When I walk into the classroom for history I can already tell something's up. There's a 'buzz' in the room and I quickly realize why. Jared is back. He's been out of school for at least four weeks now, and we were told he had mono… Now? I'm not so sure.
I highly doubt people who have recently had mono come back to school taller, more muscular, and just generally hotter than they were when they fell ill. It just doesn't add up. Not that I'm complaining.
Nonetheless, I've never been much of a gossip so whatever people are speculating is beyond me. Jared has always seemed like a good kid, so if he's lying about some illness, my guess is its personal-and it's certainly not my place to drill him on it. Even if I am slightly worried about him.
I head toward my seat, which is conveniently located next to Jared, only to be intercepted by my friend Mariah. She cuts her glance to Jared in an obvious way, and grabs my wrist, towing me into the hall just outside the room.
"Hey!" I protest lightly, "What are you doing?"
"I'm taking the conversation outside." She shrugs as if her explanation is obvious. "Why do you look so confused? Did you see Jared Cameron?" I raise my eyebrows at her. She sighs, realizing that her question was dumb. "Who am I kidding? Of course you saw him, you only ever see him." She huffs, exasperated.
"So? What about him?" I'm lost, Mariah isn't usually one for gossip, much like myself.
"You're kidding me right? You've been crushing on him for, like, ever, and you don't think its weird that he comes back to school-after being out for weeks-looking even hotter than he did before he left?" She basically just voiced my thoughts, but I don't let my expression give me away.
"Maybe he did some modeling in Paris." I say, lightly-obviously joking. "It's not my business."
"You are so frustrating! This doesn't bother you at all? It doesn't make sense." I smile at this. This is the Mariah I know-the one obsessed with logic and reason. At least now I know why she dragged me out here to gossip about Jared.
"So," I shrug. "It's a little confusing. I'm sure he's been getting that all day. Probably not what he wants everyone to be talking about." I know I would hate being the focus of the student body.
"Well then he shouldn't have come back to the reservation high school looking like a body builder." I sigh, losing hope in her dropping the subject. Her curiosity is piqued.
"Well you should probably start your thorough investigation of the matter by giving up on talking to me. It's not like Jared and I are the best of friends. Three line conversations about the weekend don't constitute someone telling you their deep dark secrets."
Mariah laughs a little too loudly for the hall that's slowly emptying as class time approaches. "As if I didn't know that. If three line conversations were all it took he'd already know about your massive crush on him." To my intense relief her voice drops to a whisper as she finishes her sentence.
I slap her arm lightly. "Shut up."
The minute bell rings and I slip into the classroom, Mariah on my heels.
"See if you can get him to talk." Mariah says softly from behind me.
I roll my eyes and elbow her sharply. "Not a chance."
Her expression is priceless. It's the look I would imagine a child would wear if they'd just been told that their dog kidnapped their favorite toy and flew to California. To her puzzles are the most intriguing thing, where as I like to leave things alone. If it's my business, I assume someone will inform me.
I sink into my chair before turning around to face her because she sits right behind me. "You study for this quiz?" I question lightly.
She throws me a withering look. "Not exactly. You know I have a way with history." I smile, she's told me a hundred times, apparently to her history class is like one interactive story-and she's a diehard fan girl who instantly memorizes every detail.
"Bookworm." I accuse good-naturedly.
"Oh, please. You know you wish you had my skill." I roll my eyes.
"Whatever." My grumbling clearly indicates she's right.
Just then the final bell rings, and the random people standing around all slip into seats. I turn around to face forward again, pulling my textbook and binder out of my bag. I open up to the most recent chapter we'd covered and tried-futilely-to cram the information into my mind. Unfortunately history just isn't my thing.
As we all wait for Mrs. Talken to enter there's a quiet murmur in the room. I can't help it when my thoughts drift to the person sitting to my right. I feel bad, because as far as I can tell Jared is the preferred topic of discussion at the moment. It's been like this all day, though I hadn't seen him till I walked into the room for third period.
I try to come up with a way to make him feel… I don't know, normal? But as per usual I'm awful at conversation. I can manage ok most of the time, but, of course, when it really counts, I can't help make Jared feel like he's not under a microscope.
Finally I settle for the type of conversation I'd start with any other acquaintance of mine if they'd been out sick. Though I don't normally have a crush on my acquaintances… I silence the thought and force the words to come out normal.
"Hey Jared. Looks like you're getting out of today's quiz." There's a hint of a smile in my tone, which shocks even me.
