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The Unexpected Friend
by Mackenzye Saint
05/26/10
Not For Sale
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Nick ran his hands through his dark curls in exasperation. Seeing this, his older sister, Amy, began to gently scratch his back, :What is it, Nick?;
:There are too many stupid, annoying, shallow people in the world. Is there a single girl out there who would like me or want to date me just because they like me, not my looks or my social standing? I didn・t know it was even possible for this year to be worse than last year, but it is.;
:The longer you stay single, the more girls will want to date you, even if just for thrill of the conquest. Be careful, Nick. I mean, I know you are always careful, but some girls are great actresses, and you always believe the best in people. That is not a bad thing though, Nicky.;
:How will I ever make true friends or have a girlfriend if not one cares about the real me? Everyone thinks the reason I do not date is because some mystery girl broke my heart. No one knows or cares enough to know the real reason. I mean, what is wrong with people?; he stood and began to pace.
:I know how it feels, Nick,; Amy said soothingly, :You・re talented, good-looking, funny, chivalrous, and popular. All things girls like. It・s the price you pay.;
:You・re beautiful, talented, fun, sweet and otherwise perfect, yet you still managed to find a guy who loves you.;
Amy・s blue eyes sparkled as she glanced at her dazzling new engagement ring, and Nick smiled in spite of himself. Brady and Amy had met between Amy・s eighth grade and ninth grade year and had become cross country pen pals seeing each other only a dozen or so times during high school, but at present attended the same college and were engaged. Shortly after his graduation, Nick・s sister would become a June bride and a married woman. As much as he longed to have a love of his own, he couldn・t be happier for his sister.
:Hey, Nicky?; Amy interrupted his thoughts a few minutes later.
:Yeah?; he sat down and typed away at his report.
:What if there was a way to screen through girls and find one who does not just like you for your looks? Someone who would be willing to really know the real you.;
His attention was caught, :What did you have in mind, my brilliant, lovely sister?;
:What if you could create another FriendSpace?;
:What good would that do? They would take one look at my face or my name and would know instantly who it is. I need a better idea, Ames.;
:What if we used a picture of an object instead of a picture of you and used your first name and Mom・s maiden name or Brady・s last name? Send a request to all of your current friends with all of the same information on your page, and see who accepts the request. Do not add yourself as a friend though.;
:Then what?;
:Start up a conversation with whoever accepts. Go from there.;
Nick grinned and his blue eyes danced in the lamplight, :You・re a genius, Ames, a genius.;
:That・s something you and Brady seem to agree on,; she smiled as she picked up the ringing phone, :Hey, Brady.;
Nick immediately started on the new FriendSpace. Within an hour, Nick had created a new page using his first name and mom・s maiden name, Logan Sparns, and had sent out friend requests. He continued to work on his report and ignored the messages of the many girls trying to text him and instant message him. Before retiring for the night, Nick checked his new FriendSpace and noticed that almost every girl had rejected his request except for one. Nick looked at the picture and was not surprised by what he saw. It was a picture of a girl with blue gray eyes, long, dark hair and a sweet smile. She was sitting cross-legged on the beach in a black tank top and denim cutoffs.
Nick smiled and whispered, :Hello, Sam.;


As usual, Nick was bombarded by a crowd of people as he opened his locker. Everyday guys and girls alike flocked to Nick like flies to honey, all trying to capture his attention. However, Nick was only looking for one person that Monday, and that was the girl who had the locker next to his. Sam was not an outcast, but neither was she a part of the :in; crowd.
Over the past month, Nick had been rejected by everyone except Sam, and she had even taken the time to chat with him a few times, something that had given him great joy.
Although he kept an eye out for her throughout the day, he did not see her. In fact, after a few discreet inquiries, he discovered that Sam had not been at school at all that week and there was a rumor that she was in the hospital. Nick pulled out his phone, logged in to FriendSpace under his pseudonym, and sent her a message.

Logan: Sam?
Sam: Hey, Logan. What・s up?
Logan: Not a whole lot. Where have you been?
Sam: The hospital. They wanted to monitor me for a few days.
Logan: For what? Do you have cancer or something?
Sam: Lol. No. My doctor says I have a sleep disorder, and she・s monitoring my sleep patterns to determine which medicine would be best for me.
Logan: Oh. Anything I can do to help?
Sam: nah.
Sam: Unless you can diagnose the problem and give me meds.
Logan: Lol. I think you need to come back to school for starters. I・ll see what I can do for drugs. Do they have to be legal?
Sam: Lol. Nah. Illegal works too.

