Your Commonplace, Cliché-Ridden, Comedic Carrying-On
I have always considered myself a fairly average girl. I'm of fairly average intelligence (I get mostly B's and B+'s), fairly average height (about 5'5", almost 5'6" if you asked me), with fairly average brown hair and fairly average brown eyes. Hell, even my chest size is average. I'm a solid 34 B, thank-you very much, and I have no desire to have Double D's like some people do. I'm a fairly average weight (which I will keep to myself, a girl has to observe some lines of dignity) and… well, I think you get the idea.
It's not just me, either.
My family's pretty average, too. One mom, one dad, one annoying little brother who occasionally slips spiders into my bed, knowing that I'm terrified of them. I have a few good friends and a number of acquaintances, and life is… well, fairly average over all.
I don't mind that. I'm not really looking for adventure. I don't want the most popular guy in school to take notice of me and fall in love with me (well, I do, but that's not really the point, because it'll never happen, but I'll keep dreaming all the same). I don't even want to be friends with the most popular girl in school (okay, so I did once, but then I discovered she's a snob). I don't desire to find the overarching cure for cancer (all cancers or any cancer) in my first-period Monday morning AP Biology class.
I like my life. It's comforting and familiar, and I am nothing if not a creature of habit. I like the way things are; I don't want them to change, or at least not anymore than they have to. My life is a cliché, and I'm okay with that. I don't mind being the average girl.
Of course, in all clichés, that always changes. My life is no different.
In schools like mine, football is the really big thing. I mean, we're moderately average at everything else, but football is really where we excel. How could we not? We have people like Aaron Davis in our school. He's a football star. He's practically guaranteed a spot at University of Michigan, the lucky jerk. (Although, the way I hear it, Aaron Davis is not a jerk. He's actually a nice guy. Go figure). The rest of us poor souls actually have to freak out about college acceptances. Not that I'm really freaking out. I'll get in somewhere.
But anyway, as I was saying: every Friday or Saturday, kids were clustered in the bleachers, screaming and cheering our team on. Not that there was any point, because we nearly always won. (Again, Aaron Davis). I was never a big fan of football, but even I went to the big games during the fall, sitting clustered with my friends on the topmost bleachers, behind those girls who were miraculously dressed in short skirts and the players' off-jerseys, too popular to be sycophantic cheerleaders, or at least to their estimation they were. I never liked Rachel Summers and her groupies, and not just because Rachel had nearly, kind-of, almost the same last name as I did. She really was a snob. Not to me personally, you understand, but she was just a snob in general. I guess that comes when your dad is the richest guy in the area.
"Come on, Aaron!" she screamed. "You can do it!"
It should be noted that Rachel is not so sycophantic that she simply cheers whenever her mega-hunk of a boyfriend gets the ball and runs with it. Rachel actually understands football. I heard her talking about it to a friend, who looked pathetically clueless and was definitely trying to hide it. Sometimes I wish Rachel were stupid. It would make it so much easier to make fun of her with my friends.
"Sab, you're zoning out. At least pretend to pay attention, you know?"
That's me, by the way. Sabrina Somers (no relation to Sabrina the teenage witch, F.Y.I.), better known as Sab (cue the shudder) to those who actually do know me better.
"No point," I said gloomily, squinting down at the little white and green people running around. "I don't understand it, anyway."
Strangely enough, Rachel whirled around and gave me a frown. I stared at her, completely nonplussed, and after sniffing haughtily, she turned around and resumed her cheering. I glanced at Heather (my B.F.F., just so you know) and we exchanged surprised looks. That was bizarre, I thought.
When the game was over (we won, of course) I heard lots of hoots and hollering as we made our way to Heather's huge, black SUV, looking extremely out of place between a corvette and a beetle. As we climbed in—waving bye to our other friends in the process—Heather commented casually, "You know, I hear Aaron is having an open party at his house. Wanna go?"
