Summary: "Dear Diary, I wish I had never agreed to become Zack's slave. This was the most stupid thing I could have done. Ever. And now he wants me to enter the Nationals with him!?" Jocelyn thought she had everything. A good life, a nice boyfriend, decent friends. Too bad she left her diary in the cafeteria and got blackmailed as a result.
Sakina The Fallen Angel
Chapter I: Dear Diary, my life is over
Dear Diary, my life is over. I still can't believe what just happened today. This is absolutely, positively insane. Now what on earth possessed me to leave my fricking diary out?! And then to kick the guy I hate in the balls, of all places! OK, stay calm. You can work this one out, Josie. Just act like you don't care that he read your heart and soul. He'll lose interest.
Oh, who am I kidding, my life is over.
Jocelyn Addams sipped her coke and stared hard at the clean page of her diary, wondering what on earth she could write in there that would make her last history lesson seem anything less than an hour of her life she'd never get back. Just for the record, it was a September lunch break and she was in the cafeteria, perched upon the tabletop whilst simultaneously breaking the no sitting on tables rule, the no feet on chairs rule, and the no leaning against walls rule.
Amidst the clattering of cutlery, laughter and gossip permeated the air as students frantically got the lowdown on who holidayed where, the latest one-night-pulls, and the latest break-ups, all in between mouthfuls of Hellvue's finest lasagne. Just like in any other high school, Hellvue High's cafeteria was a battleground, a social map of invisible territories. And with a new school year came a fresh new war. If the colourful array of books, clothes and pens was anything to go by, then it appeared that Josie had managed to retain her lunch space for another year running.
No, that history lesson was most definitely an hour of my life that I'll never get back, Josie thought, turning her attention back to her diary. Picking up her fountain pen with resolution, Josie pressed the nib to the page, and simply let the words flow, allowing her complete and uncensored thoughts to drain onto the thick textured paper.
She didn't have too much to complain about though. Her life was more or less going in the right direction, give or take the usual teen crises. Like her school grades, for one. Her appearance. Whether or not she was allowed to go to so and so's party next week. It was the here and now she really cared about, which was why she was keeping the diary as a record of the here and now.
As of Wednesday the 13th September I now have new hair.
After four hours of blood, sweat and tears at the hairdresser's last night, her sleek straight hair had now been transformed into a cascade of copper waves due to the insistence of Kelly Johannesburg. Apparently now she was 'presentable'. Whatever. No matter what Kelly said, it took more than a hair makeover to change a face. Meanwhile, the blonde's own hair had been chemically straightened yet again. Josie swore Kelly only went there so often just so she could flirt with one of the trainees.
I pledge no more detentions.
"Whaaat," she groaned, annoyed at the interruption. "Can't I find any peace in this world?"
"Not in this cafeteria," Aaron Walker replied with a cheeky grin. "Come on, shift your stuff so we can sit down. It looks like you just moved house."
"Maybe I have," she muttered feebly, and slid off the table.
The longest running couple of the year, Mei Li and Xander LeRaine, stood to the side, looking rather uncomfortable whilst Aaron rolled his eyes at every heavy sigh Josie uttered with every book she stuffed back into her bag. This girl could be infuriatingly ridiculous at times, but her immaturity was why Aaron loved her so much. Having grown up together, he had seen her melodrama way too many times to take anything she did seriously.
"Look, Brett's got some spare seats," Xander murmured, inclining his fringe towards a classmate. Aaron followed Xander's gaze, shrugged and nodded.
"Hey, Josie." When the redhead looked up, Aaron grinned. "Time's up. Hasta la vista."
"Hey!" Josie cried, slightly hurt when they headed off to sit elsewhere. Even Mei too, she realised with a grumble. But then again, Xander and Mei were more Aaron's friends than her own. So the rumours were true, she thought whilst watching the trio ditch her for Brett. Xander managed to get hot over summer. And in his case, a hair makeover really did change a face.
Batting away these mutinous thoughts, Josie climbed back onto the table and flipped her sequined diary back open. So what else had changed?
Dad still relocated to North Pacific.
