Prologue: The Don't List

"Here you go."

That's all he got. A blank, clear "here you go" and the slow, almost painful shuffling of a white piece of paper across the lunch table towards him, and the lack of tears in her green eyes.

"What's that?!" Sheen asked in an obnoxious voice, reaching out to snatch the piece of paper.

"Nothing," Jimmy said quickly, grabbing the paper before Sheen could, and folded it, putting it in his pocket. Better not risk opening it at the lunch table and having someone read it.

He saw her sit down at her own table, across from Libby, and he couldn't help but frown. The blank face was still carefully set, her bright eyes trained on Libby, on her untouched lunch tray, on the clock, on the door…on anything and everything but Jimmy.

It simply wasn't fair, either.

He hadn't been prepared for anyof this. Cindy had simply left a note on my big chair inside the lab, even though he have no idea (to this very day) how she got in without him, stating she needed space and not to bother coming to her house in the morning so they could go to school together, and "please don't call me, I just want to be alone."

Jimmy knew that he couldn't just go to her house the next morning anyways, expecting her to change her mind or give him an explanation. He would just give her the space she needed, and hopefully she would turn back around and talk to him.

It had been two weeks, and she hadn't talked to him.

Not once.


When Jimmy got home, he opened the piece of paper, and was only slightly surprised to read what was inside. It was so in-your-face, controlling, and different. So…so…Cindy.

JIMMY'S SET OF RULES

(because you need them.)

By Cindy Vortex.

1). Don't look at me when we pass each other in the hallway. Because that means I have to look back, and our eyes will meet, and that would just be awkward.

2). Don't stop by my locker between classes. We're NOT dating anymore.

3). Please do NOT come by my house at one in the morning on the eleventh of this month (which is a Saturday -- but that's irrelevant.) and ask me to go to space with you. Just don't do it, okay?

4). Definitely do not leave those awesome little Peppermint Bark packages (you know, the chocolate stuff from Borders bookstore?!) in my car, either. Just because you can break into my car (very, very easily), doesn't mean you can leave me presents.

5). When I'm walking home from the library, don't open the window to your room and not do anything, expecting me to get all curious and come to your house. Trust me, it won't work. Not anymore.

6). If I look sad or miserable or angry, don't ask me "what is wrong?" I'm not going to tell you, even if you begged me, or even if I wanted to. Which…I don't…

7). Don't tell me you love me.

8). Whenever you hear my parents from across the street like I'm sure you do almost every night, don't pretend you never heard them and go over to my window, asking if "I want to head over for a late-night trip to Starbucks", and think I don't know what you're trying to do. I'm not stupid.

9). Especially don't give a note to Libby, asking her to give it to me. She doesn't like playing Messenger with us.

10). Don't ask to be my partner in Chemistry class, when you know that I like working alone now, and don't provoke a fight whenever I say no. You know I'll fight back, and I know that's why you'd do it. Just don't.

Don't. Don't do this, don't do that, don't ask this, don't tell me this, don't offer me that.

He had to admit, Jimmy thought this set of "rules" was a little…strange. Why would she be so specific? Sure, Jimmy had stuck one of those packages of Peppermint Bark in car once or twice, only because she loved them so much. But she had seemed pleased about that. Excited, even. And he did come to her house whenever her parents where fighting so loud it woke his parents, but she never acted like it bothered her then.

And yes, if they got into fights, he gave notes to Libby…but only occasionally. And Cindy just sent him a note right back, so what was wrong with that? And they were always partners in Chemistry.

When did she decide she didn't like it anymore? When did she start thinking twice about him stopping by her locker, which she obviously didn't seem to mind, or just looking at her in the hallway?

Jimmy sat straight up, the light bulb turning on in his head, the wheels in his mind starting to turn quickly.

This wasn't a set of rules of things he shouldn't do, it was a set of rules of things he should be doing.

She was using reverse psychology on him!

