I’m sitting in my usual corner in the far back, trying to avoid all eye contact and social interaction. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that I don’t like these people. Everyone in this school is vain and rude. For the past 3 years, I have been the subject of bullying and rude comments until they all realized I seemed to be immune to their hormone-charged words. Eventually, I became invisible to everyone.
The door opens and Mr. Crossers walks in saying the customary greeting and starting the daily attendance. When he doesn’t say my name, I can feel my anxiety peak knowing I will have to raise my hand and let him know he skipped me. Mr. Crossers then looks at me strangely, looking back down at his sheet and looking back at me before clearing his throat.
“Ms. Besik, are you sure you are in the right class?”
“I’m fairly certain,” I say.
Reaching into my backpack, I pull out the class schedule I printed last week. I look over it quickly and sure enough; I am where I am supposed to be.
“It says right here I’m in your class,” I verify as I hold up my schedule. He hobbles his short stature to the back where I am seated and takes it nicely from my hand.
“This is from last week.” He responds and I can feel my face pale in embarrassment.
“You should head to the office and check if your schedule was updated.” He hands my class schedule back and turns to walk away, pausing slightly.
“We both know you should be in AP English, Faith. Perhaps you got moved to that class.” I nod at him politely and pack up my belongings and head to the office, my mind whirling.
I walk down the empty hallway looking at the blue linoleum tiles trying to understand why my classes had been changed. Shouldn’t I have at least been informed if they had changed my class? Like a phone call or heck even an email? Something? I had this whole year mapped out perfectly and now my plans are being thrown through a loop. And why? Who thinks they can just mess with my schedule and not-
I cut my internal griping session short when I walk directly into someone and bounce into a locker with a quiet ‘oof’. My head hits hard on the gray metal lockers, bouncing off and back into the chest of the person I had run into. Rubbing my head, I look up to apologize and gulp hard.
“Shit. I’m sorry, I-”
“Wasn’t paying attention?” He finishes for me, annoyed.
“Yeah.” I walk down the hall backward. “I -uh- I’m sorry. I hope your chest is, erm, ok?” Am I stuttering? Why am I so embarrassed?
“It’s fine- Uh are you new here?” He asks, smiling sweetly suddenly. And internally I die a little. I have talked to Cameron Davis 3 times. We’ve been in the same grade since I can remember and we’ve had a minimum of 3 classes together for the past 3 years. He is the school’s hottest senior, insanely smart, and easily the best at sports because, of course, he is. Not only that, but his family is filthy rich. I heard that one of his great great grandparents invented the toaster. I’m not sure how true that is, but the point is he is old money. Which means there’re loads of it.
“Uh nope,” I drawl.
“Are you sure? I feel like I would have at least seen you once before if you’ve been here” he sticks his hands in his pocket. If he weren’t so frustrating, his insanely dark brown eyes would be tantalizing, but either his terrible memory or complete lack of social ineptitude is completely off-putting.
“Yeah, I think I would know if I was new,” I say snarkier than I was expecting, but also mildly impressed with the emotion I was putting out there. Go me.
“Have we...” He points to me and back to him, raising his brow in question and I scoff at him,
“Yeah, definitely not.” I instantly feel guilty about my attitude. “Sorry. I’m just not used to talking to people like you.” His brow goes up in piqued interest.
“Oh yeah? People like me, how?” He smiles sweetly as he takes a step closer and it clicks. Oh, my gosh. Is he coming on to me?
“Well, I mean look at you” I motion to him, pointing to his ensemble.
His watch alone costs more than my car in the parking lot. He smiles, pleased, and I make a face at him. He clearly doesn’t know that I’m insinuating that he is a rich snob.
“Oh yeah? Impressed?” He smirks and I just stare at him in awe.
I thought everyone said he was smart. Like I’m pretty sure he is a straight-A student, but he is not getting the right vibe here.
“Not really.” I say grimacing “You aren’t really my type.”
“Hot, ripped, and smart isn’t your type?” he asks, sounding cocky.
“That’s not what I said. Cocky, arrogant, and filthy rich aren’t my type.” Again, he chuckles and shakes his head, flashing me a melt-worthy smile. “Well, this chat has been nice. Can’t wait to reintroduce myself for the 5th time in a couple of years. Have a glorious life, Cameron.” I say as I scurry away from him as fast as I can.
I rush down the hall, heading for the office. Internally I’m beating myself for almost finding his smile handsome. I turn the corner, lost in my head, and almost run into another person. Stopping just in time to not run over Angela.
“Mother of-! Why are you just standing there like a creep?” I say, looking at her, stunned. My hand flies up to cover my mouth before something else falls out.
Angela is Cameron’s girlfriend. Okay, she is only kind of his girlfriend. He gets to do what he wants, well, more like WHO he wants. Angela gets the girlfriend title and they are both happy. I assume. Ugh, rich people shenanigans I guess? Or maybe it’s just stupid hot people shenanigans. Either way, I want no part in any of said shenanigans.
