May 29 2006
Last night I barely made it through dinner.
Seriously, what was with the artery clogging food in this damn state? I just didn’t understand it. Was everyone aiming to have a heart attack before the age of 35?
I picked at my food and of course earned insulted looks from Kelly, but in reality Kelly was insignificant to me so I didn’t really care.
Blair was his usual obnoxious self and kind of talked about him and school, so blah, I tuned most of it out.
After it was all over I bolted upstairs to take a shower. The bathroom was pretty nice but I made sure to lock both sides so Blair wouldn’t get any creative ideas to mess with me. I was from New York, I wasn’t trusting by nature.
It was still fairly early but hell if I would hang around with my new family, so I surfed the net, listened to my IPOD, did some crunches, sit ups, and pushups. Then I wrote some emails and called Danny, Julie, and my grandma.
I admit that I was trying to kill some major time.
I went to bed around ten. I couldn’t believe that myself. Hell, I went out to clubs and parties at ten in New York and now I was neatly tucked under the covers by ten. Unbelievable.
I made it to Sunday morning breakfast where I was currently eyeing the breakfast meal.
What the fuck were grits?
I didn’t even bother to ask.
Sausage, bacon, eggs, waffles. Ok, they had these types of food in the north also, but I just wasn’t used to eating it.
I managed to down some eggs and a waffle with some syrup. I didn’t think a little of those two would cause a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack.
That’s right, I knew my medical terms. I’m Asian, what can I say, I was born brilliant.
Oh and orange juice. Orange juice was ok.
Grant was there again. He had lunch and dinner yesterday and now breakfast. I was beginning to detect a pattern here. I had a feeling I was going to be seeing a lot of Grant on a daily basis. The good news was that he seemed way friendlier than his counterpart, Blair. I wonder why they were even friends.
Too bad I didn’t care enough to ask.
Yeah I knew my attitude was shitty; I wasn’t willing to get to know anyone or give anyone a chance, but I didn’t care. I just really wanted to get through this move and go back home.
I was young. I was entitled to be an asshole until I at least turned 22; post college and all that.
Wasn’t being young an excuse to act stupid? Well in my mind it was, so I was gonna live it up.
During breakfast, David mentioned the whole school thing.
Tomorrow would be my first day there, at the end of October. It was an odd time to come since most Southern high schools started earlier than Northern high schools. They began in mid August in comparison to the first week of September that I was so used to.
“It’s a good school, you’ll like it,” David said.
I nodded not bothering to respond because I didn’t know for sure if I could hold back a snide comment.
“Blair, you can give Pete a ride?” David phrased it as a question but it was clearly a statement.
I stared right at Blair and smiled.
Blair looked annoyed and a tight smile formed on his lips, but he nodded at David. “Of course.”
“Are you nervous? I mean going to a new school and all?” Grant asked.
“No?” Grant asked obviously surprised.
I shrugged. “I’ll deal. It may be a little stressful at first, but I’ll deal with it and get passed it. That’s life,” I answered fiddling with my fork.
David cleared his throat and just continued to eat. He seemed uncomfortable. Funny, I wasn’t. I felt just dandy. Being uncomfortable was just a state of mind. If you mentally tell yourself to feel comfortable you automatically are. Perhaps not, but in my case that was how it usually worked.
After breakfast was over, Blair and Grant decided to throw around a football. I heard Texas loves their football. What a shame. Most of the football players become nothing in the future and barely pass college. Only the rare few can get an actual successful football career. I believe there should be more emphasis on education on knowledge, but hey, that’s just me talking.
I immediately grabbed my cell phone and called up Julie. I promised to call and when you make a promise to Julie, you bet your ass you better keep that promise.
“Hey Chink number 2,” I said cheerfully into the phone.
A loud squeal came through the phone and I held the earpiece away from me.
It was this thing between me, Julie, and Danny.
They were full Chinese so I called them chinks and I was mixed, so they called me mutt. It was only between us three; others might take offense because I was a half white person calling them a chink.
“How are you?” she asked.
“I’m ok. I’m dealing. It’s different,” I admitted.
“Of course it is,” she said sympathetically into the phone.
“The food here is so different. Can you tell me what grits are?” I demanded.
Julie laughed and her familiar laugh made me sad since I couldn’t actually be with her laughing too.
“I have no idea what grits are!” Julie exclaimed as if the idea of her knowing what grits were was ludicrous. I guess it was. She was Chinese, she ate how I did.
“Yeah, I’ve been starving for the last three meals here. It’s so hard to find something I normally eat,” I said. “I’ll come back emaciated.”
“No! You’re already so skinny. Go look for a Chinese restaurant and get a job there,” she suggested.
I rolled my eyes. “I haven’t had the chance to look around much. I don’t have a car.”
“Well I don’t know. Does she have any fruit in the house? Load up on those,” Julie said.
“What’s wrong?” Julie asked gently.