They messaged until almost ten o・clock that night. At ten Sam was due for another round of tests and then had to try to sleep while they monitored her. Before logging off, she promised to be at school the following week. Although he was oddly disappointed to say good-bye, Nick drifted off to sleep with a smile on his face and a sweet girl on his mind.


On Monday morning, Sam was back at school. As usual, Nick was at his locker and surrounded by his usual crowd when Sam approached her locker. Nick smiled as he saw her approaching and took note of the smile on her face, :Good morning, smiles.;
Sam laughed, :Good morning, Nick.;
:You know, I think there are rules against smiling and being happy on Mondays. Especially on Monday mornings. I know for a fact that laughing on a Monday morning is completely illegal,; he whispered to her.
She laughed again, :I like to live on the wild side.;
Nick smirked, :What wild side? You don・t have a wild side. You・re a perfect little angel, Samantha Briggs.;
:I do have a wild side,; her eyes sparkled with laughter, :But no one ever sees it.;
:I・ll be sure to watch out for it. You may start super-gluing doors shut and locking teachers in closets.;
Sam shrugged, :You never know. I might.;
:Will you let me know so I can help? I always love a bit of trouble. Besides, somebody has to take the blame for it, and no one would believe that you did it all by yourself.;
:Why wouldn・t they?;
Nick laughed, :Sam, you are the opposite of trouble. You never pass notes or talk or text in class. Your assignments are always on time or early and you are never tardy. You are always polite and even if it・s someone else・s fault, you apologize.;
:I could be a troublemaker if I wanted to,; she said defiantly.
Nick resisted the urge to tousle her hair. She was so adorable. She was almost a foot shorter than he was, and the sweetness of her smile and those dazzling eyes could stop a man in his tracks. Before he could say anything else, the warning bell rang. The pair went their different ways, both feeling a little lighter. Upon sitting down, Sam pulled out her journal and began to write. Yes, it was the beginning of a great day.


Logan: Hey stranger.

Sam glanced at the computer screen and smiled. It had been over a week since they had talked, and Sam had begun to miss his company. His sweet and funny manner always put Sam at ease and brought a smile to her face. She wished she could put a face to his name and that they could hang out at school, but she couldn・t.

Sam: Hey, you.
Logan: Long time no talk.
Sam: I know.
Logan: Miss me?
Sam: Maybe.
Logan: Lol. Better than no, I guess.
Logan: So how have you been?
Sam: Pretty good. You?
Logan: Pretty good. Any news from the good doctor?
Sam: She said I am awake in my sleep.
Logan: Like sleepwalking and stuff like that?
Sam: Yeah. When I wake up, I am still exhausted because I had no real rest.
Logan: That is no fun. Do you have any meds?
Sam: Yeah.
Logan: Are they legal?
Sam: Lol. No, my doctor gave me illegal drugs.
Logan: Good. Nice to see our doctors are doing everything correctly. I was worried that they might actually be giving you legal drugs, and that is definitely not allowed. Lol.
Sam: Lol. Definitely not. That is a heinous crime.
Logan: I・ll keep praying for you.
Sam: you・re a Christian?
Logan: Yeah. I don・t usually scream it from the rooftops and act like I・m all that. I just try to be a living example and tell people about God when He presents an opportunity. I think it・s more important for Christians to live like Christians than to just say they are.
Sam: I completely agree. So what church do you go to?

