Author's note: The following story is a work of fiction. All characters in the story are not of my own creation. They were created by John L. Goldwater and are copyright 2011 by Archie Comic Publications, Inc. The characters' names are the exclusive trademarks of Archie Comic Publications, Inc. The following story is copyright 2006-2011 by Mark Moore.

The first draft was written from Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 7:40 PM to Friday, August 25, 2006, 6:19 PM; from Saturday, July 7, 2007, 9:34 PM to Sunday, July 13, 2008, 11:17 PM; and from Thursday, February 5, 2009, 11:34 PM to Thursday, September 3, 2009, 10:35 PM. My thanks go to Laurie Allyson Kelley for reading the first draft and offering her corrections and advice.

I wrote the second draft from Friday, February 19, 2010, 9:30 PM to Thursday, April 8, 2010, 2:27 PM and from Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 9:30 PM to Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 10:30 PM. My thanks go to J-Syxx for reading the second draft and offering corrections and advice.

I wrote the final draft from Sunday, May 22, 2011, 9:00 PM to Saturday, July 9, 2011, 1:55 PM. I updated the formating for this site on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, from 8:25 PM to 9:05 PM.

Hello. I've been a fan of Archie comic books since 1990 (I was wrong in the author's note for my first story). I wrote my first Archie story, "Betty Cooper: This Is Who I Am" in 1999. It's a dramatic story that got (and continues to get) mixed reviews.

This story is a sequel to that story. If you haven't already read "Betty Cooper: This Is Who I Am", please do so before reading this story.

I don't usually write sequels to my previous stories. I've had the idea to write a sequel for years, but I didn't want it to be half-baked. In the time since I wrote that first story, I've read many more Archie comics, watched Archie cartoons (including "Archie's Weird Mysteries" and the awful Filmation cartoons), listened to the old Archie radio shows, created (and continue to maintain) a Betty Cooper FAQ, and gotten to know Betty a lot better. I feel that it's the right time to write what happens to Betty following the events of "Betty Cooper: This Is Who I Am".

This is a story that I felt needed to be written. It explores a previously untouched (for the most part) time for the Archie characters: the senior year of high school.

With that in mind, I present to you, the readers, a novella about Betty Cooper. It is comprised of a series of short stories, like in a comic book (only longer and without pictures). A word of caution: The subject matter is far more serious than what you'd find in a typical "Betty" comic book. There is some swearing and violence (serious violence, not comic violence). The mood is often dark, and the story is deeper.

This is the story of Betty Cooper, high school teenager.

Summer Heat

"In my heart, I feel the heat of something burning deep inside of me."

- Three Dog Night

Betty in "School's Out for Summer"

Betty walked out of Riverdale High School.

It was the last day of her junior year of high school.

Betty saw Veronica ahead of her and ran over to her. "Ronnie!"

Veronica turned and faced her. "Betty! I forgot to ask. How'd you do on your essay?"

Betty showed it to her. "I got an A+!"

Veronica grinned. "Cool! Hey, wanna go to Pop's and celebrate the beginning of our vacation?"

Betty grinned. "Sure! I have a feeling that the whole school's headed there, anyway!"

Betty and Veronica walked into Pop's.

The place was full of teenagers.

"Wow! You might be right! It looks like the whole school is here!" Veronica told Betty.

"Betty! Ronnie!" Midge called.

Betty and Veronica walked over to the booth where Midge and Nancy were sitting and sat opposite them.

"Hey, Midge. Hey, Nancy." Betty greeted.

"I'm glad we saw you. We were just about to order." Nancy said.

"Hey, girls." Cheryl walked over to them.

"Hey, Cheryl." Betty scooted closer to Veronica to make room. "Join us."

"Thanks." Cheryl sat down.

Reggie walked over to them. "Hey, girls. Mind if I grace you with my presence?"

Midge laughed. "Go ahead. Just don't let Moose catch you."

Reggie sat down next to Midge.

Betty saw Jughead carry a plate full of hamburgers away from the counter and waved to him. "Juggie!"

Jughead either didn't hear her or chose to ignore her. He sat in an empty booth.

"He's changed, Betty." Midge told her. "You can't blame him for not wanting to hang out with you anymore."

"I guess you're right." Betty said.

"No, she's not." Veronica said. "Jughead's acting all hurt. 'Poor me. I lost my best friend.' He's taking it out on the wrong person, though."

"Ronnie, could we please not talk about this today?" Betty asked. "We're here to celebrate."

"Oh, I'm sorry, Betty." Veronica apologized.

Pop walked over to their booth. "What can I get you kids?"

"I'll have a hamburger, salted fries, and a chocolate milkshake, Pop." Betty replied.

The others ordered various things.

"Coming right up." Pop walked away.

"So what are everyone's plans for summer vacation?" Midge asked.

"I'm going to get a lifeguard job at the beach again." Reggie replied. "It's a great way to meet girls."

Nancy laughed. "I'm gonna practice designing."

"I'm going to relax and enjoy myself." Veronica replied.

"How is that any different from what you usually do?" Reggie asked her.

Betty placed her left hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh.

"I'm going to practice my gymnastics." Midge replied.

"I'm going to be working at 'Fresh' a lot more." Cheryl replied.

"Got any cool interviews lined up?" Betty asked.

Cheryl gave Betty a teasing smile. "Maybe. So how about you, Betty?"

"I'm going to try getting a summer job somewhere." Betty replied.

Pop walked over with a tray. "Here you go!"

He set a plate and a glass in front of each of them.

"Thanks, Pop." they all said.

"Enjoy." Pop walked away.

"Do you guys wanna practice sometime?" Betty asked.

"Sure." Cheryl and Reggie replied.

"Well, I suppose, but the mansion won't be quiet until the Monday after next." Veronica said. "Daddy's throwing a lot of parties to entertain business associates. In fact, I wouldn't mind getting out of the house for a while."

"Maybe we could all go to the mall tomorrow." Midge suggested.

"Sounds good." Betty slurped her chocolate shake.

Betty walked into the living room and closed the door behind her.

Alice Cooper walked into the living room from the kitchen. "Oh, hi, Betty."

"Hi, Mom." Betty greeted.

"How was your last day of school?"

"Fine." Betty replied. "I got an A+ on my essay."

"Oh, I'd love to read it. Would you like any dinner?"

"No, thanks. I ate at Pop's." Betty replied. "I'm just gonna go upstairs."

"Okay." Alice walked back into the kitchen.

Betty walked upstairs and into her bedroom.

She set her book bag on her desk and kicked off her shoes.

Betty lay on her bed and looked around her bedroom.

She found that she couldn't rest. She felt distracted.

Betty stood up, walked over to her desk, and turned on her computer. She sat down and waited for her computer to boot up. She then opened her diary and started writing.


Betty's Diary: "Looking Forward to Senior Year"
Dear Diary:

I know my junior year just ended, but I thought I'd share with you my ideas for senior year tonight.

I've been thinking about all of the things that I've done in school, and I realize that I had little free time as a result.

I'm not going to try out for the cheerleading squad. Looking back on it, it seems so superficial and shallow: spending hours to learn silly routines just so I can prance around and yell in support of someone else. I'm through with that.

I'm also not going to try out for any sports, not even the girls' basketball team. I don't see myself playing basketball professionally, so there's no point in continuing with it at school.

I'm not going to try out for any extra-curricular activities at all. I plan to use my new free time to practice my music and my writing.

Well, I have nothing else to write today. Until tomorrow, dear diary!


Betty and Veronica and Cheryl in "A Day at the Mall"

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy walked into the mall's food court.

"So what do you all want?" Veronica asked.

"I could go for a pizza pie." Betty replied.

"Ooh, that sounds good." Cheryl agreed.

"Everyone agree?" Veronica asked.

Everyone nodded.

"Okay, I'll go and order. Pick a table." Veronica walked towards the pizza place.

The others walked over to a table and sat down.

"Anyone up for seeing a movie?" Nancy asked.

The others agreed.

"Okay, which one?" Nancy asked.

There was silence for a moment.

"I don't know what's playing." Reggie admitted.

"Fail!" Betty exclaimed. "You fail, sir!"

"Name a current movie." Reggie challenged, folding his arms over his chest.

"I...can't." Betty admitted.

Reggie smiled in triumph.

"Isn't that one new sci-fi movie out?" Midge asked.

"The one with the unnecessary 3-D?" Nancy asked.

"Yeah!" Midge confirmed.

"Isn't that the one where they're on the ship, and the heroes...do the things...to stop the villains?" Reggie asked.

"Fail!" Betty repeated.

"You are such losers." Cheryl said in disgust, pocketing her phone. "Katy Keene is starring in a new action flick. We're seeing that. I just ordered the tix."

The others stared at her in disbelief.

Cheryl smiled smugly. "Internet, bitches."

Veronica walked over to the table and set the tray on it.

"What's the sitch?" Veronica asked.

"Nothing." Nancy replied. "We just got owned by Cheryl Blossom. That's all."

Veronica laughed in amusement and sat down. "Losers."

Everyone grabbed a slice of pizza and started eating.

"You anticipated the pepperoni, bacon, and spices." Betty said. "I'm impressed."

"Yeah, well, this ain't exactly New York's finest. I had to liven it up." Veronica explained.

Just then, Reggie was lifted out of his chair. When he was turned around, he was looking at Moose Mason. Moose did not look happy. Three of Moose's jock friends were with him.

"Moose! Hey, buddy!" Reggie squeaked.

"Duh, Mantle, what are you doin', sittin' with my Midge?" Moose demanded.

"Chillax, Moose. It's just a friendly lunch." Midge told him.

"She speaks the truth." Reggie raised his left hand. "Hand to Loki."

Moose hesitated for a moment, then he let go of Reggie. Reggie landed on his feet.

"We're also going to the movies later." Midge needlessly added.

Moose became enraged again. He made his right hand into a fist and pulled it back, getting ready to strike. "Duh, Mantle, I'm gonna fuck you..." Moose realized what he had said and looked at his jock friends in embarrassment. "Oh, wait, no, I'm not!"

As Moose nervously laughed in embarrassment with his friends, Reggie sat back down. He glared at Midge.

Midge offered him an embarrassed smile. "Sorry."

"I haven't been this entertained all morning." Cheryl said in delight, stopping the recording process on her phone.

The girls and Reggie walked into the checkout lane of a retail store in the mall.

They picked up various boxes of candy. They got cans of Zoom! out of the soda cooler.

They stood in line, and each of them paid in turn.

While Betty was trying to pay, Nancy was tickling Midge.

"Hey, stop touching my wienis!" Midge exclaimed while laughing. "Betty! Betty, tell Nancy to stop touching my wienis!"

Betty ignored her and got her receipt. "Thanks."

"Omigod, I have to pee so bad!" Midge exclaimed.

Cheryl paid for her candy and drink. "Will you two shut up, please?"

"Rape! Rape!" Midge exclaimed. "I'm being molesticated!"

"Shut up!" Veronica yelled.

Betty popped open her can of Zoom! and walked towards the front entrance. Cheryl did likewise. They exited the store and stood near the entrance, sipping their drinks.

"That was so embarrassing." Cheryl said.

"Yeah." Betty agreed.

Betty and Cheryl hid their candy in their pants pockets.

Reggie and Veronica walked out of the store and joined them.

"I don't think it's a good idea for those two to be having caffeine." Reggie said.

"Yeah, they're spazzing out as it is." Veronica added.

Reggie and Veronica popped open their cans of Zoom! and took sips while hiding their candy. Veronica put her candy in her purse. Reggie shoved his candy down his pants.

Cheryl smiled in amusement. "Compensating, Reggie?"

Reggie frowned. "Ha, ha!"

"And stay out!"

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie turned towards the sound of the man's voice. A man inside the store was watching as Midge and Nancy walked out.

Cheryl laughed. "They got kicked out."

Betty laughed. "That was full of win."

The girls and Reggie walked out of the theater.

"Ah, nothing like a good, old-fashioned, R-rated action movie." Betty said.

"Katy was awesome in it." Cheryl praised. "A sleek, sexy secret agent that kicks tons of ass and manages to look fabulous through it all? That's a role model."

"What was the body count?" Reggie asked.

"I lost track." Cheryl replied. "Wait. Do you mean overall or just Katy's?"

"Just Katy's."

"I...still lost track." Cheryl admitted.

"Well, you'd have a hard time quantifying the death toll in the office complex explosion." Betty said.

"Enough talk about the movie." Veronica interrupted. "What haven't we done yet?"

Everyone else was silent for a moment and thought about it.

"Shop!" Betty, Cheryl, Midge, and Nancy exclaimed.

"Uh, yeah. That's my cue to leave." Reggie waved and started walking away. "See you girls later."

"What's with him?" Nancy asked.

Betty giggled. "He's seen Veronica and Cheryl shop before and knows we won't be leaving anytime soon."

"All right, ladies...and Cheryl, let's hit those stores!" Veronica exclaimed.


Betty in "Babysitting Blues"

Betty walked out of the bathroom, drying her hair with a towel.

Alice entered the hallway and walked over to her. She was holding a note.

"Betty, this came for you while you were in the shower." Alice told her. "It's a babysitting offer."

Betty took the note. "Thanks, Mom. I'll call right now."

The next evening, Betty arrived at the house.

Betty rang the doorbell.

Soon, the front door opened. A man was standing there.

Betty smiled. "Hello. I'm Betty Cooper. I'm the babysitter."

The man stood aside. "Yes, Betty. Please come in."

"Thank you." Betty said.

Betty walked into the living room.

The man closed the door.

"I'm Peter Goodman." he said.

A woman, a boy, and a girl walked into the living room from the kitchen.

"This is my wife, Ruth; my son, Adam; and my daughter, Mary." Peter introduced.

"Hello." Ruth, Adam, and Mary greeted.

"Hello." Betty said.

"We'll be home in four hours." Peter said. "Make sure the kids get to bed by ten."

"All right." Betty said.

Ruth walked over to the front door.

"You can have whatever you want from the fridge." Ruth said.

"Thank you." Betty said.

"Kids, behave for Ms. Cooper." Peter instructed.

"Yes, father." Adam and Mary said.

Peter opened the door and walked outside. Ruth walked outside and closed the door behind her.

Betty locked the door.

"What would you kids like to do first?" Betty asked, facing them.

Adam and Mary ran over to the couch, jumped onto it, and started yelling.

Betty frowned. It's going to be one of those jobs.

"Kids, stop it!" Betty told them.

Adam and Mary wouldn't listen. They continued jumping up and down and yelling.

Betty decided that she wasn't going to do anything about it this time. She walked into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, looked inside, grabbed a can of regular cola, closed the refrigerator, leaned against the counter, opened the can, and calmly sipped her cola.

When Peter and Ruth arrived home four hours later, they didn't know what to make of the scene in front of them.

The living room was a complete wreck. Vases were lying in pieces on the floor. The couch cushions were on the floor. There were paintings on the coffee table and walls. Potato chips were on the carpet. Betty Cooper was sitting at the kitchen table, calmly sipping a cola.

"What happened here?" Peter demanded.

At that moment, Adam and Mary ran down the stairs, screaming.

"Adam! Mary!" Peter yelled.

Adam and Mary stopped in their tracks and stared at their father in fear.

"Ms. Cooper, get in here!" Peter demanded.

Betty stood up, tossed her latest soda can into the trash can, and walked into the living room.

"What happened here? Can't you control these kids for four hours?" Peter demanded.

"I've dealt with brats like these before. I've chased them. I've sent them to their rooms. I've put up with all kinds of shit. I've decided I'm not going to do that anymore. It's not worth it. Keep your money." Betty said.

"Well, if you're not going to do anything about these kids, then I will!" Peter removed his belt from his pants.

"No!" Adam begged.

"We're sorry, Daddy!" Mary insisted.

Peter didn't listen. He grabbed hold of Adam and belted him across his butt repeatedly. Adam started crying.

Betty watched this happen. Her passive attitude was quickly replaced with anger. As little as she cared for these kids, she hated seeing them hurt.

Peter let go of Adam, grabbed hold of Mary with one arm, and raised his other arm, getting ready to belt her.

Betty decided that she'd had enough. She quickly grabbed hold of Peter's belt and pulled it out of his hand.

"What do you think you're doing?" Peter demanded.

"I've had enough!" Betty yelled. "I've had enough of these kids, and I've had enough of you! You don't hit kids!"

"How dare you tell me how to raise my kids?" Peter asked. "You'd make a lousy parent! You should never have kids!"

"Fine by me." Betty said, brushing it off.

"I'm going to file a complaint with your agency!" Peter told her. "You'll never babysit in this town again!"

"Fine by me as well." Betty said. "I've been doing a lot of thinking while getting jacked up on caffeine in your kitchen, and I've decided I'm not going to babysit anymore. There are less stressful jobs that I could have."

"Get out!" Peter demanded.

"Fine, but I'll be reporting you to DCF." Betty dropped the belt on the floor. "Hug your kids at home. Belt them in the car."

Betty walked outside, not even bothering to close the front door behind her.

Betty walked into the living room of her house.

Alice was sitting in a chair, reading a romance novel and waiting for her.

"Hi." Betty greeted.

"Hi." Alice put her book on the coffee table. "How was the job?"

Betty closed the front door and locked it.

"Well, I've made three decisions." Betty said. "I'm never having children, I'm never babysitting again, and I'm gonna start applying for a summer job tomorrow. Good night."

Betty walked upstairs, leaving Alice confused.


Betty in "Summer Job"

Betty walked into Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe.

Pop Tate was standing behind the counter, wiping it with a cloth.

Pop smiled. "Hi, Betty. What can I get for you?"

Betty smiled and walked over to the counter. "A job, I hope."

"Oh, I'm sorry, Betty. Money's kind of tight right now. I can't afford to hire anyone."

"Oh." Betty sat on a stool. "I'll have a hamburger with hot sauce, fries with salt, and a regular cola."

Pop wrote the order down in his notepad. "Coming right up."

Betty walked into the food court in the Riverdale Mall.

She noticed a "Now Hiring" sign at Dairy Swirl and walked over to it.

"Hello." Betty greeted the woman behind the counter.

"Hello." the woman said.

"I'm interested in the job." Betty said.

"All right." The woman took out an application and offered it to Betty. "Fill this out."

Betty took the application. "Thank you."

The woman offered a pen to Betty.

"Oh, no, thank you. I brought my own pen." Betty told her. "I'm responsible that way."

Betty turned, walked over to a table, and sat in a chair.

She took her pen out of her pocket and filled out the application.

"Welcome to Dairy Swirl, home of the Dairy Swirl." Betty greeted a customer. "May I interest you in a - "

"No." the boy interrupted. "Just a chocolate ice cream, one scoop, in a regular cone."

Betty prepared it for him and offered it to him.

The boy took the cone.

Betty rang up the purchase. "$1.50."

The boy dropped the money on the counter and walked away.

Betty gritted her teeth. "Thank you for choosing Dairy Swirl."

Sighing, Betty picked up the money and put it into the cash register.

Betty looked up to greet the next customer.

Veronica was standing there, grinning.

"Well, well. What have we here?" Veronica asked.

Betty forced a smile. "Welcome to Dairy Swirl, home of the Dairy Swirl. May I interest you - "

"You never interest me, dear." Veronica said. "I'll have a vanilla ice cream. Oh, and try not to spill it."

Betty frowned. She decided to give Veronica an equally difficult time.

"Vanilla is so boring." Betty said. "How about almond pistachio?"

Veronica frowned. "I want vanilla!"

"Would you like that in a waffle cone?" Betty asked.

"No waffle cone! Regular!" Veronica replied.

"One scoop, two scoops, or three scoops?" Betty asked.

"One!" Veronica yelled.

"Would you like me to put sprinkles on top?" Betty asked.

"Would you like me to tell you where to put the sprinkles?" Veronica asked.

"Is that a 'No'?" Betty asked.

"Get me my damn ice cream!" Veronica demanded.

Betty calmly prepared the ice cream, taking her time.

"Hurry up!" Veronica demanded.

Betty held onto the ice cream cone and rang up the purchase. "$1.50."

Veronica opened her purse, took out her wallet, opened it, and took out a bill. She offered it to Betty.

Betty looked at the bill. "I don't have change for a $100 bill."

Veronica frowned. "Fine. I'll charge it."

"The scanner's broken." Betty told her.

"Then I don't want the damn thing!" Veronica yelled.

Betty raised her right arm and then brought the ice cream cone down on Veronica's head, getting ice cream in Veronica's hair.

"I wanna see the manager!" Veronica yelled.

"Welcome to Videoland." Betty greeted a customer.

"Thanks." the man said.

He walked over to the New Releases section and picked up a case.

"Oh, don't choose that one. It sucked." Betty advised.

The man set the case down and picked up another one.

"Not that one either." Betty told him.

The man set the case down and picked up another one.

"Or that one." Betty told him.

The manager walked up behind Betty and cleared his throat.

Betty slowly turned to face him and offered him a nervous grin.

"Welcome to Hippo Burger, home of the Hippo Burger." Betty greeted. "May I take your order?"

Cheryl stared at Betty in amusement. Betty's work uniform included a hat with a cartoon hippo's head attached to it.

"Oh, Betty, I'm so sorry." Cheryl said, smiling. "How do you feel?"

"I have a hippo on my head." Betty pouted.

Cheryl hugged Betty. "It'll get better." She released Betty. "I'll have a Single Cheese Hippo Burger and a Pot O' Mess Cherry Yogurt."

Betty rang up the purchase. "$4.24."

Cheryl offered the money to Betty. Betty took it and put it into the cash register.

"Thank you for feeding the hippo." Betty said, embarrassed.

Cheryl smiled sympathetically. "Hang in there, Betty."

Betty smiled. "I'll try."

Cheryl walked to her left to wait for her order.

Reggie grinned and walked up to the counter.

Oh, no, Betty thought.

"Hey! You're looking pretty hip, Betty!" Reggie joked.

Betty screamed, took off her hat, threw it onto the counter, and stormed out of the restaurant.


Betty and Veronica in "Sugar Cherry Scuffle"

Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl were hanging out in Cheryl's bedroom, looking through teenzines.

"I'm so bored that I could be entertained even by a stupid fucking linoleum floor." Cheryl said.

Cheryl picked up the remote control and turned on her television set.

"Topping our music headlines, boy band DuJour has announced that it's reuniting." an announcer narrated over a still picture of the band while "DuJour Around the World" played in the background.

Betty grimaced. "Why?"

Veronica smiled. "I'm happy. I love them."

"The whole boy band idiocy is gonna start up again." Betty said. "All of the pre-teen girls are gonna be screaming 'I have all of their albums! I've been to all of their concerts!' Then at 13, they'll be like 'Oh.'"

"Speaking of bands, why don't we practice?" Cheryl suggested. "Or find gigs? Something. It's sure to be more interesting than hanging around in this room all day."

"Agreed." Betty said. "Let's get Reggie over here."

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie set up their instruments in Cheryl's den.

"Okay, what should we play first?" Betty asked.

"Maybe 'Faster Than the Speed of Night' or 'Tonight is What It Means to Be Young'." Cheryl suggested.

"Or maybe 'Konya wa Hurricane'." Veronica suggested.

"Wait a minute." Reggie said. "Why do we have to play all of this over-the-top crap? What about the songs that we used to sing as The Archies?"

"You mean that 1960s-ish shit?" Betty asked.

"Hey, 'Sugar, Sugar' and 'It's About Time' are - "

" - lame." Betty finished. "The lyrics are dumb like a linoleum floor."

"Besides, Wagnerian Rock and Symphonic Metal are a lot better than that alternative emo shit that kids listen to." Cheryl said.

"Yeah, true." Reggie reluctantly agreed. "However, I think people might like some of the old Archies songs."

"Let's give it a chance." Veronica encouraged. She smiled at Reggie.

Reggie smiled back at her.

Betty thought back to the previous school year. Archie had stifled her creativity. "Okay."

"Fine." Cheryl added.

Reggie grinned. "Great! You won't be sorry!"

"Anyway, I did some calling and was able to get us a gig." Betty said.

"Really?" Reggie asked, smiling. "Where?"

"Wow! Cool! You got us into the hottest club in Riverdale!" Reggie exclaimed.

"It's the only club in Riverdale." Betty clarified. "Anyway, let's get our instruments on the stage."

The four of them got their instruments out of their cars.

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie were waiting backstage.

"Let's start off with 'Sugar, Sugar'." Reggie suggested.

