Okay, I hope to turn this story into a television show one day. So each chapter is going to be kind of like one episode of the show. This first chapter is incredibly long, but I will continue writing long chapters if they are wanted. Hopefully, this story will take off. I plan on lots of drama and adventures, but this chapter is to basically get you introduced to the characters. Hope you enjoy!
Chapter One: It All Starts Here (aka Episode One: Meet the Cast)
Ellie McGregor woke to the sun glaring in her face. She sighed and rolled over, wanting to go back to sleep instead of facing the day. It was her first day of high school, which Ellie had been dreading since the beginning of the summer. So instead of getting out of bed and getting ready for school, Ellie stared at the photo of her parents that sat by her alarm clock. She smiled at her parents' embrace, her mother's soft smile, her father's brown eyes; both the smile and eyes of which Ellie shared. Ellie sighed, wishing she could speak to them about her fears of high school; but they had died when she was only seven. Ellie had been raised by her older sister Meredith and her two older brothers Nate and Brad. Meredith was the oldest at twenty-seven years old, meaning that she was twelve years older than Ellie. Brad was next at twenty-three, and Nate was after that at nineteen. Ellie was the baby at fifteen.
When their parents died, Meredith (who was only nineteen when it happened) had inherited both their house about a ½ mile out of town and the local diner "The Jukebox" that their parents had bought just before their death. Meredith had to quit college, and she ran The Jukebox in order to make ends meet. As Brad and Nate got older, they had begun working at The Jukebox to help out Meredith. The Jukebox was so successful now (it was the teen hangout in their small town of Murphy's Bridge, population 5,000) that Ellie hadn't had to work there yet.
Ellie would have stared at the photo of her parents all day if she hadn't heard the smoke detector in the kitchen going off and a certain brother screaming a long string of swear words. Ellie jumped from her bed and took the stairs two at a time to find both Brad and Nate in the kitchen. Brad was sitting calmly in the breakfast nook, reading a newspaper, and ignoring Nate who was putting out a fire on the stove. Nate was obviously the swearing one.
"What happened?" Ellie asked.
Brad grinned. "He left the pot holder too close to the stove, and it caught fire." His brown eyes, which all of the kids had inherited from their father, danced with mischief. Ellie rolled her eyes and turned to Nate who was holding the charred pot holder between his thumb and forefinger.
"Why are you cooking anyway?" Ellie asked. "You know you can't cook. You even managed to burn Jello. I don't know how since you're not supposed to cook Jello, but it was definitely burnt."
"That was not my fault! And I'm cooking because Meredith had to go to the diner. The delivery truck is coming this morning, and we both know that Brad wouldn't cook if his life depended on it."
"Right you are, Nate," Brad said from behind the newspaper.
"Don't worry about breakfast, Nate," Ellie said. "I'll just eat some cereal."
"Shouldn't you get ready for school first?" Nate asked, taking in her pajamas.
"Yes," Ellie moaned.
Brad finally set aside the paper and ran his hand through his light-brown hair that he and Ellie had inherited from their father. Meredith and Nate shared the golden-blond hair that their mother had given them. Brad said, "Ellie, high school is going to be great. It will probably be the best time of your life, so you need to enjoy it."
"I highly doubt that," Ellie grumbled. "But thanks for the encouragement anyway."
"No problem," Brad called as Ellie disappeared up the stairs.
Nate waited until they heard the shower start in the upstairs bathroom before turning to Brad. "You liar. We both know that high school sucks. Especially in this town. Everyone knows your business, you're constantly caught in a love triangle because everyone has dated everyone else at one point or another, and the food makes my cooking look like Emeril Lagasse's."
"Well, yeah, but I wasn't about to tell Ellie that. Then, we'd never get her to go."
