Series: Cafeteria Confidential

Author: Green Quarter


Pairing: S/B

Rating: R (language)

Disclaimer: Popular Characters are not mine. They belong to whomever. Lyrics, which are not mine either, are from “She’s My Ex” by All, maybe the most perfect punk/pop song ever recorded.

Feedback: Always appreciated, at above address.

Note: Blame this past weekend’s snowstorm and a frenzy of illegal music downloading for this. What was supposed to be a one-off exercise in first person POV snowballed into a four part little story, each section in a character’s voice.

Set vaguely in Season One, it’s pretty much a flight of fancy, so please forgive any glaring canon infringements.

She’s My Ex

She's my ex.
I can't cross her from my memory
She meant everything to me
She meant every word she said
When she said, "I'll never love again.
Be my ex until the end."
And I know I'll never feel that way again

She's just my ex

Boy, the ceiling in here is repulsive. Covered in encrusted chocolate pudding, spattered patterns of rusty ketchup, there’s even a cupcake over there cemented to the acoustic tile with congealed pink icing. God only knows how long this shit has been up here. Don’t they ever clean in here?


Oh God, why can’t they just leave me alone? Who is it this time? Which emissary from the Let’s Bother Brooke Society is it now? Can’t they see I’m enjoying my lunch-period-long study of the cafeteria ceiling? That way I can avoid speaking to anyone, and as an added bonus, I don’t have to look at Sam and Harrison making schmoopy eyes at each other.

I will my neck to bring my head to an upright position and see Nic standing before me. She has this faux-concerned look on her face. Like I can’t see the glee behind her expression. She loves the fact that I’m imploding, and it’s all because of Sam. Right now the thought of Sam makes me want to dig my fingernails into my palms hard enough to draw blood, which is about a five on the rage-o-meter. I guess it’s a good thing Nic is here to distract me before I work myself up to a higher number.

“Brooke, hun, you’ve been sitting here all alone for days now. Glaring at anyone who comes over, you’re headphones glued to your ears. In the social solar system that is Kennedy, where you so recently used to be the sun around whom everyone revolved, you are now out beyond Pluto, where Tuna and Dick naturally orbit.” Nic glanced over her shoulder at the table where Sam and Harrison were sitting. “The best way to show you don’t care is to carry on as usual. So let’s cut the Unabomber act and rejoin society, shall we?”

“Thanks for reminding me, Nic. I bought new batteries this morning.” I turned away from her and pulled my CD player out of my bag. She got the message and went back to her table.

I was doing okay until last week when Nic told me that Sam and Harrison had started seeing each other. Of course, I didn’t hear it from Sam; we’re not speaking, but I did see Harrison solicitously escorting her to lunch a few days ago, and it pretty much drove me over the edge. Sam had been taking her lunch in the newspaper office since she ripped my heart out, but I guess Harrison, her protector and savior, was able to persuade her to come back to the cafeteria. I had to move so that she wasn’t in my line of vision. The only other time I had to endure her presence was in Bio, that bitch Glass wouldn’t let us change seats, under any circumstance.

She's my ex.
She marks the spot where I'm the weakest one
I can't expect she'll change her ways
can't accept the things she's done

She's just my ex.
Nothing more nothing less
but she'll always be my ex

It’s my new favorite song, this one. I play it on repeat for hours. Ironic that it belongs to Sam. I went into her room while she was out, intent on doing a little vandalism. I just wanted to get her back a little for stomping all over my love for her. Is that so wrong? Ripping random pages out of her books and raking a screwdriver across her favorite CD’s was my intention, but before I did any of that I was drawn to the title of this CD: Allroy’s Revenge. Sounded intriguing. There it was, the first disc in Sam’s supremely anal CD cataloging system, sorted by genre, old school punk in this case, as opposed to just plain punk, and then alphabetized. She fancies herself the music connoisseur; poser is more like it. But the song is so appropriate. Now, I don’t know punk from a hole in the ground, but Ace of Base was just not going to cut it for what I am trying to block out.

