And sure enough, they did! And they didn’t even wait.
On the first day of the new school year, Jane was much more excited about her sophomore year than she had been her freshman year the year before. She walked through the school entrance and into the crowded front area, notebook in her arms. One of the friends Jane had made the previous school year, Bruce McCauley, was leaning against the wall just beside a row of lockers when he saw her enter the school. His face immediately lit up.
Bruce approached Jane with twinkling eyes and a genuine smile.
“Hiya, Jane!” he greeted cheerfully as he walked beside her, “How was your summer?”
“Eh, ‘could’ve been better, ‘could’ve been worse,” Jane answered, “And yours?”
“Boring, as usual,” Bruce answered.
Jane looked over at him and smiled.
Reunited with Friends
Bruce was sixteen, a year older than Jane, and already six feet, one inch tall to her tiny five feet, two. He was a husky, rugged boy with hair that was dark, think, and wavy. He always wore faded jeans, work boots, and a nice tee shirt. Jane also remembered that, during the cold months, Bruce had worn either his signature black, leather jacket, or a bomber. The latter, he would always wear during the winter freezes.
“Well, howdy!” A voice called out from behind them.
Bruce and Jane turned to see a smiling Roxie catching up, followed by Andy and Brenda.
“Hi, Roxie. Hi, Brenda.” Jane greeted as she hugged both girls.
“How’s it going, man?” Bruce greeted as he slipped Andy some skin.
“Can’t complain. Dad helped me buy a motorcycle and I got to ride it to school today. No more big, yellow banana buses for my mama’s a-baby boy!” Andy quipped, cutting up with a gleam in his eye.
“Awesome, man,” Bruce responded excitedly, “I’m working on getting a set of wheels myself! My dad found an old ’79 firebird in a junkyard. He, my uncle, and two of my brothers are refurbishing it now. They’ve already rebuilt the motor and dropped it in. Now, they’re working on the paint job. Then next, the interior. I should have it in another month or two. Damn! I love old cars!”
Bruce then turned and winked at Jane, smiling. Jane smiled back. Roxie noticed the silent exchange between Bruce and Jane. She playfully nudged Jane with her elbow and smiled.
“Girrrrrl!” she gushed, “He’s gonna ask you out!”
Bruce looked at Jane again and smiled.
“You never know,” he said.
“Aw, man! Don’t leave us in suspense here. Now, are you gonna ask Jane out or not?” Andy bantered.
“C’mon, Andy! Suspense is what makes life exciting,” Bruce bantered back as he snaked his arm around Jane’s shoulders.
Break Time is Over
Suddenly, Chandler shoved past Bruce, deliberately broad arming him as he walked by, followed by Breanna, Audrey, Ashley, and Kevin.
Bruce stopped suddenly. He then spun around and gave Chandler a threatening glare.
“Next time, look where the hell you’re going, asshole!” Chandler shouted back.
“Why don’t you go suck a-!” Bruce began before Roxie cut him off.
“Screw ‘em, Bruce. They’re not worth the powder to blow ‘em up!” Roxie told him loudly, hoping they’d hear her, before giving the clique a disdainful glare.
Andy stood there, staring at the clique as they disappeared through the crowd. He then shook his head and sighed.
“And so, it begins,” he said dreadfully.