Being For The Benefit Of Paramount Kites
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 16
Homecoming Queen Nominee

   Reese sat in her chair during homeroom with her legs crossed. Seventeen magazine laid across her legs as she stared at Mrs. Livingston standing in front of the podium.
"As you may know, homecoming is coming up." Mrs. Livingston announced. "And in each homeroom students get to nominate a girl to be on court. Today we're going to do just that."
 Reese smiled to herself. She already knew who she was going to vote for. It was her one and only best friend Elisha. Elisha seemed so excited about homecoming court that Reese couldn't let her down.
  She suddenly heard a loud yawned. She looked across the room and saw Savannah putting her hand over her mouth. She thought Savannah was beautiful. The way her hair fell down in loose curls on her brown shoulders, the way her cheeks puffed up when she smiled, her beauty mark on her right cheek, and how her kindness radiated her.
Reese got up and walked over to her desk. "You look tired."
She reached out to press Savannah's hair down. A few strands were sticking up and her eyes were puffy and red.
"I literally got only forty-five minutes of sleep." Savannah said wearily.
"What on Earth did you do last night?"
"I couldn't sleep so I stayed up all night working on a short story."
"If you don't have any homework to do, you can just take a nap."
   Reese felt sorry for Savannah. She couldn't imagine staying up all night unless it was on a Friday or Saturday or days that didn't have school the next day.
"No, I think I'll make it." said Savannah. "I got me French vanilla to give me a jot."
She picked up the white foam cup and shook at Reese's face.
Reese giggled, playing with her dark-blond hair. "Okay, but don't stress yourself."
"I won't." she promised.
"I'll talk to you later, alright?"
"Of course."
  As Savannah watched Reese walk back to her table, Judy tapped her on the shoulder.
"You're an idiot."
Savannah laughed. "How?"
"Staying up all night? Are you crazy?"
"I watched a scary movie last night and I couldn't sleep."
"Which one was it?"
Judy took out a small mirror from her purse and held it up to her face. She spoke in an eery, deep voice. "Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman. I said four because you already said the fifth."
"That's not funny, Jude!" Savannah protested. "That's the only movie I'm scared of."
"Yeah, I'm scared of some hot black dude with a hook." Judy laughed. "He can impale me anytime if you know what I mean."
Livingston cleared her throat. Judy's face turned red.
  Livingston handed them a sheet of paper to write down the name of a girl in their grade.
"I know who I'm voting for." Judy said in a singsong voice.
"Not me." Savannah singed in a high-pitch voice.
"Too late." Judy said, taking out her Disney mechanical pencil and writing Savannah's name in cursive.
She promptly got out of her seat and gave the paper to Livingston. "The deed is done."
Savannah shook her head. She was certain no one would pick her. Sure they knew her well enough, but did she have the look. She knew good and well her friend Elisha had more confidence and beauty than she will ever have.
"I'll vote for you." Jimmy Strode, a blond-haired boy said.
His face was long and he had quite a few zits on his face.
"I want to run, but I don't want to." Savannah said.
"That made no sense." Judy said. "And besides, even he wants to vote for you."
"I do, too." Rick said, writing down Savannah's name on a piece of paper.
"You know what I'm gonna say." Alfie said, doing the same thing.
"Okay, wow," Savannah stated, "Four people voting for me. Out of a thousand freshmen in this school."
 "Come on, it'll be fun." Reese said. "You might not win anyway, but at least you'll get noticed."
Like I'm already not. Savannah thought.
People she didn't know would come up to her in the hallway just to say hi to her. It was basically because she was Davey Smith's little step-sister. She wondered if they would be saying the same thing if she wasn't his step-sister.
  "What's up?" Damien Marshall asked, turning around in his seat to face Savannah.
For some reason he chose to sit in front of her that day. Savannah never really exchanged words with Damien, but he did nod her a hello when he seen her in the halls.
"Not much," she said. "Just trying to wake myself up."
"Yeah, same here. I only got four hours asleep."
   "Can't be beat forty-five minutes of sleep."
"Yeah, it looks like you're screwed." He then laughed, showing off his blindingly white teeth. She had never seen teeth so white before. His blue eyes and teeth reminded her of Holly's own features.
From across the room, Mrs. Livingston smiled at Savannah. It was an almost encouraging smile. Savannah shrugged. She wasn't going to vote for herself, but if she were to get nominated then she would really be popular. So she wrote down Elisha's name and hoped they both got nominated.


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