Chapter 2

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The public bus ride to Greenbay High was beyond awful. Ruby wouldn't stop complaining about how dirty the inside of the bus was, and Emily kept trying to flirt with an older man with salt and pepper colored hair, who looked to be about mid-forties, sitting across the aisle from ours.

"How long do we have to continue riding this cheap public transport with you, Andi?" Ruby groaned, wrapping her arms around her fuchsia Bernice parka, trying to keep warm from the frigid mid-February Connecticut weather.

"One month, Ruby," I replied, reminding her. Glancing over at Emily, I saw she was holding a crumpled piece of paper, and before I could ask any questions, Ruby snatched the paper from her sister's hand.

"Ew, that creepy old man you kept flirting with gave you his phone number; what the hell, Emily? That man could've been a rapist. Never accept numbers from random people. Even I know that." she told Emily, her voice full of disdain.

Instead of responding with something snarky, Emily burst into sobs. "Tony broke up with me last night over text message, saying he wanted that red-head, sophomore bitch, Beatrice Soverall, to be his date to the spring formal instead."

Tony Block, senior and captain of the basketball team, had a reputation of dumping girls after three months and getting together with someone new, leaving previous girls, like Emily, miserable and heartbroken.

"Why didn't you tell me, Em?" Ruby asked, pulling her sister into a hug. "We could've keyed his expensive gray Porsche 918 Spyder. He adores that car."

Pulling away from Ruby, Emily wiped the tears from her baby-blue eyes and managed to smile. "I thought flirting with that man on the bus would help ease my heartache, but all I needed was my beloved sister. Tony Block can go fuck himself."

Grinning, Ruby grabbed Emily's hand and began walking in front of me towards the direction of Greenbay. I followed silently behind them and allowed the blowing, cold wind to envelop me like some familiar blanket.

• • • •

Three more months till graduation. Then you're home free. I thought while spinning the combination lock on my bottom locker and grabbing my first-period French textbook.

Greenbay High senior lockers were in the school's east wing and kept separate from the freshman, sophomore, and junior lockers. And since more seniors were graduating this year than the previous one, there weren't enough top lockers for each senior, so I was one of the unlucky students who got cursed with one of the painful bottom lockers.

Standing up too fast and not double-checking to see if the locker door above mine was closed, I banged the top of my head hard, feeling the cold metal collide with my scalp.

"Shit, I'm sorry, didn't realize I forgot to close my locker door."

Rubbing the top of my head, I turned and saw Graham Wes, one of Greenbay's point guards for the basketball team. He was wearing a letterman jacket with Greenbay High's signature colors, green and gold, along with a stitched picture of the school's mascot, Deevus the Dragon.

"You, okay?" Graham asked, waiting until I moved to close his locker door finally. "Do you need to go see the nurse? You hit your head pretty damn hard."

Grabbing my French textbook off the floor, I stood up straight and looked at him, meeting his emerald-green eyes. "I'm fine; hitting the top of my head won't result in a concussion... hopefully."

"Well, if you need anything, and since we're locker buddies–" Graham started to say, but I interrupted him.

"Once again, I'm fine. I don't need to see the nurse; I'm not bleeding, nor do I have a concussion." I told him, my eyes never breaking contact with his. Holding my textbook in hand, I walked up to Graham and jabbed my pointer finger at his chest. "Just remember to firmly close your locker door next time, okay, locker buddy?"

In one swift motion, Graham grabbed my wrist and spun me around, so my back was against his chest. "Chill, Cinderella, I won't forget to shut my locker door next time."

His breath was hot on my neck, my breathing became heavy, and I felt chills, the tingling kind, the same type of chills right before some steamy make-out scene in those unrealistic romantic movies and TV shows.

Graham could've called me Andrea or Andi. Why Cinderella?

Suddenly the bell rang, signaling the start of first period; the tardy bell would ring in about thirty seconds. The sound of metal doors closing and shoes hitting the tile flooring sounded throughout the building. Pulling away from Graham, I walked away, down the hallway in the direction of Madame Clément's French class.

A/N: the reason behind Graham calling Andi Cinderella is explained in chapter 9.

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