The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 33
The Monday after Joe and I got together he finally told me what was bothering him; home schooling and the prospect of going on tours, which means less time for us. I didn't really want to think about it. It wasn't official anyway so why should we dwell on it right?
Cindy joined our group during lunch that day too. She's having some kind of fight with Kristine and, I'm assuming, Francis too. No one actually asked her about it. She really wasn't as bad as we thought. She wasn't completely superficial like Francis and not as bitchy as Kristine. She was actually pleasant to have around. After a couple of weeks she, just like Ryan, was like a part of the group. Of course some of us still had our suspicions. I mean a couple days after Berna completely humiliates Kristine, one of her friends starts hanging out with us? It's pretty fishy, but we pretty much pushed that to the back of our minds when we got to know her.
It was almost Halloween now. Berna, Cindy, and I were at the mall just hanging out. Yes, even Berna was starting to like Cindy.
"Maybe we should buy some costumes," Cindy suggested.
"We're not going to Victoria's Secret for these costumes are we?" Berna asked.
"Hey!" Cindy said offended. "I am not a slut... although I was thinking of getting a naughty nurse costume."
Berna and I laughed at Cindy's little joke. We really were getting along with her. She was completing our female circle in a way. Berna was the brawn, I was the brain, and Cindy... well she added a little more of a feminine touch to everything.
"I don't plan on using my money on a costume I'm only gonna use once," I said. "But I'll help you guys pick."
We all headed to a costume shop and the girls reeked havoc on the shelves as I took a seat. After a few minutes Berna reappeared in front of me with a costume.
"Get up," she ordered.
"Why?" I asked when Cindy came around to where we were.
"What's going on?" She asked holding an adult bunny costume.
"I don't know," I answered."But I thought you weren't going to dress slutty?"
"This isn't slutty," she explained. "It's provocative."
Berna let out a light laugh. "Whatever, but I really think Jackie needs to try this on." She held up a blue Chun Li costume. I'd recognize it anywhere. She was my favorite character in Street Fighter after all.
"Ummm... no," I said.
"Oh come on Jackie," Cindy pestered.
"Look at how high the slits go!"
"Live a little. It's not like you have to buy it." I sat there looking from Berna to Cindy to the costume and back to Berna. "Just do it and I'll try this on," Cindy said holding up her costume.
"And I'll go look for something for myself," Berna said.
"Fine," I caved before grudgingly taking the costume and going to the dressing room.
The costume fit... it was just a little too tight... and showed too much leg.
"Jackie," Berna called out impatiently. "We wanna see."
"Yeah, we wanna see," Cindy echoed.
As soon as I walked out Ihear a camera shutter sound. Berna had just taken a picture of me on her new camera phone.
"I hate you," was all I said in a monotone voice.
"Well you're gonna hate me more," she said while punching in a few keys. "You see, I believe the boys are hanging out in the arcade and JD has the exact same phone that I do."
My jaw dropped. "You wouldn't."
"Done," Berna said putting her phone away. "In a few seconds JD's gonna receive the picture and show Joe how absolutely delicious you look."
"I still hate you," I said.
"I don't see what the problem is," Cindy said. "You look gorgeous."
"Thanks," I said not meaning it. "You look really nice too... for a s-... provocative bunny."
Cindy gave me a light push before I went back to the dressing room to change back to my original clothes.
The girls tried on a few more costumes while I sat around giving them my opinion. When they were done we left for the food court without buying anything.
We were walking around deciding on a place to eat when Berna got a text.
"Where are you guys?" She read out loud. "That's all JD has to say after I sent him that picture?"
Ignoring her question I turned to Cindy and asked, "Is it weird that she's sending her boyfriend pictures of another girl?"
"Some girls are into that," Cindy joked letting out a laugh.
"It's not like that," Berna said putting her phone back into her pocket. "And it's not weird when I type in, 'This is not for you, it's for Joe,' along with the picture," Berna answered.
A few minutes later we were still deciding on a place to eat when we saw Joe, JD, Jerby, and Ryan walking up to us.
"You know," Joe started to say. Oh no, here it comes. "I should get a cell phone so I could get pictures like this instead of JD." Joe was holding up JD's phone visibly showing the picture Berna took of me.
How embarrassing! I could feel the blood rush to my cheeks, so when Joe was close enough I just grabbed the front of his shirt and buried my face in his neck. I felt his hands wrap around me.
"You looked beautiful," he whispered, "just like always."
I lifted my head up to look at him. "Thank you," I said before he gave me a light kiss.
"Okay, okay," Jerby said."Enough of that. I'm hungry."
We all ended up going to Subway since Cindy didn't like all the other "fatty" foods in the food court. She called them fatty, I called them good.
"So," JD said, "did you take a picture like this?" He asked Berna.
"No, sorry babe."
"That's because she's ahypocrite," I said. "Now can you delete that from your phone please?"
"What? No!" Joe exclaimed. "Is there a way for you to print out a copy for me?" I turned and gave him an angry look. "It's not like you're naked. That would be bad."
I felt the blood rushing to my cheeks again as I looked down to my food. I guess Joe regretting saying the part about me being naked. I felt him shifting a little uncomfortably next to me.
