I'll try to do a chapter per day if I have time. I hope everyone likes it.
Keely stood in front of her locker waiting on Phil. He was never late to school. The bell would ring at any moment, and she had planned on giving Phil his Nirday present before class started. She stayed up late baking chocolate-chip cookies for her best friend, who, she had learned, had never eaten cookies that didn't come from a spray can. For her Nirday, Phil had prepared the greatest picnic a girl could ever dream of, complete with a smiley-face cake and lavender candles and flowers. Keely didn't know if she could top that, but the cookies seemed like fun and something he'd appreciate. After all, future boy had a Wizard, so every time he wanted a new shirt or a new CD or anything, all he had to do was punch a few buttons. It's the thought that counts, she told herself. And Phil was all she ever thought about.
The bell rang, though, before Phil arrived, so Keely put the cookies back in her locker and walked down the crowded hall to her first class. She hoped he would make it in before her Morning Announcements. She really thought Owen did a terrible job with the camera. It shook all over the place if Phil wasn't there, and it was always out of focus. As she sat down in her desk in English, she was sad that Phil wasn't seated behind her. Starting the day without him made her feel off kilter. Something about his smiling face gave her the jolt she needed each morning. It was almost like she needed Phil in the mornings the way her mother needed coffee. Is this how it will feel when he finally goes back to 2121? She wondered. I don't think I could take not seeing his smile…But then the classroom door opened and a brown-haired boy poked his head in, his eyes scanning the room for Keely.
"Phil!" Keely yelled out loud, in spite of herself. "Happy Nirday!" She waved at him and he returned the wave with a lopsided grin and sparkling eyes. The rest of the class paid no attention to Keely and Phil; they were accustomed to their strange vocabulary. Most considered the duo's chatter to be some kind of couple-speak, although Phil and Keely were not officially a couple. Even Mr. Messerschmitt wanted something to happen between them. Perhaps if one made a move on the other one, he would have fewer disrupted classes.
"Miss Teslow, please refrain from your trademark sudden outbursts in my class," he said.
"Sorry, Mr. Messerschmitt," Keely said, and she glanced toward Phil and smiled.
"Mr. Diffy, are you going to stand at the door all morning, or are you going to grace us with your presence?"
"Uh, yeah, I'll come in…. Sorry I'm late," Phil said. He rushed through the door and sat in his regular seat behind Keely. As he passed her, he breathed in the flowery scent of her shampoo. It radiated off of her and nearly hypnotized him. Keely turned and smiled and touched his hand on the desktop softly. She mouthed "I got you something in my locker" silently. It was these little things that drove Phil nuts, what he dreamed of. The smell of her hair, the brush of her fingers on his. Her warm breath on his ear when she pulled him close to tell him a secret. The hot spot on his cheek from the only kiss she had ever given him in the hall by their lockers last year. He hadn't washed his face for five days afterward.
Phil gazed at the back of Keely's head and regretted all the wasted opportunities he'd had to tell her the truth about his feelings. On the tennis courts before the Pudding Machine disaster it had occurred to him. He'd chickened out when he thought his family was moving away—he didn't want to spill it to Keely and then leave her like that. Her heart was so fragile—he had known that since day one. And then the night when Keely had tried to get Grace and Grady together. The stars, the mood, the warm night. Everything was in place. He was sitting beside her in the backyard, when it really hit him full-thrust, how much he cared for her. Her profile in the lantern-light made him weak. She looked like an angel. How could he not have seized the moment then? All the other times flooded his heart and his mind. How many Skyak trips? The dance in the garage? He had an inkling she was expecting it that night, when he flipped off the light and held her hand. She looked at him like she could see his soul, and he could swear she was asking him to kiss her telepathically. But telepathy wouldn't be fully explored or taught in public schools until 2114. He had remembered that just in time and decided not to kiss her yet. He held her close, though, for the best slow dance of his life. Diffy, you're sixteen years old. It's time to do something about Keely before it kills you.
"Phil?" Keely asked. She was collecting her books in her bag. The bell had rung.
"I'll tell her, I will. I just need time," Phil said.
"Tell who what?" Keely was standing over him now, waving her hand in front of his face. "Phil?"
"That I looooo…." He said.
Keely stared at him quizzically. "That you loooooo...? What?"
"Looooost…. my glasses," he recovered.
"You don't wear glasses, Phil," Keely said. A lock of blond hair fell into her eyes. She blew it off her face. Phil wished that lock of hair was him.
"Sunglasses. Can't find them anywhere," he said, flustered.
Phil threw his books into his backpack and stood. They walked out of class, Keely going on about his Nirday.
"—so then we'll have to stop by my house because my mother will die if she can't wish you happy sweet sixteen and I know Phil that it's a little girly to say sweet sixteen to a boy but I'm just so excited for us we're finally old enough to drive and how cool would it be if we got our licenses together we could take the test and everything and go anywhere we wanted and never have to ask for rides but don't think I'm gonna drive you around forever because I have my journalism career to think about and oh but we can always take the Skyak and oh my gosh I almost forgot about your present in my locker come on!" She grabbed his hand and jerked him down the hall. He would have let her drag him to the ends of the earth.