Nike's More Than A Shoe

Chapter1-Don't Stop For Lifts

My black pen added more scrawls to the already desecrated corners of the paper, flying over it with intense speed. In fact, the edge of the paper had been so heavily demarcated, that the scrawls were visible on the reverse side of the sheet and the corners were turning up. I added graying eyebrows and carefully shaded salt and pepper bits of facial hair on the thinning face. I then added horn-rimmed glasses. I pushed the paper to the front of the desk, scrutinizing my work of art. Ah. The dear professor on my paper and in front of me bore a very similar likeness. I was, unfortunately, sitting in the first desk so I was easily caught out for what was called as "improper activities in class".

Bah. History class must be the most boring class in our batch's senior year. No seriously, I have absolutely NOTHING against History. It was just the annoying teacher and his reedy voice. It was like chewing tinfoil. I scrawled more furiously on the paper until a quiet voice interrupted me. "Careful, you don't want to punch a hole through that."

I glared back and retorted vehemently-"Would like to punch a hole through him though". I mimed this by inserting the pen into my hand and letting it out on a hole on the other end. "Nee, nee, nee", Lia drawled with a glint in her eyes. She was obviously searching for amusement. I hated the name Nee. Oh all right, I didn't, but when she drawls it out it can be so annoying. Argh. So, I glared at her and the mature idiot I am, I pointedly ignored her. Of course I had forgotten that the word 'ignore' is a word not present in Lia Lowell's vocabulary. She nudged me again. I rubbed the tender spot on my elbow where I'd had a run-in with the new guy in my AP Spanish class. I glowered at Lia and placed my binder in between us. It was the kind with the pointy edges so Lia- being the prize idiot she was- would nudge it, the dutiful binder of mine would do its job and it would hurt her elbow as she so rightfully deserved for hurting mine(so WHAT if I'm a sadist. Pfft. At least people get what they deserve) and…Mission Accomplished. Yayness. I mean that in a sarcastic way, if you haven't guessed. I'll get hell from her for doing that. Eh. But that's nothing new. She gives me hell unintentionally all the time. If you haven't guessed already- that was a joke. If you don't get sarcasm or jokes I suggest you bolt out of here as fast as possible. I am Hillridge's official cynic. I actually pride myself on that. It means I get hurt so much less easily. Fine, official cynic quite unofficially.

I pushed back a strand of hair and concentrated on adding the male version of Mary Jane shoes the teacher wore. I admired my work and looked at the professor. 'Yes', I decided. 'No likeness at all'. Just as Lia let out a yelp of pain as she hit my binder, I had started counting the seconds to the bell. Silently praying. After I'd counted two minutes, I glared up in frustration. It STILL hadn't rung. Argh. This teacher was explaining the effects of World War II, possibly the most interesting topic in History, yet this teacher managed to make it boring. I let out a groan of pain. This class was heart-wrenching agony. I gave up on counting the seconds and visualized a lovely, cold Caramel Macchiato, the kind only Café Hazel could make. After detailing it so much, even adding a lovely straw with a caramel coated pretzel hanging off it, the class STILL hadn't ended and I had a devilishly boring man and a dreamy caramel coffee on my notebook's open page.

Lia was glowering at me, I could tell, but I chose to ignore it. Have I mentioned before that 'ignore' is not present in Lia Lowell's vocabulary? I must have and so therefore she snatched my lovely artistic page and scrawled on it herself with MY marker. Markers cost a LOT nowadays- almost 19$ with the sable brush pack and the felt marker which she was now using. Obviously, I do NOT appreciate my expensive things being used by others. Even if I were wasting them anyway. Now, for you maybe 19$ is nothing at all, but for a girl like me whose too lazy to get a job apart from sitting in their room and drawing time away, money is precious and cannot be wasted. It is my fault for not getting a job….but…I mean….yeah.

"Lia!", I hissed. "Give that back- it cost me nineteen dollars with the sable brushes!"

