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Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

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Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Wed 18 Aug 2010, 11:13 pm

This is just the teaser for now. I'll probably post the preface sometime tomorrow. Smiley

13-going-on-14-year-old Liza Tenzence decides that teenagers don’t get nearly enough credit for how hard it growing up really is. Middle School is challenging enough as it is, and what do you do when you’re right at the bottom of the popularity food chain? Especially when you’re at the bottom of the food chain, and top of the class. This is the survival story and the attempted (and sometimes failed) tactics of a nerd.

Preface:
Okay, so I’m a nerd. So what? So nothing. Should it bother me? No, it shouldn’t. Should I just ignore the constant bullying of all those popular girls, and the nasty things they say behind my back? I guess I’m supposed to be able to, but, maybe not. After all, Middle School isn’t as easy as it looks. There’s a lot more going on than what you see, or what the teachers see, and even more going on than what you don’t see. It all piles up to be quite a massive load of going-on-ness.
School orientation was today, which, being the nerd I am, of course made me happy! But I don’t like school for the reason most people do. After all, I don’t have friends. I have my nerdy buddies from study groups, sometimes, but I don’t have anybody really close who I could trust with secrets. Yes, popular children, nerds have secrets, too. And no, we’re not just some being put on the Earth primarily for your enjoyment. But back to the reason I like school: School is the only place I can get away from the fighting and yelling in my house. Sure, I’m an only child. My life ought to be perfect, right? No siblings to fight with, and spoiled by parents. Stereotypical, guys, stereotypical. I’m pretty much left to myself. Sometimes Mom cooks dinner when she and Dad aren’t rowing, but, well, it’s been a while since they haven’t been. I spend a lot of time to myself, but I like it that way. People like to say that I’m, “Not a social butterfly.” I guess I’m not so much. Oh well. Sounds like I’ll just have to cope.


