Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

By the end of September, practically the entire student body of Daytona Beach High School lapses into Homecoming mode. This includes all us girls undergoing major stress about what dress we should wear and what guy is going to ask us, if any at all, while all the guys feel the responsibility to creatively ask their girlfriend or someone they like to the dance. Not to mention the crazy ticket sales during lunch, nominations for homecoming court, and the SGA obsessing over the right theme for the dance and the parade.

Thankfully, I don't really have to stress out about who I'm going with to the dance because I have Asher.

It's a Tuesday morning and I'm walking to English class, my last period of the day, when I hear a familiar voice say my name.

"Hey Nora." I can tell that the person who says this is walking close behind me. I turn around and come face to face with Daniel Gonzalez, and, because he wasn't expecting me to stop in the middle of the hallway, he accidentally bumps into me.

"Oh shit, sorry," he apologizes, backing up.

"It's ok," I smile, shutting out the part of my brain that is completely and utterly embarrassed to have made physical contact with him. Oh grow up, Nora!

He's smiling back at me now. "Where you headed?" He asks.

"English," I reply, "With Ms. Morello. What about you?"

"Shop," he says, letting out a small sigh. "Not really in the mood for it today."

"Oh come on, shop sounds way more fun to me than English!" I remark.

"It's really not," he chuckles, "I mean, I guess I'd prefer building stuff over writing in class essays and shit like that but..."

"So, what? You're not in the mood to build a chair today, huh? Too lazy?" I tease.

He shakes his head at me. "Nah, there are just some days where I don't feel like doing anything at all," he admits. "I wish that was considered more acceptable."

I briefly sneak a peek at him as we're walking side by side down the second floor hallway again. He has this far away look in his brown eyes and I suddenly realize that there might be more on his mind than just the day to day routine of school.

"What's up?" I dare to ask him.

"Nothin," he says dismissively and quickly changes the subject. "I didn't see you at that guy Darien's party after the football game two weeks ago."

"Oh yeah, that's because my friend's boyfriend was already so drunk at the game that we ended up having to drive him home because he was nearly passed out," I explain.

"Damn," Daniel says softly, "Never mind then, that sucks."

"It's okay," I shrug, "I'm surprised you even remembered me not being at the party. Weren't you with Julia?"

Right after I say this I immediately regret it. The comment I just made sounded totally catty and insecure. God, why am I so stupid?

"Yeah, I went with Julia, but neither of us really had any fun," he confesses.

I feel immensely relieved when he doesn't seem to notice how rude my comment was and also curious as to why he didn't have a good time at Darien's. Was it specifically because of Julia or was it just the party in general?

"Well, I'm sorry the party blew for you," I say to him with genuine sympathy.

"Maybe I'm just not a house party kind of guy," he admits, and we both slow our pace of walking once we reach the door of my English classroom.

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