Veronica smiled. "Sounds good."

"Okay." Betty agreed.

"Whatever." Cheryl said.

"Now, let's have a big welcome for the Sugar Cherries!" the club owner exclaimed.

The audience applauded and cheered.

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie walked onto the stage.

Reggie picked up Betty's guitar. Cheryl picked up her guitar. Veronica turned on her keyboard. Cheryl turned on the amplifier. Betty sat down behind Reggie's drum set.

"Good evening, Riverdale!" Reggie exclaimed. "Let's rock!"

Reggie, Veronica, Cheryl, and Betty started playing "Sugar, Sugar". Reggie sang the lead vocals, and Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl sang the backing vocals.

The audience members looked at each other. Some of them shook their heads in disapproval. Others booed.

Reggie decided to change his approach. He started dancing and rapping some improvised lyrics.

The audience members collectively booed and yelled insults.

"Reggie, DuJour called! They're being out-sucked!" Cheryl yelled.

Some audience members threw soda cans onto the stage. Reggie dodged them.

When their gig was over, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie loaded their instruments back into their cars.

Betty counted the cash. "$20. That's pathetic. $5 for each of us." She distributed the money.

"I don't blame him." Cheryl admitted. "We were booed right off the stage. We didn't even finish a full set."

"I guess I really blew it." Reggie said.

Veronica hugged Reggie. "I don't blame you. You tried."

Reggie hugged Veronica back and looked over at Betty. "Okay, Betty, let's do it your way next time."

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie were waiting backstage.

"I wonder which song we should play." Reggie said.

Cheryl smiled. "What about 'Don't Cha'?"

Betty smiled. "Cool. Wanna sing lead?"

"Sure!" Cheryl exclaimed.

"The Teen Machine Dance Club is proud to present..." The club owner stopped talking. "No. The Teen Machine Dance Club is contractually obligated to present the Sugar Cherries."

The audience applauded mildly.

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie walked onto the stage.

Betty and Cheryl picked up their guitars. Veronica turned on her keyboard. Betty turned on the amplifier. Reggie sat down behind his drum set.

"Good evening, Riverdale!" Cheryl exclaimed. "Let's rock!"

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie started playing "Don't Cha". Cheryl sang the lead vocals, and Betty and Veronica sang the backing vocals.

When the song was over, the audience cheered and applauded.

"Thank you!" Cheryl exclaimed.

When their gig was over, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie loaded their instruments back into their cars.

Betty counted the cash. "$200. That's not bad. $50 for each of us." She distributed the money.

Reggie grinned. "All right!"

"So, Mr. Naysayer, what do you have to say now?" Betty asked teasingly.

"I love our music!" Reggie declared.


Betty in "A Date with Reggie Mantle"

Betty drove to the beach and parked her car.

She picked up her picnic basket, got out of her car, and walked over to the spot where Veronica, Cheryl, Midge, Nancy, and Reggie were sitting on blankets.

"Hey, guys." Betty greeted. "I brought food!"

Everyone cheered.

Cheryl scooted over. "Sit here, Betty."

"Thanks, Cheryl." Betty sat on Cheryl's blanket and set her basket down. "Dig in, everyone."

Everyone helped themselves to food.

"It's fun hanging out at the beach, isn't it?" Reggie asked.

"Actually, I think it's kind of boring. No variety." Betty replied.

"Y'know, I read that exposure to the sun is very harmful to the skin." Cheryl added. "We really shouldn't be doing this."

"Killjoys." Veronica said.

"So which of you lucky ladies would like to go out with Mantle the Magnificent tonight?" Reggie asked.

"Not me." Veronica replied. "I'm getting my hair done tonight."

"I'm dating Chuck." Nancy replied.

"I'm dating Moose." Midge replied.

"I'm too busy being awesome." Cheryl replied.

"I guess I'm free." Betty replied.

"Great." Reggie said. "How's 7:00 PM?"

"Great." Betty replied.

Betty spent a half-hour getting ready for her date. She showered, selected some semi-formal clothes, and quickly combed her hair.

Part of this was due to Betty's decreased concern with dressing up lately. Part of it was due to the fact that her date was Reggie Mantle.

Betty then sat in the chair in the living room and watched the evening news while waiting for Reggie.

The doorbell rang at 7:00 PM exactly.

Betty stood up, walked over to the front door, unlocked it, and opened it.

Reggie was standing outside. He was dressed in a black suit and holding a bouquet of roses.

Betty smiled. "Hi, Reggie."

Reggie smiled. "Hi, Betty. You look lovely."

"Thanks." Betty said. "You look very handsome."

"Thanks." Reggie held out the bouquet. "These are for you."

Betty took the bouquet and smelled the roses. "Thank you, Reggie. I'll put these in water, and then we can go."

Betty and Reggie walked arm-in-arm into an expensive restaurant.

"Reservation for Mantle and Cooper." Reggie said.

Betty and Reggie were soon seated at a table.

The two of them looked at their menus.

Soon, the waiter arrived.

"Are you ready to order?" the waiter asked.

"Yes." Reggie replied. "I'll have the beef sirloin, mashed potatoes with gravy, and a glass of water."

The waiter wrote it down. "And you, madam?"

"I'll have the grilled pork, mashed potatoes with gravy, and a regular cola." Betty ordered.

"We do not serve cola at this restaurant, madam." the waiter informed her.

"Oh." Betty said. "Reggie, you wanna grab a burger at Pop's?"

"No need for that, Betty. I'll handle this." Reggie took out his wallet, opened it, took out a $100 bill and a $5.00 bill, and offered them to the waiter. "Here, my good man. Get the lady a regular cola."

The waiter took the bills. "Yes, sir."

Reggie closed his wallet and put it away as the waiter walked away.

Betty smiled, amused.

Unlike the other restaurant patrons, Betty didn't think anything of the fact that she had a bottle of soda on her table along with an expensive dinner.

"So you wanna go to a movie afterwards?" Reggie asked.

"Sure." Betty replied.

Just then, Veronica walked into the restaurant with Jason Blossom.

"Betty! Reggie!" Veronica exclaimed in surprise. "What are you two doing here?"

"I was just about to ask you the same thing." Betty told her.

"Weren't you supposed to be doing your hair tonight?" Reggie asked Veronica, frowning.

"Um, hehe." Veronica turned around and walked away. "Jason, come!"

Jason turned and obediently followed Veronica out of the restaurant.

Reggie watched Veronica walk away.

Betty frowned. "Reggie."

Reggie turned to face Betty. "What? Oh. Sorry, Betty."


Betty and Veronica and Cheryl in "Teen Talk"

Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl were sitting in chairs on the stage of their local public-access cable show.

"Welcome to another edition of 'Teen Talk'." Betty said. "Before we begin, I'd like to introduce our new co-host, Cheryl Blossom!"

The studio audience cheered and applauded. Cheryl waved to the studio audience and the video camera.

"On 'Teen Talk', we like to talk about issues involving teens in the hopes of helping teens in our community." Betty said.

"Today, we'll be accepting your phone calls. You can talk about your issues on the air, and we'll try to help you." Veronica said.

"The number's on the screen. Give us a call." Cheryl said.

The telephone rang.

Betty turned on the speakerphone.

"You're on 'Teen Talk'." Betty said. "With what may we help you?"

"Hi." a girl said. "I work at a local fast food restaurant, and I recently went through something traumatic while on the job. I was in the office, talking with my manager. Suddenly, the phone rang. It was a man that said he was a police officer. He told my manager that I was a suspect in a case, and he ordered her to conduct a strip search of me to look for drugs. I told her there was a mistake. She made me take off all of my clothes. It was so humiliating. I want to know what to do."

The hosts and the studio audience sat in stunned silence while listening to the girl's story.

"I've heard of this happening." Betty said. "First of all, your manager does not have the authority to strip-search you. You absolutely do not have to comply with that. Second, a real police officer will never conduct a strip search over the phone - ever. Sick men like to call up businesses and have managers strip-search female employees. It gives them a rush. If your manager ever demands to strip-search you while on the phone with a supposed officer, grab the phone from the manager, tell the sicko on the phone exactly what you think of him, hang up, and tell your manager to use some common sense. Slapping is optional, because you'll then quit and find a job with a better manager. As for what you can do after a strip search, quit and sue your former manager."

"Thank you." the girl said.

Betty turned off the speakerphone.

The telephone rang.

Betty turned on the speakerphone.

"You're on 'Teen Talk'." Betty said. "With what may we help you?"

"Hi." a girl said. "My dad's been getting some harassment and even death threats from an ex-friend. He was pretty scared, so he went out and bought a gun to protect us. Honestly, though, I'm uncomfortable with it. What do you think?"

"Um, well, personally, I hate guns." Betty said. "I know that might seem kind of strange to some of you, but it's the truth. I believe, ultimately, more harm than good comes from guns. I honestly don't understand America's love affair with guns."

"Yeah, guns bought for personal protection are more likely to be used to kill a relative." Veronica said.

"Talk to your dad about how you feel." Cheryl advised.

"Thank you." the girl said.

Betty turned off the speakerphone.

The telephone rang.

Betty turned on the speakerphone.

"You're on 'Teen Talk'." Betty said. "With what may we help you?"

"Hi." a girl said. "I have a boyfriend, but he's been acting weird. I'm kind of scared of him. If I murder him, can I get away with it?"

Betty was shocked. "What?"

"I mean you did." the girl continued.

"I killed in self-defense." Betty told her. "There's a difference."

"Did you lose any sleep over it?" the girl asked.

"Yes, and the sleep that I did get was filled with nightmares. There was also the crying and vomiting." Betty replied.

"I bet Veronica's lawyers helped get you off." the girl continued.

"The police never filed charges." Betty said. "Why am I explaining myself to you? Who are you?"

"Your conscience." the girl replied.

The girl hung up.

Betty angrily turned off the speakerphone.

Veronica hugged Betty with one arm. "Don't let it bother you."

"I'm over it." Betty said. "I've had practice."


Betty in "Hot Session"

Betty and Cheryl were in Cheryl's bedroom, modeling fashions for Cheryl's teen magazine, "Fresh".

Currently, Betty was posing in a bikini, and Cheryl was taking photos.

"Yeah, that's it." Cheryl said. "Now, lick your lips. Flip your hair. Very nice. Okay, Betty, you did great. Now, will you take some pics of me?"

"Sure." Betty replied.

Cheryl offered the camera to Betty. Betty took it.

After grabbing a bikini off her clothing rack, Cheryl walked into her bathroom.

Cheryl closed the door behind her.

Betty waited a while.

The door opened.

Cheryl walked out of her bathroom, wearing the bikini.

Betty looked at Cheryl and momentarily forgot about everything else. "Wow, you look great."

Cheryl smiled. "Thanks."

Betty just continued staring at Cheryl.

"Do you want me to pose or not?" Cheryl asked.

"Oh, yes, please." Betty replied.

Cheryl walked over to the bed and posed.

Betty started taking photos.

"Mmm, yeah, that's it." Betty said. "You're so hot. Lick your lips. Ooh. Okay, flip your hair. Perfect, Cheryl. Okay, sexy, that's all for now."

"Thanks." Cheryl said. "Set the timer, and we'll pose together now."

Betty set the timer on the camera, set the camera on the stand, and then walked over to Cheryl. She stood to Cheryl's left.

They posed together, each of them putting an arm around the other's back.

The camera took the photo.

"Let's take a break." Cheryl said.

The door opened, and Jason walked into Cheryl's bedroom.

"Hey, Betty. I heard you were over here." Jason said, grinning.

Betty smiled. "Hi, Jason."

Cheryl frowned. "Don't you knock?"

Jason ignored her. "Betty, I was wondering if you'd like to go out tomorrow night."

"Sure." Betty replied.

Jason grinned. "Great! I'll pick you up at 7:00 PM!"

"Sounds good." Betty said.

"See you then!" Jason exclaimed. "Later, Sis."

"Go play in traffic." Cheryl told him.

Jason walked out of the bedroom and closed the door behind him.

"I don't think that's such a good idea." Cheryl told Betty.

"Why not?" Betty asked.

"Jason's not exactly the nicest guy. I don't think he's good for you." Cheryl cautioned Betty. "Honestly, he can be a bit of a dick."

Betty shrugged. "I dunno. I've dated him before with no real problems. I should give him a fair chance before writing him off."

Cheryl shrugged. "If you say so."

Betty walked into her bedroom.

She closed her door and locked it.

Betty lay down on her bed.

She started feeling her breasts through her sleeveless shirt with her right hand. She then slipped her hand under the fabric and felt her breasts unrestricted.

Betty slipped her left hand under her shorts and under her panties. She started pleasuring herself while thinking of Cheryl.

With orgasm came satisfaction and a release of sexual tension.

As Betty sucked her fingers clean, she thought over what she had just done, and the realization hit her full-force.

"Holy shit." Betty said.


Betty's Diary: "My Feelings for Cheryl"
Dear Diary:

Tonight, I'm going to confess something.

I'm finding myself attracted to Cheryl Blossom. Yeah, that's right: Cheryl Blossom. I can't believe it. I've never felt this way about her before. This certainly brings up a whole other possibility for my love life.

I wonder what I should do about it, though. What if she rejects me? I couldn't bear that. I'll have to think about this for a while. Maybe, someday, I'll tell her.

Well, I have nothing else to write tonight. Until tomorrow, dear diary!


Betty in "A Date with Jason Blossom"

Betty spent a half-hour getting ready for her date. She showered, selected some semi-formal clothes, and quickly combed her hair. Betty then sat in the chair in the living room and watched the evening news while waiting for Jason.

The doorbell rang at 7:00 PM exactly.

Betty stood up, walked over to the front door, unlocked it, and opened it.

Jason was standing outside. He was dressed in a black suit and holding a bouquet of roses.

Betty smiled. "Hi, Jason."

Jason smiled. "Hi, Betty. You look lovely."

"Thanks." Betty said. "You look very handsome."

"Thanks." Jason held out the bouquet. "These are for you."

Betty took the bouquet and smelled the roses. "Thank you, Jason. I'll put these in water, and then we can go."

Betty and Jason walked arm-in-arm into the movie theater's lobby.

Jason picked up their tickets from the ticket counter.

"Do you want any snacks?" Jason asked.

"A regular cola, please." Betty requested.

Jason offered one of the tickets to Betty. "Get us some good seats. I'll bring it to you."

Betty took the ticket and walked into the theater.

She walked up the steps and found two seats halfway up.

"Excuse me." Betty said to a person as she walked into the row.

Betty sat down and waited for Jason.

After waiting for ten minutes, Betty decided to go to the lobby and look for Jason.

What she found shocked her.

Jason was standing by the snack counter, flirting with Veronica. Reggie was also there, standing by Veronica.

Betty frowned and stormed over to them.

"Veronica, what are you doing here?" Betty demanded.

Veronica smiled. "I'm on a date with Reggie."

"It seems you think you're on a date with Jason." Betty said. "Jason, why are you talking with her?"

"Uh, sorry, Betty." Jason said.

"Come on." Betty walked back towards the theater.

Jason followed Betty but kept looking back at Veronica.

Betty turned and looked at him. "Jason!"

Jason hurried after Betty. "Sorry! Sorry!"

What a dick, Betty thought.


Betty and Cheryl in "Malt Shoppe Defense"

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy were sitting at their usual table in Pop's.

Pop walked over to them. He took out his notepad and pencil. "What can I get for you kids?"

"I'll have a hamburger with onions and barbecue sauce, salted fries, and a regular cola." Betty ordered.

"I'll have the same." Cheryl ordered.

"Me too." Reggie said.

"I'll have almost the same but ketchup instead of barbecue sauce and no salt." Veronica ordered.

"Me too." Midge said.

"Me too." Nancy said.

Pop finished writing it down. "Coming right up."

After Pop left, they waited for fifteen minutes for their food.

Finally, Pop arrived with their plates and set them on the table.

"Finally." Reggie said. "I'm starving."

Everyone ate their food.

When they were done, Cheryl raised her left hand.

Pop walked over to their table and took out his notepad and pencil.

He started doing some calculations. "Let's see. Nine plus three is twelve. Carry the one."

"Pop, will you hurry up?" Reggie asked impatiently.

"I'm going as fast as I can, Reggie." Pop said. "Carry the two."

"Pop, it's this really cool thing. It's called a calculator." Reggie said. "You should get one."

Moose walked over to their table.

"Duh, Midge, you don't have to sit here and wait." Moose said. "You should go over to the new Quickie Burger place. They're fast!"

"Oh, thanks, Moose, but we've already eaten." Midge said. "We're just waiting on the bills."

"It's covered." Cheryl told her. "I'm treating."

"Thanks, Cheryl." Midge said, smiling.

Midge stood up and walked away with Moose.

"Yeah, thanks, Cheryl." Reggie said.

Reggie immediately stood up and went after Midge.

"Thanks, Cheryl." Nancy said, smiling.

Nancy stood up and walked outside.

"Are you saying I can't afford a meal in this joint?" Veronica asked, frowning at Cheryl.

Cheryl didn't say anything.

Veronica stood up and walked outside.

Pop frowned. "I guess I'm not fast enough for them, but I like to give all of my customers that personal touch."

"It's not your fault, Pop." Betty told him. "It's theirs."

Betty walked into Pop's.

She was surprised by how empty that the place was. She was the only customer.

Betty walked up to the counter and sat on a stool.

Pop walked out of the back room.

"Wow! An actual customer!" Pop exclaimed.

"What's going on, Pop?" Betty asked. "This place is deserted."

"It's that new Quickie Burger place. It's stolen all of my customers." Pop explained sadly.

"Oh, Pop, I'm so sorry." Betty said. "I'll have a hamburger with bacon strips, onions, and barbecue sauce; salted fries; and a regular cola."

"Thanks, Betty." Pop took out his notepad and pencil and wrote the order down. "Coming right up."

As Betty ate her food, she wondered what she could do to help Pop.

Betty drove to Cheryl's house.

She rang the doorbell and waited outside.

Soon, the front door opened.

Cheryl was standing there.

"Hi, Cheryl." Betty greeted.

"Hi, Betty." Cheryl greeted. She stood aside. "Come in."

Betty walked into Cheryl's house.

Cheryl closed the door and locked it.

"Do you want anything?" Cheryl offered.

"Um, sure. A regular cola, please." Betty requested.

Betty followed Cheryl to the kitchen.

"I was just at Pop's. Business is really bad over there. I was his only customer." Betty said.

"Wow. That's terrible." Cheryl said. "Quickie Burger?"

"Yep." Betty replied. "We gotta do something."

"Like what?" Cheryl asked.

"I don't know. Maybe organize a rally? Help out?" Betty suggested.

They entered the kitchen.

Cheryl walked over to the refrigerator, opened the door, took out two glass bottles of regular cola, and closed the door. She got a bottle opener out of a drawer, opened the bottles, and offered one of the bottles to Betty.

Betty took the bottle. "Thanks."

The two girls leaned against the counter and started drinking their colas.

"I bet Dilton could do some calculations and find a way for Pop to cut costs." Cheryl said.

"Hey, good." Betty said. "We could also have a big party to inaugurate the new, cool Pop's. We'll advertise it on 'Teen Talk'."

"And the Sugar Cherries can perform!" Cheryl added.

"We can set up a stage for local bands!" Betty added.

"Let's go and see Pop about this." Cheryl said.

"I think those are some great ideas, girls." Pop said.

Betty smiled. "I'm glad that you don't mind the changes, Pop."

Pop smiled. "What's good for the kids is good for Pop's. Do you think it'll work?"

"Well, I'm gonna go and talk with Dilton right now." Cheryl said.

"And I'll go and talk with Veronica and Reggie." Betty said.

"If you kids can pull this off, it'll be the best thing ever." Pop said.

Cheryl grinned. "That's what we're gonna hype it as."

"Forget it!" Veronica exclaimed. "I'm not going to devote my energy to a lost cause!"

"Yeah." Reggie agreed. "Face it, Betty. Pop's is an outdated establishment. It's a relic of the past. If I had the money, I'd tear it down and put up something like a fitness center. The nation sure could use more of them."

"I'm sure that Daddy could help you out with that." Veronica said.

Betty had come to Quickie Burger and found Veronica and Reggie sitting in a booth. This wasn't the response for which she was hoping.

"You two should be ashamed of yourselves." Betty told them. "We owe Pop for all of the good times that we've spent at his place. How can you just dismiss it as a lost cause?"

"Because that's what it is." Reggie replied. "Besides, what's in it for us?"

"Money." Betty replied. "Pop will pay us to perform."

Reggie smiled. "I'm in."

"I guess I could use some extra spending money." Veronica decided. "Count me in too."

Betty didn't smile. "I'm glad, but can't you do something nice for its own sake and not for a reward?"

Over the next six days, the gang worked at re-inventing Pop's.

Midge and Nancy were hired as waiters. Cheryl had workers construct a stage. Dilton helped Pop economize the use of ingredients, electricity, and water. The Sugar Cherries practiced some songs. Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl announced the debut of the new Pop's on "Teen Talk" every day.

By Friday night, everything was set for the big day.

"Well, the word certainly has gotten out." Betty said, looking out the window.

"Yeah." Cheryl agreed, looking out the window. "It seems the whole town showed up."

"I'm impressed that you got this many people here, girls." Pop said, looking out the window. "If we can hold onto a quarter of them, that'd be great."

"Let's take our places on the stage." Betty said.

Betty and Cheryl walked over and joined Veronica and Reggie on the stage.

"What should we start with?" Reggie asked.

"I think 'It Don't Get Any Better' is the best choice." Betty suggested.

"How appropriate." Veronica said.

Betty plugged her guitar into the amplifier. Cheryl did the same with her bass guitar.

"We're ready, Pop." Betty said.

Pop nodded, unlocked the door, and opened it.

"Come in, everyone!" Pop invited. "Pop's is open for business!"

The customers started coming into the shoppe. They sat at the counter, at tables, and in booths. Many had to stand.

"To kick off our grand re-opening, here are the Sugar Cherries!" Pop announced.

The band started performing "It Don't Get Any Better". Betty sang the lead vocals. Cheryl and Veronica sang the backing vocals.

When the song was over, the crowd cheered and applauded.

Pop locked the door in the evening.

Dilton was performing some calculations on a calculator.

"According to my calculations, we've increased Pop's profits five-fold." Dilton said.

Everyone cheered.

Pop walked behind his counter.

"You kids saved my shoppe." Pop said. "Dinner is on me!"


Betty's Diary: "Boyfriends"
Dear Diary:

I am going to share with you my impressions of Reggie Mantle and Jason Blossom tonight.

This is kind of a way for me to sort out my thoughts regarding them, because things have gotten kind of confusing.

I'll start with Reggie. Initially, I was hesitant to date him. We'd gone out previously, but that was usually due to Archie being unavailable. Since Archie's unavailability is now decidedly permanent, I've been dating Reggie with the idea of a permanent romance in mind.

While Reggie can be charming at times, his problems on our previous dates, which caused my initial hesitation, soon showed up again. He's so egotistical. He thinks he's the greatest thing ever. He constantly looks at other girls. The latter was a problem with Archie as well. While Reggie is well-off, and my financial situation would be secure, I'm not sure that a potential future marriage would be in my best interest. Honestly, I'd get sick of his boasting, and I'd doubt his fidelity. I do have to admit that he's funny, though.

Next is Jason. My situation with him is similar to my situation with Reggie. I dated him when Archie wasn't available. Now, I'm dating him with an eye on the future.

Jason is charming at times. He's not as egotistical as Reggie. He seems to genuinely like me, but he's often mean to my friends unless Cheryl or I keep him in line. Cheryl had warned me that Jason isn't the best thing for me. He's well-off, but, again, I don't think the potential financial security is worth the trouble.

It seems my love life is at a standstill, which is just as well, since senior year is about to begin, and I don't need any distractions.

Things are a bit clearer to me now. Good night, dear diary!


Betty in "Back to School"

Betty drove her car into the school's student parking lot.

Even though she had enjoyed her summer vacation, Betty was glad to be back at school. She was eager to make some changes this year.

Betty went to her homeroom and took her seat.

Soon, Cheryl walked into the room and sat to Betty's right.

"Cheryl!" Betty exclaimed, grinning. "You have my homeroom?"

Cheryl grinned. "Yep!"

The bell rang.

When Betty and Cheryl got their schedules for the first semester, they compared them.

"Our schedules match exactly!" Betty exclaimed.