Across town, Alexandra Welling (who much preferred the name Alex) was ecstatic for her first day of school. She had been up since five in the morning, getting ready for her big day. She had gone through just about every outfit in her closet, and she had finally settled on a sleeveless pastel pink v-neck top that showed off her cleavage, a blue-jean miniskirt, and her favorite pair of sandals. The outfit made her short, curvy body look just right. Alex pushed her long, curly blond hair into a curly up-do and let several tendrils stay loose against her face.
"Perfect," she murmured under her breath. Unlike, her best friend Ellie, Alex was incredibly happy to be attending high school. Her goal: to find a boyfriend (preferably a senior) before Halloween. Ellie had told Alex that this goal was both unrealistic and dangerous. Alex had told Ellie that she was simply unadventurous. Ellie had responded by saying that she had heard that line at least one thousand times during their friendship.
Alex and Ellie became friends in the first grade. Their relationship had grown even stronger when Ellie's parents died. They were now like sisters. However, most people didn't understand their friendship because they were exact opposites in both personality and looks. Alex was a very upbeat person with no concerns at all. She was an average student who cared more about the guy in the desk beside her rather than the book on top of her own desk. Ellie was the exact opposite, completely obsessed with her homework and only caring for the guy in the desk beside her if she had to work with him on a project. She was a straight A student and a well-known teacher's pet.
On the social front, Alex had many friends as she had been a member of the middle school's volleyball team and a member of the drama club. So she hung out regularly with the drama club freaks and the jocks, making her the link between the groups. Ellie wasn't much for after-school activities except for her dance classes. She took ballet, tap, and everything else her school offered. She was acquaintances with her classmates, but she wasn't ever invited to hang out by anyone other than Alex. Meanwhile, Alex was a fashion plate while Ellie liked wearing jeans and t-shirts. Ellie liked to look good, but she wasn't obsessed with clothes and makeup like Alex.
Alex and Ellie were also completely different in looks. Ellie had light brown hair, brown eyes, a tall and skinny frame
(except for her c-cup breasts which she hated as they were annoying in her dancing), and a sprinkling of freckles that spread across her tanned nose. Alex had naturally blond hair that was almost white, a perfect tan, a short and round frame that made her look chunky in certain outfits, and green eyes.
However, their differences didn't prevent them from being friends. In fact, their friendship was more like a sisterhood. Alex had spent more time living at Ellie's house than at her own. It was the time she spent hanging out with Nate and Brad that had gotten her so interested in boys. Meanwhile, Ellie liked to visit Alex's fancy house, eat Mrs. Welling's cooking and listen to stories about traveling from Mr. Welling. Mr. Welling was a famous journalist, Ellie's dream job, and he had to travel a lot. Mrs. Welling usually traveled with him. This was part of the reason that Alex had lived at Ellie's house more than her own. Alex used to joke that they should switch lives as they liked each other's families more than their own.
Alex was reminiscing about her friendship with Ellie while staring into her mirror when her phone rang. It took her several moments to find the phone underneath the mountains of clothing that littered the room. "Hello?" she asked, after she had clicked the phone on.
"Remind me why we must enter this hell called high school again," a gloomy female voice demanded.
Alex grinned and grabbed her backpack. "Ellie, we're going to be fine. I don't know how many times I have to tell you that high school is going to be great. Besides, you're the brainy type. You want to go to Harvard or Yale, right? Well, I believe the number one qualification for those schools is a high school diploma."
There was a long pause before Ellie said, "I hear home-schooling is a good option."
"Erghh!" Alex screamed. "Forget it, Ellie. You're going to high school. I'll see you on the front steps."
Meanwhile, Blake Porter was sitting down to breakfast (a Pop Tart and a quart of orange juice) which he had brought home from the 7-Eleven after his shift had ended. He had been working at the 7-Eleven since the day he turned fifteen and was allowed to have a job. It was a good thing too, since his mother lost her job just two weeks later. Blake hadn't been shocked by this news, considering her drinking had gotten a lot worse. He knew that she wouldn't be able to keep her job at the beauty parlor considering her hangovers were so bad.