“Just,” I said sighing, “Just nothing. I’m just thinking how long it will be until I get to come home,” I said.
“Don’t think so much about it. The more you think about it, the slower the time will go.”
“But it’s going slow already!” I cried into the phone. “Do you have any idea how boring it is around here? There is absolutely nothing to do! And if there was something to do there would be only one thing to do because there are no choices! No variety! JUliE!” I screamed.
“Ok, ok, don’t go getting all dramatic on me now,” Julie said chuckling. “I want to be the drama major remember?” she asked.
“Can you and Danny come down and escort me through school?” I asked in a baby voice.
Julie laughed again. “Listen this is so unlike you! You’re the most confident, outgoing, popular guy in our school and you were openly gay! People will love you there, just don’t mention the gay thing,” she added quickly.
“You know, it’s-”
“Texas,” I finished for her.
“When is your winter vacation?” she asked.
“I don’t know, I haven’t gotten the student handbook yet,” I replied.
“Well go look it up, I know you have your computer on all the time,” she said.
I smiled. She knew me so well.
“Ok,” I said settling down at my desk and typing in the name of high school in the search bar.
I scrolled down and tried to look for the best matching link.
I clicked on one that seemed to fit.
“I’m putting you on speaker,” I told her and I pressed the speaker button and placed the cell next to the lap top.
I scanned the school’s website and looked for the calendar.
“Hold up, I’m looking at it now,” I said.
“Ok here it is. Winter break is from December 19 to the 30th and Spring break is March 13 to the 17th.” Julie was silent on the other end and since I knew her so well I had a feeling she had whipped out her Hello Kitty calendar and was jotting down these specific dates. “And there are the general dates off, like Thanksgiving and labor day and the such,” I added.
“Wow, you have a long Winter break,” she mumbled and I heard pages turning through the phone.
“Yeah, I guess that’s one good thing about this school,” I grumbled.
“I would agree,” Julie said. I could practically see and hear her smiling.
“Well that just means I have plenty of time to visit you and Danny,” I said, brightening at the idea.
“December isn’t so far off, you know,” Julie reminded. “It’s almost November already.”
“It still won’t go fast enough. I have like almost two months. That’s going to be hard to get through.”
“Oh, stop being such a woman,” Julie said giggling.
“Shut up Julie! You have no idea how this place is like. I dare you to fly down here and spend a week eating grits and chicken soaked in fat, and then lecture me again,” I said in a challenging tone.
“No freaking way!” Julie squealed, “I need my Chinese food!”
“I thought so!” I said smugly.
I wanted to get to the guidance office and get my schedule sooner and have a look around so I knew the connection between all my classes. I liked to know what I was doing beforehand.
The school was bigger than my last high school and therefore more rooms to memorize where to get to, but I figured I could manage. I wasn’t an idiot, well at least not in the intellectual sense.
After walking around a couple times I got the feel of it and had a walking route all mapped out.
I walked to my first period class, which happened to be European history, and found a teacher already sitting there.
I approached her and cleared my throat. She looked up at me from her desk expectantly.
“Yes, may I help you?” she asked politely.
“I’m new here and this is my class,” I said handing her my schedule.
She glanced at it and took out the seating chart. “Ok,” she said running her fingers down the columns. “There is an empty seat over there, in the far corner,” she said pointing.
“Thank you,” I said smiling and I headed over to my seat.
I placed my book bag under my desk and just sat there, waiting.
My pocket vibrated and I fished out my cell phone in a hurry.
I glanced at the caller id which stated I had a text message from Julie.
I opened my phone.
“Good luck on you first day. Just be charming like Keanu, you sexy beast!”
I grinned and shook my head and noticed from the corner of my eye the guy next to me still staring.
Stare all you want buddy.
Then my phone buzzed again and I got another text message, this time from Danny.
It read: “Stomp those honky asses!”
I laughed out loud.
More kids were streaming into the room and I got a lot of looks from them, mostly curious.
I just glanced back at them but didn’t say anything.
I saw Grant walk in right before the bell rang and he took a seat near the back as well.
He noticed me after a moment and lifted his hand in a wave and smiled.
I nodded at him and turned my attention to the front of the room.
When the room was quiet, the teacher stood up.
“We have a new student today,” she began.
I fought the urge to groan. Damn new kid introductions.
“Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?” she asked. “I’m Ms. Smith by the way.”
“I’m Pete, I’m from New York, and anything else you want to know you can just ask me,” I replied curtly.
Ms. Smith blinked, a little surprised I didn’t say more about myself, but I think my statement spoke for itself. Those were my basics and anything extra they could seriously just ask.
There was a murmur and a little rustling after I introduced myself.
“New York?” a pretty blond girl asked.
I nodded at her.
“Do you ride the train?” she asked smiling.
I cracked a little grin. “I sure do.”
“I always wanted to go to New York,” she continued.
“You should, it’s great,” I said.
