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I Punched a Girl: Part VI

After fourth period, I met up with Andy and we walked to lunch.

“Andy!” Christie screeched from down the hall. Andy cringed.

See, Christie was this annoying cheerleader who’d had a crush on Andy since, like, fourth grade. She was part of the Rice Kristies, a horrible pun and a group of three girls named “Kristie”—Christie, Kristie, and Criystee, the last of whom had parents who apparently never learned how to spell. All three members of the Rice Kristies (God, it pains me to even say those words) were cheerleaders, but Christie was the only brunette and, frankly, the only unattractive one. Kristie was dumb but hot, and Criystee defied her parents’ legacy by grasping the concept of phonetics. She was also cute and ranked number two in our class. Then there was Christie, who was both marginally ugly and painfully stupid, and boy did she love Andy.

“Andy! Andy!” she screamed, running up to him and clutching his backpack in an awkward half-hug thing. “How’s it going?”

Andy’s body stiffened and he let out a heavy sigh before answering, “It’s going swell, Christie.”

“Awesome!” she shrieked cheerfully. “Catch you later!” Then she scampered off to the cafeteria to meet up with Kristie, who, incidentally, was the object of Andy’s affection.

“That girl can’t take a hint,” Andy remarked as we stood in the lunch line.

“Well, it’s not like you actively discourage her,” I said.

“What more am I supposed to do? I’ve turned her down for every Sadie Hawkins dance, never given her a Valentine’s Day card, and never, ever said ‘hi’ to her first. I’m all for being brutally honest, but the chick’s so dumb, telling her I’d hurl if I kissed her would be like, I dunno, shooting a baby bunny or something.”

“You wouldn’t have to tell her you’d puke if you kissed her.”

“Go big or go home.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“No. You know what doesn’t make sense? Sarah Butler wearing a long skirt.” He pointed to the tall redhead a few people ahead of us in line. “Always wear a mini, Sarah. Always a mini.” Then he put six cartons of chocolate milk on his tray.

After getting our chicken-in-name-only spaghetti and fries, because our principal didn’t believe in the obesity epidemic, we went to our usual table, which was three tables behind Shelby’s table. We sat at the Latino table with Andy’s buddies Jose, Eduardo, Gregory, Skanz (no clue what his actual name was), and Emilio, who was actually Italian but spoke Spanish. There were a few other guys, too, but I didn’t really know them. I wasn’t close to anyone at our table—or, really, close to anyone in general—other than Andy, who was sort of the ring leader of the Latino guys at our school. It was a little strange since Andy was pretty much Hitler’s ideal Aryan—tall, skinny, blue-eyed, and blonde—and all his friends were short, overweight, and Hispanic. I guess I looked out of place sitting at that table, too, since I was also lanky and paler than Marilyn Manson, with light brown eyes and hair. But whatever.

In between the sights of Eduardo and Andy having their weekly who-can-stuff-the-most-french-fries-in-their-mouth contest, I caught glimpses of Shelby, who eventually saw me, and I freaked out.

“Oh no, she saw me!” I whispered frantically.

“Whhru shwa huu?” Andy said, chunks of potato falling out of his mouth.

“What?” I asked.

“He said ‘who saw you’,” said Skanz, who was trilingual, speaking English, Spanish, and French Fry Mouth.

“Shelby! Shelby saw me,” I said, slumping in my seat and covering my eyes with my hand.

“Just because you can’t see her doesn’t mean she can’t see you,” Emilio said.

“What do I do? What do I do?”

“You could say ‘hello’,” he said.

“Huh?”

“Hello, Shelby,” said Emilio.

I looked up to see Shelby standing next to me.

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