Okay so this isn't an actual update of the story. I've just rewritten it to suit my liking. Nonetheless, I hope you guys like this chapter as much as I do. Don't forget to R&R. Have an amazing night!
I've heard stories about people who have written books about the simplest things and made millions off of it. How they started out as regular people who spent eight hours of their day, five days a week, in school or at their full time jobs, and then went home and wrote about it. How they would burst in through the front door of their house or apartment, brush a quick kiss on their mother's or girlfriend's cheek, and settle down in that large leather chair in front of their computer screen and just type away. And that was kind of what happened to me.
Only instead of sitting on a plush leather coach across from Oprah Winfrey or Ellen DeGeneres talking about what a crazy roller coaster my life had become because of my new-found fame or sitting in my seat on a plane destined to take me to L.A. for the biggest book signing of my career, I was stuck spending six hours a day on Saturdays at the library. I know what most people think: what a boring job. But truth of the matter is that it really isn't. At least, not in this library. It's too bad that they didn't give out diplomas for what a person learned at the library because in all honesty, I could graduate with honors and a scholarship. No, really. Since I started working here, I had to say that I'm an expert at what went on around here.
So why would a 17-almost-18-year-old girl want to work at a library you ask? Simple. When you found yourself in a tight synch where your best friend standing at your left jabbering away into her cell phone or your mother at your right wondering if she should leave the Honey Nut Cheerios or the Raisin Bran behind, you started to realize things. Two weeks ago, as I stood in front of the Smith's cashier digging through my purse for extra change, the sudden realization hit me like a ton of bricks. I needed a job. So here I am working the information desk on Saturdays with my butt going numb in my chair for six hours earning fourteen bucks for each one of those long, excruciating hours.
And if you did the math in your head…yeah, that is some good money I was making.
Why was I working from ten in the morning to four in the afternoon? Another simple question: because I had nothing better to do when I wasn't writing about the things that I watch happen in my everyday life.
Most girls had things going for them; they had to get up early and make it to school just so they had time to make out with their sex-driven boyfriends in the back of their father's new car, spend half an hour crowded in a bathroom where you had to bust out your claws and fight with the other girls just to use the bathroom and snatch a spot in front of the three lengthy mirrors to apply ten pounds of makeup, and finally decide to go to class. Twenty minutes after the first bell had rung.
And that was just their morning routine. Hard to believe right? Afterwards was lunch where they went arm-in-arm with their hubbies and popularity-starving friends to the cafeteria where they would simply sit down, toss a twenty to one of the awkward, acne-ridden freshman, and demand that they go buy them a pizza while they sit at their tables loudly guffawing and jabbering. Once it was time to ditch the classrooms and go, where do you think they went? Bingo. The Dana Mall where they got into their size 2 uniforms and stood around pretending to work while they just filed away at their nails or squawked on their fancy new iPhones.
Don't get me wrong; I am not a hater. I'm just not a fan of girls like that. There is nothing wrong with spending your weekends working at the library instead of having sex with Nobel High's star quarterback in his parents' bedroom during one of his infamous weekend rendezvous. Festivities of which I was never invited to simply because Brendon McAllister and I hated each other. Not that I wanted to be caught dead showing my face and wasting my time at one of his stupid parties. I mean, as far as I know the following always happened: (1) everybody always drank and/or popped pills irresponsibly, (2) everybody always ended making out with their hubbies or complete strangers without realizing it, (3) someone always had to pick a fight with someone else, (4) the police showed up to bust everybody and this always resulted in sobs or threats when the parents are called.
Ugh. Honesty, it was people like Brendon that really made my blood boil. You know those guys: tall, burly, and blue-eyed. The all-American type with an ego bigger then the state of Texas; the kind of guy who purposely showed up late to class just because he knew that it would tick the teacher off, the guy that had all the girls at school drooling over him and shooting daggers at the girl unfortunate enough to date him, and the guy who made all the guys step aside to let him through in the halls with grudging respect. Simply the 'I-can-get-any-girl-I-want-when-I-want-her' kind of guy. The kind of guy, according to certain books that I've read, that indicate a sort of self-esteem problem underneath all that arrogant and conceited bravado that showed on the exterior.
Oh god. Speak of the freakin' devil himself.
