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You Just Don't Know

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Author's note: This story is basically told from two different people but both in 1st POV, obviously.
Author's note: This story is basically told from two different people but both in 1st POV, obviously.  « Hide author's note
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 Next »

Phase One: Planning

“Yeah, so I totally went to the party with Miranda the other night when you went to Oklahoma on Saturday and we snuck some beers under Jennifer’s parents’ noses,” Sandra laughed quietly. We were supposed to be taking down notes off of the board in our English class about William Shakespeare that Miss Briggs was writing. “It wasn’t even that hard. They are total pushover and see absolutely nothing. I still can’t believe that her parents are, like, sixty.”
“Sixty?” While Miss Briggs still had her eyes on the book in front of her that she was copying the notes from, I took a quick swig of my juice and placed it back into my purse.
“Yeah," Sandra continued and carefully unwrapped a granola bar while taking down notes at the same time. For some reason, she could just do it all. “And her parents got so drunk that they were singing some sappy love song and you could tell that they were getting ready to do it right in front of us.” I had taken another swig and promptly started to choke when I began to laugh. At the moment, I was not concerned about my health and the fact that I was choking; all I was worried about was trying to stick the container back into my purse.
“Deliah, are you alright?” Miss Briggs and the class settled down its chatter to listen in on the conversation. Someone from behind me was pounding my back so hard that I felt I was getting a brutal beating.
“Will you stop that?” I yelled at the person when my coughing subdued.
“Okay… as I was saying…” And she went back to the board. I looked over at Sandra and we both burst into silent laughter.
Not a moment too long after, the door opened and was followed by the swift motion of Alisa Willows-aka Alley-swooping in and taking a seat behind Sandra and her brown, bouncy curls. It was a dumb mistake, considering that Sandra hated her to the bone and wanted nothing more to do than make her life miserable.
Late nights on the phone were usually spent with her griping on and on about Alley, how stupid she was for going out with Justin, who she knew that she liked first. I thought that Alley was an okay girl and it wasn’t like Sandra even told her about the crush that she had on the senior captain of the soccer team (she didn’t even tell me). But I knew that to question Sandra would be like cursing God in the flesh; it was just something that was so frowned upon that you couldn’t even find a better adjective to describe how bad it truly was. But even though Alley was the sweetest thing since Shirley Temples with dimples as deep as the sea, making her a well-known face at Deterville and voted Most Likeable, I still gossiped along with Sandra and shared the same evil looks and even worse notes. I was an actress that could have won an Emmy for my performance.
“So, Deliah, you know how I was telling you about the picture that I had come up with in Art class yesterday?” Sandra asked softly and I knew that it was time for me to jump on her bandwagon.
“Of course,” I stated and turned my head to Alley. “You have got to see it. Sandra is in Art II and Mr. Davis said that she is a natural at it.”
“It’s true,” Sandra chimed and took a paper out of her folder. “See for yourself.”
“Girls,” Miss Briggs called and we all turned around in our seats to face the front. After she was done glaring at us, we turned back to our conversation and Sandra handed Alley the picture.
“It’s a self-portrait of you. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.” Alley stared in horror at the drawing of a heavyset girl with exaggerative love handles poking out of her shirt that revealed an enormous belly button. The girl’s massive face was bombarded with a cascade of pimples and limp hair that was resting on her shoulders. In the blink of an eye, Sandra had snapped the picture of Alley’s face with her cell phone.
“What is this?” Alley said a little too loudly.
“Alley, I want you to see me after class. You will not come into my class tardy and expect a free pass to talk.”
Miss Briggs turned back to the board again and Sandra turned around in her seat to face Alley whose mouth was still agape. Sandra was giving her a look of mock sympathy, her lips formed into pouting mode and her head cocked to the side, blond hair falling perfectly over her shoulder.
“Close your mouth, honey. You’ll attract flies.”
J
Sandra Morigawne Jackson had transferred from sunny Florida to a sweltering and always temperamental Louisiana. Of course, from wherever she was, she was the queen bee. She probably would have been at Deterville High when she first came here, but it was a particularly cold day when she came and she was an automatic fashion don’t when she came in wearing daisy dukes, strappy sandals, and a tank top, sunglasses parked on the top of her blond hair as though it was a crown. Even though this was bad for Sandra, it still left Kelly Phillips as head. We instantly became friends since I knew from the start that she was truly second in command and shared clothes, secrets, and laughs. We began with our own ritual and matched everyday, earning us with the name of the Olsen twins, minus the drug problem. Everything from the tops of our head to the shoes that we wore, even the manicures and the pedicures, was the same. The only thing that never matched at all was our hair color even though we wore the same hair styles. Sandra brought this thing up to me and I asked my mom if I could dye mines blond. She gave me a flat no and the conversation was never brought up again. So we sauntered together like we were the most popular people in school, me with the straight no-body brunette hair while Sandra practically walked around with a golden halo for hair.
