Those bitches are gonna pay.

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After plowing through my to-do list yesterday, I spent a luxurious amount of time getting ready for Maddy’s party.  I’m talking a bubble bath by candlelight.  I gave myself a mani-pedi.  I straightened my hair into a perfect glossy sheet.  I spent half an hour just doing my eye make up.  No one to bother me.  No one to make me eat dinner.  I ate an apple.  Generally there’s food at a party, right?

As I’d suspected, Cara was super-squealing-excited to go.  “Maddy Berquist?  No way!  This is going to be SO AWESOME!”  Cara had just won the wannabe jackpot.

When I called her last night to see when I should show up to drive her to the party (in my new ride!), I said, “Look.  I got the feeling something was off.  Can you just keep an ear out?  I don’t feel like being Carrie at the prom, if you know what I mean.”

“Huh?”

“If they invited me just to pull some kind of prank on the new girl, I don’t feel like being the butt of their joke,” I clarified.

“But they said Shane was interested in you,” Cara said.  “I’m sure they’re just helping him out… Oh.”

By that “Oh” I knew, I just knew, that I had been right.  I was going to get a figurative bucket of pig’s blood dumped on my head.

Cara then told me how Maddy and Shane had dated freshman year, which I wouldn’t know because I’m fresh meat.  Shane had told his friends he and Maddy had done the deed when they hadn’t, and they broke up.  Somehow Maddy had risen above the rumors and she and Shane had gotten back together for “like, a year” before Maddy dumped him, publicly, at a football game.  She then started a rumor that Shane had erectile dysfunction.  Since then, Shane has gone out of his way to prove he was quite capable in bed, with as many girls as possible.  I’m not sure what magic hold Maddy has over Shane, but apparently he thinks Maddy is his cool ex-girlfriend, that one ex-girlfriend who is still a friend.

“Yeah, if Maddy’s trying to hook you and Shane up, she’s got something planned,” Cara said glumly.  Her sparkling, idealized vision of popularity was now shattered.  It was like I’d just told her there was no Santa Claus.

I told her to pay attention and if anything seemed off, we could just leave.  I didn’t tell her that I had no interest in Shane whatsoever, and I guess I figured that would magically make Maddy’s evil plans die hard.  How could she humiliate me if I wasn’t barking up his tree?

At 8, I picked Cara up (“Sweet ride!  Why don’t you drive to school?” … “My parents won’t let me.  Something about the environment”) and she told me how to get to Maddy’s house / mansion.  Holy crap.  One of those giant places in a new development, 3-car garage, in-ground pool, and about 45 bedrooms.  There was a freaking DJ (apparently, this was Haley’s older brother) and kegs in the kitchen.

I don’t know what happened.  The crowd almost immediately swallowed us up, and I forgot that I might be under attack.  I had a few beers with Cara.  She was so thrilled to be there, even though it clearly was not a very exclusive party.  It seemed more like the super popular kids from the past five years of graduating classes.  Lots of college kids – it is Columbus Day weekend, I guess most of them came home for the long weekend.  A couple of guys started hitting on Cara.  I didn’t recognize them but Cara did, I guess they were football hotshots a couple years ago.  I didn’t like the way the one with no neck was staring down the front of Cara’s shirt, so I started looking around the room for someone – anyone – familiar.  I would have settled for some random guy who was cute and nice, and there was Maddy suddenly, right in my face.

“Shane’s upstairs,” she said, giggling the fakest giggle I’ve ever heard in my life.  “Waiting for you.”

“Sure he is,” I monotoned.  “Let me just strip down and cover myself in whipped cream and run up there, so your friends can jump out and take a picture that will end up on the Internet.”

I blame the beer for my lack of being able to play along with Maddy’s game.

Something flashed in her eyes – recognition of some deep dark part of me – maybe something we shared.  She dropped the fake friend act.  “No need to be like that.”  She grabbed the beer out of my hand and took a long swallow.

“Whoa,” said one of the assholes hitting on Cara.  “Cat fight!”

Both Maddy and I turned to glare at said asshole.

“Sorry,” I said, managing to smile and appear sheepish.  “I’ve been the new girl a lot.”