Ms. Smith clapped her hands. “Ok class, let’s get back to work. Please take out your books and turn to Chapter 20. I want you to fill out a handout,” she said walking to the front of the rows with a stack of papers in her hand.
I was secretly happy.
Busy work equaled easy work.
I took the sheet and scanned it over quickly. Fill in the blank terms, easy enough, I could handle that.
“You may work together in small groups,” Ms. Smith added after the noise level in the classroom had gone up anyway.
The classroom immediately became active as people around me shoved their desks together, but I remained where I was. I didn’t care much working with others, especially if I didn’t know any of them.
I opened the book and skimmed the page quickly.
Aha! Found the first answer already.
I read quickly and wrote down the answers in the blanks.
Within a little under twenty minutes I finished both sides of the worksheet. We still had a good ten to fifteen minutes left of class time so I closed my book.
When the bell rang, I didn’t bolt out the door like all the other kids. I knew my way around by now and I strolled along purposely towards my next class.
The next few classes that followed first period were more or less the same. I had to introduce myself, ignore curious looks, and answer some lame questions.
Lunch was every new kid’s nightmare. Finding somewhere to sit. I however, didn’t care what kind of impression I made so a point pour moi.
I bought some fruit, salad, and bottled water and scanned the very crowded cafeteria. I noticed a table with a guy who was sketching furiously in a notebook and had dark hair. No one paid attention to him and he was all alone.
I walked over.
“Mind if I sit?” I asked and plopped down without waiting for an answer.
The guy looked up at me with surprise and slight annoyance as I began eating my salad.
“Why are you sitting here?” he asked me his dark eyes drilling into me.
“I needed somewhere to sit,” I replied simply.
“But why here?” he pressed.
“You’re the only one here,” I said and he continued to stare at me. “Empty seats,” I elaborated. “And you look like a normal person.”
“Normal person?” he asked frowning.
“Yeah, as in someone who isn’t a perky cheerleader or a dumb jock or some stupid farmer hick,” I said taking a sip of water. “Then again you could be a hick or a racist but it’s too soon for me to know that. Maybe I’ll know by the end of lunch?” I asked smiling.
He looked at me with an expression I could only describe as shock or awe. I’m not too sure. It was a tough call.
“I’m Pete,” I said after the silence stretched for awhile. “I’m new here.”
“I know. I heard about you.”
“Heard about me?” I asked smirking. “People talking about me already?”
“Yeah, you’re the new guy from New York. People are curious about you,” he added.
“Yeah, I do possess a certain mystique,” I said flipping an imaginary collar.
A small smile tugged at the guy’s lips but it didn’t become a full blown one.
“Aren’t you going to tell me your name?” I asked looking at him. “What happened to Southern manners?”
“It’s nice to meet you Parker,” I said biting into a banana.
“You eat so healthy,” he commented eyeing my food. That was funny coming from him; I didn’t notice him eating anything. I decided not to ask him about it.
I shrugged. “They don’t serve Chinese food and I’m not in the mood for mashed potatoes or fried chicken, so fruit and salads are the next best thing.”
“You’re Chinese?” Parker asked curiously.
“Half,” I said.
“What’s your other half?”
“White,” I said.
“I don’t know.”
Parker stared at me as if he didn’t believe me.
Hey, everyone always thought all Asians are the same, so hell, I was going to think all Whites were the same. Russians, Poles, Germans, Bulgarians, French, you name it, all the fucking same.
“You’re lucky to be good at art,” I said suddenly and he shot me a questioning look. “Even though I didn’t see what you were drawing I could tell it was something which is much better than the gray blobs I come up with. I have a lot of friends that are artistically gifted and unfortunately I am not. You’d think because I am Chinese I’d be awesome at art and all that stuff. Well no,” I paused to think a minute. “Yet I am rather good at math and science, but I can write too, and play the piano.” I looked at Parker questioningly. “Where was I going with this?”
Parker shook his head and looked amused.
“Oh yeah, I’m terrible at art,” I concluded and Parker actually smiled. He normally had such a brooding look with his dark hair, dark eyes, chin dimple, and full red lips, but when he smiled he looked open and cute. I smiled back at him. “Julie is really great at art. She can create something out of nothing. And she bakes the best cookies. She decorates them, man,” I said in an awed tone.
“Julie is your girlfriend?” he asked but I never got a chance to answer him.
The bell rang signaling lunch was over. I stood up to discard my trash. I looked at him and smiled. “Perhaps one day we’ll be good enough friends where you can show me your art and I’ll play piano for you,” I said and without another glance I turned and walked away.
“I heard you were eating lunch with that fag Parker today,” Blair said as I was doing my evening workout which basically served to kill time.
I didn’t say anything as I did my hundredth sit up and dabbed at some sweat that had gathered on my forehead.
“Now everyone thinks you’re a fag and then that gets back to me,” Blair hissed walking further into my room without being invited, might I add.
