Her face was soft and tender, with tendrils of blonde wisps framing it at the sides. Her voice was sweet and mellow, as though she breathed into each word a tinge of her very essence and which made it all the more sweeter.
I just never could get enough of her. The way she strutted the school halls like she owned them, her nose up high in the air and her skirt billowing around mid thigh. Watching her walk was like watching sexual artistry in motion. Her hips swayed, and mile long legs stretched out from cute leather skirts and ended where her alligator boots began. All the guys fell over themselves just watching her pass by, and the girls rolled their eyes in envy, jealousy, and absolute disgust. And I? I just sat at the lunch table with my team, watching her glide by on inch high heels from the corner of my eye.
It had been like this every school day. In the mornings, I'd be slouched against the rough school walls, paying no heed to whatever Chad or Zeke was trying to say, with one foot steadied behind the other. My fingers, cold, thin ones that were worn with years of basketball and rough play were always shoved into my jeans pockets as I surveyed the school gounds.
A blank look, not one of confusion but of certain disinterest would acclaim my face. I would stare out at everyone else, watching the cheerleaders gossip, the nerds pressing the buttons of their calculators furiously as the skaters busted moves on railings and sidewalks, and while everybody seemed to be doing their own thing, there she would be, strutting up the stairs that led to the main entrace of the school and pushing open the doors to walk in, but not before sparing me and my team a glance. Her eyes would dart from Chad to Zeke to Jason, the three who were always the closest to me, before her gaze landed on me.
I'd still for a minute when those brown orbs would stare into my own blue ones. And for that one moment, her eyes would catch mine, and the brief smile she gave would melt my heart.
But only for a minute.
And then I'd go back to being just Troy Bolton again.
It was like that every, single school morning.
Until this morning.
Hushed whispers permeated the school compound that Monday morning, and racous gossip was ablaze.
There she was, right in the middle of the basketball court, my basketball court, with Zeke.
And he was laughing.
She was smiling.
And together they were walking hand in hand to their class halls.
It was scandal personified, really.
She went to class the morning with the biggest grin on her face and her eyes shone with an emotion that no one could really decipher. She giggled far more than her average giggling quotion, and it scared everyone around her. Sharpay Evans, no longer the ice queen with her cold, hard demeanor broken by the warm smiles she wore on her face. It was pleasant, indeed, seeing her smile so openly. But it was wrong, wong. It wasn't supposed to be Zeke standing right next to her, cracking the stupidest jokes and making her shake with laughter. It wasn't supposed to be Zeke who carried her books and bought her lunch and made her look at him like she never wanted to blink.
That was supposed to be me.
But even as lunch dwindled to seventh period, I still watched her in Algebra class. And seeing her bob her head up and down, conscientiously writing down equasion after equasion, noting the single curl that escaped from behind her ear made my insides hurt. It was like a dull ache that nagged, kind of like the feeling of a cramp when one stretched a muscle too far. And she'd done precisely that to my heart, taking one end and pulling it taut until all feeling in me evaporated with the stretch, leaving nothing but bitter remains.
I couldn't have her. She wasn't mine.
And I knew why, all of a sudden when the bell rang and everyone filed out of the classrooms. As soon as I reached my locker, I saw the meek, brunette girl waiting for me, leaning against the whole line of lockers and smiling at me, before reaching out to envelope me in a hug and a kiss.
It had dawned upon me just then. The very distinct smell of sweetness, of Gabriella rushed through my being. And as I pulled away to search her eyes, I knew it was all because of this very girl I was now holding in my arms.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sharpay walking to her own locker, placing some books in, before adjusting her skirt and quickly walk away. I knew where she was headed because I'd overheard her telling Zeke about borrowing a novel from the library. And so I made up an excuse to Gabriella, kissed her cheek half heartedly, and raced off to chase after her.