We barely invited people in our tight nit duo, but if we did, it was scarce and we only did it for entertainment. The one or two girls we brought in would last a week, two or more days after if we really did like them. Alley was with us from the get-go but once she stepped foot in the wrong direction, figuratively tripping Sandra, she became a major has-been. Everyone knew it and talked constantly. She either didn’t know or was just pretending not to care.
Right now, we had blossomed into quadruplets since Sandra allowed two more girls to enter our territory, Brenda from our Spanish class that was an easy A for us since we cheated on her papers for test, and varsity soccer captain, Laney Williams who got us out of running for PE.
“Who wants these celery sticks?” Brenda asked and Laney was already reaching into Brenda’s paper bag for them. “I don’t understand why my mom packs that when she knows I hate them.”
“Yeah, but she knows that I love them,” Laney pointed out and whipped her long hair out of her face. “You have any ranch?” She handed her the tub and Laney blew her a kiss. I took two pizzas wrapped in foil out of my own bag and handed one to Sandra.
“Mmmm. Thanks,” Sandra mumbled with chips in her mouth, covering her mouth with her hand so we wouldn’t see.
“What do you guys think of Dylan?” Brenda asked and bit into her apple.
“Junior Dylan or freshman—”
“Why would it be freshman Dylan if we’re juniors?” Sandra snapped at Laney which caused an awkward silence at our table that seemed to consume us. It took a while for us to get back on track. We knew that, when Sandra had to get slightly louder than her “inside voice,” she was liable to cause damage. Verbally.
“So,” Brenda pressed on hesitantly, “Yay or nay?”
“Nay, most definitely,” I stated and took a swig of my lukewarm juice that I had choked on earlier. “Number one, he has way too many pimples and he has bad breath. He has potential, but not enough worth going out with. It’s, like, go use Crest or something. Swallow the mouthwash.”
I a-gree,” Sandra chimed in and set down the half eaten pizza, scooting back into her chair to get comfortable and folding one leg over the other, a sign that she was about to release some juicy gossip. “So, from Mark Phillips, he said that he’s so gay. Gay to the bone.” Unison gasps filled our table.
“You are lying,” Brenda drawled out and bit into her apple again, eyes stretched.
“Yes. Mark saw him kissing Chase Grey and everyone knows what a faggot he is. He’s in that gay club that meets after school every other day. United Gayness or whatever.”
“Chase Grey? He’s really gay?”
“Where have you been all year?” I asked Laney and broke the crust off of the pizza, popping it into my mouth. “He literally told the student body at one of the assemblies last year, ‘I’m a proud gay man.’”
“Maybe I was sick because I don’t—”
“Anyway,” Sandra interrupted, “it’s true. Brenda, I advise you to start paying closer attention to the boys that you like.”
“I didn’t say I liked him,” she replied defensively. “I was just asking everyone’s opinion so that we can embark in a conversation.”
“Whatever.” She uncrossed her legs and I knew that the topic was closed.
“Hey guys,” Laney stated and we looked to see her eyes averted to the doors. “Guess who just came in.”
It was Alley in another one of her glitzy jackets that was just like the ones we wore last week. It was like every week she would try to copy us but would end up being behind. It annoyed the crap out of Sandra and she would complain to me about it when we were eating homemade cookie dough and watching TV, her mouth and hands full with the gooey substance. Alley also was wearing the specialized bracelet Sandra only distributed to the girls that were in our group. She took all of the bracelets away from the people that we’re no longer in out group. For some reason, she didn’t take it away from Alley. Sandra told me something about playing with Alley’s mind which I guess makes sense. She has no idea that Sandra hates her with a passion.
“Seems like we are right on schedule,” Sandra chimed happily and reached inside her leather purse—a birthday gift from me—to pull out a folded piece of paper. “You guys stay here while Deliah and I deliver a note from a special somebody to Alley.” She also took out a quick bottle of cologne and squirted a bit on it, then waved it to let it dry. We stood up together then, our arms linking, our matching boots hitting the concrete at the same time.
Alley was sitting by a group of Olsen wannabes that were wearing previous outfits that we had coordinated months ago.
