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Kissaphobic

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The usual weekday morning was the same for any teenager: wake up at 6:00am, leave home by 7:00am, once getting there, the optional choice was to catch up on homework in the school library before 7:45am. The rest of their day would then follow suit, each student having their own customized schedule for the year. The simple routine rinse and repeat morning. For one junior, her classes were in the order of: history, Italian, English, P.E., lunch, science, music and math. Katie Holt, known as Pidge to family and friends, was virtually an honor-role student. Fortunate enough to have a great family, good grades, and loyal friends. What more could she ask for?

Perhaps the better ability to communicate with other people, maybe then she wouldn’t come off as a stuck up, anti-social, straight ‘A’ student to strangers. Maybe then should could make more friends easily, then wouldn’t be the target of hormonal teen rage. Maybe she could learn to trust others more. That would be nice. But, why should she care? Despite the flaws she could list, she had an understanding family, and somehow made loyal friends. They liked who she was, flaws and all. That’s all that should matter.

Those thoughts would pop into her head after any stressful day, disconnecting from the chatter of the halls. For once letting her mind go numb, letting out a sigh of relief, feeling a quick sensation of relaxation as unneeded books and supplies were put away for the weekend; now there was no longer the weight of her bag dragging her down as she walked up the flights of stairs. The feeling was only temporary, as other work would be waiting to be completed at home, and the weight would be placed back on her shoulders. However, that should be nothing too challenging for Pidge, who was praised for her intellect. A techie loved to learn, it was true, she just wished the social environment wasn’t so… in her best description: pressuring and pernicious.

Just as she plonked a few unneeded folders for the weekend into her locker, someone made himself known to anyone within a fifteen foot vicinity of him.

“Hey, Pidge!” The voice had snapped her out of her train of thought. After closing the metal door, she snapped the combination lock back to keep her things secure, then turned her attention to her friends. Lance moseyed on up to her locker with Hunk, both showing grins on their faces.

Hunk was a friend one could assume she had, they had met in robotics club freshman year, instantly clicking with their knowledge and passions. Entering sophomore year, they had science class together. While knowing him, she had become acquainted and eventually befriended Lance, the self proclaimed ladies’ man as well as the childhood best friend of Hunk, after his non-stop pestering. Others found him cocky, annoying beyond belief, those who were unaware of the bond could be left gaping in awe. How did someone like Pidge make friends with someone like him? In all honesty, she found his flirtatious nature to be irritating, he could be a little too loud at times, melodramatic— she could go on forever. However, it would be unjust if she didn’t list her own personality flaws again in comparison: stubborn, a terrible temper once pushed to the edge, a bit selfish— getting off point.

They were almost polar opposites, maybe that’s why their friendship worked. Lance could get the other two out of their comfort zones, bring new things to the table, they were able to balance each other out. Although, her tough love to both of them (mostly to Lance) may say otherwise, both knew they were her close friends.

“So, Pidgey—”

“No.” She answered before he could finish.

“Wha— I didn’t even say anything yet! I am offended, Pidgeon Holt, that you won’t hear me out.” Ever so dramatically, he crossed his arms, turning away with his back facing to her.

“Actually,” Hunk chimed in, holding a hand up. “it sounds like a fun idea.”

Pidge rolled her eyes with a small grin, enjoying the reaction to such a simple tease. “Alright, what’s the idea?”

Not a tick was wasted as he spun around to face her, it was obvious that there was a hint of mischief behind his beam. “Your place. Me, Hunk, and a bad movie marathon until the crack of dawn!”

“Will horror and bad CGI be involved?” She asked promptly.

He scoffed. “What kind of movie marathon you think we’re doing? Of course there will be!”

“I’m game.” She nodded in approval.

Throwing his fists up in the air, he let out a triumphant ‘whoo’ that echoed in the hall.

“Hold on, I still need to ask my mom. But, knowing her, she’ll probably say yes. My parents love you guys.”

“Well, yeah, obviously.

Hunk nodded, smiling at the mention of the Holts. “Yeah, your parents are really great. Oh- my mom told me to thank your's for the cake recipe, it’s amazing!”

Pidge's grin widened, satisfied with the answer, knowing it to be true. “She does have the best strawberry shortcake, you two should team up one day.”

“That'd be really nice.” Hunk commented, his smile widening at the thought.

“I’ll be sure to mention it to her, then.” She began moving through the hall, looking back at them to yell through the chatter. “Just wait for the for the okay, I’ll see you guys later!”

Both waved goodbye, blending in to the crowd as she left the halls.

