He first met Stevie Baskara on their first day at Brewster High. Andy was in Mr March's class scribbling notes in to his outer-space notebook about possible songs he could recreate with his unique wind instrument. He could hear two girls, a blonde and a brunette, giggling and whispering behind him. It was probably directed at him; he was used to it by now.
Andy Bartlett had been teased for most of his school life. His mommy told that it was because they were jealous of him and Andy had to agree. He could fart out the tune to at least fifty songs; how many other people could do that? Nonetheless, Andy didn't really enjoy sitting by himself at lunch or being made to work on his own in class. So when one of the popular guys, Spencer, sat on the desk beside Andy, he was understandably pleased.
"Hey, you're Andrew, right?"
"Actually I go by Andy; my mommy says it makes me sound more like a cowboy," Andy replied and Spencer's friends burst into laughter. It was weird of them to laugh at him, Andy thought, seeing as Spencer might ask him to join their gang.
"Okay then, Andy. My friends and I were wondering if you wanted to come to a party with us Friday night?" Spencer smirked.
Andy's eyes widened. He hadn't been asked to a party before. Maybe high school was going to change him; he'd be the cool guy with loads of cute girls clinging to his arms!
"Of course I do! Where is it?"
"The abandoned warehouse in Old Major's field, you know the place?" Spencer asked.
"I do," Andy gulped. "But isn't that place a little scary to have a party in?"
"Awh, Andy, you can't chicken-out on us! We need you there, man!"
Andy paused. They wanted him there! He'd go to that party, socialise and dance a little bit, and by Monday he'd be the most popular guy in school! He had to go!
"I'll definitely be there," Andy smiled.
Spencer fist pumped happily before he motioned to the brunette Andy had heard laughing earlier. "See Molly over there? She told my friend that she's totally into you. You have to ask her out, man!"
"Really?! Molly wants a slice of Andy-pie?"
Spencer chuckled. "Oh you bet it."
"Maybe I should sing her a song at the party," Andy suggested, his eyes widening with glee.
"That is an awesome idea! She'll love that!" Spencer said as he slapped Andy on the shoulder. "Especially if you serenade her with one of your fart songs."
"Why don't you leave him alone?" a feminine voice from in front of the boys interjected. Andy looked up towards the voice and his breath caught in his throat. Sat in front of him was one of the most beautiful girls he'd ever seen. She had chestnut-coloured hair that flowed over her shoulders in loose locks and hazel eyes that glared angrily at Spencer.
"What do you mean? We're just trying to make plans!" Spencer defended himself, a daring smile spread across his lips.
"No, you're trying to make him look like an idiot. Why don't you just back off and go play with your airhead friends?" the girl snarled.
"I guess I'll see you later, Andy," Spencer shrugged as he raised his arms in the air to surrender before slowly backing off to sit by his friends.
"No, you shalln't," the girl scoffed before she pivoted to face Andy. "Ignore those jerks, okay?" she smiled softly.
"Stevie," she grinned before turning around to face the front.
Zander Robbins had also met Stevie on his first day at Brewster High but he, however, was being targeted by the popular guys for a different reason. The moment Zander walked through the scratched, red-painted doors of the school, his charming aura and musical ability was a honey-trap for the female population. Immediately, the girls crowded around him as he plucked out tunes on his ukulele and complimented his 'handsome cheekbones' and 'tiny guitar'. Totally accommodated to the attention, of course, Zander was at ease with his new cult of fan-girls but Spencer Haines and co. saw it as an opportunity. Zander was a chick-magnet but had no interest in keeping one girl as his own and telling the rest to back off. That meant he had plenty of adoring girls at his disposal, something Spencer could benefit from; why fight Zander for the girls when Zander could bring the girls to him?
That was why Spencer approached Zander in the courtyard that same lunchtime. Zander was sat on a small wall that bordered a flower bed with six girls sat around him. This made Spencer smirk with eagerness as he reached the group.
"Hey ladies, mind giving me and my man Zander some space?" Spencer asked them, his eyebrow was raised expectantly to show them he didn't anticipate a disagreement. The girls huffed but obeyed the hidden order and they gathered their belongings and reluctantly left. Spencer moved to sit on Zander's left, giving him a pat on the shoulder as he did so.
"I've gotta give it to you, man; you're gifted," Spencer complimented him.
Zander smiled and popped the collar on his blue flannel shirt. "Thanks, my mom said I could rock out on a guitar before I could even say her name."
