Ryan Parker didn't pay much attention to the gossip going around in school but this one he couldn't escape even if he wanted to. It was about Jade Wilson, the new member of student council and the girl Mrs. Sanchez wanted him to guide. He was smart enough to know that joining student council was not by choice for Jade. The way she had brushed him off indicated so. He was used to it, his peers brushing him off like that, except student council. There he had respect. He was looked up to because he was the leader so he took his role seriously.
He was worried about Monday's meeting. He wasn't sure how the other would welcome their newest member. Jade Wilson was definitely not known for her academics. Everyone knew of her. She obviously had a reputation in their school and her name and everything she did traveled around. So Ryan wasn't worried about her since he was sure she could take care of herself, but he was worried about how she would treat the other members. Mrs. Sanchez did say that she had to listen to everything he said so hopefully she would behave. He was president so he had the upper hand. Jade Wilson, the girl who was caught doing inappropriate things in an empty classroom was not going to jeopardize his role in front of the only place he was comfortable in.
"Ryan, are you listening to me?"
Ryan shot a look at the girl next to her. "I'm sorry, Reina, what was it that you wanted?"
Reina shook her head a frown on her face. "What's with you today, brother?" she asked her older brother.
"Nothing, I'm fine." he quickly answered. He wasn't going to tell his sister that he was worried about Jade Wilson's behavior.
Reina shot him a look that said she didn't believe him but she let it go. "I said what time do you get out of practice today?"
"Uh, I won't be out till 6 so you should ask Sandra now."
"Ok, see you later." Reina waved at her brother before rushing through the hall to find her friend.
Ryan continued on his path toward his locker but his steps faltered once he noticed who was in his direction. Jade Wilson looked unaffected by the looks being thrown in her direction and the whispers going around. She had her friend Jasmine Rushmore by her side who glared at anyone who looked at them. Ryan fell victim to the glare and quickly averted his gaze as they passed him, Jade not even sparing him a glance.
He sighed, running his fingers through his hair and continued to his locker, wandering why he wanted Jade Wilson to look at him.
The day had gone relatively fast. Ryan walked toward room 259 and once he was in there, he greeted some of the few members who had gotten there earlier. He took his usual seat and like always Wendy Stearns was already seated next to his seat with her signature grin. "Hi, Ryan' she smiled at him.
He nodded at her. "Wendy, how was your day?" he politely asked.
So she talked about her day like she always did, starting with her first period class and going through the entire day as the room started to fill in. At around 3:01 all of the members were present and Ryan excused himself from Wendy before standing up to tend to his duties.
"Good afternoon, everyone." The room had quieted and every gaze was on him. He looked around trying to spot her but she wasn't there. "Last meeting we were talking about ideas for a fundraising for the winter formal. We narrowed down the themes to three. Our goal today is to plan the fundraising, the theme and start putting the dance together. Then we need to discuss the spring carnival as well but first-"
Ryan was interrupted by the door opening and Jade Wilson walking in nonchalantly. Her eyes met Ryan for a brief second.
"Forgot what room it was." She shrugged.
Ryan nodded, accepting it as her way of apologizing due to her tardiness. "Everyone, this Jade," he introduced her even he was positive every person in there knew who she was, if the surprised stares weren't any indication. "She's now our newest member so please make her feel welcome."
No one said anything.
"Uh, you may take a seat." Ryan said pointing to an empty seat he spotted.
She sat, dropping her bag on the floor. The members all looked shocked and he swallowed and then cleared his throat. "Well, as I was saying, first let's figure out the fundraising. What were the top ideas?" Ryan looked at Wendy who was the secretary.
Wendy was staring at Jade with a frown on her face but once Ryan called her, she blinked and looked down in her notes . "Bake sale, candy sale or car wash."
"Ok, let's take a vote. All for bake sale?" several hands went up. "Candy sale?" a few hands went up. "And car wash?" only two hands. No one wanted to be outside since it was early october and getting a bit cold out so car wash was definitely out of the question. "So bake sale it is." Ryan stated as Wendy jotted down some notes.
"Mandy, can you work a budget for it?" Ryan looked at the treasurer who nodded and got out a calculator. "I'm on it."
"Any volunteers for the baking?" Ryan looked at the ladies in the room.
