Love Unexpected

Sarah Jaime Miller is used to a normal life- work at the animal shelter, riding bikes, drawing, volunteering to decorate dances, snapping lots of pictures, hanging with friends and getting angry over homework is all she was expecting from her senior year- until she met a certain, brown-eyed teacher. And she thought her life wasn't exciting. Student/Teacher love story.

Chapter 1

Bravo, Sarah!

PREFACE
_____
In my dream, i was flying. Only there was no sky, and no wind, and no ground and no floor and no ceiling, so i don't know if you could call it flying. Flying is when you are floating and moving off the ground, without anything holding you. But when there is no ground, or air, or true movement, it isn't really flying, is it?
I don't think so.
But then, what would I call what i was doing in my dream? How about, BEING. I was simply being, in a parade of rainbows, just existing with no walls or anything to make sense. The colors splashed behind me messily kept changing, and changing, and pretty soon i was wondering what kind of dream was this, some kind of acid trip of the unconscious?
And then, in my dream, there was music. It came from far away, but at the same time, it was loud- VERY Loud. It kept hurting my ears, until finally, i could stand it no more and started screaming.
I should've seen that as a warning that my first day of school wouldn't go well.
I didn't. And you know, it did go well- but thanks to that, my whole year would be filled with something like hell and heaven mixed in one.
Helven, or something like that.
________

