“I hate you!” I screamed to none other than Damon Blake, the guy I’d loathed since the fourth grade.
He scoffed “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
I rolled my eyes and stormed away without another word. I had to get away from that jerk before I ripped his head off and fed it to a dog. He wasn’t worth the criminal record I’d get from that.
As I made my way through the halls of Oakville High I found myself thinking about how I started hating Damon in the first place.
I barely knew he existed until one day in elementary school, after I kissed Dylan Russo on the cheek for giving me a flower, Damon came up to us and asked Dylan why he was hanging out with such an ugly girl.
Being the immature fourth grader I was, I ended up stomping on his foot and stating that he was more ugly than me.
From that point on we were sworn enemies and everyone knew it. We competed with each other every chance we got, and constantly picked on each other about anything from bad hair days to the colour of shirt we were wearing.
Even the teachers knew not to put us in the same class because it would only result in us disrupting the other students with our bickering.
It was only the first day of senior year, first class hadn’t even started yet, but we’d already gotten into an argument. I couldn’t imagine how bad it would be if we were stuck in the same room for an hour every day.
I stuffed everything I didn’t need in my locker and slammed the door shut just as the bell rang, signalling that I needed to head to class.
I had been in a good mood since I was finally a senior, only one more year until I could get away from here, but my argument with Damon soured my mood. That was the effect he had on me - the smallest thing like one wrong glance from him, and I wanted to rip someone’s head off. Preferably his.
Luckily I had my favourite class first; photography. That lifted my mood and cleared my mind from any thought of Damon.
I wanted to do something in the artistic field after high school so I’d taken every art course possible during the three years I’d been attending Oakville High, and photography resonated with me in a way nothing else ever had. There were moments in life I wished I could stay in forever, but that wasn’t possible, so looking at a picture of one of those moments was the closest I’d ever get to reliving it. I made it my mission to capture the most beautiful moments so others could live them when they needed an escape from the real world.
I walked into class, greeted with a wave of hellos, and I smiled politely back at everyone even though I didn’t know who some of them were.
Once I started high school I grew fairly popular, but so did Damon which made us hate each other even more. We made it into a competition of who could become more popular. I was the nice girl that treated everyone kindly while Damon was the guy that shot spitballs at teachers and flirted with almost every girl.
We’d always been tied for popularity, but this year would be different. I’d win and never let him live it down.
If it weren’t for the competition I wouldn’t care at all about popularity, but my need to beat Damon trumped everything else.
I happily walked into my second period class, Environmental Awareness, and sat down in the middle of the room. I was in a much better mood after taking some pictures, and as a bonus I didn’t see Damon in the hallway since our little argument. There weren’t many things that ruined my mood so easily, but he was definitely one of them.
The room quickly filled up and everyone took a seat. By the time the bell rang the room was quite full, and there was only one seat left. I vaguely wondered if that seat was meant for someone or just an extra spot.
My question was quickly answered when someone burst into class just as the teacher was about to begin roll call.
I didn’t even look over to see who it was because I didn’t care. I hated when people were late to class, it disrupts everyone and shows me they don’t care much about their education. In all three years I’d been at this school I’d never been late.
I heard a sharp intake of breath and curses being mumbled quietly before the late person finally said “What is she doing here?”
My head immediately snapped to the direction of the door where the ignorant person was still standing. I’d recognize that voice anywhere.
Next my head snapped to the teacher. “For once I agree with him. What are we doing in the same class?”
Before our teacher, Mr. Willis, could utter a single word, Damon opened up his big mouth again and interrupted. “Maybe you’re in the wrong class Soph. I mean, you are a stupid blonde.”
My blood boiled and instinctively my hands clenched into fists. But instead of arguing back like I usually would, I just turned to the teacher again.
“See, this is exactly why we can’t be in the same class. This pinhead doesn’t know how to keep his big mouth shut.”
Mr. Willis just smiled at us and told Damon to take a seat.
This teacher was surely crazy if he thought he could handle us. And what made it even worse was that it was a full year course, not just one semester. By the time summer came the school would be burnt to the ground if the two of us stayed in the same class.
All throughout class Damon would make rude little comments when I would answer a question. Snide remarks like “nerd” and “know-it-all”. The kind of insults that got under my skin, and Damon knew it. But being the mature one, I ignored it instead of arguing and distracting the class. I knew that if someone ever disrupted a class that I was trying to learn in, I definitely wouldn’t be happy. Too bad Damon didn’t think that way. Instead he took it up a notch and started throwing crumpled up paper balls at my head. How cliché.
After class I was going to have a little chat with him.
Once the bell rang I quickly made my way out of the room and leaned on the wall close to the door. That way when Damon came out I would be able to talk to him about what he did in class.
As I expected, Damon was the last one out, and as always, he had an expression that said he didn’t have a care in the world.
I caught his arm and spun him around so he was facing me. The look of surprise on his face was amusing but I pushed that aside because I was angry at him.
“You might not care about your grades but I care about mine. I won’t have you disrupting my learning just because you hate me.” I started off.
Damon’s surprised expression quickly turned to annoyance but I didn’t care. I just kept ranting.
