Summary: Rae (the runner) + Keiran (the nobody) + Nadine (the Barbie doll) + Samuel (the not-so-bright hottie) + A Midsummer Night's Dream (the school play from hell) = Ay Caramba!

Note from the author: Had trouble with this chapter ... probably because this character is so much more action than thought. Not that she's completely stupid. :) Please review! Feedback, as always, is appreciated.

Disclaimer: All the ideas, characters, plot, etc., in this story belong to me unless otherwise noted. Infringement of anyone's copyright is unintentional.

Ay Caramba!
by Nickety

Chapter Three: Reowr, if you know what I mean

My eyelids snap open. What the ... Disoriented in the darkness, I clap twice, and the lights come on. I spot my clock sitting beside my bed. Seven in the morning! Geez, what a time to call - you'd think people'd have sense to not cause a disturbance when the normal people are sleeping ... I kick off my covers, sit up on my bed, and pick up my cordless phone.


"Naaaaay-dine!" the excited voice of Grace shrieks. "Oh my gosh, I've been trying to reach you all day yesterday! Where were you? Did you just get back from your trip to Florida? Of course! Ooo, I'm so glad you're back!"

That's Grace. She's the perfect representative of my social group ... girly, big boobs, and no brains (three characteristics of a typical top-of-the-social-ladder crowd). She's part of my circle of "friends"; three Grace's hanging around me every second of the day. In internet speak: "X_x".

"Grace, it's 7:10 - no, 7:11 - what do you want?"

It is as though she had been waiting for me to say that ...

"Oh my gosh, it's so funny that you ask," Grace flusters, "because you probably can not guess what happened to me yesterday. One hint that will completely throw you. Are you sitting down? Samuel Johnson!"

"Who?" I say, now more than a little interested.

Samuel Johnson is only the hottest guy in the freshman class. Take my word on it. It doesn't even rain on him; the water evaporates within two feet of his skin. Luckily he was made available just before winter break when his girlfriend dumped him. So he's basically hot, and free.

Reeeeowr, if you know what I mean.

Grace makes an exasperated sigh that comes to me as a rush of watery static. "Oh, come on, Nadine! You know who I'm talking about. Samuel Johnson, major hotness from homeroom, plays about every guy-sport Bridgefall has to offer and manages to look super sexy at the same time..."

"Grace, okay, okay. Now what about him?"

Giggling, she says, "Okay, I was sitting at home being bored out of my mind because winter break is vacation time and everyone's out somewhere except for me, right? Well, I couldn't resist going to Walgreens because my - ew - curly red hair is totally starting to bug me - I want to get it straightened and highlighted, like I told you - "

I get up from my bed and take my brush off the floor. "Yeah."

" - and, get this, there in the hair care aisle is ..." There is a pause for dramatic tension. "... Samuel Johnson!"

She waits for me to say, "Oh my gosh," then fan myself, then start to squeal ... but unlike my friends, I tend to keep my targets private (this month's target just so happens to be Samuel, so this Grace deal is definitely bad news) until I've caught them, hookline and sinker. Heck, celebrity crushes I'll spew whenever, whoever ... but after a few months in my group, you'll learned that gossip, especially when it's true, will destroy you.


And so, sitting cross-legged on my bed, I comb my short dirty-blonde hair and reply nonchalantly, "Yeah ... so what?"

"So WHAT?"

I roll my eyes.

Grace immediately starts rambling. "Are you insane? Are you completely out of your mind? This is Samuel we're talking about, Samuel! You know I've been trying to get into that guy's head for the past few months, being the god that he is, and you say so what?"

"Whatever, I take it back," I cut in abruptly, getting up and heading to my mirror. "What happened?"

Grace continues without hesitation. "Well, I just sort of walked slowly past him, making sure he notices that I'm checking him out - the regular Flirting Grace Routine, yeah? And he actually checked me out - back! So I said, hey, and then he was like, hey, and - get this - we exchanged phone numbers and everything."

"Uh huh, yeah right," I snort, injecting deep sarcasm into every syllable. I pick up a pen. "His phone number? To you? Prove it."

Grace scoffs. "What? I so did! It's on my hand. 274-2895. See?"

2 ... 7 ... 4, I think, writing it down carefully on a post-it, 2 ... 8 ... 9 ... 5. Thanks, Grace. I stick the post-it to my mirror and say, "Okay, I'm convinced. So, you guys hit it off, huh?"

"Yes!" she squeaks. "This is so perfect. He called last night, only a few hours after. I can't wait to get to school today, I can't wait!"

And I can't help but roll my eyes again.

An hour after that fateful phone conversation with Grace, I am back at Bridgefall High. It hasn't changed much over the winter ... the same rusty lockers lining the same dirty halls which are overrun by the same trapped students. Well, one thing has changed, at the very least. Electives!

"Wood shop," wails Margaret loudly as she, Grace, Josephine and I sit in homeroom, way in the back where Ms. Bunting won't scowl at us. "Oh, I can't believe it. I mean, it's just so overrated, it's not funny. I mean, how can anyone stand those splinters and everything! Yuck."

Grace giggles. "At least you don't have what Nadine's got. Tell her, Naddy."

"Oh, thanks, Grace," I snap sardonically. Margaret looks expectantly at me so I say, "I have theater second period ... so you really don't need to get so crybaby about wood shop, alright?"

Margaret opens her mouth to argue unneccesarily about my 'crybaby' comment when Josephine suddenly lets out a frightening shriek of laughter that causes several heads to turn our way and stare. "Theater? Oh my gosh, Nadine, no offense, but you are, like - so - screwed!"

I give her a withered look but she ignores it grandly.

"After all, you know what that means, don't you?" Josephine continues, looking ecstatic. Then, without waiting for an answer, she said, "That means we will be seeing you in the annual school play!"


"Oh yeah," Margaret chirps up (I grit my teeth; I so don't need this right now). "The school play! It's usually Shakespeare. Maybe you'll be doing that Romance and Jewels thing, the one with make-out scenes and all? What's it called?"

I roll my eyes. "Romeo and Juliet, Marg. And I don't think - "

"Oh, shut up, you guys," Grace hisses suddenly. I breathe out in relief and mouth, "Thank you," but then I realize that her interruption hadn't been for my sake. For walking into Room 34 is - the hottest of all hotness at Bridgefall and maybe the entire world - Samuel Johnson. He's strolling into the room with his usual swagger, but something seems different. Does he look ... better than before? Are his shoulders broader or something, or did he do something with his already very sexy brown hair?

"Guys," Grace whispers, her voice trembling, "oh my gosh, guys, he's coming this way! Look casual, and act like you don't know - oh, hi , Samuel."

She smiles painfully big as Samuel stops in front of us. After a few seconds in which Grace, Margaret, and Josephine gapes open-mouthed at him (I study him coolly), he says slowly in that hot voice of his, "Uh ... 'sup?"

Grace tosses her hair back (probably so that her big, red hair won't take away from her cleavage) and replies, "Nothing really. Oh, Samuel, I'd like you to meet my friends. This is Josephine - Margaret - and Nadine."

Without waiting for us to say anything, she says, "Anyways, Samuel, electives change today ... what have you got?"

"Um ... dunno."

With that, he walks away. Grace grins excitedly at us. "He's a man of few words. Oh, he's just awesome!"

I roll my eyes ... again. After all, going through so many boyfriends in the first months of high school teaches you that these magical moments don't last long. The guy is interesting ... and the next moment you've spotted someone better, and you've dumped them.

That's the way the game is played, hun. Trust me. I'm an expert.