Well hi there, my name is Cassidy Reynolds, seventeen years old, attending Ridgemont High as a senior, I have suffered through eight very long and lonely years in this hell hole since my mother uprooted us from our old town and dragged us here for a ‘better life’ as she called it. We are super poor, and having secretly applied and managed to score me a scholarship to the most prestigious school in the state, we up and left our old life, we don’t turn down a free education after all.
Anyway, as the bell finally rings for the end of my lesson (thank you high school saints), I gather up my stuff quickly, rushing out of the room with my head down. That’s the rule around here if you want to survive school and you are not one of the ‘it’ crowd, keep your head down and don’t make eye contact with anyone, in particular ‘The Populars’.
Hurrying over to my locker I quickly dial the combination and yank the door open, throwing my books onto the shelf as I rummaged for my textbook for my next class.
‘Cassie!’ came a sing song voice from down the hall, turning my face to look up, I break into a smile as my very best, and only friend Jay, comes sprinting toward me.
Jay, full name Jameson Henry Wells, which he hates so insists everyone calls him Jay, is a nerd, there is absolutely no getting away from it. From the wire rimmed glasses, the chequered shirt covered with a machine knitted tank top and the jeans with the carefully ironed pleat to the front? Yep, 100% nerd. BUT, here is the kicker, he is liked, he has this ability to be himself and everyone likes him, even the popular’s talk to him when they see him. He’s in the frigging maths club for goodness sake! He is the head of the damned chess club, but still, literally everyone likes him, treats him as a friend, what kind of messed up parallel high school is this?
The jocks hi five him as he walks through the halls, pretty girls link arms with him and pout cutely as they talk to him.
How did I end up with him as a best friend? Well a year after we moved here, me with absolutely no friends still, he suddenly jumped into my life, I mean he literally jumped, like some sort of overzealous rabbit.
Grabbing my arms he had spun me around to face him, his face beaming widely as he looked down at me like I was some gift from the God’s. ‘I had a dream’ he had stated loudly as I cringed away from him slightly, ‘last night, I dreamt about you! We were the very best of friends, it was a sign, so we are now very best friends forever’ he had declared as I had stared at him like he was insane.
Truth be told, I'm still not one hundred percent sure he’s not a bit crazy but he makes my days a little more bearable. To his word, he has stuck to me like glue, and seven years later, we are still the very best of friends.
Skidding to a stop beside me after having been greeted by half the student body, Jay grinned down at me from his giant 6 ft 1 frame, his sandy blonde hair cut into a stylish crew cut, his deep blue eyes sparking as they met my hazel ones, ‘heyyyyyyy girlfriend!’ he sang loudly.
Giggling I smiled back at him, looking up from my teeny tiny 5ft 4 inches, ‘heyyyyyy boyfriend’ I replied as I gave him a quick hug.
He had insisted that we had to greet each other like that from pretty much the get go because I'm his friend and a girl, and he’s my friend . . you get it.
‘How was chemistry’ I asked as I continued to rummage in my locker for the text book that had decided it didn’t want to be found.
Sighing dramatically, Jay leaned against my locker door, ‘the worst! They partnered me with Dylan for the experiment, I swear I lost IQ points just sitting next to him, I might even have dropped a grade on that lesson’ he moaned as I looked at him covering my mouth in mock horror.
‘Oh no! you’ll only get an A instead of your usual A+? what will you do? Do you need to sit down? Should I call the nurse?’ I asked as I started to fan his face with my newly found text book.
Swatting his hand at me, Jay scowled, ‘you are sooooo unsupportive! Why are you my best friend again?’ he whined.
‘Because you told me I had to be?’ I replied with a grin.
His face clearing, he beamed, ‘oh yeah! And was it not just the best day of your entire life? I mean I am possibly the coolest nerd in this whole facility and YOU get to call me your bestie’ he said smiling.
‘I am the luckiest girl in the whole school’ I agreed hugging him again before pushing him gently off my locker door and slamming it shut.
Throwing his arm around my shoulders, Jay guided me through the corridors to our next class, waving greetings to everyone who called out his name as we walked past.
I still marvel at how literally no-one teases him, or ignores him, he gets invited to all the cool parties, actually, he gets invited to every single party, all of them! It’s like a death threat to your social status to not invite the nerd to your birthday. Plus, he gets a daily invite to the popular’s table at lunchtime, that he only accepts if I'm not at school.
I am pretty much ignored, even when I am stood with him, it’s like I don’t exist, their eyes slide across me unseeingly to focus on my cool nerdy best friend. I am always stood there awkwardly as he banters with the jocks, shyly eyeing up the most popular guy in school, Football captain, holder of the record of most bench presses ever managed by a student since we were twelve and my absolute dream guy, Archer Jones.
There is one student I am glad to be invisible too, the one guy everyone wanted to not be noticed by, Wade Simmons, Eastwood High’s resident bad boy. Dressed in black ripped jeans and a leather jacket, he rode an obnoxiously loud motorcycle and scared the crap out of everyone.