Again their conversation lasted late into the night, but neither of them minded. Sam was enjoying the conversation too much to notice if she was tired or even what the time was. However at quarter till midnight, Logan declared that it was time for them to turn in for the night. Even though it was late and she was tired, Sam did not want to stop talking or log off. It was almost thirty minutes later before they finally signed off. Sam drifted off to sleep wondering why she couldn・t put Logan・s name to a face and wondering if she would see him at school the next day.
The next morning Sam arrived at her locker about five minutes before Nick and his followers arrived at his locker. Nick flashed Sam a dazzling smile, and she could not help but smile back. His followers arrived not even ten seconds after Nick and immediately all vied for his attention. The four beauties of the :in; crowd were Christie, Julia, Kylie, and Tabitha. Christie was the captain of both the cheerleading squad and the school dance team, and the typical all-American girl with her slender figure, flawless skin, blonde curls and blue eyes. Julia was tall and slim with long, sleek black hair and dark eyes, perfect body for a model, which she was as well as being a cheerleader. Tabitha, the class vice-president and a member of the dance team and Scholastic team, had a cute, short auburn bob and fierce green eyes. Finally there was Kylie with her bleach blonde hair and green eyes. Kylie was the most athletic as she was on the dance team, the captain of the girl・s swim team and a cheerleader. Nick・s :boys; were instantly by his side to talk about sports. David and Toby were both on the basketball team with Nick and Trey and Carter were both on the baseball team with him.
Sam was accepted by the group, but never truly a part of it. She and Nick had lockers next to each other and they were both in JROTC, and that was reason enough for the others to be polite to her, but never be more than acquaintances. They never invited her to hang out or called her up to chat. She was never invited to sit with them at lunch, but they never minded her presence and they didn・t make fun of her. Occasionally, they would talk to Sam, but usually she just saw them while she was working at the mall or at school.
:Sam!; Nick raced after her as she turned to walk away.
She stopped and faced him, :Yeah?;
:Good morning.;
:Good morning,; she replied slowly.
:How・s everything going?;
She hesitated, confused as to what he wanted, :Pretty good. How are things going with you?;
:Good. I was wondering if you were feeling better.;
Sam gave him a puzzled look.
:You were gone last week, and I figured you were sick. Are you better now?;
:I wasn・t sick, but I・m good now. Is something wrong?;
:No.;
:What is it you need, Nick?;
:I just wanted to make sure you were okay. We have PT in JROTC again, and Valdez is suspended, so I was wondering if you were feeling up to leading the flight.;
Sam searched his stunning blue eyes for answers, :I can handle it.;
:Good. Good. I guess I・ll see you then.;
:I guess so,; she turned to walk away, but he called after her again, :Yeah?;
:Kylie wants to know if you have a boyfriend.;
:Why?;
:She knows a guy that you might be interested in, her cousin. He・s a cool guy. She was wondering if you・d be willing to go on a blind date with him,; Nick・s stomach churned as he spoke. Kylie・s cousin was a cool guy, a good Christian, funny, and chivalrous. The thought of Sam going out with him made Nick sick to his stomach. Actually, the thought of Sam going out with anyone made him sick to his stomach.
:Tell her I said thanks for the offer. I think I・d like to talk to him before we think about going out. Have him text me or call me or something.;
:Cool. Does she have your number?;
:It・s in the school directory, Nick. It isn・t that difficult to get.;
:So you don・t have a boyfriend?; he repeated and almost banged his head up against the wall. He sounded like an idiot.
Sam smiled, :Nope. No boyfriend.;
:Okay. Cool.;
Before she realized what she was doing, Sam asked Nick if he had a girlfriend.
:No,; it was his turn to be confused, :Why do you ask?;
:Well, you・re a cool and good looking guy. I figure a guy like you has a tendency to attract attention and admiration and there has to be some girl that has caught your eye.;
:I haven・t met the right girl yet. When I meet a girl I like, I always start by praying. Then I ask for Godly counsel from my parents and my older sister, Amy. Each time, God leads me away from a girl. He leads me in a different direction in life or He reveals something in their character that I can・t overlook. I dated a lot in middle school and in my freshman and sophomore year. Between my sophomore and junior years of high school my sister gave me a book about dating God・s way and sexual purity. It made me think a lot, and since then I・ve been looking at dating a lot differently.;
Sam nodded, :That・s good though. I read somewhere once that every time we date someone or get intimately involved, we give away a piece of our hearts, and when we kiss or are in any way intimate with someone, either physically or emotionally, it・s like we・re cheating on our future spouse and like they・re cheating on their future spouse.;
:I・ve heard that too.;
The warning bell rang and they went their separate ways. Sam was in her seat, turning her phone on silent when she received an IM.

Logan: You look great today. Have a marvelous day at school. Ttyl.

Sam smiled and turned her phone off. It was definitely going to be a marvelous day.


Logan: So how was your day today?

Sam smiled. It had been over two months since they had started messaging. They messaged for at least an hour every day and talked about almost everything there was to talk about. There was something about him that was so familiar, but Sam just could not place it. Sam・s mind raced as she tried to find the answer. A farfetched idea entered her mind. What if it was one of the jocks playing a mean joke on her or an outcast trying to be accepted and hiding behind a fake name? It was unlikely, but so was the thought that there was someone in the school that Sam did not know. Even if it was just matching a face to a name, Sam could usually place them. It was one of the benefits of being accepted by every group.

