The Crush

opposites attract
friends to lovers
YA Fiction Writing Contest
coming of age
enimies to lovers
first love

Winter Rogers is 16 years old. Even in her Junior year in High School, she seems to have everything figured out. She has great grades, lots of friends and has joined every school club she could. Winter has everything except for the love of her crush Lathan Michael. Lathan is perfect. Every girl in the school follows him around like lovesick puppies. All Winter needs is a chance to talk to him and he would see she is the one. Things get interesting when a new app that allows students to confess their feelings privately, enters her school.

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Everywhere I Go, You Go
Lathan Michael is the most beautiful guy I have ever met in my life. Unfortunately, every girl in my school thinks the same thing. Unfortunately, every girl in my school thinks the same thing. Every time he strolls down the hallway, he is accompanied by a horde of smitten girls. I keep my distance. I just watch him. I watch the shape of his muscles straining against his shirt. The way he walks with purpose. He is perfect. "Just talk to him already." My best friend Jordan said, pushing me closer to the crowd of girls that were following Lathan. "Why would I do that?" I smirk, "I don't love him. I just like him a lot." "Then talk to him," Jordan pushes me again. "Will you stop Jordy," I whispered as Jordan giggled, poking my side, sticking out her tongue. "Winter, how will he ever know you exist if you never talk to him?" Jordan rolls her eyes and strides away while I explain to her why it's not that simple. Because if I am going to get to know the real Lathan, I must make sure I introduce myself in the right way—not just when he is surrounded by hordes of fawning admirers. As he passed by my locker, I could swear for a second, I think he briefly glanced in my direction, but the bell rang and interrupted me from my thoughts—maybe it was my imagination. Science is my favorite subject. At the age of sixteen, I already know my major in college will be Chemistry. I'm in AP Chemistry with the five smartest people from school. None of us are particularly close, but we still smile and greet each other in the hallways. Fortunately, I'm friendly enough to keep the cooler kids from labeling me a "loser." I'm involved with Model UN, French Club, the Yearbook Committee, and Science Club. Our teacher, Mr. Shelby, used to work for a pharmaceutical company until he went mad and left. He's been teaching us ever since. He doesn't have anything specific that stands out about him, except when we compete with other schools; he slicks back his grey hair and tucks in his shirt. Everyone in class believes that I am his favorite student, which is something I'd gladly accept, considering any recommendation from him is guaranteed admission to top colleges. "I would like to introduce everyone to Alexander Tyler," said Mr. Shelby. I looked up at the sight of an unfamiliar person in this classroom. He was tall, at least six feet three, but slender build. His hair was light brown and short. His eyes were a shade of green I had never seen before. Alexander's eyes scanned the classroom at the five of us, who were still wondering who he was. His eyes landed on me. His smile is bright and perfect. "Be friendly and say hello," Mr. Shelby said as he started writing science problems on the board. Everyone said hello, as they pulled out their notebooks. I didn't say hello. There was something about him I didn't like. He seemed too perfect like he had something to hide. I didn't trust him for one second. Mr. Shelby fixed his glasses and turned to the classroom, "Go on. There are plenty of seats around." Alexandre looked around the classroom again as if there weren't fifteen empty seats to choose from. Then he sat next to me. Great. I rolled my eyes as he looked my way. "Hi, my name is Alex; what is yours?" He whispered. I pointed to Mr. Shelby, "You're missing the lecture." Alex smirked as he opened his notebook. He thinks he is so cute. How did he even get into this class in the first place? You have to have a 4.0 GPA and straight A's in every science class during your Freshman and Sophomore year. And why did he sit next to me? I did not give him any hint that we could be friends. "Okay, can anybody tell me the answer?" What? Crap, he distracted me with his ego. "Ms. Rogers?" I am panicking because I have no idea what Mr. Shelby was talking about. I looked up at the board, looking for clues. I smile. It took me a few seconds, but I think I know the answer. A hand rises next to me. I looked; it was Alex. "The first ten elements in the periodic table are Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, and Neon," Alexander answered. Everyone claps as he takes a bow. Jerk. Everyone knows the periodic table. I was saying them in the sixth grade. I will clap when he's able to combine elements. "Good job Mr. Tyler. Sometimes with all we do, it is important to remember the basics." Emma tapped Alex on the back, congratulating and welcoming him to the group. She never patted me on the back. The rest of the class seemed like a competition on who could answer the most questions the fastest. Who did he think he was? *School Bell* He's lucky. "How was the nerd brigade?" Jordan said, wrapping her arm around me. I tried to hide my anger, but it was hard with the sight of Alexander Tyler walking down the hall with the four others in science class, following him like a bunch of zombies. "What's the matter