Chapter One: Hello there Alice!
What the fuck am I doing here? Honestly, what am I doing in this little, inconsequential, stupid New Jersey town? I have no fucking idea. It might have something to do with the status of my mother. Newly divorced and going through one hell of a midlife crisis. She's gotten a tattoo. Honestly. Of course, that happened after my dad came home early from work and caught her in one of the biggest orgies ever. Or so I've been told.
So, that might have had something to do with it. Probably my 'friends' also caused this sudden shift in geographical locations. I mean, it's not like I was the one going out and getting the drugs! And I wasn't even taking them! They just happened to be in the same room as me! And yet my mother, the orgy queen, acted as if I had been selling Ketamine to children! I wasn't! For christ sake, I hadn't even smoked pot. I just sat there and quizzed them on biology! Fuck!
And now the kicker. Not only am I condemned to New Jersey, but I also have to go to some stupid ass private school. There's a uniform. I'm going to stab a bitch. Promise. I go from New York City, living a dream, to this. Wandering around bleach smelling hallways while nasty polyester gives me the rash of my life. Fuck! Again!
"Cordelia!" the orgy queen cried form down the stairs. "If you're late for the first day, so help me!" I could hear her stilettos stomping around downstairs. No doubt ruining the 'adorable hard wood floors' she had raved about. God, my mother sure loved hard wood.
"You'll what mom!?" I shouted back, grabbing my canvas messenger bag. "Call over your twenty five lovers and go at it to release pent up frustration? It's not even the first day of the year! Couldn't you have gone crazy during the summer?!" Thundering down the staircase I waited for the explosions.
"For fuck's sake Cordelia! I didn't want this to happen! And if you don't shut up, your brother will wake up! Do you want that?"
"I kind of do Mom! Just so he'll finally know how fucked up this family is!" I had entered the kitchen now and caught a glimpse of my mom pouring some vodka into her coffee. "Oh, that's healthy. A little booze in the morning to clear your head. That's awesome Mom. Stellar even!" I was mocking her and she knew it.
"That's not my name. That name belongs in the eighteen hundreds. Why you couldn't leave it there, I don't know."
"That is your name young lady!"
"Are we using nicknames now? Okay, here's yours. You are the orgy queen!" I strutted past her and grabbed an apple from the bowl on the table. "Hope you're cool with that!" As I bit into my apple I saw my mother slowly coming towards me.
"You will not use that language with me," she growled. Woops. The straw that broke the camels back. Wonder what it will be this morning. "I am your mother. Have some respect!"
"See, I lost all of that when my dad had to tell inform that apparently my mom has some fetishes and likes it when five guys are drilling her at once. One hell of a bed time story though!" She slapped me then. My apple flew from my hand and landed on the wood flooring, skittering through a doorway into the family room. "Classy Mom," I muttered, refusing to rub the now flaming cheek.
"Oh god, I'm so sorry honey!" She tried to hug me then but I back away. Not out of fear but out of repulsion. "I didn't mean to. It's just, I'm stressed, and so much is going on!"
I left the kitchen while she was standing there, slowly shaking her head. "Crazy bitch," I said under my breath, racing to my room. Great. This was going to make us late for my first day of school. Fucking typical. Slamming the door helped alleviate some of the stress. Of course, it also made three of my posters fall to the ground.
I'm cliche, I'll admit to it. Fucked up household, bad attitude, shitty name. Hell, someone should make a movie about my life. It would sell like crazy. I grabbed the three posters. They were for 'Smashing Pumpkins', 'Green Day', and 'Panic! At the Disco'. There were a million more and they sufficiently covered my room. Instant wall paper. Underneath that the walls were a sickening shade of blue that still peeked through. Just to irk me. Grabbing my phone, I stuffed it in the front pocket of my blazer. A blazer, I still can't get over it. For those who enjoy fashion, what follows is a description of my outfit.
A grey pleated skirt, a white blazer, a red and blue diagonally striped tie, and a blue blazer with the school crest on the left hand side. I also had one panty hose. Yes, you've read that correctly. Panty hose. I thought only grandmas wore those. I was incorrect. But, the only part of the outfit I could choose, the shoes, were my favorite. Mainly because, as I said before, they were the only things I could choose. Knee high lace up black combat boots. Hell yeah bitches!
Back down the stairs I went, after I slammed my door shut so that my mother would get the picture and not go in there. "I'm gonna be late if we don't leave! We can have a lovely mother daughter reunion later. Okay?" My laptop slid from the vestibule table into my bag and I headed outside. My mother soon followed, her eyes big. "Let's make a deal," I said like I was talking to a child. My mother nodded, taking a big gulp of her laced coffee. "Neither one of us will bring this up. Okay?" Another nod and big sip of the coffee booze hybrid. "Great. Now, you have to put the keys in the ignition to start the car."
