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Summary: Now that the Lakewood group is in high school, quite a few things have changed. While injuries and sun damage have made Francine less attractive, Jenna Morgan is beautiful and the boys know it. So what happens when a new boy moves to Elwood City, a new boy that Francine likes? Will Jenna scoop him up and break his heart? One-shot. Created for one-shot theme challenge. Themes listed at the end.
Jenna wasn’t the quiet type anymore. She was sixteen, and she’d found herself through a developed body and budding friendships…with boys that always turned into something more. She was a heart-breaker, going with a different boy every week and leaving one behind for several more.
The girls knew about her, especially Francine. Her athleticism didn’t treat her body as well, and after breaking her leg during a middle school softball game, she now had a noticeable limp to go with the ugly freckles she’d picked up from extensive sun damage. Muffy helped her use makeup, but it was no use: Francine wasn’t as attractive as a girl like Jenna, and for that, she hated her.
But Francine liked boys, specifically a new boy named Brian. He was tall and funny, the perfect match for her, at least in her eyes. She watched him from afar, never getting his attention. He didn’t know she existed, yet she wanted to be with him. And like all high school crushes, Francine was destined to fall…because of someone she once considered a friend.
“Francine Frensky get yourself on My Face and look at this!” Muffy cried, putting her books down on the side of Francine’s desk. She’d walked home with Francine for years now, and today was no exception. Her smart phone was already on the site looking at the appropriate post. Francine was there within moments.
“She didn’t!” Francine gasped. “Why would she do that?”
“I told you he would be swept up quickly, especially by a girl like her. She’ll ruin him, Fran. She’ll break his little heart and he’ll be worthless to you,” Muffy sighed, sitting on the edge of Francine’s bed. “I’m sorry. I wish it had turned out differently.”
“Same here,” Francine muttered, pushing her keyboard tray back under the desk with a little too much force, sliding the keyboard to the back of it with a vicious slam. “I hate her, Muffy. She acted like little miss Princess all up until seventh grade when she got her figure. Ever since, she’s been with more boys than a pop singer.”
“Well, there is something I can do. I was going to talk to Mike anyway to see if I could get us to all hang out together. Mike is Brian’s best friend, and I’ve seen them at the Sugar Bowl together a few times. I was going to do it today but Mike was out sick,” Muffy said, touching Francine’s shoulder when she saw her attention wavering. “We may still be able to get something out of this for you. Come on, give it a chance. Let’s hang out with them and see where we get.”
“As long as you don’t pull a Morgan,” Francine muttered. Muffy smiled sympathetically, trying not to laugh. That had been code for “stealing another girl’s boyfriend” for two years running now. And somehow, her reputation still hadn’t changed. They just had to wait for the cards to fall.
“Mike and Pat, this is Francine,” Muffy said, slipping into the booth first. Francine slid in next, nodding to the couple. Muffy had arranged an after school snack at the Sugar Bowl, and now the group sat over a large plate of fries sipping milkshakes.
“Muffy told me you were an athlete in middle school. I remember seeing a few of your games,” Pat smiled. “I never made the team, but I tried and that’s all the counts,” she laughed. Francine smiled, nodding in agreement.
“Hey, hey,” Brian called, sliding into the booth next to Mike. “How’s everybody doing? Who’s this?” Brian said, looking up to Francine then Muffy.
“Muffy wanted to hang out with us after school. She said her usual people don’t come here anymore. We have the same problem, Muffy,” Mike smiled, moving his milkshake over to lean forward. “Everyone’s always ‘coffee, coffee, coffee,’ but we like good milkshakes and good diner food. Pat and I come here for dates, what, three times a week?”
“Best three nights ever,” she laughed.
“That’s pretty cool,” Brian nodded. “I wish you would’ve told me you invited others sooner. I really need to talk to you about something.”
“We were finished with the fries. Come on, Muffy, let’s go sit at the counter,” Francine said, sliding out carefully. Muffy followed, joining Francine at two nearby counter seats. They were still within earshot of the table, and they listened intently as Brian began to talk to them.