“I don’t know who you are.” She says angrily and I roll my eyes. I do a fantastic job of being invisible, apparently. “But stay away from Cammy.” I stifle a laugh and she breathes fury in a high-pitched huff. “I’m serious!”
“Ok. I’ll stay away. It’ll be hard, but because you asked me nicely, away I will stay.” I say, my words dripping with sarcasm.
“Really?” she asks me skeptically.
“Yes really. I don’t want him.”
“Everyone wants him.” She says, looking at me skeptically, and I sigh.
“Angela, you know he sleeps around, right? Not necessarily a winning quality.” She looks at me and smiles.
“Yes, I am well aware of the terms of our relationship.”
“Wait, so he can sleep with anyone he wants, but I’m the exception? What did I do to earn such a privilege?” I ask, mildly impressed that I’ve made enough of an impression to not be approved of for fornicating with the top fornicator at the school.
She rolls her eyes and motions to my outfit. And I look down at my vintage Pink Floyd band T-shirt that was once my uncles. And shrug.
“You’re below us. His being with you would lower the standards. It would be like bringing a hot dog to a BBQ. Do you get it now?” she drags her eyes over my body in disgust.
I, however, am still stuck on what she just said. I look at her, stunned. What kind of rich are these people that they don’t have hotdogs at BBQs?
“Uh” I stutter out still trying to understand what the hell kind of BBQ she goes to. “I’m sorry but- what do you guys eat at BBQs then?” I ask.
I squeeze my eyes shut, hoping that when I open them, I will realize I’m in some messed-up dream. A bark of laughter erupts from behind me, and I groan, annoyed. I turn to find exactly who I expected. Cameron, leaning against the wall, looking handsome and amused.
“We eat whatever we want,” he says tauntingly as he saunters towards me with hungry eyes. “But she’s right, you aren’t in our league.” He stops once he is toe to toe looking down at me.
“Right.” I am shocked and completely confused about what the hell the topic of conversation is.
“Well, I’ll stick to my BBQ’s and you all can enjoy yours then. Not sure why you think I actually care,” I say, moving away from him.
I take a step backward and turn to walk away, mumbling under my breath. Walking much more carefully and at a manageable speed, I finally make my way to the office. Thankfully, no more accidents occur along the way. I take a seat waiting inside the office, looking out the window to pass the time and I can see Cameron and Angela pass by carrying on a pretty heated conversation and I blow out some air, glad that I don’t have to deal with them again.
“Ms. Besik, come on in!” Ms. Gardener says. I stand and follow her into her tiny gray cubicle and take a seat in the faded wooden chair across from her. “Ok, so it looks like you got moved to AP English. I’m not sure why you didn’t get notified. It is strange. Let me see. Ah yes! It looks like we sent you an email the day it happened.” she says clacking on the computer keys.
I look at her, confused, and try to think hard about receiving any emails.
“I’m sorry, could you give me the email they sent it to?”
“Sure, give me just a moment. Ok, here it is,” she says as she swirls the computer around, showing me an email that is most definitely not mine. I stare at it, stunned for a moment, before repeating it under my breath as I try to commit it to memory.
“I must be stressed, I don’t remember, but I guess I have the grades to take it so might as well.”
“We had another person switch at the last minute too, so I think with the 2 of you it’s a full class.” She smiles.
“Oh well, cool,” I say as I stand up and grab my bag. “Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.’’
Seriously, what kind of day is this, and who the hell had the email Annoymous352?
