View Full Version : When Cliques Collide (Updated 9/30-- Chapter 53, Part 5 now up!)
14th Jul 2007, 12:12 PM
This is my first Sims 2 story. While this is overall a fairly clean story, there are some things in this story that might offend a few people (mostly what's implied, rather than actually stated).
The group of pretty teen girls danced and twirled to the music, flashing toothy smiles and winking.
The music finally stopped, and the attractive blonde stepped forward and said, smiling flirtatiously, "Well, we had a great time, but we have to go now. See you guys later! We can‘t wait for next time!"
The woman groaned and threw a chalkboard eraser at the wall-mounted television in disgust, hitting the power button and cutting off the image of the giggling pink-clad girls. The screen went black.
"I feel stupider now, just having watched that for five minutes," she muttered, rummaging in her drawer for a cigarette.
Knock knock knock.
The sound startled her, making her jump slightly.
"Come in," the woman called out, trying not to sound as irritated as she felt. She gave up her search for cigarettes, at least for the moment, and waited to see who was bothering her during lunch.
A pretty young woman with brown hair and green eyes stepped into the room, and the teacher immediately cheered up. "Hey, Ms. Gibson," the visitor said, grinning.
The teacher returned the smile and hugged the visitor. "Charise, my favorite former student," she laughed. "How have you been doing, kiddo? How's college been treating you?" She removed her spectacles and set them on the desk, looking worried. "You haven't gone all party-obsessed, have you?"
"If I was supposed to, I didn't get the memo," Charise responded with a chuckle. Ms. Gibson let out a huge sigh of relief. Charise continued, "I'm doing great. In fact, I'm going to be working part-time as tutor here."
"Well, how come? As smart as you are, I figured you'd have financial aid coming out the wazoo! I always thought the college would pay you to attend, not the other way around."
"Not quite. Remember, financial aid is kind of unavailable when your family is like mine. Besides, it doesn't cover expenses that aren't education-related. I need to eat and pay rent and all those other things too, you know."
"Ahhh, true. You must forgive me; it's been a while since I've been in college. Well, I was about to take a smoke break, but you interrupted the cigarette hunt. If you'd like to follow me outside, we can continue the conversation. I'm sick of looking at the posters and the drab white walls," Ms. Gibson said, reaching into a drawer and, wonder of wonders, pulling out the cigarette package and lighter she had been trying to find.
"Sure," Charise said, but she stopped, noticing the eraser on the floor. She picked it up and put it back in its proper place. "You're slacking off on the housekeeping. It‘s not like you to leave erasers on the floor," she remarked, following the teacher out the classroom and to the parking lot.
"Actually, I threw the eraser at the TV. I was sick of watching the mindless drivel," Ms. Gibson replied. She took a cigarette out of the pack and lit it, then held the pack out to her former student. "You smoke?"
"Good girl. Never start. It's a nasty habit.”
"Wait, wait, don't tell me. I think I know why you're so ticked. The so-called school spirit show is still going strong," Charise guessed correctly.
"Unfortunately. And they're showing more skin than last year." Ms. Gibson rolled her eyes and sighed. "At this rate, in a few years, they'll be performing naked."
"Don’t worry, I think there's laws against that," Charise said with a chuckle. Then, she turned serious again. "So, are there any intelligent shows now, at least? News shows, or anything like that? Anything to stimulate the mind, rather than letting it atrophy like this brainwashing eye candy for the male student population is doing?"
"Nope." Ms. Gibson took a long drag off her cigarette, trying not to chuckle at Charise‘s choice of words. "Lack of interest."
"In watching it or in creating it?"
"Creating. We couldn't get enough people to want to be on the show as anchors, and the few people we did get were cheerleaders. The news program ended up becoming part of that inane dance show."
"I see." Charise thought a moment, chewing at her bottom lip. "Okay, okay, look, this is just me brainstorming, talking off the top of my head, but listen. I have an idea. Suppose you created a news show, one that actually had news stories in it, but each anchorperson was a representative of a clique here."
"I don't follow."
"Like, for instance, there could be an athlete, a brainy kid, and a member of the alternative crowd. That way, students aren't just looking at the pretty people. They're looking at people that they can identify with."
"Interesting concept. Anything else, Charise?"
Charise thought for a few minutes more, and then babbled, as though trying to express all of her ideas before she forgot them. "Give it a catchy name. Don't call it Oakdale High School News. That's blah. You need something that lets people know that there's all cliques represented, and there's breaking news. Clique News Break, or something like that. Oh, and put in some gimmicks occasionally. Stuff like matchmaking, makeovers, and so on. Make it part news show, part talk show. People want to watch interesting things. Just make sure that it's not completely mindless, or it'll be just like that stupid dance show. Remember, not everyone watching is an idiot, but most of them are, shall we say… easily amused by simple things."
"I like those ideas. You might be on to something."
"How's everyone been?" Ms. Gibson asked.
"The same as ever," Charise replied. "S is majoring in music and theater, Cy is still living with my family, Tacita is the same boy-crazy woman she's always been, and Sheridon and Gideon are still together. Dad and Gramma Cici are also doing well."
Charise paused for a second, then asked, "May I sit in on your next class, please? I promised I'd help out with part of the seventh period art class before I have to go tutor students, but I have some free time after lunch and nothing to do."
"Certainly, Charise," Ms. Gibson replied, surprised. "But you'll be bored out of your skull. The students will be making speeches on topics that matter to them, which means, of course, that most of the speeches will involve cheerleading, makeup, sports, and so forth. Not exactly mentally stimulating. You're welcome to sit in on it, though. Now go get some lunch so you don‘t starve. I'll be in the classroom."
Charise hurried off to the cafeteria.
Ms. Gibson dropped the cigarette butt onto the cement and ground it with the heel of her shoe, making sure it was extinguished.
"I think she’s a genius. Why didn't I think of that stuff?" she muttered to herself. She hurried back to her classroom to write down the ideas that were already forming in her head.
14th Jul 2007, 12:29 PM
This is interesting! Like nothing I've ever seen on the stories forum before. Keep it up!
14th Jul 2007, 12:30 PM
Coming from you, Iris, that's a huge compliment.
14th Jul 2007, 5:28 PM
Looking good, DarkPhoenix! I can't wait for the next update!
15th Jul 2007, 8:15 AM
"In conclusion, the media in general provides unrealistic ideals for people to live up to. Female adolescents, in particular, are vulnerable to feelings of inadequacy as a result of these images, which may lead to eating disorders and low self-confidence. The media needs to show realistic images that represent the majority of the population, not a small fraction. The average woman is closer to a size twelve than a size four, and it would be beneficial for television, movies, and magazines to reflect that."
The girl bowed her head shyly, then glanced timidly over at Ms. Gibson, who nodded and mouthed, "Impressive." The adolescent smiled and took her seat, amidst weak applause.
"I'll give you your grades next class," Ms. Gibson called out, as the bell rang. She glanced over at Charise, who was gathering her belongings together.
"You might want to take this into consideration," Charise whispered to Ms. Gibson, handing her a piece of paper. The young woman walked out of the classroom.
Ms. Gibson unfolded the paper, read it, and nodded. "I certainly will," she murmured to herself. "An excellent choice indeed. I couldn‘t have made a better decision myself."
"Oh gawwwd, Emily, that was so stupid," the blonde girl groaned, cornering the intellectual teenager.
"Seriously. 'The average woman is closer to a size twelve than a size four,'" her brunette companion repeated mockingly. She indicated herself and her companions and sneered, "Well, what about us?"
"I wasn't targeting anyone, I swear. I was stating a fact," the girl, Emily, said softly. She glanced about nervously, searching for an exit.
A beautiful golden haired girl sauntered by and, taking in the situation, sighed impatiently, "Will you four please stop wasting your time bothering her? There's more important things to worry about than a silly speech. Don’t gawk at me like I‘m freakin‘ Houdini. I don’t have powers, psychic or otherwise; Bruno told me you might be mad. Now get to class, or you'll get kicked off the team. Tiffani, you're needed in the coach's office. She sent me to get you."
"I wonder what this could be about," Tiffani, the instigator, murmured to herself. She gave Emily a last glare. “You were lucky this time,” she hissed as she sauntered away from the bespectacled girl.
"That Emily kid really gets on my nerves," the leather-clad teen remarked. He eyed the painting and dabbed more paint in the corner.
"Why does she bother you?" the black-clad girl asked.
"I wasn't talking to you."
"Well, you were talking loud enough for me to hear you. I only assumed you were talking to me."
"Well, if you must know, Miss 'I need to know everyone's business,' she annoys the heck out of me because she's so... nerdy. She's like a chick version of my little brother. She thinks she's so brilliant and perfect. Someone needs to knock her off her pedestal."
"LB, you're really being a jerk. Emily never did anything to you, and you know she's nothing like that."
"She's done enough just by living and making people like me and my friends look like idiots."
"It sounds like you wish she was dead or had never been born. How cruel."
"Sure would make things easier," the boy said, nodding.
"Why would you wish such a thing on her? That‘s terrible!" she gasped.
"Oh, quit fooling around, Ophelia. You're a goth. You're miserable and want everyone else to be miserable too. That's just how goths are."
"First of all, LB, Mr. Leon Rivers, Attitude King, you don't know what I'm like. You know absolutely nothing about me, other than I’m female and wear a lot of black, and you make your assumptions based on that. Second, I'm not going to stand here and let you badmouth someone who isn't even present to defend herself. You're being childish. Grow up, for everyone‘s sake, if not your own."
"Yeah? What are you gonna do to make me, goth?"
Ophelia did the only thing she could think of: she grabbed up the cup of water that she was using to rinse her brush out in, and threw it at him in frustration. LB slapped her across the face in response.
"You ruined my jacket," LB yelled.
"That's what you get for being a jerk!" she screamed, as Mr. Rivers the art teacher and Charise dragged them apart.
"At least I want to live," LB snarled in response, indicating the scars on her arms.
"You've gotta be kidding me," Tiffani wailed.
"I do not kid around. Tiffani, you've put on weight. At least eight pounds," Ms. Bellereve, the female coach, as well as head of the cheerleading and dance teams, responded.
"But... but... eight pounds is nothing. I'm retaining water. Give me a week or so, and I'll be back to normal," Tiffani pleaded.
"‘Retaining water’ indeed. I saw you gobbling down three slices of cake the other day. Such disgusting lack of self-control. I'm sorry,” the coach said, not sounding sorry at all, “but rules are rules. You'll have to leave the cheerleading squad and the dance team until you lose enough weight. But I'm sure there's plenty of other groups you can join in the meantime.” She gave the girl a condescending smile.
"But..." Tiffani struggled not to cry. Cheerleading and dancing were her life. Every female in her family had been popular, a cheerleader, involved in dance... and now this! Eight measly pounds! She'd show Ms. Bellereve! She'd join a club and rise to the top, and that woman would beg for her to return.
Tiffani flashed the coach a dazzling smile. "As you wish."
15th Jul 2007, 9:33 AM
Great story. It's really interesting. I can't wait for the next chapter
15th Jul 2007, 9:37 AM
Thanks for the compliments, desimonkey442 and stormy! To be honest, I was a little nervous about sharing this because I didn't think anyone would like it.
15th Jul 2007, 10:25 AM
You're not alone, DarkPhoenix. Nobody knows if anyone will like their stories when they post them. But this is really good! :)
15th Jul 2007, 12:23 PM
I really like it so far. My only request is that you can maybe not make the partitions so long because they kind of stretch out the posts and i have to scroll back and forth to read it which is kind of annoying/distracting but other than that keep going please. :)
15th Jul 2007, 12:51 PM
This is really great!
I loves it!
15th Jul 2007, 6:48 PM
I really like it so far. My only request is that you can maybe not make the partitions so long because they kind of stretch out the posts and i have to scroll back and forth to read it which is kind of annoying/distracting but other than that keep going please. :)
It really depends on your computer. On mine, there's no stretching. But I will take that into consideration with future posts and also have edited the previous ones. I hope that helps out!
15th Jul 2007, 7:16 PM
Fantastic work! Keep it up. I enjoy stories such as this one. :anime:
16th Jul 2007, 7:45 AM
this is really good! i like how it gives you a little insight to each set of people. i can't wait for the next chapter!
16th Jul 2007, 7:48 AM
Everyone, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. You have all made me very glad to have chosen to share this story with you. I am currently working on writing chapter four (yes, I have the first three chapters already written), and I am going to try to take the pictures for the next part either tonight or sometime during the day Monday or Tuesday.
16th Jul 2007, 2:06 PM
The principal opened up the file, then looked at the angry girl seated in his office. To his amazement, there were no disciplinary files, no detention forms, nothing. This was her first offense. There was, however, a list of her grades and academic achievements, including many awards in art competitions. This was not a typical troublemaker.
"Ophelia Desdemona Foley," the principal read from the file.
"Yes, sir?" she said, looking rather sulky but trying to be civil.
"Why did you attack another student?" asked the principal, putting the file away.
"He was saying mean things about another student."
"Was he insulting you?"
"Not at first, sir."
"What was he saying, then?"
"Well," Ophelia said, looking as dignified as possible, "he was saying that a fellow student of ours, Emily Desjardin, acted all high and mighty because she was smart. I knew that what he was saying was untrue, that she's terrified of being in the spotlight, no matter what the situation, even if it‘s something she‘s an expert in. This girl gets really good grades and doesn’t go around bragging about it or showing off. I told him that I wasn't going to stand around and let him talk bad about someone who wasn't even present to defend herself. He refused to stop, and he started making rude personal comments about me."
The principal closed his eyes and thought for several minutes. Then, he opened them and finally spoke. "Miss Foley, because this is your first offense, I am willing to go light on your punishment, but only under two circumstances."
"One: You may not get into another fight until you graduate in May. Two: You will join a club or organization so that all of that energy and determination will be put to good use."
Ophelia nodded and brushed a lock of black hair out of her face. "Yes, sir."
"Desjardin!" Mr. Lyons, the football coach, yelled at AJ from across the field. AJ's eyes widened, and he ran over to see what the problem was.
"I just got a look at your most recent grades. Terrible! How can a kid with a smart twin sister be such an idiot?!"
"I've been busy," AJ responded nonchalantly.
"Busy. Busy trying to go on dates with all those girls. Busy not getting ready for games. Busy not studying. Now, look, kid, I'm not asking much here. I just want you to make good grades."
"I can make good grades anytime I want to."
"Well, you sure don't seem to want to. I'm kicking you off the team until your grades improve. When your grades improve, you can come back."
"You're kidding, right? I'm the star of the team."
"I'm not in a kidding mood. Now get the heck off the field, and get to the library. There’s a tutor there. You're excused from gym and practices until your grades pick up."
AJ didn't move.
"Dang it, kid, get your butt in the library now, or I'll carry you in there. Take your pick. I assure you, if I have to carry you, you will NOT enjoy it one bit!"
"Come on, Maya," Emily groaned. She leaned back in her chair. "You study way too much, you know. It's Friday. You should be relaxing, watching movies. Taking a break. Not reviewing for a test that's not scheduled until the week after next."
Maya looked up, an irritated look on her face, and brushed a few strands of hair out of the way. "How many times must I tell you, Emily? I will be the valedictorian. I refuse to settle for second-best. Second place is the same thing as being first loser."
Emily stared for a second, blinking in surprise. After collecting her thoughts, she finally spoke, and it was with a bitterness that would have startled everyone who didn‘t know her well. "Whatever you say. Honestly, I think you're taking this studying thing a bit too far, though. One of these days, your mind will snap from all the pressure you put on yourself, and you know what? I'll simply sit back and not do a thing to help you. You‘re my friend and all, but sometimes you take things too seriously."
Ms. Gibson and Charise walked into the library and headed over to the table where the two girls were. Maya returned to her studies, but Emily looked over, puzzled.
"Emily, we need to see you for a minute. You might want to grab your stuff," Ms. Gibson said softly.
"Sure." Emily collected her belongings and followed the two women out of the room. "Did something happen? Are my parents okay? Did AJ get hurt? I told him to warm up before exercising! He can‘t afford any more strains or breaks!"
"Don't worry, kiddo. Everything's fine," Ms. Gibson said comfortingly. They entered the auditorium.
"What are we doing here?"
"We're going to make a TV show," Ms. Gibson said. She indicated Charise. "This is Charise Marlow, a former student of mine."
"Hello," Emily said shyly, shaking hands with Charise.
"It's very nice to meet you, Emily," Charise replied with a warm smile. "I was impressed by your speech in class. As Ms. Gibson mentioned, she wants to make a TV show for this school, and I suggested that perhaps you could be on it."
"Me? But... but I'm terrible at public speaking," Emily stammered.
"Emily, all you'll have to do is talk about things you care about," Charise said softly, soothingly. "Like your speech in class."
"Some people got angry about it," Emily said softly.
"Well, some people are stupid. I thought it was a good speech, and you know what, Emily? Your thoughts need to be heard. You see, Ms. Gibson's idea is to create a news show with a variety of students as the anchor people. Intelligence like yours should not be hidden," Charise responded.
"Why not my friend Maya or Sara Lowry? They're smart. In fact, they‘re competing for the position of valedictorian."
"Yes, but they're not... well, unique enough. You're not quite like the other students, which is partially why I felt that you'd be suitable. I mean that in a good way," Ms. Gibson said. She nodded at a stool. "I'd like to have you do a test report for us, just to see how it'll go." She handed Emily a page from the newspaper and said, "When I tell you to start, I want you to read the top story."
"Yes, ma'am," Emily said with a nod, perching on the stool.
"A bank robbery at the First Bank of Oakdale was foiled when..."
17th Jul 2007, 7:25 AM
D.P... I'm glad to see, that you finally got to put up this story. You've put so much work into this..many hours of blood sweat and tears... It's nice to see it realized. Your writing is very thought out, with attention to detail. It deserves an audience. Congrats to you. D.S.
17th Jul 2007, 10:00 AM
AJ grumbled as he entered the library. He turned to the student volunteer behind the desk and asked, "Where’s the tutor?"
"Oh, golly gee willikers, I believe she left about ten minutes ago, but I'm absolutely positive she'll be here any minute. Why don't you take a seat?" the girl chirped, smiling charmingly and fussing with a long braid.
AJ muttered in response and plopped down at a table, unaware that the girl was staring at him.
About five minutes passed, and Charise hurried in. "I'm sorry," she said softly to the volunteer, "but Ms. Gibson needed my help. Are there any people here for tutoring today?"
"Well, gosh, Miss Marlow, I never thought you'd ask. AJ over there is in need of your assistance."
"Thank you, Angela," Charise said with a nod, and stepped over to the adolescent who was gawking at her.
"Hello, AJ," she said warmly. "I'm Charise Marlow. I'm a tutor, and I'm here to help you with your problem areas."
AJ looked her up and down slowly and said, giving her a flirtatious smile, "It's Friday. I don't have a date. That's a problem. How about you help me with that problem by going to a movie with me?"
Charise chuckled and said, "That's so cute. But I don't date high school students. Besides, I'm here to enrich your educational life, not your social life. So, what do you need help with?"
AJ sighed. Why did he even bother? He remembered Charise from when she was a student in the grade above him. She was loaded with money. Probably too high-maintenance and clingy. "Well, Charise, I need to get good grades, or I can't go back to playing football."
"Okay, and where do you need the most improvement?"
Charise sighed. This might be more than she bargained for.
Ophelia turned in the direction of the voice and saw Mae Rivers, her closest friend at the school, heading over.
"What's this I heard about you getting involved in other people's problems?" she scolded.
"Your older brother was saying all kinds of mean stuff about a chick he hardly knows. Was I supposed to stand around and smile, just letting him talk like that?" Ophelia cried out angrily.
"Dude, you know the motto all of our people at this school follow: 'Thou shalt not get involved.'"
Ophelia scowled at Mae. "I don't know about you, Mae, but I have a sense of right and wrong. It's not right for people to say mean things with the insulted person not there to defend herself. I refuse to stand around and let that happen. Even if it is your brother saying that stuff."
Mae shook her head. "I don't know what happened to you. You used to be such a rebel. Who the heck you think you are, a hero? You‘re not Wonder Woman. You can‘t right the world‘s wrongs." She noticed Ms. Gibson heading over to them. "Here comes a teacher. Act nice."
"Miss Rivers, that's a dress code violation," Ms. Gibson said, indicating the short skirt.
"And what do you plan to do about it? You try anything, and I swear... I know where you live! I'll... I'll eat all the vegetables you're growing!" Mae cried out.
Ms. Gibson tried not to look amused at the ridiculous threat. "I'll risk it. Detention," she said, handing the girl a slip of paper. She looked over at Ophelia, "And I need to have a word with you."
"Was my in-class speech too offensive?" Ophelia asked worriedly. "I didn't think that a speech about the damaging effects of cliques would be inappropriate. No, wait, it's my clothes. Am I right?" She looked herself over, checking for dress code violations.
"Your speech was fine, and you haven't broken any of the rules about clothing," the teacher assured her. She led the girl away.
Mae watched her friend and muttered, "Man, she sure has changed. And not for the better."
“Sorry I’m late,” Charise said, hurrying into the classroom. “I had to tutor a kid. Oh man, I’m so glad I’m not in high school anymore. I forgot how many guys there are like him. I don‘t envy the girls here, let me tell you that.”
“What kind of guy? Jock? Nerd?” Ophelia asked, looking up from the list of ideas in front of her.
She and Emily were discussing ideas for the show, and all of the suggestions that Ms. Gibson approved went on the list.
“Jock. He has to improve his grades, or he can’t stay on the football team,” Charise responded, sitting at the table.
“You don’t say,” Emily murmured. She looked up. “Did this guy, by any chance, try to flirt with you?”
“Dark hair and brown eyes?”
“Was his name AJ, and did he complain about not having a date for tonight?”
“Yes. How did you know?” Charise asked, astonished.
“That’s my brother.”
“Are you serious?” Charise gasped.
“Dead serious. AJ and I are twins. Obviously, we’re both losers. I’m a total nerd, and he has no luck with women.” She glanced at Charise. “You didn’t accept, did you?”
“Of course not. I’m sensible enough not to mix business with pleasure.” Charise didn’t know Emily well enough to add, “And it is no pleasure to spend time with him.”
There was a knock on the door. A pretty blonde girl, clad in pink and looking frustrated, entered.
“Tiffani, why aren’t you at cheerleading practice? It’s still Fridays at three, right?” Ms. Gibson said, puzzled.
“They… I quit!” Tiffani declared. “Ms. Gibson, do you know of any clubs that still are accepting people?”
Charise and Ms. Gibson glanced at each other. After a moment, Ms. Gibson said, holding out a sheet of paper, “Maybe. Read this out loud for us.”
AJ looked up from his work. Where was that cute tutor? Maybe he was wrong about her after all. Where would she be right now? Who would know? Maybe that weird volunteer would know.
He ran up to the desk, where the volunteer was tidying things up.
“Hey, can you help me?” he asked.
“Well, gosh almighty, of course I can. Whatever seems to be the problem?”
“Do you know where Charise is? You know, the chick who was tutoring me.”
“Well, golly, I think Miss Marlow is in the auditorium, working on some project. That, or she’ll be in Ms. Gibson’s classroom. I’ll be more than happy to help you find her,” the volunteer responded, stepping out from behind the desk.
17th Jul 2007, 1:06 PM
aww yay :yippee:
love it DarkPhoenix :D AJ is so...!!
17th Jul 2007, 1:09 PM
*Squeal* Yay, you like it! I'm glad AJ amuses you. *Dances around happily and passes out snacks to all my readers*
17th Jul 2007, 6:24 PM
Great update! :D I find the whole thing amusing. I like the way you skip around to different characters and their story lines. Very good! :)
18th Jul 2007, 12:55 AM
Thanks, stormy. The skipping around is something of a necessary evil and happens a good bit in chapters where there are multiple things going on at around the same time. The whole first chapter takes place over a period of a few hours.
The last part of this first chapter will probably be posted tonight or tomorrow morning, if all goes well.
