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  • Nathalie Ho

Unexpected Love

Chapter One: 


 As I get out of the car, the spring breeze hits me and ruffles my hair playfully. I hop down onto the pavement and walk up the stairs to the front of the school. It’s a warm and sunny day, and I’m feeling confident. Well, I'm pretty confident for my first day at a new school, at least. I walk over to where everybody else is gathered, and I start finding someone to talk to. All the kids seem to be in groups, so I decided to strategize and find the group that looks the most interesting. As I’m looking around, something catches my eye. I stop, and in front of me, is the cutest boy I’ve probably ever seen…


Chapter 2:


  All of a sudden, I’m nervous again. My heart rate rises and I just run away. I’m getting butterflies. Just then, the bell rings and it’s time to go inside. I look at the welcome letter and course introduction booklet in my hand, and it says I have to go to the 6th floor. When I finally get up the stairs, I open the door, walk through the hallway, and find the assigned locker with my number on it. Once I put my bag inside, I closed the door and entered the classroom on the right. There are about 20 kids there, but my focus is drawn to one of them- the boy I saw just now. I walk over to get a closer look at him, contemplating whether or not to talk to him. He’s about 5′10 and he has a messy sky-blue wolf cut, and the most beautiful pair of blue eyes I’ve ever seen. It almost looks like he came out of an anime. Suddenly, a voice asks “Hey, are you new?” I jump back and snap back to reality, and realize he’s talking to me. “My name’s Lucian,” he says, smiling. “What’s yours?” Suddenly, the butterflies have returned. “M-my name’s Asher.” I squeak. “Asher?” he asks. “That’s a nice name,” Then, he stops and looks at his watch. “How about this? Since it isn’t time for the first period, I’ll show you around the place.” I nod and smile at him. “Sure.” 


Chapter 3:


Just as we’re about to make our way into the second hall, the bell rings for the first period. “Oops,” Lucian says, looking down at his watch. “It’s time for class, maybe I’ll show you around during the break.” I nod understandingly and bound after him, walking through the doors and running back to the locker area. “I’ve got History, see you later,” Lucian says. He doesn’t even have to look at his timetable. I kneel in front of my locker (number 925) and open the door, looking down at the schedule on the locker wall. My eyes follow the Period One symbol and find that the class I’m in is also… History. 


When I get to the classroom where History is being held, I see the teacher looking up at the clock on the wall. “Come in, Asher,” she sighs. “You’re ten minutes late to class.” I walk into the classroom, and take the only seat left, in between two girls. One of them tries to get my attention, but I instead find myself staring at the back of Lucian’s head two seats in front of me. 


All of a sudden, I feel as if I’m seeing things. As I continue staring at the back of Lucian's head, a rush of emotions flood my mind. Flashes of moments, laughter, and genuine connection fill my thoughts. It's as if the world around me fades into the background, and all I can see is him.


But this never happened! I think to myself. If only it did…


Lost in my own thoughts, I don't notice that the girl sitting next to me is trying to get my attention. Finally, she taps my shoulder gently, bringing me back to reality. Startled, I turn to face her, realizing that she's been trying to introduce herself. "I'm sorry, what were you saying?" I ask, trying to gather my thoughts. She smiles understandingly. "I'm Marina," she says. "I noticed you staring at Lucian. Do you know him?" I hesitate for a moment, unsure. "Yeah, we're friends, I guess." I reply, my face tomato red from just now. Marina's smile widens. "Well, lucky you. He's quite popular with the girls around here." Marina’s words echo in my head. “He's quite popular with the girls around here.” I sigh. If I were to be his girlfriend, it wouldn’t be easy. 

As the class continues, I find it difficult to focus on the lesson. I’m half-listening to the teacher’s boring lecture about the Middle Ages when my mind keeps drifting back to Lucian. Part of me wonders if he feels the same way, or if it's all just in my imagination. Don’t be silly, I think. This is just a crush. Take this slow. 


“Asher?” I turn around for a second. Did someone just call my name? “Asher!” The teacher comes up to my desk, snapping her fingers. “Pay attention.” I can feel a hot feeling flush my face, turning it three shades redder than it was before. “I’m sorry,” I say quietly. For a second, it feels like the whole class is staring at me. 

When the class finally ends, I gather my things and make my way towards the door. Before leaving, I catch a glimpse of Lucian looking back at me, his eyes meeting mine for a brief moment. There's a flicker of recognition in his gaze, as if he also felt something special between us. 