Speaking of hangovers, Blake thought when he heard the toilet flush in their small trailer. He rolled his eyes, wondering how much his mother had drank last night. She had still been out when he came home at 10:00 P.M., and he had fallen asleep at 3:00 A.M. because he got tired of waiting for her. Sometimes he felt as if he were the parent instead of his mother.
He watched as she fell out of the closet that they called a bathroom. She leaned against the wall and moaned. "I have a migraine the size of Texas, and my stomach feels as if its got its own amusement park."
Blake clenched his teeth. "Sorry about that," he muttered, straightening his backwards baseball cap. "I would wait on you hand and foot, but I'm entering high school today so I don't have time to put up with your--"
"I don't like your tone, Blake," Jennifer Porter snapped. "I am your mother, and you will treat me with respect."
Blake had to refrain from snorting as he gathered up his school things. He wanted to get into it with her. He wanted to tell her just what he thought of her. He wanted to ask her how it felt to rely on your son for economic support just because you were too obsessed with getting drunk and laid by any guy that walked by. He wanted to tell her that he didn't have to treat her with respect because he knew the kids he would be seeing in an hour were smarter and more mature than she was. And he wanted to scream at her for taking away his parents: for driving his dad away and for giving up on herself and virtually disappearing also. After all, the woman in front of him was not the woman that he had once called his mother.
But instead of screaming and throwing things against the trailer walls, he just rolled his eyes and said, "Whatever, Mom. I have to go." He threw the door to the trailer open and jumped down the steps.
He heard his mother calling through the open door, "Pick me up a six-pack of Budlight on your way home!"
Blake sighed. There had to be more to life....
Logan Flentley stood at his locker, staring at his schedule. He had gym next period, and he suddenly realized that the gym was on the other side of the campus. He glanced at his watch. He had four minutes before the bell rang, meaning he had four minutes to get to the locker room, change clothes, and get into the gym. Great, he thought. A tardy on my first day of high school is just what I need. He grabbed his gym clothes from his locker and sprinted through the halls, dodging his fellow students.
I can't believe I haven't hit anyone yet, he thought. Exactly ten seconds later, he turned a corner and ran right into two shorter female figures, nearly knocking them over. Logan ran a hand through his strawberry blond shag hair cut and stared down at the two girls in front of him. "Ellie! Alex!" he exclaimed, a grin spreading across his face while his blue eyes lit up. "It's great to see you two! Finally some people I recognize." Before today, Logan had felt that he knew everyone in town; but after walking through the halls of Thomas Murphy High School, he had learned that there were plenty of teens in Murphy's Bridge he had never even seen.
"Hey, Logan," Alex said, batting her eyelashes. "Where are you going in such a hurry?"
Logan held up his gym clothes. "Gym class. What about you two?" He couldn't help but let his eyes drift to Ellie who was staring at the clock on the wall to Logan's left.
"Algebra," Alex answered, wrinkling her nose. "My absolute favorite."
Logan laughed at the sarcasm in Alex's voice. "Yeah, algebra really sucks. Anyway, I'm already getting a tardy slip for gym so I need to--"
"Excuse me, but do you guys know how to get to the gym from here?" a male voice from behind Logan asked. Logan spun on the spot, and even Ellie glanced at the guy standing before them. His backwards baseball cap, baggy jeans, and football jersey had "slacker" written all over them, but he looked as if he were a nice guy. He had nice brown eyes, dark brown hair that was nearly black, and a crooked smile. He was taller than all of them, including Logan, if only by a couple of inches. He was also nicely built. Logan glanced at Ellie and Alex. Predictably, they were sharing knowing smiles.
"I'm heading for the gym," Logan said before Alex could throw out some horrible flirting line. "I'll take you with me."
"Um, before you leave, what's your name?" Alex called as Logan steered the boy down the hall. The boy turned and smiled, but Logan clapped his hand over his mouth.