Maddy and I started talking like real people, and she told me all about Shane, and basically admitted that she put any girl Shane was interested in through what she called a “hazing.”

“Shane’s, like, a male slut,” she said.  “So he does whatever with whichever dumb bitch he’s picked that week, and meanwhile I’ve got a camera set up in the room, you know, one of those teddy-bear nanny-cams?  My mom used it when I was a kid.”  She rolled her eyes.  “And usually I’ve sweet-talked one of those techie kids into wiring the video to the tv downstairs, so everyone gets to see.  Walk of Shame from Hell.”  She grins, and I laugh along like she’s some genius, har har, doesn’t Shane look like a slut now!

Maddy doesn’t seem to realize that there’s a lot of collateral damage when she does this.  She doesn’t seem to take into account that she was planning on me being collateral damage.  Who gives a shit about the new girl?

By the end of the party, Maddy and I are practically BFFs, and Cara’s basking in the afterglow, and some other sad sack ended up in that room with Shane.  He was drunk enough not to care that it wasn’t me.  When he groggily called out, “Molly?” on the TV, I announced, “Right here!” and everyone cracked up.  The video quality wasn’t that great, so I told Cara to go upstairs and redirect the girl inside whenever she came out, while I distracted the crowd by pretending to be in ecstasy as Shane drunkenly groped his victim.  It was a freaking laugh riot.  So, the attention stayed on Shane, in the exact way Maddy would have wanted, and Cara managed to get the girl out without anyone seeing her.  She texted me once they were both in my car.  “She’s puking,” Cara whined.

“See on Monday,” I said to Maddy, “my parents have a super-strict curfew.”

“Bummer,” Maddy said.  “See ya.”

When I got to my car I asked Cara if she knew anything about the passed out girl in the backseat.  She thought the girl was a sophomore.  Great.  I picked through her purse and found her school ID: Alyson White.  No address.  A quick search on my phone brought up two addresses for White.  The first address had a car with a handicapped plate in the driveway and a billion garden gnomes.  The second had a minivan and another car and a basketball hoop mounted over the garage.  Cara and I carried Alison to the front steps and laid her down.  “I hope that’s her house,” I said as we left.

After I dropped Cara off, I couldn’t stop thinking about what Maddy had been planning to do to me.  Imagine if I’d been an idiot and fallen into her trap.  A video of me having sex with Shane?  Seriously?  I would have to leave town, and clearly I can’t, not now.

Maddy may have been super sweet to me by the end of the party, but something made her choose me as her next victim.  And Haley and her other friends were a part of that, too.

And they’re gonna pay.

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finally, this week is over

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I don’t think I’ve ever felt this kind of relief for a Friday.  Not even during Finals Week last year.

I just need time to wrap my head around things.

As I was heading out to the school parking lot after final bell, Maddy stopped me with her disciples in tow.  “I hope you’re planning on coming to my party tomorrow night,” she said, flicking her oh-so-perfectly curled hair over her shoulder.

Another party? I thought with dismay.  Of course I would have to go to this one, since I missed Cooper’s last weekend.  Cara didn’t mention anything, but she’s not real tight with Maddy.  That’s what I get for befriending the school’s biggest wannabe right out of the gate.

“Yeah, definitely,” I told her.

“Good,” said Haley.  “Because Shane will be there.”

I blinked at her.  I’m sure my face looked totally stupid in those few moments before I figured out what she meant by that.  Shane Castanedo likes me.  Shane’s a football god; therefore I should be honored that Shane has any interest in a zero like me whatsoever.  Shane will be waiting for me at this party of Maddy’s, getting beered up and offering me some roofied beverage so I can have the privilege joining his date-rape club.

I couldn’t exactly say I wasn’t interested in Shane.  AT ALL.  Who would believe that?  If he wasn’t such an ass I’d probably fall for his good looks too.  Right now I don’t need the extra complications of some guy trying to get in my pants.

So I pasted a big ol’ smile on my face and said, “Really?” like I gave a shit, and Maddy and Haley exchanged knowing glances, which made me wonder if there was something else going on than a couple of snooty girls trying to fix me up with the hottest guy in school.   I mean, there’s nothing suspicious about that, right?