A girl named Laura raised her hand. "My mom's a baker so I can ask her to help us out."
"Thanks that would be great, Laura, let her know a few of the girls will be able to help."
"So we need a date for the sale."
"How about next Monday?" Wendy suggested. "We can all sit in during our free periods. I'll pass out a time sheet."
Everyone mumbled their agreements and it was settled. The meeting continued on for another half hour and Jade had not spoken since she got there. She just sat and listened. Talks about bake sales and dances didn't really appeal to her but she endured them anyway. She was glad when that Ryan kid finally dismissed them. She was about to bolt when he called her.
"Uh, can I talk to you for a second?" He asked.
Retaining a sigh she nodded and it seemed he was waiting for everyone to leave. Jade sat back down and watched as he shared a few words with the girl who was sitting next to him. She shot her an unfriendly look and Jade merely raised an eyebrow. As the girl walked out she shot Jade that same dirty look. Jade didn't care, she had been receiving that look all day and that was all it was, a look. No one had the gut to actually say something to her because they knew they wouldn't be back the next day if they did.
"So what did you think of the meeting?" Ryan asked as he approached her, taking the seat next to her.
She shrugged. "It was alright."
"You didn't say much." he stated.
"Well, by the looks of it it's pretty obvious I'm not really welcomed here." she had noticed how they had all looked at her, probably wondering why she would be part of student council. If they thought she didn't even care, they were right, she didn't.
"About that, I want to apologize and I will talk to them about it." He said, realizing maybe he should have forewarned the members.
She shrugged again just wanting to get out of there.
"Um, I need your contact info. Wendy was supposed to take it down but...anyway, I need a number and an email I can reach you with." he said. "Since the bake sale is on Monday all members need to participate and help."
Jade quickly wrote down her info on a random piece of paper and handed it to him. "Is that it?" she asked impatiently grabbing her bag for the second time.
With that she stood up and made her way out. Ryan stared after her as she walked quickly out the door. He sighed and stood up to gather his stuff realizing that working with Jade Wilson was not going to be easy at all.
"I made a decision'" Mrs. Wilson told her daughter later that evening on the dinner table. "Mrs. Bernard just informed me that they could use more volunteers at the shelter around dinner time, so starting tomorrow you'll be helping out."
Jade dropped her fork and scowled, the sound echoing around the room. "I'm not doing community service."
"Oh, you are." her mother stated calmly as she continued to eat her food.
"No I'm not, if I have to work, I'd rather get paid for it."
"That's just it, honey; you do not get compensated for acting like an uncivilized woman within school property."
"Lynn," her father interrupted, slightly nodding his head toward their younger daughter. Joyce didn't need to hear about her sister's indecencies especially at the dinner table. Mr. Wilson looked at his oldest daughter. "Jade, you'll go to community service. It shouldn't take more than 2 to 3 hours a day, Tuesdays and Thursdays."
Jade was seething but because it was her father who had spoken she tried to calm herself down by taking deep breaths.
"Fine." she relented before excusing herself from the table, her appetite gone. She dropped down and her bed and grabbed her phone. She had a couple of texts, first one from Jasmine saying to call her. Next was from Mark, asking her to consider getting back together. She rolled her eyes and deleted the text as well as the number, which she should have done days ago. One of the texts was from a number she didn't recognize. She opened it and read.
Hey, this is Ryan Parker, just thought I'd text you my number so you can save it. See you at school tomorrow.
Ryan Parker. His name definitely didn't suit the way he looked. He wasn't an ugly guy at all but he wasn't demanding attention either like Mark Nelson or Byron Jackson, Mark's best friend. No, Ryan Parker was more of a academic type of guy. He wore glasses, spoke properly and Jade realized that she had never seen him wearing jeans. He always dressed formal as if he worked in the corporate world or something. That definitely didn't gain him any popularity points. But Jade did notice something about him in that student council meeting. He had an aura about him, a leader quality. When he spoke, people paid attention to him and he didn't seem unperturbed talking in front of them.
She shook her head wondering why she was giving so much thought on him when she never even noticed him before. He wasn't the type of guy she would spare a second glance to but now they were members of the same organization, she had a feeling she would be seeing and hearing more from him.