A Little More Than Average

January 7, 2008
By Lauren Johnson, Clarkston, MI

High school is a time where you fight stereotypes, have very little responsibility and yet at the same time trying to figure out who you are. Being expected to make decisions and being forced into adulthood is what high school is all about. In a small town in Alabama called Clayton, that’s exactly what happens. Teenagers try and grow up so fast with the little life experience sheltered in the south.

Sarah Smith is a petite girl with faded blonde hair and hopeful eyes. Her nail polish is always chipped and she walks with her head in the clouds. Sarah goes to an average small town high school with Hollywood drama. Having big dreams, Sarah just wants to get high school over with to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.

Sarah prides herself on being a good student, daughter and friend. She looks to the future and learns from the past but sometimes gets caught up in the obvious fact that she is just average. Her best friends’ name is Brad Jones. They have known each other since kindergarten and share the same outlook on life. They have long talks about relationships, school and just anything, their conversations are effortless.

One day at school Sarah and Brad were walking to fourth hour history class, and as they sat down in their back corner of the room as if it were reserved for them, Sarah notices a new face. As he turns around Sarah analyzes the perfect bone structured, tan, perfect Brock Hudgens. Brock was a senior who transferred from Michigan looking completely clueless but completely flawless. His lack of knowledge of the south and everyone in it was intriguing to Sarah who hadn’t had a crush on anyone for years.

What Brock didn’t know was after about a week at Clayton you’re put into a social group that defines you for the rest of your high school career. It’s an unfair process but it happens to everyone.

“Who are you?” asked Trish, the head honcho of Clayton High School.

“I’m Brock, I just moved here from Michigan,” he answered.
“Oh, well I’d like to be the first to officially welcome you to Clayton. It’s not a big town but we get by,” said Trish.
Trish was the two faced, backstabbing kind of girl who seemed nice to your face and then spread rumors about you two minutes later. She is the girl who gets what she wants not because people like her, but because people are afraid of her. She is the queen bee of Clayton High. Trish and I were best friends in the eighth grade, but once high school started, Trish became the “it girl” and I got held back in a world full of average.
“Thanks, I’m not really sure what I’m doing so if you could maybe help me out that would be great,” said a grateful Brock
“Of course! It would be my pleasure, I’m an excellent tour guide,” squealed Trish.

In history class Sarah admired Brock from afar. She watched him dominate on the football field, and make tons of friends. It seemed like he instantly became the most popular boy in school. Every girl wanted to date him and every guy wanted to be him. You’d think Sarah would be turned off by all of this but Brocks’ modest attitude and kindness towards everyone made her feel as though he was different from all of the insensitive jerks at her school.

It took Sarah a lot of self pep talking to actually get up the courage to talk to Brock. Sarah knew if there was even a slight chance that he could be interested in her she would have to talk to him.

“You know he’s just another jerk Sarah,” said Brad
“Shut up Brad, no he’s not. He’s kind and caring, you don’t even know him,” said Sarah.
“ Ok I just don’t want you to get your heart broken,” said a concerned Brad.
As soon as she got the feeling back in her legs Sarah went up to sharpen her pencil which really didn’t need to be sharpened. Her palms were moist and her legs felt like they weighed a thousand pounds. As she shuffled past Brock she held her breath as if she weren’t worthy of breathing the same air. Her shoes were squeaking against the polished floor and she felt like her heart was so loud and everyone could hear it. While walking back to her seat in the corner Sarah bashfully said hello to Brock in a hesitant tone as if she wasn’t sure if he even knew she existed. Brock smiled back and continued with his work. He was wearing a baby blue polo with dark destroyed jeans and a white undershirt. The baby blue shirt made him look even tanner than he already was. As she floated back to her seat, she caught a whiff of his cologne made her melt.

Later that day in the lunchroom Brock was behind Sarah in line and all of a sudden Sarah felt a tap on her shoulder.

“You’re Sarah from history right?” asked Brock.

Sarah looked around to check if he was actually talking to her. She did a double take and then realized if she didn’t say something she could lose this moment they were having.

“Yeah I sit a couple seats behind you,” said Sarah, her heart pounding out of her chest.

“That’s what I thought; well I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind helping me study for the test on Friday?” Brock asked.
This reminded Sarah of a time in eighth grade when a boy named Kyle Jackson wanted her to help him study. He was gorgeous of course and lived just a couple houses down the street. Sarah had, had a crush on him for a while and didn’t know what to do about it. Sarah had gone straight home from school to straighten up the house. Kyle was supposed to come over at five and it had been an hour and she hadn’t heard anything from him. She tried calling him but she got no answer. The next day Kyle ignored her completely and every time Sarah would walk by his group of friends they would laugh. Ever since, then Sarah had been very guarded so she didn’t get her hopes up.
Sarah put that out of her mind immediately because that was in he past and Brock was different. Without trying to sound too overexcited Sarah told Brock that they could study at her house. Sarah loved being at her house; her parents were very understanding of Sarah’s need for independence. Sarah’s mom, Lynn, and dad, Scott, are ranch owners so they were very well off. Sarah’s sister Jenny was the epitome of the perfect child; she had amazing grades, lots of friends and was anything but average.

Brad and Sarah hadn’t hung out and talked less and less. Brad would call Sarah constantly, but every time, he only got her voicemail and then would later find out that she was with Brock. Sarah stopped talking to Brad; she fought with her parents and completely changed who she was. Sarah and Trish became best friends and Sarah stopped talking to the people who were always really there for her. She became a clone of Trish and Brock became her boyfriend after the transformation was complete.

The next day Sarah and Trish were walking and Trish said “I didn’t want you to hear this from me, but I heard that Brock hooked up with Heather.”

“Who did you hear that from?” asked Sarah.

“The entire football team,” said Trish.
Sarah confronted Brock about it and broke things off with him. She thought she was already at the top so she didn’t need him. Trish immediately stopped talking to Sarah along with the entire “popular” crowd. Sarah’s world collapsed twice as fast as it was built.

Sarah tried calling Brock to work things out but he never picked up or called back. Sarah liked people liking her; she was so sick of being average that she finally felt like she was worth something.

History class was a giant cloud of awkwardness that seemed to smother Sarah with Brock, her popular ex boyfriend, Trish, her backstabbing ex best friend, and Brad, the one person who was always there for her when she needed someone to talk to.

One day Sarah was doing her homework, because she had nothing else to do since she had no friends, and her phone started to vibrate vigorously. It was Brad.

“Hello?” Sarah said with uncertainty.

“Hi Sarah, How are you?” asked Brad.

“Could be better, how are you?” asked Sarah

“I’m alright, but I just wanted to call to say that I miss you. I miss sitting in the back of class and talking, I miss laughing with you and I just miss being around you. You have been my best friend for as long as I can remember and I’m not going to just let you go like that,” explained Brad.

“I know, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about all of the stuff that has been happening. I just wanted to apologize for the way I acted. I guess I was just brainwashed by the glamour of Brock and everything that went with him,” said Sarah.

“It’s ok; I just want my Sarah back. Lets just put this behind us and go back to the way things were,” said Brad. “Oh and Sarah, you were never average to me.”

So from that point on Sarah remained average, but in the sense that she was ok with it, Brad got his best friend back, and people like Brock and Trish remained at the top. Sarah had the view from the top that she wanted, but found out that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Sarah lived out the rest for her senior year the same way she started, average.

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