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Girls and Guys and Grape Sodas, Oh My!

Book By: Nora Zane

"I just got splashed with a grape soda. I have it everywhere, and that includes my underwear. There is corn syrup burning my eyes, and I am not in the mood to deal with this."

Submitted:Apr 11, 2010    Reads: 62    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   

"You're pretty good at this," Andy said, leaning over the sink in the girl's bathroom.
"Yeah, well, I've had a lot of practice," Alison replied, cupping her hands under the faucet. She gently poured the water over his head.
"I'm sorry…about that," he said, glad she couldn't see his embarrassed face. "I should have never done it to you."
"It's okay," she said, reaching for more water. "It takes a special kind of person to take a soda to the face every day, and I consider myself one of the few," she added with a cynical laugh. "At least you have short hair. Much easier to rinse out."
"It's really not okay, Alison," he said, standing up to his full height. "No one deserves this. I never thought I'd get hit. But now that I have, I realize how truly shitty it is to do to someone. I just wanted you to know I really am sorry."
This surprised Alison. Andy Jackson was certainly not the type of guy who would ever apologize for throwing a soda in anyone's face. Especially not a slightly annoying, slightly lame, overly ambitious girl like her.
Maybe he really is sorry, she thought. Maybe now we'll start dating and elope to Hawaii and live happily ever after. The logical part of her protested, and maybe pigs will fly. He's just bullshitting you because you helped him wash his hair.
She didn't care about his motives; she just wanted to enjoy the fact that he was actually talking to her.
"It's okay," she repeated, pushing him back over the sink gently. "I'm not done yet." He bent back down willingly. "So," she said casually, running the water over his close cropped head, "why did you get a soda thrown on you? You're like the coolest guy here."
Does she really think I'm cool? he thought, surprisingly happy at the casual compliment. "Um…," he said hesitantly, not wanting her to know the real reason. She would definitely think less of him if she knew.
"Come on," she cajoled, then immediately cursed her pushy personality. He doesn't want to talk about it, she snapped at herself. Leave him alone. But her curious side won and she persisted. "I've been washing a grape soda off you hair for like ten minutes. You owe me."
"Fair enough," he replied with a sigh. "I slept with Marshall's girlfriend."
The constant stream of warm water she had been washing over him suddenly stopped as she took a step back. He turned around to face her."Marshall Davis?" she asked incredulously. "Quarterback and all around badass Davis? I thought you guys were like best friends."
"We are," he said wishing he hadn't told her. "Or, we were. But me and Anna were both pretty drunk, and it just happened."
She looked shocked still. "Who hit you?"
"You guys are on the football team together. I thought you guys were "bros" or whatever you call each other."
"We were bros. But you don't just sleep with a bro's ho and expect to be tight," he explained.
Alison tried to digest this but failed. "Lean over, I'm almost done," she instructed in a desperate attempt to change the subject. He obliged and she rinsed in silence.
The silence was broken when the door opened and a girl came in. She stopped at the sight of Andy. "No boys allowed," she said, narrowing her eyes.
"I'm just washing his hair," Alison offered. "It's okay."
"No, he's not allowed to be in here!" the girl persisted. "I gotta pee, so he needs to leave."
"Why can't you just go?" Alison snapped back, getting annoyed. "There are doors, it's no big deal."
"I'm reporting you to the principal, you perv," the girl threw at him.
Andy, who had remained silent through the ordeal, stood up to his full height of 6'2 and put on his best intimidating face, the one he used with nerds and geeks. "I just got splashed with a grape soda. I have it everywhere, and that includes my underwear. There is corn syrup burning my eyes, and I am not in the mood to deal with this. Pee or leave."
The girl's eyes widened and she spun on her heel and left without another word. Alison stared at Andy taken aback.
"I'm going to go," he said, shifting uncomfortably. "Thanks for helping me even though I don't deserve it." With that, he grabbed his backpack, shook his wet hair and left.
Toldja so, said her logical side. He was just being nice so you would help him.
Her wistful side had no choice but to agree.
Andy Jackson was back on top. It took a week of being hated but he was back in the saddle after it had come to light that Anna had not only slept with Andy but half of the defensive line as well.
"Dude, she's like a succubus or something," Marshall had said to him shortly after dumping Anna. "It totally wasn't your fault. We cool?"
And it was good to be back. He didn't have to walk down the halls in fear of being slushed. He was doing the slushing now. It didn't feel as satisfying now that he had experienced it, but it was either throw the soda or be denounced as a pussy by the guys.
