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Chapter 1 from my book, More...
1. You’re invited!
As I was walking down the hall where my locker was, I bumped into Nikki Anderson. Everyone knew her and everyone hated her. She butted into everyone’s conversation. Everywhere you were she was, just sitting there staring at you, listening to every bit of the conversation. Nikki was known as the ‘Stalker’ because of her ability to follow you around when you didn’t want her to. If you talked about her and she found out, she would run to her mother and cry about it until her mom called the school and got everyone in trouble. But normally the school did nothing about it since she did that about every little problem. Nikki was short and plump. She struggled in school in more ways than one. Nikki tried to be smart, but just couldn’t get the grades. As you can probably tell she doesn’t have any friends either, although she thinks she is very popular. Her hair was long, thick, and dirty. It was red, but you could tell she didn’t take good care of it.
After I said I was sorry she initially started a long and boring conversation which was more like a monologue about her mom letting her finally get a kitten. I was so bored and wanted to leave but I couldn’t because she would cry if I just walked away and it was too early in the morning to think of a way to say good bye nicely. As I was standing there patiently listening, using my peripheral vision I stared at the mural the art students were painting, when I saw Ryan turn the corner.
He saw the look of desperation mixed with boredom on my face and said, “Hey Emma, Mr. P. wants to see you A.S.A.P.”
“Okay I’ll get right on it, thanks,” I replied.
I ran towards my locker and let out a sigh of relief when Ryan finally caught up with me.
“Thanks for saving me that was the worst thing in the world.” I told him.
“No problem when I see a damsel in distress I immediately break out my shining armor,” he said arrogantly.
“I thank you very much Sir Lancelot… although that line was pretty cheesy,” I said, rolling my eyes, “Why are you referring to medieval times when auditions are still a long way away?”
“Just getting in some extra practice,” he said grinning.
I shrugged and continued, “Well, if that’s what floats your boat.”
“So what are you doing tonight?’” He asked in an innocent voice as if he was clueless.
I played along, “Uh… I don’t know… maybe play in my basketball game and then rush to get to the school dance.
“Oh… sounds interesting. So I was wondering if your dad could drive me to the game and then maybe give me another lift to the dance,” he said with large begging, puppy dog eyes.
“I don’t see why he couldn’t. Don’t forget that my game is at 6:30 though.”
“I won’t. So I will see you at lunch, alright.”
“Alright, see you later.”
The bell rang and I ran to first block which is Spanish today for me. I got in the classroom just in time and was reluctant to see Lizzie sitting in the back with a seat with my name on it.
“Hey,” she said with a big smile on her face. I sat down when the teacher, Mrs. Chaqueta walked in and sat down. She grabbed a piece of paper, scribbled something, and then took attendance.
When she was finished she looked up and said, “You are going to have a project due when you come back from break.”
Everyone groaned and Mrs. Chaqueta gave us her glance that meant she didn’t care what we thought and wanted us to act more mature and not make noises like little babies [according to her]. Then I turned to Lizzie with a look of grief on my face and she had almost the same exact look on hers. We all hated Mrs. Chaqueta’s projects because she never gave us any criteria for the project so we have to decide what we are going to do and what subject we are doing our project on. I passed Lizzie a note, it said:
Next year remind me to switch to French.
Lizzie giggled and wrote back:
Yeah, but I’ll stay here cuz French is too confusing.
I rolled my eyes and tried to pay attention for the rest of the block. We didn’t do anything exciting, same old conjugating verbs. I sat in the back of the room in a trance like state, thinking about Taylor and Ryan breaking up. I could picture it in my head just like a movie. Taylor bent over on the floor crying hysterically, Ryan walking away carefree and anxious, anxious to come and sweep me off my feet. Before I knew it, it was time for announcements so I snapped out of my dazed and paid attention to those.
Second block, AP World history was very tiresome. The teacher, Mr. Collins, is very monotonous. He makes history…dry, just a bunch of dates to memorize, when I know it is much more. I sat through the eighty minutes trying to concentrate on the Renaissance. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the bell rang and it was lunch time. I got my lunch tray and sat down at my usual table. When I took my seat I sat there and stared at my lunch, it looked absolutely inedible. I think it was supposed to be a sloppy Joe, but it looked too horrific to even be described.
Everyone at the table was my best friend except for Ryan’s current girlfriend and her BFF, Jamie. There was Ryan, Lizzie, Ben, Kevin, Max, Taylor, and Jamie. Each of them had qualities that were funny and unique. Ben was really tall, taller than most of the seniors and teachers. He was also really bad when it came to school, he failed 1st grade and currently held a D- average. Kevin looked nice and was pretty cute, but he was the biggest pervert in the whole school, if not the whole state. Kevin goes around making up jokes that only the people really close to him [like me] get. Max is Ben’s younger brother; he is pretty average in everything: school, looks, job, etc., everything except sports. Max is the star runner on track, point guard on the boys varsity basketball team where he scores a ton of baskets, and a striker on the guys varsity soccer team where he single-footedly wins all the games most of the time. And Jamie is a scared looking, nice girl of Hispanic descent. Her parents came from Columbia in the 80s. I like Jamie for the most part. There is just one thing that I don’t like about her: she follows Taylor around everywhere and can be one of the biggest snobs when she wants to be or should I say when Taylor tells her to be.
I feel bad for Ryan because I know he wants to get closer to Taylor, but they are never alone. I give them as much space as I can, but someone is always with the two of them. They even go on group dates or double dates never just the two of them.
Kevin cracked a joke and everyone laughed, I didn’t hear it since I’ve been off in my own little world. We all went silent when we saw Nikki coming over to our table.
Lizzie said, “Quick everyone look down and talk to one another. And whatever you do don’t make eye contact.”
Ryan said, “Look its America’s Least Wanted.” Everyone laughed. We all tried to make small talk, but couldn’t make it sound real. Everyone sat there, lookin depressed as Nikki cheerfully skipped right to our table.
“Hi guys,” she said a bit too cheerfully, “I have something for you.”
“Oh great,” Taylor moaned. Everyone gave her a cold stare.
Nikki handed us all white envelopes, then said, “Hope you can all come.” Nikki smiled then walked to the table adjacent to ours where the cheerleaders usually sat. I tore open the envelope and stared at it blankly.
Ryan ripped out of my hand and said, “You have got to be kidding me.” It was an invitation to her birthday party. The card was blue with a rainbow and a unicorn on it. Kevin took the card from Ryan opened and read the contents out loud. The card said:
You’re invited to: Nikki’s sweet sixteen
When: Saturday December 17th
Where: 112 Woodside Ave. Buffalo, NY
RSVP: by 4 p.m. on December 13th
Did she really have to say that her house was in Buffalo, NY? That was common knowledge.
Everyone started laughing and then Max said, “We should go to the party just to make fun of her family and her house.” We all agreed there was just one problem who would tell her we were going to her party.
We all just sat there, no one volunteered then Taylor said, “Emma can do it.”
Lizzie and I just stared at her, then Ben said, “Oo a full girl on girl stare down fight, I love lunch.” I was about to say something when the bell rang.
West Jefferson, Ohio
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