Lia looked back at me tauntingly while she continued to scribble away. After about ten minutes-yes the class was still going on- she handed the paper back filled with her delicate cursive writing, and she also handed the marker back. Sadly, I could see that the marker had only a half the amount ink left than when I'd given it to her. Without bothering to read the note, I narrowed my eyes and said, "Lia, you owe me nineteen dollars."

Lia spluttered and went-"WHAT?", drawing the attention of several of our equally bored peers, desperate for a distraction. I say, why don't we send Lia there? She proves a very good-albeit annoying-distraction. The History professor though, didn't spare us a glance. He was busy droning from his notes again, something incoherent. After everyone had reverted back to their History class-mode-also known as sleeping mode-I whispered back to Lia who was awaiting to know what exactly made her owe me nineteen dollars-"That marker, which you were so indiscriminately using cost me nineteen dollars. With the sable brush."

Lia, I have to grudgingly admit had a point when she said-"But I didn't even use the sable brush!"

Damn. And my ploy for earning money is down the chute. "Fine. But you owe me the marker-I bought it yesterday and I only used it for this class. Cough up ten bucks."

Lia grumbled and told me she'd pay when the class ended. As if she couldn't afford it. I had just busted my whole months allowance yesterday. I get some forty dollars as allowance. So nineteen on the sable brush and felt marker, and I bought a huge pack of cookies for Mom- it was her birthday tomorrow- so that cost some ten dollars. And then I remembered that I had to get myself something to eat today, so I picked up a box of Apple Cinnamon Pop Tarts for two dollars. Thirty one dollars busted?

Oh and then I'd bought a new pack of canvas sheets and paints. That had been four dollars. So thirty five dollars gone. And I had the rest of it in my wallet, which I was planning to bum on taking Alyssa and David to Café Hazel. So I would spend two bucks on my Caramel Macchiato, the kids would order sundaes as usual, which were one dollar and fifty cents. Perfect way to bust forty dollars in two days. At least they were on other people as well. See what a Good Samaritan I am?

No kidding. By now even the History professor was bored and was basically wanting to know when the bell would ring too. I- for the first time ever- initiated a conversation with Lia. "Lia", I whispered. See how utterly bored I must be? "Which class does Alanna have now?"

Lia groaned. "Open your eyes, Miss. Blind. Lex and Al are right behind us. Didn't you read that note I passed you?"

"'Course not. Worried about my money. Look behind me for what anyway?"

"Lex and Al?", Lia told me exasperatedly.

I yawned widely. "Myay Myut?"

Lia looked at me, an expression of pure condescension and disdain with a tinge of amusement crossing her face. "What?"

"Say what?", I repeated.

Lia grinned. "Turn around."

I was met with equally bored and whatever faces from Al and Lex.

"Yo, sister", Lex drawled, her eyes barely open. Alanna however, appeared to be listening-of all holy horrors in hell- and spared me cheerful smile before continuing to take notes. I shot her a look of disbelief and turned to Lex. "I am not seeing this right?"

Lex grinned sleepily. "Damn straight you are. It's a good thing anyway. We can all just copy our notes off her now."

"I thought Lia was in charge of making sure we get into college?"

"Girl, why do you think I wasn't taking notes today? Alanna suddenly decided she needs her grades up so she decided to take over. My lucky day, huh?", Lia shrugged.

Alanna looked up for a moment and sighed. "You", she said, addressing Lia, with a expression of disbelief on her pretty face, "study, its understandable how you get good grades. How on earth do Nike and Lex get straight A's?"

"Thanks to you 'note-takers', baby", I drawled and shut my eyes.

Oh, alright. The cat is out of the bag. My name is Nike. Yes, the goddess of Greek victory. No, I'm not the shoe. My name is unusual though. My Greek grandmother had wanted me to be Nike, obviously unaware that she had christened me a shoe and she had also destined me to great tortures in elementary and middle school. Not to mention high school. But I like to go by my middle name for introductions- a middle name I don't have. So there's really a reason I hate meeting new people. I'm not shy all right? I'm reclusive. I would blame Grandma Rhea but she's old with arthritis. So it's hard to. Brings out the guilty conscience and all.

