Five hours. She had been at school and around her friends for five hours and not a single one of them had wished her happy birthday. Her mom had made her favorite breakfast and her father presented her with a leather bound sheet music book with her name on it. But it was being acknowledged by your friends that meant the most to a teenage girl, especially when for most of your high school career you had gone unnoticed by so many.
Kelsi was never the one to seek attention, she left that to Sharpay and Gabriella, but for just this one day she would have liked a little bit of peoples time. She also knew that everyone was busy with midterms and other activities but three words was all she asked for.
It was finally free period and she was anxious to head to the music room and pound on the piano to get some frustration out. Passing her upon entry was Mrs. Darbus who wished her a happy birthday, at least someone here remembered. Setting her bag on an empty chair she walked to the red bench behind the piano and took in the keys.
Slowly she traced her finger along them, and then she let lose; pounding out the angriest note she could think of. She kept at it for a few minutes, until her fingers were sore from the harsh beating against the keys and her foot tired of pounding the gears below. Looking up she found a stunned Troy Bolton staring at her, immediately she blushed and looked away. "Sorry."
Laughing at her meek voice he crossed the room and sat beside her on the bench, "What are you sorry about Kels?" She could see he had sheet music in his hand and her curiosity peeked.
"That you had to see me act like that." Looking at the papers she could see notes but no title, although they looked familiar she couldn't put them to a song and it was bugging her. "What you got there?" She pointed after she couldn't take it any longer.
Her insatiable wonder caused another laugh from him, "Everyone has moments where they need to vent don't worry." Taking the books of the stand before her he set them on the ground and placed his own where they been. "Do me a favor, play this for me?"
Giving him a raised eyebrow she questions his antics, that and irritation of someone asking her to do them a favor on birthday brought up a need for note pounding again. But never one to disappoint she trained her eyes on the notes and quickly began to play them out. In an instant she laughed at why the song seemed familiar, but before she could do anything Troy's voice accompanied her music.
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Kelsi, happy birthday to you." He finished with a wide grin and jazz hands that Ryan had taught him. Removing her hands from the piano she let them fall in her lap and allowed laughter to fall from her lips.
Before she knew it a few tears had fallen from her eyes, a mixture of her laughter and the sure thankfulness of his actions. Wiping them away she lifted her head to look him in the eyes, those ocean blue eyes that she often got lost in when trying to talk with him. "Thank you Troy."
Pulling her into a hug he laughed into her chestnut curls, "You're welcome Kels. But I am not done I got you something too." He pulled back and reached into his front pocket to pull out a small velvet box.
Seeing the box made Kelsi think of all the movies where guys pull out velvet boxes and it means proposal. But she and Troy were not dating, best friends that could be perfect for each other; yes. But that was a thought she kept to herself, so the red velvet confused her. "Troy, what the? You really didn't have to get me anything."
Blushing at her reaction he traced the opening of the box and looked into her eyes. "I know, but I saw it in a shop and it just screamed your name at me. I had to get it for you." Slowly he creaked open the box and inside was a singular silver musical note hanging from a silver chain. When she looked closer she saw that inside the bottom of the note was a elegantly engraved 'K'.
Her eyes began to water again and her breath caught in her throat, "Oh my gosh Troy, it is beautiful." Reaching out her fingers outlined the metal as she stared in awe.
When he saw the look in her eye Troy knew he had made the right decision to buy the necklace for her, even if all they were was best friends. Kelsi meant a hell of a lot to him and he wanted her to know that, taking the necklace from it's confines he unclasped it and held it out. "Turn around."
Doing as told, Kelsi scooted so her back was facing him and pulled her hair to the side and out of his way. In a moment his hands flew in front of her face and pulled back to close the necklace around her neck. When she felt his hands on her shoulders she turned back to him and looked down to find the charm resting just below her collar bone. Glancing up she caught his gaze again and leaned over to give him a hug, "Thank you so much Troy."
The tickle of her hot breath on his ear caused Troy to shiver, but it was a good shiver. He was so happy that he could make her happy on this day. Wrapping his arms around her he closed his eyes and took in the moment. "You're welcome Kels, happy birthday." Pulling back he grabbed her hand and rested their entwined hands on his lap. "Are you having a special dinner with your parents tonight?"
Loving the feeling of her hand in his she smiled and looked back up, "Yeah, Mom is making my favorite meal."
A slight sadness overtook his eyes but he perked up quickly, "Well would you be free for some ice cream after that?" He figured it was about time to act on the feelings he had been having the last few months, and what better time than her birthday?
Sensing this was more than just birthday ice cream she grinned and tried to squash her hopes that were already building. "Are you asking me on a date Troy Bolton?"
Caught off guard by her inquisitiveness his eyes went a bit wide before he saw her smirk and relaxed back to his normal state. "Yes, are you agreeing to this date?"
Feeling his thumb brush across the top of her hand she took note of how natural it felt to be this close and intimate with Troy. "Yes." She may have been ignored by most her friends, but all it took was the wide grin and smooth voice of her playmaker to make this the best birthday she could remember.