Chapter 3:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 161
Comments: 6

Being the new kid is hard all right. But being the new kid with no prior experience of what the real high school life was like borders on the ridiculously unbearable. Laugh at me all you want, but I tell you, I was not ready for this. Especially not lunchtime.

The line seemed to stretch into infinity as groups of people buzzed in conversation around me. Solid gray tables and benches filled the room, each crammed with plates of cafeteria food and friends catching up on their summers or the latest school gossip. At the front of the line I could bear out cafeteria ladies handing out today's lunch: sizzling hamburgers and french fries. The environment wasn't too different from that at my old school, the only difference being that I would have my friends around me there. Here, I honestly felt like a reclude, the only one without a friend to chat with; the awkward freshman with his hands in his pocket trying to act normal.

The line moved forward, but barely, and I scanned the lunch room area, trying to scout out anybody I had possibly met or greeted earlier in the day. I knew in the back of my mind however that was completely futile, as I had been extremely inconspicuous to almost everybody except for that redhead who had talked to me in Math class. Hell, she probably wasn't in any mood to see me again after how I completely ignored her for a good ten seconds.

I glanced over at the clock near the entrance of the cafeteria. It read 12:30. Class would start again at 1:10 so I had forty minutes to grab lunch and eat. Judging by the length of the line and how slowly it was progressing, half of that time would be spent waiting. Impatience started to hound me, and I began tapping my foot. That was when I noticed Kate and Mr. Ego-Pump getting their lunch.

The two received their burgers and fries, and broke free from the rest of the line to walk to their table. Derek said something that made Kate laugh, which undoubtedly caused the fire to kindle. Kate said something that caused Derek to chuckle in return, and he playfully nudged her with his shoulder. Kate returned the nudge.

"Dude, what are you staring at? Move forward you retard!" A hefty body pushed into me, sending me staggering forward and filling the hole of the line again. I turned around to be greeted by an indignant boy who looked about my age, but had at least two inches and a good fifteen pounds on me. His carefully gelled dirty blonde hair and lime green eyes were topped off by a plain white T-shirt which hugged his solidily built body along with navy blue jeans.

"Um...sorry." I stammered. "It won't happen again."

The guy snorted. "Don't make a promise you can't keep buster. Just keep moving."

I turned back and took in a deep breath. For the rest of the time we were in the line, I tried to stay as far away from his body as possible, which was pretty difficult considering we had only six inches of separation between us.  I looked around the room for any signs of Derek and Kate, but they had completely disappeared in the mass of people and tables.

After a while, I finally reached the front of the line. I grabbed a red plastic tray and placed it on the marble counter. The cafeteria lady emotionlessly laid a hamburger and scooped some fries onto my tray, and I grabbed a bottle of apple juice from the drinks stand. I then turned around to face the jungle of tables and high schoolers when the realization hit me straight on.

Oh crap, where do I sit?

I definitely was not the guy to go to a group and ask if I could sit with them, so I made my way through the room trying to locate an empty table I could eat at. Some people looked up at me while I went past their tables. Most of them couldn't give a second toss, but there were some looks of sympathy added in as well. Sympathy for the lonely, awkward freshman.

I found an empty bench at the corner of the lunchroom, and sat down with my food. The eyes were still occassionally flickering over to me, even more now that I had placed myself in the open. I began eating my hamburger, and took a bite out of it. The meat was hard and slightly overcooked, so I added some french fries and washed it down with apple juice. 

Despite all the looks passed to me, they immediately began to resume eating at their own tables, chatting with their own friends. I was poised to insert another french fry into my mouth when I realized I had literally zero appetite. The feelings of loneliness had built up, and they seemed to climax here. I stared down at the tiled floor trying to tell myself that it was going to be alright. First days are always tough, but you'll find a place here.

Almost as an answer to my prayers, I heard a female voice calling me at that moment.

"Hey, James right?" I looked up to see Rose in front of me along with the boy who had shoved me back at the lunch line. "You want to sit with us?"

I eyed the guy, who seemed to be looking at me with a much calmer gaze than he had displayed earlier. I didn't know these people, but I figured eating with them was better than nothing.

"Okay, thanks!" Grabbing my plate of food and drink, I followed the two of them to their table, which was a small bench somewhere near the center of the cafeteria.

