Chapter 1

"Make a wish."
"It already came true."

As Samantha Baker lay on the sofa, the house seemed peaceful. The clock chimed the hour: 6am. Her grandparents wouldn't be up for at least another hour and her parents soon after that. As for Mike? Well, her little brother (the pain!) would sleep till noon if her parents let him. But after the chaotic day spent at her sister Jenny's wedding, Sam had the feeling that everyone might be sleeping in.

But not her. With all that had happened to her in the last 48 hours, who could sleep? It still felt like a dream.

Jake Ryan!

The mere thought of his name sent her stomach whirling. Nothing new. She had pined for him ever since she first laid eyes on him in her Independent Study class.

Randi, her best friend, thought she was crazy; obsessing over a guy who didn't even know she existed.

She tried to ignore him (she really did) but it was impossible.

Those eyes... those gorgeous, gorgeous eyes. And that body! Jake Ryan was the most perfect human being she had ever seen. She did everything possible to steal a glance at him, hoping he wouldn't notice.

But obviously he did notice. She still couldn't figure it out. How (and more importantly) why? She was nothing like Carolyn Mulford with her golden blond hair and looks Samantha would kill for.

Jake and Carolyn were the most popular couple in school. Kids worshiped them. But compared to Carolyn, Samantha was just a "nobody".

So when Jake showed up at the church, she couldn't believe it. He had been asking about her!

He asked her something, but truthfully she hadn't heard him. In a daze, she had followed him out to his car, waving to her dad while Jake opened the car door for her.

As the drove off, he told her he had a surprise for her.

She tried to feign amazement at seeing the huge house, but the truth is, she had walked by so many times, she knew the way by heart and had memorized every detail.

Jake's house.

Never mind that it was three blocks from her house, which resulted in her becoming good at making excuses to her family about why she was taking so long to get home from school.

She had no idea what he had planned, but a birthday cake was not what she had imagined. And that kiss!

Suddenly the phone rang, startling her out of her thoughts.

Who in the world would be calling her house at this hour on a Sunday? She sat up and reached for the phone.

"Hello?"

"Hi. Did I wake you?"

The voice on the other end was unmistakable, and her heart seemed to expand beneath her chest.

Jake!

"Samantha, are you there?"

"Um... yeah." she said, unaware of the sudden silence. "I'm here."

"I'm sorry for calling so early. I just wanted to hear your voice."

The comment surprised her so much that she dropped the phone.

"Hello? Hello?" She heard the tinny voice saying from the floor.

With shaking hands, she reached down and picked up the receiver, praying that no one upstairs heard her.

"Sorry. Wh-what were you saying?"

"I was saying that I just wanted to hear your voice." He said again.

Was it possible that real life could turn out better than her imagination?

"Me?" was all she could manage to say.

A chuckle on the other end of the line. "Well now who else would I be referring to?"

"Um, I..."

God, Samantha, way to sound like a total moron.

"Are you going to be busy later?"

She cringed, remembering her plans to meet Jimmy and Randi at the mall. It was their Sunday afternoon ritual. Until now...

Jake was much more important.

"Um, no. I don't think so." She said.

"Great! How about if I pick you up about 4 and we can go catch a movie?"

"Really? I-I mean sure! That sounds great!" Samantha said, trying desperately to hide the quivering in her voice.

"Okay, well, I'll see you then."
"Sure, Jake. Bye!" She hung up the phone and stared at it in disbelief.

A date with Jake Ryan!

She picked up her pillow and screamed into it as loudly as possible.

If this was a dream, she never wanted to wake up.