Chapter 2: Kindness Rewarded
Hey mom, can I put you on hold, I am getting another call?” Lindy asked her mom. Jill, her mother, laughed.
‘That’s okay darling. I will call back tomorrow, your loyal subjects are waiting for you,” she said teasingly. Her mom had been the reigning queen in school and she assumed Lindy was as well.
“Okay Mom. Have fun in Milan,” she told her and swiped over to Barb.
“Hey Barb, what’s up?” She asked.
“I was going to say the same thing. What were you thinking, standing up for that geek? You’re on the squad!” Barb said with exasperation. Lindy blushed slightly and shook her head. She should have seen it coming.
“Come on Barbie, you guys were going at her a little hard don’t ya think? I know we are all pissed because the squad was put on temporary suspension, but it wasn’t the new kids fault,” she said reasonably.
“Doesn’t matter, you gotta stand with us. It looks bad,” she returned, and Lindy shook her head, silently cursing. No one cared about that, she knew. Only members of the squad.
‘Yeah, I know. It just seemed a little harsh is all,” she tried. Reasonable discussion wasn’t going to work, she knew. That was reinforced as she received call after call from her cheerleading friends. She realized it had been a planned phone assault when the last person to call was Anna, the captain.
“I hope you have rethought your defense of that slutty geek,” Anna asked by way of saying hello. Some days Lindy wondered why she put up with her friends.
“Come on Ann, we don’t even know her. She’s new and doesn’t know anyone, that would be hard enough to deal with without us giving her a bad time. Why do you think she is a slut anyway?” Lindy asked. Considering Anna’s habit of making her way through the football team she thought it was a bit much for her to use that insult.
“What are you talking about? You saw her boobs. Hell, their bigger than yours and those almost kept you off the squad. When a girl has em that big everyone knows what she is about. I bet she had them done special,” Anna said rudely. Lindy frowned but kept her temper. If she wasn’t careful she would be the next target. Her mention of Lindys chest was a veiled threat.
“I don’t think that’s true, it’s not her fault, but calm down. I’ll ease up. Crap Anna, why are you so pissed about the suspension. It wasn’t your fault, or any of ours that the prank went south. If we do the suspension and keep out mouths shut, we’ll be back on top in no time,” she pointed out. Fortunately, Anna allowed the change of subject. By the time Lindy went to sleep she was worried about her position at school. It didn’t help her that she had a dream of the new girl standing up for her.
The next day was about how she expected. She received constant ragging from the other cheerleaders. She found herself avoiding Summer in the halls. When she did walk by she couldn’t look her in the eyes. She hated doing it and hated the thought of being put in the position of standing up for her again because of the repercussions. Being a high school student sucked sometimes, she thought as she got her food from the cafeteria line. A salad and some apple sauce. She went and sat with Barb and another cheerleader named Tina. About halfway through the meal someone sat down next to her, without invitation. It was Mike. The running back for the football team.
“Hello ladies, what’s up?” He asked. He smiled at them all and then focused on Lindy. He seemed eager about something.
“Not much Mike. Same old school crap. You know,” Tina told him. “Speaking of which, we got that thing we have to do Barb, we better get to it,” She finished.
“Huh, what thing?” She asked confused. Barb was easily confused, Lindy thought.
“You know, come on,” Tina told her, taking her arm and tugging her out of her seat and away. Lindy had no idea what “thing” they had to do and only once they were gone did she realize why they left.
“So, Lindy, I hear you ladies will be back cheering soon. You’ll be at the away game next week, right?” He asked her. Lindy stared at him blankly a moment before understanding.
“Uh, yeah. I guess I will be,” she told him.
“Cool. Humble County has a fall fair happening. Wanna go with me after the game? It’s always a good time,” he said with a casual smile of assurance that any girl would have a good time with him. She held back a sigh. She did not date football players.
“Sorry Mike. Your cool and all, but I am too busy to date anyone right now, sorry,” she told him. She had given up trying to be gentle with the guys. They didn’t seem to get subtlety.
“Ah come on, why not. The team is the pick of the school,” he told her. She could see he didn’t get why anyone wouldn’t want to date him. He was handsome, to be sure. Strong, with excellent features. That was it though. At least for Lindy.
“Like I said, to busy Mike. Try Tina, I know she has the hots for ya,” she told him. Lindy didn’t know that at all. Tina was like Anna though. She would appreciate being seen with him.
“Well, uhm, if you change your mind,” he said a little hesitantly. She realized he had never been turned down before. She almost laughed at the confused look on his face before he left. She finished her lunch and went off to the library. She could chill there until her next class without being bothered. She figured the girls would get over her “affront” soon enough if she was out of sight.
In her last class, she sat a few rows in front of Summer and didn’t turn around once. Anna and Barb were making occasional remarks about the girls Black Widow backpack and black tee with the Steel Panther logo on it. She felt horrible about it but remembered the phone calls of the night before as well as the looks she had got that day. She could quickly become social pond scum and then were would she be, she thought to herself.
After class was over she went to a cheerleader squad meeting in preparation for getting back to work. The suspension was almost up, and they wanted to be ready. They planned the new cheers without doing them and as usual Lindy had some of the harder aspects of cheering. She was the strongest of the girls. She didn’t mind though, it kept her in better shape. Looking good was required and she loved her chocolate too much to want to have to diet, not if a usual cheer routine would keep her waist trim and limbs strong. The girls hardly mentioned her behavior the day before. Now they just wanted to talk about how she had shot down Mike. He was not happy about it, although he was taking Tina as she had told him.
“Are you nuts girl? That guy’s parents are rich with a capital R. Good looking and think how impressive it could have been. You lost your chance now, Tina is going to bag that one,” Anna said. Lindy glanced over at Tina across the conference room the school let them use.
“Sure, she is. How long will that last? She hasn’t stuck with one guy for long, not since Tom in junior high. He’ll be on the market again. Heck you could take a swing at him,” Lindy teased Anna. Anna chuckled but shook her head.
“Not me. I am with Lance and that is where I am going to stay,” she said firmly with a wink. Lindy laughed. Anna was worse than Tina about settling.
After the meeting she stopped in at the little hole in the wall coffee shop she liked to go to. She loved her mocha coffees with extra chocolate and she had homework when she got home. She was paying for her drink and turned, she was startled to see Summer at the counter accepting a mocha herself. Their eyes met, and Lindy froze. For a brief second, her mind filled possible reactions.
She thought she could just smile, nod and leave. She could ignore her or leave. She knew the girls would want her to be a snot to the new kid, or she could just be a decent person. In that second, they all warred for top choice in her mind. She stood on the edge of ignoring the girl completely, but then she let out a breath and smiled.
“Hey Summer, how’s it going?” She heard herself say. Summer smiled in relief. There was something sweet about her and Lindy couldn’t bring herself to be a bitch to her.
“Doing some homework, it requires mochas,” she said raising her cup. Lindy laughed and agreed. Before long she was sitting with Summer at a table in the back discussing homework and teachers. Have I found a friend? She wondered, as the topic switched to movies. A real friend?