Too Many

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Chapter 2

~♡ TOO MANY♡ ~

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Leave a little sparkle wherever you go...

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I dump some quarters into the coin slot of the soda machine, press the required buttons and grab the soda at the other end. I grab another for Mal and place the two on my tray, right beside my plate of bacons and a hamburger. Malory already went to find a table so I just have to find her.

The cafeteria is noisy as usual and most of the noise is unsurprisingly generated from the soccer team's table. You would think they were talking about something other than girls and sports. You would be wrong.

I spot Mal's blonde hair held up in a high ponytail, three tables away, so I make my way to her.

There is perceivable evidence of the social stratification in the school just by observing the sitting arrangement in the cafeteria. Nerds, geeks--(they're different, trust me), goths, populars, soccer team, cheerleading team, basketball team, hockey team, lacrosse team and many more. It's obvious who's at the top of the social hierachy.

For the females, It's Britney Vandell. Daughter of Roman Vandell, the transhumanist consultant. I swear I don't even know what the hell that means. But she won't shut up about it and I guess he's loaded or she won't be cruising around with an ostentatious red Chevrolet Cruze.

For the males, It's Reece Reynolds. The lead striker of the school's soccer team, who is also sinfully gorgeous and a fantastic player (and I mean on and off the field). He's the kind of guy girls would happily hand their hearts to crush, just for a smile.

He is also the guy I stupidly fall for everyday that doesn't even acknowledge me. I'm not exactly attractive, not like Mal or all those other girls, but I have some features of my appearance that people have found appealing. Or at least they've told me. However, I must not seem attractive enough for Reece Reynolds to notice.

I have jade green eyes, and chocolate brown hair that touches my waist. I've never cut my hair before because it was my mom's idea. At first, I would fuss over the length but now I just love it.

I am well aware of my place in the world of boys; the friend zone and therefore, majority of my friends are boys. Not boyfriends, not exes, just boys I've known for a very long time.

I'm that girl with semi-low tolerance for drama. Note emphasis on 'semi'. I simply don't like to be pushed to the wall. I'm that girl who'll pose as your girlfriend and get rid of a violent ex. I'm that girl you can share a burrito with anytime. I'm that girl who'll definitely race you on a skateboard round midtown. Altogether, that means I'm way too one-of-the-boys to date.

I walk by a table where a girl sits alone and a lump forms in my throat. Helen Martin. She was ostracized from the cheerleading group by Britney because Britney's ex happened to ask her out. Preposterous. I know.

I don't fear Britney, never have. But I don't know if my company would be appreciated or dismissed. Being dismissed or ignored is not a feeling I look forward to, so I'd rather keep to myself for now.

I pass by the cheerleaders' table, Britney included, next. You know; all pretty bows, cheerful smiles, flawless skin, sleek and slim.

All the cheerleaders are not necessarily mean. Take my best friend, Malory, for an instance. But the ones that are, are bitches to the core. Take Britney for an instance. Oopsie, did I think that aloud?

Does there always have to be a mean and popular girl in highschool? Could there be a school where everyone is nice and treats every other person with equality? None that I've heard of. Not in the real world at least.

Friends of Britney are only in that condition, and I do consider it a condition, to rub off on her social power and not because they actually like her. Although, I can't really blame anyone for disliking an arrogant, sassy, egocentric spoiled rich brat who has an overinflated sense of self-worth. Pardon my french.

"Oooh, Hi Georgie, you can come sit with us if you want," Mirabell offers with an angelic-devilish smile looking back at me with a glint in her eyes. Meet Mirabell, another follower of the Britney kind, (I swear they are one universe of their own).

Mirabell is popularly known by the guys for her sluttiness. I suspect she has a resolution to 'bang and be banged', as Malory so eloquently put it, by every hunk in the school before we get outta here and enroll into separate colleges.

Here's the insane part, Reece Reynolds happens to categorize in the funky hunk club_I can't believe I used those two words in one sentence_and I, being in the one-of-the-boys situation, happen to be part of her plan to get to him.

She plans to get close to Reece and the other guys in the guise of befriending me. And let's be honest, we all know that will only happen when pigs fly.

Mirabell speaking to me has pulled all the attention of the cheerleading table to me, including Britney who happens to be scrutinizing me with heavily made up, judgy eyes.

"It's Hayston to you. And no thanks for the offer, I don't dine with bitches, ruins my appetite," I say with a mock-regretful smile and pat my stomach comically. I hear snickers from other tables. Britney's glare silences them. Mirabell's smile vanishes and every one on the table automatically throws me dirty looks. So I smirk and stalk away.