"Cool!" Cheryl exclaimed.

After getting their lunches, Betty and Cheryl walked over to a table in the school's cafeteria and joined Veronica, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy.

"So how do you like senior year so far, Betty?" Veronica asked.

"It's okay. I've got easy classes this year. I'm also cutting out the extra-curricular activities. No cheerleading, newspaper staff, or any sports."

"No cheerleading?" Midge and Nancy exclaimed.

"Betty, you're the captain!" Veronica exclaimed.

"I was the captain." Betty corrected. "I've decided to focus my energies on only a few things this year and do them really well: music and writing."

"That's actually a pretty good idea." Reggie said. "You're a good writer."

Betty smiled. "Thanks, Reggie. I'd like to try writing a story and getting it published, but I'm not sure what I want to write yet."

"Well, whatever you decide, it'll be good experience." Reggie said.

"Yeah, but I'll also need something that pays, and I struck out with all of my summer jobs." Betty said.

"Betty, you can have a weekend job at 'Fresh' right now, and I'll move you up to full-time after graduation if you're interested." Cheryl offered.

Betty grinned. "Awesome! Yeah! Thanks! Hmm, maybe I can do entertainment reviews."

"And model." Cheryl added.

"Wait a minute." Veronica said. "What you're telling me is you're coasting this year."

"Um, well, not exactly." Betty replied. "Sure, we're taking easy classes, but we also have Trigonometry, French, and English Honors."

"We're just taking it easy for a while before we dive into our college courses next year." Cheryl added.

"Suit yourselves." Reggie told them. "I plan to party in college."

Betty and Cheryl were walking towards the school's exit after the last bell of the day rang.

Mr. Weatherbee walked over to them. "Girls, I was wondering if you could help me with something."

Betty and Cheryl stopped walking.

"With what, sir?" Betty asked.

"I need some tables taken out of a storage closet and set up on the stage in the auditorium for a presentation."

Betty smiled. "Sure, no problem."

Cheryl smiled. "Yeah."

Reggie walked by.

Mr. Weatherbee turned to face him. "Oh, Mr. Mantle."

Reggie stopped and turned to face him. "Yes, sir?"

Betty and Cheryl were carrying a table down a hallway.

Mr. Weatherbee and Reggie were in front of them, carrying a table as well.

"This thing is heavy." Cheryl said.

"Just a little farther, Ms. Blossom." Mr. Weatherbee said.

Veronica walked around the corner.

A boy followed her, carrying a load of books.

Veronica stopped and turned around. "Hurry up! I need to get to my salon appointment!"

The boy panted. "Yes, Veronica. I'm sorry."

Mr. Weatherbee, Reggie, Betty, and Cheryl stopped walking and observed the situation.

The boy dropped some books on the floor.

"You clumsy doofus!" Veronica yelled. "Pick them up!"

"Yes, Veronica!" The boy knelt on the floor and started gathering up the books.

"Veronica's in top form today." Reggie said.

"Veronica, what are you doing?" Betty asked her.

Veronica looked at her. "I just figured it'd be easier to bring all of my books home with me every day instead of memorizing my locker combination."

Mr. Weatherbee frowned. "Very sensible, Ms. Lodge."

Betty frowned. "Well, V, since your hands are free, how about a little H to the E to the L to the P?"

Veronica chuckled. "And get my clothes wrinkled?"

Mr. Weatherbee sighed. "It's gonna be a long school year."


Betty in "Fresh Start"

Betty parked her car in a parking space at the "Fresh" office building.

She got out of her car and walked over to the front entrance.

Betty opened the front door and walked inside. The door closed behind her.

Betty found herself in the reception area.

A woman with short, brown hair was sitting at the desk. "May I help you?"

"I'm Elizabeth Cooper. I start here today."

"Yes. Miss Cheryl has been expecting you. I'll let her know that you're here."


The woman picked up the receiver and pressed a button. "Miss Cheryl."


"Ms. Elizabeth Cooper is here."

"Thanks, Jamie. I'll be right out."

Jamie put the receiver down. "Miss Cheryl will be right out."

"Thanks." Betty said. "Jamie, aren't you Cheryl's chauffeur?"


"So why are you working as her receptionist?"

"Walter quit last week, so Miss Cheryl gave me an extra job."


Cheryl walked into the reception area and smiled. "Hi, Betty."

Betty smiled. "Hi, Cheryl."

"Come on. I'll show you around the place."

Betty followed Cheryl down a hallway. Cheryl led Betty into a room.

"This is the break room." Cheryl said. "Fridge. Soda machine. Microwave. Table. Chairs."

"Nice." Betty said.

Cheryl led Betty into an office.

"This is my personal office." Cheryl said.

"Nice." Betty said.

Cheryl led Betty into another office.

"And this is your office." Cheryl said.

Betty smiled. "Wow. My own office. I wasn't expecting this."

"You can check it out in a bit." Cheryl told her. "I want to introduce you to the rest of the staff."

Cheryl led Betty into another room.

There were four women sitting at a conference table.

"Everyone, this is Betty Cooper. She just joined the 'Fresh' staff." Cheryl introduced.

Betty smiled. "Hi."

The other girls smiled. "Hi."

"Betty will be a writer and a model." Cheryl explained. "Have a seat, Betty."

Betty sat in an empty chair at the table.

"Betty will be observing us today." Cheryl said. "It'll give her a chance to see how we work. Betty, right now, we're having a staff meeting to go over ideas for next month's issue. Feel free to jump in with any ideas."

Betty walked into her office and closed the door.

She walked over to her desk, sat down, and put her feet up on the desk.

Betty smiled as she realized that she finally found a good job.

Betty was sitting at the table in the conference room.

Cheryl was sitting at the head of the table, and the other four women were also sitting at the table.

"Okay, what does everyone have?" Cheryl asked. "Betty?"

"Well, I did some calling, and I managed to score an interview and photo shoot with Josie McCoy." Betty said.

Cheryl smiled. "Awesomesauce."

"Way to go, Liz!" one of the women exclaimed.

"Aura?" Cheryl asked.

"The new Katy Keene fall line has arrived. I've already unpacked and checked them. They're waiting to be worn." Aura reported.

"Cool." Cheryl said. "We'll check them out when the meeting's over. We can have the photo shoot this afternoon."

Betty was sitting in a chair in front of a mirror. Cheryl was busy working on Betty's hair.

"Y'know, Betty, you really do pull off the no-make-up look well." Cheryl complimented.

Betty smiled. "Thanks."

Once Betty's hair was satisfactorily combed down, Cheryl stepped back. "Okay, head over to the green screen."

Betty stood up and walked over to the large green screen covering one wall and part of the floor of the photography studio. Cheryl followed her.

Aura walked behind a camera. "Okay, ladies. Ready?"

"Yep." Betty and Cheryl replied.

Betty and Cheryl started posing, and Aura started taking pictures.

Cheryl grinned. "I've got an idea."

"What?" Betty asked.

"Why don't we model these jeans - and just these jeans?" Cheryl suggested.

"You mean...topless?" Betty asked, surprised.

"Sure. We see it in magazines all of the time." Cheryl replied. "Think you'd be comfortable with it?"

Betty thought about it for a moment. "I won't be showing my boobs. Will I?"

"This isn't Europe, dear. Americans tend to be prudish about public displays of toplessness." Cheryl told her, and then she smiled. "Of course, we could set up an adults-only area on our site."

Betty thought about it some more, realized she would see Cheryl topless, and smiled. "Let's do it."

Cheryl grinned and took off her jacket. Betty did the same. Cheryl and Betty started unbuttoning their shirts. They took those off as well. After hanging the clothes on a chair, they resumed posing. Aura took various revealing and non-revealing pictures of them.

A nearby telephone rang.

Cheryl walked over and picked up the receiver. "Hey, Jamie. What's up?"

"There's an Alice Cooper here to see Liz." Jamie told her.

"Give us a moment then send her up." Cheryl told her.

"Yes, Miss Cheryl."

Cheryl put down the receiver, looked at Betty, and smiled. "I guess we better cover our boobs."

Betty laughed. "Yeah, that's a good idea."

Cheryl and Betty picked up their shirts, put them on, buttoned them up, and stuffed them into their jeans.

The door of the photography studio opened, and Alice walked into the room. She closed the door behind her. She was holding a styrofoam container.

Alice smiled. "Hi, Betty."

Betty smiled. "Hi, Mom."

"I thought I'd come by and see how you're doing at your new job." Alice told her. "I brought you some Chinese for lunch: roast pork and fried rice."

Betty took the container. "Thanks."

"Looks like I caught you in the middle of a photo shoot." Alice said. "I'd love to see them when they're ready."

"Uh, yeah." Betty said uneasily.

"I think we can break for lunch." Cheryl said.

"I'll order pizza." Aura said. "What do you want?"

"Pepperoni." Cheryl replied.

"Liz?" Aura asked.

"Same for me." Betty replied.

"Liz?" Alice asked Betty. "What's with the new nickname?"

"I dunno." Betty replied. "They've started calling me that. I really don't care. I reply to both."

Alice smiled. "Well, Liz, let's go and have lunch."


Autumn Breath

"Look up! Look up! Look up! The sky is falling."

- Michael Bradley

Betty and Cheryl in "Rich Girl, Poor Girl"

Betty and Cheryl walked into their fourth period Trigonometry class.

They sat next to each other.

Veronica walked into the room and posed. "I...am here."

Betty rolled her eyes as she watched Veronica pose and then strut over to the other desk next to Betty and sit down.

"Veronica, do you have to model your new outfit in every class today?" Betty asked her.

"Of course. It's haute couture. I was fitted for it over the summer, and it just arrived from Paris. Where's your new outfit, Betty?"

"I don't have one." Betty admitted. "The sum total of my back-to-school shopping was school supplies. I can't afford new clothes at the moment."

Veronica laughed. "Sucks to be you."

"Gah, Veronica can really make me feel like a loser sometimes." Betty said.

"Why do you let her bother you?" Cheryl asked.

"I dunno." Betty replied.

Betty and Cheryl were sitting at a table in a coffee shop in Pembrooke after school. Each of them had a cup of coffee.

"There's got to be a reason that she gets to you." Cheryl said.

"Same reason as to why you used to get to me." Betty told her. "She rubs her wealth and my lack thereof in my face."

"I see." Cheryl took a sip of her coffee. "I'm sorry for all of those instances in which I did that - and for the...unevenness of our early friendship."

"It's okay. Don't worry about it." Betty took a sip of her coffee. "Besides, the difference between you and Veronica is you've generally become nicer to me whereas Veronica really hasn't changed."

"Is being poor really such a sore issue for you?" Cheryl asked.

Betty frowned. "We're not destitute. However, we are decidedly working-class. Even with my weekend job, there's not terribly much left in our checking accounts after bills."

"Then I'll give you a raise." Cheryl told her.

"Thanks." Betty took a sip of her coffee. "Damn it. Even this coffee is a luxury that I can't afford right now. I mean who the fuck buys a ten-dollar latte when her family is low on money? Mom would flip out. I'm such a loser."

"No, you're not." Cheryl took a sip of her coffee. "You're a much better person than a lot of people that I know, both here and in Riverdale proper."

"Thanks." Betty told her. "I have no homework today. If you come over to my house, I'll show you why Veronica gets to me."

"Okay." Cheryl agreed.

Betty and Cheryl walked into Betty's bedroom.

Cheryl closed the door.

Betty walked over to her closet and opened the door. "Ta-da!"

Cheryl walked over to the closet and looked inside. "I don't see what you're complaining about. You've got some nice clothes!"

"Yeah, and you know what most of these are?" Betty asked her. "Hand-me-downs from Veronica. It disgusts me that she throws away perfectly good, expensive haute couture after one use, and poor little Betty gets her cast-offs. You know what's really pathetic? I can't wait to get them...every single time."

"Nothing wrong with that." Cheryl said. "Where do you get the rest of your clothes? A thrift store?"

"No." Betty replied. "I buy video games used, not clothes. I go to low-end department stores."

"Let me take you clothes shopping." Cheryl offered. "My treat."

"Why?" Betty asked her. "It's not like I need more clothes."

"Because I want to." Cheryl replied.

Betty smiled. "Okay. Thanks."

Betty and Cheryl walked into Betty's driveway.

Cheryl opened the driver side door of her convertible and sat in the driver seat.

Betty opened the passenger side door and sat in the passenger seat.

"That's another thing." Betty closed her door, locked it, and fastened her seatbelt. "Veronica often gets a new car, and she always shows it off. Come to think of it, you often have a new car as well. How often do you get a new one?"

Cheryl closed her door, locked it, and fastened her seatbelt. "Whenever I feel like it. Maybe the paint gets scratched. Why? Does that bother you?"

Betty frowned. "Honestly, yeah."

"I see." Cheryl said. "Well, what do you propose I do?"

"Maybe wait 'til special occasions to get a new car, such as your birthday." Betty suggested. "That way, each new car will feel like something special."

"Okay." Cheryl agreed.

Cheryl took Betty to a high-end department store in Pembrooke.

The two of them were currently browsing.

Betty picked up a polo shirt. "The prices here are insane. No way would I spend fifty bucks on a shirt."

"It's on me." Cheryl told her. "You want something? Just pick it up."

Betty put the shirt in her shopping cart. "I don't understand designer fashions. All that you're doing is paying for the name. It's all Chinese shit." She looked at the tag. "Oh, pardon me. Indonesian shit."

"But it's pretty, and it makes me feel good while I'm wearing it." Cheryl told her.

"I guess this must be slumming it for you." Betty said. "Buying department store fashions, I mean. You're probably into haute couture."

"Nah. Haute couture is too expensive and time-consuming for me." Cheryl replied. "It's not worth the time, effort, or money. I prefer ready-to-wear."

"Ready to wear?" Betty asked.

"Machine-made designer fashions produced in small batches." Cheryl explained.

"Ah." Betty said. "Well, I guess a little self-indulgence is good every now and then, even if my mom doesn't think so."

"Oh?" Cheryl asked.

"Mom and I are going grocery shopping on Saturday morning before I start work." Betty told her. "Come along with us. You'll see what I mean."

"Come...grocery shopping...in a store?" Cheryl asked. "Now, that's slumming it."

Alice pushed a shopping cart through a supermarket. Betty and Cheryl followed her. There was a box and a calculator in the child's seat of the cart.

"Cheryl, I'm kind of confused as to why you decided to come grocery shopping with us." Alice said.

"Uh, my mom thought it would be a good learning experience, so she gave me a list of items that our chef needs." Cheryl replied.

Alice opened the box and flipped through it.

"What's that?" Cheryl asked.

"Coupons." Betty replied in disgust. "Mom spends hours going through the ads, clipping coupons, and indexing them."

"That sounds like a horrid waste of time." Cheryl said.

"It is." Betty replied. "I avoid coupons."

"Just think of all of the money that we're saving." Alice brought the cart to a stop.

"Mom, buying something for the sake of using a coupon isn't saving money." Betty told her.

Alice took a can of soup off the shelf and put it in her cart. She then resumed pushing the cart.

"You really should learn how to bargain-hunt, Betty, and stop wasting your money by paying full-price." Alice told her.

"I often buy things used or on sale, but that's as large a commitment as I'm willing to make." Betty told her.

Alice brought the cart to a stop again. "Help me with the bag of rice on the bottom shelf."

Betty and Alice crouched down and picked up a large bag of rice.

"By buying the economy size, we're paying less per ounce." Alice said.

They put the bag of rice into the cart.

"But, Mom, we've eaten rice maybe a handful of times so far this year." Betty told her. "We'll have to throw most of this out."

Alice resumed pushing the cart. "Food is food. We'll just eat more rice. Betty, you need to learn to economize. Don't spend money on things that you don't need, and you'll have more money to spend on food."

"Food that we don't need. This is overkill, Mom." Betty told her. "Besides, not everything non-essential is a waste of money. I like to buy nice things for myself. They make me happy. I need my happy things."

"Yes, I found two of them in your underwear drawer earlier this week while putting away laundry." Alice told her. "I hope you clean them afterwards."

Betty felt a horrific sense of embarrassment. "Mom! I meant, like, video games and movies!" She paused in thought. "You reminded me that I need fresh batteries."

They arrived at the meat. Alice brought the cart to a stop.

Alice picked up a large package of ground beef and put it in the cart.

Cheryl picked up a package of filet mignon and put it into her basket.

"You could probably buy this entire store." Alice told her.

"No 'probably' about it, but I won't." Cheryl told her. "I'll be back in a bit. I gotta pick up some spices."

Cheryl walked over to an aisle.

Alice resumed pushing the cart. "I don't know why you hang out with her, Betty. She's not a good influence on you."

Betty felt upset. "Oh?"

"She doesn't seem to have any kind of grasp of reality." Alice said. "For her, money's just something to be spent."

"Her spending habits kind of bother me too, but she's nowhere near as bad as Veronica." Betty told her.

"Still, she seems so sure of herself. It's borderline snobby." Alice said. "Has she ever done anything to help others?"

"Cheryl and I both participated in one of her mom's benefit events - as did Veronica." Betty told her.

"Oh, yeah, the rainforest thing." Alice said. "Still, that's Penelope, not Cheryl. Even Mrs. Lodge does benefit stuff. What I'm wondering is if Cheryl, of her own initiative, has ever done anything charitable, and don't bring up poaching eggs, manning kissing booths, or rescuing seals."

Betty couldn't think of anything to say.

"See?" Alice asked.

"I'm done."

Alice and Betty turned around. Cheryl was standing there. She didn't look happy.

"Cheryl, I, uh, - " Alice couldn't bring herself to form a complete sentence.

"For your information, I divide the profits from 'Fresh' magazine equally and put the money into seven separate bank accounts. I call them my Lucky Seven. One is my personal checking account for my own enjoyment. The second is a checking account for necessary expenses, such as car repairs. The third is a checking account for any potential medical expenses. The fourth is a savings account for the future. The fifth is a checking account to pay the 'Fresh' staff, such as Betty. The sixth is a checking account to pay the maintenance and expansion costs for 'Fresh'. The seventh is a checking account for charitable donations." Cheryl explained. "I do give to charities, Mrs. Cooper, including pediatrics, animal rescue, and education. Not all rich people are greedy and selfish. Plenty are. I've met some of them, but I'm not one of them. I hope that you both have come to understand that." She looked at Betty.

Betty stared at Cheryl, stunned. "Yes. I'm sorry, Cheryl."

"I'm sorry too, Cheryl." Alice said.

"Forget it. Let's check out." Cheryl said.

Alice pushed the cart to the front of the store and got into the sole open check-out line.

When it was her turn, she and Betty unloaded the cart and placed the groceries on the conveyor belt. Alice got her coupons out of her box and handed them to the cashier. The cashier set them aside and started ringing the groceries up.

"Wait." Alice told the cashier. "That rang up too high. It's supposed to be $2.99."

Betty rolled her eyes. "So it begins."

"Can someone open another line, please?" Cheryl called out.

"Sorry, there's only one other cashier, and she's on break." the cashier told her. "This is our slow period."

"Not when my mom's shopping." Betty told her.

The cashier started scanning the coupons. She held one up. "This is for the 40-ounce bleach. You got the 50-ounce."

"Oh, please." Alice snatched the coupon out of her hand. "Just take it off."

Betty sighed and looked behind Cheryl. People were forming a long line.

"Hang on. I've got a rewards card." Alice started laughing. "It gives me points."

"Which make hardly any difference." Betty added. "They shouldn't even have rewards cards. The price should just be the price."

Alice opened her pocketbook and flipped through her cards. "Let's see. Where is it?"

"Can you open another line, please?" a man behind Cheryl yelled.

Cheryl looked at him. "There's no one to open another line. I asked."

"This is ridiculous." the man said. "I've gotta get to work, and here I am, stuck behind Coupon Freak."

Betty and Cheryl secretly enjoyed that.

"Betty, don't just stand there. Bag." Alice instructed.

Betty gritted her teeth and started bagging the groceries. She put the bags into the shopping cart.

"How much do you owe me?" Alice asked the cashier. She looked at Betty and winked.

Betty rolled her eyes and sighed. "Mom, just hurry up and pay."

"$120.00." the cashier replied.

"$120.00 even?" Alice asked her.

"Yeah." the cashier replied.

Alice laughed. "I couldn't do that again if I tried."

"It's actually a common occurrence." the cashier told her.

"Yeah, it's happened to me quite often." Betty added.

Alice got out her checkbook. The cashier offered a pen to her.

"Oh, no. I prefer using my own pen." Alice took a pen out of her purse. "You must get a lot of customers that say that."

"No, just you." the cashier told her.

Betty and Cheryl chuckled.

"Oh." Alice said. "Well, it's good to be different."

Alice wrote the check and handed it to the cashier. The cashier ran it.

"It wants your driver's license number." the cashier told her.

"Why? I've written checks here before."

"None of that counts." the cashier told her. "We recently switched to another company for check approvals."

"Well, I'm not giving you my license. Just give me the check back. I'll use my debit card."

The cashier handed the check back to her. Alice took out her debit card and swiped it.

"How do we get past this ZIP code nonsense?" Alice asked her.

"Just type it in." the cashier told her.

"No." Alice told her defiantly. "It's private information."

"Oh, for the love of..." Betty took her wallet out of her front-left pants pocket, opened it, took out a card, and offered it to the cashier. "Just take it off this."

The cashier took the card and swiped it.

"What's that?" Alice asked Betty.

"It's one of a few $200 gift cards that I charged on my credit card a few months ago." Betty explained. "I just use the gift cards when I shop. It minimizes the entries on my credit card statement, the receipts that I have to keep, the time that I spend on my credit card statement, and the entries that I have to write in my checkbook."

The cashier handed the gift card and the receipt to Betty. Betty put her gift card in her wallet, closed her wallet, and put it into her pocket.

Betty gave the receipt to Alice. "Large bills are fine."

Alice stared at Betty, and then she looked behind her at Cheryl and the other people in line. "I'm sorry."

She pushed her cart forward.

Cheryl took her groceries out of her basket and set them on the conveyor belt. "Betty, do you want some Zoom!"

"Yes, please." Betty told her.

Cheryl opened the soda cooler, took out two cans of Zoom!, and set them on the conveyor belt.

"I don't know how you can drink that garbage." Alice told Betty.

"I like it." Betty told her.

"Wanna go to the movies later?" Cheryl asked Betty.

"Sure." Betty replied.

Cheryl picked up some chocolate bars and set them on the conveyor belt. "We'll keep these in the fridge in the break room and sneak them in. I ain't paying theater prices for candy."

"Well, what do you know?" Alice asked. "You do know how to save a buck."

Cheryl rolled her eyes and looked behind her. "Everyone, put your items on the conveyor belt. My treat."

Alice and Betty were surprised.

"I can't let you do that." the man told Cheryl.

"Sure, you can." Cheryl told him.

"It's quite a lot." he told her.

"Doesn't matter." Cheryl said.

The man took his items out of his cart and placed them on the conveyor belt. "Thank you."

"Thank you." the other customers echoed.

Cheryl smiled.

"That's very generous of you, Cheryl." Betty said in amazement.

Cheryl shrugged. "Help your mom pack her groceries in her trunk. I'll see you at work."

Betty watched Cheryl while walking out of the store and smiled. "I guess I am kind of rich in a way."


Betty in "Fit to Live"

Betty walked into the kitchen for breakfast.

She saw her parents standing instead of sitting at the table. Hal was standing on a scale, and Alice was standing to his right.

"Just as I thought, Hal." Alice said. "You've gained weight."

"I have not." Hal insisted.

"Hi." Betty said.

Alice and Hal looked at her. "Hi."

"What's up?" Betty asked.

"Your father is losing the battle of the bulge." Alice told her.

"Very funny." Hal told Alice.

"No, it isn't." Alice told him. "You need to lose weight, Hal."

"No, I don't." Hal said.

"I can help you, Popsy." Betty volunteered. "It's Saturday. I did my homework and studied yesterday, and I don't have to be at the office for another two hours. Let's go to the park for a run."

"There. You see? Betty will help you." Alice said.

"Well,...okay." Hal agreed.

"Great. Let me eat breakfast first, and then we'll head out. What's for breakfast, Mom?"

"Bacon, eggs, and sausage." Alice replied.

"Yummy!" Betty cheered.

Hal groaned.

Betty waited in the driveway.

Hal eventually came outside, dressed in shorts, a sleeveless shirt, and sneakers.

Betty tried to not laugh.

