Chapter 4: Odd Girls Out
The next few weeks were hard for Lindy. Her “friends ahd noticed she was being friendly with Summer and were giving her a tough time about it. They all felt she ahd forsaken them somehow. Lindy decided she didn’t want to give up the good friendship she was building naturally with Summer, so she didn’t back down. Tina and Barb were on Anna to kick her off the squad, except Anna knew Lindy was the best they had and couldn’t do it. She said it would be letting the school down if they couldn’t lead the cheers properly. Lindy knew Anna just didn’t want to look less than the best at any time. So instead her squad just gave her crap for it. They even got the jocks on board with the torment.
Her parents came back from Milan and were around for almost a whole week before they were off again. This time to Germany, for business, they said. Lindy ahd got so used to them being gone she didn’t think much about it. She did sometimes wonder about what it would be like to have a normal family life. Summer seemed to have one with her dad. She ahd gone to Sunday dinner at Summers house and had fun. It was obvious how close Summer and her dad were and she thought it was cool.
In the past she might have gotten jealous of their closeness. Now, although she felt a little pang in her heart, she thought it cool that she could share in her friend’s good fortune. It made a good end to a bad week. Her time was becoming things she was stuck doing; school, and cheerleading, or things she wanted to do. Most of which was hanging out with Summer. With her there was no pressure to be anything but what she was. Then one day at lunch things really went south on her.
“Hey geek girl, why don’t you give this punk a tumble, I am sure he would appreciate. He’s got money, he could afford you,” She heard as she walked into the lunch room. Lindy looked over and saw Anna, Barb, Mike and his buddy Lance were standing by the table Summer was sitting at alone. Lance was holding a skinny sophomore kid by the neck of his tee shirt, as if offering him to Summer. Lindy frowned. Enough was enough, she thought and marched over. Summer had her head down as she gathered up her things. She was outnumbered and new it.
“What is your fucking problem Lance? As bad as you were playing last week I would think you’d be off practicing or making out with Lisa in the janitor’s closet like usual,” she said. It was an almost open secret that he was stepping out on Anna. The two cheerleaders and jocks were shocked at her sudden appearance and attack. Lance let go of the kid and he scooted off at light speed. Summer looked up shocked, yet a little embarrassed too.
“What did you say?” Lance snarled. Lindy stepped up next to Summer.
“I said your playing is sucking so bad it is hard to find a way to get the crowd excited. Picking on someone because you suck is pathetic,” she told him. The crowded lunch room tittered in appreciation at her taunt. The team had sucked so far, and everyone knew it. Anna was glaring at Lance and Lindy.
“Teacher,” someone in the crowd hissed and everyone dispersed. Lindy walked with Summer out of the lunch room towards the library.
‘Damn Lindy that was intense. Thanks for the save but…” Summer stammered the last words. Lindy’s heart was still pounding, and she was still angry.
“Don’t worry, it’ll blow over. Assholes,” she said shortly, shaking her head. “You don’t deserve any of that shit. I don’t even know who that poor kid was, but I bet he is having a bad day now. I am tired of all their crap. At my worst I was never like that. It is just pissing me off!” She exclaimed as they entered the library. She heard Mrs. Halon shssed them as they walked to the back of the expansive room, behind the second half of the stacks.
“Calm down Lindy. We can’t get kicked out of the library, that would be embarrassing,” Summer told her, and she looked at her friend’s little smile and busted up laughing, covering her mouth to keep quiet. They sat, and Lindy calmed down.
“I really am sorry Summer. I should have slapped them down sooner. I was just…” she began, and Summer took her hand.
“It’s all right. You grew up with them, you just met me. I get it. Thanks again though. That just came out of nowhere. One minute I was eating and enjoying re-reading Dune and the next, bam!” She explained. “I wasn’t ready for it,” Summer admitted. Lindy nodded.
“You shouldn’t have to be “ready” to be harassed like that. I keep expecting everything to settle down, it usually does. This time I don’t know what their problem is,” Lindy admitted herself.
“Maybe it’s what you said. The football team is for crap this year. At least from what I hear in the halls. They need a punching bag and I am it. Is there any way we can rig a game, so they can win? Maybe that would get em off our backs,” Summer added. Lindy laughed.
“That might work, as long as they don’t find out. It would kill them to think they won something because of us,” Lindy said, willing to be cheered up by her friend. Summer laughed and covered her mouth too. Then she sighed.
“I think you just made yourself a bigger target girlfriend. That was public. By now everyone in school knows what happened. As far as I know you’re the only cheerleader anyone likes. The squad and the jocks can’t be happy,” she said. Lindy knew she was right. She didn’t know what to do about it though.
Lindy was walking out of the backdoor at school. She could cross the football field and go down an alley and get home quicker with less notice. Unfortunately, someone else thought of that too.
“Sneaking away Lindy? Ashamed of what you did today?” She heard Anna’s voice as she got to the other side of the field. Anna and Barb stepped out of the bushes, they had been waiting. She took a deep breath, she was resolute in her purpose and wasn’t going to let herself be bullied anymore.
“Hell no! You guys should be ashamed. What the hell were you thinking. Summer has never done anything to you two. Go slap your boyfriend for sleeping around on you and stop picking on people. That idiot Lance probably scared the shit out of that kid today,” she told them firmly. She was proud her voice wasn’t shaking. Her stomach was knotted. Anna blushed, and Barb glanced at the captain with a smirk before frowning at Lindy.
‘He is not! What is your problem? Coming at us like that.” Bard snarled.
“I wasn’t coming at you. Keep it up and you’ll get all of us kicked from the squad and Miss Chapman will blow a her top!” Miss Chapman was the coordinator who oversaw the squad.
“That’s not what you’re worried about. You just have an unnatural attachment to that geek. Does she turn you on? Is that why you turned down Mike for a date? Look at Lindy blush, your fucking her, is that it? Or are you both whoring out to the geeks squad. We should have known. All this time and you’re just a slut!” Anna said. She was flushed and angry. Lindy flashed back to second grade when Anna had gotten made at a boy for tugging her pigtail. She had lost her temper and beat the crap out of the kid. It had taken her days to calm down about it and ahd got suspension too. Lindy wondered how she had ever considered this girl a good friend. Despite these thoughts if hurt. They ahd known each other their whole lives and it had come to this. She felt a catch in her throat and Anna was still scowling.
“Go on whore, go home to your empty house. Now I know why your folks are always gone, probably can’t stand you, go on, get out of here,” Anna said, and her voice scaled up to a shriek and Lindy left. She walked quickly and that turned into a run, with her pack bouncing uncomfortably on her back. By the time she was fumbling for her keys she ahd began crying. She got inside and leaned against the door, trying to hold back tears. When she had contained them to sniffles she wiped her eyes. Now what, she thought in desperation. She had nowhere to go, or anyone to turn to. Then the doorbell rang. She was sitting on the steps in sight of the front door and could see out the glass windows. It was Summer looking worried. Summer met her eyes and Lindy got up and went to open it.
“Are you okay? I saw you running by my house…oh shit, it’s Anna, isn’t it,” Summer asked, and Lindy felt her tears rise again and before she knew it she was crying on her friend’s shoulders. It felt like years of emotions were exploding out of her and she couldn’t stop them. It had been so long since she ahd anyone to confide it. By the time she calmed down she felt a little bit at peace, as if it was a release she ahd desperately needed.