My name is Marissa Picard. All right, my real name is Marissa Forrest, but I tell everyone my name is Marissa Picard. That’s because my real father is not NOT NOT NOT!!! the guy who sits at the breakfast table every day and eats eggs with runny yolks (eeeewwww!!!) and is losing his hair. My real father is the captain of a big, big, ship, and goes on all sorts of adventures, and one day he’ll come to my house and take me away from my boring life, and he isn’t losing his hair because he shaves it all off on purpose. So there!!!!!
But until my real father comes to rescue me, I have to do what my false parents tell me to. That means I have to go to school every day, where I am in the ninth grade. I hate everything about Dominion High School. In the first place, it has a dorky name! In the second place, the people there suck, especially the cheerleaders. They think they run the whole school, just because they’re the pets of the Girl’s P.E. coach, a horrible old bat named Mrs. Founder.
So now I’m trudging down the street and now I’m turning the corner past Terry Knorr’s gas station (which was taken over last week by some big new company and they’re putting up the new sign: Diesel Nine). Now I’m crossing the street and walking under the arch at the entrance to Old Dom High. Everybody calls the entrance the “wormhole” because just before the first day of school, Miles and Julian, they are such RETARDS, dug a hole there and covered it with leaves so all the kids would fall into it, and it turns out it was FULL! OF! WORMS! It was so gross!!! So the principal, Mr. Sisko, gave them detention, but it didn’t help, because Miles and Julian are still up to their old tricks and nobody is safe. I swear, they are sooooo immature!!!!
But even Miles and Julian are better than…oh no, there they are, dead ahead, the cheerleaders! I hate them! They are soooo awful!!! I’ll tell you their names, although it makes me want to gag to even write them. There’s Erin (she’s always tilts her head at this weird angle when she talks to you, like she’s a retard or something!) And there’s Keevana (who pretends to act all nice, but she’s really, really mean!) And there’s Yasmin. I can’t understand why she’s even a cheerleader, because she’s soooo ugly, and the others are all pretty, especially Keevana. Yasmin doesn’t even pretend to act nice, she just acts mean all the time to everyone, especially Keevana, but that’s probably just because Yasmin is jealous!!!!
And I almost forgot to mention Wanda, the head cheerleader. Ugh! She makes my skin crawl!! She’s even better at acting all fakey-nice than Keevana. (I think Keevana is just copying Wanda. They all just copy Wanda like they can’t even think for themselves or something!) The fifth cheerleader is Kelly Anna. I think she’s actually nice for real, but she has to be mean like the others, or none of them will be her friend anymore.
Okay, now I’m just going to walk by them and act like nothing is going on. I’ll just ignore them… As I pass, I notice that Keevana is putting on fingernail polish. Blue fingernail polish! Like I suppose that’s in fashion or something. Then Yasmin glances at me (ugh, she is soooo ugly) and sticks out her tongue and pushes Keevana right into me!!! And that yukky blue fingernail polish gets all over my brand-new sweater!
This is the last straw! I get off the ground and scream at Keevana. “Look at what you did now! You stupid moron!”
Keevan gets up, fixes her hair (man, she is soooo vain!) and says, “Stupid moron, yourself. It’s an improvement. It makes your sweater look less barfy.”
All the cheerleaders laugh. I can feel my face getting red, and they laugh at that, too. A crowd has gathered around us, and Miles and Julian are laughing.
“We saw everything,” Miles says. “It was Yasmin’s fault. She pushed Keevana.”
“Shut up, dorkface!” Yasmin says.
“Dorkface?” Julian says. “Better than being a dogface!”
I smile as everyone laughs at Yasmin. Serves her right. Yasmin gets really mad and grabs my hair and yanks it! So I kick her in the shins and she starts hopping around and yowling like I killed her or something. Miles and Julian are laughing harder and cheering me on! So I kick Keevana, too, even though she didn’t really do anything, but she still deserves it.
“Hey, what’s going on here?” someone with a stupid voice says. I look behind me. Oh no! It’s Renny Kaplan, one of those big morons from the football team. Renny is so stupid that he thinks he’s Keevana’s boyfriend, even though she always says mean things about him behind his back.
Renny pushes Julian, who says, “hey, what did I do?”