Josie decided that he was the biggest change of them all. Even writing his name down solicited a secret smile. Shifting so that she could stretch her legs more comfortably, she placed the diary in her lap. Against the backdrop of mundane chatter and the clanking of forks on plates, Josie closed her eyes and replayed the whole of summer in her mind, from the time she first set eyes on him to that sultry sunset when...
"Josie!" A shriek suddenly pierced the humdrum of the cafeteria, followed by the clattering of over-excited heels.
"What?" Her daydream was now completely shattered like winter's ice.
"Quit writing, and come on!" Kelly Johannesburg's voice sharpened, and Josie quickly curbed her own exasperation, knowing that if she didn't pay Kelly any attention right now, then she would be in deep trouble.
"Uh huh," Josie murmured, closing her diary to give the girl her full attention. The last time Kelly had been so excited was only a few days ago when she found out that a dress she had been eyeing up at the mall had just been reduced by twenty-five percent. Hopefully whatever wisdom Kelly was bursting to impart would be on similar lines and then Josie could finish off her freaking 'new year' resolutions. "Come on, spill then."
"You mean you haven't heard?"
"No, I really haven't," Josie said slowly. "And from the looks of it, neither has the rest of the cafeteria."
Josie had since come to the conclusion that she must've been on a different wavelength to Kelly, for no matter how hard she'd tried, Josie still couldn't pick up on Kelly's brainwaves every time Kelly played the telepathy game. And much to Kelly's impatience, Josie didn't seem to understand at all.
Grabbing her arm, Kelly said persistently and not so patiently, "It's all out in the open now. Lois totally made Valerie look like a fool on Saturday and now Valerie wants revenge on her in the parking lot. Now come on, otherwise we'll miss it!"
"What, you mean…" Josie's eyes widened. It was common gossip that one of the jocks, Lance Jones had been two-timing for almost a month now. He most definitely only had three brain cells in his head, if he thought that he could get away with simultaneously messing around with two of the most popular girls in the year. The worrying thing was...he had been getting away with it, at least until last Saturday.
Josie was surprised by just how long it had taken for the girls being two-timed to find out. So much for honesty amongst the populars. "Oh my god, this I have to see. Hang on, let me pack my stuff."
"No time," Kelly insisted. "Laura told me this literally two minutes ago, and you know she always finds out gossip first. So I like came straight over to find you and on my way I saw Mr Macavity heading towards the parking lot with that bulldozer face of his." Kelly paused to suck in some air. "Seriously, it'll be over before you know it." And without further ado, Josie was dragged outside by Kelly's inhuman strength.
"My things!" She yelled. Her arms stretched vainly towards her bag, and most importantly, her lunch tray. "The specials aren't called specials cuz they're served every day y'know!"
But it was no use. She knew why Kelly was so hyped about all of this. Two years ago, Kelly had been part of the in-crowd herself, until new-girl-fresh-from-the-coast Valerie Mcguire had arrived and ousted her from her circle of friends, immediately upon establishing herself here as Miss Hellvue High. All because Kelly hadn't believed in Valerie's ideals of boyfriend sharing, or more specifically, her boyfriend being shared. It hurt that he hadn't minded. Back then, Lois Clarkson may have sold out Kelly for Valerie, but it was Valerie's downfall Kelly really wanted to see. Hate was not in the emotional spectrum of Kelly Johannesburg, but her dislike of Valerie came pretty close.
Outside, the sun was shining, the songbirds were singing, Josie was yelling at Kelly to slow down, and two human females were engaged in the age-old art of combat, something which was more formally known as 'bitch-slapping'.
With a sigh, Josie headed towards the swarm of adrenalin, where she was jostled to and fro by students all clamouring to get a view of Hellvue High's freshest drama. The action was down at the parking lot by the school gates, and some kids had even climbed onto the adjacent walls and trees to see. We're not even two weeks into term, she thought. All around her voices chanted for both sides. And for those that hated the popular crowd, the chants were for neither; fight was suffice. Being in this bloodthirsty horde was like being on a sailboat tossed upon stormy seas, or less poetically, a goat in the stampede for the new year sales.
Even the goths were getting into this.
"Watch it," she scowled at an eighth grader, rubbing her shoulder from where he'd crashed into her. His swearing flew right over her head as someone else shoved him in turn.
