The Girl Who Could Change Fate
Fifteen. Kinda small. Round, heart-shaped face. Wannabe punk-rock chick, but mostly just chill. Careless, indifferent attitude, yet overall sensitive. Dressed usually in tight jeans, t-shirt, and old-style black Converses. Have a pretty sluggish swagger, though arms swing ape-ishly when walking.
Yep, that's me. Lacey Joy White. Your average, everyday teenager.
And the one getting shoved into a locker.
At first, I didn't like to think of Lincoln High School as being another education system dominated by labeling and phony people. I hated stereotyping, after all. So it had been a bit of a shocker when, second week of freshmen year, my best friend and I had been barricaded inside a school trailer for two hours. Naturally, my philosophy of “just be yourself” went down the toilet after that, especially since one could get popped for saying something that deep.
So you had the regular high school “Pyramid.” The preps, A.K.A. jocks and cheerleaders, were on top. You know—the ones who partied hard and got drunk every Friday night. Next were the punk- rockers who didn't give a damn about anything except skateboarding and music. They tended to score lower than a D on most tests because, well, they really didn't give a damn about anything except skateboarding and music. The third level of the Pyramid consisted of teenagers with a remote standing status—the ones who participated in extracurricular activities like Key Club and Drama and boasted of association with the preps through voluntary carpooling (on their part). Typically, they were a bunch of wannabes who never succeeded in reaching top high school reputation. Last was everyone else not worthy enough to be on any of the other levels: the nerds or geeks or dorks or whatever you want to call them. The ones who could be cared less about. Guess which one I was considered to be?
Why I mention this now is because, after my face's daily meeting with a locker, I saw him. Alexander Price. My three-year crush who didn't know me save for being the creepy girl in English class gaping at him from the back of the room. I always thought of the “Pyramid of Popularity” every time I caught sight of him. It reminded me—reminded all of us—that there were opportunities everywhere, even if you were under the dumb illusion that achieving high school popularity really showed something in the overall scheme of life when it only mattered when you wanted it to. Only choice could stop you—always choice—because, ultimately, you can never be yourself: only who you're trying to be.
Abruptly, I straightened up, although that was a little hard with my stupid messenger backpack weighing me down on one side. It had been a leathered, vomit-colored piece of crap my mom had gotten me from the Salvation Army for my birthday last year, but I had quickly mended it with some Avenged Sevenfold patches when I heard Alex liked them—'course, that was until his favorite band became Trivium.
Anyways, I took it off and readied myself. This could be the day that he finally noticed I existed.
“Hey Alex!” I said, rather croakily.
But I didn't care. All I could do was admire his emo haircut and the way his thick, black curls shook slightly as he turned his head towards me. His mesmerizing dark eyes, framed by luscious lashes and heavy eye-liner, twinkled with confusion as he regarded the noob who had called his name.
My breath caught. He had actually looked! And boy, was he dressed fabulous as always! A brown skater t-shirt that betrayed the fine musculature underneath. Baggy olive-green jeans that I would have thought ugly except on this occasion. And, oh my! He even had chains dangling from the loop of his pants!
Beginning to understand why I wanted to become a punk-rock chick?
He stared blankly at me for the briefest of seconds before walking away into the crowd of the school hallway.
Desperation seized me. My stomach lurched uncomfortably—my mind jarred to a sharp stop. What was I going to do?
Trinity came rushing out of the adjacent corridor; spotted him sauntering off as well as the deep, dejected defeat etched into my countenance; and hissed, “After him!”
I need not be told twice. I thrust myself into the throng of students, taking note that, where Alex and I had been standing, there were four other people. A total of six. No wonder.
I hurried up to reach the boy of my daydreams, struggling among students with apparent difficulty. Hey, at five-foot-three, school hallways are dangerous.
“Alex…” I huffed and puffed. Classes hadn't even started and I was already worked up.
He glanced at me with blatant unconcern.
Amanda was the lesbian who sat next to me in English class and had a big-ass crush on me. Why anyone would like me, I have no clue. But he was one seat away, so it didn't matter that he hadn't known my name!
“Oh.” It sounded like a dismissal.
“We're in the same English class,” I offered.