|The Girl I Like Was Struck By Lightning
Author: VickyVicarious PM
When Lightning Strikes - from Rob's POV. I'm planning on doing the entire series, but who knows how far I'll actually get. Contains dialogue from the book.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Rob W. & Jess M. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 19,028 - Reviews: 66 - Favs: 156 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 09-06-08 - Published: 09-01-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4513328
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Mastriani? Well duh, you haven't seen her in classes; she's only 16, not a senior. You didn't seriously think she was, did you?"
I do have detention a lot, and I admit I flunked Health the first time around because I never paid attention, but generally I like to think I'm a pretty smart guy. But sometimes I do something so incredibly stupid that I can't help but wonder if those Townies are right about us Grits being as dumb as the livestock some of us own.
This happened to be one of those times.
You see, I had finally made a move and asked out this girl – Jess Mastriani. Well, I guess 'finally' isn't exactly the word… I haven't really even liked her for a long time. I mean, I noticed her before, like last semester, in Health. She sat in front of me, and occasionally Kurt and I would talk and she'd butt in with her own comments, but for the most part she never really stood out on my radar.
But then I got detention for two weeks because of that time I'd left in second period to go help Chick out at the bar because he was sick, rather than stay for math. And I saw her in there, up ahead of me in the auditorium.
I can't say that I was entirely surprised; I mean, any Townie girl who will actually carry out a conversation with the two Grits behind her about motorcycles – let's just say I knew from then on that Jess wasn't much like most other girls.
Well, it was that and her tendency to just wear t-shirts and jeans and not dress up, not wear makeup, and have very short, probably easy-to-manage hair, unlike other girls.
Not that I watched her frequently or anything; I'm just a guy. We tend to notice when certain girls stick out.
So anyway, I'd never really been interested in going out with Jess, just mildly interested in why she was so, well… different. But then, when I saw her in detention, combined with what I already knew about her, I kind of thought, why not?
I guess it didn't really hurt that she was really hot.
So, I offered to give her a ride after detention. She refused, apparently preferring to walk through what must be several miles of rain with her weird friend to getting a simple ride from me, which annoyed me for a while, until I realized that she probably hadn't refused because I was a Grit, and more because she didn't want to leave her friend alone.
Of course, I realized this right about the same time that I noticed it was tornado weather outside, and I got really worried for a little while. Sure, there wasn't really much I could have done to get them out of the way of the storm – my Indian, good as I'd fixed it up, simply cannot fit three passengers – but I'd just left them there.
I'm pretty sure Mom wouldn't be very happy with me.
But luckily, the storm cleared up really soon and there wasn't too much damage, so I figured they would probably have been okay. Besides, I was a little busy at the time. The truck had been parked outside, and hail had smashed the windshield in, so I had to take it down to my uncle's garage and fix it.
I admit, I still felt a little worried, but all my fears relaxed when I saw Jess in detention the next day. Well actually, more than saw her: Miss Clemmings moved her to the back, to sit right in the middle of the Ws, I guess to keep us from fighting.
Which was probably a good move. Miss Clemmings is pretty tiny and isn't equipped to keep us from fighting or even talking, like she's supposed to. And yeah, looking at her, you wouldn't guess that Jess would be able to stop any of us either, but if you'd been in the cafeteria a few days ago, you'd have seen that she's got a pretty good right hook – which is why she ends up in detention in the first place; because she goes around punching people who insult her family, or just really piss her off.
Anyway, Miss Clemmings pointed Jess back here, to the Ws row, because – well, I really don't like some of these people, no matter if we occasionally hang out, and it hasn't helped that I've been forced to sit next to Wendell and Wylie for an hour every day.
So half the row moved over for her – everyone past me, because she was taking my seat – and she sat down. Everyone else was groaning and complaining pretty loudly, but I can't say I really minded. Sure, I had to move, but it meant I'd at least get the chance to actually ask her out.
"Welcome to hell," I said when she sat down, glad to see I still warranted a grin even after driving off yesterday. Of course, as soon as she smiled, that idiot Wylie had to grab his crotch and leer at us, prompting me to threaten him, "You're dead, Wylie."
See how fights break out?
Miss Clemmings said "Shhh," and clapped her hands, whispering, "If I hear another word back there, you're all getting an extra week," in a way that was probably meant to be threatening but came across as more scolding – like you'd talk to naughty four year-olds in a day-care.
Still, we all listened; mostly because we knew she'd carry out her 'threat' and then we'd end up spending another week next to each-other. Of course, we usually all had an extra week by the time two days had gone by anyway (my original two-week sentence was already five weeks long by that time, and I still had two more left), but we tried to avoid it.
Wendell went back to playing with his paper football, and all the other Ws went back to what they'd been doing before Jess had come down – although some of them had to start over whatever they'd been scratching into their seats. I, however, didn't bother to go back to my spy novel. I'd already read it anyway, and I was too busy watching Jess, pretending to watch the play rehearsal.