Logan: You there?
Sam: Yeah. Sorry. I was thinking.
Logan: Again?
Sam: Yeah.
Logan: Dangerous stuff. What about?
Sam: You.
Logan: I・m flattered. What about me?
Sam: Would you post a picture of yourself, please? I can・t find you anywhere in the yearbook or in the directory. I just want a face to put with your name.
Sam: Please, Logan?
Logan: SamK
Sam: We・re not friends based on looks, are we?
Logan: No.
Sam: Then what does it matter?
Logan: Sam, we・re friends, but I don・t want to tell you who I am yet. I know you・re going to say that it wouldn・t, but it would change our friendship. This I can promise you.
Sam: So Logan isn・t your real name?
Logan: In a way, it is.
Logan: Logan is my first name, but everyone calls me by my middle name. Now can we change the subject?
Sam: Fine. What should we talk about?

As usual, they talked late into the night, hopping from topic to topic. Sam drifted off to sleep with a smile on her face again. She had a crush on Logan. She did not know his real name or what he looked like, but she liked him a lot. She knew he didn・t have a girlfriend and she knew he was a Christian. Whenever they talked, it brought a smile to her face and she imagined that he liked her too. A voice in her head told Sam that Logan probably did not like her and that she was a fool to get her hopes up, but she knew it was too late for that. Something about Logan calmed her fears and set her at ease. Something about him made her trust him. Sam didn・t know why, but her instincts told her that she could trust him.


:Sam!;
She turned to see Nick racing after her in the parking lot, :Nick?;
:Do you like the band Black Masquerade?;
:Yeah! They are only the best band ever!;
:Would you like to see them in concert?; excitement danced in his eyes.
Sam・s heart raced, :Of course I would!;
Nick・s smile could not be contained, :Would you happen to be available tomorrow night? I know it・s a Saturday and kind of short notice, but they・re playing in Atlanta, and we have an extra ticket.;
:We?;
:Yeah, a couple of guys from my Youth group and their girlfriends are going too. It・s not a huge group, but it wouldn・t be just the two of us. It would be six of us: Allie, Robbie, Lisa, Derek, you and me. Please say you・ll come with me, Sam.;
:Why me?; Sam pondered aloud.
Nick smiled as if he was hoping that she would ask, :Well, Allie and Lisa told me that I had to bring a girl so they wouldn・t be outnumbered. I don・t have a girlfriend to take, and I know you・re a good Christian girl and you・re pretty cool. I know you won・t take it the wrong way when I ask. Besides, a little bird with the same name and DNA as your younger brother, Jeff, told me.;
Sam・s grin could not be contained, :Remind me to thank that little pipsqueak.;
:So that means you・ll come?;
:Duh! It・s Black Masquerade. Need I say more? So when do we leave? Should I meet up with you guys somewhere or will you pick me up?;
They chatted for a few minutes until the bell rang. Nick grabbed her phone and punched in his number, :Text me after school, and I・ll let you know about everything. Thank you for saying yes, though. You just made my day!;
The blush in Sam・s face lasted for a long time and returned every time she thought of the incident. Sam missed everything her teachers said that day, but her mind was going a hundred miles a minute. Sam and Nick had become friends over the past several months, and Sam had no idea how or why. They had always had lockers right next to each other, but this year had been different. Maybe it was seeing each other at a Youth retreat over the winter break, or just maturing on both their parts. Whatever it was, Sam was glad that she had a friend in Nick.


