I turned from my locker to see Marissa standing behind me, still in her Cheerios uniform, her pompoms sticking out of her bag.
"Hey," I said, pushing my glasses up the bridge of my nose and smiling back. Most people wouldn't expect for the two of us to be friends, let alone for us to be best. After all, she was the typical nice and bubbly cheerleader, with the added popularity bonus of an amazing, smooth R&B voice, while I was the typical nerd, with the added loser bonus of a love of musical theater and, unfortunately, too much stage fright to perform.
I closed my locker, books held against my chest, and started walking down the hall with her. It was already after school, which I'd been both looking forward to and completely and utterly dreading. I had something planned for her and was unbelievably excited and incredibly terrified for it at the same time.
See, people didn't expect for us to be friends, much less for us to be best, much less for one of us to have a crush on the other.
"So, how's your day been?" she asked, looking at me with her age-old eyes and a kind smile.
I shrugged, fighting back a blush at the care in her expression. I knew she gave it to everyone, but it still made me feel… special. "Fine. You?"
Her smile grew, a rarer, younger humor coming out in her eyes. "You're all red, Lindsay. What happened?"
"Nothing," I said easily, pushing my glasses up with a small shrug. Yet.
She raised an eyebrow, giving me a bit of a strange look, but went along with it. "Alright, whatever you say."
"What, you don't believe me?" I asked, mock-offended.
She playfully rolled her eyes. "It's Valentine's Day, Linds. You can't expect me to believe that no one's asked you out."
I shrugged. "I'm no Cheerio, Mars," I said simply, pushing my hair behind my ear like I couldn't care less. "I kind of agree with Ellis on the whole Single's Awareness Day thing, as cynical as it is. I think that Valentine's Day is sort of overrated, never mind asking someone out because of it." I was completely lying through my teeth and I knew it.\
Although… I really was starting to rethink my plan.
She gave me another odd look, this one tinged with concern. "Are you saying that you're not good enough to be with someone? Because, Lindsay, you're amazing."
I blushed deeply at how sincere she looked, at the softness in her voice. "No. I just don't think I'm exactly the prettiest girl in school." It was the truth, though I left out the "you are" that was dying to escape my lips.
She shook her head, seeming exasperated. "Well, I think you are. And who cares if it's overdone? It's sweet."
I shrugged. "I don't agree. But… I guess." I easily hid the fact that my heart was fluttering. She'd just called me pretty. I knew she'd do it to any of the girls, but still … And she said that it was sweet… Maybe this could work, after all.
"You are," she said, smiling a bit again. "And it is."
I shrugged again, not saying anything, grateful we were only a hallway away from the choir room now. I spared a glance at her out of the corner of my eye. She really was gorgeous in that uniform, but not in the perverted way most of the boys thought\. If anything, it slimmed down her curves, but the colors brought her eyes out, made her hair seem even brighter. And for her to look any prettier, it was… magic.
I gulped, pushing the thought to the back of my mind as I saw the door. "Well, here we are."
She raised an eyebrow. "Um, yes…"
"In we go!" I said far too brightly, pushing the door open and praying this would end well. Or at least without someone in tears.
I heard some clattering as it swung open, revealing that the room was completely covered in heart decorations, with the rest of the club standing in the middle, holding a sign the said "Hey, Marissa…"
"What is this?" the ginger asked, looking around, surprise taking over her expression.
I nervously cleared my throat, walked over to them, turned back around, and got down on one knee. "Will you be my Valentine?"
She stared, shocked, and glanced over at Samuel, obviously remembering what I was copying. He shrugged, smiling first at her, then directing it to me. He was actually the one who suggested I imitate it.
"Girl, please say yes!" Alex spoke up, making everyone look at him, as usual. "The sexual tension is killing us all!"
"Alex!" McKynleigh exclaimed, swatting his arm.
"Ow!" he complained, taking one hand off of the banner so he could rub the spot in his signature overdramatic fashion. "What? It's true!"
"It is," a low voice I automatically recognized as Ellis's grumbled, though the banner was held up to her forehead, so I couldn't see her face.
"Shush!" McKynleigh snapped, glaring down at her.
I turned back around to see Marissa giggling, covering her mouth with both hands as an attempt to hold it back. "Of course I will!" she said, running over, dropping to her knees, and hugging me.
I bit my lip to keep myself from squealing like a five year old at Christmas and hugged her back.
"Thank God!" Alex all but yelled. This time McKynleigh started laughing, her temporary guard dropping at the cuteness, as she informed me later.
Everyone started cheering and high-fiving at once, making them drop the banner without even realizing it and, much to my luck, making it fall on Marissa and me. We both started giggling, barely able to see anything.
And then I got an idea.
I leaned forward, the top of my forehead gently hitting the bottom of hers, my nose finding itself barely touching her cheek, and my lips finally guiding themselves to hers. After a split second she started kissing back and my eyes closed, only for the lids to be hit with a harsh, florescent brightness a second later as a couple of the other members lifted the banner off of us. We didn't separate, even though several catcalls and nearly a dozen different voices laughing hit our ears.
"Yeah, girl, get some!" Emily called, cackling, causing mainly Alex and Ellis's very distinct giggles to grow louder.
We pulled apart from each other at that, blushing, but giggling a bit along with them.
This would be something to get used to.
But it was definitely worth it.