A/N: So, I weirdly became inspired after I heard the Justin Bieber song of the same name. Who would have thought…
Paige stirred from her sleep as the irritating beeping of the alarm on her phone sounded. Groaning, she turned over and fumbled blindly trying to find it, not putting in the effort to open her eyes.
Her fingers finally made contact, quickly pressing the button to cut off the noise. She felt exhausted. She knew that she shouldn't have let Emily talk her into having a movie marathon last night when she had to be up early for practice this morning; when they both had to be up early.
She lay there for a few moments, trying to gather up the energy to drag herself out of bed. Just as she felt sleep pulling her back under, she was jerked awake by her phone vibrating in her hand. She cracked an eye open to peer at the bright screen in the darkness, seeing a picture of Emily smiling back at her.
She hit 'answer', lifting the phone to her ear. "Hey," Paige croaked, clearing her throat.
"Rise and shine," came Emily's perky voice from the other end of the line. "Thought you might need a wake-up call; can't have you being late for practice."
"Em, it's like 6am, how can you sound so awake? Also, your 'wake-up call' was not necessary. I'm already up and almost ready."
"Really?" Emily replied. Paige could hear the doubt in her tone. "'Cause by the sound of your voice, I think I just woke you up." Paige smiled slowly. Damn, she knows me too well.
"Okay, fine," Paige said, sitting up. "I'm getting out of bed as we speak, happy?"
Emily laughed into Paige's ear. "Yes. Now hurry up, I'll be outside in ten."
With a sigh, she threw the bed covers off of her, swinging her legs over the side of the mattress and onto the cold floor. She missed the warmth of the bed instantly. Winter mornings were definitely a challenge, but thankfully she had Emily.
For years now, they had trained together the majority of mornings, whether it be swimming, running, weight lifting; whatever needed to be done, they were there for one another. They'd met in 6th grade; Emily had been in many of her classes, and they'd found common ground when they had both joined the middle school swim team. Paige had soon found herself integrated into Emily's small circle of friends, and from there on, it was history.
They'd just started their senior year of high school, and Paige was in a good place. She had great friends, a great boyfriend, her grades were up, and she was in the running to become anchor of the Rosewood Sharks swim team; things couldn't be better. Yes, she could complain about the early rises and the ridiculous workload this year would bring, but she had a lot to be grateful for.
Paige walked over to flip her light switch, squinting in the sudden light. She quickly stripped down, pulling on her swimsuit then rooting around in her chest of drawers for a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and pulling them on top. Catching sight of herself in the mirror, she quickly ran a brush through her hair, pulling it into a high ponytail.
Slipping on her sneakers, she grabbed her bag that she'd packed the night before and headed out of her bedroom, making her way down the stairs quietly so as to not wake her mom and dad. They weren't due to rise for at least another half hour. She quickly ate a banana, scrolling through her Facebook feed on her phone while she waited on Emily.
When she faintly heard a car pull up outside, she made her way to the front door, taking her jacket and scarf from the rack. She wasn't looking forward to the cold that would hit her as soon as she opened the door.
Stepping out, she shivered, looking to see if it was Emily that she'd heard. She saw Emily's Toyota parked at the end of her driveway, headlights shining into the darkness.
She made her way to the car, looking in the window as she got closer, seeing Emily with her eyes closed and her hand supporting her head against the window. Paige rapped her knuckles on the glass loudly, laughing when Emily jumped in her seat.
"Ha! Knew that perkiness on the phone must have been an act," she said, getting into the car.
"Shut up," Emily replied. "I was feeling pretty good when I first woke up, but the heat of the car has made me sleepy."
"Well that's not good; I kinda want to get to school in one piece if that's possible."
Emily gave her a smile, and nodded to the cup holder in between the seats. "That's what those are for."
Paige looked down, seeing two coffee cups sitting there. A grin began to form on her lips before she remembered that coffee was a forbidden beverage.
"Em, you know I can't. My dad will kill me."
"Come on, are you serious? How will he even know?" Emily rolled her eyes.
"Because I suck at secrets, and no doubt he'll be able to smell it off of me or something."
"Paige, it's not even a real secret; it's coffee. Here, it's nice and hot and it'll help keep us awake." Emily held the cup out to Paige, who took it after a moment of hesitation.