Nick wanted to beat his head against his desk as he worked on his homework. Why had he invited her to the concert? What if he slipped up and revealed that he was Logan before he was ready? What if she put two and two together and figured it out herself? Sam was not dumb, and he was surprised she had not figured it out already. Nick whipped out his phone and sent a text to his mentor, Ethan. Ethan and Nick・s older brother, Mark, had been friends for as long as Nick could remember. The two had been best man at each other・s weddings, and even after a year of marriage for both of them, the two were as close as they could possibly be. Both of them were strong Christians, and overall great men. As great as Amy was, sometimes Nick needed the advice of an older Christian guy. Nick sent a message to Ethan, knowing the message would be in Mark・s inbox within minutes.
It was not long before Ethan responded to the message.
Well, Nick, it looks like you really did it this time.
Yeah. You could say that.
Lol. Yeah. Anyway. Mark・s at work, so it・s just you and me.
So what are you thinking?
I think you need to come over tomorrow. Would you mind if Anne was with us? I have a feeling she could offer some good advice.
That is fine. See you later. Thanks.
Anytime. Later.
Nick closed his phone and walked over to the Youth group seated in his living room. As always, his parents invited the Youth group over on Friday nights for a movie and games night. He plopped down on one of the bean bags.
:This seat taken?; a soft voice asked him.
Nick looked up to see one of the freshmen looking down at him and pointing to the beanbag next to the one he was sitting in. In one hand she held a can of Coke and in the other a plate of food. Nick recognized the girl as Maya, the girl one of his basketball buddies liked. He nodded and Maya sat down next to him. Her dark curly hair fell over her shoulder as she bent her head to bless the food. Nick watched her. Lionel could do worse. She was pretty with cocoa colored skin and lovely dark eyes. Nick knew her to be a sweet girl who helped out a lot around the church.
:So you like Sam,; she stated as she munched on a chip.
:Is it that obvious?;
Maya shrugged, :Depends if you・re looking.;
:Yes, I like her.;
:You should ask her out. I・m surprised that you haven・t yet. She・s a cool girl.;
:She is, but I don・t think she like Nick Bradbury.;
:Who do you think she likes?;
:Logan Sparns.;
:Who is Logan Sparns?;
He sighed, :Logan Sparns is Nick Bradbury without the looks, accomplishments, and popularity.;
Maya chuckled, :So she knows the real you without knowing you. That is pretty good.;
He laughed. It did sound dumb, :Something like that. Yeah.;
:Sam・s a sweetheart. I・m not sure you could do much better than her. If you could, I would be shocked. I know that Sam has made her mistakes, but she loves to help people and she loves to serve. She・s naturally selfless and strong. She・s fun too. She・s a girl worthy of only the very best.;
Nick smiled as he thought of her, :Yes, she is.;
:Your secret is safe with me, Nick,; Maya assured him, :and your heart is safe with Sam. I can guarantee both of these.;
:You・re a good girl, Maya.;
She blushed.
:I can understand why one of my friends likes you.;
Her blush deepened.
He laughed, :Maya, do I sense a crush?;
:That would depend on who you are referring to.;
:Oh, I don・t know, one of the guys on my basketball team. Maybe number fourteen.;
:Yes.;
:Should I tell him that he should go ahead and take a risk on the girl he likes?;
:You don・t have to.;
:I think I will,; he said thoughtfully,; and thank you.;
:I didn・t help because of Lionel,; she said almost defensively.
He smiled, :I know. That・s why I・ll drop a few hints.;
:Sam found a good man.;
:And Lionel found a great girl.;