It’s peppy, but angry. In fact, I wish it were a little more driving and angry and bitter. But it’ll do until Sam buys some speed metal or hardcore rap that I can ”borrow.”

I can’t believe I ever fell for all those lines she fed me. She loved me. It was fate. We were meant to be. She would never leave me. Yeah. Never lasted about two months. And now, two weeks after that, she’s with Harrison. God, I hate her.

All I ever did was be good to her. I had finally worked up the nerve to tell her how I felt and much to my surprise; she didn’t recoil in disgust. She saved that for later so she could hurt me in the worst possible way. Give me a little taste, and then snatch it away.

I was so happy. I really loved her, you know? I would’ve done anything she asked. I would have quit the Glamazons and joined the paper if she wanted.

She put on such a good act. I believed her when she said she had felt the same way for a long time but didn’t have the courage to tell me. Hell. When I think about it now, she was just repeating my own words back to me. I know we’ve had our issues in the past, but what did I ever do to her to make her treat me in this despicable way? She would treat an amoeba on a flea on a rat better than this. I gave her my heart and my soul and she tossed them over her shoulder into the dust without a backward glance.

What more could she have wanted from me? I even planned this awesome weekend trip to Catalina for the two of us. I cleared it with the parents, told them some story, and made all the arrangements. We were going to take the hydrofoil over to the island and stay in a bed and breakfast called the Cat’s Pajamas. It would have been so romantic. Because things had been getting pretty heated in the bedroom and I thought we could use the private time to take it to the next level. What an unfeeling bitch! I’m not going to get that deposit back, either.

I was so excited about it. I was bursting to tell her but I forced myself not to. I wanted to surprise her. In the end I had to tell someone so Nic knew, she’s the only one who knew about our relationship even though Sam asked me not to tell anyone. I couldn’t help it, Nic knew something was up, and she wormed it out of me. Anyway, Sam found out about the trip from her. The day before I was going to spring it on her, she comes up to me all confrontational, and demands to know what’s going on. She’s pissed. She has the colossal nerve to be pissed. I try to do something nice for her and she gets mad? I thought maybe she just wasn’t ready to be more intimate with me, so I try to tell her that we don’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do. So what does she do? She breaks up with me. Right there. On the spot.

She's my Ex.
Don't cross her path she still belongs to me
She'll be my ex till I say when
till I get her back again
'Cause I know I'll never love again.
Never need another friend
And I know I'll never feel this way again

She's just my Ex.
Nothing more nothing less
but she'll always be my ex

Despite myself, my eyes can’t help but be drawn to her ugly face. I honestly don’t know what I ever saw in her. Who is that talking to her now? Get out of the way! I can’t see. Oh God, what am I doing? I moved over here so I wouldn’t have to look at her. This has got to stop. She actually cried when I told her I broke up with Josh because I had feelings for her. She deserved a goddamned Academy award for that little performance. I just don’t understand why she would do it. It didn’t seem like an act at the time. I guess that was because I was so fucking besotted.

And life at home has become insupportable. We don’t look at each other, don’t talk to each other, we completely ignore each other. It’s like I’m dead to her, and she’s dead to me. It makes the unrest between us when she first moved in look like tea and freaking crumpets. Jane tried talking to us, both together and separately, but I guess she didn’t realize the endless depths of Sam’s betrayal. Dad is smart and is staying out of it. I did ask if I could transfer to Catholic school, so I could peacefully go about my day without fear of seeing Sam’s stupid ass face anywhere, unfortunately that request was soundly rejected.

But even I can’t keep up the burning anger act forever. It’s making me physically ill, for one thing. My stomach feels all upset pretty much constantly, and I go to sleep, when I sleep, with a raging headache every night. Now I just wish that I could be numb. Not have to think about it every minute of the day. I want to boil down all my bitterness and resentment and anger so that I can scrape it away, like burned gunk left at the bottom of a pot.

She's my ex.
She'll cross my mind a thousand times today
Still have a million things to say,
guess I'm better off this way
Cause I know she'll never love again.