with you?" Jordan asked. Looking at him, turning to look at me. His smug smile disgusts me. "Hello! What's going on, Winnie?" Jordan said, waving her hand in front of me. I shook my head to snap back to reality. "I'm sorry. What?" Jordan smiled as her eyes followed mine to Alex. "Who is that?" Jordan asked, biting her bottom lip. "He's a jerk." I walked away, down the hallway. "A very handsome jerk." Jordan looked back at the classroom I had just walked out of. "Wait! Did that handsome boy just come out of nerd city?" I sighed as I continued to walk to the library. "He somehow scammed his way into my class." Jordan disregarded what I had said and started tapping me on my arm. "I forgot to tell you." I made a face, "Can you tell me and stop tapping me?" Jordan started clapping. "There is an app." As we made our way into the library, "What app?" "There is an app going around school called, "Secret Crush." "Sounds stupid," I said, walking away. Jordan attempted to stop me at the door. "It's a way to get dates by Junior Prom." "What?" "It's an app where if someone has a crush on you, your phone will connect with them." "You mean like a dating app." "Yes. I mean, no. It is only for high schoolers and those that attend our school." Jordan grabbed my phone out of my pocket. "Hey, what are you doing?" Jordan giggled as the librarian shushed us. "Here," Jordan handed me back my phone. "You're connected." I looked at my phone and saw a bunch of flower bulbs and sleeping birds on my screen. "How will I know when someone has a crush on me?" "It will vibrate, the flowers will bloom, and the birds will sing." As if on cue, a girl in math class with a phone started to light up and sing. She ran out of the library before the librarian could tell her to be quiet. Jordan smiled, "Seems like someone has a crush on her." I placed my phone on silent and shoved it in the front of my book bag. "I'll see you after school. I need to study for AP English." Jordan made a bored face and walked out of the library to her next class. I love the library. It's one of my favorite places to be. What could you hate about a place full of books, quietness, and adventures? Sometimes I get lost in the countless books I have read. I even have a secret spot on the second floor in the back of the library. No one goes back there because the texts are ancient. And the only way to read is the one light that hangs in the middle row. I love it. It's the only way to study and read about the forbiddances of young love. The floor up there seemed to have my body formed to it, making it a perfect seat just for me. At least, I thought. "What are you doing here?" I looked down at a seated Alex. He looked up with a smile as if he expected me to come. "Studying." I looked at the Chemistry book he was holding. "I get that. What are you doing here?" Alex seemed to have ignored my question and scooted over to make room for me on the rug that had my body molded into it. "This is my spot." Alex patted the empty spot, "There is enough room for the two of us." I shook my head in disbelief. Who is he to tell me what has room and where I could sit? I sat in this very spot for two and a half years. I have never seen anyone back here. How did he even find this spot? "I don't want to sit with you. I want to study in my spot in peace," I said with my hands crossed across my chest. Alex's mouth curved into a smile as he looked up at me. A smile I could not trust. "There is plenty of room, Winnie." I couldn't believe he called me that, as if he knew me. He doesn't know anything about me. But I know him. Yeah, I know guys like him. Smug and full of himself. He's a jerk. I smiled, "No, thank you," I started to walk away. Alex made a face as if he was studying me. I felt awkward and mean. I am not a mean girl, and I am usually very nice to everyone, but for some reason, Alex rubs me the wrong way. Then I worried Alex might think badly of me. Why did I care? I pushed that thought away. As I turned the corner slightly, I turned to glance at him. Alex was still looking at me. I ran out of there fast. After school, Jordy was waiting for me. She had her bag on the ground, munching on the gum. "Let's go, Winnie!!!" I love Jordan; however, she can be very impatient and loud at the end of the day. She says every extra second on school grounds after school is the death of a fun cell in her body. I promised I would take her home after I had to go to Rossi's to get pizza with the French club. "I'm ready!" We get into the car, and Jordan is already connecting her phone to my car to play songs. "You want to hang out at my house to do homework?" Jordan asked. "I can't. I have to meet with the French club in about thirty minutes." Jordan sighed loudly and looked out the window. "I'll call you tonight after, and we can hang out tomorrow." Jordan looked up at me, "Has anyone made your flower bloom?" "What?" "The crush app." I turned the music up louder to avoid the question. Jordan turned it all the way down. "No, okay. Have yours?" "Three times," Jordan grinned. "Do you have any idea who?" Jordan sucked her teeth, "No, the great part about this App is that you can text the person that has a crush on you. But the horrible part is that they reveal who they are, the App doesn't." I looked at Jordan in disbelief, "Have you been writing both guys?" "Yes. Of course. How could I guess who they are?" Jordan shrugged. I jokingly say, "I guess no one likes me." "What? Everyone likes you." "Lathan doesn't." "Lathan doesn't know who you are because you refuse to introduce yourself to