01 | Maddie

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Maddie sat with her legs hanging off the tall brick wall, her earbuds blasting The Cynical Clocks and her short blonde hair dancing around her head.

It was days like these that she loved; the cool breeze that made her hair fly over her shoulders, the golden rays of the morning sun and the multi-coloured leaves that littered the damp pavements. She'd always enjoyed autumn.

"Boom, snap. Boom boom, snap. Let me guess, The Cynical's again?" Jules, Maddie's long-term best friend said as she danced down the street, ten minutes late as usual.

Maddie rolled her eyes before hopping down beside her best friend and looping her arm through hers. "Do you even need to ask?"

"Nope. I can already tell by the look on your face." She said, flicking a long strand of blonde hair over her shoulder.

"Oh no, not this again, Jules."

"I'm not lying! You were totally wearing the 'I'm stuck in my music world, disturb me and I'll cut your balls off' face."

"You're very imaginative, I'll give you that."

"Well, gee thanks." Jules muttered sarcastically, as they glanced down the road before rushing across and making their way up the steps to the Weltmore School building.

"Bloody year sevens," Jules grumbled as a group of small boys with backpacks bigger than their entire torso made their way in front of them. "Shouldn't they be headed off to nursery?"

Maddie laughed as one of them turned and scowled deeply. Jules always had a knack of pissing someone off, whether it was her seventy year old neighbour, Mr Herring, or her thirteen year old sister, Layla. She could switch their happiness to pure rage in a matter of seconds.

"Tone it down Jules. It's only their third week here." Maddie said, attempting to diffuse the situation.

"Meh," Jules replied, leading Maddie to her locker. Once they reached it, she swapped her books and pulled her dirty blonde mane into a high ponytail. "How do I look?"

"Very handsome. Now come on, you've made us late enough as it is." Maddie said, pulling her along to their joint first class, biology.

Once they reached the door, they pushed it open and stealthily crept towards their seats near the back while their teacher had his head turned.

"Miss Walker, Miss Davies. Late again?" Mr Shelton's voice made them freeze as their fellow students watched them in amusement.

"Smile and look pretty," Jules whispered to Maddie. She frowned but swapped it for a smile as she spun to face her teacher. "We're so sorry, Sir. It won't happen again."

Maddie nodded along.

"Girls, you know I can't keep letting you off." He said, his clear blue eyes watching them as they took their seats. "One more time and it'll have to be a detention."

"Ok sir," they said together, staring at their handsome teacher with cheeky grins. He nodded in amusement and turned back towards the whiteboard.

"As I was saying..."

"We've totally got detention next Wednesday." Jules whispered.

Maddie groaned. Her best friend was a serious pain.

***

"Boom, snap. Boom boom, snap." Maddie sang quietly to herself as she made her way down the corridor to lunch.

Her yellow sneakers smacked along the floor as she entered the canteen and headed straight for her usual table where her friends already sat.

She could already make out Jules's black beanie, Arty's mop of blonde curls and Ren's signature Xylems Call top. As much as Maddie argued that The Cynical's were a trillion times better, he refused to listen, and would instead choose to place his large black headphones on and blast Xylems Call until the music rang in Maddie's ears on repeat.

As she neared the table, frowning at Ren's top with distaste, she noticed another pair of dark brown eyes watching her. She felt them on her as she walked towards them, taking note of Arty who was excitedly chatting in the handsome strangers ear and Jules who hadn't torn her eyes away from him the entire time.

Maddie took her last step towards the table, the pair of unfamiliar eyes still watching her, his dark, almost black, bushy brows furrowed, his lips unmoving, jaw tense and arms folded across his black jacket. His skin was a clear caramel, something Maddie immediately felt jealous of. No amount of tanning could make her go that brown.

"Hey guys," Maddie said once she reached the table. She avoided the eyes of the dark male sat across from her as she looked quizzingly around at her friends.

"Maddie, you haven't met Levi!" Jules said excitedly, clapping her hands as she tore her eyes away from said guy.

"Obviously not, dumb-ass," Ren said, rolling his eyes.

"Shut it, buthead."

Arty sighed. "Maddie, this is Levi. Levi, Maddie."

"Oh, hey." Maddie said politely, glancing over at the newcomer with a small smile. He nodded in response but didn't say a word, only tore his eyes away.

Arty rubbed his forehead. "He's new. Comes from somewhere up north - I think."

"Oh, that's cool." Maddie shot him a look but he only shook his head and picked up his bagel.

"What lesson did you just have?" He asked as Maddie pulled her own packed lunch from her bag, made especially by her mother.

"I had a free but I've got music next."

"Heard The Cynical's new song yet?" Ren leaned over, shooting Maddie a teasing look.

"Yes as a matter of fact I have. Last I heard they had over taken Xylem's song on the top charts." Maddie said, smirking back at him before biting into her cheese sandwich.

Ren frowned and pulled out his phone. "You're lying."

"Am not," Maddie got out, her mouth full of food. She pulled her leg up onto her chair, the yellow sneaker squeaking against the plastic chair.

"Ugh, can't we have just one lunch without you two arguing over some stupid band." Jules said.

Maddie's jaw fell to the floor as Ren froze and glared with all his might. "You did not just-" he ground out.

"But I did," Jules sang, popping a hula hoop into her mouth and crunching down. "What kind of music do you like Levi?" She asked, turning back to face him.

He didn't respond, only offered a small shrug and pulled out his phone in disinterest. Jules acted like it hadn't bothered her, but it had, Maddie could tell.

She didn't really like the idea of this new guy. What made him so special that he couldn't even respond to their questions? Just because he was super attractive, with those mysterious brown eyes and long lashes-

Maddie internally groaned. Crushing on him wouldn't help at all. First off, she needed to talk to Arty. After that, she wasn't so sure.

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