She'll be my ex until the end
And I know I'll never feel this way again

So this is my life, such that it is. I wish I could rewind to the day before I spilled my guts to her, and avoid this mess. But would I, really? Those two months were pretty great. When she would look at me, really look at me, and I knew that she loved me. Because I know she did, for at least a little while. I don’t know why she stopped. And I loved her. She’ll never find someone who will love her like I do. Did. God, isn’t lunch over yet?

And that’s the thing that keeps me up at night. Were those two months worth all the shit I’m going through now? If you ask me right this second? I say no fucking way. But ask me again in ten minutes.

I should get out of here, Biology is next and I need to prepare. You think it’s easy sitting next to the person you hate most in the world for fifty minutes? As I leave the cafeteria, I turn my music up real loud, in that annoying way people do when they turn their personal stereos into a public nuisance. I’m walking by her table, and I can feel her eyes on me. I sneak a glance and it’s not just Sam staring at me, but Harrison, Carmen and Lily too. When did I become the superfreak in this equation? Did she tell them about us? Whatever. I don’t give a shit. Why does she look like she’s going to cry? She did this to me!

She’s wearing that shirt that she looks so good in, the one that I love. God, I hate her. I’ll hate her till the day I die.

And I could never kiss that face goodbye
'Cause I could never stop to wonder why
She looks so pretty, she looks so pretty
And I know I'll never feel this way again
She's just my ex

She’ll always be my ex

Be My Number Two

Disclaimer: Popular Characters are not mine. They belong to whomever. Lyrics, which are not mine either, are from “Be My Number Two” by the incomparable Joe Jackson


Won't you be my number two?
Me and number one are through.
There won't be too much to do
Just smile when I feel blue.

Harrison has been a brick. I honestly don’t know how I would have got through the last two weeks without him. It’s certainly been a few months of towering highs and devastating lows. I don’t know when I’ll stop feeling so wretched. Right now, he’s talking to Lily and Carmen, but I can feel his eyes on me, attentive as ever. He’s the one who got me back in the cafeteria. I couldn’t bear the thought of coming to the place where Brooke would have nearly destroyed me, so I had been hiding out in the newspaper office during lunch. Harrison persuaded me that it was not good to let her have that power over me, so here I am, but my disloyal eyes can’t help seeking her out.

There she is. The object of my affection and the bane of my existence all rolled into one, sitting by herself on the outskirts of the cafeteria landscape… and looking at the ceiling? Now this I can’t figure out. Why has she exiled herself to a remote and unpopular area of the lunchroom when she should be triumphant over the success of the cruel trick she played on me? Well it wasn’t completely successful, I managed to circumvent the public humiliation part, but the private humiliation is as fresh and raw as if it happened ten seconds ago.

Is she feeling remorse? It would serve her right.

It’s ironic that the person I have to thank for what little face I have saved from this entire debacle is Nicole. She somehow found a speck of red in that black heart of hers and let me in on Brooke’s plan. At first I wouldn’t believe it. It was too horrible for Nicole to conceive of, much less Brooke. I have no idea what I could have done to make her hate me so much. And the lengths she went to in order to deceive me, unbelievable. Part of me still refuses to believe that she didn’t feel anything for me. But when the cold hard evidence is staring you in the face, there’s nothing to be done but believe it.

It wasn’t that long ago that my life was completely different. I started the school year hopeful of change, resigned when none occurred, and philosophical about the one thing that had remained constant. This thing I had for Brooke. Nobody knew about it, in fact a cursory inspection of our interactions would suggest that we didn’t like each other. That’s only half true. So when our parents got together and I was thrown in her company even more, I found it hard to keep up the charade of my aversion to her.

Then, amazingly, she approached me and made a confession. She had feelings for me. To say I was stunned was putting it mildly. And much to my everlasting shame, I didn’t hesitate. I jumped in with both feet and declared my feelings right back to her. And I was happy. Ecstatic, really. And I thought she was too. I should have known it had all been too easy. I am a stupid, stupid girl. And not very bright.

And there’s not much left of me
What you get is what you see.
Is it worth the energy?
I leave it up to you.