18th Jul 2007, 4:45 AM
That's cool. :) I tried doing that once when I posted my very first story on here but it didn't go too well so I deleted it and wrote another one. I can't wait for the next update! :anime:
18th Jul 2007, 5:26 AM
this is really good so far! :) Im looking forward to seeing how all the different students will begin to act around each other
18th Jul 2007, 5:37 AM
This is very good so far! Looking forward to the next chapter :)
18th Jul 2007, 5:38 AM
Thank you for all the comments, everyone! :)
18th Jul 2007, 9:54 AM
“Okay, so that’s three now. We have weather and two main anchors. What about sports?” Charise asked.
“Uh, sorry, I don’t know anything about sports, except cheering them on,” Tiffani replied, examining her nails for any chips in the polish.
“I don’t know anything about them, period,” Emily added.
“Ditto,” Ophelia spoke up.
“Great,” Ms. Gibson groaned.
The group was silent for a few seconds. Ophelia glanced over at the window and remarked, "It's getting dark outside. I bet it's going to start raining soon."
She was met with more silence, but it did not last long.
Charise said, in a dramatic voice, trying to be funny and lighten the mood, “And the Lord sent unto the group a jock and a camera crew, and it was good.”
Just then, there was a knock at the door. Everyone looked nervously at Charise, who responded, “What? I wasn’t being serious.”
Ms. Gibson opened the door. “Yes, may I help you?” she asked, looking at the two people standing in the hall, who hurried into the classroom. “Charise!” AJ called out, grinning and waving like a fool.
“My brother the imbecile,” Emily muttered to herself.
Ms. Gibson looked at Charise and said, “I think our prayers have been answered.”
Charise looked disgustedly at AJ, who was now standing as close to her as possible. “I am now praying for space. Lots and lots of space,” she muttered.
Ms. Gibson stood at the head of the table. AJ hurried to sit in the relinquished seat beside Charise. Ms. Gibson said, “Ladies and… uh… gentleman, welcome to the Clique News Crash team. You have been selected to be part of this new school group.”
“Clique News Crash?” AJ asked.
“Emily and I came up with it,” Ophelia explained. “The concept was that representatives of a variety of cliques would be the anchor people. Also, we wanted to play off of the phrase ‘breaking news.’”
“How about we go around the table and introduce ourselves?” Charise suggested.
“Good idea, Charise. I’ll go first,” Ms. Gibson said. “I’m Ms. Gibson, and I’m the advisor for the CNC team. I guess I'd be considered the head of the group.”
“I’m Charise Marlow, psychology student, tutor, and about a million other things. I’m basically working as an advisor. Also, I’m responsible for the basic concept of the show.”
Emily smiled shyly. “I’m Emily Desjardin. It’s nice to meet those of you who I don’t know.”
“I’m Ophelia Desdemona Foley. I’m here because I got into a fight. Ms. Gibson heard about how the principal wants me to basically serve a sort of community service-type sentence, so she made me part of this club.”
“What kind of name is Ophelia Desdemona?” Tiffani said scornfully.
“Shakespearian,” Emily replied, rather sharply, before Ophelia could reply. “Ophelia is from Hamlet, and Desdemona is from Othello, I think.”
Tiffani tossed her hair. “I’m Tiffani Michelle Royale, beautiful person, ultra-popular, and loved by all.”
“Not to mention that you have no shortage of confidence,” Ophelia muttered mockingly. Tiffani glared at her.
“I’m AJ Desjardin, athlete extraordinaire and God‘s gift to women!” Everyone rolled their eyes at this, and Ophelia and Emily snickered.
Everyone looked over at the library volunteer, who blushed shyly. “Oh, me? I’m Angela Julie Paxton, and it’s super swell to meet all of you!”
Ms. Gibson smiled and said, “Great, now we all know each other. The positions will be as follows: Tiffani and Emily will be the head anchors, Ophelia will do the weather, and AJ will be responsible for sports.”
“Of course,” AJ smirked.
“Oh my goodness, you never said what my job will be,” Angela cried out.
“You will be the cameraperson,” Charise replied. “Also, alternate anchorperson.”
“I will do my very best,” Angela said softly. She glanced over at AJ and murmured to herself, “Yes, my very best indeed.”
AJ said, “So… uh… what is this for that I just agreed to?”
Charise, Emily, and Ophelia slapped their foreheads and groaned.
19th Jul 2007, 1:59 PM
That Monday, the five Clique News Crash members sat outside, waiting for Charise and Ms. Gibson.
“Where are they? If they don’t get here soon, we’re screwed!” Ophelia said nervously.
“Ophelia, watch your language,” Angela scolded, looking shocked.
Ophelia rolled her eyes and directed her attention to AJ. "AJ, why do you have your hair in a ponytail? You look like a freaking idiot."
Angela let out a loud gasp when Ophelia said "freaking."
“So, anyways, I was watching that movie She’s All That last night,” Tiffani said, changing the subject. She didn’t want Angela to start preaching.
Angela stalked into the building, offended, knowing when her presence was unwelcome.
“Ugh. That movie makes me sick,” Ophelia groaned. She was ready to go on a tirade about how much she hated movies that encouraged people changing to be more mainstream and therefore “acceptable.” Tiffani, however, disliked the movie for another reason.
“Totally. I mean, it is so unrealistic! I mean, in real life, nerdy chicks don’t look hot, even if they get rid of the glasses and ponytail,” Tiffani smirked. “Watch!” She reached over, plucked Emily’s spectacles from her face, and let the girl’s hair down.
“See?” Tiffani said, and then looked at the results. Her jaw dropped; this was not what she was expecting.
Emily was stunning, aside from her obvious discomfort at being so rudely handled. She gave Tiffani a dirty look, snatched her glasses back, and restyled her hair. “And I’ll thank you not to do that again,” Emily said irritably.
“Hey, there’s Charise!” AJ said, looking pleased. Then, an unhappy look crossed his face. “But who are the two dudes with her?”
“I don’t know, but they sure are hot,” Tiffani replied, eying the attractive men, the surprise of finding out that Emily was indeed attractive forgotten, at least temporarily.
Charise was flanked by two good-looking men. One was around her age and had straight dark hair and blue eyes. He kept glancing over at Charise with a worshipful expression. The other man was a bit older, perhaps in his early to mid-twenties. He had blonde hair and brown eyes, and he held himself with great confidence.
“Hey, guys,” Charise greeted the group. “These are my friends, S,” she said, indicating the dark-haired young man, “and Dunstan,” she said, nodding towards the blonde man.
“Hey, dude, long time no see. How have things been for you, S?” Ophelia cheerfully greeted the first man, purposely turning her back on the blonde man.
“You know him?” Tiffani asked incredulously.
“Yes. Charise and I are cousins, and I spent my summers playing with Charise and S,” Ophelia explained. Then, turning to Charise, she asked, “Are Gideon and Sheridon coming?”
“Yeah. They have a class, but they’ll be here soon enough.”
“What about Cy?”
“Busy, but I was told to pass along good vibes to you. You know how Cy is.”
Dunstan looked over the group and chuckled to himself. “Hey, Charise,” he said with a slight smirk, “I thought you said this was a news crew.”
“They are,” she said.
“Looks more like the cast of The Breakfast Club. I mean, look, we have the brain, the athlete, the basket case, and the princess. Where’s the criminal?” Dunstan snickered. Ophelia resisted the urge to flip him off.
As if on cue, Angela came out of the building. Dunstan laughed loudly and asked, “Are you the criminal?”
Angela scratched her head. “Pardon?” she asked.
“Don’t worry about it. Just a stupid joke. Guys like him knock everything because they‘re afraid,” S said, casting a glare at Dunstan. He smiled and held out his hand. “I’m Samuel Verona. S to my friends. It’s very nice to meet you. You must be Angela. Charise told me about you.”
“Well, yes, I am, and I must say that it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Verona,” Angela gushed.
“Looks like S has another fan,” Ophelia murmured to Charise.
“Yeah. That reminds me; has Cassandra been… you know?” Charise whispered.
“Of course she has. She’s gotten a bit better about it, though. I hope she doesn’t make trouble when she finds out S is here,” Ophelia responded.
“If we’re lucky, she won’t find out until after we’re gone,” Charise muttered.
“Hi, everyone. Sorry I’m late. Traffic. You know how it is. Plus, I wanted to pick up donuts for you guys,” Ms. Gibson called out, hurrying over to the group. Her hair was smoothed out from its usual curled and waved mess. She smiled when she saw S and embraced him warmly. “S, it’s great to see you again! I hear you’re double majoring-- theater and music. Impressive! You’ve always been so talented! Hoping to create the next great musical, I presume?”
“Thank you, ma’am. You presume correctly. I’ve already started working on my senior project, even though I’m years from having to make use of it. Now, we need to get the equipment hooked up for the first show,” S said.
“Of course. So, what’s planned for the first show?” Ms. Gibson replied.
“Karaoke,” Dunstan interjected. Ms. Gibson eyed him, puzzled. He stuck out his hand. “Dunstan Diggory. Friend of Charise’s. Close friend. I’ve been her music teacher for the past… uh… four years or so. She’s spoken quite highly of you, and it’s a real honor to finally meet you.”
“Charmed,” Ms. Gibson muttered, rolling her eyes. “Guys, the principal has given us permission to use the auditorium instead of the old, dirty A/V room.” She led the way into the school. Charise, Ophelia, and Dunstan followed closely, with the rest trailing behind.
AJ sidled over to S. “Soooo… S, is it?” he drawled. He noticed the young man looking longingly at Charise. “So tell me, S… you hittin’ that, or what?”
“Excuse me?!” S said, looking shocked.
“Or is it the whole unrequited, ‘I love her, but she loves him’ junk?”
“I… we…,” S stammered.
“So... so, are you guys boyfriend/girlfriend? Steady dates? Lovers? Come on, Sporto, level with me. Do you slip her the hot--”
“Shut up, kid, it’s not like that! We’re just friends!” S snapped.
“Oh, so she’s not into you like that. Sucks to be you. Join the club, dude. Just between you and me, are you sure she’s not… y’know… a k.d. Lang fan?”
S gave AJ an angry look and then turned away. “Kid, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll get the heck away from me now before I backhand you. I don’t resort to violence, except as a last resort, but in your case, I think it may become necessary. You ask me one more question and I‘m beating the crap out of you.”
“Yeesh. Touchy!” AJ muttered, scurrying away.
20th Jul 2007, 8:22 AM
“We’re five minutes from recording time,” Ms. Gibson announced.
Tiffani looked up from her donut (the fifth one she’d eaten, if truth be told), and wailed, “But my makeup’s gonna be all messed up!” She grabbed a mirror and began reapplying her lipstick.
“Are you nervous?” Ophelia asked Emily.
“Of course. I don’t like talking to big groups.”
“Well…” Ophelia thought a moment, “At the risk of sounding cliché, picture them all in their underwear!”
“But there’s some people you just don’t want to see in their underwear,” Emily replied. She and Ophelia chuckled.
“Then picture Charise and me whacking your brother in the head with a newspaper,” Ophelia suggested. Emily giggled and relaxed.
“Everyone get into position,” Charise called out. “Angela, is the camera ready?”
“I certainly do believe it is,” she said, adjusting the settings a bit.
“Everyone remember-- smile, enunciate, and try not to look down at your notes too much,” S said. “Don’t worry; you’ll all do fine! Remember, this isn’t live, so if you mess up, we can reshoot.”
Okay… and… go!” Ms. Gibson called.
“Hello, and welcome to Clique News Crash,” Emily said. “I’m Emily Desjardin.”
“I’m Tiffani Royale.”
“I’m Ophelia Foley.”
“I’m AJ Desjardin, and we have Angela Paxton working the camera. This is the Monday morning edition of CNC.”
“This is a brand new show here at Oakdale,” Emily said.
“We’re going to give you news, gossip, and lots of laughs. So, watch us. I hope you’ll enjoy the show,” Tiffani grinned.
“Today, we’re going to do something special-- karaoke. We’re asking all interested students to stop in during the first half of lunch. We’ll tape you doing karaoke, and then later today, the tape will be shown,” Ophelia said.
“We have some special guests helping us today,” AJ said. “Some Oakdale alumni-- the lovely, gorgeous, talented Charise Marlow and… uh… the other one, Samuel Verona!” Charise and S walked into view of the camera, gave quick waves, and walked off.
“They’re a little camera-shy,” Emily said with a giggle.
“But that’s okay, because I know Charise will be happy to demonstrate her wonderful singing voice later today,” Ophelia added. Off-camera, Charise cried out, astonished, “Ophelia!”
“So, stop in at the auditorium and show your skills,” Tiffani said. “And now for the sports, with AJ Desjardin…”
The pretty blue-eyed girl with black hair stared up at the television. “S…” she whispered.
Ophelia, Emily, and Tiffani sat in Ms. Gibson’s classroom, waiting for the rest of the Clique News Crash crew to get there. Tiffani had turned the television on to a show about celebrities.
“…And Julianna Delorice has been spotted at another of Paris Hilton’s parties. The party-hearty ex-lead singer of All That Glitters was spotted drinking heavily and…”
Charise walked in.
“Hey, guys,” she said.
Ophelia hurriedly switched off the television with the remote control.
Charise sat down and stared at her cousin for a second, noticing a somewhat guilty expression on her face. “Let me guess, celebrity news.”
“Yes,” Ophelia responded.
“About a singer.”
“Between ages thirty and forty.”
“Brunette, light skin, green eyes, skimpy clothing, and likes to party.”
“Lives in England but has been traveling through the USA lately.”
“How did you know?” Tiffani blurted out.
“Let’s just say I know about these things,” Charise said with a grimace. “Everyone else is in the auditorium. I was sent to come get you.”
“I thought we were supposed to meet up in here,” Emily spoke up.
“Change of plans. Now come on,” Charise said.
20th Jul 2007, 3:14 PM
I like your story! It seems interesting and unique. Can I slap AJ for being such a......guy? lol I'll keep checking back for updates, and I hope it stays as good as it is already (or maybe even better!).
20th Jul 2007, 6:44 PM
Great update!! :D
20th Jul 2007, 6:58 PM
BlakRoses, sometimes, I want to slap all of the characters at different times (believe it or not, my least favorite character is one of the major ones). I'm happy that you like this story, and I hope I can keep the quality up to your expectations. You'll really get a kick out of AJ's antics in the fourth chapter, which I'm writing right now and have fully outlined.
stormy, thanks for reading the updates. I never know what people will or won't like; thanks for giving me some confidence about my stories.
20th Jul 2007, 7:12 PM
stormy, thanks for reading the updates. I never know what people will or won't like; thanks for giving me some confidence about my stories.
That's what I'm here for! ;)
20th Jul 2007, 8:11 PM
Oh, and as a side note, I purposely reference a lot of movies in this story, so if some of the dialogue sounds familiar, you'll know why. In fact, the chapter I'm currently writing is meant to parody a rather well-known movie (that has already been parodied, but not quite how I'm doing it).
21st Jul 2007, 8:18 AM
The women hurried over to the auditorium, which had many students in it.
“Wow,” Emily whispered. “People actually showed up!”
They climbed the stairs to the stage and stood next to the microphone.
S walked into the auditorium and joined them on the stage. As he did so, a girl in the audience let out a loud cry. She rushed down the aisle, over to the stage, and up the stairs. Much to everyone’s surprise, the pretty black-haired girl flung herself into S’s arms and clung to him, trying to cover his face with kisses. Ophelia and Charise exchanged looks of utter dismay while S looked pleadingly at Charise. Everyone else was simply confused.
After a moment of dead silence, Charise finally spoke up. “Cassandra,” she said, addressing the girl with black hair.
“S, why haven’t you kept in touch?” Cassandra wailed, ignoring Charise. “Mother has been worried about you! You promised to keep in touch with me and take care of me! Remember?!”
“Cassandra.” Charise gently pried the girl off of S, who mouthed words of thanks.
Cassandra gave Charise a look of pure hatred. “Charise,” she said bitterly. “You’re looking well.”
“You do too,” Charise said kindly, reaching out to hug her.
Cassandra slapped Charise’s hands away and shouted, “It’s your fault my big brother doesn’t care about me anymore! You did this to him!”
“Cassandra…” Charise said weakly.
“Uh…” Ophelia was desperate to end the drama. She grabbed up a microphone. “Hi, everyone. I’m Ophelia, from Clique News Crash, the new campus show. We’re doing karaoke here. We’ll be videotaping you guys in action, and later today, we’ll show the tape on our news show!”
Cassandra ripped the microphone away from Ophelia and said, “Karaoke? Well, fine… put this song on, Ophelia.” She handed Ophelia a CD and a copy of the lyrics. Ophelia glanced over the lyrics and said, “You might have to censor a few words.” “That’s fine with me. I’ll just sing the song and get on my way, like everyone,” meaning Charise, “wants.”
Ophelia hurried to put the CD in, and music began playing. Cassandra began singing in a low, bitter voice, glaring at S and Charise, “I want you to know, that I’m happy for you. I wish nothing but the best for you both. An older version of me…”
“Oh no,” Emily whispered to Ophelia. “It’s worse than you think,” Ophelia whispered back, then added, “Remind me to tell you the whole story another day, when Charise and S aren‘t around.”
Cassandra went through the song, becoming more and more bitter. After the last, “You oughta know,” she more or less flung the microphone in the direction of S and Charise and stormed off the stage.
Charise caught the microphone, watched Cassandra leave, and then said, “Wasn’t she great, ladies and gents? And who wants to go next? Preferably something lighter…”
22nd Jul 2007, 9:52 AM
Charise did not have to wait long for a response.
“I will!” AJ cried out, grabbing the microphone away. He smiled flirtatiously at Charise and called to Angela, who was working the music, “It’s number six on the red CD.”
Music began playing and AJ began singing his favorite Aerosmith song, much to the amusement and chagrin of everyone. Soon, everyone was laughing at AJ’s craziness, as he sang loudly, “Well, I got me the strangest woman, believe me this chick’s no cinch, but I tried to get her goin’…”
Charise whispered to S, Ophelia, and Emily, “I’m not surprised by his choice.”
“Me either,” Emily replied.
Two men slipped through the doors of the auditorium and waved at Charise, who indicated that they should come up on the stage. One was extremely attractive, with brown hair and blue eyes, while the other wore thick black-framed glasses and was more plain-looking. Charise briefly introduced them to the CNC crew while AJ sang.
“This is Gideon,” Charise said, indicating the more attractive man, “and Sheridon,” the man wearing glasses. “We’ve known each other practically forever.”
“So, what did we miss?” Gideon asked.
“Cassandra was her usual melodramatic self,” Ophelia replied.
Sheridon and Gideon chuckled. “So, did you sing yet?” Sheridon asked Ophelia. She shook her head. “I’m no good at singing. That’s more Charise’s thing. I don‘t think I‘m going to do it.”
Emily took a deep breath and spoke up, summoning what little courage she was able to. “What if I do it with you? Will you feel better knowing we’ll both look stupid? I’m terrible at singing too, but I’m going to sing a song. If I can get up the guts to do this, so can you, Ophelia.”
Ophelia grinned. “Sure. Let’s pick out a song and go after AJ.”
AJ finally stopped singing. Charise took the microphone. AJ stepped behind Charise and stared at her rear until S, Gideon, and Sheridon forced him to move.
“Next up, we have Ophelia and Emily performing a song that they say is exactly how they feel about society,” Charise announced.
Ophelia yelled into the microphone, “Helloooooooooo, Oakdale! Are you ready to rock?”
Emily shouted, “You all know this song, so feel free to join in at any time!”
The music began, and they started singing enthusiastically. By the time they were about halfway through, it was clear that the lyrics did indeed express their feelings about life:
“Disease's growing, it's epidemic, I'm scared that there ain't a cure, The world believes it and I'm going crazy, I cannot take any more. I'm so glad that I'll never fit in, that will never be me! Outcasts and girls with ambition, that's what I wanna see.”
When they finally finished, they received a moderate amount of applause. Tiffani snatched up a microphone. “Move, amateurs,” she said. “They want to see a real star singing.”
“As you wish,” Ophelia said. “I have to do a costume change anyways. Knock ‘em dead, Tiger.”
She and Emily glanced at each other and snickered as they left the stage.
Tiffani rolled her eyes, thinking, “What a couple of weirdoes!” Then, she nodded to Angela, indicating that she should begin the music.
Tiffani launched into a cringe worthy rendition of “Luxurious” that would have made Gwen Stefani gouge her eardrums out.
About midway through, Ophelia and Emily returned to the stage. Ophelia was dressed in a different outfit and wore dark lipstick and gaudy eyeshadow and liner. Charise looked her cousin over, laughed, and said, “You want I should call you Mrs. Valo or Mrs. Explosion?”
“Shut up, Charise,” Ophelia growled, blushing.
“After you perform, I have something funny to tell you,” Charise grinned.
Mae came up on stage and handed Angela a CD. Then, she and Ophelia began singing, “She is smiling, like heaven’s down on Earth…”
After they finished, to a great deal of applause and the next performer came on, Ophelia said to Charise, “So, what did you want to tell me?”
“Remember how a few years ago, Dad took us on a trip with him, and we went to that concert? It was around Halloween…”
“That one? What about it?”
“Remember that thing I dared you to do?” Charise grinned.
Ophelia blushed. “Yeah, why?”
“I was looking on a certain website a few days ago, and… well, apparently, someone got it on video. Your hand has been immortalized for all time.” Charise noticed Ophelia’s increased blushing and added, “There’s people would love to have been in your position. So, I have to ask… did you ever find out where heaven really is?”
Ophelia rolled her eyes and muttered, “Bite me, Charise.”
22nd Jul 2007, 9:54 AM
Several other students performed songs. An Asian boy awkwardly sang “You Give Love a Bad Name,” three girls sang “When It’s Over,” and a short girl with red hair sang “Don’t Speak.” Then, a boy with longish brown hair stepped onto the stage.
“Oh my God, that’s Louie,” Emily whispered to Ophelia. Ophelia noticed the girl’s unusually pink cheeks.
“You like him, eh?” Ophelia whispered in response, lightly elbowing the blushing girl in her side.
“Is it that obvious?”
“Your face is red like a fire truck.”
“Uh…” Louie said. “This is a song for a… well, it just has special meaning for me.” He nodded for Angela to play the song.
Emily squealed a little as he started singing. “Oh wow, I love this song!” she remarked to Ophelia.
“Sure, if you like songs from Disney films. But it is a good song,” Ophelia replied, chuckling to herself. While “Stand Out” may not have been her favorite song, it was enjoyable enough. Louie finished his song and then walked offstage, but not without casting a quick glance in the direction of Emily and Ophelia, something that did not go unnoticed by Ophelia, though she decided to let it go without comment for now.
“Okay, guys, lunch period is almost over, so we’ll have to start packing things up in a bit. I want to thank you all for your participation, and I hope you will continue to support us,” Charise called out to the audience. She turned to the newscast members and said, “We’ll pack up. You guys go take care of business.”
Tiffani took her seat in English class. For the first time in a while, she was in a good mood, and it wasn’t because of food. Then, something happened to ruin that good mood.
Three cheerleaders sat across from her: Sawyer McNamara, Veronica Chandler, and Heather Finn, three of the most popular girls in the school. Sawyer brushed back her long black hair and peered at Tiffani, eyes narrowed.
“Hey, Tiffani,” she drawled, a smirk on her lips. “You’ve been replaced on the squad.”
“What?!” Tiffani cried out. “By who?”
“Sherrie Aldrich,” Heather replied, peeking out from beneath her red bangs.
“Sherrie? As in, my best friend?” Tiffani gasped.
“Yeah. Sucks to be you,” Veronica sneered.
The clips of the students singing karaoke was played midway through that class. Everyone laughed at the bad singing and murmured excitedly about the good singing. However, there were three clips at the end that were a surprise to everyone, including the Clique News Crash members.
The first clip showed Charise singing “Let It Be.” She was incredible.
The second clip was of S singing “She Will Be Loved” in an equally incredible voice.
The third clip was of Dunstan singing.
After only about three seconds of listening, Ophelia looked over at Emily with an expression of pure horror.
“What’s wrong?” Emily asked.