He stood there, hands tucked into the pockets of his torn, dirt-stained skinny jeans; a haughty grin playing on the corners of his lips. He paused at the door and glanced around the nearly empty library with one arm draped over the shoulders of an anorexic blonde, who was cooing something into his ear that made him laugh. I groaned aloud and dropped my head in my hands. Good lord what bad luck I have. Honesty. I couldn't get through one day of work without having to run into this pathetic excuse of a person now could I? I sighed and raked my hand through my tangled ringlets of thick, mouse brown hair. Brendon never stepped into a library unless it was to torment me somehow for being the only girl in this whole entire world that wasn't stupid enough to fall for the lame pick up lines and the overly greasy hair. He finally spotted me all the way across the library (as if he didn't know I was there) and sauntered toward me, the small grin turning sinister and resembling that of a Cheshire cat.
Here we go, I thought glumly. Keep your cool Julie. "Hey Jules," Bryant called out casually and waved. "How's it goin'?"
I glanced down at my computer screen and pretended to look busy. This is just part of the game: he'd come in and wave casually, get close and try to strike up a conversation, start pushing my buttons because he knew that I couldn't stand him, and then get me in trouble with my co-workers and superior because I blew up and yelled at him. Did I mention that he always had to have a girl draped on his arm to try to show me what it is that I was 'missing' by not wanting to go out with him? Pathetic right?
"Hey Bryant," I grumbled through gritted teeth as I let my fingers fly over the keyboard, randomly hitting the keys. "I'm good thank you. And yourself?"
"Fine," He replied coolly and raked a hand through his messy light brown locks. "Just fine. I want to introduce you to my new girlfriend, Desiree."
Oh please. Like I didn't know that he spend hours in front of his bathroom mirror trying to get his hair to look like he didn't care enough to do anything with it when he actually spent more time then I did fussing over it. And as for this Desiree…I glanced up at her and smiled as wide as I could. She looked as orange as a traffic cone and I could totally tell that she had blonde extensions in her hair. If she was going to wear that, then she could at least put it in right.
"Hello Desiree," I said in a sickly sweet voice. "Welcome to the library."
"Uh, hi, Jenny," Desiree said in the same kind of voice before she rolled his eyes and wrapped her bony arms around Brendon's waist.
"Julie," I said and clenched my teeth together to maintain the smile on my face. "My name is Julie. It says so on my name tag. Look."
I pushed my chest forward to reveal the square sticker that was stuck to the front of my blouse.
"Oh wow Des," Brendon said and ran his fingers through his hair, clearly pretending to look bored. "No tits."
Desiree and I blinked in unison. Then she burst out laughing and lightly swatted his shoulder. "Oh you!" she said through fits of forced hysterical giggles.
My face grew warm. He did not just say that to me. Stupid, cocky, low self-esteemed jerk. Bryant laughed along at his own joke, but his eyes didn't shift away from my face. Oh no they didn't. I took a deep breath to keep myself from flying off the handle. There was no way I would lose control today. But how could I not? Brendon knew how to push my buttons and I couldn't do anything but sit here and take it.
Don't lose control, don't lose control, don't lose control….
"Ha-ha," I said and curled my hands into fists in my lap. "Good one Brendon. So what can I do for you?"
"Oh nothing really," he said and sat down on the edge of my desk. He picked the INFORMATION DESK tag up with one hand and played with it.
I took a deep breath and smiled. "Well you can't be here if you don't need help," I hissed under my breath. "So beat it and don't come back."
"Aw, come on, Jules," he pleaded and then leaned over and ruffled my hair. "Don't get mad, get glad."
Desiree burst into another hysterical jag of laughter. I rolled my hands and slapped his filthy hands away. Really? She was laughing? What was so funny about quoting a stupid garbage bag commercial? Was this girl really that dumb?
"I'm. Not. Mad," I snapped, then quickly lowered my voice so no one else could hear me. "So take your Daisy Duke and beat it. I have work to do."
"Sitting in a chair in a boring library all day is hardly work, Jules," Brendon replied and flung the tag back on the desk.
"Oh? And you would know what work is?" I challenged. "You've never even had a job! What the heck do you know?"
I knew that I was being stupid, but so what? This stupid jerk was trying to get me fired because I wasn't into him. I had just as much right as anybody to get upset, didn't I?
"Well, I know that it's not work if there is no one around in need of your services," he said and winked at me. I shivered.
"You don't know anything," I growled. "So why don't you go and get a job before you come talk to me about what work is all about instead of sitting around shoving your tongue down this dumb girl's throat and depending on mommy and daddy to give you gas money!"
Brendon recoiled as if I'd slapped him. This, however, earned me a murderous glare from Desiree, and an unblinking stare from Miranda, the girl from the front desk.