"Fine, but if my dad finds out I'm sending him to your house," said Paige, Emily smiling as she gave in and took a sip of coffee. Damn, that's good. She hadn't had coffee in a while, her dad claiming it to be detrimental to her fitness and therefore her swimming. Paige didn't really believe that since Emily drank coffee all the time and was debatably an even better swimmer than she was, but if it meant less fighting with her dad, then sure, Paige would do what she was told. "Also, if we throw up in the pool, you're getting the blame for that too."
Emily just smirked, rolling her eyes again. "You going to Hanna's after school?" she asked after a moment, looking at Paige over the rim of her coffee cup.
"Well, I was meant have a study date with Sean, but I think I might just tell him we can do that tomorrow. I'd rather hang out with you guys and order in pizza. We haven't had a chance to do that since school started back."
"He won't mind?" Emily said, raising her eyebrows doubtfully.
"He shouldn't, he's postponed dates to go hang out with his football buddies before, so," she shrugged, trailing off. Paige continued to sip her coffee, feeling its warmth spreading through her body. In all honesty, the reason why she wanted to spend time with her friends was mainly to spend more time with Emily. Apart from last night, it felt like they hadn't really hung out much the past couple of months. Outside of training, that is.
To be honest, something was different; she couldn't pinpoint what it was exactly, but something had definitely changed with Emily. She'd broken up with her boyfriend Ben during the summer, and Paige still didn't really know what had happened there; she wondered if that had something to with it. She hoped that maybe she might be able to get an answer out of her tonight with the help of the other three girls.
"Well, that's good," Emily smiled. "It really has been too long since we all got together. And senior year seems like it's going to be crazy busy; we might not get as many opportunities as we used to." Emily looked down at her lap, looking upset all of a sudden. Paige reached out, taking Emily's hand in her own.
"Hey, look at me." Emily looked up with sad eyes. "We've still got a whole year. And it's going to be an awesome one at that. Beating Oakwood High once and for all, loads of parties, prom; we'll even help find you a new man." Paige offered Emily a smile and squeezed her hand gently. Emily looked like she was about to say something, but after a moment just smiled back at her. Paige grinned. "There we go, that's what I like to see." Emily laughed lightly, pulling her hand away from Paige's.
"Thanks," she whispered, before turning back to look out the window of the car. Emily put her empty coffee cup down and started to drive away from Paige's house.
The ten minute journey to school was spent in a comfortable silence, Paige lost in thoughts of the day ahead. Emily pulled up into a parking spot, and with a sigh, they both got out of the car, Emily grabbing her bag from the back seat.
Paige pulled her scarf up to her mouth, trying to shield as much of her body as possible from the freezing morning air.
They made their way through the deserted corridors to the girls' locker room, footsteps echoing off the walls. They were the only ones there, as usual. Some other members of the team chose to swim in the mornings, but usually not until at least 7am.
It had been their ritual for as long as Paige could remember; get in the pool early and get in a morning practice, in addition to the ones they had in the afternoon with the rest of the team.
They were easily the best of the girls, but the extra practices always helped to keep them at the top of their game, which would be important when the scouts from colleges came to check them out. Also, they were fun. It was time that she got to spend alone with Emily doing what she loved most; they challenged each other like no one else could, and trying to beat Emily in a race was extremely enjoyable. Actual swim practices with Coach Fulton were a bit less fun and way more serious.
Paige opened her locker, removing her jacket and scarf and placing them inside. She started pulling off her t-shirt and jeans, suddenly sensing Emily staring at her from the corner of her eye.
She looked up, hands on the button of her jeans, seeing Emily averting her eyes from her.
"What? Did I spill coffee down me or something?" Paige asked, looking for any coffee stains on her pants.
"Hmm?" replied Emily, glancing back quickly before focusing on a spot on the floor. "Oh no, it's nothing." She cleared her throat. "I'll get you out there." And with that, she slammed her locker shut, flashed Paige a quick smile and left.
Paige stared after her for a moment before pulling out a mirror she kept in her locker and looking in it self-consciously. Noticing nothing out of the ordinary, she shrugged. That was weird.
Deciding not to dwell on it, she pulled off the rest of her clothes, hurrying to join Emily in the pool.