I woke up to the sound alarm of my bedside radio, a tiny little thing from the Goodwill in the shape of a banana. It hardly worked anymore; all the music came out static, or choppy and out of tune. I don't know why i kept it, but i just couldn't bear to put it in a cardboard box labeled CRAP or SELL. I got attached to a lot of things easily, one of my flaws. Talking about flaws, I was late, and it was only the first day of school. If i didn't get a jump start, i'd have to go to the office for a late pass, and that was embarrasing enough. I threw the covers over my legs and sat up, yawning. My stomach grumbled in unison, and i slipped on my silk bathrobe and fuzzy, rainbow monster slippers.
Down the stairs, one member of my family was drinking coffee and reading the newspaper in striped pants and a fishing shirt. This would be my dad. My dad looked a little like me. I was a perfect mix of both my parents, and it seemed i took their best features. I took the high cheeks and full, nicely shaped lips from my mother. My lips were naturally a pale, peachy pink and people often mistaked their coloring for lipstick. I was blessed. My skin was fair: not tan, but not too pale. It had a soft warm glow to it, courtesy of my father. My long, thick, feather-duster eyelashes also came from my father, and my eyes were a pale jade mixed with a delicate, crystal blue: a color so beautiful, cool and rare it didn't even have a name. It reminded people of magic, or the aurora borealis, or just happiness. That's what most people said. Sabrina, one of my friends, and a total new age geek, actually called my eye color the color of the "cosmos" and then babbled on about some Indigo Children lecture.
My father didn't have "cosmic" eyes, but green eyes, and brown hair. Did i mention my hair? It's from my mother. Pale, sunshine colored hair like pale, pale gold, yet another mesmerizing yet undescribable color. It fell to my waist in tousled waves, naturally.
The other family member sitting at the round kitchen table was my little sister, Jeanette Rose. We called her Jean, though, except for my brother Bradley, who called her Rosie, a name she hated. Jean looked just like my father: dark hair, tan skin, long eyelashes and brown hair. She was like his duplicate, only more feminine. But for a fourteen year old, she had broad shoulders and a very toned body. She was only 5'5, but that was almost taller than me. I was eighteen, and about 5'7, last time i checked.
Jean was eating cereal. I opened the fridge and rummaged around, then took out my favorite Orange Juice and ripped open a pack of pop tarts with my teeth, having no time to put them in the toaster. I probably chewed about two times before swallowing the pop tarts down with Orange Juice, which i drank straight from the carton. Dad made a face at this. I sensed a lecture coming, so i raced up the stairs and took a shower that was probably so fast it was a new world record. Then I slipped on my simple shirts and flowing, pale blue flowered peasant top and went out the door.
Ten seconds later, i came back inside and put on a pair of strappy silver sandals. Iid forgotten my shoes, and backpack.
Outside the house was a beaten, old blue van waiting for me. This car belonged to my best friend Sabrina Norris. I'm sure i mentioned her earlier.
Sabrina's car was old and unrealiable, but we loved it. We called her The Sunflower, because when Sabrina first bought it, sunflowers seeds littered the entire car: floor, seats, trunk, even the cupholders. It used to belong to a farmer with six kids, and even though we'd washed the car about ten times and scrubbed the inside clean with lavender and mint soap, it still smelled faintly of oranges, corn and cats. Perhaps a little bit of hay mixed in there.
Sabrina was waiting for me inside the car. As a New-Age geek, she believed strongly in the earth power and that she, a supposed Starseed Child, had come down to earth from the stars to help clean the earth and spread love and peace. Though Tonya, Liza, and I often joked about Sabrina's metaphysical books and collection of powerful crystals, Liza even using the term "closet hippie" once, I believed there was some truth to her strange poems and Aura theories. Not that I would ever admit it to her: she'd go nuts and throw New Age books and flowers at my back. I was usually an honest person, but this was one conversation I did not want to have.
Sabrina's car was a relaxing place. Irish flute and drum music played on the radio, and the windows were deocrated with pressed crystals and dream catchers. The car doors were outlined in bright blue, to keep away evil fairy folk, and a bunch of old stones with strange writing on them sat neatly in cases on top of the back seats. From stonehenge and Atlantis, or something. I opened the door and slid in, settling comfortably on the front seat next to Sabrina, who smiled at me through chewing bubble gum and brushed her red bangs away from her face.
"Namaste, Sarah! What did you dream of last night?" In Sabrina world, this meant good morning. I smiled at her warmly, feeling fond of my friend, and strapped on my seatbelt.
"Well..." I thought back to my strange dream. "I don't think I know,' I replied, and that was an honest answer. One thing thats grear about Sabrina: she isn't nosy. So she smiled and nodded, backing away from my house and speeding off.
"I dreamt about the stars falling on me and creating a sea of white light." She frowned. "Still don't know the meaning." I turned up the music, which i happened to like (from the DVD: Celtic Tunes, Holidays) and reached into my bookbag to retrieve my schedule. It had been mailed in two weeks ago. I asked Sabrina for hers and compared them.
"Oh my gosh! We only have one class together," I sighed, but still my spirits were in the high tides: It was Senior year. I was excited!
"Why did you have to take Advanced Placement stuff?" Sabrina groaned. I smiled.
"I suppose because Dartmouth expects me too?" We laughed, and i reached towards the backseat. My hand wrapped around a paper bag, and a carton holding hot cups of coffee from seven eleven. I brought my prescious to the front seat and opened the bag to find four hot fudge brownies. I took a marker and wrote down the names on the coffee cups, then took my own and had a long gulp. I was still half asleep.
"You got it just right, S. This is the best thing i've had for weeks." Sabrina laughed.