She failed.

"All right! Let's work out!" Hal exclaimed in his best tough guy voice.

Betty looked up at the sky. "Pie Iesu Domine, miserere."

"What was that?" Hal asked.

"Nothing." Betty said. "Let's go."

Betty started running, and Hal followed her.

Hal stopped running when he reached the park.

Betty stopped running as well.

"How am I doing?" Hal asked, panting.

"Well, Popsy, considering you made ten juice stops in the last ten minutes, I'd say you gained weight."

Hal groaned. "This is impossible. I'll never lose weight."

Betty walked into the kitchen.

Alice was making bacon-and-garlic sandwiches for lunch.

Alice looked at Betty. "Hi, Betty. You're back early. Where's your father?"

Betty frowned and jerked her right thumb at the living room.

Alice walked into the living room, and Betty followed her.

Hal was lying on the couch, completely exhausted.

Alice folded her arms across her chest. "Hal, honestly."

"Every square-inch of my body aches." Hal said.

"Look, Hal. I scheduled an appointment for you to see a doctor on Monday afternoon." Alice told him.

"Is that really necessary?" Hal asked her.

"You're going to get cholesterol and blood pressure tests. They're important." Alice told him.

On Monday afternoon, Betty was sitting at her desk in her bedroom.

She had just finished her homework and was putting it into a folder.

There was a knock at the door.

"Come in." Betty said.

The door opened, and Hal walked into the bedroom.

Betty turned her chair to face him.

He tossed half of a donkey costume onto her lap. "Here. Put this on."

"Why?" Betty asked.

"Because I'm skipping out on my physical to go to the bar, and I don't want your mom to know."

"Uuummm,...okaaay." Betty agreed.

Betty couldn't believe the situation that she was in.

Here she was, crawling around on the floor in total darkness, her face inches from her father's butt.

This is not right...at all, Betty thought.

Hal and Betty crawled into the living room and behind the couch where Alice was sitting and reading a romance novel.

"Alice, I'm going to my physical now." Hal said, obviously lying.

"Okay, dear. Good luck." Alice said, not looking away from her novel.

Hal and Betty crawled outside.

Betty was sitting in the passenger seat of her father's car. Hal was driving.

"Uuummm,..." Betty began. "Oh, what the hell? I'll just ask it. Why did we need the suit?"

Betty paced outside the bar.

She refused to go inside and be exposed to cigarette smoke and come-ons from drunken men.

Finally, the door opened, and Hal walked outside.

"Hi, Betty!" Hal greeted, slurring his words. "Have you been waiting long?"

"Yeah. Just get in the car. I'm driving." Betty said angrily.

Hal and Betty walked into the living room.

Betty closed the front door and locked it.

Alice set her novel on the coffee table. "So...how was your appointment? What did the doctor say?"

Hal smiled. "Oh, you won't believe this, Alice. The doctor said I was in too good of shape. Can you believe that? Too good of shape."

Alice frowned. "You didn't go, did you?"

"Uh, I did not." Hal immediately admitted.

Alice groaned. "I'll reschedule for tomorrow afternoon."

Betty had just gotten a can of regular cola from the refrigerator and was heading back to her bedroom.

She had just climbed the stairs when the front door opened.

Betty stood out of sight and listened.

Alice walked into the living room, followed by Hal.

Hal closed the door and locked it.

"That doctor doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm fine." Hal insisted.

"Hal, you're grossly overweight. Lord knows what else is wrong with you. We'll find out when the test results come in." Alice told him.

Betty walked to her bedroom.

Betty had just climbed the stairs on her way to her bedroom.

Hal and Alice walked into the living room. Hal was holding a can of beer. Alice was holding an envelope and a stack of papers.

"Hal, this is serious!" Alice told him. "Put down that beer and listen to me!"

"It's not important." Hal insisted.

"It is important!" Alice cried. "Your blood pressure is high! Your cholesterol is high! Hal, if you don't do something soon, you're going to die!"

Hal was silent.

"Please, Hal, think of your daughters. Think of me." Alice begged. "We can't bear to lose you."

Betty walked to her bedroom.

She entered her bedroom, closed the door, and locked it.

Betty lay face-down on her bed and cried.


Betty in "Latch Key Kid"

Betty walked into the living room, closed the front door, and locked it.

Alice walked into the living room from the kitchen.

Betty smiled. "Hi, Mom."

Alice smiled. "Hi, Betty! I have some wonderful news! I got a job!"

Betty grinned. "That's great!"

"It'll really help us out financially!" Alice added. "Come on! I'll tell you about it over dinner!"

Betty walked into the living room.

She closed the front door and locked it.

Betty tossed her book bag onto the couch.

She walked into the kitchen.

There was a note taped on the microwave door: "Betty, dinner is in the microwave. Heat and enjoy. Love, Mom"

Betty set the microwave to heat up her dinner for three minutes.

While that was going on, Betty picked up the telephone and called Veronica's cell phone.

"Hi, Betty." Veronica answered.

"Hi, Veronica. Wanna come over?"

"Sorry, I'm getting ready for my date with Reggie tonight."






Betty turned off the telephone, and then she turned it back on and called Cheryl's cell phone.

"Hi, Betty." Cheryl answered.

"Hi, Cheryl. I was wondering if maybe you'd like to come over."

"Sure. I'll be right there."

"Thank you."

"No problem."



Betty turned off the telephone and set it in the charger.

The microwave beeped and stopped.

Betty opened the microwave and took a plate out of it. It had meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy on it. Betty closed the microwave, set the plate on the table, got a fork out of a drawer, sat down, and started eating.

The doorbell rang.

Betty walked over to the front door, unlocked it, and opened it.

Cheryl was standing there.

Betty smiled and stood aside. "Hey. Come in."

Cheryl smiled and walked into the living room. "Thanks."

Betty closed the door and locked it.

"Do you want anything to drink?" Betty offered.

"A cola, I guess." Cheryl replied.

Betty and Cheryl walked into the kitchen.

Betty opened the refrigerator, took out two cans of regular cola, closed the refrigerator, and offered one of the cans to Cheryl.

Cheryl took the can. "Thanks."

"No problem." Betty said.

Betty and Cheryl leaned against the counter, opened their cans, and each took a swig.

"Thanks for coming over." Betty said. "This is my mom's first day at work. With Dad and Polly at work too, I was the only one home."

"So you were lonely." Cheryl said.


"I guess it'll take some getting used to, but I can come over whenever you need me." Cheryl said.

"Thanks." Betty said. "It won't be like this every day. Mom's hours change from day to day."

Betty and Cheryl finished their sodas and tossed their cans into the trash can.

"Let's go upstairs." Betty suggested.

Cheryl and Betty walked into Betty's bedroom.

Betty closed the door behind her.

She turned on the light.

"What do you wanna do?" Betty asked.

"Maybe listen to music?" Cheryl suggested.

"Okay." Betty agreed.

Betty turned on her stereo and pressed Play on her CD player.

"Maniac" by Michael Sembello started playing.

Betty started flash dancing.

She motioned for Cheryl to join in.

Cheryl was initially hesitant, but then she started flash dancing as well.

When the song was over, Betty and Cheryl stopped to catch their breaths, looked at each other, and smiled.

"That was fun." Cheryl said. "Do you do this a lot?"

"Yeah." Betty replied. "It's part of my daily exercise."


Betty's Diary: "The First Whisperings of Autumn"
Dear Diary:

Autumn is in the air.

How do I know? There are a few clues. The leaves have started to change color. The temperature has lowered. A cool breeze has started blowing - autumn breath.

Most significant, I have started taking warm showers and replaced my breakfast of cereal and cold milk with hot bacon, sausage links, and eggs.

Autumn is my favorite season. I love this weather! It's very comfortable - not hot and not cold. It probably won't be long until I start wearing heavier clothes.

Well, I'd better get going. Dad's grilling lunch outside, and I certainly wouldn't want to miss that! Later, dear diary!


Betty and Cheryl in "Outdoor Barbecue"

Betty walked into her backyard.

She could smell the hamburgers and hot dogs cooking on the grill.

"The food smells good, Popsy." Betty said.

Hal Cooper smiled. "Wait'll you taste 'em, Betty."

Betty helped her mother set the picnic table while waiting for the hamburgers and hot dogs.

Cheryl walked into the backyard.

"Hey, Betty!" Cheryl greeted.

Betty smiled. "Hey, Cheryl! What are you doing here? Aren't your parents throwing a huge business party?"

"Yeah, but I'd rather spend the day with my best friend." Cheryl replied.

"Awww, thanks." Betty said.

"It's kind of cool outside." Cheryl said. "Why are you having an outdoor barbecue?"

"Well, I've never understood the point of summer barbecues. Why would anyone want to eat hot food on a hot day? To me, an autumn barbecue makes more sense and is more satisfying, because the hot food will warm you up."

"I never thought about that." Cheryl admitted.

"Burgers and franks are ready!" Hal Cooper announced.

Betty and Cheryl sat next to each other at the picnic table. Betty's parents sat across from them.

Everyone helped themselves to hamburgers and hot dogs.

"Careful." Cheryl warned. "You never know if Jughead's around. If he smells the food, he'll invite himself to this lunch."

"I don't think he'll be coming here." Betty said.

A moment of silence passed between them.

Betty decided to break the silence by taking a bite each of her hamburger and hot dog. "Yum! Tender beef! Juicy pork! Enjoy, everyone!"

Everyone else started eating, and the mood was soon happy again.

Betty decided to take a walk in the evening.

While walking, she saw Jughead walking in the opposite direction.

He's probably out on his evening think, Betty thought.

As they got closer to each other, Betty forced herself to smile.

"Hi, Juggie!" Betty greeted.

Jughead passed her without making eye contact or saying a word.

Betty lost her smile. It was worth a try.


Betty in "The Drug Test"

Betty walked into the girls' restroom at school after her last class of the day.

She smelled a strange odor. She crouched down and looked under one of the locked stalls.

Midge was sitting on the toilet seat, smoking.

That in itself surprised Betty, but it didn't smell like regular cigarette smoke to her.

"What are you doing?" Betty asked.

Midge nearly jumped, startled. She looked down. "Betty! What are you doing here?"

"I needed to piss." Betty replied. "What are you doing here?"

Midge stood up, dropped the cigarette into the toilet, and flushed it.

She opened the stall and walked out.

"Are you crazy?" Betty asked her.

Midge looked away.

"Do you have a ride home?" Betty asked her.


"Good. I'm taking you home, but we're stopping by my house to talk." Betty told her. "Let's go."

Betty unlocked the front door of her house and opened it.

She put her keys back into her front-right jeans pocket and walked into the living room.

Midge walked into the living room as well.

Betty closed the door and locked it.

"Have a seat." Betty said.

Midge sat on the couch. Betty sat to her left.

"How long have you been doing this?" Betty asked.

"For a while." Midge replied. "Moose got me into it."

"Moose?" Betty asked.

"Yeah. He's been into it for a while. Apparently, when he attended a Josie and the Pussycats concert, he got to meet the band at a party afterward. Melody - y'know, the stupid one - started singing 'Don'tcha wish your girlfriend smoked pot like me?', so Moose did it to please her. When I found out about it, I started doing it to compete with Melody for Moose's affections." Midge explained. "I know. It's hard to swallow."

"Actually, no. It explains a hell of a lot." Betty said. "It's still incredibly stupid, though."

"I know." Midge said. "I'll try to stop. I just wish that I could get Moose to stop as well."

"We'll talk with him about it together." Betty said.

"Thanks." Midge said.

"Look on the bright side." Betty said. "It could have been a lot worse."

"How?" Midge asked.

"Melody could have sung 'Don'tcha wish your girlfriend did LSD?'" Betty replied.

Midge started laughing, and Betty joined in.

The next day at school, Betty and Midge watched from a distance as Moose walked into the boys' restroom.

The girls waited for a while, and then they ran over to the boys' restroom and entered it.

They didn't see Moose right away, but they saw that one of the stalls was occupied, and smoke was coming out of it. Coming to the conclusion that Moose was in there, they walked over to it.

Betty knocked on the door.

"Duh, no one's in here!" Moose called.

Betty chuckled, and then she jumped, grabbed hold of the top of the door, pulled herself up, and looked down.

"Come out, Moose." Betty told him.

Betty let go of the door and landed back on the floor.

Moose unlocked and opened the door.

Betty took the marijuana cigarette out of Moose's hand, dropped it into the toilet, and flushed it.

"Duh, what's the big idea?" Moose demanded angrily.

"Good question." Betty said.

"Moose, we need to talk." Midge told him.

"About what?" Moose asked.

"About you. About us. Moose, I can't believe that you'd do something so stupid!" Midge yelled.

"What's wrong with it?" Moose asked.

"It's bad for you!" Midge cried. "Moose, you don't have to do stuff like this for girls! I like you just as you are!"

"But you always seem upset with me!" Moose exclaimed.

"That's because you're so jealous, and you have such a temper!" Midge cried.

Betty quietly turned and walked out of the restroom.

Betty closed her locker after the last period of the day.

Midge walked over to her, frowning.

"How'd it go?" Betty asked.

"I thought we were gonna talk with him about it together." Midge said.

"I'm sorry." Betty apologized. "You two were yelling at each other so much. I felt uncomfortable. I'm never gonna stand in on a potential argument again."

Midge lost her frown. "That's understandable."

"So how'd it go?" Betty asked.

"We patched things up, and we both agreed to stop smoking pot."

Betty smiled. "That's good. There's no hope with dope! Be an original! Knowing is half the battle! Doing the right thing makes you a superstar!"


Betty and Cheryl in "Bold Moves"

Betty walked over to her bedroom window, poking her head through her T-shirt's neck line and her arms through its sleeves. She swept some loose strands of shower-wet hair out of her eyes with her left hand and looked outside.

It was almost evening - almost time for dinner.

Betty sighed and leaned forward, her forehead making contact with the window. The glass was cold - even colder to her shower-fresh skin.

She opened the window. A cool breeze blew into the room. She let it caress her body. The air was changing. She could feel it. It was an October afternoon - an autumn sunset.

Autumn is definitely here, Betty thought. How I love you, Autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

After basking in the breath of autumn for a while, Betty closed the window.

Searching through her closet, Betty quickly decided on a pair of jeans and brown boots.

After putting them on, she went into the hallway and walked downstairs.

From the living room, Betty could smell her mother's cooking in the kitchen. It whetted her appetite.

The doorbell rang.

Betty walked over to the front door, unlocked it, and opened it.

Cheryl was standing outside.

Betty smiled. "Hi, Cheryl."

Cheryl smiled. "Hi, Betty."

Betty stood aside. "Come in."

"Thanks." Cheryl walked into the living room.

Betty closed the door and locked it. "What's up?"

"Nothing. I was just out for a walk and decided to see how you're doing." Cheryl replied.

"I'm fine." Betty replied. "You?"

"Fine." Cheryl replied.

"We're about to have dinner." Betty told her. "Would you like to join us?"

"Yes. Thank you." Cheryl said.

Betty and Cheryl walked into the kitchen. The smell was even stronger in here.

"Mom, I hope it's okay, but I invited Cheryl to stay for dinner." Betty said.

"Of course! Cheryl's welcome anytime!" Alice Cooper replied.

"Thank you." Cheryl said.

Alice opened the oven and took out a rack filled with chicken legs. She got four plates out of a cabinet and put one leg on each. She took a pan off the stove and put sliced potatoes and onions on each plate. She then set the plates, along with forks, on the table.

Hal Cooper walked into the kitchen. "Smells delicious, Alice!"

Alice smiled. "Thanks, Hal."

Everyone went and sat at the table. Hal sat at the head. Betty and her mom sat across from each other. Cheryl sat to Betty's right.

"Mmmm, oven-baked chicken with spices and sliced potatoes with black pepper and onions." Betty said. "The perfect dinner to warm yourself up on a cool evening such as this."

Everyone started eating.

When they finished eating, they brought their dishes to the sink.

Betty started to wash the dishes.

"Oh, I'll get those, dear." Alice told her. "You spend time with your friend."

"Thanks, Mom." Betty said.

Betty and Cheryl walked out of the kitchen.

"So what do you wanna do?" Betty asked.

"I dunno." Cheryl replied. "Wanna go out for a walk?"

"Sure." Betty replied. "Mom, Cheryl and I are going out!"

"Okay, dear!" Alice called back.

Betty unlocked and opened the front door and let Cheryl walk out first, and then Betty followed, closing the door behind her.

They started walking up the street.

Betty felt the wind hitting her face and blowing through her hair. She saw the tree branches sway. She took a deep breath and slowly let it go.

"Ah, I love autumn." Betty said.

"Me too." Cheryl said. "I love the fall fashions."

"No, I mean it's the perfect weather." Betty told her. "It's not hot. It's not cold. There's a slightly cool breeze to perk you up. I love it."

"Oh." Cheryl said. "Yeah, I guess you're right."

"Inhale." Betty told her.

"Huh?" Cheryl asked.

"Inhale." Betty repeated. "Breathe in the breath of autumn."

Cheryl inhaled, and then she slowly exhaled.

"That is so refreshing." Cheryl said.

"See?" Betty asked. "The breath of autumn is a whisper to the soul."

Cheryl nodded, and then she hugged her arms.

"I wish I brought my jacket with me." Cheryl said.

"Maybe I can...warm you up?" Betty asked.

Cheryl stopped walking. Betty stopped walking too.

"What do you mean?" Cheryl asked.

Betty stared at Cheryl, concentrating on her face, her eyes, and her red hair. Cheryl looked very beautiful.

"People often associate autumn with a melancholy feeling." Betty told her. "I disagree with that. I see autumn as a time of celebration,...of joy,...of recommitment,...of renewal,...of new beginnings."

Betty swallowed and made her decision.

In a fluid motion, Betty threw herself at Cheryl, hugged her, and kissed Cheryl on the lips. It was a risky move, but it was one that Betty had been contemplating. To her relief, Cheryl didn't pull away or push Betty away. She allowed Betty to finish the kiss on her own.

When their lips parted, Betty nervously stared at Cheryl and waited for her reaction.

"How long have you felt this way?" Cheryl asked.

"Since summer." Betty replied. "Are you mad?"

"No, I'm not mad." Cheryl reached up with her left hand and ran it through Betty's hair. "It just took me by surprise. It was actually very nice."

Betty smiled.

Cheryl hugged Betty.

Betty waited in anticipation.

Cheryl kissed Betty on the lips.

Betty felt joy as she had never felt before in her entire life. She inhaled the scents of Cheryl's perfume and shampoo and tasted Cheryl's lip gloss.

Finally, Cheryl finished the kiss, and their lips parted.

Betty stared at Cheryl, grinning.

Cheryl smiled. "I love you, Betty Cooper."

"I love you too, Cheryl Blossom." Betty said.

"I think you just have a thing for red-haired Scots." Cheryl teased.

Betty laughed, and Cheryl joined in.

Holding hands, the two girls resumed their walk.

Betty was lying on Cheryl's bed. Cheryl was lying on top of her, kissing her neck. Betty was hugging Cheryl.

The bedroom door was locked, and the lights were dim. Cheryl's stereo was on, and soft New Age music was playing.

Cheryl casually took hold of Betty's hands and moved them down to her ass.

"I wasn't expecting this." Betty said, smiling.

"When you date Cheryl Blossom, you get it hot and heavy, sweetie." Cheryl told her. "You try."

They flipped over. Cheryl lay on her bed. Betty lay on top of her.

Betty started kissing Cheryl's neck. Cheryl casually started palming Betty's ass.

"Oh, I got us a gig." Betty told Cheryl. "Homecoming dance."

"Cool." Cheryl said.

"I hope the dance will be awesome." Betty said.

"We'll be providing the entertainment. It'll be awesomatic." Cheryl told her.

"Awesomatic?" Betty asked, confused.

"Automatically awesome." Cheryl explained.

Betty grinned and then resumed kissing Cheryl's neck.

The homecoming dance was held in Riverdale High School's gymnasium.

Most of the student body was in attendance as well as most of the faculty.

The Sugar Cherries were performing on the stage. They were currently performing "The Warrior", featuring Betty on lead vocals. Betty kept making gunpoints with her fingers every so often. Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy were standing against a far wall, watching nervously. Betty enjoyed every moment of it.

After the final note was played, the audience cheered and applauded.

"Thank you!" Betty exclaimed.

"Okay, next song!" Veronica exclaimed.

The Sugar Cherries performed "Telephone". Veronica, Betty, and Cheryl alternated singing the lead vocals. Shortly into the song, the girls shed their outer clothes, revealing midriff-baring tank tops and shorts. The audience went wild. Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy fumed.

When the song was over, the audience cheered and applauded.

"Thank you!" Veronica exclaimed.

Mr. Weatherbee stormed over to the stage and walked onto it. "I'm warning you girls. One more inappropriate performance, and you're off this gig without pay."

"Yes, sir." Cheryl said.

Mr. Weatherbee walked off the stage.

"Betty, trade guitars with me." Cheryl said.

Betty and Cheryl exchanged instruments.

"I dedicate this song to someone very special to me." Cheryl said. She looked at Betty and smiled.

"Are you sure?" Betty whispered.

"Yes." Cheryl replied.

Cheryl started performing "How Do You Talk to an Angel". Betty, Veronica, and Reggie joined in. Cheryl sang the vocals, and Betty occasionally joined in.

When the song was over, Betty and Cheryl kissed each other briefly, and the audience cheered and applauded.

"Thank you!" Cheryl exclaimed.

"We're gonna take a break." Betty said. "We'll be back later."

The four of them walked off the stage.

The DJ started playing an album.

"Wanna dance?" Betty asked Cheryl.

"Sure." Cheryl replied.

Betty and Cheryl walked onto the dance floor, held each other, and started dancing.

Reggie and Veronica walked onto the dance floor, held each other, and started dancing.

When the current song ended, Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy walked onto the stage and over to a microphone.

"Everyone, may I have your attention, please?" Mr. Weatherbee asked.

The students stopped talking and turned to face the stage.

"It is now time to crown this year's homecoming king and queen." Mr. Weatherbee said.

Miss Grundy opened an envelope and pulled out a card. "This year's homecoming queen is...Veronica Lodge!"

The audience cheered and applauded. Veronica walked onto the stage.

Miss Grundy picked up a tiara and placed it on Veronica's head. "Congratulations, Veronica!"

Veronica smiled. "Thank you, Miss Grundy!"

The cheers and applause died down.

Mr. Weatherbee opened an envelope and pulled out a card. "This year's homecoming king is...Reggie Mantle!"

The audience cheered and applauded, Reggie walked onto the stage.

Mr. Weatherbee picked up a crown and placed it on Reggie's head. "Congratulations, Reggie!"

Reggie smiled. "Thank you, Mr. Weatherbee!"

Veronica pulled Reggie into a deep embrace and kissed him passionately on the lips.


Betty and Cheryl in "French Lessons"

Betty and Cheryl were in Cheryl's living room, sitting on a couch. Betty was sitting to Cheryl's right. They each had a textbook open.

"Thanks for tutoring me in French, Cheryl." Betty said.

"No problem, sweetie." Cheryl said.

"I really need the help." Betty said. "I'm not doing very well."

"Let's start with some simple greetings." Cheryl suggested. "Say 'Hello'."

"Bonjour." Betty said.

"Good." Cheryl said. "Now, say it informally."

"Salut." Betty said.

"Good." Cheryl said. "Comment allez-vous?"

"a va." Betty replied.

"Comment vous appelez-vous?" Cheryl asked.

"Betty Cooper." Betty replied.

"Parlez-vous franais?" Cheryl asked.

"Je ne parle pas franais." Betty replied.

Cheryl smiled. "You will eventually. You'll speak it well enough to pass the class, anyway."

Betty smiled.

Cheryl put her book on the coffee table. "Let's take a break."

Betty put her own book on the coffee table.

Cheryl placed her hands on Betty's cheeks and drew Betty into a passionate kiss. Betty put her hands on Cheryl's back.

After a while, Cheryl finished the kiss and pulled away.

"Have you ever french-kissed?" Cheryl asked.

"Sure." Betty replied. "I don't have much experience, though."

Cheryl smiled. "I can teach you."

Betty smiled. "I'd like that."

"Stick out your tongue." Cheryl instructed.

Betty stuck out her tongue.

Cheryl took Betty's tongue into her mouth and started sucking on it.

"Mmmmm..." Cheryl moaned.

