Title: Redemption, formerly known as Unlikely Pair.
Authors: TheUnholyCollaboration, AKA Mackenzie Anderson and Crazywriter. Please see favorites under profile to access.
Warnings: This contains several lesbian relationships, as well as strong themes of homosexuality as early as junior high. Other warnings will posted as seen necessary.
Part I: In the Beginning.
Chapter 1: Different
Anna Point of View
My name is Anna.
My teachers say that's a horrible way to start a story. Well, my story is pretty horrible… not in composition mind you, but it's certainly not happy.
So my name is Anna, Anna Hathaway.
I'm different and I can say, well by gum, I always knew I was different then the other little girls. It didn't really matter with whom I played house or who I was watching at the beach. I was different, but I didn't know why.
I guess Mother and Father knew it too, which is why they tried so hard especially those last few months to show they loved me.
I'm the kind of girl that your mother would want you to bring home. I wear skirts and I'm quiet, not threatening at all. In fact, I'm the kind of girl most guys would marry, I remind them of their mothers.
Too bad guys, I'm a dyke.
But I'm getting ahead of myself, I tend to do that. I guess this story starts in October, in eighth grade. It starts in history class.
I was just sitting there, reading quietly to myself… the book was The Beach, by Alex Garland… the last line struck me…
I carry a lot of scars.
That's a good summary for my book… because I carry a lot of scars.
I jumped to attention as the bell rang and my classmates rushed to their seats. Slackers, even back then I knew that. The teacher sauntered to the front of the room, it was apparent he didn't want to be there. I don't blame him, underpaid middle school teacher.
I sat ready to take notes, I'm an eager student I always have been. Father used to laugh and say no teacher could devise a system to keep me from learning.
"The Civil War," he droned, "Or the War Between the States…"
The girl next to me interrupted my learning. It's not that I disliked her at that time, it's that I despised her. The Bible says shouldn't judge, but I judged her.
She was loud, obnoxious and rude. She was babbling about some guy and his ski chalet or something like that.
"Can you be quiet?"
I rolled my eyes, clenched my jaw and returned to my notes. Oh well, I remind myself, in ten years you'll be making a lot of money and she'll be a pregnant drug addict. That's what Mother says about those kinds of people.
Those people. I laugh at that now, because I know better now. There aren't these people, and those people and them. There are just people. I'm just people. So was she.
"And to better illustrate this part of the war, I will divide you into groups and you will come up with creative ways to teach both yourselves and your classmates about a section of this intriguing time in American history."
A few hands shot up. He rolled his eyes, "No, you may not choose your groups." The hands came down.
He walked up and down the aisles, telling people whom they would work with. He paused in front of me. "Anna, you're with Diella." I glanced at the girl next to me. She smiled too sweetly, the kind you'd call a smirk.
"Do you know anything about the battle of Gettysburg?" I asked her, I suppose I was condescending.
If she answered, I didn't hear it. I was too busy mourning my grade. Still some little voice inside me grinned and pushed me.
"Go for it," My inner voice whispered, "Expand your horizons!"
I don't like my inner voice.
Diella point of View
"The Battle of what?" I asked sweetly, deciding to play along. It was obvious Anna already had me pegged as a dumb snob; I might as well have a little fun with her. Prep. Snob. Bitch. Those were the three most commonly used words to describe me. Flattering, huh? Though truth be told, I preferred being known as dangerous and best to be avoided than as someone who's easily pushed or worse, unpopular. It seemed to everyone else that I was perfect, with the perfect life, with the perfect family.
Let's not go there. I guess it was easier to believe that, though, than to admit that the most popular girl in school had it rough. I mean, if you can't depend on me to be happy, then who can be? Surely not an unpopular geek. But then again, I could have been wrong….
She glared at me. "You've got to be kidding me." I laughed, thoroughly amused, and she looked ready to slap me.
"Calm down," I advised. "Of course I do. My mom's a major civil war buff."
She looked skeptical, and I rolled my eyes. "Look, you can believe me or not, but if you want a good grade on this, I think you should. I may look stupid, but I'm not." She snickered, and I resisted the urge to storm out of the room.
She looked at my face and nodded. "Okay. So when should we get together to work on it?"
"My house, this afternoon?" I suggested. She hesitated, but agreed.
It was kind of weird. I studied her for a moment, and was struck by how pretty she was. Blinking, I banished the thought. Where the hell did that come from? Homos are just… sick. Gay people just aren't right.
She gave me a weird look as I blushed slightly and looked away.
"Idiot," I muttered to myself, still red. Again, that odd look as if I was totally off the wall. Which, of course, I was.
Later that day, I met up with my boyfriend, Brendan, in the hall. "Hey baby," he greeted me as I walked up to him.
I forced a smile as he kissed me on the cheek. "Hey Bren," I responded, taking his hand.
It seemed almost routine by now, monotonous and dull. I was tired of it, but it wasn't like there was anything I could do about it. After all, what's the most popular girl in school without a boyfriend? A nothing. Nada. Zip. It was hard enough maintaining this status for three years even with a boyfriend. As stupid as it sounded, being popular was just… a part of me. And I wasn't going to sacrifice that.
After school came too soon. Anna's mother dropped her off a few minutes after I arrived home, and we stared at each other awkwardly for a few minutes before actually saying anything.
"So, we should get started," I suggested.
She nodded. "Yep."
"Any ideas?" I asked, walking into the spacious living room.
"Are your parents going to be home?" she asked casually.
I shook my head, a bit uncomfortable. "They're on a business trip. I have the house to myself this week."
She looked surprised. "They left you alone?"
I shrugged. "Yeah. They trust me," I lied. I knew the real reason was because they couldn't care less about me. I almost suspected that they'd be happy if they came home from one of their many business trips and I wasn't there. Of course, that was off, because we were a happy family…
She raised an eyebrow, skeptical. "I wish my parents did that."
I resisted the urge to make a sarcastic comment, and shrugged again. "It's alright, I guess."
"Can we just work on the project," I interrupted, not wanting to talk about my family life.
She studied me for a minute, then nodded, an inexplicable look on her face. "Sure," she said.