Yarborough Private School went coed. Having been an exsclusively all boys school for fourteen years, and having been a middle school student for two of them, I bet you think that we all had a big bonfire party, got down on our knees and thanked God for showing us such kindness, right? Not quite.
You see, Yarborough wasn't one of thos fancy "jocks rule, our parents are rich and yours aren't" private schools. Yarborough was a place for the outcasts. It was a place for all those weird, nerdy emo guys who were picked last for dodgeball. Who had to wait all recess long for a turn on the swing that never came. Who had heard the phrase "Why don't you just drop dead" so much their childhood that they had lost count.
It was just a pace to be. No athletic douchbags to push us around. No giggly rich idiots to laugh behind our backs.
All that freedom. All that peace. Down the shitter. Flush, flush.
No one was ticked off more than me and Justin. Oh, sorry. Justin and I.
It was the first day of school. A month before, all the parents had gotten a notice in the mail saying that Yarborough was going coed. There was some big meeting between the educators, teachers, parents, janitors, blah blah blah, supposedly to sort matters out but it mostly came down to "The school needs money, we're going coed, there's nothing you can do about it so shut the fuck up."
So, on the first day of school Justin made sure to grab me, Brian and Nick before the orientation ceremony.
"I'm telling you guys, it's going to be an absolute fuckin' nightmare, " Justin told us again for what totally wasn't the tenth time that morning.
We were walking around the gymnaseum which besides regular P.E. classes wasn't used for much.
"We know, " I yawned. "You've been saying the same thing for over an hour."
"Aren't you mad about it?"
"Sure I'm mad but there's nothing we can do about it besides suck it up and take it like men."
Nick chuckled when I said that. "'Suck it up and take it like a man.' S'funny 'cause it sounds wrong."
I'm pretty sure I rolled my eyes. Nick had been my closest friend since kindergarden. He was blond, fat, and bubbly. Basically what Santa Claus would have looked like when he was younger. He had kept the same personality through out all the years I had known him. What I gained in brain cells, he had lost. Of course I'm only saying this out of love for the chubby little idiot.
Yeah, he was my friend but I could hardly stand that fucking laugh of his. "You won't think it's funny when those girls tape the word 'fat ass' on you back during class, will ya?"
Nick quieted down and gave a small shrug. I felt a pang of guilt erupt in my stomach so I reached up and wrapped my arm around his neck in a sort of half hug and he smiled again. Damn me and my bleeding heart.
"C'mon, you guys." Brian spoke up for the first time that day. "Maybe it won't be so bad."
"You're just saying that because you know you won't get it as bad as us." Justin sneered at him.
He was right. Out of all the boys in the school, Brian was the least unattractive. He was well built. Only a few blackheads here and there. Muddy brown eyes and a brace filled smile. Compared to the rest of us he was a god.
"Sometimes I pity you, poor boy, " Justin sighed loudly, patting him on the shoulder. He had gone through this routine many a time. "Having to hang out with the likes of us."
"Which raises the question: Why do you even hang out with us in the first place?" I asked Brian, genuinely curious.
"Shut up." Brian gave a short chuckle as his face turned beet red. He reached up and scratched the back of his head.
"I'm telling you guys, " Justin got back to the main topic, "girls are fuckin' bitches!"
Justin was the smartest guy in out class. I should know. He never shut up about it.
He looked like your basic nerdy bookworm stereotype: Really tall, kind of skinny, curly red hair that flew all over the place, wire rim glasses, freckles, the works. Easy target, right?
I happened to look over just in time to see a teacher exit the main building across from us.
"Aw, hell, " I groaned and pointed.
"Think he's looking for us?" Nick asked.
"Who cares?!" Justin got behind to push us around the corner. "We get caught and its detention! Clean up duty for all of us!"
Nick and I rounded the corner first so we were the first to see them. Four girls. All standing around behind the gym.
The first thing we noticed is that they were all incredibly gorgeous. That sounds like an exaggeration and maybe it is. After all, the only socialization with women we had over the summer were either our mothers or sisters, so I'm sure any girl we had seen would have looked beautiful in comparison.
The second thing we noticed was that one of the girls was smoking, which was a school offense punishable by a week's suspension. Who cared about that when you were in the presense of four beautiful girls?!
We all just stood there for a little while, staring at each other. Finally, Brian let out a loud sigh.
