Chapter 1: The Talk
“Now that all bodies are present and accounted for. I can finally make my announcement,” Shelby, pushing her blue glasses up her nose as she does when annoyed, states as Chanel finally arrives at the table. She stares at her as she completely misses Shelby’s backhanded comment, and almost the edge of the bench seat, as she continues to blow kisses to her boyfriend, Shane, from across the school cafeteria as he exits to rush to football practice.
Shane is the quarterback on the football team. None of the girls like Shane. He is the biggest influence in Chanel’s choices. He has beautiful light blue eyes. He has shaggy brown hair that is naturally wavy. His voice is very manly and rough. He loves to be the center of attention, and he is, in the most obnoxious ways. His dick and Letterman jacket are his prize possessions.
As Chanel finally takes her seat safely on the bench at the long, off white, rectangular table in the far back left corner of the cafeteria, Shelby continues, clearly annoyed at Shane’s presence in her day. “Ladies, the time of life long euphoria has finally begun. I was accepted into Harvard!”
Getting out of the High Desert and getting to Harvard to be an Operations Research Analyst in Massachusetts has been her lifelong dream. The girls have always spoken about the pure Euphoria of all aspects in life. Friendship. Relationships. Family. Careers
Most importantly themselves. This is where their morals and values lie. Fighting for nothing but Euphoria. This is where they will be tested most. Finding euphoria.
Her being the analytical, organized and prepared person she is she realizes how close the end of Senior year is. She has spent many hours and sleepless nights getting that approval letter. She held her letter tightly between her navy blue painted nails.
“Ladies,” she continues, “have you heard back on your applications yet?” “Actually,” Chanel speaks up, in her sweet, high pitched voice, “Stephanie and I will be going to the challenge for the Mami E. George Scholarship. We both got accepted into Rice University out in Texas. We are super excited. Right Steph?” She looks at Stephanie with the biggest, oblivious smile ever. Her grey blue eyes were showing so much innocence, but her mouth always manages to find its way into a problem.
Before Stephanie can speak, Crystal looks directly at her, stands up and shouts, directly in her ear, as she is sitting to the right of her, “What?! Why didn’t you tell me?!” Her face had gone a deep red and her pupils grew large with anger.
Stephanie and Crystal had been friends since they were children. They had talked about going to art school together since 6th grade. They had planned to open a sports line together. They even had some ideas already in the works.
Stephanie just looked at her and weakly said “I’m sorry. It’s what I realized was going to get me to my career goals. My euphoria. Art is your euphoria.” She quickly glared at Chanel, who was sitting directly across from her. Her eyes, burning holes through Chanel, who is just now realizing her fatal mistake. She slowly looks down away from Stephanie, feeling like she wants to disappear into the wall next to her.
“We WILL talk about this later,” Crystal snapped, almost knocking the chocolate milk onto her pants as she sat back down. That just so happened to be her latest creation, her WHITE catalog. They were white, with light grey fuzzy bunnies and light grey words of WHITE all across the legs. She sat, glaring at Stephanie the remainder of lunch not acknowledging her when she attempted one last apology. She stared in silence at her square pizza, having no appetite left for lunch.
Stephanie, feeling both ashamed for not telling her best friend sooner and betrayed because Chanel promised they would announce this together after she spoke with Crystal, turned back to Shelby, trying to change the topic, she asked “Did Carter hear back from Harvard?” “Yes he did. We are already talking about looking at off campus apartments.” She responds, playing along. The awkward silence that overtook the table made her highly uncomfortable and anxious. A feeling she seems to be experiencing more and more with her friends. “Wow, talk about a great start to lifelong euphoria!” She chuckles at her joke and turns to Chanel, “Did Shane ever get back to you on what Rice said about his application?” Crystal looks up and glares at Stephanie with such hatred at the audacity of such a question.
“OMG, Finally! Yes!” She says in her cute yet loud cheerleader voice, although you could hear something was off but she wasn’t going to question it right now, she was far too distracted by the look Crystal was giving her. “He got in!!!! But what I want to know is what is going on with Crystal and Tommy?” She looks at Crystal, quickly. Really hoping to avoid a conversation about her and Shane. She was not ready to share with the group what had actually been going on between them. She quivered inside at the thought of the recent events with Shane.
Before Crystal had the chance to respond the 15 minute warning bell rang. Which she was absolutely grateful for. She did not want to think about her and Tommy right now. Tommy has been trying to prevent her from going to New York. He wanted her to have kids in a year and live in LA while he pursues directing. He believes men’s dreams are more important. She, needing to be on the other side of campus, said her farewells and quickly made her way out of the cafeteria before the crowd hit. Not more than 5 minutes later all girls were making their way towards the crowded cafeteria exit and heading to their final class of the day.