She realised she'd lost sight of Kelly. Scanning the crowd, Josie elbowed her way further in, and finally saw someone she both knew and liked. She caught Adam Gonville's eye, and felt a familiar flutter of butterflies in her stomach on sight of his lopsided grin. Squeezing through the horde, she sidled up to him and laid her head on his shoulder, breathing in the scent of summer.
"Hey there," he said, kissing the top of her forehead. Josie loved how four months on, hearing his voice still made her weak at the knees. "Love your hair today. And you look dressed to kill."
Josie grinned and peeked up at his chocolate eyes from under her fringe. So maybe the hair makeover had been a good idea then. "I had extra birthday money left so got it curled yesterday. According to Kelly it'll last for two months. And the combats and army boots were a present from big bro Milo. Anyway, what happened here?"
"I have absolutely no idea," Adam replied, craning his neck. He was at least a foot taller than her so if he couldn't see then there was hell's chance that she would do any better. "Someone just yelled fight and the next thing I know, everybody's screaming."
"Yeah, Kelly said it's to do with the Lois Lance Val triangle."
"Lois Lance what now?" He looked at her, blank.
"Oh, I forgot, you don't know him."
Hellvue High had a weird system where for the whole of middle school, the year groups had been split into two halves. This year, both halves of Josie's year were now deemed mature enough to be able to mix. Being from the 'other side', there were a lot of people Adam didn't know too well in Josie's half. It didn't help that Adam had only been a student of Hellvue High for barely two years.
"Well, you both made it onto the team. Don't you guys talk to each other at football practice?"
"No, we only grunt manly at each other," Adam grinned toothily. Josie laughed and let him wrap his arms around her, enjoying the feel of protection his embrace offered. "Come on, the sun's shining and the ice cream parlour's open. Who cares about what's going on here? I bet we can be there and back before this fight gets broken up."
"Hmm." Josie tilted her head to the side. It was tempting. Another rule was that only those in their senior years were allowed out of school grounds. Then again, breaking the rules was only sweet if you didn't get caught.
Adam kept his arms around her, guiding them both out of the crowd. Two people briefly shifted and Josie caught a flash of Valerie and Lois snarling at each other. Already, Josie knew that Valerie would win. In addition to being a manufactured beauty, Valerie Mcguire also packed a killer uppercut punch. The crowd shifted, the view was lost and then Adam had propelled her out from that claustrophobic swarm. At the fringes, a few boys had started their own fights with each other, no doubt instigated from the heavy amount of shoving going on.
They had almost slipped past the trees, and were planning the dash for freedom when Josie heard her name being called.
Adam's hand froze on her shoulder, but then relaxed when he turned his head and saw that it was Josie's friend Kelly. A small sigh of relief escaped his lips, but it was also tainted with mild disappointment. He wanted to tell Josie to go onwards and forget about Kelly, but she'd already detached herself from him to speak to the blonde.
"Hey, so you got bored of the fight. What are you up to now?"
"Oh, we're going to the ice cream parlour."
"But isn't that out of bounds for--"
"Exactly." Josie smirked.
"Oh!" A look of understanding passed across Kelly's face.
"Do you wanna come along with us?"
Kelly's eyes shifted towards Adam. "Ah, only if your significant other doesn't mind..."
Adam had been hoping to go alone with Josie, but didn't want to upset anyone, so he smiled and nodded anyway. Both girls chattered to each other as they walked along the street; Kelly recounted parts of the fight in excruciating detail whilst Josie drank up her every word, wincing every now and then. When Kelly got onto the name calling part, Adam switched off. He knew Josie didn't have much boy experience, so accepted the fact that he was treated more like a friend sometimes.
The ice cream parlour was a few streets away, close to the town centre, and was owned by an Italian man called Tony who sported the curliest moustache known in the district. Inside, the parlour was an absolute palace. When the trio walked in, they were greeted by the tinkling of a bell, and the stares of two seniors who were sat at a table with a jumbo-sized sundae, fondly known as 'The Godfather'. Josie went up to the counter and pressed her hands against the glass. Every time she came here, she was as indecisive as ever and today was no exception, for there must've been at least fifty flavours here.