Cheryl pulled away, letting Betty's tongue slip out of her mouth.

"You like that?" Cheryl asked.

"Mmm-hmm." Betty replied.

"You wanna suck on mine?" Cheryl asked.

"Mmm-hmm." Betty replied.

Cheryl stuck out her tongue.

Betty took Cheryl's tongue into her mouth and started sucking on it.

"Mmmmm..." Betty moaned.

Betty pulled away, letting Cheryl's tongue slip out of her mouth.

"That's good." Cheryl said. "Now, let your passion guide your actions."

Betty kissed Cheryl on the lips. Cheryl parted her lips. Betty slipped her tongue into Cheryl's mouth. Eventually, Betty withdrew her tongue, and Cheryl slipped her tongue into Betty's mouth. Finally, the girls finished the kiss.

Cheryl smiled. "You're pretty good."

Betty smiled. "I've got a great teacher."

"Maybe, someday, we can try soixante-neuf." Cheryl suggested.

"What's that?" Betty asked.

"Learn French, and you'll find out." Cheryl teased.


Betty and Veronica in "The Play"

Betty and Veronica walked into their fifth period Drama class and sat in their chairs.

Ms. Hankins walked to the front of the class. "Attention, class. It is time to choose a play to perform. Does anyone have any suggestions?"

"What about 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin'?" Betty suggested.

Ms. Hankins raised an eyebrow. "I didn't know there was a play based on that legend."

"Oh, there isn't - at least not that I know of." Betty told her. "It's an old TV movie. There's no copyright on it in the United States, so it's in the public domain."

"That's a very unique suggestion, Betty." Ms. Hankins said. "Bring it in, so we can view it."

Betty brought the DVD in on the very next day. The entire class watched a large portion of the movie.

Near the end of class, Ms. Hankins turned the lights back on and stopped the playback.

"That appears to be doable." Ms. Hankins said. "All in favor of doing this as our school play, raise your hands."

The entire class raised their hands.

"All right. Let's assign duties." Ms. Hankins said. "We need a script."

Betty immediately raised her hand.

Ms. Hankins smiled. "I should have known. Very well, Betty, you have the job."

"Thank you." Betty said.

"We need someone in charge of costumes." Ms. Hankins said.

Veronica raised her hand. "I'm your girl!"

Cheryl raised her hand. "I'd like to try it."

Veronica frowned at Cheryl. "Excuse me! No one knows clothes better than Veronica Lodge!"

"With all due respect, I run my own teen magazine. I think I can come up with designs that are, well, fresh!" Cheryl giggled. "Besides, a lady of your talent should have a role in the play."

Veronica grinned. "Really? You think I'd make a good Mara?"

"Actually, I was thinking of the village hooker." Cheryl said.

Veronica gritted her teeth.

"That's enough, you two." Ms. Hankins said. "Cheryl, you're in charge of costumes."

"Thank you." Cheryl said.

"Now for the casting." Ms. Hankins said.

Reggie raised his hand. "Truson and the Piper, right here!"

"I'll decide that. You'll have to audition, Reggie." Ms. Hankins told him. "Anyone else?"

Betty raised her hand. "I'd like to audition for Mara."

Veronica raised her hand. "Me too."

Cheryl raised her hand. "Me three. I've got a question, though. Who's gonna play the mayor? We need someone older."

"That's a good question, Cheryl." Ms. Hankins said. "I don't have an answer for that."

"We'll find an answer." Reggie said. "It's like Mohammad coming to the mountain."

Just then, the door opened, and Mr. Weatherbee walked into the classroom.

"Or is it the other way around?" Reggie asked.

Ms. Hankins gave him a dirty look, and then she turned to face the principal. "Hello, Mr. Weatherbee."

"Hello, Ms. Hankins." Mr. Weatherbee said. "I need a copy of yesterday's attendance log. It seems to have been misplaced."

"Yes, sir." Ms. Hankins said. "Oh, while you're here, would you like to audition for our school play?"

Mr. Weatherbee raised an eyebrow.

The following Monday, Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl walked into Drama class and immediately checked the cast list on Ms. Hankins' desk.

"Mara! I'm Mara!" Veronica exclaimed, grinning.

Betty smiled. "Congratulations, Veronica."

"You don't seem upset, Betty." Veronica said.

"This way, I'll have more time to do work behind the scenes." Betty explained.

Cheryl smiled. "Yeah, me too. I didn't think about that."

Just then, Reggie poked his head between Betty and Veronica and looked at the cast list.

Reggie grinned. "Say hello to the leading man!"

Veronica smiled. "Congratulations, Reggie. It looks like we'll be doing a lot of rehearsing together."

"You know it, Ronnie!" Reggie exclaimed.

Over the next three weeks, the cast rehearsed, Cheryl worked on the costumes, and the Sugar Cherries practiced and recorded the music that the cast would sing to. The class also created posters for the play, hung them around the school, and advertised the play in the school's newspaper.

On Friday night, the school's auditorium was packed with students, parents, and faculty.

The play went well. The audience loved Mr. Weatherbee's performance as the mayor and Ms. Hankins' performance as John's mother, were surprised at the acting capabilities of and chemistry between Reggie and Veronica, and gave the performers a standing ovation at the end of the play.

Betty was also surprised by Reggie and Veronica. She applauded, not caring that she wasn't the one kissing Reggie.

The curtain rose after the play was over, and the entire cast took a bow.

"Let's also have a nice round of applause for our crew!" Ms. Hankins exclaimed. "Betty Cooper wrote the script! Cheryl Blossom designed the costumes! Betty, Cheryl, get up here!"

Betty and Cheryl joined the others on the stage and took bows. They then hugged each other.


Betty and Cheryl in "Halloween Havoc"

Betty and Cheryl walked into their second period French class.

They sat next to each other, Betty to Cheryl's left.

Veronica walked into the classroom.

She sat to Betty's left.

"Betty, I'm hosting a Halloween party at the mansion." Veronica said. "Wanna come?"

"Sorry, Ronnie." Betty said. "I already accepted Cheryl's invitation."

"Cheryl?" Veronica blurted.

Cheryl smiled. "You snooze, you lose, Veronica."

"Shut up!" Veronica told her.

"You may come to my Halloween party." Cheryl offered.

"As if!" Veronica told her.

Betty walked up to the front door of Cheryl's house and rang the doorbell.

The door opened.

Cheryl was standing there, dressed as Firestar of the X-Men.

"Hi, Betty, er, Supergirl." Cheryl greeted. She stepped aside. "Come in."

"Thanks." Betty said.

Betty walked into the living room.

Cheryl closed the door and locked it.

"Wow, there are a lot of people here." Betty said.

"Naturally." Cheryl said.

A boy walked up to them.

"Hey, you're in my French class, right?" he asked.

"Yes." Betty replied.

"Hi." the boy said.

"Merci." Betty said.

"That means 'Thank you'." Cheryl told her.

Betty laughed, embarrassed. "Oh, well. At least, I was polite."

Betty walked over to the punch bowl.

She picked up a cup, picked up the spoon, and added some punch to the cup. She drank the punch.

It tasted kind of strange to her, but she helped herself to some more punch.

Betty walked away from the table and headed for Cheryl.

The boy from her French class walked over to her.

"Hey, I think you're in my Home Ec class too." the boy said. "Yeah, I remember. You're a pretty good cook."

Betty took his right hand in both of her hands and shook it. "Merci!"

"I especially liked those brownies you made." the boy continued.

Betty shook his hand again. "Merci! Bonjour! Bonjour! Sweet souffl omelette!"

Cheryl overheard that and walked over to Betty.

Betty continued shaking the boy's hand. "a va bien? a va bien. a va bien!"

"Betty, are you okay?" Cheryl asked.

"I dunno. I feel kinda funny." Betty released the boy and hugged Cheryl. "You are so hot."

Cheryl turned her head. "You smell kind of funny. I think you need a breath of fresh air."

"So pop a mint and gimme a little kissy-face." Betty pleaded. "Better yet, fuck me! Pretty please with a Cheryl on top."

Cheryl picked Betty up in her arms.

"Excuse us." Cheryl said, embarrassed.

Betty waved to everyone. "Au revoir! Excusez-moi!"

Cheryl took Betty out to the backyard and set her down on a bench. Cheryl sat to Betty's left.

Betty laid her head on Cheryl's shoulder. Cheryl hugged Betty with her right arm.

"The stars are pretty, but they pale in comparison to you." Betty said.

"You're drunk." Cheryl said simply.

"Is that it?" Betty asked. "Interesting. However, I'm still sober enough to know what I want, and I want you."

"Not when you smell like shit and could heave at any moment." Cheryl said. "Now, who spiked the punch? Reggie?"

"No bout adoubt it." Betty said.

Cheryl giggled. "Betty Cooper, what am I going to do with you?"

"I can think of a few things." Betty said.

"Promise me that you'll stay away from the punch." Cheryl requested.

Betty snuggled up closer to Cheryl. "I promise, and a Supergirl promise is as good as gold."


Betty and Veronica in "Rivalry"

Betty met Veronica in a hallway at school after their final class.

"Hey, Betty, I'm throwing a slumber party at my house tonight." Veronica said. "Wanna come?"

"Sure." Betty replied. "Who else is coming?"

"Midge and Nancy." Veronica replied.

"What about Cheryl?" Betty asked.

"She's not coming." Veronica replied.

"Oh. Well, she does run a business." Betty said. "I guess she must be busy."

"Yeah." Veronica said. "I'll see you this evening."

Betty rang the doorbell.

She waited for a moment, and then the door opened.

Smithers was standing there.

"Hello, Smithers." Betty greeted.

"Hello, Ms. Cooper." Smithers stepped aside. "Ms. Lodge is expecting you."

Betty walked into the main hall. "Where is she?"

"In her room."

Betty walked into Veronica's bedroom.

There were four sleeping bags laid out on the floor. Veronica, Midge, and Nancy were sitting on the floor, drinking regular cola. Veronica's stereo was on, and a Josie and the Pussycats album was playing. It was currently on "3 Small Words".

Veronica smiled. "Hi, Betty!"

Midge and Nancy smiled. "Hi, Betty!"

Betty smiled. "Hi, girls!"

"Have a seat. Pop open a can of soda. Make yourself comfortable. The sun is about to set. We have all night to have fun." Veronica said.

Betty sat by the other girls, picked up a can of regular cola, opened it, and took a swig.

"Okay, truth, dare, double dare, promise to repeat, hot chili peppers, licorice, or electric chair?" Veronica asked Midge.

Midge thought for a moment. "Truth."

"Have you ever sucked a guy's dick?" Veronica asked.

Betty spat out some cola and giggled. Nancy joined in.

"Yes." Midge replied.

"Get outta here!" Nancy exclaimed in surprise. "Who?"

"Moose, of course." Midge replied.

"Girl, you rock!" Nancy told her.

Betty's cell phone rang.

Betty took it out of her pocket and checked the caller ID. It was Cheryl.

Betty answered the call. "Hi."

"Hi." Cheryl said.

"What's up?" Betty asked.

"I was wondering, if Veronica hadn't already gotten to you, if you'd like to come over to my house for a sleepover." Cheryl offered.

"I thought you were busy." Betty said, surprised.

"No." Cheryl replied. "Why would you think that?"

Betty stared at Veronica. "Thanks. I'll explain when I get there."

Betty ended the call and put her cell phone away.

"You lied to me." Betty told Veronica. "You never invited Cheryl."

"I never said I did." Veronica told her. "I merely said she's not coming."

"What's your damage?" Betty asked her. "You know she's my friend."

"Well, she's not my friend." Veronica said.

Betty stood up and headed for the door. "I'm going over to Cheryl's."

"Yeah, whatever." Veronica looked at the other girls. "Okay, let's move on to more important matters - like how many boys, like, like me."

Betty walked into Cheryl's bedroom.

Cheryl was sitting on the floor. She had set up bed sheets and pillows on the floor as well as a tray of snacks and a cooler full of cans of regular cola.

Cheryl smiled. "Hi."

"Hi." Betty said.

Betty closed the door.

"So what happened?" Cheryl asked.

Betty walked over and sat by Cheryl on the floor.

"Veronica said you weren't coming to her slumber party, but I had assumed she'd asked you." Betty explained.

"She never invited me." Cheryl said.

"I know that now." Betty said. "It really frustrates me that she misled me like this."

"Don't let it bother you." Cheryl said. "The night is young. Let's eat, drink, and be merry."

Betty smiled. "Okay."

Betty and Cheryl were in their sixth period Home Economics class.

The timer on an oven rang.

Cheryl opened the oven.

Smoke came out.

"Ick." Cheryl took the pan with their pepperoni pizza out and dropped it on a table. "I overcooked it. I totally suck at cooking."

Betty smiled. "Don't worry about it. You'll get better."

"Where's Veronica?" Cheryl asked. "She was supposed to help us with this project."

Just then, the classroom door opened.

Veronica walked into the classroom. "What's the sitch in the kitch, girls?"

"Finally." Cheryl said. "Where have you been?"

"Oh, I had a bit of a spat with my Serbian teacher and got held after class." Veronica said dismissively. "Did I miss anything?"

Cheryl frowned. "Forget it. I doubt you would've helped, anyway."

"We can remake it, whatever it is." Veronica said.

"Not today." Betty said. "There's not enough time left in this period."

"So we'll do it tomorrow." Veronica said. "I'll be on time."

"You promise?" Cheryl asked her.

Veronica smiled. "Cross my heart. I hope you die."

Betty gritted her teeth.

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Midge, and Nancy were sitting in their seventh period Creative Writing class.

"Do you have your short stories ready?" Nancy asked. "They're due today."

Betty opened her folder and took out a stapled stack of papers. "I've got mine. It's about an average girl that grows up in the suburbs but dreams of a future in the big city."

Midge smiled. "Based on anyone that we know?"

Betty chuckled.

Veronica noticed another stapled stack of papers in Betty's folder and pulled them out. "What's this?"

Betty made a grabbing motion with her left hand in Veronica's direction. "Hey, give that back!"

Veronica dodged Betty, stood up, and walked away. "Is this another short story? Let's see. 'The Temptation of Cherry by Elizabeth Cooper'. Ooh, sounds interesting."

Betty stood up and chased after Veronica. "Veronica, if you read that aloud, I'll kill you!"

Veronica picked up speed, evading Betty. "You shouldn't make it a habit, dear. Let's see. 'Beth found herself attracted to Cherry, the most beautiful girl in school.' What the hell?" Veronica skipped to the third page. "'Beth finally got up the nerve to kiss Cherry. As their lips pressed against each other's, Beth felt nervous but also a certain feeling of contentment.'" Veronica skipped to the tenth page. "'As Beth and Cherry passionately kissed in the shower, the glass wall steamed up - but not from the hot water.'" Veronica stopped walking.

Betty caught up with Veronica and snatched the papers out of her hand.

Veronica laughed. "Betty, I never dreamed you liked homoerotica, much less wrote it."

Without a word, Betty returned to her chair and sat down.

Betty looked at Cheryl, who was staring at her. "I'm sorry."

"Don't worry about it." Cheryl told her. "We'll discuss it after school."

Betty and Cheryl walked into the student parking lot and over to their cars.

"It's a short story that I wrote that I'm hoping to get published. It's only the first draft. No one in that class was meant to hear it." Betty explained.

Cheryl smiled. "You want to be an erotic romance novelist?"

"Well, it's something to try." Betty said.

"Go for it." Cheryl said.

"What do you think of my first draft?" Betty asked.

"From what I've heard?" Cheryl asked. "It could use some work. Actually, a lot of work."

"Yeah, I kinda thought so." Betty said.

"And who the hell is named 'Cherry'?" Cheryl asked.

"Those are just placeholder names." Betty explained.

Veronica walked by on her way to her car. "Toodles, Betty! Don't spend all of your brain cells on that masterful literature!"

Betty clenched her fists. "I could pound her!"

"Am I going to have the privilege of witnessing a Betty/Veronica catfight?" Cheryl asked her.

"No." Betty said. "I've got a better idea. Coach Clayton is still running that boxing program at the teen center."

Cheryl smiled. "I get it."

Betty walked over to Veronica. "Veronica, let's settle this rivalry. Meet me on Saturday morning at the teen center for a boxing match."

Veronica laughed. "You must be joking."

"No, I'm serious. I wanna kick your ass." Betty told her.

Veronica chuckled. "Fine. What time?"

"9:00 AM." Betty replied.

"See ya then." Veronica said.

Veronica got into her car and drove off.

Nancy walked over to Betty. "I couldn't help overhearing. Looks like you've got a fight on your hands."

"What the hell did I just do?" Betty asked. "I don't know how to box!"

"Don't worry. I'll train you." Nancy told her.

"You know how to box?" Betty asked her, surprised.

"No, but I've seen all of the Rocky films." Nancy replied. "Let's go."

Cheryl walked over to them. "Wait up. This, I've gotta see."

Betty and Nancy stood in the center of the boxing ring in the teen center.

They were each wearing gloves, mouth guards, and helmets.

Coach Clayton and Cheryl were standing outside the ring, watching them.

"Okay, touch your gloves together." Coach Clayton told them.

Betty and Nancy touched their gloves together briefly.

"Fight!" Coach Clayton exclaimed.

Nancy did a quick jab with her right fist and punched Betty in the face. Betty swung her left arm and punched Nancy in the head. Nancy punched Betty in the chest four times.

"Hang on! Stop!" Coach Clayton called.

Betty and Nancy stopped fighting and looked at him.

"Betty, you're not keeping your guard up. You're leaving yourself vulnerable." Coach Clayton told her.

"I'm sorry." Betty said.

"Don't apologize. Try it again." he told her.

Cheryl smiled. "Come on, Betty. You can do it."

Betty trained after school every day. She ran on the beach, flash danced, punched the punching bag at the teen center, fought with Nancy, and did push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.

By Friday evening, Betty felt that she was as prepared as could be for her fight with Veronica.

On Saturday morning at 8:40 AM, Betty, Cheryl, and Nancy arrived at the teen center.

They had to wait for Coach Clayton to come and unlock the front door.

They then went inside and waited for Veronica.

"Do you think she'll show up?" Nancy asked.

"She'll show up." Betty said confidently. "Veronica Lodge doesn't back down from a challenge."

Cheryl took her digital camera out of her front-right jeans pocket. "Betty, with your permission, I'd like to take some pictures of the fight for an article in the next issue of 'Fresh'."

"Of course." Betty agreed.

"Maybe I can get some pics of you warming up." Cheryl suggested.

"Yeah, okay. I'll punch the punching bag."

Betty put on a pair of boxing gloves and walked over to the punching bag. Cheryl turned on her digital camera and started taking pictures. Betty punched the punching bag repeatedly.

The front door opened.

Veronica walked into the teen center, followed by a film crew holding recording equipment.

"Veronica, what's all this?" Betty asked in surprise.

"The local news is gonna do a story on the fight. I invited them." Veronica replied.

"Wow, you're confident." Nancy said.

"Naturally." Veronica said. "Let's get this over with. I have an appointment with my hair stylist in a half-hour."

"It'll be over in fifteen minutes." Nancy told her.

Veronica put on a pair of boxing gloves. "I don't doubt that."

"Veronica, with your permission, I'd like to take some pictures of the fight for an article in the next issue of 'Fresh'." Cheryl said.

"Yeah, whatever." Veronica agreed.

Veronica got in the boxing ring.

"You coming or what?" Veronica asked Betty impatiently.

Betty and Coach Clayton got in the boxing ring.

"Both of you put on your helmets and mouth guards." Coach Clayton instructed.

Betty and Veronica put helmets on their heads and mouth guards in their mouths.

"All right, I want a good, clean fight." he said. "Touch your gloves."

Betty and Veronica briefly touched their gloves together.

"Let's get ready to rumble!" Coach Clayton exclaimed.

Betty stared at him in surprise, and then she looked over at Cheryl and mouthed "What the fuck?"

Cheryl shrugged and started taking pictures.

"Round 1!" Coach Clayton exclaimed. "Fight!"

Betty held her hands in front of her face and blocked a right-hand punch from Veronica. Betty did a quick right jab and punched Veronica in the face. Veronica did a quick left jab and punched Betty in the face. Betty put up her hands in defense and blocked a right jab from Veronica. Betty did a left jab and punched Veronica in the stomach. Veronica was caught off-guard. Betty used the opportunity to unleash a series of punches with both hands on Veronica's ribs.

Veronica fell to the mat.

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!" Coach Clayton counted. He held up Betty's left arm. "The winner by knock-out: Elizabeth Cooper!"

Cheryl and Nancy cheered and applauded Betty. Cheryl took pictures of Betty standing in triumph and Veronica lying on the mat in defeat.

Betty took off her gloves and helmet, dropped them on the mat, and helped Veronica to her feet.

Veronica pulled away from Betty. "I hope you're satisfied!" She took off her gloves and helmet and dropped them on the mat. She took her mouth guard out of her mouth and did likewise. "You've humiliated me in front of all of Riverdale!"

Veronica got out of the boxing ring and ran towards the front door.

"Ronnie!" Betty called.

Veronica pushed open the door and ran outside.

Cheryl smiled. "Congrats, Bets."

"Yeah, congrats." Nancy added.

Betty didn't feel like smiling. "Thanks."


Winter Chill

"Another winter day, another grey reminder that what used to be has gone away..."

- Michael Bradley

Betty's Diary: "Why Veronica?"
Dear Diary:

Tonight, I've decided to tackle the great mystery of the universe: why I'm friends with Veronica Lodge.

Veronica has everything, but money can't buy friendship. All of the other girls find Veronica vain and snobby. That's why I'm her friend: no one else would be otherwise.

Being friends with Veronica has some advantages, such as going on trips and getting her used clothes.

However, I can't think of anything meaningful that we do together.

Being friends with Veronica has some disadvantages too. If I confide something personal to her, she'll blab it to others. She puts down my taste in clothes. She steals my boyfriends, which I think she does only to hurt me.

Veronica Lodge might be more trouble than she's worth, but I'll have to think about that.

That's all for tonight, dear diary.


Betty's Diary: "Christmas Shopping"
Dear Diary:

I have a problem. There are only two days until Christmas Eve, and I haven't finished my Christmas shopping.

Sure, I've gotten Dad some cologne and aftershave, and I've gotten Mom some bubble bath and body wash - all at the dollar store. It doesn't take much to please them.

I've gotten $50 gift cards for most of my friends: Midge, Nancy, Reggie, and Jughead. Some people say gift cards are impersonal, but I don't think so. I think they're the perfect gifts. I don't have to worry about whether my friends will like the gifts or not. I know they'll like them, because they can get whatever they want. With all of those weekends spent at the office, I have to make sure that all of the money that I saved up is put to the best possible use!

I haven't decided what to get for Veronica or Cheryl, though. What do I get for the rich girls? $50 gift cards would be laughable.

Veronica is my friend. I can't say "best friend", because she hasn't seemed like that recently, which has led me to question the nature of our "friendship". Still, I have to get her something nice.

Then there's Cheryl. She's been a true friend to me. I'll even call her my best friend. I need to get her something very special.

This will probably keep me up all night, dear diary.


Betty and Veronica and Cheryl in "Super Duper Cooper Christmas"

Betty was in her living room, helping her parents and Polly put up Christmas decorations.

"I can't believe we waited until the last moment to decorate for Christmas." Alice said, pinning a Santa Claus picture onto a wall.

Hal was checking a string of Christmas lights. "We'll save a lot of money this way, dear."

Betty and Polly were kneeling on the floor, assembling the artificial Christmas tree.

"Have you done all of your Christmas shopping, girls?" Alice asked.

"Pretty much." Polly replied.

"I'm done." Betty replied.

"Are you inviting anyone to the Super Duper Cooper Christmas?" Alice asked.

"I asked some of my old high school friends, but they already had other plans." Polly replied.

"Cheryl's coming, naturally. Reggie will also be here. So will Veronica, although she hasn't been much of a friend to me lately. Midge and Nancy have other plans. Jughead refused to come." Betty replied.

"Are their parents coming?" Alice asked.

"No. Cheryl's parents and Jason went on a vacation to Scotland. Reggie's parents are working. Veronica's parents are hosting a Lodge Enterprises Christmas party." Betty replied.

On Christmas Eve, the Coopers got everything ready for that night's party.

Hal plugged in all of the Christmas lights. Alice and Betty set the table. Polly turned on the Christmas music.

Soon, the doorbell rang.