"No time, Alex. Ask him again at lunch!"
The boys were around the corner when they heard Alex shriek, "But we might not have the same lunch period!" Logan grinned, imagining the look of annoyance on Ellie's face that would accompany that comment.
The boy smiled. "I'm Blake."
"I'm Logan," Logan said. "And not to be a downer, but the gym is on the other side of the campus so we're probably going to get tardy slips." At that moment the bell rang. "Okay, now we're definitely getting tardy slips."
"Tardy slips?" a voice interrupted. Logan and Blake froze, knowing who the voice belonged to even if it was only their first day. They turned to see Principal Johnson standing before them. "No, boys, I'm afraid you're getting detention."
"Detention!" Logan and Blake exclaimed, looks of indignation on their faces.
"Don't you have to have numerous tardy slips before you get a detention?" Blake asked.
"Yeah, Principal Johnson, isn't that a little harsh?" Logan asked.
"Apparently you two gentlemen don't know about my policy," Principal Johnson said with a smug grin. "Anyone who is tardy must sit through one afternoon of detention. Numerous tardy slips mean numerous detentions and perhaps even Saturday school. So," he broke off long enough to tear two tardy slips from his clipboard. "Here are your backstage passes to the after-school show. I encourage you to be on time for your next class, or you'll have detention tomorrow also." With that, he walked off. Even his walk was smug.
"Well, I don't know about you, but that guy just became number one on my list of people I want to throw through a wall," Blake said, wrinkling his nose at Principal Johnson's retreating back.
"Ditto," Logan said, laughing as the duo ran the rest of the way to the gym.
"How about him?" Ellie asked Alex in the hall after algebra. "He looks like an eight out of ten to me."
"Nah," Alex said, glancing the blond guy over. "He's a little too scrawny."
Ellie rolled her eyes. "You know, I never thought I'd say this, but you're more particular about guys than I am."
Alex grinned. "You're right. I always thought you were very particular, but I'm learning that my qualifications for the perfect guy are much harsher than yours."
Ellie smiled as she caught the eye of the blond. "I'll say." The blond guy winked at her; and Ellie waved back, her cheeks turning bright red.
"However, I think the cutie looking for the gym earlier was the winner for today," Alex said. "He was adorable with that backwards baseball cap, don't you think?"
Ellie, who had been busy thinking about the way Logan had smiled at them when he nearly ran them over, snapped back to reality. "Yeah, he was cute. You should find out his name from Logan."
Alex grabbed Ellie's arm and squealed, "I don't have to."
Ellie stared at her friend, dumbfounded. "Why not?"
"Because he has literature with Mrs. Docqner, as is evident by the fact that he just entered the classroom. Literature just so happens to be my next class!" Alex exclaimed, trying not to jump up and down with excitement.
Ellie couldn't help but smile at her friend's giddy attitude. "I do too. I'll be watching you two, so don't do anything that I wouldn't do."
Alex's face fell. "You mean you don't want me to talk to him?"
Ellie hit her friend over the head with her notebook. "I'm not that bad!"
"Ellie, you're still red from that guy winking at you. You wouldn't even look at Logan when he was talking to us. You are a sad case of shyness."
Ellie rolled her eyes and steered Alex into the literature classroom. Ellie positioned herself in the second row. Alex sat behind her, in the seat right in front of the gym guy. She swiveled around, and asked (without skipping a beat), "So what's your name?"
The guy smiled. "Blake Porter. What about you?"
"Alexandra Welling. You can call me Alex though. So, are you good at literature?"
Blake shrugged. "I was okay at it in middle school. I'm not too sure how I'll do now that I'm in high school. Shakespeare kind of makes me nervous."
At the mention of Shakespeare, Ellie spun around. "Oh, don't worry. Shakespeare isn't as bad as you think it is."
Alex snorted. "Don't let her fool you. She's never got anything less than an A in her life."