Sitting there already were two other boys. One had jet black hair and a matching T-shirt, bearing resemblance to a punk skater while the other dude was Asian, and had a major case of computer tan, all complete with wide rimmed glasses. Seeing the two of them together was kind of like watching North and South collide, the two ambassadors of their respective groups sitting down and having lunch together was mind blowing.

The guy who had talked to me back at the line spoke. "Alright, since Rose decided to be a sweet girl and persuade us to let you sit here, welcome. James right?" He stuck out a hand.

"Yes." I tentatively reached out with my own and shook his. The fire in his eyes earlier seemed to have vanished completely, and he seemed almost welcome, which was somewhat surprising.

"Nice to meet you James, I'm Lucas. Let me introduce you to the rest of us. Rose here sits with us because she got in hot water with her bitchy old friends and they ditched her. Danny..." The punk dude waved. "Believe it or not, he's actually not a punk. Nor a skater. And last but not least we have Wallace. He used to sit with the rest of the nerds, but they kicked him out when he hacked into their server in World of Warcraft and stole all their money, so he's with us now." Wallace waved with a pasty hand.

"Cool, nice to meet you all," I said with much more confidence, now that Lucas was acting more friendly towards me.

"You can sit with us from now on, or you can go find another group to eat with," Lucas added. "In the end, we're all trying to get through the chaos that is high school. It's all your choice who you survive with."

"Well, I guess sitting with you guys isn't a bad offer." I looked around the lunch room at all the different groups. There were goths decked in pitch black T-shirts and eyeliner, computer geeks staring blankly at laptop screens, and ripped jocks with their arms around cheerleaders. I didn't fit in with any other group, so I guess this was where I was best off for now. 

"It sure isn't, have a seat." Lucas gestured to the space between him and Rose. I placed my tray gently on the table, swung my legs over the seat, and sat down.

"So guys, how was your summer?" Danny asked, sparking the start of conversation.

"Same old same old," Rose twirled one of her french fries before popping it into her mouth. "Swimming laps in the pool everyday, for hours straight, all under the watchful eye of my parents." She then turned and looked at me. "By the way, I'm in the swim team James; I've been doing this ever since I was a baby."

"Practicing for the football team." Lucas leaned his elbows on the table and gulped down a mouthful of water. "And working out. And hitting on the hot chick that just moved into my neighborhood."

"How old is she?" Danny leaned in, obviously interested.

"She told me she was a junior this year. Looks much older though, like a college student."

"You're not gonna invite her over to your house man?" Wallace chipped in, with a glimmer in the corner of his eye. "And have some...you know fun time."

"Why don't you shut up before I greet your face with this?" Lucas held up a fist, and Danny stifled a laugh.

"I was kidding bro, relax." Wallace held up his hands, but there was no indication of fear in his eyes, as if this was typical Lucas behavior. Come to think of it, why wouldn't it be?

"Guys, let's engage James in this." Rose tried to include me in the conversation. "Where did you transfer to here from?"

"From Seattle Monarch Academy, it's a private school in downtown." I thought it would attract admiration or even envy from the others, but boy was I wrong.

"That place?" Lucas wrinkled his nose in disgust, and then realized his rudeness. "Sorry, how long have you been there?"

"About my whole life, all the way from first grade."

"So you've gone to a private school for your whole life?"

"Yes." I was getting the feeling that I was being judged, and pretty badly too.

"So." Lucas paused and spoke his next words very deliberately. "Do you know what it's like at a public school?"

"Um, no."

"Not at all?"

"Nope."

"Have you even had a girl-"

"Lucas!" Rose's voice had an edge to it as she came to my rescue, and just in time. "Well, we're all glad to have you here James."

"Yeah man." Danny reached over and shook my hand. "Pleasure to meet you."

"Wait, you're from a private school right?" Wallace perked up. "What's it like there?"

I gazed hesitantly at Lucas, who raised his hands, palms outward.

"Sorry man, won't say anything no more. Go ahead."

"Alright." I inserted a french fry into my mouth and spoke. "It's insanely vigorous academically, like all the kids there are A students and are well behaved and dressed."

"So basically nothing like here." Danny leaned his elbows on the hard table. "I don't want to sound like Lucas from earlier, but is this public high school life a novel experience for you?"

