Paramount
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 26
Pep Ralley

  Savannah followed Judy, Justin, Vinnie, and Missy to the varsity gym to watch the pep ralley. The gym was bigger than the gym at Silver Lake. It was practically bigger than the one at Graysville High. It could pretty much fit the whole school in it. The gym floor was spic-and-span with Paramount Kites painted in the middle of it.  She was greeted by the loud, hammering music that was coming from the band members playing their instruments. Cheerleaders were down on the floor jumping, doing splits, and holding up signs with the school's name and symbol on it. Football players were seated in front of them, looking casual. As if they didn't seem to care that they were the center of the school.
 "They usually don't have pep rallies first thing in the morning." Justin stated, staring at the thousands of kids sitting on the bleachers.
"They do on the first Thursday or Wednesday of the school year." Vinnie informed.
"I still think it's stupid." he said. "Don't you, Savannah?"
"Not really." she said, giggling.
She had never experienced a pep ralley before. It was noisy and slightly annoying, but at least it got her out of class. She watched the cheerleaders jump simultaneously as she seated herself on the stadium-styled bleachers in front of them. Justin and Judy sat on either side of her.
"Look at them." pointed Judy. "They're good, aren't they?"
"They're okay." Vinnie said. "But not as good as me."
"Are you still bitter that you didn't make the team?" Missy asked teasingly.
"I am not bitter and no." Vinnie confirmed. "I am just stating a given fact."
"Whatever you say, Vin." Judy said, taking out her Polaroid digital camera from her bag. "Everyone, gather 'round and say 'cheese'."
They all did so. Squeezing together to get in view of Judy's camera, Judy held up the camera in front of all of them, snapping away three or four times.
 Savannah hoped she didn't look too terrible in the picture. Her curls were beginning to flatten out and she had forgotten to put on mascara that morning. But when she looked at the picture displaying on Judy's camera, she was relieved. She didn't look bad at all. It was as if everyone in the picture were her best friends. Everyone in the picture was all grinning happily.
"Can I have a copy of that?" she asked.
"Oh, sure." answered Judy. "I'll post these on Facebook so you could put them on your profile. You do have a Facebook right?"
Savannah shook her head. At Graysville, Myspace was what everyone had. In her opinion she thought Facebook was boring. It was more for college adults.
 "You should get one." encouraged Justin. "Facebook is awesome."
"I have a Myspace." said Savannah. "Don't you all have one?"
They all looked at her as if she were insane.
"Savannah," Vinnie began, "it's time to get you updated. Myspace is gay."
Savannah was confused. She thought Myspace was fun. And how else was she going to connect with the people from her old school. She decided to just stick to Myspace for the time being.
She started wondering what the kids from Silver Lake were doing. The first day of High School for them had started the day before. She thought of them having fun, sharing locker combinations, and sharing summer stories with each other. A ping of sadness hit her for a brief period of time.
 Savannah looked around and saw the boy she called "Elvis" sitting on the opposite side of them. She saw a couple of other boys sitting with him. One of them was the boy she had seen the day before in her homeroom class. His name was Damien Marshall. He was joking around with "Elvis" and the other boys. She noticed that a few of the cheerleaders did a jump, revealing the fleece underneath their skirts. Savannah wondered if "Elvis" had looked at them while doing that. She also wondered if he liked girls who were a little sexy. If so, then she knew she was out of the running for him.
 The school principle, Burns, stepped onto the middle of the floor with a microphone in one hand. There was silence.
"Good morning, students." he said importantly. "I like to think all of you first and foremost for coming in the gym well-behaved and finding your seats like mature teenagers."
Justin snickered. "Yeah, right."
"I like to introduce you guys to our new edition to Paramount High." he said, referring the freshmen.
The sophomores, the juniors, and the seniors started jeering.
Savannah was still semi-staring at "Elvis". He was wearing a gray t-shirt that looked good on him. "Elvis" was too intent on Burns to even notice her staring at him.
"Do you have a boyfriend?" Judy suddenly asked her.
"What?" she asked, startled. "Oh, no. I don't."
"Oh, I thought maybe you did." Judy said, scratching her nose with her sapphire polished fingernail.
 She looked over at "Elvis" again. He was cuter than Scott for sure.
And taller.
But she was sure he was too good for her. Even the boys around him seemed to good for her.
This time, he turned toward her direction and caught her eye. He smiled at her.
She quickly turned her head away from him.
"What are we!?" Burns asked the school enthusiastically.
"Kites!" the cheerleaders yelled.
"I can't hear you!" he yelled louder.
"KItes!" This time the whole school yelled it. Even Savannah got into the spirit.
"And we're always going to soar high, won't we!?"
"Yes!" everyone yelled, breaking into an uproarious cheer.
Then the band started playing their trumpets and drums and the cheerleaders started doing their moves again. Suddenly, everyone stood up in their seats, and started dancing. Music started playing and balloons began to fall from the ceiling. Pretty older girls started passing out Paramount t-shirt to a select few. One of the girls, who was Tamara Weiss from Savannah's journalism class, went up to Savannah and handed her the t-shirt.
 "Wow," Missy said. "Did she just hand you a t-shirt?"
"Yeah, they mostly just throw it and some random person catches it." added Vinnie.
"I know her from journalism." Savannah said, shrugging. "She's nice."
She was a little surprised at Tamara's generosity. It reminded her of the time when she was eight and her grandpa had taken her to the town parade. She was just sitting on his lap, sucking her thumb, when a lady on a float handed her a pretty boa. It was pink with sparkles on it. She still had it.
She watched Tamara and her friends egging on the students to keep up the school spirit. Tamara met Savannah's gaze, and waved at her.

 

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