Betty walked over to the front door, unlocked it, and opened it.

Cheryl was standing outside. She was holding a wrapped present in her hand.

Betty smiled. "Hi, Cheryl. Merry Christmas."

Cheryl smiled. "Hi, Betty. Merry Christmas."

Betty stepped aside. "Come in."

Cheryl walked into the living room. "Thanks."

Betty started to close the door.

Suddenly, a hand pushed it open again.

Veronica walked into the living room. She was holding a wrapped present.

"Don't you dare close a door on Veronica Lodge." Veronica said, smiling.

Betty smiled. "Forgive me, Your Highness."

Veronica laughed. "Merry Christmas, Betty."

"Merry Christmas, Veronica." Betty said.

Reggie walked into the living room. He was holding a wrapped present.

"You can start the party now! Reggie Mantle is here!" Reggie announced.

Betty laughed. "Merry Christmas, Reggie."

"Merry Christmas, Betty." Reggie said.

Betty closed the door and locked it.

Hal stood up and carved the Christmas turkey. He placed a piece of turkey on each person's plate.

When he sat down, everyone started eating.

"So, Cheryl, what's a typical Blossom family Christmas party like?" Alice asked.

"I usually go to Dad's corporate Christmas parties." Cheryl replied. "There's great food, but they're not very personal. I like this kind of Christmas party better."

"The same is true in my family." Veronica added. "In a way, I kind of envy you people. Not being well-off has its advantages."

Betty smiled. "We make do."

After dinner, Betty stood up and started gathering dishes.

"I'll get those, dear." Alice said. "You can hang out with your friends until it's time to open presents."

Betty set the dishes on the table and walked into the kitchen.

She got a cup and poured some eggnog for herself.

Betty walked into the living room.

Cheryl was standing there, staring out the window.

"Spotted Santa yet?" Betty asked.

Cheryl was momentarily startled, but then she turned and faced Betty.

"No." Cheryl replied. "Actually, I was just thinking."

Betty walked over to her. "About what?"

"Archie." Cheryl replied.

Betty stared at her.

"I'm sorry." Cheryl apologized. "I didn't mean to remind you of him."

"It's okay." Betty replied. "I think about him every day as it is. When you kill a human being, the memory stays with you forever."

"I see." Cheryl said.

"After we open presents, I'm gonna go to the cemetery." Betty told her. "Wanna come?"

"Sure." Cheryl replied.

Betty picked up a wrapped present and offered it to Veronica. "Here, Ronnie. Merry Christmas."

Veronica took the present and unwrapped it. She opened the box. There was an album inside. Veronica took the album out of the box and flipped through it. It was a scrapbook with many pictures of Betty and Veronica.

"Thanks, Betty." Veronica said, smiling.

Cheryl picked up a wrapped present and offered it to Betty. "Merry Christmas, Betty."

Betty took the present and unwrapped it. She opened the box. There was a set of designer clothes inside. Betty took the clothes out of the box and looked at the shirt, jacket, pants, belt, and boots individually.

"Cheryl, they're beautiful." Betty said. "Thank you so much."

Cheryl smiled. "I'm glad that you like them. You'll be the hottest girl at Riverdale High this spring."

"Not a chance." Betty said flirtatiously.

Cheryl felt slightly embarrassed but grinned.

Betty picked up a wrapped present and offered it to Cheryl. "Merry Christmas, Cheryl."

Cheryl took the present and unwrapped it. She opened the box. There was a bottle of perfume inside. Cheryl took the bottle out of the box and looked at it.

"Imported from France?" Cheryl asked, surprised. "Betty, this must have cost you a fortune."

"Try it out." Betty told her.

Cheryl sprayed a bit of the perfume on herself and inhaled the scent. "Ooh, I love it!"

Betty smiled. "Then it's worth every penny."

Cheryl set the bottle down and hugged Betty. "Thank you so much, Betty."

Betty inhaled the scent as she hugged Cheryl. "Anything for you."

Betty and Cheryl were walking along a sidewalk.

"Betty, I'm just curious, but...why are you doing this?" Cheryl asked.

"He doesn't deserve to be forgotten. Despite what he did and how I feel about him, I still want to spend some time with him on Christmas Eve." Betty replied.

"What do you think happened to him?" Cheryl asked.

"I think he went to Heaven or will go to Heaven eventually." Betty replied.

"Even after what he did?" Cheryl asked.

"I have a different view of God than most people. I believe God has infinite mercy and forgives everyone. I don't believe that you have to avoid certain foods, rest on certain days, dress a certain way, believe certain things, or follow a hundred other rules to please God. I don't believe that human beings, by nature, 'deserve to go to Hell'. God is our creator and loves us too much to condemn any of us for eternity. I believe in salvation as God's natural decision for all of humanity. Besides, I could never enjoy Heaven if a family member or friend of mine was suffering in Hell." Betty explained.

Cheryl smiled. "You certainly don't sound like the average American churchgoer."

"Thank you." Betty said.

They arrived at the cemetery and entered it.

After walking down a path for a while, they came to the grave.

Betty stared at the name on the headstone: ARCHIBALD ANDREWS. Cheryl also stared at it. Neither of them said anything for a few minutes, lost in their own thoughts.

"Are you okay?" Cheryl finally asked, looking at Betty.

"Yeah." Betty replied. "I'm just a bit weirded out. I mean I put him there."

Cheryl stared at Betty.

Betty knelt in front of the grave, crossed herself, and prayed silently. Cheryl did the same. Eventually, each girl crossed herself again and stood up.

The two girls walked back to Betty's house.


Betty and Veronica in "Shattered"

Betty was lying on her stomach on her bed, reading the latest issue of "Fresh".

She picked up her cell phone and dialed Veronica's cell phone number.

The phone rang three times.

"Hey, Betty." Veronica greeted.

"Hey, Ronnie." Betty greeted. "Would you like to come over?"

"Sure." Veronica replied. "I'll be right there."

"Okay. I'll see ya soon."

Betty ended the call and dropped her cell phone on her bed.

Veronica was sitting in her car, driving to Betty's house.

She took her right hand off the steering wheel and picked up her cell phone. She dialed Betty's home phone number.

The phone rang once.

"Hello?" Betty asked.

"Betty, it's me. I'm almost at your house. Do you want me to stop at the convenience store to get some Zoom!"

"Sure." Betty replied.

Suddenly, a car crossed in front of Veronica.

Veronica saw the car and hit the brake, but it was too late. Her car slammed into the other car.

Veronica lurched forward. Her cell phone fell out of her hand. The seatbelt restrained her.

"Ronnie, what happened?" Betty asked frantically.

Veronica was shaken, but she picked up the cell phone. "Oh, shit! Betty, I hit someone! I gotta go!"

Veronica ended the call and dialed 911.

"911. What's your emergency?"

"I just hit someone with my car!" Veronica exclaimed.

"Calm down. Are you all right?"

"Yeah. The seatbelt restrained me."

"What's your location?"

Veronica looked at the street signs. "I'm at the intersection of Rice and Young."

"What about the person that you hit?"

"I dunno! My car smashed into the driver side door! Please hurry!"

"The paramedics have been notified. A police cruiser is on its way. Please stay where you are."

"May I get out of my car?"

"Yes. Turn your hazard lights on."

"Okay. Thanks."

Veronica ended the call, turned on her hazard lights, unfastened her seatbelt, unlocked and opened her door, and got out of her car.

She walked over to the sidewalk and stood there.

Veronica dialed her father's cell phone number.

The phone rang twice.

"Hello, Veronica." Mr. Lodge said.

"Daddy, I've been in an accident!" Veronica exclaimed. "I'm near Betty's house!"

"I'll be right there!" Hiram ended the call.

Veronica heard a siren. An ambulance soon arrived. Veronica watched grimly as the rescue operation began.

She heard another siren. A police cruiser soon arrived. An officer got out of the car and walked over to Veronica.

"Veronica Lodge?" the officer asked in surprise.

"Yes, sir." Veronica replied, scared.

"What happened?" the officer asked.

"I was on my cell phone, and I guess I missed a Stop sign." Veronica replied.

The officer looked. "Yep. You sure did. Were you speeding?"

"I don't believe so, sir." Veronica replied.

Another police cruiser arrived.

The officer got out of the car and walked over to them.

"What's going on here?" the second officer asked.

"I'm taking a statement from Ms. Lodge." the first officer replied. "Go and speak with the EMTs. See how the driver of that car's doin'."

The second officer walked over to the wreck.

Betty ran over to Veronica.

"Ronnie! What happened?" Betty asked frantically.

"I ran a Stop sign and hit someone." Veronica pointed at the wreck.

Betty looked and got her first good look at the accident.

"Holy shit." Betty said in horror.

The Lodge limo arrived and came to a stop.

Instead of waiting for the chauffer, Mr. Lodge opened the door and got out of the limo.

He ran over to Veronica. "Veronica, what's wrong? Are you hurt?"

Veronica hugged her father. "Daddy! I hit someone!"

Hiram looked at the wreck then back at his daughter. "Veronica, say nothing further. I'll call my lawyers."

"Ms. Lodge, I'm afraid that I have to place you under arrest." the officer said. "Please place your hands behind your back."

Veronica looked at him, frightened.

"Please. It's procedure." the officer said.

Veronica let go of her father and placed her hands behind her back. The officer handcuffed her.

"I'm going to take you down to the police station for booking." the officer said. "Now, pay attention. I'm going to read you your rights."

Hiram looked at Betty. "Get in the limo. We'll go to the police station."

"Thanks." Betty said.

Hiram and Betty walked over to the limo and got into the back seat.

The two of them watched as the officer led Veronica over to his cruiser. He opened the back door. Veronica got inside. He closed the door, got into the driver seat, and drove off.

"Follow that police cruiser." Hiram ordered.

Betty sat in the reception area, waiting nervously.

Veronica and her father were sitting with two of their lawyers, a police sergeant, and the arresting officer at a table in a room.

Eventually, they stood up, the door opened, and they walked outside.

Betty stood up. "Well?"

"I bonded out. I have to attend a driving course, pay off a traffic citation, and do community service, but it doesn't look like there'll be any criminal charges." Veronica told her.

"How'd you manage that?" Betty asked her.

"The same way that I kept you out of jail. It's amazing what lawyers can do...when you pay them enough." Veronica explained.

Betty didn't know how to take that.

"I feel horrible." Veronica told her. "I feel shocked and kind of dirty."

Betty hugged Veronica. Veronica hugged Betty back.

"Is this what you felt like back when...?" Veronica couldn't finish the sentence.

"Every day." Betty replied.

"Will I ever get over it?" Veronica asked her.

"No," Betty replied, "but it will get better with time."

"I gotta get to the hospital and see him." Veronica said.

Veronica walked into the room in the hospital.

The person that she had hit was lying in a bed. He was a young man that appeared to be in his twenties. Various equipment was hooked up to him.

Veronica walked over to the bed, staring at him.

A nurse walked into the room.

"Oh, I'm sorry." the nurse said.

Veronica turned and looked at her. "It's okay."

"Are you a relative or friend?" the nurse asked.

"Neither. I've never seen him before." Veronica replied.


"How's he doing?" Veronica asked her.

"Not good. He went into a coma. The doctors aren't sure if or when he'll regain consciousness."

"I see. Thanks."

"I can come back later. I'll leave you alone."

The nurse turned and walked out of the room.

Veronica turned to face the man, and then she knelt on the floor and cried.


Betty and Cheryl in "Valentine's Day"

Betty met Cheryl in the school's student parking lot. They had both arrived at school at about the same time.

Cheryl kissed Betty on the lips and smiled. "Good morning, sweetie."

Betty smiled. "Good morning, sweetie."

"Happy Valentine's Day."

"Thank you. Happy Valentine's Day to you too."

"Thank you."

"Have you got any plans?"

"I figured I'd take you out to dinner."

"How about I make a home-cooked dinner for us?" Betty suggested.

"I'd like that." Cheryl said. "You don't have to go through the trouble, though."

"It's no trouble at all." Betty said.

"Thank you." Cheryl said.

"It's my pleasure." Betty said. "My parents and Polly are going to the movies, so we'll have the house to ourselves. 7:00 PM sound good?"


"Great. Let's get to homeroom."

Betty set two plates, two cloth napkins, two sets of utensils, and a bowl of macaroni salad on the kitchen table.

She checked on the beef in the pan on the stove.

Betty got two champagne glasses out of a cabinet and placed them on the table.

She got a glass bottle out of the refrigerator and placed it on the table.

The doorbell rang.

Betty walked into the living room.

She unlocked the front door and opened it.

Cheryl was standing there, holding a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

Betty smiled and stepped aside. "Come in."

Cheryl smiled and walked into the living room. "Thanks."

Betty closed the door and locked it.

Cheryl offered the box to Betty. "Sweets for my sweetie."

Betty accepted the box. "Thank you. We can have them as after-dinner snacks. Make yourself comfortable. Dinner is almost ready."

Cheryl sat on the couch.

Betty walked into the kitchen.

She put the box of chocolates on the counter, turned off the stove, took the lid off the pan, brought the pan over to the table, and placed a large piece of beef on each plate.

Betty put the pan and the lid in the sink.

She turned off the light in the kitchen, picked up a lighter, lit the two candles on the table, and set the lighter back on the counter.

Betty walked into the living room.

"Dinner's ready." Betty said.

Cheryl stood up and followed Betty into the kitchen.

Betty pulled a chair away from the table.

Cheryl sat down.

Betty sat to Cheryl's right.

"I hope you like it." Betty said.

Cheryl picked up her fork and knife, cut a piece of beef, and ate it.

Cheryl smiled. "It's delicious."

Betty smiled. "I'm glad. Would you like a drink?"

Cheryl looked at the bottle. "What is that? Champagne?"

"No. It's seltzer water mixed with raspberry syrup." Betty explained. "I made it myself."


Betty picked up the bottle, opened it, and poured the liquid into her and Cheryl's glasses. She closed the bottle and set it back on the table.

"I propose a toast." Betty raised her glass. "To us."

Cheryl raised her glass. "To us."

They clinked their glasses together, and then they each took a sip of the drink.

"This is actually very good." Cheryl said.

After dinner, Betty and Cheryl sat on the couch in the living room and fed each other chocolates.

It wasn't long before they started hugging and kissing, which soon escalated to making out.

After an hour of this, Cheryl finished the latest kiss.

"Well, it's been nice, love, but your family should be home soon, so I'd better go." Cheryl said.

Betty and Cheryl let go of each other, stood up, and walked over to the front door.

Cheryl smiled. "I had a wonderful time."

Betty smiled. "Same."

"Thank you for dinner."

"It was my pleasure. Thank you for the chocolates."

"Thank you for sharing them with me."

Cheryl briefly kissed Betty on the lips.

"Bye." Cheryl said.

"Bye." Betty said.

Betty unlocked and opened the door.

Cheryl walked outside.

Betty closed and locked the door, and then she leaned against it, happy and completely satisfied.


Spring Blossom

"In my heart, I realize you are the light that opened up my eyes. You are the answer and the reason why I'm living my life for you."

- Three Dog Night

Betty and Veronica and Cheryl in "Career Day"

Betty walked through a hallway in school and saw many tables set up.

Cheryl spotted Betty and walked over to her.

"Hi, Cheryl." Betty greeted. "Career Day is really exciting, isn't it?"

"Not really." Cheryl replied. "I know I'm going to someday head Blossom Industries. I learn more by hanging out with Dad at work."

"I hadn't thought of that." Betty admitted. "I guess you've got your career path laid out for you."

"As do I." Veronica said, walking by. "I'm going to head Lodge Enterprises someday."

"And I'm going to run the town's newspaper someday." Reggie said, following Veronica.

"If it lasts that long." Betty told him. "Newspapers are dying."

"Really, this Career Day is a waste of time." Veronica said.

"Not for me." Betty said. "Actually, I'm really not sure what I wanna do. I've daydreamed of being many different things - from a professional athlete to President of the United States. I just don't know what I want to focus on."

"Well, what do you have a passion for?" Cheryl asked.

"Writing." Betty replied. "I love to write stories. I doubt that I'll be able to make a living out of it, though."

"Then do it as a hobby and pick something else as a career." Cheryl suggested.

"But what?" Betty asked.

"President?" Reggie suggested.

"Nah. I don't have the stomach for politics." Betty replied. "It's so dirty and mean-spirited. Besides, I'm more of a socialist, and I doubt I'd be able to get elected on such a platform."

"Basketball?" Veronica suggested.

"The main reason that I gave it up is to avoid head concussions and brain damage." Betty replied.

"Swimming?" Reggie suggested.

"Drowning." Betty replied.

"Doctor?" Veronica suggested.

"I don't want people's lives in my hands." Betty replied.

Cheryl sighed. "Dilly-dally, shilly-shally."

Betty stared at Cheryl in confusion.

"Dilly-dally, shilly-shally!" Cheryl repeated.

Dilton walked by. "To show indecision or hesitation, be irresolute, vacillate, waste time, dawdle. From the 17th century expression, 'Shill I? Shall I?'"

"Thanks, Dilton." Betty said, somewhat thrown off.

"Don't worry, sweetie. You'll figure it out." Cheryl told her.

Just then, Moose walked by, stumbled, and dropped a book and a folder. Papers fell on the floor.

"Duh, sorry, girls." Moose apologized.

Moose crouched down and started gathering his things.

Betty and Cheryl crouched down and helped him.

"It's okay, Moose." Betty said.

Betty picked up a stapled stack of papers and looked at it.

"Be careful to not lose this essay. Miss Grundy'll flunk ya." Betty cautioned.

Betty read some of the essay.

"Moose, you're not gonna turn this in like this, are you?" Betty asked.

"Duh, why not?" Moose asked.

Moose, Betty, and Cheryl stood up.

"Well, for example, 'should of' is not correct." Betty started. "It's a common mistake. What you're hearing is 'should've', which is a contraction of 'should have'. The same goes for 'could of', 'would of', and 'must of'. The correct terms are 'could have', 'would have', and 'must have'."

"Duh, I didn't know that." Moose said.

"The term 'an historian' also is not correct." Betty continued. "While it's true that you'd say 'an hour', it doesn't apply to every word that begins with an 'h'. The rule is that you use 'an' for every word that sounds like it begins with a vowel, such as words in which the 'h' is silent. For everything else, you use 'a'."

Midge walked over to them.

"Hey, Moosey. Hey, girls." Midge greeted. "Have you found any good careers yet?"

"No." Betty replied.

"I'm still set on becoming a stuntwoman." Midge said.

"Duh, Midge, that's dangerous!" Moose cautioned.

Reggie walked by. "Don't worry, big guy. If Midge is in trouble, Mantle the Magnificent will save her."

Moose grabbed Reggie by the collar and lifted him off his feet.

"Duh, Reggie, if you think I'm gonna let you near Midge, you've got another thing coming." Moose said.

"It's 'think', Moose. The expression is 'you've got another think coming'." Betty corrected.

Moose let go of Reggie, and Reggie used the opportunity to run away.

"Duh, I guess I'm not as good at English as you, Betty." Moose said.

Betty thought for a moment, and then she smiled. "I know what I want to be. I want to be an English teacher."

Cheryl smiled. "That's a very good idea, Betty! You're an excellent student!"

Moose smiled. "Duh, yeah!"

Midge smiled. "Go for it, Betty!"

"I know where I want to teach too: right here." Betty said.

Betty walked over to the Riverdale High table where Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy were seated.

"Yes, Betty? Do you need help with something?" Mr. Weatherbee asked.

"Of a sort." Betty replied. "I want to be an English teacher at Riverdale High. I want to help people and give back to my school at the same time. I could go to college, get my degree, and return to high school."

Mr. Weatherbee frowned. "I'm sorry, Betty, but that's impossible."

Betty was surprised. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you brought a loaded gun to school and killed a student."

"But I don't have a record."

"That doesn't matter. It's public knowledge. There would be backlash from the community and the school board. I'm sorry."

Betty frowned. "I see."

Miss Grundy smiled sadly. "You'd be a wonderful English teacher, Betty. Perhaps you could teach proper English through the teenzine for which you work."

Betty smiled weakly. "I suppose that's the only way. Thanks."

Betty turned and walked back over to her friends.

"Well?" Midge asked, smiling.

"They won't hire me." Betty said. "Probably no school will hire me. I should have seen this coming."

Midge frowned. "I'm sorry, Betty."

"Miss Grundy brought up the possibility of me teaching English in 'Fresh'." Betty said.

Cheryl smiled. "You want it? You got it."

Betty smiled weakly. "Thanks, sweetie."

"I'll also publish your stories in 'Fresh'." Cheryl added, and then she smiled. "'Fresh' could be your career if you're willing."

Betty thought about it for a moment, and then she smiled. "I'm willing."


Betty in "College Options"

Betty walked into the living room and closed the front door behind her.

Hal, Alice, and Polly walked into the living room.

"Hi." Betty greeted, locking the door. "What's going on?"

Hal held up an envelope. "This came in the mail for you today."

He offered the envelope to Betty.

Betty took the envelope and read it silently. "It's from Harvard."

Hal smiled. "You applied there. I bet you got in."

"Hal, don't get her hopes up." Alice told him.

"What are you talking about?" Hal asked her. "They'd have to be idiots to reject Betty. Go on, honey. Open it."

Betty opened the envelope and took out a letter. She unfolded it and read it silently. She then folded it.

"They're pretty smart." Betty said emotionlessly. "I've been accepted."

Hal, Alice, and Polly burst into cheering and simultaneously tried to hug Betty. Betty stepped backwards to avoid them.

"It doesn't matter." Betty said.

"What?" Polly asked.

"Why not?" Hal asked.

"I'll never be able to afford the tuition." Betty replied. "This is as useless as a chain letter."

"Well, we can help you." Alice said. "Your father and I can work extra hours."

"There are loans and grants that you can apply for." Polly added.

"It wouldn't be fair to you." Betty said. "We're barely getting by as it is."

The next day, Betty walked into her first period English Honors classroom and sat in her chair.

Cheryl walked into the classroom and sat to Betty's right.

"Hi, Betty." Cheryl greeted, smiling.

Betty smiled. "Hi, Cheryl."

Reggie walked into the classroom and searched for an empty chair.

"I ain't got no seat!" Reggie complained.

Veronica walked into the classroom.

"Good morning, Veronica!" a lot of the students greeted.

"Good morning, one and all." Veronica said.

"Veronica, what are you doing here?" Cheryl asked. "This is the English Honors class. Remedial is down the hall."

"Ha, ha." Veronica took an envelope out of her purse. "I got a letter from Harvard yesterday, and I wanted to wait until today to open it, so all of you may share in my good fortune."

"You sure seem confident." Cheryl said.

"Naturally." Veronica said. "That I've been accepted is a given."

Veronica opened the envelope, took out the letter, and unfolded it. She read it silently. "What? This is an outrage! I am Veronica Lodge! Who the fuck do they think they are?"

Cheryl took the letter from Veronica and read it silently. "Y'know, this is the damn nicest go-fuck-yourself letter that I've ever seen."

"Give that back!" Veronica snatched the letter from Cheryl's hand.

Cheryl laughed. "I'm so sorry, dahling. I know how much that you wanted to pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd."

Betty, Reggie, and a lot of other classmates laughed as well.

"Shut up!" Veronica yelled. "They are going to hear from me!"

"I was accepted to Harvard." Betty said.

"What?" Veronica demanded.

"Really?" Cheryl asked.

"Cool!" Reggie exclaimed.

Betty took the letter out of her English folder and offered it to Veronica.

Veronica took the letter from Betty, unfolded it, and read it silently.

"Oh, you're fucking kidding me!" Veronica exclaimed. "Betty Cooper gets accepted to Harvard, and I don't?"

"It doesn't matter." Betty said. "I can't afford it."

"Maybe you can't, but I can." Cheryl said. "I'll pay for your tuition, Betty."

Betty was shocked. "Cheryl, I can't accept that from you!"

"Yes, you can." Cheryl told her. "I want you there with me when I start my first semester this fall."

"Huh? You?" Betty asked, surprised.

Cheryl nodded. "Mmm-hmm."

Betty hugged Cheryl. "Thank you so much, Cheryl!"

Cheryl hugged Betty. "No problem, sweetie."

Veronica dropped Betty's letter on her desk, turned, and ran out of the classroom, screaming.

Betty looked at Cheryl. "What will we do about 'Fresh' while we're at Harvard?"