 

 

The front entrance had students scattered about, waiting for their ride or lingering around out of boredom, while others had practically sprinted out the building as the final bell rang. Near the door waited her brother, Matt. Nothing was forcing him to pick up his little sister from school, always chose to come on his own, despite the fact that he finished up his high school experience almost two years ago with his close friend. Speaking of which, one of their friends stood there with him. Keith had his back to her, only seeing him speaking to her brother briefly before exiting the school and bidding Matt goodbye. That reminded her to send Keith a text later whenever she got the chance.

“Hey, am I late?”  She asked, approaching him once the interaction was over.

Matt looked over to her. “Nah, not at all. I haven’t been waiting long.” He responded, tucking away his phone into his jeans pocket.

“Lance and Hunk are planning on coming over, just an F.Y.I.”

“That’s cool with me, I won’t be around tonight, though; Nori wants me to come over. As much as I think Hunk is great and love teasing Lance—" He smirked, causing his sister to grin back. “—I have already accepted her offer, dear sister. I already texted mom about it, so once we get home I’m gonna be getting ready to go.”

“Okay with me, when you see him again, tell him I say hi’ Lots of sleep over’s happening tonight, huh?” Pidge mused.

“Yeah, I guess so. C’mon, let’s not keep mom and your friend’s waiting any longer.”

Exiting the building for the weekend, the siblings walked home side by side. Both made small talk, about their science and math classes specifically, sharing learning techniques for each subject the classes would cover. Sharing the same interests, intellect and nerdiness as her brother really helped, more than she expressed, thankfully he knew her well enough to know that. Continuing the topic for a few moments longer, silence fell upon them, only the rustling of leaves up in the trees, and their feet stepping against the sidewalk filled in the quiet.

“Anything happen today?” He questioned, breaking the silence, his tone serious and waiting expectantly for an answer. The question didn't pop up as often as it used to, nothing worth noting had happened for months. Both of them knew he didn’t have to ask, she could come to her family if needed, but the gesture was always appreciated. Their routine began appearing after the actions of her middle school classmates started to become intolerable, she suffered to the point of begging to stay home. It followed her to high school unfortunately. Thankfully, methods of their cruelty were spread out thanks to different schedules, yet it still affected her to the point of shutting down from time to time.

She shook her head, glancing up at him. “No. You know I’ll tell you guys if anything happens-”

“I know, Katie. But, I just want to make sure you’re okay.” He interjected, reassuring her. There was a soft smile from Pidge, she bumped into her brother playfully, the weight of her backpack pushed her brother almost off into a neighbor’s front lawn. Nothing stayed tender for too long with them. Lance and Hunk may have been close friends, but her brother was her first friend, and she couldn’t have asked for anyone better.

“Yeah, thanks.”

Their traverse through the blocks on the way home lasted just a bit more, it wasn’t long before they moved to the front steps, letting Matt open the unlocked door, and being greeted by an excited bull terrier. Pidge giggled, petting Bae Bae with one hand while the other shut the door. Matt went up to his room, going to pack what he needed, while Pidge stayed behind to join her mother in the living room. From the book that was placed on the coffee table, and the bookmark poking out on top, Colleen had paused her reading to listen to her daughter.

“Hey, Mom.” She greeted, taking off the bookbag and placing it on the empty seat of the couch near the armrest, then took a seat next to her mother. Bae Bae had trotted over to their feet, claiming her spot on the floor to lay down.

“Hi, kiddo. Was today good?” Her mother asked, genuinely concerned and interested.

“Yep.” She stated.

A sigh of relief came with her answer. “That’s good.”

“I wanted to ask you something, though.”

“What is it?”

“Lance wanted him and Hunk to come over for movie night, is it cool? Also, Hunk and his mom say thank you for the cake recipe.”

The request had Colleen smiling. “Of course, with your brother going Noriko's, and your father on his business trip, it’d be nice to have them over. It feels odd not having chaos around the house.”

“Awesome, I’ll let 'em know.” Pidge pulled out her phone from her pocket, bringing up their group chat.

Colleen leaned over, grabbing the book from the table. “Those boys are really sweet, their families, too.” She commented, opening the book where the place holder had left it. “Go get ready for your friends, I can order food tonight if you want.”

“Sweet, just one sec.” Sitting there for just long enough to send her message, once it sent, she grabbed the backpack and made her way up to her room.

 

 

pidgeotto (4:55PM): it’s on. bring the usual stuff for staying over and any bad movies you own, we can watch them on my ps4 or we can look up ones of the internet.

lancelot (4:56PM): AW YEAHH

hunkules (4:56PM): Sweet!