Sita (blinded_dream) wrote in msclbookclub,
Sita
blinded_dream
msclbookclub

Here are the first three chapters. (They're each in their own post.) I fixed some grammatical mistakes in the first two chapters but other than that, they're pretty much the same.

Oh, I may or may not have dropped out out letters/words. So if you see anything weird, just comment and let me know. Also, this is coming from word so I think they have retarded code things in there so just ignore those, okay?

PS: The spacing? Yeah. It's RETARDED.



My So Called Life Goes On by Catherine Clark

 

Chapter Three

“Welcome to Big Guy burger, where every guy’s a big guy. Can I take your order, please?” 

Brian stepped closer to the counter. “Excuse me, but is Delia Fisher still working here?”

“Pardon me, sir?” 

“Delia Fisher,” Brian said, shifting nervously from side to side. “She’s short, with brown curly hair?” The woman’s face was completely blank. “Fisher,” he repeated. “F-i-s-h-” 

“You want the Big Guy Salty Fisherman Patty?” She started to ring in the order on her register. “Big Guy basket or just the sandwich?”

“No, I don’t-” 

The woman at the counter leaned around Brian to the customer waiting behind him. “Can I take your order, then?”

The man behind Brian stepped forward. 

“Hold it, I’m ordering,” Brian said, blocking his way. “I’m ordering I was just thinking, that’s all. Um, I’ll have the, um, Hunk Burger and onion rings. For here.” He reached for his wallet. 

When the clerk returned with his food on a tray, Brian handed her a ten-dollar bill. “So you have no idea where Delia Fisher is? I mean, she doesn’t come in for a later shift tonight or-”

“-Forty-three makes five, and five is ten. Thank you for eating at Big Guy Burger.” She shoved his tray over to the side, making room for the next person. “Have a good day, Big Guy!” 

“Thanks. Thanks a lot,” Brian said. “I’m sure I’ll have a really good day.”

I’m the victim of a conspiracy. Brian chewed on an onion ring and stared at his reflection in the greasy window. His curly blond hair was even curlier in the hid summer months. It looked gigantic as it stood out from his head in limp ringlets, like a worn out clown wig. 

It was the third time Brian had eaten at Big Guy Burger this summer, and each time he’d tried to find out if Delia was still working there. No one would tell him.

It’s not like I’m a stalker. I just miss her. 

Why did I ever break a date with Delia to go out with Angela? Now, months later, Delia hates me, and Angela didn’t even appreciate what I did for her.

I hate women. 

Angela stared at the endless circular racks of clothes in Samson’s Super Saver Mart. Where was she supposed to start looking? Was there a map to this place? Did the layout make sense to anyone? She hadn’t been shopping at Samson’s since she was a kid. She and her sister Danielle used to get all their dolls and toys there.

And I can’t say I’ve missed it. Angela grimaced as she smelled stale popcorn roasting under the lights at the snack bar.

“Angela, what are you doing here?” 

Angela turned and saw Sharon Cherski standing behind her.

Sharon was wearing a red smock over her flowered T-shirt and khaki pants. Her long brown hair was pulled into a tight clip. 

“I forgot you were working here this summer,” Angela said. “Nice nametag.

“I didn’t think you shopped here,” Sharon said, wrinkling her nose.

Angela and Sharon had been friends for a long time During the past year, though, their friendship had changed. They weren’t best friends anymore. But then, Angela didn’t actually have a “best” friend. Just good ones and not-so-good ones. But Angela was definitely glad to have Sharon back in her life-even if she could be overly perky at times. 

“I didn’t used to shop here. But I do now.” Angela peered behind Sharon at the next rack. “I have like zero money and I need more clothes for work.”

“Oh. At your dad’s restaurant?” Sharon asked. Angela nodded.” Well, what do you have to wear there?” 

“Standard black pants-you know, like those khakis you have on, but black. And white shirts…the kind our dads wear with suits. But cheaper. Much, much cheaper. But not so cheap that they’re see-through.

Sharon nodded. “No problem. Follow me.” She led Angela down one aisle and up another, until they reached a humongous display of pants. “You want men’s or women’s? 

Angela shrugged. “Men’s.”

