East Side Academy

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Chapter 4 - A Little Party Never Killed Nobody

“It don’t mean a thing if I give you my heart / If you tear it apart, no, uh, uh, ah, oh / It don’t mean a thing if I ain’t in your eyes / Probably ain’t gonna fly, no, uh, uh, ah, oh / Just one night’s all we got” – A Little Party Never Killed Nobody, Fergie ft. GoonRock and Q-Tip


“Are you going to Lisa’s party this weekend?” Samson asks his friends, throwing his head back to get the black shaggy hair out of his eyes.

“Hot girls, alcohol, and no parents?” Malcolm grins his sly smile, that in combination with his shaggy hair and brown eyes makes all the girls swoon. “Of course we’ll be there.”

“Who’s all invited?” Richard asks.

“Like pretty much the entire grade.” Samson says, “Well, everyone except the less popular people.”

“You mean the band geeks and the goths?” Malcolm says.

“Hey!” Richard says, slapping Malcolm on the arm. “I play trumpet!”

“Exactly my point,” Malcolm says to Richard.

“Why do you always let him get to you, Richard?” Samson says.

Richard rolls his eyes, brushing his hand through his shoulder-length dark hair. “Is Bobbi coming, Samson?”

“Yeah,” Samson says.

“How are things going between you and her?” Richard asks.

“Pretty good. Not serious yet, but I’d like us to be exclusive soon.” Samson says.

“Why would you want to do that?” Malcolm asks.

“Shut up, Malcolm,” Richard says. “Not all guys want to just hook up with different girls.”

Malcolm rolls his eyes. “What about the mix of cultures?”

“I’m fine with it,” Samson says. “My strict Asian parents might not be. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

“Asian parents…” Richard says under his breath as a joke. Richard is of Aboriginal descent and always likes to make fun of Samson’s strict parents.

Malcolm laughs and then looks over at his friend, the spiked brown hair dipping down to look at his phone. “What about you, Fox?” Silence. “James!”


I look up from my phone. “Huh? What?”

“Lisa’s party, are you going this weekend?” Malcolm asks.

“I have to work Saturday,” I say.

“Then come after,” Malcolm says.

“I have to work Sunday as well,” I say.

“So?” Malcolm says, “You always do this. You’re always working, and you never come out with us. You need to take a break every once in a while, and just hang out with us.”

“Soccer is my break, Malcolm,” I reply, knowing that these guys will try their best to get me to come but it won’t work. “I don’t have time to go to parties and you know that.”

“Hey, guys,” Lisa says as she comes up to the group of guys with two of her pretty friends.

“Hey Lisa,” the other guys say.

“Hey James,” Lisa says, “How are you?”

“Fine.” I reply, not wanting to draw attention to myself, “How are you?”

“Good,” Lisa says, “I was just hoping that you guys were coming to my party this Saturday.”

“Well, we are,” Malcolm says, gesturing to Samson, Richard, and himself, “And James will be there too, right James?”

I glare at Malcolm. “Unfortunately, I have to work this weekend, so I won’t be able to come out.”

“You work every weekend, James,” Lisa says stepping closer to me. “You need to take a break.”

“That’s what I told him!” Malcolm says.

“Please James?” Lisa asks sweetly. “It’s the beginning of the term, barely any homework yet. Can’t you just do this one small favour for me? I promise if you come and you want to leave after 20 minutes that’s fine. But I’m positive you won’t want to.”

“Come on, dude,” Malcolm says, hitting me on the arm. I glare at him. Why is he making things worse?

“Please, James,” Lisa says again. “Just 20 minutes, that’s all I’m asking.”

I know I’m going to regret this, but I’m also sure that Lisa won’t leave until I agree to go. “Fine,” I say, giving in, “just 20 minutes though.”

“Perfect!” Lisa smiles, “I promise you won’t regret this!” And then she and her two friends leave, happy that they have accomplished their task.

“Ah? Ah?!” Malcolm says smiling at me.

“I hate you,” I say, glaring at Malcolm.

“Oh, come on, James.” Samson says, “You know I hate agreeing with Malcolm, but I do think it would be good for you to come out.”

“See.” Malcolm says, “I even have the levelheaded one on my side. And Lisa wants you.”

“I don’t care,” I say, “I’m not into her.”

“Not into her?” Malcolm says, “So you are just not attracted to tall beach blond beauties?”

“She’s on the volleyball team,” Richard says.