"Uh, yeah. I'm going to have to make it up though." He shrugs, but pauses as though he wants to say something else. Then, to my surprise he actually does say whatever he wasn't going to say. "I can't tell you how happy I am that the first thing you said wasn't 'what happened to you?' So, thanks Kim, for making today slightly normal." He says, smiling, for the first time glancing up from his textbook, which I've just noticed he was flipping through, trying to find the page we were on.
Nice job Kim, I think, couldn't even give him the page numbe… I lose track of the thought when his eyes lock on mine.
It's not like I haven't looked him in the eye before, I'm not that shy, but it has never been like this. His gaze locks on mine so intently, with such emotion that I can't look away. I am, literally, frozen staring into his deep brown eyes.
Thankfully, my ever-reliable best friend notices and kicks the back leg of my chair discreetly. My eyes snap down to the desk and I can't stop the heat from rising in my cheeks. I just hope my tan skin hides the blush well enough…
In the commotion I hadn't realized that I wasn't even the one who initiated the 'stare fest'. Thankfully, to keep my eyes from wandering back to Jared, our teacher walks in.
We're her favorite class, and she makes no secret about giving us more independence than her other hours. "Sorry guys, I was dealing with an issue. Let me just hand these out…" She pauses, ruffling through some papers, and returns with a stack of quizzes. This is no surprise, honestly, because the day after every lecture she gives us a quiz. Ten questions, multiple choice and short answer.
She moves around the room quickly handing out papers to each row. When she sets the papers down on my desk I pick them up and pass them back to Mariah who is giving me what can only be described as her 'Oh my gosh did what I think just happened, happen?' look.
I laugh, slightly breathy, but I can feel the heat in my cheeks finally fading. Just as I'm about to turn back and face forward Mariah juts her chin at my neighbor ever so slightly, her eyebrows raised. I ignore the 'comment' and focus on my quiz.
I'm only on question two when I feel his eyes on me. Great, now I'm definitely going to fail. As if it isn't hard enough to pass without Jared staring at me.
The next ten minutes are… distracting to say the least. Jared doesn't have a quiz, so he's just sitting there, watching me. And even though he's trying to be discreet it's not working. I can't seem to puzzle out his expression either.
He seems surprised and… confused. I don't see how looking at me managed to make him feel that way, but it did and he's clearly been caught off guard. Apparently today is full of surprises.
I finish the quiz early, with a sigh of relief. I'm ninety eight percent sure over half the questions are wrong because I've only given the quiz about a fifth of my attention. Two fifths were spent wondering why Jared couldn't take his eyes off me, and the last two fifths were spent asking myself if I really cared if he stared at me forever.
Needless to say the quiz was probably failed so badly that my grade would drop an entire letter-but you never know.
My mind, however, was hardly concerned with a potentially failed quiz. There was a much more pressing issue in my teenage mind. It just didn't add up-and for once I was just as concerned with a puzzle as Mariah.
Suddenly, I feel my phone buzz in my pocket. Now, I may be shy, but that doesn't mean I won't bend the rules every so often so that I can text my best friend in class. Especially if my work is done.
I thank my lucky stars I can text-and type for that matter-with my eyes closed. I don't even have to look down to type; I only have to be able to read.
A quick glance at my phone tells me Mariah's simple message.
WTF?!-M I resist the urge to smile, Mariah reserves the use of the 'text-lingo' involving curse words for what she deems to be 'life changing' events. This is hardly life changing.
Pretending to read a novel-Fahrenheit 451-I text her back.
Her response comes quickly.
You two totally had a moment!-M
This time I have to fight back a laugh.
We did not! He was just thanking me for treating him normally.
She doesn't respond, but I can almost feel the glare she's giving my back.
Suddenly Mrs. Talken decides to collect the quizzes and I gather up all the sheets from my row. As she moves from section to section-collecting papers, Jared turns to me slightly.
"So, what's the verdict? How do you think you did?"
This isn't exactly abnormal, though he usually asks me what answer I put for such and such. This time he didn't even take the quiz… does that mean he's asking because he… cares?
I collect my thoughts enough to answer him. "I'm pretty sure I bombed it." I shrug. "It wasn't really that hard though, you'll be fine."
He nods, but from the way he's looking at me I can tell he's thinking about something other than a makeup quiz. I just can't seem to place his expression-again.