Chapter one: Maximum nerd-ness achieved

I drug my feet halfheartedly through the doors of Enderton Middle School on September 1st; the first day of school.
Eighth grade, I thought to myself, It’s gotta be better than sixth and seventh, right?
But the truth is, I don’t know. There weren’t many kids that were new this year, and they had all met up with some of those popular kids, I’m sure. After two years of dealing with those bullying jerks, I’d come to accept that they were just not going to stop. It doesn’t matter, though, because I was determined to make this the best year of my life.
After orientation yesterday, I know which locker I have, where my classes are, my schedule, etc. I walked to my locker, my first top locker in middle school, one of the few that was downstairs instead of up, dark red, and silver in the places the paint chipped off. I look at the slightly scratched combination-enterer-thing. I found the 49, and made my way from there, wheeling all the way around the lock, past 49 again, and stopping on 19, then, a quick jolt, and I land on 1. I pull the lock, and the locker springs open. I smile at the familiar clanging. It’s been a while since I’ve dialed a lock. It makes my fingers happy to be whirling around it again. I hang my blue backpack on the hook, that’s up above my head. It feels funny to have to reach for it. I’m used to kneeling down and trying to avoid getting hit with books falling from the locker above me.
I got up on my tiptoes, and pull a few big binders out, shoving about 4 of them under my locker shelf that I put in yesterday, determined not to kill whoever has the misfortune to be underneath me with a messy locker. I lined up the remaining three on top of the shelf, leaving me enough room to place notecards, a calculator, a ruler, and a protractor next to them, so that they’re there for easy access. I grabbed my two pencil cases, one purple, and patterned with birds, holding all my regular pencils, a pen of each color, two highlighters, an eraser, and a tiny bottle of White-Out. It was my common use case. The other, blue, contained all my extra pens (the four something boxes we were required), a set of markers, 4 more highlighters for when I lose my first two, and my set of colored pencils. The things I was likely to use less often, that way my pencil case doesn’t explode like it did last year.
I hung my two cases on the hooks up by the top of the locker, where most kids would store their jackets. I put my one that I will need to use for every class on the top part of the hook, then the one that’s holds my less-likely-to-be-needed stuff on the bottom part, leaving the bottom portion of the hook on the left side of my locker for me to hang my coat when the time comes.
“Move out of the way, nerd.” I heard from behind me, and turned to see a tall girl, (well, tall to me, seeing as I’m about 5 foot nothing) with rather frizzy brown hair, and a peculiar nose.
I sighed, and slammed my locker. Now I know who has the locker under me. Of course it’s Gabrielle. Who else would be able to make my life suck this badly?
Gabrielle might be the most popular girl in the grade. You know the one I’m talking about. The one who dates all the hot guys, fails most of her classes, stays out late, gets invited to every party in the world. I don’t know why, but, then again, I don’t understand why half of the popular kids are who they are.
Gabrielle shoved her way through the couple of other kids who happen to be at their lockers, and popped her locker without dialing a combination. My previous two used to do that. Not this one, though. But that’s alright. I like my combination. I always grow rather fond of it throughout the year. It shudders from the force, creating the loud, metal-on-metal, ear-ringing noise that gives me headaches. I wish people wouldn’t feel the need to make as much noise possible. It’s got to make this whole “Too-Much-Noise-In-The-Halls” thing go away, right? I guess nobody really cares.
Gabrielle dumped he still full backpack into the bottom of her completely empty locker, and ambled off. I retook my place, and opened my locker again, my nimble fingertips increasing in speed when dialing the combo. My locker opened with a small ping, instead of the crashing clang that Gabrielle’s had. I unzipped one of the front pouches of my pack, and pulled out a handful of little magnets that I’ve collected over the years. I put the one inch tall bear in the very back of my locker, because I know that he won’t stay up for long. I grabbed my orange cube and stick it to the front. I loved that magnet. Next came my peace sign magnet. It went up front, too. I had three magnets bearing the same quote. Two went in the back, one in the front. My magnet from that contest in fifth grade... The “Y” magnet that used to be part of the word, “Yo”...
The bell struck out a long, vibrating note, and I peeled some stuff out of my locker, hurrying back upstairs to my first period. English.
This class passed without much happening. I enjoyed my teacher. He was quite interesting, and a little absurd.
English was a block period, and after one period had passed, he allowed us the passing period to go get water, use the bathroom, grab something you forgot, etc.
I slipped out of the classroom to get some water, and meandered down the hallway that was filling up with students. Bumping into me, pushing me, prodding me.
Somebody kicked me. Ouch. Then somebody else. Ow! What’s going on? More and more people were kicking at my legs until I buckled down into a ball, and felt somebody peel something off my back.
“Some jerk stuck this to you.” Said a voice I recognized but couldn’t quite place. Whoever he was handed me a paper:
Kick Me. Typical. Of course. No surprise there. After all, who am I? A nerd. That’s what happens.
The bell clanged again, and I was forced to go back to class. My legs were red and sore, and I knew they’d bruise, soon.
I sighed, and sank back down into my chair. School had a different feel this year. It seemed so lonely. For the first time ever, I wish I had friends.
We had a fifteen minute break between second and third period, so I walked down, and just sat in the common area, not feeling much like going outside.
“Hey.” The same voice I’d heard earlier was behind me. I turned to see a tall boy with dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes. He was a new kid. I couldn’t quite remember his name.
“Uh, hi.” but it came out like, “Ooh, ho.”
“Sorry,” I said clearing my throat, my voice was a little rusty. I hadn’t really said anything in English class. Mostly taken notes, “hi.”
“D’you mind?” he gestured to an area next to me.
I shook my head.
“I’m sorry about what happened earlier. People here are mean. I’m Jason, by the way.”
“Yeah, they are a little, aren’t they? I’m Liza.” Dang, it’d been a while since I’d introduced myself.
Then bell rang, then, and I grabbed stuff for Science, and sprinted towards the stairs, having to get all the way to the Science classroom. That’s when I felt something catch the front of my shoe, and I went down, hitting my face on my stack of books. Of course I tripped up the stairs. I have mad skills that way.
I stood up, and continued on, trying not to blush. People were laughing at me from all around. I kept walking, determined not to look back, or respond to the names people were shouting.
“Kluts-a-lot, what was that?”
“Hey, Tenzence, training for the ballet? I don’t think you’ll get in.”
“Smooth, girl, smooth!”
It’s everything I have not to scream back, “Shut up!” Instead I try to keep a balanced face on, and continue on my way as if nothing happened.
It was then that I felt something else hit my shin. I bit the dust again. I was afraid my glasses were going to break if I wasn’t careful.
“Very graceful, Tenzence; very.”
I look up and see the light brown, laughing eyes of my 2-year crush, Andrew.
I felt the tears well up, and, blushing furiously, took off towards the bathroom.
I slammed the stall door behind me with a loud BANG, and got even more angry when it didn’t stay put. I kicked it again and again, screaming with rage, and finally collapsed against it, shoulders wracking with sobs.

