TEN THINGS SKYLAR HATES ABOUT YOU
Skylar watched as the shuttle service van pulled away from the curb. This had to be the most embarrassing thing ever. Androcles was still waving as the van drove down the street, and all three of the teens were looking anywhere but at him. First of all, no self respecting teen would be caught dead waving back to their parent/guardian. And then there was the fact that he was wearing a men’s nightshirt, which just so happened to be covered by a leather motorcycle vest. Somewhere, Tim Gunn was having a heart attack, Skylar just knew it. She also just knew the smell of old cigarettes and…well, who knew what else…was going to be on her clothes all day long. So not the best way to go back to school after what was now known around town as last week’s “incident that must not be spoken of”. God. It was going to be hard enough to face her friends as it was! And then, of course, Androcles had to go and tell them to “stick together.” Yeah, like that was going to happen…
They had already all been forced to hang out together for three whole excruciating days while they “acclimated” to life in the mansion and had to sit around swapping family horror stories of how the old vampires had convinced each of their parents to let them come there. For some reason Parker had been uncharacteristically quiet. But Skylar didn’t really care, since she had the most to worry about of any of them. No one else had the crappy luck of having a dad who worked for the police department. She supposed she should be grateful that she had a dad who could keep incidents like that from being a big deal for her, but given everything else that had happened, she couldn’t really find it in her. Not to mention, he had been so quick to ship her off to some God-awful mansion with a group of crazy vampires who had killed her and ruined her entire life. And her chances of ever making out with the hottie from 5th period…you know, since all she could do now was think about how much she’d love to snack on his blood. She wondered if anyone else thought that heartbeats sounded like kettle corn.
The three teenagers stood awkwardly on the sidewalk for a few moments. Fortunately, the bell rang for first period about the time Skylar was wondering if she should say something. As she ran towards class, she kept her eyes fixed straight forward, hoping no one thought she was actually with those two idiots.
“Let’s not eat anyone today, okay guys?” she heard Raymond say as she ran. God, he was such a loser. As if she would ever eat any of the people she had to go to class with. Gross.
Skylar had hoped once she got to English class, she could forget about this whole stupid “vampire” thing for a little while and focus on her usual day dreaming. Unfortunately, it didn’t look like it was going to be quite that simple. Some obnoxious moron next to her was chewing gum in the loudest possible way. Wasn’t there a rule about gum in class? Skylar was sure there was a rule about gum in class. And, seriously, who needed to click their pen incessantly like that? Someone should probably take that away from them. And if Melissa Johnson sighed one more time, Skylar just knew she was going to lose it! She briefly wondered what the teacher would do if she just stabbed someone in the neck with a pencil.
There would be a lot of blood if she did that…
And that was the other thing. Everyone had a heartbeat. Like…all of them. That didn’t seem fair to Skylar. So much for daydreaming about Seth Green. All she could think about was how much she wanted to stop thinking about the damn heartbeats! And it didn’t help that half the class had to get up to do presentations today, and, of course, everyone always got so freaking nervous about it! Couldn’t they have the decency to keep their heart rates under control? By the time the bell rang, she was beyond ready to get out of there. Not caring that she hadn’t heard a single word of whatever the hell the speeches had been about, Skylar just jumped up and ran for the door.
“Excuse me, Skylar?”
She stopped in her tracks, gritting her teeth. Now was not the time for student/teacher bonding. She took a deep breath and tried to put on her best “I’m totally innocent” smile. “Yes, Mrs. Davis?”
Mrs. Davis was looking at her like she was some poor, lost puppy. “Well, dear, I heard about your recent…problems. And I know that it takes time to adjust to any new living situation. I also couldn’t help but notice that you seemed…distracted today. Please don’t hesitate to come to me if you need anything…a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on” a neck to feed on, Skylar couldn’t help but think.
She barely managed to keep her smile in place. “Thanks, Mrs. Davis,” she said, her teeth still clenched (it was better for everyone that way), “I will,” she turned to make a break for it, not giving the teacher any opportunity to continue.
The trek to her locker seemed endless. The teenagers lining the halls were unreasonably loud and all smelled so…good. She kept her head down and grabbed her books as fast as possible, ignoring the whispers and bits of gossiping along the way. Let them talk about her…and least it meant they knew who she was. Any publicity was good publicity, right?
She barely made it to her computer class without completely losing it, and she slumped in her seat with a little sigh; hopefully this would be a quiet class.
“Well, howdy, stranger!”
No. There was no way. Since when was Raymond freaking Robinson in one of her classes? He hadn’t always been in here with her, had he? So much for steering clear of her stupid new roommates.
She didn’t even try to give him a smile. “What do you want?” she growled, glancing around and hoping no one had noticed she was talking to him yet. Bad publicity was one thing, totally destroying her social reputation was another.
But, if anything, her reaction seemed to make him even happier. “Oh, well, I just figured since we are getting to know each other so well lately that I would ask the teacher if I could sit by you. Won’t you be my neighbor?”
A long, profanity-laced scream built up in Skylar’s throat, but she forced it back down, balling her hands into fists under the desk. She glared at him. If there was any justice in the world, it would have set him on fire. It was a good glare. But, the world sucks and Raymond sat exactly where he was, (unfortunately not burned to a crisp) still smirking at her.
“Yeah, sure, whatever,” she muttered finally. She wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of freaking out.
Raymond leaned over and pointed to the monitor. “Besides, I figured you could use some help. See that right there, that turns it on.”