Just then Mrs. Talken ends up at our row, disrupting the slightly awkward conversation we had going. Our teacher just takes the stack of quizzes from me, but I manage to catch her glance at Jared. It would seem I'm not the only one baffled by his sudden notice of me.
Then again, maybe she's just trying to figure out why he looks like a full-grown man instead of the teenage boy he'd been four weeks ago. That's probably it.
The rest of class is a blur. I feel Jared's eyes on me the entire time, and I can't focus on a single thing Mrs. Talken is saying. That pretty much guarantees me another 'E' on tomorrow's quiz. This boy is going to cause me to flunk out of high school.
When the bell rings Jared stands up to go collect his make up work from Mrs. Talken and I pack up my stuff. When I turn around to talk to Mariah she hasn't even moved, though half the class has already dispersed into the halls.
"Come on slow poke." I tease, "I don't want to be late."
"Kimmy," She hisses. "What just happened?"
"If I knew I'd tell you." She fans her face, as though there were a blush on her russet Quileute skin. The brushes her black curls behind her shoulder and packs up her things.
"Finally." I breathe, being dramatic. We have ten minutes between periods and no one really cares if you're late to study hall, which is our next period.
"How can you be so composed after all that?" She questions me, eyebrows raised.
"I don't know… it just didn't feel weird to me I guess."
I pull my backpack onto my chair trying to cram my book into the bag of school supplies. I can't seem to get it and when I look up I see Jared gathering his things as well. Him appearing out of nowhere momentarily amazes me, but I quickly gather that he's just returning with his make up work.
I can't feel Mariah behind me and glance toward the door to find her waiting for me. Again, I turn my attention to the book, finally giving up and zipping it into a separate pouch from my other school books.
Before I can zip up my bag completely Jared speaks up. "Hey, Kim?"
I look up, only to be trapped in his gaze again. "Y-yeah?" I hate that my voice wavers.
He smiles sheepishly. "I know you just packed up but can I borrow your notes?"
"Oh, uh… sure." I smile at him, and fish through my bag easily sliding out my spiral bound notebook. I hand it out to him. "The notes should be the second to last ones in there. I pretty much go in sequential order."
He smiles widely. "Thanks Kim. I'll get this back to you."
I just nod. "No rush." I'm glad that I don't doodle or do anything embarrassing in the margins of my notes. I'm also, for once, glad that I have unusually neat handwriting. "Hope that helps with the catching up." I say sliding my backpack onto my shoulders.
"It will. Thanks Kim."
If I were bolder I'd tell him he already said that, but I'm not, so I don't. I do find it a little odd though, that he can't seem to keep from smiling wider whenever he says my name.
Instead I give him a smile and a nod and I rush to catch up with Mariah at the door.
Alright readers! Welcome to my story. This is completely written, down to the last sentence of the last chapter. I hope you'll enjoy reading each part as much as I have loved writing it. I will be updating as regularly as possible pending approval from my new editor and friend! I appreciate your help, if you're reading this.
I want to let you guys know why this story popped into my head and I had to write it: Out of all the imprints stories I find Kim and Jared's to be one of the cutest. If you think about it, in the twilight saga, all imprinting was done for one reason or another. Sam and Emily created the drama of the triangle with Leah, Quil and Claire had drama with the 'age' thing and they paved the way for letting readers know what would probably happen to Jacob... Rachel and Paul had drama with Jake, and come on, I mean she's Jacob Black's sister.
Kim is the only true 'outsider'/'useless imprint' unless you consider her purpose as showing that imprinting can be normal. I think that the 'normalness' of their story is one of the most intriguing things: hence the title. :) I also feel that people who write fanfictions about Kim and Jared go overboard-either one way, or the other. They either make Kim TOO shy, or TOO wild. And in the book Kim is a REGULAR girl. In my book shy doesn't mean 'mute' it means 'showing nervousness around others from time to time'. That means I am like Kim! And I'm not overly outgoing, but I'm CERTAINLY not mute. :) I have things to say and, shy as I may be, I can say them, even to boys. :) So I hope you'll find that my story creates Kim as a more relatable person, not super wild, and not super shy. The sole purpose of this story is to get my version of it out there, so that others can decide how they want to see it. I hope you all love reading my story, and I hope you understand what I mean about keeping Kim 'regular'-which is a completely objective term-and that you like my version of her.
Hopefully you all leave me your thoughts, questions, concerns, likes, hates, and anything else you can think of in a review-and I promise future author's notes won't be this long. :P
Thanks bunches and bunches