I could NOT believe it.
Emery the-Brindleton-Bay-High-clique-queen was at it again, using my bff, Serenity Grzenda, to do her homework. Serenity loved the attention. I couldn’t blame her. Hanging around someone like me wouldn’t get you street cred. I was that “weird girl” who loved anime and did cosplay for kicks. I’d get “weeaboo” thrown at me on a daily basis. Mostly by guys whom I wanted to punch but didn’t because I wasn’t my dad. He could kick someone’s ass in like five seconds but me? I’d inherited my mother’s athletic prowess which was basically nonexistent.
I’d warned Serenity about this piranha. As soon as Emery was done with her, she’d toss her in the trash like old fish bones.
Fuming, I tried to concentrate on the painting I was doing for art club. We were meeting at lunch every Friday. Unfortunately, Emery decided to join us.
But I couldn’t see my art. I only heard Emery’s syrupy whispers. For some reason all the paint turned into a distinct shade of blood red.
“You do realize your face will stay like that if you’re not careful.” Cory’s voice broke me out of my violent thoughts–mainly what it would look like if Emery’s perfect face was smashed into my fist.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “But…Emery is making me so mad. I can’t help it.”
Shrugging, Cory reasoned, “You can’t control your friends.”
Ugh. Why did he have to make so much sense?
“Concentrate on this pile of glop I’m creating instead. I need your artistic eye, Lexie. Is there any hope for it? God, I’m horrible at this.”
I knew what he was doing but it just wasn’t working.
Before I could change my mind, I found myself next to my best friend.
“Serenity,” I said, trying not to die inside just being next to Emery. “I need your help with my piece. Could you come over and take a look?” My voice blared out in a weird, unconvincing tone. Oh why couldn’t I be more like Emery–so sure of myself that everyone wanted to do my bidding?
“Not so fast, Serenity. Weren’t you going to help me?” the witch crooned.
“Er…y-you want me to help you with your art?” Serenity asked. She was like a puppy who ‘s master waved a delicious treat under her nose.
“Mmm? Oh…yes…” Bitch-for-brains never took her eyes off me. “Lexie doesn’t need your help. She only draws a bunch of cartoons anyway. There’s nothing to it.”
My nostrils flared to ten times their normal size. She did NOT just say that to me. I was going to be a computer animator one day. Art was art no matter the process. She didn’t have an artistic bone in her perfect body. “What would you know about art, you…” I stopped myself. It was social suicide if I threw down with THE Emery Straud.
“Serenity,” Emery whined, “I’m getting tired of this. Do you want to help me or not?”
Wincing, Serenity seemed caught between me, a cringeworthy geek, and the thrill of being Miss Popular’s minion. “Well…I…er…”
Then Emery switched tactics.”Oh, check this out, Serenity. I saved it on my story in CrapChat. You will LOOOOOVE it!”
And just like that, I lost my best friend.
When the bell rang, I shot one last glare at Emery. We were like two bulls facing off. She glared back only she lifted the edge of her mouth in a snarky smile. What was she up to?
Cory kissed me good-bye then slipped out of sight. I had science next period and I needed to get into my locker and grab my calculator.
As I walked toward the edge of the stairs, I felt hands push me.
“Oh no!” Serenity cried.
Helplessly, my body sailed downward as my heart literally stopped.
“Emery, you BITCH,” was the last thing I thought when the floor rushed at me.
My body crunched painfully as I tumbled down some stairs and onto the floor. I didn’t even know some body parts existed, but they screamed at me at that moment. I wouldn’t move for fear that appendages would bend at strange angles. And I was a total baby when it came to blood. Especially my own.
“Are you okay?” came a quiet voice whom I thought was Serenity’s. “Yeah. Your ho did this to me. You really want to hang with her?” I yelled in my head.
Dusting off my knees (No broken bones!), I went to grab her hand.
But it wasn’t Serenity’s.
“That was a nasty fall. Do you need to go to the nurses office?”
I looked into Naomi Escobar’s face. President of the student body, nicest person anyone could ever meet. She was a cross between a St. Bernard and Mother Theresa. There could have been worse people to save me.
“No, I’m fine. T-Thank you,” I said, although my ass was crying out in pain. Maybe scarfing down that tub of icecream the other day had its uses.
Mortified, I felt as if everyone for the rest of the day was snickering. My flailing body was the butt of every joke I’d heard whispered through the halls and in every class. Did anyone say anything against my assailant? No. Word was I’d tripped because, you know, geeks were spastic doofuses, always stumbling over their own shoelaces.
As soon as I saw Cory, he came over to me and held my face. “God, are you okay? I heard you tripped down the stairs.”
My throat pinched. Even he’d heard the ridiculous rumors. It was so humiliating. “Bitchtastic pushed me.”
“Are you sure, Lex? I mean…that’s totally…whack.”
A tear dribbled down my cheek as he wiped it off with his thumb. I nodded.
Pulling me toward him, he said, “God, I’m sorry. We should tell Principal Jenson. She’ll get her ass tossed off the cheer squad.”
I cried into his shoulder. “No. Then she’ll have her fucktwats jump me when I walk home. Let’s just leave it.”
“Okay…” Hugging me, he said, “Listen, let’s go out tonight. Just us. The Revengers, Eternity Combat is out.”
I shook my head, sniffing. “Everyone dies. I’d go into depression for five hundred years.”
“Spoilers, Lexie,” he whispered, rubbing my back.
He kissed my cheek. “That’s okay. I kinda figured that from all the odes to fill-in-the-blank superheroes I saw on Fumblr.”
“Well, who freaking waits two weeks to see the movie of the century?”
He chuckled. “Yeah. My bad…hey…let’s see another movie. I’ll even watch one of those awful, cheesy rom coms you blab about.”
I perked up. “Really?”
He snorted. “Yeah…but only because you almost died. This is a one time deal.”
“I’ll take it.” I squeezed him tight, thanking God I had the best boyfriend on the planet. Snotty Bitch Straud couldn’t even say that.