I am shy.

Just going to put that out there, not wait to make some big revelation or something halfway through my story.

And not the cute, blushing-girl-next-door kind of shy, but the socially awkward, you cringe-when-she-tries-to-talk kind of shy.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I stuttered until I was nine years old, or that my dear mother is a librarian, so that almost all of my time was spent in the local library where if I so much as hiccupped I was shushed. Or maybe it's because I had a step dad who would spit at me when I would talk, at least up until a year and a half ago.

Either way, as you can imagine, standing up in front of the whole class to say how I thought the movie To Kill a Mockingbird was different then the book wasn't exactly my cup of tea.

I tried to stuff some air into my lungs. Everybody was staring at me. Would they quit it? Didn't they know how rude it was to stare? Didn't they know how unnerving that was?

"The- um, well, the book, it… um, it was- it was very, uh, very different. Different from the boo- I mean, the movie. The book- the book was different then the movie."

Great. Right on. Brilliant start.

"And…" the teacher prompted. I was about to sit back down, and I stared at him in a panic. I had to say more?

Seeing that I wasn't getting the message, he continued. "And why do you think that, Bailey?"

"Um. I think that… because… well, in- in the book…"

I could feel my hand slip on the desk I was grasping onto, my palm leaving sweat marks.

"The character, I mean, the main character… he- wait, she, was much…"

Much… much what? You had an answer to this two seconds ago, Bailey. Come on, come on…

"Much less, uh… child-like."

Child-like? What? That was a stupid answer. I should have said that there wasn't a real difference, that the director of To Kill a Mockingbird, Robert Mulligan (searched that up yesterday in my copious free time—as you can guess, I'm sorry to say that I don't have much of a social life), did an excellent job of portraying the book very accurately in the movie, right down to the main character's childlike innocence as she faces the bigger-than-her-world problems of racism, rape, and what true courage is.

Of course, that's what I should have said, but I was reminded of my step dad's stubbled face and I kept my mouth safely shut and sat down heavily in my chair.

I was saved from any more imploring questions by a divine intervention. Or rather, the bell.

I slowly packed up my things, letting my black hair slip over my face. Black hair. At best, it was boring. At worst, it looked like a wombat had gone and died in it.

But, considering everything, I had a little bounce to my walk as I hurried out of the class room, once I was sure that I wouldn't get trampled by the rush of students eager to get out of there. Why? Because it was my favorite time of the day. 5th period study hall. The period that my whole day revolved around. I would like to say that this was because I enjoyed using the free time that this school so generously gave us to get ahead on my school work so that I could engage in some wholesome extracurricular activities, but it was really because of who was in my 5th period study hall.

Seth Clearwater. Seth Clearwater, Seth Clearwater, Seth Clearwater. I can't even remember a time where I wasn't in love with him

I also know firsthand that unrequited love sucks, because he had looked at me all of eight times in the past two school years and seven months. I could specifically remember each time.

And one of them doesn't even count, because it was when I was standing right outside of the door and he opened it really quickly and it knocked into me and I got a bloody nose.

Because that wasn't excruciatingly humiliating. Not.

Anyways, you never know. Today might be the day that he wakes up to find that he has suddenly fallen in love with me, and will marry me and do anything for me.

Hey, a girl could dream.

AN: I know, I know… it's the classic cliche, Boy Imprints on Girl With Scarred Background story… but they're just so fun to write! I'm writing the next chapter now, and if I get any reviews it'll be up soon… (hint hint, wink wink).