We left the house, driving along the well paved road. No pot holes, nice. After several minutes of staring at trees I glanced over at my mother, wondering at her mental state. Shaky. Very shaky. She had been going to therapy because she was, well, mental. Apparently, the whole, cheat on my dad with a shitload of guys and then get a tattoo, was just her brain taking a little vacation. I don't think it was back yet. She wasn't fit for child care. But then, neither was my father. As soon as my mom gave him the okay to get divorced, he was gone. Off to the Galapagos to study penguins or turtles or some shit like that. Bye bye parental unit!
"Mom, mom, we're here." I said when we drove past the entrance to the school. She cursed and did a u-turn. Luckily we had been told to get there and hour early so that I could have a walkthrough of the school and there was no traffic. "Crap." I wished I hadn't told my mother where to turn. "It's like a mother fucking castle," I muttered as we drove through the gates of the school. It was true. Apparently I would be attending mother fucking Hogwarts!
The school was a giant stone building with a chapel attached. Not attending that, sorry God. There were tiers and towers and fountains. "What the fuck is this place?" I asked my mom, sliding down in my seat. It looked like a prison to me.
"This is Bainsly Academy. They have a motto!" My mom sounded much better, chipper almost. Oh, I knew why. She was getting rid of me.
"A motto, how fantastic," I growled as we pulled into a parking spot. "You know, a lot of things have mottos. Like, hefty bags!" I received a grueling glare that did its job and got me out of the car.
"Come on. The administrative offices are right over there!" my mom pointed to a wing of the building. Crap. There were wings. I was doomed. "Cordelia! Are you even awake!"
"No," I whispered as I followed my mom across a perfectly green yard, "I'm hoping that this is just a really horrible nightmare. Dear god let me wake up." Of course, it wasn't a dream. I was really stepping into a massive building in search of a tiny office. Is there a fear of large spaces? Like claustrophobia but in reverse? There really should be. "I don't think it's here, Mom," I tried weakly, realizing the futility of anything I did. I was doomed. Down the rabbit hole. Fuck.
The orgy queen pushed open a door with a glass window in it that read "Administrative Offices." Fuck. We weren't lost. Nope. We were on straight path to my demise. Shoot me. Now!
"Hello there!" an overly eager woman cried. She stood up from her chair, hitting her knees on the table in her excitement.
"Hi!" my mom said in a similar voice, grasping the woman's hand and pumping it up and down in a very violent handshake. Wincing, I tried to disappear. Hide in a corner. Anything!
"You must be the Beringers! Please, Dr. Alveken is waiting for you in his office." She pointed to another door which read, 'Principle'. And dear god, underneath was another sign, handwritten, that said, 'Prince-PAL!'. Holy fuck. People actually did shit like that? I thought it was only in really corny movies. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
My mom half dragged half carried me into the room, ignoring the looks I was throwing in her direction. No. No. NO! In the room there was a large wooden desk and two small chairs in front of it. The walls were covered with pictures of ex-students (I presumed) and there were some nice big windows. Okay. I could spend some time in this room. I probably was going to.
We sat in the two small chairs and I realized that they made the occupant of the desk seem massive. Or maybe he just was massive. "Hello!" cried Dr. Alveken, spinning his chair around to face us. "I'm Dr. Alveken." He held out a giant hand for us to shake and my mom grasped it as enthusiastically as the woman's before. Jesus. I weakly shook his hand, giving him a dead fish. Frowning, he leaned back in his chair, eyeing up my mom and myself. "Well then, Cordelia, are you excited to start school here? I know that it can be hard to join after the year has begun, but school has only been going on for about a month. You haven't missed much."
He looked over at me, waiting for my response. I tried to find the question in that short monologue, Oh, was I excited for school. Fuck no. "I mean, what teenager is ever really excited," my mother began, seeing the look on my face. "But I'm sure that Cordelia is excited to make some new friends here at Bainsly. And she is such a great student." Why don't you just give me a sign reading nerd? It would simplify things.
"Well that's great. Now, are you ready for the tour." A sigh from me and a squeal from my mother began our tour. I tried to lag behind and see things by myself but Dr. Alveken was a sheep dog, herding us everywhere. Finally, after we had seen a million perfectly identical classrooms and one foul smelling cafeteria, the tour was over. Thank fucking God! "Now, Cordelia, the other students should be arriving soon. If you'd like to I could let you meet your homeroom teacher first."
"I'm fine," I said dryly, glaring at the man. "I'll just wander around. Check the place out."
"Honey, are you..."
"Yes Mom. I am sure. Okay. You can go now." I was almost growling. My teeth were clenched and my eyes narrowed and I caught the look that Dr. Alveken and my mom shared. Crazy angst filled teenager alert.