“This is not good. He’s singing that song and…” Ophelia bit her lower lip.
“You’re getting upset over a Jet song?” Emily asked. "It's not that bad of a song."
“Not that. The person singing it. I just have this bad feeling…” Ophelia trailed off.
"You mean, aside from the fact that he was apparently just wandering around campus all day, since he wasn't in the auditorium with us?" Emily asked.
Her fears were not unreasonable, because after Dunstan finished singing, he said, “Charise, do you want to be my girlfriend?”
“No,” Ophelia whispered. “Please, don’t have said yes.”
“YES!” Charise cried out on the screen, flinging herself into his arms. The tape cut off there.
“I hate that man,” Ophelia growled under her breath.
Across the room, AJ turned to Tiffani and said, “That reminds me; wanna go do something this weekend?”
“Sure!” Tiffani squealed.
Angela, several seats behind, silently witnessed this, her eyes narrowed and an expression of bitter envy on her pretty face.
24th Jul 2007, 10:38 AM
SATURDAY, 9:30 AM
The phone rang loudly. Charise rushed over to the phone, wondering who could be calling at such an early hour. Had her grandmother’s health taken a turn for the worse? Had her father been in an accident? Had her mother--
“Hello?” she said nervously.
“Hey, Charise,” came the response. It was Charise’s former classmate and semi-friend, Tacita Brown.
“Hey, Tacita, what’s up?” Charise asked, more relieved.
“Charise, I need to ask a big favor of you. You know I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important, right?” Tacita hurriedly said. She did not wait for a response. “Well, look, something really important came up, and I can’t baby-sit for the Williams family today. Can you do it for me? Please?”
“I… I guess,” Charise stammered. “I wish you’d have given me more advanced warning, but--”
“Great! You need to be there at noon, and they’re supposed to be back around 6:30 this evening. Thanks, Charise!” Tacita chirped. She hung up the phone before Charise could answer.
Charise clutched the phone in her hand. “What have I gotten myself into?” she asked.
“Emily? This is Ophelia.”
“Hey, it’s kind of early. What’s up?” Emily said, covering the mouthpiece of the phone briefly so that Ophelia wouldn’t hear the yawn.
“You want to get together today and hang out? My friend Cy wants to meet you, after hearing so much about you.”
“What have you been saying to… um… Cy?”
“Only good stuff. Are you in or out?” Ophelia said.
“I’m in, I guess,” Emily responded.
“Great! So, where do you live?”
“221 Pepper Drive, right down the street from the burger place.”
“Oh, that’s right around the corner from where I live! Cy and I will be over there… oh… shall we say, noon?”
“Sounds great,” Emily said. “So, what’s this Cy person like?”
“Brilliant, funny, sweet… one of my favorite people in the world,” Ophelia said. It was clear that she cared a great deal for Cy… who ever that was.
Charise sat on the sofa and gazed around the house. Small, furnished in a simple yet tasteful fashion. She approved.
Mrs. Williams smiled warmly at her. She was a small, plump bespectacled woman with a sweet smile. “Charise, thanks for coming in on short notice,” she said. “You know where everything is; you’ve done enough house-sitting and pet-sitting for us over the years. Michaela’s in her room right now, taking a nap. I know you haven't babysat her since she was a toddler, but she shouldn't be much harder to take care of. You’ve got our numbers, right, sweetie?”
“Great. Let’s see… phone numbers, keys… I don’t think I’m forgetting anything. Oh, yeah. I left some money so you can order pizza or get some takeout for you and Michaela, if you don’t feel like cooking. If you’re more in the mood for home cooked, there’s all kinds of fixings for salads and burgers and things like that. Oh, and I think there’s some cake left from the other day, if you’d like a piece. Charise, honey, you are a lifesaver, you know that?” She reached over and gave Charise’s hand an affectionate squeeze, then called out, “Chris, sweetie, are you ready yet?”
Mr. Williams walked into the living room and flashed Charise a broad grin. “Hey there, Charise. How are things with your family?”
“The same as usual. Dad’s been busy, Gramma Cici has been in and out of the hospital lately, and Cy has been taking some online college courses. Oh, and Ophelia’s part of the news team at school.”
“Tell your dad I said hi, and tell Ophelia I saw a great deal on art supplies and fabric at the shopping center the other day,” Mr. Williams replied. He turned to his wife and said, “You ready, Gwen?”
“Yeah, I’m ready,” Mrs. Williams said. She gave her husband a brief kiss on the cheek and then said to Charise, “If you need anything at all, you can call us. Take care, sweetheart.”
She and her husband walked out the door. Charise sat on the sofa, listening to them drive away.
“So, you’re the one they hired to take care of me? I guess Tacita was too scared to come back,” a voice said behind Charise. Charise turned and found a pretty little girl standing in the doorway, wearing her pajamas.
Charise took a deep breath. To be honest, children terrified her. She briefly wondered why she hadn’t tried to get Ophelia to come along; Ophelia was better with kids than Charise ever could be!
“Hello, Michaela. I’m Charise. Your mommy and daddy asked me to keep an eye on you while they go out for the afternoon.”
Michaela eyed Charise. “I’m hungry. Get me some food.”
Michaela glared. “Now!”
“Not with that attitude, Missy.”
Michaela rolled her eyes. “Fine. I would like some food. Can you please get me some?”
“That’s better. And yes, I will make you something to eat.”
“Nuh-uh.” Michaela scowled. “I know Mommy left some money for pizza. Get me pizza!”
“Forget it, rugrat,” Charise responded. “We’re dining in this afternoon; it’s cuisine a la Charise, or nothing.”
“Fine,” Michaela replied. “Mac and cheese.” She saw the slight frown on Charise’s face and reluctantly added, rolling her eyes, “Please.”
“Coming right up.”
25th Jul 2007, 1:33 AM
Oh wow! I went to school with all these people. LOL!
I'm also happy to see another longer story. This is excellant!!!
I know he's a goof, but I'm totally loving AJ because I know one in RL. I also loved the part where Tiffani pulled the glasses off Emily's face and she was really pretty. I can't wait to read more.
P.S. I know she's a bit of a beotch, but I'm intriqued by how Tiffani's character is going to develope through all this. I'm hooked.
25th Jul 2007, 1:50 AM
Montridge, wow, I never expected you to read this. I'm glad that you like it so much! Tiffani's not a bad person, per se, but because she's been surrounded by superficial people for so long, she tends to view other people rather harshly. Besides, it would have been unrealistic for her to magically become a nice person overnight.
Here's a few little hints as to what's to come in future chapters, to keep you speculating, as well as a few bits of trivia:
1) The fourth chapter will parody a movie, and will focus a good bit on AJ. I think you'll get a kick out of it, especially the ending for a chapter (let's just say it's my chance to show what I think would really happen if people tried some of the stuff done in movies).
2) One of the later chapters focuses very heavily on Tiffani and was inspired by something I read about in a news article, involving a college. Originally, the chapter was going to involve her losing weight and being invited back onto the squad, and she would have to decide whether or not she would leave CNC. However, after reading the news article, I decided to change that chapter entirely.
3) One character will die near the end.
4) There will be a few very... odd... pairings. That's all I'm going to tell you about that.
5) When this story was in its early stages, Ophelia was more like Mae, Angela was a cutesy groupie, and Tiffani was still a member of the cheerleading squad and had no weight problems.
6) A few things in the story are based on real events. For example, I read about a girl being kicked off her school's pep squad for her weight (despite being a healthy weight, the coordinater decided she was "fat" compared to the other girls). I used that as the basis for Tiffani being kicked off the teams. Also, that speech that Emily did for her class, as well as the reactions people gave, really did happen to me.
7) Dunstan's appearance changed a lot between writing and creating the shots. He was originally going to look more like S, except with thick, curly hair. I changed him into a blonde guy to make him more like the person he's based on.
8) Angela is meant to be a parody of characters from TV shows set in the 50's.
9) Oakdale's name was chosen because it sounded like a good "any town" name. When I started writing the story, I did not realize that it was used as a town name in a soap opera, as well as being a real town.
I'll try to get the next installment up tonight or tomorrow morning. This is going to be a pretty serious chapter, for the most part, but it will give you a lot of insight into several of the characters.
25th Jul 2007, 2:08 AM
I am really enjoying this story! Can't wait for more!
25th Jul 2007, 2:12 AM
Thanks, JoeSims! I'm very happy that you like the story. I'm always worried that people don't like the story or think it's too stupid or weird. I hope you'll enjoy the upcoming additions to the story.
25th Jul 2007, 10:31 AM
S walked into the café and looked around.
Where was she? Did he come to the wrong place? There was another place with the same name as this, wasn't there?
He glanced from table to table, looking for the woman he was supposed to meet. Then, he saw her-- attractive and outrageously dressed, with black hair. When she saw him, she waved and called out, “S, there you are!”
Several people turned to look in S’s direction. He blushed and hurried over to the table and sat down at the table.
“Well, S, it’s certainly a pleasure to be on this date with you,” the woman giggled.
“Tacita, I thought you said you had to baby-sit today,” S said softly.
“I found a replacement,” Tacita replied. She thought to herself, “Man, oh man, Charise would kill me if she knew I blew off the babysitting job to go on a date with S!”
“Replacement, huh?” S responded, raising an eyebrow. “Would it have to do with the phone call Charise got this morning?”
“Maybe,” Tacita replied with a wink. “So, what did you want to talk to me about?”
“It’s about Charise.”
“I thought so,” Tacita sighed. “So, what’s up?”
“Dang it, Michaela, can you at least sit down while you eat?” Charise cried out impatiently.
“How come? Mommy doesn’t care what I do while I eat, as long as I eat,” Michaela argued.
“I know very well that your mom does no such thing, Michaela. Now sit your butt down!”
“Ooh, you said butt!” Michaela giggled, pointing at Charise.
“Yes, I did,” Charise responded, “And if you keep it up, it’s gonna be smacked.”
“You can’t do nothing to me,” Michaela smirked.
“But your parents can, and guess what, kiddo. You act up, and I spill all to your parents. And you know what? You’ll get in trouble. I might not be able to spank you, but your mom and dad can and will.”
Emily sat outside her house, waiting. Her parents were at work, and her brother was playing video games at his friend Kenny’s house. She looked left and right, looking to see if Ophelia was coming.
“They’re late,” she muttered.
What if she and Cy, whoever that was, didn’t show up? What would she do then? She looked over and saw them turning the corner.
Ophelia was wearing a loose-fitting and rather short dress that did not match her Goth persona at school, and Cy… so this was Cy! A tall woman with long red hair, casually but tastefully dressed. As they came closer, something struck Emily as being “off” about the redhead. When the pair came within three feet of her, Emily realized that the “woman” was a man… with a rather womanly figure.
The redhead’s eyes widened upon seeing Emily’s confused expression, and lightly poked Ophelia’s shoulder. Ophelia scurried a short distance away.
“You didn’t tell her, I take it! You leave me to do all the dirty work, don’t you, Lia? You’re lucky you’re so cute. Okay, hi,” the redhead said finally addressing Emily. “I’m Cy Cloud, age 18, close friend of Ophelia. And pre-op, not post, just in case you were wondering. As for the pronoun question you’re probably pondering, I would prefer to be referred to in the feminine tense. Any comments, statements, questions?”
Emily finally spoke. “You’re… so pretty. I love your outfit! And your hair is so beautiful!”
Cy smiled gently. “I like this one, Lia. Good vibes from this one, definitely.”
Ophelia sighed with relief and grinned at Emily. “Well, shall we?”
The trio began the trip to Ophelia’s house.
“Sorry for not giving an advanced warning, Emily,” Ophelia said, “but I wasn’t sure how to word things.”
“You’re forgiven,” Emily responded. “Just don’t pull that kind of thing again.”
“Ooh, a bit fiery. I think we'll get along just fine, Em,” Cy laughed.
25th Jul 2007, 5:45 PM
very interesting & diverse characters you have there. Glad I found this story and will check for updates regularly.
*adds to list of stories*
25th Jul 2007, 7:32 PM
Thank you for reading, kimmyfrmtx. I'm always happy to hear that people enjoy this story.
25th Jul 2007, 8:25 PM
Lol! I'd be a little freaked if someone like Cy came up to me. But he seems real nice. Great update! :D
26th Jul 2007, 11:53 AM
“So, what’s this guy like?” Tacita asked.
“He’s this rich musician jerk. He used to be Charise’s music teacher when she was younger. And now… now they’re a couple. It makes me sick,” S responded.
“You think she’d be better off with you?”
“I should think so!”
Tacita chuckled softly to herself. “S, I’m going to tell you a little something. Everyone knows how you feel about Charise, except for Charise. But then again, let’s call a spade a spade; Charise isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to relationships and romance. But your lack of action isn’t helping matters, you know. You think you can get a girl’s attention just because you’ve been nice to her?”
S shook his head. “It’s not to get her attention.”
“I’m just happy to be allowed to be near Charise.”
Tacita groaned. “Man, you have problems. It’s not like she appreciates you or anything.”
“You are so messed up.”
The trio walked into the quiet house.
“Make yourselves at home,” Ophelia said. “I’m going to see if I can find Elphie.”
She hurried into the next room.
“Elphie?” Emily asked.
Ophelia walked back in, holding a beautiful cat with Siamese markings and green eyes. “This is Elphaba, also known as Elphie.”
Emily peered closely at the cat. “A Siamese… with green eyes?”
“Yeah, she’s a mixed breed but managed to get all the Siamese markings. She’s very skittish; I’m surprised she let you come so close,” Ophelia replied.
“Her little brother’s a real pain in the butt. He likes to make loud noises while Lia’s holding her, just to make the cat scratch her up!” Cy added.
Ophelia gently set the cat down onto the floor and then grinned up at her friends.
“Uh, Ophelia…” Emily said.
“I was just thinking… your dress…”
“What about it?” Ophelia asked, brushing cat hair from it.
“It doesn’t seem very…”
“Very what, Emily?”
Cy chuckled softly. “She said the G word, Lia. Do you want me to leave the room, or do you want me to witness the yelling at?”
Ophelia gave Cy a light punch in the arm. “Hush up, Cy. Emily’s one of the few people who I can actually explain it to. She doesn’t know any better.”
“I don’t?” Emily asked, puzzled.
Ophelia sighed. “Sit down, Emily.” Emily plopped herself down on the nearby sofa. Cy sat on the floor and waited to hear the speech she knew was coming.
“Emily, I’m going to explain this to you because you, unlike most of the unwashed cretins at our school, are capable of understanding what I am going to tell you. I am not goth. At our age, goth is for people who dye their hair black and wear that ugly white face paint and smudgy black eyeliner and shop at Hot Topic and cut themselves while listening to whiny singers with no talent. That does not describe me. This is my natural hair color, and I don’t wear that nasty white stuff or enough eyeliner to make me look like a raccoon. Oh, and most of my clothes are either homemade, from thrift stores, or shipped from other places.”
“So why do you let people call you a goth then?” Emily asked.
“It’s easier than explaining all this to people. Besides, the people who label me as such are generally idiots, and if I argue with them, I’m stooping to their level. And let’s face it, I wouldn’t win the argument because they’ve had more experience being idiots,” Ophelia replied.
“Eh, this is getting dull,” Cy commented.
“You’re right,” Ophelia replied. “It’s time for us to go crazy!”
“Go…crazy?” Emily echoed worriedly.
26th Jul 2007, 5:40 PM
... And the plot thickens, as they say... It's comming along very nicely. As I've mentioned before... It's fascinating to see how you mesh these characters, how they interact, how real they seem. Very refreashing. Your attention to detail, makes all the difference... :) Oh, and don't ever worry about your stories, or writing... It's fantastic.
27th Jul 2007, 12:51 AM
Ophelia doesn't even look goth so I don't understand how anyone would even label her as that. Oh well. Great update! :D
27th Jul 2007, 12:55 AM
I agree with Stormy. WTF??? Like the update. Keep them coming!
27th Jul 2007, 9:02 AM
Charise sighed as she washed the dishes. She had Michaela distracted with a movie, at least for the moment. Tacita had better be dealing with a life or death situation! She growled softly to herself.
She dried her hands off and then a terrible thought hit her: she had left her purse alone with Michaela!
Gasping, she hurried into the living room, where Michaela was busily applying makeup to her face.
“Hey, Charise, am I pretty?” Michaela asked with a grin.
Charise sighed. “Let’s get you cleaned up, kiddo.”
“Nuh-uh! I look pretty this way!” Michaela scowled.
“Wearing all that makeup is going to give you skin problems.”
“So why do you wear it?”
Charise flinched slightly. “Because I know how to put on enough to look good without giving myself skin problems.”
“Then why do you have that pimple on your cheek?”
Charise gasped and leaned close to the mirror for a closer look. Michaela hurried away, silently smirking.
“Let’s face it, S, she’s not exactly the best match for you,” Tacita said.
“Yes, but I still care about her.”
“I know, and that’s the sad thing,” Tacita replied, brushing her hair out of her face. “S, you haven’t done anything to make her think of you as anything more than a friend. Let’s face it, kiddo, at the rate you’re going, the only way you’ll end up with Charise is if someone she really looked up to said, with their last dying breath, that the fate of the world depended on her marrying you and you two having kids together. And, you know, even then, I don’t know if it would be a one hundred percent chance of working out.”
S rolled his eyes. “Thanks a lot, Tacita,” he said bitterly.
Tacita smiled softly. “I know you care about her, though, and if it makes you happy, then go for it.”
“But she doesn’t really know who I am.”
Tacita laughed and poked at his arm. “Because you won’t let her. You’re so mysterious all the time. Now tell me, would it be so dangerous to let Charise know how much you care? Like I said, everybody else knows.”
“I thought you didn’t want me going after her.”
“I’d rather you tell her your feelings and be rejected and know how she feels, than to want her for years and years, complaining to me the whole time, and then find out too late that she likes you. The worst she can do is tell you she’s not interested, right?”
“Are you sure I should go for it, though?” S asked. He chewed his fingernails.
"Sure, go for it!" Tacita replied. "You've always liked her. Remember when we were little? You were about six years old when you met Charise. And when she walked through the door of the classroom and you saw her for the first time, you said, ‘Tacita, is that an angel?’”
S snorted. “Okay, there's a lot wrong with what you just said. First of all, I was eight, not six. Second of all, I didn’t say that; you’ve seen Spider-Man too many times.”
“My point is still valid, though.”
“Whatever you say… Aunt May.”
“Oh, shut up, S.”
“But the point is, go find out how she feels, and stop whining to me about it. I want you to go home and do something to make her feel special. Then, at least you can say you’ve tried.”
S rose. “I… I think I might do that.”
Tacita stood up and hugged him. “Go get ‘em, Tiger.”
She watched S hurry away, and murmured, “Hope he gets her.” Then she dialed a number on her phone. “Jeff? This is Tacita. We’re still up for 5:30 tonight?”
27th Jul 2007, 9:27 AM
I hope S gets her too. :D Great update! Michaela seems like a terror!
27th Jul 2007, 9:28 AM
There's a few more parts left for this chapter. One of the upcoming parts goes into S's past a bit more... ooh, mysterious!
27th Jul 2007, 9:30 AM
Oh ok, I'll wait....
27th Jul 2007, 9:48 AM
My hand itches to smack Micaela. Ha! Ha! Glad my babysitting days are long over. :D
I'm looking forward to learning about this mysterious Mr. S and still wanting to see how the three girls 'go crazy'. (Emily's expression as she too wonders is priceless. LOL!)
27th Jul 2007, 10:00 AM
Hmm, I just found this via Stormy's story. I like it! I'm especially impressed with how you juggle all the characters...having written a few multi-character stories, I know how hard that is.
I like the concept behind it, too, and I love how the characters aren't just stereotypes. Well, I know that's kind of the point of the story, but still, it's an easy trap to fall into.
And I actually really enjoyed the post about your creative process, because I'm a nerd like that...I love learning about how things were going to be. It's also good because it shows you put a lot of thought into this story, which is pretty cool all in all.
Also, Cy is so cute! I'm in love...
So that was a long post to tell you that I like your story, but still. I'm overly specific tonight, I guess.
27th Jul 2007, 10:05 AM
Montridge and Julieth, thank you both for your kindness. Julieth, welcome onboard! I hope you'll continue to read this story.
stormy, I think you'll be a little surprised by S's backstory (let's just say he's gone through a lot).
28th Jul 2007, 1:00 PM
Emily stood up and stretched, saying, “I have never watched so many episodes of Beavis and Butt-head in one sitting!”
“Well, what did you think our idea of partying was?” Ophelia replied.
Emily went back to sitting on the sofa. “Hey, Ophelia, the other day, you told me you’d tell me what the deal was with Cassandra and S. So, how about now?”
Cy rose and headed to the kitchen. “I know this story already. I’m going to make us something to snack on. Show off your storytelling skills, Lia.”
“Make yourself comfortable, Emily. This might be kind of long,” Ophelia said. Then, she began.
“Cassandra was adopted by the Verona family a few months after she was born. They never hid this fact from her. Now, that would be okay, normally, except the Verona family is definitely not a typical family. S is apparently a genetic oddity, as he’s completely normal.
“His dad, Nelson, was highly religious, and he made S’s mom, Catherine stay at home and cook and clean and pop out children nonstop. Nelson died last year, by the way."
Ophelia sighed and continued. "When S was about seven or eight, his older siblings, Felicity and Grant, about seventeen or eighteen at the time, were disowned from the family after refusing to give up rock music. S hasn’t heard from them since."
"What a jerk!" Emily remarked.
Ophelia nodded and said, "It gets even better. His older sister Madeline became promiscuous rather early. At the age of thirteen, she was caught fooling around with three guys at once. So, their dad sent her and S’s other sister, Theodora, who was about four years older than S, to an all-girl private school."
"What did Theodora do?" Emily asked.
"Theodora did nothing wrong, but since she was developing early, Nelson thought she would get into trouble. So, that just left S and Cassandra."
“Cassandra had no one she could rely on except S; her dad was a jerk, her mom was totally passive, and all her other siblings were too far away to help out. Things were all well and good for them for a while; Cassandra had her big brother to love her and protect her. But then, something changed."
Emily sat up and listened closely. Judging from Ophelia's tone, this "something" was pretty serious.
Ophelia said, "Their parents transferred them over to the school Charise and I were attending. S met Charise the first day he was there, and he immediately fell for her."
"Wow!" Emily remarked.
"Well," Ophelia continued, "Cassandra did not like the idea of anyone taking her big brother’s attention away. That was her big brother; she shouldn’t have to share him! That was her line of reasoning. Since then, Cassandra has not been too fond of Charise. She sees Charise as being competition for S’s affection.”
Emily sat silently for several seconds. She did not know how to respond. Ophelia cracked a smile and said, “It’s too serious now. Come on, let’s go see what Cy made for us.”
Cy peeked out from the kitchen, holding a coffee cup. She grinned. “Hey, Lia,” she said.
“Yeah, Cy?” Ophelia replied.
Cy made her voice as low and gravelly as possible and said, “Do you folks like coffee? Real coffee from the hills of Columbia?”
Ophelia laughed hysterically, while Emily looked on, puzzled. “I don’t get it,” she said.
Ophelia and Cy exchanged looks of amusement. “I guess this means we’re going to spend the next few hours watching Metalocalypse clips, eh?” Cy said.
“Well, the funniest ones, at least. Like the food library one and the coffee jingle.”
"You guys are so weird sometimes, but you're still cool," Emily remarked.
28th Jul 2007, 7:39 PM
I wish I had friends like them. :( Cassandra seems a bit too possesive. I wonder what she'll do when some girl comes into S's life and they start dating or eventually get married! Ooh drama. :D Great update!!!
28th Jul 2007, 7:45 PM
Yes, that's the thing-- a girl did come into S's life (Charise), and he does want to start dating her, etc. The problem is that Cassandra doesn't want anyone taking away her big brother's attention.
28th Jul 2007, 8:53 PM
just caught up on the last few chapter- this story is really progressing!
Im really interested to see if S can get Charise's attention.... cause that other guy she's with is... eww.
