Was this really happening? Did Mark freaking McMorris just tell me to sit down at his table? I quickly looked behind me, to make sure he wasn't talking to some gorgeous snow bunny I had somehow missed. He laughed at my suspicion. “Yes, you, in the pink jacket!” Shyly, I sat down at the edge of the seat across from him, still in a daze. I kept my eyes down, and tried not to blush. I wasn't good around guys on a normal day, let alone a day when I was looking borderline homeless. I mean, I'm not ugly. I have long, thick brown hair and a unique pair of eyes. If you look at them the right way, they have a slight sparkle, and they have specks of every colour-hazel, green, gold, brown, blue, you name it. I'm fairly tall, around 5'8, and have a very athletic figure. Playing basketball and working out vigorously for years caused me to have very large, prominent muscles, which made me a bit insecure. I was also incredibly pale, and had gathered the nicknames “Pasty” and “Snow White” back at school. These guys didn't seem to be paying too much attention to my looks though. “So clumsy, what brings you to the beautiful Ski Martindale?” I directed my attention to the tanned, blonde guy sitting next to me. “It's Christmas break, and my family wanted to come.” I mumbled, giving no additional details. “Wait, do you actually snowboard or something? You can't even walk past a table without tripping!” Matt snickered. I could feel the inferno creeping back up to my cheeks. Mark jabbed him hard in the ribs with his elbow. “Cut it out man.” Momentarily, I was at a loss for words. Why in the world was my idol defending me? I mean, I made a huge fool of myself just a minute ago! “No, I don't ski or snowboard. I never had time. I was busy with other things.” I answered quietly. “What other things?” Blonde guy probed. I was getting sick of answering questions-I just wanted to go back to my room! “I play, or used to play, basketball.” I said. “Oh really?” Mark piped up. “I used to play too, until I got really into snowboarding!” I looked at him, surprised. I didn't know Mark knew how to play basketball. And I called myself a “superfan”. “Well that's uh, umm, that's cool.” I stammered. He grinned, and replied, half jokingly. “Yup. Pretty rad.” There was an awkward silence. One of my many specialities. “Well, it was nice meeting all of you, but I have to go.” I stood up, ready to make a break for it. “Don't fall!” Called Matt. Okay, really time to leave. I ducked my head and speed-walked to the door.


   I had almost made my escape when I felt a hand grab my arm. I spun around, on my guard. “Whoa!” I yelled. Then, I realized who it was. Mark had followed me! What was happening? Was I in a dream? “Did I forget something?” I questioned. He laughed. “No, you're good. I just wanted to invite you to come to the slopes with us tomorrow morning!” I was stunned. Had I really made that much of an impression? In my head, I tossed his offer back and forth, weighing the pros and cons. It actually sounded pretty fun. I hadn't done anything social for a long time, and it might feel nice to get out with other people. Plus, my parents had no plans of taking me snowboarding, so this may have been my only shot to try it. On the other hand, I was a complete rookie. This guy was an X Games champion. If I went, I would only make a fool of myself. I was torn.


   Mark was able to sense my hesitation, and he tried to comfort me. “Don't worry, I've already gone over ground rules with Matt and Damon, so they won't be as obnoxious.” I started to turn red again, because I hadn't even thought of the 2 goonies. Mark was the only person I was thinking about. “It's uh, it's not that.” I managed. “I've just never really snowboarded before...” I trailed off. At this, Mark broke out into a huge grin. “Really? Oh man, I've never coached a newbie before! This could be fun. We'll show you the ropes, I promise! It's a ton of fun. Trust me-you'll be hooked after 2 minutes!” I was still nervous about the whole situation, but seriously, how could I say no to Mark McMorris? So, I gave in. “...When and where?” I asked. “Behind the rental store, at the lift, 8am sharp!” He responded. I nodded, finally ready to go. I turned, but again he stopped me. “Wait, I didn't even get your name!” Facepalm. Duh. What a ditz I was. “Oh, uh, I'm Elizabeth May. Liz.” I awkwardly stuck my hand out for a shake. He took it and introduced himself. “Mark.” I blushed yet again. “Yeah, I kinda know.” I said. Another pause. “Well Liz, see you bright and early, don't forget!” He concluded. “I'll be there.” I assured him. Finally, I pushed the door open and walked out into the cold afternoon air. As I was walking away from the café, I felt a smile form on my face. A small one, but a smile, nonetheless. I stopped walking. I couldn't remember the last time I had really smiled. Maybe my parents were right, this trip may actually be a great thing.

* So, this was kind've just a filler chapter, not too exciting. Sorry about that, I tried!"

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