"Awk-ward," Jerby said causing everyone else to laugh and for me to blush even more.
"Uh-oh," Ryan said throwing anervous glance to Cindy.
"What is it?" Cindy asked.
Before Ryan could answer we figured out exactly what it was... or I should say who.
"Well, well, well," came the familiar voice of Kristine. She was with Francis and some other girl. "What do we have here ladies?"
"Cindy, I know you don't hang out with is anymore, but really?" Francis asked.
I guess they found a new target to torture.
"Was there really no one else to take you in? You had to resort to... them?" Kristine asked with disdain in her voice.
"Didn't you get enough of a verbal assault at your party? If not I can do it again right now," Berna said getting worked up.
"So you are all friends now?" Kristine asked with a scoff. "Like one big... posse? You all deserve each other."
The three of them walked away finally.
"Looks like I've been replaced," Cindy commented.
"So what?" Jerby asked upset. This is the first time I've ever heard him angry. "If you really want to go back and be her little puppy that follows her around everywhere, kissing her ass then go ahead. We never believed that you and Kristine were in a fight. I bet all this was some kind of plan to get back at Berna or something."
Everyone was shocked at Jerby's outburst. He was just joking around a couple minutes ago.
Ryan was the first to recover from the shock. "Okay, so it's a little suspicious that right after Berna gives Kristine the riot act Cindy wants to hang out with us, but really she's..."
"And what about you?" Jerby kept going, cutting Ryan off. "How do we know you're not just like your cousin and this whole 'we're cool' thing you got going with Joe is just another part of the plan?"
"Jerby, calm down," Ryan said in a relaxed voice. "I haven't done anything to deserve your distrust."
"Yet," Jerby said finally calming down and continued eating.
"Geez," Joe said after awhile. "And I thought the nude thing was awkward."
"We really did get in afight," Cindy said.
"You don't have to explain," JD said. "If anything happens I'm sure Berna will bitch you out. Innocent until proven guilty."
Cindy nodded. "Okay."
"Honestly I do like having you around, but if all this is all a part of some scheme, bad things will happen," Berna said with a sarcastic smile on her face.
"I like hanging out with you guys too," Cindy said. "I feel like I can be myself, no rules or regulations."
"You have rules to follow?" JD asked.
"Yeah, like we have to shave everyday... everywhere..."
"How would she know if you did or not?" Berna interrupted. "Does she do inspections?"
"No, but we do have PE. If she happens to look there while we're changing, she'll bring it up."
"That's kinda creepy," Ryan commented.
"And if you don't follow these rules?" I asked.
"You're still able to hang around, but you're pretty much shunned and used as a pack mule or slave."
"Well that sucks," Joe aid
"Yeah, it's so nice to eat whatever I want too. Another one of our rules is that we can't be over 120 pounds and have more than 10% body fat. Kristine is always concentrating on her looks thinking that it'll impress the upperclassmen."
"Too bad she doesn't know that all the senior girls don't like her," Ryan commented.
Everyone tried to get past the awkwardness caused by Jerby's outburst, but everyone could still feel the tension surrounding him.
When Joe and I got home it was almost 7 pm. He came over to the house for a while, where dad was watching us like a hawk.
"Well, this is awkward," Joe said as he and I sat next to each other as close as we could without touching.
"Awkward, that's the only way to describe all of today. Kind of like when we were in Subway," I said turning to him so that my whole body was faced toward him. "What was with Jerby today? I've never seen him like that."
"I don't know," Joe said leaning his head back on the couch. "He hasn't said anything and he hasn't been acting weird... except for that day at school after the party."
"The day Cindy started hanging out with us?" I asked a little more suspiciously that I thought it would.
"You think he knows why she's hanging out with us? Like she, Kristine, and Ryan are really gonna do something and he over heard?" Joe asked sitting up again.
"Maybe... I don't know." We sat there and thought for a minute as I saw dad "inconspicuously" pass by in the hallway. "But if he did over hear something," I said ignoring dad, "wouldn't he just tell us instead of blowing up like that?"
"Yeah, I guess. Maybe it's like that whole holding in your feelings thing."
"Like family or school problems or something and he just snapped?" Joe nodded. "I guess that's apossibility."
"JD and I'll talk to him," Joe said placing his right hand on my knee. I grabbed his hand and held it in both of mine. "Cindy and Ryan are kinda nice. I wouldn't want Jerby to be accusing them for stuff if it's not true."
"So you're Ryan's new best friend?" I asked teasingly.
"No, but without the jealousy getting in the way... I can see why you would consider dating him."
"Considered? How do you know I'm not still considering it?"
On of his eyebrows came up and I let out a giggle. "Are you?"
I turned back to my original sitting position and leaned into him as he put his arm around my shoulders.
"No," I said. "I like being with you."
Just then dad passed by again and this time he stopped and cleared his throat. Joe and I let out a sigh as he took his arm back and I leaned way from him and turned the TV on.
"Arthur!" Mom scolded. "Leave them alone." She then led him upstairs.
Joe and I watched as they disappeared up the stairs before going back to cuddling. I don't like that word, cuddling, but that was the best way to describe it. I'm gonna miss this when he's on the road with is brothers.