29th Jul 2007, 5:42 AM
Yay update! Hmm, S has had an...unusual life. I actually really pity his sister Madeleine...and I guess I'm kind of mad, but I also feel bad for Cassandra. She's dependant and kind of creepy, but obviously kind of damaged...is it weird for me to pity her and also be a bit frightened? I keep feeling like she's going to stab Charise or something.
It's good to have some backstory on the mysterious S, though, and we're slowly getting introduced to all the people Charise mentioned in the first chapter! At first, when she said all that stuff about how everyone was doing, I was very confused and overwhelmed, but now I know who most of those people are!
Eheheheh, another long freakin' post. I can't wait for the next update!
29th Jul 2007, 5:48 AM
It's good that you pity Cassandra. She's not a bad person; she just doesn't want to lose the one person in her life who actually shows any kindness to her.
I have a sequel planned already, and I assure you, no one will be stabbing anyone. However, Cassandra will play a major role in the story (in fact, her part of the story will involve her finding out who her real parents were).
29th Jul 2007, 3:06 PM
I too am I Beevis and Butthead fan. LOL!
I've never heard of 'Metalocalypse'. I'll have to look that one up.
Anyway, awesome update!!!
29th Jul 2007, 3:09 PM
Well, Montridge, it's an Adult Swim cartoon about a death metal band. You can watch clips from the whole series on the Adult Swim site, under "videos." One of my favorite clips, called "Food Library," is about them grocery shopping (apparently for the first time ever). Lots of dark humor! Oh, and they get lots of musicians to do voices for the show (for instance, in one episode, King Diamond voiced the devil).
29th Jul 2007, 6:19 PM
Charise looked around the untidy room. Toys were scattered everywhere. Michaela’s family would be home in about an hour, and she needed to get things picked up.
“Michaela,” Charise said, “Let’s pick up your toys so the house will be nice and clean when your mom and dad get home.”
“Nuh-uh,” Michaela disagreed, jumping on the sofa. “That’s your job!”
“It’s your job to be a good child and not make a mess. Now help me clean up!” Charise responded, trying not to scream. She was ready to tear her hair out.
Michaela thought for a second. “I’ll help out.”
“If you tell me a story.”
Charise groaned to herself. “Fine, if it’ll get you to help. What story?”
Michaela stopped jumping and sat, quietly thinking. After a few moments, she said, “Tell me a story I’ve never heard before.”
Charise tried to think as quickly as possible. Her eyes scanned the bookshelves around the room. This child had undoubtedly heard every story there was to tell, as there were books full of stories from all over the world.
“I’m waiting!” Michaela sang out. “If you can’t think of a story, you better start cleaning up fast!”
Then, an idea hit Charise. “Fine. I know a story. It’s a fairly recent one, and it’s about a kingdom.”
“Might be good,” Michaela replied. “Tell it.”
Charise took a deep breath. Would her idea work? She began speaking slowly and calmly, “Once was a magical place. Over time it was lost; price increased the cost. Now the fortune of the kingdom is locked up in its dungeon vaults. The castle floor lies in traps with coiled wire set back, decoyed by old cheese. Now the drawbridge has been lifted, as the millions, they drop to their knees…”
When Charise finally finished several minutes later, she looked over at Michaela. The child was sound asleep.
“Oh well,” she said softly. “At least I can clean up without her being in my way.”
Ophelia and Cy walked Emily back to her house. The trio laughed and joked the whole way.
“We should do this again sometime,” Emily said.
“Definitely,” Cy agreed.
“Fine with me. If next weekend looks okay for both of you, I might be able to plan something for us to do,” Ophelia replied.
Emily hugged Ophelia and Cy. “Take care!” she called out as she unlocked the door, opened it, and walked in.
Cy gave Ophelia a knowing smile. “You’re good at picking your friends, you know that?”
“Of course. After all, you’re my best friend,” Ophelia responded with a grin, giving Cy a brief hug.
“Now, what do you say we go hit that ice cream place you mentioned on the phone?” Cy asked.
30th Jul 2007, 6:30 AM
Ha! Charise reigns triumphant! Also, argh, Cy is so adorable. This was a nice break after the heavy stuff last chapter.
30th Jul 2007, 6:34 AM
Yeah, I try to break up the sections so that there's not too much seriousness or drama clustered together. The last part of this chapter will be up tonight.
The fourth chapter, which will be up in a few days, is, I think, one of the funniest chapters so far.
By the way, the "story" Charise tells is the song "Tragic Kingdom" by No Doubt.
30th Jul 2007, 7:12 AM
Aww that was sweet! :D Great update!!
30th Jul 2007, 7:33 AM
Charise groaned and flopped onto the floor. She had put all the toys away.
The door opened, and Gwen and Chris Williams walked in.
“Charise, you look exhausted!” Gwen cried out. She looked at her husband. “Honey, I knew we should have left Michaela with your mom.”
Charise stood up slowly. “I’m fine. She was… rather spirited.”
Chris lifted up the sleeping child and carried her into her bedroom.
“No need to sugarcoat it, sweetie,” Gwen replied. “Michaela acts like a total brat for most people, and I’m all but kicking myself for making you have to deal with that.” She reached into her pocket and counted out some money. “I know you’re only charging twenty dollars, but here’s forty, to make up for all your troubles. If you want, I’ll drop you off at your house.”
“No thank you, Mrs. Williams. I can walk. It’s not that bad of a walk,” Charise replied. “Have a good evening.”
She walked out of the house.
Charise unlocked the door and walked in. “I’m home,” she called out.
“Welcome home, Charise,” S said with a smile.
“Where’s Gideon and Sheridon?”
“They’re out for the evening. I made dinner for you, and I picked up some more of that bubble bath and those bath salts that you like so much. I figured that after a long day, you don’t feel like spending anymore time on your feet,” S replied.
Charise smiled and gave S a warm hug. “You know what, S?” she said. “I don’t care if you’re not the most important person in the universe. It makes me happy to see you right now.”
She walked into the next room to eat. S watched her and whispered softly, “Then I am the most important person in the universe.”
He decided that he would not reveal his feelings just yet, but soon… one day, he would.
30th Jul 2007, 8:33 AM
oh he better do it soon before it's too late!! :blink:
great updates! :D
30th Jul 2007, 8:45 AM
I'm afraid he won't be doing it anytime soon (S is a procrastinator), but he will eventually do it... but it takes pretty extreme circumstances.
The fourth chapter (coming soon!), is, for the most part, pretty light and, I think, rather funny. A friend of mine previewed the chapter, and he said that it was really good, the ending was unexpected, and that the interactions between one couple were very sweet. The working title for the fourth chapter was "...And a Bag of Potato Chips."
I am writing chapter five as we speak (type?), and it will be very... different. A few characters from previous chapters will be appearing again.
30th Jul 2007, 8:48 AM
Yeah he needs to tell her how he feels before someone else snatches her up. Another great update! :)
30th Jul 2007, 8:51 AM
C'mon, S, I'm rooting for you!
In other news, dang you update quickly.
30th Jul 2007, 9:03 AM
By the way, the scary thing is... Dunstan is based on two people who I used to know. In fact, I changed his appearance to make him look more like one of the guys he's based on (originally, he looked like S, except with lots of poufy, curly hair). So, yes, there actually are real Dunstans running around (especially in the New Orleans area...).
And by the way, I update quickly because when I'm updating with one chapter, I'm busy writing another one. I had the first three chapters written when I started putting this story up on S2C. The first chapter took me several months to write, the second took about a month, the third took two days, and the fourth took about a week. I am currently writing the fifth chapter (two pages written-- each chapter averages about 12 pages and around 4000 words).
Here is what goes into a single update:
I load up the chapter file with the written story, and, using it as a guide, take the shots in the game for the part I'm supposed to update with. This usually takes between one and three hours, depending on the complexity of the shots and how many sets have to be built and set up. After that, I go through the pictures and edit them-- this takes between one and fifteen minutes, depending on what has to be done (usually, all that's needed is minor cropping). Then, I upload the images to Photobucket (usually doesn't take very long, if I have a good connection). After that, I copy the part of the story into a reply on here, go through it to make changes and corrections, as needed. After that, I add the pictures, preview, make more changes if necessary, and then submit the update. And then I sit back and relax and admire the fruits of my labor.
30th Jul 2007, 10:04 AM
I like this story!! I've been sitting here the past hour, reading the chapters so far (whilst sweating in my apt, thanks to the maintenance man's lack of assistance in fixing the air conditioner). Definitely kept my mind off the heat, and I loved the various old-school references, such as B&B, and "Heathers". Great job! :D
30th Jul 2007, 10:07 AM
*Squeal* You got the "Heathers" reference! I love you so much! I didn't think anyone would actually get it. *Hug* I like to put in a lot of weird references because I have some rather odd tastes, and I'm something of a movie buff. I'm happy that you like the story so much. :) By the way, my sympathies about the lack of AC.
30th Jul 2007, 10:55 AM
OH wow I am like just.........I WANT MORE!! I love this story!!!!!!!!!! I'm gonna update mine now you and stormy just make me wanna update mine too *rates 5 star and subscribes*
30th Jul 2007, 10:58 AM
*Hug* Dani, so good of you to join us! I'm glad you like this so much! :) There will be an update on the 31st, if all goes well.
30th Jul 2007, 11:01 AM
I'm beyond happy that I'm joined We are family *sings*. :) There better be an update or else *hisses* :P :P :P.
30th Jul 2007, 11:02 AM
Watch it, dani, or I'll cover my updates with garlic. Now be nice.
30th Jul 2007, 6:58 PM
*Squeal* You got the "Heathers" reference! I love you so much! I didn't think anyone would actually get it. *Hug* I like to put in a lot of weird references because I have some rather odd tastes, and I'm something of a movie buff. I'm happy that you like the story so much. :) By the way, my sympathies about the lack of AC.
Glad to meet another movie fanatic! I like the lesser-known movies (Heathers, Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes), while the husband knows all the classic popular ones (Goonies, Full Metal Jacket, etc.)
31st Jul 2007, 7:20 AM
“And that’s a wrap!” Ms. Gibson called out. “Have a good weekend, guys. This’ll air Monday morning.”
The Clique News Crash team had stayed after school that Friday to tape their show for Monday.
The crew stood and stretched, chattering amongst themselves briefly. They walked out of the auditorium, calling out farewells to their teacher, who began to pack up the equipment.
As they turned the corner, they saw that the cheerleading squad had come in for a bathroom break. The cheerleaders eyed the news team disdainfully. Angela scurried away, glancing back a few times to nervously eye the cheerleaders.
Emily looked over at Tiffani. “Tiffani, do you remember--” she began.
Tiffani was eager to prove that she was still capable of acting like the other cheerleaders, despite no longer belonging to their club. “Excuse me, why are you speaking to me? Do not address me,” she said sharply to Emily.
Ophelia shot an angry glare at Tiffani and said to Emily, “Come on, Emily, Cy’s waiting for us. You don’t have to stand around and be treated like crap.” She put an arm protectively around Emily’s shoulder and led the girl out of the building, shooting a last glare in Tiffani’s direction.
AJ watched the two girls leave and said sharply to Tiffani, “Who do you think you are, talking to my sister like that? You don’t have to like her, but you could at least treat her like a human. At least I’m not too cowardly to speak to Emily in public and treat her nicely, but I guess you’re chicken. You may have only been my girlfriend for two weeks, but I expect you to show some semblance of respect to my family, and that includes my sister. Just 'cause you're beautiful, that doesn't mean that you can treat people like they don't matter. You don‘t always have to be who they want you to be, you know.”
Tiffani glared at AJ and said, “I happen to like being adored. Now, I have to go fix my makeup. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” She shoved the restroom door open and walked through.
The cheerleaders snickered, and finally, Sawyer spoke.
“Girlfriend, huh?” she snickered. “My God, AJ, I didn’t know you were such a chubby chaser.”
“Seriously, AJ,” Heather added. “You used to be pretty cool, but lately you’ve been acting like a loser!”
AJ looked the cheerleaders up and down and finally spoke. “No wonder Tiffani has such a bad attitude about other cliques-- you all treat anyone who is unpopular like dirt!”
“When did you turn into such an equal rights advocate?” Veronica sneered. “I remember a time when you never would have gone for a chick as fat as she is. What happened to the cool guy we used to know and like? Someone tell me, because all I see is a pathetic loser who couldn‘t even keep himself on the football team.”
“She has a better personality than all three of you combined,” AJ responded. “You may be pretty, but your attitudes make you all into ugly monsters.”
A voice from behind AJ spoke up. “I suggest you underdressed, underfed snobs leave immediately. I don’t particularly like Tiffani either, but you don’t see me making fun of her behind her back.”
AJ turned around to see Ophelia standing there, scowling.
“Ophelia,” Sawyer sneered. “Go listen to rock music backwards and cut yourself.”
“All of you need to grow up and start seeing people for who they are, and not what they look like. Now, get out of here,” Ophelia responded.
Sawyer turned to the other two cheerleaders and said, “Let’s get out of here. If we hang around much longer, people might think we’re actually friends with these losers.”
She and the other two cheerleaders tossed their hair and sauntered out.
Ophelia turned to AJ with a smile. “I heard what you said about Emily and Tiffani. I guess you can be a good boyfriend and brother when you feel like it.”
AJ responded with a flirtatious smile, “I can’t just watch silently when a girl is in crisis. I guess it’s just the prince in me.”
“I came back to get something out of my locker. I forgot it halfway to the door and sent Emily on her way. I have to go, so I’ll see you later, hm?” Ophelia did not wait for a response and began walking down the hall to her locker.
“Yeah… sure,” AJ said quietly. He watched her walk down the hall. “I wonder if…” he began to think to himself.
The slam of the bathroom door jolted him back to reality. AJ turned to look at Tiffani, quickly composing himself.
“Well, shall we go?” AJ asked.
31st Jul 2007, 7:27 AM
Boo! You whore!
Not you, DarkPhoenix, Tiffani and those other cheerleaders. :P
I'm glad AJ stood up for his sister. And for Tiffani, I guess. Great update! :D
31st Jul 2007, 7:31 AM
Hehehehe. I didn't think you were calling me a whore, stormy. The cheerleaders are b****es-- no analysis needed there; Tiffani still wants to be liked by the popular crowd, plain and simple. As for AJ... well... just keep an eye on him in this chapter.
31st Jul 2007, 7:35 AM
Yeah I was kinda stating the obvious. Keep an eye on AJ, huh? Hmm...interesting. Will do.
31st Jul 2007, 8:19 AM
awsome update! I LOVED IT! I have a weird feeling!!!
31st Jul 2007, 12:05 PM
Can't wait till the next installment.
31st Jul 2007, 7:10 PM
Awww, AJ has a crush...kind of. I can't understand Tiffani, why would she want to show the cheerleaders that she's still like them even when they were bitches to her? This, I suppose, might be the reason I've never hung out with the popular set.
AJ is such a nice kid, but he's not quite as snappy with his comebacks as his sister. Maybe he's out of practice.
31st Jul 2007, 7:15 PM
Tiffani is still convinced that if she can prove that she is "cool" enough, they will accept her back into their group.
As for AJ... well, he's no saint. A lot of the humor in this chapter will revolve around him and the stupid things he does. I will give him this much-- he does not give up easily.
1st Aug 2007, 7:21 AM
The telephone rang, jolting Ophelia out of her thoughts. She rolled off the bed and onto her feet, and grabbed up the telephone.
“Hello?” she said.
“Ophelia, you… you little… wretch!” Mae screamed in response. Ophelia held the receiver away from her ear, cringing slightly.
“What did I do wrong this time?” Ophelia asked.
“You know what you did!” Mae snapped.
“What did I do?” Ophelia replied.
“Why have you been spending so much time with that four-eyed weirdo? I thought we were best friends!”
“You and I are friends, Mae, although you seem to think otherwise. And she has a name, and it’s not ‘four-eyed weirdo,’ it’s Emily.”
“You haven’t been spending any time with me lately,” Mae whined.
“I’ve been busy,” Ophelia replied.
“But you’ve been acting like a completely different person and totally ignoring me and spending tons of time with that… nerd!”
“Look, Mae,” Ophelia snapped, “you don’t own me. I can be friends with whoever I want. Emily is a nice girl, and unlike some people, she doesn’t get jealous of my other friends. You need to grow up.”
“Fine,” Mae snapped back, “but keep that little brat away from my brother.”
“Which one, LB or Louie?” Ophelia asked.
“Which one do you think? Louie! I’ve seen her looking at him all lovey-dovey. It’s disgusting.”
“Mae, I can’t make anyone stop liking anyone else. If Emily likes your brother, then it’s her choice, and not yours or mine. You are acting very childish. When you can act your age, call me,” Ophelia replied.
Without waiting for a response, she hung up. “That was kind of childish of me, wasn’t it?” she muttered to herself.
Kenny and AJ sat in the living room of the Desjardin home, watching sports.
“Look, dude, it’s like this,” Kenny explained. “I’m sure Tiffany’s a nice girl and all, but she’s…”
“She’s what?” AJ asked.
“Fat. I mean, she got kicked off the cheerleading squad and dance team for putting on weight. Take away what little she has in her favor, and all you have left is a C minus GPA with a Wonderbra.”
“Would you date her?” AJ asked.
“Maybe if we were the last two people alive, and there were sheep. Are there sheep?”
“Very funny,” AJ groaned.
“Seriously, though, there’s much hotter chicks out there.”
AJ rolled his eyes. “Like who?”
“Well, why did you have to pick that particular person from your news show, when there’s other cute chicks?”
“I’m not going to date my sister, if that’s what you’re implying. My family’s not redneck.”
“I wasn’t going to suggest that, bro. Now listen. That Angela is pretty cute. And that goth chick, what’s her face--”
“Right, Ophelia,” Kenny said. “They’re both pretty cute. In fact,” Kenny mused, “if you put her in some nicer clothes and more flattering makeup, Ophelia would be a major hottie.”
“Dude, I would give anything to see Ophelia in something non-goth.”
AJ eyed his friend. “If I can get it to happen, how much will you give me?”
Kenny thought for a few seconds and then replied, “Twenty bucks.”
AJ rolled his eyes. “Remember, this is the chick who regularly goes head to head with Perma-PMS Queen Mae Rivers.”
Kenny sighed. “Fine, thirty.”
AJ smirked. “Well, let’s think about this. I need to win her over by doing utterly ridiculous and stupid stuff that only happens in the movies. So, I’ll need the newest goth-type CD-- probably something by Ozzy or My Chemical Romance or whatever the heck it is that goth chicks listen to these days. That’s, uh, about fifteen bucks. I need a cool new outfit. That’s, uh, fifty-three. And, uh, she’ll want to have at least one meal with me, right? So, uh, we’re looking at seventy-five bucks.”
Kenny threw the remote control at AJ, groaning in frustration. “This ain’t a negotiation. Take it or leave it.”
“Fifty bucks, and we’ve got a deal.”
“Fine, fifty," Kenny agreed. "You show change in the woman, and you get the cash.”
“You mean I don’t get the money beforehand? Now what am I supposed to do?!” AJ whined.
"I suggest you watch lots of movies and steal some ideas," Kenny responded.
1st Aug 2007, 7:44 AM
LOL!!! I love this update! Lol he wanted more and more money lamo!!! great update!!!
1st Aug 2007, 8:36 AM
Great update!! Psst--AJ might considered ripping a CD for 'Lia (way cooler than buying a CD) :laugh:
1st Aug 2007, 8:40 AM
He isn't buying it to give to her. Let's just say he decided to imitate a movie... well, you'll see. But I assure you, what's set to happen will be very funny. All I'm going to say is, Ophelia is neither stupid nor easily impressed.
1st Aug 2007, 8:41 AM
He isn't buying it to give to her. Let's just say he decided to imitate a movie... well, you'll see. But I assure you, what's set to happen will be very funny. All I'm going to say is, Ophelia is neither stupid nor easily impressed.
Glad to hear that! ;)
1st Aug 2007, 8:46 AM
Ah Tiffani isn't fat! And I can't believe Kenny and AJ would play with Ophelia's emtions like that. Great update! :D
1st Aug 2007, 10:24 AM
Ahahahahaha! Oh man, I can't wait to see how this one's gonna turn out...
I actually know some people who are rather like Mae. Kudos for not making only the cheerleaders bad people. It's weird how few people write about jerks in the counterculture.
1st Aug 2007, 5:24 PM
hehehe, we all have moments of not so niceness,.. Just some more than others. :)LOL~
DarkPhoenix, I love the sets you came up with for these shots..:) Very cool update.. *smiles*
2nd Aug 2007, 7:08 AM
“Hey, Ophelia!” AJ called out, approaching Ophelia. Ophelia turned around, startled, looking to see who had addressed her.
It vaguely occurred to AJ that they were in the “popular people” area, but it wouldn’t deter him from his mission. Besides, what's the worst that could happen?
Ophelia waited to hear what he had to say.
“So listen, you ever wondered what it'd be like to be the one of the most popular girls in school?” AJ asked.
Ophelia stared at him as if he’d grown another head and said bitterly, “You mean anorexic, superficial, a b****, a w**** who lacks any real long-term goals?”
AJ looked startled by her words. “Uh, not quite what I was going for, but yes. So, Ophelia, I was wondering if--”
Ophelia turned and walked away from him leaving him alone. Several people nearby snickered at him.
“--If you wanted to embarrass me in front of all these people,” AJ muttered, looking around and hurrying away.
“Hey, Em?” AJ said, peeking into the bedroom.
Emily looked up. “What’s up?” she asked, putting her book away.
“Emily, you’re a girl, right?”
“Last time I checked,” Emily said dryly.
“Real funny. All that time around Ophelia has been rubbing off on you,” AJ replied. “Anyways, I wanted to know how to impress a woman.”
“Well,” Emily sighed. “It really varies from woman to woman. But why do you want to impress a woman when you have a girlfriend? Are things really going that bad for you and Tiffani?”
“Miserable,” AJ responded.
“And who’s the lucky lady on the side?” Emily dryly quipped.
“I’m not going to tell you that,” AJ said. He didn’t want Emily to know that he was interested in one of her friends.
“Have you at least tried to tell her how you feel?”
“What happened?” Emily asked.
AJ blushed, embarrassed. “She kind of blew me off.”
Emily grinned and said, “I like her already. You know, AJ, if you tell me who she is, I might be able to give you details on how to really impress her.”
AJ decided it was worth the risk. “It’s Ophelia.”
Emily laughed hysterically. “Oh my God, have you been watching too many John Hughes movies?” she gasped out. “How very Breakfast Club!”
“Thanks for your support, Emily,” AJ groaned. He turned to leave.
“Wait,” Emily said, still giggling. “Do you want my help or not?”
“Sure, I guess,” AJ responded.
“Okay… first problem,” Emily said, looking her brother over. “Ophelia likes… pretty guys.”
AJ was silent for a few seconds. “Are you telling me I’m not a pretty guy?”
Emily stammered, “You’re very pretty. A gorgeous guy. I just wasn’t sure. I didn’t know. Here’s how you impress Ophelia. Or tick her off. I wasn’t really paying much attention…”
End of part three, but I wanted to share an outtake shot that I thought was really funny:
2nd Aug 2007, 7:15 AM
LMAO! That picture is so cute! Great update! :) I loved the Breakfast Club joke! :anime:
2nd Aug 2007, 7:25 AM
I second that stormy it was so so so funny I love the Breakfast Club joke too! Thank you for the laugh great update!
2nd Aug 2007, 8:31 AM
Heh heh heh. I don't think this is going to go well for AJ...
2nd Aug 2007, 9:52 PM
Love Love Love this story!
Love the reference to Jagged Little Pill, in fact I'm listening to THAT SONG right now...it was really weird to read it and listen to the lyrics at the same time!
3rd Aug 2007, 8:56 AM
AJ glanced around and peeked into the office. Good, no one was in there. He was going to be able to carry out his mission. He looked down at the CD in his hands, something called “Razorblade Romance,” whatever the heck that meant. Sounded really emo, music to cut yourself by or something. But whatever.
He snuck into the office, looked around again, making sure no one was coming. All alone. No one would catch him.
