IT BEGINS, BEING A SOPHMORE

~Nicholas~

Approximately 5:45 AM. September 1st. I eat a bowl of cereal, shower, and dress; Blue button up, a pair of jeans and my Levi Chuck Taylors

I brushed my teeth then I combed my hair, the way my mom hates it. She wasn't up yet but her boyfriend of two ungodly years, Roy, was.

"Morning kiddo." He says. He knows I don't approve, and he knows I absolutely can't stand his existence. I don't want him dead, like my dad, I just don't want him here; on this planet, in this country, in my home.

"Good morning," I smile.

"First day back huh?" He says. "You're going to…twelfth?"

"Tenth. I'm 15." I tell him.

"Yes." He says. Conversation with him was about as fun as talking to a wall. No, I prefer talking to walls. They're meant to be flat and boring, he's just a dick.

"Got a girlfriend?" He asks.

I glare at him.

"Nah, you're probably not old enough for that." He smiles.

"Not everyone has a girlfriend." I say. He smirks.

"What time does your bus come? " He asks. I could tell I was beginning to irritate him.

"6: 45." I say.

"It's about,"

"It's 6:20 on the dot." I tell him and he sips his coffee.

"My, you're very intelligent."

"How so?" I ask.

"You always get the time right. You never even check a watch or a clock." He says and takes another sip of his coffee. "Fascinating."

"I guess." I say. We sit in the living room. He's on the couch, I'm in my chair. Another 12 minutes I'm stuck with him.

"Well I better get going." Roy stands. "Someone's got to be the man of the house." He says not so much mockingly but somehow candidly and smiles at me as he leaves out the door.

I sit in the dark until 6:40. The bus stop's right at the corner. I get my back pack and I go.

I didn't know, no, I don't talk to anyone on my bus. I don't like any of them. They're boring and really stupid. Like really, really stupid. They're all so full of themselves and arrogant and pretentious. It gets on my nerves.

Bobby used to ride my bus, back in Junior High. Now, he's at another stop and he'll be driving soon. Could I ever get him to drive me?

I start down the dreary hallways. Friends? What friends. He's more than a friend…to me. I get to my locker, and there he is a few lockers up.

"Hey Nicky," He'd always call me. I loved it because it was his name for me.

"Hey Bobby. How was your summer?" I ask sweetly.

"Oh you know same old same old. Didn't see a lot of you, though" He says almost apologetically.

"Well when your family travels to Florida, what can you do? I see you didn't get any tanner." I laugh. He was some sort of Italian, or Native American, or Portuguese because he had the most beautiful brown skin.

"Hey you know I don't tan well." He laughs.

"Yeah." I look down to hide my blush.

"Whose class are you in?" He asks.

"Ms. Greydoyle" I say.

"Oh. I got Mr. Sanders"

"Yeah." I nod. "Guess we're not in the same class this year."

"Guess not." He says.

"…"

"Pity." He smiles then turns. "Hey girls."

"Hey Bobby. How was your summer?" An ebony girl, Jenna, asks. She's popular and beautiful. Every guy, well not me, but everyone else wanted a piece of her.

"Had a blast. I was in Florida with the fam." Bobby says.

"I can see. You got a tan." One girl says.

"Yeah I tan pretty well." He bullshits and I smile uncomfortably. He only wanted their attention.

"Hi Nicholas." One of the other girls says. Vicki, I think is her name. She's pretty and blonde and might have a crush on me. She and Jenna claim to be cousins.

"Hello." I say softly. She smiles at me. She always does. It's so weird.

"…well. We'll see you later." The girls leave. Bobby smiles in their direction as they go. Jenna looks back, and he even winks at her.

"How do you do that?" I ask.

"Do what?" Bobby says.

"Deal with them." I cringe a bit.

"Nicky, they're girls. Come on." He says.

"But they're just girls, what's so special about them?" I ask and he looks at me like I'm dumb or something.

"Grow up, Nicky." He says then the bell rings. "I'll see you later."

"Yeah." I say dejectedly. They are just girls. We're best friends…or something like that. I turn and go to class. Everything else sucks when I'm not around Bobby.

I go to Ms. Greydoyle's class. Everyone in there seems like another group of pretentious jerks. I sit quietly in my seat but I'm then approached by some pale kid with dark hair and eyes.

"You a sophomore too?" He asks abruptly. I look around; he is indeed talking to me.

"Uh, yeah. You?"

"Uh-huh. Everyone in here is a junior or a senior. You must be pretty smart." He nods.

"I get by." I shrug. I was recommended for a whole lot of accelerated and honors classes, but I didn't necessarily sign up for them. I'm guessing my mom added them to my schedule. I didn't really care. This boy, this incredibly pale boy, laughs.

"I'm Ian." He smiles. He has a nice smile.

"I'm Nicholas."

"Nick? Nice to meet you." He says. I guess we're friends now. We might as well be, because it turns out we have every single class together.

Every so often in the halls, I try to approach Bobby but he either pulls an "I'm too busy" or a "maybe next time/later" which is never the case. This kid, Ian, keeps inviting me out to go somewhere, but I'd rather become more familiar with him first, seeing as he's a bit creepy.

At home, I try to work up the nerve to call Bobby, but I never do.

"How was your first day back, dear?" My mother asks at dinner.

"Yeah kiddo, how was it." Roy asks. He got back from work at 5.

Uggggghh.

"'Was fine. Boring. But fine."

"How's Robert been?" She asks. She's referring to Bobby. She's really the only one who calls him that though.

"He's fine." I shrug.

"It doesn't sound like he's fine. Now what's the matter?" My mother asks.

"Yeah kiddo what's up?" Roy keeps repeating after her.

I glare at him for a moment. "He hasn't really been talking to me."

"Oh well he is an athlete. He's just busy. Why don't you two get together during the weekend or something? I'll call Alice and,"

"No Margaret, I don't think that's it." Roy says.

"What Roy?" I say curtly.

"It seems like this Robert kid just doesn't want to be your pal anymore kiddo."

"That's not true." I tell him. He doesn't say anything and continues eating, the bastard. "I've lost my appetite."

"Now, Nicholas," My mother tries to stop me but I leave the table and go up to my room. I lay on my bed for a while. Then I decide to call Bobby.

"Hello?" I hear a gruff, older man's voice.

"Oh, hello? This is Nicholas. Is Bobby there?"

"No. He didn't come home yet. I thought he was with you. You know where he is?" Bobby's father asks harshly.

"Um, no." I say. I hear a growl.

"Well he's not here, Nicholas. I'll have him call you if his ass ever comes home."

"Oh well, Goodb-" Bobby's father hangs up abruptly. He's really bad-tempered. I did wonder where Bobby was though.

Not want to be friends anymore? We've been friends forever.

It was really unnerving, that and the fact there were all these crows outside my window…

I decide to go to bed.