"Shut up, Alex," Ellie muttered before spinning around to face the front of the room.
"Aren't you the other girl from the hall?" Blake asked, causing Ellie to turn and face him.
She smiled politely. "I'm Ellie McGregor, Alex's best friend."
"Nice to meet you. Both of you," he added, winking at Alex before Mrs. Docqner interrupted.
"Okay, class. Let's settle down. Open your textbooks to page five. We will be beginning with the epic poem of 'Beowulf.'"
"He is so adorable!" Alex exclaimed, referring to Blake Porter, her new obsession. School was over, and Ellie and Alex were sitting in their usual booth at The Jukebox, sipping milkshakes. The Jukebox was extremely crowded with high school students, celebrating their return to school. Meredith, Nate, and Brad had all waved when Ellie and Alex had entered, but none of them had had time to talk yet. Not even Meredith, who had dropped their milkshakes off and practically sprinted back to the kitchen.
Ellie was happy to say that she had survived the day without tripping, burping, farting, or doing anything else embarrassing that would have labeled her as a nerd or geek. On the contrary, she had apparently made a pretty good impression. The teachers were already in love with her after she volunteered to be a tutor in literature for Mrs. Docqner (It was her favorite subject, so she was happy to do it.) and basically just paid attention in all of her other classes. She was the girl who watched the teacher attentively, leaning forward so as not to miss any part of the lesson, and constantly taking notes so as not to forget any of it. The teachers had noticed and smiled at her encouragingly. Mr. Gable even winked at her as she left biology.
However, according to Alex, Ellie was not only popular with the teachers but with the students also. Alex claimed that Bridget Callaway, the head cheerleader, had asked her to convince Ellie to try out for the squad. Alex said that Bridget had claimed to want "some true dance talent on the squad this year." Alex had also overheard several popular boys in the hall, who were compiling a list of the top ten girls they wanted to get in bed with. Alex had not only heard her own name, but Ellie's as well.
Ellie called Alex a big fat liar, but Alex swore on her grandmother's grave. Knowing that Alex had been close to her grandmother was the only thing that made Ellie even halfway sure that Alex wasn't lying. However, Ellie was about to find out that her best friend had been reporting the truth.
First, Meagan Brightman, who was a junior on the cheerleading squad (Murphy's Bridge was a small town, so they only had one cheerleading squad), came up to them. Meagan and Ellie were in the same dance class, and they were pretty good acquaintances. Ellie was intimidated by Meagan's good looks and amazing dance talent, or they might have been better friends. Alex and Meagan were friends because Alex's older brother Clay once dated her. The relationship had only ended because Meagan and Clay had realized that the relationship wasn't going anywhere, but they were still friends.
Meagan smiled as she slid into the booth next to Alex so that she was directly across from Ellie. "Hey, ladies! How was your first day?"
"Great," Alex said. "I've already found my prey. His name is Blake Porter."
"That's wonderful, Alex. Just don't pull a 'Fatal Attraction,' okay?" Meagan joked.
"Me? Are you kidding?" Alex feigned surprise.
Ellie giggled nervously, and Meagan turned to her. "Ellie, did Alex tell you that Bridget wants you to try out for the squad?"
Ellie nodded. "Yeah, she did. She isn't serious is she?"
"Well, yeah. We would love it if you joined the team. I watch you in class all of the time. You're a great dancer. We need more dancers if we want this team to rock. So will you try out?"
Ellie was shocked. "Um, sure, I'll think about it at least."
"Good." Meagan got to her feet. "Enjoy your day, ladies."
Ellie and Alex waved goodbye. Alex took a sip of her milkshake before saying, "Wow."
"I don't think I'll try out," Ellie said, suddenly.
"What?!" Alex practically shrieked.
Ellie didn't have a chance to respond. Suddenly, an arm slid around her shoulder and a guy plopped down next to her. Ellie saw Alex's eyes had widened to the size of saucers, and her mouth was hanging open in an unattractive way. Ellie prayed she didn't have the same look on her face as she turned to look at the boy sitting next to her.
