Wonderfully bright Ashley Engles feels extremely nervous on the first day of her senior year at Cactus High. Having skipped a year, Ashley now has to face kids in class she’s never met before. She goes to her first class full of apprehension and meets someone who will turn her world upside down.
Keira Mitchell is captain of the golf team at Cactus High School, attractive, athletic, and popular -- every boy in high school’s dream girl. Except she isn't. Keira is openly gay and currently in a relationship. And she keeps a painful secret to herself.
Sparks fly when Keira ends up sitting next to Ashley in math class. But trouble looms. How will Ashley’s best friend since first grade react to the new development? Will Ashley be able to keep her oldest friendship and start a love relationship at the same time? When she discovers Keira’s secret, will Ashley and all her loved ones sail through stormy waters and reach the calm with all her relationships intact?
Is it really possible to have it all?
“Mr. Dunphy! Can you help us really quick?” I asked and the older man struggled to get out of his chair, and walked over to us. I almost felt bad, making him get out of his chair. I’m pretty sure I heard one of his knees crack. He placed his wrinkled hand on top of my desk and leaned down at our papers.
“What is the question, girls?” he asked, looking between the both of us.
I drew a blank. Luckily, Keira stepped in, pulling a question out of thin air.
As he explained the answer, the golf captain and I were pretending to pay attention, but we were both studying his face closely.
“Does that help?” he asked, wrapping up his long answer and smiled sweetly as we both nodded our heads and thanked him.
“Damn it!” Keira said under her breath. I looked at her and smirked. “Shut up.”
“I didn’t say anything!” I held my hands up and shrugged, but couldn’t help the smirk on my face.
“In my defense, it did look really yellow,” she said, pouting.
“Yes, yes, it did,” I agreed and lost myself in smiling at her. I hadn’t gotten along with someone like this in a while.
“Oh my God, my partner is a total nerd,” Sadie said, exasperated, and made Keira scoot over in her chair so that they could share it.
“Don’t be mean,” my partner scolded and moved her hands onto her desk, trying to get comfortable.
“It’s true! Look at him!” she said and looked over to her partner. We followed her gaze. She was partners with Thomas. He was a nerd, but he was really nice. I felt bad for him. He had giant glasses, was battling with acne, and wore yellow striped shirts every day.
“Who cares what he looks like?” Keira asked.
“Ugh, you’re so annoying, Keira,” the blonde let out a huff then turned to face me. “I’m Sadie,” She introduced herself, in a not-so-friendly tone.
“Yeah, I know. We all announced ourselves, remember?” I sounded a bit harsher than I usually did, but this girl seemed like a jerk. My defenses were up.
She glared at me and wasn’t too pleased at the small chuckle Keira had let out.
“What’s so funny?” she snapped, staring daggers at her friend.
“Nothing,” Keira answered and tried suppressing her smile. “Just relax a little, okay? And quit being such a jerk,” she said firmly.
The blonde did not like that. It almost sounded like she let out a growl when she stood up, going back to her seat. She leaned back in her chair, with her arms crossed. She looked like a pouting eight-year-old who was just told that she can’t have dessert before dinner.
“Sorry about that,” Keira turned to me and apologized.
“Oh, it’s nothing to apologize for. She seems ...” I struggled to find the words.
“Cold?” Keira finished my thought and I nodded. “Yeah, she is. But she’s not all that bad. She can be really sweet, but not many people get to see it.”
“So, you two are close?” I asked, feeling…jealous?
“Yeah ...” She started off cautiously, before finishing, “We’re dating.”
Yeah, it was jealousy. My heart sank.
“Does that make you uncomfortable?” she asked, looking worried.
“Oh! No. Not at all,” I quickly replied. She did not make me uncomfortable at all. Quite the opposite, actually.
“Oh, thank God,” she let out a dramatic breath before continuing. “Are you dating anyone?” I couldn’t help but notice how perfect her teeth were when she smiled. Everything about her was.
“Me? No,” I simply replied, staring at our papers. I started scribbling on mine.
“What?” she said loudly, drawing my gaze back up to her. She looked me up and down. “You?” She raised her eyebrow. “Guys here have to be all over you.”
“I mean, I get asked out by guys a lot, yes,” I smiled, bashfully. I was inwardly celebrating that she thought I was attractive.
“But you don’t go out with them? Are you Mormon or something?” she asked, very seriously, causing me to laugh.
“No. I just ... don’t want to go out with them,” I gave a simple reply.
“Oh.” She lowered her voice. “Are you into girls?”
“What?” I said and my eyes widened. I wanted to say yes. But no one knew about me and I sure wasn’t going to tell some girl I had just met. She was looking at me expectedly. “I don’t know. No.” I fumbled over my words. Great.
“Okay,” she said and looked back at her paper like nothing had happened.
The rest of the class, we talked as if the conversation never happened.