It was fun while it lasted; I guess I should be grateful for that. Sometimes I try to isolate that short space of time in my mind, without thinking of what came after, and I can still smile. She’s my first love; nothing will change that. And I thought she loved me. It kind of makes me concerned about my judgment of character. Maybe I just don’t know what love is, because I would swear that Brooke loved me. I don’t know what happened.

Now I’m not the kind of person to go all Carrie on anyone when something bad happens to me, but I have to say that I was upset when Nicole showed me the note and told me what Brooke had planned for me in the cafeteria. Maybe ‘upset’ is not a strong enough word. So I went to find out for myself, and Brooke confirmed it, bold as brass. Well, what could I say to that? Here it was straight from the whore’s mouth. Eww, that was tasteless. Don’t stoop, Sam. It only makes you look bad, and she’s not worth it anyway.

And so then it was over. All communication ceased. I don’t think I’ve looked her in the eye since that day, not that she’s seeking me out to gaze at my eyeballs either. But there hasn’t been any taunting, gloating, or hurtful remarks, which kind of surprises me. If she were going to go to all that trouble to put me in my place, wouldn’t you think that she would be crowing about it?

Again, maybe she feels bad. And well she should.

All the sneaking around and subterfuge I have to resort to at home isn’t the most fun thing either. Sometimes I feel like a naturalist expert in the habits and migration patterns of the rare and beautiful Brookius McQueenus. But it’s not to catch a rare sighting, it’s to avoid, always to avoid. When Mom sat us down for the proposed summit talks, it was all I could do to keep silent. And she sat there like she was the wronged party. The was infuriating.

Which reminds me. All the time we spent together, all the sweet things she said to me, all the long talks and laughter, not to mention the sizzling make out sessions, it totally seemed genuine. How could she fake that? Why would she even bother? She is truly an actress of Oscar-worthy proportions.

I thought I meant more to her than that. Obviously not. She made all sorts of empty declarations to me. She was throwing around words like destiny, soulmate, forever, and the big kahuna, love. If I had known at the time that they were meaningless, I would have been a little more circumspect with my replies.

It happened really fast, but it felt right. I guess that’s what happens when you throw caution to the wind. But when we would be together, after laughing like cackling fiends about some stupid thing, and she would look at me, it sure seemed like love at the time. Or when she would kiss me, and I would feel it from my scalp down to the tips of my toes, how do you fake that?

And if you got something to say to me,
Don't try to lay your funny ways on me.
I know that it's really not fair of me,
But my heart's seen
Too much action.

Enter Harrison. Like I said before, he has been great. Solid as a rock. I couldn’t keep this a secret from Lily, Carmen, or him anymore. I couldn’t come up with a rational explanation for my plummet from cloud nine to whatever number cloud is the opposite of cloud nine. Cloud negative nine? They were shocked, both by the fact that we had been having a relationship, and at Brooke’s treachery.  It wasn’t that I was ashamed by what Brooke and I had shared, on the contrary, it was so special to me that I wanted to keep it private for a little while. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Brooke on the other hand, had told Nic everything, a fact I learned when she approached me the day I ended it. I guess my request to Brooke didn’t mean very much to her, but then why should it, with everything else that happened?

At first, Harrison didn’t want to believe that his beloved Brooke could be gay, and I told him that she probably isn’t. But she is definitely evil, cruel, manipulative, and vindictive, we have confirmation on those. And she was my beloved Brooke first. Not that it matters anymore. After that one conversation about Brooke’s sexual preferences, he didn’t mention her again, and has been a stand up guy to me. He did say that he wants to take me out to dinner to take my mind off things, and that would be nice, but it smacks of a date, and I don’t think I could hack another relationship changing in such a drastic way right now.

Funnily enough, Harrison doesn’t believe that I’m gay either. I don’t know if I am or not. But it does give me a pang of jealousy to know that Harrison still thinks of Brooke as on the market, and pathetically, it’s not because I want him.