It was Hunter Crayton, the most popular sophomore in the whole town. His perfectly tanned skin, brown hair, and green eyes with flecks of gold also made him one of the cutest boys in town. He was on the football team as a receiver, and he was the world's biggest flirt. "Hey, Ellie. You're looking good." He looked her up and down as if he were surveying a piece of meat. Ellie rolled her eyes. She noticed that a whole gang of guys was standing next to their table, including a couple of juniors and seniors. They were all surveying Alex, who wasn't paying attention since she had picked Blake Porter as her new soulmate for the year.
"Hello, Hunter," Ellie said, shrugging Hunter's arm off of her shoulders. The feeling of shock had worn off. It was just Hunter Crayton wanting to flirt, not anyone important.
Hunter frowned when Ellie shrugged his arm off, but it didn't stop him from running a finger down her arm slowly. Goosebumps appeared on Ellie's skin, which frightened Ellie and thrilled Hunter. He grinned. "I've been watching you all summer, Ellie." Ellie shivered, thinking of Meagan mentioning the movie "Fatal Attraction," just moments earlier. "You've—developed—quite nicely," he said with a crooked grin that made Ellie want to slap him. She leaned away from him and shot him a look of venom.
"Hunter, why don't you go find another girl with breasts who doesn't think you're scum?"
She expected him to take a minute to process this statement, but amazingly his eyes narrowed with anger the second she said it. "You think I'm scum?" Despite the anger in his eyes, his crooked smile remained on his face making him look angry and amused at the same time."
"Yes," Ellie answered shortly. "I wouldn't date you if you were the last boy on the planet." Hunter's crew immediately began giggling like a bunch of junior high girls. Ellie rolled her eyes. "Would you take your boys and leave Alex and I to our shakes, please?"
Hunter was glaring at her, but Ellie could see his eyes twinkling. She also saw him give her another once over. He ran his finger down her arm again, and Ellie shivered. His touch was electrifying, and his eyes were absolutely beautiful. But Ellie knew all about Hunter Crayton's reputation, and she wanted nothing to do with him.
However, Hunter wanted everything to do with Ellie as he revealed with his next statement. He leaned in and whispered in her ear so that even Alex could not hear. "I'll make you my girl by the end of the year, Ellie. You just wait and see. I felt you shiver just now. Mark my words. You're going to fall for me. And you're going to fall hard." He grinned again and got to his feet. Alex and Hunter's crew were staring at Hunter and Ellie in amazement along with Blake Porter and Logan Flentley who had just entered The Jukebox from serving their detention and Ellie's siblings, Nate and Brad of which looked like they might jump over the counter and attack Hunter.
"Let's go guys," Hunter said, and they all left the diner.
Ellie stared at the table in shock, stunned and horrified. She hated Hunter Crayton at that moment. She hated him because of the degrading way he had looked at her, she hated him because of the way he said she would soon be "his girl" like she was his property or something, and she hated him because his touch made her melt. She hated him because she was afraid he had spoke the truth.
How was that? If you liked it, give me a review. The next chapter (or episode depending on how you're looking at it) will be out soon. Thanks!
P.S. Is anyone else depressed that American Idol 2 is over? I am for several reasons. Number one, I now have nothing to look forward to on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Number two, I miss my Clay who should have won, but I will not begrudge Ruben his win (I say this after I burst into tears, sobbing for about three hours after Ruben was announced the winner, and nearly putting my foot through the television set.). And number three, Simon, my fav judge claims he might not come back next year! Hello? I need Simon! He's the only one who speaks the truth (However, all of his comments about Clay being unattractive, that horrid comment about the cow shortage when addressing Ruben's leather outfit, and the whole drag queen controversy with Trenyce were all completely uncalled for.). Anyway, I just thought I would share my thoughts and sorrows.