Entry #51: Cinderella made Him play for her.
~ The Cinderella Deception by Juliette Harving
The next big excitement that comes to campus is sparked by some news that Callie has gotten.
“Jules!” She says, throwing an arm around me when she meets me in the locker hallway. This is her usual signal that she’s going to tell me something fresh and gossip-worthy. “Okay, so get this. Beverly, the senior who graduated last term, called me today and apparently, she’s back from her holiday!”
I scrunch up my nose. I was never really familiar with the seniors.
In fact, I don’t even know the social statuses of half the people in this school. And it’s not because I’m not popular – I’m relatively certain that half the school knows my name because I’m the dance vice-captain and best friends with Callie Miller.
It’s really because I’m way too busy with my siblings to have a regular, decent social life.
I only know that the most popular kid in our level is the basketball player, Miles Turner – Callie’s numero uno crush. Actually, half the female population in this school is in love with him.
To be honest, some sophomore did some wacky online poll last term, and results showed that Grady Sullivan and the school’s head-editor, Kieran Ethers, were the hottest guys in the school.
The poll happens every time a batch graduates, and since Shane Corelli wasn’t in the school anymore, Grady and Kieran took top places with a tie. The votes were anonymous, the identity of the voters kept secret.
So, what’s stopping the entire female population from being in love with them?
Simple. Grady’s a bad-boy, and his name spells trouble. No girl in their right mind would actually want to associate him. Except for me. I must be out of my mind.
The same goes for Kieran. In his case, however, he has a knack of mocking popular people in his articles, without making it obvious enough for the teachers to realise. I love reading his articles. He’s my Biology partner, and we’re on pretty good terms. The popular people, like Callie for instance, utterly hate his guts.
But I digress.
“Beverly who?” I ask, frowning thoughtfully.
Callie shakes her head at me. Of course she would, she knows practically everybody and anybody. Anybody worth knowing, that is. “Beverly Stanton, of course! Shane Corelli’s girlfriend?”
“So, Shane Corelli’s back in town too! Wouldn’t that make Heather wild?!”
Before I can respond, however, a cold voice speaks from behind me. “What would make me wild?”
Callie and I turn, only to face a scowling Heather. I take a step back, half-afraid of Heather, but Callie doesn’t turn a hair.
“Oh, Heather!” She smiles, sweetly – too sweetly to be true. “I was just telling Juliette that Shane Corelli’s back in town!”
Heather’s reaction is priceless. Her mouth drops, and her face turns red in three seconds flat.
“Oh, my gosh!” She shrieks, loud enough for everyone in the hallway to hear. “Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh, omigosh, omigosh…”
Callie and I stare at her in disbelief, stunned beyond words. Whoever knew that so many ‘omigosh’s could be said in one sentence? And whoever knew that just the mention of Shane Corelli’s name could make this girl turn into such a complete fruit-loop?
Callie cautiously takes my elbow, and leads me away from the hyperventilating girl. We leave Heather standing in the middle of the hallway, muttering to herself.
“Omigosh, I can’t believe it! Omigosh, I haven’t done my hair. And my nails! Omigosh. What do I do now?”
Her little screams draw enough attention for everyone to figure out that Shane’s back in town. There’s a buzz of excitement. Everyone obviously still has a thing for the prom-king of the last batch.
I roll my eyes, but my heart gives a little flop when Grady comes over, bumping against my shoulder in a friendly manner. The mere touch sends tingles up my arm.
“What’s wrong with her?” He asks, staring at Heather in disgust.
“Shane Corelli’s back.” I say, in a mocking manner. “What is it with Shane and these girls anyway? Why does everyone get so crazy just hearing his name?”
“You tell me,” Callie says, slyly. “If I remember correctly, someone had quite a big crush on him when she first came to high school.”
I immediately blush. It seems so long ago.
I had come into high-school, with that dippy expression on my face only freshmen can have. And Shane Corelli was running the pep rally single-handedly, getting massive support from the student body crowd. He winked at me – actually, I wasn’t so sure if he was really winking at me – but just like that, I was a goner.
“You had a crush on Shane Corelli?” Grady asks, sounding quite peeved. What’s he got to be annoyed about anyway?
“It was a little one!” I insist, weakly. “It barely lasted a month!” I glare at Callie, who’s eyeing Grady knowingly.
“Yeah, Grady, it was a little one.” Callie chimes in her support.
Grady’s broad shoulders tense up. “Whatever.” He mutters, and moves off towards the main exit, presumably to cut the next class again.