Chapter 2: Can’t Stand It

I stayed in the bathroom for the rest of the period, and was determined not to leave and go to Spanish, until I heard a hammering on the door.
“Liza, come out! I know you’re in there!”
It was the voice of that new kid... What was his name? J-J-J... His name started with a J. Josh? Jack? James? Then it hit me. Jason.
“No!” I shouted back.
Then I heard the door swing open, and was shocked when I felt the metal slab behind me move. I turned, and Jason had really just walked into a girls’ bathroom. And unlocked the stall door. What? I’d never met anybody like him. At all.
He tried to make me stand up, and in the end, grabbed under my upper arms, and lifted me up, even if I tried to slump back down again.
Finally, after several futile attempts, he grabbed under my legs, and just carried me out behind the school, into the quiet corner behind the school. I couldn’t help but how admire how strong he was. For some reason, the thought made me blush a little.
“Liza, what happened?” Jason asked once we were alone.
“Nothing. I just got a stomachache, and went to use the bathroom.”
“Liza, you were in there for an hour. If you were really sick, you would have gone to the front office.”
I mouthed wordlessly for a few minutes. How had he known how long I was gone? Oh, he must of have been in my class. I realized, “Well, fine, I was upset, and I was crying.”
“Why?”
“My boyfriend dumped me.” I lied.
I thought I saw Jason’s eyes light up for a brief moment, then went back to their usual state. Must have been a trick of the light, “I didn’t think you had a boyfriend...”
“I don’t, anymore.” I said, playing on the fact that he bought it.
“Well, I’m sorry to hear that.” Jason laid a sympathetic hand on my shoulder.
I shrugged out of his touch. It made me uncomfortable, “You’re missing class, you know.”
“Yeah, I know.” Jason said, no emotion in his voice at all.
“You should get back.” I kept my face perfectly straight. It wasn’t an effort.
“I’m not going back unless you go with me.” Jason prodded.
“Then you get to miss the rest of your classes.” My face was forming a slight frown now.
“Well, that’s fine.” he settled back against the brick wall with defiance.
“No, it’s not!” I was getting hysterical, and could feel the tears forming in my eyes, “Go away! Far away! And leave me alone!” the tears were cascading again down my face. It had seemed only ten minutes ago when I felt like I hadn’t any left.
“No.” The simple statement was enough to push me over. I threw myself into his lap, curled in a ball, and sobbing again into his shoulder.
“I hate my life! I hate everything! I hate you!” I screamed as I buried my face into his shoulder, surely leaving a huge wet spot on his new shirt.
“Shh.... Shhh.... I know, it’s alright, I know.” He had his hand on my back, and was holding me to him.
I gulped a few times, and pulled myself back to my usual strong state. Then struggled out of his lap, embarrassed.
“Are you ready to go back to class?”
“No.” I shook my head vigorously.
“What do you want, then?”
It took me a few seconds to register what I really wanted. I shook my head again, “I just want to go home.”
“Shh... Okay, let’s call your mom.”

* * *

Only about ten minutes later, I was in my Mom’s car, on my way back home. I’d called her, and fallen into hysterics for a third time. She hadn’t understood me, but agreed to come and pick me up.
“Liza, what happened?”
“Mom, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“But it was your first day of school!”
“Mom, I don’t want to talk about it!”
“But you love school!”
“Mom! I don’t want to talk about it!”
“Just tell me what’s wrong!”
“MOM, I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, OKAY?!” I found myself screaming at her.
Hurt, she gave up. I was instantly guilty, but I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t take another year of being the nerd. There was only one way I could handle this year at school.
I had to become popular.

Chapter 3: Plan for Popularity

Later that day, after I’d cried myself out, and written several depressing poems and prose, at about 1:30, I heard a knock on the door.
“Sweetie, are you ready to talk now?” I heard Mom’s easy voice through the creaky door.
I sighed, rose to my feet, and unlocked the door, trusting that Mom would figure out what the quiet click meant.
I sat cross-legged on my old patchwork bedspread.
“What was it that happened today at school, Liza?” Mom sat down with a flump next to me.
“Mom... Well... I’m sorta labeled at school.” I said, hoping this would be no new news to her.
“Oh, dear, you are? Why didn’t you ever tell me?” Mom seemed a lot more upset than I had initially planned on her being.
“Well, today people were really mean to me, and, I just don’t know if I can take it any more.” I sighed, deciding that just putting my idea out there would be the best possible path.
“Aww, honey, I’m sorry...” Mom shook her head, “Is there anything we can do about it?”
I noticed subconsciously that she said ‘we’ not ‘I.’ That made me feel better like we were all in this together, “I was wondering, if, maybe there was a way, that I could, well, get popular, a little. Just enough so people wouldn’t be so mean.”
“What would this Popularity Plan consist of?” Mom asked.
“I was thinking, I dunno... Some new clothes, different shoes... I’d use my own money, and everything.”
Mom nodded. She saw how important it was for me, “We can go shopping today, if you like. And Liza, before we get any further, does this have anything to do with that boy, Andrew?”
I blushed very red, and at the same time, glanced across the room at where my diary was hidden in the bottom of my blue jeans drawer. Had Mom read all the stuff I’d said about Andrew in there?
Mom looked like she was reading my thoughts, “Yes, I know you like him, dear. It wasn’t hard to tell. You talk about him all the time.”
I looked at my lap, “Well, yeah, sorta... I think... I think I fell for somebody totally out of my league.”
Mom laughed at this comment, “Okay. Well, we’ll go shopping in an half an hour, and see what we can do.” She stood up, and left the room.
Feeling relieved, I checked to see that my diary was still in place. It was. I opened it up to add a new entry:

9/1/10
Dear Diary,
I think it’s time for me to leave old nerdy Liza behind, and attempt to unlock my full potential as a popular girl. Will it work? Yes. Am I confident? Not at all. Wish me luck.
-- Liza Tenzence

By the time I’d reread this to make sure that this short entry was just how I wanted it to be, Mom was calling, telling me to grab shoes, that we were headed to the mall. Excellent.
Nervous but excited, I snatched $200, about half of what I had stocked up in my piggy bank, and pulled on my old running shoes. These surely would have to go. Along with the baggy khaki pants, and buttoned polo shirt. And I’d have to ditch my glasses, too, I think. And get something to keep my hair from being frizzy.
I climbed into the front seat of the old Volvo, and Mom drove off to the mall, about 20 minutes away.
We don’t go to the mall often, and it’s kind of exciting when we get to. Our family has plenty of money what with Mom being a doctor, but still, shopping sprees are rare.
“Where to first?” Mom asked.
I looked down at myself, and tried to decide what had to go first, “Shoe store.” I pointed over to Journeys.
Mom walked briskly in that direction, and I had to jog to keep up.
We walked through the open doors into the store. It wasn’t busy, seeing as all the kids were still in school.
“Hi, welcome to Journeys. Can I help you?” the store attendant smiled at us.
“We’re just browsing. She’s looking for some of the ‘In’ shoes.” Mom put out.
“Maybe what you’re looking for is right over here.” She led us to a row of converse in every color and pattern imaginable.
A pair of black and white plaid Converse caught my eye. I ran my finger down the row of shoes and found size seven. My size. I pulled the box out of the shelf with the clatter of cardboard against cardboard.
I sat down on the stool at the end of the row, and kicked off my old shoes. I pulled these on. They fit well, and were actually really comfortable. I was always under the impression that those flat shoes would hurt my feet, or something.
“Mom!” I called as I did up the laces.
Mom peered around the edge of the aisle, and smiled, “Those are cute, honey. Stand up, let me see where your toes are.”
I sighed, and we ran through the usual. Turns out, they fit just fine.
Mom had a coupon, and I got my shoes for, wait for it, waaaaiiiiittt for it, $15.
I grinned at the sound the shoes made inside their box as they were slipped into a plastic bag, for some odd reason, feeling super mature. I’m taking my life into my own hands. Using my money to give me a total makeover.
“Where are we off to now?” Mom asked.
I shrugged, “I need a place where I can get a couple cute tops, and maybe two pairs of jeans, cause I have two others at home.”
Mom pointed out a shop that I’d walked past countless times, and never thought about, “Wanna look in here?”
I did. We walked into the store at a slower pace now. I was savoring the moment. Mom, who was often a strict, was agreeing to my popular plan.
We spent almost an hour in this store. There were just so many things to choose from. I finally decided on a light blue and white striped, low-cut, collared shirt with a light blue cami for underneath, and a faded graphic t-shirt. Along with two pairs of dark-washed skinny jeans.
I was down to $50 after this hit. I was shocked by how expensive this stuff was, but pleased with the outcome.
Last, we headed to wear I could get some makeup. I’d never worn any before, and it was a little weird to choose it out. I ended up getting lipgloss, foundation, concealer, mascara, and eyeshadow. Mom didn’t approve of eyeliner, and I didn’t really like the way it made people look.
After this, I was down to $7.29.
“Mom? There’s one more thing I want to get.”
“What else could you want? You’ve got everything I can think of.”
I giggled, “Ice cream.”
Mom laughed, and we went to the food court, and grabbed some Ben and Jerry’s. My favorite.
Half an hour later, Mom and I were home, both giggling. Now was one of the moments when I was grateful that Dad lived so far away.
When I was 11, my parents had gotten divorced, and Dad moved halfway across the country to Georgia. I only saw him every now and again, but that was alright. I’d never been close to Dad, so it wasn’t really anything. It also helped that I was an only-child. My life had been pretty easy. Up until now.
“Come on, Liza, fashion show!” Mom begged.
I giggled again, and agreed, putting on my new t-shirt, new shoes, new jeans, makeup.
As I stepped out of my room, hair smoothed down, and shiny, for once in my life, feeling pretty.
Mom cheered, and, feeling confident, I started to get ready to go to bed, and fell asleep quickly.