No. This has got to stop. I’m through thinking about her. I’m telling my brain to give up the ghost right now. Got it, brain? No more. I’ve got to get over her.

Just then Brooke got up to leave. We all turned to watch her go. She was on her way to Bio; she always got there early these days. I always malingered in the hallways, trying to lessen my time in her presence. Music was blaring from her headphones; I could hear it all the way from here. She cut her eyes over towards us briefly. She had a sort of grimace on her face; it looked like she was in pain, and all of a sudden I felt sorry for her, and for me. Tears pricked my eyes as I thought of my precious lost first love.


“Yeah, Sam?” Harrison turned away from Brooke’s retreating form to give me a look of concern.

“Did you still want to go have dinner some time?” I asked.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Harrison smiled.

“Okay, great,” I tried to smile, and Lily and Carmen were smiling encouragingly at me, like I was an infant trying to walk on rubbery legs.

And every time I look at you,
You'll be who I want you to,
And I'll do what I can do
To make a dream or two come true,
If you be my number two.


Disclaimer: Popular Characters are not mine. They belong to whomever. Lyrics, which are not mine either, are from “Trouble” (I prefer the acoustic version) by the fabulous Pink.


No attorneys
To plead my case
No orbits
To send me into outer space
And my fingers
Are bejeweled
With diamonds and gold
But that ain't gonna help me now

“Thanks for reminding me, Nic. I bought new batteries this morning.” She turned away from me and pulled her CD player out of her bag. Apparently, I was dismissed.

Well, fine, if she’s going to be that way. I turned my back on Brookie and made my way back to my seat next to Mary Cherry. Even I couldn’t conceive of how a few well-placed words merely suggesting that Spam had found somebody new to keep her warm at night had sent Brooke tumbling ass over teakettle down another precipice of self-despair.

This hadn’t been a part of the original plan. It was all just gravy, and I love gravy. I’ve been swimming in gravy lately.

“Brookie still feelin’ all down in the mouth?” Mary Cherry asked with what passed for sympathy for her.

“Yep. She’s still intent on committing social suicide,” I answered breezily. “I don’t think it’s worth getting the defibrillator out at this point, there isn’t much we can do for her now.”

I had a perfect view of the havoc I had wreaked. To my left, there was Brooke, doing her best Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club (pre-makeover) imitation, and on the right, Spam was being consoled and cosseted by her personal nerd herd.

I had not set out to cause the devastation so clearly displayed before me, I guess that’s just a pleasant side effect. All I had been trying to do was uphold my place in the social strata, by which I had to steer Brookie away from her nightmarish decision to pursue a relationship with Spam McPherson. Now I am as gay-ok as the next person, but facts are facts, and a big honkin’ lesbo will never achieve the heights of social stardom needed to reflect enough light onto me, the ever-dutiful second in command. So I took matters into my own hands.

I'm trouble
Yeah trouble now
I'm trouble ya'll
I disturb my town
I'm trouble
Yeah trouble now
I'm trouble ya'll
I got trouble in my town

A few months ago, Brooke had metamorphosed from the elegant, refined, epitome of popularity she was into a giggling sniveling teeny-bopper-like creature with no explanation. With my formidable powers of observation, it was not hard to deduce that she was in love, and she was in that gushy, mushy I-want-to-tell-the-world stage. It didn’t take much to get her to spill, and although I played the supportive, caring, best friend, I was inwardly cringing at the sloppiness of her feelings (not to mention – it’s Spam - ick!), and appalled at what it would do to my social standing.

I had been trying to formulate a plan to combat this latest development when Brooke dropped the perfect vehicle for returning her to her senses in my lap – literally. She had told me all about her plan to take Sam on her little seduction trip to Catalina, she was so excited she seemed to be nearly jumping out of her own skin. It was revolting.

She sent me a note in Biology that read:

Operation Sam is a go!
Tomorrow is the day
She has no idea!!

Perfect. Machiavelli has nothing on me.

