YA Cliché

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Miscellany | 0 comments

Late as always, Kimber rushed through the front door of Ridgeview High School, toting her cheerleader’s uniform over her shoulder. Kimber was going to have to hoof it if she was going to make it to class on time.

Anthony, Kimber’s best friend, was waiting in the hallway outside the classroom. “What the heck, Kimber? You can’t even be on time for your first day of school?”

“Well, I made it, didn’t I?”

“Just barely.” Anthony pushed open the door, and the two of them looked around the room for an open desk. The only open ones were at the very front. Anthony’s lip curled. “Thanks a lot, Kimber. That’s the last time I wait for you.”

Kimber grimaced. “I’m sorry.”

They got into their seats just as the teacher walked into the room. Kimber’s heart sank. It was Mrs. Willens. What is she doing here? Mrs. Willens had been Kimber’s fourth grade teacher. Why she was teaching 10th Grade algebra defied explanation, and, of course, Mrs. Willens hated her.

Mrs. Willens spotted Kimber right away. “Ah, Miss Rayburn. So glad to have the opportunity to teach you again after all these years. Perhaps this time, you will actually pass my class.”

Kimber’s cheeks flushed red as a few tentative titters of laughter echoed around the room. This year was going to suck.

Somehow, Kimber made it through class, in spite of the fact that everyone in the room seemed to know what was going on except for her. Finally, the torture of math class was over, and Kimber grabbed her cheerleaders uniform from under her desk. She was headed out the door when Mrs. Willens stopped her.

“Miss Rayburn,” Mrs. Willens said in her smoker’s voice. “I know you understood nothing of what we did today. I suggest you get a math tutor.”

Kimber’s face burned again. “Yes, Ma’am.”

“And you are clearly not cut out for a cheerleader. You shouldn’t set goals for yourself that you can’t reach. I think you should set your sights a little bit lower.”

Upset and embarrassed, Kimber ran out of the classroom and headed straight for the girl’s locker room. Once there, she stripped off her polo and jeans and threw on her cheerleader’s outfit, pausing to assess herself in the mirror.

Not cut out, my foot. Kimber fumed, studying her reflection.

She decided she was pretty, in a “normal” pretty kind of way—not striking like Courtney, but certainly not as plain as Meredith. Kimber’s hair was honey blonde, and her lips round and full. Of course, it would have been better if her eyes had been blue instead of the pale brown ones staring back at her, and it certainly wouldn’t have hurt if she had eaten fewer cheeseburgers over the summer. Still, she was curvy in the right places, even if she wasn’t a size two. Kimber fluffed her hair and crossed the locker room to exit the door onto the basketball court.

Courtney was there, of course, already shouting commands. Kimber quietly snuck to the back of the line of cheerleaders.

“Kimber.” Courtney’s nasal voice echoed across the gym. Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to where Kimber stood. “You are late.”

“Um. . . I am?” Kimber stammered. “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

“Well, I imagine not,” Courtney said, sticking her pert nose into the air. “You clearly aren’t dedicated enough to be a Lady Terrapin. I think you should leave.”

“But it was just one time!” Kimber looked around desperately for support, but everyone avoided her eyes. “Please give me another chance.”

“I don’t think so.” Courtney snapped her fingers, and everyone turned away from Kimber as one, dismissing her.

It had always been Kimber’s dream to be a cheerleader, and she had just opened her mouth to rail against the injustice of it all . . . when her alarm went off.

Kimber sat bolt upright in her bed and looked at the clock. It was only 6:00 a.m.

Thank goodness. It was just a dream.

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