Dedicated to: Sian 'cause she gave the Simple Plan CD.
“Detention Wilkinson,” was the immediate response. “And I want the report on my desk by 21st of January.”
“But Sir!” Joanna protested. “That’s two weeks away!”
“Then you’d better run along and get started hadn’t you,” was the dismissive reply. The teacher stood up and moved over to look out of the window, hands behind his back. The intended effect was obvious. It was intended to make her shut up and get lost.
“Um, sir…” Joanna began tentatively. “When-“
”Tomorrow night Joanna. Be here at the end of school.”
She looked up in alarm. “But sir! I’ve got cheer practice.”
He looked over his shoulder and shrugged. “Detention is not meant to fit in with your schedule Miss Wilkinson. Now go!”
She fled, pounding down the empty corridors. It was lunch and she knew where she’d find her friends. The cafeteria.
Then she ran into Will, who took one look at her face and asked what was wrong.
She shrugged despondently. “Detention,” she replied mournfully. “Clashes with cheer practice.”
”Oh my god! No way! That’s, like, so, like, unfair, you know? And I so totally think that you should, like-“ The rest of Will’s cheerleader impression was lost as Joanna proceeded to mock punch him.
“Ok. Ok!” he protested as he slumped to the floor. She grinned at him.
“Where were you going?” she asked. “Oh wait. Let me guess. Music?”
He nodded sheepishly. “You wanna come?”
“Only if you’ll teach me guitar,” she replied, her false brown eyes, meeting his.
“Why’d you wanna learn guitar?” he asked. “You can play piano. That’s the mother of all instruments.”
“Yeah, but loads of people play it,” she answered. “Look, if you don’t wanna I can ask that senior.”
Will stared at her. “Which senior?” he asked, confused.
“The one who always wears ripped jeans.” She flapped her hands, as Will got to his feet. “You know, peroxide blonde, stupid fringe.”
“You’d ask him?” Will demanded. “You’d ask some guy with stupid hair to teach you guitar. He can’t even play! If you ever ask him to teach you, I’ll….I’ll…I’ll burn his guitar!”
Joanna shrugged. “But if you don’t want to teach me…” She trailed off as Will jumped in.
“I never said that! Course I’ll teach you.” As he hustled her along the corridor, Joanna grinned to herself.
I’d wanted to play guitar since as long as I could remember. I think I listened to too many bands that had amazing riffs in their songs. But anyway, Will spent so long that lunch teaching me how to hold a guitar and actually play some chords, that I didn’t get chance to eat. And I never saw Rick, or Maria. Oh or Mikey. I needed to talk to Maria as well. But then I saw them all at the end of school. Rick was laughing with a girl I didn’t recognise. Will was muttering to Mikey, and Maria was picking at the deep purple nail polish on her nails.
“Jo! Jo!” Rick’s eyes were sparkling and a smile was playing on his lips. “There’s someone I’d like you to meet.” The mystery girl was tall, near Rick’s height, probably about 5” 10; thin almost to the point of gawky, but not quite; her eyes were emerald, and her hair was long and ruby coloured. There was no way that was natural.
“Hi.” The girl smiled friendlily. “I’m Scarlet.”
The starlet Will mouthed behind her back.
Joanna smiled slightly. “I’m Joanna.”
“Oh I know,” Scarlet beamed. “All day he’s talked about you.”
“So, uh, how do you know each other?” Joanna asked, trying to sound calm.
“We knew were best friends since we were this high till we were eight. Then I moved to Canada,” Scarlet shrugged, the moment sending ripples through her hair. “But, I’m back now.” Scarlet almost imperceptibly glanced affectionately at him.
“So you are,” Joanna commented to no one in particular.
“Jo, do you wanna sleep over?” Maria asked, butting into the conversation. “Mom two said it was fine.”
“S’long as I can call my parents from yours,” Joanna replied, gratefully that the focus was no longer on her and Scarlet.
Maria had called her step mom Mom two as long as I had known her, and as long as Will had known the step mom. I guess when she was a kid it was so she could differentiate between the two.
As we left Will hugged me, and told me that if I forgot the chords that he’d kill me.
And then that turned into a converstaion between Mikey and Will about the crucial differences between a bass guitar and a normal guitar. Then it moved on to which was more important. It was becoming quite heated when Maria and I left.