“Who kicked Keevana?” Renny says. Keevana just smiles at me, like she thinks she’s the princess of universe or something. She really makes me sick when she smiles like that!
Julian pushes Renny back and Miles jumps on Renny. Even together, Miles and Julian can’t fight Renny, because he is really big, but they don’t seem to care. Now the crowd is yelling and screaming for somebody to kill somebody else, although everyone has different opinions about who should be killed.
Well, the fight doesn’t last long, because here comes Mr. Sisko and he sure looks like he could kill somebody. “What in hell is going on around here?” (Somebody should tell Mr. Sisko not to swear around kids, but he does it all the time.) “Mr. O’Brien! Mr. Bashir! Mr. Kaplan! In my office! Now!”
Well, I don’t think it’s fair that Miles and Julian should get in trouble, so I speak up. “It’s not their fault, Mr. Sisko! Yasmin and Keevana started it!”
“Fink!” Yasmin screams. Keevana just pouts and tries to look innocent, like she always does, especially around Mr. Sisko.
But Mr. Sisko is too smart for Keevana. “Why are you young ladies always in the middle of everything that happens around here? All right, come with me. And you, too, Marissa.”
“Me? Why me?” But Mr. Sisko just gives me a look, and nobody disobeys
that look, so I start to follow the little parade, when suddenly Wanda
steps in front of me and hisses, “We’ll get you for this!” Erin tilts her
head and smiles, and Kelly Anna just looks sad.
Now I’m sitting in the room outside Mr. Sisko’s office. Miles and Julian are in there, probably getting chewed out. Yasmin is popping her bubble gum noisily and staring at me like I grew a third head or something (she is such a freak!) Renny is telling Keevana how sorry he was for getting her in trouble, too, but Keevana is just brushing her hair and ignoring him.
The door opens and Miles and Julian come out. They are grinning like this is all a big joke or something! Mr. Sisko’s voice booms out of his office: “Miss Forrest, you’re next.” Miles goes, “dum de dum dum” (what an old joke, like my parents probably did that when they were in high school!) and Julian whispers, “Mrs. Flounder is in there, too!”
I get out of my chair and walk towards the office. “Mrs. Flounder” is what everyone calls Mrs. Founder, but never to her face. Sure enough, there she is, wearing her orange gym suit like she does every day, sitting next to Mr. Sisko’s desk with this totally snotty expression.
Mr. Sisko picks up the baseball from its holder – he always has that baseball on his desk, like I think he used to play baseball in college or something – and he totally chews me out.
“I’m sick and tired of this war you kids have going. It’s going to stop, now! Anyone who I catch starting any more fights will be suspended. Is that understood?”
And Mrs. Founder tries to convince Mr. Sisko that the cheerleaders aren’t to blame. But I don’t think he’s really convinced.
Then Mr. Sisko tells me I have to see the school counselor, Miss Dacks (although she always tells us to call her Ellie). Like talking to a counselor ever does any good! As if!
When I get there, Julian is sitting on the chair outside her office, too. He’s all happy and swinging his legs back and forth, but that’s because he’s in love with Miss Dacks, like a total retard! She’s old, like 25 or something!!! I admit, she looks like a teenager, because she’s short and stuff, but man! Julian is such a goofball.
So I talk with Miss Dacks, like that’s going to do any good. She’s all like, “Marissa, I undestand how trying the teenage years can be.” And I’m all like, well I don’t say anything, but in my mind, I’m all like, “you never went to Old Dominion High School, do you? Your high school might have been bad, but mine is THE WORST HIGH SCHOOL EVER!!!!” But I don’t say anything and Miss Dacks finally lets me go! Freedom!
Okay, so I finally get out of the counselor’s office and back to classes. My first class is computer science. That’s good! At least some of my friends are there! Like Frank, we call him Frankenstein because he’s a total computer geek and stuff. And Kerry Norris. She’s this girl who’s kinda scary at first, cause she’s all tough and gets in fights, but when you get to know her, she’s actually nice. And she hates the cheerleaders even more than I do!
That’s because of her boyfriend, who also is in our computer class, is this tall, skinny kid named Frodo. Well, that’s not his real name, but he hates his real name, and he’s always reading books and stuff like Tolkein, so he tells everyone to call him Frodo. I can totally relate to hating your own name! So I totally like him already!