“Let’s hurry up with this, please? This total mockery of our style is making me sick,” Sandra whispered before we came by their table completely.
We did finally and some of the girls were gushing over the gold bracelet that Alley was wearing, another girl with coarse, black hair admiring her jacket.
“Hey,” Sandra called out over the uproar. When they saw it was us, they glanced at each other and looked back at us to see if we were a fragment of their imagination. They knew that we weren’t the most popular, but since we were close, it was more than right to try to get in with us.
“Hey you guys,” Alley greeted with a smile as she was chewing a carrot.
“Hi Sandra,” a girl by the name of Kelly (I think) said. I thought she could have been a clear applicant for our group, making the popular people want to consider us since she had the looks. Sandra blew me off mid-sentence, telling me that she was annoyingly-bubbly.
Sandra gave the girl a dismissing smile and continued.
“Do you guys mind if we steal Alley for just a sec?” Sandra asked and the whole table of girls agreed, imputing their own reasons why she should. I could tell just by the small twitchiness her nose made that she was a hair away from rolling her eyes.
“Thanks,” she cooed and we both walked away, Alley following behind us while her friends engaged in personal high fives and squeals of delight. We made it into a small corner of the cafeteria and waited for Alley to come join us.
“What’s up, guys?” Alley asked and pulled the elastic band off of her wrist to pull her brown curls into a ponytail.
“I found this note in my locker from Justin. I think he dropped it in mine by mistake.” She handed the note to her.
“Really? That’s weird,” Alley claimed and turned the note over and over in her hands. “He walks me to my locker everyday. It’s pretty weird how he would forget.”
“Well, our lockers are right next to each other,” Sandra said with a bit of edge that caused Alley to look up. I heard Sandra draw in a breath to calm herself. “Do you want to go to Bit’s Burgers with Deliah and me after school?”
“Bit’s Burgers? But I thought you hated that place. You said that the burgers always gave you—”
“Do you want to go or not?” Sandra snapped. “It’s a one time offer; take it or leave it.” Alley nodded.
“Good,” Sandra confirmed then plastered on a fake smile. “It’ll be like old times. We’ll laugh, we’ll talk, drink milkshakes. My treat.” As if on cue, we both waved at the same time and turned away from her.
“Wait,” Alley called.
“This chick is seriously getting on my nerves,” Sandra growled. When we turned back around, Sandra was wearing a smile that could melt butter.
“Mm-hmm?” Alley came closer to us and I got a strong whiff of her. For some reason, she always smelled like vanilla.
“Are you guys mad at me?” she whispered and the guilt that seeped in her voice was almost enough to make me avert my eyes to the ground.
Almost. I was not about to blow our cover.
“I mean,” she continued and she looked like she was about to cry right there on the spot, “if I did anything to upset you guys, I’m sorry.” I took a side glance at Sandra from the corner of my eye. Her whole face was serious but, if you knew her like I did, you could tell that her eyes were glistening in amusement. She was also doing that thing with her hair, twisting a strand of it around and around. She usually did this if she was a) flirting or be b) about to erupt into a fit of giggles. B withstood the other choice since I was positive that she was walking the straight and narrow instead of the wide and curvy if you catch my drift.
Sandra laughed then, almost hysterically, but to the point where it would create a positive effect. I laughed as well.
Sandra stopped linking arms with me to put her arm around Alley.
“Alley, Alley, Alley,” she emphasized and made a tisking sound. “Now why would be mad at you? What could you have possibly done to make us—well, I guess, me since I think that you're made at me, in my opinion—think otherwise?”
“I don’t—”
“You’re still wearing the bracelet, right?” Sandra challenged and cocked her head to the side to look at Alley’s face clearer. She was clearly extracting invisible daggers at her that, for some reason, Alley did not see.
Or chose not to see.
“But you never let me eat lunch with you guys,” she pointed out. “And all of those letters I have been getting…people said that they are coming from you guys.”
“Are you going to listen to everything people say here? This is where a gossip palazzo could happen,” Sandra claimed and moved her arm from around Alley’s neck to let it lay casually on her hip.
“But what about the picture that you gave me?”
“It was a joke, for God’s sakes,” Sandra snapped and she was a ticking time bomb. Alley had set her off to the ultimate high. I already knew that we would be at her house with a pack of Oreos and gummy worms, discussing what we were going to do about her.
The war was really going to begin now.
“Look… Alley… can I call you that?” Sandra asked after she mentally breathed.
“Um, yeah, that’s my name.”
