On one fine summer day, Bethany Porter sat herself down on a park bench, reading a first-edition copy of Jane Eyre that belonged her grandmother's and her mother soon after. As she read, she felt herself emerging closer to her mother and dissolving in to Jane's world at the same time. It was a comforting feeling she got whenever she read the novel.

"Excuse me, miss?"

Bethany was abruptly and impolitely removed from the world of Jane Eyre. She turned her head to see the person who had destroyed the beautiful moment so effortlessly. The person was a boy around her age, messy blonde hair,' oceanic blue eyes and an endearing smirk plastered on his face.

"Yes?" She replied, lacking interest.

"You see my friend over there?" The boy pointed to his hobbit-like friend, who was slouching sheepishly on the other side of the park. She didn't know the friend but Bethany could tell that he was probably so pitifully insecure and doleful just by the way he was standing.

Bethany nodded in response to the handsome young man, hoping that it was important enough to ruin her precious time with Jane Eyre and her mother.

"He would like to know if you think I'm cute."

Bethany immediately discovered his attempt to flirt with her and scoffed. This is what was so important? She left her mother for this?

"You surely have some nerve," she stated, not insulted but a bit livid.

That had never happened before, but she had assumed that it was something of a rude method to objectify her as this delicate beauty queen, which she wasn't. Whenever Bethany had asked a question about the opposite sex, Aunt Ruth had always replied, "A powerful young woman like yourself needs a man just as much as she needs a corset... They'll only ruin your life right now, you know." Some of Ruth's negativity towards romance may have rubbed off on her just a bit, but Bethany still thought about it a lot, just like any curious teenage girl.

He arched an eyebrow, perplexed as to why she was acting so aloof and superior. "What do you mean 'some nerve'?"

"Forget it." Bethany closed her book, stood up abruptly and looked him straight in the eye, "Goodbye." She began to walk away but he quickly and firmly grabbed her arm before she could. Bethany glowered at the ill-mannered boy and demanded, "Let go of me."

"I promise, I'll do better."

She removed his hand from her arm and let out a sigh, not taking him seriously to the slightest, but still allowing him to entertain himself. Bethany stared at him angrily and spoke, "Try me."

"Oh shit," He rummaged through his pockets I seem to have lost my telephone number... Can I borrow yours?"

Bethany got a laugh out of this pitiful pickup line, answering, "I don't own a telephone."

"Are you lost? Heaven's a long way from here."

"No, I am not lost! I am right where I am supposed to be, furthermore, I am not an angel, sir. You see, angels are the ones that do nothing but good deeds and that is far from me. I am much too self-interested, I must admit. I suppose that makes me the devil, huh?"

"You're too pretty to be the devil, miss."

Bethany nodded mockingly, "Oh, believe me, I am a sinner." She paused but spoke once again, "Are you done now?"

"No," He retorted almost instantly. Sticking out his hand, he smiled and uttered, "I'm James Gatz."

"Bethany Porter."

Bethany shook his hand firmly. There was a long silence that consisted of James staring at her and it made her feel rather uncomfortable.

She glanced around, attempting to find an excuse. "Well, Mr. Gatz, I've better be going. My aunt is expecting me to be home for dinnr any moment."

James inclined his head questionably. "I'm sure," he remarked in a snide tone.

"Well, excuse me," She said quite loud, her eyebrows knitted together. "I don't remember telling you anything about my life."

He knew that she was lying.

"Your aunt eats dinner at three-thirty?"

"That is none of your business!"

James just smiled at her, thinking about how cute she was and how badly he wanted to get to know her, but she was reluctant. If she could just give me a chance, he thought. Who knows? Maybe she'll actually like me. She's so mean and probably so hard to please but I really kind of like that about her. What is wrong with me?

Bethany stood up straight, her feet planted firmly on the ground. She hugged the book against her chest and marched up to him, "Goodbye, James Gatz."

Within the blink of an eye, Bethany Porter had vanished.

I hope you enjoyed that chapter. As I was writing, I realized how bitchy and cynical Bethany had come off as... but don't worry, she'll get better and loosen up. Hey and don't forget to R&R!


Rose Clementine Dawson