Outside the Box

Chapter 2

West Side

7:45 AM

I was already running late when I opened my eyes on Monday Morning. I had cheerleading practice before school today, and I still had to take a shower. I groaned and got out of my four poster bed, cursing lightly at my alarm clock, which hadn't worked at all since I got it.

"Breakfast is ready!" My mom called from downstairs. I cleared my throat and started down the twisted staircase.

"I don't have time for breakfast this morning." I told her, brushing my hair furiously.

"But without breakfast you'll be too weak to practice cheering this morning." She insisted. I grabbed an apple off the table and ran back upstairs, sighing. With a quick glance at the hall clock, I decided that I would skip the shower and just spray on a little extra perfume for good measure.

Back in my room, I pulled on a light cotton skirt and a pink madras shirt, examining myself in the mirror. Not wonderful, but it was okay. There was no point denying that I was a pretty girl, I mean, I was a soc, and to be a soc, you had to look good. Now, I don't want to sound vain, because really I'm not. I don't want to be classified as a soc, but I really can't help it. I was born into a family with money, and I hung out with other soc's all my life, so I guess it was inevitable.

One thing about me that I guess would make me less of a soc than everyone else is that I don't enjoy having the upper hand in this town as much as I should. I mean sure, some greasers scare me, but there are a few nice ones too, I know. Like the Curtis brothers, they're dolls. I hate it when Soc's have to jump greasers for fun, or when we have beer blasts at the river bottom because we feel like it. It seems like everyone's just too cool to feel anything, and I hate it more than I can explain.

I like to daydream a lot, which is probably the cause of my tardiness. I mean, I used to have all the time in the world to just sit and think and watch sunsets, but now I don't. Now I'm lucky if I even have time to imagine a sunset between classes! Being real popular and all, you're expected to take on every activity under the sun, especially cheerleading, which is why I've got no time. I'm a member of the student council, the cheerleading squad, the newspaper team (I just take nice pictures) and the prom committee. I'm in all the AP classes too, and trying my best to keep my grades up.

The problem with Soc kids is either that their parents don't care at all, or they care too much. Mine cared too much. I was always lying about where I was going so they wouldn't worry about me, and I didn't feel too great about it, but I know they would never let me go to a drag race or a beer blast.

People are always saying how lucky we are, the rich kids. The West Side Socs. But what they don't realize is that things are rough all over. And I mean it. They don't see that when out parents let us do whatever we want without punishing us for anything, we can get out of hand and really hurt ourselves and other people. We're always expected to do the best that we can, and do what's right, so whenever one of us steps out of line, we get it really bad. I mean, I know how lucky we are in terms of money, being able to afford a lot of things that other people can't, but we're not all money.

"Sherri Valance!" My mother again. "I'm leaving right now whether you're coming or not!" I sighed.

"Be right there mom!" I yelled, hurrying downstairs.

Money, around here, is the worst form of segregation.