As soon as the doorbell rang, Michelle Pruitt froze. She quietly tiptoed out of her bedroom and crouched down right outside her door, carefully inspecting the three people at the front door. Thankfully, she didn't have to venture downstairs to get a good view. Now, had one caught her spying, they might assume that the Pruitt family was quite strange indeed, so Michelle made sure she was hidden in the shadows. Had that one also wondered why a seventeen year old girl was hiding from the people she had just moved across the street from, they would have discovered that Michelle was not a creep at all, but was trying to be certain that her neighbors were not the actual creeps. After all, now Michelle was in Wisconsin- the cold, uninspiring cheese capital of America. Who knew what kinds of people lived here?
Upon closer inspection, the family seemed impeccably normal(with the exception of the man who had a disturbing afro) , so Michelle stood up, dusted off her dress, and descended the stairs.
Her mother, Veronica, was in hostess mode and was laughing as if they had been good friends for years. She turned suddenly as Michelle appeared, a warm smile settling on her face.
"This is my daughter, Michelle." Veronica placed her manicured hands on Michelle's bronzed shoulders.
"Hi," Michelle put on what she thought was her most charming smile. After all, first impressions are everything. Then, the girl with long red hair spoke.
"I'm Donna Pinciotti. We live just across the street." Donna pointed to her house. "I'm so glad to finally have another girl here!"
Michelle started to ask who else lived on the street, but Veronica cut her off, "Michelle, why don't you and Donna go hang out? Bob and Midge, you can stay here for a drink if you'd like."
Midge squaled and clapped her hands together in what could best be desribed as delight, while Bob replied, "Gee, that sounds nice!". Donna rolled her eyes at her parents and grabbed Michelle's arm. "Come on, I'll introduce you to the gang!"
Michelle brushed a piece of her honey blonde hair behind her ear as she set off after Donna. "So, Donna, what grade are you in?"
Donna led her across the street. "Eleventh, how about you?"
"Me too!" Michelle was silently relieved that at least she'd know somebody on her first day at school.
"Oh my God, it is freezing!" Michelle rubbed her bare arms and wished she had brought a sweater as the frigid air broke her train of thought.
Donna laughed. "Well, it is fall and we are in Wisconsin…"
Michelle just sighed as the two girls walked around the yard next to Donna's and stopped at the entrance of what appeared to be the basement. "Where I come from, it's only this cold in the middle of January."
Donna reached for the door handle. "Ok, brace yourself, Michelle. The people you are about to meet may or may not scar you for the rest of your life, so be prepared."
Michelle rolled her eyes and glanced over at Donna, a small smile forming on her lips. "I think I can take it."
Had Michelle known what she was about to walk into, she most likely would have packed her bags and hitch-hiked all the way back to the place she still considered home without ever looking back at the sleepy little town of Point Place, Wisconsin.
However, since Michelle had no knowledge what was on the other side of the dingy, paint-chipped grey door other than Donna's joking warning, she paid no heed and proceeded to follow her new friend into the basement.
Michelle was so busy focusing on what she should say to make a good impression that she didn't notice when the two boys' eyes turned away from the TV and on to her. Luckily for her, Donna spoke up first. "Guys, this is Michelle. She just moved in across the street from me."
"Hi Michelle," The chorus of surprised boys called out to her.
The scrawny boy on the couch turned to look up to her, and gave a wave with his hand. "I'm Eric Forman. This is my fabulous basement." He gestured to the room around him, seeming to hope that if he called it fabulous enough times, it might become just that.
He barely had time to finish his sentence before the extremely handsome guy sitting next to him jumped up and ran to Michelle. "Kelso. Michael Kelso." He put his hands on his hips and tried to look seductive, but he really ended up looking like an escaped mental patient. Michelle bit her lower lip to keep from giggling.
Donna took a bold approach and pushed Kelso back onto the couch. The two girls then took seats on the couch with Donna next to Eric, and Michelle on the arm of the couch. The gang of kids turned their attention back to the T.V. Their temporary silence was shattered when a kid who looked like he was from Cuba came running down the stairs.
"Oh, Eric! Miss Kitty made the fudgy brownies with the walnuts sprinkled on-" He stopped mid-sentence when he noticed Michelle. "Oh, who is the goddess?"
Eric stood up and walked around the couch, inserting himself between the two of them. He placed a hand on both of their shoulders. "Fez, this is Michelle. Michelle, this is Fez. Michelle is our new neighbor" Eric spoke as if he were talking to second graders.
Fez's eyes brightened and he turned to go back upstairs. "I will get Hyde! And the brownies! See you in a few, goddess!"
After he scampered back upstairs, Eric turned to Michelle. "Rule number one for a happy life in Point Place: stay AWAY from Fez."
Michelle settled back on the couch and looked at Eric. "Believe me, as far as Fez and I are concerned, I will be one law abiding citizen."
Kelso, Donna, and Eric snickered while Fez darted back down the stairs, carrying a pan of chocolaty brownies with a curly haired kid in tow, who looked like he really didn't want to be there.
Fez took the position Eric was in before, with one hand on each of their shoulders. "Hyde, this is Goddess. Goddess, this is Hyde."
Before Hyde could respond, Michelle turned so she was facing Fez and placed her hands on his upper arms, as if she was about to start shaking him. "Fez, my name is Michelle. Mich-elle." She enunciated her name slowly and carefully.
"Ay, the goddess spoke to me!" Fez, still clutching the brownies, ran back up the stairs.
Kelso rolled his eyes. "Good riddance." Only a few seconds had passed before he opened his mouth again. "Aww, he took the brownies." Kelso was gone within seconds.
Michelle turned to Donna. "What's wrong with him?"
Donna smiled fondly in the direction Fez went. "The world may never know. He's a sweet kid, though." She added as an afterthought.
Then her expression turned sour. "Wait, did you mean Kelso?"
Michelle cocked her head to one side. "What's wrong with Kelso?"
Donna, Eric, and Hyde burst out laughing. "Oh, you will figure it out soon enough, I promise!" Eric chortled.
Hyde took a seat in the chair closest to Michelle and turned his attention to the TV. The crowd of kids sat, in silence, with eyes trained on The Price is Right for about five minutes. Just as Michelle felt a wave of boredom take over, Donna spoke. "So, Michelle, there's this concert next Saturday. We have an extra ticket. You can come if you want."
"Oh, Donna, that sounds so fun, but I don't wanna be a tag-along if you already have plans." Michelle answered carefully. She actually was becoming fond of these people and was not about to become the needy friend.
Donna seemed surprised at the shorter girl's reaction. "No, it wouldn't be like that at all. You should totally come."
Michelle hesitated, but Hyde spoke first. "Yeah, you should come." His eyes didn't leave the screen, but Michelle got the feeling that he wanted her to come with them.
So she answered. "Ok guys, I'll come,"
Michelle tried to hide her small smile. Maybe Wisconsin wouldn't be so bad after all.