"Hey nerd," I overheard Joseph Carlisle, the school’s football captain, call Michael Smith. He was pushing Michael against his own locker, Michaels bright blue eyes were bulging from his head. Quickly, I walked over to stop the catastrophic chaos taking place.
"Back off Carlisle, don't you have a class to fail?" I smirked watching Joseph's wide gap grin drop. He let go of Michael and scowled at me. I laughed, "Off with your ugly ass." Joseph stormed off in a tantrum.
"Thanks Cassie," Michaels pearly white teeth popped out under his colorfully wired mouth.
"Don't mention it," I smiled as I walked off down the hall.
Michael Smith was always a weird kid. He listened to strange music by strange bands and always had his nose in a book. It was unfortunate that our school bullies saw him as a target. Michael was a good kid. It was recently that he started changing. Before he was a typical jock who played every sport in the book, after seventh grade, he had gotten in a big fight with some kid. They both got suspended for the rest of the school year. Michael came back eighth grade year with skater long hair that flew to the side, braces and started reading. He was never the same.
There were plenty of rumors as to what happened. Some say Michael’s father, the neighborhood drunk, beat him to a pulp. Others say his mother died. Some say his mom walked out on him. No one is sure though. All we know is Michael changed that summer. He, nor his social life, was ever the same.
My best friend Lila was waiting in front of the cafeteria when I got there. She was typing away on her new touch screen phone she got from her grandma last week.
"O-M-G Cass where have you been? I have been freaking out! Girl you have to hear all the drama going down!" Lila yanked me by the arm into the jungle, where all the animals gathered in their species to prey on their meals for the day. I searched the area. Everyone seemed as weird as usual. They all huddled to gossip about whatever. Lila took me to our water hole, right in the middle of the cafeteria. Joseph Carlisle was sitting down already diving into his undercooked and grease coated chicken. My ex-boyfriend, Nick Stokes, was drinking into another protein shake with some other cheerleader under his sweaty arm. Lila and I sat down.
"Hey guys look at Michael LoserSmith," Joseph smirked.
"Leave him alone Joseph," I groaned.
"What's your problem Cass? Why would you care if I tease him or not, what’s that have to do with you?" Joseph leaned in.
"I just think you should lie off, you are always up his ass for the most stupid reasons. So what the hell is your problem? Are you jealous of him?"
"Ha! You think I’m jealous of Michael Smith? That must be the most stupid thing I've heard all day!"
"I just think instead of being his enemy maybe you should be his friend." I muttered.
"You want me to be his friend? Me?" Joseph tilted his head back and laughed over dramatically.
"Come on man lay off," Nick playfully punched Joseph.
"You're taking her side?" Joseph's jaw dropped. "Okay fine, I'll be his friend." Joseph rolled his eyes like a bowling ball. He jumped out of his seat and walked over to where Michael was walking.
"Joseph isn't that bad of a guy," Nick told me.
"Yeah and I'm a mermaid," I groaned. "He's devious and up to something."
"Excuse me everyone," Joseph clapped his dried out brown hands. "I'd like to make an announcement. Michael Smith is my new best friend. Yes you heard me; I am Michael Smiths new BFF. Well it's not like he had an old one."
"Joseph," I muttered. He was up to something, something that wasn't good.
"Anyways I would like to show you my new BFF Michael." He leaned forward to Michael but did the most asshole move ever. He smacked up Michaels lunch. All the food splattered on Michaels burgundy red t-shirt. "Oh my bad man let me help." Joseph leaned over and pretended to trip. He pushed Michael into a trash can. I watched Michaels face of disbelief.
"God you are such a fucking asshole!" I screamed at Joseph.
"Cass chill it was a joke," Nick murmured.
"It wasn't funny," I turned to Joseph. My eyes had that bright red fire to them. "How would you like it if someone did that to you?" I grabbed Joseph's tray of food and smashed it in his shirt. Joseph stared at me in disbelief. "Oh man I am SO sorry, let me help you!" I grabbed my carton of milk and dumped it all over him. "Not fun on the other side is it?" I whispered in Joseph's face.
