Rhett by Margaret McHeyzer




“Hey, have you seen the new girl?” Pen asks as we both sit in the cafeteria at school.

“Nah, why?”

“She’s cute,” Pen replies. She places her bag on the chair beside her, and looks around the cafeteria. “There she is.” Pen gestures toward the entrance.

I turn to look who she’s pointing out, and I see her. Shit, I can’t help but stare as she walks in and timidly glances around before heading over to the line to get some lunch. Pen’s right, she’s really cute. Her light brown hair is pulled back into a messy bun, she’s wearing a long t-shirt and leggings with chunky Doc Martin boots.

Pen smacks me on the shoulder. “What?” I drag my eyes away from the pretty new girl, to scowl at Penelope. “What?” I repeat.

“You’re drooling.” She wipes at her mouth. “You look like a stalker goob.”

“A goob? What the hell is a goob, Pen?”

“Out of what I said, you heard goob? Not stalker, but goob?” She rolls her eyes to me.

“Just, whatever.” I look back to the girl standing in line. She’s appears nervous, as she looks around the cafeteria, worrying her lip in between her teeth. Standing, I head over toward her.

“Where are you going?” Pen grins and waggles her brows.

I turn and smile. I go to the girl and tap her on the shoulder. She flinches as she turns. Looking up at me, she holds her head high. “Hi,” I say. “I’m Rhett.” I hold my hand out to her.

Her line of sight falls to my hand. She takes it, and slightly nods. “Dani.”

“You’re new, right?”

“Uh-huh.” She shyly glances down at her clutched hands.

“Would you like to sit with Penelope and me.” I point over to Pen, who waves at Dani eagerly.

Dani looks past my wide shoulders to see Penelope standing enthusiastically watching us. “Um.” She crinkles her brows, and mashes her lips together. “Thanks,” she says with a small crack.

“Great.” I stand beside her as we move up in the line. She’s nervous, because she’s barely talking. “Where are you from?”

“Um, just around. We move a lot.”

“Army brat?”

“Nah, nothing like that. Just we move, you know.” She shuffles up a step as the line progresses.

“How are you liking Mulberry Point?”

“Yeah, it’s okay.” She lowers her gaze, and takes a long breath. “We probably won’t stay for long. But it seems nice.” She shrugs as if moving around is a normal thing her family does.

“So, you move around a lot then?”

She scoffs. “You have no idea.” It’s clear she’s not a fan of it. If she’s not an army brat, then why does her family relocate so much?

“So, do you have any brothers or sisters?”

“Nope.” She shakes her head. “You?”

“Yeah, I have two older brothers.”

“That’s cool. Do they come here too?”

“Nah, they’ve finished and are training to be firefighters.”

“Firemen?” She smirks. “That’s super cool.” Dani is the next one in line, and she grabs what she wants to eat. I take the tray once she’s got what she wants. “I can carry it.”

“I know.” I keep a hold of it as we walk over to where Pen is sitting, now joined by Louis and Brent. “Hey, guys, this is Dani and she’s just moved to our school,” I say as I place her tray down opposite me.

“Hey,” she says to everyone.

“This is Penelope.” I point to Pen who smiles widely. “Louis and Brent.” I point to them.

“Hey,” Brent says as he looks at Dani and arches a brow.


I notice her cheeks pink when he looks her way. Oh, right.

She sits and starts picking at her food. “Where are you from?” Pen asks.

“Around,” Dani replies elusively.

Pen looks at what I’ve got for lunch, and helps herself to whatever she wants. “Yum. Is this your mom’s mac and cheese?” Pen asks as she opens the container.

“It is.”

“Excellent.” She shoves her food toward me, takes mine and inhales it. “This is so good, Rhett.”

“That’s why I brought it for lunch, Pen.”

“You snooze, you lose.”

Dani giggles, and when I look over to her, I notice the cutest dimple in her cheek when she’s smiling.

“What do you like to do?” Brent asks as he directs his attention to Dani.

I can’t help but notice how Dani’s eyes downcast for a moment when she looks at Brent. “Um, I, um...” She swallows, and tucks some hair behind her ear. I hang on every one of her movements, and I notice, Brent does too. “I’m pretty basic,” she says.

I highly doubt that. There’s nothing basic about her.

“Do you like watching movies?” Brent asks smoothly.

The small smirk on her pretty face breaks my heart. She likes him, and he likes her. “Yeah, I do,” she says.

Fuck. He’s going to make his move, and I’m not the type of guy who’ll stand in either of their way. It’s clear to everyone, she’s digging on him as much as he’s digging on her. “There’s a new horror movie playing.”

“Oh my God.” She places her hand to her chest. “Horror is my favorite genre,” she says excitedly. “Especially slash ’em up, jump scare, in-your-face gory movies.”

Great, that’s the type of movies I don’t like, and the exact type Brent does. They’ll make a good couple. Dani slides over on the bench seat and begins a more in-depth conversation with Brent. I spend my lunch talking with Pen, but trying to listen to what Dani’s saying. When lunch is finished, Brent and Dani walk out of the cafeteria, having made a date to go to the movies.

“Sorry, man,” Penelope says as we walk toward our next classes. English for me, and math for Pen.

“What? Why?”

“You like her, and she likes Brent. That’s gotta be hard.”

I try to downplay it, pretending it doesn’t matter. “There are plenty more chicks,” I say casually.

“Don’t bullshit me, Rhett. I’m your best friend, and I can see you like her. Fight for her.”

“Nah.” I shake my head. “She’s into Brent, not me. No use in fighting for someone who didn’t even see me.” Pen turns and pokes me in the shoulder. “Ouch.” I rub at the spot.

“Don’t be a dick. If you like her, go after her.”

“Nah.” I shake my head. “She’s into Brent. Anyway, he’s a good guy, and he’ll treat her well. So, that’s it.”


“No!” I say with authority. “No more, Pen. We’re not talking about this anymore.”


I stop both of us walking. Looking into her eyes, I shake my head. “I said enough.” She opens her mouth and points her finger at me. “No more.”

Pen huffs. “Fine, but she may very well be the love of your life, and you’d be letting her go with Brent. I know he’s a good guy, but what if...”

“Stop.” I run my hand through my hair. “Are you coming over after school today?”


“I’ll wait for you out the front. See ya.” I don’t give Pen the chance to say anything else about me asking Dani out.

If it’s meant to be, then it’ll happen. But judging by the way Dani’s eyes lit up while she was talking to Brent, then it’s obviously not meant to be.

Maybe one day, just not today.