"I didn't mean your music," Spencer deadpanned and Zander looked taken aback. "Well it's great and all but what I really meant was the way you picked up those girls; very smooth."
"Oh the girls," Zander chuckled quietly. "They're one of the perks of being a musician, I guess."
Zander really didn't appreciate his talent, Spencer mused. After a few hours at this school, he had effortlessly attracted the attention of nearly all the girls. That made him a useful resource to have.
"So listen, me and my boys were thinking that you should hang out with us sometime," Spencer offered.
"Really?" Zander asked and Spencer nodded. "I'll definitely think about it, thanks."
"No problem, man. I think we'll all get along no problem," Spencer smiled deviously as he stood. He nodded in Zander's direction before heading back to his friends.
Zander was surprised, to say the least. It wasn't that he didn't have friends back in New York; they just weren't what were considered the 'popular' type. In fact, the more popular guys in his old school weren't too fond of Zander's peppy, musical personality. So to be approached by the guy who, he was told, practically ran the student body and to be asked to hang out with was a bit unexpected. As speculative thoughts ran through his head, a shadow approached him from the steps on the right. He turned to the owner of said shadow and was jolted back into consciousness. The girl was wearing simply a red tank-top and beanie, accompanied by light-wash jeans and tattered sneakers. Her hair fumbled over her shoulders messily and Zander couldn't help but sit up straighter and slide a flirty grin onto his lips.
"What's up, baby?" he asked, his eyebrows flit up and down charmingly.
The girl raised an eyebrow of her own and sat beside him, her arms folded over her chest. "Please, spare me the lines," the girl sighed.
"Sure thing, gorgeous. Now, what can I do for you?" Zander smirked and shimmied closer to her, causing her eyebrows to heighten further.
"Look, I was going to be a good person and help you out but if you're going to keep saying chiz like that, you can forget about it."
"Aren't you feisty?" Zander chuckled. "So what's your name?"
"That's not important. I just wanted to tell yo-" the girl began before Zander interrupted with a devilish grin.
"Uh uh; how can you expect me to take advice from a complete stranger?"
"Fine, my name is Stevie," the girl groaned.
"It suits you," Zander complimented. "You may continue."
No matter how hard Stevie tried, a small smile tugged at the corner of her lips. If a guy normally talked to her like this, she wouldn't hesitate in setting him straight. But Zander spoke in such a playful way, she actually liked it.
"Thanks," she said dryly. "I couldn't help but hear your conversation with Spencer-"
"Creeper," Zander snorted.
"Would you shut up?" Zander raised his hands innocently. "Okay, so I heard what Spencer said and I just wanted to tell you not to bother hanging out with those goons."
"What's so bad about them?" Zander asked as he peered over Stevie's shoulder towards the lunch table Spencer and his friends were sat at. They were currently flicking a paper football across the table and Zander was not jock, but he guessed he could get used to it.
"They're jerks and if you hang out with them, that's one more buffoon everyone has to deal with daily," Stevie shrugged. "Besides, Spencer only wants you around for your little groupies."
Zander's head snapped back to face the girl in front of him. His eyes searched hers and he couldn't detect a speck of deceit in them.
"How do you know that?" Zander's eyebrows furrowed.
"Because I've been at this school long enough to know everyone's plans," Stevie explained as she pivoted around. "Take Kacey Simon, for example," Stevie started as she gestured to a table clustered with girls all dressed way too well for school. "Whenever she invites someone into her group, it's because they'll some how compliment her as the dance behind her as she sings."
"You're bluffing," Zander scoffed.
"No, Eloise, we've discussed this!" the voice belonging to Kacey Simon screeched across the courtyard, suddenly causing Zander to turn and watch. "You're a backing dancer, so you've gotta stay behind me!"
Zander returned to looking at Stevie, who was looking triumphant.
"Okay so you got lucky there," Zander conceded with a roll of his eyes.
"Believe whatever you want, I tried to help you," Stevie replied as she stood back on her feet. As she turned to walk away, Zander's voice stopped her.
"Well wait for me!" he called.
Stevie pivoted on the spot to look at him. "What do you mean?"
"Well since you took my potential friends from me, you'll have to take on that role now," Zander explained as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"Oh no, I didn't come here to make a friend," Stevie chuckled nervously and she started to back away.
"Well then…surprise, I guess. Now come on, best friend, we've gotta get to know each other better," Zander grinned devilishly and swung an arm over Stevie's shoulder, leading her out of the courtyard.
Next chapter: Songs.