The sodas from the student store were perfect for throwing. They were just sticky and wet enough to cause discomfort but still cheap enough (25 cents) to buy in mass quantities. Of course the administration had tried to stop the act, but it was impossible to pinpoint one perpetrator and the sodas were a major money maker for the school. So it continued.
The look on a kid's face before being slushed (anxious, horrified) was nothing compared to their face after being slushed (angry, scared, upset). It gave Andy and his guys a major power charge. As right hand man and running back to THE Marshall Davis, Andy had the rare privilege of controlling a group of power hungry beefy muscular guys. It was just exhilarating.
Monday after the Anna scandal, Andy was walking to trig. He was ten minutes late, as was his custom. He liked to see how far he could push teachers with his world famous excuses. Nine time out of ten, he got his way.
He was preparing his latest excuse. Oh, Mrs. Brennan, I was walking by the pond outside and I saw someone drowning! Naturally I was able to save them and still come to class. Please don't count me late. It was a zinger of an excuse, one of his more risky ones. He had practiced in the mirror late last night, trying to perfect a modest tone. He knew the teacher wouldn't believe him; that was the point. The point was to sway them into believing.
As he was muttering it under his breath he heard a loudly whispered, expletive "FUCK THIS." Curious, Andy followed the stomping feet and the hushed tears until he found the source.
A dripping wet girl with mascara running down her face, her tears mixing with an unmistakable grape soda, sat at the base of a locker. She ran a hand over her face to try and wipe some of the soda off to no avail. It was partially dry and very very sticky. Her head was bent as she desperately tried not to cry.
At the sound of Andy's footsteps she looked up at him and Andy stared in shock. "Alison?"
"Go away," she said as meanly as she could when she recognized him. "I have nothing to say to you."
"Let me help you," he said, offering his hand.
"You can't throw a soda in my face then offer to help!" she said, pushing his hand away.
"But I didn't throw this soda in your face."
"You've done it before, and you do it every day to someone!" she bit her lip angrily. "What's the difference? You're just the same as the guy who threw this! You'll probably laugh about it later! 'Yeah, man I totally slushed that freak chick! It was awesome'!"
"Who did it?" he asked quietly. What she said was true. What difference did it make who it was?
"I'll talk to him about it," he said, knowing he probably wouldn't.
As if she had read his mind she said, "No you won't. You're just saying that."
Changing the subject he said, "Please, Alison. Let me help you. It's the least I can do." He extended his hand and tried to look trustworthy.
With a moment's hesitation, she took it.
Alison suddenly found herself in the boy's bathroom. "We should go to the girls," she suggested.
With a grin he said, "No way. I went in the girls, you get to go in the guys."
She didn't put up a fight, just looked at the urinals wearily.
He turned on the water and waited for it to get warm. When it was good and ready, he said "lean over." When she did, her skirt came up just a bit. Andy stopped for a moment to enjoy the view until Alison told him to stop looking at her butt.
Her hair was tangled with clumps of dried grape soda. He had never realized how long it was. He tried to untangle the hair with his fingers, but every touch made Alison wince. "Can I use hand soap on your hair?"
Alison looked up at him. "I guess."
He took a drop and rubbed it in his hands. He spread it through her hair, massaging her head. He poured water over it, then applied more soap. "I am so sorry about this." It seemed like every time he was around her he ended up apologizing.
"I'd like to say its okay. But it's not," she said, still angry.
"I know. It's not okay at all."
"What gives you the right to throw things at me? You're not much better than me. Do you ever stop to think about what you're doing? Just because people don't fucking hate you doesn't make you better."
He let her vent as he rinsed her hair. "No one hates you."
She snorted a laugh without any humor behind it. "Are you kidding me? No one likes me. I'm annoying."
"You've just got a….strong personality. I don't think you're annoying," he replied, combing her hair with his fingers.
"Really?" she said briskly standing up and ringing her wet hair out. "Freshman year you told me I had a face like a horse's ass. Sophomore year you told me to stab myself repeatedly. Last month you said I made you want to shoot yourself just to get away from me. Any of that ring a bell?"
"I didn't mean any of that," he said, suddenly ashamed of himself. "It was before I knew you. I was just being a douchebag."
She wiped her face with a scratchy paper towel and dabbed at the stains on her skirt. "Yeah, you were," she said, pulling out her mascara reapplying it. "I don't think you've changed at all."
"Please let me make it up to you."
"I helped you, you helped me. We're even. There's nothing you can do." With that, she grabbed her bag, and swiftly left leaving Andy staring after her.


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