This chapter is short to help you guys recover from my last chapter. This chapter really has the point to introduce Ariel's friend's and help you guys get a feel for their own personalities. The music featured in this chapter is ScHoolBoy Q's Man of the Year. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
"Ariel! C'mon, you're scaring the shit outta me."
Michaela continues to shake the life from my body, as her nails slightly dig in my shoulders. I don't instantly process the force my friend shakes me with, but the thick coating of alarm in Michaela's voice is what snaps me back into reality. My eyes, open but coated in a sheet of blur, blinking quite a few times as I fully take in my scenery for the first time in what feels like days. I'm still in Asian Literature class, sitting frozen at my desk in the back of the classroom, the professor looking at me as if waiting to whip out his phone to call whatever medical help is needed. But, Michaela is hovering over me.
My gaze drifts to the perfectly strong filled-in eyebrows of my friend, as they are knitted together in an appealing flurry of distress. Taking in the subtle notes of emotion etched across Michaela's uneasy hazel eyes and the woe twisted into her oxblood matte lips, it is apparent that Michaela is scared shitless as she continues to shake me out of my daze.
Wait...did I blackout again? In class no less? This is bad. I never blacked out in class before. It must have been bad, Michaela looks petrified.
"Mordicai, I'm fine! Shake me any harder my head'll swing off."
"Ariel...are you sure? You're freakin' our teacher out. Class finished, but you just sat here. Your eyes were open and everything, but you weren't moving. Like you were in a trance and shit. It freaked me out, you sure you're fine? We can go to the hospital, you wanna go?" Michaela explains, but I wave her off playfully. I don't want to scare her, let alone explain what's really happening here.
"Mordo, chill your pants." I say, emphasizing her nickname. "I just blanked for a bit. Finals got me fucked up a bit, nothing new. I'm okay, don't look at me like that."
"Okay, Rigby." Michaela said finally using my nickname, cracking a relief stricken smile coated around rich matte lips. "You really bust your ass too much during Finals Week. You need to relax!"
I only smile weak back at my friend, trying to make my smile just as goofy as normal, but as I reach for my bag I notice my hand is shaking. The dream, this time around took too much out of me, and my brown eyes are bearing witness to the effects. My breathing is staggered, I feel out of balance, and my hands are shaking like leaves in the wind. I brush it off quick though, I don't want Michaela pushing the idea of rushing me off to the hospital. Michaela has always been a hypochondriac, but this time around, she was a bit spot on. I could tell she noticed something has been going on with me lately, something that has been festering long before Finals Week even started. Yet, every time she tries to corner me into telling her the truth, I brush her off like the plague.
Michaela is wearing an oversized dark gray shirt with cuffed short sleeves, black shorts, white low top converses, and her hair in two loose braids with dark red lipstick. I'm wearing a black crop top, light wash denim shorts, my long hair in a loose braid, black and white kimono top, and my mint blue jelly sandals. I only now realize this, and I become envious of Michaela's MAC lipstick.
"I got the Professor scared?" I whisper to my friend as we make our way out of the classroom. "Bye, Professor!" I cheer with a beaming face.
Michaela gags her laughter as she links her arm with mine and drags me off to lunch with the rest of our clique.
We are those girls. The tight clique of girls who always hang with each other and no one else, and never invite anyone new into our ranks. We sit now chilling and laughing with each other, completely infused in each others' presence. We are those girls who blast their music loud in the campus cafeteria, those girls who have every guy thirsty beyond belief for us, and have every girl side-eying us with jealousy. We are those girls that are considered "bad bitches," just because we say and do what we want and don't give a fuck what anyone else has to say or thinks of us. I'm reminded of our campus status everyday we walk into the cafe, link one of our ipods to my portable stereo system, and talk and gossip like we haven't seen each other in months even though we saw each other just 20 minutes ago in the hallway. It doesn't matter who they are, but every person in our vicinity stares at us. The problem is, I never got down to figuring why they stare. I couldn't decide if every person on campus just hated how loud and excitable we are, if they lusted for us, or just plain hated our asses.
"Turn this shit up! This my new shit, ScHoolboy Q is slaying the game." Harriet cheers, as Michaela turns the volume up on the song. "ScHoolboy Q and Kendrick any day, I'm so there."
"I could have sworn we met up to study, I could have sworn." I said, slamming my Media 160 textbook closed as I let my head fall on the table.
