Read My Senior Year of Awesome Online

Authors: Jennifer DiGiovanni

Tags: #YA, #social issues, #contemporary romance, #teen, #love

My Senior Year of Awesome (2 page)

BOOK: My Senior Year of Awesome
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By the time we meet for lunch, we’ve each devised an alphabetical list of names and favorited our top ten.

“I like Abileen, Olivia, and Whitney,” she says, dropping into the seat next to mine at our usual table. A dreamy look floats in her eyes as she imagines her future mini-me. Pretty little Abileen, with her mother’s silky brown hair and coffee-colored eyes. Jana’s mother is French, her father Cuban, and their genetic combination sparked my best friend’s flawless complexion. Also, years of braces and faithful retainer-wearing have shaped Jana’s perfect smile, which she now flashes my way, apparently satisfied with her mentally crafted reproduction.

“So, what did you come up with for your future son’s name?” she asks.

“Chase.”

Jana’s eyes grow wide. “Chase? That’s a verb, not a name.”

“It’s also a noun, meaning pursuit.”

“Okay, Chase it is.” Jana carefully scribes my top boy’s name in the book. “Does Andy agree with your choice?”

I toss my empty Gatorade bottle at her head, but she ducks away, laughing.

Anyway, unlucky Chase will probably inherit my boring brown hair, a few shades short of blond, and my light brown eyes, more cafe latte compared to Jana’s straight espresso. Also, I pray Chase doesn’t wind up with my high forehead because boys really can’t cover up that particular physical trait with fringe bangs.

“Check tomorrow’s assignment.” I’m more than ready to drop the subject of baby names and potential husbands. “We can start a rough draft tonight and finalize it in homeroom tomorrow.”

Jana flips the page. “It’s an awesome achievement list. The top ten things you’ve done to make your life bigger and better.”

I snort into my plate of fries and ketchup. “
Fill It In
is messing with our heads. Lists are supposed to be fun.”

“I know,” Jana wails. “This is way too much pressure. Do you think surviving high school counts?”

“My guess is no,” I say, straining to read over her shoulder.

Jana pounds the table with her fist. “We need ten solid achievements. How many do we have?”

“Um … none?”

“Senior Superlatives might count,” she says.

“Not in my book.” I send her a warning glare. “I can think of a million things that rank higher than a Senior Superlative.”

“Really? Cause I’m blanking.” She tears the page out with a decisive rrrrrrip.

“Geez-us, Jana, what are you doing?” I shriek. “That’s like defacing the Holy Grail!”

“We need to keep this list with us at all times. That way, whenever the opportunity arises, we can record our achievements.”

“Fine, but we can’t settle for easy stuff, like passing grades. We need to do spectacular things. Things that will make history. Things that will prove Senior Superlatives mean nothing in the grand scheme of my life.”

We spend the rest of lunch jotting down crazy achievements, most of which would result in expulsion or arrest. Jana keeps coming back to “falling in love” even though neither of us has any real plans for how to achieve that one.

“My mom fell in love in high school,” I say, digging a plastic spoon into my yogurt. “A few months later she was pregnant and alone.”

“Not every guy is your dad,” Jana says, using air quotes when she speaks of the man who participated in my formation and then promptly left for college, never to return.

“High school love doesn’t ever work out. So why worry about achieving it?”

“Maybe, maybe not. We’ll think of something.”

In my opinion, the coolest idea we come up with is riding in Dominic Altomeri’s car. I’ve secretly been crushing on him for years. He’s loud-talking but gorgeous, overconfident yet charming. Dom’s also perpetually late for school, arriving every morning around the same time Principal Dailey waits by the front door with a stack of pre-printed detention notices. So, if Jana and I achieve some act of rebellion, which also results in our very first after-school time served, maybe the cosmic patterns of the universe will align, and Dominic will offer us a ride home.

“Exactly, chica! We’re gonna make the most of our last few months in this horrible place,” Jana says, excited by the idea of potential incarceration with one of the hottest guys in school, if only for one hour.

“Because we’re either filling in ten awesome achievements and finding our soul mates or we’ll be expelled and decide this was the worst idea we’ve ever had.”

Fill It In – Your Awesome Achievements

To Be Completed By Sadie Matthews and Jana Rodriguez Prior to June 1
st

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Chapter Two

 

 

Sadie and Jana’s list of Sports with
Fill It In
Achievement Potential

 

Track and field:
Coach Jenkins constantly recruits because he needs bodies to compete in the gazillion track and field events. Anyone can throw a javelin, right?

