Maybe it was my age. Being sixteen makes you really hormonal, you know. But to me, moving was the end of the world. If it was a short move, like to a bigger apartment across the hall, or a thirty minute drive north or something like that I wouldn't have made such a fuss about it. But moving all the way from New York to Virginia was kind of a really big deal.
I made sure to remind my mom of that every moment we spent together. Even if it meant ignoring her the whole seven-hour ride to the new house. I had done a pretty good job of it so far. Instead of responding to her thousands of attempts of conversation I just stuck my earphones into my ears and raised my volume as high as it could go, or played on my phone. Not only did I further stress my fury with the situation but I also managed to beat my high score on temple run.
Sure, maybe I was exaggerating, but I was a teenager. Being over-dramatic was practically a requirement. I assumed, by now Mom would've gotten the hint that I wouldn't be talking to her any time soon, but she still kept on pressing a conversation with me.
"Cammie you're honestly going to love it here," Mom was insisting. She waited for my response, and when it didn't come she continued. "Roseville is so cute and small, it's just like something out of a book. And the new house is gorgeous." I could tell how hard she was trying to get me to forgive her. The bag of road trip snacks and candies lying at my feet was proof.
They were the first words I had said to Mom in over an seven hours, and even though they were far from 'you're forgiven for dragging me across the states to a town in the middle of nowhere' she acted as if that's what I'd said instead.
"I can't wait for you to see the house," she started to ramble. "It's big, but not too big, like scary, haunted-house kind of big. It's just right you know? And it's got—you know what? I'll let you see for yourself."
I looked out the window and I could feel the scowl I had worn for the whole ride finally break into a smile. We had never had our own house. Ever. Back in New York, I went to a private, boarding school. Plus the fact that Mom was the headmistress meant that we lived there almost year round. But now, looking up at the house that was going to be ours brought a giant grin to my face.
"You're kidding me?" I cried, unbuckling my seatbelt and hopping out of the car before it even came to a stop. My footsteps slapped across the clean, white surface of our rock-lined driveway as I ran towards the front door. The house had a fresh, new kind of smell that I took a huge breath of the minute I stepped inside. It was empty still, since our furniture was still in New York, but that way I could see how big it really was.
The sound of me shuffling around the house reverberated across the house as I explored. There were already over ten spots I had found that were perfect for reading on a rainy day. I was half way through scoping the upstairs bedrooms when I heard Mom's voice call me from downstairs.
"How're you liking it?"
I hurried down our new stairs and landed on the bottom story with a thud. Immediately I replaced my excited, curious face with a more serious nonchalant one. No matter, how pretty or big the house was it still wasn't the same as Gallagher, my old home. Where I belonged.
"It's alright," I shrugged. It was obviously not the reaction Mom had been expecting. She sighed.
"I don't get how many times I have to apologize Cam. I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think you'd wouldn't love it here." She extended her arms and gestured to the big empty space around. "Why don't you walk around for a while? You can get to know your way around Roseville."
She looked at me pleadingly and I couldn't say no. After the whole silent treatment thing I felt like she had enough of the whole hormonal daughter act for a day. "Fine," I grumbled, side-stepping around her to get to the front door. Mom beamed, and waved me goodbye.
"Have fun!" She shouted, just before I shut the door behind me. I paused at the doorway looking over my new neighborhood. Okay, so maybe it wasn't as bad as I had made it out to be. The neighborhood was gorgeous. As I started down our street, I realized it really looked like something off of movie.
The lawns were perfectly cut without a blade of grass out of place and there were flashy sports cars in the driveways. Kids were even playing outside which really surprised me because I mean, barely any kids play outside these days. It felt good to see them running around.
I turned followed the tree-lined road, thinking about my whole situation. On Monday I would start my first at Roseville High School. It was totally freaking me out. I mean, I had gone to private school basically all my life, so I had no clue what to do, say, or dress. Wait; check that, an all girls private school. I was screwed.
Just the thought of me being surrounded by hundreds of new people, more than half of which were guys was enough to make me sick. Not only that, what would I wear? I mean, I was used to wearing a uniform so there was a 99.9% I would show up wearing something completely wrong.
