DISCLAIMER: I sadly do not own any O.C.-related stuff, except the poster they sell at Wal-Mart. The only thing I claim ownership of is the character of Ramona. I don't even own the chapter titles, as they are titles of Guster songs.
CHAPTER 1: RamonaRamona Devreaux walked into the room, jaw dropping. It was huge. Much, MUCH larger than
her room at home, that was for sure. At her parents' she had had a room approximately the
size of the average prison cell, and even at her cousin's her room had been maximum 20x20.
This room, in Newport Beach, California, was at least twice that size. If you put together
three rooms at Doubletree they would probably be equal.
One of the drawbacks of her new gargantuan room was that it was pink. Ramona didn't
mind pink, if it was bright, but this was cutesy, Care-Bear, Pepto-Bismol pink. That would
need to be redone. Aquamarine, maybe, or red. Red might be too strong of a color for a
bedroom, but... okay, definitely not red. Maybe purple. Obviously not lilac, as lilac was
almost as bad as pink. If it was going to be purple, it would be bright purple. Or bright green
would be nice, she thought, shifting her stance. She sighed. Clearly this wouldn't be decided
The first day of school. Ramona tugged on the bright blue tank she was wearing. She was
tempted to wear her Dandy Warhols tee, or the green Guster one with the llama, but decided
against it. The first day she should wear something neutral... it was bad enough she had that
magenta streak in her hair. Wait with the indie shirts until she got the feel of this place.
From what she'd seen so far, it was a strictly Abercrombie community. That is, when it
Back in Boston, the Abercrombie obsession had been as strong, but at least it hadn't
brainwashed everyone. The majority of her school had been the typical preppy beautiful
people; you also had the Goths off to the sideline, the beautiful anti-preps, the drama club,
and her. Her and her friends - who weren't exactly popular, but weren't dragged-through-
the-dirt nerds. They were geeks, but not teased mercilessly. For the most part, they flew
under the radar.
Ramona grabbed her backpack and walked out the door. Play it cool the first day. Then you might have the feel of it. It can't possibly be all Jocks and Co.
Then you might have the feel of it. It can't possibly be all Jocks and Co.Ramona and jocks
was not a good combination. It was bad enough that she was starting the week after
Harbor at lunchtime was crowded and noisy. Ramona smiled to herself. Some things never change.
change.Her worries had been confirmed. Prada, Abercrombie, Jimmy Choos, and Badgley
Mischka ran rampant. The girls all seemed to be dressed on the scant side, with perfect hair
and makeup. The boys lumbered and appeared to have a uniform: jeans, nondescript shirt,
She hastily grabbed a seat at a nearby table, focusing her eyes on her food and away
from the glaring sun. (They ate outside - outside! In November!) Pulling a book out of her
bag, she began to read. There was no one to sit with her today.
Anna Stern walked out into the sunshine, contemplating what to do. Normally she would be
sitting with Seth and Ryan, but after Thanksgiving... Well, she was pissed. Seth could have
Summer if he wanted. She didn't give a damn. And apparently, judging by their conversation
in the bathroom, Summer didn't either. Summer wasn't a bad person, just shallow. Oddly
enough, they were slowly becoming friends. But Summer didn't have the same lunch.
Scanning the courtyard, Anna noticed a girl sitting by herself, reading a book. Her
head was tilted downwards, a curtain of wavy black hair flopping over her face. A chunk of
magenta broke up the waves. She looked new.
A shadow fell across the pages of The Great Gatsby. Ramona looked up. A blond girl
with extremely long earrings was grinning at her. "Hi," she said. "I'm Anna. Are you new?"
"Oh, uh - is this your table? I'm sorry," she spoke, collecting her stuff.
"Oh, no!" Anna laughed. "I was wondering if I can sit here. You're in my math class,
"Yeah." Ramona realized she still hadn't introduced herself. "I'm Ramona."
"So, where are you from?" Anna asked, biting into her tuna melt.
"Boston. It's my first day."
"Don't worry. I just started here this year - I'm from Pittsburgh. It's not so hard."
Briefly Anna's eyes flicked over to the table where Seth and Ryan were sitting.
Ramona hadn't missed it. She glanced over. A very muscular blond guy - he was
jacked, for God's sake - sat eating with a taller, gangly guy whose brown hair looked out of
control. "You like one of them?" Ramona's jaw dropped, unable to believe that she had just
asked that. She'd known Anna for what, all of two minutes? And already intruded into
Anna's love life.
Anna's eyebrows shot up. "Omigod, uh, I'm sorry," blurted Ramona. "It's, uh, none
of my beeswax."
Beeswax. Great. What was she, ten? No wonder I'm a geek. Anna thought back to the day she had met the boys, when Ryan and Marissa waltzed.
"You like her, huh?" Ryan nodded. "Man, are you in trouble..."
She grinned. This girl, Ramona, was as blunt as she was! Maybe not purposefully,
but... "It's okay," Anna said. "And yes, I do. Or did. I don't know."
Ramona leaned forward involuntarily. "What happened?" Something told her Anna
was the open-book type. She seemed fair, too. Ramona wouldn't have asked if she thought
Anna would be judgmental.
"Well, we're friends - or were - and I had a thing for him, but so did this other girl.
He invited me over for Thanksgiving, but the other girl showed up too and apparently he
kissed both of us." Anna briskly went back to her tuna. Ramona's jaw dropped again. What
a loser! She looked back at the other table, furious. It had to be the blond one. Had to be.
He had the look of a player. Living in Boston, Ramona had known a quite a few self-titled
players. Yeah, it was definitely the blond guy.
"What a jerk!" Ramona cried. "He doesn't deserve you, Anna. I've only known you
for ten minutes and even I can see it." Anna smiled. Meanwhile, a tall girl with the look of a
supermodel sat down at the boys' table, next to blondie. Was that the other girl? Ramona's
"You know what, Anna? You need to forget this guy," Ramona declared. "Want to do
something after school? I heard of this place - Jamba Juice, I think it's called - and it's
supposed to be really great. I heard they have every kind of smoothie you could think of."
Anna considered. Why not? Ramona seemed nice, and she doubted she would see
Seth there... he was too busy playing video games. "Sure, meet me in the parking lot after
The bell rang for the next class, and the two girls parted ways.