The Misfits

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Four teenagers have been rejected at school by the majority. They each possess a little quirk that has cast them aside so the easiest thing has been for them to drift together. Stacey realises she doesn't need to change herself to fit in when she fits well with the other three anyway.

Submitted: April 05, 2010

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Submitted: April 05, 2010

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I caught myself searching on the internet for ways to fit in. It shocked me. My whole life I've been pretty independent and so this reluctant act made me feel a little ill. Okay, so maybe I'm a suck. I know that. But we all want to fit in, it's a way of life. I have friends at school but it's only by the necessity that human nature places on us that caused us to band together. We didn't become friends by choice, rather we became friends by default.
There's Johnny the owl watcher. He's probably the weirdest out of the lot of us. His main aim in life is to become an owl. Now either that's some sort of medical revelation that he intends to achieve in life or he has some serious issues going on upstairs.
Kate isn't actually that strange but the expulsion she went through from the cheerleading squad forced her into some sort of social coma. I'm not actually sure but I think she got trapped by the gothic culture and has now become a brooding, wallowing thing. Nowadays it's hard to tell what colour her skin is under all the white powder she's subject her face to.
Craig just tries too hard. See, this is where I'm confused. We have the 'wannabe popular girls' but there's no such thing as a 'wannabe jock'. Craig still thinks he fits in and that he's this amazingly cool athlete with this hot as body, yet when you look at him, you see none of that. He's in chronic denial.
Then there's me- Stacey. I'm just me and that's why I don't fit in. I protested against having a cheerleading squad last year because it forces onto everyone else the feeling that they're not good enough to be noticed like them. I never try in phys. ed. therefore my team of over-competitive jocks always happens to fall behind on the scoreboard. I told the wannabe popular girls that they didn't have enough make up on since I didn't think they'd have enough brains to understand me, but when they did, boy did I get it! I also sabotaged the geeks' plan of shortening our recess period. Even though the whole school was with me, I was the ring leader so I must now suffer under the Geek Wrath.
All in all you could say I'm a bit of a rebel at heart and since I've offended every clique in the school, I've been cast aside by the majority. I think us four kind of flowed together out of the instinctive desire to be around people. We make an odd bunch.
'Ben made a joke today.' It's lunchtime and Johnny has his nose buried in a book on the mating habits of owls. Without looking up he breaks the silence that seems to dominate our lunchtimes. 'Alright, you ready?'
We all realise we have to wait until he's finished reading his page. As I said, strange.
'Dude, let it go already.' Craig spontaneously snatches the book out of his hands and sits on it, grinning like he has a coat hanger in his mouth.
Johnny rolls his eyes. 'I'm at my locker and Ben says to me, "Hey look, here comes Owl Boy. I wonder 'owl' his nocturnal farm is going."'
None of us laugh because it's not an unusual thing for Ben to say. As leader of the jocks, his duty is to make fun of Johnny and Craig even though they've had it so many times it's not unusual. Craig somehow still thinks he's in with them. They mock him yet he takes it as a light-hearted joke between friends. How he needs to open his eyes!
'I'd like to live on a nocturnal farm.' Kate leans forward over the bench and her incredibly black hair falls over her face as she looks down. She sighs out as if the whole world is against her.'Not with animals though. Alone. Well, maybe animals. Bats and things. They would probably be better company.'
'Gee, thanks.' I mutter not even really caring that she attempted to offend us.
And this is what our lunchtimes are like. None of us are all that fond of each other but we hang out because it seems to be the sensible thing to do.
So our silence resumes and suddenly I begin to realise how daft it is. For once in my life I see us from an outside point of view and really, what a mob of miserable souls we are. No wonder I want to fit in with the crowd when all I have is this lot. Maybe I wouldn't care so much about fitting in if I saw these guys for who they really are.
'Guys, what are we doing?' I ask pushing myself up off the bench and onto the table so I can take authority and see over them. Cos I'm like, so intimidating.
'Well, I was reading about the Elf Owl and how it nests in holes in Saguaro cactuses. However, since that privilege has been taken away from me I think I'll move onto my Barn Owl model.' Johnny reaches into his bag and I kick him softly in the arm to stop him from being such a geek and listen to me.
'Don't you see?' I look at each of them as their eyes are now surprisingly hooked on mine.
'Okay, this morning I looked up on the internet ways of fitting in,' I confess.
'Why would you want to fit in? Once you do you spend your whole time paranoid about being ostracised.' Kate mumbles as she runs her hand harshly through a part of her hair.
'We sit here day after day, don't we? Why? Why don't we ever do anything?'
'Okay dude, I don't know about you but I'm pretty darn happy with my life.' Craig stands up. 'But you're right. I'm tired of this mope fest. I'm out.' He pulls on his cap, backwards of course, and trots over to the jocks who are taking a break from footy on the edge of the oval.
'He has no idea.' Kate says as we watch him try and high-five Ben and the guys. 'He's gonna get pummelled and he doesn't even realise it.'
'This is what I mean. This group - us four - it's all we've got for the next three years. Why do we force ourselves to be unhappy? Sure, we may have become friends out of necessity but nevertheless I think I'd rather be mates with you guys than any of the rest of them.'
'True. I was kicked out of maths club when I said I'd rather date an owl than Jessica Alba. Seriously, all those geeks do is play with numbers and fantasise about girls they're never going to get,' Johnny says nudging his glasses back up his nose.
'That's what I mean! We're the only people in this school who don't judge. I couldn't care less if you have a thing for owls. And Kate, you may be socially inept but I think you're way cooler than any of your former friends.'
'Gee, you know how to make a girl feel good.' Kate rolls her eyes but I can see a slight smile forming. It's only very slight but it's the first time she's given the hint of one in pretty well a year.
As much as I've thought in the past that we just drift together each day, I'm beginning to see that the company of these guys is what makes getting up in the morning all the more bearable. I think that maybe it's the same for them as well.
'Craig is a loser but that's why we like him, right?' Johnny looks up and takes the words right out of my mouth.
I laugh and look over to where Ben is giving him a hard shove in the back. He nearly topples to the ground with his tiny frame but he recovers quickly and salutes the fellas thinking it's all a fun game.
'Man, I love those guys.' Craig returns to our bench grinning.
'Couldn't stay away from us though, hey?' I grin.
Craig shrugs. 'I don't want my awesomeness to overpower those guys. It wouldn't be fair.'
I shake my head but laugh, grabbing his hat when he sits down and shoving it on my head.
'I'm Craig!' I say in mock accent. 'All the guys love me man, 'cos I'm like so seriously awesome. Ben is like so my man-crush.'
He grabs his hat back and snarls at me light-heartedly. 'You're a tool.'
Like I said, we're a funny lot. Kate looks up at me ever so subtly and smiles. I nearly fall off the bench. I reckon it's the first genuine smile I've seen in a year. It doesn't take her long to go back to her brooding self but I know she's thinking the same as me. We all seem to complement each other in a quirky kind of way.
'Real feathers?!' Craig seems to be completely amused by the model Barn Owl Johnny has as he stretches out to touch it.
'Careful!' Johnny hits away his hand. 'It's expensive.'
'Yeah, expensive in the fifth century,' Kate drawls out in her extremely dry tone.

I have to laugh at these guys. It's only then that I realise we're not four separate outcasts, we're a group. Our own group. We're not prejudice or judgemental and we each have something unique to bring to the group. We don't need to try to fit in because we can just be ourselves around each other and personally, I think that's the coolest thing anyone can be at school. The coolest thing is to be yourself.


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