"Yes, it is." I gulped down a mouthful of apple juice. "This is all completely new to me."

"Is it so?" Lucas said, and Rose shot a quick glare at him. "Relax, I'm trying to help James here. Anyways, since you have no idea what's going on, I'm guessing you wouldn't mind a little introduction?"

"An introduction?" I asked. "To what?"

Lucas pursed his lips. "You really have no idea no you? An introduction to the social structure and life here at Sunset High, to help you get a kick start on your actual high school life."

"Oh," I said quietly. I really was so clueless, no wonder nobody wanted to talk to me earlier. "Ok then, go for it."

"Sweet." Lucas flashed me a grin and gestured around the cafeteria like a circus master displaying all his proud animals. "You see that table in the far right corner, where I'm pointing at?"

"Yep." I noticed sitting there was the gangster group of boys that had interacted with me a couple hours back. The one who had invited me to join them was talking, his night black eyes glimmering as he spoke.

"Well, those are the rebels, the burn-outs, whatever you want to call them. Heaven knows what they do in their free time, but most of us don't want any of it. Next is..." He pointed to the next table, composed of pale, Wallace-like students, with either thick textbooks or laptops in front of them. "Those are the nerds, and computer geeks. Pretty self explanatory, if you ask me. And then are the punks, emos, and goths." He pointed at three tables with people sporting dark colors and eyeliner at each one. "Then there's the skaters, metalheads, preps, and some other groups. Finally, right there we have the divas of Sunset High." Lucas pointed to a large, circular table right smack dab in the middle of the cafeteria, and just twenty feet away from us. "They pretty much run this house."

Sitting at the center table were six older boys flashing their letterman jackets and four girls wearing an impressive amount of makeup and to be honest, were dressed like sluts. Out of the ten of them, I only recognized two faces. One was Derek, the other was...

"The jocks and cheerleaders." The way Lucas said it promoted neither admiration nor contempt, it was as if he couldn't care less for their apparent popularity. "Their king is Derek Monroe. He's a senior, captain of both the football and basketball varsity team, basically the epitome of a chick magnet. Oh yeah, speaking of girls, he's also dating Kate Winters, who sits with them too."

Yeah, I'm SO happy for them.

"Wait, how long have they been together?" I asked, trying to keep my true feelings as inconspicuous as possible.

"Not really long at all, I think this Saturday's their fourth week together. But from what I heard in the rumors, last night they almost reached third base."

They almost reached...what?!

I took a deep breath as I tried to keep a straight face. "But isn't Kate only a-"

"Yeah, she's only a freshman like the rest of us here," Lucas finished for me. "I don't know how dating rules worked back in private school, but here, age doesn't matter that much as long as the other person has a decent personality and is as attractive as hell. And that definitely applies for the goddess that is Kate."

Over at the center table, I saw Derek and Kate chatting with each other. Kate said something while Derek played with her caramel hair, and the two exchanged words for a moment before kissing.

It's gonna be alright James...it's gonna be NO WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN TO ME?!

"True true." Everything in my brain told me to turn away, but my eyes were glued on the two of them interlocking lips.

"You seem awfully interested in Kate." A faint smile played on Lucas's lips. "Do you like her?"

"No!" My blood turned cold.

"Relax, I'm just kidding." Lucas chuckled and patted my shoulder just as the lunch bell rang. "Well, it's time to get to class, see you James!"

"Great to meet you man," Danny said.

"Yeah, hope to see you again sometime!" Wallace said, and the three of them left the table, leaving me alone with Rose.

"James, what class do you have next?" Rose asked me.

I pulled out my class schedule from my backpack. "Health."

"Same, I'll walk with you to class." Rose smiled.

"Thanks Rose." I returned the smile, and she twirled a strand of her hair with her right hand, almost as if she was nervous.

We finished packing up and walked with our trays to put our food away. As we placed our trays onto the counter and they were collected by the lunch ladies, I caught Rose glancing over at me in the corner of my vision.

"Sorry this has to be so overwhelming to you." She tried to comfort me. 

"It's fine, I'll get used to it eventually. At least I hope I do."

"Don't worry James, I'll be there for you if you need any help." Rose gently placed a hand on my shoulder.

"Thank you so much Rose. I really appreciate it," I said, feeling all fuzzy and warm inside. It was nice to have someone who cared.

