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It Started With A Note

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

FRESHMAN YEAR


It all began in the middle of freshman year, three days before my fifteenth birthday. To say I was taken by surprise would be an understatement, and quite frankly, I thought the whole thing was one big joke. It crossed my mind more than once an upper-level student was playing a little game of haze the freshman, and after every surprise note, I waited with bated breath for someone to jump out and yell, “Gotcha!”

You see, Conor Hudson was no one special. I wasn’t hideous by any means, but I wasn’t exactly a super model either. Most of the girls who attended Westmore Academy, a prestigious school for the intellectually gifted nestled in the historic district of Savannah, Georgia, were rich and gorgeous. One would think being intellectually gifted, obscenely wealthy, and freakishly gorgeous would go against all laws of nature, but alas, it seemed that was not the case. I attended Westmore on a full scholarship my grandmother fought long and hard for, and while I was gifted, I was not freakishly gorgeous or obscenely wealthy.

I was orphaned by a fiery car accident in the mountains of Colorado at the tender age of nine, and after that, I lived in Savannah with my grandmother. Anne Marie Hudson was quite possibly the most amazing human being on the planet. She took me in without question and provided a comfortable life for me. By all accounts, I was a happy, well-adjusted teenager.

I had two best friends, Shay Tucker and Noah Grayson, who had been my friends since I moved to Savannah. Unfortunately, neither attended Westmore, which was not to say they were not intelligent people. They simply did not happen to be the next coming of Einstein. Both attended public school, and since their school was dismissed one hour before mine, they were usually waiting patiently at our table in the county library, already deep in their work by the time I arrived.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, freshman year, three days before my birthday. Let me start at the beginning and work my way through the years.

The first day I received a note had been a particularly difficult day, and I was more than ready to deposit my books into my locker and run home for a nice bath and a date with my new book. I wish I could say this was unusual for me, but I would be telling you a gigantic lie. I was the proverbial nerd. While uniforms are required at Westmore, most girls did little things to enhance their appeal, like hiking the skirt up a bit too high, failing to button a shirt button or two, piling on make-up with a spatula, and so on. However, I kept strictly in line with the dress code. My grandmother would skin me alive if she ever caught me in any other manner, not that I would have the courage even if she hadn’t.

My long brown hair had frizzed from the weather, a rainy day in January. I’d forgotten to take an umbrella because teenagers didn’t think about things like weather and umbrellas until they needed one and found themselves out of luck and soaking wet. No matter, I didn’t have any admirers to impress. Even if I were an incredibly beautiful girl, sheer numbers would have still played against me. Westmore girls outnumbered boys two to one, so the boys had a veritable smorgasbord to choose from, and I had always been at the bottom of the menu. I wasn’t an ugly girl, but at the time, I felt ordinary. I had ordinary brown hair that hung down to the middle of my back. Ordinary brown eyes that had a dull sheen. An ordinary body of normal weight for an average height. Ordinary, ordinary, ordinary.

I had also forgotten my lunch in my rush to get out the door on time that morning, and my stomach was a one-man band growing louder by the minute. To top off my wonderful day, I discovered I had received a B on my history paper. Okay, so I know you think a B is just fine. Why was I complaining, right? Well, if I wanted to keep my scholarship, I had to maintain a straight-A transcript. Crazy? I agree, but my grandmother worked hard to make sure I got into Westmore, so I couldn’t let her down.

But all hope was not lost. The day was finally over, and my bath called my name. I opened my locker dead-set on throwing my history book into the cold metal enclosure just for spite when a slip of paper fell, swirled in a circle as it floated to the ground, and landed at my feet. At first glance, I assumed it was a page from my notebook that had somehow wiggled its way out of my binder, but I quickly realized the paper was yellow, not white, the only approved color for use at Westmore. I snatched the note from its resting place and crumpled it in my hand as I slammed my locker door closed. I almost tossed the note into the trash can, not caring what it was when something told me to make sure it wasn’t important.

I glanced at the paper, taken aback by the words I found. I read them over and over, trying to understand what they meant, but they didn’t make sense. The writing on the slip of paper was certainly not mine. My handwriting was impeccable; my grandmother made sure of that. This writing was chicken scratch scribbled across the page, hardly legible, yet I was intrigued by its hard edge and the way the rounded letters were sharpened and triangular rather than curved. The red ink bled slightly, adding to the sloppiness of it all, but none of that really mattered, I suppose. The words threw me most of all.


There is beauty in your simplicity, and that beauty is not lost on me.


I don’t know how long I stood there, staring at the slip of paper, before I could make my legs function again. Truthfully, I was waiting for the punchline. I waited for one of the upper-level students to walk around the corner and saunter down the hall laughing at me as I stood there, hands trembling and clammy, forehead prickled with sweat, mouth agape, desperately trying to figure out what was going on.

When I could move again, I slowly walked to the library with the note clutched in my fist. And that, my friends, was how I was first introduced to the mysterious person who secretly flirted with me for the next several years via slips of yellow paper with red chicken scratch.

After a long internal debate, I decided to keep the incident with the note to myself, more out of embarrassment than anything else.

As usual, Shay and Noah were deep in their work when I arrived at the library. They barely batted an eye when I dropped my bag at the table and went in search of something to read. I normally finished my homework by the end of the school day. I didn’t have friends at Westmore, so I spent my lunch break with my nose to the grindstone, which, in hindsight, might have been why I had no friends at school.

Once I was several aisles away from my friends, somewhere hidden among volumes of rarely touched reference books, I opened the crinkled note and read the line again.


There is beauty in your simplicity, and that beauty is not lost on me.


After much pondering, I came to the only logical conclusion possible. The note was intended for another. It must have been for some fair-haired, sparkle-eyed maiden far more deserving of such words, not the ordinary Conor. I crinkled it up again and stuffed it into the pocket of my skirt, not giving it a second thought until three days later.

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Title and Info

THE YELLOW NOTE THE SECRET AUTHOR SERIES BOOK ONE © 2018 Melissa Padgett (M. J. Padgett) All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication...

Happy Birthday To Me

My fifteenth birthday had arrived, and I spent it in school furiously scribbling an essay for my English Literature exam. I was quite...

5 Comments


Crystal Crawford
Crystal Crawford
Jul 20, 2022

It's been FOREVER since I've read this one, but it was how I met you! :) I'm excited to re-read it.

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M. J. Padgett
M. J. Padgett
Jul 22, 2022
Replying to

I can't believe how many years it has been, and now we're doing THIS!

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The start of my comfort book😭❤️

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M. J. Padgett
M. J. Padgett
Jul 22, 2022
Replying to

Aww... I'm so happy we met on Wattpad! I miss those commenting days, but hopefully this will be just as fun!

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