I stopped doing my sit ups and glared at Blair. “How do you even know if he’s gay? Did you have first hand experience, eh?” I asked winking at him.
“You’re an idiot,” Blair said hotly looking appalled at my suggestion.
“I respectfully disagree with that comment, but you’re entitled to your own opinions, no matter how air headed they may be,” I said calmly resuming my sit ups.
Blair just crossed his arms and looked down at me in disdain. He seemed mad that he wasn’t able to get a reaction out of me.
“Consider the rest of the school year a nightmare,” Blair threatened.
“Awesome. I was in dire need of excitement in my life, especially around here. Driving around in a pick up truck wasn’t quite cutting it for me,” I said.
Blair glared at me one last time and huffed out of my room through the bathroom and slammed his own door.
“Boys, dinner!” Kelly called out loudly.
I groaned and stood up and went to the bathroom to splash some water on my face.
I took my seat at the kitchen table at my usual seat and as usual Grant was across from me.
“How’s it going Grant,” I said nonchalantly.
Grant looked at me in surprise but recovered quickly. “Uh, it’s going well,” he stammered.
“Good, good,” I said sipping my water.
“How was your first day of school?” David asked.
“Excellent,” I said.
Blair glared at me, his blue eyes narrowing and flaring.
If Blair wasn’t such an asshole, a homophobe, a jerk, oh the list went on; I would be attracted to him. He was good looking and sometimes certain guys got even hotter when they were pissed. Well, Blair was one of those guys.
“Did you find all your classes ok?” David continued.
“I sure did.”
Kelly made spaghetti today. I could live with that. I suddenly had an appetite.
I heaped a large helping of pasta on my plate.
“Actually, I had a lot of fun today, especially during lunch,” I began glancing first at David then at Blair.
David looked pleased. “What happened during lunch?”
“I made a friend already,” I said grinning like an idiot.
Blair dropped his fork with a clang.
I stuffed a large forkful of pasta into my mouth while still smiling broadly.
I felt like an obnoxious ass, but it felt oh so good.
“Hi!” a cheery voice interrupted my little morning ritual of staring off into space until class started.
The class was buzzing with laughter and talking, but no one really talked to me and I wasn’t interested in initiating a conversation. It was far too early for that shit.
So this was a surprise.
I looked up and saw a pale hand and my eyes traveled up to a slim arm and a friendly, smiling face.
I extended my hand and shook the girl’s hand and nodded.
“I’m Jet Meyers,” she said smiling broadly, “I didn’t get a chance to say hi yesterday because I had to leave early for a guidance appointment, but I just wanted to introduce myself, since it seems like you don’t know anyone.”
“Thanks, I’m Pete.”
“I know,” Jet said smiling.
“I like your name, very cool,” I said giving her a half smile and she grinned, flipping her shoulder length light brown, blondish hair.
“Thanks! I used to hate it when I was younger because all my friends had girly names like Megan, Jessica, or Heather and I was Jet. But now I love my name because it’s different, so suck that!”
I laughed at her enthusiasm while I studied her features. I detected that she was like me, a mix.
Every mixed person with some Asian blood has the eyes that gave them away. She looked mostly white at a quick glance except her eyes had that slight almond shape which gave her a cool look, since she had light hair, and pale skin with freckles around her arms and face.
I glanced at her wrists and noticed she had Chinese symbols on them, which I could read.
I looked up at her, “Chinese?”
She smiled, “Half, my Mom. I live here with my Dad. My parents are divorced. I couldn’t get along with my Mom when she got remarried so I called my Dad and booked a flight. That was three years ago.”
“Just like that?” I asked with amusement. I liked the go attitude of this girl.
“Yup, just like that,” she responded.
“Wow, impressive. I can appreciate that.”
“I know,” she said, “I’m awesome.”
I laughed heartily, “Yeah, you are. Just about the only awesome one here.”
“Of course!” she exclaimed.
“So where are you from originally?” I asked.
“Connecticut,” she said.
“North East Coast? Ah, I can appreciate that.”
“Yeah, and you’re from New York? Way awesome. I always loved chilling there, it’s the best.”
“Yeah it is, I can’t argue with that,” I said smiling.
“So you miss it?”
“So why are you out here?” she asked.
“Mom died, I’m finishing high school here with my Dad. It was her wish or something,” I replied bluntly.
Now when you tell most people that your Mom died, they get all quiet, and tell you some fake sorry that they can’t really possibly mean, but instead have to say. I hated when people did that.
Luckily, Jet didn’t.
She just nodded, “I see. So are you moving back after graduation?”
“Hell, I’m flying out on graduation day and I’ll have my diploma sent to me or something,” I said seriously.
She laughed, “Cool.”
"What part of New York do you live in? Which borough?'
There was a lull in the conversation but I didn’t feel uncomfortable. I was able to do that, be with people who looked uncomfortable during a supposedly awkward moment, but I would just stand there, feeling peachy. I really think that being uncomfortable was just a state of mind and if you told yourself not to feel that way, you wouldn’t. So far it has worked for me, so you know, if it ain’t broke.
