Paramount
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 2
Holly

 "So, what are you planning on wearing?" Elisha Carpenter asked her best friend, Holly Drake, who was propped on top of her four-poster bed, dangling her small feet off of the edge.
"Jeez, I dunno," Holly said breezily, clad in her sheer tank top and pink pajama bottoms.
"Maybe that brand new top I got from American Eagle." she continued. "You know, the sparkly pink camisole with the ribbon below the breast line?"

Elisha nodded, adjusting her red bra straps.

The night before, they had been planning on which outfits to wear on their first day of high school. Ever since the fourth grade, Holly always wanted to look perfect on her first day back to school. Since Holly was usually the one to care more about her appearance than Elisha and her other best friend, Reese McKinley, she was always asked which outfit she was wearing on the first day of school. It was an annual thing.

 "Has Mark called?" Elisha asked. "My bitch of a mom took away my iPhone, so now I'm phoneless."

Mark Garwood was Elisha's nine-month boyfriend. They had met through Holly because Holly knew Mark's best friend, Carter Atkins. It was during a social event and Elisha and Mark had hit it off almost immediately. However, their personalities contrasted significantly. While Elisha was wild, outgoing, and hyper, Mark was laid back, sarcastic, and only talked to the ones he knew well.

Mark had his charm. His curly dark-blond hair made him look like a time traveler from the nineteen-seventies. Which is why Elisha had fallen for him. She loved his curly hair. The way it hung over his ocean-blue eyes and blew whenever it was windy out. She could play with it everyday (if Mark would let her of course). Besides, he kind of looked like David Cassidy.

"No, sorry." Holly said. "You'll see him today, don't worry."

"I know!" Elisha emphasized. "But I can't wait for forty more minutes! Aargh!"

"Well, call him then." Holly said, handing Elisha her green Sidekick.

She couldn't believe how illogical Elisha was. Every time Elisha had a problem, she would always go on about what she should do rather than just trying to manually solve the problem herself. Holly was usually the problem solver in everything. From deaths to break ups, she was like the Problem Guru. She even helped out people she didn't know. She was considering in being a psychologist, but she shook the thought out because she realized it was less exciting than being a housewife to a rich man.

But, here Holly was, helping out a clueless friend who couldn't even figure out her own problems.

"Thank you!" Elisha said in her cutesy voice.

She pressed the number "five" button and put the phone to her ear.

Three rings later, a guy's groggy, slightly-mature voice answered.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Mark." Elisha said. "What are we planning on doing for our nine-month anniversary?"

Gosh! Holly thought to herself. Can Elisha get any blunter?

Like normal people, Elisha should have called, asked him how he was doing, make small talk, and then ask him about the anniversary. And Elisha was supposed to be running for House Senate for the freshman class? As if. For someone who wanted to be in politics one day, she sure lacked the people skills for it.

The other end was silent for a moment and then Mark said, "You're serious? You call me up at six fifty-one in the morning just to ask me about our anniversary?"

That's what I'm saying.

"Mark, I want this to be special." Elisha whined.

Holly rolled her sapphire-blue eyes. She was tired of  Elisha's constant obsession over the stupid nine-month anniversary. All Mark was going to do was take her to The Lake, serve dinner (pizza), and then make out. Not really romantic.

Her idea of a romantic date was going to a fancy Italian restaurant with roses on the table and waiters who kept refilling your water glass. But so far, that hasn't happen with her and her current boyfriend, Peter Mahon.

Peter's idea of a romantic date was either rolling skating at the Cherokee Center or eating out at Friday's. She had no idea what she saw in Peter. He was cute, but sometimes he could be a nuisance. His short, curly brown hair and emerald green eyes weren't going to make up for the fact that he was a douchebag when it came to romantic ideas. Hell, even her friend Damian Marshall could do better than him in the romance department.

Oh, well. At least Peter didn't give off the date-rape vibe like her other friend, Andy Sims did. He would never do such a thing when in the right state of mind, but she knew how horny and stupid Andy was. She just hoped he didn't end up as a serial rapist on America's Most Wanted.

Finished talking to Mark, Elisha zipped up her denim miniskirt and brushed lint off of her cream pleated babydoll top. She flipped her long blond hair and tied it into a high, perky ponytail. When she was done, she walked over to the full length mirror and spun around.

"How do I look?" she asked.

