Chapter One

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           Blasted! It's Valentine's day and I have nobody to spend it with.

I took my car keys. Went out. Slammed the door. Alas, I am free. I drove all my way to school. Darn it. It's Thursday. Everything's red. There are too many hearts. Everything is exaggerated.

I saw Chloe and James kissing on the corridor. Sarah and Melissa kissing hidden behide the bushes. Yes. Both of them are girls. Both of them are beautiful and smart.

What's wrong with the world?!

Some people were offering free hugs. Some people were giving cupcakes. Some people are playing mediocre. Some people are playing dead.

The thing I hate the most about Valentines is that a lot of people cry. Or should i say my mom.

             My dad died three years ago. Valentine's day. They loved one another so much that sometimes I just want to tell them to get a room. If you know what I mean? So my mom and my dad loved each other so much, that's why I'm very cautious when it comes to love. I want my first to be the last and my one and only.

              All my life I've been waiting for that girl. That girl that i'll look at not because she's beautiful. A girl that i'll look at because she's all that i see. I think that's enough for me.

Yes. I am a hopeless romantic. Thanks to my parents.

                               I rushed towards room 143. what's with 143? My classmates call it the love room. Get it? 143 means "I LOVE YOU". I really don't find it like that. There are so many four letter words that are verbs. For example, like, lust, hate, envy, even fart is considered for this. But I think "I FART YOU" is really disgusting unless you're saying it to a neanderthal friend.

                  FORTUNATELY, I have two. Ben and Jerry. Yes, just like the ice cream they're selling in Walmart.

           Ben is a girl and her real name is Benedictia. Who on earth would name their daughter like that, right? Maybe one in a million and unfortunately that one in a million is Ben's mother, Mrs. Craig. She prays all the time and she goes to Church everyday. i doubt she doesn't know that Ben is bisexual. If she knew it, she might be dead by now. Ben's dad is real cool by the way. He's the next best dad(next to my dad of course) I have ever met. He knows when to laugh and when to mean it. When it comes to girl problems, Jerry runs to him and everything will be alright again with his girlfriend. AT THAT TIME.

         Now, let me tell you something about Jerry. Jerry is the kind of guy that loves for the sake of being loved. His mom and dad are divorced. His mom is a designer by day and a socialite at night while his dad is a house representative full time. They are rich. Very rich.

"Happy Valentines! FREAK!" Ben said it with a lot of enthusiasm. I'm not really sure if it's hers or she's the one giving it. I dropped my backpack on my seat between Ben and Jerry.

Everybody's happy.

Then Mr. Stevens entered the picture.

"Open your books. Page one," Mr. Stevens commanded.

I took my copy of The catcher In The Rye and did what we were asked to do so.

"No wonder, he's dateless," Jerry laughed at his joke. Soundproof.

Everything is normal. Everything is alright. The only problem is that the book starts with page two. The first page is blank.

Shane raised her hand. Speaking of, Shane is the most grade conscious human being I have ever seen in my entire life. I feel sorry for her,by the way. She's just second. Guess who's the top student? It's Ben and that makes me feel more sorry for her because Ben doesn't give a damn about studying. She's just genius.

Shane stood up.

"Sir, nothing's written here." Her geek friends looked at her as if she just asked Einstein to elaborate on the Theory of Relativity.

Mr. Steven looked at her with disgust.

"I didn't see that coming," Ben whispered.

" Here it comes," Jerry said while Mr. Stevens was about to open his mouth.

"Did I tell you to do something after opening it to page one?" He smiled slyly. His smile made the hairs at the back of my neck stand up.

"No Sir." Shane replied. She was flushing. Much redder than the roses under Ben's chair.

"So?" Mr. Stevens said it in a very irritating manner. "But.." Shane's voice was now broken. Maybe her soul as well.

"I repeat open your books on page ONE." Mr. Stevens really emphasized the last part that I thought he was actually shouting it. Mark, who was sleeping suddenly woke up.

"GOD BLESS AMERICA." He screamed. His hair was so unruly and it was very evident that he just woke up.

We all looked at him. Sometimes, I just can't help but thank Mark for breaking the ice. The class broke into boisterous laughter except Shane who walked out of the room, unnoticed. I know she'll cry herself until she's dehydrated.

"Thank you, Mark, for your patriotism but what we need now is to open your book on page one."

"Okay, Captain." Mark gave Mr. Stevens a salute then opened his book.

The end is near, I thought to myself.

"What do you see?" Mr. Stevens ask questions that aren't really answerable by facts. He says that all answers are correct. The only difference lies only on what is more correct.

"A blank page," Ian screamed. He's punk. For your info.

"Another wasted leaf pulp," an environmentalist slash vegan slash hippie named Veronica. I think she's anorexic. She's thinner that heroin dependent rock stars.

"Can somebody make any sense out of this blank page." His question was not more of a question but a challenge. The class kept quiet. Even Ben's eyebrows are intersecting.

"No volunteers?! Okay. Mr. Smith."

The eyes of all the people in the room shifted from Mr. Stevens to me. WHY ME?

"Sir" I must think fast. "It is the presence of absence," I answered.

Jerry looked at me. "Man, you're a philosopher. You now earn my respect," then he smiled. Mr. Stevens smirked.

Mr. Stevens' eyebrows were now raised to form a disfiguration on his face.

"I expect everybody to pass a one page reaction about today's question. You're now dismissed."

These were the last words that Mr. Stevens said then puff! He vanished from our sight.

Everybody went out still screaming their sentiments on the corridor. The last people to leave the room were as usual, Ben, Jerry and I.

"Who gave you that?" Jerry asked Ben while he's pointing at the flowers.

"Brian," Ben said. I didn't give Ben anything. I'm pretty sure.

"Brian gave you flowers?" He looked so confused.

"I didn't," I said. Now, I'm more confused than he is.

"This is for your dad. Aren't you going to visit him?"

How can I not think of the possibility that a thoughtful friend like Ben would remember my dad's death anniversary. She handed the flowers to me. Ben's ex was there, a girl named Jane. She's one year ahead of us and she's now giving me dagger stares. I looked at Ben and shaked off the idea that Jane is killing me inside her brain.

"Thank you for remembering. We'll visit him later. Wanna join? My mom's preparing a picnic date. You can come. I can call her now," I said.

The two neanderthal ancestors started jumping up and down as if they were on pogo sticks.

All of a sudden, they stopped.

"What?" I asked them. Then Ben pointed at my locker. There's a big pink heart attached to it.

                                       "4 PM. SUNSET BOULEVARD. Meet you there."

Then the world stood still.

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