Chapter Ten: Leather Jacket, Converse, and All

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      “I never said you didn’t,” I expressed, turning back and handing her the creation she had made to commemorate my return. There were unusual bursts of time when Piper would unleash her inner crafty side and bring out her hot pink glue gun and plastic rhinestones. Evidently, my coming back from the depths of the library called for her secret superpower to surface once again.

      “So, how does it feel, Livy?” Preston asked, slinging one of his arms over my shoulders in a manner that he had done so many times before.

      “How does what feel?” I returned, shrugging his ligament off of me.

      “Uh, being back,” he rolled his blue eyes in an annoyed way.

      “Well, I didn’t like school before I was suspended, and I still don’t like it now, so about the same,” I determined with a yawn.

      When it came to mornings, it was a tossup whether I was going to be either moderately sociable or downright intolerable to the point where I was worse than an enraged lion. Today, I was actually pretty mellow for my personal meter, and was just tired. I wasn’t about to maul a passerby’s head off with my teeth, which was definitely a good sign.

      “Hey, Olivia! Great to see you again!” someone said, their voice unrecognizable from my ears’ perspectives. Slowly, I allowed myself to twirl around so that I faced a boy who I had seen once before with bright cobalt eyes and brown hair of a lighter shade. I couldn’t quite place his name, but I knew that he held some connection to Piper—a more than friendly connection, at that.

      “Who are you?” I inquired dully as I searched my brain for a name to tie with his face. Names had never been my thing. Though I loved to write, I was a much more visual person than auditory. Thus, I was one of those annoying assholes who could never seem to remember names unless if hounded with the individual’s presence for an extensive amount of time.

      “Matt,” the boy said, walking over to Piper and pecking her cheek lightly, “Matt Smith.” And then everything came flooding back to me.

      I had met him last week during lunch. He was Piper’s “boyfriend” (the term was used very loosely when it came to Piper’s associations with males) and the type of guy who probably spent his free time when he was younger collecting baseball cards or being the exemplary Boy Scout. Mr. I’m Your Average American Matt Smith. Honestly, I was surprised that the two were still “together.” Piper’s “relationships” generally only had a lifespan of about a week or less.

      “Oh,” was all I said. “Why is it ‘great’ to see me again?”

      Matt blinked, carefully deducting my less than typical response to his greeting. Obviously, he was caught off guard, for he probably expected me to answer with a simple, “It’s great to see you again, too!” Alas, I wasn’t like the “typical.” I was Olivia Ross.

      He opened his mouth as a wary smile found its way across his perfectly straightened teeth. Well, I certainly had to give Piper props on this one—he was definitely a looker. “Because you’re my girlfriend’s best friend and I haven’t see you in, like, a week!” he finally responded in an optimistic and amiable tone.

      “We have English,” I stated, the declaration aimed at Preston as I stared at him. I didn’t bother replying to Matt, for I had nothing more to say to him. It wasn’t that I disliked Matt Smith, per se, as he seemed like a relatively sane, genuinely nice guy—I just didn’t like him, either.

      I was really hoping that the next guy Piper “dated” was someone intellectually interesting—not a nerd, but someone with a brain. Sometimes she went for smart guys, and I always liked that. Personally, I was by no means “smart,” but I liked conversing with smart people. Since Piper happened to be one of my two best friends, I was exposed to her “boyfriends” by default of hanging out with her. Some I liked, others…not so much.

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