Chapter One – The Crash
In Troy Bolton's opinion, there was a lot to be said for armpit hair. Lying in the gutter, after the latest 'Yobbo' attack, he was thankful for the extra padding underneath his arms, as there was nothing worse than a chapped armpit. Wincing slightly, he examined his body for signs of grievous damage.
The Yobbos that had attacked him had, thankfully, not been exceptionally bright and had decided to choose the captain of the East High Wildcats Basketball Team as their latest victim. Not that Troy was at all intimidating. Watching Troy Bolton fight was like watching a slightly warped rendition of Riverdance and was about as threatening too. No, the Yobbos had picked their target well in terms of violence; they could beat up Troy until he was roughly the size of a thimble for anyone cared. No, the reason for their stupidity was that someone else wanted to beat up Troy Bolton and they didn't want anyone else claiming the limelight.
Of course, these facts were completely unknown to Troy as he sat in the gutter, using his small pocket mirror to check for any sign of retina discolouration. What Troy did know however, was that his leg hurt, he was rather muddy, he had a black eye and his hair was all messed up. He sighed dramatically. How one day he would have liked to get back at the stinking rotters that had put him in this position, yet he knew it was out of the question. Each of the Yobbos was at least twice the size of him, and not half as camp. He was fighting a losing battle.
He pulled himself out of the gutter, using the fence next to him for support. Unfortunately, the fence was electric and he reeled backwards, yowling, into the middle of the road.
It was then that the van hit him.
The van just happened to be carrying eggs and later on, after Troy had been carted off to Accident and Emergency and the local papers had turned up, the driver would explain the incident as '...a very egg situation...'. He was very proud of this phrase although no one knew exactly why. After all, he had only inserted a noun in the place of an adjective.
Lying in his hospital bed, Troy was quite pleased he wasn't dead, even if he was connected to a drip that was leaking strange blue stuff into his arm. Death by egg was quite an unfortunate way to die and Chad would probably not stop laughing until his hair went straight. By God, he hated that boy. On the outside, it was all smiles, jokes and slapping backs although deep down Troy knew exactly what Chad had in mind. Captaincy. That was all. In fact, Troy wouldn't be surprised if that barely literate van driver was in fact Chad in a psychopath costume. Not that he'd need it, Chad was enough of a psychopath already. Everyone in East High thought last year's science lab rat infestation was due to the mouldy old cheese experiment the 9th Grade had enjoyed doing. Troy and Chad knew better. After all, it had been rather hard getting the furry little buggers in the science lab in the first place, the biting had been hell. Chad had made Troy do it. At least, that's what Troy had been planning on saying in the police inquiry later. Of course, there had never been one, Chad knew how to run a smooth operation.
Troy was interrupted from his reverie by the arrival of his parents. Mrs Bolton was smiley and cheerful, seemingly unperturbed by the fact her only child had been hit by a van driving at 67mph down a main road. Mr Bolton however, was another story.
Anger seemed to radiate off him like stink lines off a damp dog. His face was screwed up, as if contemplating hitting the calm doctor man who was pointing through the window from the hallway into his room. Upon seeing the look on his father's face, Troy retracted his mental statement about being glad he was alive.
The door opened and in walked the Boltons. Coach Bolton immediately made a beeline for Troy, although the doctor was standing in his way.
"Erm...Mr Bolton...I really don't think..." He spluttered, trying to keep the Coach at bay.
"I need to see my son!" The Coach yelled, coating the doctor with a layer of spit as he did so. The doctor paused in his actions to wipe the spit off his rectangular glasses, letting the Coach through by accident. The Coach took advantage of the doctor's momentary surrender and lurched forward, towards the bed that Troy was currently occupying.
"You!" He yelled. Troy quaked in his non-existent shoes.
"Me?" He asked, his voice shaking a little, well a lot actually.
"Yes, You!" Coach replied, his voice getting steadily louder.
"Now hang on!" The doctor, having recovered from his spittle-covered state, advanced upon Coach Bolton. This was a mistake. Within the space of 3.5348 seconds, the doctor was lying face down on the linoleum tiles, with Mr Bolton lying on top. "I think you've broken my collarbone..." The doctor whimpered, his voice muffled through the several feet of bulk that was Mr Bolton.
"You're a doctor..." The coach replied, not without a hint of smugness. "...deal with it." The doctor picked himself up from the floor, rubbing his upper chest. He left, leaving Troy alone with his parents.
"What the hell..." The Coach began, dangerously quiet. "...did you think you were doing?"
"Standing in the middle of the road. What were you doing? A Captain can't be demonstrating weakness to his team."