Jet seemed fine too, sighing peacefully and gazing around the room.
“Where do you sit at lunch?” she suddenly asked with a curious tone.
“Um, I randomly sat down with some guy sitting by himself. I don’t care for large crowds, well that’s actually not true, but over here, I don’t exactly have a lot of friends.”
“What’s his name?”
She frowned and tilted her head, “Huh. I don’t know a Parker.”
“Well have lunch with us today and then you can know a Parker,” I responded smiling and she grinned at me.
“Sounds great. I usually sit with my boy friend but he’s been sick for a few days and has to make up an exam during lunch. Without him I have no one else to sit with.”
“I highly doubt that,” I said regarding her.
She shrugged, “Ok, that’s not true. Everyone loves me, but that doesn’t mean I love everyone else in return.”
“Oh, I understand that.”
Just then the teacher walked in and the noise level diminished slightly.
Jet shifted in her seat and faced forward.
“Paper topics for the research paper,” the teacher announced and there was a definite audible groan.
I turned to Jet and she was making a face.
“Hey there Parker,” I said plopping down at his table and he looked up at me with surprise, as if he wasn’t really expecting me to sit down with him again two days in a row.
“Hey Pete,” he said slowly, sketching away in his book.
I crunched into an apple and eyed him, “Don’t you eat?”
“I eat when I go home.”
“Why?” I asked, “Don’t you get hungry, like now?”
Parker smiled at me, “I’m kind of picky about what I eat.”
I nodded, “Ok, I hear ya.”
I was about to say something else to Parker when I noticed his eyes were focused on something else.
I turned my head slightly and noticed Jet had entered the cafeteria and was making her way past some tables, occasionally stopping to say hi and chat briefly.
She then angled herself towards us and smiled and waved at me, her dark blond hair swishing around her slim bare shoulders.
I glanced back at Parker who was still staring at Jet with his mouth slightly open. His eyes widened when he realized she was coming over to sit with us and he turned a little pink.
Someone had a crush.
“Hi Pete! I found you,” she said cheerfully sitting down with her brown bag.
She looked at Parker, “You must be Parker. Hi, I’m Jet,” she said smiling widely.
Parker just nodded and mumbled an incoherent response.
“Ooh, I’ll be right back. I need a soda,” she said jumping to her feet and heading towards the vending machines.
I turned back to Parker, “Hey, when you talk to her, it would be good for everyone if you did it loud enough for people to hear.”
He shot me a glare.
“Like her, don’t ya?” I teased, “I saw the way you were looking at her. I swear you must have swallowed ten flies.”
He blushed further and averted his eyes from mine.
“It’s ok, we’re buds, you can tell me if you like her,” I insisted grinning.
“Don’t say anything,” he muttered to me just as Jet approached us and sat down.
Jet was about to open her mouth to say something to me but was cut off when a carton of chocolate milk was thrown at our table.
It landed in the center and was slightly open, so the liquid spilled out, narrowly missing my legs as I shoved my chair backwards and dodged out of the way.
“What the fuck?” I cursed and I looked in the direction it had come from.
I noticed a group of football players were laughing loudly and looking in our direction, trying to looking innocent.
I frowned when I noticed Blair and Grant among that group.
My frown deepened when Blair mouthed the word ‘fag’ and then gave me the finger.
I heard Jet clicking her tongue.
“Bastards,” she said and I turned to her with surprise and my expression became one of shock when she picked up the carton, eased it shut and stuffed a napkin in the opening to stop the flow of liquid.
Then abruptly and with remarkable aim and lots of power in her throw, she chucked the carton back at the football table and it actually hit a guy next to Blair squarely on the chest.
The napkin popped out of the hole and the milk spilled all over his shirt.
“Shit!” we heard him shout and then he stood up. Droplets of milk went down his body and he shot us a dirty look before heading to the bathroom.
Everyone at that table turned to look at us as did some other tables and Jet put her hand over her mouth, and made an Oops expression.
She then smiled and continued to eat her lunch without a care in the world.
“Nice!” I said.
She shrugged, “Blair Ryerson and all his buddies are the biggest jerks. They’ve never done anything to be outright, but I hate how he picks on everyone, like he’s so much better than everyone else. I mean my right shoe has more brains that his head, so why is he so damned cocky? Stupid meathead.”
I sat back, amazed at her bluntness and ferocity.
It was like I was hit with a dose of New York and a feeling of home. Ah, how nice.
“Well you have great aim.”
“Of course,” she said simply as if her athletic arm skills was a fact.
I paused, “I live with him.”
Her eyes snapped to mine, “Him who? Blair Ryerson?”
Even Parker was looking at me with curiousity.
I nodded, “Yeah, my Dad is his step dad and I’m living in their house. It sucks having my room next to his.”