In elementary and middle school my name was almost officially 'The Shoe' and 'Just Do It' and 'The Tick'. And now everyone wonders why I hate the brand Nike and why I'm such a cynic? Doesn't take a rocket scientist, really. Who coined that phrase anyway? About how simple issues doesn't take a rocket scientist? That's kind of dumb, in my opinion. Uncle Quentin's a rocket scientist working for NASA and he's not too smart. I mean he can figure out and assemble my broken Jaguar when he visits for Christmas and I've recently somehow ruined it and all, but about why I'm such a cynic? I don't think so. See why that phrase is so dumb?

Lia sighed. I sighed. Lex sighed. Alanna, even if she was taking the notes, sighed. It was a whole, mass collective sigh of all us seniors. The jocks, the cheerleaders, the cynics, the Goths, the punks, the normal people, the Geeks, the Chess Club (aren't Geeks in the Chess Club? Never mind…), all of us. I think even the professor sighed. We sighed for the bell. We sighed for freedom. We sighed for liberty from this stuffy classroom. Maybe we should sigh more like this from here on because…

THE BELL RANG!

I was the first one off my seat and I dashed to the doorway, dreaming of fresh air. I think my reflexes are pretty good, what with running after Alyssa and David, the little babies. They are in the fourth grade now, and they're fraternal twins. They do have similarities, but yeah….you can't really tell that they are twins if you didn't know. David looks a lot like I do, and like Dad but Alyssa takes after Mom. Yet, Alyssa is Dad's favorite while David is Mom's favorite. As for me, I think both my parents were pretty great to me when I was young. But if I had to confide in anyone, it would be Mom and if I had to feel cared and stuff I'd go to Dad. It's a simple arrangement, really. Anyway, back to running out of the classroom. Lex wasn't too far behind me. Then the rest of the class dashed out, while Lia and Alanna dawdled behind, chatting all they way. Lex and I shared a glance, which seemed to signify a sigh about our two nerdy friends.

"Didn't you guys want to get out of there?", I wanted to know as they finally emerged from the classroom, eons later. Lex was looking at them disbelievingly as well, as I bent down to tie my sneaker's laces. I didn't wear Converse or anything -Converse looked okay, I just found them hard to put on my feet. I have huge feet and with the rush I'm forever in, I need something durable and flexible into which I can just slip my feet inside. Converse takes a lot of time to tie. So here I have my-originally-purple Puma shoes, now a rather stormy gray with excessive use. There you go. Actually, it's a somewhat similar shoe to a Nike one I fell in love with. Naturally, I couldn't abide buying it so I found another one in Puma.

Lex, Alanna and Lia had walked ahead of me and I ran to catch up. They had been walking in silence, I realized, and I fiddled with my cancer hospital band on my wrist. It was made of cheap plastic but whatever. The proceeds go to deserving people, like people who can't pay for cancer treatment. How sad is that? I mean, the cancer people. It's not sad that the proceeds go. Obviously. I think I'm the only person in the whole school who has one of these. It makes me unique. I mean, first I was cynical that the proceeds would go, you know, that it was some sort of ploy to earn the hospital funds. But I saw this old gentleman buy it, as I saw the cashier tip it into a box which was transparent labeled 'Cancer Proceeds'. Now, I know that box reaches the cancer people because I was a candy striper in the seventh grade. I still sometimes volunteer in summers. So hey, I went and bought one. Damn my cynicism, huh?

Lex suddenly said, looking around our school campus, "We'll be leaving here in a few months."

It was quiet and somber, the way she said it, and while I knew I wouldn't exactly miss high school, I still felt pangs of sadness in the pit of my stomach.

"No", I disagreed. "It's only been a month since school started, so it's October now. November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June….that is a long time, Lex."

Alanna spoke up. "Nuh uh, Nike. Count Easter Break, then Christmas break…"

I protested defiantly. "Yeah…but it's not short."

"Considering all the time we've spent in school since elementary, middle and high school….that's short, Nee.", Lia said.

"I guess", I said relenting. Lex said, "Do you want to leave?"

Lia, Alanna and I almost simultaneously said, "I'm feeling mixed about it."

