Chapter 3: Yvette Goes to School
"Alex? Harper? Come on, your breakfast is getting cold!" Mrs. Russo called upstairs. Groaning, Alex made her way downstairs along with Harper. Harper had already put on her clothes, whereas Alex looked like she had just rolled out of bed a minute ago, which she had.
"Good morning, Alex and Harper! Did you sleep well?" I asked.
"What? Oh, yeah." Alex yawned.
"Did I get the planets right? Oh, I sure hope so! This is my science project." Harper fretted. Alex groaned again and put her head on the table.
"What is it, Alex? Are you not well?" I looked at her, concerned.
"No, I'm just – " She suddenly got an idea and raised her head slowly.
"Alex?" Mrs. Russo asked, looking at her daughter.
"I think I have a fever, Mom. But I'll still go to school anyway." Alex said, dragging out her words so she sounded fatigued. I raised an eyebrow, but said nothing due to the look Alex was giving me.
"Wait right here and I'll take your temperature." Mrs. Russo ran upstairs. She returned a moment later with a thermometer, and stuck it in Alex's mouth. A minute later, it beeped and Alex muttered a spell. Justin and I noticed this, but I still said nothing. I was too busy enjoying my breakfast.
"Sweetheart, you've got a temperature of 102˚. You're not going anywhere today." Mrs. Russo walked away to wash the thermometer.
"Alex, you're not sick!" Justin hissed. She stuck her tongue out at him. I hid my smile by taking a sip of orange juice.
"Yvette!" Harper nearly shook me.
"What's wrong?" I said, shocked.
"It's my dress!" She pointed at it. Large rings of wire held up models of the nine planets in proportion to the sun, which was her actual dress.
"It's beautiful, Harper, there's nothing wrong with it. Wait! I see the problem." I pointed to one of the planets. It was Venus.
"See? Mercury is supposed to be the planet closest to the sun, then it's Venus, not Mars. You just mislabeled them." I explained, although I wished I hadn't said anything. Her eyes went as wide as dinner plates and she rushed upstairs. Ten minutes later, she reappeared with her dress repaired, and all nine planets in order.
"Thank you, Yvette." She said calmly. Justin was packing his backpack, and looked up when he realized I was offering him something. It was a piece of toast I hadn't eaten.
"Would you like this? Stars don't need to eat much, you see, and I thought you'd need it." I said, and mentally hit myself afterwards.
"Need it for what?" He asked, then winced at his abrupt tone.
"To help you focus." I replied, also wincing at my lame answer.
"Oh, uh, thanks… Yvette." He added as an afterthought. He took the offered toast and threw his backpack on. I looked down at my dress and then looked at Alex.
"Um… Alex?" I said, tentatively. She really did look sick now.
"What?" She asked, exasperated.
"If it's not too much trouble, may I borrow an outfit for today? I don't have any proper clothes to wear. I'm afraid I'll bring too much attention to myself." I hoped she'd say yes, and she did. Well, sort of. She mainly pointed upstairs towards her room and grunted.
"Thank you! Get better soon!" I called down, as I ran upstairs. I rummaged through her closet, trying to figure out what was considered "normal" for high school girls to wear. I picked out a pair of faded jeans, just my size, and a white camisole with a dark blue drape sweater. I still held onto my gold-chained necklace with a sparkling stone hanging from it. My mother had given it to me, saying it was a star frozen in time. I didn't ask her what that meant, but I'd always worn it to remind me to ask her someday. I changed and washed the dirt from my face. Harper came in and helped me with my makeup. She did a good job too, considering her outlandish outfit.
"Thanks Harper! I hope Alex knows how lucky she is to have a friend as wonderful as you." I could tell that what I said really made Harper's day, because she smiled at me and hugged me. She carried on her happiness throughout the bus ride. I'd never been on a bus before, and I was glad of Harper's company. I don't think I would have been able to stand the shouting kids and the stink of exhaust without her. When we got to Tribeca Prep, I felt more comfortable with my outfit. Some students were wearing hats; some looked like they had come from the red carpet; others, like me, were dressed casually/dressy. Immediately, a girl with blonde hair and a pretty face blocked Harper's and my way. The girl was dressed in a blue satin shirt with gold pants and black flats. She was with two other girls, dressed in green and silver pants with white flats. I could tell, from the look on Harper's face, that they didn't get along.
"Hello, Finkle, what's the air like on the planet Lost Cause?" The girl asked.
"Better than the atmosphere on your planet, Gigi, planet Diablo!" Harper threw back. I widened my eyes at this. Justin walked by then, and stopped at his locker. Gigi scoffed, rolled her heavily made up eyes, and turned her attention to me. She raised an almost perfectly managed eyebrow as she surveyed my outfit.
"Well, at least someone, besides me, knows how to dress properly." She said, approving of me. Her friends cleared their throats.
"Oh, and my friends, of course." She added, smiling a blindingly white smile at them. I didn't like the negative vibes I was getting from her.
"Gigi, leave Harper alone!" I snapped. She looked at me with wide eyes, looking like a raccoon.
"What?" She said, getting in my face. I was scared and then I got angry.
"You heard me, Gigi Hollingsworth, leave Harper alone!"
"What are you going to do about it, newbie?" She replied. I glared at her and stood on a bench in the hallway.
"I'll tell everybody the real reason why your mother doesn't trust you." I growled. Her eyes grew wider in fear.
"Fine. I'll leave Harper alone."
"For the rest of high school?"
"Yes, yes! Wait a second…" Gigi grew suspicious.
"Yes?" I said, getting down from the bench.
"How do you know about me and my mother?" She put her hands on her hips, her face paper white.
"Let's just say I have my ways of getting personal information, and using it to my advantage." I replied, darkly.
"What else do you know about me?" She asked, her voice shaking.
"I'm sure you'll find out, if, you don't keep your word. Don't go around spreading rumors you know aren't true."
"What are you saying?"
"This: Keep your overly glossed lips sealed and I'll keep my chapped ones shut, got it?" I fake smiled at her. She nodded and walked away.
"Oh, and Gigi?" I said. She turned around.
"Thank you for the compliment." I walked away with Harper. She looked at me in awe.
"No one's ever stood up to Gigi like that before!" She breathed.
"It was high time it happened. I don't like bullies. I never have, and I never will. Besides, what are friends for if not to drive away wannabe divas like Gertrude Hollingsworth?" I smiled genuinely at Harper. She and I laughed as we headed off to our first class.