An unlikely attraction develops between Portia, a conservative overachiever, and Farris, an enigmatic and cocky musician. Boy meets girl, boy is an asshole to girl, boy and girl do not fall in love...
Summary: An unlikely attraction develops between Portia, a conservative overachiever, and Farris, an enigmatic and cocky musician. Boy meets girl, boy is an asshole to girl, boy and girl do not fall in love. Or do they?
Finally, it had happened. The buzzing of rumors surrounded the seemingly unsuspecting girl as her sensible kitten heels clicked along the brown and green tiled floor of the high school.
Portia Lee had her entire life planned out before her, from the moment she began her junior year to, at least, a few months after she graduated from Columbia. (Everyone knew that Portia hardly had to worry about whether she would be accepted or not. Her parents always said that Columbia had a spot reserved especially for Portia, the moment she came out of the womb.) No one groomed her to be the exceptional student she is today. She did it all by herself, of course; she was, in a word, driven. She was a member of the International Club, Debate Team, French Club, Cooking Club, Tennis Team, Animal Rights Club, Human Rights Club, and the Mathletes. It was a wonder Portia had any time to breathe.
She had spent a majority of her life with pencil straight black hair, boring glasses, the occasional zit, a few extra pounds, and those damned braces. The summer after sophomore year was the summer of drastic changes. However, Portia hardly thought of it that way. She merely assumed that the natural curl of her hair, or the arrival of contact lenses, or the clearing of her skin, or the newfound skinniness of her waist and legs, or the removal of the brackets from her teeth-well, she assumed that they were just to be expected.
But, still, Portia Lee had certainly bloomed.
And, the people had noticed: "Nice shoes," Casey Stockholm commented with a look of genuine surprise as she brushed past her on the front lawns. She, then, huddled in with her two goons, Kelly and Alice, contemplating what Portia had done to herself over the summer. Plastic surgery? Anorexia? The possibilities were endless and they were bound to figure out the cause of Geek Girl's newfound good looks.
And, still, negative reactions from the public came about: "What the fuck happened to you?" one particular boy mused casually as he stretched out across the front steps of the high school before grabbing his guitar and strumming lazily. And that boy happened to be Emerson Farris, or Farris as most referred to him, with his dark brown hair flopping sexily over one eye, a perpetual smirk on his face; he was the quintessential badass musician, the kind that Portia Lee would never glance at twice. Of course, Portia hardly heard him over the noise of the surrounding crowd, and, therefore, did not even glance his way once, her head held high as she made her way into the school, unbeknownst to the noticeable swaying of her hips as her heels continued to click along the concrete floor.
The buzz surrounding her had dissolved come fifth period lunch, where Portia sat at her usual table, waiting her friends from Debate Team, innocently munching on a chicken wrap, rereading The Grapes of Wrath for the upcoming English essay. Suddenly, there was a loud thud from across the table and Portia slowly looked up, eyebrows arched as she regarded the punk who had just joined her. "Come to insult me more?"
"You fucking sold out," he muttered, pulling out his guitar and strumming away, not bothering to even look at her. "I mean, I, like, lost respect for you and shit after your fucking makeover. Not that I even really knew you before."
Portia scoffed, promptly dropping the novel into her lap. "How dare you even make a comment about me when a) you probably don't even know my name or anything else about me, and b) you can't even articulate yourself correctly without using profanity."
Farris shrugged and starting plucking at the strings, his hair falling in his face even more before leaning in to finally face her. "I know your type. You're all conservative and shit, the future of the country, the fucking face of fucking America," he began, almost satisfied to see that she was already fuming, "But, you were a little different, you know? Now, you're all skinny and hot and shit, so you've pretty much sold out. Now, you'll just be, like, some fucking politician's wife."
Her eyes flashed at that last sentiment. "For your 'fucking' information, buddy, I'm liberal, though I see nothing wrong with being conservative, I went swimming a lot over the summer, my mother bought be contacts and took me to a dermatologist, so I see nothing wrong with looking satisfactory either!" Portia took a deep, deep breath before continuing, "So, if you don't have anything else intelligent to tell me, then I suggest you leave," she hissed.
Farris was starting to have second thoughts about giving Portia a piece of his mind; she was pretty hot when she got all worked up. And now for the closer...He slung his guitar over his shoulder and prepared to leave, pausing to lean in from behind her to whisper, "There's this fucking back to school party at my friend, Duck's, house. If you're a liberal kind of girl, I suggest you attend."