Stop thinking about it Cammie, I demanded myself. I was starting to sweat nervously, and to the people driving past me, I must have looked insane. I tried thinking about other things, like how pretty Roseville was. Mom was right when she said it was small. I hadn't even been walking for ten minutes and I was already approaching what looked like the Town Center.
Up ahead I could see people shopping at boutiques and eating a little cafés. It was the picture perfect image out of a stereotypical romantic comedy movie. I kept on walking, despite the cold wind that was starting to blow in the opposite direction. I wasn't expecting it to be so cold in Virginia, especially in September, so I didn't have anything but a Gallagher sweatshirt and some old leggings. Needless to say, I was freezing.
I walked through Town Center for a while until I couldn't take the cold weather anymore. My teeth were chattering a mile a minute, and I had a million goose bumps running up my arms. I ducked into a cute little coffee shop to warm up a little bit before I started heading back home.
The sweet aroma of the coffee hit me as I walked into the toasty shop. It was pretty crowded which kind of bugged me because, I was the new girl, which meant everyone in the shop, had an excuse to look at me. And I hated being looked at.
I looked down at the ground as I made my way to the counter so I could order my drink. I felt eyes on me, but I ignored them. I wasn't too pretty or too ugly. I was plain, and plain people didn't get stared at too long. The barista at the counter was giving me an overly friendly smile.
"Hey!" She said brightly, "Welcome to Jammin' Java coffee shop, I'm Patricia and I'll be helping you out today!" I scanned the menu hanging behind her, partly because she was freaking me out a little and partly because I didn't know what I wanted.
"What do you recommend?" I asked, meeting Patricia's eager gaze. Immediately, she started rambling every option she thought I would like, which apparently was every option on the menu. "Can I have one of those?" I said, in between her ginormous list of coffees, cappuccinos and frappuccinos. I didn't know exactly what I ordered but I was sure it was "delicious" and "amaze-balls", because those are the words Patricia used to describe them.
"Sure thing, chicken wing!" She chirped ringing up my total bill. "That'll be five dollars and fifty-two cents." I reached down to shuffle through my pockets for the money, but when my hand met the soft black surface of my leggings I realized I had no pockets—or money.
"Just one sec," I mumbled, desperately upturning my sweatshirt pocket for at least six dollars. I could see a line forming behind me already and I didn't want to be the one to hold it up. Patricia's smile was still on her face, but it looked less cheery now and more forced.
"Do you not have six dollars? Because if you don't it's store policy for me to have to ask you to move aside." I could feel my face burn red, and I was about to get out of the line, and walk back home without my coffee or my pride, when someone behind me said, "I got her."
Both Patricia and I turned to see who was offering to pay for me, and both Patricia and I looked shocked to see that he looked like an Abercrombie model. I wasn't usually the girl to attract any hot male attention. I mean, sure, guys liked me but not the kind that looked like they stepped off of the cover of a Nicholas Sparks novel. The boy in front of me was tall, a good deal taller than me, with broad shoulders and messy dark hair. He had a smirky kind of mouth and when he extended his twenty-dollar bill it was already turned into a lazy grin that was directed to me.
"No, no," I said hurriedly, my eyes darting from Patricia to the boy. "You really don't have to do that. I wasn't that thirsty anyways."
The boy waved me away and then turned to Patricia and said, "Just buy her the drink and put me down for the same one." And he winked. Patricia looked as if her face might break she was smiling so big. She nodded and punched some keys in. "Sure thing Zach."
The boy, Zach, I guess, stepped aside so that the person behind us could order and I followed him. "Thanks so much," I smiled. I had to look up to meet his eyes, which were a piercing green and were, at the moment, trained on me. He shrugged, as if he buys coffee for all the new girls in Roseville.
"Don't worry about it…?
"Cammie." Zach repeated, "I like it." He looked me up and down. His eyes lingering on my chest (ew, not in that way) and I saw him read off the words 'Gallagher'. For a moment I was nervous: back in New York, Gallagher Academy had a reputation of being a prissy school for snobs. Usually when people found out I went there they treated me different. Like I was a brat or something. But when Zach read it there was no recognition in his face and I remembered it was a new town, a fresh start.