“You know my new girl, Jenna Morgan?” Brian asked.
“You know we do, Bri. We told you not to go with her. What happened?” Pat asked darkly.
“Well, she’s apparently going with Jon Ward,” he sighed. “I saw them together in the gym, and that wasn’t just a typical friendship hug. What should I do?”
“Dump her,” Mike replied.
“Mike’s right, Bri. You shouldn’t have gone with her in the first place, and now look what happened. You just need to cut your losses and move on,” Pat said, sipping her milkshake.
“I really like her though. Do you think-?”
“If you’re coming in here to tell us about it, do you really think it’s just some fluke?” Mike interrupted. Brian shook his head. “Exactly. So do what you have to do, and that means protecting yourself. Damn it, here she comes.”
Francine and Muffy looked up as Jenna walked in, her arm wrapped around the waist of Jon Ward. Muffy nearly choked on a sip of milkshake as Jenna’s happy laughter faded at the sight of Brian.
“So, this is your hobby, huh, going around and taking every boy you can?” Brian asked coldly, standing up as the Sugar Bowl went quiet. “You know what they say about you, don’t you? They call you a whore, a slut, a tease. They’re right, Jenna. Go to hell, okay? Have a nice time there.”
Brian brushed past them aggressively, bumping shoulders with Jon Ward. He was a jock with his own goals of conquest, so Brian’s speech meant nothing.
“Let’s get out of here. It stinks,” Pat said sarcastically, brushing past Jenna and her boy toy with Mike right behind her. Muffy and Francine left next, following them to the corner cross light.
“God, can you believe her?” Muffy scoffed.
“I know, right? Brian just got over a bad breakup before coming here, but he thought Jenna could solve his problems,” Mike sighed. “Looks like we were right. We’ve been at Elwood City High with her since freshman year, but we already knew of her. He didn’t understand the level of division around here. You guys are Grebe Middle kids; we’re Jefferson Middle kids. We never crossed paths except at games. But no, he wouldn’t listen.”
“Where do you think he went?” Pat asked him softly, grabbing his arm as they crossed the street with Muffy and Francine.
“I don’t know. He doesn’t know the city that well, and judging by the honking, he’s just running. God I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid,” Mike said in a low voice, looking around frantically for his friend.
“Let’s split up. We all know the city, and we can call each other if we find him. Let’s trade numbers,” Muffy said, and they did, standing under an awning before going in different directions.
Francine decided to head up to a memorial park first. The view of a marble fountain was comforting, and a lot of new people in Elwood City always asked about the place when they encountered locals.
As she walked along the brick sidewalk, she saw Brian sitting on a bench staring into the fountain. Francine texted the others telling them she’d found him and she’d try to talk to him. Everyone liked the idea and agreed to meet up at Pat’s nearby apartment to wait for them.
Francine sat on the other end of the bench. Brian looked up and nodded softly.
“Did you enjoy the show?” he asked coldly. Francine shook her head firmly. “Yeah, that was pretty awful. Two in three months,” he sighed. “My last girl started going with my so-called best friend when I told them I was moving here. I found out the day we moved. They looked so damn happy. It made me sick. Poor moving guy got in the way, but I think he got it,” Brian said with a dark smile.
“Is that why you decided to be friends with Mike? He’s already got a steady.”
“Good eye,” Brian nodded. “I like them as people, but I did choose wisely. Other kids talk to me, like that weird Buster kid that keeps asking if I know about aliens,” he laughed. “Cool kid, but he’s single. Looks like that’s the way to go. If they don’t leave you for your best friend, they accept the love of a man whore and call it a day. The whole thing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”
“Jenna does that to a lot of people,” Francine sighed. “I went to elementary school with her. She was a nobody. We invited her to sleepovers as an obligation, knowing she’d still keep to herself at school. Then in middle school, she got pretty and decided to go with the flow, I guess. Girls like me, we just fell to the background. And guys like you? Well you just became a snack food to her.”