"Shut your mouth, Julie." He leaned forward and narrowed his deep blue eyes into slits. "You don't know what you're talking about."
I leaned forward and returned the glare. "Aw, did the whittleboy get offended? Stop. Living. Off. Your. Parents. You. Pathetic. Excuse. Of. A. Man." I leaned forward even more so that our noses were touching. Mental note: shower when I get home. I'd just made skin contact with this filthy cockroach.
"You better watch what you say to me,bitch," Brendon hissed and pressed his forehead into mine. I could smell barbequed chicken on his breath. "If you know what's good for you."
"And you better get out of here and let me do my job, mama's boy," I retorted hotly. "If you know what's good for you."
Okay, so right now I was just talking, but it seemed the perfect thing to say. I mean, come on. Wouldn't any girl in my position jump at a chance to leave her worse enemy and the biggest scum of the Earth looking stupid in front of his half-brained girlfriend?
"You're nothing but a pathetic, useless, loser who needs to make other people feel like crap in order to feel loved yourself. You don't get attention at home so you have to use every single trick in the book just to get everybody, no anybody, to even look at you twice or so much as give you the time of day."
I shot out of my chair and grabbed him roughly by the collar of his shirt. "You may have everyone here fooled Brendon, but not me. I'm no fool nor am I blind so I would suggest that you pick your enemies wisely, you stupid jerk. I am not your mother. I. Will. Not. Put. Up. With. Your. Crap. Got. It?"
I was breathing heavily by the time I was finished. Desiree looked like she'd just seen a ghost by the way the color had drained visibly from her face underneath her tan. Did I mention that she was shaking? Brendon, on the other hand, looked flat-out pissed; nostrils flared, eyes narrowed into thin lines, heavily rising and falling heavily. His fists trembled at his sides and his mouth was set in a menacing snarl, making him look like a ferocious dog. I still had him by the collar of his shirt, but I didn't dare let go. Not when I was close enough to punch him in his ugly face.
"You'll pay for this, Jules," he said and shoved me away from him. "Don't you worry."
I fell back against my chair, but glared up at him defiantly. Why did I have a bad feeling that my 'paying for it' would cost me my job?
"Let's go Des," he snarled and roughly grabbed his bewildered girlfriend by the arm. "Leave this bitch and her books be."
I clung to the arms of my chair to keep from leaping over the desk and attacking him.Keep calm, I told myself as Brendon shot me a final glare before stomping away like the big baby that he was, dragging a pale-faced Desiree with him. She looked too stunned and confused to say anything. Not that I felt bad for her anyway. It was her fault for being one of the stupid girls who would even bother going out with trash like that in the first place.
But instead of leaving like I expected him to, he paused in front of Miranda at the front desk by the sliding double doors.
Lord, I thought and scowled. That jerk just doesn't quit, does he?
"Excuse me," he snapped. "I would like to file a complaint against that ugly sack of shit over there for…"
I didn't get to hear what he was saying because I met the very angry stare of my superior Lillian.
"Coming," I moaned as scooped my purse off the floor before I let out a huge sigh and made my way across the library towards my boss's office.
"I just don't understand why you let him get to you so much," my best friend Brenna said as I approached my mother's pale blue minivan in the parking lot. I paused and held my phone to my ear with one hand as I use the other to dig through the contents of my purse for my keys. She wasn't seriously saying this was she? I mean, I know that I shouldn't pay any attention to Brendon and his childish attempts of trying to make my life a living hell, but come on now. I couldn't help it if he knew how to push my buttons. On top of that, he always did so in places where he knew I couldn't defend myself properly. So then what was I supposed to do? Accept this like a slice of apple pie?
I sighed in frustration. Now where are the keys? Could this afternoon be any worse?
"Look Jules," Kendra said as I grumpily slammed the purse down on the hood of the car and ferociously dug through it again for the third time. "Did it ever occur to you that Brendon torments you as he does simply because he likes you?"
I froze in place. Brendon McAllister? The Brendon 'Boogeyman' McAllister? The same guy that had devoted his life to making mine miserable since 7th grade? The same guy who stole my lunch and replaces it with rolls of dirty gym socks a year later? That wicked boy having feelings for me? I think Brenna must be smoking something. Who in their right mind would say something like that to me about Brendon?
"You're completely deluded Brenna. You know that?" I snapped. "What a disgusting thing to say!"
"What are you so offended for?" Brenna growled. "Good or bad, Brendon is one of the hottest guys in school these days and the fact that he may like you disgusts you?"
She scoffed into the receiver. "There's something wrong with you Jules."