"The fence....it was.....electric...." Troy's voice trailed off into yet another whimper.
"I don't care if that fence was bloody nuclear..." The Coach said, shooting a disgusted look Troy's way. "You shouldn't have been hanging off it. Do I make myself clear young man?" Troy nodded. Mrs Bolton had finished checking her reflection in her small compact mirror that she kept in her bag and turned back to her husband and son.
"Come on," She said to the Coach. "We're going to miss the film..."
"Of course my darling...." Mr Bolton shot another glare at Troy before taking his wife's arm. "We're going to the Cinema....you'd better be healed by the time we get back or there will be serious consequences..." They left, leaving Troy alone with his drip.
Sure enough, Chad laughed. Lots.
It was Monday and Troy had been ordered into school by his father, despite the fact that Troy still felt like a not yet constructed Ikea flat-pack. Getting out of the car had been tricky, but here he was, braving yet another day at East High...
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" Went Chad and Troy really did feel like putting a bullet in him. "HAHAHAHA"
"Oh shut up." Troy walloped him with a crutch.
"HAHAHAHAHA" Chad went on. The next few minutes seemed to pass by much of the same way and it was only with the arrival of Gabriella that things seemed to look up.
"Oh my gosh, Troy!" She exclaimed, flapping her newly painted nails. "What happened?"
"Well..." Troy was not sure he wanted to inform his girlfriend that he had in fact been beaten up by a group of unsavoury yobbo types and had then proceeded to hang off an electric fence. "I erm...got in a fight!" Yes, that sounded much better...
"A fight?" Gabriella asked, her voice even more unnaturally squeaky than usual. "But Troy! You know fighting is immoral..." Oh bum...
"They erm...they...were insulting you!" Yes, perfect!
"WHAT???! Who was insulting me?"
"The people that I fought..."
"Yes...but who were they?"
"The people that insulted you..."
"Yes, but who are they?"
"The people I fought..." The conversation was brought to a standstill by the bell, and they all filed, or in Troy's case limped, to homeroom.
Chad had to help him to walk, a responsibility that he cheerfully abused by nicking both of Troy's crutches and running off with them, howling manically. It was this action that confirmed Troy's belief that Chad was in fact a complete psychopath and not really fantastic best friend material. It was as he was left, completely stranded in the middle of the corridor, that he realised Sharpay had not yet tried to flirt with him.
Troy was slightly disappointed with this development, as he had always been quite smug about the fact that Sharpay fancied both him and his guts. Her neglecting attitude hurt more today than it would have done normally as today he happened to have managed to break himself into tiny little pieces in the space of a weekend, an achievement not to be underestimated. As Gabriella had nipped to the girl's bathroom, he was left alone, swaying slightly, in the middle of the corridor.
He realised there was no way imaginable that he could possibly make it to homeroom on his own, his legs were too week and feeble for him to even contemplate moving one in front of the other and the inevitable pain and howling that would no doubt follow close behind made Troy feel vaguely queasy. The only thing he could do was to wait for another able bodied human to wander down the corridor.
He started to hum.
After all, there was very little else to do as he'd left his PSP at home on his desk. He had however, remembered his pocket mirror and he pulled it out. He started to experiment with different hair styles, humming 'Billie Jean' as he did so.
"WHAT THE HELL?" The sharp, shouted words cut harshly into his happy oblivion and he jumped, dropping the pocket mirror on the floor. His father, Coach Bolton was standing in the doorway of the Gym, his face a bright beetroot and his eyes staring at something a few inches above Troy's head. Troy wondered what he was starting at before, with a frenzied madness, flattening the retro quiff he'd just spent the last five minutes perfecting.
The Coach seemed speechless, his mouth opening and closing.
"Er...hi?" Troy waved.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TRYINGTO DO?" The Coach's momentary silence was shattered by his exclamation, having obviously recovered from his shock.
"Er...I was trying to give it an Edward Cullen look but it ended up a bit more Danny from Grease."
"I DON'T MEAN YOUR HAIR!!!" The Coach yelled, having gone an even more prominent shade of purple. "ARE YOU DETERMINED TO MAKE ME A COMPLETE LAUGHING STOCK???!!!"
"THEN WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME, TROY?" The Coach took a breath. "WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO....CAMP?" Troy stared at his father for some time.
"I don't know..." He said, finally. "I just seem to have a fatal attraction to all things feminine."
"STOP IT!" The Coach seemed unable to say anything else at that moment in time. "STOP IT! JUST STOP IT!!!" With that, he turned on his heel and stalked down the corridor.
Troy was left in the corridor, alone.