A View from the Bridge

Note: The characters, places, situations and events of this story are developed materializations of my imagination and therefore belong entirely to me. Distribution of this story is only permitted with my written consent, and any use of the aforementioned factors must be approved of also. Please do not steal; you'll go to hell if you do, lol.   

Chapter 1 – Standing Out

Bernadette Slacks looked down at the college résumé that she had drafted with the guidance councillor of Kinley Spur High and nodded, noting what the woman had said, "I know, I don't have enough extra curricular activities."

Ms. Crenshaw shook her head, "Dee, it's not so much that you don't have enough activities full stop, it's that you don't have enough theatrical activities. Hebbington University's drama department is an extremely well renowned division; their theatre studies & performing arts programme is the dream of many high school students for several states over. I'm afraid Drama club and a of couple schools plays won't be enough alone to make you stand out of the crowd, and that's what you need to do."

Dee nodded glumly and blew out her cheeks in exasperation, saddened by the reality. "Yeah, I know. But what can I do? This town is too small, the drama department here only offers a couple of options and I've only got this academic year to do something to get me noticed; I can hardly pack up and join a travelling theatre company, I need to finish high school."

Ms. Crenshaw bopped her head, seemingly taking the facts into account. "I know. We'll have to think of something. Something good, too, and something you can do now so that you can put it on your application and send it off A.S.A.P. But it's got to be manageable along side your school work; you can add to your theatrical résumé over the summer vacation before college." She leant back into her chair, locking her hands together and pressing her fingers to her lips while she mulled it over. Dee watched her for what began to feel like several minutes while the woman continued to ponder her situation. Finally she sat forward in her chair and crossed her arms on her desk, "Tell you what, when's the next time you have Drama class?"

Dee thought for a second while trying to recall her schedule that she had been assigned a month back when her senior year had started, "um, last period"

"Here's what we'll try. Last period, when you have drama, go to Mr. Blith" she began, nodding as she correctly remembered the drama teacher's name, "And explain your predicament. Tell him you need to do something more, with drama, to get your credit but you're at a loss as to what that something could be. We'll see what he says and then take it from there, ok?"

Dee bopped her head with a smile and stood up, "Ok. Thanks Ms. Crenshaw, I really appreciate this"

The guidance councillor beamed, "It's my pleasure. When you've talked to Mr. Blith come see me and we'll set up another meeting if need be"

"Ok. Have a nice day" she said politely as she picked up her backpack and slung it over her shoulder. Ms. Crenshaw returned the pleasantry and then Dee left, sighing for a mixture of reasons. The bell rang to signify the end of the lesson she had had to leave to attend her guidance appointment so she stopped off at her locker where she deposited her books from the first half of the day and collected those needed for the second. With that she dawdled off to the cafeteria, eager to see her friends. After she was equipped with a tray that held an apple, a sandwich, a strawberry squash drink and a pot of Jell-o she paid and wandered off to one particular table next to the glass doors that were opened in the summer to allow students to eat out on the 'sunny' tables. Dee 'plonked' her tray down before her, shed her bag that dropped to her feet on the floor, and seated herself in her usual spot at the round table. A minute after she had removed the cap of her drink two other trays slapped down onto the table surface and the sound was immediately followed by a string of giggles as her friends chatted and joked.

"Hey Swee-Dee" The blonde of the two new arrivals greeted, using her version of 'Sweetie' that only she labelled one of her best friends. She beamed a brilliant smile and took a seat.

Next to her the only brunette of the threesome sat down also and smiled an equally bright beam as she greeted her friend, "What's up Dee? How's the Guidance thingy-ma-jiggy go?" she asked curiously as she pulled up the ring on her can of Cola.

Dee grunted and peeled back the cellophane on her sandwich; "Apparently, according to Ms. Crenshaw, any college would be off their proverbial rocker not to want me" she began, picking out one half of the sandwich.

"Hun, most people are pleased with that sorta comment" the blonde added pointedly as she peeled her banana.

Dee smiled and looked over at the brunette who smiled back at her. It was so typical for their friend to put in her two cents before someone else had finished putting in theirs. It wasn't that she was rude; she just never registered that you weren't finished. And it wasn't that she was the typical dumb blonde either; it was just that she was Annabella Morton, the 5ft 3", emerald eyed sweetheart who could get away with doing such things. And as she could get away with doing so it allowed for it to become a habit. Dee only loved her more for it. The brunette that sat next to Annabella chuckled quietly and shook her head, clearly amused by the situation. Then there was Divina Potter, the only chocolate haired beauty that Dee knew with blue eyes. Eyes of such a blue, in fact, that they clearly resembled the sky on a mid-summers day at noon. Eyes that smiled with brilliance and intelligence that knocked the socks of Dee's straight A+ chart. Not only did Divina get the grades, she got them effortlessly. She was just the kind of person that was blessed with the mind of the genius. The great thing was she didn't flaunt it.

"I know, you didn't let me finish" Dee continued before she took a bite of her sandwich. Annabella shrugged it off and listened for Dee to continue while she munched up her mouthful. When she was finished she carried on, "the problem is Hebbington isn't just any college; if I want to get in on their drama programme I'm gonna need a really great theatrical résumé and right now" see pointed to the table to symbolize the present "right now I'm just like any other hopeful out there." Annabella made a face that came to resemble that of empathy. Divina on the other hand scrunched up her face, causing her little button nose to wrinkle, while she thought.

Suddenly she flicked out a perfectly manicured finger, "No, not true, didn't you go to drama camp in junior high?"

Dee nodded her head but looked no more happy than she had done before Divina had brought up her point, "Yeah but that's nothing special. And besides, I was 14 and it was a camp, I doubt it'll have much clout with Hebbington. I need something good, something better than just acting in a couple school productions, something better than drama club."