Everyone watched in disbelief. They couldn't believe what just happened. I was little Miss Cassandra Rodriguez, dance captain and AP honor student. Now I snapped over the schools "loser." I stormed out of the cafeteria to find Michael.
Our school was so big. Michael could run anywhere in the school and not get remotely caught. Hell, he could run off campus without getting caught. That’s most likely what he did. I searched and searched for him. He was nowhere to be found.
“Cassie,” I turned to see Nick running towards me.
“Get away from me. I’m not in the damn mood.” I groaned.
“Just talk to me,” Nick cried.
“You let Joseph humiliate him. All you guys had to do was show some courtesy. Instead of acting like damn animals, why don’t you try being fucking human for a change?” I snapped.
“I’m sorry,” Nick yelled after.
“Just leave me alone,” I walked away and stopped in my steps. “You know, if you guys don’t straighten your act then we’re going to end up like Columbine or any of those other schools who got shot up because of stupidity like Joseph!”
When I got out of school, I headed to Michael’s house. I know it sounded ridiculous. Honestly I just don’t want him ever feeling like he’s alone. When I got there, his father wasn’t home. I approached the door cautiously and knocked.
“What do you want to humiliate me more?” Michael opened the door slowly.
“I just want to talk, I’m so sorry what Joseph did to you.”
“You want to talk…to me? Aren’t you scared one of your cool friends will see you here with me?”
“Honestly I could care less,” I rolled my eyes.
“Come in,” Michael opened the door. I walked into the house. The overwhelming smell of cigarettes greeted me. There were beer bottles all over the floor. I swore I saw a rat crawling on the floor. It was disgusting.
Michael led me out of the living room and into the only clean room in the entire house. It was his room. His walls were covered in band posters, there was a stack of CD’s on his dresser and a guitar in the corner. The one thing that caught my eye was his bookshelf. On his bookshelf were all those trophies he won in middle school. There were photos of his mom and everything.
“Can I ask you something?” I questioned.
“Yes you may,” Michael corrected.
“What happened in middle school? You were at the top of the charts. Everyone wanted to be your friend. Why did you change all of a sudden? That stupid fight made everything go crazy.” I sat on the bed.
“You’re right, it was a stupid fight. We fought because he made the losing shot at our basketball game. I lost everything because of that fight. My mom left because my dad beat me half to death after that fight. Once the school said I was expelled, that was it. Everything flipped around. My mom disappeared and that was it. I started listening to any music that got me through my depression. My hair grew out, I started cutting it myself. I had to rely on myself after dad started drinking even more.”
“I’m so sorry,” I looked at the floor. “I shouldn’t have asked.”
“It’s okay. You’re the first person who actually cared.”
“I really do care Michael,” I smiled at him. “You know this might be embarrassing but I used to have the biggest crush on you in ninth grade.”
“After my big transformation, that’s when you developed a crush?”
“Yeah, you weren’t some stupid jock anymore. You became your own person. It was like you were so different and you weren’t scared of it. I really wish I had the guts to be different.” I shook my head.
“What are you talking about? You’re Cassandra, the most popular girl at this school. Guys fall to their knees just to talk to you!”
“It’s just not who I am though,” I shrugged.
“I think who you are is perfect,” Michael smiled.
“Really,” I leaned in to him.
“Yeah but at least you don’t get bullied, I mean come on. I’m pathetic. I haven’t had a girlfriend or anything.” Just like that, I did something weird. I kissed him. I kissed Michael Smith just like that.
There was something different about the kiss with Michael. I felt a big spark with him. We kept kissing. I leaned back onto his bed. His hands on my waist while my arms wrapped around his neck. We kind of got into it. I felt him slowly lift my shirt up. My hands took off his. When he got to my pants, I felt free. It was someone who was seeing my insecurities. He knew I didn’t like myself. Either he was taking advantage or he actually cared. Will I ever know?
Michael Smith and I had sex. I wouldn’t call it making love. We weren’t in love. Honestly we were just two insecure kids. We did something we weren’t supposed to. Now I was not sure if that was the right thing to do. I was seventeen, about to go to Julliard in New York for dance. Here I was having sex with the most genuine guy the school has. Sure he isn’t the love of my life but he does count for something right?
To be honest, I think I did make a bad mistake with some crazy consequences.
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