"Can you believe her?" Malory asks the second I reach our table throwing a glare at Mirabell. I laugh as I place my tray and soda on the round, smooth wooden table and take a seat. Mirabell earned her spot on the top of Mal's hate list the moment she attempted flirting with Tony.

"If looks were bullets, she would be completely annihilated, thanks to you," I tell her and slide her soda across the table surface in her direction. She barely grabs it.

"It would bring me much joy believe me. I don't trust that skank around Tony," She says still narrowing her eyes at Mirabell's direction. She tucks her hair behind her ear revealing her very expensive gold earrings. My best friend might just be as financially adequate as Britney, the only difference? She doesn't show it nearly as much as Britney does.

"Okay crazy lady, let's not think rashly yet," I say playfully and chuckle. Malory is really insecure where Tony is concerned, almost like she doesn't trust him enough to resist Mirabell, what I really don't get, is why. I watch as she picks up a broccoli and nibbles on it. I give her a look.

"You know that you're a freak right?" I ask her. She rolls her eyes.

"Broccoli is not that bad, stop hating on it you veggie hater. It's actually really good and it's cute at the same time, what other veggie can top that?" She says with a goofy smile. Funny how a minute ago she was bent on committing murder.

"I wouldn't eat those things if they were cures to a virus I was suffering from," I shudder and cringe in disgust.

"What is it with you and vegetables? you carnivorous being,"

She says with an accusing tone and lunges a broccoli at me. I dodge it easily and pick up my hamburger.

"I don't always eat meat. I eat fruits too," I say defensively. Obviously I do eat fruits...but only the really sweet ones like strawberries and apples and bananas. It's a definite no-no for watermelon or worse, lime. she gives me a skeptical look which I pretend not to see.

Then, Reece walks in with Josh and Chester. Britney shows a dramatic display of throwing herself up from her sit and screaming,

"Go Fulton! And Go Reece!" She says in enthusiastic passion and claps cheerily which urges others to clap as well. Oh brother. I roll my eyes.

You know that clíche dramatic moment where the male or female leads of the movie walk in, in the most glamorous way ever? It's exactly what happens right now. With all the ticks;

Perfect hair waving from a wind of unknown source that somehow hits them and not the rest of us, check.

Swoon worthy physiques, check.

Flawless facial features, check.

Sighs of the smitten and hisses of the envious, check. check. check.

He smirks teasingly at Britney and winks at the cheerleading table. I catch Mirabell fanning her face and ogling Reece with unabashed desire. I ignore the burn in my chest.

Reece and Chester walk over to the soccer teams' table. The team claps and whoops then hands Reece and Chester high fives.

"Hey Rapunzel," I look up to my right and see Josh wearing a contagious grin. I can't help it, I grin too. Josh's blonde hair falls across his forehead, some strands getting in the way of his light green eyes.

"Where d'u come from?" I ask as he pulls my braid lightly and smiles with a shrug. Josh is the captain of the basketball team and extraordinarily tall for an eighteen year old boy.

"You look gorgeous today," He says and waggles his thick eyebrows playfully. I roll my eyes and look away, my lips still curl upwards in a tiny smile. Josh is probably the only guy who treats me 50% like a girl and 50% like one-of-the-boys, but I know he only said that to be nice. I, in a hoodie and black jeans, am far from cute.

Reece, Ches and Tony join in soon after. And Ches unhesitantly snags my coke. I would chastise him if I weren't vacuuming his fries right now.

As you've probably already calculated; Ches is on the soccer team too, as the second striker. He is also the first friend I made in the neighborhood years ago when I newly moved in. We've known each other for quite a long time, I've known him longer than I've known Malory.

Ches could be cute to someone who's not me. I mean, he's like a brother to me and everytime I try to picture him from a 'just another average girl' perspective, I end up remembering the time he didn't wash his kermit the frog socks which he wore literally everywhere at the time, for a whole month, then hid it in a corner of his room to lure a rat he had seen once and had wanted as a pet. I would shudder in disgust if I wasn't the one who gave him the idea. In my defense, I didn't think he'd actually do it.

Chester is lean and only an inch taller than I am. He has a cute mane of red curly hair, cerulean eyes and a few freckles. He does have a pretty nice skin for a red head. He sort of strikes me as a human Archie, I tease him about it sometimes.