Of course, it was so clear in his head now. He had given her space, time, breathing air, everything she asked for. He left her alone, but now she just wanted things to go back to the same, but she was afraid to let him and --

Well, he'd just do everything on the list. One by one. Starting with number one, until number ten…

Isn't that what she wanted?

He smiled, folding the list back up and setting it on his nightstand.

Time to sleep, Jimmy. Tomorrow will be a big day for you.


Part I: Sparks

The next day, Jimmy decided to put his plan into action.

1). Don't look at me when we pass each other in the hallway. Because that means I have to look back, and our eyes will meet, and that would just be awkward.

He gazed at Cindy from across the lunchroom, and saw that she was smiling and laughing, just like Cindy does, and she did not look at him once. He looked away slowly, still watching her from the corner of his eye. Maybe, just maybe, she would look at him when she thought he wasn't looking.

He waited, for a few seconds.

…nothing.

He turned back to her again, and he could see she was listening intently as Libby told her some story. Jimmy just sighed and looked past her, to one of the long windows that next to her. It was raining outside…

Wait. Jimmy narrowed his eyes and he saw Cindy turn towards the window, as if to watch the rain, like he was.

Light, shadowy green eyes met his through the reflection of the window, and then she quickly looked away, down to her tray.

He smiled to the window.

She was sneaky.


Two class periods later, Jimmy was walking to his locker - and yes, there was Cindy.

Oh, she wasn't alone, either. Libby was on her left, and Brittany was on her right.

Jimmy had read once - whenever he had the flu for three days straight and was so bored, he read some of his mother's magazines - that when a girl was "getting over" a break-up, they tended to make themselves seem busy and happy by surrounding them by a lot of their friends or other people. Perhaps Cindy was doing the same thing?

The whole situation he was in right now felt like it was going in slow-motion…he was to the north and she the south, with her eyes trained perfectly in front of her, sometimes drifting to Libby or Brittany. He was blatantly staring right at her, and as they were about to pass each other, Cindy glanced towards him, trying to be sly and quick and unseen.

Of course, it didn't work, and Jimmy couldn't help but smile a little when her eyes widened and she looked away, walking just a little but quicker in the opposite direction.


Part II: Locker

Back when Cindy and Jimmy were still dating, it was almost like a tradition for Jimmy stop at Cindy's locker between almost every class period. It was normal for them, because they were dating, and no one gave it much thought.

In fact, it was very strange that Jimmy didn't stop by Cindy's locker anymore.

It was also very strange that they weren't dating anymore, either, but people had long stopped asking about it and minded their own business - mostly because of Cindy's threats.

And Jimmy thought it would be just great to give people a shock, since most people had moved on from the "Big News" of their break-up.

Oh, what a shock it would be.

And it was Tuesday, or Day Two; which is what Jimmy liked it call it. His classmates were moving sluggishly, still sleepy-eyed and dazed from waking up early and going to school. Most of them weren't paying him any attention as he completely avoided his own locker, heading straight in the opposite direction of his homeroom class, towards Cindy's locker.

But one, wide-eyed and still person looked on at him as he determinedly made his way through the throng of people, and that one person just knew, just knew that this whole big situation couldn't end well…not at all.

This person just happened to be Carl Weezer, one of Jimmy's best friends.

He tried to tell Jimmy that he was wrong, but being the hard-headed, somewhat arrogant genius Jimmy was, he didn't listen to poor Carl. Jimmy did always think he was right, and since he thought he knew Cindy more than anyone in Retroville, Jimmy was not one to take advice, not even from his best friend.

Of course, Carl knew that people made mistakes and it certainly was okay if Jimmy made a few, like every one of the other non-geniuses.

And yes, Carl was nice enough not to say "I told you so", because he was his best friend, after all.

(But Sheen was a whole other matter.)


"What are you doing?"

Cindy stiffened, her whole body becoming rigid and she leaned away from Jimmy was far as she could, almost pressed up against her locker.

Jimmy stood directly beside her, leaning against the locker next to hers, smiling and slouching casually.