What happened just now?? I can't help but wonder if Lucian thought that way too. Maybe there was something more between us, waiting for the both of us in the future. 


Chapter 4:


As I step out of the classroom, Marina catches up to me, her eyes filled with curiosity. "So, Asher, what's the deal with you and Lucian? Are you guys just friends… or…” she smirks, “Is it something more…?” I pause for a moment, then sigh. Why does this girl sound like I’m already his girlfriend? “We’re just friends,” I replied, finally. “I’m new here… and this… this is just a crush.”

Marina nods, but then perks up again. "But who knows what the future holds, right?" She raises an eyebrow, sensing the hidden disappointment in my words. "Well, if you ever need to vent or talk about it, I'm here for you, Asher. No judgment, just good vibes.” she offers, smiling. "Thanks, Marina. I might take you up on that someday. You're a real one." I say, smiling gratefully. 



After lunch, as we were chilling in the school courtyard, I spot Lucian surrounded by a bunch of girls. They’re all giggling and batting their eyelashes at him, trying to get his attention. Ew, I wince. What a bunch of snobby pick-mes. I can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy, but I remind myself that we were just friends. Still, it stung seeing him being the center of attention like that.


Marina turns to whisper to me. “Sheesh,” she whispers, “what the hell are they trying to get at?” I look back at her. “He might not be my boyfriend right now, but it’s worth the try.” I look over at them. “Should I go over and stop their conversation?” Marina jumps up and down. “Do it!” she says, excitedly. “You’ll be the coolest girl in school!” I know she’s trying to convince me because she’s a total matchmaker and has the confidence I don’t, but I give in anyways. I sigh to myself. Summoning my courage, I walk over and join the group. "Hey, mind if I crash the party?" I asked, trying to sound nonchalant.


Lucian's face lights up when he sees me, and he scoots over to make room. "Hey, Asher! These are some girls from our English class. Say hi!" he said, introducing me.

The girls greeted me, and I tried to be friendly and engaging. But deep down, I couldn't shake off the feeling of being on the outside. They all looked so confident and gorgeous, and I couldn't help but compare myself to them. As we chatted, the girls kept dropping hints and making flirty remarks. It just became pretty clear that they were into Lucian.



Chapter 5: 


As the final bell rings, students around me rush to get out of the classroom. I, too, get up from my seat, hastily knocking over my water bottle in the process. Marina slaps me on the shoulder. “Hey, Asher. I’m in the class next door, so we’ll be dismissed separately,” she says, as we both pick up our textbooks and get out of class. “You can meet me by the stairway entrance at hallway three, or you could go downstairs first and meet me there.” I think for a while, then reply with “Option two, madam.” She laughs, running to catch up with me as we walk down the hallway to our classrooms. “Roger that,” she says, playing along with our little joke. 


I’m so lucky to have made a new friend on the first day of school.



It’s been a week since my first day here at my new school, and things are going along quite well. The teachers like me (except for the History teacher, of course, so much for making a bad impression on her), my classmates are getting along with me, I’ve made a few more friends (besides Marina), and… Lucian… well, let’s just say, we’ve become a lot closer. 


Marina and my other friends ran up to me as we entered the school that morning. One of them, Casper, chips in. “So, how’s things cooking with Lucian?” she asks playfully. “Aw, come on!” sigh Marina and my other friend Cherry. “Let her manifest!” she added. “Well…” I begin to say. “Go on!” the girls egg me on. “Fine,” I laugh. “We talked about future stuff the other day… things like what university we wanna go to, and where we want to live and work,” I say, smiling to myself. “Ooooh,” the girls reply teasingly. “That’s so romantic!” says Casper, half-panting as she tries to catch up to us on the stairs. “I know, right?” says Cherry. “It’s almost like they’re girlfriend and boyfriend already.” I sigh. “I wish!” I reply longingly. 



Chapter 6: 


When class time finally rolls around, me and my friends are sitting together. For some reason, we can’t help but giggle or whisper at each other every two seconds. It’s like when you stare at something and you collapse into laughter for absolutely no reason. Because of this, we’ve already gotten two warnings from the teacher. The whole class doesn’t seem to be paying attention- it’s the last class of the day, and it’s Wednesday- a half day for us. 