She gave him a smile that clearly meant, “shut up or I’ll kill you” and said, “Awesome. Thanks.”
He grinned right back. “No problem. Oh, and, just in case you were wondering, that”–he pointed to the keyboard–”has little buttons that let you control what happens on the screen.”
The rage Skylar had been suppressing could be contained no longer. She grabbed his keyboard in both hands and smashed it into his face until the plastic split apart and the little letters and numbers were bouncing all over the desk and floor. “In case you were wondering, it also is really great for hitting jerks in the face with.”
It was at that time that she finally noticed how quiet it had gotten in the room. And that the two girls across from them were staring at her, mouths hanging open in shock.
“Holloway! Robinson! What in the world is going on here?” the teacher strode angrily towards them, detention clearly on his mind. Or worse, First Flight High ‘Time Out’. Skylar shuddered. She put on that very special innocent face she had worked so hard at perfecting over the years and pointed at Raymond.
“He was harassing me!”
“And that caused the keyboard to just magically burst into pieces?” the teacher asked, looking from one to the other. “We take damaging school property very seriously.”
It was time for desperate measures. Skylar’s chin started to quiver and she squeezed the tears into her eyes. “But he wouldn’t leave me alone! And I didn’t know what else to do. I would think that the school would take handsy, hormone-crazed boys very seriously.”
Raymond was not smiling at all now. “Oh right. You wish,” he muttered. Then he turned to the teacher. “You can’t honestly believe her, right? She’s crazy! She just totally attacked me! If anyone needs to file a restraining order, it’s me.” Skylar gave a convincing little whimper, just in case the teacher thought of holding her responsible for anything.
He looked back and forth from Skylar to Raymond, clearly trying to decide what to do with them. Finally he sighed, “Robinson, you’re in Time Out the rest of the day.”
Raymond looked like he couldn’t believe the injustice of it all, and Skylar had to remind herself not to smirk. He pointed over at the two girls across from them. “But they saw the whole thing! Just ask them! Come on, I can’t go to Time Out… I’ll miss my shot to get back in the good graces of the Debate Team!”
But the teacher just shook his head, and it was one of the few times Skylar was actually happy her dad was a well known sheriff. He knew the Holloways could make trouble for the school if they really wanted to. “Sorry, young man. Out. Now.”
Raymond gave an angry little groan before trudging out of the classroom, shooting Skylar one last glare as he went. Skylar had to fight the urge to giggle; that would show him not to pick on her anymore. She primly sat down in front of her computer and gave the teacher a relieved, grateful smile. “Thank you! I’ll feel so much safer in class now.” The teacher just gave a weary nod and walked back to the front of the classroom.
The rest of day went by smoothly enough. Skylar managed not to kill anyone, anyways. And finally she was sitting down, enjoying the best part of the day: Drama class.
She turned to her best friend, Jessica, while they waited for the teacher to finish roll call. “Oh my God, you would not believe the day I’ve had!” Of course, she would have to skip most of the details, since she couldn’t exactly tell her best she was now a monster. Now she knew what Vincent felt like on Beauty and the Beast, poor baby. God, Jay Ryan was just the hottest…
Jessica sighed and patted her shoulder consolingly. “Sorry, but I think I can top whatever happened to you today. Just wait until you hear about my date!” She pulled down her sweater and pointed to a giant bandage covering the side of her neck. “Check this out.”
“Oh my God! What the hell happened? What sort of freak did you go out with?” Skylar stared at the bandage in horror and then mild jealousy, “Wild make out session, huh?”
“Not so much,” Jessica peeled up the bandage, revealing a gross, bloody mess on her neck.
Skylar was both horrified by the sight…and slightly intrigued, since she could still smell the blood from the open wound. She shook her head, tearing her eyes away from the bite mark. “What the hell?”
“I don’t even know, Skylar,” Jessica shook her head, “all I know is that Parker Moore is a total psycho freak!”
Skylar was completely speechless for a moment, but she was sure her face said it all, because Jessica just nodded. “I know, disgusting! He’s lucky I’m not pressing charges!”
Now was probably not the time to break it to Jessica that Parker just happened to be her new roommate. Not that she wanted to come to terms with that particular bit of awfulness anyway, but now it was ten times worse. No wonder Parker had been so quiet since they had been dragged back to the mansion and forced to accept that they were going to be there for who knew how long. And come to think of it, he had mentioned Jessica’s name when he was babbling on about the date he was going to miss the night of the abduction. In her defense, she had been more concerned about the fact that the crazy Vampires had just shot about a dozen holes in Raymond’s chest at the time.
“Yeah,” Skylar said, feeling like her eyes were probably glazed over, “he definitely is. What did the doctor say? You know, about…that.” What if it ended up on the news that there were vampires running around Kill Devil Hills? If anyone found out she was one of them, it would not exactly get her votes for prom queen.
“Doctor? Are you kidding me? I am not explaining this to a doctor! Look, it’s gonna heal on its own just fine. You’re the only one I’m telling anything! No one else needs to know about this, okay?”
Skylar nodded, hoping she didn’t look too relieved, “Yeah, yeah. Of course.”
Jessica continued, “I just wanted to let you know so that if we see that freak in the halls we can totally shun him.”
Skylar nodded vehemently, “Shun him. Yes. We should totally do that.” She was feeling a little uneasy. Maybe it was because it was stressful being back at school. Maybe it was because she knew the guy that attacked her best friend.
Or maybe it was because she could hear said best friend’s heart beating and couldn’t stop thinking about giving her a matching bite mark.