“And she’s pretty smart too,” Samson says, “Good catch for you.”

“Even if I was interested, I don’t have the time,” I say. I know these guys are just looking out for me and want the best for me, but I know what I need and what I want, and Lisa is neither of those things.

“That’s fine, I’ll go for her then,” Malcolm says while showing off his muscles. “How could she resist?”

“Very easily,” Richard says, “But while we are on the topic, did you check the new girl out? She is gorgeous.”

“New girl?” Malcolm asks, intrigued by hearing of a new pretty girl to claim. “Since when?”

“Just this week. She was sitting next to George and his friends in English,” Richard says. “Look, there he is now. George!”

George walks over to the guys. “Hey!”

“Hey man, how’s it going?” Richard asks.

“Pretty good, you?” George says.

“Not bad. Are you going to Lisa’s party on the weekend?” Richard asks.

“Yeah, probably,” George says, “I’m going to see who from my friend group wants to come as well.”

“Speaking of your friend group,” Richard says, “Who was the girl sitting next to you in English yesterday?”

“Arya?” George says, “She’s new here. Her locker is next to Diana’s and she kind of brought her into our friend group. She seems nice.”

“Well, make sure she comes to the party this weekend,” Malcolm says. “Not every day a new hot girl comes to East Side.”

“I’d be careful with her,” George says.

“Why?” Malcolm asks.

“She’s from West Side,” George says.

“West Side?” Richard says, “Why would she come here then?”

“I don’t know,” George says, “She just said she had issues at her old school and that she and her sister transferred here.”

“There’s another?” Malcolm says, “Wonder if she’s as hot as her sister.”

“Really, Malcolm?” I say, “Is that all you care about?” Malcolm’s my friend but the number of girls he goes through should be illegal.

“Don’t act all innocent with me, James,” Malcolm says, “You were chasing skirts back in Grade 9 like the rest of us. It’s only the past two years that you have been all ‘I have to work’, ‘I have to focus on my schoolwork’, ‘I don’t have time for a girlfriend’, ‘I don’t have time to deal with your stupid high school drama’.”

“Shut up, Malcolm,” I say because I know what he’s about to say next and I don’t want to hear it.

“Look, I know what happened with your dad was tragic, but I don’t think he would want you to stop living like a normal teenager,” Malcolm says.

“I have to get to English,” I say, slamming and locking my locker. “I’ll see you guys later.” And then I leave them, not wanting to be a part of the conversation anymore.


“You know he is sensitive when it comes to his dad,” Samson says to Malcolm.

“He works himself to death,” Malcolm says, “I don’t think his dad would want this life for him.”


Thursday. Almost at the end of the week. I am so grateful to have survived this far. Being accepted into Diana’s group has been the best thing that could have happened to me. All of them have been great. I sometimes think about my girlfriends back at West Side. We tried to keep in somewhat contact, but unfortunately, the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ factor played in now that I was at a different school. We weren’t spending our whole days together anymore and we weren’t discussing the same things. And truth be told, I wanted to cut off my ties with West Side.

“Diana! Arya!” I hear Teddy’s voice as he approaches our lockers before we head to Chemistry.

“Hey, Teddy!” I say.

“So? Will we be seeing you Saturday night for your first East Side party?” Teddy asks me.

Of course, the party. George had mentioned it to us all earlier this week and everyone was down to go, so I just nodded along. But honestly? Going to an East Side party was about the last thing I wanted to do.

“Of course she’ll be there!” Diana says, putting a hand to my shoulder and then turns to me, “You can come over to my house before and we can get ready. Eleanor and Sarah are coming over as well. Oh! And you guys can all sleepover afterward!”

“Where’s my invite?” Teddy asks.

“Still not one of the girls, Teddy,” Diana says, “You can reapply in six months though.”

“Funny. It’s your loss though, I’m great at girl talk, I can braid hair and I make a mean sangria,” Teddy says.

“Well you can make all the drinks you want at Lisa’s house,” Diana says. “It’ll be great!” Diana says turning back to me.

“Looking forward to it,” I say. While I was not looking forward to the actual party, being with Diana, Eleanor and Sarah was something I was looking forward to. Girl time is always essential.

“Why don’t you wear my green top.” Diana says to me, “It’ll make your eyes pop.”

I strip in front of the girls and put on Diana’s cold shoulder green top. Combined with my dark jeans and tall brown boots, I have to say, I do look great.

