" Honey! hurry up or you'll be late for the school. "
I flew down the stairs as I was only 14 and a freshman at Midas High. in a small town here in La Grange, Georgia . Hence, I have no car, no license, hence no choice but the school bus or to walk. I headed for front door and mom the ever ready had it opened and was carrying what suspiciously looked my lunch.
"Thanks mom!" I grabbed the lunch from her, gave her a peck on the cheek and ran to the place where I usually waited for the bus only to see it driving away from where I was, I stopped running as it would be useless as I am not Clark Kent nor do I resemble him in the least bit. I drew in a deep breath to prepare myself to walk to school, detention on a Monday, just my luck!
I was walking the 5 mile trek to school when a silver sports car wheezed past me. " Dick head" I muttered. to my surprise the car screeched to a stop and made it's way back to where I was. It count be. There was no way that the guy driving the stupid matchbox would have heard me.
As the window on the driver's seat rolled down, I saw the most beautiful human being made by God. Micheal Edwards. He's my boy next door, unfortunately , he doesn't see me that way. I'm practically his sister. He's had my back since day one.
I was 3 when I met him, he was six. I followed him around all the time. I sort of took it onto myself to permanently attach myself to his side. He didn't mind.
On my first day of school, he was waiting by the gate in school. Mom said that I was in tears in the car, but when I saw him I jumped out of the car, he then took my little hands and led me inside the school. My parents, being devoted, took a picture of it. and hung it on the wall in the living room where everyone can see.
Of course, he doesn't know I like him. I'm not as stupid as to tell him that, then ruin everything in the process.
"Hey kid! hop in! " he said.
"Thanks Blondie!" I said. Hey! Nobody gets away with calling me kid! And besides, he's used to it. I went to the passenger's side and sat beside him out front. "Nice.... " I told him running my hands onto the vehicles' inner surface.
"You think so? It's kind of an advance graduation gift, even though that's still next year. You think the girls will dig this?" he asked.
I turned to look at him. "Seriously? The blond bimbos will probably line up to make you their chauffeur."
"Hahahaha! Well, you're the first redhead who graced my car." he told me as he swerved to a parking space in school.
"That's not funny. you're loosing your touch." I smirked. We got out of the car and made our way to the campus, As expected, the bimbo's really did line up and started their oohs and their ahhs at the sight of the blue eyed, blond haired basketball captain. High school. isn't it fun?
"Hey Blondie, thanks for the ride." I started to take off when I felt a hand dig in to my arms. I looked down and saw that the owner had painted them red.
"Not so fast kiddo!" Great! Lala, the head cheerleader had spotted me. The leader of the pack of blond bimbo's with big fake boobs.
I don't know where she got the idea that she was welcome to call me kiddo. "Bimbo", I muttered to myself but the way her eyes flashed told me that she heard what I said. The claw on my arm tightened, I knew it was going to leave a mark.
She has had her eyes on Mike for the longest time. And for some reason, she has had her eyes on me too. "Where are you going kid? You just got here. Aren't you even gonna say Hi? " She asked. Her back was with Mike's front, so he couldn't see Lala's cold unsmiling eyes worthy of a brain freeze.
"Uh, Lala. Hi." I forced out. The bimbo squezed my arm, digging her red claws into it hard. I looked at Mike and he was smiling at Lala and me. Does he really think that I get along with his crew? This isn't grade school where I was able to blend in with the rest of his guy friends.
Yeah, All my friends in grade school were 4 years older than I was back then, when they moved on to high school it was a struggle to find new friends. But I finally did find new ones which I sticked with until high school.
"Hey Blondie, I gotta go. Bye guys. Lala. " I gave her a nod and she finally let go of my arm. Mike waved goodbye but not before extracting a promise from me to wait for him later.
I made my way to my locker on the second floor of the building. I was met by Gwen there.
I remember how I met her in grade school. It was the first day of class and Mike and the rest of his guy friends who I hung out with had moved on to high school. Hanging out with guys like Mike, trouble usually follows. Now that they're gone, I was left alone with a fourth of the grade school male population breathing down my neck. Some of them were boys who were made fun at in the cafeteria, some were dumped by the girls they went out with for Mike, and some were just plain mean.
Like Rocker, the sworn mortal enemy of the group. He was the first thing little me saw when I went back to school. I ended up running the opposite way, trying to dodge Rocker's group. That was how I met Gwen. She was wearing a pair of really large reading glasses. She ran right beside me and led me to the teacher's lounge. "I'm Gwen.We had English together last year". She said while trying to catch her breath.
"Janie" I introduced myself. I looked around and saw that there was a teacher in the room. Mr. Stratford, the only teacher that had Mike and the rest scared. He looked at us and raised his brows in a questionable manner. I was prepared to face Rocker and the rest of the gang as opposed to facing the Dragon(as he is called by most of of the student body), then Gwen smiled and made her way over to him.
" You left this at home." she handed him a brown paper bag that suspiciously looked like his lunch.
"Oh. Thanks honey." He gave her a kiss on the forehead that really looked paternal. He then took her glasses off and wiped it with his tie, then placed it back in her eyes. He then turned to me and asked "And this is...?"
"Oh, this is my new friend, Janie. Janie, my dad. Popularly known as Mr. Stratford ." she said with a smile.