We had gotten that quote form some chick flick Lia begged us to watch, as since we found it hilarious, we tended to use it with alarming frequency.

"Yeah, me too", Lex agreed. We skid to a halt near our lockers. I deposited my books while Alanna raised a question. "Up to hanging out somewhere?"

"Can't", I responded. "Promised Alyssa and David some sundaes after class was up. Sorry sister", I completed, smacking her lightly on her shoulder blade.

"Me too", Lex agreed. "Remember I once told you about Mr. Ernestine giving me a detention because I didn't agree with his interpretation of what Caesar meant in Act II? It's obvious he was meaning it differently- he was NOT implying that he would prefer wine, but instead….ARGH! I was right anyway. But I get a detention for 'talking back'. Idiot. I have my detention today…so sorry man."

Lia said-"I'm up for it Alanna, but I have to visit Mum today….she's showing all the positive signs of recovery… "

Oh yes. Lia's mother was suffering from a tumor in her brain and the doctors were operating her soon. She was in the ICU now and we all visited her regularly. We loved Mrs. Lowell for her delicious birthday cakes she used to make. But a year before she complained of constant headache and what did the check-ups reveal? So I visited her with Lia every Thursday- when I had no agenda. Well, I never have an agenda, but Thursday is the day they don't air Prison Break. Yes, yes…I'm selfish. But Lia does it too! I did visit her on other days too- Saturdays and Sundays and after Prison Break was done. I'm selfish, I know. But, really, who can resist a beautiful shirtless Wentworth Miller? Not to mention those blueprints on his chest. Mwah.

Alanna sighed. "Damn. And exactly when I needed coffee. Can I visit your mum too, Lia? I haven't seen her since last Monday."

Lia grinned. She was happy, I knew, that she had friends who cared. "Sure", she smiled.

"Great, then. Have fun in detention, Lex. Remember Mr. Ernestine and the detention sub guy's funny thing-'I've got my eyes on you' thing. Might help." I mocked, miming the eyes part.

"The detention sub is a crazy idiot", Alanna conceded, with a nod of her pretty head.

Lex growled and waved us away and broke into a sprint to detention. Seemed as though she was late. Even so, it was un natural to run to detention. I wondered if there was anything special there. Lia and Alanna didn't seem to notice this-they were busy arguing whether Lia's mom would prefer cinnamon or hazelnut cookies, them being the oblivious nuts they are.

I was tired of them "It definitely cinnamon", I said firmly, as I broke between them. "Let's move it, you ditzy idiots or we may not be able to get out of here and the janitor might close up."

"Oooh" said Lia. "The new janitor is HOT.I wouldn't mind.", she said winking.

"EW!", Alanna and I mimed puking. "Lia", I said, putting my hand to her forehead and neck I continued. "You sure you feel well?"

Lia grimaced and pulled away. "Joking. Honestly."

Alanna and I exchanged a glace before she said somberly, "Lia, jokes about smelly janitors being hot aren't jokes at all."

We walked to the exit, together, hand in hand. We broke apart at the parking lot where I jumped into my red Jaguar and Lia and Alanna strode to Alanna's blue Mustang. "See y'all!", I said, air high-fiving them as I drove away, the roars of our engines creating quite a noise in the lot, causing even the pot-smokers to look up for a second. Then of course, they went back to fondling their cocaine. Or ecstasy. Whatever. Did you know ecstasy can turn you deaf? Really. Check Wikipedia. Fine, I admit it, I'm a nerd who researchs a lot. But if you're named after a shoe….trust me. You have to find some way to redeem yourself.

Alanna took the left turn, while I took to right to the elementary school. Within a few minutes (well seconds really, considering my rash driving when I'm alone) ,I was in front of the elementary playground.

"Hell!", I said, grinning and my two siblings ran up to my dangling at my feet. Alyssa whined. "You're extremely late, Nee!", while David, the little tyke, merely clung on to my backpack. All their little friends looked on me with awe. I get that from their friends because I'm a senior. That's funny at times.

"Well, is it sundaes again?", I asked them, as I grasped their hands while crossing the road to my car.

"Yes, please", they chorused.