* * *

The next day, I woke up early, at 6:00. Showered, and did my hair in a way that it looked smooth, and not frizzy like it usually did. I put on my blue and white shirt, new jeans, and new shoes. By the time I was finished, it was time for me to go to school.
After 10 nervous minutes of car rides, we pulled in front of school. I stepped out of the car, and walked, head held high, to the front door.
The effect was instantaneous. Immediately, people who’d never spoken to me in my life were walking up, complimenting me, smiling at me. I felt that I was immediately accepted by the popular crowd.
But what really made it all worthwhile was what happened right after last period as I was walking on my way home from school:
I felt a warm hand on my shoulder, and turned at the touch, immediately overwhelmed by the set of eyes I’d studied so many times in the year.
“Andrew.” I rose my eyebrows in surprise.
“Liza.”
This was the first time I’d ever actually heard him say my first name. It made my heart skip a beat. I felt my stomach jump around, and my heartbeat speed up.
“Pretty hot,” he smirked.
I felt myself flush, “Thanks.”
“So, you know that there’s a dance coming on tomorrow.”
I thought back, Oh yeah, there was an announcement about it. I didn’t care. “Yeah.”
“Wanna come with me?”
I just about fainted, “Yeah,” I said breathlessly, “Sounds great, yeah, I’ll, uh, I’ll meet you there!”
Andrew walked away, still possessing that cool vibe like always, and I spun around in a circle.
I stopped just in time to see Jason, who I hadn’t talked to all day, stalking outside, hood up, hands in his pockets.

