Sunday, December 14, 2014
First 5 Pages December Workshop - Jellison Rev 2
Name: Ashley Jellison
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Title: The Dare
Meg was staring unseeingly at the board, silently groaning to herself. She was sitting in her English class, listening to yet another boring lecture from her teacher, Mr. Parker. Last time she had checked, he was droning on about symbolism in classic novels. She, however, was staring at Tazity’s new haircut. The geeky girl had chopped off everything but a few inches and it looked horrible. Meg couldn’t believe she had come to school looking like that. Or maybe she didn’t own a mirror. That would explain her normal look, anyway.
“Meg, I need to see you after class.”
Meg shook her head and stared at Mr. Parker, certain she’d heard wrong. This had never happened before. “Why?”
He frowned. “Because I said so.” A couple of girls snickered and Meg sighed. The class was long enough.
The bell rang through the school. Meg stayed in her seat while everyone else filed out. A few of her friends gave her sympathetic glances and one girl smirked over her shoulder. Meg flicked her off and looked away.
Mr. Parker closed the door behind the last student and turned to look at Meg. He didn’t speak for a minute, just stared thoughtfully. Then he broke the silence. “Meg, I’m worried about your grades in here. You were doing well in the beginning and now you refuse to put in the work. I’ve allowed you into an advanced class and I expect you to do the work. Yet again, though, you’ve disappointed me.”
Meg, who had been lazily staring out the window, snapped her head around. “Disappointed you? What did I do?”
The professor rubbed his beard and cleaned his glasses before answering. “Your Harper Lee project was due today. Before school started. I told you that last month.”
No, no, no. This couldn’t be happening. Meg couldn’t stand failing a class. She came close once and the disappointment in her dad’s eyes every time he saw her just about broke her.
Meg had written down the due date as. She hadn’t even finished the book yet, and while she didn’t have a perfect grade in the class, she had figured out what she had to make on everything to pass. “Mr. Parker, I really thought it was due . I must have written the date wrong. But I am just past the ‘People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for,’ and I really like it. Can I have until ? You can even take half the points off.”
The afternoon sunlight came through the window and made the teacher’s wrinkles more prominent. “Meg, I assigned it for today. Maybe next—“
“I’ll have it done. Better than everyone else’s. Please, sir, I need this grade,” she pleaded. And she knew by his sigh she had won. “Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! I won’t let you down!”
Meg grabbed her backpack and ran out of the classroom before slowing to a walk. She had to look calm. The world couldn’t know she had just begged to redeem her grade in an English class.
"Meg!" At her locker, Meg turned and saw Aria, her best friend, running towards her, waving her arms. "Are you still mad at me?"
"You know I can't stay mad at you." Aria was supposed to pick Meg up for school that morning; she’d blown it off to hang out with her new boy of the week.
"Good. Because I dare you to do something." Mischief danced in the girl's eyes.
"Uh oh. These never end well."
"What do you mean, they never end well? I've never dared you to do anything too extreme."
Meg scoffed. "Aria, you dared me to egg Sam’s car last year!"
"Yeah, but you did it, didn't you?"
"Oh, whatever! So what is it this time?"
Aria smiled. "Not yet. I'll tell you soon." With that, she grabbed Meg's hand and practically dragged her out of the school and towards the fountain. As soon as they got close, though, Aria pulled Meg next to the building and held a finger to her lips.
"When I say so, look around the corner. Ready?" Meg nodded. "Okay. Go!"
Meg's neck popped as she jerked her head out. She didn't see anything of importance, just a few kids trying to swim in the water.
"What are you talking about? There's nothing there."
"Oh but there is. There is a boy sitting in the corner, reading and jamming to music. Look again, and pay attention this time."
Meg peeked out once more. Indeed, she did see a boy that seemed familiar sitting alone. "Okay, so there's a guy over there. What gives?"
"Rumor has it that he's, like, obsessed with you. I mean, crazy in love. Macy heard some guys talking about it at lunch."
"Wait, really?" Meg could see in Aria's eyes that the girl wasn't lying. "Oh my gosh, ew! He's, like, a total dork. As if he'd even have a chance with me." Both girls laughed at that.
Once they quieted down as to avoid being spotted, Aria cleared her throat. "Exactly my point. He's a freak, and doesn't even deserve to look at you. So, I was going to have a couple of the basketball players challenge him to a fight, but I didn't want to get arrested if the guy got himself hurt. Instead, I was thinking you could help out with this."
Meg grinned wickedly at Aria. "What do you have in mind?"
"I was thinking that I dare you to ask him out."
Meg turned her head so Aria wouldn’t notice her pause. Lately, Aria had been going farther and farther with her dares and Meg had started to feel bad for some of her victims. But she had worked hard to be top of the school; she wasn’t about to lose it now. "I'll do it." Meg was already working out the best way to confront the guy, whom she did not even know.
"He's Jason Michaels, junior," Aria supplied. "Go on. Get out there. I want this recorded."
Meg laughed and then strutted out from behind the building, making sure every curve of her body stood out as she walked to the corner.
"Jason?" Oh, he was kind of cute. Fluffy black-brown hair and blue eyes that flicked up to meet her face.
The boy pulled his headphones out and threw a casual smile her way. A smile that lit up his face and made Meg feel safe. Man, this would be hard. "Yeah? What are you doing here, Miss Popular?"
His response took Meg by surprise. Not many people had the nerve to answer her without stuttering.
"Well, I've seen you a couple times, and I think you're really cute.” Not a lie. “And...well...I was kinda hoping that--"
The boy stared at her, slightly blushing. "Yes?"
Meg shot him her sweetest smile and stuffed her hands into her pocket to make herself look more awkward. "I was wondering if you'd like to go out with me?"
Jason narrowed his eyes. "Me? But you don't even know me."
"I know, but I really want to. And what better way than to chat over coffee?" This has to work. Aria will kick me to the bottom if I fail one of her dares.
Jason’s eyebrows knit together, but a smile tugged at his lips. Finally, he stood up, he face a mixture of confusion and excitement. "Wow. I mean, I'd love to. Really. I just thought that--well, I've heard the rumors. So I never thought that you would even notice me. But I've liked you for a while and this is great. Yes!"
A rude laugh made him pause. "Cut!" Aria stepped out from behind the fountain. "Good job, Meg! The freak thought that somebody actually liked him! Let's go, before you're late home." Meg glared at Aria. She had actually been considering taking him out to coffee before Aria interrupted.
She turned to leave, but not before looking back to Jason. If he had been blushing before, he was a lobster now. He was staring directly at the camera, horror painted on his face. Yet nothing compared to his eyes. They were wide with pain and Meg saw rejection flash in them before he looked at the ground. Meg backed up and her face stung as if he had slapped her.
"Screw you." He turned his head and sprinted in the other direction. Aria choked her laughter down and watched her victim run away. Aria couldn’t force herself to fake a laugh.