Being For The Benefit Of Paramount Kites
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 12
Miss Popularity

   Rays of sunlight casted through Gwen Borden's bay window, bounching off of Savannah's left cheek. Savannah sat on the brown Verona sofa along with her friends. Dona Meneses was an olive-skinned girl with jet-black hair and brown eyes. Her and Dona had hit it off immediately in gym class. Savannah soon realized that Dona loved dogs, enjoyed music, and bike riding. All of those favorites applied to Savannah. They decided to call each other new friends.
  Savannah was amazed at how big Gwen's house was. Her step-dad had told her about Rivercrest. It was a gated neighborhood where people who made tons of money lived in. It was known for being one of the most influential neighborhood in the town. Outside of the bay window, they got a perfect view of the clear river where people went for functioned events, romantic evenings, or family time. Savannah's home was only three miles to the river, so she often rode by there on her bike. Her parents didn't like that too much because they were afraid she might fall into a river.
 "Having fun, Savannah?" Gwen asked considerately.
She was a lithe girl with blond hair and navy blue eyes. She wore a pink baseball tee that had the words "Davie Bowie" printed in purple.
For an hour and a half, they had spent playing video games at her house. Savannah used to love video games when she was little. So much that her mom and real dad would force her to get off of the computer because she was becoming obsessive with the computer.
"Duh," Savannah laughed, "I never had so much fun in my life."
Gwen grinned. It was like she wanted to please Savannah.
"You know, Vannah," began Justin, "for a girly girl, you beat us all at Mario Kart five times in a row."
"You really think I'm a girly girl?" she asked. "Cause I don't think so."
"Trust me, you are." he said, smiling kindly at her.
  Savannah was ecstatic. She loved hanging out with her friends. She had made so many friends that she joked with Holly about making enemies just to make things interesting. Holly just shook her head and told her that enemies weren't positive. They enjoyed seeing people hurt and miserable. Savannah giggled and told her she was only joking.
 "But you sucked at guitar hero." Dona said. "I never seen anyone play guitar hero as bad as  you did, Savannah."
"Shut up." Savannah said playfully. "I wasn't that bad."
"Your timing was all wrong." Judy said, her hair tied into a sideways ponytail. "You didn't even know how to hold down the controls when it got to the long parts."
"Total epic fail." said Gwen. "If you needed to win Guitar Hero to save my life, I'd be dead."
This reminded Savannah of how the kids at her day-camp used to joke about her skills at Guitar Hero the summer between seventh and eight grade. The only difference was her friends were only bantering her, the kids at day-camp were making fun of her. It gave them another excuse to make fun of her. 
  The first day of day-camp and already kids were throwing things at her while she was trying to sleep on the couch. Finally she had gotten so annoyed, she grabbed a typewriter from one of the boys and accidentally broke it. The boy got mad and called her a retard. She never understood why they were so mean to her. She just came in with a gray t-shirt that said "Q-tee" and had a picture of pie on it, and one of the girls started making fun of her shirt. A girl with blond hair she didn't even know started laughing at her when they sat next to each other on the YMCA bus. The girl was the one who had to sit with Savannah. She had a huge smile on her face and told Savannah she liked her hair. But as soon as the boys in the front started making fun of her, the girl laughed right a long with them. She was glad she had managed to escape that. 
 "I think Savannah should run for homecoming court." announced Deena Rodgers, who put down her Twilight book to look at Savannah.
"I second that." offered Brian Hooper, a boy with curly, brown hair and blue eyes.
"No." Savannah said firmly. "I can't."
"Why not?" Judy said.
"Yeah," added Deena, "you're pretty, popular, and nice. Who wouldn't want that for homecoming queen."
Savannah was extremely flattered by Deena's compliment. "Really? You think I'm popular?"
"Everyone knows." said Dona. "We see who you hang out with."
 Savannah knew they were talking about Holly and her friends. This was a huge change for her experience at Silver Lake. Everyone at Paramount liked her, no one at Silver Lake did. Except for a couple of people, but that was it. It was as if she were living a double life in different towns.
"I would, but my friend Elisha is trying to run." said Savannah.
"You don't run for homecoming court," giggled Dona. "you get nominated. And I'm pretty sure a lot of people will nominate you."
"Well, if they do, I'm gonna say no." Savannah said, folding her arms across her chest. "And that's final."
"Okay..." Judy said, nonchalantly sipping her green slushy from a white foam cup through a pink straw. "Miss popularity."
"Stop it." Savannah said playfully. "I don't even think I'm popular."
"Well, that's good." Justin said, nodding approving at her. "Popularity isn't everything. Remember that."
"I will." she said. 
 Suddenly her eyes grew wide when she saw who was walking down the sidewalk outside of the window. There was Maris Fields, Monica Christy, Palma Voorhees, Damien Marshal, Carter Atkins, and a few other kids. But one of the other kids was none other than that Andy boy she had met at the football game a couple of weeks ago. Every time she saw him in the halls, she would duck behind a group of students so he wouldn't see her. She didn't like him because she thought he was racist.
  "Oh, there goes that guy again." she muttered under her breath,
"What guy?" Deena asked, looking around. "Where is he?"
"Look." Savannah pointed out the window. "That guy wearing a David Beckham soccer shirt and a white sideways cap."
They all got up to get a better view. Justin was the first to comment.
"Oh, yeah," he groaned. "Andy Simms. He's such a douchebag. Me and Brian had school with him since third grade."
   "Oh, I'm sorry, Savannah," Gwen said sympathetically. "If you would have told us you didn't like him, I would have warned you about him being my next door neighbor."
"I don't know him." Savannah said. "But he seems mean."
"That's the asshole who screamed at me on the first day of school." said Deena, flipping him off as he and friends continued on walking. "I was just walking down the hallway, minding my own business, when he just comes up and screams in my face. Then tells his friends it's my fault for being so ugly."
Deena looked hurt as she was saying this. Savannah felt her pain. She knew what it was like to be picked on.
"That settles it." she says. "He may be friends with Holly, but he's on my list of people I should avoid."
"Ditto." Judy said, high-fiving her.
"Smart choice." said Gwen, giving her a five as well.
  For the rest of the afternoon, Savannah and her friends had played more video games, talked about favorite bands and artists, and just had a great time. Savannah didn't understand why she was upset about moving from Graysville. Graysville was so gray and boring while Paramount was happy and cheery.


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