This is where Cara could come in very, very handy.

messages on the answering machine

“Hi Paul, this is Rick.  It’s about… ten o’clock now, and you’re not here, and no one’s heard from you.  I didn’t have you down for a day off, but maybe there’s been some kind of mix-up?  Uh, okay.  I’m going to try your cell.”

“Hi Paul, this is Rick again.  It’s Tuesday and I’m not sure where you are… you don’t have a vacation scheduled, so… I’m not sure why you’re not here… I really need you to call me as soon as you get this.  Okay.  Bye.”

“Leslie, hi, it’s Allison.  The girls and I are planning to get together for lunch this week if you’re interested.  Call me back!”

“Paul, this is David Peyton down at the office.  I haven’t received your weekly report and Rick tells me you haven’t been in.  He’s called your cell and your house phone, and emailed you.  If there is some real reason why you haven’t been able to come in or call, please, you need to contact Rick or me somehow.”

“Hi Leslie, this is Lisa from Shear Excitement, calling to confirm your appointment tomorrow morning, Thursday, October fourth, at ten o’clock.   See you then!”

 

school spirit

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Maybe it was a mistake to sign up for Homecoming Committee.  I’m not full of school spirit or whatever.  I joined because it looks good on college applications.  (Not sure how I’ll finagle that one, but I’ll worry about it when the time comes.  I’m only a junior.  Plenty of time.)  When I signed up at the club fair back in September, I imagined blowing up balloons and hanging streamers and booking rock bands with hot lead singers.  Not sitting in a conference room with ten anal-retentive student council members, do-gooders, and wannabes, and compiling the list of Homecoming Court nominees.

This is how it’s done? I kept asking myself.

The goal was to nominate ten girls and ten boys.  Personally, I think it should have been a vote and not this committee’s responsibility to come up with the 20 names, mostly because people were nominated then someone else would veto the nomination.  For example,

Sarah Garrison (Freshman Student Council Treasurer): I nominate Nikki Haden.
Amaya Paddon (Senior V.P., with scrunchy face): Ew.
Savannah Royce (Senior Secretary): I know.  Can you say slut?
John Driscoll (Head of Yearbook Committee): Okay, so no.  Any other nominations?

As you can guess, the process took 2 hours longer than it needed to.  I didn’t really add much given that I don’t know most of the nominees.  I volunteered to write down the names so I didn’t feel like a total loser, all the while wishing I could be home taking care of things that need to be taken care of.  There’s so much to do, and with the load of homework I have… probably I should stop writing and get to it.

To do list:

  • Clean bathroom & hallway
  • Take out trash
  • History paper
  • BLEACH
  • Inventory

school sucked today.

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Even worse than yesterday.  I forgot to work on my history report over the weekend and when it came time to turn it in, I had to tell Mr. Tanner I didn’t do it.  Didn’t even start on it.  I couldn’t exactly tell him that something came up, because I’d already told everyone I was home all weekend watching TV or whatever.  Only one month into the school year and Mr. Tanner had already formed this opinion of me as an overachiever.  It’s an honors class but let’s face it, all the super smart kids are in the Advanced Placement class, and all I’d done is the assigned reading and participate in class discussions.  Somehow, my failure to do this one report meant that I had let Mr. Tanner down, and I was just an example of the apathy that plagued my generation, and how did I expect to get into a decent college with no work ethic, etc. etc.  His voice kept getting louder and louder and I felt everyone staring at me, and then it was like I was hearing my father yell at me about my grades and I started crying.  Eventually it got so bad Cara had to walk me down to the school counselor.  I left before the counselor even knew I was there, she was talking to some freshman, you know that kid who cuts himself?  He’s in my gym class and wears those wristbands like he’s retro 80s but it’s just hide his scars?  Anyway, I could hear him in there talking to Ms. Downey.  So after Cara went back to class and I was sitting there alone, I went to the nurse’s office instead and told her I had cramps and laid down for a while.  I’ve been having a really hard time sleeping ever since… you know.