"Like a hot runway model." Holly said, winking at her.

Elisha smiled and hugged Holly.

Elisha loved how straight-up Holly was when it came to people's looks. She would never tell a lie when it came to that. Even if she hated someone, she would still let them know how pretty or hot they were if asked for the opinion.

"Hey, Holly, you're out of toothpaste." Holly and Elisha's other best friend, Reese McKinley, said, emerging from the bathroom.

She was wearing her floral beige day-dress and white flip-flops underneath. Her brownish-blond hair, golden skin, and light-brown eyes indicated her sisterly resemblance to Elisha.

Holly stood out like a sore thumb when around them. She was five-four, dark-haired, freckled face (visible when summertime), and blue-eyed. Guys thought she was sexy, but she never thought of herself as particularly "sexy" let alone "hot". She had the esteem enough to see herself as attractive, but she felt guys only thought that way about her was because of association and popularity. Which reminded her of the superficial aspects of Hollywood.

Which was cool with her, because she liked being thought of as hot.

Sighing, Holly dug into her toiletries bag and pulled out a fresh tube of toothpaste.

"Here." she said irritably.

"Thank yeeeeeeee!" Reese said in a high-pitched voice, bouncing back to the bathroom.

When she was done brushing her teeth, she came back out looking fresh and healthy.

"Man, I can't wait for high school." she sighed, falling onto Holly's bed.

"Watch it!" Holly snapped, fluffing her periwinkle bedspread affectionately. "This is a Raymond Waites Cabolina comforter set."

"Well, sorry, your majesty." Reese said, sighing.

Holly was always overreacting. Like just the other day, all three of them were at Carter Atkins house partying with their other friends; Courtney Hofstadter, Danielle Klasky, Damien Marshall, Dominique Ogilvy, Evan Cross, Stephanie Dice, Lucas Green, Jamie Klein, Andy Simms, and Maris Fields. It had been a terrific night, until Evan accidentally threw up all over Holly's brand new, limited edition Coach sandals.  They were golden and Evan had tainted them. She didn't completely blame her. She knew it was Evan's first time drinking cocktails and it made her sick to her stomach. The rest had been drinking since the eighth grade New Years Eve party. They were all careful and responsible to not get drunk, but they knew if their parents were to ever catch them drinking, they would be sent to separate schools.

Anyways, Holly began to scream about how her mother had been to every store in Indiana looking for those shoes. She finally had to fly all the way to New York City to obtain a pair. All for her daughter's fifteenth birthday. It was not that big of a deal. They were washable. But it didn't stop Holly from freaking out. She was always overprotective over her belongings. They were like her "children".

Holly took a long red streak from her dark-brown hair and chewed on it. She had already changed into her pink camisole, wearing denim short shorts underneath. She looked like a bored, know-it-all  girl who was ready to go to school. Generally because she was.

"Anyways, yeah, I can't wait for high school." Holly said, a little calmer. "I am a little disappointed that we only have one class together."

"It scares me just thinking about it." agreed Reese.

Last year at Paramount Middle School, all three of the girls had every single class together. They were inseparable. But now that they were attending high school, the school counselor had messed up their schedule and they wouldn't be as close as they were before.

"We're all on the same floor, Reese." Elisha said matter-of-factly. "We'll see each other during passing periods."

"And we have lunch at the same time, too." Holly added, looking at the cuticles of her pink polished nails with strange interest.

"I miss summer, though." Elisha said dreamily.

She reminisced  bout spending half of the summer at Camp Young Life and the other half at Carter's lakehouse. From river rafting to parasailing, the summer had been a blast. She remembered fondly of the time when she, Reese, Elisha, Carter, and Andy got chased out of 7 Eleven for trying to steal beer from the shelves.

Next time don't go to a store wearing a backpack or any other big carrying compartments. Genius. 

It was Andy's brilliant idea in the first place, and they ended up getting in huge trouble for it by their parents. They had all lied and blamed it on Dexter Kirkpatrick, the school loser and douchebag, that he had dared them to do it. Carter's mother had called Dexter's parents about advising them to take Dexter to Alcoholics Anonymous in order to "help" him.

Elisha always thought Carter's mother was an ignorant basketcase when it came to those sort of things. But it was still funny to get poor Dexter into trouble. It wasn't like he didn't deserve it anyway. He was mean and always picked on the younger kids. Andy had once scissor-locked him until he screamed "uncle!" for picking on the autistic six grader, Mitchell Redmond.