Aw…..how fortunate. And I had just enough money too. Mom would be happy anyway. I take them out for sundaes at least once a week. No one can say that I don't bond with my little siblings.

David fiddled with his seatbelt in the backseat, while Alyssa did the same. It was funny how the two fraternal twins had the same anxious habits. The passenger seat was empty, on account of the fact that I rarely give people rides (except for Alyssa and David to school and then they sit in the back seat), so it was piled with books and library cards and my school bag, resting innocently on the top.

As we took a left down Mapleston Avenue, I spotted a leaflet of pink paper in my History binder. I swooped down on it and I unfolded it as I skid to a halt in front of the Café. Alyssa and David undid their seat belts, while I perused the paper. "Aha!", I triumphantly said. "My history assignment, which is due tomorrow. I've searched for this for ages nearly- I could just be able to submit it on time", I concluded, grinning broadly.

Alyssa shook her head solemnly. "You really should clean up,Nee", she told me. "Maybe you'd get A's on all your papers then."

"I always get A's", I said grinning, if it was possible, wider.

"How?", Alyssa demanded. I shrugged. "Go through them ever due date. They're always in these binders or in my drawer at home. I end up completing the work the day it's assigned, so I don't really have to do it the night before. I thought I wouldn't find this leaflet", I said, waving it around, "But, yeah, third search lucky, I guess.", I conceded, with a tilt of my head.

I undid my seatbelt as the kids dashed out of the car, into the Café as usual, to probably try to wheedle Dev behind the counter for extra sprinkles. They knew I had a fixed amount for them and could not get them sprinkles. So they tried to beg a reluctant Dev, who in the end finally gave them some. A pouting Alyssa and an earnest David could NOT, I repeat NOT, be refused.

"Please, Devvy?", Alyssa said, with a mournful glint in her eyes. I saw Devon weakening (he was only my age after all and he wasn't yet hardened to such looks which took you aback. Only Mom and Dad have been able to fully repel them, I can only partially. And only when they are highly unreasonable. They were wily fourth graders.) and he looked relieved to see me.

"Hey kids! Your sister's here!", he said, dragging his hand over his forehead to remove his glistening sweat.

Alyssa gave him an evil look. "You're not getting away that easy, Devon". It was almost a hiss. David looked at him evilly as well.

Blame me. I feel sad for the poor guy you know? I mean, he gets tortured every week. He must hate me by now. What if my little siblings ruin every chance I have to go to the prom? Not that I want to go to some pagan dance ritual. Of that ostentatious quality. For heaven's sake, it's completely over-rated. What with terrible films on it, like 'Pretty in Pink'. I swear I've barfed while watching that film.

'Okay kids", I said wearily. 'Leave Devon alone, and I'll buy you some'.

Devon raised his hand and punched it in the air. 'Oh, yeah! Why haven't you done this before?'

Okay, bad choice of a prom date, do you think? 'Because', I said, fixing him with an icy glare, 'I don't need coffee today.'

Devon scoffed. 'Looks like you need it.'

I tilted my head up, cocked slightly to my left shoulder and pretended to think. 'Hmm….why for goodness's sake, I forgot! You know everything about me, don't you Devon?'

Devon looked slightly thrown back, before he began chuckling. 'Yeah, you're right. I know next to nothing about you. You must think I'm a complete ego-maniac, right, thinking that I know everything about everyone?'

I nodded my head. 'Yeah. Not like I haven't thought that before, really.'

Alyssa suddenly broke in. "Sprinkles!", she shrieked. "Sprinkles!"

She nudged David, who was quieter than Alyssa, really, she was the more dominant twin, and caused David to yelp. "Ouch, Liss, that really hurt", he muttered, a bitter look coming over his nine year old face.

"Oh, whatever, you wimpy kid", Alyssa snidely said, with the air of superiority. "Don't you want sprinkles?"

"Course I Do. You don't have to always be that way." He said but didn't say more after a look from Alyssa.