"No problem James!" She smiled at me again. "Hey, by the way, this Saturday, Kate's throwing a party at her place, and the whole school's invited. Do you want to come?"

"Wait, she's throwing a party?" The realization hit me head on faster than a bullet.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure you know what a party is." Rose suppressed a giggle.

"Of course! It's just..." 

"I know it'll be hard for you, but this is the way you can make friends, and to blast your name out there!"

"Right," I said, still unsure. This was a perfect opportunity, but I didn't know if I had the guts or confidence to follow through.

"You can think about it James." Rose looked at me with her brown orbs. "But this will be a great chance for you!"

"Yeah...I guess so."

Just at that moment, the kids from the central table walked by us, buzzing in conversation.

"I know man! It's gonna be awesome!"

"Total kickass for sure!"

"You wanna make it a pool party Kate?" A blonde with a sleeveless white top and tight yellow shorts said.

"Why Cassie?" Kate smiled at the blonde. "You want to finally try skinny dipping?"

"You know me too well sweetie." Cassie nudged her. "And I wouldn't mind seeing any of the guys there."

"Oh I definitely wouldn't mind seeing any of you chicks in the pool." Derek flashed a smile that must have made girls trip head over heels.

"Oh come on Derek!" Kate playfully slapped him. 

"Come on what baby? You know I love you the most." Derek leaned over and smooched Kate on the cheek, and a wave of "Aw's" washed through the group.

"Hey Rose," I said, nudging her on the shoulder.

"Yeah?"

"You know about the party?"

"You're in?"

"I'm all in."

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: September 07, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Blake Star. All rights reserved.

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Comments

masharocks

Amazing chapter! It was really nice that James es got some friends! I can't wait to see what happens at the party!!!

Sun, September 7th, 2014 3:14pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Masharocks! :D

Sun, September 7th, 2014 4:00pm

Alex The shadow girl

Party! Party! I am excited for the party. Lets see what happens there.. :)

Sun, September 7th, 2014 3:46pm

Author
Reply

Haha mmhmm thanks for reading alex! :)

Sun, September 7th, 2014 4:00pm

Baby Precious

yay james has friends!! so happy and cant wait for the party woooo!! KMU

Tue, September 9th, 2014 2:40pm

Author
Reply

Thank you baby precious :D

Tue, September 9th, 2014 4:20pm

peacemaker06

James is so fixated on Kate that he wasn't clicked that Rose likes him. No wonder she mentioned the party at Kate's house. I think Lucas is going to be a good friend too. They got off to a bad start but I think lucas will stand up for James if need be. I enjoyed the whole cafeteria scene and all the teenage drama and banter. I cant wait for the party either. Should be very interesting to say the least. A captivating read indeed ") more please!

Tue, September 9th, 2014 7:24pm

Author
Reply

Thank you peacemaker so much and I will definitely keep you updated! :D And glad that you were one of the ppl who picked up on the hints Rose dropped. Not gonna say exactly for sure whether she likes him or not, you'll have to find out by reading on! :P

Tue, September 9th, 2014 6:20pm

Sarahh365

I like this! It seems like a typical teenage love story, but I know there has to be more behind it. James seems like a likable main character so far. I can't wait to see what happens at this party, so do KMU!

Thu, September 18th, 2014 5:05am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much Sarah! I sure will :D

Wed, September 17th, 2014 11:03pm

CheshireKittty

Another cool chapter, and i loved it. I like how you vivid the scene with the cafteria, and the long lunch line. Also I like how you put James thoughts and struggles about finding a table, i'm pretty sure everyone has been in his shoes. But i was so happy that Rose invited him to her table, and I like the group already. Even though Lucas and him did not have a good impression at the lunch line, the tension between them settled down a lot. Also i like how Lucas intrdocue the whole cligues at Seattle Sunset High, it kind of reminded me of the cligues in my highschool. So anyway, i like your use of vocabulary, your metaphores, and how every single event flows nicely. I hope you update soon, because i want to know what happens at this party. So KMU! LIKE!:}

Sat, September 20th, 2014 1:13am

Author
Reply

Yes, these cliques are very stereotypical, but oh well, they fit xD Thank you so much for your comments, and how detailed you go into it. I will definitely Keep you updated! :D

Thu, September 25th, 2014 6:15am

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