It was that time of the year again: the school fete. I had mixed feelings about the school fete. On the one hand, it was really fun, as long as you hung out with the right people. But on the other hand, I usually got stuck organising some lame ass stall that never got more than ten dollars.
Last year I got stuck on the 'Dunk 'em' stall. Not a very fun stall, if you ask me, especially since it was winter and windy. I'm not usually one to complain, but it was so cold that it actually snowed later that day, and I didn't even have a wetsuit or anything; just my bikini underneath my one piece.
The only upside about being freezing cold and getting dunked in water continuously, is that I look pretty damn good in swimmers. Not to brag or anything, but I'm guessing it's because of my slim tanned legs. In proportion to my body, seeing as I'm kind of short (not tiny, just short-ish), my legs would be considered long.
Anyway, this year I made sure to place dibs on a dry stall. Actually, a few people put my name down for 'Dunk 'em' again, so the teachers thought I was extremely eager to be dunked since my name was on the sheet at least eight times. Somehow, I managed to weasel my way out with my fantastic persuading skills. Okay, fine, I faked a sprained ankle the day before the fete and got shifted to selling tickets for the rides.
The entire year group whinged simultaneously, but there was nothing they could do since according to my doctor, being dunked in water would only serve to make the sprain worse. I pretended to be all disappointed, but really I was grinning like a maniac. I managed to convince them the grin was because I was high on painkillers, to which they just sulked some more.
Damn I must have looked pretty hot last year if they wanted me back so badly. All right, that wasn't the reason they were desperate for me back, but a girl can dream, right?
According to Liz, who I refuse to call my friend since I'm pretty sure she was one of the people that signed me up again, I was 'just so freaking funny to watch!' I recall nothing funny about almost drowning, or about having my skin turn blue, partly because it was so cold, and partly because some moron decided to put blue food dye in the water. Before you jump to conclusions about me being too stupid to realise the water was suddenly blue, the tiles were the same colour so the only difference was that it was a little darker which anyone could have mistaken for a little extra cloud covering, right?
So now that I had put all that behind me (read: I was still bitter) I limped my way over to the ticket booth with the keys Mr Fryer had given me. The whole limping act was starting to annoy the shit out of me, even though I had only been doing it for a grand total of twenty-four hours. Less, if you factor in that I didn't have to do it at home since my parents didn't know about it.
I waddled over to the little door and fumbled with the mass of keys, finally managing to open it after a few failed attempts and having dropped the stupid thing into mud a few times.
I sighed a sigh of happiness and content, practically jumping into the booth, where I would spend the next eight hours all by my lonesome, protected from the cold, and the rain that was very likely to come if the angry grey-black clouds in the sky were anything to go by.
I tested the cash register to check if Mr Fryer had given me the right instructions (he could be a bit vague sometimes) and checked the drawers to figure out where the tickets were. In the bottom drawer, I found a wad of paper and after searching for a bit, I found a pen. Hopefully it was enough to entertain me for a while.
After about five minutes of doodling on paper and waiting for people to arrive, I realised it was only eight thirty and the fete didn't officially start till nine o'clock. I scrunched up the paper in annoyance and chucked it behind me. It rebounded off the back wall and hit me in the head because the booth was so damn small. Seriously, if I were claustrophobic I'd have had a panic attack by now.
I started to doubt my decision about faking a sprained ankle; sure, I didn't have to be the laughing stock of the entire crowd, but I wasn't very good at entertaining myself, and the thought of being alone for the next seven hours and fifty-five minutes almost made me cry.
I wasn't a solitary person, or even a book person, so reading wouldn't save me from dieing of boredom in this stuffy wooden booth. In fact, it would probably speed up the process. Ali, my not-friend, had promised to keep me company once her shift at the cake stall was over. However, that wasn't for another three hours and fifty minutes, during which time I could easily suffocate in this boring hole, and no one would even know, let alone care, except maybe to wonder why that idiot of a girl from last year wasn't going to be dunked ever again for their entertainment.
It was about that time that I figured out I was sitting on a wheelie chair and I cheered up significantly. After grinning manically, I spun the chair around only to realise, with a rather hard bump to my head, that the door had just been opened by none other than Mr Fryer who didn't seem to appreciate my immature behaviour. Apparently I was supposed to set a good example, since the fete was also a sort-of-open-day for our school.
Mr Fryer then proceeded to give me a stern lecture about the consequences of stealing money which included investigation by the police, suspension, possible expulsion, a bad record, a bad reputation, and of course, the worst thing of all, a guilty conscience.