“Wow, that must suck ass living with him. I’d kill myself,” Jet said.
I smiled, “Well I have been tempted in the past to stab out my eyeballs, but I’ve managed to refrain.”
Jet giggled, “Good, good.”
For the rest of lunch, Jet did most of the talking and I input a little. Parker was quiet and just sketched away, glancing at us only occasionally. I would have thought Jet would have forced him to talk, but she seemed to sense how quiet and shy he was and let him be.
When lunch was over, Jet had to rush out and meet her boyfriend that was taking the make up exam and give him some class notes for his next class.
“Bye guys, see you tomorrow!” she said and then walked off.
Parker was staring down at his hands as we gathered out stuff to leave the cafeteria.
“You live with Blair?”
“Yeah,” I said confused.
“I hate him, he bullies me a lot.”
“Well, I don’t know, know it, but Blair got in my face yesterday for eating lunch with you and how it was a reflection on him or some shit like that. I don’t know, I was kind of tuning him out,” I said lifting my book bag up.
“He got in your face because he thinks I’m a fag, right?” Parker asked quietly.
“Yeah,” I said truthfully, “But I’m not gonna ask you anything because I don’t care about that. You’re you and whatever else that comes with you, I’ll accept, as I expect the same from my friends. I don’t give a shit what Blair or anyone else for that matter thinks, so you shouldn’t either.”
Parker was silent.
“I still hate him and how he bugs me. Sometimes I’d rather get beaten than have to deal with his verbal attacks.”
I studied Parker, “Yeah, words can be harsh but try not to let it get to you. Check it out, after high school you can go to some fancy art school and become a big shot, while he will play football in college, get an injury, and flunk all his classes. Then he’ll be working at a local Burger King or something and the only thing he can say to you is, ‘do you want fries with that’?”
Parker actually smiled and laughed, looking grateful.
I nodded at him, indicating I had to leave to head to my next class as did he.
“I’m not,” he said to my back.
I faced him, “What?”
“I’m not gay,” Parker said looking at me directly with his dark brown eyes.
I smirked, “Dude, I knew that already. I don’t believe everything people tell me. And besides, no gay dude gets that flustered around a girl, so maybe you’re bisexual, but you’re definitely not gay.”
“I like girls,” Parker added quickly when I mentioned the bisexual part.
I smiled, “Ok.”
“I just thought it would be good to be upfront about everything, so you know, you know what kind of shit you’ll have to put up with,” Parker said.
“You’re my friend, Parker, no big deal,” I said.
Parker nodded and looked away from me, “Ok.”
“I’m out. See you tomorrow. And of course Jet. Try to think of something to say to her, ok? So you can help me out with her chatter,” I rolled my eyes and smiled, “That girl can talk!”
Parker smiled, “Ok.”
He waved and we parted ways.
When dinner rolled around, I sat at the table and was surprised Grant wasn’t around.
Unfortunately Blair was and he was shooting daggers at me.
I just smiled at him pleasantly and sure enough, my smile infuriated him further.
I think he expected me to be intimidated by the big man on campus, but I’ve been on the subways into the wee hours of the morning and dealt with robbers and criminals on the streets of New York. Some blond, high school football player wasn’t going to scare me.
“Hi Blair,” I said cheerfully, “How are you?”
David looked at me a little shocked and Kelly shot me a weird look.
I loved shocking people, even if it meant being nice to meathead Blair.
Blair ignored me and took a drink of juice.
“You know it’s rude not to answer someone when they ask you a question,” I pressed smiling angelically.
“I’m fine,” Blair grunted.
I smirked, “Good to hear it. By the way, how is your friend’s shirt?” I asked innocently and Blair’s eyes narrowed at me.
“You know you should really be more careful with those milk cartons. Sometimes, they’re just so slippery. You know, they slip right out of your hands,” I said making a throwing motion.
“What happened to your friend’s shirt? Something happen?” David asked watching our exchange.
“He spilled milk all over himself,” I explained.
“That girl you were with threw it at him!” Blair exclaimed.
“After you threw it at my table! Why don’t you stop being such a bully and get your head out of your ass, shit for brains! You’re not better than Parker or anyone, so stop bothering him.”
Blair clenched his fists.
“Stop being a bitch Pete. Defending your little boyfriend, are you?” he sneered.
I opened to my mouth to retort but I saw David’s warning glance and I figured a different tactic would be better.
“Why do you hate gay people so much Blair?” I asked neutrally.
He frowned at me as if it were a trick question, “because it’s wrong and against God, the church, and the bible.”
I nodded, “Perhaps, but it seems like to me you don’t follow rules just because it’s wrong. So I think it’s something else,” I mused thoughtfully.
I looked at him head on, “Maybe because you’re doing a little projection as a defense mechanism and you outwardly hate gay people because internally you’re having homosexual thoughts and feelings and you’re ashamed and try to repress them by lashing out!”