But it was Endgame; I wasn't exactly interested in it, not when Jess was sitting right there, anyway. I watched her for a few minutes; she was doing some sort of homework. I think she's the only person in detention who consistently behaves well; all she ever does is sit there and do homework, or watch the plays. It's just another aspect of the mystery that is Mastriani: she does enough to get detention every day for pretty much all of the school year, but when she's actually in detention, she's a model citizen.
After a few minutes, I decided there really was no better time than now – we don't share any classes, and she's always with her friend after detention – and reached over to grab her book, nodding at the geometry she'd been doing before turning to a new page and writing her a note. So did you get caught in the rain yesterday?
Jess took the notebook and her pen back, glancing up at Miss Clemmings like she was worried she'd be caught. But really, there was no punishment for note-passing in detention. It's not like passing notes is worth a detention normally, not unless you do it all the time and always get caught, and usually the teacher's just grateful you aren't talking out loud and disturbing whatever play is getting practiced at the moment.
After a very long pause, she handed the notebook and pen back, with a short reply: Yes.
Yeah, you're so encouraging, Mastriani. I mean, if it weren't for the way she'd smiled at me earlier, I'd have thought she was still mad and didn't want to talk to me.
Maybe I could have phrased asking her out better than I did, like simply asking if she wanted to go out, but I never said I was perfect. I wrote back: Told you so. Why don't you ditch the fat girl and come for a ride with me after this?
The moment she finished reading that, she froze completely for a second, with a really weird look on her face – then started scribbling furiously. After a few seconds, she passed the paper back. Are you mentally impaired or something? That fat girl happens to be my best friend.
I couldn't help but grin, even though she'd just insulted me. That was a big part of why I liked her: her fire. And I had insulted her best friend. But that I didn't exactly feel sorry for… unlike Mastriani, her chubby friend was typical of all the other Townies in one very important factor: she looked down on all Grits.
I quickly wrote a reply: Jesus, sorry. I had no idea you were so sensitive. Let me rephrase. Why don't you tell your gravitationally challenged friend to take a hike, and come for a ride with me after this?
Mastriani took a moment to reply, then passed the notebook and pen back again. She didn't notice Wendell raising an eyebrow behind her, or me glaring at him. Luckily, he didn't say anything – for once showing some sense. I took her note and read it with a sinking heart. It's Friday night, you loser. What do you think, I don't already have plans? I happen to have a boyfriend, you know.
Okay, she was definitely not being very encouraging, smile earlier or no. But I wasn't ready to give up; for several reasons. One, she didn't really look angry or anything while writing this – to the contrary, she actually had a little smile curling her lips. Two, there was the matter of my pride: if I just quit now, it would be pretty embarrassing, and besides, she seemed to be almost challenging me, and Three: something told me she didn't really have a boyfriend.
So I wrote back something I knew she'd appreciate, being a motorcycle buff: Yeah? Well, I bet your boyfriend isn't rebuilding a '64 Harley in his barn.
I could practically see her begin to drool at the mention of the Harley, but she quickly wrote back: My boyfriend doesn't have a barn. His dad is a lawyer.
Yeah, somehow I was still doubting that… right up until the point I remembered that there was a pretty good lawyer in town, Mr. Abramowitz, who'd helped my mom with her divorce. Didn't he have a son about our age? But I shook it off. I was probably making connections that didn't exist. So? Dump him. Come for a ride. It was a little humiliating how many times I'd had to say this, especially considering that she was apparently nowhere near agreeing.
Maybe that was why I reacted the way I did when Hank started calling, "Wylie. Wylie?" and Greg responded with a "Suck on this, Wendell."
But Jess had told them to stop it – more precisely, "Both of you, shut the hell up before Clemmings looks over here." And they didn't listen to her. On the contrary, Wendell threw his dumb spit-and-paper football over to Wylie, completely ignoring Mastriani. For some reason, this really pissed me off. They just weren't treating her with the respect she deserved.
I caught the football before Wylie could grab it, and told them both, in a voice that sounded way more menacing than my normal once, "You heard the lady. Knock it off."
I guess my voice sounded sort of scary to them too, or maybe they just didn't want the hassle, I don't know – but they both quieted down, and kind of glanced away, ignoring us again. I have to admit, I was a little worried when Jess started writing again. Maybe she didn't like me fighting her battle. But really, they were both twice her size, and anyway –
My thoughts were interrupted by Jess passing me the notebook and pen again. Okay, it said, On one condition.
No conditions. I was seriously through with all this crap. I mean, I just wanted to ask her out! Why couldn't she just give me a simple 'yes'?
She started to write something back – THEN I CAN'T GO – but I grabbed the notebook before she was done, angrily scribbling out, All right. What?
She smiled – and that was how we ended up in Paoli.