The owner, Tony himself, came over and gave the trio a beaming smile. Turning to Kelly, he asked, "Ciao, now what can I do for you?"
"Um, ah, can I have a cone with blueberry, lemon and strawberry?"
"Sure thing, bella," Tony said in his heavy accent. He pulled out the boxes containing the requested flavours. "This cone?"
"No, the shell please," Kelly replied, licking her lips in anticipation. It was a well known fact that Tony had the best ice creams, period.
Tony straightened up and handed Kelly her ice cream. Josie was still squatted down, peering at all the boxes so Tony turned to Adam next. "What about you, bello sir?"
Not used to being complimented by strangers, Adam felt his cheeks turn red, and rubbed the back of his neck. "Just two scoops of toffee please," he said quickly.
"The handsome sir is embarrassed!" Kelly clapped her hands. "Oh Josie, I want one of him to take home."
"Tough," Josie said, and stuck her tongue out at Kelly. "Adam Gonville is one of a kind."
"You still need to tell me how you two got together. God, from what Laura's been saying, it sounds like everyone hooked up this summer. Did you hear the stuff she's been saying about Lily and Steve? Stevie Johnson!"
"Don't listen to her, you know half the things she says isn't true," Josie replied, a little sourly at the fact that she may have been the subject of gossip.
"Uh, excuse me," Adam interrupted, trying to assert and insert himself into the conversation. It was like talking to two brick walls. He just shook his head exasperatedly at Tony when the man handed him his ice cream cone.
"OK, I've decided." Josie suddenly straightened her back. "Three scoops please: banana, tropical heaven, and...I'll try cheesecake delight."
"Good choice, miss!"
Kelly and Adam produced their respective amounts of cash. Following suit, Josie reached into her pocket for her wallet, only to find it wasn't there. Just then, Josie remembered she'd left her money with her bag, which was currently on a table in the cafeteria...with her diary. Josie paled, feeling her insides go cold.
She stared at her friends and babbled, "Sorry, I left my money back in school. Can't explain but gotta dash!"
"Don't worry, I'll pay for it," Adam said, but his voice trailed off when he realised that Josie had already bolted, leaving Tony holding her ice cream cone. He felt Kelly's hand on his arm.
"So, are you gonna like, eat hers then?"
Josie's heart was pounding as she ran across the asphalt. On her way back, she'd had to sneak through the school gates, and if Mr Macavity was out and about then that would've been the end of her 'no detentions' pledge. Luckily, she spotted Macavity a few metres from the fight, and judging from the presence of incoming staff, it looked like he'd called for backup. Good tactics, ex-military man. But she didn't care about that right now. Stupid, stupid, how could she have been so stupid? It would only have taken a few extra seconds to put away…
Josie burst through the double doors, tore down the corridor and…froze at the doorway in disbelief. She couldn't help the shudder that passed down her back.
"Oh my god," she muttered, once she'd recovered from her initial shock.
She should've known it would happen. Stuff like this always happened in movies and books. It was cliché number seven on the ultimate list of clichéd plots, as compiled by Jocelyn Addams and Kelly Johannesburg.
And it was now happening to her.
There, right in front of her table, with his back to her was someone reading her fricking diary! For once, she wished that she hadn't chosen such a secluded and out of view place to sit for surely that jerk would've been stopped by advocates of the code. Did this guy not know the code?!
Thou shalt not rummage in thy comrade's lunch space for sweet pickings.
The code of the playground!
She couldn't make out who it was, didn't care. All that registered in Josie's mind was the fact that the boy was insanely tall and had straw hair that would not look out of place on a scarecrow. He was wearing an ice-white jacket that was somehow familiar and filled her with cold dread. If she'd stopped for a second then she would've been able to put a face to the description, and then perhaps she would not have been so rash. As it happened, Josie's temper took over. All reason deserted her as she ran towards the scarecrow boy and yelled, "Give that back!"
Josie came to a standstill, and her blood actually became ice as the student slowly turned around, in a motion that was both as languid and uninterested as the expression upon his countenance. Still holding the sequined book, the boy regarded her coolly, his face an impenetrable mask. Her next words were a stage whisper. This was the last person she wanted to run into.