I tried to keep a straight face while he talked and his nose hairs move up and down in time with his twitching mole. When he left I rubbed the bump on my head sourly, muttering curses at his stupidity under my breath.
Without realising, I suddenly only had seven hours and twenty-eight minutes left, and my first customers were walking over, laughing and just generally having fun. I told myself not to be bitter – it wasn't their fault I was stuck here – and plastered on a very fake, very large and cheesy smile.
"Hello, how may I help you today?" I asked them. They looked about twelve years old and very stupid. Okay fine, I was just jealous that they were out there I was all alone.
"Um…how much is it for ten tickets?"
"Eight bucks." I said sounding as bored as I possibly could. The shorter one went red but the other one just scowled at me. I didn't really care though because they already went to our school, as I could tell by their uniforms, so I didn't have to set any sort of example of how wonderful everyone at Mercy High is.
It was compulsory for everyone to turn up, and they had to be in their uniforms even though it was a Sunday, because they were representing the school. Obviously it was just a way to make sure that even if it was snowing, the have a crowd and a profit.
I took their money in exchange for tickets and went back to brooding about being all by my lonesome. I looked out at the Dunk 'em stall where a crowd was already starting to gather, chucking tennis balls in order to watch Cassie Knight fall into a pool of water wearing nothing but a bikini and a large white shirt.
Cassie was originally on the ticket booth, but eagerly swapped with me so that she could show off her amazing body and dazzling smile. I admit, I was jealous that she looked better sitting up there on the seat than I did. It wasn't just her amazing body that had pretty much every guy drooling, it was also the fact that she was wearing waterproof make-up and smiling, while I had been wearing un-waterproof mascara that smudged all over my face, and was mostly scowling.
I'll admit that it was stupid of me to wear mascara that would smudge in water, but that's not saying much considering I was dumb enough to agree to being dunked in the first place.
Cassie looked pretty confident sitting up there, obviously thinking that the approximate number of dunks she'd get in an hour was a grand total of one, but I knew better. I recognised the feeling of excitement and cockiness, thinking that it would be fun to be dropped into the water, and also thinking that it would be pretty hard to hit the target more often than once, maybe twice.
I was young and naïve, as they say. My theory lasted for all of thirty minutes, when the jocks decided to turn up with their perfect aim and take turns dunking me and watching me come up desperately for air each time.
Every time I was dunked, they laughed like it was the most hilarious thing they had ever seen, and made me hurry back up the ladder so they could do it again. Still, even with their perfect aim I managed to get at least a minute of rest in between each dunk as they tried to hit the target again.
I watched as the baseball captain stepped up with the ball, obviously determined to make that white shirt a little less opaque. He aimed, and fired, and Cassie went down with a little girly gasp.
I'll give her credit – she didn't scream. Obviously she was expecting it, because when I was up there, I screamed every freaking time. Except, of course, the times when it was dunk after dunk after dunk and I barely got a breath in because some idiot decided it would be easier and more entertaining just to pull the lever over and over, much to the amusement of everyone, including Ali, my not-friend.
I would have bailed earlier, but as it was, I didn't actually smarten up to their devious ways until a little less than an hour later because they were still throwing balls and I couldn't see whether they actually hit the target or not.
Cassie climbed the ladder again, and things proceeded as normal but, much to my annoyance, the jocks gave up after her shirt went see-through, so in the next forty minutes, as I sat there brooding and serving the sudden wave of customers who kept me from going insane from boredom, Cassie only got dunked twice more, and they were both flukes.
She still looked impeccable, obviously, but I could tell she was somewhat annoyed that the jocks weren't paying much attention anymore.
This year, they had hired a double dunk 'em, for some sort of competition later on in the day, which was supposed to be a surprise. Apparently, Cassie wasn't going to be part of the surprise though, lucky for her. At least she got a break between shifts.
Last year, the shifts were divided up every two hours, and I was on the second-to-last shift. But, deciding that I would be more fun to dunk than Joseph Breight, they managed to convince me that my shift wasn't over, until eventually it was time to give the 'Dunk 'em' ride back.
Apparently that was the funniest bit because towards the end, after every dunk, the first thing I did before I even took a breath, was ask if my shift was over yet, shivering, and desperately hoping they'd let me off early. Sometimes I hate my gullibility. Actually, screw that, I always hate my gullibility: it's what makes me so prone to being laughed at.
