How were your classes, Riley?" 

"Me too," I chimed, picking up my fork so that I could slice my barbecue chicken into pieces. "It was okay. Not too bad. Now, I'm looking forward to the classes that we'll have soon." 

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