Everytime I stare at Lucian, my friends will say “ooooh!” under their breath, and everyone will look at me. “Stop it!!” I half-say half-giggle. Just then, the teacher knocks on the desk. “Asher,” he says sternly. “That’s your 3rd warning. If I catch you doing this one more time, you’re being moved to another table.” The whole class starts laughing, and my heart sinks in embarrassment. What if Lucian was laughing too? I blush and look back down at my test papers, but then all of a sudden, Casper taps me on the back. She’s holding a note in her hand. “Don’t do it!” I whisper, but she doesn’t see and proceeds to throw it at me. “That’s it, Asher, I’m moving you,” the teacher announces. “Oh crap,” I whisper under my breath. But then, I realize the only other free seat is next to Lucian. As I make my way to the table, my heart feels like it’s going to jump out of my chest. I can literally feel and hear my heart beat. I sit down, and I realize I can’t even focus anymore. My eyes try to focus on the math questions on the worksheet, but my mind is drawn to the thought of Lucian and the butterflies in my stomach. 


At the end of class, the teacher gives us back our marked worksheets. When he hands me mine, he says, “Come see me at the end of class,” When I look down at it I feel as if I’ve just had a mini heart attack. The score on the top says 7/20. 


Chapter 7: 


When I meet the teacher, he gives me a long talk about responsibility and controlling focus in class, and at the end he says “You have to stay and redo the worksheet,” Shoot! I panic, I'll be late to get off school! But then I realize it’s Wednesday and I have a free afternoon. I slap myself back to reality. “Okay,” I say, and he passes me the worksheet for me to do. Somehow, time ticks really fast when you’re actually being productive. 


When I finally get out of class, Casper and Marina are waiting for me outside. “Let’s go get lunch together!” they say. I pause and think for a second. “Uh…” They look at me with pleading eyes. “Please?” they say, like going out to lunch with me was a vital part of their lives. Somehow, it’s like they heard the voice in my head. “It’s a vital part of our lives!” they plead. “Fine,” I laugh. 


We head to a nearby diner to get sandwiches. As we’re waiting for our order, my phone buzzes. “Oh?” I picked it up. The notification banner on the screen says:


1:38 pm 

One text from “Lucian 💙” 

Want to go for a walk in the park? Your friends can come too <3


All of a sudden, Marina butts her head in. “Oh. My. Goodness! There’s a heart emoji!!” she exclaims. “Wow, you’re even more excited than I am,” I laugh. “Shut up!” she returns, playfully. “Tell him yes!” Just as our sandwiches arrive, it’s been confirmed that we’re going to meet up at the school entrance at 2:15.


Chapter 7: 


We walk slowly down the school entrance, heading to the park and chatting amongst ourselves. “Hey Asher?” Marina suddenly asks. “What’s wrong with you and Lucian? Why aren’t you guys talking?” As I’m thinking of how to reply without her getting the wrong idea, she asks “Was it a fight?” I laugh, slapping her playfully. “No, silly!” But then I turned serious again. “I’m just a little bit nervous about what he thinks of me, that’s all.” 


Just then, Lucian then taps me on the shoulder. “Asher, can I talk to you for a sec?” he whispers. I turn around to face him, and my heart starts racing. “S-sure,” I stutter. As he walks to the bench on the side with me, I ask “What for?” He laughs softly to himself, the sweetest laugh I have ever heard. “Oh, you’ll see,” he says, sitting down on the bench and motioning for me to do the same. I sit down beside him, and he scoots a little closer to me. “Look, Asher,” he says, a hint of warmth in his voice. A part of me panics. What if he’s going to tell me to stop following him around? I brush that thought away, and focus on him. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while now,” he says, smiling. “What is it?” I reply, just the tiniest trace of nervousness in my voice. “I…” continues Lucian. 


“I really like you, Asher,” 


I gasp. “Wait--” His hand slides over onto mine, locking his fingers into the gaps of mine. “There’s nothing I want more but to be with you,” he says, his voice filled with passion. “But…” I reply, hesitant. “But we’ve only been friends for a week and a half!” Lucian squeezes my hand. “Listen,” he says, smiling. “You’re a special person to me, Asher. Not like all the other girls who try to get me. You’re different,” I gaze into his eyes. There’s something about them that makes them so… mesmerizing. “You’re like no other girl I’ve met before.” he acknowledges. As I’m looking at him, he smiles at me, the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen, and the sunlight hits his sky-blue hair. “Y-your hair looks really nice in the sunlight,” I mumble, trying not to say anything wrong in this perfect moment. “Thanks,” he responds. Then, he says something that I thought my parents would only ever say to me. 


“I love you,” 


I blush, glancing at him and then looking behind me. “I love you, Asher.” he repeats, his voice like an unforgettable melody. “Me too, Lucian,” I confess. 


I hope this moment lasts forever… 




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