The hardest part of my plan would be to get the normally suspicious and not very trusting Spam to buy that I was helping her out. But, as she was suffering the same affliction as Brooke, her usually sharp faculties were somewhat compromised. She was pretty surprised when I approached her after the last class of the day and revealed the depth of my intimate knowledge of her relationship with Brooke, but she recovered quickly. I showed her the note.

“Operation Sam? What’s that?” she asked, an asinine grin plastered on her face, as she perused the note.

“Oh, Spam. I hate to be the one to tell you this, hun, but you are walking into a trap of pre-surgery Carnie-like proportions,” I said with all the sympathy I could muster. “Do you honestly think that Brooke McQueen of all people would let her popularity become sullied by the taint of a homosexual relationship?”

I explained to her that Brooke had never really adjusted to her presence at the palace, and she had simply been biding her time, and cooking up the most perfect revenge she could think of. She would out Sam tomorrow in the Cafeteria in front of the whole school, and then accuse her of repeatedly hitting on her, thus saddling her with social leprosy for the remainder of her high school days.

Sam refused to believe it. I knew this would happen and I was prepared for it.

“If you don’t believe me, ask her yourself, Spam.”

“Thanks Satan, I will,” Sam said heatedly.

I followed her as she walked down the near empty hall towards Brooke’s locker, where the unsuspecting girl was shoving books in, and removing ones to take home. This next part was a bit risky, but I had faith that human nature would take its course.

You think you’re right
But you were wrong
You tried to take me
But I knew all along
You can’t take me
For a ride
I'm not a fool now
So you better run and hide

Whatever the outcome, I had a front row seat for the best show in town.


Brooke turned and flashed a pathetically huge grin at Sam, “Hi Sam.” She looked past her to me and said “Oh, hey Nic.”

“What is Operation Sam, Brooke?” Sam asked calmly.

Brooke looked at me momentarily, and then turned her attention to Sam, still smiling. “You found out about it, huh?”

“You have a firm grasp on the obvious, Brooke,” Sam said, annoyed.

“It was supposed to be a surprise,” Brooke said, her eyebrows drawing together.

“I’m sure it was,” Sam’s temper was visibly unleashed now.

Brooke was nonplussed. “What is your problem, Sam? I’m doing this for you.”

“To me, you mean,” Sam said coldly.

Brooke began to get angry as well, “Excuse me for trying to do something n-“ before she was interrupted by Sam.

“I can’t believe I ever thought you capable of doing something that would put you in an unfavorable light. It’s always about you, isn’t it Brooke?”

Brooke was noticeably confused at this. “Wait, Sam, if this is about… well, you know,” she looked at Sam meaningfully, “we don’t have to do this tomorrow. I’m ready, but you may not be. We can wait and do it another time.”

Oh, this was just too good. I struggled to keep a straight face.

Sam simply stared at her, then said, “You’ve already made me nine kinds of a fool, I won’t give you the opportunity to go for ten. I never want to see you or speak to you ever again. As far as I’m concerned, you don’t exist.” And then she was moving, practically running, down the hall, away from Brooke and me.

Brooke looked at me with a glazed look in her eyes. “What just happened?”

“She broke up with you, Brookie,” I said pityingly. Man, my acting chops got a workout that day. I’d like to thank the Academy…

I'm trouble
Yeah trouble now
I'm trouble ya'll
I got trouble in my town
I'm trouble
Yeah trouble now
I'm trouble ya'll
I got trouble in my town

Then it was off to the Novak, so Brooke could have herself a good cry, and I all the while castigating that ungrateful wench, Spam. Then I cemented the plan of action. Complete Radio Silence. This breakup would only stick if they didn’t talk to each other. And they haven’t. It’s been two weeks.

And then it should have been back to business as usual. Brooke’s position would be secure once again, with me standing beside her, just like always. The only thing I hadn’t planned on was Brookie going off the rails like she has. It’s kind of frightening, but it couldn’t be better for me. Once she completely destroys any social reputation she once had, I can casually step into the vacant spotlight, and become the top dog I’ve always known I could be.

I couldn’t help but giggle a little bit at how flawlessly my plan had been executed, and how pleased I am with the results. I saw Mary Cherry looking at me funnily.