"Yeah. I want sprinkles!", he said. But I could see the tears in his eyes and could tell that he was bothered by something. Okay, I love both the porcupines equally, but I have always had a soft spot for quiet David. Alyssa somehow demanded love, while David quietly gave it, not expecting anything from you but you had to love him, even if he did have hedgehog-like hair.

I pulled out my khaki wallet. This wallet was made from a pant I picked up at a thrift store. The pants were of thick, nice cargo material and even though it was way too big for me, I bought it and gave it to the Wallet Store makers at the mall and they got me a custom made khaki wallet, with a bronze buckle. I undid the buckle and pushed over my coffee money while Devon grabbed the sundaes and sprinkled the stuff all over it. Devon spotted the money, seized it, clunked it into the till and gave me my change back. I slowly took it from the granite top, looking at the other coffees available. I knew though, that none of those coffees would even compare.

I wistfully looked at the enticing picture of the coffee, and shook my head, shoving the change in the wallet and putting it into my bag, returning to gaze at the picture of the coffee. Devon grinned. "Missing it, huh?"

"You have no idea", I said, a sheepish smile overtaking my face.

Devon smiled back at me. He looked around at the walls of the newly renovated Café Hazel and he sighed. 'It's been a long time, hasn't it? Working in this place since I was thirteen, basically backstabbing the manager, calling this place a "dump" since the eighth grade and then when I think about leaving next year…" A sad smile seemed to overtake his face.

Normally, I would feel sympathy for him. That, you know, he was leaving, it was sad, blah blah. Now it just annoyed me. I'd heard the topic opened twice in one day and I was frankly upset about it. It's not like I didn't want to leave for college either, not that I was very attached to home but the very idea of leaving something like this…and well to hear people constantly discussing it….it well made me want to punch them in the jaw.

Devon suddenly looked at me and asked, "Hey, Nike, which colleges have you applied to?"

I bit my lip and muttered, "Yale and Berkeley".

He looked very surprised. "Really? No Harvard or anything?"

"Yeah, well, that too.", I smiled ruefully. "Not that I expect to get in", I quickly added, "but, yeah. The whole apply wherever you can thing. You know.", I sighed, resting my elbow on the table.

Devon smiled. "How did the interviews go?"

I looked at the faded spot on the knee of my worn jeans. Naturally faded, mind you. The whole idea of getting bleach washed faded jeans repulsed me. There was a whole new elegance in naturally faded jeans, in my opinion.

"Yeah well, Berkeley was pretty good…the Yale interviewer kind of decided to make things hard for me but I think that went fine….but I pretty much bombed Harvard."

Devon shook his head. "I've applied to UCLA. You know, in Los Angeles? I can't afford it, but I'll try to get in on full scholarship. I've played my soccer well this year and the scouts are on the look out so yeah. I guess if I show them I have what it takes, maybe I can get in. I've applied and the interview went pretty good….just my current financial position…damn. It's high stakes, you know. That's why I'm working here. I joined this place just for a summer thing and well….the cash wasn't bad."

"God. The whole college deal sucks, doesn't it? I cant stand anymore mentions of it and….I still don't want to leave. Maybe I should just apply to the local college and see where it takes me. I'm not all that sure about what I want to do. I mean, I have dreams but..I guess I don't have to worry a lot. We have enough money and since I'm eldest in my family I pretty much get my pick. But I'm still unsure. You get the idea. God. And the interviews start again in January, when they re-interview and then they send you the letters by February or March. I think March. Or June? Argh!" I screamed in frustration and buried my head in the granite tabletop. It was surprisingly cool and soothing to my frazzled nerves. Shit, what was I SAYING?

Yeah. And Devon, being Devon, threw his head back and laughed. Laughing isn't even the word for it. He cackled. Oh the hateful Schadenfruede. In German, that means a sadist. Actually, it means shameful pleasure. In my opinion that completely means a sadist because taking shameful pleasure is generally in something that causes harm to other people, generally in an act of revenge and since that is wrong, taking pleasure in it would be shameful, oui? Yes, you can see I'm a woman of many languages. Haha. Or not.