He found a boom box and put the CD into it. Then, AJ grabbed the microphone for the PA system, switched it on, and said, “This is for Ophelia.”
Then, he switched the boom box on and set it to play the last song on the CD. After making sure the microphone was close enough to the boom box to play the music over the intercom system, he turned around and found himself face to face with the principal.
“Uh, I was just leaving,” AJ said nervously.
“Detention for you, mister,” the principal replied sharply.
AJ sat in detention, looking sulky. He thought to himself, “And she’s not even going to bother to show up and flash the teacher so I can sneak out, after I embarrassed myself? How ungrateful!”
Emily sighed and leaned against the locker. Ophelia looked over at her, concerned.
“What’s wrong, Em?” she asked.
“Well, you know the dance that’s coming up?”
“The one they just randomly announced the other day and said it’s this coming Friday?” Ophelia asked.
“Yeah, that one.”
“What about it?”
“Well, I really want to ask Louie to go to the dance with me,” Emily said.
“So go ask him,” Ophelia replied.
“I can’t just do that!” Emily cried.
“Well, why not?”
“Ophelia, don’t you know how dating works? Women can’t just ask guys out on dates!”
“Why not? I’ve done it already.”
“Oh really?” Emily asked. “Who?”
Ophelia glanced to the side. “It was a long time ago.”
“Do I know him?”
“Just drop it, okay?” Ophelia snapped.
Emily nodded and changed the subject. “Besides,” she said, “I have no chance with him.”
“Why do you say that?” Ophelia asked.
“Because I heard that Phoebe O’Reilly is planning to ask him to go with her.”
Ophelia thought a minute. “Who’s that, again?”
“Red hair, glasses, hangs out with Andi Mercato, dresses in bright colors…”
“Oh, yeah, that one!” Ophelia replied. She thought a moment. “Emily, you have nothing to worry about.”
“Look, do you like this guy?”
“Yes…” Emily responded.
“Then go for it. Phoebe isn’t half the woman you are. The worst he can do is turn you down.”
“You’re right!” Emily replied. “I’ll do it!”
“Good, because he’s coming this way,” Ophelia responded.
“What?! Where? Oh God, I can’t do this!” Emily cried out. She turned to hurry away and ran right into Louie, sending books flying everywhere.
“Funny running into you here,” Louie quipped. He and Emily knelt to gather the scattered books.
“I am so sorry, Louie!” Emily said. She could feel her cheeks burning from blushing so much.
“It’s no big deal. I wanted to start my day off with a bang anyways. Are you okay?” he replied.
“Fine. Are… are the books okay?” she asked, mentally slapping herself for her stupidity.
“I think they’ll survive. They were built for clumsy people like me who drop everything.”
Ophelia watched, amused. “Come on,” she thought. “You can do it, Em!”
“So, I was wondering--” Emily began.
“Hey, Emily, do… uh… do you want to go to the dance with me?” Louie blurted out.
Emily looked over at Ophelia, astonished. Ophelia gave Emily a big grin.
“Sure!” Emily replied excitedly.
“Great! I’ll pick you up on Friday. We can work out all the details at lunch, okay?” Louie said.
“Sounds good,” Emily remarked.
“Great. I’ll see you later,” he said. He gave Emily a grin and nodded at Ophelia, then turned and walked away.
As soon as he was out of hearing range, Ophelia and Emily hugged each other.
“Oh wow, this is such a big deal!” Emily squealed.
“I know! We have to get you a nice outfit and stuff. After school today, I’ll let you go through my closet and see if you can find something you like,” Ophelia replied.
“Oh really? Wow, thanks, Ophelia! You’re the best!”
"Well, what are friends for, right?" Ophelia responded.
3rd Aug 2007, 9:26 AM
Hey this is great! I haven't read the whole story but I will do now :) Emily is really pretty, and I love Louie's hair (and name).
3rd Aug 2007, 9:30 AM
Yay she has a date! She has a date! *Jumps around the room like a fool*
Great update! :D
3rd Aug 2007, 10:00 AM
D'aww...Emily is a sweetheart.
Ehehehe, I got the reference AJ made! Yes!
3rd Aug 2007, 10:11 AM
Just read it! Love the story :D
4th Aug 2007, 8:31 AM
The noisy cafeteria was crowded with students chatting eagerly about the upcoming dance. At least, most of them were eager. Some students didn’t care about the dance one way or another.
“Hey, Ophelia!” AJ said, sitting beside her.
Ophelia looked up from her lunch. “Yeah? What?”
“Are you going to the dance on Friday?”
“No way. I never go to those idiotic events,” Ophelia responded, rolling her eyes.
“Maybe you should go this once,” AJ said.
“Yeah, sure,” Ophelia said dryly.
“Come on. You can go with me.”
“What about Tiffani?”
“She can’t come. Some family emergency,” AJ lied.
Ophelia rolled her eyes. “Look, screw boy, I have neither the desire to attend the dance-- with or without you-- nor the attire for it.”
“What if I found something for you to wear?”
Ophelia stood up. “You just don’t get it, do you?” she said. She walked away.
“What more can I do?” AJ cried out, following her. “I made a fool of myself in front of my friends for you. I have three weeks of detention for playing a song on the PA system, a song that I heard you liked.”
“Look, AJ,” she said. “That kind of stuff might work in movies, but it doesn’t work in real life. Give it a rest.”
Phoebe smoothed her hair, and then approached the bespectacled brown-haired boy.
“Hey, Louie,” she said cheerfully.
He smiled up at her. “Hello, Phoebe. How are things?”
“Great. Um… I was wondering…” Phoebe stammered a bit, nervous. “Uh… um… do you want to go to the dance with me?”
“Sorry, Phoebe, but I can’t,” Louie replied.
“What? Why not? You don’t have a girlfriend, so what’s the deal?” Phoebe cried out.
“I’m going with Emily.”
Phoebe scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Emily Desjardin? That nerd from the school news show?”
Louie frowned. “Emily is very sweet and fun to be around.”
Phoebe scowled. “I see how it is! You only like her because she’s on that stupid show!” she cried out accusingly. “I bet if she wasn’t on there, you wouldn’t want anything to do with her!”
“No, it’s not like that,” Louie replied.
Emily hurried over, looking concerned. “What’s going on over here, Louie?” she asked.
Phoebe slapped her. “Stay away from Louie, you phony! I see right through you!” she shrieked. “Do you think you’re better than me because you’re on that f****** show? You're no better than I am, Emily! Louie, you're making a huge mistake! You'll see!”
Louie grabbed Emily’s hand and pulled her away.
“You can run, but just wait till you’re alone, Emily!” Phoebe called out.
Tiffani watched the drama from across the room. “Wow,” she thought. “Nerd fight. You don’t see that every day.”
An attractive boy sat across from her and smiled. Tiffani eyed him. “Are you lost?” she asked.
“Not at all,” he replied. “My name’s Kenny. I’m one of AJ’s friends.”
“I was wondering if you’d like to go to the dance with me,” Kenny said, smiling charmingly.
“Oh, I can’t. I’m already going with AJ,” Tiffani replied. “Sorry.”
Kenny raised an eyebrow. “Is that so?” he asked.
“Well, then why did I just see him flirting with Ophelia, asking her to go to the dance with him?” Kenny asked.
“What?” Tiffani cried out.
“Look, they’re talking over there!” Kenny said, pointing.
Tiffani looked over, where Ophelia and AJ were talking. It looked like AJ was flirting pretty heavily with Ophelia. She scowled to herself, her hands clenching tightly. Why was her boyfriend flirting with that freak?
“You can still go to the dance, Tiffani,” Kenny said softly. “You can go with me.”
Emotion. It is defined as agitation or disturbance of mind; vehement or excited mental state. It is also a powerful and irrational monster, and there seemed little doubt that Tiffani was, indeed its slave.
She gave Kenny a smile that slowly grew. It was an almost insane look. She looked at Kenny and said, “You’re asking me out? That’s so cute! What’s your name again?”
4th Aug 2007, 8:41 AM
Uh oh! This doesen't sound good. I have a bad feeling from this! GREAT UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT MORE! MORE I SAY!
4th Aug 2007, 10:05 AM
Phoebe is a bit on the psychotic side, isn't she? Great update! :D I agree with dani, this doesn't look good at all. :err:
4th Aug 2007, 10:29 AM
lol All the girls are going crazy! :lol: Can't wait to see what happens next.
4th Aug 2007, 4:34 PM
Inspired by Joanne's idea, I have created a board where you, the readers, can discuss the story and speculate about what will happen next. There will also be hints about future chapters, as well as pictures that didn't make the cut (essentially, the board will be used to cut down on the potential chatter and spam in this thread).
When Cliques Collide board (http://phoenix666728.proboards91.com/index.cgi)
6th Aug 2007, 3:43 PM
((Author's Note: Sorry it took so long for an update, guys, but I had a busy weekend. Between all the running around and modeling work, I didn't have much time to work on the story!))
Ophelia lounged on the sofa, watching a movie. “Those Wheelers are so cool,” she muttered to herself.
There was a knock at the door. “I’ll get it!” she called out.
She ran to the door and opened it. Standing outside were AJ and a very pretty curly-haired girl.
“Uh, are you lost?” Ophelia asked.
“Nope. We’re here to get you to the dance,” AJ replied.
“But I don’t want to go to the dance,” Ophelia replied.
“Nonsense,” the girl replied. “You’ll be a fun project for me!”
“Project?” Ophelia cried out.
“Andi has great taste in clothes. She’ll make you look great in no time at all!” AJ replied.
“Come on, show me to your room! I’ll make you look so good, you’ll pass for a popular person,” Andi chirped, dragging Ophelia up the stairs.
AJ watched them and then peeked into the kitchen, where Ophelia’s parents stood, looking rather startled.
“Don’t worry,” AJ said cheerfully. “She’s in good hands. In about half an hour, you will get to witness something historical!”
“You know,” Andi remarked, eying Ophelia, “you really would look a lot better without all that black crap on your eyes.”
Ophelia glared at her. “Hey, I like that black crap.”
Andi looked her over slowly. “That’s it. I’ve got it.”
“Got what?” Ophelia replied.
“This is going to sound crazy, but you’re just going to have to trust me.”
Andi walked down the stairs and nodded to AJ. He hurried over to the stairs, followed by Ophelia’s parents.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Andi said, “I would like to present the new and very much improved Ophelia Foley.”
“Ophelia, get your butt down here before I put pink nail polish on you!” Andi yelled.
“Fine!” Ophelia yelled in response.
She walked down the stairs… wearing the same outfit she was wearing before.
Ophelia’s parents laughed loudly. “Was that historical or hysterical you were promising us?” Ophelia’s mother finally asked AJ. “You must be an idiot if you think you can change Ophelia.”
Andi complained, “What about that nice red dress I put you in? And the cute makeup? What about the adorable hairstyle?”
“Well,” Ophelia replied, “it just wasn’t me.”
The phone rang, and Ophelia’s dad answered it. “It’s for you,” he said to Ophelia.
Ophelia took the phone from him. “Hello?”
“Hey, can you hurry down to the school?” Mae said.
“But the dance is going on.”
“So? Come to the dance. It’ll be a blast. I promise it’ll be memorable.”
“…Sure,” Ophelia replied.
She looked over at the others. “Looks like I’m going. Let me change my clothes. I’m not wearing that red dress, though.”
7th Aug 2007, 12:03 AM
ok, read the whole thing all over again.
I LOVE it! it's very easy and flows nicely, I was intrigued the whole way, and the personalities of the characters are very well written! I mean Angela for example, we can see what kind of personality she has by noticing how she talks, always politely with all the gee wilickers and such!
and all the quotes from she's all that and 10 things I hate about you made me laugh and smile, especially when Ophelia came down the stairs as she was. Puts a very nice touch of humor.
this was great fun, can't wait for more!
7th Aug 2007, 1:01 AM
Ah, I love Ophelia. She's so cool...
But dang, AJ is really thick, eh? You'd think he'd get the hint...I feel pretty bad for Tiffani, but she should really not be using AJ's friend like that.
7th Aug 2007, 1:36 AM
*Squeal* Yay! You actually caught the references, Iris! Great job. And thank you so much for your compliments. I'm quite honored! And Julieth, what's not to love about Ophelia? Yes, AJ is rather thick-skulled, but it wouldn't be nearly as funny if he were a rational, polite, sane, normal person.
7th Aug 2007, 5:06 AM
great updates! all of the movie references are pretty funny :D Im really curious though to see why Mae wanted Ophelia to come to the dance so badly...
7th Aug 2007, 5:17 AM
:lol: Very funny! It would've been even funnier if she were to trip down the stairs. Great update! :D
7th Aug 2007, 6:41 AM
Author's note: Sorry that this part is so short. I promise, the next part will be way more exciting, but this is a necessary part of the chapter that hints at what will come. Because of the shortness of this part, it is labeled part 7a. The next update will be 7b and, I think, will make up for how brief this part was.
Mae glanced around and hurried over to the black-haired cheerleader.
“Sawyer, don’t forget,” she whispered. “When you get the chance, get her outfit all wet. Ten to one, she’ll show up in one of her ‘dry clean only’ outfits.”
“Sure, Mae. Just remember, if anyone asks, we never talked.”
Emily smiled awkwardly at Louie. “I feel like an idiot,” she admitted. “I probably look stupid dressed like this.”
Louie squeezed her hand reassuringly. “You look beautiful.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Emily, is this the face of a liar?”
“No…” Emily said slowly.
“Well, I’m not a liar. Now come on,” Louie said. “We can dance and feel like idiots together, or take pictures and look like idiots together, or go find our friends and act like idiots together.”
Emily laughed and relaxed.
Ophelia hurried into the room, followed by AJ and Andi.
Angela hurried over. “AJ, I would be ever so honored if you’d dance with me,” she said.
“Not now, Angela. I’m here with someone,” he replied, indicating Ophelia.
“Sucks to be you,” Andi added, as they hurried past.
7th Aug 2007, 9:28 PM
hehehe.. I just read the update, and looked over the pics :) Awsome.. *smiles* As to things to come, this dosen't leave me with a shiny happy feeling ;)
I agree, Louie and Em are really nice people. And it's hard not to like Ophelia. She's just too cool :) the story is comming along fantastic, and the attention to detail as well as movie refference, is such a nice touch. *Applauds Dark Phoenix* Yes, your story telling IS that good :)
8th Aug 2007, 2:14 AM
I don't like Andi. Well, knowing you, I might end up liking her despite that, but she's so controling! Dang!
Also, whenever I see Emily and Louie together, I have to smile and say "aaawwww...".
8th Aug 2007, 2:20 AM
Andi isn't one of the dynamic characters, so you can dislike her all you want. But I think the character who most of you readers will end up hating most by the end of the story is Dunstan. The funny thing is, I was going through all the brainstorming stuff, and he's the only character who has gotten more despicable with each revision.
8th Aug 2007, 3:06 AM
Ooooh I want to know what's gonna happen next....Who were they plotting to get wet? This story is cool, you think it is going one way and it goes completley different. :rofl:
8th Aug 2007, 4:45 AM
“I can’t wait until those pictures come in,” Emily giggled.
“That’s the first time in years that I’ve willingly let someone take my picture,” Louie remarked.
“Really?” Emily asked.
“Yeah, I don’t think I photograph well,” Louie replied.
“That’s stupid,” Emily blurted out. She realized how forceful that sounded. She tried to backtrack and sound more tactful. “I… I mean, you’re really good-looking, I think, and… and… and you shouldn’t be afraid of having your picture taken…”
Louie chuckled softly and gently caressed Emily’s cheek. “You are such a sweetheart.”
A hard slap that seemed to come from nowhere shocked Emily, sending her reeling. She stared in shock at her attacker.
“First, you steal my best friend, and now you’re getting my baby brother on your side,” Mae hissed, glaring at Emily. “Don’t you have any self respect? You make me sick.”
“Get AJ,” Emily mouthed to Louie. He nodded and hurried away.
“It’s your fault that Ophelia’s so lame!” Mae said sharply. “You know why she’s part of that stupid news team? Do you? She got in trouble for getting into a fight with my older brother. And do you know why, Emily?”
Emily shook her head rapidly.
“Because she decided that she would rather get in trouble than let LB say anything bad about you. She decided to be your knight in freakin' shining armor, protecting you from the big, bad bully. And after she was put on that show, she spent more time with you and less with me. It’s your fault Ophelia and I don’t get along anymore! You came between us! But that‘s okay! You‘ll both get what‘s coming to you!” Mae cried out.
She pulled her hand back, ready to slap again, but a hand roughly grabbed her arm, and another hand forced her around. Mae found herself face to face with an enraged AJ.
“Nobody talks to my sister like that, and nobody lays a f****** hand on her!” AJ yelled.
Mae shrunk back a little. “I…” she started.
“You’re lucky you’re a woman, because if you were a man, I would beat you senseless. But since you’re a woman, you’re getting let off easy. See Ms. Gibson over there? See her heading over? Well, guess what… she was watching you, and from the look on her face, I don’t think you’ll be in school for a while,” AJ said.
When Ms. Gibson got close, AJ released Mae from his grip. Emily looked worriedly over at AJ.
“AJ,” Emily said softly, “thanks. Where’s Ophelia at?”
AJ thought a moment. “Bathroom, I think. Why?”
Emily watched Sawyer, the black-haired cheerleader, walk into the bathroom. “I think Mae might have recruited someone to take Ophelia down. I owe her. If I’m not out in five minutes, get help.”
She hurried over to the bathroom, hoping to avert a tragedy. She only hoped that she wold not be too late.
8th Aug 2007, 6:26 PM
Ophelia stood by the sinks, staring at her reflection. She had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. She could have sworn she had heard Mae yelling a few minutes ago.
A black-haired girl walked into the bathroom and smirked at Ophelia, and then turned a faucet on and began to wash her hands.
“One of the cheerleaders, I think,” Ophelia thought. “But which one…? Sawyer, I think.”
Her thoughts were cut short when the girl scooped up a large amount of water and splashed it across the front of Ophelia’s dress.
Ophelia cried out, both in shock and because the water was so cold.
“Oh, oopsie!” Sawyer squealed. She sneered at Ophelia. “You know, you really should be more careful with silk.”
Ophelia stared at her. “Thank you.”
“Thank you. For a minute there, I forgot why I avoided places like this and people like you.”
Sawyer rolled her eyes. “Avoided us? Honey, look around you. To everyone here who matters, you’re vapor, you’re spam, a waste of perfectly good yearbook space, and nothing’s ever gonna change that.”
Ophelia bit her lip, looking upset for a second.
Sawyer sneered. “Oh, you aren’t going to cry, are you?”
Ophelia saw Emily walk in and close the door silently behind her.
“Cry?” Ophelia said, a smile crossing her face slowly. “Quite the opposite.”
She slapped Sawyer across the face once-- “That’s for treating my friends like crap--” and again-- “And that’s for putting down Tiffani behind her back--” and punched Sawyer in the face, knocking her onto the floor. “And that’s for me.”
Ophelia looked over at Emily.
Emily looked from Ophelia, to the half-conscious cheerleader, and back. “Nope, didn’t see anything,” Emily said with a shrug. She hugged Ophelia tightly.
“What was that for?” Ophelia asked, surprised.
“Just for being a good person.”
Ophelia grinned and grabbed Emily’s hand, leading her out of the bathroom. “Come on, let’s go get Louie and hit that pizza place down the street. This dance kinda sucks.”
AJ sat, dejectedly watching the couples dance.
“Hey there, hot stuff,” a voice said. He looked up.
“Tiffani!” he cried out.
“Where’s Ophelia?” Tiffani asked.
AJ sighed. “She just ran away with my sister and this nerdy guy. Where’s your date?”
“Kenny?” Tiffani asked.
“That double-crosser!” AJ thought angrily. "Yeah, him," he said aloud.
“Right now, I’m pretty sure he’s still curled up on the football field half-naked, rolling around in pain. Freaking perv. At least I know my high heels did some damage to him. He'll be limping for at least a week,” she replied.
“Good answer,” AJ responded. He stood up and held a hand out to Tiffani. “Want to dance?”
8th Aug 2007, 8:15 PM
Lol! That was a good update!! Once again I loved the She's All That references. :D
8th Aug 2007, 9:56 PM
Thanks, Stormy! Believe it or not, the last part (part 8, which was put up today) was the first part that I wrote for the fourth chapter.
8th Aug 2007, 10:01 PM
Were you originally going to post it as part 1 of chapter 4?
8th Aug 2007, 10:03 PM
No. But I knew I wanted to use it in the chapter because... well... I hate "She's All That," and that was one of the scenes that I hated most. So, I was sitting around one day and said, "You know what would have been cooler? If she'd have punched out the popular chick." So, I wrote the scene out, using Ophelia, and I liked how it came out. Thus, the fourth chapter was born.
8th Aug 2007, 10:04 PM
Lol! Yeah I liked your version better! :lol:
8th Aug 2007, 11:27 PM
Me too. :D
This just gets better with every update.
Looking forward to the next chapter!
9th Aug 2007, 1:42 AM
I loved it when Ophelia whacked her in the face! You go girl! :lol: Great updates Phoenix.
9th Aug 2007, 2:13 AM
Ah, excellent! Everyone gets what's coming to them! *dances* I get so into these stories, I swear...anyways this has only re-affirmed my love of Ophelia.
9th Aug 2007, 2:29 AM
Awesomeness im hooked on this story like drugs *sits there drinking coffee and shaking like sims* MOREEE
9th Aug 2007, 6:33 PM
Ophelia sat back in her chair and said, “Okay, so green light on the Room Raiders-type show, green light on the advice and reader mail show, and red light on the Jerry Springer-type show. What else?”
Emily replied, “Well, ever since last month, when we did the karaoke show and had some of our alumni appear on it, we’ve been getting a lot of good feedback. Perhaps we could do a show interviewing various Oakdale High alumni, asking them to talk about their best and worst times when they were a student here.”
“You mean, show former high school students talking about how miserable they were when they were here?” AJ asked.
“Yeah, basically,” Emily replied.
“But I don’t need a former student to talk about being miserable here. I mean, come on,” AJ responded, “I hear people our age complaining about being miserable at this stupid school.”
“Well, you know, they won’t just be talking about the bad times,” Emily countered. “They’ll be talking about the good times.”
“Oh, joy,” Ophelia said dryly. “I can just see it-- lots of interviews starting off with ‘It was my first kegger’ or ‘It was the first time I was stoned in class.’ Sorry, Em, but I have to side with AJ on this.”
“Not if we get people who are actually interesting,” Emily said quickly.
“Like who?” Angela asked.
“Glad you finally decided to join the conversation,” Emily remarked dryly. “Well, Charise, for instance. She went here last year. And Cy used to go here too. And S too.”
“That’s true. We should be able to get good interviews from them,” Ophelia replied. She looked over at Charise. “Sounds good to you, Cha--” she began. She groaned and rolled her eyes.
Charise and Dunstan were making out nearby.
“Crikers, Charise,” Ophelia complained. “Can you two please detach your lips from each other for a few more minutes? Charise, you in or out on the interview episode?”
Charise thought a minute. “What day were you thinking of shooting it?”
Emily checked her cell phone, into which she had the show schedules programmed. “The first open day we have is Tuesday,” she reported.
Charise groaned. “This coming Tuesday?”
Emily nodded in response.
“Sorry,” Charise replied. “I have an appointment that day.”
Dunstan’s eyes widened. “Appointment?” he said nervously, eying Charise. “Is it a doctor’s appointment? If it is, I swear I’ll pay for it.”
Charise rolled her eyes. “I assure you, it has nothing to do with the medical profession, except perhaps for the area of psychiatry. Dysfunctional families and all. I have a meeting with my mother.”
She said mother like it was a disease that she did not wish to catch.
Emily jumped slightly. “You mean your mom’s still alive?”
“Unfortunately,” Charise said dryly.
“You never talk about her, so I just thought she was dead,” AJ remarked.
“She’s very much alive, and she’s been the same as she’s always been,” Charise replied. Ophelia sighed and nodded sympathetically.
“Charise, I simply must know, where in heaven’s name is this meeting taking place?” Angela asked.