“We don’t ask you to eat lunch with us because we are still trying to train the newcomers and we don’t want you to dish out anything that we have already done,” Sandra explained as if she were talking to a five-year-old. She smiled again.
“Makes sense?”
“But I won’t.”
“Don’t make this more difficult than it needs to be,” Sandra advised and it shut Alley up. We went back to linking arms.
“Milkshakes? Yeah?” she asked Alley. She nodded and we went back to walking, all smiles, until we came back to our table.
“How’d it go?” Brenda asked and was spinning her straw around in her empty cup.
“Maybe you should ask Sandra,” I said and sat down, stuffing my pizza back into its plastic bag and taking the rest of my juice out.
“She actually thinks that Deliah and I are friends with her trampy butt,” Sandra stated and angrily grabbed a celery out of the plastic bag. Instead of using the ranch, she took my container of peanut butter and ripped the paper off, sticking the butt of the stalk in it. “Can you even believe that crap? And who does she thinks she’s fooling anyway? I mean, do I look like I’m stupid?”
I could tell Laney was about to answer this so I threw her a glance.
“What did she do?” Laney said instead while Sandra was busy chewing.
“Well—”
“All we were going to do was give her the stupid note, right? We were gonna freakin’ leave right after that. But noooooo,” Sandra drawled. “She has to be all ‘Are you guys mad at me?’ and she was doing all of this question and answer thing as if I would seriously let her come back into this group.” Brenda and Laney nodded their heads as they looked at each other.
“Interesting,” Brenda said and pulled her hair up. “What did she say about the note?" Sandra made wide eyes and stared, making us laugh as she exaggerated Alley's expression.
"'Oh, I can't believe that he did that. He walks me to my locker everyday. I can't believe he forgot," Sandra exclaimed and laughed along with us. She pulled a Diet Coke out of her lunch bag and popped it open.
"So, were you, like, serious when you said that we were going to have milkshakes with Alley?" I asked and almost made Sandra choke on her drink.
"Dude," she scoffed after putting down her drink. "Don't even go there. Of course we're not going to go. We have a date with some gummy worms and Oreos. But I need Brenda and Laney to go and act like you don't even know why she's there. Video phone it and then send it to me." One eyebrow perched into the air as she looked at each of us with a sly grin on her face.
"This is going to be a Facebook exclusive." We all laughed and high fived each other.

???
Am I stupid? Can anyone anywhere even here what I am saying? No, seriously, I need someone to tell me the truth here because apparently I am not comprehending anything. It's like, I still want to be friends with them and I guess they still like me and all (at least that's what Sandra has convinced me of), but I'm not too sure.
Picture this: I’m headed into Miss Walker's class, my study hall teacher, and all of a sudden, people are just laughing at me as if I was dressed in a clown suit or something. Well, with my paranoia to almost everything, I kind of suspected that anyone would be talking about me.
But back to what I was saying.
So I go to my regular seat, the third chair in the fifth row of ten, and notice a letter on my desk with my name in script. I opened it up and began to read. Apparently, it was a love note from this guy named Rickey that I had been crushing on since the beginning of sophomore year (I'm a junior now) before going out with Josh.
Anyway, it goes and on and on with him saying how beautiful my face glows in the pale light of the fluorescent lights above me and how my golden hair shines for all the world to see and how he would like me to meet him for lunch.
Now, as any sane girl would do when her crush professes that she is not alone in her feelings, she is definitely going to freak out a little, minus all of the yelling and screaming that she wants to so desperately do. Instead, she results in a semi silent conversation with her best friend who happens to be sitting just across from her.
"Brittney, guess who likes me?" I asked her giddily.
"The Pope," she exclaimed and unwrapped an ice cream sandwich (?).
“What?"
"He has to. Other wise he's going to go straight to hell. That's what my mom told me."
"Well, I wasn't talking about him,” I stated and waved her off. I came closer. "Rickey...Harold." She rolled her eyes and took a bite out of her ice cream.
"Stop lying. He already has a girlfriend."
"Um, yeah. Me.
“Uh, no . Your buddy Sandra.“
“”I have proof." I handed her the letter smugly. "Read it." She harrumphed but took it anyway.
"You're ruining my ice cream time."
"Hurry up and read it!"
"Alright, don't get your granny panties in a bunch, Miss Impatient." She took her glasses out of their case and perched them on her nose. She read with impeccable speed and turned up her nose.
"Smells like Sandra to me," she replied and I rolled my eyes as she took another bite.
