Jade West is a smart, albeit mean girl. Beck Oliver is a nice, albeit stupid boy.
That's just the beginning of their differences.
Every day, she stands in front of the mirror and touches herself up. She fixes her hair and straightens her lacy black skirt and fools with her knee-high boots, even though she hasn't really got anyone to dress up for. That is, until she finally has something to dress up for.
"You're going to be tutoring Beck Oliver," the principal says, glancing up at her over his glasses.
Even though she's admittedly not the mainstream type of girl, she knows who Beck Oliver is. Shaggy hair, proportional face, nice smile – yes, definitely a good-looking guy. Most assuredly not her type, but gorgeous all the same. She grimaces, entwining her hands in front of her and shaking her head. "No can do, principal."
"You need these volunteer hours to go on to sophomore year, Jadelyn, or have you forgotten?" Principal Eikner tells her sharply. "Do you want to repeat freshman year?"
"Not especially," Jade replies with a shrug. That doesn't mean she wants to tutor that wannabe actor that goes through girls like the popular girls go through shoes.
"Then you'll be tutoring Beck Oliver in Math," he says, tapping his fingers on the table. "I trust you two will work together well."
"I trust we won't," Jade retorts. Gathering her books up, she begins to leave the room, but she hesitates at the door. "I'll do it anyway, just in case that wasn't clear."
Principal Eikner smiles.
Of course, for whatever reason Eikner and Sikowitz are in cahoots, because she gets paired up with the cocky boy for the 'play project'. Whatever that means. She just rolls her eyes and glances over at the boy, who looks thrilled because 'it'll make things easier'.
"Come over to my RV," he says with a smile, handing her a slip of paper, as if she'll actually use it. She knows where most everyone lives, which may sound a bit creepy, but hey, she needs to know these things. They may prove to be useful in the distant future.
"Come over to my RV," she mimics with an eye roll.
He just gives her another genuine smile, as if her biting insults don't bother him one bit. "I'll be home by four o' clock, so yeah. We seem to have a lot of work to do."
"You're doing most of it," Jade snaps, her eyes darkening.
"Am I?" He grins even bigger now. "We'll see about that."
And then he disappears, not even giving her the chance to yell at him, so she grits her teeth and decides that she'll be bringing her scissors over to his 'RV' (who the heck even lives in RVs these days by themselves at the age of fifteen, she wonders).
He's there once she gets there, watching some strange British show that he switches off as soon as she walks in. Clearing his throat, he strides over to her and says, "You found the RV all right, then?"
"I'm good with directions," Jade snarls, walking over to sit down on his bed and crossing her arms. "Now, math or the stupid play first?"
"I'm good at Math," Beck complains, running a hand through his hair. "The stupid teacher just fails me 'cause she thinks I talk too much in class."
"Flirting in class?" Jade asks, her voice edgy.
"Hardly." Beck laughs. "I sit among a bunch of idiots. I don't know what I'm supposed to do."
This surprises her. Normally, 'nice guys' like Beck don't use the word idiot, much less about their supposed friends. Somehow she finds herself thinking that maybe this kid is a bit more interesting than she'd originally thought.
"Personally, I'd go with the vindictive route," she offers. "You know, throw things at them, forge notes and say it's from their boyfriend/girlfriend, yell at them to shut up, get them in trouble or something."
"You've done these things before?" Beck raises an eyebrow, as if he's surprised. Jade doesn't get why. She's obviously not the nicest girl – well, actually, she's probably among the meanest.
"Yes, of course." Jade rolls her eyes impatiently. "I do know how to exert revenge, in case you haven't noticed."
"I know." He chuckles nervously. "Anyway, shall we get to work?"
They do eventually, and Jade finds herself thinking that perhaps the strange boy isn't quite so bad after all. He makes her coffee as they work on their script, and afterward both of them get bored so they watch episodes of Beck's strange British show, Doctor Who, for a while. Jade asks questions, but unlike Andre, Beck doesn't get annoyed with her. He patiently explains it.
Both of them fall asleep during the fourth episode, and her head falls onto his shoulder. Once she wakes up, she glances over and realizes where she is and what is going on –
She runs away because she doesn't know what else to do.
The next day at school, Beck walks up to her.
"We're not friends now, if that's what you're thinking," Jade hisses vindictively.
Beck has the nerve to look surprised. "No, I was just – you left your necklace at my RV and I thought I'd return it." He gives it to her with a half-smile, reaching out to put it around her neck.
"I don't need your help," she says harshly, pushing him away, but she blushes anyway.
"What's the square root of 169?"
"13, you idiot."
"I am not doing your math homework for you. I'm your math tutor and nothing else."
"What if I want you to be my friend?"
"I don't need friends."
"Yeah, you do. Everyone does. Besides, Cat and Andre are your friends. What makes me different?"
She doesn't know. Maybe it's the fact that he's attractive, like really attractive, or that she's spent so much time training herself to hate him that it surprises her that he is genuinely nice, at least to her. She hesitates a second before replying.
"Whatever. We can be friends, I guess."
She doesn't know why, but somehow she doesn't want to be just friends with Beck Oliver.
He smiles at her often, which she would think to be abnormal but he tends to smile at everyone. She supposes he's just a naturally happy person – the perfect contradiction to her naturally bitter personality.
"Can you stop that?" she asks absently one day when she's correcting his math paper.
"Stop what?" he replies innocently.
"Stop that infernal smiling. You look like a dork," she says harshly.
"You look like a meanie," he retorts, but he laughs anyway.
Rolling her eyes, she inquires, "How old are you? Five?"
"Almost." Beck smirks. "I'll be celebrating my fifth birthday tomorrow. Will you come to the party, Jadey?"
She throws a pillow at him.
"I thought you said that you didn't get along with Mr. Oliver," Principal Eikner says in wonder, raising an eyebrow. "And now you have detention for talking to him in class?"
"No," Jade says truthfully. "I have detention for hitting him in the head with a book. He has detention for talking to me in class."
"So you don't like him then?" Principal Eikner asks curiously. "Honestly, Jadelyn, you must learn to control yourself."
"I do like him. I mean, as a friend." She adds the last part hastily, hoping it's not suspicious.
Principal Eikner raises an eyebrow. She laughs.
"You're a good guy, Beck Oliver."
"You're not so bad yourself, Jade West."
He's manipulative, Jade comes to realize. Everyone seems to think he's a good guy, perfect, flawless, the boy that never does anything wrong, but she knows better. He's vindictive and vengeful and somewhat bitter, but he's also nice, one of the few genuine people she knows despite his flaws, and she really does like him. Though she'd originally vowed that she wouldn't.
She finds it hard not to, because in his own odd way he's perfect for her.
"I'm not happy with our relationship," Beck says seriously one day when she arrives at his RV. "I don't want to be friends with you anymore."
"Whatever," Jade retorts venomously. "I'll just leave, then."
Beck laughs. The jerk actually laughs. Then he walks over to her and says quietly, "That's not what I meant."
Then he's kissing her and she forgets about her anger.
When he says "I'm not happy with our relationship" again two years later, she half-expects him to kiss her.
He breaks up with her instead.
She tries to pretend it doesn't hurt, because she's Jade West and she's nothing if not strong. Besides, she thinks to herself, she doesn't need Beck Oliver anyway.
(She kind of does.)
Jade West likes to pretend she's strong.
Beck Oliver likes to pretend he knows what he's doing.
A/N: Lol just a little thing I wrote for no reason but um. It really sucks.
Please review and don't favorite without reviewing! Hope you like it anyway :)