Tennis:
No offense, but girls on the tennis team don’t look especially athletic. Most of the time, they strut around school wearing those pleated mini-skirts. If wardrobe is a requirement for success, Jana and I could totally pull that off.

Golf:
Because we’re above average mini-golfers. At least if you go by those little scorecards. We’re almost always close to par, and even pro golfers don’t hit par all the time. Need to check if it’s co-ed.

 

“Just pick a sport, Sadie,” Jana says, handing me our list of potential activities between fifth and sixth periods. “Cause we’ll probably equally suck at all of them.”

“Given that tennis and golf are fall sports, and we’re into January, it looks like we’re running track,” I say.

“Decision finalized by process of elimination,” Jana agrees. “Oh, and doesn’t Dominic Altomeri hold the school record in the 400 meter?”

“Is he still dating Ghouliana?” I ask. Giuliana Ryder, a junior who won last year’s Miss Teen Harmony pageant, is Dom’s on-and-off girlfriend, her lovely nickname perhaps due to her excessively large eyes and ghostly pale skin. But Jana and I would never be so cruel as to make fun of someone’s unalterable features just because we’re jealous of her ability to nab the hottest guy in town. Well, maybe once.

“I heard they broke up again over break,” Jana says.

After careful observation, we conclude that Dom isn't exactly suffering from a broken heart. Admittedly, we don’t hang out in the same crowd, but Jana and I notice he’s had plenty of company at his lunch table, mostly of the female persuasion.

So, after watching herds of females trail Dom around school for most of the day, of course I’m shocked out of my mind when I walk into A.P. Bio and find our resident studly guy alone at a lab table.

Glancing around the room, I realize the seat next to Dom is the only one available. And sitting across the aisle from him is Andy. My tongue immediately swells to what feels like six times its normal size. At least the sudden impairment prevents any screeching mixture of horror and amazement from escaping.

I direct an uneasy glance at Jana, who’s shacking up with Arlene Murphy. What the heck? My best friend sold me out for Arlene, whose anti-establishment protests include refusing to wash her hair or shave her legs.

“Welcome back, Sadie. We’re switching lab partners today,” Dr. Brownstein says when he notices me cowering in the doorway. A long-standing member of the ancient guard at Harmony High, he’s been teaching in this very classroom since the dawn of the dinosaurs. He wears the same clothes every day—yellow rubber boots, faded jeans, and a flannel shirt, like he spent the morning mucking around in a swamp, searching for exotic reptiles.

And, truth be told, Dr. Brownstein kind of resembles a lizard, with big green eyes bugging out of his head and a tongue that flicks in and out when he speaks. The tongue thing skeeves me, which is why I avoid looking directly at his face.

“Why don’t you work with Mr. Altomeri?” Dr. Brownstein asks, with a barely discernible hiss.

Well, duh. It’s the only seat left. I’d never have been late to class if I’d known about the mid-year lab partner reassignment. After hiding in bathrooms all day to avoid Senior Superlative-related pointing and staring, I’d dashed through the halls to the Science wing, leaving only seconds to spare before the bell. Seeing Andy, I briefly wonder how he’s dealt with our arranged future engagement, but then I remember that most likely he had something to do with the oddly skewed results. Because I surely did not.

I take a deep breath and propel myself forward, stopping right in front of Dom. As I settle into my new seat, his dark eyes roam from my head to my toes, making me wish I’d worn something nicer than ratty jeans and a gray fleece sweatshirt. “Looks like we’re stuck together.” He aims a smirk in Andy’s direction. “Hope your husband doesn’t mind.”

“Not my husband. We’re nothing. He’s nothing to me,” I stammer, peeking at Andy as well. He’s immersed in conversation with Sidh Eknath, his long-time friend. How did they manage to stay together? Seriously, you get away with so much more when you’re at the top of the class. Either that or Dr. B. has no idea who our lab partners were last semester. If I hadn’t been late, Jana and I might not have been separated. I turn to Jana and mouth the words, “I’m sorry.” She shrugs and scoots her chair further from Arlene.