"You always think she has something to do with everything good that happens."
"Um, sorry to burst your worship-Sandra bubble but I meant the statement literally. Well, figuratively as well." She handed me the note. "Take a whiff."
"You're insane. And anyways, how do you even know that? Are you going around sniffing' everybody?"
"If you were a genius with the memory that I have, you would know that she gave everyone in her homeroom last year this same stuff; something about some channel¾"
"Chanel," I corrected. She gawked at me with wide eyes and covered her mouth. Then, she threw her hands up and merely nodded.
"And the truth comes out."
"I've really had it with you sarcasm." She laughed in spite of the situation but became serious.
"Look, I really am happy for you, If it turns out that Rickey really did send it to you¾"
"He did."
"¾then I'm happy for you. On the other hand, I wouldn't be jumping to conclusions just yet. If I'm right, I'm pretty sure that you and Sandra are in a fight right now because you got a perfect score on that Algebra test and she got, like, what? A ninety-one or something?"
"Whatever," I muttered. "You always have to suck the life out of everything."
"Sorry. You wanna a piece of my ice cream sandwich?" she asked and gave me a pouty face. I didn't want to, but I laughed and broke a piece off.
"You know," I stated and swallowed, "I wonder if Miss Walker is ever going to actually come in here and watch us. We could be going around putting bombs in the entire school and she would be the one to get in trouble." Brittney shook her head and polished off the rest of the ice cream with a gallon of milk. It really is a wonder how she can eat so much and still be skinnier than me. Well, she is a vegan so I guess that makes enough sense.
All I could do was laugh as I awaited her answer.
"Nah, she's too busy flirting with Mr. Tyler and Mr. Frean in the teacher's lounge. At least, that's what Yeni told me. I wonder why they haven't fired her yet?"
"Are you insane? They could never fire her and you know it," I claimed. "You know we got her back since she's the only one who supplies us with Ibuprofen when we have one of those days." We cracked up at that until we started to cry.
After resigning in there for twenty minutes and Brittney and I exchanging our parting good-byes to each other, I went to the lunchroom to find Rickey. I can't say that he's the most popular guy here but he automatically is given the label "jock" because he plays linebacker for our football team and guard for the basketball team. However, every girl knows that his dark pools of emerald are ones that we all want to venture and swim in.
"Hey Rickey," I peeped and I could feel the entire table of cheerleaders and former football teammates (the season was over) staring at me. "Can I talk to you for a second? I mean, if it's okay."
"Uh..." He looked over at his friends and they snickered. "Yeah, I guess." He stood up and we went out of the double doors of the lunchroom.
"So? What's this all about?" Then, his demeanor turned from uninterested to pure annoyance. "Look, if you are one of those soccer girls that I didn't pay that last sixty dollars to for the three dozen of those pecan sandies, I am not paying for those nasty things. Freakin' stuff tastes like¾"
"Oh, no no no no, I don't play soccer. I play volleyball. I really don't know what your talking about," I quickly corrected.
"Oh," he stated, then simply turned bored again. He leaned against a wall and stared at his cuticles. "So what do you want?"
"Well, I just wanted to say that I got your note.”
“Oh yeah?" he asked and didn't even look up. "What did it say?" I became perplexed and I was the one doing the staring.
"What do you mean, 'What did it say?' You're the one who wrote it."
"I forgot. Enlighten me."
I really could not believe this. I pulled the letter out of my pocket and handed it to him. He unfolded it.
"'Your beauty is imaged across the sky like a cascade of rainbows after stormy weather. Your hair is the sun that brightens up the pathways to my heart?'" He started laughing and I turned stiff, my stomach slowly inching up towards the sky, preparing for the crash that was soon to come. "You're joking right? Wait. Am I getting Punk'd? Dude, where's Ashton Kutcher, seriously." He started walking around until he found a locker. He waved at it and started yelling shout outs.
"Oh man, this is insane. I'm on TV! This is...wow."
"You're not on TV!" I yelled at him and felt the anger, as well as the disappointment, brewing in the pit of my stomach. "So, wait a minute. You didn't¾"
"Dude, half that stuff I seriously don't have a clue what it refers to. Nah, I didn't write any crap like that."
Oh yeah, the crash was amazing; it almost made me double over and cry right there on the spot.
"Baby, I thought you said you were going to be in the lunchroom," I heard a familiar voice say and I braced myself for the girl that was going to come around the corner.
Sandra. A double whammy at that point.
"I know, but then this chick over here was talking to me about some love note that she thought I sent her," Rickey answered.
