Going As Planned

The first in a book-length thing about my life in story form. If you like it, I'll post three parts of a chapter (one chapter) every week or two weeks!

Chapter 1

Chapter One (Part 1)

Just because I thought about someone all the time doesn't mean I liked them.
Right?
However, Hayden disagreed. She was telling me why I was wrong (much of my time with Hayden was spent with her telling me why I was wrong) and that if you spent as much time thinking about some as I did thinking about Zach Michaels, then you were thoroughly obsessed.
"No, you're not getting it," I was telling her as we headed to history. "He just--I think about him, and all the rumors about him, and, you know, that type of stuff. Not, like, romantic thoughts or anything."
"Liar." Hayden's dull, almost robotic voice echoed through the stairways.
"I'm not lying! Stop giving me crap for this!" I said, trying to keep the fact that I was getting more and more annoyed with Hayden with each syllable she uttered.
"Okay, fine, you're right, I'm wrong. Hey, how'd you think you did on the test about the British Period?"
And that was Hayden. One moment, we would be in the middle of an argument, and I would be about to make some great point or something, and then, just like that, she would change the subject. Hayden was not one to dwell, and I guess that when we were dealing with something like this, I should have been happy about this, but I just couldn't seem to be. It was just something she did, and something I could deal with. For one moment, in the stairs, I thought about telling her that maybe she should comfort me. But that might get her to tell me a million stories about how he was a bad choice for me and I knew she was doind it to protect me, but I didn't want here it. Again. And I thought about telling her this, but she was my best friend, and so I didn't. I just stood there, and answered her question about some test we had just taken.

The thing was, Hayden hadn't been wrong. I did think about Zach Michaels a lot. In fact, I thought about once every five or ten minutes, more if I was walking by a class I knew he took, or listening to a song that reminded me of him, or doing those math problems they gave us to warm up our brains or...well, needless to say, about fifty percent of my time was taken up with thoughts about the guy.
It had started innocently enough. Our basketball team, the Bayview Bulldogs (yes, our team mascot really was a dog that looked like an overgrown pug) had been warming up before our first game of the season. Halfway through our usual scrimmages, our coach, who was one of those coaches who seem sweet and dress in American Apparel clothing and then are secretly really tough and badass, had called us together to tell us to practice free throws. And we did.
I was not, and never will be, a great basketball player. I wasn't like Samantha, who closed her eyes every time the ball got close to her, but I wasn't like Irene, either, who was tiny and could dribble the ball down the entire field without once getting touched my any players on the other team. Still, as we warmed up for that first game, I was at my absolute worst. I was missing every shot, not catching the rebounds, and chasing after the ball with the grace of an anteater. One time, after the ball didn't even bounce of the backboard, but headed in the opposite direction, I turned around, and then lo and behold, he was there.
Zach Michaels.
He watched me shoot (okay, he watched me miss). I was in my short shorts and low-cut jersey, my hair pulled back into the tightest ponytail I could get without and a comb and hair gel, and my shoes were tightened in that nervous, if-my-shoes-are-well-laced-that-will-change-my-life way. I guess they kind of did, because halfway through my embarrassing attempts at free throws, Zach spoke.
I wonder how he did it, because his smirk was so big,
"So, you're doing great at this, huh?"
By way of answering, I blushed. It was bright red and it covered my entire face, and then I was embarrassed that I blushed, so I blushed again. Stupid freaking catch twenty-two's.
He kept watching me, and now I was watching him, and I think we were both aware of the fact. When our coach called us in for a pre-game prep talk, I tried to push him out of my mind. It didn't really work.
"Ladies," coach Agleton said (she always called us ladies) "this is your first game. I don't expect you to win, and I don't expect you to play well, but I want you to try hard."
All I was thinking that if she had been trying to say something cliché she could not have done a better job.
"Carroway is a good team, and I want you guys to be playing your best. I know that if we work together as a team, and if we believe in our selves, then we could really make something wonderful out of this."
And I turned around, mostly to see if he was still there. And he was. And not only that, but he was looking at me, and we looked away in that moment. At that point, I don't think I liked him. I think I noticed how amazingly amazing he looked at all times, and that I liked that he was looking at me, but beyond that, I don't think there was anything.
But that was the beginning. The beginning of something that would lead me to create two playlists, the beginning of something that would cause me to laugh and cry and jump up and down and scream and sing Taylor Swift song in the shower. The beginning of something that didn't really exist, but that I desperately, desperately, wanted to.

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