I said all that in a rush and Kelly gasped and David’s mouth fell open, while Blair looked at me with shock.
“Are you calling me a fag?” Blair spat standing up.
“Hey, if it fits, blondie,” I said calmly standing up as well.
“I’m gonna kick your ass, chink!”
Kelly and David stood up now, trying to refrain Blair.
“Blair, calm down honey,” Kelly cooed, ignoring me.
“Bring it bitch,” I said curling my lips when I said bitch and I shot him a cocky look, “I’m a chink alright and I’ll kung fu your white ass.” I shot my hands out and gave him a 'come here' motion.
Blair's blue eyes widened and he looked positively outraged.
Hm, perhaps struck a chord there.
"There will be no fighting, boys!" Kelly said firmly.
"That's right. Now sit down, shut up, and eat dinner!" David said raising his voice and I was shocked. I never heard him get angry before.
"No more fighting, it's annoying. Just eat and be quiet," David added and he sat down and began to eat.
Blair and I eyed each other and slowly sat down.
Blair was still glaring at me and I openly stared at him, a small smile on my lips.
I pursed my lips at him, as if issuing a challenge.
Hey, I was bored around here; I had to find some way to entertain myself.
What was more entertaining than knocking some jerk off his high horse?
Especially when that jerk lived in the next room over? And was technically your step sibling?
I didn’t like Texas, but while I was here I could make the best of it.
I mouthed ‘Bitch’ to Blair while Kelly and David weren’t looking and I took great delight in the way Blair’s eyes widened with anger.
Ah yes...goooood times.
The next day at lunch, I got into the routine of picking up my fruit and salad and sitting with Parker, who looked slightly more at ease with my presence.
And I got to meet Jet's boyfriend.
"Lawrence, this is Pete Liu, from New York, and Parker," Jet introduced, smiling brightly as she sat down.
Lawrence smiled and shook my hand before taking a seat beside Jet.
Jet was petite, around 5'3 and slim, but Lawrence wasn't much bigger. He was around 5'7, skinny, and wore glasses. He had dirty blond hair that stuck up in a fashionable way and serious hazel eyes.
He eyed me and Parker and I had the feeling he wasn't too happy about Jet hanging out with two guys. Well, there was no problem with me, I didn't go for the ladies, but Parker did. But considering how flustered Parker got around Jet, I'm betting Lawrence had no competition there either.
"So how long have you two been going out?" I asked them.
"Two years," Jet said. Lawrence nodded.
"Wow," I said impressed, "That's a long time."
Jet smiled at Lawrence and affectionately took his hand.
"How did you two meet?" Parker asked and Jet and I looked at him with surprise.
Looks like someone was coming out of their shell.
"Oh god," Lawrence groaned, "the how we met story. Embarassing."
I looked at him with amusement, "I'm tres intrigued. Continue, please."
Jet laughed and turned to Lawrence, "Come on honey, it's not the embarassing. You should be grateful for a girl like me."
"I am," Lawrence said and kissing her briefly on the lips.
"Enough of the PDA and get on to the story!" I prodded almost impatiently.
Jet laughed and nudged Lawrence, "You can tell it baby."
Lawrence looked between me and Parker. "Well, two years ago, I had a fight with my parents so I went for a walk late at night."
"Not the brightest thing on your part," Jet interjected and Lawrence shot her a look. "Go ahead," she nodded.
"Anyway, I was walking and I bumped into three guys who were causing trouble and were about to beat up on me. I was freaking out but I'm small and those guys were big and I was severely outnumbered."
"So how did you escape?" Parker asked seeming really interested.
"Jet came by and saved me," Lawrence said simply.
"Saved you?" I repeated.
"There's something you need to know about Jet. No only can she do any sport or activity she wants to and excel at it, but she's also like a karate master."
I looked at Jet, "Really?"
Jet nodded, "Yeah, I started gymnastics and karate when I was really young, like four. Hell I even did competitive gymnastics until I was ten and karate lessons on the side, but then I quit gymnastics and dedicated myself to karate full time. I have numerous black belts in several martial arts form," she added but not in a cocky way.
"That's freaking awesome," Parker said his mouth hanging open slightly.
"Yeah and I was on the ground and suddenly the guy's head is knocked away and we all turn and are shocked when we see this tiny girl standing there, in a skirt and boots. It was cute, actually," Lawrence said smiling at the memory and Jet snorted.
"I kicked their asses, one at a time. But one guy took a cheap shot at me, and I got a black eye, but he got his!" she said smugly.
Wow, I really liked Jet.
"No one messes with Jet, at least physically. She's got weaponry in her room that I don't even want to imagine what it would do to me," Lawrence said shuddering.
"I'll slice and dice," Jet said eerily slicing the air with her hands and I laughed.
"So since you're a gymnast, you must be even better with karate stuff because you have the stength and agility already," I commented.
Jet nodded,"Yeah, it helps. I like to keep active and everything."
