Okay, let's get one thing perfectly straight: I was pretty sure my ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend was a life-force-sucking demon. Don't believe me? Let's look at the facts.
As soon as he began dating her (or, more accurately, as soon as he attached himself permanently to her lips), he became a shell of the guy he used to be. He was once charming, funny, goofy, sweet and personable. That was when he was dating me. When he got with the demon girl, he became quiet, reserved, grumpy and worst of all, arrogant. Jeffrey Weston, who used to be the king of self-deprecation, had become a narcissist. And I could personally vouch for him. He was fine until she came along. Until she stole my near-perfect boyfriend out from under my nose.
"Lexi," he had said to me that fateful day, the day of our relationship's demise, "we need to break up."
I hadn't seen it coming. I thought we were fine. I thought we were happy. Jeffrey, however, had a different opinion.
That different opinion apparently came to him in the form of Jefferson Elliot High's newest tartlet, Amber-Lynn Rose Spencer. She enrolled at our school the very same day I planned on giving my virginity to Jeffrey. The very same day he dumped me. At the time he broke my heart into a million different pieces, however, he never mentioned anything about her. Perhaps he thought it would be tacky.
So when he dropped the bomb on me out of the blue with no real explanation, all I could do was sit and stare at him cross-eyed. We had been together for over two years, which was almost like ten in teen years. We never fought, and as far as I knew, neither one of us had ever had a wandering eye. I guess I was wrong.
"Huh?" was my initial verbal response.
"It's just not working out between us anymore," was his rebuttal.
"But–" was my attempt at refuting his statement.
"It's not you, it's me," was his clichéd interjection.
"What?" was my only question.
"I'm breaking up with you," was his final answer.
Of course, I knew that. Despite that being the first time I'd ever been dumped, I wasn't stupid. I just didn't understand why it was happening.
Jeffrey, being a 17-year-old male with better things to do with his time, had no intention of delving deep into any sort of explanation, so I never got one. After he finished getting the words out, he stared at me for one brief, awkward moment, then got up and left. Left the kitchen. Left my house. Left my life.
But he hadn't left our school, which was why only a week and a half after our breakup, I was being subjected to watching him and Amber-Lynn Rose make out just a few lockers down from mine.
"Ew," came a voice from behind me. "This is even more disgusting than that TV special I watched the other night on the mating rituals of dung beetles."
I couldn't help but let out a huge sigh of relief. I recognized the voice right away as belonging to my best friend, Trish Holloway. Trish was my savior. When Jeffrey dumped me, she took up semi-permanent residence in my bedroom in an attempt to comfort me. She'd brought over an economy-sized box of tissues, five pints of cookie dough ice cream, and six poorly acted romantic comedy movies. She endured my bitching and moaning with admirable patience and literally provided me with a shoulder to cry on. And now, like a true devoted friend, she was rather loudly ridiculing the public display of gag-inducing affection between Jeffrey and his harlot.
At hearing Trish's comment, they pulled apart just enough to allow dust particles to pass between them. But while Amber-Lynne Rose glared over at us, Jeffrey made sure to avert his gaze anywhere else. With a huff, Amber-Lynne Rose took Jeffrey's arm – the arm that used to be mine to take – and proceeded to lead him down the hallway. He obediently followed her like a lemming following the herd off a cliff.
I smiled when I thought of them both falling off of a cliff.
"Thanks, Trish," I said, slamming my locker shut.
She leaned up against the locker next to mine and began to study her nails. "No prob. I can't believe how insensitive he's being. And to think, I spent the last couple of years thinking Jase was insane for hating his guts."
Jase was Trish's older brother, a senior who was only about a year older than both Trish and myself. Jase and Jeffrey used to be pretty good friends. In fact, the two of them used to hang out with me and Trish all the time. But ever since he'd entered high school, Jase hadn't had much to do with any of us. One day, he just started hating Jeffrey for some reason that was still unknown to pretty much everyone. As for me, he just hadn't made it much of a habit to speak to me.
I shrugged, slinging my backpack over my shoulder. I wanted to change the subject, because I had already wasted too much time and energy thinking about Jeffrey, but Trish was too quick to continue.