While Sharon searched for her size, Angela hovered at her side. “So how’s your summer been so far? How’s working here? What’s going on with you and Kyle?” 

“Nothing!” Sharon snapped. “What is this, twenty questions?” 

“Whoa.” Angela laughed nervously. “Kind of defensive, aren’t you?

“Sorry.” Sharon handed Angela a couple of pairs of black pants. “I didn’t mean to snap. I just…I made this promise-” 

“Again?” Angela asked. Sharon had broken up with Kyle Vinovich about six times already. She kept swearing she wouldn’t sleep with him. But she always gave in.

“Yes, again,” Sharon said as she headed for the shirts. “And I’m sticking to it this time. No matter how good the sex is, it’s just not worth the aggravation of spending time with Kyle.” 

“Mmm. If the sex is that good, maybe you should give me Kyle’s number,” Angela joked. 

“Ha ha.” Sharon swatted Angela with the hanger in her hand. “Like you have sex. You don’t know how hard it is to resist, Angela. You just don’t know.”

Angela thought about contradicting her, but decided to let the comment pass. “So how’s work?” she asked Sharon as she sorted through shelf after shelf of wrapped white polyester-blend button-down shirts. 

“Okay, I guess. Tomorrow I’m off, except I stupidly told Krakow I’d tutor-” Sharon stopped talking all at of a sudden.

“What? You’re tutoring Jordan now?” Angela couldn’t believe it. Was everyone in the world going to teach Jordan Catalano how to read before she did? She was the one who’d figured out he couldn’t read in the first place. But Jordan definitely needed to do well in summer school this year-he’d already been left back. Twice. At this rate he’d be in high school until he was twenty-five.

“Krakow has, like, three jobs and a couple of courses this summer,” Sharon said. “Last time he tried to get me to switch, I said no, but I figured…” She shrugged. 

Angela nodded, pretending to believe Sharon when she said Brian was busy. She knew the real reason Brian had wanted to drop the tutoring sessions with Jordan: her. Something weird had happened between her and Brian. There was that love letter he’d written for her, but that Jordan had pawned off as his own-and Brian had pawned off as Jordan’s.

At first she thought they were all Jordan’s words, his thoughts, wishes, and desires. But they had turned out to be Brian’s. It had always been Brian, feeding Jordan good lines. Maybe they were so good because he actually felt them. Did Jordan feel them, too? Maybe. He didn’t know how to express himself, though-and Brian did. Brian just didn’t have the guts to say them to her directly.

She hadn’t seen Brian much lately even though they were neighbors. She wanted to see him, sometimes, but she felt as if everything between them had so much meaning now. Like it was impossible just to say hi. There was no such thing as a simple, friendly “hi” anymore. If she said “hi,” she might be telling Brian she was passionately in love with him. She wasn’t. And if she didn’t say “hi,” he might think she hated him. She didn’t. 

At least, not usually. Unless he was being really annoying.

“Sales associate thirty-four, please return to cosmetics,” a tinny voice said over the PA. 

“That’s me-I have to run.” Sharon shoved a stack of shirt’s into Angela’s arms. 

“You’re a number now?” Angela said. “You’re a thirty-four?”

“Actually I’m more like a thirty-six D,” Sharon joked. “See you later, Chase Face.” 

After Sharon left, Angela gazed at her reflection in the mirror hanging on the post. She held one of the white shirts up against her body and turned to the side. No, she and Sharon were definitely not maturing at the same rate. The year before, Sharon had moved into serious under wire bra territory.

It doesn’t matter, Angela told herself. I’m glad that I have the body I do. Really. 

Just not that glad.

As he walked into the hospital, Brian reviewed his Wednesday schedule in his head. Eight to one, work at Foto Fusion, two to three, class, four to eight, volunteer at the hospital. Thursday he had a class from eight to nine-thirty, then hospital from ten to two, then Foto Fusion two-thirty to nine. Homework from nine to eleven.

Somewhere in the world, someone is on summer vacation, he thought glumly. 

All Brian knew was that he’d underplanned last summer, and ended up spending way too much time with his parents. Hanging out with two psychiatrists wasn’t much of a summer vacation, either. 

Brian took the elevator to the hospital’s fifth floor. When he got out, he followed the green line on the floor to the X-ray office he’d been assigned to help. He knocked lightly on the door, then walked in.

