Dan, Barry, and Suzy sat around in the computer lab waiting for the lunch bell to ring. They were some of the smartest, yet nerdiest kids in the school, and often times had free classes to do nothing in. That's how the nerds in this school are, smart, with ACT scores that could make everyone else cry. They also enjoy all the other stereotypical nerd stuff, like video games and studying.
Barry and Suzy seemed to be making the most conversation, talking about the new Legend of Zelda game. Neither of them seemed to notice how zoned out Dan was. Dan was usually a talkative one, always having a bad joke or two to tell. But today he just stared at his shoes, not even interested in his bland sneakers, but just finding a place to look and zone out. Dan's daze was quickly interrupted by the sound of snapping fingers in his face.
"Hey Danny, are you done with all this? Ross and Arin are waiting in the lunch room" Suzy asked, with an annoyed expression. They didn't even give Dan a chance to answer them before Barry grabbed his arm and dragged him down the hall. The three of them swerved past obstacles in the hall, such as stray trash cans and slow students. Lunch was always a fight, everyone wanting to be the first to get food, and it was a death trap trying to maneuver their way through the mess of gross teenagers.
Unfortunately, their effort to get a decent spot in the line didn't work, and were stuck at the very end.
"We could've gotten here faster if Danny wasn't being a complete zombie" Suzy groaned. Dan thought it was a little odd how mean she was being today, she didn't normally get like this. Dan didn't bother asking, and just assumed that it was a long night spent studying for a Calculus test.
"Yea seriously Dan what's wrong with you today?" Barry asked, keeping a good distance from the fuming Suzy.
"I-I don't know guys, I just have a lot on my mind" Dan said in a hushed tone. That 'lot on his mind' wasn't just the 5 page essay he was so desperately procrastinating on. Not that he couldn't have done an A-worthy job by doing it the night before. No, it was something much more important, but Dan feared telling his friends. They could wait a little bit.
The three of them got their gross excuses for meals and sat down with Ross and Arin, who were saving their normal lunch room seats. Suzy sat next to Arin, as they were dating, and leaned into him as he wrapped an arm around her. Barry sat next to Ross and showed him the new Pokemon game he had gotten. Dan, well Dan sat on the other side of the table, not too far from his friends but far enough that they should be suspicious.
Dan pushed food around on his tray, occasionally glancing upwards, but he would quickly look back down. He zoned out again, that seemed to be the only thing he could do today.
"Danny, I know the cafeteria food is gross but its not that gross" Arin joked, snapping Dan back to reality.
"I don't know Arin, all this American food is pretty gross" Ross retorted. Ross was a 'Foreign Exchange Student' from Australia, and he wanted to make it apparent. But he just made himself look even dumber than he already did.
"Then why don't you go to Macca's Ross, take your girlfriend with you" Arin sassed at Ross.
"Boys, stop bickering, something is wrong with Dan" Suzy snapped at the two fighting manchildren. Arin and Ross quickly shut up. Suzy may have been a cute, short girl, but she had the bite of a tiger.
"Come on Danny, spill it, we all know you're not acting right" Barry said, sitting next to Dan and nudging his shoulder.
"I just... I kinda..." Danny's voice faltered, "Like someone"
Just like that, everyone at the table got extremely interested. All four of them guessed random names of people it could've been, but none of them were able to guess right. With every guess, Dan just shook his head, still looking down at his tray.
"Aw, come on, tell us Danny!" Ross begged. The begging tones seemed to spread to everyone else, and they all were begging in the same high-pitched whine.
"Fine!" Danny yelled, making half the lunch room look at the five of them. The four others looked at Dan with anticipation. Dan didn't usually have a crush on anyone, every time he'd make a move he'd get crushed by the answer. By Sophomore year, he had given up. He had stopped talking to girls all together, except for his sister and Suzy, or whoever he was paired up with for a project.
"It's (y/n)" Dan spat out. He knew his friends wouldn't be happy with the answer, Dan never had a crush on anyone in the 'nerd' clique. All of Dan's friends' expressions dropped. They were most definitely shocked with the answer.
"That really popular Band Geek?" Arin questioned, with a shocked tone.
"Yea, that really popular Band Geek ARIN" Dan yelled at him, not wanting to hear how wrong he was for liking her.
"But shes a BAND GEEK" Ross pointed out, as if the obvious didn't exist to Dan.
"I thought we established that already"
"You know Band kids are like a cult! She won't even look at you, she's too caught up with her band stuff" Suzy said. It's true, the band kids were a cult. They just stayed in their band room, and people who weren't in Band rarely went in there.
"I'm done talking about this guys, I know she won't look at me, but you don't have to be so harsh about it" Dan screamed at his friends. Dan left the table and went to the bathroom where he could be alone. How could his friends be so rude? They should be supportive.
Whatever the cost, Dan wanted to at least try to get closer to (y/n), even if that meant not listening to his friends.
Even if that meant joining the Band kids.