“A hundred calorie pack,” Brian laughed. Francine laughed too, looking up to the fountain. “I wish things had worked out differently. I guess I’ll get over it, but whatever. I bet they’re worried about me. Do you know where they went?”
“We split up to look for you, but I told them you’re here. They’re waiting at Pat’s place for you,” Francine explained, standing with Brian. He approached the fountain and pulled out some change. He handed Francine a quarter, keeping a nickel for himself.
“I don’t know how you knew to look here, but we might as well make the most of it,” he said, plopping his nickel into the water. Francine tossed in her quarter and watched the ripples blend together. “Will you walk with me? I have no idea where I am.”
“No problem,” Francine nodded, trying to match his pace as they got onto the streets. He noticed her limp and slowed down for her.
“So, how did you know to look here?”
“The newcomers and tourists love this place,” Francine replied. “It was built a few years ago after a car crash killed some key leaders here. They were trying to build it for the city’s veterans, so they just added to the plan. Inside is the memorial for the veterans. Outside is the fountain.”
“That’s pretty cool,” Brian nodded. “It caught my eye, so I just ran over here. I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t cause any accidents, did I?” he laughed.
“None that I saw,” Francine laughed. “Traffic is heavier here than it used to be, but if you want to run, I still remember all the good tracks. I can’t really run anymore. I broke my leg and it never grew right. If it gets worse, I may have to have surgery.”
“Wow, that’s awful but cool at the same time. My dad is a bone surgeon. That’s why we moved here, actually. He’s at Elwood City General now as the head osteo-trauma surgeon,” Brian said, waiting with Francine at a cross light. “My mother is a mommy blogger. I have a few younger siblings, so she writes about her time with them. I’m pretty much forgotten most of the time, so I thought coming here would be a good start. So far, I guess I get to just disappoint her. She knows I have-HAD-a girl, so yeah, I guess I get to disappoint her.”
“Tell her you got roped in by a poison ivy girl,” Francine smirked.
“What in the world does that mean?”
“Poison ivy is a pretty plant. You think to yourself, ‘Oh, what pretty leaves this plant has,’ and you touch it and pick it, not knowing you’re going to regret it later. Poison Ivy Girl. I just coined the name myself,” Francine said. Brian laughed, crossing to the next street and leading Francine towards Pat’s apartment. “Jenna is an awful person now, but maybe she’ll change. Either way, you should talk to Mike and me first. He went to Jefferson Middle and I went to Grebe Middle. Between us, we know everyone but the new kids like you. So just ask us first if you like someone and we’ll help you out.”
“You’re a good person, Francine. It’s nice to know not every girl from Grebe Middle is Poison Ivy Girl. You’re not, are you?”
“No, I’m a weed,” Francine sighed. “Between the limp and the complexion, guys don’t want me. It’s okay though, I mean-”
“No, that’s horrible. You have a nice complexion.”
“Makeup,” Francine nodded, following him up the main stairwell of Pat’s apartment. She had a rough time handling the stairs, so inside they took the elevator to the fourth floor.
“I’ll come to you for advice, but you need to have a better outlook about things, okay?” Brian asked, ringing the bell at Pat’s door.
Before Francine could answer, the door flew open and Pat was hugging Brian tightly.
“Don’t scare us like that!” she cried, dragging him inside.
The group stayed until dinner before going their separate ways. Muffy was picked up by Bailey, but Francine was left to walk to the nearest bus stop for an easy way home. As she did, Brian caught up to her and they exchanged numbers. He then helped her onto the bus, waving to her through the window before the bus pulled away.
Theme 019: The New Kid, Theme 024: Broken Hearts, Theme 025: Poison Ivy
Challenge: Use 3 or more OC’s in a piece (Done: Brian, Mike, Pat, and Jon)
A/N: The themes are from a one-shot challenge I’m doing with TheUltimateCombo. For more info, let me know and I’ll dig up the list. I wrote this a while back, so I will have to do some finding, namely because I actually finished that theme list.
I planned on doing a sequel for this piece, but for now it’s just a one-shot. Let me know if you have any ideas.