No update in quite a while. Well, I make this chapter! So enjoy, no? Perry strikes again with more of her life!
Chapter 3: Befriending Amber
Ninth grade, their freshman year in high school, and the duo were lucky. They both had the same first class in the first room on the first day of school. Both wanted to hug and dance with each other at the moment of seeing each others faces, but with Julie arriving just before the bell was to ring, she took her seat in the last remaining chairs in the corner.
"Well, summer's over and I'm so happy to see you all again," the teacher told them. "Welcome back to high school." A few confused stares were present with the fact that none of them had ever seen her before.
"My name is Ms. Ecstasia," she said, "And I'm your English teacher for this year. Now, I'm going to pass out these papers and I want you to fill out the following that it directs you to. Volunteers, please?" Nobody was willing to raise their hands at all, and Julie solved the problem seconds later.
"Young girl in the corner," Ms. Ecstasia noticed. "Are you Wendy Christensen's sister?" She rolled her eyes.
"I guess I am," she said in a reluctant voice. Perry knew how much Julie despised her own sister, who was a year older than her. She always got the attention of her father, and though her mother obviously favored Julie more, Wendy always managed to win situations over and take advantages as the older sibling.
"Wendy told on me," Julie said one day as they were riding their bikes. "I went out to see a movie and the next thing I saw when I returned home was my father, ready to yell shit at me."
"My sister's such a bitch. She keeps on stealing my good-luck charm bracelet that's MINE. Not hers."
"What a butt hole Wendy is. Yesterday she decided to go tanning with her friends and her friends even invited me to come along. But she went bitchy all over again and didn't let me go. What a cunt!" Perry realized over the years of seventh and eighth grade how much Julie's offensive vocabulary had grown. It was much contrast to her personality on the first day she had met her, and Perry always wondered what had caused her friend's switch of attitude and language.
Just when Julie had finished passing out her last paper, a knock on the classroom doors was heard. All students looked at the girl who entered through the door as Ms. Ecstasia stood up in alertness. She was African-American, wearing a yellow dress that appeared to have been ironed numerous times before being put on. Her sneakers with translucent pink stripes seemed to be fastened to the floor and super-glued.
"Oh yes, you're the new girl," the teacher said in her most cheerful voice, a voice which didn't even reach the welcoming level at all.
"Reagan," she said suddenly. Some students looked amused at her sudden talk as Ms. Ecstasialowered her glasses to look again at her paper.
"It says here your name is Amber Reagan," she read. Amber nodded, and the teacher seemed to smack her head and at the same time lift her glasses back to its original position.
"Oh, pardon me, you were saying your surname!" she said in realization. "Welcome to McKinley High, Amber Reagan. Please take a seat next to…Perry, right over to your right. Did I say welcome? Oh yes. Welcome Amber." Her glued shoes were suddenly detached as she stepped over to the empty seat next to Perry. The students around Amber couldn't help but look at her, as Amber just stood straight up in her desk and looked forwards. Perry couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Just who couldn't help but feel sorry for this new girl? she asked herself. Amber looked extremely uncomfortable in her chair as she shifted around.
Perry looked at Julie and sighed. Julie was sitting upright in her chair, hands at her side and shifting around in the exact manner Amber was doing. Perry glared at her, not believing how Julie could be so ignorant against a person she had never met before. This was definitely not the Julie she had seen in seventh grade. Again she thought, what had triggered this change in her?
When the class was over, Amber was the first one to stand up, gather her books, put her bag over her left shoulder and walk out from the room as the bell rang. Julie stepped out of the classroom just as Perry did.
"My next class, Health, is so boring," Julie told Perry. "At least that's what I've heard from everyone else. Okay, see ya." Perry looked at her.
"Why were you teasing her?" Perry questioned.
"Well, I liked her chair shifting a lot," Julie said, "And it feels so comfortable when you do that."
"No, really," Perry said in a more serious tone. "She isn't comfortable at all in this school. It's not easy being the new one somewhere. And all you do is make fun of her? I mean, seriously, never do that again." Julie tilted her head to the side in light annoyance.
"Oh, please," she said. "You take this way too seriously. She'll be just like you, fitting in with everyone else throughout the first year in a different school. Duh, Reagan will be fine."
"I came to McKinley when I was six years old," Perry reminded Julie. But she had already headed off down the hallway to catch up with her second class.
Perry couldn't get the thought of Amber out of her mind. So it wasn't a surprise that when it was lunchtime, Perry was planning her next move in attempt to get to know a thing or two about the new girl. Amber was seen on the lunch line, trying to look familiarized with the things around her as if she had been in McKinley High for the previous two years.