"So I've been thinking about something," she said, dragging out the sentence. She was hesitating, as if trying to decide whether or not she should continue speaking. I knew this meant that whatever she had to say, I probably wasn't going to like it.
"Yeah…and?" I coaxed her.
"And I came to the conclusion that it kills me to see you like this."
I glanced down at myself. "Like what?"
"Constantly on the edge of an emotional breakdown!" She pointed at my face. "Your eyes are puffy from crying yourself to sleep every night, and you've become careless in your fashion choices. I mean, come on, Lexi – a flannel shirt? Hello! The nineties happened, like, over a decade ago. Get with the times."
I frowned as I tugged protectively at my plaid print button up shirt. It wasn't flannel, it was a poly-cotton blend. My younger brother, Aaron, had outgrown the shirt during his prepubescent growth spurt last year. He gave it to me as a Christmas present because he was too cheap to buy me anything. So what if I was wearing a hand-me-up from my fourteen-year-old brother? It was comfortable. And it wasn't like I had dressed like a runway model before the breakup with Jeffrey.
"Trish," I whined, "you're supposed to be my supportive best friend."
"That's exactly what I am! Which is why, instead of doing my homework last night, I devised a plan."
I groaned. Trish's plans were terrible, and almost never ended well.
"I'm not interested," I said as we began to walk down the hallway. I couldn't help but notice a few boys ogling her as we walked by. Trish was gorgeous. She was tall, thin and curvy, with a breathtaking shade of red hair that she usually wore long and wavy, and big, bright green doe eyes. She towered over me like a giant. Whereas she was nearly six-feet-tall, I was a measly five-foot-four – just one of the many reasons why I'd always felt somewhat self-conscious around her. I mean, I wasn't hideous or anything. If I was, Jeffrey would have never dated me for over two years. But still, in comparison to girls like Trish and Amber-Lynne Rose, I was somewhat unremarkable.
The only thing that kept me from hating Trish with every fiber of my being was the simple fact that she didn't act like she was gorgeous. I wasn't even sure she knew.
"At least hear me out."
"Sorry," I said, "I gotta get to class."
"It's your lunch period," she corrected me.
She was right. With a defeated sigh, I led us over to a quieter area of the hallway. "Okay. So what, exactly, is this plan that you have devised?"
She grinned with pure delight. "Well, it's a plan that will kill two birds with one stone."
"I'm against cruelty to animals."
"Shut up, you moron." She stuck out her tongue at me. "Anyway, it's a two-part plan. I'll only tell you the first part of the plan now, and then I'll tell you the second part after phase one is complete."
"Phase one?" I repeated with a snort. "Trish, I don't even know what this plan has to do with."
"Don't play dumb, girl. It has to do with Jeffrey. You are pissed – and rightfully so – that he dumped you for Amber-Lynne Rose, and there has to be at least a small part of you that wants revenge. Am I right?"
I shook my head no as my brain was screaming YES! Of course I wanted revenge. I wanted to make him hurt like he had made me hurt. I wanted him crying over me. So naturally, I was somewhat intrigued by this plan of Trish's. But I didn't want to admit it, because being vindictive wasn't part of my nature.
But I guess you could say that Jeffrey had brought out the worst in me.
"Fine," I said in defeat. "Yes, I want revenge. But your plan doesn't involve weapons of any kind, does it?"
Trish giggled. "If you're referring to guns or sharp objects, then no. I was thinking more along the lines of turning you into the weapon."
Her words made no sense, but she made no attempt of further explaining herself.
"Meet me at my car after school." Her eyes twinkled with excitement as she started backing up away from me. "Make sure you've got plenty of cash with you. We're going shopping." With a wink, she turned on her heel and skipped down the remainder of the hallway.
I couldn't help but cringe at her words. Suddenly, it was no longer necessary for her to explain her "plan" to me, as I was pretty sure I had already figured it out. And if I was correct, and a makeover was somehow involved in said plan, I was going to kill Trish. Or myself. Or both.
Or, better yet, maybe I'd just kill Amber-Lynne Rose instead.