Cara really was sweet today. She saved my seat at lunch, then bought me a candy bar when I slept all the way through lunch in the nurse’s office.  I definitely needed a Snickers by the time Calculus rolled around.  I hadn’t even packed myself a lunch for school, and I didn’t want to spend money in the cafeteria.

I wish I could tell Cara what’s going on, but it’s better not to get her involved.  I’m just glad she isn’t still mad at me about Cooper’s party.  Since she’s pretty much my only friend I decided I ought to treat her better, at the very least.  I called her after school like I had taken to doing in the weeks since we started hanging out, to talk about everyone and what they were wearing/doing and who might be dating who, and asked if she saw Damon in the halls and for a while it almost worked.  She got into gossip mode and all I had to do was listen and make appropriate comments when she took a breath.

Then she said her mom was calling her for dinner and she had to go.  After we hung up, I sat there with my phone in my hand, listening to the quiet and watching the night climb down the walls, until finally I got up and turned on all the lights in the house and the TV and made myself a sandwich.

I went to school today.

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It shouldn’t be such a milestone.  It wasn’t the first day of school, or the last, or even the first day of school here, in this town, where I’ve only lived since last June.  Since my family moved here last year.  A random Monday in October shouldn’t be such a big deal.

But it was.

After this weekend, everything feels different.  Of course, I almost didn’t even go to school today, after what happened.  I’m different now.

Everyone acted so surprised to see me.  “Molly!  Where have you been?” they asked, like they haven’t seen me in weeks.  When really they saw me last Friday, what’s the big deal?  At first I got really paranoid, thinking that somehow they knew.  Had my face given it all away?  I went into the bathroom to try to figure it out, and wouldn’t you know I bumped into Cara.

“Where were you?” she asked, her glossy lips all pouty.

I played dumb.  “When?”  Her face had brought it all back, the life that had been going on while I dealt with the mess at home.

“Uh, hello?  Cooper’s party?  Saturday night?”

When I told her I’d just hung around home all weekend, she actually looked hurt.

“You could have called me,” she said.

I felt bad, but I’ve got bigger problems than Cara feeling left out.

I’m not going to write it down.  This isn’t a confession, if that’s what you were thinking.

Nope.  This is just the journal of a sixteen-year-old girl who went to school today.

the new girl… again

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Started school yesterday.  I should have gone on Wednesday, when the freshmen went and got to basically tour the school and find their classes without a million upperclassmen milling the halls.  Since I’m a junior, I didn’t bother with that.

Thank god I had Cara to be my guide dog.

As you can see from my schedule, this isn’t a simple rotating schedule.  It’s fairly random.  Ugh.  And that free period… Dad wanted me to take some kind of SAT prep class, and refused to allow me to register for any kind of electives.  They have tons of photography classes, including darkroom.  I would love that.

So far school hasn’t been terrible.  Cara’s like my shadow, or maybe I’m hers.  I can see she’s trying too hard to make it seem like she’s in with the popular kids.  I think I’ve got the lay of the land, and already one girl invited me to a party.  Won’t be going, of course, unless I want major trouble.  Soon, I keep telling myself.

Soon I’ll have my license.  I’ve been practicing my driving with Mom, whenever Dad’s not around.  Only 27 days and counting… then everything is going to change.

waiting…

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I haven’t had time to update lately, what with my knee and all.  A lot of sitting around listening to my mom, having mom take me to the doctor’s, etc.  I’ve got a giant knee brace which they tell me will only be on for another week.

Unfortunately, it means I haven’t been able to get down to the library to update.  Haven’t had my own laptop either.  Dad told me I needed to do some reading for school.  There are only two books on the reading list and I read them back in freshman year, so he’s just piling on the literature he thinks I should read. We’re talking Anne of Green Gables and Little Women.  Anything before 1950 is out.  All part of being a member of the perfect fucking family!

And school is starting soon.  I’ve been texting Cara off and on.  Mostly I just let her talk about her problems and pretend I have none.  She’d pass out if she ever got wind of the trove of dysfunction I’m hiding.  Mom decided yesterday that we had to go shopping for a whole new wardrobe, then there was an argument at dinner about the credit cards… Now the house is silent and holding its breath for when Dad gets home from work…