Mondays. They're unwelcome days. The beginning of the week is said to mark the rest of it. However you start will affect the atmosphere. At times Mondays start slow and lazy, as people sink slowly into their routine. Sometimes Mondays start abruptly, noisy and throw people into the commotion. No matter how they start, Mondays are always a beginning of something.
It was hard to describe Seth Cohen on that Monday morning. He wasn't moody because most of the time his face only showed a deep thought, and it wasn't a happy one, but he wasn't acting angry. One couldn't say he was sad either, there was a coldness in his eyes, more of a tough decision making kind of coldness. He wasn't quiet. He responded to everything he needed to, and that day more girls thought maybe there was a chance. He was being so polite. No, Seth wasn't irritated, upset, or silent. He was determined.
The weekend was over and with is so was last week. And whatever happened that week was also over. Weaknesses are meant to be overcome and desire is at times necessary to restrict. He was determined.
Mrs. Barnett loved English. In university she was the top student and was constantly trying to evoke this love for the subject in all those surrounding her. This was also true of her classes. She wanted English class to be an important one for the students. She wanted them to come to class alert and ready to absorb everything and be at their best. Unknown to Mrs Barnett, for some students, English class was important. It was a battle field.
Summer made her way to the table and slouched in her chair. She showed no sign of any inner struggle. In fact she seemed more composed than ever. She was ready.
Mrs Barnett scribbled on the board –"Class Discussion". She turned to the students.
"I know you love to express your opinion. Teenagers these days seem to have a lot of it, so here is your chance."
"I want you to answer me this: Is Hamlet's struggle with himself his weakness, or his strength?"
Several people in class raised their hands and the debate began. Seth stole a glance at Summer and he could tell she was paying attention.
"If he's struggling with himself at all, that is obviously a weakness, the guy can't make up his mind. That just shows a weak character." Someone said.
Seth raised his hand.
"I agree, a strong person makes a determined decision and doesn't question it."
"Have you had struggles with yourself Mr Cohen?" Summer was herself surprised at hearing her own voice, but she couldn't stop now.
"Can you honestly say that being put in a difficult situation you don't struggle with the decision?"
Seth turned to her.
"No. I know what's good for me and what is bad." Summer felt his pointing answer. "And it is no struggle at all as to how it should end."
Summer raised her eyebrows.
"Very impressive. Just a thought though, I mean, your decisions are obviously as important as Hamlet's. Say, it must be tough to choose who to take to the dance, the girlfriend, or the girl that thinks she's the girlfriend? Or wait, the good and the bad, tough choice it must be between seducing a straight A shy student with great legs or settling for a brunette cheerleader with a flair for drama."
Seth smiled a ruthless smile and nodded his head.
"You know so much about my life. I guess now I know it's not a coincidence I see you everywhere."
"Ah," Summer stiffened a laugh and threw her head back. "Now I see the Hamlet resemblance, you're just as self-absorbed."
At his point, Mrs Barnett decided to put an end to the show.
"Its Hamlet we're talking about here, please restrict to that."
Seth played with his pen.
"It's just Summer Mrs Barnett. She likes to think she makes a huge impact, when in fact, what she does or says means nothing."
Mrs Barnett gave Seth a pointed look, and was saved by the leggy Straight A student who raised her hand to prove her point that Hamlet was in fact just a man in denial.
Denial. What a helpful deception Summer thought. She looked sideways at Seth. Deep impact? No, that was a movie. What she did here was awake an unknown emotion. A sleeping giant? Summer wondered. Well she on her part was done playing weak. She was a fighter after all, and a good one at that.
In her math class, in the midst of an extensive review on functions, she remembered she forgot to sign up for grad pictures. No better excuse to leave class for five minutes.
The hallway was cool and empty as she made her way to the sign up desk. She turned the corner and saw Seth Cohen scribbling down his stats on the paper.
Seth noticed her beside him and shifted uneasily.
"Is it just me, or are you uncomfortable?" There was enough sarcasm in her voice to drown the biggest ego.
He gave her a quick glance and returned to his writing.
"I wonder why you would be uncomfortable." She went on as if talking to herself. " I mean, you are Seth Cohen. So smooth and irresistible. Having a girl around, that's like your specialty right?"