“What is it, Mary Cherry?”

“Well, Nic, you have this crazy gleam in your eye, and you never laugh purely for pleasure before 3PM, and frankly, it’s scarin’ me a little bit,” she said hesitantly.

Should I tell her? Why not? Let her learn at the feet of the master. “Mary Cherry, let me tell you a little story.”

She listened quietly for the rest of the lunch period, asked a few questions, and besides expressing shock and dismay at the Sapphic antics of Brooke and Spam, the only comment she made was, “You mean that red hot lover, Joe, could be available?”

Not one mention of my supreme mastery over these pawns, nothing about the grace and beauty of my manipulations. Some people are too stupid to see genius when it’s sitting right in front of them.

If you see me coming
Down the street then
You know it's time to
Go (and you know it's time to go
cause here comes trouble)


Disclaimer: Popular Characters are not mine. They belong to whomever. Lyrics, which are not mine either, are from the impossibly catchy “Oblivious” by Fisher

Okay, y’all. It is to my unending regret that I can’t do justice to the most amazing character in the history of TV, Mary Cherry. I’m trying to do better. Just try to imagine this in Leslie Grossman’s perfect delivery.


All the years
The days that pass so slow
As you wasted your time
searching for perfection

“What is it, Mary Cherry?”

“Well, Nic, you have this crazy gleam in your eye, and you never laugh purely for pleasure before 3PM, and frankly, it’s scarin’ me a little bit,” I said hesitantly.

It was true. Nobody and nothin’ was safe when Nic had that look in her eye. I needed to get some intel so I knew what the appropriate course of action would be.

Nic’s expression changed to one of smugness, and she began telling me a yarn the likes of which I have never heard. A story filled with lesbians and Catalina salad dressing and an island nation off the coast of California. It wasn’t until she mentioned the name of my beloved Joe that I realized this story was of the non-fiction variety. I asked her to repeat some of the more relevant parts and couldn’t believe my ears when I found out that our Brookie had been dabblin’ in the love that dare not speak it’s name. And the person she had been dabblin’ was none other than Spam!

It was right around that point that I stopped listenin’ to Nic run her dirty whore mouth. She had unwittingly said the magic word: Joe. Now, it had not escaped my attention that Joe had less time for me than usual because of a sudden preoccupation with Spam. I guess his manly muscle of a heart was attracted to badly applied lip-gloss and poorly tweezed eyebrows. But in my pretty lady heart I knew he would succumb to my many charms and one day be mine, oh yes.

It was for this reason that I decided to overlook my Christian values and undertake a humanitarian mission to reunite these lonely lesbian lady lovers. With Spam back in the arms of Brookie, and getting up to the devil’s business once again, Joe would have lots of free time for me.

All the need
All the want
All the dreams that came so close
Did you wait for a sign
to fly right through your window?
While you missed the answer
walking through your door

Nic and I watched Brooke sweep by us without a glance our way, the stunnin’ lines of her ensemble ruined by the ugly black headphones she was sporting. With lunch now nearly over, Nic got up to make her usual trip to the Novak for maintenance and upkeep. I usually accompanied her, but my exactin’ beauty regimen would have to wait today, there was more important business at hand.

I sidled up to the table Spam and Joe were sharing with Carmen and Lil’ Lily, and sat at an empty chair.

“What do you want Mary Cherry?” Lily asked.

Now Lily can act gruff and obnoxious all she wants, but I know her heart is pinin’ away with unrequited love for me. It’s too bad that Joe is number one in my heart because I sure would like me some feisty Lil’ Latina Lily, with hot sauce on the side.

“Well, Lil’ Lily, I actually have some business to discuss with Spam, here, so could’ya move over a touch? Thanks hun,” I pulled my chair closer to Joe and leaned around him to look Spam in the face.

Spam looked at me inquiringly, so I got down to brass tacks.

“Spam, do you know anything about a ‘Project Sam?’”

Four heads whipped around and I had their undivided attention.

“Yes, Mary Cherry,” Carmen condescended, rolling her eyes, “We know all about Project Sam.”