"Oh my god. Zack."
On hearing his name, a spark of life finally came into the boy's grey eyes. The corner of his lip curved.
"Can I help you with something?"
She blinked, and then realised that he hadn't meant it pleasantly at all. Far from it. Colouring, Josie took a deep breath and said in the slowest voice she could manage, through gritted teeth, "Please can I have my book back."
It wasn't a question.
"This book?" Zack shut the diary and ran a finger along the bead and sequin borders. Her fists clenched. "Looks more like a diary to me. Reads like one too."
That was the last straw. Marching right up to the tall boy in the ice-white jacket, Josie looked Zack in the eye, and made as if to grab the diary, but he lifted his arms and so she merely clutched thin air. Against the natural light, the shadows falling across his face made it even more angular than normal; his eyes were malicious hollows in an empty face, devoid of emotion.
"Give. It. Back." She shot him a glare that said this wasn't funny, never had been, and certainly wasn't anymore. "Now," she added for good measure.
"You're causing a scene, Jocelyn," he said patronisingly. This was what she hated about Zack, that even though they were the same age, he still treated her like a pre-schooler.
"I wouldn't be if you'd just give me my book back," she hissed.
He still held the diary above her reach, mocking her height.
"Or what?" Even those two words, when spoken from his mouth, belittled her. She would not take this crap, not even from him.
"Or I kill you now, rather than later."
"Your threats are idle." He was so sure of himself. "Always have been, always will be."
At the reference, Josie lost her cool. All patience gone now, she aimed a kick at Zack, not really caring where it landed. Unfortunately for him, it got his groin.
"What the--" His involuntary gasp was suppressed as he suddenly doubled over in a mixture of surprise and pain. Zack gasped again and bit his lip to suppress himself from crying out. Sweat had broken out upon his forehead, and his eyes were misted.
Ignoring the laughter from behind them, Josie turned even paler and opened her mouth to apologise when her mind caught up. Hang on, why was she even apologising? She wasn't in the wrong here. Zachariah Morgan was the one who had infringed upon her possessions and as such, she had a right to reclaim her property. This situation would've been absolutely hilarious, if she hadn't had her diary to worry about…
With an intake of breath, Josie saw her chance, and darted to grab her diary back, but by then Zack had reeled away and placed both hands on the table, shielding both himself and the book from her. His ragged breathing was loud to her ears.
"Go Josie, go Josie!" A chant broke out, and Josie looked over her shoulder to see that a group of students had turned their chairs to watch the action. The chefs were taking no notice, as usual, but chances were, a member of staff would walk in sometime soon, and Josie really did not want to start this year with a bad record.
"Shut it, Brett!" She growled, making a slicing motion across her throat.
Brett Clayton knew nothing of the painful and complicated history that had led to the development of the mutual hatred between her and Zack. Neither did Xander or Mei for that matter. They were both sat there, mouths open with their forks suspended in the air, whilst beside them, Aaron shook his head somewhat mournfully. With three quarters of her face hidden behind her waterfall of black hair, Mei was still shy as ever. Poor girl, Josie thought. She had probably never seen a guy get kicked in the balls before in her entire life. Josie felt slightly bad, and waved her arms frantically, as if that would erase the image from Mei's violated retinas.
A suppressed groan came from behind her. By now, Zack had recovered enough to face Josie. His left hand was on the table, supporting the weight of his contorted body, whilst his right hand clutched the book. She noted with satisfaction that she had really hurt him.
"Well?" Josie folded her arms, challenging him. Her stance spoke of more pain and humiliation if he refused to acquiesce.
His breathing slowed to a rattling hiss, until it was the only sound that filled the air. Something changed in Zack's eyes. "Fine whatever. Take your stupid book back. Only girls are stupid enough to write down all their secrets."
And with that, he dropped the book onto the table, and stalked off with his wounded pride, leaving Josie standing there, seemingly victorious.
It wasn't until she got home that she realised some pages were missing.
Thank you for taking the time to read the new and revised version of this story! For any readers from the previous version, a lot of the story has been left the same, but there are a few sections that I thought needed changing. Please bear with me, and hope to see you next chapter!