TITLE: Maybe (That's Never)

AUTHOR: freelance spice

RATING: R for language

PAIRING: Charlotte/other, Charlotte/Stacey

DISCLAIMER: Ann M. Martin, baby. But Westlake Academy and all her pretties (other than Ms. Johannsen) belong to me.

SUMMARY: Charlotte's reflecting.

NOTES: This is a spin-off of The Kristy Thomas Guide to High School Romance. I dedicate it to fox1013, even though she may just kick me in the shins and run away after reading it.

I'm serving a sentence. The crime is love. The term is six years. I'm halfway to my release.

Fuck, that sounds so overdramatic. This is the kind of shit those Ricky Ullman fan club girls write all over their notebooks. I might have to throw up before I can continue.

I'm Charlotte Johannsen. I'm fifteen. All this crap about serving time for the heart can be boiled down to this: I got rejected, so I skipped town. Sweet deal, huh? She's older than me and told me to wait till I was older, so now we're both passing the time away from each other just so we can find out if she was blowing me off or if she was actually serious.

Whatever. That's later. Currently, I'm making do with life in boarding school. It's funny, some girls got sent here as a punishment, to clean up their acts, crap like that. I wanted to come here. Figured it'd be stimulating to throw myself into the mix with a couple hundred girls. And I thought the academics might be a challenge, too.

When I first got here, I was twelve, stupidly planning to save myself for the love of my life, thinking I could manage the time by burying myself in schoolwork and any extra curriculars that didn't demand me putting myself in front of people. Shy was a good descriptive adjective for me back then. Still can be now, only not so much. Naïve would be another one.

Not so much now. We all grow, we all change, we all make out with girls we barely know at parties we probably shouldn't be at in the first place because your French final is tomorrow at eight am sharp but you don't care, for the first time in your life, you really don't fucking care. And it's the best choice you ever made because that was the end of the old Charlotte and the beginning of this Charlotte, the one who sleeps through half her classes and still manages to pull a 4.1 GPA which is enough to keep the faculty off her back so she can do whatever she wants as long as she shows up for class.

Shandi should be back by now. She went into town with some of the other fourth floor girls. Shandi's my roommate. In some senses, I suppose she's like a girlfriend. There's some making out. Hell, there's a lot of it. Tons if she manages to score a bottle of flavored vodka from her brother, Kyle. He's in community college and hooks her up whenever he's working at the liquor store down on Sixth Street. No sex, though. Not yet, anyway.

When I first met her, I couldn't get past her name. What the fuck kind of name is Shandi, right? I saw her around school, didn't say much to her, because, why? Then, when we got our room assignments this year, there she was, bringing out the fuckability factor of the Westdale Academy uniform. Which is ironic, because, as I said before. No sex. Yet.

She's sixteen. A year older than me. I skipped a grade way back when, which is fine, because this means I get to stare at junior girls all class period.

Fuck, I sound like some undersexed teen boy. I have had sex, for the record. Just not with Shandi. Not that I'm whoring it up. I'm not a slut, despite what some people may pass around in the locker room. I'm just not going to sit around and stare at my shoes if there's someone interested, even if it is just experimental or whatever.

Stacey says to be careful. Her last email was loaded with advice about not getting wrapped up in straight girls because I'll just get my heart broken. Which is goddamn ridiculous, coming from her. It's her fault I'm here, spending nights filtered though cheap chardonnay with girls like Marie Gerard, who had just gotten dumped by her public school jock boyfriend and was looking to just forget the stupid bastard for five minutes. I didn't say that, though. My return email was full of enthusiasm for passing all her midterms at NYU. I even threw in something friendly about her new boyfriend of the moment.

Christ, I sound like some kind of bitch. I want Stacey to be doing well and happy and everything. I worry about her. Then again, I'm sure she worries about me.

All's fair, right?

What the hell is taking Shandi so long? I knew I should have gone along and gotten cigarettes myself. I'm about the claw the eyes out of Ricky Ullman Fan Club for playing, of all pieces of shit on earth, the Macarena on repeat like it's something new and brilliant as it eats through the carpet under my feet and permeates my brain.

That's it. I'm putting the speakers face down on the floor and cranking Romeo Void.

I hope fucking Kyle's working this afternoon.