Tony drops a ten seconds kiss on Mal that involves more tongues than I'm comfortable with. He sits beside her and hangs an arm around her shoulder. Mal smiles at him with hearts in her eyes. She couldn't be any more obvious. But she's happy so I'm happy. They're not bad together and Tony does seem to like her very much. But, I've never fully liked him all of the eleven months they've been dating. There's just something about him that puts me off. I can't talk to Mal about it because she'll definitely hate me for thinking that about her boyfriend. So I push the thought to the furthest part of my mind and just try to be happy for her. That, I can do.

If I go any stiffer than I am right now, I might crack. Reece is sitting at my other side and I have no idea what to do or say, hence these two things; (1) I find myself pulling my attention to everyone else but him and, (2) I stare at my shoes occasionally to take a sneak peek at his clad legs, only because I can't look at his face without any of this getting awkward.

Reece goes along with it, chatting with everyone else but me. The only difference is, he doesn't do it purposely.

"Gee, remember the time James tried to do the chicken dance?" Ches asks out of the blue. It was so unexpected. I was either not expecting the memory to be that hilarious or not expecting my laughter to sound that horrendous. It was somewhat like a half laugh-half cackle-half cry for help.

Apparently, no one seemed to notice my racoon-like laughter, considering they all laughed too, but if I didn't have Reece's attention before, I did now.

When everyone's attention moves from us both, he leans in. I think I just went stiffer.

"You were giving me that look in class today," He says deeply, staring intensely at me. I don't think I've ever seen any pair of eyes that shade of blue before. I don't think I've ever fallen in love with any colour as I have with the colour of his eyes.

"What look?" I ask almost in a whisper. There's a perfectly innocent explanation for why my eyes lower to his lips. I just can't remember it.

"The look that said you wanted me," He replies in what I unmistakably recognize as corkiness. My eyes snap back to his eyes, and I think I catch his do the same. Of course I could have imagined that. I probably did.

His eyes lighten up and he wears a light smirk while my heart skips a thousand beats per second and I inwardly pray that I'm not doing anything that gives me away.

I have to pull myself together. I roll my eyes and release a short plastic laughter.

"Sooner or later Reece, you're just going to have to face the fact that there are two girls in the entire school who don't and will never 'want' you. One who happens to be my bestie, and the other who happens to be me. You can bunch up your panties all you want but it will never happen," I'm a horrible liar. The type that gives way too many signals to not be caught. But, I have told this lie to myself in front of a mirror more times than I can ever count and that must be why Reece buys it without a second of doubt or a suspicious glance sent my way.

I stretch across the table and grab a handful of fries from Ches's plate and begin to stuff them in my mouth before I do something stupid like blurt out 'I've liked you for four years and I still do!'.

"I'm glad it won't. He is a player, after all," Josh chimes. I stare at him trying to figure out if I'm bothered by the fact that he heard all that and didn't say a thing till now. It only takes me ten seconds to decide that I'm not.

"A ridiculously hot player," I mutter to myself, although I'm not very sure Josh didn't hear that. He frowns at me.

"He has a new girlfriend," He almost says it like he's trying to put me off, or send me a signal or something.

"Reece has a new girlfriend?" Josh didn't say it loudly, but apparently, he said it loud enough for Mal to pick and repeat even louder. Tony immediately stops whatever he was on about a second ago. Ches doesn't even look surprised. Or bothered.

"Not for long," Reece says, glaring pointedly at Josh. I sigh angrily and glare at Ches's fries. I decide to chanel all my emotions straight to the fries. I feel the anger, jealousy and sadness leave my body and I imagine it seep into the fries.

"I bet my fifty bucks it lasts a week," Tony says with a smirk. This grabs Chester's attention. Anyday Chester doesn't participate in a bet around his vicinity, is the day I'm gonna believe that fairies are real.

"Well, I bet fifty bucks it lasts three days," Ches counters with a grin and they both shake on it. I roll my eyes.

"He's probably already screwed her," Josh says with a shrug, purposely avoiding my gaze. I find myself getting annoyed with him.

"I don't care who Reece screws. It's his life," It comes out a little harsher than I mean it to. But I'm too far gone in to turn back now, so I just look away.

I reach out to my plate for a bacon only to find my plate empty. Completely void of bacons. My eyes widen in disbelief. Okay, I am damn sure I haven't taken a bite out of my bacon. I turn to Reece and spot him tossing the last piece in his mouth. The wanker had been eating it!, I glare venomously at him but he only laughs and flips me off.

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