She paused, and then her face showed concern.
"You know, you're bad at your specialty lately. You should practice or something."
Last words were barely a whisper but he caught them.
"Who knew! Summer Roberts. The Queen of Evil. I never would have guessed."
Summer's eyes widened and a smirk appeared on her face.
"It speaks." She paused. " What was that deep impact ramble about?" she pretended to look him up and down." I mean it's obvious, you're not affected by anything at all."
Seth grabbed her wrist and pulled her so rough she almost wanted to scream.
"Don't play games with me."
Summer knew she couldn't stop what she started.
"Aw, no need to get bitter and terrifying. Where is that cheeky smile of yours that lights up the side of every girls locker? It suits you better you know."
"Pressing my buttons, huh. With those big brown eyes of yours." He tried to sound light, but in his voice she heard anger. He looked at her face closely. They were mere inches from each other.
"You're in this too." He said.
He released her wrist and grabbed his paper. She stood gazing at him, unsure of what he would do. He stared at her with his head slightly tilted.
"I liked you better with the whole cynical independent woman scheme. Maybe you should repeat that act. Suited You better."
He walked off. She smiled. Angry Seth.. there was something very irresistible about that.
After school Marissa expressed her concern over Summer's unusual state of mind.
- "You're very happy. Almost too happy, you know? As if.." Marissa thought for a moment glancing at Summer. " As if you're evil kind of happy." She raised an eyebrow.
"Does this have anything to do with a guy?"
Summer was shifting through numbers in her phone and she didn't look up.
Melissa Anders walked by and Marissa commented.
-"You know she still thinks everyone's in love with her. And she's got the worst personality. Half the school hates her!"
-" Yeah, they always think they know everything, those cool kids." She looked up. "But they have no idea."
Marissa looked at her closely.
-"Should they be scared?"
Summer thought for a minute.
-"You know me and Seth kissed."
Marissa sat still.
Summer looked at her.
"You can move Marissa, I wont stop talking."
" Yeah. We kissed. At the dance. Last Thursday." She waited for a reaction and when a shell shocked Marissa didn't respond Summer went on. "You wanted to know what happened. Anyway, we've kissed before, as I'm sure you know since the whole school knows, and here I am talking about it since you've been trying to get me to talk about forever."
"So. I had feelings for Cohen. There. Its out."
Marissa sprang from where she sat.
"Do you still have feelings for him?" She was nearly yelling.
Summer stared at her.
"See, its that kind of reaction that keeps people quiet for a looong time."
"Okay, I knew you might probably not hate him anymore, and you've been going to parties lately so I figured you're not doing the whole "hate the world" thing for a while, and Chris has been around quite a bit, so I can understand you're back to believing in some kind of affection but. Seth Cohen? And you? Kiss? Feelings? Summer! He is the jerk of the school, he is the most wanted of the school. He is Seth Cohen!"
"Marissa, I never heard you say so many words at once, at that speed. Are there competitions for that? You're good."
Marissa tilted her head.
"Look, I don't ask for a step mom, but I have a step mom; I don't ask for an ugly purse as a family gift, but I have one and I have to take it to reunions; I don't ask for a C in Math, but I have it and I'm making a long excuse for my dad; I don't ask for feelings for Seth Cohen, but I have them. The world is cruel."
"Why are you so calm about this?"
"Because, before I couldn't have Seth, but now he can't have me. And he's in this whole denial thing, but I know inside it tears him up. And that, is good enough revenge for making me have feelings for him."
"The player is getting played."
"You're back to short sentences. The world makes sense again!"
"Okay, I'm sorry. Basically, you see. After that kiss, I know he's got a thing for me. A serious thing. So I'm going put him up to torture. You know, the usual way – be around, be irresistible, and ultimately unavailable. "
"How are you benefiting from this?"
Summer thought for a moment.
"I want him to admit that he wants to be with me. I don't want to always play the role of the lucky one. You know? "Oh Summer's so lucky she's with him." "
"But you want to be with him too."
"You need to make up your mind."
"My mind is made up. Right now its made up images of Seth Cohen realising he needs me."
"Maybe. Caught his attention though didn't I?"
"I never in my life thought you'd say that with pride."
"Neither did I."