Sam rested her head on the ice pack and lay on the cold bathroom floor. She had been up all night because she had been sick, and it was almost noon and there seemed to be no rest or relief in sight for her. That meant there was no way she would be going to the concert. Grabbing her phone, Sam dialed Nick・s number.
He answered on the second ring, :Hello?;
:Nick?; she said weakly, :It・s Sam.;
:Sam, hey. Are you okay? You sound awful.;
Sam smiled, :That・s always what a girl wants to hear when she calls a guy.;
Nick chuckled, :Sorry. What・s wrong?;
:I have been up sick all night and into the morning, and there is no way I could make it to the concert tonight even if my parents gave me permission, which they won・t. I・m really sorry, Nick. I know you were counting on me, and I wanted to go, but I can・t.;
:No worries. I promise, it・s fine. I would rather you stay home and rest and feel better than go to the concert with me. Do you want me to bring you anything? Maybe snacks and movies and have a sick party at your house?;
:A sick party, are you serious?;
:Only partially, but it does sound good.;
:I・m fine. Sorry. Maybe Kylie or Tabitha is free and you can go with one of them.;
:It wouldn・t be the same.;
Sam・s heart raced, :You・ll find someone to bring and have a great time, Nick. I want to hear all about the concert at school on Monday morning. Okay?;
He hesitated, :Okay.;
:Nick?;
:Yeah?;
:Thanks for inviting me. I appreciate it a lot.;
:We・ll do something else sometimes. How does that sound?;
:Maybe.;
:Just maybe?;
:Maybe,; she repeated.
:I・ll be praying for you.;
:Thanks, Nick.;
:Good bye.;
:Bye.;
As Sam closed the phone she heard a soft knock on the door and her mother・s voice, :Samantha?;
:Yes, Mom?;
:Are you okay?;
A tear slid down Sam・s face and she shook her head, :I don・t think so.;
:May I come in?;
Sam sat up and scooted over so her mom, Leslie, could sit next to her. They sat in silence for a long while before Sam spoke, :Mom?;
:Yes, sweetie?;
:Is it wrong to like two people at once?;
Leslie was not surprised by her daughter・s question and began to softly scratch Sam・s back, :I honestly don・t know, honey. You・re talking about Logan and Nick aren・t you?;
Sam nodded, :They・re both so great. I have become so close to both of them over the past school year, and the more that I know about them, the more that I like about them. There・s so much that I don・t know about both of them. Logan is a completely mystery, but Nick is nothing like I expected him to be and I have been pleasantly surprised. Nick and I are from different worlds and Logan and I are just cut from the same cloth. It is just so confusing. They are so much alike, yet different.;
:Different how?;
:Nick is popular, and Logan fades into the background. Nick is extremely athletic and accomplished, but Logan does what he does for the sole purpose of fun. Logan is so musical, and Nick is mostly athletic.;
Leslie put her arm around her daughter・s shoulders, :Sweetie, I don・t know what to tell you. From all you have told us both of them are great Christian guys. Jeff adores Nick and looks up to him, and I know your father has enjoyed the occasional chat with Logan. They are both wonderful, Sam, and I couldn・t choose between them either. Just continue to pray and ask God which one He is leading you to or if He is leading you another way. There・s nothing more you can do.;
Sam・s dad, Russ entered the doorway and leaned on the doorframe as if that was where he was made to be, :Look at my lovely ladies this fine afternoon.;
Sam smiled, :Hey, Daddy.;
:I have a letter for my favorite daughter.;
:Our only daughter, dear,; Leslie reminded him.
Sam took the missive from his outstretched hand and began to read while her parents joked back and forth.
:Sam,

You are the most incredible, Godly, beautiful girl I have ever known. Over the past several months you have crept into a special place in my heart and life. I love talking to you, and you bring so much light, joy, and laughter into my life. Would you do me the honor of being my date for prom?
Yours Truly,
Logan;

Sam smiled and opened her phone to instant message her reply.

Sam: Yes
Logan: What?
Logan: Prom?
Sam: Yes!
Logan: I was hoping you would say yes. I will pick you up Saturday at five. Is that cool?
Sam: Sounds good.
Logan: Awesome.
Sam:
Sam: I can・t wait.
Logan: Me either.


:So, Nick,; Tabitha twirled a lock of hair around her perfectly manicured finger, :Like, I was thinking that we should, like, go to prom together. I mean, like, we・ve been friends for, like, years, and, like, it would just make sense for us to go together. Like, I know how things didn・t, like, work out for us before, but, like, we・re both more mature now, and, like, I think we could, like, make it work this time.;
:Tabitha,; Nick began.
:You don・t have to answer, like, now, but, like, think about it.;
:Tabitha, I don・t have to think about it. It will never work for us. We are way too different. I・ve found someone new and I am going to prom with her. You can ask Austin, though. I know he・s still looking for a date.;
She scoffed and stormed off, and Nick winced as she slammed the door to the girls・ bathroom. For the life of him, Nick could not remember why he had dated her in the first place. Well, other than the fact that she was pretty and popular, and that was all that had mattered to him. That did not matter to him anymore even though he had finally taken notice of the girl he now thought the most beautiful in the world, and was going to prom with her.
Nick stole a glance at Sam, who was walking through the double door entrance to the hall. Nick smiled as she approached the lockers and he noted her faint blush. It was cute that she blushed when he smiled at her, and Nick hoped she would never stop blushing, :Hey, Sam.;
:Hey.;
:Are you feeling better?;
:Yeah, how was the concert?;
:I didn・t go. I gave my tickets to Lionel and his new girlfriend, Maya. Maya is from my Youth group, and she・s a sweet girl and wise beyond her years.;
:I know Maya. We bunked together at the Sugar and Spice conferences over the summer and during the winter holiday. She・s really cool and sweet.;
:Not as cool and sweet at you are,; the smile faded from Nick・s face, :And nowhere near as beautiful.;
:Nick,; she breathed.
He took her hands in his, :Sam, come to prom with me.;
She repeated his name.
:Is that a yes?;
:I can・t. I already have a date for prom. Maybe if you had asked sooner, but I can・t. I・m sorry, Nick. I really am.;
:No, I・m sorry, Sam. I respect you for your loyalty. You going to prom with someone else is not going to make me stop caring about you,; he held her face in his hands and whispered, :I love you, Samantha.;
His soft words hit her like a ton of bricks, but melted her heart, :Please don・t say that, Nick. Please.;
:Sam, I know you don・t love me back, but maybe one day you will,; he kissed her hands, :If things don・t work out for you and Logan, maybe we could talk. We could go to a movie or grab dinner or something. Okay?;
:You would be my first call, Nick. I promise.;
They began their separate ways when Sam realized what he just said, :Nick.;
He turned.
:How did you know about Logan?;
:We・re friends. Didn・t he tell you?;
:You know Logan? You・ve seen him?;
He grinned, :Every day of my life.;
:Who is he?;
:A friend of mine,; Nick said softly, :A very good friend.;
With that, Nick turned and walked through the maze of halls and students to his class. Sam watched him from her spot and it felt like her heart was breaking. Maybe Nick was the right guy, and Logan was the one she should let go of. How would she feel if she had the same conversation with Logan? What if she was going to choose the wrong guy? Was it just a matter of who asked first or was one of them the right guy and the other one just very amazing but a guy who would be gone eventually? Taking a deep breath, Sam wiped the tear off of her cheek and continued on to class. It was going to be a long week.