him, but had he, he would be on the list of people that like you." I pulled my car up to Jordan's house. "I'll talk to him when the time is right." Jordan got out of the car and skipped into her house. I drove as fast as I legally could through traffic. I was running late for French Club as I pushed through the doors of Rossi's. I saw familiar faces. I smiled, "I'm sorry." "Don't worry, Winter, we just started," Jen said, waving me in. "Winnie, you're late," a deep and newly familiar voice calls out. My head began to spin. What is Alexander Tyler doing here? I felt my smile fade into disappointment. I can not get rid of this guy. Why is he here? "Winter finds a seat; the food will be out soon." I looked around the table; every seat except the one next to Alex was taken. He pats the seat, encouraging me to sit. And with each pat went my heartbeat. I am not sure, but he makes my blood boil. I sit. "Bonjour, ca va?" Alex whispers in my ears. "I will, and you." Alex smirks, "You're supposed to speak in French." I ignored him and turned to the others in the group. I could feel his eyes still on me. What is his problem? Jen stood up, clicking her glass, "I would like to formally welcome Alex to our group or, as the French say, Bienvenue." Everyone cheered and clapped, and I kept my hands on my lap. Alex stood up and bowed as he had done in science class. His arrogance angers me. As he sat, he looked down at me but didn't say anything. I was happy to see the pizza be placed on the table; at least then, he would stop looking at me. Probably studying the competition. "Alex, we have a game. We ask the server to write down the number; the person closest to the number pays the bill and cleans up. 1 to 20" The server smiled as he wrote a number on the napkin and handed it to Jen, "Good luck, kids." Everyone wrote their numbers on their napkin. I always write my favorite number, number 4. I have never paid for pizza or cleaned up, and out of respect, none of the others in the group have picked my favorite number. So it was a complete surprise when Gary opened the server's napkin, and I saw the number 4. Everyone looked at me, and then they looked at Alex. Without looking, I knew what had happened, but I needed my eyes to witness it. I slowly turned towards Alex and his unfolded napkin. The number 4 was also written on it. He did it on purpose! He had to see me write my number. Jen, "Winter is so lucky that she never pays, and when she does, she doesn't have to pay the whole thing. I guess you two can split the bill." Jen smiled as she and the others started gathering their belongings, ready to go. I watched each person before I turned to a table covered in used cups and plates. Alex waved every person goodbye personally as if they knew each person personally. When the last person left, he turned to the table already being cleaned by me. "You can go," I said coldly. He stood there watching me. "Alex, Jen is right. I never pay, so I should pay this go around. You can go. I don't need help." Alex ignored me and started picking up the cups. I stopped in frustration, "I mean it, Alex!" I snapped. "I have it. You can go." Alex stopped, "You don't like me very much." A smile never left his face. He was amused by my annoyance. "I don't know you, to not like you. All I know is all day today was filled with you in my space." Alex bit his bottom lip. "Maybe we just have a lot in common." "Or maybe you're some psycho stalker." Alex chuckled, "I'm going to throw these cups away and go." "Good idea." Alex walked by me with the cups in his hands. I felt kind of guilty for talking to him like that, but he had to know what he was doing wasn't okay. As I continued to clean, I heard a familiar voice, "Your friends left you to clean up. That sucks." I looked up, and Lathan Michael was standing over me. "I think you need new friends," Lathan joked. He was cuter up close. "Winter, right?" I was determined to not sound nervous even though my heart was pumping out of my chest. "Yes, and you are, Lathan." Lathan smile can cure anything, "You know my name." I walked by him to throw the paper plates away. "You know my name. Why wouldn't I know yours?" Lathan chuckled, "I figured you wouldn't pay attention to a guy like me." I looked up at him and gave a soft smile, "And what kind of guy are you?" "A good guy when you get to know me." Lathan walked by me. His sandy blond hair bounced as if each strand was alive. The server walked up to the table, gave his thanks, and offered to clean the rest. I smiled gratefully. I walked to the cashier and took out my wallet. "The bill was already paid for by your friend." "What friend?" Lathan? I smiled at the thought of Lathan being the ultimate gentleman by paying. I looked up to the table Lathan and his friends were sitting at, and Lathan looked up at me and winked. I smiled to say thank you and walked out the door. I couldn't wait to get home to tell Jordan all about my run-in with Lathan. The way he smiled, the way he smelled, and the way he paid for the food. I can't wait to tell her that he was everything I fantasized about and more. She was right. He would like me once we meet. At least, I believe he likes me. I must have stayed parked in front of my house for minutes, thinking about him and what I was going to say about him. I took my phone out of my bag, and the unexpected happened. My phone started to sing, the flowers bloomed, and the birds chirped. Someone has a crush on me. [App]: Would you like to communicate? Yes or No?

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