"I do have a name you know. It's Alley. And Sandra, I would really appreciate it if you could just leave right now."
"Why?" she asked and acted surprised, her eyes wide as her arms snaked around Rickey's shoulders. "I haven't done anything wrong. You're the one interfering in someone else's relationship." She kissed his cheek and removed her arms to put her hand in his.
"Aw, sweetie, take a picture," she crooned and patted my head. "It'll last longer." I never had felt so betrayed in my life. But of course, Sandra made it seem as if she had no idea what I was talking about and decided to make it up to me by hanging out with me at the mall, just the two of us drinking and laughing on Auntie Anne's smoothies and devouring soft pretzels.
Now, we were back at the drawing board. Of course, I would tell Brittney everything about what was new with Sandra but she moved back to her home in Russia where calling costs too much and her Internet service is pretty much down most of the time. At the moment, Trish and I were getting into the habit of becoming close. She is the best spiker on our volleyball team and the nicest. We usually have to get her to be more competitive when we go into tournaments because she would cheer for both teams if it was up to her.
"I don't see what all of the fuss is about," she told us at our first game as she was putting on her knee pads. "You should want everyone to win. It's not about winning; the only thing that matters is you having fun achieving whatever goal you have set for yourself."
"You're right," Brianna the redhead agreed. "And my goal is to win." Ever since then, she has always listened and instructed me with the best advice.
As of now, we were both walking out to the student parking lot to get to my car to go meet Sandra and Deliah.
"Milkshakes sound great and all, but I don't really know if I should really give her another shot. I think she's been a little nasty towards me."
"Well, if everything that you have been telling me is true, then maybe you should give up on the friendship," Trish stated. "Sometimes you've just got to learn when to release others that are unhealthy for your living. It's the only true way that you can heal and move on with your life." I sighed and pressed the button to unlock my navy blue two thousand three Toyota Camry.
"I guess you're right. But I don't want to be mean if she really is sorry this time. I really like to give people chances and I think that I should give her another chance."
"Hey, you've got to do what you've got to do. That's your heart that's speaking to you. You've got to open up your ears and listen to it." She opened the passenger side and climbed in. I did as well, only on the driver's side, and put the keys in the ignition, the engine purring and the car in drive, coasting out of the parking lot.
"You're quite the philosopher," I joked and she laughed,
"If the athletics don't work out in my favor later on in my life, I think I might want to do counseling. It seems like that would be my forte. I just love helping people solve their problems."
"It's going to take a lot of work though." We were waiting for the light to change. Usually, from the school, it was a straight shot. But since I was taking Trish home the ride back would take fifteen to twenty minutes to get to. "I mean, you'd have to deal with problems that might put you under a lot of stress and you are going to have to deal with worrying about getting the snot out of your cotton shirts."
"I'm definitely ready to deal with anything like that. Besides, it can't be any harder than listening to you, right?"
"Oh shut up!" I yelled and we started laughing as I made a right turn.
"So," I began, "You wanna come with us to drink some milkshakes? I'm pretty sure that Sandra won't mind since her parents are stocking up on major dollars anyway."
"I can't. it's my turn to walk Yelo and my mom says that if I don't she's going to ground me for life for not taking care of my responsibilities," Trish explained. "Maybe another time when it's just the two of us." She shuddered. "Sandra really gives me a bad vibe, no offense to your friend."
"None taken. I know what you mean." I thought about this. "You know, maybe I shouldn't go after all."
"Don't let me influence your decision. I can just call you tonight and we can talk about it."
"You're not. It's just...something doesn't feel right about this. I mean, think about it." I parked into her driveway and shifted in my seat to face her.
"Why would Sandra, all of a sudden, want to spend time with me after two solid months of ignoring me. It doesn't even make sense."
"Maybe she's trying to mend the broken bridge between the two of you." I shook my head.
"No way. If there's anything that I know about Sandra after being her friend is that she is never wrong and she's never sorry about anything. That's like owning up to the fact that you have a BO probably or something."
"Hm, well, if that's your hunch, you should go along with it," she answered. "I have to agree with you though. It does seem like kind of an off thing to do considering your lack of communication together."
"Do you mind if I hang out with you?" She shook her head.
"Of course not, you know that. Besides, if your coming, I'm going to have to put you on poop patrol." We laughed and exited out of the car.
"If your mom makes those snicker doodle cookies with the Skittles, I'm game." She laughed and unlocked the door.
"Okay. Come on, let's go."