“Orleanna’s,” Charise responded.
“Goodness, don’t tell me you mean the fancy restaurant downtown?” Angela gasped. “Golly, your mother must be rich!”
“I suppose so,” Charise said. It was clear that she did not want to talk about her mother.
Everyone was silent for several minutes, unsure of what to say.
“What time is it?” Charise asked, looking around for a clock.
Emily pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and peered at the small screen. “Twelve-fifteen,” she announced.
“Oh, crud,” Charise groaned, raking her fingers through the ends of her hair. “I have to get going if I’m going to get to class on time!”
She grabbed Dunstan’s arm and hurried out, occasionally looking back at the puzzled teens, a worried look on her pretty face.
9th Aug 2007, 7:25 PM
Why am I hearing the witches theme from the 'Wizard of Oz' when I read that Charise is meeting her 'mother'. LOL!
Can't wait to meet her! Once again this story rocks and it gets better with every episode. Also glad to see more of this 'Dunstan' fellow. *wearing tean S shirt* as I type this. :)
9th Aug 2007, 7:27 PM
Let's just say that Charise has very good reasons for not liking her mother. Very good reasons... in fact, I think most of you, if not all, will want to jump into the story and kill her mother. By the way, there's a few hints scattered throughout the story as to who Charise's parents are, if you are observant enough.
9th Aug 2007, 11:42 PM
hmm.. Um, Dark Phoenix... I think I have the answer of who Charise's mother is... I'd like to run it by you in a P.M. See if I'm on the right track here.
10th Aug 2007, 1:32 AM
I hope the meeting with her mother turns out ok. :err: Great update! :D
10th Aug 2007, 3:30 AM
Uh... well... you can hope all you want, but... uh... let's just say things get pretty nasty, and someone who doesn't normally get angry does. And by the way, Darkstar, you were right.
10th Aug 2007, 3:54 AM
Lol well I can at least prepare myself now. ;)
10th Aug 2007, 3:56 AM
I will try to have an update up tomorrow (if all goes well, it will be up before noon, central time). I am also in the progress of figuring out what I want the next chapter to be about, since I have a few different ideas that I'm toying with.
10th Aug 2007, 4:08 AM
I find it that writing as you go is the best way to go. For me, at least. I can't wait til then! :)
10th Aug 2007, 4:16 AM
I don't like writing as I go, because then I end up contradicting myself. So, while I'm posting parts of one chapter on here, I am writing another chapter. I usually have two chapters in various stages of progress being worked on simultaneously. In fact, the start of one chapter was created before this one. But enough chit-chat for now. If you'd like to continue this conversation, I suggest we move it to either the PMs or the related board I created.
10th Aug 2007, 4:50 AM
Nice update. I'm off to look through the story for clues as to who Charise's mom is. I'm impatient. :)
10th Aug 2007, 6:25 AM
*smiles* Thanks Dark Phoenix. It seemed like the right choice, after all :) I know you've been working on this story, for quite some time now... But you've never been one to give up any details, until we got to read it :)
10th Aug 2007, 9:39 AM
Great update Phoenix. Now for the mystery to unsolve! :P
10th Aug 2007, 4:11 PM
As soon as the couple was gone, Ophelia muttered, “You just don’t know how much that man ticks me off!”
Ms. Gibson hesitated for a second, and then hurried after the couple, leaving the students alone. Angela stood up and leaned againt a chalkboard, chewing her lower lip.
Tiffani eyed Ophelia pensively for several seconds, gnawing at the inside of her mouth. After several seconds of uncharacteristic silent contemplation, she finally asked the question that everyone wanted the answer to: “Ophelia, why does Charise dislike her mom so much?”
Ophelia shot back, in a rather sharp and angry way, “What does it matter to you? Besides, what makes you think I would know that?”
Tiffani sighed. “Ophelia,” she said, “let go of your anti-popularity rage for a few minutes. Charise obviously has some problems, and it would be nice to know what they are.”
Ophelia replied, “Or maybe you’re just being nosy.”
“You’re her cousin, Ophelia,” Emily said softly. “If anyone would know, it’s you.”
“What did her mom do to make Charise so angry?” AJ asked. “Did she disown Charise?”
“No,” Ophelia answered.
“Big fight?” Tiffani guessed.
“Unwanted child?” Emily suggested.
“Bingo,” Ophelia answered.
Everyone was silent for several seconds.
“So, tell us why Charise hates her mom,” Tiffani cried out.
Ophelia groaned. “Fine. Here’s why Charise doesn’t like her mom..."
"Charise was an unplanned pregnancy that forced her parents to get married at a young age. Charise’s mom did not want to have her, but Charise’s dad, my uncle, convinced her to keep the baby."
"After Charise was born, Uncle Preston ended up being the sole caregiver. Charise’s mom wanted nothing to do with her. She didn’t want to hold the baby or even name her. Uncle Preston ended up naming Charise."
"Well, when Charise was really young, her mom had an affair. Uncle Preston found out and they divorced. Her mom, still wanting nothing to do with Charise, gave Uncle Preston full custody. Uncle Preston’s mom, our grandma, moved in to help take care of Charise."
"Her mom occasionally gets in touch with her, mostly to see if Charise is still alive, but for the most part, she shows no interest in Charise's life. Well, except to criticize her...”
10th Aug 2007, 4:31 PM
Omg!!!!!!!!!!! More More More More More More More More More More More!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This Is So Awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!
10th Aug 2007, 6:30 PM
wooow... Each instalment just get's better and better. Love the shots as well. Awesome!
The Paper Lady
10th Aug 2007, 6:38 PM
Woah, I've just read the whole story in one go. Let it be known that I only stick around to read the best stuff. From the word "go" I loved your story. You've got a lovely writing style and your storyline, characters and pictures are great.
I like AJ best, I think... I really dislike Mae and of course, Dunstan. Which is a shame because I have a sim with that name and I adore him. Hehe.
I find clique stories pretty interesting because you don't really get them in England.
Anyway, keep up the good work! You deserve sweeties for being a great story writer!
10th Aug 2007, 6:45 PM
Well, thank you very kindly, The Paper Lady. I am very flattered that you think so highly of my work. You've really made my day! I hope that the upcoming chapters will be to your liking. Oh, and of course, thank you for the sweeties-- I love the sugary snacks!
11th Aug 2007, 6:07 PM
“Wow,” Emily and Tiffani muttered.
“So, do you know when they’re getting together?” AJ asked.
“Yes…” Ophelia said slowly. “Why?”
“Because I want to see what this monster mother looks like,” AJ responded.
“Uh…” Ophelia stammered. “Well… um… you see…”
“Road trip!” Tiffani cried out.
“But, guys, it would mean skipping class. Possibly getting in trouble!” Ophelia responded.
“Big adventure. Come on, Ophelia, live a little,” AJ said.
“If we get in trouble, we can act out scenes from The Breakfast Club,” Tiffani added.
Ophelia stared at her fellow Clique News Crash members. “And they think I have problems,” she remarked under her breath. "Fine, I'll let them see just how horrible this woman is, and then maybe they'll listen to me."
Everyone waited for Ophelia to agree or disagree.
“Fine,” she finally said. “But I’m driving, and one of us has to stay behind at school. It would look suspicious if we were all out.”
Angela replied quickly, “I’ll stay behind.”
“Then it’s settled,” Ophelia said. “We leave at 10:30 AM. They are meeting around noon. Try to either get out of class early or play sick that day. 10:30 is right between classes, so there should be few problems with leaving. Oh, and dress kinda nice. This isn't Burger King we're going to, you know!”
Emily quickly dressed and peeked out of her bedroom. She listened closely for several minutes. Dead silence. Good, everyone was gone. She hurried down the stairs and sat in the living room, waiting for Ophelia. While waiting, she tried to imagine what Charise’s mom would look like.
“Probably like an older version of Charise, with more makeup,” Emily decided.
A brief honk from the street outside her house made her jump. She peeked out the window and saw that Ophelia had arrived. Emily grinned and hurried out.
She clambered into the black vehicle, where AJ and Tiffani were already.
“How’d you get to stay home?” Ophelia asked.
“I told my parents I had cramps,” Emily replied. “How’d you get out early?”
“Told the teacher I had cramps,” Ophelia replied.
“Same here,” Tiffani said.
AJ said, “I acted like I was about to throw up.”
Ophelia announced, “The time is now 10:45 AM, and we are about to embark on the greatest journey of… uh… this week. Everyone have their seat belts on?”
“Yeah,” everyone replied.
“Good. Okay, let’s go spy on Charise,” Ophelia said, turning the key in the ignition.
They drove by an old-looking two-story home. Ophelia parked.
“Why are we stopping?” AJ asked.
Ophelia peered out the window. “S’s car isn’t here, and he doesn’t have class today,” she remarked.
“So?” Tiffani said.
“It means that S is driving Charise to that place,” Ophelia answered. “If we see the car there, it means Charise is there.”
They drove away, and Ophelia knew that the others were in for quite a surprise.
11th Aug 2007, 7:06 PM
11th Aug 2007, 7:25 PM
Hmm. Now you've got me thinking. (It's a lot easier to think after twelve straight hours of sleep.) I can't think of anything. Unless......nah. Impossible. Great job!
11th Aug 2007, 7:26 PM
If you'd like to take a stab at it, feel free to PM me, and I'll tell you whether you're right or not. Sometimes the "impossible" answers are the correct ones.
11th Aug 2007, 9:01 PM
Awsome update can't wait to read more I need more!!!!!!
12th Aug 2007, 9:23 AM
Hmm, weird that Ophelia should balk at ditching class. More stereotype defiance!
I was imagining the cast acting out scenes from The Breakfast Club and laughing.
12th Aug 2007, 2:27 PM
Actually, Julieth, it's not out of character for her. In the first chapter, it showed a file on her with her grades. She makes really good grades and generally stays out of trouble, so...
12th Aug 2007, 2:36 PM
yay a lot of updates since I've been away
loving it as usual :)
13th Aug 2007, 4:56 AM
My apologies for the lack of updates, but I've been busy trying to get things ready for moving day (I move into the campus dorm on Thursday, and there's so many last-minute things I need to get!). I'll try to have an update up sometime tomorrow.
14th Aug 2007, 1:57 PM
The vehicle stopped outside of a fancy-looking restaurant. Orleanna’s.
The teenagers climbed out and stood in front of the building.
Emily’s eyes widened. “Oh God,” she said. “How are we going to get in here?”
Ophelia sighed. “You really are underestimating me, aren’t you? Remember, Charise is my cousin. Her family is my family.”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” Tiffani asked.
Ophelia rolled her eyes. “You’ll find out soon enough,” she responded. “Now, everyone, I want you to act like you belong here. I know you don’t but… well, pretend.”
“Yes, but how are we going to get in?” Tiffani whined.
Ophelia resisted the urge to backhand Tiffani. “As I said, you are really underestimating me. I have connections that most of you are too unobservant to know about.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” AJ asked.
Ophelia replied, with a mysterious smile, “All will be revealed. Come on, guys. We’ve got someone to spy on. I saw S’s car, so Charise is in there. It’s 11:30, so we have plenty of time to get some good seats. And please,” she added, taking a deep breath, “please do not make a scene when you see Charise’s mom.”
“Why would we make a scene?” Emily asked. “It’s not like her mom is Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, right?”
“Might as well be,” Ophelia remarked.
Ophelia walked up to the host. He eyed her disdainfully.
“Are you lost… miss?” he asked, spitting the last word out.
“Far from it,” Ophelia responded.
“Yeah, sure, kid,” the host replied. “Come back here when you’ve got money or connections.”
“Well,” Ophelia replied, “if it’s connections you want…”
She leaned in close and whispered to him. He jumped back, eyes wide. “You’re his niece?” the host asked.
“Yep. His twin sister is my mom. Don’t you see the resemblance?” Ophelia asked nonchalantly.
“So you’re Marlow’s niece?” the host asked, eyes wide.
“Yep. His only niece. Charise is my older cousin. I think she came in here a few minutes ago with a rather attractive young man. Am I right?”
The host nodded. Ophelia leaned closer. “Tell you what… uh…”
“Roger,” the host said.
“Tell you what, Roger, you let me and my friends in here, and I’ll see to it that my uncle comes here often and patronizes this fine establishment… if you’ll show us to a table near where my cousin is seated. Preferably where we can see her, but she cannot see us. Can you do that for us, Roger? Think about it-- lots of money coming in, good tips…”
Roger nodded. “This way, miss. Will you and your charming company follow me, please?”
He led them to a table that had good coverage by many fancy potted plants. “Is this table to your liking, madam?” he asked Ophelia.
“Wonderful,” she replied with a charming smile.
“Will you require anything else, Miss Foley?”
“Nothing for now, sir. When we need anything, I will be sure to let you know.”
Roger nodded and hurried back to his booth.
Emily, Tiffani, and AJ stared at Ophelia for a few seconds. Ophelia smiled back smugly.
“So, just who is your uncle?” Tiffani asked.
“Preston Marlow,” Ophelia replied. “Give it a few seconds. And when you figure it out, don’t scream it out.”
The group was silent for a few seconds. Emily’s eyes widened. “You don’t mean the Preston Marlow, do you?” she asked softly.
“Who?” Tiffani and AJ asked.
“Don’t you know anything about music? He’s the founder and head of Elemental Records, one of the biggest record labels in our part of the US. Also, he’s a former member of a rock band… I think it was called All That Glitters,” Emily responded. She looked over at Ophelia. “Am I right?”
“My God…” AJ muttered.
“Then maybe her mom is Paris Hilton,” Tiffani remarked.
“Not quite, but she is a close friend of Paris,” Ophelia responded.
“Nicky?” Tiffani guessed. Ophelia rolled her eyes.
Emily peeked through the artificial foliage. “Look,” she said softly. “There’s Charise and S.”
Indeed, they were nearby, nicely dressed and sipping from fancy glasses.
“It’s around noon,” Emily muttered. “Maybe she’s running late?”
“Nope,” Ophelia replied, and nodded in the direction of a woman being led over to the table.
The woman wore a gaudy purple outfit that did not suit the restaurant, and she wore heavy makeup. She looked as though she’d spent a great many years partying, drinking, and doing drugs, and it had caught up with her.
Emily’s eyes widened. “It can’t be!”
“Who?” AJ and Tiffani asked, eying the woman.
Tiffani’s eyes widened in recognition after a few seconds. “No way,” she muttered.
“It’s… it’s…” Emily was speechless. She looked to Ophelia, hoping Ophelia would finish the sentence.
Ophelia sighed. “It’s Charise’s mother-- Julianna Delorice.”
“Ex-member of All That Glitters and major party animal,” Emily added.
The group, as if in one body, leaned forward, hoping not to miss a single word of the conversation between Charise and her mother. It would be a conversation that none of them would ever forget.
14th Aug 2007, 1:58 PM
yay another update :yippee:
omg :jaw: Charise's mother!!
next chapter please :D lol
15th Aug 2007, 1:37 PM
“Mother,” Charise said in greeting, neither rising to embrace the older woman, nor attempting to kiss her.
“Charise, you look wicked pale,” Julianna replied, sitting down. “That dress is a ghastly color for you.”
“It’s nice to see you too,” Charise deadpanned.
“Who’s the young man? Your fiancé?” Julianna asked.
“No, Mother,” Charise said dryly. “This is my housemate and one of my oldest friends, Samuel Verona.”
Julianna leaned close to her daughter. “You can tell me, dear. You are fooling around with him, aren’t you?”
Charise leaned back, angry. “Believe it or not, Mother, not all women are like you.”
Julianna sighed. “Let’s cut the BS, eh? Have you been doing well in school?”
“Ah, so you are going to play the role of mother for a few seconds,” Charise responded. “I suppose I’ll take the bait. I’ve been doing great, Mother.”
“I don’t see why you bother, darling. First of all, psychology… it’s such a lowly profession. You don’t make any money off of it, and everyone unloads their problems on you. And second, it’s pointless to go to college. I mean, look at me. I didn’t go to college, and I’m doing fine.”
Charise scowled. “Believe it or not, Mother, I would like to follow my own dreams. I have goals in life that don’t include being perpetually drunk or stoned. I would like to get a few degrees, get a normal job, and have a family. Stuff that you weren’t quite so good at accomplishing.”
“You needn’t be so resentful of me, Charise,” Julianna replied. “I was simply stating my opinion.”
“And I’m stating mine,” Charise shot back.
Julianna looked her daughter over. “I take back what I said about you fooling around with your friend,” she said. Charise started to smile, until Julianna continued, “What man would be stupid enough to want you? You’re a pasty, bookish, big-mouthed prude who is willing to enter a field where you’ll be paid to let people b**** to you constantly. Hell, you’ll be lucky if you’ll be married before you’re an old woman.”
Charise bit her lip, trying not to show the tears coming to her eyes.
“It’s harsh, dear,” Julianna drawled, “but it’s the truth. Men just… well… don’t go for your type. So, get used to being lonely. You have years of it ahead of you.”
Charise bolted from the table, uttering a soft wail. Julianna watched her run out of the restaurant. S glared at Julianna.
“You know,” he said, in a low voice that barely concealed his anger, “Charise asked me to come along because she said she knew you would pull something like that. But I never imagined any mother could treat her daughter so cruelly. You’re a monster. And guess what-- you may think only an idiot would love her. Well, I guess that makes me an idiot. Because, guess what. I’ve loved her for years. And believe it or not, ma’am, the good men don’t go for your type. Too trashy.”
He spat the last few words out, and then stood. “If you’ll excuse me, I have to go comfort your daughter and assure her that she’s not some flawed piece of junk like you’d want her to think. I bid you adieu,” he said bitterly, turning on his heel and walking out.
15th Aug 2007, 1:48 PM
I knew it! I just didn't think that she was that horrible. I just thought of this magnet that Charise should have. It originally says, "I ran into my ex-boyfrriend last week, so I backed up and hit him again." But she could get it to say, "I ran into my mother last week, so I backed up and hit her again". That would be funny! I'm waiting patiently for the next update.
15th Aug 2007, 1:49 PM
I told you Charise had a good reason to dislike her mother, didn't I? The sad thing is, her mother is actually roughly based off of someone I know.
15th Aug 2007, 1:56 PM
Wow. That is bad. I don't see how people (or sims) could be like that.
16th Aug 2007, 1:24 AM
The next update will hopefully be tomorrow evening, once I get myself settled in my new dorm and get the last minute work-related stuff taken care of. I'm almost finished writing the next chapter and it's pretty serious stuff!
16th Aug 2007, 1:26 AM
Now would be a good time for S to tell Charise how he feels...he propbably won't though. :D Not yet any way, but I can still hope. ;)
As for Juliana, I've met my fair share of those.
I wanted to hug Charise, advise her to stick to her dreams, and let her know from my personal experience that time will be the best revenge.
I think this story is so popular because we find people in it that we know too.
Can't wait for the next update.
16th Aug 2007, 1:32 AM
HA! I love S! :D I hope he tells Charise how he feels. She really needs to hear it after what her mother said about her. Great update!
16th Aug 2007, 1:43 AM
Well, I think we can all relate to most of the characters in some way or another. Most of us would like to be accepted by our peers (like Tiffani). Many of us have strong convictions that we're willing to stand up for (like Ophelia). Many of us are a little insecure and hope to find that special someone, even if it means doing crazy stuff to prove we're worthy (like AJ). Many of us can relate to being made fun of or picked on by others (like Emily). And most of us can relate to wanting to be with someone who just doesn't seem to be able to see you as more than a friend (like S). And some of us are just plain odd (like Angela).
Personally, I put a lot of myself into the characters (some more than others). I wanted my characters to be human and imperfect because, let's face it-- it's boring to read about perfect lives and flawless people. Would AJ be as endearing if he were actually successful in his attempts to woo various women? Would Emily be as fun to read about if she decided to ditch her glasses and dress more like Tiffani?
I consider this story to be half me telling my life the way it is/was, and half me commenting on life in general and the things I've seen and read about.
Okay, now that I got that lecture out of the way, I have good news for all you loyal readers out there-- I am working on some avatars that you guys will be able to use. So far, I have one finished (it has a picture of S and says S SUPPORT SQUAD on it). When I get all of the ones I have planned finished, I'll make them available.
Oh, and finally... the next chapter's working title was "After the Storm," and it focuses on Charise, S, Sheridon, and Gideon (mostly Charise and S). Some of you will want to kill me for what happens near the end of that chapter, but I promise, I will make up for it near the end of the story.
16th Aug 2007, 1:53 AM
Dude, my mouth dropped open when Charise's mom went off on her. Freakin' WOW. That's horrible!
I want to see the kids' reactions to this.
And I will totally use a Charise/S support avi.
16th Aug 2007, 3:23 AM
Poor Charise!!!! but WAY TO GO, S! you tell that trashy lady! :D yay!
16th Aug 2007, 5:10 AM
Charise's mom is EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but good for S for sticking up for her. Now if he could just tell Charise that he has feelings for her. lol! Can't wait for more :D:D
16th Aug 2007, 5:59 AM
Yeah, Charise's Mother needs to be... exiled to some lovely little place away from..everyone I think :P Mars, sounds really nice.
17th Aug 2007, 1:32 AM
The group watched the proceedings silently, occasionally exchanging horrified looks. After Julianna left the restaurant and Ophelia verified from Roger that S and Charise had left, the four teens left the restaurant.
They silently walked to the parking lot.
“I didn’t know…” Emily whispered. “I had no idea it would be like that.”
She looked over at Ophelia, feeling the tears fill her eyes. “You knew, didn’t you?” Emily asked Ophelia.
“Why did you let us come then?” Emily cried out, letting the tears fall.
“You all wanted to know. Besides,” Ophelia said, squeezing Emily’s shoulder gently, “I thought you should all see Charise’s motivations for acting as she does. Her one goal in life is not to end up like that. She makes stupid choices sometimes, but her main motivation is to not end up like her mother.”
Ophelia peered silently over at Emily, who wiped her eyes with a tissue that AJ had passed her. “You okay, Em?” she said softly. Emily nodded.
“Let’s get back to campus,” Ophelia said.
The group climbed out of Ophelia’s vehicle and began to walk to the doors of the school. They ran straight into the principal, who was standing in the parking lot, apparently waiting for them.
“Mr. Thornton!” Ophelia cried out.
The principal sighed and looked at all of them. “So she was right,” he muttered.
“Beg pardon?” Emily asked.
“Your little friend Angela. She got in trouble for passing a note in class around noon, and apparently, she had a really guilty conscience. She told me about your plans for playing hooky.”
“A week of detention for all of you,” Mr. Thornton said, pulling detention slips from his pocket and handing them out.
Tiffani groaned softly. “Emily, if you’ll do the honors…” she muttered.
Emily whispered, in response, “Saturday… March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois…”
17th Aug 2007, 1:40 AM
Um, I'm having a blonde moment I think. But what was that date about? :blink: :confused:
17th Aug 2007, 1:42 AM
Remember in a previous section, Tiffani said that if they got in trouble, they could act out scenes from "The Breakfast Club"?
17th Aug 2007, 2:19 AM
Eheheheheh! Are they in fact going to whistle the comet song in unison?
Emily is so sweet...Just thought I'd mention I love her.
17th Aug 2007, 2:23 AM
Good news, guys! I just (literally, JUST finished) finished writing the sixth chapter, which means there will be the start of a new chapter up within the next day or two. It's very serious, and I think a few of you will hate what happens in it. Actually, I know a lot of you will. Don't kill me, though, because... well, I don't want to spoil the ending of the story. Let's just say what happens is necessary for the story.
Julieth, I'm glad you like Emily so much. I thought it would be nice for one of the characters to get really emotional about what had just happened, and the only person who I thought could do it without being out of character was Emily.
17th Aug 2007, 7:10 PM
S sighed and shut the door. He walked down the stairs and into the living room. He looked over at Sheridon and Gideon, who stared expectantly at him.
“Same as earlier,” he said softly to them.
“My God, it really must have been bad,” Sheridon murmured sympathetically.
It had been two days since Charise had met with her mother, and she had not left her room, except to use the restroom. She took all her meals in her room, and would only allow S to see her.