I scowled. What, now I was crazy for finding my bully repulsive? This was supposed to be my best friend here!
"Well, excuse me if I find the idea of my childhood tormentor having feelings for me to be sickening after the things that he's done to me!" I growled. "And there's nothing wrong with me for thinking it!"
"That was back in middle school Jules. We're seniors in high school now. Besides, it is possible. I read somehow in 4USTEENS magazine that when a guy likes a girl—"
"Brenna!" I barked and slammed my hand down on the hood. "I don't care about what your stupid magazines say! And how cares? Seniors or not, he's still out to make my life hell! So tell me now what that dumb crap you read says about that?"
Good lord where are those keys? Mom will freak if I'm not home on time for her to go to work. I heard Brenna huff on the other side of the phone. Ugh. Not this again. When would this girl understand that real life wasn't like one of her beloved Romance films? Not all bad boys harass a girl because he may have feelings for her? That he wasn't going to become my Prince Charming just because he was rich, popular, and good-looking? Well not in this fairytale. Eew. Who needed a guy like that anyway?
"There's something seriously wrong with you, Julie," she replied. "You should head to a doctor and get that checked."
I felt my mouth slowly drop open as my brain absorbed each terrible word and their heinous definitions. A sudden surge of anger swam throughout the veins of my body. So now I was crazy for not wanting to have anything with my current bully? Oh how this world has lost its common sense.
"Well, excuse me for finding the idea of this loser having feelings for me to be a bit disgusting and asinine! I expected you to understand my position in this—"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Calm down Julie! I was just kidding!" Brenna interjected in a frightened tone. "Chill out a second. Of course I understand where you're coming from!"
My face suddenly flushed with embarrassment. There I go again. Maybe it is time I find a new job. Or maybe I was a people person.
"Sorry," I mumbled. Brenna sighed heavily into my ear. "It's fine," she said. "But I can't talk anymore. I'm looking for something."
"Looking for what?" I asked and leaned against the van.
"Your marbles because you've clearly lost them," she replied with a light laugh. I rolled my eyes at the lame joke.
"Ha-ha," I said. "I'll talk to you later. I have to find my keys and get home before five or I'm seriously in for it. Mom will throw a fit if she's late for work because of me again."
Brenna chuckled. "Okay then. I'll see you later. And remember that he's an insecure pest. You won't have to deal with him after we graduate anyways, Jules. See you."
"Right. See you." I sighed and leaned forward to examine the ground. Oh lord. Did I drop them on my way out? I could have sworn I had them in Lillian's office when she was practically yelling at me for yelling at a visitor. I lowered myself to my knees and looked around. But I would've heard them fall if I'd dropped them right? What if I didn't find them? How would I get home in time? Worse, how would I explain this to mom of all people? She'll have my head on a—
"Are you looking for these?" a voice asked from somewhere above me.
I jumped and quickly spun around on my hands and knees. I recognized that voice anywhere.
"Get them back to me!" I screeched as I jumped to my feet and lurched forward. Brendon laughed and twisted out of my reach. He jingled my keys in his hands. Seriously? Why did I have to put up with this all the time?
"Aww don't cry Jules!" Brendon jeered as he slowly approached me. I scowled at him and balled my hands into tight fists.
"I'm not crying you idiot!" I spat out through gritted teeth. "First you nearly get me fired and now you go ahead and steal my keys? You're such a jerk!"
In that moment, Brendon's arrogant grin faded. His features twisted into a deep grimace an his body seemed to stiffen as he loomed over my five-foot-eight frame. His breathing came out in slow, ragged breath through flared nostrils. I narrowed my eyes at him. What, now he was angry at me? What did he have anything to be upset about anyways?
"I didn't steal your stupid keys," he howled in a deep, menacing voice.
"And I'm supposed to believe you, you thief?" I hissed venomously. I took a step closer. "How do you have them if you didn't steal them? I don't remember giving them to you."
Brendon returned my glare with one of his own. "I saw you drop them when you came out of the stupid library, idiot."
I rolled my eyes in annoyance. "You don't really think I'm gonna believe you do you?"
"You're such a bitch," he snarled and shoved me backwards. I gasped as I stumble back on my heels and into the van. With a infuriated yell, he chucked the keys at my head and stocked off in the opposite direction before I could say anything else.
I gaped after him. Did he seriously just push me and call me a bitch? And what in heaven's name had I done to deserve it? Who should be pushing who?
"Argh! You're such a jerk!" I called after him. With that, I hastily got into the van and drove off without a second look back.