K + J + J = JJJ

"Um, hey, Sandra, It's um, me. I mean, Alley. Well, I guess I was just calling, you know, for the fifth time, to let you know that I'm really, really sorry for missing having milkshakes with you and Deliah. I hope that you're, um, okay with that. Like I told you before, I really got bad cramps and I guess I didn't want you guys to hear me wailing and complaining like a sick cow. Ha, ha. Well, just...um, give me a call when you get this and, well, let me know if you got the others, too. Hope you're not mad. Um, bye." Sandra pressed the end button and stared at me menacingly.
"This was supposed to work. That b**** was not supposed to punk out," Sandra growled and shoved a gummy worm into her mouth, She flopped back onto her bed "I seriously was not expecting this. What did I do wrong?"
"Honestly?" I inched and went into Skype mode to let Laney and Brenda into the conversation. Sandra glared at me.
"Watch it, Peterson." I put my hands up in defensive.
"You asked. How's it going guys?"
"I can't believe she didn't show up!" Brenda screeched.
"Ew. Bren, what is that crap on your face?" I asked. "Did your cat throw up on your face again?"
"You know what¾"
"Um, hello? We're in the middle of a crisis at the moment," Sandra interrupted and took the other computer chair next to me. "We don't have time to be clowning around."
"Aw, sweetie, you okay?" Laney asked and twirled a soccer ball around her fingers.
"Yeah, yeah. Just majored P right now and I swear Brenda if you ask if that means Posing, I'm going to strangle you. Before we start, Brenda, I need you either to put a paper bag over your face or wipe that stuff off. It's giving me the creeps."
"I'm on it," she answered and slipped out of view.
"Now, we need to come up with another plan to lure her in so she can crash and burn," Sandra contemplated. "I'm tired of not succeeding when it comes to making her life miserable. She totally deserves all of this."
"We could put dead fish in her locker," Laney suggested.
"Are you insane? First of all, I'm allergic to fish. Second of all, getting her combination would be too risky and totally impossible to slip in through the slots." She stood up and began to pace on the blue carpet while twirling a red-green gummy worm. "There's got to be something else."
I snapped my fingers.
"I've got it. I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner. It's sheer brilliance."
"Spill it, D," Brenda said and popped back into view.
"Yeah," Laney chimed. Sandra just sat back into the chair, knees tucked into her chin.
"Alright you guys, let's hope Alley is still a bit old-fashioned when it comes to the power of technology."
"Meaning..."
"Meaning that we need to get a hold of her address book, if she still has one. Getting her cell phone will end up getting us into too much unwanted trouble."
"Deliah!" Sandra's mom called from downstairs. "You're mother said that she needs you to be home by ten and it's nine forty-five. You might want to leave before it gets too dark."
"Okay!" I yelled. To the group I say, "Sandra and I have English class with her tomorrow. We can make up some lie to get her to go to the bathroom to distract her and get it then."
"Mmmm," Sandra crooned and looked at me with admiration and a nodding head, "I like where this is heading."
"But...I don't get what we're talking about here," Laney confessed and laid the soccer ball in her lap. "Getting her address book sounds all fine and dandy, but what does it have to do with tormenting her and getting even? It just sounds like common theft to me."
"Dude, just shut up. Seriously," Brenda answered and rolled her dark browns.
"Think about it Laney. What would be in an address book?"
"Numbers?"
"Okay, obviously. But what kind of numbers?" She stared at me blankly.
"Um...phone numbers, right?"
"Exactly. Now, whose phone numbers would most likely be there?" More confusion. Then, "Oh snap! That's just too over the top."
"You all know how the game goes so I don't need to make any more details that we can't just discuss for Lunch tomorrow."
“”But first things first.” She clicked the little icon to open up to the Internet and went into her e-mail. As she typed she said, “Alley told Deliah and I that she can’t have a Facebook or a Myspace because her parents don’t approve. How lame is that?”
“Totally lame,” Brenda laughed.
“Okay, I’m going to tell you guys what I have typed after I’m done.” After a solid ten minutes of mumbling, retyping, and erasing, she was done. I, on the other hand, already knew since I was sitting right next to her.
“Alright, you guys ready for the masterpiece?” Sandra asked and sneered at our faces. “’Hey Alles! I got all of your messages and I just can’t believe that you had to miss out. It would have been fun for us to reconnect and laugh like we used to.’ I put sad faces after that.