Well, Devon laughed and I got all upset. Naturally. I mean, here I am, a short, thin, sweet little girl, bawling on his tabletop. Laughing is not a wise course of action. In my opinion a pat on the head is most acceptable. Oh, a sympathetic glance and a wise solution wouldn't be bad either. And candy! Who could forget candy?

Ahem. You can obviously see where I'm going with this.

Devon spluttered and choked and Alyssa, who already had an empty bowl in front of her shot an interested look in our direction. Knowing Devon (and my fiery temper) foul language was bound to ensue. Why on earth would I want to corrupt a poor little fourth-graders supposedly pure mind? (Though let me tell you, when I was in the fourth grade our minds were as polluted as open sewage drains in the city of Kabul.)

David was still sulkily slurping at his ice cream, which he had unintelligently taken in a cone. I shot an absolutely disgusting look at Devon, meaning to insinuate that he was a revolting, disgusting specimen of a Homo Sapien on Earth and by that look I meant to convey all the disdain and contempt I could muster. Of course, that only served to make him laugh harder. David finished his ice cream and I gathered my bag told the kids to come along and left. Finally. Who knew Devon would be so irritating? The same sentiments I walked out of the Café with for the past four years. Someday, I might miss this. Not yet though.

I opened the car and the kids got in as I drove. It was raining, only a light drizzle and the windshield wipers were on. It had been a somewhat gray and gloomy day from the start of the day and I wasn't surprised at all. It was not really foggy, but my headlights weren't providing enough light. Then, on Mapleston Avenue someone on the sidewalk was having their hand outstretched, asking for a lift.

I slowed down and stopped and smiled, asking who it was. 'Not you', he growled, 'women can't drive in these weather conditions', he grunted. 'My, aren't you wet?' I faked a high-pitched British accent. 'You sure could do with some help', I continued, 'if you weren't such a chauvinistic sexist pig', I finished, contempt flaring in my eyes. He looked up to look at me, his amber eyes blazing. 'I think we got off on the wrong start', he said, his voice dripping with contempt and sarcasm. He looked down the road and apparently realized no one else would give him a lift. 'Hey. I'm James.'

'Beautiful', I snorted. 'Dear little Jamie boy, so you'll basically look down on a girl driving and then the moment you realize no one else is coming down this avenue and you try your charm? Let me tell you something buster', and at this my eyes narrowed, 'No matter what mommy dearest said, you have no charm whatsoever and so I suggest that if you want a ride you could actually try some respect for females. Alright?'

Once I got a look at his stunned, not to mention speechless face, I groaned. 'You probably have short-term memory loss, don't you? Okay? Let's try again. I. Will. Drive. You. Home. If. You. Can. Show. Respect. Comprendo?'

'God. I'm no effing lunatic, loser. And don't try Spanish, I failed the class in my freshman year.', he grunted and got into the passenger seat. I snorted. 'I wonder why I thought you were stupid then.' I mockingly mused. 'Shut up', he growled, to my amusement.

'Mind your language', I sung in a very sadistic, yet patronizing voice. 'You're in my power now.'

And with an evil cackle I drove away.

A/N: Okay, okay. So she's not much of a cynic. I figure that's the first argument I'm going to get. But so far, you've only seen her interact with her best friends, her siblings and her playmate from the age of nine a.k.a Devon. So obviously, do you expect her to be every cynical and sarcastic around them? Well, that really should stop her but around Devon sarcasm is wasted and her siblings are too cute to be fed disdain. LOL. But you do catch a bit of her nasty edge at the ending don't you? Well, this was a collaboration story idea between morethanyouknow and AngelofSatan. This is me, however, stealing their idea(: The quote of the dance being a pagan dance ritual comes from The Princess Diaries: Gimme Five. Sorry. Couldn't resist. Yeah, please review and all that jazz. You'd make someone very happy. I'll give review responses for all questions related to the story and the chapters and try to return the favor whenever I can. Meanwhile, enjoy! Next update by the 16th of July!

Approximate word count: 5792 words, 12 pages in MS Word Size 12 Times Roman

Soundtrack for this chapter: Dance Floor Anthem and Breaking Her Heart Apart by Good Charlotte and Make Damn Sure by Taking Back Sunday.