Chapter 3: Ostracized by Most
Summer got to school a little early the next day. She figured she could avoid the crowd of people who hover around the front doors on a regular basis. She was at her locker when a tall thin girl she had noticed before opened the locker next to hers.
“Hi, your Summer, right? The new girl?” She was asked.
“Yeah, that’s me,” she answered putting her books away and just taking what she needed.
“I’m Angie Harmon. I wanted to say I love your backpack. It is the best picture I have seen of Scarjo,” she said about the actress who portrayed the superhero.
“I know right? As soon as I saw it I had to have it. Nice to meet you Angie. Looking forward to Wonder Woman?” She asked.
“Oh yeah. That is going to be epic. They are going to play it here in town too,” She said excitedly, like most geeks did. The girl’s eyes shot passed Summers head and then she turned to her locker and pulled out a book, shutting the door with a clang.
“I gotta go,” she said softly, looking down and walking quickly away. What did I do? Summer wondered.
“Oh look, you’re even scaring the other geeks away,” she heard Anna’s voice. Summer shut her locker turning. Anna, Tina, Barb and Lindy were walking up. Lindy was looking at Anna with a frown.
“It wasn’t me,” she said making big eyes at the short, petite cheerleader.
“Oh really,” Anna returned with a sneer.
“Nope. It was your perfume, we could smell it before you entered the building,” she said and as she turned and walked away from the shocked girls, she caught a wink and a grin from Lindy. Smiling, Summer went to class. She was done playing nice.
By Friday she wasn’t smiling as much. She had not been able to keep her smart-ass comments to herself any longer and it wasn’t making any friends. She ran into Angie again and the shy girl admitted she didn’t want to get caught in the crossfire. She had already been through it the year before.
“I can’t go through that again. I’m sorry,” Angie had said, embarrassed. Summer wanted to be mad but understood. The geeks were keeping their heads down until the shooting stopped. It explained why Summer had been unable to make friends with her own kind. Emery High was the worst she had seen when it came to Cliques and Geeks.
She met Lindy at the coffee shop again and enjoyed it. She was amazed at how much they had in common. Except their favorite classes.
“I just don’t get the math thing. I am sure somewhere back in history there was some Greek guy who made up the rules of algebra just to mess with future generations,” she said before taking a sip of her mocha. Summer laughed.
“See, I get the math. It’s the literature classes they insist we take that drive me crazy,” she commented.
“Tell ya what. I’ll help you with the literature, if you help me through math. I am getting tired of the looks the teacher gives me after every test,” Lindy said and gave an artful shudder. She really was rather sweet. Too bad she was stuck with those bitches as friends.
“Sounds like a deal Lindy. How about some study time tomorrow?” She asked. Lindy shook her head.
“I can’t, we get to do limited cheering tomorrow at the game. How about Sunday?” She asked, and Summer agreed. The conversation switched to movies and the new Wonder Woman movie and to her surprise Lindy was excited about it too.
“You bet. A woman kicking ass, I am all for that,” Lindy said and Summer grinned.
“How did you end up on the cheerleading squad?” She couldn’t help asking with a grin. Lindy laughed.
“I am beginning to wonder about that. Mom was when she was in school at Emery. Maybe I inherited it,” she said with a shrug. “Most of us on the squad have been here our whole life and, in most cases, parents too. Well, mine are always out of town, but they grew up here,” Lindy finished. Summer nodded. Sort of understanding.
The next night she found herself at the Football game. Her father had decided it would be good for her to integrate with her fellow students. She knew he felt bad about transferring her around as much as he did and was just trying to help. So, for him she went, got a hot dog, chips and a soda before heading up to the top of the bleachers away from the others. Less people looking at her.
Summer didn’t much care about football but watched it and was interested to notice the cheerleading squad. She knew Lindy wasn’t the captain, but she looked to be the one the others went too. Anna seemed to like to yell the countdown for the cheers or just yell at the others. Once they did routines Summer had to admit it looked hard. Lindy was by far the best and seemed to anchor most of the formations and action. Then again most of the other cheerleaders all appeared to be idiots, as far as Summer could see. She also seemed to enjoy the dancing and other stuff they did. It was beyond Summer why anyone would, but at least Lindy didn’t look like she was doing it merely for the social status.
The next morning, they were in the coffee shop and after an hour Summer had helped Lindy through the weekends homework. She seemed to understand it too, which was always a plus. She was used to helping people with their homework. Most of the time they didn’t pay attention. Lindy really wanted to get it right.
“Okay I got an idea, how about I get us two more mocha’s and I will go over the Beowulf analysis with you. Then, if you’re into it, we could go see Wonder Woman?” She asked the last almost hesitantly. Summers eyes widened, and she grinned. She was going to see it with her dad, but it was a movie that deserve multiple viewings.
“Seriously, you want to go today?” She asked. Summer felt excitement at the prospect. Lindy grinned and nodded.
“I do! It’s been a long week and we deserve a treat,” she said, and Summer was all for it.
They walked home after the movie, discussing finer points of the No Man’s Land scene and Summer thanked her for her help with Beowulf. Summer had the best day she had experienced since moving to Emery. They stopped in front of her house and her dad waved from the living room window and she waved back.
“It’s my turn to make Sunday dinner so I have to go,” she told Lindy, no longer wondering if they were friends.
“Sounds nice, have fun, see you tomorrow,” Lindy said with a smile and they went their separate ways. Lindy seemed a little wistful of her having dinner with her dad. Lindy’s parents were always traveling, and she had the house to herself most days. It was a set up most kids would love, Summer included. Once she started making dinner and talking to her dad she realized that maybe having the house to yourself all the time wasn’t as fun as it looked on the surface. To her surprise she talked about it with her dad. That led to her telling him about the problems at school. She left out the more vicious comments made by the girls.
“Well honey, is sounds like you made a friend. Feel free to invite her over anytime you want. She may miss some home cooking,” he said with a grin and she returned it.
“Thanks dad, I wish she wasn’t so shy about stopping her friends from teasing, but I’ll take what I can get,” she told him philosophically.
“I am not sure it is that easy Pumpkin. Standing up to your enemies can be hard, but standing up to your friends… I imagine that could be even harder. From what you said she’s lived here her whole life. She probably has known them since she was a little girl. Imagine how hard that would be,” he told her, and Summer absorbed that while finishing the gravy and potatoes left on her plate. She realized he did have a point.
“Thanks Dad, that makes sense. Thanks for being her for me,” she told him. As much as she sometimes missed ever having a mom, having her Dad was a blessing she tried to not take for granted.