I stared at her. I'm no antisocial, but I'm not the one dancing drunkenly on the coffee table every weekend at the raucous parties thrown by various linebackers and cheerleaders. I'm actually the girl that goes to an average of two parties a year, witnesses the ridiculous beer-fests and the strange mating rituals of the dance floor before leaving at a respectable eleven-thirty to tell my parents that, "Yes, the party was fine; no, I did not get drunk and/or high," before going to sleep and promising myself that I will never go to one of those again.
All right, admittedly, last year, when I was dating Pete Henley, the parties were fun, mostly because we spent the good majority of our time in corners, whispering insipid, "I love you's" and kissing occasionally. Yeah, I know. Looking back on it, it makes me want to gag, too. Good thing that episode is over.
Anyway, at the beginning of the year, I made a promise to myself that these parties were utterly pointless and that my time could be better spent—I don't know, cleaning out the shower or something. Obviously, I had forgotten to share this promise with Heather.
But she was looking at me with those big, blue eyes of hers, you know, the ones that say, "Please-please-please-I really wanna go!" In any case, it was Aaron Davis' house. If I got bored, I could stare at him. That would be okay.
So one way or another, we found ourselves outside Aaron Davis' ridiculously large house, winding through the lawn, stepping over prematurely drunk teenagers and carefully avoiding those that were well on their way there. Heather was looking around energetically—for what, I don't know—but she was alert, and the moment we were inside, she grabbed a couple of beers and bulldozed her way towards the stereo and Aaron Davis.
I should take the opportunity to talk about Heather. Because my life is nothing short of one big cliché—and believe, it's about to get worse, wait and see—I, who am fairly average on the whole, of course have a best friend, who is fairly un-average. Heather is tall, slim, and blond, with big blue eyes, as I've said. Apparently, her bra size is the hottest topic in the boys' locker room, or at least, that's what Ian told me.
Ian is one of my other best friends. He's kind, and sensitive, and runs track even though he hates it, because his mother was a track star when she went to our high school and wants it for him. Ian might as well be a girl, because he spends all his free time with us. He's not a girl, though, for…um… obvious reasons.
Ian is one of the parts of my life that is not a cliché. I do not have a crush on him. Heather does not have a crush on him. He does not have a crush on either one of us. He is not Heather's brother. He is not my brother. He is not Rachel the snob's brother, cousin, or any other distant relation. He is also not her newest love interest. For that matter, I don't think she knows he exists. He is not super-cool-chums with Aaron Davis and the popular set. He's just… Ian.
Ian, whom I fortunately spotted the moment Heather began outrageously flirting with Aaron's-friend-whose-name-I-don't-know, otherwise known as boy-who-can't-believe-his-luck. I quickly left her side (I'm not so pathetic that I need her with me at all times for moral support) and so I made my way to Ian, who was holding a beer like he had no idea what to do with it.
"I think you drink it," I said helpfully, and he glanced at me, surprised.
"Sab, hey," he said, and set the beer aside—looking sort of relieved, I noticed. Maybe he didn't like beer? But what teenage boy didn't like beer? "I can't believe you came." Then again, maybe teenage boys don't like beer. Maybe they're all just giving into the peer pressure. Yeah, that's probably it. One guy, that one-in-a-million decides he likes beer, and all the others have to be super-cool, so they pretend they do, too.
"I can't believe you came," I shot back, sipping my beer and fighting to keep from spitting it out. I didn't like beer. But I was going to drink it anyway. Who said that we shouldn't give into peer pressure? "I thought you hated these things."
"I do. But Heather was going to be here, so I came."
I gazed at him suspiciously. Was he about to become a part of my cliché? "Why?" I demanded.
If he noticed my sharp tone, he didn't comment on it, probably because he knew what had prompted it. Smart boy, that Ian. "Because somebody needs to save her from Barry-the-leech." He jerked his head in the direction of Aaron and his friends. Predictably, on the nearest couch, Heather was busy stuffing her tongue down the throat of Barry-the-leech. Ian and I watched this in fascination for a few moments. At last, I said, "His name's Barry?"
