A locker clanged behind Eden just as someone shoved her elbow, knocking the folder from the crook of her arm.  Papers flew from the pockets, fluttering to the ground, and then kicked along by the sea of teenagers.

“Oh geez, sorry,” a boy said over his shoulder.  He was gone before she could even tell what color his hair was.  She stooped, retrieving her class schedule, school map, emergency contact sheet, and other forms from the office for her parents to sign and return.  Straightening up, she glanced one last time at her schedule before tucking it in her jeans pocket.  First trig then Biology.  On second thought, she pushed the map into her pocket too.  Just in caseBon Air High’s a lot bigger than Portsmouth.

“Hey, watch it man,” a boy crowed.  Two boys began scuffling and anxious to avoid having her belongings knocked to the floor again, she quickened her pace.  As much as she wanted to blend in, standing inches above those around her made it difficult.  Avoiding eye contact she maneuvered through the crowd, determined to reach her destination.   She couldn’t help but notice how plain her white keds were compared to the fuzzy, knee-length boots on the two girls in front of her.  The giggling girls reached their lockers and the view in front of Eden temporarily cleared. 

She bit the inside of her cheek, the instinct to duck behind the two girls intense.  Spine tingling with adrenaline, she pushed her glasses up.  Down the corridor, sandwiched between two girls and a guy, was her childhood best friend, Micah.   Though no longer a lanky boy, she still recognized his light blue eyes.  The mop of black hair he had as a kid was now short, little longer than a buzz.  Eden was drawn to his smile, even if it was meant for the blonde girl at his side.  A good foot shorter than him, the girl craned her neck up as she wrapped an arm around his waist.  Got to be his girlfriend.   A stocky jock-type boy with chestnut brown hair and a tan girl with jet-black hair stood next to them.  The jock slugged Micah’s shoulder as his bellowing laugh made its way down the hall to Eden.

Then the scene was gone as jeans and myriad of different colored t-shirts blocked her view.  She sucked in a deep breath, her lungs burning from holding it too long. Sweat was beading at the top of her forehead as she prayed she could pass Micah’s entourage unnoticed.  If I can’t see him he can’t see me either right?  She hoped.

The stair case loomed nearer.  I’m going to make it, she thought wishing the kids in front of her would move faster.   

“No way dude. Coach always gives you the ball Micah,” a male voice boomed. 

Eden glanced over.  Micah’s group was directly left of her now.  He hasn’t noticed me, just keep moving, she told herself. Face ducked down, she lifted her leg up only to have her foot land sideways and to the left.  Her weight uneven, she feared toppling over, but a pressure on her left side held her up.  Confused, she again attempted to move away, only this time, her body made a ninety degree turn, bringing her a foot away from the blonde girl. 

Horrified, Eden’s legs stepped one in front of the other, heading straight towards Micah.  Within seconds she stood dead center, stopping his small group of friends short.  Sky blue eyes swam in front of her vision before she was lunging forward, throwing her arms around his neck, hugging him.

Funny the things you notice in a moment of sheer humiliation, she thought, as time dropped into neutral, prolonging her torture.

There was a hiss-like sound from the short blonde.  Yep, definitely his girlfriend. 

A male was chuckling.  Not Micah. Must be the jock. 

Arms wrapped around her hugging her back.  Oh my gosh! 

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