A/N: I would have had this up yesterday, when it was my birthday as a gift to you, but I had to wait until my beta got back to me with any changes. I do have a banner for this story if anyone wants to take a look. Also, has anyone else notice that there hasn't been any advertisements for the BandSlam DVD release(which comes out Tuesday)? Summit is completely screwing the movie over, just like they did when it came out last year.
An awkward silence loomed over the two eighteen year olds as they ate. Neither knew what to say for some odd reason. This didn't happen when they were at the ski lodge, so why now? They guessed it was because they didn't think they would see each other again. Of course fate has a twisted sense of humor. Troy looked up from his plate and glanced at the girl across from him. He wondered what she was thinking about.
"So," she said and looked up, "are you gonna tell me why you didn't call?"
"Depends," he answered with a shrug. "Are you gonna tell me why you didn't call?"
She grinned. "Touché." Her eyes reverted back to her food. "If you must know, I'm…I'm not much of a social person. I can warm up to someone in person, but on the phone…I don't know what to say. I figure that if someone calls me, then they're the ones that will take control of the conversation and I won't have to contribute much, but if I call…then I would have to be the one talking more."
Tilting his head, Troy looked closely at the girl in front of him. She didn't seem like the type of person that couldn't hold her own in a conversation, but she was. Her eyes lifted, connecting with his, and she raised an eyebrow.
He shook his head. "Nothing," he said, returning his head to its original position.
"Well…I wanted to, but I…to be honest, I don't know why I didn't." A frown set itself upon her lips and she looked down. He immediately knew what that look was. Lacey had given him that same look a couple of times when they were dating. "It's not what you think, though." She looked up at him. "I guess you could say that…I didn't exactly know what I would say if I did call you."
"Why didn't you just say that instead of you 'didn't know why'?"
He shrugged. "I…"
She sighed and shook her head. "If you didn't want to get to know me, you should have just said that instead of trying to make things up."
"Whatever." She stood and he followed, grabbing her wrist.
"Gabriella, I'm not lying to you about anything. I'm not making anything up. I really didn't know what I would say if I called you. Okay? I'm normally not like this, but…I've been going through something and it's made me a little off when it comes to forming new friendships."
She tilted her head to the side and smiled wryly. "You wanna be friends with me?"
"Well…yeah, I mean, you seem like a really cool person."
She sighed. "I guess since we're going to have to see each other for the rest of this semester, then it would be better if we were on speaking terms."
His lips turned upward. "That would be better." He looked down at the half eaten plates of food on the table. "Do you wanna finish eating or…?"
"I had a big lunch so I'm not exactly that hungry."
He nodded and took the two plates, emptying them into the trash can. Since they were both poor college students, they chose to eat at the school's cafeteria. Meal cards were easier to pay with than credit cards.
"So do you live on campus?" he asked as they made their way out of the cafeteria.
She shook her head. "No. I live with my Mom."
"So, then, you live here…in Albuquerque?"
"Yeah. I've lived here for a little over a year."
"Maybe that's why I think I've seen you before. What school did you go to? Maybe I've seen you at an away game."
"I was on the basketball team in high school."
"I've never been to a basketball game; away or at home."
"Really?" She nodded. "You sure?"
She laughed. "I think I would know if I'd gone."
"Then why do I feel like I've seen you before?"
"Because you have."
She stopped walking and turned to him. "You really don't remember, do you?"
"No, I don't."
"I guessed you wouldn't. You were pretty much in your own world."
"What do you mean?"
Shrugging, she continued to walk, hugging her jacket closer to her body to protect herself from the dropping desert temperature. "You were always…I don't know, sad. It was like someone ripped your heart out."
He stopped. "You mean…you went to high school with me?"
She turned and nodded. "Yeah. I came in during the second half of senior year. I, technically, didn't need to go since I had earned enough credits to graduate from my previous high school, but I didn't want to stay at home and be bored."
"But…but when did we meet?"
"We didn't actually meet. I lent you a pen once ."
Troy thought back and remembered that day as if it had happened yesterday.
"Shit," he cursed silently as he tried to produce an ink mark from his pen.
He had lent his back up pen to Chad last period and forgot to get it back. Running a hand through his hair, he threw the pen to the floor and leant back in his chair. Nothing seemed to be going right for him anymore. Staring at the desk, he didn't realize he was being watched until a pen descended upon the closed notebook that sat in front of him. He looked up and came face to face with a girl.
"Here. You can use mine."
She nodded and smiled before retaking her seat two rows in front of him. He picked up the pen and readied himself for an hour worth of note taking.
When the class ended, he stood and walked over to the girl who let him borrow her pen.
"Here's your pen back."
She turned and smiled. "You keep it. You never know when you might need an extra pen," she said before leaving the classroom.
"That was you?"
"I'm surprised you didn't recognize me."
"Well, I did cut and darken my hair."
He noticed the difference in hair color, remembering that it had been lighter back then. He also noticed the shortness of it. It wasn't as long as it had been.
"Why didn't you tell me you knew me from high school?"
"I wanted to see if you remembered me, but I guess that didn't work."
"I was, seriously, going mad trying to figure out where I knew you from and the entire time I had Physics with you."
"You also had English 1 with me last semester."
"Yep, but again, you seemed to be too far away in your head to notice anything else. I'm surprised you passed the class."
"Believe me, you're not the only one."
She laughed and noticed that they had reached the North gate of the campus. Her bus stop was a few blocks away and she didn't want to miss one.
"Well, I guess this is where we part."
"Where do you live?"
"Logan Street. I take the bus across town and walk a few blocks."
"I can give you a ride."
"Yeah, it's no problem. I live like a few streets up from you."
She smiled. "Thanks."
Nodding, she followed behind him to the student parking lot. He glanced backwards, making sure she was still there. Even though the University campus seemed like a safe place, one could never be too careful. Stopping at a dark green Hyundai Genesis, he unlocked it and opened the door of the coupe, letting her get in first.
"You're welcome." He closed the door behind her before walking to the driver's side and getting in. "So what's your address?"
"210 Logan Street."
He nodded and started up the engine. It only took fifteen minutes to reach her house, a ride that would take thirty minutes by bus.
"Thanks for the ride, Troy. I really appreciated it."
"No problem. If you ever need a ride to school, feel free to call me. Just make sure it's the night before. "
"Don't feel like answering your phone early in the morning?"
"That and I'm not sure what your schedule is so I might already be in class when you need a ride."
She nodded. "I'll keep that in mind." Gathering up her bag, she opened the door and turned to him. "I'll see you on Wednesday?"
"Yeah, unless we have another class together that we don't know about yet."
He watched her climb out of his car and walk up the pathway to her home. She turned and waved once more before opening her front door and walking inside. Once Troy knew she was safe inside, he backed out of her driveway and went home.