“’Anyways, I hope you can make it to one of my friend’s house party with the rest of the group. Remember Dalorence from French Prep and then he transferred to our school and he was in homeroom with us freshman year? He said I could bring another friend over and I thought you would like to come. The theme is a costume party. However, the more guy-appealing it is, the more chances you have to win for best costume. Make sure you call me ahead of time so we can go shopping together to help you pick out an outfit.’ And I signed my name at the bottom.” She looked at all of our faces expectantly. “Whaddya think?”
“Dalorence is having a party? Since-"
"Shut up!" We all yelled at Brenda.
"Seriously, Bren. You really just need to be quiet and listen," Sandra snapped. "Now, yes he really is having a party and yes we have to dress up. Only..." She decides to take a long pause to take a look at our faces. "It's formal wear." We erupt into triumphant cheers and virtually high five Laney and Brenda.
"I really have to get going guys, but we all need to be at my house tomorrow so we can schedule our mall date with the Alley Cat," I said and grab my stuff. "Later, taters."
!!!
"You're calling me ten at night for what?" Trish groaned through the phone. "I was just in the middle of the best dream with Leonardo Dicaprio and you totally turned it into the worst part."
"Sandra just e-mailed me back!" I exclaimed to her.
"And you couldn't have told me this tomorrow?" Even though Trish is usually the one with the sunny personality, I was pretty sure that she turned into a werewolf when the nighttime came.
"No, it couldn't wait. Do you wanna hear what is says?" She sighed heavily into the phone and I could tell that she was sitting up.
"Not like I have a choice since I will never win Leonardo back."
"Alright, it says, 'Hey Alles! I got all of your messages and I just can’t believe that you had to miss out. It would have been fun for us to reconnect and laugh like we used to. Anyways, I hope you can make it to one of my friend’s house party with the rest of the group. Do you remember that guy, Dalorence? The one that I went out with freshman year? He said I could bring another friend over and I thought you would like to come. The theme is a costume party. However, the more guy-appealing it is, the more chances you have to win for best costume. Make sure you call me ahead of time so we can go shopping together to help you pick out an outfit. It's going to be this Saturday and we'll go shopping on Friday.’" I swiveled in the computer chair.
"It sounds like she still wants to work things out," Trish replied finally and I realized that I had been holding my breath.
"Yeah, I actually can't believe that she was actually okay with me not going. Any other time she would have flipped out."
"Do you feel bad about not going?"
"A little bit, but I still feel that something bad was going to happen though if I did. I think that, this time, there will be a lot of people there so she really can't do that much in public if she tried," I confessed and started tapping my pencil on the computer desk.
"I really don't know what to say at this point."
"You don't think that it's a good idea to go with her to the party?"
"Personally, I don't think you should go and before you try to protest just think about what happened today. You had that gut feeling that told you that you shouldn't go. Obviously that was a sign. How could this particular event be any different?" She answered the question before I could get a word out. "It seems that you would most likely get the same results. You are basically like a fish right now. You're messing with the bait a little bit and she is the fisherman that is slowly reeling you in as you keep eating and eating."
So true on so many levels.
But...
"I think I should go anyway. To the mall, I mean. I really do need to buy some more clothes even if it's not a dress for the party. I owe her that much for dropping her offer." She was silent on the other end. "Hello? You still there?"
"Did you hear anything I just said?" Trish snapped. "You shouldn't go. Gosh, I mean, all of the warning signs are blaring in front of you and you still decide to risk your status. Don't you even understand that all she is trying to do is see you crumble? She likes the effect."
"What are you talking about? There is no effect. You're overreacting."
"Really. Well I hope your trip at the mall is all fine and dandy because you can walk home for all I care." Then, the receiver is dead and it's only the static leaves me company.
"Hello? Trish?"
Crap.
She's going to have to get over her madness by tomorrow. Obviously she was angry with the fact that I finally disagreed with her suddenly. That and the fact that she was sleeping and someone waking you up (good dream or bad) will make you irritable and unresponsive to anyone that says anything to you. I have to trust Sandra for the sake of our friendship because I really do feel that we need to. The Sandra that leaked gossip with me and Deliah and laughed at my corny jokes has to be hidden underneath it. Maybe she is pulling a facade to satisfy everyone's needs: peer pressure is something that will never go out of style.
The conscious bells beg to differ. They were ready to tear me apart with one question:
What if she wanted to do all of this?
I don't think I would be able to handle that.
smileys to infinity
My cell was vibrating on the desk beside me while I was watching TV in my bed. I flipped it open.
Sandra.
"Talk to me."
"D?"
"Yeah?"
"We are so in."
I had been waiting for the words all night.
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