“Oh, I see, Carmen, so you know about the fast boat to Salad Dressing Island, and the Cat’s Pajamas Bed & Breakfast, and the lost deposit on said B&B?”  

Spam’s forehead was wrinkled in a most unattractive way. If she keeps that up she’ll need botox before she’s twenty.

“Mary Cherry, what are you talking about? I think you know as well as I do that Project Sam was Brooke’s attempt to disgrace and humiliate me before the whole school, because she hates me,” Sam said angrily.

“Spam, Brookie doesn’t hate you, silly,” this was fun. “If she hated you, why would she plan on deflowerin’ you in a swanky bed & breakfast off the coast of California?”

Still with the blank looks.

“Did you ever actually hear her say any of those things you thought she was fixin’ to do?” Come on Spam, I got a schedule to keep, let’s be a little quicker on the uptake. “Who did you hear it from?”

Spam put her hand on her forehead as realization dawned. Good way to cover up those wrinkles.

“Oh my God. Oh my God. I am so stupid.” Sam said.

I reached over and patted her hand, “Yes, you are, hun,” I congratulated.

And then Spam was runnin’ out of the cafeteria like her pants were on fire.

Mission accomplished.

“Joe, would you mind escortin’ me to Biology?” I held out my arm for my divine suitor to take.

Hey there oblivious
Here is your happiness
If you would only turn around
Isn't it obvious?
Mr. Oblivious
Love can so easily be found
Just turn around...

And now my masterful beau and I are walking to class together. When we get to class and take our seats, I once again silently thank Ms. Bobbi Glass for her alphabetical seating plan. I have a matchless view of the back of Joe’s gorgeous sexy head, but his attention is directed to the lab table in front of him, where Spam is trying without success to get Brookie to talk to her.

Glass begins her lecture on the history of the plantar wart, and we all watch Spam open her notebook and furiously write for five minutes, even Brooke.  Brooke leans over towards Spam and starts reading over her shoulder, then snatches the notebook away from her and avidly reads. Lord, this is better than Days of our Lives, y’all.

Both Spam and Brooke turn around and cast a murderous glare at Nic. My, my, my I think someone’s in a whole mess of trouble. The looks on their faces could uncurl Bobbi Glass’s sassy sixties flip-do.

Wait. Now Nic’s looking back at me with the same lethal expression on her face. Suddenly I am very afraid. But I would do it all over again if it meant one more sweet moment with my Joe, who has been watching events unfold with a frown on his sugary, red, wet, petulant lips.

If I could be so bold
May I make a suggestion?
You've been searching so long
But in the wrong direction
I've been standing
right behind you all this time

And then, Brooke’s hand shoots up into the air, and she interrupts Ms. Glass.

“Ms. Glass, sir? I feel sick. I think I ate something at lunch that didn’t agree with me. Can I go to the nurse?” Brooke said urgently, and elbowed Sam in the ribs.

“Me too, sir. I ate the same thing as Brooke,” Sam piped up.

“And just what were they serving today, Ms. McQueen?” Glass asked suspiciously.

“Um… Spaghetti?” Brooke hazarded. Oh come on, Brookie, you can do better than that.

Glass nods and says. “Say no more. I’ve had Vera’s spaghetti too. If my iron constitution couldn’t stomach it, than you girls must be in a lot of pain. Excused.”

Not anymore they’re not. The two Sapphic sisters leapt out of their seats and sprinted out the door, and I bet the last place they ended up was at the Nurse’s office. I feel a warm glow come over me and congratulate myself on a job well done. That’s my good deed for the year.

Now I can turn my attention back to my handsome super stud, Joe. Just lookin’ at his back, his posture has changed. His shoulders are slumped and he looks like someone took his favorite matchbox car away. I try to send him a message using only the power of my mind. Turn around, Joe. Here I am, ready willing and able to cheer you up. Turn around.

Hey there oblivious
Here is your happiness
If you would only turn around
Isn't it obvious?
Mr. Oblivious
Love can so easily be found
Just turn around...


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