"After you blacked the fuck out today, you need to relax on that studying idea." Harriet said.
"Wait, how do you know about that?"
"People talk. Heard your Professor was shook too."
"Whatever, it was nothing. Really." I reassure, noticing Michaela shift uncomfortably next to me.
I've blacked out twice so far counting just recently. The other time, we all were just doing what we were doing now. The clique and I were sitting here and talking, but MJ caught me spacing out and hit me on the arm forcing me awake. It was bad enough that people talked about my Asian Literature knockout, but I don't want my friends to have a replay of the episode stuck in their heads. I don't want them to think I'm crazy.
I guess my uneasy atmosphere caught on with the group about the topic, as MJ brought up a new topic. That's just how it was for MJ. Mary Jane is sweet and silent, but when she noticed something out of place, it looked like it was her sole mission to right the wrong. MJ always went out of her way for people, she was the kindest person out of all of us.
"Are we going to that party tonight?" MJ asks, playing with one of her luscious Havana Twist. "I'm sick of studying and we can all use a little fun."
"I can't believe that idiot is throwing a party during Finals Week, he's a damn bum." Michaela said, rolling her eyes hard.
"Why are you always so nasty when it comes to Nick? He likes you, and I remember you having a sweet spot for him last semester." I said, but Michaela looks at me disgusted.
"He has this fetish for me, he doesn't like me for me. He just wants to fuck me because I'm part Asian. He's gross and I hate him! You should just listen to the way he talks to me sometimes, I'm not fucking with that."
I knit my thick eyebrows together in offense. I had no idea Nick was talking to my sister like that, but it did explain how she ditched us whenever he came around. Unfortunately, there was way too many guys like Nick in NYC. Stupid boys who just wanted to lay girls like us for bragging rights or to know "what it felt like,". I couldn't stand people like that, and I guess that's one of the reasons I never bothered to date. I quickly wrap my arm around Michaela's shoulders, and hug her tight.
"Nick is a dumb uneducated idiot who doesn't deserve the air you breath, so don't dwell, okay?" I said, but Michaela pokes my side with her white painted finger.
"I know I'm fabulous, Rigs. I don't need you to praise me all the time!" Michaela jokes, but Harriet scoffs.
"You two girls love each other too much. What about us?! I need sisterly love too, my ass needs to be praised."
"If you're that thirsty, the water machine is right there." I said, and Harriet cuts her eyes at me.
I have a sour patch in my mouth for Harriet, and she knows I do. The first week of Media 106, Harriet went out of her way to correct me on every answer I gave the professor and constantly gave me her famous "mean muggin'," look in which she rolls her eyes at me and sucks her lips like I'm the most annoying thing on the planet. Yet, that's only one of the few reasons that I rationalize my dislike for her. I never understood what Harriet's problem was when it came to me, but I don't give a shit anymore. MJ and Michaela like her for whatever irrelevant reason, so I tolerate her for their sake.
"Knock it off you two. I want to go partying tonight, please?" MJ begged, but Michaela pops a cigarette in her mouth and offers me one I quickly refuse.
"I don't know I really want to pass this semester with a 4.0 and on the Dean's List. I really want to get good grades on these final exams." I said, looking at my pushed aside textbook.
"Ariel, you're here on a full scholarship, your professors worship you, you pass every test, and you were on the Dean's List last semester." Harriet said. "Stop being a smart ass, you're going to do fine."
Harriet took her head out of her ass to compliment me? It's gonna snow tomorrow.
"It's true. I share a room with Harriet, and we both can't get on your level. Let's celebrate by hitting up Nick's party, everyone will be there." MJ said.
"I could use some booze and kush, and as much as I hate him, his clique knows how to party." Michaela said.
"But you hate Nick." I said.
"I can avoid him, stop making accuses. We wanna get shit faced."
"Fine, let's party. But I'm only staying for a bit!" I give in, but the girls clobber me with hugs and screams.
Tonight's gonna be painful. I just want to study and get these damn exams over and done with, but I kinda am a sucker for group think with my clique. I can't help but want to make my friends happy, even making Harriet happy, even though we equally dislike each other. Yet, when it comes to parties I'm a wallflower at best, I just take everything around me in if Michaela isn't at my side. But, if the girls and I are with each other, the music is right, and the atmosphere is on point, I get in the mood to let go and enjoy myself.
Maybe letting go won't be bad.
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