"Every night she meditates and does tai chi. And she's insane about running and swimming. And have you seen the girl play tennis?" Lawrence asked looking at me, shaking his head, "I did doubles with her once, and the ball was coming in my direction, but Jet flies over to my side and power knocks it back, hitting me in the process," he finished, rubbing his head as if he could still feel the impact of Jet's hit.
"We won!" Jet said defensively.
I chuckled, "Competitive?" I asked Lawrence.
He rolled his eyes, "You have no idea my friend."
"Do you have any plans this weekend?" Jet asked.
I blinked a litle at the quick change in topics, but recovered. "Uh, no, I don't really have much of a life around here, other than school. I was thinking of getting a job though, to get me out of the house, like all the time."
"Well, do you, and you," she said glancing at Parker, "Want to go over to my house this weekend to hang out? I have a pool and we can barbecue."
I nodded, "Sure, sounds great. Parker?"
Parker nodded too, "Um, yeah, ok."
Jet grinned happily, "Yay! I love little gatherings."
Lawrence laughed at his girlfriend's enthusiasm.
"Ok, it's Wednesday, that means the rest of the week is going to fly by," Jet announced, "Wednesday is the over the hump day. Once you finish this day, the weekend will be here in no time," she explained.
I nodded, "Makes sense."
I turned to Parker, "Want to go job hunting with me, later?" I asked.
"Yeah, do you want a job too? We could work together. Oh and do you have a car, because I don't," I said quickly.
"Oh, I'm not like, using you for your car or anything, but it would be an added benefit of you coming along," I said. I looked at him again, "So, yes, come with me?"
Parker smiled in amusement, 'Yeah sure. I guess I could use some extra cash."
"Good man," I said pointing at him.
The lunch bell rang.
"We got to go. See you tomorrow, and then this Saturday!" Jet said taking Lawrence's hand. He waved and they walked out a different exit.
I saw Blair glaring at me as I walked with Parker past his table as his football buddies were preparing to leave.
I smiled charmingly at him before turning away.
"Wait, let's check this place out," I instructed Parker as I noticed a small tutoring center in a small corner of a shopping center.
"It looks dead," Parker said.
"Hey don't knock it. It could end up being a great place to work," I insisted, getting out of the car.
It did look quiet, but it was nice once I walked inside.
The room was large and there were large round tables set up and a few computer stations. There was an office room near the back and I walked towards it, knocking lightly.
A woman in her twenties turned to face me, her brown hair flipping around.
"Hey, can I get an application?" I asked.
She looked at me and smiled, "No need. If you're any good at math, chemisty, or biology, you are hired!"
Taken aback, I stammered, "Uh, yeah, I'm decent in all those subjects."
She smiled widely, "Great, then give me your availability and then we can discuss schedules and pay rates," she said hanging me a sheet of paper and a pen, "By the way, I'm Stacey."
"Pete," I said shaking her hand, "So, in massive need of tutors?"
She nodded, "Yeah, for some reason, all the tutors I used to have just took off and well, let's say I'm not so great with the academics."
"Gotcha. Well basically I'm free all the time, but I'll give you more details," I said indicating the paper, "Do you need more than one tutor," I asked glancing towards Parker who was milling around by me.
She looked at him as well, "Sure, as long as he can do something."
"Cool. I'll be back with this," I said and moved over to a table.
"She seems cool. Want to work here with me?" I asked Parker.
"Want to give it a try and if you don't like it, you can quit," I reminded.
Parker thought about it, "Yeah, I guess."
"Good," I said, "So, you any good at math, Chem, or Bio?"
"Bio and Chem," he replied.
"Perfect. Now write down your availability," I said tearing my blank sheet in half.
He seemed kind of surprised at how fast I was putting things in motion. Even I was surprised. But I was desperate, I didn't want to be cooped up in the house every night and weekend day. It was getting really hard and it hasn't even been a full week yet!
I checked the hours and the place closed eight on weekdays and five on weekends. That was great.
I put down I could work everyday from four to eight, and on weekends, whenever, except for this Saturday. Parker wrote the same.
Stacey looked at our papers and then at us, smiling, "Ok, good, good."
"The pay is eight bucks an hour, it's not the great, but business isn't flowing like crazy. And on downtime you can do your own homework, surf the net, or listen to music, so you're getting eight bucks to do monkey work. Sound good?" she said briskly.
"Awesome," I answered for Parker and me.
"Start tomorrow?" she asked both of us.
"Yeah, but Saturday we need off. We just got invited to something."
Stacey nodded, "Fine. See you guys tomorrow, at 4"
"You got it."
I walked out, leading Parker.
"That's the fastest job I ever got," Parker said in awe, going over to the driver's side.
I laughed, "Yeah me too. But it was kinda cool and she seems chill."
"Alright, let's head home. I got dinner to go to," I groaned.
Parker looked at me quizzically as he turned onto the main road towards my house.