“I wish I could get my hands on that mother of hers,” Gideon growled. “That evil, nasty old bi--”
“Wishing bad things on her mother won’t help matters,” S said. “The problem is that Charise is still extremely upset by the whole thing. I can’t blame her.”
“Yeah, you told us about it,” Gideon replied. “I don’t blame you for chewing her out, S. She deserved it.”
“Poor Charise,” Sheridon said softly. “I wish I knew what I could do for her.”
“You know,” S said, “this isn’t the first time she’s been like this.”
“You mean, she’s been this upset about a visit from her mom before?” Gideon asked.
“Actually, no. Back when we were about thirteen or so, she got really, really upset about something, to where she didn‘t come out of her room for a day or two,” S replied.
“What was it?” Sheridon asked.
“You mean she never told you?” S asked, surprised.
“Thirteen… thirteen…” Gideon muttered, trying to jog his memory. “The only thing I can think of is when she asked me out and I told her I was interested in Sheridon…”
He trailed off, and then stared at S. “How bad was it then?”
“Really bad,” S responded.
17th Aug 2007, 7:17 PM
S is such a sweetie! Great update!! :D
17th Aug 2007, 7:53 PM
gah!! I love this story! there's always something new and it's always interesting :)
18th Aug 2007, 12:46 AM
AWSOME UPDATE I LOVE THIS STORY!!! whooooo I can't wait to see what happens next!
19th Aug 2007, 1:52 PM
Iris, Stormy, and danishani, thank you for your comments. I'll try to post an update this evening. While the updates to this story will not be as frequent as they were in the summer, they will not stop. As long as there is a story, there will be updates. Unfortunately, as I am a busy college student (16 hours of class per week, plus about 20 hours per week working on campus), I won't be able to update every day or every other day, like before.
So, look for an update in the next day or so. I'm sorry that it's taking so long to update!
19th Aug 2007, 4:03 PM
Sorry I've been gone. Love the update!
19th Aug 2007, 11:59 PM
“S, telephone,” Cassandra called through the bedroom door. “It’s Charise.”
S peeked out of his bedroom. Cassandra handed him the telephone. “She sounds really upset,” she added, not hiding the glee in her voice.
“Thanks, Cassandra,” S replied, taking the phone and shutting the door.
He heard his father in the next room, complaining, “I don’t like that little girl calling Samuel. Girls shouldn’t be pursuing boys like that.” His mother murmured a response, probably something quiet and neutral and polite.
“Hello?” S said into the receiver.
“S?” the voice on the other side said shakily.
“Charise, what’s wrong?” S asked.
“S… I need you to come here. Now.”
“Come down here now,” Charise repeated.
“Okay, fine,” S replied. Charise sounded really unhappy. “I’ll be there in a little bit.”
S was escorted to Charise’s bedroom by her grandmother. “She hasn’t come out all day,” she said softly. “Maybe if you talk to her, you can cheer her up.”
S nodded and knocked at the door.
“Who is it?” Charise called from inside the room.
S tried the door. “It’s locked,” he complained.
“Oh, hold on,” Charise replied. S heard the lock click, and then Charise opened the door.
S was shocked by how Charise looked. Her eyes were puffy, and there were tears on her pretty face. Her normally neatly styled hair was a tangled mass, and she looked as though she’d slept in her clothes.
S hurried into the bedroom and Charise shut and locked the door behind him.
“What’s wrong, Charise?” he said softly.
Much to his surprise, Charise flung herself into his arms, sobbing. She clung to him, pressing her face against his chest.
“Charise…” he gasped.
“It’s about Gideon,” Charise finally whispered.
“Gideon?” S asked. His eyes narrowed. “What did he do to you?”
Gideon had always been rather popular, with both boys and girls at their school. S had horrible mental images of Gideon doing terrible things to a resisting Charise.
Charise replied with a soft whimper, “I… asked him out.”
S let out a soft sigh of relief. Charise continued, “But he turned me down.”
“For who?” S asked.
Charise gave him her most indignant look, “He turned me down… for Sheridon. For another guy!” She sobbed. “What does Sheridon have that I don’t?”
S said, trying to make her laugh, “Well, anatomically speaking, he does have a few things that you don’t…”
Thankfully, Charise laughed a little. “Thanks, S… I really value your friendship.” But then, she turned serious. “But these days, it doesn’t seem like friendship is worth all that much.”
She sighed. “I’m still not sure how I’ll be able to deal with this. I mean, I really liked Gideon a lot. I’ve liked him for a few years…”
S stroked her hair gently. “It’s okay, Charise. I bet there’s lots of guys out there who would love to go out with you. Your birthday’s next month; maybe by then, something will happen…”
20th Aug 2007, 12:01 AM
aww what a (kinda) cute update!
S is so lovely :lovestruc
20th Aug 2007, 2:26 AM
Aw...it's just Charise's luck to have the hots for a gay guy. But she seems to have gotten over it pretty well, so that's good.
S has been trying to date her forever, looks like!
20th Aug 2007, 2:41 AM
Actually, Gideon likes both men and women, if you didn't catch that little line in there about him being popular with both...
20th Aug 2007, 7:14 AM
Arr, I need to read more carefully. I just figured that a lot of girls liked him, you know, as girls sometimes will.
22nd Aug 2007, 1:05 PM
“And something did happen,” S said softly, relating the story to Sheridon and Gideon. “Her uncle, as a birthday gift, hired that a**hole Dunstan to be her piano teacher. Back then, he was either an undergrad, or just fresh out of it, and double majoring-- music and art. And… well… we know how things went after that…”
“Don’t remind me,” Sheridon replied. Gideon nodded, frowning slightly.
“So,” Gideon said, “how do we get Amaterasu out of the cave?”
“Obviously, it’ll be harder now than it was when she was thirteen,” Sheridon mused to himself.
“Charise,” Gideon called out, “I just made some great tiramisu.”
“Do you think that’ll work?” Sheridon whispered.
“It should,” S replied. “Charise loves tiramisu.”
Charise called from upstairs, in response, “I don’t want any right now. S can bring some up to me later.”
The three men looked at each other in dismay. “So much for that idea,” Gideon muttered.
“Charise,” Sheridon called out, “we’re going to the ice cream parlor.”
“Yeah, the place that makes real Italian gelato and has tiramisu-flavored ice cream,” Gideon added.
“Fine, have fun!” Charise called from upstairs.
“Damn it,” Sheridon muttered. “I was sure that would work.”
A few hours passed, and the guys had vetoed every idea they could think of, on the grounds of each idea being too stupid, too weird, or just plain not likely to work.
“Why don’t you have a go at this problem, S?” Gideon said, poking S’s arm lightly. “I’m sure you could think of something.”
“You haven’t offered any suggestions yourself,” Sheridon added.
Gideon looked at S’s expression. “…You really are worried about Charise, aren’t you?” he said softly. S nodded and bit his lip.
“At least try to talk to her. You’re the only one she’ll let into her room,” Sheridon said.
“You can do it, S,” Gideon said. “Prove to her that you’re more of a man than that rich jerk! Show her that you love her!”
“All you can do is try, right?” Sheridon said.
S sighed. “You’re right,” he murmured, bowing his head. “I’ll see what I can do.”
He rose to his feet and slowly walked over to the stairs, an idea forming in his head. He walked up the stairs, noticing for the first time how much they creaked beneath his feet. He stood in front of Charise’s bedroom door.
“Charise?” he said softly.
“Yeah?” Charise replied. She had to have been leaning against the door to have heard him.
Impulsively, S pressed his lips to the wooden door, as though by doing so, it would transfer to Charise.
“What do you want?” Charise asked.
“Charise,” S said softly, “I’m going to tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who was blessed with everything a woman could ever want, except for one thing. She had a cruel and heartless mother who hated the princess. She envied the princess’s youth and beauty, and she hated the fact that the princess had many of the things she never did. One day, the princess’s mother-- I do not refer to her as a queen, as she is undeserving of that title-- was particularly cruel to her. She told the princess many hurtful lies.”
Here, S paused. Charise opened the door slowly and stared at him. “Then what?” she said.
S said softly, “And then a prince came and chased away the evil woman because he saw the princess for who she really was and knew that none of those lies were true.”
“How did he know?” Charise asked, turning away.
S took a step, moving closer to her. “He knew because he had known her for quite some time and because…”
Here, he hesitated. Do I dare tell her? he asked himself.
S took a deep breath and continued, “Because he loved her.”
Charise turned and looked at S, and then shut the door in his face. S jumped back, startled.
“Please tell me you made that up, S,” she said through the door, her voice shaky.
“…I didn’t,” S replied. “It’s the truth.”
He could hear her through the door, softly sobbing. “No,” Charise finally said. “No. It’ll just make things weird. You know I have a boyfriend.”
“I just--” S began.
“No, S,” she said, still sobbing, but more forcefully. “I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize our friendship.” Charise took a shuddery breath and then added, “Dunstan’s going to be here in a few minutes. Let him in when he gets here, okay?”
“Fine,” S said weakly, knowing he would have to fool himself into thinking he didn’t hear them…
22nd Aug 2007, 1:41 PM
That's so sad! She was kinda mean to him. :blink:
25th Aug 2007, 8:05 PM
I'll try to update the story tonight-- it'll take a long time to do the pictures because of the sets that I'll have to build. I still don't have the next chapter written yet, but I plan on writing a chunk of it during work tomorrow.
26th Aug 2007, 1:04 AM
I never commented on this?! :wtf2: I read this like a few days ago! :blink:...Wow, ok. Well its a great update! She shouldn't had been so cold towards him, but I kinda get how she feels. I feel so badly for S. :hmm:
27th Aug 2007, 4:15 AM
Hours after Dunstan left, Charise curled up in bed. She had a very strange dream…
She sat up and realized that she was in a coffin in a barren white room. No furniture or anything. It was almost like nothingness! Charise climbed out of the coffin and stood in the middle of the room. As Charise turned slowly, marveling at the sheer whiteness of everything, she felt the presence of someone behind her. She turned slowly, scared of what she might see.
She found herself facing a very pretty woman, wearing a very unusual dress. Charise stared at the woman. She looked so familiar…
“Are you the Grim Reaper?” Charise asked.
“No. I do not bring death. Don’t wonder that now,” the woman said. “If you need something, call me Grace. That was my name… once.”
“Grace,” Charise repeated. She looked around. “So… uh… where are we, exactly? This is a pretty nutty dream.”
“Charise, there is something I need to show you,” Grace said.
Instantly, the whiteness vanished. They were in a desolate, terrible place. Destruction and chaos surrounded them.
“Where are we?” Charise asked.
“We are near the apocalypse, Charise,” Grace said.
“What caused it?” Charise asked, looking around in wonder.
“This is going to shock you, Charise, but…” Grace paused. “Remember how in Back to the Future, a single choice could alter the future?”
“Well, our scientists have worked out what caused things to get this bad, and… well… a single choice caused this,” Grace said.
“What was the choice?” Charise asked.
“I can’t tell you that, because if you knew, you could possibly change events even more. All I can say is that you play a role in this.”
“How will I know when the time for the choice has come?” Charise asked.
Grace sighed and said cryptically, “When the sacrificial lamb dies. That’s as much as I can tell you. When that happens, you will learn something. That knowledge may be the deciding factor in your part in all this. However, there are others whose roles must play out. Your cousin, for instance--”
“Ophelia?” Charise asked.
“Yes. She has many more secrets than you know of-- hurtful secrets. She is not unjustly bitter, dear.”
“…I… see…” Charise said hesitantly, not understanding at all.
“Remember, dear-- a single choice can change everything. And one last thing-- there’s none so blind as those who refuse to see.”
Charise sat up in her bed.
“It’s morning,” she said wonderingly.
She dressed and hesitated by the door. After a minute, she opened it.
She walked down the stairs and peeked into the kitchen, where S, Sheridon, and Gideon were sitting, eating breakfast.
Gideon looked up at her and said, “Then, the next day, she’d come out of the coffin. And there was something about the look in her eyes.”
“What the heck are you talking about?” Sheridon asked.
“Just remembering a scene from this anime,” Gideon replied, with a small smile. “Anyways, it appears that something has finally enticed the great goddess from her cave.”
“Yes…” S said, refusing to look up at Charise.
27th Aug 2007, 4:52 AM
Lol, great update!! :D That dream was a bit freaky.
28th Aug 2007, 1:31 AM
Wow, sudden shift in tone! Is this going to become a fantasy story suddenly!?
28th Aug 2007, 1:34 AM
No, it will not be a fantasy story, although one of the later chapters will parody both the "Saw" series and the movie "Labyrinth." It was a dream, as well as some major foreshadowing for later chapters.
29th Aug 2007, 4:57 AM
Ah, good, I was a bit nervous...you see these genre shifts from time to time, you know?
I can't wait for the Pan's Labyrinth parody. And to see what Ophelia's dark secrets are...
29th Aug 2007, 5:00 AM
Not "Pan's Labyrinth," "Labyrinth." The one with the puppets and the singing and David Bowie.
29th Aug 2007, 7:04 AM
Lol! That sounds funny. "The one with the puppets and the singing and David Bowie." :giggler: I love that movie.
Anyway, I can't wait for another update! :D
30th Aug 2007, 12:34 AM
Bleh, it seems like every time I post here I become more stupid. Jeez...ah well, a Labyrinth spoof is almost as good.
30th Aug 2007, 12:54 AM
I agree the dream was freaky. That and the few hints you gave on what is to come has me a bit anxious. Also poor S. He finally tells Charise how he feels and ouch! I might not always comment, but I NEVER miss an update! I :valentine this story.
30th Aug 2007, 2:01 PM
Stormy, Julieth, and Montridge, thank you for your comments.
I am planning to try and update the story today, after class, since I don't have work. This will be one of the flashback-heavy chapters, and it will focus on Charise and Dunstan a great deal. A good chunk of the chapter (about three pages) was already written well before "When Cliques Collide" was written, as I had a sequel planned that had several flashback segments. However, I realized that by incorporating the important flashbacks (like Charise's past with her mother) into this story, it would enable the sequel to move along faster and to explain a few important details in this story.
30th Aug 2007, 10:41 PM
Author's Note: There is some nudity in this part, but I did my best to keep it tasteful and not show anything too offensive. (Then again, given some of the other stuff that I've seen in other stories, what little that is shown is rather tame in comparison.) Yes, I know the pictures are smaller than usual. That is on purpose (it's meant to give the feeling of photographs, or screencaps of movies-- a sort of "unreal" type of feeling).
Charise smiled, her face flushed and sweaty, but radiant. Dunstan’s arms embraced her tightly, pulling her close to him.
“Love you,” Charise said softly, kissing Dunstan’s hand.
“Love you too,” he replied, easing his arms away from her. He sat up and began to dress. Charise looked over, startled.
“Where are you going?” she asked, grabbing at his hands.
“To get us some food, babe. I’m sure you’re hungry. I know I am,” Dunstan replied, pulling his clothes on as well as he could.
Charise hesitated, and then lowered her hands from him. “Yeah, I guess I am kind of hungry,” she answered.
Dunstan smiled at her. He finished dressing and said, “You just stay here and rest. I’ll be back in a little while with some food for us. And then we can eat, and we can spend as much time in bed as we want. Sounds good, baby?”
Charise nodded. Dunstan smiled and brushed his lips against her forehead. “Love you,” he said, as he walked over to the door. He unlocked it, opened it, and, giving Charise a last smile, walked out, shutting it behind him.
Charise sighed and walked over to the window, not bothering to get dressed. She peered out the window, watching Dunstan climb into his car. After he drove away, she looked around at the beautifully decorated room. It reflected Dunstan’s family’s wealth. She climbed back into bed to wait for him to return.
As she waited, she began to think about how they had met for the first time, as well as how their relationship had evolved. Things were so different at the beginning, she thought. Once, he was just my piano teacher, and now…
She smiled to herself and began to think back to the beginning…
30th Aug 2007, 11:43 PM
I don't trust that Dunstan. :wtf: Something's fishy with him. I don't know what, but something is. Great update! :)
1st Sep 2007, 2:08 PM
finally i got thru it all :D finally! After the initial confusion of the many characters in this story i have really enjoyed ready it. Nice job and i know i will continue reading! cant wait to see what happens next, though i still cant beleive she turned down that hunk S .... i know i wouldnt'
oooo i also noticed some references to some of my fave movies :D
4th Sep 2007, 9:11 PM
Okay, unless something goes wrong, I should have this updated by tonight (no later than 9 PM, central time). Sorry for the slow progress, but college and work come first!
4th Sep 2007, 9:16 PM
Awww, but I have to work tonight! *twitch, twitch* ;_;
5th Sep 2007, 8:00 PM
I can't help but have a feeling something bad will happen between Charise and Dunstan. Very bad. But keep up the good work!
6th Sep 2007, 2:35 AM
The chapter heading makes me very curious as to exactly how their relationship started... just how much older is Dunstan than Charise, anyway? :S
6th Sep 2007, 2:54 AM
Sorry that I didn't update when I said I would, but some things came up. In regards to your question, mechaprincess, as Charise said, "Things were so different at the beginning, she thought. Once, he was just my piano teacher, and now…" As for the question as to age difference, Dunstan is exactly five years and two days Charise's senior, which means that since Charise is eighteen, Dunstan is twenty-three. In this chapter, you will find out how they got together.
7th Sep 2007, 1:06 AM
Thanks for replying. ^^
I see. Can't wait for this chapter to unfold.
7th Sep 2007, 2:09 AM
This is such a lovely story I have no words.
Ophelia reminds me so strongly of another character I wrote once, and I loved my character so much I nearly weep with joy everytime Ophelia does something.
Figuratively, of course. ^^ They're both different in the details but they're almost freakishly similar in spirit. Like Ophelia manipulating the host at the restaurant where Charise met her mother? It was like a flashback, or something. I can totally expect my charrie or Ophelia doing stuff like that. & being harsh on AJ, and not fitting in stereotypes, and being horribly outspoken about themselves, to the point of defying others (cheerleader smackdown!).
I didn't get any of the references, but I wish I did. I'm going to make a list of where you got everything from, and start there. ^^ It really is a fantastic story; I was so upset when I ran out of reading. T_T Write more! I'll be there.
Edit: another thing I do have words for: AJ. He is amazingly funny and sweet and goofy and trying-too-hard. I love how he can match his popular social standing with sticking up for his sister & other loved ones. Emily is so adorable, too. All of them are.
But me no likey Angela. She seems too uninterestingly elusive.
7th Sep 2007, 2:15 AM
It was her fourteenth birthday when she met him. Charise was unwrapping her presents and thanking the givers. A box of chocolates from Gideon, a new computer game from Sheridon, a new CD and book from S, and many expensive gifts from Dad and Grandma Cici.
“Where’s Uncle Richard and Ophelia?” Charise asked. “And Auntie Vi and Nathaniel? They promised to be here.”
“Richard said he’d be a bit late,” Grandma Cici said. “Part of your gift.” She and Preston, Charise’s dad, exchanged a smile.
“Part of my gift is for them to be late? What kind of a mean gift is that? I like being with them!” Charise responded.
Just then, the doorbell rang. “That must be them!” Charise said excitedly. She stood and brushed the wrapping paper from her dress, and then ran to the foyer and opened the door.
“Uncle Richard! Aunt Vi! Nathaniel!” Charise cried, embracing her uncle, aunt, and cousin. Ophelia smiled and handed her a package. “Happy birthday, Charise,” she said, squeezing Charise’s hand. “You’re gonna love Dad’s gift.” She had a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. “Shame he won’t give me anything like that because… well… you‘ll see.”
“Charise, do you remember how you said you wanted to take music lessons?” Uncle Richard asked.
Charise nodded. “Yes, but I couldn’t find anyone willing to teach me at home.”
“Well, I found someone. He’s a student of mine who is double majoring, art and music. He’s an excellent musician, and he said that he is willing to work with you,” Uncle Richard said. He turned and called out, “Dunstan?”
A very good-looking man of about nineteen or so stepped out from around the corner. He gave Charise a warm smile and offered his hand. “So, you’re Charise. I’m Dunstan Diggory. Mr. Foley has told me a great deal about you. However,” he said, and a slightly flirtatious smile crossed his face, “he never bothered to mention how beautiful his favorite niece was! Charise, I am more than willing to teach you to play the piano or guitar-- those are the only two instruments I can play-- as long as you are willing to work hard. I’ll give you a copy of my schedule. You can pick the days and times that suit you, based on what times are available, and you can call or e-mail me to let me know your decision. How does that suit you?”
Charise bowed her head, trying to hide her blush. She just knew that Ophelia would tease her the first chance she got. She never missed anything. “That suits me just fine, Mr. Diggory.”
“Please, Charise, call me Dunstan. I’m too young to be called ‘Mr.’”
“Okay… Dunstan, then.”
Charise could not help but notice the look of sadness and envy on Ophelia’s face.
“So, you have chosen the piano. A wonderful selection indeed, complementary to your beautiful voice and face. And no need to damage your delicate little fingertips, like the guitar would. Your cousin should follow your example,” Dunstan said, following Charise to the parlor, where the piano was.
“I’m not sure if the piano is even tuned. No one has played it in years,” she said timidly. “Grandma Cici hasn’t even played it in a long time, and she was a piano teacher. Of course, she has arthritis, so that makes it hard for her to play.” She was rambling, trying not to let there be any awkward silences.
“I sent someone over to tune it yesterday. You might have been out of the house or didn’t hear him. I assure you, it’s in tune. If not, that man owes me some money.”
“You think of everything, don’t you?”
“Yes! Uncle Richard was smart to ask you to do such a big favor. You must be one of his best students,” Charise said, smiling up at him.
“I did get an A in his music class,” Dunstan said, flashing her a grin. “And, in case you haven’t heard yet, your uncle is not generous when it comes to grades. He expects you to work and prove that you‘re learning.”
“Then you must be a musical genius or something,” Charise laughed.
“It’s not often that I get to hear such a nice compliment, especially from such a pretty girl,” he said. They entered the parlor, and he looked at the piano. “Is this it?”
“Yep. It’s been in the family for a while. Surprising it’s held up, huh?”
7th Sep 2007, 2:23 AM
:anime: Yes, apparently my luck still holds!
But . . . I hate Dunstan. He is just so creepy, flirting with a student; an obviously younger one, too! She wouldn't be emotionally mature enough for a relationship with him!
I'm getting a rather shaky feeling. Charise is a bit fragile, I think, and I am worried Dunstan may be a bit too, uhm, oppurtunistic?
S is so much sweeter!
7th Sep 2007, 2:34 AM
I completely agree, Wordserf. This is what I was referring to when I wondered about how their relationship started: who initiated it, if Dunstan took advantage of Charise's personality, things along those lines.
I also noticed the line about Ophelia... don't tell me she liked Dunstan too! Maybe she knew that Dunstan was a little shady... but then why would she be envious?
12th Sep 2007, 2:35 AM
It was November, four months after Dunstan had been hired to be Charise’s piano teacher. Dunstan was supposed to drive Charise home from school, but about a mile away from her home, one of the tires ran over a broken bottle, popping the tire and sending the car skidding. After getting out of the car and examining the damage (not without a few swear words, Charise remembered, smirking a little), Dunstan established that he needed to put the spare tire on. However, when he popped open the trunk, he realized that the spare tire was missing.
“Damn it,” he muttered to himself. He sighed. “Charise, I think we’ll have to walk the last mile to your house. Are you up for it?”
Charise nodded. She was dressed warmly, in a scarf and sweater and all. “Yeah, I think I can handle it,” she replied.
“Good,” Dunstan said. He pulled a scarf out of his car and wrapped it around his neck. “I’ll walk you to your house, and then I can call a tow truck. I can tell the people where my car is, and they can bring it to my house.”
“That might work,” Charise said agreeably.
She and Dunstan began the trek to her house. Charise pretended that she wasn’t cold, although the biting wind seemed to go straight through her sweater. “Should have worn something warmer,” she mumbled under her breath.
They finally reached her home. Charise reached into her pocket for her keys, and then realization hit her: she had not picked up her keys that morning.
