• I awoke to a bright, clear morning and to the obnoxious beeping of an alarm clock. Normally, I would have been happy that the sun was promised to come out, but not today. Today was the day that I had art class. The mildly cloudy morning set a mood that I did not want to be part of. My mom had made me take this stupid class, a class where I had no talent. Why couldn’t the earth see that and match my mood with cloudy skies instead of sunny ones? What an annoying planet.

    I rose out of bed, the feeling of depression creeping up on me and adding to my already sour mood. I walked -more or so like a zombie than a human- to my closet and opened the doors. The array of the bright and colorful clothes that I normally wore smiled upon me. I frowned in return. Everything was yellows and pinks and blues. Nothing in the closet would match my mood. Oh wait, what was that glimpse of black peeking out from the end of the clothes rack? I pulled out a hanger adorned with a black shirt that had a dancing cartoon skeleton on it. I didn’t remember where I had gotten it, but it was the only thing I felt like wearing.
    I pulled on the shirt and some dark jeans just as Lily, my little sister, knocked on the door. Other than me, my family was one composed of early birds.

    “Come in.” I said groggily. She did, already dressed, her hair combed and flat.

    “Mom wanted to know if you were awake.” She said, eyeing my shirt with confused eyes. Unlike me, Lily didn’t feel the stress I was feeling on this day, this awful day; she didn’t have art, the lucky duck. She only left me in my room to drown in my frustration from the power of mothers.
    I got ready for the torture that they call school, brushing my teeth and putting my slightly curly, long brown hair into a low pony-tail.

    “Nad, Jack is here!” My mother called from downstairs. Jack was my best friend. He has been ever since we were little. And yes, my name is Nad. Not what you expected is it?

    “I’ll be right down!” I shouted back, and, with one last look over in the mirror and with one last wish that I didn’t have to do this, I thumped down the stairs and into the kitchen.

    Jack was there, sitting at the table, his head down. Like me, Jack is not an early riser. He hated the mornings as much as I did. He was only here because I made him.

    “Hey, Jack.” I greeted lazily, going over to the cupboard and grabbing a bowl for cereal. Slowly, he lifted his head and looked at me with tired, bloodshot eyes. Ah, Mondays.

    “‘Sup.” He mumbled, not noticing my strange attire, and put his head down on the table again. I poured myself some cereal, dumped some milk in, and started eating. I was going at my own pace until Jack looked at the clock. Abruptly, he shot out of his chair.

    “Shoot, we got to go!” He ran to the entry way. I looked at the clock too, muttered something that my mom would ground me for saying, and gulped the remains of my breakfast, the un-chewed cereal scraping my throat as it slithered down. I grabbed a jacket, the sunny colors clashing with my dreary outfit, and my backpack, filled with disorganized notebooks and breaking binders.

    We made it to the bus stop just as the bus was about to leave. Thankfully, we have the best driver ever, so she waited for us as we sprinted to the yellow vehicle. She opened the doors for us and we climbed aboard.
    There were some snickers from the back as we plopped down into a seat, probably from Haley and Natalee, the school brats, but I was too tired and annoyed to mind. Today I had art.
    Soon, the school loomed ahead. No! I felt like screaming, I don’t want to go to school today!

    But no matter what I felt like saying, the bus still rolled into the parking lot and stopped in front of the school. The doors opened, and kids spilled out of them like water rushing from a dam, despite the early hour. Heather gave me a shove as she walked past, but I still couldn’t care less. Art class was first period.

    “Bye, Jack.” I said sadly, and we departed. He went upstairs and I went down. I went to my locker, pulling my ratty books out of my tattered backpack, making a face at my sketchbook as I added it to the pile I was taking to classes that day.
    Homeroom went by in a flash, as it usually does, and soon enough the bell was ringing, releasing the students to their first class. Slowly, I dragged my feet out the classroom and around the corner to the class I had been dreading all morning.
    Jack was already there, scribbling away on his sketchbook, probably creating another one of his masterpieces. That was the problem.

    You see, like most cliché high school love stories, I liked my best guy friend. I liked Jack. And, unfortunately, even though I was glad to have him in my class, it did not make up for the fact that I was horrible at art while he was incredible. I could never impress him, and this was the only class he had with me. How depressing.

    “Hey, Jack.” I said, sliding into the seat next to him.

    “Hey, Nad, look at this!” He spun around to show me a scene of a beautiful forest, complete with deer, a rabbit, and a squirrel or two. And it was only a sketch. It made me want to cry.

    Just then, the bell rang, starting class. The teacher came in, giving us instructions to do a portrait of a friend.

    “And don’t show the person you’re drawing their portrait. Save it for the end.” She said.

    We got to work, Jack and I turning to face each other.
    I started drawing first, trying to follow the basic guidelines, measuring out the ears, spacing the eyes, and putting the mouth in the right place. After painstakingly doing so, I looked at Jack’s face, the shape of it, the way that his hair fell into his eyes, the odd angle of his nose from when he broke it running into a wall when he was little.

    And I could feel his eyes on me too. For a second, at some point, we ended up staring at each other’s face. I quickly looked away, blushing, hearing Jack chuckle at my embarrassment. Stupid art assignment, I thought as I started to shade in the shadows of the face.

    The end of class was near. The teacher told us that now we could show each other the drawings before she graded them.

    “You first,” I said, clutching my own piece to my chest. Jack shrugged, and showed me.
    I gasped.
    “Jack, what happened? You usually draw better! No offense, though.” I added, while other shrieks and giggles were heard around us.

    “Well, I’ve never drawn people that well anyway. I’m better at nature and stuff.” He said, flushing a bit. I remembered the sketch he had been doing earlier, the one with the squirrels.

    “Okay, now that you’re done gawking at my piece of junk, can I see yours now?” he asked.

    “Fine, but it’s probably worse than yours.” I warned him, and turned the book around.

    This time, he gasped.

    “I told you, it’s horrible-” I started, blushing again. But he cut me off.
    “Did you really draw this? It’s incredible!” he asked, his eyes glued to the page.

    And then I realized that his gasp was one of amazement, not horror. It made me blush deeper. Maybe today wouldn’t be so bad after all.

    “Can…can I have it after it’s graded?” he asked, giving me a puppy lip and clasping his hands together.

    I giggled like an idiot from nervousness, hardly believing what he just said. Believe me, Boys who are reading this, when you impress a guy you like, it’s a big thing, and this was Jack.

    “Sure,” I said, “but only if you give me yours.”
    His eyes lit up.
    “You really want that? Okay, it’s a deal!”

    Just then, the teacher called for us to turn in our drawings. I did so with pride and uncontainable happiness, a humongous smile on my face. The bell rang, ending the best class ever for the day.

    Outside, the sun broke through the morning clouds, matching my mood. I was glad that my mom had made me take this class, glad that it wasn’t raining, and, most of all, glad that I was in art class with Jack.