Dedicated to the laywers. You helped with the dialogue
“Hey Mikes. Uh, I got the music. Is it a duet or something?” Joanna was sitting on the stairs in the hall, twisting the phone cord around her fingers. “Thought so. So what’s the other instrument? Oh cool. Wait, it’s for your coursework? You’re using it for the duet recording? Who’s gonna play the piano part? Me?! Right. When were you planning on telling me this? Uh-huh. Right. Okay. Uh-huh. Yeah. Sure. You coming to the match tonight? Will is. And Rick. Yeah, Maria too. Oops. Gotta go, my ride’s here.”
She put the phone down, leapt to her feet and was through the door in one fluid movement. She ran down the path, vaulted the gate and landed, straightening up to come eye to eye with Scarlet. She frowned a little, before half smiling. “Lift from Rick?”
Scarlet nodded. “And you’re a cheerleader…”
“Ignoring the fact that you just made the word cheerleader sound like necrophiliac, yes,” Joanna replied sweetly, getting into the car, taking a backseat behind Mr. Clinton.
“Hi Harvey,” Anna smiled. “Hi Mr. Clinton.” The Clinton father nodded, as Scarlet took the remaining backseat, the other seat that was next to Rick.
“Hey,” Rick smiled. Anna nestled against him
“Hey yourself,” she murmured.
“You ready for the game?” He asked, putting an arm round shoulders.
She nodded. “I-“
She was cut off by Scarlet. “So how long have you been a cheerleader?”
”Since September,” Anna replied curtly.
“And you have to wear that? Scarlet asked, sounding disgusted.
“Yes, “Anna smiled. “yet you choose to wear that.” She felt Rick wriggle uncomfortably.
Silence reigned till they reached the school.
Maybe it was underhand, but hey, can you blame me? A wild tiger who feels her claim on her fella will roam restless through the jungle till she can attack the opposition…or something like that.
It was late; Belleville High having lost their home match. Joanna was walking toward the car park, talking with Kelly about a party that was going to take place.
“Hey! Gorgeous!” A guy’s voice rang out of the darkness.
“Get stuff-Mikey!” Joanna cried.
Kelly grinned. “I’ll leave you two alone,” she whispered, bounding off.
“Kel! It’s not- I mean, we’re not-Oh forget it,” Joanna called after her.
Mikey swept Joanna up into a hug. “You were good.”
“No I wasn’t,” she replied despondently, “We sucked.”
Mikey wrinkled his nose, hitching his glasses up so he could see once more. “Yeah,” he agreed. “You did.”
She raised her eyebrows, and punched him lightly on the arm. “Thanks Mikes!”
“Well you said it first!” he retaliated. Seeing the glare she was about to give him, he changed the subject quickly. “What did you think of the duet?”
“Not sure,” she mused out loud. “Need to hear it with the guitar. Acoustic?”
“Yeah,” Mikey nodded. “But can you play it?”
“Oh yeah,” Joanna nodded. “Course.”
“Hey Anna!” Anna turned to see who was calling her. It was Rick; gesturing to the car. “Come on! We’re going!”
She smiled at Mikey. “Gotta go. See you tomorrow.” She reached up on tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek, before bounding off towards Rick, Scarlet and the family.
Mikey stood there, looking after her; a hand slowly reaching up to touch where he lips had met his cheeks.
Before anyone accuses me of something, it felt natural, okay? It was just a chaste kiss. It didn’t mean anything…
“What time is it?”
“It’s just gone nine.”
“In the morning? Oh why do the hours seem so long? Was that my father?”
“Yeah. Why are hours long?”
“I am in love, Ben. Hopelessly, irrevocably, undeniably in love.”
Standing at the back of the auditorium, hidden in shadows, Joanna smiled to herself.
“Hey,” Maria whispered.
“Oh hi,” Joanna murmured back.
“What do you think?”
“Of the play? It’s good. But I haven’t seen Scarlet yet,” Joanna muttered.
“Ah.” Maria understood. “Come backstage and help me pin this to Will.”
As the Drama teacher thundered, “No, no, no Mr Clinton! If that’s how you talk about Rosaline how will you improve on it to make your love for your Juliet? Once again!” Maria and Anna made their way backstage, straight to the boys changing room.
“Maria! What’s the matter with you? Too good to knock?” A boy asked angrily, pulling his trousers back up.
Maria flashed him a grin. “It’s nothing I’ve not seen before Ash.” As Ash rolled his eyes expressively, Anna tried to stifle a laugh.
“Anna! Hey, what d’you think of the play so far?” It was Brad, a blonde boy who was playing Balthasar.
She nodded. “It’s good. But I haven’t seen Juliet yet.”
“Oh she’s good,” Brad assured her. “Really good.”
“Great,” Anna muttered, as they progressed towards Will.
”And how’s my favourite audience member?” Will grinned, as he took his Misfit T-shirt off at Maria’s command.
“She’s wondering if Will’s started going to the gym,” Anna replied, noticing that Will’s pecs and abs were fairly pronounced.
Will laughed, and stopped as Maria told him off for moving. “Nah, I just swim a lot.”
“Oh cool. So what’s this shirt for?” Anna asked, as Maria instructed Will to put a black long sleeved top on.
“My death scene,” he replied. “Black because I’m on the same side as the Montagues and we’re all in black. The Capulets are all in white. And I get fake blood.”
“And you’re having white on this top,” Maria told him as she pinned some white strips on to the shirt. “It’ll show up the blood better. And because you’re not a Montague you get some purple.”
“So are the Capulet boys gonna have to wear white trousers?” Anna asked curiously.
“No!” several of the boys around them cried.
Maria laughed. “No, mainly because they show up the dirt too well.” She finished pinning the strips on. “Okay, you can take it off.”
“You’re modernising the play yeah? So how are you dying?”
“Stab wound to the heart,” Will grinned. “Awesome yes?”
“Very,” she agreed.
“Mercutio! On stage in five!”
Will pulled on his Misfits T-shirt. “If you lovely ladies will excuse me.”
“Oh Will. By the way, tomorrow you’re meeting us at the caf. See ya,” Anna smiled.
“Which one?” he asked, almost out of the door.
“Gabriel’s, you fool.”