Chapter 4: The Dance

I ran to catch up with Jason, excited to see what he thought of my transformation.
I grabbed his shoulder.
He ignored my touch.
“Jason!”
“Liza, leave me alone.”
“Jason, what’s wrong?” my eyebrows creased together.
“You are.” Jason said, his voice harsh.
“But, what did I do wrong?” my stomach knotted up.
“Liza,” Jason finally turned around, and I could see him scowling, “I thought you were different. But now I can see that you’re just the same. All you care about is you.”
That hurt. My breathing sped up, and I turned and ran, before Jason could see the tears running down my face.
I dashed into the bathroom, and tried to make my mascara stop running. After about five minutes, I reached success. I washed all my makeup off, though, otherwise I’d look super weird.
I had agreed that I would walk home that day, because Mom was going to a movie and dinner with a friend, and had to get ready.
By the time I walked into the house, I had convinced myself that I’d done nothing wrong, and Jason was being stupid. I felt a lot better after this.
“How was school?” called Mom.
“Great!”
Mom walked into the room, wearing her favorite outfit.
I smiled, always liking it when she was herself.
“Liza, since you’ve been so interested in popularity lately” -- I couldn’t help but think that it had only really been since yesterday, but... -- “I was wondering if you were planning on going to the dance tomorrow night.”
“Oh, Mom, that was the highlight of the day! Andrew asked me to the dance!” I squealed, flushing in excitement.
“Oh, sweetie, that’s wonderful!” Mom beamed, “What are you going to wear?”
“Well, it’s semi-formal, like, the middle school version of homecoming, so probably that dress... You know, the silvery one that I normally won’t wear?”
“Yes. Oh, dear, you’ll look gorgeous!”
“Thanks, Mom.” I didn’t mention Jason. I didn’t want anything to ruin the moment.
“Well, dear, I have to go meet Alyssa now. I’ll be back around 7. Be good!” she left the room.
The next day, nothing eventful happened, and time passed quickly. The only thing that would make it imperfect was the look of utter disgust Jason shot me across the room in half the classes. I’d been sitting with the popular girls, and I guess he didn’t like it. Well, poo on him.
The bell rang, and I ran out before Jason could try to talk to me.
As I was standing at my locker, Andrew approached, a strange gleam in his eye.
“We still on for tonight?” he rose his eyebrows twice.
I nodded, trying to tell the butterflies in my stomach that they needed to take a nap, and that now wouldn’t be a great time for me to get a stomachache. They didn’t listen, and continued to beat their bright wings against the walls of my stomach.
“Until then, m’lady,” he swooped down and kissed my cheek, then turned, and ran, his oversized hoodie flopping behind him.
I ran home, arms out like an airplane, beaming, and occasionally clicking my heels together. I got a lot of weird stares from passerby, but that’s fine.
I spun into my room, face flushed, and flopped down on my bed, spread-eagled, and did my homework. It was fast, and easy, seeing as it was still the first week.
Then, too excited to wait any longer, I pulled out my dress from the closet. It felt like liquid in my hands, and even after I’d checked how I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like it before. It stopped at my knees, and flew out in a flamenco style when I spun. It was sleeveless, with thin spaghetti straps at the top, and an elegant gold ribbon tied about where my waist was. I looked around in my fancy shoe collection, and decided on simple silver flats with small bows.
About an hour and a half before the dance started, I took a shower. I dried my dark brown hair so that one side fell in loose curls just in front of my shoulder, and I tucked the other behind my ear, clipping it back with a gold barrette. I carefully reapplied my mascara with the special kind Mom had lent me last night that was supposed to compliment blue eyes like mine, and put on eyeshadow, foundation, lipstick, got redressed, and looked at myself in the mirror.
The image that met me there was one I wouldn’t have believed possible until this very moment. I looked... not to sound stuck up, but I looked beautiful.
I stood and twirled a few times to get the full effect.
“Liza, are you ready?” Mom’s voice called through my closed bathroom door.
“Yes!” I replied without haste, and walked out of the bathroom, liking the clicky sound my shoes made against the linoleum.
“Ohh...” Mom sighed as I left the bathroom, “You look lovely,” tears filled her eyes. Not something I’d bargained on, “I’m just going to have to accept that my baby’s growing up!”
“Mom, don’t cry. Please. Can we just get to the dance? I don’t want you upset.” I begged.
She nodded, smiling.
Ten minutes later, we pulled back up in front of the school.
I kissed Mom goodbye, and walked towards the gym doors, where I could hear music pounding.
I saw all my new friends waiting for me, and rushed over to them. Most were dressed up even more than I was, which shocked me a little. I still felt in place, though.
“You look grea--” Sasha commented, before going, “Oh em gee! Look how cuuute he is!”
Several heads in the group turned to the gang of popular boys, who were all dressed in tuxes, or at least a nice shirt and tie.
“Which one?” I asked, not seeing any that looked particularly appealing.
“That one! Not those guys! Over there!” they pointed, and I saw Jason, who looked absolutely striking.
I stared. Jason? They thought Jason was cuter than all the other boys?
“Oh my God, I wonder what his name is!” Jennifer squeaked.
“That’s Jason,” I said, proud to give them something they didn’t know.
“Like, wow, you like, know his name?” Allie asked, positively beaming.
“Yeah. We were...” sorta friends, but not anymore, “Never mind.”
“You should, like, ask him to dance,” Jennifer giggled.
“What? Jason? No. I’m here with Andrew.”
Their faces fell a little, “Oh, you’re with Andrew?” Sasha asked, her voice low.
“Yeah! Why not? I’ve had, like, a crush on him for two years now,” I tried to pick up their voices, but it didn’t work very well.
“Well, Andrew has a-- oww!” Allie got a hard pinch for Sasha.
“Don’t tell her!” she exclaimed in a loud whisper.
“Don’t tell me what?” I leaned forward, nervously intrigued.
“Oh, just... something that happened with Andrew in second grade.” Jennifer sighed.
“Oh.” Relief flooded my system.
“Hellooo, boys and girls, and welcome to the first dance of the year. How y’all doin’ tonight?” The DJ’s voice sang out over the crowd.
“Whoooo!!!” Came the monstrous scream in reply.