"Sure. Barry Jamison." He glanced at me. "You didn't know that?"
"No, should I?"
"Well, you do stalk Aaron Davis," he pointed out fairly, looking amused. "I figured you'd know his friends, too."
"I don't stalk Aaron Davis," I said, feigning injury. "I just know his favorite coffee, and that's because I work at the Starbucks he always goes to. That's not stalking. I just see him everyday."
"You know what his favorite coffee is."
"He orders the same thing every day!" I defended.
"Do you know your other customers' favorite coffees?" I glared at him. "Give it up, Sab. You're just provingmy point."
"Drop dead," I shot back.
"Real original, Somers," joined Heather, running her hands through her mussed hair. Apparently, she and Barry-the-leech were finished.
"He's not a leech! And no, he went to find us drinks." She gazed at me critically. "You know, I think Barry's friend thinks you're hot."
Aaron was Barry's friend! "Oh, yeah?" I asked, my voice casual. "Which one?"
At the same moment, Ian interjected, "Heather! They can't call Sab hot! It's like… sacrilege." He shuddered.
"Come on, Sab. You… hot? I mean, I guess I can see where people would think Heather is hot," he admitted, "because she looks like that really racy Victoria's Secret model. Genevieve, I think."
"I do?" asked Heather with interest.
"Why can't I be hot?" I demanded. "People think Rachel Summers is hot, and she doesn't look like a Victoria's Secret model." At least, not to the best of my knowledge. Maybe she does?
Ian shrugged. "I don't think she's hot."
"Right, and you're a minority in that. You know, that minority that consists of only you."
"You guys are so weird," said Heather impatiently, and then asked, "Why can't Sab be hot?"
"Because she's… Sab. Sabrina Somers." He gazed at me, as impatiently as Heather was gazing at him. "Look, Sab, you're pretty," he said, awkwardly. "In a natural sort of way. But you're not hot, like, porn star hot."
Heather glowered at him. "You just indirectly called me a porn star, Ian!"
"Well, you sort of dress like—ow! Heather!"
"Why does calling me hot constitute sacrilege?" I wanted to know.
"Because you're my best friend, and I don't want to think of anybody doing stuff to you—ow! Heather, quit hitting me!"
"How come you don't ever defend me like that?" she demanded, looking hurt. "I'm your friend, too!"
"Right, but I'm more likely to need to save them from you than the other way around." He looked at me entreatingly. "Think about it. How would you feel if… say, Giselle told you she thought I was hot?"
"Ew," I said, automatically. Ian, hot? No. No, no, no. Ian was my best friend, my partner-in-crime when Heather was too busy buffing her nails. He was definitely not hot.
"Exactly," he said, looking satisfied. "You don't see me getting offended over that, do you?"
"Anyway," interjected Heather with a great deal of emphasis that indicated that the conversation was over. "Barry's friend thinks you're hot. Well, I think he was talking about you. He said 'man, I think that brunette is really hot. I bet she has killer legs.'" She looked at me critically. "And, well, you do have nice legs. Or you would, if you bothered to wear a skirt once in a while."
"What, in October in Michigan? No thanks," I said, rolling my eyes. "I'll pass." I glanced around me. "Look! He was probably talking about Britney Jacobs! She's got her legs wrapped around—somebody—and she's a brunette, too. I bet he was talking about her." I gave her a morose look. "Nobody thinks I'm hot. You heard Ian. I'm pretty, in a natural sort of way, which basically means I'm not hot and nobody thinks I am."
She was gazing critically at Britney Jacobs. "Her legs aren't that nice." She glanced at me again. "Yours are. Even in those ugly, loose jeans you insist on wearing. Can I give you some of my jeans?"
"So they can pool at my ankles?"
"I'm not that tall."
"Yes, you are," interjected Ian. "You're 5'9"."
"5'10"," corrected Heather, and sighed.
"Exactly. Besides, Sab can't dress like you."
"Because I'd look like a porn star?" I suggested.