Divina nodded but didn't bother voicing the agreement. Annabella on the other hand, eager to talk as always, even if not in great quantities, jumped in, "Yeah, but the school play's coming up, right? If you're not gonna be in it then what else is there?"

Dee shrugged and pulled a piece of lettuce out of her sandwich, "I dunno. All I know is I need to stand out, I really wanna go to Hebbington. It's just a case of figuring out how."

***

Dee fidgeted all through 5th period French, waiting impatiently for the end of the lesson so she could bomb across the school to her last class of the day, Drama. She slapped her pen against her lilac folder repeatedly, her foot tapping along in perfect rhythm, the fingers on her other hand drumming the desk. A hand not belonging to her slammed down on the desk, ceasing her distracting musical recital. Dee looked up at the far-too-tanned face of her French tutor and winced at its aggravated state.

"Sorry Madame Burrows" Dee mumbled apologetically, shrinking back into her chair with a sorry expression pleating her sweet face. Madam Burrows removed her hand but stayed hovering at Dee's desk, the same irritated expression still masking her features. Dee sighed and caught what she was supposed to do; she had seen that look a million times before when she had used English in the foreign class. "Pardon, désolé Madame Burrows" her pronunciation was shaky but it was her best stab. Her tutor gave up, nodded at the poor effort and returned to the front of the class. Dee deflated in relief—if she had been asked to say anything else asides from 'j'ai un chat', which she didn't, then she would have been wholly, embarrassingly stumped in front of all her class peers—and tried her best to pay at least a feigning interest to whatever the teacher was saying in the incessant, incoherent, mumbled-jumbled, beaded together strings of vocabulary. She glanced up at the clock, glad to see she only had 5 minutes of this torture left to endure.

What felt like 50 minutes later the bell rang and Dee scooped up her books, throwing them into her bag and clutching her folder to her chest as Madam Burrows fought to retain some level of control over the fleeing class as she asked a final question, any trace of a French accent having dissipated the second the bell had tinged.

"Has anyone seen Danny recently? He hasn't been in class for weeks."

Those left within the class scoffed and Dee couldn't stop herself from doing the same since the question was so stupid and naïve even she wanted to voice the opinion. Gladly someone else did it for her,

"Miss, Danny doesn't go to any classes, there's no way in hell he's gonna come to French, you're lucky we all do" a boy from somewhere in the back of the class called cheekily, ducking out in the swarm of eager-to-leave students so not to get punished for his comment.

Dee held in a snicker, sensing that the teacher was giving her a blatant glare, and made her way out of the room with a fake indifferent air to it all. Once clear of the evils of the language block she practically sprinted across to the arts centre, dodging in and out of the throngs of moving bodies trying to get to their final period of the day so not to get detention. Dee slowed as the drama studio came into sight and she walked the remaining distance at a brisk pace, slipping into the studio to avoid the final burst of concluding swarms of students attempting to reach their destinations in time. As the door closed softly behind her with a gentle wooden thud she swung her bag off her shoulder and threw it to the floor beside the wall, her folder joining it. A quick visual examination revealed she was the only student yet to make it to the lesson, her teacher Mr. Blith leaning nonchalantly against the script cupboard in the opposite corner of the room skimming a manuscript, clearly not yet expecting to be joined by any number of his pupils.

Dee beamed and flicked a strand of her heavenly blonde hair out of her dusty grey eyes, "Hey Mr. B." 

He looked up at the sound of her voice and smiled back, "Afternoon Dee. How's my favourite student?" he grinned in amusement at his own question.

Dee chuckled, "I'm just fine thanks. And yourself?"

"Same thanks. You're early, what did you do, sprint here?"

Dee shrugged, "you know me, drama freak."

Mr. Blith chuckled in appreciation of her comment considering her dedication to the subject and the art form in general and nodded, tossing the script he was reading onto the top of the cupboard with breeziness, his laid back manner encasing—loosely—his every movement.

"Glad I'm not alone with such a label. Anyhow, I got at note from the guidance councillor, said you wanted to talk to me about something," he shoved his hands casually in his pockets and rocked back on his heels a little. Dee had to keep the smile off her face; Mr. Blith was her favourite teacher for one definite reason and that very reason was epitomised in his relaxed posture; he acted as if he belonged more so to the student body that the school faculty. He made drama more fun than Dee had known it to be in the total 6 years she had been interested in it.

As a few slow walking students began to trickle in Dee debriefed the drama tutor on her situation, deciding it was an entirely fine idea to let him in on the predicament even though they wouldn't have time to consider it in any great detail until the end of class, if then. He nodded as she spoke briefly, taking in her points carefully as she made them, ever the interested and supportive teacher even if in only a laid-back manner. When she was done he scratched his ear and gave a final nod.

"Ok, well don't worry about it just yet Dee. I'm sure we can come up with something good. Do you want to stay behind and talk about it for a few minutes after class? If not you can drop by the staff room tomorrow lunch and we'll discuss it then."

Dee bit her lip briefly as she thought of any plans she had made for that afternoon then nodded, "Yeah, I've got plans this afternoon, is it alright if I find you during lunch?" her final few classmates were filtering in now, slinging their bags against the wall on top of or beside hers where everyone's bags were always left throughout the duration of the period. 

"That's fine." He gave her a pleasant smile. The door thudded for the last time, the pupils all now contained within the cream-painted walls of the drama studio. "Now, how about we get this class started?"

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*A/N* ok, so, there we go, first chapter to my newest fic. I live in England so i may be wrong in assuming you apply for college in your senior year of high school. If that's the case would someone mind mentioning it to me so I can correct it? Thanks. Anyway, yeah, so, please review, mwa

Harmonized

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