Good times. Good times...

"Summer will come again before we know it." Reese said, twirling a blond curl with her French-manicured finger.

Holly curled her lips into a smile and nodded at Elisha.

"Holly!" the girls heard a female voice yell from outside of Holly's bedroom.

"Oh, god." Holly said, bearing for the worst.

Just then, her sister, Kayla, marched in.

"We have to leave! I'm going to be late for Cross Country practice!"

"Alright, Kay." Holly said sweetly. "We'll be ready in a minute."

She moved a stray auburn hair from Kayla's face and smiled.

"You look pretty today."

Kayla rolled her eyes. "Whatever. If I'm late one more time, I'm going to cause my team to run around the track for an extra thirty minutes of our time!"

"All fucking right!" Holly barked. "We're coming!"

"Bitch..." she added, muttering under her breath so low that Kayla couldn't hear what she had just said.

 Kayla was always uptight and she always wanted to be on time because if she wasn't, things according to her would just go completely wrong. Holly was pretty sure Kayla was OCD. Kayla and Holly looked alike, except Holly had brown hair.  Kayla's hair was longer, thicker, and auburn. She wasn't as sociable and popular as Holly, but Kayla still had friends. It was however sad to be less popular than your fifteen year old sister at seventeen years old.

Sighing, Kayla turned on her Jimmy Choo clad heels and marched out of Holly's bedroom.

"All three of you, get down here!" she screamed, her voice descending as she walked down the curved staircase. "NOW!!!"

"Weirdo." Elisha mouthed, forming an "O" sign with her thumb and index finger.

"Don't mind her." Holly said, walking into her walk-in closet to fetch her sky-blue Jansport backpack. "She's just cranky because she lost her room due to a bet."

"Oh, yeah." Reese said. "You mean the one you're living in now?"

"The room I'm living in forever." Holly clarified, doing a ta-da motion with her arms to reflect her spacious bedroom. It was as big as a classroom. The tanned wallpaper, porcelain colored carpet, and brown four-poster bed made it look like an emperor hotel suite.

Her and Kayla had made a bet that if Holly could go through a whole week without making any rude and abrasive comments, she would trade Holly her bedroom for her small, dinky sized one. What an idiotic bet. She should have known that Holly wouldn't give up on a wonderful opportunity like that. She almost felt sorry for Kayla's stupidity. "Almost" is the keyword. At least Kayla won't be needing the room next year since she's going off to college.

"Well, cuties," Holly said to Reese and Elisha, "we don't want to keep Cruella Deville waiting."

"I said get down here now!" Kayla screamed in blistering fury.

"Kayla, leave your sister and her friends alone," they heard Holly's mother scold Kayla.

"You'll be at school just in time for Cross Country. And if you scream in this house one more time, I'll give you something to scream about."

"Ooh...!" the girls giggled like little school girls who had just witnessed a classmate getting in trouble for stealing cookies from the cookie jar.

"Come on, let's go." Elisha said in anticipation. "My lips are dying to kiss Mark again."

"You can't even go through a day without kissing him, can you?" Reese asked, hurling Holly's fluffy green pillow at Elisha's face. Holly didn't mind that time.

"Hmm... let me see." Elisha said, putting her right hand to her chin and tapping her lips with her index finger as if she were really considering Reese's question. "Um, like, no!"

All three of them laughed as they walked out of Holly's room, heading downstairs to the living room.

Ten minutes later (it would have been fifteen if Kayla hadn't been driving at top speed), the four girls arrived at the high school in Kayla's black BMW. The school building was big and red, with shrubs and trees decorating the landscape. The girls were not overwhelmed. They had already been inside the school multiple times for their brothers' and sisters' chorus recitals, graduations, and other important events. It wasn't anything exciting like it was for the other eager and scared losers.

 Holly immediately saw her nerdy, softball playing friend, Danielle Klasky. She was a small, pink faced girl with slight blemishes on her face. She wasn't loser nerdy, but she was always obsessing over Harry Potter and computer games. The kind of stuff that nerds were into. I guess you could say she was cute, but the attitude was more attractive than her face.

"Dani!" Holly screeched, banging the door open, ignoring Kayla's chide as she ran towards Danielle.

"Holly!" Danielle said cheerily. "So glad to see you. I am so pissed that Summer '08 is over."

