Chocolate Kisses

Did you ever notice how Collins and Maureen are really close? RENT never explains it, so I came up with a plot for it. And I promise it will get better… and Angel will come up. And the title will be explained in later chapters. If you can guess how, you get a cookie that Angel baked.

If I owned it…

First day of high school. First day of a new school. Fifteen-year-old Tom Collins was scared, to say the least. He was new in the town, new in school, the all-around new kid on the block. Not to mention he was one of the only black kids in this city, not to mention the school. He walked through the glass doors of the building into a world of labels, cliques, and hormones. Looking around, he saw almost all the typical stereotypes. The girls in pink miniskirts were all flirting with the boys wearing designer shirts; the kids in all black were burning old schoolbooks. The boys in white collared shirts were comparing class schedules, and as Collins passed them by, he heard one of them say, "Yes, Mark, we got AP Calculus together!"

Guys with greasy hair and leather jackets leaned up against lockers with expressions on their faces that clearly read I am trying too hard to be cool. Tom walked through the hall, feeling every eye on him. He looked down at the yellow slip of paper in his hand. Locker number 117. Combination: 35-21-42. He found the locker easily, twisted the black knob, and the small door swung open without a creak. Thank goodness. He peered inside. No graffiti, gum, or anything else. This must be my lucky day… He set up the standard locker shelf in silence, and stacked his books inside. He magnet-ed pictured of his friends back home onto the inside of the door, and closed it with a click. Now, where the metal door had been was the face of a curvy chocolate-haired girl. She looked him up and down.

"New kid, huh?" she asked.

"Well, yea." He replied, even though he got the feeling it was a rhetorical question.

"That's obvious." She pranced away.

Tom shook his head. She was a strange one. He wondered if he had any classes with her… they were sure to be interesting.

English 9. He saw her again, though she was sitting on the other side of the room. Attendance was called, and he learned her name – Maureen Johnson. In that short class period, he quickly learned that she was no one to fool around with – a very opinionated girl with one of the loudest, most commanding voices he'd ever heard. He secretly hoped that he had lunch period with her, so he could get to know her better.

Wait, what?

What am I thinking?

Is this what all my friends back home called a 'crush'?

What did they say again…

I'll have to call them tonight.

By some miracle, he did have the same lunch period as her… but he got there too late. His backpack spilled in the previous class, so he had to gather it all up as quickly as he could. Luckily, he had help from a small boy in his class… he forgot the name. But he had a kind smile, and he was being so generous... Tom scanned the cafeteria for Maureen. She was too interesting just to pass by. He wanted to talk to he helpful boy, too, but he lost track of him once the two of them walked into the halls of the school.

There.

Sitting at a table… alone.

How did she manage that one?

Tom went through the line, getting his food. Once his tray was safely in his hands with his lunch on it, he turned around looking for the table again. And there it was. Still empty, save for Maureen. He waded his way through the sea of people, catching the helpful boy's eye and smiling along the way. He reached the table, and saw it only had one chair left at it, and it was occupied by a patch-covered green backpack.

"Hey, can I sit here?" Tom asked. Maureen looked up in surprise.

"Sure." She shrugged and took the backpack off the seat, placing it under her own.

"Thomas Collins, right? I heard your name in attendance."

"Just Tom is good. Thomas sounds too formal. And you're Maureen Johnson, right?"

"Don't you forget it!" she winked. They both laughed, and the situation became much more comfortable.

"Why were you sitting alone?" Tom asked, at the same time Maureen said,

"You know your name is a drink? Tom Collins?" they both laughed and waited for the other to answer. Collins volunteered first.

"Yea, I knew that, and before you ask it, now I have never had one."

"Oh, that's too bad. They are delicious. Made of gin, lemon juice, club soda and sugar. Don't ask how I know that."

More silence.

"So, why were you sitting alone?"

"Because I usually scare everyone off. Im surprised you haven't left yet."

"Why would I? You're crazy, sure. Loud, defiantly. But, scary? No, not really." Maureen smiled.

"Thanks." She looked down, the flitted her eyes up to look at Tom through her lashes. At the exact right moment, the bell rang. Both of them got up to go to their next class.

"See you tomorrow?" Collins asked.

"Of course!" Maureen replied, and she flounced off. Tom looked at her receding figure and chuckled. She is one crazy bitch… she thought to himself.

End of the first chapter! See if you can guess who the helpful boy is, too!

Reviews are Joanne to my Maureen… when they are not fighting.