The library was only a short distance away, and I saw her pink skirt disappearing into the doors. Racing toward it, my pulse leaped as I caught the whiff of her fragrance- mere shampoo and strawberry lotion, and it was the very thing that got my palms watering.
I pushed open the doors, noting that there was hardly anybody around. She disappeared around a corner to a shelf, and I made my way over, peeping over shelves to catch a better look at her. There were two people in the same isle, and I waitied until she and I were the only two left, before following her out and grabbing her and pushing her into the nearest corner of the library, where nobody else could see.
"Troy?" Her voice was a sharp, incredulous squeak, and she looked between my grasp on her and my eyes. I nodded, then bent my head down low so my forehead pressed against hers. Our noses touched, and she closed her eyes and moved away from my touch. I stared at her, unrelenting. And then I breathed, "I love you."
She opened her eyes and looked at me like I was crazy, fiddling with her nails the way she always did when she was nervous. They were a particular maroon shade this week. "Gabriella's a good girl-" She started, but I cut her off. "Don't." My voice was desperately seeking for something, anything from her. But there was nothing.
"Okay." She said, like she was trying to think. "I like you." Her voice had gone really soft. "You're... a great guy, Troy."
I nodded a little.
She shook her hair out of her eyes and said to me, "Look, I'm tired, Troy. I have a lot of things on my mind now- college applications, another school production... Zeke." She directed the last part at me, and my fingers trembled as they gripped her wrist.
"You have time for Zeke, but don't have time for me?"
She shook her head. "It's complicated. You and I... we can't-" She struggled for a word. "I just can't, okay?"
She tried to leave then, but I pinned her down against the wall and kissed her. Her lips were undeniably soft and pliant against my own, and I struggled to keep my hands from moving to cup her chin. She broke away first, breathing and yet not making a sound. "Can't, or wont?" I nearly gasped, my words resolute. She sighed and pressed her palm against my chest, moving away. "I don't know." Came her whisper. "That's what scares me."
I moved, letting her go her way, knowing that if I pushed her, she'd be lost forever.
She walked away then, making my heart sink further into an abyss. Barely without a goodbye, too.
I stared at the pale, thin blonde as her golden heels clicked slowly out of the library, feeling my eyes prick with tears from an unknown sensation.
Suddenly, I knew why they called it a broken heart. It felt like a shattering of pieces inside, and the part of my chest which she had pushed on to leave still hurt with an intensified pressure. I wished desperately for it to be gone, undone, anything but stuck within me like a splinter.
I don't know why I watched her still. But it felt like a dagger in my heart, and every step she took toward the door twisted it in further and deeper.
Her blonde hair was the last thing that disappeared out of the library and my life.
I hadn't known it was going to feel like this. No warning signs, no red flare signals. Nothing but the hurt of unrequited love.
Those great love poets who worshipped the very subject were wrong, I quietly thought to myself. I'd read a hundred books on the topic, memorising bits and pieces in my great indulgence of this feeling of love. Yet in my own misery, as portions of passages from various authors floated through my mind, I looked down at the floor, refusing to cry.
The ray of sunlight that peered through the window near me caught my eye, and I felt drawn to it for some reason. I looked out through it, seeing various members of the student body hanging around, enjoying the lazy feel of after-school hours. And then I saw her, slipping into Zeke's black Benz and shutting the door. The car drove away, and I stood at the window still looking out, even after it had gone and disappeared from sight.
It felt like a dream, all this. And like a dream, it had ended. I comforted myself in the knowledge that even if I'd never come across another girl even remotely similar to Sharpay Evans, that at least I'd still have the memory of it all.
I closed my eyes, consoled at once, and the dream, of her diamond studded ears and the strawberry scent that lingered all around her, began again.
A/N: Um. So. Yeah. (:
Written for TGIF512's challenge on Troy. (I don't like Troy at all, really. Bleugh). Really wasn't my best work, went slightly off topic. Fast paced, lacking details, but oh well, the prompts weren't very great. And besides, I HATE writing in first person.