But that’s my life for you. The most unfortunate of incidents happen at the most surprising and inappropriate times.
_ _ _
My second day at B.G high wasn’t a great deal different from my first. By now people had been given enough time to conclude their very own theories about me, though none of which I particularly cared about. Rumors lay thick in the air like suffocating smoke and lingered behind me everywhere I went.
I was sat at the lunch table with Kate and Spencer who were playfully quarreling over something or other, whilst I was too transfixed on my meal to pay any real attention. I don’t think what was heaped upon my plate could really be described as food. None of it really looked digestible anyway. After minutes spent frowning at the interesting concoction and prodding it with my fork I finally concluded it was better off in the cafeteria trashcan with the rest of the students ‘meals.’ It wasn’t to be though, for when I stood up and turned, maybe a fraction too quickly, it ended up on someone’s nice, scruffy shoes.
The clatter that echoed around the hall was enough to excite everyone into a low chorus of ‘Ooooh!’
For a moment, I did nothing but stare at the mess surrounding this unfortunate person’s feet, and it seemed whoever they were, were doing the same, for we simultaneously looked back up and clunked heads in the process.
We both groaned and clutched our heads as enthusiastic applause erupted.
‘I am so very sorry’ I finally managed to say rubbing the sore, blossoming bruise on my forehead. I bent down and picked up a few stray napkins that were scattered on the floor after the collision and began to attempt cleaning this person’s shoes.
‘Don’t worry, I’ve got it.’ They said bending down and taking the task into their own fairly large hands. It was when his face looked up to meet mine that I first took in this guy’s appearance. His hair was brown, as were his eyes, and there was something about his face that looked almost familiar to me, but I couldn’t place why.
‘Anyway’ He said, once he had finished cleaning up his feet and I sat back down where I could cause no more damage. ‘I came to see if you were planning on eating with us ever again?’ He said, looking at Spencer.
‘Yeah, ‘course’ He answered looking flustered ‘I just thought I’d keep Kate and Steph some company for a few days, y’know, seeing as she’s new and all.’
‘Oh I get it.’ The boy nodded, curving a corner of his mouth, which lingered for only a millisecond before it fell back into one half of a parallel. He sharply turned to me and said ‘So-so, you’re the new sophomore?’
‘Yes...’ I answered blandly, wondering why his face fell so much when he learnt of this. ‘But you can call me Stephanie.’
‘She moved just down the road from us.’ Said Kate.
‘Oh okay.I’ll see you after school yeah Spence?’ He said as Spencer nodded and he disappeared.
‘Who was that?’ I asked immediately after he’d departed.
‘That’s my brother, Ryan.’ Kate said as I raised my eyebrows in interest ‘He’s a junior.’
‘And my best friend.’ Spencer said proudly ‘Along with Kate of course’ He quickly added.
‘So Spencer’ I said ‘If you usually eat with the juniors over there.’ I indicated to where Ryan had sat down amongst a load of guys ‘Where do you usually sit Kate?’
Kate gave a half snarl and looked over to a table nearby full of some very proper looking girls, half of whom were peering over at us with scowls on their faces. I gave them a happy wave.
‘Unfortunately when Spencer abandons me for my brother every day, I have to eat with those guys. They’re all really religious and incredibly boring.’ She sighed.
‘God I hate that lot.’ Spencer frowned. ‘They are the lamest people at this school.’
‘Bummer.’ I said, nudging her ‘Still, at least you have me now, huh? We’ll be loners together.’
She smiled at this at first, but then looked down and prodded her lumpy mashed potato with her fork, her bangs shadowing her eyes.
‘Everyone here would probably love to have you sit with them’ she said, turning to face me.
I merely looked over to the table with the girls scowling at me.
‘Well most people’ she continued ‘I don’t want you to feel as if you’re obligated to eat with me all the time because we invited you yesterday.’
‘I don’t feel obligated’ I said ‘but if I’m intruding or whatever just say-‘
‘No not all’ She smiled.
‘Well that’s that then.’ I said.
I picked up a napkin that was scrunched up in front of me, containing part of the mess that had bestowed itself upon Ryan’s shoes (with help from me) and attempted to chuck it into the trashcan a few feet away. Bad idea because it floated through the air a little longer than expected and drifted into the lap of one of the scowling girls who had really bushy hair. She screeched, which I thought was a bit of an over-reaction and flung it into the air again where the chunks of meat could fall down upon her unsuspecting neighbors head. They didn’t take lightly to this and shoved some peas down her top. It’s funny how when I threw that napkin, the last thing I would have though of it resulting in would be a whole school food-fight. But that’s my life for you. The most unfortunate of incidents happen at the most surprising and inappropriate times.
The principle entered the cafeteria to find pieces of potato and God knows what else zooming through the air. He didn’t look best pleased. I was presently protecting myself from someone lobbing gravy covered carrot slices at someone behind me by sheltering my head with a red plastic dinner tray. Most of the girls were cowering underneath the tables fretting about messing up their hair. ‘I thought this kind of thing only happened in movies’ I yelled above the noise to Kate who was ducking lumps of potato with Spencer, who seemed to be enjoying himself. It was when the principle furiously yelled at everyone to stop, in a voice louder than a siren that people’s arms fell to their side’s mid-throw. The hall fell silent whilst he continuously ranted about what a ‘disgrace’ this was, yadda, yadda. Then he asked the dreaded question;
‘Who started this?’
People eyes swiveled around the room for the culprit as if it was printed on their forehead or something. Eventually the girl with the bushy hair who the napkin landed on stood up and pointed to me. ‘Her’ She said ‘It was her; she threw a napkin of meat at me.’
And that is how I was, very unfairly, given my first detention at Bishop Gorman.
I passed Ryan’s table as I did the walk of shame out of the cafeteria. He looked at me with a frown etched on his face. It confused me why he should be so annoyed; amazingly he had escaped with no lunch stain on his shirt, or anywhere else for that matter. Yet I could tell for some reason this boy didn’t like me, and I had a feeling it went deeper than accidentally spilling lunch on his shoes.