“You look amazing, Arya,” Sarah says. All of them look great. Sarah’s artistic abilities don’t stop at watercolour paintings, she did all of our makeup flawlessly. All of them have incredible style on their own and happily share their clothes to have a new look. Eleanor is wearing Sarah’s fashionable oversized yellow sweater. Sarah is wearing a white tank top with a purple cardigan of Diana’s. Diana is wearing Sarah’s tight beige mini skirt with a jean jacket. I did all of the girls’ hair. That was one thing I could contribute, and they all look fantastic.

“Aren’t you going to be cold in that skirt, Diana?” I ask. It’s winter, and the rest of us have boots and jeans and will be wearing a winter coat on top of that.

“My boots are high, and my tights are thick,” Diana says, “I’ll be fine.”

“We should head out soon though,” Sarah says.

“Teddy only texted me half an hour ago asking where we were,” Diana says, “Still got plenty of time.” And then she takes a sip from her mixed drink.

“Diana is always fashionably late,” Eleanor says to me.

“Well, if we’re looking like this, we’ll be making an entrance whether we’re late or early,” I smile.

“Yes!” Diana says and points at me with the drink in her hand. “This is the confidence I like.”

“Okay, Lincoln just texted me,” Sarah says, “Maybe we should head out now.”

“Fine,” Diana says. “Let me just finish this.”

I grab my drink and hold it up in the air. All the girls join me. “Cheers!”

As I step into Lisa’s house, the girl I only know from glaring at me on my first day in Chemistry, I can see that she comes from money. Her house is close to a mansion and by the time we have arrived, it is filled with teenagers. It’s just how you would imagine a party with no parents would be. The jocks changed the dining room table to a beer pong table, people were playing a drinking game in the lounge, couples were making out and the house was filled with groups of people in conversations with drinks in their hands. Even with a giant house, there was very little room to move around with all the people.

“They’re in the basement,” Sarah says, so we head down there.

“Look who finally decided to show up!” Teddy says, wrapping arms around Diana and Sarah. Clearly, he has had a bit to drink already like most of the people here.

“Where’s George?” Eleanor asks.

“Probably talking to his hockey friends,” Lincoln says.

“That’s my cue, ladies.” Eleanor says, “I’ll see you soon.” And then Eleanor walks away from the group.

“Where’s she going?” I ask Sarah.

“Eleanor has a thing for hockey players,” Sarah says. “Not George though, they’re just friends. She just annoys the heck out of him when she flirts with his teammates.”

“I’m sure they don’t mind,” I say.

“Most definitely not.” Sarah laughs, “She’s dated almost all the hockey players in our grade, but she is always the one to end the relationship.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Scared of commitment,” Sarah says, “But don’t tell her I said that.”

Three other guys are standing with Lincoln and Teddy that I have never met. “Arya, meet John, Paul, and Ringo.”

“Seriously?” I whisper to Sarah, “Their names are John, Paul, and Ringo?”

“Where’s George?!” one of them calls out, “He’s the only one that can complete us!”

“John and Paul are musicians like Teddy, arguably better than Teddy,” Lincoln says. Of course, they’re musicians I think to myself.

“Hey!” Teddy says.

Lincoln just continues as if Teddy said nothing. “And Ringo spends 90% of his free time working at his dad’s car garage.” All three of the guys wave at me at the mention of their name. “And this is Arya.” Lincoln says to them, “She just transferred to our school from West Side.”

“West Side?” John says. Oh great. “Why would…”

“She had issues at West Side,” Lincoln says cuts him off for which I am grateful. “And that’s all we’re going to say about it.”

“Fine.” John says, “Can’t say I’m surprised, I’d want to leave that preppy Catholic school as well if I was there.”

“Why don’t we play a game of King’s Cup?” Diana suggests before anyone can say anything more about West Side.

“Sure!” They all agree and then we find a table for us to surround and a deck of cards.

“You ladies all need drinks for us to play,” Teddy says, “I’m on it!” And Teddy sprints up the stairs.

“Not too strong!” Diana calls after him, but he doesn’t hear.

When Teddy returns with a drink for each girl, he places an empty cup in the center of the table.

“I’m not going to die from this, right?” Diana says as she takes her drink.

“Made sure to put something special in it,” Teddy says, “See the giant letter ‘D’ on the cup, had to make sure you got the best!”

“Definitely going to die tonight,” Diana whispers to me.

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