of a Stalk-ee
boys want to wear eyeliner and girls want purple hair, who am I to
interfere? It's their life, right? I thought we had an
understanding of mutual indifference. Then one of them broke the
rules and became my stalker.
Chapter One: Of Delusions and Skulls
First off, I'd like to ward off any delusions you might have that I'm someone special.
I have never saved someone's life. I have never won anything, apart from a "penmanship award" in fifth grade for my cursive. I have never had an abortion. I have never modeled for an international agency. I have never been leader of anything aside from a dorky club in first grade, where I was the one who painted "No Boys Allowed" in red paint on the wooden door that fell off moments later.
Hell, I've never even had a boyfriend, much less a kiss.
I'm probably the type every mother dreads having as a daughter. I mean, what mother wants Plain Jane when they can have Doctor Barbie? Of course, Doctor Barbie would also be a beautiful part-time model.
Basically, I'm the type of girl you see in a crowd, then forget when you catch a glimpse of the hot redhead next to me. I'm the type of girl whose name everyone seems to forget.
I'm the type of girl who gets sat on.
Apparently, my only skill seems to be an uncanny resemblance to a bench.
In high school, you're labeled. Try as you might, you can't get out of it. It's like this "labeling plague" that emerges in adolescence years where you automatically label every person you see from hottie to loser.
Guess which one I am?
Actually, it's not so bad. See, my friends and I have this whole unspoken contract with the rest of the school. They call us 'the normals' (which is a nice way of saying 'rejects') and treat us politely. And we kiss their butts by doing their homework and helping them cheat.
It's been that way for three years.
And that's only the popular crew. The other third of our school are Goths, and they basically ignore us and we ignore them.
Everyone's happy, right?
No one is arguing.
The popular people are happy because they have minions AKA us. We're happy because we get respect from the popular people, or at least they don't deliberately humiliate us or anything. And the Goths are happy because they live in isolation, with their rock bands and drugs or whatever.
That's the system ever since the damn school opened. I know because Mom and Dad are always gushing about their wonderful, life-changing experiences in high school.
Of course, it's only because Dad was the star quarterback and Mom was cheerleading captain. And the only people who actually enjoy high school are the popular people, e.g. Mom and Dad.
The rest of us just trudge miserably along, counting down the days to graduation.
Anyways, the system had a few flaws here and there. The popular people sometimes beat up some of the Goths, and some of the Goths would retaliate by making voodoo dolls.
My group was thankfully undisturbed in their spats.
Until a Goth by the name of Damon took it upon himself to completely destroy the peace between our two groups. He fell in love with me.
Or so he insisted.
Me, I just call him 'stalker'.
"Nel, he's obsessed."
A serious voice interrupted me, and I continued to dial the gaudy red lock hanging off of my locker. I didn't know why I chose red. Actually, it was because it looked like something a popular girl would buy, not a nobody like me. And at thirteen, I would have sold my soul to be like them.
Slowly, the fact that I was a total loser dawned on me after repeated snubs.
"Tell me something I don't know." I grumbled, sliding my locker open. I winced at the sign of the heavy textbooks, already feeling my back ache.
"No, Nelly, I saw him staring at you during history. And he kept looking at you, like…like you were some kind of ice-cream cone!"
A snort of laughter escaped me, despite my attempts to humor Lydia.
"Nelly, don't laugh! I think you should report him. I mean, it's not normal. He didn't even blink once in ten minutes." The poor girl was distraught, and she wrung the hem of her 'Save the Whales' shirt anxiously. Even her frizzy blond hair looked nervous. Lydia, to put it nicely, is a high-strung girl. However, others put it more bluntly. She's a nervous wreck 24/7.
Sighing, I slammed my locker shut and leaned against it, peering at Lydia with tired eyes. I know the guy's not normal, he established that the day he stood in front of me and practically shouted his feelings for me in the cafeteria. Hell, I had just wanted my fish taco, and this random dude appears out of the blue and tells me that I'm "the most beautiful girl who's also refreshingly cynical and funny".
I had never been so humiliated.
Everyone was staring at us, and some of the popular kids were whistling. Others were telling him to "Fuck off, and leave the girl alone".
Mostly, everyone was laughing coldly, like they thought it was the most pathetic scene they had ever seen: an eyeliner-wearing Goth professing his love for the blushing nobody.
It's like that pop-up that appears online every time you logon. The one with the nerdy girl and 'hot' guy and advertises classmates dot com. Apparently, the two got hitched after high school, despite their differences. Of course, you find out later that she had a makeover and only then did the guy notice her. Either that or she was pregnant after a drunken accident.
"Look, Lydia, I have a plan. If I don't encourage him, he'll get over his head injury faster." I told her, beaming.
Lydia shrugged, and smiled reluctantly, "But he's kind of hot. Some of the girls think his red hair is sexy."
I dryly commented, "Some of them also think that jabbing a needle into their tongues makes them look dangerous."
My personal opinion? It made them look like idiots. But hey, who am I to alert others about the possibilites of infected needles?
Grinning, Lydia whispered, "You should see what some girl wrote about his eyes in the bathroom. She wrote that they were greener than the meadows in Ireland."
With one look at each other, we burst into hysterical laughter.
An unfamiliar arm found its way onto my shoulder, and I grimaced, seeing the skull rings worn on the fingers. There was only person who wore rings like those and would actually consider touching me. And the way Lydia was wildy gesturing left no doubt in my mind as to who it was.
"Damon, go away." I irritably told him, brushing my brown bangs out of my eyes. I blinked up at him, realizing suddenly how much taller than me he was.
He smirked down at me, "Is that what you want, Penelope? Because I think you want me to fuck you senseless instead."
Ew. Obviously he's never heard of abstinence or AIDS.
"Um, no thanks. I don't want to risk getting any STDs." I stupidly told him. Then I mentally kicked myself. STDs? What, am I Mother Teresa now?
He laughed, and reached out to grab a lock of my hair, despite my squeal of protest. Next to me, Lydia practically hyperventilated.
"That's why I love you. You're so cute." He grinned, noticing my obvious discomfort. I mean, he was practically mauling me. What, am I supposed to look happy about him violating my personal bubble.
Shoving him away, I corrected, "I'm not cute. And don't call me Penelope."
My mother was high when she was named me. That's the only explanation I can come up with as to why anyone would name their daughter Penelope. I mean, it means weaver in Greek.
Weaving isn't even an occupation nowadays. I mean, it might in some countries where pollution-spurting factories haven't spoiled the air. And where girls actually cover more skin than expose.
So I just make everyone call me Nelly, which means stone in Greek. At least it's better than being weaver-girl, right?
However, Damon seemed to have taken it as a challenge to call me Penelope.
Stupid boy. He doesn't know the torment of having a stupid name. His name means 'constant', the lucky prat.
He is rather constant. Like in the way he continues to STALK me even after I've threatened him with a restraining order.
Damon seemed to have taken my jealous sigh as a sigh of pure bliss, and his eyeliner coated eyes widened, "Whoa, Penelope! Don't tell me you like me now!" He sounded exuberant and hopeful. A quick pang of guilt rushed at me, and I warded it off quickly.
Practice makes perfect, I guess.
Sweetly, I informed him, "I'm just imagining what degree of satisfaction I would feel if I jammed my knee into your family jewels."
Leaping away, he sent me a glare and softened it with a wistful smile, "I know that one day, you'll come running to me." He reached up to ruffle his blood-red hair, a nervous reaction I had noted several times before.
"Yeah, probably holding a knife in one hand." I muttered. By the disappointed look in his meadow-like eyes, I think he heard.
Oh, well. Maybe he'll finally take the hint.