The two of us watch him leave in silence. “What’s up with him?” I ask, finally, feeling very puzzled indeed.
Callie chuckles to herself, shakes her head, and walks off to her class.
The arrival of Shane Corelli has several results.
One, it sends the girls in school into a crazed frenzy, spending a whole lot more attention on their clothes and hair-do’s, more than they have ever had since the beginning of the term.
See, unlike Grady and Kieran, who show a complete lack of interest in girls, Shane is flirt-able material. Was, I mean. He’s got a girlfriend now, anyway.
But these girls still see him as flirt-able, so they’re going all out. And by all out, I do mean all out, no holds barred. The other day, I saw Heather prancing around school with a see-through top. And this other well-known school slut, Cara, was walking about without a bra on.
Two, Beverly Stanton actually meets up with Callie and me. I’ve never talked to Beverly in my life, but Callie demanded that I go with her, so I did.
I didn’t regret it, though. We really bonded over ice-creams – which Beverly insisted on paying. Beverly’s extremely nice, pretty, funny and has a good sense of humour too. She’s also very down-to-earth, and seems nothing like the usual sluts Shane used to hang out with before her.
The third result comes as a complete surprise.
As I’m shoving in my books into my locker, Callie comes to meet me with a guy trailing behind her. I’m not usually surprised, because Callie’s always got some guys drooling after her, but this guy is different.
“Jules!” Cal says, a huge grin on her face. “Shane wants to say hello!”
And I’m pushed in front of Shane Corelli. It would be a lie to say I didn’t, like, swoon a little. Because Shane, after all, is a complete hottie, with his dark brown hair, twinkling eyes and mischievous smirk that can make one go weak in the knees.
“Hey, Shane.” I smile, weakly. I do know him. He used to hang out with Callie a lot before he graduated, and I’ve seen him occasionally.
“Hey yourself.” He grins widely, and pulls me into a sudden hug. Whoa. “How’re you doing? Callie says you’re still as busy as ever.”
“I’m alright.” I say, “Still surviving.”
Before any one of us can respond, however, someone calls my name. “Harving.”
I know who it is without even glancing to the right. It’s Grady. Only he calls me by my surname. My heart flutters when I see him approaching us, his eyes flashing darkly. And I think I’ve completely forgotten about the other hottie standing just inches away from me.
“Hey, Grady, what’s up?” I smile, and turn to Shane. “This is Grady Sullivan. He’s my, erm…” What do I call him? Enemy? But we kissed! It’s such a complicated relationship. “He’s my friend.”
Shane eyes us in amusement, and looks over to Callie, who grins innocently up at him. “Friend, huh?”
Again with that. Why won’t anyone believe that Grady and I are just friends?
Grady’s eyes darken even further, but Shane starts to speak. “Hey dude, haven’t I seen you before?”
We stare in astonishment at Shane. Grady seems completely thrown-off.
“Oh, right, I have!” Shane snaps his fingers quickly, and grins. “You played on the rival team in street soccer last time, remember? I was with the West High soccer dudes, you were with those other guys, and your team totally thrashed us.”
At this, Grady’s composure completely changes. His shoulders relax. “Yeah, that’s right.”
“You play well,” Shane commented, eyeing Grady in approval. “You should join the team. We need a good centre-forward, and West High hasn’t won anything since I graduated last term.”
“No.” Grady’s reply comes so quickly and swiftly that we all stare at him in surprise.
“Oh – alright.” Shane looks faintly disappointed. “Never-mind then, forget I asked.”
Grady gives a curt nod and saunters away, out of the building and into the empty car-park. I purse my lips for a second then run after him. “Grady!”
He stops, but doesn’t turn. “What?”
“Aren’t you even going to consider it?”
“What’s there to consider?” He asks, coldly.
I look at him. “Come on, you can play really well, Shane himself says so! Just try out for the team, you might make the cut.”
He glares at me. “Just because Shane said so.”
“No, of course not.” I say, shocked that he would think I’m doing this for Shane. Does he honestly think I still like Shane Corelli? “I just want you to do this for yourself. And I will go to the game, and cheer you on like anything, see?”
He hesitates for a long moment, and then sighs. When I hear him, I know he’s given in. “Good for you, Grady,” I say, surprising both him and myself with a hug.
Grady stiffens for a while, and then his strong arms come around me tightly. He smells of fresh soap and faint cedar wood, a smell that lingers on him because of his long shifts at the furniture factory.
And I can’t help thinking that I don’t want to pull away from this hug and from his arms. Ever.
And that scares the hell out of me.