"Same here, but Carter's party was so much fun!" Holly said. "Except the whole shoe incident with Evan."

"Oh, yeah." Danielle said, playing with her medium-length brown hair.

Elisha and Reese came over and gave Danielle a huge hug.

"What's up, girly." Elisha said first. "Excited about first day of school?"

"Kind of." Danielle said hesitantly. "I don't like how the classes are longer, however."

"Oh, God, I hate that!" Reese spat in disgust.

"You guys are such babies about this." Holly barked. "We're in high school. It's going to get tougher."

She couldn't stand how her friends were whining and crying about how long the classes were. Or how hard their classes were going to be.

Big deal. It's high school. Get over it.

Reese smiled at an awkward, zit-faced, stringy-haired, bespectacled girl hunched over a stack of books she had in both hands.

"You received text books already, Jenna?" she asked, catching the girl's attention.

Jenna nodded shyly. She then ran off hurriedly, nearly dropping her books onto the pavement.

"Okay, rude?" Reese said, picking at her manicured nails.

"No doubt." Elisha said.

A fly landed on her wrist and she swatted it away.

Approaching them, a tall, dark-haired, ruggedly handsome guy came up from behind Danielle and lifted her off of the ground. He spun her around and hugged her tightly. He was wearing a pair of black shorts and a beige Adidas t-shirt.

She giggled. "Carter, put me down!"

It was Carter Atkins, the girls' best friend. He was always a lovable guy. From his goofy ways to his kind ways, he was always the one to go to when you had a problem. What was even more convenient was that he was considered one of the hottest guys amongst the freshman class. However, Holly didn't think he was that great. Of course he was like a big brother, but she didn't think he was that much worth crying over. She figured most of the girls only liked him was because of his sideburns. Which she had to admit, they were kind of cute. But that was  one of her little secrets.

As Carter was putting Danielle down, Holly grabbed his hands and swung it around like a pendulum.

He reached over and touched her face with his hands.

"What's up, Holly Wolly?" he asked.

"Nothing much." she said, but she sometimes got annoyed when he kept calling her "Holly Wolly".

"Hi, Carter!" a short girl with brown hair said, her giddy friends trailing behind.

He waved and smiled.

Reese rolled her eyes. "Okay, since now this family reunion is over with, let's find our other friends."

"Um, alright, Reese," Carter said, "But your bra is showing."

She gasped and looked down. As told, her blue bra was popping out from the neckline of her dress. Guys were pointing and laughing at her. She immediately covered up her chest and frowned at the perverted boys.

Holly just smirked and said, "At least you made a first impression on the guys."

All but Reese thought Holly's remark was funny. Reese took out her lipgloss and hurled it at her.

Holly looked taken aback.

It was only a joke. Fuck!

"Hey, it could be worse." Carter said optimistically. "You could be Dexter."

"Yeah, thanks, Carter." Reese said tonelessly.

They all turned to see a bespectacled boy with messy brown hair bumbling around a sea of students trying to get to the school's entrance. You would think he was some smart nerd just by looking at him, but he was really as dumb as a sack of potatoes.

"Hey, Dex Buddy!" Carter called. "Come here!"

"Fuck no, cocksucker!" Dexter yelled, flipping him off.

A few of the students turned and smirked at him as they were passing by. He was always making an ass out of himself when he was trying to be cool.

"Gosh, what a loser." Reese said. "He would be more likable if he wasn't such an ass."

"I swear, I'm afraid he's going to rape me." Danielle said, frowning at the idiot boy being shoved by a group of seniors.

"Oh, please!" Holly commented. "Who would want to rape you?"

"Haha," Danielle said sarcastically. "So funny I forgot to laugh."

"Don't worry, Dani." Carter said, pinching her pink cheeks. "You're pretty enough to be raped."

Offended, Elisha immediately changed the subject.

"Ok, so we better head off to the halls, because the others are probably already there waiting for us."

"Cool with me." Carter said, wrapping his long arms around all four of the girls' waists.

"Wow..." Holly said ironically. "What could we ever do without you?"

"I can think of a hundred things." Reese said, squeezing Carter's arm tightly.

Carter chuckled and hugged all four of them affectionately.

The five of them walked arm-and-arm to the freshman door as if they were actors walking into the sunset at the end of a dramatic film.

 

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