Andrea wore the right clothes like every other High School senior, she just stuck out in a crowd. Was it her natural grace which seemed to allow her to trip over thin air? Or her unruly mop of red fuzz that refused to be contained by straitening iron or potions, that drew the attention? Maybe it was her violet eyes, purple really, nobody had eyes like hers?
She had friends she was not a loner. She got invited to parties, possibly just for entertainments sake but the invites still came. She just was never comfortable in her own skin, an outcast in her own world. She felt different like she just really was meant for something else. Her best friends were loyal and true, regardless of what happened they were there for her. Maddie and Dan, the kind of friends that helped you through thick or thin. Or in Andrea’s case the many up’s and down’s that seemed to curse her.
Maddie Daniels was pixie like with short blonde hair and green eyes, she was bubbly and popular with most everyone, her one flaw, being Andrea’s bestie. Not that Maddie would ever change their relationship, she had been Andrea’s best friends since grade school, she was not going anywhere. Well maybe Florida but thats for later. Maddie wanted to work at NASA, she really wanted to travel in space, she even had the brains, who knows someday she could go to Mars.
Dan Landrey was the third leg of the unlikely musketeers, another friend forever. His mom and Andrea’s mom went to high school together. Basically they were put in a play pen shortly after birth and the friendship was born. Tall and lanky one of those guys who will grow into himself after high school, with shaggy brown hair and puppy dog brown eyes Dan was the perfect best friend material. Dan loved cars and computers. He did not know if he wanted to build fast cars or web sites after high school. First graduate, then who knows was his motto.
The trio met by Dan’s locker before school like everyday, nothing out of the ordinary. As Andrea approached she tripped over her own foot, quickly catching herself by grabbing hold of the door to Dan’s locker.
“Smooth Andrea. Any idea why your mom did not call you Grace?” A football player, Bobby Durham called over his shoulder as he passed by. Great just great Andrea thought something new for the jocks to talk about.
“Don’t worry Andrea he is a big mouth with a small brain he will forget all about it before he gets to his locker. There is not room in their for tonights football game and your latest trip.” Maddie hugged her close then mussed her outrageous curls, as if they needed any help.
“Oh great Maddie.” Andrea said covering her head from her friends playful attack. “As if this mess needs any more help sticking out.”
“Don’t knock it Andy. Red heads with wild hair are hot.” Dan said slapping Andrea on the behind.
Andrea slapped his shoulder. “Whatever Dan, you think anyone with boobs is sexy.”
“Your point would be?” Dan says one eyebrow lifting as he smiled crookedly down at Andrea.
“No point I guess just an observation, your opinion of my hair, holds very little weight. Anyways on to more interesting topics, whats everyone doing this weekend?”
Maddie rolled her eyes. “ I am off to my dad’s for the weekend. Seattle here I come! God enough of this, I just wish my parents would grow up and solve their issues so the rest of the family did not have to deal with their drama all the time. Driving Leslie and I up for a visit with the 40 something year old child dad not my idea of a good time.” Maddie’s family was having issues, more like Maddie’s dad decided to date, which would be fine, except he was married to her mom at the time. Now he lives in Seattle and Maddie has to chauffeur her sister to his house for twice monthly visits until the madness ends.
“Okay so Maddie is out of the picture this weekend, how about you?” Andrea turns her attention on Dan.
“As much as it pains me to ditch you, I am.” Dan smiles and does a little happy dance. “I got a chance to watch Nascar on a big screen, you know I cannot pass that up. However, I will be in Portland at my cousins to do it.”
“Seriously Dan. You are truly devoted to cars. Okay guys I guess I am flying solo this weekend. It’s all good I will find something to keep myself entertained.”
As the first bell rang Maddie said. “I am sure you will, just be careful I don’t want to come back from Seattle to find you on crutches, again.”
“Come on Maddie I have not been on crutches in months!”
“True but it has not been from a lack of trying!.” Maddie yelled over her shoulder as she darted through the throngs of students. Dashing away to her first class and out of the way of Andrea’s wrath.
Andrea wandered off in the opposite direction, in no particular hurry. Late or not to gym, her first class, did not really matter. She need to be dressed down and in the gym in ten minutes for badminton lessons. Gym first thing in the morning did nothing for her fuzzy head but make it frizz even more the rest of the day. badminton rackets not really the best idea for her to be messing with, but required course gym was. Might as well get to use a weapon while getting credit. Yup gym, so not her favorite subject.
Lunch did not arrive fast enough for Andrea she survived badminton, calculus, english, and psychology. Class was never the hard part of school for Andrea, if she read it she remembered it, if you showed her something once she knew how to do it. Her whole life learning had been easy, fitting in had always been the challenge.
As she made her way through the cafeteria line Andrea was trying to decide between what once was spaghetti, and a hopefully reasonably fresh chicken Caesar salad when Dan and Maddie caught up to her.
“You will be happy to know your slight foe paw before school today was forgotten and the subject of no ones conversation in any of my classes today.” Maddie said as she grabbed a cafeteria tray and stepped in behind Andrea in the cafeteria line, Dan followed suit.
“As if any of the people in your classes would even count. Physics, Statistics, Advanced Placement English, and Trigonometry are not exactly where you find the social butterflies, present company excluded.” Andrea says.
“Well I am in the regular classes and no one was talking there either.” Dan said.
“Looks like I managed to escape ridicule for the morning, now to make it through the rest of the day without being noticed and I am home free for the weekend.” Andrea said as she made her way to the cashier.
The three amigos headed to a central table, not close to the kitchen but not at a table reserved for the many different cliques at Centraila High. The Jocks held court in the back corner, the cheerleaders and other jock fans surrounded them. The brainiaques controlled the other back corner with the drama geeks next to them. The FFA and horse people took up the tables next to the jocks. As they were close to as cool, what with their muddy boots and perpetual baseball caps with John Deere or Ford Tough across the front of them, how could the girls resist them. Yes their many adoring fans occupied the tables around them fading off into stoners corner, the table closest to the exits.
The center of the room was left to the kids like Andrea, Dan, and Maddie they really did not go with any of the accepted groups and just sort of floated around in the middle of the room. These kids were the ones destined to actually make something of themselves if history repeats itself as it usually does. Jocks peek in high school, cheerleaders get fat, brains just move on, and cowboys fall off sooner or later. The middle tables they become the senators, the successful business people, even the guardians of humanity.
Andrea made it through lunch and the rest of her school day without any issues and headed off to her part time job at the bowling alley. She did all the pre-opening tasks making sure everything was in its place and then she opened the alley and ran the Snack Bar. The fun really just never ended for her.