Paramount
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 7
New Friends

“There's room over here,” an olive-skinned girl with long, silky, black hair said to Savannah. A purple headscarf was wrapped around her forehead and she was wearing a purple ethnic print dress over a pair of brown sandals.

Savannah recognized one of the kids at the table as Justin Alvarado from her journalism class. She smiled at them and headed over to their table with boatloads of food on her tray. She had a good time picking out food to eat. It was a lot of food, but she was positive they didn't serve food like that at Graysville High. This school even had an espresso machine. The thing about the lunchlines at Paramount High School was that they were like a miniature buffet table. They had everything you could think of. Well, almost everything.

On her tray there was a bag of sour cream Doritos, bag of fries, a spicy chicken sandwich, a plate of purple Jello, blue Gatorade, Granny's Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a bowl of baked beans. She noticed that one of the girls who resembled the girl who had invited her to eat lunch with them was eying her tray of food. It wasn't in a mean way, but it was in a way that said “You sure you're going to eat all of that?”

She dropped her tray next to the girl with the purple headscarf and was greeted with polite “hellos”.

“You're in my journalism class!” Justin Alvarado exclaimed excitedly.

Savannah smiled. That was a good way to make someone feel welcome to a lunch table. “Yeah, your name's Justin, right?”

“Yep,” he said smiling. “And your name's Savannah of course.”

“That's right!” she said, laughing.

“Hi,” purple headscarf girl said, “I'm Judy Detillo.”

“Nice to meet you.” Savannah said, extending her hand for Judy to shake. “I'm Savannah Ripley.”

“I like that name.” Judy's resemblant said. “It's memorable like Harry Potter.”

“Haha, exactly!” Judy said. “Hey, Savannah, not to sound rude, but why do you have a lot of food on your plate?”

“Because she's probably so used to the nasty food they served at middle school that when she came here, all this paradise looking food overwhelmed her.” the girl who resembled Judy said. “Am I right?”

Savannah nodded, taking a sip from her Gatorade.

“I'm Vinnie Spinelli, by the way.” she said. “That's a cute outfit you got on.”

Vinnie's hair was tied into a bun that rested on top of her head. She was wearing an orange Magical Mystery Tour t-shirt and knee-length jeans. Her nose was pointy and long and her eyes were big and dark like Judy's.

“Thank you!” Savannah said brightly. “Are you two cousins?”

“Of course.” Judy said. “We look so much alike.”

“They're like sisters.” Justin said, rolling his eyes. He dug into his plate of spaghetti.

“Get used to it.” Vinnie said, enjoying her chocolate frozen yogurt.

“Isn't high school a hassle?” Justin asked Savannah. “First day of school and I already have two writing assignments.”

“Kind of,” Savannah said admittedly. “It's hard to maneuver around a traffic of slow students.”

She remembered how unpleasant it was to drop all of her school supplies on the floor as she was heading to English. The girl from her Math Lab class, Stephanie Dice, was kind enough to help her get her things off of the floor.

Savannah had met a few other nice people. In English, she had met two girls named Leighton Harold and Courtney Hofstadter. They seemed nice enough, but when she saw them eating lunch with a group of other girls, she was afraid to approach them because they looked like the pretty popular girls from her old school.

Wimp.

“I don't understand why people can't just move out of the way when you're trying to get around them.” Vinnie complained. “So careless.”

“I nearly had to push two kissing couples out of the way so I can get to my locker.” Justin added. “They were mad, but I didn't care.”

“Way to go, Justin.” Judy said impressively.

“Hey, guys.” an overweighted, light-skinned girl said to them as she sat down next to Vinnie. Her eyes were a greenish-brown color and Savannah wondered if she was mixed.

“Hey, Missy.” greeted Judy. “This is Savannah. She's going to be eating lunch with us everyday. Well, it depends. What's your lunch for tomorrow, Savannah?”

“I have “B” lunch.” she answered.

“Crap, that's not our lunch.” Judy said in disappointment.

“It's nice to meet you.” Missy said to Savannah.

“Nice to meet you, too.”

She was happy that these people liked her enough to already deem her as their regular lunch buddy. The kids at her middle school would make sure to not let her sit at their table. It had gotten so bad that she had to eat in Mr. Milano's class, her social studies teacher, in order to not face humiliation.

“So, what middle school did you go to?” Justin asked her.

“I didn't go to any middle schools here.” she admitted. “But I did go to a school in Graysville.”

“I think I heard of it.” said Missy. “That's in Southern Indiana, right?”

“Yes,” Savannah said, finishing up her Jello.

“A metropolitan of Louisville, Kentucky?” asked Vinnie.

“Yes!” Savannah said excitedly. “I'm surprised you guys even heard of it.”

“We have family in Louisville.” Judy said.

“Yeah, we've rode past there a couple of times.” Vinnie put in.

“What class do you have next?” asked Justin.

“Well, I have to finish up my English class then I have gym afterwards.”

“Which teacher?”

“Mr. Riddle.” Savannah said, putting her hand in the bag of sour cream Doritos and taking one to eat.

“Oh, I have Mrs. Close.” he said. “I heard she is incredibly strict.”

“Not really.” said Judy. “My brother had her and he said she was nice.”

“His preference.” he said simply. He shoved forkfuls of salad into his mouth. “So, what do you think about Journalism?”

“I think it'll be a fun class.” Savannah said. “Mr. Simpson seems pretty funny.”

“I know!” exclaimed Justin. “His little speech today kept the class rolling. I can't wait for our first interview assignment.”

“He thinks Mr. Simpson is going to have him interview some hot cheerleader.” Vinnie whispered to Savannah.

“I at least hope.” he protested. “Besides, I have my eye on Jamie Klein.”

“Why?” Missy asked. “I really don't see the appeal in her.”

Justin shook his head. “You're a girl. Of course you don't.”

“She's okay.” Judy told him. “But she kind of has a mashed up face like a bulldog.”

Vinnie gave her the “I can't believe you just said that!” look.

“Never mind, Vin.” Judy sighed.

Savannah smiled. She had a feeling she was going to like her new friends. New friends? She never really had any old friends to begin with.

 

 

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