A woman was sitting behind a desk, sorting through medical files. She looked as if she was about forty, with frosted blond hair and bold purplish eye makeup. 

“Hi,” Brian said when she looked up. “I’m a new volunteer here. They told me to report to this office, so…”

“Hold on two secs,” the woman muttered. 

Did she just say something about sex? A blue nametag saying AMBER VALLONE-TECHNICIAN was pinned just above her left breast. Brian couldn’t help staring at it, the way it was pinned so close, how tight the material fit. Didn’t that hurt? And why did that have to excite him?

“The candy stripers sure are getting a lot cuter around here,” she said as she stood up and faced Brian. 

“I’m not a candy stripper…I mean, striper,” Brian said.

“What are you, then?” Amber stepped closer and gazed into Brian’s eyes. “Do you know you have the most gorgeous green eyes?”

“Uh, thanks.” Brian bit his lip. 

Her eyes narrowed. “Did you have onion for lunch?”

Brian felt his face turn red. 

“Don’t sweat it. I did, too. Here.” She handed him a peppermint lozenge. “Works every time. These things are like magic. They could mask a fifth of vodka if you needed them to.” 

“I don’t drink,” Brian said.

“Mmm. You must be one of those smart kids.” Amber put the lid back on the mints and tossed them back onto her desk. “So how many hours are you going to be here, smart kid?” 

“Fifteen a week,” Brian said. “But I could do more. Like twenty? Twenty-five? If you need me to. That’s not a problem.”

“I might need you,” Amber said. “I mean, we can always use all the extra help we can get. There’s a lot of really boring work, though. Messenger type stuff. But you’ll get to know your way around the hospital. Did you want to go to med school or something like that?” She crunched the peppermint lozenge in her mouth. 

“Sure. Maybe.” Brian found himself staring at Amber’s nametag again. “Anyway, I’m actually a lab assistant. That’s actually my, um, actual title. Or whatever.”

 

“You look really familiar. Do you go to Liberty with my Raynnie?” she asked.

“Raynnie?” Brian asked. 

“Rayanne,” Amber said. “Graff.”

What? Brian nearly choked on his breath mint. “You’re her mother?” 

“Actually, I’m her older sister, if anyone asks.” Amber winked at Brian.

Brian couldn’t believe that someone as young-looking and sort of…sexy…could be Rayanne’s mother. Of course, we are talking about Rayanne Graff. What did you expect? A seventy-year-old with gray hair, wearing a turtleneck and a plaid skirt.

“So you know her,” Amber said. “And you go to Liberty.” 

Brian nodded. “Some of the time. I mean, not this summer.”

“Well, I hope not. Nobody’s there now, right?” Amber laughed. 

“Um…almost nobody.” Brian smiled uneasily, thinking about how he’d just cancelled his weekly tutoring sessions with Jordan Catalano. Jordan was in summer school. He needed help. But Brian had had to call it off. He was too busy. 

No, that wasn’t it. It was that he couldn’t stand helping Jordan anymore. Not when all he did was help Jordan get back together with Angela.

He’d begged Sharon Cherski to take over the tutoring for him. Fortunately, she’d said yes. 

“So okay, Brian. I’ll give you the tour in a minute. First, you want me to help you out with these files?” Amber patted the seat beside her desk.

“Sure, Mrs. Vallone.” Brian put his knapsack down and slid the chair a few feet back before sitting down. She was nice, but she was Rayanne’s mother. He didn’t trust her.

“It’s Ms.,” she corrected him. “But please, call me Amber.” 

“Right. Okay,” Brian agreed. He tried to imagine calling Angela’s mother byher first name. What was it, anyway? Patty. He pictured himself and walking over and saying, “Hi, Patty!”

She’d throw the refrigerator at him. 

“So how was the first rehearsal?” Rickie asked.

“Perfect. Of course.” Rayanne flicked a long blond braid in Rickie’s face as she walked out of Hope Street Community Theater at about nine ‘o’ clock that night. “But they said I might have to cut my hair, because it’s too distracting. Are they that square and limited?” 

“Couldn’t you just wear a wig?” Rickie asked. “That’s what wigs are for. That’s why they were invented.”

