I sat beside my two best friends, David, my friend since grade one, he and I got along like fire and gasoline, we were horrible little children who terrorized the teachers and students alike, like putting worms in Betty's lunch box, or giggling in the back of the classroom as Mrs. Will tried to teach us the alphabet. As soon as we hit puberty, me faster than David, I had this strong urge to kiss him, and that's when I realized I had a crush on my best friend, at first I tried to deny it, it was just me having a boy best friend, but as the years went on, it wasn't going away, and what was worse, was knowing he didn't feel the same. Then, somewhere along the way came Sinead, she was new into Riverbank Academy, and all the boys flocked to her like New York city rats to pizza, she had developed faster than the majority of the girls, and with her tanned skin, plump lips, and long dark hair, she was bound to be popular, unfortunately, her and I became friends, which made David, Sinead, and I a small group.
Also, unfortunately for David and Sinead, I was unpopular, due to the fact that my very own father was the headmaster of Riverbank Academy, and not only that, he was also insanely strict. It did make me a target for bullies, or people muttering behind my back about my own father, but what was I to do? I could either talk badly about my father, or ignore it and be unpopular. Either way, there was no winning for me in this situation, I was lucky to have the friends I did, and I was thankful for them.
"So did you hear?" Sinead asked as she pulled out a sandwich from her bag, placing it on the bench in front of us. "Your dad went completely crazy on Kyle Sullivan for skipping English, Math, and gym all in the same day."
I sighed. Kyle Sullivan would get into trouble with my father almost every week, and then take his anger out on me. It wasn't fair that whenever something my father did, I took the fall.
"Well, I'll be on the lookout for him then, who knows what he'll do this time."
"And what's the girly gossip then?" David asked as he pulled up opposite Sinead and I.
"Well," Sinead started. "Kyle has skipped three classes, Erika's father has found out and has given him a weeks detention."
Just hearing those words made me groan.
"Ouch." David frowned. "I'll be praying for you Erika."
"I don't know what he could do honestly, sometimes I wish my dad wasn't headmaster. I had to be in school mode every day, even on weekends." I complained. I could barely go to parties without my father freaking out and my mom telling me to be careful, to take pepper spray, and not to drink or do drugs, like every other teenager in this school did.
"The price you pay, huh?" David shrugged as he started on his burger. Before he could take another bite, his eyes widened. "Erika, your favorite person ever is coming up behind you."
I turned around to see the most intense face of Kyle Sullivan's, obviously furious at what my father had done.
"Kyle, I already know and I'm sorry." I said instantly, it was almost automatic for me to apologize to him.
"Your father needs to take the pole out of his ass, Erika, and maybe screw someone because obviously your mom isn't giving him what he needs." Was Kyle's lewd response, I almost barfed up the muesli bar I had taken a bite out of while he was talking.
Coughing up the chunks from disgust, I replied. "I already said sorry! I don't know what else you want me to say." I was really between a rock and a hard place.
"Get him a hooker already, maybe one during school hours." Kyle chuckled.
"Why're you so obsessed with my fathers sex life?" Was what I spit fired back.
He choked. "As I said, your mom isn't giving him what he wants, he's too strict." And with that, Kyle walked away.
"That wasn't too bad." Sinead spoke up. "I mean, thinking about your fathers sex life isn't what I would want... Now I'm thinking about it. Gag."
I remember way back when my father started targeting Kyle, it was back when we first started high school, Kyle made fun of me for having short, unruly hair that was, looking back now, was hideous, how I was ever allowed out of the house, or even my bedroom, was beyond me. Kyle had called me Erik instead of Erika with how short my hair looked, and said I was a boy with how flat chested I was, I had told my father and mom that night, and my father had started targeting Kyle like a hunter to a deer. Just my luck.
"How do you think I feel, I don't want to think about that!" I whined.
"Anyway!" David chimed in, I was thanking god for him changing the subject. "English this morning was too much, it's too early to write an essay about 1984. My brain is dead."
Sinead and I agreed. We were lucky enough to have English class all together, and although we were suppose to be writing about the book 1984 and Big Brother, we really were just playing computer games or playing with the photobooth camera and taking pictures of each other, that would later be posted to social media.
"We hardly did our essays. "Sinead spoke up. "I'm going to have to go home and do it now, and finish it before the end of the week." Sinead complained.
"But come on, you had fun messing around on it anyway." David knew he was right, he was kind of smug like that.
"We did." I answered. "It doesn't change the fact that we'll need to go home and do our essay now, though."
"Well... I've got to spend as much time with my favorite girls as I can, right?" David said, with a dreamy smile, it made me want to melt, and I instantly forgave him.
"You're right, you do." I replied, in a haze. Sinead nudged me, knowing I had given into him, once again just because of a crush I had on him.
"But you owe us, dinner tonight at Harry's." Sinead added. Harry's was a pasta place that did the best pasta I had ever had. David and I would eat there a ton they knew our orders just as we walked in, and I would say they were 'dates' but it wasn't just David and us, it was also Sinead, the three musketeers.
"Would your father let you out, though, Erika?" David asked. He had some sort of theory that my father was a lot more strict that he was, and wouldn't let me out of the house unless I was put on a ball and chain.
"I'll convince him, trust me." I promised, it'd take a lot of convincing, but I'd make sure I was let out for a few hours, the fact that it was only a Tuesday, made it even harder, a school night, start of the week, my father would need lots of buttering up. "I'll go to his office right now actually, to convince him." I said as I packed up my lunch and picked up my bag. "See you guys later, wish me luck!" I said as I left. As I left I head Sinead whisper to David 'she needs more than luck.'
