The Cheer Queen
Monday, May 9, 2005
Distant voices heard down the hall. Instructions being shouted; others following suit. The voices got louder as Libby Middleton stormed down the hall. Her girl group, 4Gurlz, had disbanded immediately after New England’s Teen Superstar had ended. Stacie joined UTurn; and Marissa Park and Kat Martinez gave Libby the cold-shoulder.
Since she had no chance of ever getting a record deal, she figured she could rejoin the cheer squad. She might as well become the cheer captain since Alyson will not be coming back. Maybe I could become Queen Bee now.
Libby burst open the doors, putting an end to the cheer practice. She marched up to the temporary cheer captain. What was her name? Justice or something? Libby couldn’t be bothered to learn people’s names. It was more fun to give them new names.
Libby said to the girl, “Okay, I’m back now. I’m the new cheer captain.”
“Wait, what?” the girl asked.
Libby flipped her flat, brown hair, and said, “You heard me. I’m taking over. So, like, move.”
“Not unless I get a say in this!” Libby heard some girl say. She looked to see Alyson standing in the entrance.
“Let Jaz decide who should be the next cheer captain,” Alyson as she walked closer.
“That I should become the next cheer captain?” Libby asked. “I mean, you practically destroyed my band.”
“The girls never liked you, Libby.”
“You’re not even in the cheer squad! Why are you here?”
“To make sure Jaz knows what’s she’s dealing with.”
“She knows I’m perfect the job.”
Alyson scoffed, “Oh really? Where should I begin? Oh, I don’t know, that you fucking outed my boyfriend against his will? That you teamed up with that stale bread of a slacker to take down my own band? At this point, everyone hates you! Hell, you’re more unlikable than I am! I didn’t even think that was possible!”
“Oh, and you think everyone loves you all of a sudden? The entire world knows you’re a mean girl who’s dating a gay guy!”
“Except I’m relatable and not problematic! You’re anything but that!”
Alyson faced this Jaz girl, and asked, “Jazmine, do you really want to make Libby, who’s both insane and homophobic, to replace you?”
Jazmine looked at both girls, as if she was scared to make a decision. Then she said nervously, “No.”
Alyson smirked, “Good. Besides, you got plenty of people. Recruit one of the cheer guys as cheer captain. It’s 2005; it’s time to throw out gender norms.”
She faced Libby, giving her a glare that could kill. “Libby,” she said sternly, “give me your boots.”
“Wait, what?” she asked.
“You heard me. Only the popular girls can wear those boots. Since I ended your ass, you’re no longer popular. So hand me your boots.”
“And what if I don’t?”
“What you doing in here?” Libby heard Ethan Jackson asking her. It was like he popped out of nowhere.
She looked up from a box, and said bitterly, “Alyson took my boots.”
He snickered, clearly finding this amusing. She rolled her eyes, and asked, “Why are you in the lost and found closet?”
“Well, I just got out of detention, and I saw you with no shoes.”
Libby pulled out a pair of black chunky shoes that looked like they belonged in the 1970s. She said begrudgingly, “Alyson and her stupid fucking rules.”
Ethan sat next to her, and said, “Well, since we’re both here, I can finally tell you my plan.”
She asked as she tried the shoes on, “Plan for what?”
“To take UTurn down from within?”
Libby looked up, intrigued by what he said. “And how are you going to do that?”
Ethan smirked, “Well, I’m not joining the band, and you’re obviously not gonna join either. I mean, we both could, but you know Alyson and Andrew.”
“So who do you have in mind?”
“Well, I’ll give you two hints: An anime emo and a controlling anti-war protester.”
Libby thought for a moment as she tried a pair of sneakers. She knew those types of people either resided with the artsy side of the school; or the scum, the people who didn’t belong in any clique.
She asked, “Are they part of the artsy students?”
She racked her brain up some more, trying to put names and faces to the labels. There were only two people she could think of. She didn’t know their names, but she had seen them before.
Libby asked, “Are they from that Pushers band?”
Ethan smirked, “You’re getting closer.”
“I know that guy who has a bad red dye job always complain about the president. Then there’s that weird blonde girl Andrew dated. I think she had an anime poster in her locker of some blond guy and his robot.”
Ethan grinned, “Bingo.”
Libby blinked, “What’s their names again?”
“Derrick Armstrong and Amanda Hillel.”
Libby’s eyes widened at the statement. “Why those two? They would never even go near UTurn!”
“Exactly! They’re perfect because those two will clash with Andrew and Alyson! Those two lead The Pushers; while Andrew and Alyson do the same for UTurn. It’s a perfect storm!”
She asked, “And how are you gonna get them into UTurn?”
Ethan gave a grin that felt slimy, making her want to shake off the feeling. His plan was diabolical, but it could work to finally take UTurn down once and for all.