Cheryl smiled. "Don't worry. We can still submit articles, take pictures, and manage 'Fresh' while there. We'll just do a lot of e-mailing and video-conferencing. I'll just leave someone in charge of the actual office."


Betty and Cheryl in "Earth Day"

Betty was sitting in her bedroom, reading an online article.

There was a knock on her bedroom door.

"Who is it?" Betty asked.


"Come in." Betty said.

Cheryl opened the door, walked into the bedroom, and closed the door behind her.

"Hi." Cheryl greeted, smiling.

Betty looked at Cheryl and smiled. "Hi."

Cheryl bent over slightly and kissed Betty on the lips, and then she went and sat on Betty's bed.

"What's up?" Betty asked.

"I was just in the neighborhood." Cheryl replied. "You?"

"I'm reading an article about global warming." Betty replied. "Y'know, Earth Day is in a week. Maybe the Sugar Cherries should participate in Riverdale's activities."

"How so?" Cheryl asked.

"Maybe perform. Maybe we can make some sort of musical montage." Betty suggested.

"Maybe we could perform live in front of a montage." Cheryl suggested. "We could set up a screen on a stage in the park, hold a concert, charge admission, and donate the proceeds toward implementation of alternative fuels."

Betty smiled. "That's a great idea, Cheryl!"

The band's equipment was set up on a stage. A large screen had been set up on the back of the stage.

The turnout for the concert was large. Midge and Nancy were collecting money from people entering the park and handing tickets to them.

Betty, Cheryl, Veronica, and Reggie walked onto the stage.

The crowd cheered and applauded them.

"Which song should we start with?" Cheryl asked.

"I think we should start with 'Look Up! The Sky is Falling'." Betty suggested.

Betty and Cheryl picked up their guitars and plugged them into the amplifier. Veronica turned on her keyboard. Reggie sat behind his drum set and picked up his drumsticks.

When the crowd quieted down, the band began playing. Betty sang the lead vocals, and Cheryl sang the backing vocals. On the screen behind them, video footage of the effects of global warming was played.

When the song was over, the crowd cheered and applauded again.

"Thank you!" Betty exclaimed. "Please settle down for a moment!"

The audience became quiet.

"We as a race are really taking a toll on this planet." Betty began. "We have to live here for many decades to come. We will be affected by the many bad decisions that we and our ancestors have made. So will future generations. Earth Day is a day of environmental awareness, but every day of the year should be as well. We must constantly take the environment into consideration before we do things, but we often don't. As the song that we just performed says, 'We have to pay for all we use. We never think before we light the fuse.' If any of you have bottled water with you, look at it. It costs fuel to transport the water to the bottling company. It costs fuel to make the plastic bottles. It costs fuel to transport the filled bottles to distribution centers and then to local stores for you to buy. That fuel is made out of oil, and it emits gasses that contribute to global warming. Oil is a finite resource, people. Once it's gone, it's gone. The plastic bottles could be recycled but are often thrown away instead. They take a thousand years to degrade. Think of sea levels rising and covering up land. This is our future. Drastic measures need to be taken to decrease the damage. Reuse your plastic bottles. Tap water is usually as good as bottled water. If you don't reuse them, then recycle them. Do the same for glass bottles, cans, and papers. You don't have to make special trips. Just collect them in large plastic bags and make a monthly trip to recycling bins. Trade in your gas-guzzling vehicle for one with higher fuel efficiency. If a vehicle that uses alternative fuels is out of your price range, then get a motorcycle or moped. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Together, we can reduce the damage and save our planet. Thank you."

The audience applauded and cheered.

After the concert, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie went to Betty's house.

They sat at the kitchen table.

Betty counted up all of the money that they'd raised and gave herself, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie an equal share.

"We made a nice amount of money today." Betty said. "This is our share. The rest of it will be donated. I'll deposit the money tomorrow and write out the checks."

"What are you going to do with your share, Betty?" Cheryl asked.

"I'm going to put it towards a new car - one that gets better mileage." Betty replied. "You?"

"The same." Cheryl replied.

"Me too." Reggie said.

"I guess I will too." Veronica said.


Betty and Veronica and Cheryl in "The Prom"

Cheryl and Betty walked into Cheryl's bedroom.

"So what are you in the mood for?" Cheryl turned on the lights and closed the bedroom door. "Music? Movies? Making out?"

"Yes, please." Betty replied. "I want to ask you something first, though."

"Oh?" Cheryl asked.

"Will you be my date for prom?" Betty asked.

Cheryl smiled. "You have to ask? Sure, I'll be your date for prom."

Betty smiled. "Thank you."

"My pleasure." Cheryl hugged Betty.

Betty hugged Cheryl. "Speaking of pleasure, pour a little sugar on me, baby."

"Sure, why not? It'll go great with the cheese." Cheryl kissed Betty on the lips.

Betty was lying on her stomach on her bed, reading the latest issue of "Fresh".

Her cell phone rang.

Betty picked it up and answered the call. "Hello?"

"Hey, Betty. It's Ronnie."

"Hey, Ronnie." Betty said. "What's up?"

"Reggie and I have been talking." Veronica said. "We're going to have sex on prom night."

"Are you insane?" Betty asked her. "You could get pregnant."

"We're going to take precautions." Veronica insisted.

"Birth control isn't 100% effective." Betty told her.

"Don't worry." Veronica told her. "We'll be doing things other than intercourse."

"Why are you telling me this?" Betty asked.

"I just wanted to share my good fortune with my best friend." Veronica replied.

"I'd seriously reconsider if I was you." Betty told her.

"Anyway, I gotta go out for a manicure. See ya tomorrow at school."

Veronica hung up.

Betty paused for a moment, and then she dialed Cheryl's cell phone number.

After three rings, Cheryl answered.

"Hi, sweetie." Cheryl greeted.

"Hi." Betty said. "Cheryl, I just got a call from Veronica. She said she and Reggie are gonna have sex on prom night."

Cheryl giggled. "Who should I be envious of?"

"This is serious." Betty said. "I can't believe she'd do something so stupid."

"Well, short of telling her parents, there's nothing that you can do." Cheryl said. "Sometimes, we have to let people fall, so they can pick themselves back up again."

"I guess." Betty said. "One advantage for us is we wouldn't get pregnant."

Cheryl laughed. "True."

"Of course, if we did it, my parents would freak." Betty said.

"There are ways to get around that." Cheryl said. "You could come back with me to my house after prom for a 'party', which would technically be true. My parents will be out on a business trip, and Jason will likely be out partying."

"While that's true, I wouldn't feel good if I keep this from my parents." Betty said. "I know I'm 18 and a legal adult, but they're still my parents. I'd want them to know something like this."

"I guess I understand." Cheryl said.

"I'll tell you how it goes." Betty said. "I love you."

"I love you too." Cheryl said.

Betty ended the call and dropped her cell phone on her bed.

Did Cheryl and I just agree to have sex? Betty thought.

Betty walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.

She took out a can of regular cola.

Betty closed the refrigerator.

Alice walked into the kitchen.

"Betty, can you and Polly handle dinner?" Alice asked. "The bakery just called me in to work."

Betty leaned against the counter and opened the can. "Yeah."

"Thanks." Alice said.

Betty took a swig of her cola. "Mom, I'm going to prom."

"I know, dear. Your band is performing."

"No, I mean I have a date." Betty said.

"Oh?" Alice asked. "Who is it? Reggie? Jason?"

"No." Betty replied.

Alice laughed. "Not Jughead."

Betty laughed and momentarily got sidetracked. "Yeah, right. Why would I ever date him?"

"Well, when Archie mistreated you, didn't Jughead often point that out to him?" Alice asked. "He seems to respect you, or at least he did before...you know."

Betty took a sip of her cola. "Yeah."

"Anyway, he treats you fairly." Alice said.

"Treating someone fairly isn't enough." Betty told her. "He's lazy. He eats way too much. He freeloads. He mooches off his parents. He can't hold a job because of the aforementioned laziness and appetite. He has no future."

"That's true." Alice said. "I have to go, or I'll be late. Oh, who's your date for prom?"

"Cheryl." Betty replied.

"Cheryl?" Alice asked, surprised. "Betty, you're not serious."

"Yes, I am." Betty told her.

"Since when have you been...with her?" Alice asked.

"Since autumn, but I've had feelings for her before then." Betty replied.

"Couldn't you find someone that's less of a - "

Betty gave her mother a furious stare. "Less of a what? Bitch?"

"Well,...yeah." Alice admitted, somewhat ashamed. "You have to admit she's rather...rough around the edges."

"So's Veronica, and you've seemed okay with our friendship." Betty pointed out, and then she smiled wickedly and ran her tongue along her lower lip. "Besides, what if I like rough?"

Alice felt uncomfortable. "Betty, - "

"Please, Mom, no discussion. I love Cheryl. I'm a legal adult. I can make my own decisions."

"All right." Alice said.

"Thank you." Betty said.

"Betty, the school will - "

" - do nothing." Betty finished. "Cheryl and I already kissed and danced at homecoming."

"So you let everyone else know before your own family."

"Sometimes, it's easier that way." Betty said.

"I suppose." Alice smiled sadly. "You'll have to put up with a lot of crap in your life."

"I've put up with a lot of crap already." Betty told her. "I hear kids whispering in the hallways. 'Oh, look. Here comes that murderer.' Really, I've learned to simply dismiss everything bad that everyone says about me."

Alice smiled warmly. "That's my daughter."

Betty and Polly were eating a dinner of sausage, bacon, hot sauce, mashed potatoes, and gravy in the living room while watching the local news on television.

They were sitting on the couch, their plates on their laps, and had their feet on the coffee table.

"Ah, it's fun when the parents are at work." Polly said.

"Yeah." Betty agreed. "Cheryl and I are going to the prom together."

"What?" Polly asked, surprised.

"Yep." Betty said.

"Wow." Polly said. "That's cool. Do Mom and Dad know?"

"Mom does. I haven't told Popsy yet." Betty replied.

"How long have you two been seeing each other?" Polly asked.

"Since autumn." Betty replied.

"Cool." Polly said. "Um,...what are you going to wear?"

"I hadn't thought about that. I guess I'll just wear what I'd been planning to wear while performing. My performances are intense, and usually there's no sense in ruining a suit or dress with sweat and salt stains, but I'm renting it, so I honestly don't care." Betty replied.

"Oh, come on!" Polly exclaimed. "You've gotta wear something special for the most important dance of your life!"

"I'll think of something." Betty said.

Betty walked into the living room.

She closed the front door behind her and locked it.

Alice was sitting on the couch, reading a mystery novel.

"Hi, Mom." Betty greeted.

Alice looked at her. "Hi, Betty. You're a bit late."

"Uh, yeah, about that." Betty began nervously. "I got a phone call and went to the doctor's office."

Alice was surprised. "What?"

Betty walked over to Alice and offered a stapled group of papers to her.

Alice took them and looked over them. "Test results? Why the hell did you need these? Did you have sex?"

"No." Betty replied. "I'm thinking of having sex. It turns out that I'm perfectly healthy."

Alice shoved the papers into Betty's hand. "Physically."

"Mom, please don't lecture me." Betty said. "This is a personal decision. I've given it a lot of thought, and I will continue to do so until prom night."

"Prom night?" Alice asked. "Is that when you're going to throw your life away for a moment of pleasure?"

"Mom, I'm being responsible about this." Betty insisted. "Cheryl and I have both gotten tested. Besides, you can take some comfort in the fact that it'll be with a woman instead of a man."

Alice was hesitant in responding. "I suppose, but...I still think you'd be making a huge mistake."

"It's mine to make." Betty told her.

"Betty, this is a high school crush." Alice said. "I don't want you to regret this if you end up getting your heart broken."

Betty frowned. "Where were you during the numerous times that Archie broke my heart? Where were you during the numerous fights that Veronica and I have had? You've always been too busy."

Alice felt stung. "I'm sorry, Betty. I didn't realize how much that you've been hurting. Are you sure that Cheryl's the right person for you? As I recall, she didn't treat you very well in the past."

"Neither have Archie or Veronica." Betty replied. "Actually, Cheryl's been very nice to me. Now that Archie's dead, I've had time to examine my relationships, past and present."

Alice felt troubled. "Betty,...do you suppose, on some level, you wanted Archie dead?"

"I've asked myself that a lot." Betty admitted. "The truth is I did."

"I see."

"Regardless, I didn't seek to murder him." Betty clarified.

"I don't doubt that."

"Is there anything else?"

"No." Alice replied. "I'll call you when dinner's ready."

Betty walked upstairs.

When prom night arrived, Betty showered, got dressed, and combed her hair.

The clothes that Betty chose were a white dress shirt, a white tuxedo, and white dress shoes.

After that, Betty packed a change of clothes and her laptop into a duffel bag.

Betty then waited in the living room for Cheryl to arrive.

Hal, Alice, and Polly waited with her.

When the doorbell rang, Betty walked over to the front door, unlocked it, and opened it.

Cheryl was standing there, dressed similarly to Betty. Cheryl was holding a corsage in her hands.

Betty smiled. "Hi."

Cheryl smiled. "Hi."

Betty stepped aside. "Come in."

"Thanks." Cheryl said.

Cheryl walked into the living room.

Betty closed the door and locked it.

"Hi, Cheryl." Alice said.

"Hi, Cheryl." Hal said.

"Hi, Cheryl." Polly said.

"Hello." Cheryl said. She looked at Betty and held up the corsage. "This is for you."

"It's beautiful." Betty said, extending her right arm. "Thank you."

Cheryl placed the corsage around Betty's right wrist.

Hal held up a camera. "You got some time to spare? We'd like to get pictures of the two of you together."

"Okay." Cheryl agreed. "I'm sure that Jamie won't mind waiting for a few minutes."

Betty and Cheryl faced the camera. Cheryl stood to Betty's right. The two of them hugged each other and smiled.

Hal took some pictures.

"Well, I guess we should be going." Betty said.

"When can we expect you back?" Alice asked.

"Tomorrow morning." Betty replied. "I'm spending the night at Cheryl's house."

Alice frowned. "Betty, I really wish you'd come home tonight."

"I know." Betty then turned and picked up her duffel bag. "Come on, Cheryl."

"Good night." Cheryl told Hal, Alice, and Polly for lack of anything else.

"Have a good time, you two." Polly said.

"Thanks." Betty and Cheryl said.

Betty unlocked the front door and opened it.

Cheryl walked outside.

Betty followed her, closing the door behind her.

"There's nothing that you can do." Polly said. "You have to let Betty make her own decisions."

The prom was held in Riverdale High School's gymnasium.

Most of the senior class was in attendance as well as most of the faculty.

The Sugar Cherries were performing on the stage. They were currently performing "The Mummers' Dance", featuring Cheryl on lead vocals.

After the final note was played, the audience cheered and applauded.

"Thank you!" Cheryl exclaimed.

Reggie stood up and walked over to Cheryl. Cheryl took off her bass guitar and offered it to Reggie. Reggie took the bass guitar and put it on. Cheryl walked over to the drum set and sat down.

"I'd like to dedicate this next song to the girl of my dreams." Reggie said, and then he looked at Veronica.

Veronica started playing her keyboard.

Reggie sang "In My Heart" to Veronica, and Veronica joined in.

When the song was over, the audience cheered and applauded.

"Thank you!" Reggie exclaimed.

Reggie and Cheryl exchanged places and instruments again.

"That was great." Betty said. "Now, I'd like to perform a duet with Cheryl."

Betty looked at Veronica. Veronica understood and started playing her keyboard.

The Sugar Cherries performed "Si Demain". Betty and Cheryl sang the vocals. It was an intense, lengthy performance that harkened back to the American original.

When the song was over, Betty and Cheryl kissed each other briefly, and the audience cheered and applauded.

"Thank you!" Betty and Cheryl exclaimed.

Reggie stood up and walked over to the others. Betty and Cheryl took off their guitars and set them on the stage. Betty turned off the amplifier. Veronica turned off her keyboard. Betty, Cheryl, Veronica, and Reggie took bows.

"We're gonna take a break." Betty said. "We'll be back later."

The four of them walked off the stage.

The DJ started playing an album.

"Wanna dance?" Betty asked Cheryl.

"Sure." Cheryl replied.

Betty and Cheryl walked onto the dance floor, held each other, and started dancing.

Reggie and Veronica walked onto the dance floor, held each other, and started dancing.

When the current song ended, Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy walked onto the stage and over to a microphone.

"Everyone, may I have your attention, please?" Mr. Weatherbee asked.

The students stopped talking and turned to face the stage.

"It is now time to crown this year's prom king and queen." Mr. Weatherbee said.

Miss Grundy opened an envelope and pulled out a card. "This year's prom queen is...Cheryl Blossom!"

The audience cheered and applauded. Cheryl walked onto the stage.

Miss Grundy picked up a tiara and placed it on Cheryl's head. "Congratulations, Cheryl!"

Cheryl smiled. "Thank you, Miss Grundy!"

The cheers and applause died down.

"This year, due to a petition started by the prom court, we are going to do something different." Mr. Weatherbee opened an envelope and pulled out a card. "We have a second prom queen - Elizabeth Cooper!"

Betty was stunned. As the audience cheered and applauded, Betty walked onto the stage.

Mr. Weatherbee picked up a tiara and placed it on Betty's head. "Congratulations, Betty!"

Betty smiled. "Thank you, Mr. Weatherbee!"

Cheryl pulled Betty into a deep embrace and kissed her passionately on the lips.

The DJ started playing an album. "Because the Night" by Patti Smith started playing.

Betty and Cheryl walked off the stage and onto the dance floor, held each other, and started dancing.

"I've always loved this song." Betty told Cheryl. "Bruce Springsteen originally wrote it."

"Really?" Cheryl asked. "I can't say I care for him. I can't understand what he's singing a lot of the time."

"Awww, sweetie, check out 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' sometime." Betty suggested.

"Yeah, okay. Still, the song got something right." Cheryl said, smiling. "The night belongs to us, and it will soon belong to lust."

After prom was over, Betty and Cheryl went to Cheryl's house.

They walked into Cheryl's bedroom. Cheryl turned on the lights.

Cheryl closed the door and locked it.

Betty and Cheryl faced each other, nervous.

"Um,...do you want any music?" Cheryl asked.

"No. Not for our first time." Betty replied. "I want to hear only us."

"Okay." Cheryl said.

The two girls stared at each other for a while longer.

Finally, Betty started unbuttoning her own shirt.

Cheryl started unbuttoning her own shirt.

When both girls' shirts were completely unbuttoned, they stopped and stared at each other for a moment.

"I love you." Betty said.

"I love you too." Cheryl said.

Betty opened her shirt, slid it off her arms, and dropped it on the floor.

Cheryl opened her shirt, slid it off her arms, and dropped it on the floor.

Betty and Cheryl hugged each other. Betty kissed Cheryl's lips.

When their lips parted, Cheryl smiled. "I bet you never thought you'd fuck the prom queen."

Betty laughed. "True."

Cheryl gave Betty a seductive look. "Leche moi et saire me renier."

Betty smiled. "I've definitely gotta learn French."


Betty's Diary: "After the Fact"
Dear Diary:

Cheryl and I have finally made love to each other.

We were both nervous at first. We slowly took off our clothes. We touched each other, caressed each other.

Our oral love started with our breasts, and then we moved on to cunnilingus and anilingus. I finally learned what soixante-neuf is. We did that multiple times in every possible position.

We had no idea what we were doing, but our confidence grew with each passing minute, and we were soon enjoying ourselves immensely.

When it seemed that we had kissed, licked, and sucked every part of each other's bodies, Cheryl surprised me. She had bought strap-on vibrators. There were four of them - two for each of us. One of them was for the pussy; the other was for the anus. We used them multiple times on each other - even at the same time.

While the oral sex, intercourse, and anal sex were very nice, I must make a special comment regarding our breasts. When I sucked Cheryl's nipples, I felt at peace. It felt as if I was nursing at Cheryl's breasts. Perhaps it made me unconsciously recall when I'd nursed at my mom's breasts as an infant, even though there's no way that I'd remember that. All that I can say is that I felt safe and protected. When I let Cheryl suck my nipples, I felt like her mother. I wanted to hold her and protect her. I love her so much.

As I'm writing this, I'm looking at Cheryl, asleep to my right, her face a picture of beauty, her beautiful breasts rising and falling with each breath. Cheryl is my best friend and, as of this very night, my lover.

Now, I am going to get some sleep of my own. When the daylight comes, it will be time for me to return home and face my parents.

Until tomorrow, dear diary.


Betty and Cheryl in "The Morning After"

Betty woke up, feeling a pair of lips pressed against her own.

She opened her eyes.

Cheryl finished the kiss, pulled back, and smiled. "Good morning."

Betty smiled. "Good morning."

"Let's shower, get dressed, go downstairs, and have breakfast." Cheryl suggested.

"Sounds good." Betty said.

Cheryl got off the bed. Betty got off the bed. The two girls walked into the bathroom.

Betty and Cheryl sat at the kitchen table, eating a breakfast of bacon, sausage, and eggs.

"How do you feel?" Cheryl asked.

Betty smiled. "Wonderful."

"No regrets?" Cheryl asked.

"No regrets." Betty replied. "I can't think of another person that I'd rather lose my virginity to."

Cheryl smiled. "Likewise."

"Now, I gotta go home and face my parents." Betty said, slightly worried.

Cheryl drove her car into Betty's driveway and stopped the car.

Betty unfastened her seatbelt.

"Do you want me to come in with you?" Cheryl asked Betty.

"No, I'll be all right." Betty replied.

Cheryl kissed Betty on the lips. Betty felt like Cheryl was trying to encourage her. Much to Betty's disappointment, Cheryl eventually finished the kiss.

"I'll see you later." Cheryl said.

"Thanks for the ride home." Betty told her.

"Of course." Cheryl said.

"I love you." Betty said.

"I love you too." Cheryl said.

"Bye." Betty said.

"Bye." Cheryl said.

Betty unlocked the passenger side door, opened the door, got out of the car, locked the door, and closed the door.

Cheryl backed the car out of the driveway.

Betty waved.

Cheryl drove off.

Unable to delay the inevitable any longer, Betty walked over to the front door, took her keys out of her front-right pants pocket, unlocked the front door, opened it, walked into the living room, and closed the door behind her.

Betty put her keys back into her pocket and dropped her duffel bag on the couch.

She slowly made her way towards the kitchen.

Betty walked into the kitchen.

Hal, Alice, and Polly were sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast.

"Good morning." Betty said.

"Good morning." Hal and Alice replied coldly.

"Good morning, Betty." Polly replied cheerfully. "How was prom?"

"Good." Betty replied.

"Are you hungry? Do you want breakfast?" Polly asked.

"I've already eaten." Betty replied.

"I'm sure you have." Alice muttered.

"Look at me, Mom." Betty demanded.

Alice looked at her.

"I don't regret what I've done." Betty told her.

"Betty, was it really necessary?" Alice asked. "Did you receive any kind of benefit from what you did?"

"No and yes." Betty replied. "It's immeasurable, though, so I'm not going to try to describe it. Besides, I really don't need to explain myself to you. Accept it or don't. I don't care."

Betty opened the refrigerator.

She took out a can of regular cola.

Betty closed the refrigerator.

"I haven't been this disappointed in you in quite a while, Elizabeth Cooper." Alice said.

Betty leaned against the counter and opened the can. "You got over that. You'll get over this."

"I don't know if I will." Alice said.

Betty took a swig of her cola. "This relationship is real. Cheryl is here to stay. However you choose to feel about it is your own concern."

Alice stared at Betty in silence.

Betty took a sip of her cola and regarded her mother with concern.

"All right." Alice said.

"Thank you." Betty said. "I'll be in my room."

Betty walked out of the kitchen.

Betty was lying on her stomach on her bed, reading the latest issue of "Fresh".

Her cell phone rang.

Betty picked it up and answered the call. "Hello?"

"Hey, Betty. It's Ronnie."

"Hey, Ronnie." Betty said. "What's up?"

"Reggie and I had sex last night." Veronica said.

"Are congratulations in order?" Betty asked her.

"We did it orally and anally." Veronica went on.

"Yay for you." Betty replied unenthusiastically.

"It was fabulous." Veronica continued.

"Okay." Betty said, not caring in the least.

"Anyway, I gotta go out for a manicure. See ya tomorrow at school."

Veronica hung up.

Betty put down her cell phone.


Betty in "Collision"

Betty pulled into a parking space in the student parking lot, put her car into park, and shut off her engine.