She just glared. "Well?"

"I'm…standing…at your locker?"

Cindy fumed. The man had the gall to look confused!

She took a few deep breaths, trying to remember her Anger Management techniques, and clenched her hands on her open locker door.

"Why?"

"Because…I…can."

If it was possible, Cindy would've self-imploded.

"I don't want you here."

The short sentence came out hard, as if through gritted teeth.

The only question here, was Cindy just so mad that she had to talk that way to keep calm, or were those words just so hard to say to him, as if she were lying?

Jimmy liked to think it was the latter.

"Oh, c'mon Cindy -"

"Jimmy? Um, what are you doing at Cindy's locker?" An incredulous voice came from behind Jimmy.

He whirled around quickly, only to be greeted with Brittany's shocked face, and Libby's smirking one. Obviously, it had been Brittany who spoke.

"Well…" Jimmy glanced behind him, and his mouth dropped.

Cindy was gone.


Part III: Eleventh

Three days later, it was the Eleventh of January.

Jimmy did not want to anger Cindy so much that she turned off from him completely, so he decided to wait…for just a few days.

But after thinking about it for awhile, he figured that waiting a few days was the reason he got in this predicament in the first place, so he quickly gathered his courage and started on Rule Number Three - don't go to Cindy's house at one in the morning on the eleventh, asking her to go to space with him.

It was Saturday morning, 12:52 a.m. Eight minutes and counting.

It takes a lot to go to space, Jimmy thought, almost bitterly. You needed a spaceship, for one thing. Proper equipment and supplies, including food and water and extra clothes and what if someone got hurt? You would need a first-aid kit.

But this was Cindy, Jimmy assured himself; but he didn't need much reassuring, anyways.

This was Cindy, and she was worth this.


Tap…tap.

Rocks. Tiny little rocks, hitting her window, at one in the morning.

That bastard!

Cindy should've learned, preferably at a young age, not to be so damn specific.

One in the morning? Really?

And people thought she was smart?

In her sleep-dazed mind, she thought that this whole thing was probably her own fault, and she shouldn't even be complaining, she should be taking her punishment in stride.

But there's a different between should and whatever the hell Cindy feels like doing.

Throwing the covers off her and shivering against the cooler temperature of her dark room, Cindy stalked over to her window and threw it open.

"Neutron," She hissed, hoping her parents wouldn't wake and murder her. Murder her and Jimmy both.

"Cindy?" A faint, cheerful voice came from in front of her. In front of her? What the hell?

"Um…" Of course. Jimmy didn't do things the normal way, oh no. He had to do things the difficult way.

And poor, poor Jimmy. He wasn't the best when it came to things like physical endurance and er, climbing trees. But hey, it was better than hopelessly throwing rocks at her window from the ground, that was just lame. Too cliché.

So yeah, he climbed a tree instead.

He moved branches obscuring his vision awkwardly away from his face and smiled and waved at Cindy. She gaped at him.

"Why are you in my tree?"

"Want to go to space with me?" Ignoring her question completely, Jimmy just went for it. There was no hesitating now. He was in a tree.

"Um…how about not?"

Without waiting for a response, she slammed the window shut, making the leaves shudder minutely to the sensation.

Jimmy sighed. There was probably no use to trying again, was there?

And he groaned, realizing one unfortunate thing:

His foot was stuck.


Um. I was going to make this a really, really long one-shot. But how about I make this a two/three-parter? I want to get this out in the open, before I finish.

I'm also very sorry about not updating my other stories! I know it's been at least a month since I've last made a chapter, and I'm extremely regretful to say that it might be awhile until you get one. You can say I've hit this huge wall when it comes to finishing my stories, but I'll still be writing and updating as fast as I can.

I hate school. -grumbles-

So review, and also…thank you for reviewing all my other stories. If you've messaged me, don't be mad if you haven't gotten a reply. I get, erm, sidetracked easily. Sorry!

I'll stop apologizing now…

REVIEW!