Max doesn't know when she spaced out.
Maybe it could've been at the beginning of the lesson where Mr. Vern started to lecture, or it could've been a few minutes ago, but she is spaced out. Her glazed-over eyes show a sign that she's somewhere better than sophomore year math class.
Scribbling on her paper absentmindedly, her blue eyes flicker across the classroom, looking at the people around her. There are some she's friends with and others who she could honestly care less about. But the one thing that catches her attention is the girl in the front row. Dark brown hair that goes down to her shoulders almost, and who is looking intently at the board, looking down every few seconds to take notes.
Her name is El Hopper.
And in Max's opinion, she's the cutest girl in school. The only problem is, she's dating Mike Wheeler, the resident loser, in Max's book. She doesn't quite understand what El sees in him, but she doesn't question it to her friends, doesn't question it to her therapist or the school counselor, because nobody wants to hear about her dilemma with liking a (possible) straight girl... Also, she hasn't come out to anyone.
She still thinks about kissing her.
In the back row of Mr. Vern's class, sometimes she'll think about her, sometimes she'll think about how it'd feel to kiss her. She thinks about how it'd feel to hold her hand and call her her girlfriend.
And then she thinks how pathetic that is because El would never like Max back. Because unlike her, she has friends, good popularity following (she isn't too popular, but she also is at the same time), and doesn't worry too much about how people are gonna think about her. The scribbling continues as she moves her eyes away from El's sitting to look back at someone else. Focus Max. Comes her inner voice.
That what she attempts to do so she won't fail. But, it's just so hard, her mind keeps on drifting back into the dreamland, and the dreamland includes El. In a world without Mike, and she almost snaps her pencil lead, pressing too hard on the page. If only she stayed back in California. But, the more she thinks, the more she realizes this would've happened in California, but with a different girl, and a sigh leaves her lips, fighting the urge to hit her head on the desk. Hard.
Wanting El to look at her is unrealistic.
Max obviously knows that it's not going to happen in a million years, but it's cool to daydream about make-believe scenarios happening, and so when she does her routine look around of the classroom, when she reaches the front row, she doesn't expect the big, bright chocolate brown eyes of El Hopper staring right back at her with a small smile appearing on her face.