He was a loner, not forced like me, but through choice, he had a best friend who was equally as dangerous, the pair spending their days smoking behind the gym or getting into fights, he and Archer also had a long running feud that no-one knew the origin of, all we knew was that they hated each other’s guts and a few fights had issued between the pair. As with all bad boys, the girls secretly love him, flutter their eyelashes, and basically lose all self-respect every time he and his mate walk past.
I have had one run in with him and that was enough, for a few years I managed to avoid Eastwood’s trouble maker, until that one fateful day, I was thirteen and in a hurry, I was late for my next class, Jay was off sick that day so I was on my own. I ran down the hallway blindly and collided with a brick wall that sent me flying backwards onto the floor, my bag and the papers I was holding going everywhere.
Looking up I had come face to face with Wade who had stared down at me in surprise.
Stammering apologies, I had started to gather my things quickly as he had just stood there staring at me like he had never seen me before, which is probably true, no-one sees me. Then he was called by his best friend, Declan Connors who had eyed me for a second before lifting his gaze and completely ignored my presence as I crawled around the floor frantically.
Wade had looked at his friend then back at me and a smirk had crossed his face, ‘watch where you are going loser’ he had snarled before stomping across my homework that still littered the floor and heading to his lesson.
As we walked into our maths lesson, Jay guided me to our usual seats, this was one of the few classes where I could keep up with the school nerd in academics, we had a friendly rivalry going on over maths tests after the one time I beat him by 2 points in a spot quiz and he accused me of ruining his persona as the smartest person in the school.
A loud rapping on the table calmed the mumbling in the room, drawing all the student’s attention to the front where Miss Hayes was stood. She was a woman in her early fifties, her greying hair pulled back in a tight bun at the back of her head. She is a crazy strict teacher who demands that everyone respects her, even the jocks, who rule the school are wary around her.
She glared around the room and barked the two words that bring a smile to mine and Jays lips and a groan from everyone else in the room.
Grabbing my bag, I rummaged fervently until I found it, my prized possession, it was a bright pink refillable ball point pen with a pink fluffy pom pom on the top.
I had gone to the mall with Jay one afternoon after school, I say that like I had a choice, more like I was dragged kicking and screaming by the arm by my insistent best friend who wanted new trainers.
I don’t go to the mall; I don’t have any money to spend there, and I am terrified that I might ruin something in a store and be expected to pay for it.
Jay was having none of it that day, the son of a wealthy businessman, he has never had to shop in the reduced section of the supermarket. He dragged me around the stores, trying on umpteen pairs of overpriced trainers before finally settling on three pairs because he ‘just couldn’t decide’. As we had left, I had spotted a small stationery shop, my secret passion. Dragging him inside I had oohed and aahed over the shelves of pretty notebooks, diaries and writing implements until my eyes had fallen on the pink pen nestled in a small wooden box.
I had never wanted something so badly in my life, I had held it gently, running my hands over the feathery pom pom until Jay had dragged my attention back to him.
He had offered to buy it for me, he knows my mum and I are pretty broke, but I refused, it was $20! Who spends twenty bucks on a single pen? I had reluctantly put it back and we had left to go home.
A week later I had opened my locker and found the small wooden box perched on the shelf at the top of my locker, taking it down with trembling fingers, I had opened the lid to find the pen of my dreams nestled inside along with spare refills.
I had stared around me but no-one was paying me any attention so I figured Jay had bought it and slipped it into my locker, when I saw him next and punched him hard accusing him of treating my like a charity case as he had protested, insisting that it wasn’t him until I finally believed him.
In the end I decided that maybe there was just a little bit of magic in the world after all, I had wished hard enough and the gods had decided to grant me my wish.
Ever since then I had treated it like the most valuable item ever, I kept it in its little wooden box, and only used it for important tests as I didn’t want to run out of ink.
Looking over at me, Jay raised his eyebrows as he spotted the pen, ‘pulling out the big guns today cass?’ he asked with a smirk.
‘You know it, I am soooo going to beat you today’ I replied as I flipped my braid over my shoulder and faced the front ready for the test sheet to land on my desk.
Sitting straight, I tapped my fingers nervously onto my desk, waiting for Miss Hayes to hand out the tests. Just as the sheet hit my desk, a loud bank echoed through the room making me jump as all eyes swivelled to the classroom door that had just banged itself against the wall behind it.
Storming into the room, the Bad Boy of Ridgemont glowered at our teacher as he made his way to an empty seat, throwing himself into the chair and placing his feet on his desk.
‘A tardy for you Mr Simmons’ Miss Hayes growled in annoyance, as she continued her way around the room.
‘Yeah, I’ll add it my others teach’ Wade replied bored, ‘they are all filed under S for s**t I don’t give a damn about.’
Tutting, our teacher ignored his remark and carried on with her task, looking up I squeaked and hid my face again as my eyes made contact with his. Peeking out of the side of my eye I could see him smirking in amusement as he stared at me, chewing on a piece of gum.