“The music’s been pumpin’ for about ten minutes now, but I think it’s time we slow it down a little. We’ve had a request for... you guess what song it is...” his low voice faded out, and the lights dimmed further. Red hearts flashed on the floor and the walls.
The best thing ‘bout tonight’s that we’re not fighting...
The crowd screamed. This was one of those songs we all knew.
Could it be that we have been this way before?
I felt a tap on my arm, “Wanna dance?” came Andrew’s deep voice.
My eyes widened. I nodded, and put my hands on his shoulders. He took my waist, and pulled me in about two inches closer than I had expected.
Oh, but hold your breath,
Because tonight will be the night that I will fall for you, over again
Don’t make me change my mind
Or I won’t live to see another day
I swear it’s true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find
You’re impossible to find.
It was right after that that I felt Andrew kiss me. He pressed his lips hard to mine. I blinked in surprised, and the last thing I think I saw was Jason walked quickly towards the bathroom, head bent low. He broke into a run at the last second, and I could hear the bathroom door clang over the music.
I didn’t have the chance to care, though. All my thoughts were doing was You’re kissing Andrew! You’re kissing Andrew! You’re kissing Andrew! You’re kissing Andrew! You’re kissing Andrew! You’re kissing Andrew!
Once I had gotten over my initial shock, it wasn’t anything like I had expected. What is supposed to be this hard? And will his breath always smell like garlic?
Andrew slipped his tongue into my mouth after that, and he pressed even harder. It was then that I pulled away.
“Thanks for the dance,” I said quickly, and walked away as fast as I could without running. My head was spinning. That definitely didn’t work out like it was supposed to, but that’s alright. It was a first kiss. His too, probably. Neither of us knew what we were doing. It had to get better. Right?
Another slow song struck up about 15 minutes later.
I looked for Andrew, but didn’t see him. Oh well. One slow dance spent alone wasn’t the end of the world, right?
I looked around. Maybe Jason would want... No. Not Jason. He didn’t care about me anymore, because I was popular. I can’t talk to him, anyway, for fear of going back to NerdVille.
Nobody seemed particularly interested in dancing, and those who were already had partners. I decided I’d go into the bathroom so I wasn’t just standing alone.
Once in the bathroom, I checked my makeup. My lipstick was smeared, so I wiped it off with a paper towel, and reapplied. Everything else seemed fine, but I could still hear “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” playing, so I killed time.
One thing struck me as a little weird. Through the wall, I could hear what seemed like muffled sobbing. What really confused me, was that on the other side of the wall was the boys’ bathroom.
Poor kid, I thought, He must have really gotten his heart broken to be crying. I wonder who it is...
I couldn’t think of anybody who I’d seen upset today. Actually, I couldn’t think of anybody who’d even gone into the bathroom. I’d been standing right near it until my dance with Andrew. Oh, wait, Jason had gone into the bathroom. But that couldn’t be him. The sobs were too high. He had a low voice. It must be some sixth grader.
The music picked up it’s fast beat, and I came back out and joined my bouncing, giggling group of friends.
I danced with Andrew one last time to “Forever Young,” and he continued to try to make out with me, resulting in me needing to leave him halfway through the dance.
What surprised me most, was how unsurprised all my friends were to see me back before the song was over.
After about half an hour, the last slow song started to play. I didn’t recognize the piano riff at the beginning. I looked around for Andrew, but he seemed to have disappeared again. He wasn’t on the edge, and he couldn’t be on the dance floor. There were only couples, there.
Instead, I found Jason leaning against a wall, looking surly.
I had started feeling guilty about him. After all, I was probably the only person he had ever considered a friend at this school. I owed him at least one dance.
I walked up to him a little hesitantly. What if he was still mad at me?
“Hello,” he said darkly, not looking into my eyes.
“Jason...”
“What do you want, Liza?” Jason rose his eyes to meet mine, but instead of the warmth I usually found when I met eyes with him, I got bitter coldness.
I didn’t know what to say, so I looked around the room again, getting ready to bolt if I saw Andrew. I saw him. But I saw him dancing with another girl. And then I saw their lips lock together. “Jason...” I started to feel tears fill my eyes again, both for Andrew and Jason.
Jason looked at me, and his eyes softened, “Liza...”
“Look, Jason, I’m sorry, okay? I know, you hate me now. I know I deserted you. And I know... I know... I’m sorry!” the tears were running down my face freely. I couldn’t help it.
“Liza, I’m sorry, too. I was harsh on you, and I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. It’s just... It’s just... well... You’re the closest thing I’ve ever had to a friend, and... It was just hard when you left me. I was left alone, and it felt like...” he paused, his eyes looking a little watery too, “It felt like nobody cared anymore.” He held his arms out, and I threw myself into him.
“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you.” I whispered.
“Nor I you.” He responded in a low voice.
I rose up on my tiptoes, and put my hands on his shoulders, “Want to dance?”
He nodded, and swung me out to the dance floor.
Younger now, than we were before.
Don’t let me go
Don’t let me go
Don’t let me go-o-o-o...
“Liza?” Jason murmured said.
“Yes?” I made eye contact instead of awkwardly staring over his shoulder
“I think I like you.”
That shocked me. I didn’t think of him like that. Well, the horrible tiny voice in my brain decided to speak up, Actually, maybe you do. You’ve only known him for a day, but isn’t he the only one who’s ever been there for you? I had to agree with my head voice, “I think I like you, too.” I grinned embarassedly
Jason smiled, and wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me into him. I curl my arms around his neck, and lay my head down on his shoulder, eyes closed.
I heard a guitar solo play out the same melody as the don’t let me gos, and then the singing came back on for about a minute longer.
As the song played out, the lights started to flicker on, but not before Jason could just barely brush his lips against mine, blush, and run for the door.
“I love you...” I murmured at his retreating figure.