I find Mia waiting for me right where we had planned and sneaking up on her. I give her side a poke, making her jump. “Freaking Faith!”, She reaches out to jab me, and I shy away from her. “How’s your first day so far?” I ask her, leading her to the line. “It’s fine, but I got stood up by the person they assigned to show me around.” I look at her, confused. “Why didn’t you text me? I would have come and done it for you?” “Nah, it’s fine. I told the lady in the office and she is sending someone to show me around in like 10 minutes.” “Look at you taking initiative.” I toss an elbow to her as we get up to the food. Mia grabs the quintessential burger and fries with white milk and I reach for the salad and a soda. I have a running club starting in a week, so working on getting my body ready is sorely needed. But mostly because the running club advisor is the lunch lady, and she i
*Cameron POV* She runs from the cafeteria as if I have some incurable disease. My face still tingling where she had been so close to touching my cheek, only a thin napkin between us. I close my eyes, trying to calm my beating heart. For years I had watched her build walls around herself, erecting one after the other by ignoring the mean comments from guys angry about her lack of attention to them. Each year she sank further and further from the spotlight and every year I yearned more and more for what she had, invisibility. But this year, when she slammed into me, it was like an emotional barrier falling away as I got lost in her snarky comments and deep green eyes. My life is grand if you like snotty people who like your family’s name and wealth more than you as a person. I’m surrounded by a world of shallow people who use fame and money like it’s the cure-all. And often it is. But money can’t fix a broken relationship. It can’t
*Faith POV* My phone sits on the kitchen table vibrating relentlessly as we eat dinner and I happily ignore the phone calls that are going to voicemail. Mom, who is sitting across from me, is staring as I twirl my spaghetti and spear a meatball, shoveling it in my mouth and moving quickly onto my garlic bread. I can see her nudge Mia in my peripheral vision, who looks up at me and sighs. Placing her fork down and crossing her arms across her chest. I look up at them as I swallow what’s in my mouth. It’s times like these when they are both cross with me that they seem to look similar. Though Mia is more of an exotic beauty, gifted to her by her deceased father, she and my mother have the same slim face shape and stick straight dark hair. And when they both are sitting in this position, even their sour looks seem to be identical. I groan in annoyance and place my fork down and dab my face pretentiously with my napkin. “Ok. What?” I
By the time my alarm goes off at 4:45 am, I’m already fully dressed and sitting in my running gear on the end of my bed. I haven’t been able to sleep since seeing Dad for the first time. My heart and my mind are in a constant battle over forgiveness or revenge. Lately, my hormonal mind has been winning the battle as I snub him every chance I get, intentionally learning his schedule at school and how to avoid him. Running club should help. I hope so. Today is the first day and we are starting with a 5K and then hitting the weight room. I could join the track team, but the running club does all the same things without recognition. No one staring at me. No one cheering my name and drawing the spotlight on me. Just me, working my aggression out and clearing my mind. When I arrive at the track, the lights are just coming on, lighting the way, and I can feel a small smile forming. I’m far more excited than I thought I would be. Maybe I enjoy ru
I bust through the weight room doors laughing as Berry comes in just behind me. I toss my hands up in victory. “Victory is mine!” I spin to look at berry who inches closer with a suggestive smile on his face. “Ooh, Woah there buddy. Victory means a date. Not a kiss.” he chuckles loudly, tossing his head back and I’m kind of enjoy the sound. I look up at him with a grin on my face. “So that means you’ll finally go out with me?” he asks happily. “Ugh. I guess.” I roll my eyes with intense exaggeration as he wraps his muscular arms around my waist and hugs me tightly, spinning me around in a circle. “Yes!” He hoots “Freaking finally!” The door opens behind us as Mariah and Ari walk in and stop dead in their tracks, watching me come down from the spin and release myself from Berry’s arms. I clear my throat and look at Berry, who is grinning from ear to ear, and I elbow him in the gut. “So... what’s going on?” A
I was standing outside Mia’s first class waiting for her to come out to regale to her with my dubious morning. The bell had rung over 3 minutes ago and she still hadn’t come out of the room. I stepped up to the door and peeked through the little window and I could see her talking to someone of similar height. I could see her shoulders moving in a giggle and I couldn’t help but think she was getting someone’s number. My impatience gets the better of me and I rap on the window. She spins around and, seeing me, she smiles brightly, waving for me to come in. Hesitantly, I step back and open the door, peeking my head around. “Hey Mia,” I call to her “Dude, I was going to walk you to your next class and tell you all about my morning!” “Yeah, just a second, ok?” She finally turns enough out of the way for me to see that seated in front of her is a cute guy with crutches to the side. He looks familiar and I try to place him when he catche
“Are you ready for our date tonight?” Berry asks, pulling me in for a quick hug. I feel a moment of hesitation. It feels wrong to go out with him now. The only person I can think about is the mysterious hoodie guy who I haven’t seen or well heard from in over a week. I’ve finally decided I need to find out who he is, but it’s very hard to do that when there’s zero contact. “Yeah, I guess so. When are you picking me up?” I look around, making sure no one is watching us. And Berry laughs at me. “Everyone knows we are friends. A hug between friends is nothing new.” “I know, I know. I’m just being-” “Paranoid, you’re being paranoid.” He bops the tip of my nose and I crinkle it in distaste. A shadow grows behind me and for a second my heart flutters in excitement, thinking it’s my mystery guy. Much to my dismay, it’s the ever annoying Cameron who has taken to randomly popping up and talking to me. I groan inwardly. “Par
Since dad’s been back, I have actively tried to avoid him. Just the sight of him often triggers my anxiety, though it’s not been as bad as the first few times. Yet for the past few days, my nightmares have rocked my nightly sleep schedule. I wake up covered in sweat, reliving the hatred in his eyes as he kicks me, punches me in the stomach. My right shoulder aches from all the abuse it took, phantom pains to remind me I’m awake, that it was all real. That these memories are still too fresh. I walk into AP English with my hood up, hoping it shields my red puffy eyes. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in the last week so my mood is about as good as my appearance. Which was enough for Mia to comment on and drop when I scowled at her. Mrs. Smith wasn’t in the classroom yet, so I decided to try my hand at a small nap. If I don’t hit a REM cycle, I won’t dream. Or is it the other way around? Ugh! This brain is not cooperating. Just lay your head down for a