:Momma!; Sam called across the small boutique.
Instantly, Leslie was at her daughter・s side to admire the dress Sam had picked up, :Oh, sweetheart, it・s perfect. You have to try it on.;
Sam admired the beautiful gown. It was a black strapless dress with silver embroidery on the bodice. Flowing out at her hips, the dress had slits cut at the bottom where red silk flowed from. As soon as she slid the gown on, Kelly knew that it was the gown for her, and she could not find a gown half as wonderful in the entire store or maybe in the entire city. She fingered the close fitting top. It showed off her figure stunningly without emphasizing anything in a bad way. Sam glanced at the price tag and almost jumped for joy. The already well priced gown was thirty percent off because it was past the usual prom season, and it made the dress a very reasonable amount.
Within the hour, Sam hung the dress up in the closet and placed her new, black heels on the floor next to it and tried to settle in to sleep. Prom was the next day, and she would wear the most beautiful dress on the planet and finally meet the man who was claiming a place in her heart.


At four fifty-two in the evening, Sam took a long look in the mirror. Her parents had confined her to the bathroom so they could meet Logan before she did, and it kept her from watching the window. Sam paced the small bathroom and wrung her hands. She was beyond nervous, even though this was the guy that she had grown closer to than she was to almost anyone else. Sam could hear Jeff downstairs waiting for Logan to arrive and talking with Russ. Sports. Of course. Sam laughed to herself. Logan would fit right in at the house.
The doorbell rang and Sam・s stomach tied up in knots and her hands were shaking. Why was she so nervous? She tried to listen at the door to hear Logan・s voice, but the ringing in her ears and the sound of her heart pounding made it impossible. Seconds later, Jeff opened the door and led her out, a huge grin on his face.
Taking a deep breath, Sam took Jeff・s offered arm and followed him down the hall and down the stairs and to the living room. Nick stood in the middle of the living room with a huge smile on his face. As soon as she saw Nick, the wheels in Sam・s head started to turn, and she put all of the pieces together. A huge smile crossed her face and she hugged Nick tightly.
:Why didn・t you tell me?;
He kissed her sleek, shiny hair, :I told you it would change everything.;
:You were right. What made you create Logan?;
:Logan is my first name, and Sparns is my last name. I wanted to see if there were any girls in the school who would like me if they knew the real me, and you were the only one who accepted my request. It was God talking to me and telling me that you are the girl I was looking for.;
Sam smiled and stood on tiptoe to kiss his cheek, :You found me, and I found you.;
:God decided to open our eyes.;
:He did.;
:I love you, Samantha.;
:I love you too, Logan Nicholas Bradbury.;
Hand in hand, the couple walked to the car with Sam・s family watching from the doorway. Neither Nick nor Sam could have been happier with the outcome, because sometimes, things work out exactly the way they should.


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