It was the first day back to school after winter break and I was dreading it. How on earth could it possibly be January sixth? Vacation couldn’t be over! I hadn’t even put my Christmas presents away yet! Well, it seemed as if the administrators could care less about the fact that my brand new flatiron was still sitting in it’s sleek little box, unused. “Farrah! Get over here right now! Tish made pancakes, they’re shaped like little snowmen!” Of course Tish had made pancakes; she was just that kind of person, The kind of person who regularly took time out of their own hectic life in order to make others smile. Tish is my stepmother. My mom passed when I was really little, so I didn’t really have a maternal figure in my life until my dad married Tish. Shortly thereafter she got pregnant with my younger brother Zach. So yeah, we’re like the perfect little blended family: Mommy, Daddy, Angsty teenage daughter, and the obnoxious “golden” son.
I quickly pulled on my favorite pair of ripped up dark wash skinnies, the ones that practically feel like a second skin. Picking out a shirt wasn’t as easy—seeing as the majority of the clothing in my dresser was either stained or wrinkled beyond recognition. Finally, I decided upon a t-shirt with “Save a drum, bang a drummer” emblazoned across the chest. For the finishing touch I added a pale violet wool scarf that my grandmother had knitted for me as a fifteenth birthday present. My feet subconsciously slid themselves into a pair of floral Doc Martens. After inspecting my reflection in the mirror for a second I muttered “Trés Chic!” and rolled my eyes at the skinny hipster staring back at me.
As I shuffled towards the kitchen—bookbag in hand—the smell of buttermilk pancakes overwhelmed me. I plopped down in the only empty chair. “Well good morning miss sleepyhead!” Tish smiled and placed a plate with three tiny pancakes arranged to look like a snowman in front of me. “Good morning Farrah!” My dad kissed my forehead, his hazel eyes sparkling. People have always told me that I look like my dad, we have the same features and pale complexion—not to mention the fact that our hair is the exact same shade of light brown. Well, not anymore, seeing as I’ve been dying my hair dark red since seventh grade.
After shoving one of the syrupy morsels into my mouth, I noticed the time. “Oh shit! I have to go like… NOW!” The words came out mushy as I attempted to finish chewing and pull on my dark blue bomber jacket at the same time. “Language Farrah!” I couldn’t hear the rest of her scolding because I was already flying down the stairs that lead up to our fourth floor apartment.
I arrived at John Quincy Adams High School with seconds to spare, literally sprinting from my locker to homeroom. I arrived at my seat breathing so loudly that I could barely hear the shrill tardy bell ring out through the halls. “Miss Grey, it seems as if we haven’t improved on our time management skills over break. A narrow escape from detention yet again.” Mrs Grealey sneered. The majority of my teachers are like that, and by “like that” I mean of course woefully underpaid and bitchy to the point where it could be considered and actual talent. She went trough the attendance, adding her own unnecessary commentary whenever she noticed something worth her disapproval.
“Hey Farrah!” I felt a sharp tap between my shoulder blades. I turned around to see Tiffani Lessers, a girl I had talked to maybe twice throughout the year, with her pencil held aloft. “Did you hear about what’s going on with Brielle and Cassidy?” “Uh, no?” “Ohmygosh, it’s like… Ohmygosh! Well apparently, like, Cassidy hooked up with Jason or whatever and Brielle is, like, uber pissed.” The expression on her face informed me that this was obviously supposed to be shocking and vital to my very existence. Brielle McKenzie, Ashlynn Jenks, and Cassidy English were royalty at John Quincy Adams. It was taking a ridiculous amount of self-control not roll my eyes. I didn’t know what I was supposed to say in reply. “Well, that’s not good.” “Not good? Are you serious? It’s terrible! Brielle and Jason are facebook-married! That makes Cassidy a fucking adultress!”
I almost jumped out of my seat in joy when the bell finally rang. I had chemistry with Mr Reinhardt first period today, it wasn’t my favorite class, but Mr Reinhardt sure was terribly fun to look at.
As I perched on my stool, swinging my legs around in a not-so-ladylike manner waiting for Dougie Harding (the mild mannered nerd who I had made a habit of cheating off of) to arrive Mr Reinhardt entered. “Hello class.” He smiled, it was one of those infectious smiles that made you grin just being in it’s present. He ran a hand through his messy golden locks, they were so beautifully tousled you would have sworn he had just pranced out of a shampoo commercial if it weren’t for his ill-fitting khakis and smiley face necktie. The rest of the class shuffled in slowly sitting down at their assigned lab stations. “So, I was thinking; New year, new lab partners!” My eyebrows shot up. No! He couldn’t take away Dougie! Douglas Edmund Harding and his immaculate knowledge of quantum theory was the only reason I was passing chemistry!
Mr Reinhardt went around the room, placing randomly placing nametags at each station. We all grabbed our bags and shuffled around, silently praying we would be next to a friend or at least one of the smart kids. I finally found my nametag, my new seat was in the very back of the classroom next to the cabinet where all of the chemicals and whatnot were kept. I peeked at the empty seat next to me and inhaled sharply when I read the name. Cassidy English.
This wasn’t happening! Chemistry was very quickly becoming my least favorite class, did Mr Reinhardt now expect me to spend my first period of the day making chit-chat about how ahhhdorable the new cheerleading uniforms are and how much money daddy dearest had spent on her newest charm bracelet. Nope, not going to happen. “Hi. I’m Cassidy, you can call me Cass. You’re… Sarah? Right?” Too late. “Uh, no, Farrah.” At least she had gotten close, right? “Well, it looks like were gonna be lab partners.” She tucked a stray chunk of dirty blonde hair behind her ear and gave a halfhearted smile. I gave her a big old thumbs up and slid on my goggles.
Cass giggled. “What?” I asked raising my eyebrows. “It’s just…” She burst out into a full on giggle-fit. “You look like the mad scientist dude from ‘Back to the Future’!” I couldn’t help but start giggling too. “I fucking love that movie!” “Me too!” “Like seriously, I’ve watched it a trillion times!” “No shit! Me too!” As class continued we discussed our shared fondness for painfully cheesy eighties movies. We sang the song from The Breakfast Club and regaled in our failed attempts at to make our own Andie Walsh-esque prom gowns out of our moms old dresses.
How could this be? Could Cass English actually be a pretty cool chick? It seemed too bizarre to be true.