I sat outside my fathers office, he had another student in there who was getting into trouble, god knows what for, probably for dropping a pencil. I waited patiently as I played with my black hair, I was somewhat nervous to ask to go out tonight, I already knew the answer would be a no, but I could try my best at convincing.
"Now, Ben, don't ever talk back to your teachers again. Got it?" My father said, the boy named Ben nodded his head and muttered a yes sir, as he left. "Erika, what's brings you in today?" He asked as he ushered me into his office. I sat down at his desk.
"So dad, Sinead and David and I were thinking of having dinner tonight." I started. "At a restaurant. I was wondering if I could go?" I asked.
"Tonight? on a school night?" He asked back.
"I'll do my homework beforehand, be home early, I'll text where we are, everything, please dad." I was now begging my own father. He rubbed his chin thinking for a bit.
"And Sinead will be there?" He asked. Of course, he always had some suspicion that David was a bad kid who only wanted to sleep with me, and god, did I wish David was like that.
"Yes, Sinead is coming." I answered. "She planned the whole thing."
"Alright, you can go out, but he home by 10:30." He answered. "Now get to class, the bells about to go."
My mouth was hanging open, he said yes!
"Thank you so much dad!" I was so pleased with how this turned out. "I'll be home by 10:30, promise!" I said. As I got up to leave he called me back.
"Erika, sit down again." He said. Was he changing his mind already?
"What is it?" I was curious, what had happened between those 5 seconds.
"Make sure David doesn't try anything." He said.
"Dad, David and I are just friends, trust me, nothings ever going to happen." I said, although I was quietly hoping something would. Praying that something would.
"Alright, I trust you, not him." He replied. "you can go, now." Just as he said it, the bell rang and I was out the door in seconds, rushing to my class. I grabbed my phone out to text Sinead and David.
'He said yes!' I texted quickly, then tucked it into my pocket.
"I can't believe he said yes!" Sinead said cheerily as she walked with me towards the car park. "You can come out with us tonight, perfect."
"I know! He's still suspicious about David though..." I said.
"He's been like that for years now, though, if only he knew how you felt about David." Sinead laughed. "He'd freak out, lose his mind I think, expel David even." Sinead was being over dramatic, I knew, but she was mostly joking. Sort of.
"He hasn't expelled Kyle yet, so I think David's going to be okay." Sinead was probably right, if Kyle, my tormentor, hadn't been expelled yet David was probably safe for a while. Although, I think my dad did enjoy torturing Kyle with punishments, and would keep him around until school finished.
"You're probably right. Although I do wish my dad would expel Kyle, then all my problems would be solved."
"And you and David can live happily ever after, just like in a fairy tale." Sinead added, and I giggled. I could still hope that David would come around and realize I was perfect for him, best friends to lovers would be perfect, and we'd end up working together well as a couple, we already worked well together as best friends.
I nudged Sinead's upper arm. "Shut up." I laughed. "Anyway, I'll see you later, my dads waiting for me in his car." I said and walked towards the silver car my dad was waiting in, on his phone checking something out.
"Well, let's go. I want to finish this homework already." I said, I wanted to finish as soon as I could so I could work on looking my best for tonight.
"Just checking emails, calm down, you'll have enough time to do your homework and go out." My dad responded. He locked his phone and started the car, driving out of the school parking lot. If it wasn't bad enough having my dad as the headmaster, just imagine getting driven home by the headmaster in front of the entire school, the stares, the points, and the laughter, I slouched down in my seat and put my headphones, hoping I couldn't be seen, but of course I would be, that's how it went. As we drove past a few more cars, I saw Kyle and a few of his friends near his, laughing and pointing at my dads car. The embarrassment made my cheeks flush.
As I had my headphones in, I could barely hear my dad, but I heard him mumble something about that annoying kid Kyle, and that made me smirk, because he was right, he was an annoying, immature child. As we passed the bus stop where majority of the students were, I ducked down further, I looked spoilt as I was driven home by my father the headmaster, while everyone else was catching a bus, the few lucky ones had a car of their own, and no one dared to have their parents pick them up from school, it was social suicide. Luckily Sinead and David caught the bus home, so they were relatively normal, and were more popular than me, which meant they had a few more friends besides me, as I looked out I could see David and Sinead at the bus stop, chatting with a few other people and laughing, to say I was jealous was an understatement, I wished I could join in on that social interaction, but being the apparent 'spoilt' daughter of the school stopped me from having more friends.
Once we went around the corner from school, I could finally stop slouching, and sat up straighter, more comfortable in the car. This was almost an everyday occurrence, my dad taking me home, people laughing and staring, making jokes, and me trying to hide my embarrassment from everyone. Although everyday I was still embarrassed. The drive home was quiet, besides my headphones blasting some music that tuned out everything my dad was saying to me, right now I just needed some time to myself, and to get home, finish my homework, and get ready to go out for dinner with my friends. It was rare when I was allowed out, parties were a rare occurrence for me, it'd be Sinead and David texting me throughout the night and as the night would go on, the messier the texts got, as they got more drunk. It made me slightly jealous that they were out having fun and I had to stay home watching movies on my laptop, replying about how funny this romantic comedy was, or how silly children movies were, I craved for one night to be like that for me, parties, getting drunk, hanging out with my friends and stopped being known as the headmasters daughter.