Portia shuddered as soon as he left, starting on her chicken wrap once more. As much as she didn't want to admit it, high schoolers did tend to break off into major sections. She was lumped together with the Most Likely To Succeed-ers, Casey Stockholm represented the A Crowd, members of the Computer and Anime clubs were considered Nerds, and Emerson Farris was the leader of the punk musicians pack. Why on earth would she even consider mingling with his type? He was dirty, profane, and absolutely tactless. On the other hand, there was a bigger part of her that wanted to prove to him that she did not sell out.
Portia nodded firmly to herself and crumpled up the paper that previously held her lunch before aiming it at a nearby trashcan. If it went in, she would attend; if it did not make it, she would stay home and so what little homework she had. One...two... three...
The garbage had spoken.
"Look at this as a challenge," Portia whispered to her reflection in the floor length mirror of her neatly furnished room.
She had opted for a lacy, beige Victorian top with a pair of skinny jeans she hadn't intended on ever wearing, clipping her hair back with a brown claw. With a swipe of mascara over each set of eyelashes and a rub of chapstick across her lips, she deemed herself ready to go next door to the apparently rocking party. Thankfully, her parents trusted her enough to attend, even if they had hardly spoken to Max Canard's (Duck's) family.
With a deep breath, Portia pushed the door open, and as soon as she stepped out, an old jeep rolled up and Farris's head poked out, leering at her. "Fuck, maybe I was wrong, babe, you do clean up well," he called, stepping out of the car, extending his arm.
"If you expect me to actually take your arm, think twice, Neanderthal," Portia snapped, brushing right past him. "I'm only here to prove a point- half and hour and I'm done." She could have sworn she smelled something like cigarettes or pot on him... smoke and cologne, she found, wasn't quite as wretched a smell as she assumed. It took her a moment to realize that, while she was contemplating his smell, Farris had taken her arm and began leading her into the Canard estate.
"Trust me, baby," he whispered into her ear, the warmth of his breath tickling her neck and causing her to flinch, "you're gonna need to hang onto me if you don't want to get lost." Portia opened her mouth to inform him that she and Max lived in the same type of mansion, but words were lost on her lips as the sounds of warbled, incoherent music met her ears.
"Fucker! Portia!" Duck greeted the pair in an atrocious English accent, a fuchsia pimp hat from last year's Halloween clashing horribly with his deep auburn hair. "Portia," he repeated, taking the hand of the very confused young woman, "it's been ages, darling. Weren't you last here when we were three?" He laughed and proceeded to hit Farris in the stomach. "Fuck you man!" he called before a girl all in black began dragging him towards the sunroom.
"Is he... alright?" Portia asked tentatively.
"Just a little tipsy," replied Farris, shooting her a half smile. Portia couldn't help but blush and look away quickly, obviously flustered. Farris's grin turned mischievous until he spotted a familiar bleached blonde head in his direction. He grabbed Portia by the waist and pushed her against a wall, burying his face in her neck for a moment.
"What on earth are you doing?" she hissed angrily, her stomach twisting in knots as she felt herself tense up.
"Is she gone?" he asked, his voice still muffled.
Portia clenched her fists and replied tersely, "Yes," before shoving him off her and brushing down her clothes. "Thank you so much for your hospitality; I am so out of he-"
"Whoa, whoa," He caught her by the wrist, "hold your fucking horses, babe, Revive My Paranoia is performing!"
She stared at him blankly. "What on earth is that?"
Farris, of course, had expected a stronger reaction from her; he scratched the back of his neck and replied, "Um, it's my band. Well, Duck and I founded it, and shit, but the name was all my idea, you see." Portia let out a laugh, clapping a hand over her mouth. If the gesture wasn't adorable, Farris would have been a wee bit more pissed off. "What the fuck?"
"That's a little bit clichÃ©, isn't it?"
"You mean to fucking tell me that there's another band out there called Revive My Paranoia?" he retorted as they both backed into the wall as more and more intoxicated guests continued to flow into their particular hallway.
With her back pressed to the wall once more, Portia hardly appreciated their closeness as she crossed her arms over her chest, trying to avoid his glance. "There was a band last year - I helped run the Battle of the Bands for the school, you see - their name was Break My Sanity. Just to let you know." She smiled with false innocence and Farris found that either it really got on his nerves or it really turned him on.