Excerpt from Winter’s Guardian…
So, class, please start by reading page thirty-two in your books," the professor goes on, as my class starts after he walks in. The professor looks as ancient as the old room we are all sat in, with his brown hair and beard, and very dated clothes that look like he hasn’t washed them in a while. I push my own out-of-control, wavy brown hair over my shoulder, wishing I had tied it up this morning. It’s a hot day, and the room is stuffy because of the lack of opened windows, making my hair stick the back of my head. I glance over at my best friend, Alex, who has her head on her desk, lightly snoring. I chuckle before kicking her leg and waking her up. She moves her waist-length, straight, red hair off her face to glare at me. "I was resting, Win," she mutters, hiding her eyes with her arm and huffing at me.
"The professor is here," I giggle, trying to whisper to her as she nearly falls off the side of the desk, while half asleep.
"Oh, what page?" She yawns, looking like she is going to drop back off to sleep already. I sigh, remembering how she actually has a boyfriend to keep her up all night. I, on the other hand, can't find a good one. The last time I had a boyfriend was over a year ago, and I found out he had a bad habit of sleeping around at parties. The unfortunate way I found this out was when I walked into his bedroom at his party, to find him in bed with two other girls. Let’s just say he has put me off men for life, or at least for a while.
"Thirty-two," I roll my eyes at her grin.
"I might nap instead, I had a long night," she winks.
"Don't rub it in," I groan.
"Well, you’re coming to Drake’s party this weekend, and no, you don't have a choice. I bought you a dress, and I found you a date," she grins. I don’t know which one was worse about that sentence. The fact she has bought me a dress, which I know will be way too slutty for my style, or the unlucky guy she has found for me. I decide to go with the second problem first.
"A date? You know I don't date," I hiss, while she continues to grin.
"Hey, you can't judge every man because of one. This guy is nice, a friend of Drake’s." She makes that annoying face she knows I haven’t ever been able to say no to since we were eight. I will never forget when I first met Alex. My mum had taken me to get an ice cream from the local ice cream van. Alex had just gotten hers in front of me, and I decided to get the same because her ice cream looked good. When the truck left, Alex tripped and dropped hers. My mum and I rushed over as she cried her eyes out over her ice cream. I offered to share mine and then, when I saw her at school the next day, we were inseparable.
"Fine, but if this doesn't go well I'm blaming you," I laugh.
"Winter Masters, is there something wrong?" My professor asks, causing the whole class to look at me. I can hear Alex's quiet snort as I answer.
"No, sir. We were just discussing the work," I say with red cheeks. The professor raises his bushy eyebrows at me. I know he doesn’t believe me. Damn, I wouldn’t believe me, either. I’m a terrible liar.
"Well, discuss it more quietly next time, I'm sure the whole class doesn't want to know about your dating life,” he replies. I hold in the urge to hide under the table at his blunt reply. A guy about my age puts his hand up at the front, drawing the whole room’s attention to him. The boy has messy, brown hair that’s covered up with a backwards cap. He is quite muscular under his top and shorts from what I can see. I’ve heard a few comments about how attractive he is, which he definitely is, but I can’t remember his name.
"I would like to know, sir," he says loudly before winking at me over his shoulder. I know I’m redder than a tomato now, and one glance at Alex shows how funny she thinks this is. I’m leaving her to sleep through the class next time.
"That's enough, Harris. All of you get back to work. I am running tests on this next week.” He picks up a large pile of papers, most likely the tests he made us do last week, and hasn’t bothered to mark yet. I watch as he goes to his desk and pulls out his phone. I’m sure he is playing some game by the way he is typing, but he definitely isn’t marking the tests.
“Also, while I remember, you need to find work experience in the next week or you'll be helping me sort out the university lost and found…for four weeks." I swear the old professor even smirked but I didn’t see him do it. I bet they would be getting him more coffees than they would be doing anything else.
"Have you heard back from the local vets yet?" Alex asks, opening her book as everyone else starts reading quietly.
"Yes, they called yesterday, and I'm all sorted." I grin, remembering jumping up and down in happiness after the call. I had applied months ago, and no one from our course was accepted, but I held out hope as I hadn't been rejected. My back-up was to work at a local farm, with half our class. Studying to become a vet is hard work, and there isn't much work experience available. This is an English class, and we have to pass it to stay at the university. That’s why Alex, who is a music student, is taking this class with me.
"That's great," she smiles widely, making a few guys next to us turn to look at her. Alex is that very pretty girl you always wanted to be. She is tall with boobs and hips that are perfect no matter what she eats. I look at a McDonald’s meal, and my ass gets bigger. I’ve been told I'm pretty, but I like my food too much. So I have curves, unlike my skinny-ass best friend. My best qualities are my shiny, brown hair and blue eyes, which I have to admit, suit my golden complexion. We don't say any more and get on with our work. At the end of class, I hand in my permission forms for the work experience, before finding Alex with her boyfriend, Drake, outside class.
"Hey, do you still need a lift?" I ask when I get close to them.
"Nope, thanks, honey. I'm going to Drake’s, but I will see you tomorrow to get ready for the party." She winks, leaning against Drake. Drake is a good-looking guy, but is kind of strange-looking, and I can’t put my finger on why. Honestly, he looks like a typical, scary-ass man all the time. I don’t think he has a none serious expression. He has dark, nearly black eyes and black hair that’s cut in a buzz cut, but he makes it work. It’s the eyes that give him the strangeness, they are too dark, darker than I have ever seen anyone’s. I always thought that he must spend a lot of time in a gym or something because he is all muscles, wearing expensive clothes. Alex has told me he is well off, but I knew that anyway from the car he drives and the designer clothes he wears. It's not just the looks and money, it's more how much older he acts, when he must be around twenty, like us. Alex doesn't answer many questions about him, but they have dated a while, so I'm guessing she really likes him.
"My friend is looking forward to your date," Drake says coldly in a slight Russian accent. Alex says he not actually from there, but his parents were, apparently.
"Me, too," I lie and frown at Alex's chuckle.
"I love you, Win, never change," she says to me, as she gives me a hug before we wave goodbye. Drake doesn't say anything else but that's normal.
I click my old, red Rover open before sliding in. My mum bought it for me as a going away present, and I love the old car, though maybe not the unusual stain on the driver seat I can’t seem to get rid of; I think it’s red pen. Well, I’m hoping it is anyway. We never had a lot of money growing up as it was just me and mum. As I drive home, I try to think about ways to get out of this date, but eventually come to the conclusion that it couldn't go that badly. Right?