The familiar sound of the school bell pierced my ears as I walked through the hallway to English class.

One more year. 180 days of classes.

It was a mantra. I repeated it to myself daily to help make it through the hell that was high school. I knew most people shared my disgust with school, but I still couldn't help but feel lonely as I forced my way through the crowded hallways of Eastwood High.

Everywhere I looked there were students laughing or kissing.

A jock teasing a cheerleader as she liberally applies her bubblegum-flavoured lip gloss to her already shiny lips.

Two girls shoving books in their locker, giggling flirtatiously as they glance over their shoulders at the group of boys ogling them.

Or, my personal favourite, the dozens of couples making out and publicly groping each other. Ew.

Was it jealousy? Maybe. It would be nice to have someone to love. Someone to hold hands with as I walked through the halls. To text during class and giggle every time my phone lights up and their name appears. But I wasn't that naive.

I went through four years of high school with one best friend and no boyfriends. Nothing even close to a crush for that matter. And truly, I was fine with it.

Or at least that's what I tell myself.

* * *

Minutes later, I arrive at English class and am greeted by the ever-so friendly glare of Mrs. Copper: my English teacher or spawn of Satan. I really couldn't tell the difference. No one could.

Although I disliked her, it was in my nature to still be kind and show her respect. It's how my single-mother raised me.

"Morning, Mrs. Copper." I threw her a warm smile and friendly wave as I walked past her on the way to my desk in the last row.

"Hmph." She grunted in response, not even bothering to shift her eyes off the book in her hand. Whatever, it was progress. Most mornings she just ignores me.

I slumped down in my chair and threw my bag on my desk, massaging my shoulders where the straps just were. As I waited for the class to fill, my eyes drifted to Mrs. Copper. She looked small and fragile, her thin face hidden behind chunky blue glasses and a short, grey pixie cut. Her wardrobe consisted solely of neutral colours, today she was wearing a grey blazer with a matching pencil skirt. I guess she was pretty, in an odd sort of way.

Lost in thought, I looked away from my teacher and realized that the class was nearly full. Almost every desk was occupied by a student and the room was full of laughter and chatter. I scrolled through my twitter feed to look distracted and not like the complete loner that I was.

"Look!" Eagerly whispered the brunette girl in front of me, pointing towards the doorway while trying to get her friend's attention. They both looked up and sighed, resting their chins on their palms and staring dreamily at the door.

I looked up to see what the big deal was. That was when I saw him.


There he was, decked out in his navy blue varsity jacket that stretched over his broad shoulders, black ripped jeans, with his backpack slung lazily over one shoulder.

"How's it going, Mrs. C?" His voice was deep and flirty as he gave her one of his killer smiles, exposing his perfect white teeth, before sauntering over to his seat. She looked up from her book and I swear her cheeks turned red. Gross.

Rivals ✔️Read this story for FREE!