We stroll past tables filled with. Laughing. Talking. Enjoying themselves. Why not, it’s lunch time. Everyones favorite time of the day. Well, besides dismissal. It’s this one hour that’s made for solization. A mere breading sight for cliques. I’m ashamed to say I’m in one.
We’re called The Crowd at our school. We’re the top of the top. The ones everyone either fears or looks up to. More so fears. This only seems to bother me. Not that I let it show. That would require talking to Chris one on one. That is something I avoid at all costs.
Chris. Chris is the leader of our group. The single most popular, richest kid in the school. He can get away with anything. Everyone knows it. He uses this to his higher most advantage. He’s untouchable.
He’s not normal though. At least not what you’d expect. Sure he dresses nice and acts like he’s better than us all but he’s violet. Which is the only explanation I have for his friend. Because it’s the only thing the two have in common-anger.
Drake. His family is the opposite of Chris. Poor. His dads a drunk. They’re buying a house they can’t afford but it’s clear what their trying to hide-their family’s a mess. And their son deals with it through rebellion and anger. Really, the two of them is what creates the fear. One can destroy you social. The other can destroy your face. Yeah, they’re a scary pair. I guess two types of fear wasn’t enough. Because the third member of The Crowd kills you’re self esteem.
Kay. Drakes girlfriend and someone who I’d rather punch then hang out with. High heels. Short skirts. Flirt, even around her boyfriend. In a word-slut. And that’s putting it nicely, really.
As far as fighting goes, the girl’s harmless. Too scared to chip a nail. But, like most girls, she knows the words to say to the right people to get someone eating alone and crying in the bathroom. The thing is, shes got a talent for it. She spurs insults like its an Olympic sport and she’s trying for gold. She’d get it too-without sleeping with a judge. She’s the girls worst nightmare. Because Drake has some sense and won’t hit a girl…not in public at least. Everyone trys to stay on Kays good side-if she has one-because she can break you but she can also build you up.
We approach the one table on our daily walk through the cafeteria. James’ table. James is the main victim of us. I don’t know why, Chris just hates him. I mentally hold my breath, counting the number of steps we take, hoping we can pass it without conflict. The hope dies as his books get knocked to the floor.
“You dropped something, Freak.” Chris smirks as he speaks, like it’s a joke. I have to remind myself it is to him. A sick, cruel joke. We start walking again. Don’t react. I silently plead the boy. Clearly, he didn’t get the message as a roll hits the back of Chris head and drops to the ground.
“So did you.” A deep voice says behind us. We turn to see James standing, arms crossed and a smirk that screams I Dare You on his lips. Chris takes the dare muttering as he strides towards James, fist raised. I watch as his fist comes down and I brace myself for the sound of the first punch. It nevers comes thought. It dosent echo through the momentarily silent cafeteria that’s now one again alive with action, people crowding around us and yelling. Tuning their voices out, I hear James and Chris talking as they fight. This isn’t unusual.
“Nice weather we’re having.” James says, blocking Chris with ease.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” He gets James in the stomach. I watch him stumble back a little but catch himself and continue fighting, catching the next punch.
“Nothing. Why, something on your mind, bro?”
I’m shocked watching them fight. From what I’ve heard, James and Chris had fought before. Even James and Drake. But not often. Usually James takes their blows and they go home. This time he was not just blocking but getting a few hits in himself. What changed? And where did he get this experience from?
“Why don’t you just kill yourself you fucking emo.” Chris growls. It takes everything I have not to go join James in this fight. That comment catches him off guard. Chris takes a powerful swing, connecting with James nose and breaking it. Blood flows. Chris gets going, giving James the beating he’s been trying to give this entire time. James fights to get his rhythm back but he can’t. Finally a teacher breaks through the crowd and tears apart the fight. She seems like shes chewing both of them out, giving both of them a punishment but that’s not the case. Chris returns to us with only a warning. He then starts complaining about how they should have given James some sort of dentition or suspension. I roll my eyes and watch James walk away, trying to slow or stop the nosebleed. He looks up and we make eye contact. The look in his eyes scares me a little.
The final bell rings and I start gathering my stuff, trying to gather my thoughts at the same time. I’m always the last one out of class so by the time I sling my bag on my shoulder, the room has emptied except for the teacher. I nod to her and leave, shocked when I run into someone. Chris.
“So, Amber. I was wondering if you’d like to stop by my house today. We could study for the test in first block.” He offers. I hate the look in his eyes but I don’t let him see how it bothers me.
“Um…I’m not sure if I can tonight.” I tell him. “But I’ll come if I can.” I give him a smile and I can tell he’s not thrilled with my answer. He stops me and wraps an arm around my waist, his hand going too low. He pulls me close and I feel hot breath in my ear.
“I hope you know what I mean by study.”
I duck out of his grasp. “Yeah I got it.” I say. “but I really gotta go so I’ll see.” I walk away, fast I can hear him saying something behind me but I tune him out, hurrying to put as much distance between us as possible. I pull up my hood and slow when I feel it’s safe.
I crash into someone else, almost home. I look up to find James and imeady look down. “So-sorry. “ I studded, hoping he wouldn’t regionize me. Secretary, I looked up to James. I admit it, I even have the smallest crush on him. Maybe if things were different, we’d be friends. Maybe if things were different, we’d be more than friends. But things aren’t different. They’re exactly how they are. So I’m partly relieved when he mutters an it’s fine and walks off. I check the time on my crappy cell and, cursing under my breath, run for home.