She was about to unfasten her seatbelt when she felt a jolt and heard a crash. She was thrown forward, but her seatbelt restrained her.

After regaining her composure, she looked in her rearview mirror. A car had hit her. Reggie was the driver. He looked shocked and disoriented.

Betty unfastened her seatbelt, unlocked her door, got out of her car, and rushed to the back of the car. She surveyed the damage. The back bumper was smashed as was the front bumper of Reggie's car.

"Shit!" Betty exclaimed.

Reggie opened his door and got out of his car. He walked over to Betty. "Betty, I'm so sorry. I was looking in the mirror and got distracted. I meant to pull into the space next to you."

"Save it and break out your insurance." Betty took her own wallet out of her front-left jeans pocket.

Betty walked over to Veronica's locker.

Veronica looked at her. "What took you so long, Betty? Homeroom is about to start."

"Reggie rear-ended me." Betty replied.

"What?" Veronica slammed her locker shut. "That jerkass! I thought we were going steady!"

Betty stared at Veronica for a moment. "My car. He rear-ended my car, genius."

"Oh." Veronica calmed down. "How is it?"

"I dunno. I gotta take it into the shop." Betty replied.

Betty walked into the bakery.

Her mother was putting a loaf of bread into an oven.

"Mom." Betty said.

Alice looked at Betty briefly, closed the oven's door, and set the timer. "Hi, Betty. What brings you here?"

"Reggie damaged my car in the parking lot this morning." Betty told her. "He rear-ended me. The back bumper is smashed."

"What?" Alice exclaimed.

"We exchanged insurance. I called the police. I then called my insurance company and his. His insurance will cover it." Betty told her.

Alice calmed down, and then she slowly smiled. "Good. You did the right things, Betty."

Betty smiled.


Betty and Veronica in "Veronica's Surprise"

Betty was lying on her stomach on her bed, reading the latest issue of "Fresh".

"Betty! Veronica's here to see you!" Alice called from downstairs.

"Send her up!" Betty called back.

Soon, Veronica walked into Betty's bedroom.

"Hi, Ronnie." Betty greeted.

Veronica closed the door.

She didn't say anything.

The expression on Veronica's face immediately told Betty that something was wrong. Betty put down her magazine and sat on her bed.

"What's wrong, Ronnie?" Betty asked.

Veronica started walking towards Betty but remained silent.

Betty stood up. "Ronnie? What's wrong? Is it your parents?"

Veronica still didn't say anything. She merely opened her purse and took out an item. She offered it to Betty.

Betty took it and stared at it. It was a home pregnancy test.

"Ronnie." Betty said in shock, staring at her.

"I'm pregnant." Veronica said.

Betty gave the home pregnancy test back to her. "And what? You expect me to feel sorry for you?"

"Betty?" Veronica exclaimed in shock. "I'm pregnant!"

"I heard you. There's no need to repeat yourself." Betty told her.

"I came here and confessed this to you, and this is your response?" Veronica asked, upset.

"How did you expect me to react?" Betty asked her. "You called to tell me that you'd had sex with Reggie. You gloated. Now, accept the consequences."

"We didn't have intercourse!" Veronica told her. "We did it orally and anally!"

"There's no doubt that those are pleasurable, Ronnie, but you had to know that you could get pregnant from anal sex." Betty told her.

"I didn't know!" Veronica yelled.

"Reggie's sperm leaked from your anus and entered your vagina. You should have done your research." Betty told her. "Ignorance is no excuse."

"Anyway, how do you know the pleasures of sex?" Veronica cried. "You've never done it!"

"Actually, I have." Betty told her.

Veronica was shocked and forgot about her own situation for the first time. "With who?"

"Cheryl." Betty replied.

Veronica felt like she was about to vomit. "How could you sleep with the Queen Bitch of Riverdale?"

"Don't change the subject. This isn't about me. This is about you." Betty told her. "Have you told anyone yet?"

"Just you." Veronica replied.

"Well?" Betty asked, nodding towards the door.

"What am I going to tell Reggie? What am I going to tell my parents?" Veronica asked. "I'm not ready to have a child!"

"You should have thought of that before you let Reggie fuck you." Betty told her.

Veronica was startled at hearing her usually polite friend talk like that.

"As for Reggie and your parents, I can go with you if you want." Betty offered.

"I'd appreciate that." Veronica said. "Thanks."

Betty slipped on her tennis shoes. "Let's go."

Veronica rang the doorbell.

Soon, the front door opened.

Reggie was standing there.

"Hey, Ronnie. Hey, Betty." Reggie greeted.

"Reggie, I need to talk with you." Veronica said.

Reggie stood aside. "Sure. Come in."

Veronica walked into the house.

"You coming in, Betty?" Reggie asked.

"No. I'll wait out here." Betty replied.

Reggie closed the door.

Betty was kicking some stones out of the driveway when the front door opened again.

She looked up and saw Veronica and Reggie walk out of the house. Reggie looked pale.

Reggie closed the door, and he and Veronica walked over to Betty.

Betty didn't say anything but simply looked at them.

"Next stop: Lodge Manor." Veronica said simply. "I'm not looking forward to this."

"You should have thought of that - "

"Shut up, Betty!" Veronica yelled.

Veronica sat in the driver seat of her car, staring at her house.

She had arrived and parked in the driveway but hadn't gotten out of the car.

Betty, who was sitting in the back seat, leaned forward. "Ronnie, you've got to go in there."

"I don't want to." Veronica said.

"Do you want me to go in with you?" Betty offered.

"No." Veronica replied. "I guess I better get this over with. Ready, Reggie?"

"No." Reggie replied.

Reggie opened the passenger side door and got out of the car.

Veronica opened the driver side door and got out of the car.

They closed the doors, leaving Betty alone.

Betty watched as Veronica and Reggie slowly walked up to the front door. Veronica rang the doorbell. The door opened. Veronica walked into the house, followed by Reggie. The door closed.

Betty got tired of waiting in the car and was soon pacing back and forth in front of the front door.

The door eventually opened.

Veronica was standing there. She had been crying. Her face was red.

Betty stopped pacing and looked at Veronica with pity.

"How'd it go?" Betty asked.

"Come inside." Veronica offered. "I'll tell you."

Veronica stepped aside, lowered her head, and started crying again.

Betty walked into the house. She was in the main hall.

Veronica closed the door and locked it.

"Let's go into the den." Veronica said. "That's where I broke the news to Mommy and Daddy."

Betty followed Veronica into the den.

Reggie was sitting on the couch. He looked a bit better but still troubled.

Veronica sat to Reggie's left on the couch. Betty sat in Mr. Lodge's leather chair.

"Mommy and Daddy yelled at us for a long time." Veronica started. "Mostly me. Daddy did most of the yelling. I told them exactly what happened. We tried to explain ourselves, like how we avoided intercourse, but neither of them would have it. Betty, we want you to be the first to hear this. Reggie and I are getting married."

Betty wasn't surprised. "I was kind of expecting that, really."

"It was Daddy's idea." Veronica continued. "He's kind of old-fashioned. He also doesn't want to 'disgrace the family name'. It'll happen after graduation."

"Congratulations." Betty said for lack of anything else.

"Daddy's off somewhere, hyping the wedding, and I think Mommy's crying." Veronica said.

"I hope you're happy together - or at least not miserable." Betty said.

"Betty, will you be my maid of honor?" Veronica asked.

"Sure." Betty replied.

"I don't have a best man." Reggie said, speaking for the first time since Betty walked in.

"Ask your dad." Betty suggested.

"My dad." Reggie said. "My mom. I haven't even told them yet. Oh, they're gonna love this."

"Mention that you're marrying into money." Veronica suggested.

Reggie hadn't thought of that. He looked at Veronica in surprise, and then he smiled weakly.

"Mommy and Daddy have refused to help us raise our child." Veronica went on, resuming her explanation. "This is going to put a major cramp in my social life. Betty, you wouldn't be willing to take up babysitting again, would you?"

"Sure." Betty replied.

Veronica smiled. "Oh, thank you, Betty!"

"I will be charging you, of course." Betty added.

Veronica frowned. "Why? Is your girlfriend not lavishing enough on you?"

"Actually, Cheryl is very generous towards me. I'm not charging you, because I need the money. I'm charging you to show you that your actions have real consequences." Betty explained.

"I guess I understand." Veronica said. "I'll drive you home, and then Reggie and I will go to talk with his parents."


Betty and Veronica and Cheryl in "Graduation"

Betty was walking through a hallway in school.

Veronica walked over to her.

"Are you looking forward to graduation, Betty?" Veronica asked.

"Sure." Betty replied.

"I'm going to be handing out wedding invitations at our graduation party." Veronica whispered.

"Cool." Betty said.

Cheryl walked up to Betty.

Betty smiled. "Hi, sweetie."

Cheryl kissed Betty on the lips and smiled. "Hi, sweetie."

"What's up?" Betty asked.

"I heard our caps and gowns have arrived." Cheryl said. "I'm on my way to the office to pick mine up."

"Cool. I'll go with you." Betty said.

"Me too." Veronica said.

The three girls walked to the office.

Betty opened the door. Cheryl and Veronica walked into the office. Betty walked into the office and closed the door behind her.

"Are you here for your caps and gowns, girls?" Ms. Phlips asked.

"Yes." Betty replied.


"Veronica Lodge."

"Elizabeth Cooper."

"Cheryl Blossom."

Ms. Phlips got the caps and gowns from a box. Each cap-and-gown pair was sealed in a plastic bag.

"Sign here, please." Ms. Phlips instructed.

Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl each signed a sheet of paper and were handed their caps and gowns.

Betty walked into her living room.

She closed the door behind her and locked it.

Alice walked into the living room from the kitchen.

"Hi, honey." Alice said.

"Hi, Mom." Betty said. "I got my cap and gown."

"Ooh, try it on." Alice said.

"Okay." Betty said.

Betty dropped her book bag on the couch and tore the plastic wrap. She dropped it on the couch. Betty then put on her gown and cap.

Alice smiled. "Wow. Take a look in the mirror."

Betty walked over to the full-length mirror and looked at her reflection. "Cool."

"I was thinking." Alice said. "We could have a little family celebration after graduation. We could take you out to dinner."

"Actually, the band's scheduled to perform at a graduation party that Veronica's funding." Betty said. "Then I'm going to spend the night at Cheryl's house."

"Oh, Betty, please celebrate with us. It's your graduation." Alice begged. "If you want, Cheryl can spend the night here."

"Okay, I'll talk with Cheryl." Betty said. "I'm still going to the graduation party, but we'll come here after."

Alice smiled. "Thank you."

Betty smiled. "You promise you won't walk in on us while we're having sex?"

Alice laughed nervously. "I promise."

On her last day of school, Betty decided to take a walk around Riverdale High School at the end of the school day. Cheryl joined her.

They walked through all of the hallways, went to all of their classrooms, went to the office, went to the gym, went to the girls' locker room, and finally headed for the cafeteria.

When they came near the cafeteria, Betty stopped walking and looked at the floor.

Cheryl stopped walking too. She was momentarily confused, but then she realized why Betty had stopped.

After a moment, Betty resumed walking, and so did Cheryl.

Betty wore black pants, a white shirt, and black flats under her gown.

When she got out of her mother's car, she put her cap on.

"I can't believe this is happening." Alice said, about ready to cry. "You're graduating from high school. I was hoping that this day would never come."

Betty smiled. "It had to. Don't worry. I'm still the same Betty."

Alice smiled. "Not really. You've grown up. I'm so proud of you. Now, go and take your seat. We'll be in the stands."

Betty walked over and got in line for the processional.

Eventually, the students walked onto the football field and underneath swords that were held by members of the school's honor guard.

Betty sat in her assigned chair.

Mr. Weatherbee stood up and walked over to the podium on the stage.

"Good afternoon." Mr. Weatherbee began. "Welcome, one and all, to..."

Betty sat patiently and waited through Mr. Weatherbee's speech, Midge's salutatory speech, and Dilton's valedictory speech.

Finally, Mr. Weatherbee stood up and walked over to the podium again.

"When I call your name, please come up and receive your diploma." Mr. Weatherbee said.

The school's band started playing music.

"Cheryl Blossom."

Cheryl walked onto the stage. Mr. Weatherbee offered her diploma to her. Cheryl took her diploma. Mr. Weatherbee shook Cheryl's right hand. Cheryl walked off the stage.

"Elizabeth Cooper."

Betty walked onto the stage. Mr. Weatherbee offered her diploma to her. Betty took her diploma. Mr. Weatherbee shook Betty's right hand. Betty walked off the stage.

"Dilton Doiley."

"Nancy Harris."

"Forsythe Pendleton Jones."

"Midge Klump."

"Veronica Lodge."

"Reginald Mantle."

"Marmaduke Mason."

Once all of the students had returned to their seats, the band stopped playing.

"Please rise." Mr. Weatherbee said.

Everyone stood up.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you may now turn your tassels." Mr. Weatherbee said.

The members of the graduating class turned their tassels.

"It is my pleasure to present the newest graduates of Riverdale High School!" Mr. Weatherbee announced.

The audience stood up, applauded, and cheered.

The graduates took off their caps and threw them into the air.

Betty and Cheryl hugged each other. Betty kissed Cheryl on the lips.

Reggie and Veronica hugged each other. Reggie kissed Veronica on the lips.

Pop's was filled with graduates.

The entire graduating class had come here after the ceremony to celebrate.

Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy were sitting at their usual table.

They were each eating hamburgers and fries and drinking regular colas.

"So what are you gonna miss most about school?" Nancy asked.

"I'm gonna miss the dances." Veronica replied.

"I'm gonna miss pulling pranks." Reggie replied.

"I'm gonna miss my teachers." Betty replied.

"I'll tell you what I won't miss." Cheryl said. "I won't miss the white, suburban kids pretending they're in-tha-hood gangstas. 'Yeah, you may be from Compton, but I'm from Riverdale, motherfucker! You better recognize!' Please."

Betty chuckled. "That reminds me of when Bri and I came across Reggie, Archie, and Jughead on the street during junior year, recreating the 'Top That' rap from 'Teen Witch'."

Veronica, Cheryl, Midge, and Nancy laughed.

Reggie looked at Betty and grinned. "Oh, yeah? Well, I seem to recall you walking up and joining in."

Betty was embarrassed. "Yeah, well, I made sure to slap Bri for that."

Pop walked over to their table. He was holding a camera.

"Can I take a picture of you kids?" Pop asked.

They all agreed. They put on their caps and held up their diplomas.

"Wait. Someone's missing." Betty said.

"Who?" Midge asked.

"Jughead." Betty replied.

"Forget him!" Reggie exclaimed.

"Yeah, he don't want to hang with us no more." Nancy added.

Betty thought for a moment. "It's just...I know things have changed, and we're different now, but I want one last picture of the old gang together."

Veronica chuckled. "You kinda made that impossible, dear."

Betty gave Veronica a cold stare. "Fuck off."

"Chillax, sweetie. I'll get him." Cheryl looked over at a distant booth and whistled. "Yo, Jughead! Get your ass over here!"

Jughead stood up, picked up his tray, and walked over to the table.

"You bellowed, Blossom?" Jughead asked.

"My girlfriend wants you here for a commemorative picture." Cheryl explained. "Sit."

"Please, Juggie." Betty said.

Jughead thought for a moment. "Okay."

Jughead sat down, set his tray on the table, put on his cap, and held up his diploma.

"Nobody move." Pop said.

Betty chuckled.

Pop took a picture.

After celebrating at Pop's, the graduates gathered in the Teen Machine Dance Club for a graduation party, which Veronica had arranged.

The Sugar Cherries were on the stage. Betty was holding her guitar. Cheryl was holding her bass guitar. Veronica was standing by her keyboard. Reggie was sitting by his drums.

They started playing music. They performed "Nowhere Fast". Cheryl sang the lead vocals, and Betty, Veronica, and Reggie sang the backing vocals.

When they were finished, the audience cheered and applauded.

"Thank you!" Cheryl exclaimed.

"I have an announcement!" Veronica exclaimed. "I'm getting married to Reggie Mantle! All of you are invited to our wedding!"

The audience applauded.

"All right, enough of that!" Veronica exclaimed. "Let's rock!"

The band started playing music. They performed "Deceptacon". Veronica sang the vocals.

Cheryl drove into Betty's driveway, parked her car, and turned her engine off.

She took her key out of the ignition.

Cheryl and Betty opened their doors and got out of Cheryl's car. Cheryl got her duffel bag out of the car.

They locked and closed the doors.

The front door of Betty's house opened, and Alice stepped into the doorway.

"Hi, girls." Alice greeted.

Betty smiled. "Hi."

Cheryl smiled. "Hello. Thank you for letting me sleep over, Mrs. Cooper."

Alice smiled. "It's my pleasure, Cheryl. I wanted Betty to come back here tonight for a little family celebration, but I also wanted her to be happy. If you make her happy, then you're welcome here anytime. Don't even call ahead."

"Thank you." Cheryl said.

"Now, let's go inside. We can have some soda and cake, and then you girls can be alone."

Alice and Hal were lying in bed.

Hal was reading a book.

Alice had her left ear pressed against the wall behind the bed.

Hal looked over at her. "Alice, what are you doing?"


"Alice,...you're not trying to listen in on them." Hal was silent for a moment. "Are you?"

"Shut up!" Alice told him.

Hal sighed and resumed reading his book.

"'Ride the Ponytail Express!'?" Alice repeated, confused. "What does that - Oh, wait. I know."

Hal closed his book in defeat, slapped himself in the face with it, put it on the night stand, and turned off his lamp. "Good night!"


Betty and Veronica in "You are Cordially Invited"

Betty walked into Veronica's bedroom.

Veronica was sitting on her bed and looking through some magazines.

"Hi, Ronnie." Betty greeted.

Veronica looked at her. "Hi, Betty. I called you over here to help me pick out dresses."

Betty sat to Veronica's left on the bed.

"I was thinking pink." Veronica said.

"I think blue would be better." Betty suggested. "It would more closely match your white gown."

"True." Veronica agreed.

"By the way, have you chosen any of your other bridesmaids yet?" Betty asked.

"Midge and Nancy. I'm considering one more." Veronica replied.

"Cheryl." Betty suggested.

"No." Veronica replied.

"Please." Betty begged.

Veronica sighed. "Fine. For you."

Betty smiled. "Thank you."

Betty, Cheryl, Midge, and Nancy were sitting in chairs in the Lodges' den, getting made up by Veronica's wedding staff.

Veronica was standing in front of a full-length mirror a short distance away, being made up as well.

Hiram and Hermione walked into the den.

"Veronica, it's time. We should get to the church." Hermione said.

Veronica turned and looked at them. "Oh, I'm nervous! I don't know if I can go through with this!"

Betty stood up, walked over, and placed her hands on Veronica's shoulders.

"It's okay, Ronnie. I'll be sitting in the first pew - almost right behind you." Betty told her, smiling. "You have nothing to worry about. We're gonna go to church, and you're going to have an awesome wedding."

Veronica smiled. "Thanks, Betty. Okay, let's go! I have a wedding to get to!"

Betty took her position at the front of the procession outside the church.

Cheryl, Midge, and Nancy stood in line behind her.

Veronica stood at the end of the line.

When the organist started playing the music, Betty walked into the church and down the aisle.

Cheryl, Midge, and Nancy each followed in turn.

Finally, Veronica and Mr. Lodge entered the church and walked down the aisle.

Reggie was standing in front of the altar, waiting for Veronica. He smiled. Veronica smiled back at him and joined him.

When the organist stopped playing, everyone except for Reggie, Veronica, and the priest sat down.

Betty listened attentively during the entire Mass.

"Reginald and Veronica, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?" the priest asked.

"Yes." Reggie replied.

"Yes." Veronica replied.

"Will you honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?" the priest asked.

"I will." Reggie replied.

"I will." Veronica replied.

"Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?" the priest asked.

"I will." Reggie replied.

"I will." Veronica replied.

"Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right hands, and declare your consent before God and his Church." the priest instructed.

Reggie and Veronica held each other's right hand.

"I, Reginald, take you, Veronica, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life." Reggie said.

"I, Veronica, take you, Reginald, to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life." Veronica said.

"Reginald and Veronica have declared their consent to be married. May God bless this couple." the priest said. "What God has joined, men must not divide."

Betty stood up and took her place at Veronica's side. Ricky Mantle stood up and took his place at Reggie's side. Betty and Ricky each held out a wedding ring.

"May God bless these wedding rings." the priest said. "You may now exchange wedding rings."

Reggie took Veronica's ring from his father with his right hand and placed it on Veronica's left index finger. "Veronica, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Reggie released Veronica's hand.

Veronica took Reggie's ring from Betty with her right hand and placed it on Reggie's left index finger. "Reginald, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Veronica released Reggie's hand.

Reggie and Veronica kissed each other on the lips.

When they finished their kiss, they faced the congregation.

The congregation applauded.

After the wedding, everyone gathered in the reception hall.

The stage was set up for the Sugar Cherries to perform.

Betty, Cheryl, Veronica, and Reggie walked onto the stage. Betty picked up her guitar. Cheryl picked up her bass guitar. Veronica turned on her keyboard. Reggie sat behind his drum set. Betty turned on the amplifier.

"I'd like to sing a song for Reggie and myself." Veronica said.

The band started playing "Together". Veronica sang the vocals.

When the song was over, the audience cheered and applauded.

"That was beautiful." Betty said. "Now, get on the floor and have your first dance, you two."

Reggie stood up. Veronica turned off her keyboard. Veronica and Reggie walked off the stage and got into dancing position.

Betty and Cheryl started playing "The Way to Love". Betty and Cheryl alternated singing the vocals.

When the song was over, the audience cheered and applauded.

Betty and Cheryl were standing at a table, getting fruit punch from the punch bowl.

Veronica and Reggie walked over.

"Enjoying the party?" Veronica asked.

"Definitely!" Betty exclaimed.

"It's okay." Cheryl said.

"So I guess you girls will start getting ready to leave tomorrow. Harvard calls." Veronica said with a touch of sadness.

"Well, not quite yet. We've got to take care of business here first." Cheryl replied. "I think I'll put Aura in charge of the 'Fresh' office."

"I admit I'm looking forward to going to Massachusetts, though." Betty said.

Dilton walked over to them. "Me too."

Everyone looked at him.

"I'll be attending MIT." Dilton said matter-of-factly.

Betty grinned. "Congrats, Dilton!"

"Way to go, Dilly!" Cheryl added.

Dilton smiled. "See you girls in Cambridge."

As Dilton walked away, Betty looked at Veronica. "So where are you going, Ron?"

Veronica managed a weak smile. "Riverdale College."

Betty smiled encouragingly. "It's a good school, Ronnie."

"I'm going there too." Reggie said. "I'm majoring in journalism."

Betty was confused. "You're still gonna be working for your dad at the city paper?"

"Of course." Reggie said. "Why wouldn't I?"

"I dunno." Betty said. "I guess I assumed you'd be getting a job at Lodge Enterprises."

"He is." Mr. Lodge came up behind Veronica and Reggie and placed his hands on their shoulders. "Guess who bought the paper."

Betty chuckled and took a sip of her fruit punch. It tasted funny to her. "Wow, that's different."

Cheryl sniffed her own cup of fruit punch. "Reggie!"

Veronica laughed. "Reggie's innocent this time, Cheryl. I figured the best way to live with a jokester is to become one myself."

"Okay, I'm gonna throw the bouquet now." Veronica announced.

A lot of women stood up and gathered by Veronica on the floor. Betty and Cheryl were among them.

Veronica turned around.

All of the women waited in anticipation.

Veronica threw the bouquet over her left shoulder.

All of the women reached for it.

Betty and Cheryl both caught the bouquet.

They looked at each other and smiled.

Veronica turned around, saw who caught the bouquet, and smiled. "I will be your maid of honor, I trust."

Betty laughed. "But of course!"


Betty's Diary: "Dreams"
Dear Diary:

Tonight, as I write this, I realize I have a long, hot summer ahead of me. Summer, honestly, is my least-favorite season.

I still have nightmares every so often, but my nights are filled more often these days with dreams of the future. There is a lot to do over the summer, and then...Harvard!

I can hardly wait. My future is within sight - so near and yet a bit too far away. I'm standing at the edge of tomorrow. What will it be like? I'm ready to find out!

Good night, dear diary!


Copyright 2011 by Mark Moore