"Gallagher, huh?" He prodded, nodding towards my sweatshirt. I fumbled around with the sleeves, nervously.
"Yeah, it's my old school." It was stating the obvious, and I knew it. But hey, I was from an all girls private school. Talking to Guys 101 wasn't exactly a class we could take. Zach shoved his hands into his pockets.
"So I'm guessing you're new?" He was talking smoothly, as if he talked to all the new girls who came to Roseville on a daily bases. I on the other hand, was kind of nervous. I tried to seem cool and relaxed as I said, "Yeah. We just got here today." The boy nodded, opening his mouth to say something but before he could Patricia sang out, in her extremely cheerful voice, "Zachary Goode?" And even though she announced the names of all the people who ordered coffee, when she said 'Zachary Goode' it sounded completely different than when she said anyone else's. When I reached over to get my coffee she reached past me and handed them both to him, without even a second glance. "Enjoy," she giggled.
Zach smiled easily at her, and handed me my drink. I was a bit reluctant to take a sip since the cup was steaming and I didn't exactly know what I had ordered, but the minute I took a sip I was glad I did. Best. Coffee. Ever.
"This is amazing," I breathed, taking another giant sip of my drink. Zach nodded and took a drink of his own.
"Best coffee in town." We walked across the shop and stopped in front of the window over looking Town Center. Zach drummed his hands along his coffee cup. I wish I knew what to say. Was it always this awkward talking to guys? I wracked my brain through all the AP classes I'd taken at Gallagher and all I could think of to say was, "The weather here is colder than I expected." Yes, I was standing next to an extremely attractive guy and I mentioned the weather.
Zach laughed, wiping his hand across the frosty window and announcing, "That's probably what the Pilgrims thought when they settled here too."
"The Pilgrims didn't settle in Virginia."
Zach waved the detail away. "Technicality."
"If you say so…" I snickered, watching the condensation droplets slide down the window. Zach's eyes broke away from the window and he studied me. "So, where are you going to school? Roseville High?" He looked genuinely curious, and not like he was just trying to fill up the silence.
"Yeah, I think that's where my house is zoned to." I said, because it sounded like a smart thing to say. I didn't know if my house was zoned to Roseville High, or if I was going because that's where my mom was working, but either way at 8:00 Monday morning that's where I would be. My answer brought another easy smile to Zach's face. Yep. I, Cammie Morgan, had actually made a guy smile at the thought of us going to the same school.
"Good, because Dayton High sucks." Zach informed me. "We play them pretty soon so you can come see for yourself." I paused, mid-sip. Now, I'm not very good at guy talk but I was pretty sure this was a teenage boy's way of casually asking me to come see him play.
"Uh football?" I asked stupidly. Of course he was talking about football. I mean, he looked about the definition of a all-star football player. You know, all broad shouldered and what-not. But then Zach said something to make me question everything I'd ever heard about football boys.
"Uh no, I'm actually talking about synchronized swimming." My eyes darted up from my coffee cup. Was he joking? He had to be joking. Wasn't synchronized swimming like a girl thing? And not only a girl thing, but like, a weird girl thing? But the look on his face was completely one hundred and ten percent serious.
"Can you actually play in synchronized swimming?" I questioned, searching his face for any sign of a joke. But he only stared at me with serious green eyes, and a faint look of amusement.
"Oh yeah, it's really hardcore." Zach leaned in as if he were about to tell me a secret. "And Coach said he might even going to let us put sparkles on our uniforms this year." And I couldn't help it. I busted out laughing. I mean, sparkles? It was too much.
Zach cracked a smile and then leaned against the windowsill casually and said, "Yeah it's football. You should come." I was about to answer that yes, I would definitely go, but then there was a ground shaking boom of thunder and I looked out the window to see darkening skies and a pretty good chance of rain. And I remembered: I'm walking home.
"Crap!" I hissed, dropping my empty cup into the nearest trashcan and heading for the door. "I've got to go. But thanks again for the coffee!" I stepped out of into the cold inclement looking weather, and the café shop door was almost swinging to a shut when I heard Zach yell, "See you later, Gallagher Girl!"