2.7 The Wrong Lessons

by Matt P.

Siobhan watched the group of girls warily as they approached. While they had all sorts of looks there was a general peppiness about them that made her nervous. She wondered, briefly, if they were like Tyrannosauruses; if she stayed still would they not see her until the bell rang?

She was prepared for a lot of things. She was prepared for them to yell something ranging from the inane to the hurtful. She was prepared for them to scoff, tease, bully, or make fun. And she was prepared, if they were going to go after Annie, to introduce them to the meaning of fear.

She was not prepared for a perky blond about her own height to walk over and quietly hug her. She froze, her arms out and down and stiff as a corpse’s. After an awkward few moments she reached around the older blond to pat her back, while shooting her sister a confused look.

“Gary has needed punching for years.” The blond said simply. Since Siobhan had only punched one person (that the cheerleader knew about, at least), that meant that letter jacket was Gary. “Why did you do it? Most people just…you know, let him.”

Siobhan paused for a moment, reaching down to adjust her clothes more to stall for time then that she cared about them. “We get to choose who we’re gonna be, and what we’re gonna let happen in the world. I don’t chose to let assholes do that kind of thing.” She said, with a shrug. The attention from all of them made her self-conscious, and she kind of wanted to just go hide.

The blond nodded, looking to another young woman in a cheer outfit; her fellow cheerleader was African-American with breathtakingly good looks, and she nodded.

“I’m Lacey, that’s Monica. We’re having a party tonight, you should come.” Lacey, the blond, said as she pulled an honest to goodness business card out of her purse with an address and a phone number on it.

“This isn’t like a Carrie moment, is it?” Siobhan asked warily, eying the card. “Cause I don’t own anything that goes with pig’s blood.”

Monica snorted, and Lacey let out a genuine little laugh. “We’ve got better things to do with pigs out here than bleed them.” That drew some laughter, and Lacey blushed when she realized how that could be taken. “Bring your sister. I’m not saying you’re cool, but decking that dick definitely earned you an invite.” And with that the whole clique turned and flounced away.

“Huh.” Siobhan said, as Antigone continued to just stare. “Dad was wrong, I should have just been punching people the whole time.”