"Exactly," he said, again, nodding, looking pleased that I'd caught on so quickly. "Can I have your beer?" I handed it to him, and he drained it.
I stared at him. "I didn't know you liked beer!"
He stared at me. "What teenage guy doesn't?"
…Well, there goes that theory.
Life began changing drastically on the Monday after that. Well, no, not drastically, but it began changing. And this awful change all started with stupid Monday morning BIOLOGY.
I don't mind biology. Actually, that's not true. I sorta loathe it. It's definitely not my favorite subject, which means you're probably wondering why I'm taking it. I did the requisite year of Biology freshman year. Now I'm taking AP Biology.
Yeah, doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me either.
Well, my mom is a nurse in the emergency room at the local hospital, so maybe that's why I'm taking it. For a while, I thought I'd like to be a nurse. I think I was thinking that when I signed up for the class.
Then I heard we'd have to do dissections, and I ditched that idea in a hurry.
I should explain. I like cute, fuzzy animals. It makes me sad when I see dead squirrels around. Dead deer make me cry. I hate pain and suffering in animals. Since I ditched the nurse idea, I'm seriously going to grow up and work in a zoo. Or run a Humane Society center. Or just marry somebody really rich and adopt every stray dog and cat in the world so they can run around my spacious mansion.
Anyway, so Monday morning: I was late, as usual, because I'm always late on Mondays (Mrs. Henderson, the lady at the front desk, clucked disapprovingly as I went by, as per usual), and so I ran straight to biology, because I'd already missed homeroom. We had already divided up into pairs, and so Ms. Franklin gave me a very resigned look when I ran in.
"Late again, Sabrina?"
"Sorry," I said, meekly. I turned, and caught sight of the lab. The overwhelming scent of formaldehyde hit me, and I gagged. "Are we… doing dissections?"
"Yes," said Ms. Franklin absentmindedly, "and you're late, so just go work with Aaron at station eight, all right? He doesn't have a partner, either."
"Okay," I agreed, and slouched towards station eight. And froze. Aaron Davis was standing there, staring at me in a rather perplexed manner. I nearly fainted (okay, well, no, not really) and walked over. "Are you, um… my lab partner?" I asked. Yeah, I know. Real eloquent.
"Yeah," he said, staring at me. "Hey—don't you work at the Starbucks down the road?"
Oh. My. God. Oh. My. God. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod… AARON DAVIS KNEW WHO I WAS!
…Well, sort of.
"I—yeah," I said, a little breathlessly. "Grande skim caramel macchiato, double-shot espresso, right?"
He stared at me, and I nearly punched myself. Did I seriously just SAY that?
"Yeah," he said. That one word seemed to constitute most of our conversation. And then he grinned. "Yeah, how'd you know?"
Because I take your order every day, dumbass, I thought, and quickly thought, Did I just think that? Actually, my inner voice sounded a lot like… well, me (the stupid parts that are always kicking me in the head for the stupid things I say) and Ian (the part that just called freaking Aaron Davis a dumbass).
"Oh, you know," I said, off-handedly. He was still grinning. This is not happening.
"So, listen…" He looked down at our pig a little helplessly, and I felt a strange sense of foreboding. "I'm not gonna lie…"
I hate those words. They always precipitate something really bad.
"…I don't really like dissections—they creep me out, you know?—and, um, I wasn't exactly listening when she told us what to do, so…" He looked at me beseechingly. "You're good at them, right?"
No, but if Aaron Davis wanted me to be, then I was damn well going to try.
Author's Note: To all my All the Things We Could Do readers… you're probably wondering… "What is this? Where is Chapter 15? (are we on Chapter 15? I think so)" Um, it's in the process of being written. I'll get on that in a little bit. This has been written for a really long time actually—something I started maybe 6 months ago, if not longer, and I was rereading it and I thought, "Hey, this is sort of amusing, actually." So here. A new story. Which will be updated again soon, depending on the response. Enjoy!
And please review. :)