“I know! But they said they like things with a natural approach,” Rayanne said. “I guess they’re the first theater company in the country with a no-wig clause.” 

“Not to mention a no-plot play,” Corey put in. 

Rayanne laughed. “Oh, there’s a plot. We just haven’t figured it out yet.”

“Hey, good for them. Saving all that cruelty to human hair.” Rickie rolled his eyes. 

“Don’t feel bad about the wig,” Corey said. “I made a ton of suggestions in our scenery meeting and they shot down every one of them. They look at you like, you’re just a kid, what do you know? I told them I’ve worked on a bunch of plays, and I’ve been painting forever.”

Rickie glanced down at Corey’s hand-painted sneakers, covered with swirls of bright colors. He’d painted a pair for Rayanne, too-they were incredibly creative. It was one of the first things Rickie had noticed about him.

“We’re doing this for free,” Rickie said. “If they criticize even one make decision of mine-”

“You’ll quit?” Corey finished. 

“Well…no. Probably not,” Rickie admitted. “I need to get experience.”

I’ll show you experience,” Rayanne teased. 

“And this is the only place around who’ll let me,” Rickie continued, throwing her an annoyed look.

“Yeah.” Corey nodded. “I know what you mean.” 

“But se, that’s why we should make a movie this summer. The three of us. We can totally control what we shoot,” Rickie said. “And then, at the end of the summer, we’ll have stage and screen experience.

“Colleges will go crazy for that stuff when we apply,” Corey said. 

“Who cares about college? I want to get more work out of it,” Rayanne said. “The kind that pays real money.”

“Speaking of which…what is your job du jour?” Rickie asked. 

“Food World. I’m the new bakery clerk,” Rayanne said proudly. “You should see what I can do with a cake decorator.”

“The kind you write with? Or the kind you sleep with?” Rickie asked. 

“Enrique.” Rayanne punched his shoulder. “Shame on you.”

“Oh my god. I just thought of something,” Rickie said. “If they’re anti-wig, they’ll never go for the makeup I’m planning. No fake eyelashes-you’re going to look so washed out on stage!” 

“Thanks.” Rayanne smiled. “I really appreciate that vote of confidence. I wonder if they’ll make me take out my fake boobs.”

Corey’s eyes widened. “You-?” 

“She doesn’t,” Rickie put in quickly.

“One hundred percent natural,” Rayanne said with a wink. “Just like the hippie director wants me to be. Granola Girl.  So what do you guys want to do now?” 

“I don’t know,” Rickie answered. Sometimes he wished Rayanne would just leave Corey and him to do something on their own, but he knew he would probably panic if she did that. It was more fun having her around, anyway. As long as she kept acting normal and as long as she wasn’t interested in Corey the way he was.

I wonder how Corey feels, Rickie thought. He seems like he’s having fun. But is it because of me, or Rayanne? 

Rickie would never forget how devastated he’d been when he and Corey went to the World Happiness Dance together. Rayanne was supposed to go with them, and when she didn’t show up, Corey had been visibly disappointed. When Rickie saw how disappointed, he’d wanted to die. He’d broken down and cried on Angela’s shoulder that night, because he’d felt so lonely and out of place.

At least he’d hidden his feelings from Corey. He and Corey had managed to stay friends, and Corey didn’t seem at all that interested in Rayanne anymore. But Rickie didn’t know if that was just wishful thinking on his part. He still had a major crush on Corey. 

“I say we hit Java Creek,” Rickie said out loud. “Delia’s working tonight.”

“Then what are we waiting for?” Rayanne linked one arm with Rickie, and the other with Corey. “There’s free to drink!” She started skipping down the sidewalk. “We’re off to get free coffee…” she sang to the tune of “We’re Off to See the Wizard.” 

“Hey, Dorothy-what do you think Delia’s all about? I mean, what’s her story?” Corey asked.

He was always asking bizarre questions like that, Rickie thought. As if he wanted to know everything about everyone. 

“Her story is that she is passionately in love with Rickie. Just like everyone else. Including me-and you,” Rayanne declared.

Rickie looked nervously at Corey. He wasn’t denying it. But he wasn’t jumping in and agreeing, either.

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