The girl who was smoking spoke up first. She was tall with dark skin like melted carmel. Athletic looking. Her black hair hung around her face from under a red baseball cap.
"Shit, " she muttered. She took another puff before tossing the cigarette in the grass and squashing it under her shoe.
One of the girls had been sitting indian style. She uncrossed her legs and stood up. She kept her wavy light brown hair pulled behind her ears. Thick rimmed glasses did their best to hide wide eyes. She was the shortest, I think.
The other two kept staring at us. One had gold blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail with bangs stopping just a few inches over excited eyes. The other girl was a show stopper. Orangish curls pulled into pigtails, tan skin, and the most absolutely adorable expression of nervousness on her face.
"Oh, wow." Us guys all sighed at the same time.
"I told you we should have gone to the meeting." The brunette looked over at the black haired girl.
"Boo hoo. So we got caught, " she crossed her arms over her chest and turned to us. "Hey, nerdy guys, you aren't going to tell, are ya'?"
We stood there like idiots for a few more seconds. Then Justin, of course it would be him, spoke up.
"Why shouldn't we tell, huh? You're the one's smoking on our school property!"
The black haired girl looked ready to run at him with enough force to knock his head off, if it weren't for the girl with the glasses.
"Please, " She asked, hands to her chest like she was praying. Maybe she was. "Don't tell on us. It's only the first day. We want to start this year with a clean slate. Right, Tiff?" She shot a glance at Tiff, who just grumbled and looked away.
"Of course we're not going to tell on you!" Brian pushed past me and Nick with a dopey grin on his face. He took her hand and shook it gently. "We would never tell on such lovely ladies. Am I right, guys?"
I knew that longing puppy dog eyed look. I had seen it in many a romantic comedy. Poor Brain was love stuck. I'm not sure but I think both Tiff and I rolled our eyes at the same time.
"Thank you." Glasses girl pulled her hand out of his grasp. "I'm Christina."
"Nice to meet you." She could have at least attempted to sound like she meant it.
"I'm Stephanie." The blonde girl's smile was toothy but still pretty.
"Lisa." The redhead said in barely a whisper.
"She doesn't talk much but she's really nice!"
"Little Miss Lung Cancer here is Tiff." Christina gestured to Tiff.
"I'm Brian." Brian said again, dopey grin still his face.
"I'm Nick." His chuckle got both Stephanie and Lisa to chuckle, too. It had that effect on some people.
"Eric." I gave a short wave. "The ginger back there is Justin. Don't let his face fool you, he's really an awful human being."
"You guys all ditchin' too?" Nick asked.
"Well, duh, " Tiff scoffed, uncrossing her arms, "were not just here to enjoy the scenery."
"Chill." Christina gave her another glance before turning back to us. "It's nothing personal. I'm sure your school is nice and stuff, but we just didn't feel like having to sit half the day listening to some bald guy telling us where the bathrooms are."
"We didn't either, " Brian said. "Besides, we were here all during middle school, so we already know where everything is."
"You do?" Tiff and Christina both perked up at the same time. I think I already knew what they were thinking.
"S'cuze me." Christana leaned in close to Tiff and whispered. Which left Stephanie and Lisa to talk to us.
"Wow, " Stephanie stared at me, "your nose is really big."
"Like a big pink balloon."
"Are you Jewish?"
This caught me off guard. "No!"
"Why? You're not an anti-semite, are you?"
The look on her face told me she probably thought an anti-semite was a type of disinfectent.
"No, I just heard that Jewish people had big noses."
"Wow, " I heard Justin mutter in astonishment. "Just... Wow."
At this point, Tiff spoke up. Thank God.
"We have a proposition for you dork-guys."
Suspicious bastard that he is, Justin moved to the front of our group. "Which is?"
"Simple, " Christina stepped forward. "You help us this year."
"You know, help. Show us around the school without the long lectures. We need to know where to hang out, which days are the best days to bring lunch from home, whom the mean and nice teachers are, the whole sha-bang."
"Will we get paid for our services?" Justin was in full lawyer mode now.
"Hell, no, " Tiff grunted. "In fact, you should pay us for the oppurtunity."
"Like prostitution?" Justin smirked.
She got that "I'm going to charge at you with full force" face again. Christina gave her another look. "We don't know how we'll be able to pay you-"
"Hey, you kids shouldn't be back here!" The teacher I had seen from earler was running toward us.
"Scatter!" I yelled.
So we did.