The weird thing about Frodo is – get this! – he’s Mrs. Founder’s son! Isn’t that weird? Like I can’t even imagine Mrs. Founder being married, but she must be, or else she wouldn’t be “Mrs.,” right? I don’t want to even think about her getting pregnant. THAT IS TOO WEIRD. Okay, it’s gone from my brain forever!!! Whew.
Anyway, the weird part is that Wanda, the head cheerleader, is like totally in love with Frodo, even though he isn’t really cute or anything (even though he is nice). It’s probably just because he’s Mrs. Founder’s son, but still! It’s creepy. Wanda follows Frodo around like she thinks he’s a god or something. Is that entirely bizarre, or what?
Like, there was this one time at lunch when Wanda was following Frodo around and being a pest and then Kerry threw her whole lunch tray at Wanda and they started fighting (well, really Kerry was the only one fighting cause she can totally kick Wanda’s butt). When Mr. Sisko barged in and demanded to know who started the fight (man, Kerry gets in trouble with Mr. Sisko all! the! time! like more than Miles and Julian, even!) I lied and said Wanda started it. Okay, Mr. Sisko didn’t believe me, but that’s when Kerry and I became friends. Now that I think of it, that might be the reason Wanda hates me so much. Oh well.
So I guess I should tell you what happened next. Class ended and I went out to the quad, like always. Frank and me and Kerry and Frodo sat down where we always sit, and guess what! There they were, right on the other side of the quad, tilting their heads and whispering. Yasmin, trying to suck up, like always (she is sooooo disgusting!!!) Keevana and Erin, whispering to each other, tilting their heads and looking at us. They are freaks! Kelly Anna sitting at their table like she’s a prisoner. I feel sorry for her. And Wanda, right in the middle, running everything, acting like the Queen B. And I don’t mean bee!
So we’re sitting there, and then we hear this noise. Buppp buppp bupppppp. And someone drives through the hallways, between the lockers, right into the quad! On a motorcycle! Like, you’re totally not supposed to drive a motorcycle onto the quad! What freak did that? And what is going to happen when Mr. Sisko finds out he drove a motorcycle onto the quad, like you’re TOTALLY not supposed to do? It will be like World War III! You just don’t piss off Mr. Sisko.
So there’s this kid on the motorcycle, only he’s not a kid. He’s like maybe 19? Too old to be hanging around a high school, that’s for sure. He’s REALLLLLLLY ugly. Like he makes Yasmin look good by comparison! He’s like tall and skinny and has REALLLLLLY bad acne and he’s wearing this black leather motorcycle outfit. He’s revving the motorcycle like he’s really bad or something. What a faker!
Wanda is like looking at him, and he like winks at her. GROSS! Does he think Wanda is hot or something. I am about to puke, but them Wanda walks up to him – like she knows him or something? – and they say something I can’t hear and before I know what’s going on, she’s hopped on the cycle and they’re gone!
So now here’s me and Frank and Kerry and Frodo looking at each other, wondering what is going on? I’m not even sure. But we’re looking at each other and thinking: this can’t be anything good. Then somebody runs over and plops down on the bench next to me! I practically jump out of my skin! It’s Julian, that freak!
“Was that Gil?” Julian says. “Never thought I’d see him here again.”
Miles is right behind him. “Wait till old man Sisko finds out about this. He’ll just be a smear on the pavement.”
Julian laughs. I’m confused. “Do you know that freak on the motorcycle?”
Kerry nods. Sometimes I forget I’m only a ninth grader, and most of my friends have been here longer than me. “That’s Gil Dukat.”
“He used to work at the gas station across the way, when it belonged to Terry Knorr,” Frodo adds.
“I heard he killed someone,” Frank says. “That’s how he got kicked out of school.”
“Hmmph,” Frodo says. “He just flunked his classes. But he likes to tell everyone he killed someone. He’s all talk, just ignore him.”
“That’s right,” Kerry says. “Mr. Sisko has kicked him off the campus twice. Don’t let him scare you, Marissa. He isn’t as tough as he acts.”
I nod. The bell rings for the next class. I pick up my books and leave the quad, but I can’t stop thinking about Wanda and Gil Dukat and what schemes they might be hatching. And I’ve made enemies with Mrs. Founder, too! This is not good. I wish my real father would come back and take me far, far away from Dominion High School.
TO BE CONTINUED…