Then she looked at a corner of the chalkboard that displayed "Andy's Burgers, $2.99" as if she was heavily interested with the rusty wood design. Perry remembered being like this at the party of her relative's house; she would look at a balloon or the icing on a cake, pretending to be so caught up with what she was intrigued by that when people looked at her, it looked as if she was already satisfied in her own personal company.
She couldn't help but gulp as she stepped up her way in the line, positioning herself directly behind Amber until she was touching the yellow fabrics of her dress. This was her chance, she thought. A sudden thought of reluctance swallowed her mind, but then she remembered something two years prior: hadn't this been the same location where Julie had befriended her? Food, she thought. Food. Talk about something with food. She stared at Amber,then followed her eyes up until she opened her mouth.
"Yuck, they have the Andy Burgers again," Perry said, forcing the words out of her mouth as if she were talking to Julie. "Don't try them." Amber turned around in confusion, her eyes piercing right into her . Perry wanted to sink out of sight by the way Amber seemed to stare.
"Were you talking to me?" she asked.
"I guess I was," said Perry. "I, uh, just wanted to warn you. You know, you just came to this school and don't know much." She felt as if she had said the right thing, because Amber's face seemed relieved and unstressed. In fact, she believed that anything spoken would have eased Amber, as long as Perry had directed it to her.
"I know a bit about this school," Amber replied, tossing some hair away from her face. "My step sister goes here and told me a lot about it." Then, to Perry's delight, she smiled.
"Oh, really?" Perry said. "That's great. I hope you'll enjoy McKinley High. Staying her, I mean."
"I guess, yeah," Amber said. The conversation seemed to be finished until they reached the lunchlady. The old and obese woman lifted her spoon into the air and opened her mouth as if she were waiting for Amber's order in speed timing. She turned to Perry in panic.
"What other foods are there? Quick!" Amber whispered.
"Umm, uh, the burger!" Perry wanted to slap herself, as Amber gave her the most baffled look ever. The lunclady lifted her spoon even higher, and Perry was afraid she would smack poor Amber if she didn't speak up in the next second.
"All right, the Andy burger," said Amber, sharing a glance of surprise with Perry. The lady frowned and put down her spoon.
Once they had both received their lunches, Perry led Amber to one of the tables for the ninth graders. Unlike Amber's old school, tables weren't assigned for people, and there were no such things as "categories". Amber spent a long while explaining what categories were to her new friend.
"So the whole lunchroom in my old school has seventh to twelfth," Amber began. "And, after getting food you can't just sit anywhere. That's why I wanted you to lead me to a table."
"Can't just sit anywhere?" Perry wondered. "What do you mean?"
"Well, it was a thing called categories," she said, "And it's kinda stupid. They have a table for punks, for instance. The word 'PUNK' is written in large black letters on the bottom of the table. They're for those who are in bands and play music that classify in punk rock, and who have mohawks and tattoos. So all the punks have to sit there." Perry seemed amused.
"Then there's hispanics, the ones who are fluent in English and cool and another table for those who are having trouble in learning the language, the 'ESL Mexicans'."
"That sounds awfully rude," Perry couldn't help saying. Amber nodded in agreement.
"Emo people had their own table, with the words 'LOW LIFE' written on the bottom," Amber told her. "It used to have the word 'SUICIDE', but then some janitor erased it several times before he then threatened to tell the principal." Perry seemed a bit disturbed by this.
"A table for the gays," continued Amber. "And those who seemed gay to others, with a vote of 2:3 in a poll, would have to sit on the table. This really nasty kid in the grade above us was the most straight person you could ever imagine. He was a pervert, so when the poll to determine whether he was gay or not arrived, all the girls voted positively."
"That is just...strange," said Perry, not knowing what to say.
"The caucasians had lots of categories," she added. "Nerds, really English people, the average, popualar, unpopular, and even a table for these four cheerleader girls, all to their own."
"Wow," Perry said. She never imagined a lunchroom being so complicated before, not just complicated, but extremely offendingand racist. She assumed that asians were split into Cool asians and Geek asians, but she didn't bother to ask.
"I was in the Sassy Blacks," Amber told Perry, saying it in such a way as if she were proud about it. "We had eight people on our table. And sometimes people would always break the 'rules'. I did it like two days every week." Amber then went on with a story of how the 'Category' method was almost banned when the story was slipped out to a set of parents, but Perry wasn't listening. A girl she had barely known fifteen minutes ago on the lunchline was chatting away to her as if she had known Perry for a few years. It was too hard to believe, and Perry had never felt more succesful before in her life.