"Okay hon. Bye," she tried to lean over and hug me but I deftly maneuvered away from her, leaving her stranded in a sea of awkwardness. "Alright. Well, I'll see you after school. Call if your plans change." She walked out of the building and Dr. Alveken left as well, mentioning something about going back to his office. I walked through the hallways, trying to remember where my locker was. Seeing a window, I peered out and saw cars and buses pulling up by the dozen. Here come my future 'friends'. Help me.
Just as I finally managed to relocated my locker the halls burst into life. I almost screamed when the first wave of students hit. They surged forward, gossiping about who wore what to who's party and what asses the teachers were for assigning so much homework. I briefly considered hiding in my locker before I decided that it was too short. Dammit. Hastily, I shoved textbooks and notepads into my locker, trying to ignore the confused glances from the people with lockers on either side of me.
"You're new," one of them, a boy on my left, said. "Why did you start after the first day of school? Oh, I'm Marcus by the way." I nodded, wondering if maybe Cordelia wasn't such an odd name in this place.
"Stuff," I muttered in answer to his problem. Of course, the act of talking distracted me and I dropped my pencil case, spilling pens and pencils everywhere. Feeling like a fool, I knelt down, desperately grabbing at the rolling objects. Getting most of them, I shoved them back in the case, my cheeks bright red.
"Nice one," the girl on my right muttered, flicking a lock of raven black hair from her eyes. I glared, pushing some of my own strawberry blonde hair out of my face.
"What was that?" I growled, grabbing the reading book I was needed for homeroom.
"I said, nice one." the girl shouted slowly, acting like I was either deaf or retarded.
"You know, my mother always told me to be nice to strangers because you never know who might help you," I murmured to her, raising one eyebrow. "Now, do you wanna try and be nice?"
The girl smirked. "As if!" she cried, striding away from me.
I nudged Marcus. "Look," I said, pointing at the girl as she walked away. Unbeknownst to her, she had tucked her white blazer into her bright pink underwear and it was now showing above the waistline of her skirt. "You never know what a stranger may observe," I laughed, shoving my back into the top shelf of my locker.
"Good work," Marcus noted appreciatively. "That would be Ali. Bitch of the school."
Marcus shook his head. "She wishes. No. She's the lowest of the bitches. Makes her the meanest. Spite and anger." Marcus and I laughed, watching as the bright pink that marked Ali slowly disappeared into the crowd. "I like you," Marcus said, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. "Run with me. We'll be fine."
We walked to homeroom together and Marcus gave me the rundown of everything and everyone. "That's Shaun," he said after he and Shaun had shared a very complicated looking handshake. "He's the tight end on the football team. I'm the quarter back. We're friends." And later, after he had given a half hug and a kiss on the cheek to a girl, "Natasha. Russian beauty. Blonde, busty, and a bimbo. We hooked up." I laughed at that, watching as Natasha bounced down the hallways, her cleavage drawing some interesting glances.
"I've got a funny feeling that you run with the popular crowd," I observed as we sat down in homeroom. "Don't know if I can keep up."
"No worries. With a face like that and a friend like me, you'll be fine." I grinned, watching as some more people filed in.
"Christ," I said eventually, "who are they?" They were a group of four boys who were, amazing. One had shoulder length black hair, another had shorter black hair and some awesome tattoos, the tallest of the group had short brown hair that fell in his face and glasses, and the last had a light brown afro. They all looked thoroughly miserable and I felt like we could be kindred spirits.
"Oh, do not mess with them. They're not who you wanna be friends with?"
"Why not?" I asked aggressively, watching as the boys meandered to the back of the room and collapsed in a row of chairs.
"They're freaks. Alright. In some sort of band. Crazy ass name, can't think of it at the moment. The long haired guy is Gerard Way. He sings and during freshman year, he came to school in drag. People actually thought he was a girl. The glasses dork is Mikey Way, his twin brother. Tattoo idiot is Frank Iero. I don't know how he was allowed to get those. And the afro kid, Ray Toro. Loser each and every one of them." Marcus looked at me, obviously expecting a grin. When I didn't give him one he tried again. "And the band, the funniest thing about it, they don't even have a drummer. No one wants to do it! Isn't that a total riot?" He laughed out loud, a hint of desperation leaking into his voice.
"I don't think it's that funny," I said, watching the boys. "In fact, I think it's pretty kick ass that they have the balls to do something like that. Start up a band."
I could almost feel Marcus gasp by my side. It was like he had sucked in half the air in the room. "I'd stop talking like that," he muttered. "People might think you actually like them. And that would be social, ermmm.."
"Suicide," I finished for him. "Maybe according to you. But not for me." But I held my position, listening as he filled me in on everyone else. Never hurt to have an in on the crowd. Until they got too annoying. And Marcus was close. Very close.