Not to me, I thought, I reached out and shook his hand.
Mr. Stratford looked at me then smiled, "Oh , I remember you. You're the one that was with Mike Edwards when he vandalized the boys room, when he cut the flowers in the school garden, when he died the towels red in the shower room , should I go on? "
"Dad!" Gwen cried out, She latched on to his arm and pulled. "She's running from Rocker and his group coz she's Mike's friend and he's not here to help her. You gotta help her, dad, please."
The dragon stared at me then smiled. He put on his glasses then opened the door just as Rocker and his friends got there. Then he said in his most scariest voice "Rocker Marshall! Why are you running in the hallway? Were you ever told that that is NOT allowed?" Even I cringed at the sound of voice.
Rocker opened and closed his mouth like a fish. He finally said "Sorry Mr. Stratford, it won't happen again." That was funny, Seeing a boy as mean as he is cowering at the sight of the Dragon.
He walked over to where Rocker stood, crossed his arms over his middle, then said, "See that it doesnt happen again or else, your parents will..." he never got to finish what he was saying as Gwen interrupted.
"Dad! He was just trying to not to be late for his first period? Right Rocker?" she asked sweetly then pushed her glassed up to her nose.
Rocker, not stupid, knowing that Gwen was trying to help him out of this, replied. "Uh yes sir. I was trying to get my friends to get to class early but they decided to run into this direction to cut class."
Some of his friends looked at him like he was crazy. One of his friends, Bobbie, the not so bright one, dared to ask, "But I thought we were gonna grab..." Rocker pounded his back and said "Of course! Grab our books from the locker then head to class. See you later Mr. Stratford." he then turned to Gwen, genuinely smiled and said "Bye Gwen, Janie." Well, what do you know, Rocker can be human.
When Rocker and his not so brilliant friends left, Gwen turned to his father and said "You were wonderful! Thank you!" she went over to his and kissed his cheek, I could tell that they have a close relationship.
Gwen then took my hand and pulled me out of the teacher's lounge room. I mouthed a "Thank you" to Mr. Stratford. He took off his glasses and winked at me, then returned to arranging the stuff that he had cluttered around his desk.
She was smiling a little too widely today, I wonder why. She started wearing contacts last month and boys started to pay attention at her. Not that it mattered as she only has her four eyes on the guy that gave her a smile back in the teacher's lounge room in grade school. Yes, She has fallen for the guy who tried to make my life hell in grade school. Suffice to say, he didn't turn out so bad. He was actually cool and nobody dared to touch us with him around. And to top it off, he really liked Gwen and they kinda started to go out late last year much to Mr.Stratford's dismay.
"Take that silly smile off your face." I forcefully opened my locker and it banged on the locker right beside me.
"Someone's not in a good mood." Gwen said. "So what's gotten into you? Wait, Let me guess, a blond bimbo named Lala?" I gave her an annoyed look. "Ever since we transitioned into high school, that girl has waged a war against us. I mean against you. It's not your fault that Mike prefers redheads. "
I slammed my locker shut to block out her voice, she knows how I feel for Mike and has a delusion that he feels the same way about me. You gotta love her. How I wish that were true. I took a deep breath and turned to place the books that I took from the locker onto my bag but to my surprise the bag was already open, I probably forgot close it before leaving the house. I linked my arms with Gwen and said, "Let's go to class."
The bell rang, signifying that it was lunch already. I made my way onto the lunch table that I shared with Gwen, Rocker and his friends in the cafeteria. Much to the dismay of my next door neighbor. He tried to coerce me to joining his lunch group but with Lala there, once was enough.
"Hey, Janie, " Rocker greeted me with his usual smirk. I had gotten used to it, knowing that it was just his front. I knew he had my back ever since that day at the teacher's lounge. He had his arm wrapped around Gwen's waist, as if someone's gonna take her away now that we're in high school. Rocker is 2 years older than us, So, he kinda had an eye out for us in the past 3 years, knowing my history, he didn't want her harmed. As if someone's gonna dare to do that with Mr. Stratford as her father.
"Rocker" I greeted back, "Killed anyone today?" I asked. sweetly.
"No, But I heard you had a run in with a teletubby name like." He said, raising his brows.
I shrugged and said "It's nothing. I'm still whole." I held out my arms and added "See? No bones broken."
Rocker nodded, accepting what I said. We talked about mundane things and about people who didn't know that they are being dissected behind their backs. And they say that girls are backbiters, you should hear the men do it. They add more color to it. Halfway through our lunch, I noticed Lala and her groupies making their way over to our table.
With every confident step that she makes towards me, I feel that something terrible is going happen. She stopped right in front of me, I could feel all eyes on me now. She gave me a knowing look, that had me confused. She doesn't know, she doesn't know, as long as I keep repeating that to myself, I'll be okay. I knew that if she found out about Mike, things will be over for me.
She cleared her throat. and said "It's interesting what freshmen have in their bags all the time." She then pulled out a black notebook from her pink stylish bag, My diary, everything started to come back to me, the bimbo pulling me close to her, my bag which I found open earlier in the locker. I looked around and there he was, Mike, laughing at the sight of me and the bimbo in the cafeteria. It was then that everything fell apart.