I wish I'd seen my face when the guy finally came to, firstly tell Nathan Pier to stop pulling the lever, and secondly tell us to scram 'cause he had to pack up the machine. Nathan had the decency to look a little guilty, but still laughed along with everyone else at my incredibly shocked, and blue, expression.
After that is sort of a blur. All I remember is being unbelievably angry, and cold, and wet, and blue, and jumping out of the pool in an attempt to tackle Nathan and possibly kill him. For some reason, this caused everyone to laugh even harder, probably because I was no match for Mr Lean-and-Muscly, who just held my wrists in one hand and patted me on the head with the other.
So I did the only thing I could: I spat on him and kicked him in the balls. Damn, that felt good, watching his face screw up in pain. He let me go and I kicked him the side for good measure, before trudging off, still frozen and shivering, to find a towel and hopefully a sauna or at least a heater.
It wasn't until later, at home, when I looked in the mirror, that I realised why people were giving me weird looks on the way home: my skin was blue – from the food dye, not the cold. I looked hideous, and I screamed in frustration when I saw myself.
I vowed to find out who had put the dye in the water, which turned out to be really easy because the dick who did was practically a hero, according to everyone else. And, would you know it, it was Nathan Pier.
So of course, I kicked him in the balls again, this time from behind. And not just once either; since I shared most classes with him, I managed to get him every period. Once I even got him with a ruler.
He didn't complain though; probably figured out he deserved it.
Needless to say, he joined in with everyone else to joke about my blue skin. I scrubbed, and scrubbed, but that stuff was so hard to get off. I got a lot of 'why so blue?' comments - not very original if you ask me. Nathan actually had the nerve to lick me one time and then tell me he had mistaken me for a lollypop as way of explanation.
Even Ali, my not-friend, joked around. She held a piece of blue cellophane to her eye and said, "Huh. That's funny."
"What?" I said, even though I was still grumpy that she'd let them do that to me. She proceeded to take the cellophane on and off her eye whilst looking at me.
"You don't look any different." I scowled and put my head in my arms to sulk again. She laughed and nudged me.
"Cheer up, Tori. It's funny!" I scowled some more but she just laughed again. If it were anyone else, I probably would have been laughing too, since it was pretty funny. But I was the one suffering, so I did not find it amusing.
I'll admit one more thing, but this is a major secret: if it had been anyone else, I probably would have kissed Nathan for his genius ways, especially since I found him extremely attractive.
But hey, who can blame me? He was darn good looking, and tended to tease me by making suggestive comments and invading my personal bubble. Still, even though I may have wanted to jump him, for at least a month after the dunking, there was no other intention on my mind except to kill the motherfucker.
I looked at the time and realised I had six hours and twenty-three minutes left, only two hours and twenty-three minutes before I had Ali to keep me company. Some time during serving all those customers, it had started to sprinkle, but now it was raining full throttle and the rides were all closed up, so I had no more customers.
Harry Daemon, who was in charge of the Dunk 'em stall this year, stood up on his little crate with his megaphone, and made an announcement that cheered me up a little because at least I wouldn't die of boredom.
"Alright folks. Since the rides are closed, we've decided to bring our surprise forward, so if you'd all like to make your way over here and possibly call your friends and bring them over too, we'll be starting in about twenty minutes. I guarantee you'll love it." With that, he grinned mischievously and stepped off the crate.
I was interested now as to what the hell the surprise was. My phone suddenly started going off and I picked it up to hear Ali screaming at me from the other end.
"Get out of your smelly booth and watch the Dunk 'em with me!" She yelled excitedly, before switching to her depressed tone. "Unfortunately, I still have to work at the cake stall, but you can come by and help out…"
"Nah," I said, "I can see from where I am. And besides, it's raining outside." I picked at my nails absentmindedly.
"Tori!" Ali complained, "Just come outside and watch"
"Why? I can see from here. And I'm comfortable and dry."
"Just come out Tori."
"I don't want to."
She sighed and grumbled. "Fine, bum hole. I hate you."
"Naw, you love me." I laughed. She grumbled again and hung up.
A few minutes later I almost fell out of my seat because none other then Nathan Pier snuck into the booth and scared the bejeezus out of me. He laughed and ruffled my hair.
"I was sent to retrieve you, your highness." He bowed, which proved difficult because the booth was definitely not made for two people, and we were extremely close, which made me a little nervous.
"Well you can tell Ali I'm not going anywhere." I crossed my hands over my chest and stomped my foot like a five year old. Nathan just laughed at me, as per usual.
