Beginning of Chapter 1:
Her blood red fingernails clicked on the desk as she clicked each one in a very annoying manner. But the clicking turned me on, much more than it did annoy me. Rosaline Lawrence had intrigued me since she had step foot in Billsbury Day High School, with her high stiletto boots, all grey, black, white, and red attire, and skinney jeans. Her long curly jet-black hair was never pulled back in a ponytail, except for in P.E., as my best friend Nate told me. It was always perfectly curled in ringlets down her back, and swayed as she walked. She had no friends, which I knew of, and almost never spoke. When she did, her voice silencing any other noise and calling all attention to her. This was my favorite quality.
But the one thing that intrigued me the most about Rosaline was her bad girl outside. I had this craving to get to know her better, to know who she really was, other than this bad girl we all know. So when I was passing out papers in English class, one of the few classes I actually excelled in, and saw her grade: a C-, I decided I would tutor her.
“Rosaline,” I whispered as I placed her paper on her desk, “Would you like me to tutor you? I noticed your—“
“Mind your own business.” She says, and then slid out of her seat, leaving me behind, disappointed, but as curious as ever.
“Mr. Polter, may I use the restroom?” Rosaline asked, yet again clicking her fingernails on his desk.
“Of course Rosaline.” He says, not looking up from the oh-so-intriguing stack of papers in front of him. If I had asked, he would have told me, fill out a pass and then would have told me class was almost over. But for Rosaline? Of course. No need for passes for Rosaline. Why was she so special?
I caught myself staring at her yet again during my lunch period; one of the only periods I have all day with Nate.
“Earth to planet Jesse?” Nate says, waving his hand in front of my face. I swat it away and take a sip of my Dr. Pepper, my one and only addiction. “Penny for your thoughts?”
“Rosaline.” I say, and he nods in understanding. He knows all about my fantasy of love with Rosaline. In fact, he knows every single thing she says to me, and every word I say to her.
“Ah. Jesse, man, you need to just ask her out!” Easy for him to say. He has a perfectly lovely girlfriend, Katherine Watson, who adores him.
Right on cue, Kate plops herself down next to Nate, kissing his cheek adoringly, and turns to smile at me. “Hello boys, conversational topic is?” This is her usual greeting to us, where she decides whether or not today is a joining us or leaving us day. She actually has other friends.
“My fantasies.” I say, and Kate sighs. We’ve thoroughly exhausted this topic, and Kate is just about through with it.
“Well, you know my opinion.”
“And that is?” Nate asks, taking a bite of his sandwich.
“She is unattainable. We all know that.” She twirls her finger through her blond hair and sighs. “Now could we move on?”
“Fine.” I say, and pick up my tray. “I’m going to the library.”
“Later dude.” Nate says, and then adds, “Coming over this afternoon?”
“Maybe tomorrow.” I nod to Kate, who replicates my good-bye and then promptly leave them both.
Our library isn’t actually called a “library” it is considered a “study”, but I never study in here, because the lighting sucks, and the tables are horrible. The armchairs? A different matter entirely. They’re perfect for sitting down with an amazingly interesting book, which makes me forget entirely about Rosaline Lawrence, a hard thing to do.
Today, I check in with our librarian, Mrs. Terrel, who absolutely adores me, and always has something for me to read. Today’s selection is Agatha Christie’s A Caribbean Mystery, one of the few Christie novels I haven’t read. Terrel is a huge fan, and is always showing me a new one she has found. I set down my bag on a near by table and plop down in the near by arm chair. This one is okay. Not amazing, but okay.
Just as Palgrave is found murdered, a voice penetrates my concentration.
“You’re sitting in my chair.” I look up to see Rosaline standing 3 feet in front of me, holding a paperback and hands on her hips.
“Oh! Sorry, I didn’t know—“ I launch myself out of the chair, and A Caribbean Mystery clatters to the floor.
“You should.” She says, picking up the novel and glancing at the cover. “Agatha Christie fan?”
“Kind of.” I reply, desperately hoping that was the right thing to say.
“I only read Marple.” She replies, flipping it over to read the back.
“That one is a Marple.”
“I can see that. You like Poirot?”
“He’s a bit odd.”
“Agreed.” She hands me back the novel, and then plops down in the chair. Obviously ending the conversation.
“Jesse.” I say, sticking out my hand on a whim.
“Rosaline.” She replied, not sticking out hers in response.
“I’m going to go now.” I reply, and then turn to leave her.
“Jesse,” she says, and I turn back around, “I might take you up on that study offer. Starbucks on the corner afterschool?”
“Sure.” I reply, and then turn back around in shock. Did she just actually return my date offer?
“Wait. You need my number.” She says, and comes over with a pen. She scribbles seven numbers on my palm and closes it up. “See you at 3.” She says, and then walks out.
“See you.” I say, and turn to watch her go. I can feel my heart racing, and my pulse quickening. Wait, Jesse, calm down, I tell myself. It’s only a study date, and now I have to figure out something to study.