“Oh no,” she groaned.
“What?” Dunstan asked.
“I forgot my keys. And Dad and Gramma Cici won’t be home until this evening,” Charise responded.
Dunstan thought for a few seconds. “Well, we can walk the extra half-mile to my house, and you can stay there until you can get a ride,” he suggested.
Charise began to nod, but then stopped. “I don’t think I can make it,” she answered. She shivered, her lips quivering slightly. “I’m too cold. I don’t even know if I can walk much farther.”
Her eyes began to fill up with tears, upset with herself, unhappy about the cold weather, ashamed to look so childishly incompetent in front of Dunstan. Dunstan reached out and gently squeezed Charise’s hands, kneading them to warm them up.
“Is this a little better?” he asked softly. Charise nodded wordlessly. “You poor thing,” he murmured. “It’s all my fault that you’re so miserable. If I had remembered to make sure I had a spare tire, we would at least be in a nice, warm car.”
Charise shivered some more. She realized that she could faintly see her breath in the air. Dunstan wrapped his arms tightly around her. Charise sighed happily and pressed her face against his chest, trying to absorb as much of his comforting warmth as possible. She closed her eyes, relaxing, at least for the moment. At least she was safe from the cold weather. She felt Dunstan’s hands gently pressing against her cheeks.
“Your face is cold,” he remarked. Charise peeked up at him from beneath her long bangs, startled.
“Yeah,” she said awkwardly. “It’s cold out here.”
“Poor thing,” Dunstan murmured. He placed a warm finger over her lips. “You’ll be fine. I promise.”
The wind picked up strength. Charise gasped and bowed her head, trying to hide her face from the wind, using her long hair. Dunstan murmured something too soft for her to catch-- the wind drowned him out. But it didn’t really matter what he said.
Dunstan gently tilted Charise’s face up to his and pressed his lips ever so softly to hers. Charise stood, wordlessly accepting it, grateful for this extra warm and kindness, as well as… well, what?
Gideon had rejected her not long before her birthday, and S did say that some new man might come into her life. Right? Well, this was him. Right?
“Dunstan,” she said softly. “I…”
Dunstan leaned close and whispered in Charise’s ear, “You’re a beautiful woman, Charise. And I know you’re also very intelligent. So, you know that people wouldn’t understand… you know… us. At least, not until you’re a little older. If your dad or grandma found out about us, he wouldn’t let me teach you anymore. And I know you really want to learn the piano.” He gently squeezed Charise’s hands. “One day, little one, we can be together, if that is what you want. But you shall have to learn patience. When you are a grown woman, we can be together, and no one can tell us not to be. How does that sound to you?”
“…I like that a lot,” Charise replied softly. “I… I really like you, Dunstan.”
“I like you a lot too, Charise,” Dunstan said. “Now, let’s get you to my house before you freeze, hm?”
14th Sep 2007, 5:24 AM
I don't trust Dunstan a bit. Something about him is really off. I love this story by the way! Excellent. :)
14th Sep 2007, 2:46 PM
You're right, something is very off. But you won't find out just how off he is until waaaaaaaay later, in another chapter.
15th Sep 2007, 1:05 AM
I think he's kind of sleazy in this update...he worries me a bit.
DP, I have a bit of constructive criticism, hopefully it won't make you angry, but the previous update ended pretty suddenly-I thought you were going to keep going. Maybe you should smooth out the ending a little?
15th Sep 2007, 1:37 AM
I only told what needed to be told. These are brief flashbacks that we are dealing with. We don't need to know what happened when Charise and Dunstan got to his house, etc. What mattered is what was shown. Same for the next few updates. The abruptness of the response should be a clue that something is off.
15th Sep 2007, 11:34 AM
This is a brilliant story, DarkPhoenix! :) I'm loyally keeping up with it! :D
15th Sep 2007, 6:56 PM
Dunston's creeeepyyyy! :err: Great updates! :thumb: Sorry about yesterday. I got kinda side tracked and completely forgot to log back into AIM. :hmm:
17th Sep 2007, 1:44 AM
I'm going to try and get the pictures for the next part taken tonight, if possible, so there can be an update tonight or tomorrow!
17th Sep 2007, 3:52 AM
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Dunstan asked. Charise nodded fearfully, trying to relax. She tried to tell herself to calm down, that this was nothing. It was part of growing up. It was bound to happen eventually, right? She’d just never thought it would be this soon. She took a deep breath.
“How short would you like it, Miss?” the hairdresser asked.
“About shoulder-length,” Charise replied.
“Are you sure, Miss?” the hairdresser asked. “Once I cut it all off, that’s it.”
“I know,” Charise responded. “Do it, before I change my mind.”
“As you wish, Miss,” the hairdresser said, lifting the haircutting shears.
Charise closed her eyes, not wanting to watch.
She was sixteen now, and only a few weeks before, Dunstan had accompanied her to her high school’s winter formal. He’d gotten a haircut a few weeks before (“Because I have to look a little more mature and professional,” he’d explained), but despite the new hairstyle, he still looked great in his tuxedo. Ophelia had gone to the formal too, with her friend Cyrus. Charise wasn’t sure if she liked Cyrus or not. He was a guy with red hair pulled back into a ponytail, and he often dressed in unusual fashions. He seemed nice enough, but there was something kind of “off” about him, to her. But then again, a lot of Ophelia’s friends seemed kind of “off” to her, especially that Mae girl she hung out with.
“There you go, Miss,” the hairdresser said, turning her to look at the mirror. “How do you like it?”
Charise stared at herself. “I… look different,” she said slowly.
“You look beautiful and mature,” Dunstan replied, squeezing Charise’s shoulder affectionately. He reached into his pocket and handed the hairdresser some money. “Your tip, ma'am,” he said.
“Thank you,” the hairdresser replied. “You can pay up front at the register.”
Dunstan led Charise to the register, where he paid the cashier. After receiving his change, they walked out of the salon.
“Do you think Dad’s going to be angry that I got my hair cut?” Charise asked.
“Of course not,” Dunstan said. “He’ll think it looks great. Besides, you were getting too old for long hair. Ophelia should follow in your footsteps. Long hair is just ridiculous on most girls after a certain age.”
“Don’t tell Ophelia that. She’ll grow it longer, out of spite,” Charise replied, laughing.
“And then she’d quote a song by some weird band, explaining her reasoning,” Dunstan responded, joining her in the laughter.
Charise felt a small pang of guilt, mocking her cousin in such a manner, but then she decided that it was worth it. If it made Dunstan like her more, then why not?
18th Sep 2007, 2:56 AM
Oh, Charise, why, why, why?
Dunstan acts sweet, but it's just the little things that make me worried. I mean, he looks perfect, but if Charise is noticing a fault, there must be gaping cracks in his perfect demeanor in another perspective.
I'm still worried. He seems so much like he's taking advantage of her! D: And insulting Ophelia! Now that, sir, is the last straw. The last straw.
I eagerly await Charise unmasking his undoubtedly fake decency and getting together with S. *hopes against hope*
19th Sep 2007, 4:15 AM
"The little things"? How about the fact that the dude is several years older than Charise and still pretty much going after her? How about the fact that Charise went behind her father's back and got her hair cut because Dunstan thought long hair was "immature"? How about the fact that he was flirting with Charise on her fourteenth birthday, when he was around 19-20? Trust me, there is a lot about Dunstan that should make you worried, Wordserf. The next update, which will be... uh... whenever I can find time, given my busy schedule, will be... well, let's just say that Dunstan is looking worse and worse, given the stuff he's done.
20th Sep 2007, 11:42 PM
Charise curled up on her chair, groaning. “What a crappy birthday,” she muttered softly. “Happy seventeenth, Charise.”
She was ill, her father and grandmother were out of town, and on top of everything else, the weather was terrible. She’d tried calling Ophelia, but Ophelia, along with her parents and brother, were on vacation. S was also on vacation, and wasn’t due back until tomorrow. Sheridon and Gideon were working at a daycare for the summer, so they couldn’t come over to check on her. She’d even tried calling Dunstan, but he didn’t answer his cell phone.
“This has got to be the worst birthday ever,” Charise muttered to herself. “I don’t know which order it’s going to happen-- puke or pass out-- but I know they’ll both happen eventually, if I wait long enough. At least it‘s the evening now. The crappy birthday is almost over.”
Just then, the doorbell rang.
“Who the hell would bother me on a day like today?” Charise said aloud, looking out the window.
Outside, standing in the rain, was Dunstan. He made no move to shield himself from the rain, but simply stood there, letting it soak his clothes.
“He’s crazy,” Charise said softly. For a few seconds, she felt as though she were an outsider, looking at a complete stranger, one with dark eyes and tousled blonde hair.
Charise eased herself out of bed and down the stairs of her home. She slowly made her way to the door, certain with every step that she would faint. She slowly opened the front door. Dunstan smiled kindly and said, “Nasty weather we’re having, eh?”
Charise began to nod, and as she did so, everything began to darken. The last thing she heard before passing out was Dunstan yell her name as he reached out to catch her.
Several minutes later, Charise came to in her bed. Dunstan knelt beside the bed, looking concerned. “Don’t scare me like that again,” he said softly.
“I didn’t do it on purpose,” Charise replied weakly. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to give you your birthday present,” Dunstan said.
“Oh?” she replied.
“This,” Dunstan said, removing a beautiful earring and necklace set from his pocket.
“How pretty!” Charise gasped.
“That’s not all,” Dunstan continued. Charise tilted her head, puzzled. Dunstan laid down on the bed beside Charise. He leaned over and began to kiss her. “Happy birthday, beautiful,” he whispered.
21st Sep 2007, 2:37 AM
Oh, no, no, no, Charise!
Wow. Dunstan is disgusting. I don't even know. I hope Charise sees sense...
21st Sep 2007, 2:50 AM
You haven't even read the worst yet. That's coming in a later chapter.
21st Sep 2007, 8:29 AM
Great update! And cute avvies! :D
26th Sep 2007, 3:13 AM
I'm going to try to update tomorrow or Thursday. The update will be the end of chapter seven. I have the start of chapter eight written, and the focus will be on one of the high school students and her home life.
27th Sep 2007, 1:55 AM
I love this story, I really do, and it's nice how the drama is not overpoweringly dramatic it makes me choke.
But fourteen? When he's nineteen?
I am afraid I neglected remembering the dates.
Fourteen is so close to me it's scary. Nineteen is . . . uhm, well, I will not go there, but nineteen + fourteen isn't good. Fourteen is emotionally immature. Nineteen is wiser in the ways of the world.
I don't call it fair, at all. I am also worried.
If Charise's heart breaks, I am going to worship her lovely avatar for the rest of my days, and defiantly scribble all over his evil face.
But, as ever, lovely story.
I find my school cheerleaders are shockingly nice, though, so that may be a little bit of jarring reality for me. Any chance one of the typical villains will reform? At all? Just a bit?
27th Sep 2007, 2:51 AM
I attended public school, and most of the cheerleaders were snobby, superficial, and... well... let's just say that part at the beginning of the story about the speech... that's based on real life. *Cough*
Anyways, the next few chapters will give insight about some of the other characters. The eighth chapter will be about one of the CNC members (let's just say that this character has a pretty rough home life). A later chapter will focus on Mae and her family, and, I think, will make her a little more sympathetic. Also, there will be a Tiffani-centric chapter inspired by some events that happened many months ago, with a sorority (I read about it online and thought, "I have to use this somewhere!").
A lot of the events in this story are based off of real life-- things that have happened to me or my friends, or things that I've read about. As I've mentioned before, Dunstan is a combination of several people who I've met. So, there actually are people out there who are like him, sadly enough.
28th Sep 2007, 5:54 PM
The next morning, Charise rolled over and then slowly sat up in bed. She looked over at the other side of her bed. Empty. She sniffed the air. She smelled pancakes. She dressed herself, putting on the earring and necklace set, and then walked downstairs to the dining room, where Dunstan sat at the table, smoking a cigarette.
“Hey,” he greeted Charise. “I made you some pancakes. They’re in the kitchen. I have to jet in a few minutes.”
“Thanks,” Charise replied. "But I'm not hungry." She did not move to get a plate. She sat at the table, not sure of what to do. She wasn’t sure if she should bring up what happened last night.
“So, about last night,” Dunstan began. “What happened… well, we can’t let your folks know. But next year, Charise… next year, I promise, you and I can actually be together officially.”
Charise smiled and nodded. Dunstan rose, stubbed out his cigarette, and stretched. “And now, I have to go. I’ve got class in 45 minutes.” He leaned over and briefly kissed Charise. “Take care, gorgeous,” he said.
Charise followed him to the door. Dunstan opened the door and walked out. Charise stood on the porch, watching him. She saw a car drive up to the house. She recognized it immediately. It was S’s car!
“S,” she whispered.
S got out of his car for a better look. He looked from Dunstan to Charise and back again. S shook his head and climbed back into the car and drove away.
It would be at least a month before S would speak to Charise again.
Dunstan walked into his room, holding the pizza box. “Sorry I’m late,” he began. “There was traffic both coming and going, and the stupid pizza place took forever to make the pizza. And then--”
He looked around. No Charise. Charise’s clothes weren’t on the floor. “Charise?” he called out. No response.
“Women. Just like them to pick up and leave. Oh well, she’ll be back. She always comes back,” he said to himself, cracking open the box.
Charise sat in her car, driving home. She fiddled with the radio for a few seconds, trying to find a suitable station. Everything seemed to be playing music that fit her situation a little too well. She finally gave up and stopped on a random station. As if on cue, Alanis Morissette’s “Hands Clean” came through her speakers, and it was near the end of the song.
Charise groaned softly. “Is the universe plotting against me?” she muttered. She finally gave in and began singing along:
Just make sure you don't tell on me especially to members of your family
We best keep this to ourselves and not tell any members of our inner posse
I wish I could tell the world cuz you're such a pretty thing when you're done up properly
I might want to marry you one day if you watch that weight and keep your firm body.
4th Oct 2007, 3:59 AM
Tiffani sat up and slowly slid out of bed. Another wonderful day in hell, she thought bitterly. Wonder how many times Mom will b***h at me about my weight, or lecture me on not being as successful as Nikki.
She selected an outfit and carefully brushed her hair and applied makeup to her face. She could hear her mother’s voice in her head, lecturing her: No man wants to look at an ugly woman. You must always make sure that your hair and makeup are perfect. People judge you based on how you look, not how you behave. If you don’t look good,, no one will want to associate with you. If you look good, people will flock to you, you’ll get into the right crowds, and men will want to date and marry you.
She turned away from the mirror, her cosmetic mask concealing her true self. Time to face the idiot squad, she thought bitterly. She smoothed her blonde hair back and stepped out of her bedroom, forcing a pleasant smile on her face.
Always smile, her mother had told her. Women look so horribly unattractive when they frown.
Tiffani cringed a little, but the smile did not leave her face. She walked into the living room, where the rest of her family was watching television while her mother cooked breakfast. Becky, her older sister, as usual, wore her makeup a bit too heavy and showed a bit too much skin. She had been kicked out of college for drinking while underage, as well as making poor grades. Not that you need an education, dear, her mother had said. If you’re lucky, you can get married, like Nikki did.
Tiffani frowned a little. Nikki was her oldest sister. She was twenty-three and had married straight out of high school. She already had two little girls and was trying to get pregnant again. She’s supposed to come eat lunch with us today, Tiffani thought, displeased. And that means having to hear about how many beauty pageants Nikki won by the time she was my age, and being told how fat I am, compared to how she was. Oh joy.
Emma, her little sister, looked up from the idiotic cartoon she was watching. “Mom’s making pancakes,” she announced. “But she told me to tell you to only eat one, ‘cause you’re already too fat.”
Tiffani scowled. “Thanks,” she said wryly. She eyed Becky. “Hey, Beck, you’re looking raccoony today,” she remarked. “Maybe you should go easy on the eyeshadow.”
“FYI, Tiff,” Becky shot back, “all my boyfriends think I look totally hot.”
“Sure, if they like women who look like they went ten rounds with Tyson,” Tiffani responded.
Her mother peeked her head out into the living room. “Tiffani Michelle Royale, you will speak like a polite young lady if you want to continue to live under my roof, missy. Also, as I’m sure Emma just told you, please have no more than one pancake-- you’re already far too fat for your own good, and as you are taking no initiative of your own to lose weight, I see no other choice than to make you lose weight.”
Tiffani sighed. “Yes, Mother,” she replied.
“Yes, Mother, I will only take one pancake, and I will speak properly,” Tiffani responded.
“Good girl. Breakfast is going to be ready shortly,” her mother replied, bustling back to the kitchen.
6th Oct 2007, 1:56 AM
What a bunch of beeotches!
I have a few scary relatives like Tiffani's Mom and sisters. I avoid them like the plague!!!
I also wanted to thank you for my shiny new avvie. ;)
6th Oct 2007, 2:01 AM
So, now everyone gets to see what Tiffani's family is like. So... now are you beginning to see why she acts the way she does? And... ohhhh... the great Montridge... is using... the avatar. YAY!
6th Oct 2007, 3:49 PM
Oh my. o____o
Why am I suddenly reminded of the movie The Stepford Wives? Poor Tiffani!
7th Oct 2007, 4:13 PM
Yeah, I thought it would be a good idea to have a chapter about Tiffani and her family, just to make her more sympathetic. She's not a bad person, but her upbringing has been pretty... uh... insane. She's clearly tired of dealing with this stuff, but she goes along with it because to her, that's just how things are.
12th Oct 2007, 5:09 AM
Tiffani sat back on the sofa and thought for a few minutes. Mom is an ex-beauty pageant winner. But Dad knocked her up when she was about twenty, so she had to quit the circuit. She had Nikki, who turned out to be exactly how she wanted. Then, she had Becky, who turned out to be like Paris Hilton, but still enough like her to keep her happy. Then, she had me… and that’s where things went downhill, isn’t it? I was a disappointment to her. She’s always told me so. Fine, I’ll only eat one damn pancake. But that won’t stop me from eating the whole box of chocolate I have hiding in my desk in my room. Instead of God, I worship Godiva. So, there, Mother, what do you say to that?
“Breakfast is ready,” her mother called from the kitchen, as she carried out a large stack of pancakes.
Emma squealed delightedly and hurried to the table, followed by her sisters and father. Tiffani sighed and sat down. “Now, Emma,” her mother scolded, “don’t take too many pancakes, or you’ll get fat and pimply. Nobody likes fat ugly girls.”
“Yes, Mother,” Emma chirped. “I’m only going to take one pancake.”
She has us all brainwashed, Tiffani thought bitterly. Even me. We have to always be pretty and sweet and starve ourselves, or else we won’t be liked.
Becky and Emma served themselves, as did the parents. “Tiffani, dear, the pancakes will get cold. Serve yourself,” her mother said sharply.
Tiffani sighed. Why bother arguing? It’s better to just go along than to do my own thing, she thought. If I argue, Mom will just whine and nag and yell until I give in. It’s easier just to save the trouble and give in, she thought, taking a pancake and slicing into it, then lifting a forkful to her mouth.
“Goodness, Tiffani, where are your manners?” her mother cried out. “You’re stuffing it into your mouth. What kind of self-respecting woman does such a thing? It‘s no wonder you‘re so fat. Emma, I don‘t ever want to see you acting like Tiffani.”
“Yes, Mother,” Emma replied, daintily nibbling at a bite of pancake. Tiffani cringed slightly.
“So, Becky, don’t you have a date tonight?” their father asked.
“Yeah, with Roger,” Becky replied.
“Is he the one studying to be a doctor, or is he the accounting student?” their mother replied.
“Oh, wonderful!” their mother gushed. “He seems to be very serious about you. Maybe someday he’ll propose?”
Tiffani ate her pancake in silence. After carefully setting down her silverware-- her mother scolded when it was put down even a little too roughly-- she said, “May I be excused please?”
“Yes, you may,” her mother replied. Tiffani stood, pushed in her chair, carried the dish and silverware to the kitchen, and then hurried to her room. Once inside, she shut the door and unearthed her treasure-- chocolates.
She stuffed one into her mouth, and then another. “Dear Godiva, take away the stress and frustration my family causes,” she mumbled between mouthfuls.
13th Oct 2007, 11:07 PM
What about Tiffani's father? Does he put the same pressure on them as their mother, or does he just sorta step back from the parenting front?
14th Oct 2007, 12:13 AM
Tiffani's father takes a very passive role in parenting. Basically, he just sits back, smiles, and occasionally says something to show that he is somewhat (or pretending to be) interested in his daughters' lives. Kind of like, "Eh, Elizabeth (the mom) knows more about girls than I do-- just let her deal with them."
14th Oct 2007, 3:09 AM
That sounds all too familiar. -__- I can't wait to see what Nikki is like.
15th Oct 2007, 2:30 AM
I don't think you'll like Nikki either. I mean, I created the character, and I don't even like her (actually, that goes for several characters in this story). Once again, I'm very sorry that I don't update more often, but I have a very busy life now that the semester is in session (16 hours of class, plus out of class assignments), on top of work and finding time to spend with the people I care about.
20th Oct 2007, 11:27 PM
Tiffani tossed the candy wrappers into her trashcan and then flopped onto the floor, trying to figure out either 1) how to get away from her family and preferably be adopted by a better family or 2) how not to go completely insane when Nikki showed up. Unfortunately, she found herself unable to create a plan for either.
“I hate when Nikki comes to visit,” she muttered. “Mom and Dad think she’s so great, just because she won, like, a gajillion beauty pageants, and was super-popular and skinny, and she was head cheerleader and prom queen. ‘Tiffani, you should be more like Nikki! You need to lose weight!’ Well, f**k you both. I don‘t need to be a clone of Miss Perfect. I‘d rather be myself.” She looked astonished by her own words. “…Myself. Do I even have much of a self?” she muttered, having a rare moment of total introspection. “I joined the dance team and cheerleading squad to make them happy. I hung out with the ‘right people’ to make them happy. Hell, I even grew my hair long, just to make them happy.”
She stood up and walked over to her vanity, peering at her reflection. She narrowed her eyes slightly, and she uttered, in a low voice, “I’m taking my ‘self’ back. And no one’s going to stop me. Not even--”
Just then, there was a knock at her bedroom door. “Tiffani, dear, you have a phone call,” her mother said.
“Yes, Mother, I’m coming,” Tiffani responded, immediately becoming docile and obedient again. She opened her door, and her mother handed her the phone, then walked away. Tiffani shut the door, and then held the receiver to her ear.
“Hello?” she said.
“Hey, Tiff, this is AJ,” the voice on the other side said.
“A whole bunch of us are going to go see a movie-- Ophelia, Charise, Emily, S, and a bunch of Charise’s friends. Do you want to come?”
Tiffani groaned. Murphy’s Law. The same day I have the chance to do something fun, I have family crap to do. “Sorry, AJ,” she said. “I have a family thing to do. My sister Nikki’s coming to visit. She’s pregnant… again. And she’s hoping it’s a little boy.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” AJ said. “Well, if you have some free time later on, call me, and we can do something.”
“Sure,” Tiffani replied. “I guess I’ll see you whenever.”
“Bye,” Tiffani muttered, turning off the phone. She walked out of her room and over to the living room, where she put the phone back on the charger.
“Are you going to wear that?” her mother asked, looking her over. “You’re going to shame us! Go put on something else.”
“It’s just Nikki,” Tiffani replied.
“Young lady, you will not talk back to me. Now, you will march back into your room, and you will put on something nice. Your sister is going to be here soon, and I will not let her seeing you wearing that casual clothing. Even Becky is being a better daughter than you! Now go change your clothes!”
“Yes, Mother, I will go change my clothes immediately,” Tiffani responded, lowering her head.
21st Oct 2007, 2:07 PM
*back hands mother* oops...LOL!
I realise how a hectic RL gets in the way of updating, but appreciate when you do update it's always top quality.
21st Oct 2007, 9:38 PM
Thanks! Since I'll actually have a little free time today, I'll try to get in another update by this evening. Also, I've been working on the next chapter, and here's a few hints: the working title is "Mea Culpa Mae," and it will reveal a huge secret about one of the characters.
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