Desmond had never really been a morning person, but after you woke up every morning promptly at six for a month, it started to become automatic. He woke at 5:59, just in time to roll over and switch off his alarm clock before the obnoxious noise could start. He slipped out of bed with a sigh. Another morning of school. He padded lightly over to his closet, pulled out a grey shirt, jeans, underwear and socks, then went into the bathroom for his morning shower.
The hot water made him feel sleepy, but he turned the temperature up just a couple of notches anyways, enjoying the feeling of the warm water on his skin. Besides, the cold of the house when he did finally get out of the shower would be enough to fully wake him for the day.
He hopped out of the shower, put on his clothes, and spent just a couple of minutes to style his hair, rubbing gel between his fingers and then gently into his hair. A quick combing and he was done, racing off downstairs just in time to catch the first egg of the morning. He hugged his mom gratefully, then sat down at the table and began to munch away, using a piece of toast to sop up the last of the rich yellow yolk.
His father and younger sister came down not much later, the first mumbling about coffee, the second simply trying to avoid running into the walls. Des ruffled her hair, and said laughingly "It'll be even worse when you get to high school." She stuck her tongue out at him, but he only grinned, ate his last piece of egg, and slid the dishes into the washer.
He brushed his teeth quickly, finished packing his backpack, and jogged out the door. He was a little early, but it would give him time to talk with his friends before class started.
About ten minutes away, Des' school was large, made of concrete and brick, with a large student parking lot off to the side, an even larger field in the back, and right across from a small shopping center where students with the money could buy a hot lunch. There was a relatively large stretch of grass in front of the main entrance, and on warm mornings like today students would congregate in groups on the lawn.
Des got out of the car, pulled out his pack, and locked the doors, then began walking towards the front door. Many of the kids he passed offered him greetings. He responded, exchanged a few quick words, but always continued towards the largest tree in the lawn, where a small group of about five people were gathered. He sat down, and there was a general exclamation of pleasure at the fact that he had finally joined them.
"I thought you said that you would be early today, so that we could talk for longer. This and some time after school is the only time that we have together, after all." said a boy with short messy black hair.
"I am early, Anthony." Desmond replied. "After all, we still have about five minutes until first bell rings."
Anthony gave a snort, but did not deign to reply.
"Well," a girl with long blonde hair said. "I'm glad that you could make it at all."
"Of course you are, Cassie." Des laughed. "You always seem happy to see me."
She laughed, and then flopped back into the grass, staring up through the pine branches.
"You'll get grass in your hair if you keep that up," said a short brunette with remarkably curly hair.
"So what, Em?"
"So you'll get frustrated when I tell you halfway through the day that you've been walking around with grass in your hair all morning." Emily replied logically.
Cassie sighed, but sat up, running fingers through her hair to dislodge any pieces of grass. Desmond leaned over and snagged a piece that she had missed. Cassie blushed slightly, but nodded her thanks.
They talked for a couple more minutes, laughing and joking, but the bell rang, and they stood up, picking up dropped backpacks, and heading as a group towards the front door. They would split in the foyer, each heading to a locker, and then on to their first hour class.