"What grade are you in, Nick?" Todd asked after they were on the road.
"Eighth," he responded.
"Oh. So you won't have any classes with Rae."
"Nope, but we all get to spend lunch together."
"AJ, do you have your schedule?" Todd looked at him in the rear view mirror.
"Yeah," said AJ. "I have every class near you."
"How do you know?"
"Rae told me."
By this time, they pulled into Kennedy Middle School's parking lot. Rae got out of the passenger seat and pulled it forward so Nick could get out. Todd did the same for Rose. A couple of girls, who were standing in front of the school, saw Todd and started talking and laughing loudly, hoping to get his attention. He ignored them, much to their disappointment.
Then they saw Nick and stared freely. Nick was oblivious to it. Rae wasn't and she didn't like the was it made her feel. Like punching them in their faces. 'Calm down, Rae,' she told herself. 'Nick probably doesn't even know they're alive.'
She was right. Nick paid no attention to those girls, even though he must've known they were staring at him.
"I'll see you a 11:30, okay?" Todd leaned down and kissed Rae on the cheek.
"Alright. Keep your eye on AJ, Todd. Make sure he's welcomed."
"No problem." Rae and Todd hugged one last time before Todd got back in the car.
"Bye, Rae. Bye, Nick. Bye, Rose," AJ said from the front passenger seat.
"Bye, AJ," they all said in unison.
They stood there and watched as Todd drove away.
"Come on. Let's go find Julia." Rae lead the way to the entrance to campus.
"Do you have a lot of classes together?" Nick asked, putting his arm around Rae's shoulders. He had noticed some girls staring at him, so he didn't to seem like he was "single and ready to mingle," as AJ says. Rae knew this so she didn't object. She didn't want them near him either.
"I was wondering when you guys would get here," said Julia, walking up to them. "So, Nick, you ready for your first class in a new school?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," Nick laughed.
They all walked through the gate on to campus. Rae, Julia, and Rose were greeted by friends as they passed, giving Nick a curious look from the guys and dreamy looks from the girls. They showed Nick to his first class, which was near theirs. Rose's class wasn't too far off either. Rae whispered good luck to Nick and kissed him on the cheek.
"So, what's with the couple-like exterior?" Julia asked as her and Rae walked to their class, after taking Rose to hers.
"Nothing. Some girls were staring at him and he didn't want them to get any ideas," Rae said.
"So, you two are just friends?" Julia seemed disappointed.
"Yes. I have Todd. And, pretty soon, you could have Brian." Rae smiled knowingly.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Come on, Julia. I know you like him!"
"So what if I do? Besides, in case you haven't noticed, he was flirting with Rose all night last night. He's too old for me anyway."
"Oh, please. Five years difference. That's like me and Todd. As for him flirting with Rose, that doesn't mean Brian likes her any more than you. Just go for it and see what happens."
"You never give up, do you, Rae?"
"Nope. You guys would make a cute couple."
"Just like you and Nick."
"Okay, fine. Be that way. But I'm not going to let you off the hook that easily."
They walked into their class and sat down in their seats. Rae thought about Nick, wondering what he was doing. He was doing the same thing she was, wondering what Rae was doing.
Julia and Rae walked up just in time to hear some girl ask Nick if he wanted to go to a dance taking place in three days, with her. It was the last period before lunch.
"I'm sorry, I can't. I'm already going with someone else. And there she is." Nick quickly walked over to Rae and wrapped his arms around her. Rae knew the deal, so she gave him a little kiss on the lips.
Rae looked to see who the girl was and it was Sarah Logan, a girl who disliked Rae as much as Rae disliked her. Rae saw Sarah's face turn red with anger.
"Hey, Sarah," Rae said. "What's up?"
"I thought you were going out with Todd McKay?" Sarah glared at Rae.
"Nope. We broke up during the summer."
"I'm positive I saw you two at the movies, making out in the last row."
"Not me," Rae said, even though she knew it was true. "He always did have a thing for brunettes, though."
Sarah didn't miss the insult, and flipped her blonde hair over hair over her shoulder.
"The only reason he ever went out you was because I turned him down."
"Keep telling yourself that, Sarah," Rose said, walking passed Sarah. "Maybe you'll believe it. And by the way, that was ME with Todd at the movies."
"Told you it wasn't me," Rae said, a mocking smile on her face. "Come on, Nick, let's go."
Nick took Rae's hand in his and started walking to his next class, Julia and Rose walking on the other side of Rae.
"I guess she doesn't like you too much," Nick said, breaking the silence that had formed.
"What gave you that idea?" Rae said, sarcastically.
"There's some bad history between them," Julia said. "Ever since Todd said he didn't want to go out with her."
"She's convinced it's Rae's fault," Rose added. "This was weeks before her and Todd got together."
"The girl's too aggressive for me, anyway," Nick said. "I just hope she doesn't bother the whole time I'm here."
"Don't worry. If we keep up the couple act, then she'll leave you alone."
"What about Todd?" Even as Nick said this, he didn't let of Rae's hand.
"He'll understand. He knows what it feels like."
"Alright, cool. I'll see you in forty-five minutes." Nick gave Rae a small kiss, turned and walked in his class.
"This is going to be an interesting two weeks. I can already tell." Julia smiled devilishly.
"Definitely," Rose agreed.
"Be quiet, you two," Rae said. Julia and Rae walked Rose to her next class, then headed towards their own.