Being For The Benefit Of Paramount Kites
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 24
"Above The Jokes"

    "I'm going to talk to Aaron and Tommy." Carter announced. "Anyone want anything while I'm gone?"
"Oh, can you get me a drink?" Savannah asked, reaching into her pocket for a dollar bill.
"Sure," Carter smiled. "And don't pay me. I'll get it for you on me."
Savannah didn't like people paying for her, so she simply handed Carter her dollar.
"No, really," she said, "I don't feel comfortable having people pay for me."
Carter grinned. "Well, too bad."
And before Savannah could protest anymore, Carter bolted out of the stadium laughing heartily. He did that so she wouldn't keep insisting to pay. She smiled. Carter was different from the guys back at her hometown. He was sweet.
  "Hey, girl." Elisha said, sitting next to Mark. "Aren't you happy that you're on court?"
Savannah was excited now that she got a little bit used to the attention she was getting. If she were at Graysville High she would have never been nominated. She felt special. The popular kids in Paramount couldn't hurt her. She was safe from harm.
"A little." she admitted. "I don't like to get up and stand in front of everyone."
"You'll get used to it." Mark said. "It's not that bad."
"Yeah, and it's not like people are going to laugh at you." Andy chimed in.
"I just think it's some kind of joke." Savannah worried. "I don't want to be the butt of the jokes."
"Oh, no!" he insisted. "No one's using you above of the jokes."
Savannah snickered. Andy had misheard her when she said "butt of the jokes".
 "Yeah, people really like you." Lucas said. "Especially Holly. She really wants to be your friend."
"Don't we all." Andy said, smiling warmly at Savannah. "I'll vote for you and Elisha."
Savannah felt relieved now that she knew that Andy wasn't mean. She had misinterpreted him. He seemed like a nice guy. She thought he was cute in an off-beat way. Like John Lennon. He had the attractiveness that fifty percent of the people might not like but the other fifty would. She liked his warm-honey colored skin. She figured it was natural and that's why she liked it so much.
  Elisha took a sip out of her water bottle. "Me and Mark are going to go somewhere...private."
She gave Savannah a knowing look and got out of her seat, Mark following by her side.
Andy, Lucas, and some other boys Savanna had never met took Elisha and Mark's place.
"Where are you from?" Andy asked her.
"Graysville." Savannah answered.
"Oh, I never heard of it." he said.
"You wouldn't. It's a small town."
"I'm not from around here either."
"Yeah, I'm from Hartford, Connecticut." 
  Savannah always wanted to go to Connecticut. She heard it was beautiful just from reading her Atlas book her grandpa had given her when she was five. Her grandpa had promised to take her there when she was younger. That never happened.
"Hey, Andy." a tall, skinny, brunette said to Andy with a couple of other girls with her.
"Can't you see that I'm talking to someone?" Andy demanded, pointing to Savannah. "Jesus, so rude!"
The girls just shrugged and walked away. Savannah thought Andy was the one being rude, but at least she wasn't the one he was being rude to. No one's ever blew someone off just to talk to her.
"Sorry, Vanny." he said. "It's just people can be so rude sometimes."
Savannah nodded even though she wasn't sure if she agreed with him or not.
 "I can't believe you think this is some kind of a joke." Lucas said, looking at Savannah as if she were diagnosed with being a psychopath.
"I still think people are just doing it to make fun of me." she shrugged. "I'm just a little paranoid."
"I say." one of the boys said. "Confidence is the key to success."
"Amen to that." Andy said, putting an arm around Savannah's neck. "Like I said, no one's using you above of the jokes."
"She said 'butt of the jokes', you retard!" another boy said.
"Yeah, idiot." the first boy said. "Are you deaf."
"No, but if you don't shut up I'm going to make you deaf." Andy warned him.
"Stop it dude, you're scaring me."
  Andy was about to say something else to Savannah when Dexter Kirkpatrick threw a spitball at his head. Andy's face froze for a moment. Savannah knew Dexter from her homeroom, English, and resource class. He was a little nerdy but she thought he was cool. She liked being nice to everyone because she thought getting along with everyone would make her life easier.
"Dexter Kirkshit, I told you to leave me!" he shouted, a huge contrast from his soft voice. He took a popcorn bag and hurled it at Dexter's head. The popcorn fell onto the ground and Dexter began to pick it up and eat it. Even Savannah was grossed out by it.
 "Ugh," she said, making a disgusted face.
"You don't know the half of it." he said, relieved that he was done with Dexter.
He was tired of Dexter irritating him.
"So I'm having a party tonight and I was wondering if you could come?" Andy asked. "It's not really a question, it's an order."
Savannah laughed. "Okay. I'll come. I have nothing else to do tonight and I'll be so bored."
"Good," Andy said, finding an abandoned blanket with dinosaurs on it. "Is this yours?"
Savannah shook her head.
Andy shrugged. "Oh, well, why don't we all just get under this thing."
"Ew, no!" one of the boys said. "You don't know who's blanket that is. It could be Dexter's for all we know."
"Yeah, and I'm not into group orgies." Lucas stated, scooting away from Andy. "Sorry, man."
  Andy shivered at the thought of it being Dexter's and threw it at Kaleb who was talking to the soccer team. Kaleb turned around and made a face at Andy.
Andy flipped him off. "Yo, fuck you, Kaleb!"
Savannah gave Andy a weird look. Maybe he did have a mean streak in him.
"Fuck you!" Lucas joined in. "Get outta here!"
"Yeah, fuck you!" continued Andy. "Fuck you! We don't want you here!"
Kaleb tried to say something back, but a chorus of Andy and his friends shouting "Fuck you!" overlapped him.
 Not wanting to be rude, Savannah got up and walked away from them. Being around a bunch of rowdy boys made her uncomfortable. She found Judy and Justin standing on the bleachers with Missy Brailles and Vinnie Spinelli.
"Hi," she greeted, putting on a million dollar grin.
Justin hugged her. "It's about time you showed you up."
It was nice being around people who weren't screaming or shouting profanities at people. She saw that Andy and his friends had stopped screaming at Kaleb, but it was still a little bit weird for her to be around that. Even if they did seem like cool people.
"Can you watch the rest of the game with us?" Judy asked, her brown eyes pleading. "We missed you."
Savannah didn't say anything, but smiled and sat down next to them. Justin, Judy, and Vinnie put an arm around her. She looked at them, then thought about Holly, Elisha, Reese, and Carter. Those were her best friends.


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