Forty-five minutes of extreme awkwardness and hormonal torture later, sweat drips down my spine, soaking the innermost layer of my sweatshirt. After three and a half years of inhaling Jana’s vanilla-scented perfume, Dom’s musky guy smell has me melting into a puddle of pent-up desire. Every time I look down at my paper, my overlong bangs fall forward, and I need to push them out of my line of vision in order to take proper notes. My breathing sounds abnormal, like I’m blowing air out through a tiny kazoo. Then, horror of horrors, right in the middle of Dr. Brownstein’s lecture, my pen runs low on ink. When I shake it, my arm bumps Dom’s elbow, sending a shock of heat through me.

I am so not washing my clothes tonight.

“Why are you writing?” Dom whispers, running a hand through his dark spiky hair, as if he fears our physical contact has disturbed his mane of perfection. “The notes are on the class website.”

Red heat creeps up my neck like mercury surging in a thermometer. “I remember things better when I write them down.” I set down my pen, deciding to pass on note taking for the remainder of the class.

With Dom throwing my power of concentration out of whack, I almost forget about Andy with his moppy hair, thick glasses sliding down his nose, and shoestring body with its bundle of flailing arms and legs. It’s not until Dr. B. turns the lights out for a slide show that I steal a glance at the next table, wondering for the hundredth time today why a large percentage of the senior class would picture Andy and me together. It must be a huge mistake. Someone miscounted the votes. Oh, shoot, he’s looking right at me.

“Hey, Sadie,” he says, offering me a friendly smile. For a second, I think he’s going to say something about the Senior Superlative, but he doesn’t. “What’d you do over break?”

“Not much, Andy. How about you?” I aim for polite, but distant enough to discourage a longer conversation. Right now, I must seize the opportunity to captivate Dominic with my devastating wit and charm. Oh shoot, Andy’s talking again.

“I went to Penn State for a physics seminar.”

“Voluntarily?” I have to ask.

Andy smiles. “Yeah. Four days of Quantum Mechanics. Then I went skiing in Vermont on New Year’s Day.”

“And you didn’t break a leg? Impressive,” Dom says, while keeping his eyes glued to Dr. Brownstein’s million and one pictures of amoebas.

“Can you believe what happened with the Superlatives?” Okay, Andy’s going there. Why does he have to bring it up now, in front of the coolest guy who’s talked to me in years? “I mean, it’s not like we ever … ” he shakes his head.

“It must be a mistake,” I say with a short wave of my hand. “I’ll swing by Mrs. Downey’s room after school and sort it out.” To avoid further discussion, I develop a fake obsession with single-celled creatures, crafting a glazed expression which rivals Dominic’s sleeping-while-simultaneously-appearing-enthralled look. As Dr. Brownstein drones and hisses his way through class, I focus straight ahead, refusing to slide my eyes in the direction of Andy’s table again, hoping he’ll forget about me. Thankfully, he does.

“You are so lucky!” Jana wails, after the bell. “You get to sit between two hot guys, and I’m stuck between Arlene and the wall.”

“Are you sure you looked at the right guys? Dominic is supreme hotness, but Andy is just a hot mess.”

“Are we not looking at the same Andy? Cause I was thinking of moving him up from a four to a decent six or seven on our Datable Guy-O-Meter.”

“A seven? Did you cut through the chem-lab on the way to class and inhale some methane?”

“C’mon, admit it. Andy’s blue eyes are gorgeous. Triple-snap worthy. Potential husband worthy,” Jana says, knocking her shoulder into mine as we round the corner, heading toward our lockers.

My brain clicks through a mental math exercise, silently calculating the number of days left in the school year. Way too many to stomach daily Sadie marries Andy jokes. I might need to drop out and take my GED.

“I can’t really see his eyes behind his glasses,” I admit.

“He wears contacts outside of school. I ran into him at the Harmony Inn once or twice, eating dinner with his family.”

“Are they magical contacts that turn him into Prince Charming?”

“Like Superman when he takes off those humongous Clark Kent frames?” Jana laughs. “If Andy would bother to push a comb through his hair once in a while, he might even be an eight. Colette loves him. She’s always talking about how great he is. They worked together last semester helping a bunch of mini-geniuses at the middle school with some science fair project.”

I burst out laughing. “Colette loves Andy? He isn’t a five on any list of mine, even if I’m seeing double and count his score twice.”

“Whaaaat? You’re saying Andy’s a two and a half?”

BOOK: My Senior Year of Awesome
4.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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