"I still can't believe you took us to a Escaurgo restaurant for Liza's birthday!" I stated, and she and I both laughed again. "For the record, there were other options in the menu!" She said, steering the wheel left. I snorted. "Topica and raw clams with butter doesn't count!" She shrugged and on we laughed, until we started to talk about sports and extracurriculars. Sabrina was hoping to start a new club, called The New Age Apprenctices. She had a poster, logo, and catch phrase prepared already, and printed out an entire schedule and sign up sheet. She was going to ask the main office information about starting a school club today during lunch time, or during her free period. I had one free period, by the name of Study Hall. When we finished talking, another passanger was climbing aboard: Tonya Embers, my other best friend, picking her way through fallen leaves and a toyota in six-inch heels and a skirt so tight and short even a professional stripper would be impressed, or terrified. But the school wouldn't detain her. Her dad was in the school board, and one complaint would get anybody fired. So she pretty much owned the place, and sometimes Tonya liked to act like it, but most of the time she shut up, ate her fries and made out with her boyfriends. We were all so different, Sabrina, Liza, Tonya and I. Gail Rails sometimes hung out with us, but she wasn't the first person we'd call for an emergency- or sleepover party. Gail was more of a random tagalong trying to get in with the Seniors. Tonya Emberson had light brown hair with caramel highlights that had that "freshly flat-ironed" smell and look to it. It was stick straight, California girl style, and she had a deep tan and the biggest breasts you'd have seen on a seventeen year old tucked in nice sweaters or tube tops. I wondered why she was so dressy and....exposing.....today, of all days. She usually wore regular clothes, and by regular i mean revealing, on the fist day of school. She was probably trying to get her boyfriend Troy back. Tonya had a lot of boyfriends and nice, warm green eyes like a jungle cats. Tonya was like a jungle cat herself, and the best friend imaginable. She was the opposite of me, the "shy" - and i wasn't that shy- blonde, with sensitive streaks, good grades, squeaky clean records, and probably the only virgin left in Green Bay High School. Tonya said i looked like a virgin, too: pure, happy, innocent and....something like "angelic" which we all knew too much about me to believe. It didn't help that my favorite colors were green and white, but i wasn't all that religious. Still, I felt closer to Tonya than anybody else, though i loved all my friends. I wonder why. Maybe because we balanced eachother out.
Sabrina was....well, Sabrina. New Age-y, wise, but for some reason her grades never raised higher than a B: she said grades were ambitious, or something like that. Sabrina was calm, thanks to meditation, and very outdoorsy. I preferred animals to outdoors or indoors, and drawing and photography. I was the artsy one. Sabrina was the smart, eccentric one, Tonya was the sexy, romantic one, and Liza was the sporty, popular one. Tonya slid in to the back seat, but didn't but on her seat belt and crawled towards the space in between the front seats to poke her head through and take her coffee and brownie.
"Yumm, a frappuchino. My favorite. How much sugar- ah, never mind." Tonya smiled, flashing her white teeth and brand new red lipstick, then poked my shoulder.
"Hey, virgin Mary." Not with the nickname again. I thought i'd grown out of it in eight grade. I guess not. "Hey yourself," I said, smiling. Tonya stuck her tongue out and reached into her backpack, which was really a cute Banana Republic tote bag with blue flowers printed on it. She fished around and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper with hearts doodled on it and lipstick stains. After she brushed away the cookie crumbs and uncrumpled the paper, i realized it was her school schedule. Immideatly i unfolded mine and laid it out next to hers.
"That bites- we have Biology, chem, home ec, and AP French 4 together." Tonya grinned and we high fived. Sabrina sighed wistfully and took a wide U Turn, knocking over some of the coffee. It spilled onto my lap. I gasped and mopped it up with a few brown napkins, but unfortunately, my shorts were white and the stain was visible. It was more on the side than on the front, but still looked horrible. And my mother would kill me.
Tonya muttered a colorful string of four letter words, as if she'd spilled coffee on her own clothes, and stuck her fingers in her backpack again.When they resurfaced, a pair of super-tight (at least, they looked that way) short shorts were mingled in between. "There is absolutely no way-" I began. Tonya rolled her eyes and tossed them at me anyway, muffling my voice. "Oh, shut up and change in the back." She paused, then winked. "It's about time you showed off those finge little leggies. The boys will appreciate it." She smiled and shoved me towards the back, and there I hid myself in the trunk and exchanged white, brown stained shorts into stripper skirt. It wasn't comfortable, and not much of a step up from the shorts they were so revealing, but at least it didn't look like I had an accident.
I climbed back to the front, and then Sabrina giggled and Tonya whistled. She looked into her purse and threw a condom at me. After my questioning look, she grinned slyly. "You're gonna need it," She explained. We burst into laughter.
I hoped i had a change of clothes in my gym locker.
I tossed the condom back at her just as we pulled up by Liza's house. Liza had a grand house with tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool. We waited five minutes, then Tonya got mad and reached over, her thigh touching mine, and honked, twiced, then again once.
Finally, we heard yelling, and the front door opened. Out crawled a little ant....named Liza, with soft black hair to her shoulders, pale skin and sparkling blue eyes. She was smiling and wearing track shorts, tennis shoes and a salmon and white striped tanktop. Her usual attire, sporty and cute. She beamed at us all and dropped her heavy book bag in the back seat, settling down next to Tonya, who placed a sloppy wet kiss on Liza's cheek and drawled out words like, "Darling" and "Tea" to mimick Liza's faint british accent. It had been supper heavy when she moved here in the fifth grade, but now it was hardly there. Tonya had a southern lilt to her voice, and I had a soft voice that was all american. Sabrina's voice was slightly irish. We were from everywhere.
We talked all the way to school. I had chem with both Tonya and Liza, home ec with Sabrina, and then gym and study hall with Liza. I was pretty happy with my schedule, expect that it read my locker was right next to the boys bathroom, in between two lockers that belonged to teeny tiny sophomores, as far as i was concerned.
My sister was also starting highschool today, and was carpooling with her friend Emily. One good thing about my locker was that it was close to her first period class, so maybe i could sneak in some sisterly advice before the day began. I crumpled my schedule into a tiny ball and tossed it in my bag. "Score! A three pointer- fantastic!" I cried, and again, we laughed.