"She said not to compromise with you." I frowned, confused.
"What's the big deal anyway? I can see from here." I pointed out to him.
"Yea, but that's not part of the plan." He grinned again, taking a small step towards me in the tiny booth.
"What plan?" I narrowed my eyes at him: when he starting talking about plans, it never meant good news for me. He beckoned me forward and leaned towards my ear, cupping his hands around it. I held my breath in anticipation and…
He licked my ear.
"Eeeew!" I shoved him away and began to wipe desperately at it. He grinned at me, leaning against the back wall and watching me squirm. "You're so unbelievably gross." I ground out dangerously.
Obviously, he knew what that meant because he quickly protected his balls. I smirked at him, but he just grinned again.
"Like my balls, huh?" He laughed. I poked my tongue out at him, which just served to make him laugh harder. Seems as though I'm just an object of amusement to him and pretty much everyone in my grade.
We both suddenly looked out the little window as Harry got back on his crate to make another announcement.
"Thanks for coming, folks. We'll just be another few minutes: our stars are still getting ready. Hang in there, and to Nate, if you can hear me, get a bloody move on mate." Everyone laughed and I looked over at Nathan sceptically.
"You're the special act?" I watched as he grinned sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck.
"Actually, we're the special act." He said, indicating who 'we' were with his hand just in case I'm really as stupid as I look.
"What?" I said quietly, trying to sound intimidating but only managing to prove just how scared that statement made me feel.
"You know, you," He pointed to me, "and me," he pointed to himself, "are the surprise." He said slowly, as though I was dumb. So I'm a little clueless, but I'm not that stupid. I would've told him just that but as it was all I could do was swallow nervously.
"Na-ah. I'm not getting back on that thing if it's the last thing I do." He grinned, obviously remembering his genius ways last time. I crossed my arms over my chest and tried to look peeved.
"Come on, Tori. It'll be fun."
"I'll be on it too…"
"No." He stepped forward a little.
"It's only for a few minutes."
"I don't have my swimmers." I reasoned. He stepped forward a little more.
"We've got spares." He said quietly. I squirmed a little before finally realising the reason I wasn't on there in the first place.
"I have a sprained ankle!" I said triumphantly. He smirked and took another step forward. He was very close now and the already stuffy booth became even more stuffy and hot, despite the freezing weather.
"Everyone knows you're faking." He informed me, and I swore quietly. Damn, I thought I had faked pretty well.
"It's freezing!" I say, trying to wiggle my way of this since a straight out no obviously wasn't going to work. He took another step so that there was less than a centimetre between us and smirked again.
"We can have a hot make-out session after." My eyes widened: not at his crude suggestion, but at the fact that I almost let myself say yes. I had to distract him somehow before he started whispering in my ear: there's no doubt I'd crack if he did that.
"Is this why Ali wanted me outside?" I assumed his grin meant yes. "Traitor." I grumbled.
"Is that a yes?" He asked hopefully.
"No!" I suddenly realised that if I looked at eyelevel I would me looking at his crotch because I was still siting down and he was very close. He reached a hand out to brush away my bangs and laughed.
"Did you bump your head again?" He asked quietly, amusement swimming in his eyes.
"It was Fryer's fault." I grumbled feeling my cheeks go a little pink.
"You're adorable." He said so quietly I wasn't sure I was supposed to hear it, but then he bent down and kissed the bump of my forehead, softly and sweetly. He pulled me up so that I was standing pretty much in his arms, and I blushed again, turning my head slightly so he couldn't see. "But," he said into my ear, "adorable or not, you're getting on that dunk machine."
I started to protest but he swooped me up bridal style and squeezed us out the tiny door.
"Nathan! Put me down!" I struggled in his arms but damn he was strong. I was wriggling and kicking with all my might but all he did was laugh and tighten his grip a little more.
"Here they come, ladies and gentlemen!" Harry announced, pointing at the two of us. Everyone turned around and immediately started laughing, as per usual whenever they see me. Apparently I looked funny trying to get out of Nathan's arms.
"Nathan!" I tried again, pleading this time. He looked down at me and smiled kindly.
"What's up, babe?" I blushed a little, but ignored it; now was not the time to blush.
"Please put me down. I don't want to go up there." I whispered desperately. "Please don't make me. Please!" But he just grinned, so I started kicking again.
Eventually we got to the ladder and everyone cheered, delighted to have last year's entertainment back. Part of me was happy that they would rather me than Cassie, but another part was just angry that they were forcing me into this. And of course, there was the fear: I did not want to relive last time.