“I have no idea what was running through that teacher’s head when he decided to put us in the same class, but we can’t change it now so we better make the most of it. Let’s just pretend like we don’t even know each other in class.”
Damon just blinked at me, not saying a word. Then he shook his head and said “Huh?”
My face went red as rage coursed through my veins.
“You weren’t even listening!” I yelled.
“Do you really expect me to listen to you rant for ten minutes?” he asked. Then quickly added “Don’t answer that. Anyway, you’ve just wasted like half my lunch so I’m gonna go.”
Before I could saying anything he was half way down the hall.
I’d never hated a human as much as I hated him. How could someone be so self-centered, cocky, ignorant, stupid, and above all, annoying?
After I took a few deep breaths to calm down, I headed to the cafeteria.
I immediately went to my table that consisted of cheerleaders, dancers and jocks.
I wasn’t on any teams or in any clubs, none of these people had any reason to be my friend apart from me being nice to them, so sometimes I felt like an outcast. I didn’t share any interests with them, and if I wasn’t competing with Damon for popularity I probably wouldn’t be friends with most of them.
Everyone welcomed me warmly and then went back to eating.
I started chatting with a couple girls from the dance team when suddenly the whole table was looking at me.
“What?” I asked, confused as to why I was suddenly the centre of attention.
“Is it true that you and Damon are in the same Environmental Awareness class?” asked Kyle, captain of the basketball team.
I let out an annoyed huff before answering. “Unfortunately it’s true, I’m stuck with the annoying jerk for a whole year. How am I ever gonna survive?”
I was being very dramatic but there was also a serious undertone to what I said. The two of us in the same class would be an absolute disaster.
“I don’t know how you could possibly hate Damon. He’s just so dreamy, definitely drool worthy. Doesn’t his looks affect you at all?” asked Candy, the head cheerleader.
“Um ew, no. I’m immune to his ‘good looks’.” I said, air quoting ‘good looks’.
“Maybe she’s a lesbian” another cheerleader suggested to Candy.
I rolled my eyes. “Not that there’s anything wrong with being a lesbian, but I’m completely straight.” I told the group.
Some of the guys let out relieved sighs and I rolled my eyes again. They just wanted to get into my pants. Hormonal jerks.
Suddenly there was a roar of laughter from the table beside us, Damon’s table. It consisted of a bunch of girls and whatever jocks were stupid enough to hang around him.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that my table had more people than Damon’s. I was definitely going to have the title of “more popular than Damon” this year.
Damon looked over at my table and winced slightly, but I still caught it. When he looked at me I shot a smug smirk his way before turning my attention back to my friends. He knew just as well as I did that he was going to lose the popularity contest this year. The thought of him finally not getting what he wanted was more than pleasing.
Suddenly the bell rang and everyone got up to go to their next class. I was about to walk out of the cafeteria when someone stepped in front of me. I came face to face, or should I say face to chest, with Damon.
“What do you want?” I snapped irritably.
“Just because you have a few more people at your table doesn’t mean you’re gonna win this year.” He stated confidentially, although I saw the doubt in his eyes. He wasn’t so sure that what he said was the truth.
I laughed, “A few? There were at least six more people at my table. It seems as though you’ve lost some recruits since last year.”
He grumbled something under his breath before pushing past me and walking out the door, but before he was out of hearing distance I heard him say “This isn’t over.”
How cliché could one person get?
I rolled my eyes and walked out the door. I wasn’t even half way to my class when the bell rang. I was late. I sprinted the rest of the way and burst into the classroom when I got to it.
Everyone, including the teacher, stopped what they were doing and looked at me like I just murdered two people.
“Miss Mackenzie, you’re late.” Mrs. McGirr stated.
Really? I hadn’t noticed. I replied in my head.
When I didn’t say anything she tried again “Why are you late?”
“Because a pinhead named Damon Blake wouldn’t let me go to class, instead he was snapping at me because he’s jealous.” I explained, shrugging innocently.
Mrs. McGirr rolled her eyes but I could see that I was in the clear. “You’re excused this time, but don’t let it happen again.”
“Thank you Mrs. McGirr.” I said as I walked to the middle of the room to sit in my usual spot.
Classes again went by in a flash and soon it was the end of the day. I made a quick stop at my locker to drop off my textbooks before exiting the school.
I hopped into my light blue punch buggy Victoria, named after someone very special to me, and drove home listening to the radio. But when I got close to my house I saw an all too familiar car blocking my driveway.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
I got out of my car after parking it on the side of the street and stomped over to the next door neighbours house. I rung the doorbell and when no one answered I got impatient and started pounding on the door. Eventually it opened, revealing a smirking Damon.
Unfortunately for me the jerk lived right beside me. And to make matters worse, his bedroom window was no more than six feet away from mine.
“Sophia? What a surprise.” Damon drawled, feigning innocence.
“Get your cheap car out of my driveway now!” I demanded.
Damon laughed but did as I said, never taking that stupid smirk off his face.
Without another word I stomped back to my car and pulled into my driveway.
Could this day get any worse?