________________

We arrived a little early to school, so i asked the office for my sister Jean's locker number, and went to seek her out. She was easy to find and wearing basketball shorts and a mario brothers video game tee. Her hair was in a ponytail. She looked like a boy from the back, but from up front, once she smiled, you could definitely see she was a girl. I hugged her and tried to calm her nerves. Then she found a few people she knew, and got excited, and then left to go be social and to mingle. Her schedule was impressive for a freshman, and at least she didn't have P.E until last period- and my gladness over that is a long, long story i'll share some other time.
I was walking to my homeroom class (Mrs. Caffrey) when the commotion began. It wouldn't be right to call it a mob, but the girls surrounding the History classroom were violently squealing and swooning. I wondered what was going on. Tonya was among those girls, trying to roll up her skirt even more, and i poked her in the stomach and asked, "What's going on?" Tonya grinned and took me by the arm, then pointed to the door. The door had a little glass square in the middle reading ROOM 301. I could see colors moving through the glass and guessed something scandalous was happening inside, but when the door opened and someone came out, i saw what the fuss was really about.
And it was about the teacher.
The teacher, who has hot and couldn't be over 26, who had tan skin, a nice sense of style, the teacher with mysterious blue eyes and curbing, dark brown hair cropped short. He wore jeans and a funny shirt.
No wonder everyone was surrounding him. Though i was originally at the back of the girl mob, i'd somehow ended up by the crack of the door, and when it opened i was front and center, facing the teacher dead on. As if all the other girls had disappeared to the background, and there was a spotlight on me, and the teacher was waiting expectantly with an eyebrow arched.
Oh, my goodness.
I stared back at him for a while, then opened my mouth and furrowed my eyebrows. What was i going to say? "Hey, um....i was just standing by your door." Yes, i didn't think so. I stood there, confused and unable to make up my mind, until Tonya nudged me and suddenly, i was talking. But my mind was still pulling a blank. It was somebody else speaking, somebody with my voice.
"Is Dianna Elseworth here for homeroom? I really need to ask her for some papers," I said, and was pleased that my voice sounded polite, smooth and stable. Like a student talking to a teacher. Perfect. Maybe i should try out for the spring play, or be nominated for an Academy Award. The teacher was the one who was unable to speak this time. And finally, as if an invisible force had nudged him, he spoke.
"Yes, she's right in there, i think." Then he beamed, perfectly polite and teacher-y again, and everything that had happened was broken. the memory was erased from my mind, and a polite grin took over my lips, and i walked inside the room to find Dianne, and in my mind the soap opera that would become my life ended, and the ending credits rolled for the first episode. That was quite a performance. I found Dianne and asked her for the student council schedule, i'd lost mine, acting as if nothing had ever happened....
Bravo, Sarah. Bravo.

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