Chapter 5: Gone

I jolted awake as I felt my lips whisper, “I love you,” out loud.
It took me a second to realize that the dance had been a dream. It was Friday morning. My alarm clock was screeching at me. Whoa. What the heck had that dream been about? I didn’t like Jason. We were still fighting. I was going to the dance with Andrew. He asked me. We’re not dating, so he can’t be cheating, and I haven’t had my first kiss. I forced myself to go through the list of things that were true, and the things had never happened.
I reached over and smacked my alarm clock. That didn’t work. If anything, it seemed to squeal louder.
“Fiiiiiinnneee...” I moaned, and snapped the switch to “Off.”
I pulled myself out of bed, squinting with one eye open, and felt my way towards the bathroom.
I pulled on my clothes with my eyes shut tight, crossing my fingers that they weren’t on backwards or anything. Finally, I opened my eyes. Yeah. Oww.
After getting completely ready, I rushed out the door to get to school on time.
If in my dream, school had passed quickly, then my dream sure didn’t come true. School seemed to take ages to finally finish up.
I stood at my locker with my friends, positively giddy with excitement about 5 minutes after the last bell had rung.
“Oh em gee, I so can’t wait!”
“Like, me either!”
“Eeeee!”
I smiled and twirled around, arms out.
“Hey, Liza. I gotta talk to you.” I heard Andrew’s voice, and stopped spinning.
“Okay,” I giggled, following him away from a lot of people.
“Look,” he said once we got to a corner.
When he didn’t continue, I prodded, “Look, what?”
“Well, Liza, I... I don’t like you, alright?”
The smile that had played on my lips all day fell off, and quickly curled into a frown, “But, why did you... did you?”
“It was a dare, okay? My friends and I were playing Truth or Dare, and one of them dared me to ask you to the dance. I OK-ed it with my girlfriend and, yeah.” He held his hands up.
Girlfriend. More than anything else in that sentence, that word had registered. He had never cared in the first place. He wanted nothing to do with me. “So... so... So we’re not going to the dance, then.” I stated.
“No,” he confirmed, and walked away.
I wanted nothing more than to run after him, slap him really hard, then kiss him. What was wrong with my diseased mind? He just dumped me. No questions asked, and no way to phrase it nicely. Consider myself dumped.
Complete, utter shock coursed through me. I was numb. I had lost all feeling.
Then anger hit. What was wrong with him?! He took my heart with open arms, then dropped it into the ground so that it shattered, then picked up the pieces and glued them back together, then put it through a shredder. What was his issue?!
Then finally, the sad state hit, and I felt a solitary tear slip down my face. Then that was it. I wondered why I didn’t feel more upset. I guess when I imagined that it was too good to be true, I was right, so was I, maybe, in a sense, expecting this to happen all along?
“Hey, girl, sorry. We should have warned you,” came Sasha’s voice.
“Yeah. We should have told you that Andrew and Allie have been dating for 2 and 1/2 weeks.” Jennifer informed me.
“So, like, sorry, but we were in on it. You’re not welcome anymore.” Allie said.
The three of them walked away giggling. It had all been an act. All of it.
More numbness
Jason, of course, chose that moment to walk down the hall right past where I was slumped against the wall.
“Jason,” I said hoarsely.
He glanced my direction, and kept walking.
“Jason, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to leave you... I just wanted somebody to care,” I almost pleaded after him.
Jason stopped, and turned around, “Who are you?” was all he said, then walked out the front doors.
It was then that I really felt my heart shatter. Not when my crush dumped me. Not when my “friends” deserted me. But when the one person who cared about me turned his back on me. Gone.


Last edited by Tolly12bells on Mon 06 Sep 2010, 5:04 pm; edited 6 times in total

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Music Is Love on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 7:57 am

Oooh! I'm intrigued xD
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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Dreamer on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 8:19 am

Yay! xD

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by superdork11 on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 9:09 am

I am definitely intrigued! Post the preface please!
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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 11:16 am

Okay. I'll do that now, actually. I'm already halfway through chapter one. xD

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by PeggySnow on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 11:45 am

Intriguing! I love the preface!

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Dreamer on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 12:05 pm

I like it so far! Smiley

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 2:21 pm

Thanks guys. It's going to be an attempted chapter every other day, but, no guarantee. School starts soon, and I'm going to be busy. Nod

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by PeggySnow on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 2:27 pm

Ah, the dreaded school. It cuts back on time for... pretty much everything! :\ Yoshi

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 2:32 pm

Yeahh... BUUUT! I'm totally excited about this part. Homework in English for all of the year (plus what he assigns, but that isn't much because we have default homework) is ten minutes of writing every night. Which means that my English homework is gonna be a piece of cake!

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by PeggySnow on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 2:39 pm

Nice! It's always good when at least one subject's homework is easy. Nod

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 2:43 pm

Yep! Last year it was Spanish. xD I just blew through that. Eye Roll

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Dreamer on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 2:51 pm

We barely had Spanish homework last year. Eye Roll And English was twenty mintues a night originally, but then she dropped that and started giing us stupid stuff to do.

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 5:16 pm

Lol, I had a hard time with World Studies, and Math. Everything else was like nothing. Eye Roll

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Dreamer on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 5:30 pm

Earth Science and Math were killer, everything else was nothing. Eye Roll

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 5:31 pm

Haha, our Science was easy. xD But tedious. xP

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Dreamer on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 5:36 pm

We rarely had homework, but when we did, it was like two hours, even three. And Math was like an hour every night.

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 5:42 pm

We had homework about once a week, but it was pretty easy.

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by OOPSiSLIPPED on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 10:34 pm

Your teaser definitely lived up to its name! Sounds awesome!

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Thu 19 Aug 2010, 11:09 pm

Thank you! I'll probably post the next chapter Saturday. I'm deciding how to make something happen in the first chapter.

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by superdork11 on Fri 20 Aug 2010, 10:06 am

Good. I like it! It's very good!
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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Fri 20 Aug 2010, 10:39 am

Thanks. Smiley Glad you like it.

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Tolly12bells on Sun 22 Aug 2010, 10:54 pm

Chapter 1 is up! (Sorry for the delay. Couldn't write all weekend. xP)

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by PeggySnow on Sun 22 Aug 2010, 11:05 pm

That ws a great chapter! I feel bad for Liza, though. Sad But post more soon, I'm very intrigued!

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Re: Sometimes It's Just Not That Simple

Post by Dreamer on Sun 22 Aug 2010, 11:12 pm

Aww, poor Liza. More, more!

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