Nathan put me down and I immediately started to run, but he stopped me by picking me up easily and propping me on the first rung. He put a hand on both railings, trapping me on the ladder. I looked over my shoulder and down at him and scowled. He raised his eyebrows.
"Nice ass." He said, staring pointedly straight ahead where my ass was currently in his face. I blushed and quickly ran up the ladder, eager to get away from his perverted eyes. Then I cursed because I realised he'd managed to get me to the top. He laughed even harder.
"Aren't you meant to be on the other one?" I questioned, still looking for a way out of this. He hesitated, then started to climb the same one I was on. "What are doing?" I asked nervously. He grinned, again, and it made my insides squirm like worms, or maybe jelly.
"Well I can't go to the other one, or you'll run away. So we'll just do this one together." He laughed at my look of sorrow. "Why so blue, Tori? This way, my hot bod will keep you warm all the way down."
"Looks they're gonna do it together folks!" Harry then turned and whispered something to Ali, the traitor, who I had recently de-ranked to something lower than a not-friend. She looked shocked, but nodded. Then she got this really evil look on her face and whispered something back to Harry.
The crowd was loving it, even though they didn't know what was going on. Harry stood up abruptly and shook his head firmly. Ali cackled, grabbed his arm, and dragged him over to the other Dunk 'em machine. He was too shocked to resist and before anyone knew what was happening, the two of them were up the ladder and waiting.
Ali snatched the megaphone away from Harry and started to explain. "Okay, everyone! Separate into two groups: one in front of me, the amazing Ali McBea and one in front of the famous Tori Milestone." Harry and Nathan scowled at having been left out of the introductions, and everyone in the crowd, excited beyond belief, separated somewhat evenly.
"Okay," Ali continued, "it's a race to see which team can dunk their representatives first!" Everyone cheered, and it was about this time that I realised I still had my school uniform on. In fact, we all still had our uniforms on.
I looked to Nathan desperately. "I'm still wearing clothes!" I whispered. He laughed.
"Well, you could always take them off; I'm not complaining." He eyed me hungrily, placing his hands on my hips and leading me towards the seat, which we would somehow have to share.
On the other machine, Harry seemed just as reluctant as me and Ali was evidently having a hard time dragging him towards the edge. I tried one last time to reason with Nathan's conscience.
"Please don't make me!" He smirked; I concluded that Nathan Pier did not have a conscience. Although, I probably should have figured that out ages ago. Realising we were almost at the seat and I had barely resisted on account of the fact that he was very close and his hands were tracing lazy circles on my back, I started to whine instead: after all, it's what I do best. "I don't want to go!" I pouted, and Nathan laughed.
"You really are adorable." I flushed pink as he led me to the seat and somehow manoeuvred us so that I was sitting on his lap. He wrapped his arms around me, just below my breasts, and kissed my neck gently. "Don't worry, I'll be right here the whole time."
For some reason, that made me feel slightly better about the whole thing and I found myself telling him not to let go. He laughed quietly and kissed my jaw. I turned my head towards him just as Ali, who had Harry sitting nervously on her lap, shouted for everyone to start throwing, and he kissed my lips lightly.
I kissed back, and he started kissing harder, turning me slightly in his arms and nipping by bottom lip. I reached one hand up to run it through his hair, and the cheering, laughing, excited crowd faded into the background. I barely even heard Ali scream as she and Harry fell into the water with a large splash.
When Dean Smith, the baseball captain, stepped up to our machine and picked up a ball, I didn't even notice. And when the seat tipped and we started to fall, all I could think about was how good a kisser Nathan Pier was.
He kept his promise and didn't let go, dragging me up to the surface for a breath where he kissed me again, gently brushing my hair away from my face.
I did, however, notice when the principal practically pulled us out of the water and dragged us to her office, where Harry and Ali were already waiting. I also very clearly remember the part where she suspended us for a week for reckless and unsafe behaviour that disrespected our school and set a bad example, not only for the younger students, but also for the potential students and their parents who were very likely running over to our rival high school right now.
I also remember the part where mum grounded me for a month. I blamed Nathan for it all, but he didn't seem to care since I wasn't following up my blame with a kick in the balls anymore.
I also remember the part where Nathan snuck over to my place during our suspension, while my parents were at work, and we snuggled on the couch and watch movies all day.
Suspensions aren't as bad as the sound, apparently.