I sat at the table eating my cereal and watching the news as my mother braided my hair into a bun for school. I don't know why my mother still got me ready for school. She insisted to do my hair and iron my uniform. She already dropped Quinn at school. I usually walked when the weather was nice. But she didn't have anything else to do. So I let her get me ready.
"Mom, did you email Mr. Henry and tell him that my grade in science is wrong? He claims my paper on the use of degradable nuclear funding around places like Area 51 was my opinion." Quinn scoffed biting into her toast and drinking her juice.
"Maybe it was." I said tying my shoes.
"What do you know? You still have a second grade education."
"At least I don't look like I'm still in second grade." I said sticking my tongue out.
"Girls, enough. Peyton, go to school. Quinn go upstairs and get ready to go." I rolled my eyes and headed off to school. My maroon uniform was a reminder to anyone who saw me that I went to the most uptight rigid schools known to man. Well at least that's what papers say. Our school really had one rule. Learn. As long as our grades out ranked every other school we were fine.
I walked up to the first stop sign before I got to school. Standing there looking tired as always was Andy Richardson. Andy had been the first person I'd made friends with when I'd moved here in 5th grade. He was also a foster kid who lived with wealthy politicians. We bonded over a lot but those were our main keys.
"And the prodigal son arrives." He smiles taking his sunglasses off and tucking them into his back pocket.
"Oh you, always seem opened armed." I teased ruffling his hair. He glared at me as he ruffled it back to its usual messiness.
"So I hear there's a new kid. Rich mom and dad, already got the flock of women on his arm. Senior."
"Andy? How do you know anything about the seniors? They block us juniors out like we are cold air mid winter." I said continuing to walk our path to the school.
"I have this Intel with the science geeks. I have my dad say a few 'live long the science program' speeches and they spill." He smiled at me. Andy had green eyes that mostly seemed dark but on occasions were light.
"Well, I guess that's what you get for vouching for the science program." I nudged him turning the corner to our school. The school wasn't like most. It looked more like a rehab center. Gardens inside and out. A massive library and pretty chill teachers. Some teachers didn't make you sit in chairs but in bean bag chairs. We walked in and you could see the event of the year beginning to take place. Most would think its prom or homecoming. But you've got to remember we are all politicians children. Student council took over our lives. Today was nomination day. Every student would nominate a junior and a senior to be president and Vice President. After winning the president and his vice would pick secretary and a treasurer.
"Looks like polly pocket is running for president." Andy said nodding towards Priscilla. Priscilla was Henry Gavanaugh's daughter. Henry was a politician from New York. Big city man with a big city attitude.
"Oh my, Peyton Elizabeth and Andrew how could I have not given both of you a yummy kale bar?" She asked.
"Priscilla, that's sweet really but-"
"But we don't like shoving shit bars into our mouths." Andy interrupted.
"I thought you'd say that. So why eat crappy food when you can have a yummy chocolate fudge brownie?" She asked.
"That brownie looks pretty good." Andy says.
"Exactly. So what do you want in office? Crap or yummy?" She asks.
"Regardless it taste like shit. It's still good for us in the long run. Thank you Priscilla but we've gotta go to class now." I said pulling Andy away from the she devil and to our locker.
"I think if she wasn't a total prude I'd have fun tapping that." He smirked at me.
"And maybe if you weren't such a loser she'd have fun tapping that." I said nodding to his dick. He rolled his eyes and scanned the sea of kids.
"I've never seen kids more excited to break hearts in my life." He says softly to only me.
"You should see my dad at his office meetings. It's like a kid in a candy store. Let's face it. People like politics." I shrugged grabbing my notebooks and pens. We walked to the end of the hall and turned into our already half full class. Andy sat in the back with the trouble makers and I sat in the middle left by the window. History was the most boring subject for me. I don't know why. Maybe it's because it was an AP college course I decided to take to get it over with. We sat at semicircle tables that held four people. I sat with two other girls. Both who weren't interested in a thing I ever said. Cathy and Skylar. They were friends due to their family's co owning Man and Myers. They usually yelled at me about not writing properly or something stupid like that. Them being in this class surprised me. They both couldn't spell their names let alone North America.
"Nice to see you again." I heard a familiar soft raspy voice say. I turned my head to see Asher standing by my chair holding his backpack on one shoulder.
"Nice, isn't the word I'd use to describe this encounter." I said pressing my lips together. He cocked an eyebrow and nodded at me.
"Well, is this seat taken?" He asked.
"Not at all!" Cathy smiled at him obviously smitten with the dark haired boy.
"Thank you, I'm Asher. I moved here from California. I'm not familiar with girls as lovely as the both of you though." He smiled licking his bottom lip and biting it. You could basically hear Cathy squeal.
"Well, I'm Cathy and this is my best friend Skylar. We own Mann and Myers. Well our parents do." Cathy smiled speaking quickly. I took this time to look at what Asher was wearing. It looked different on him but it was the same uniform. Just like ours it was pressed and ironed to a crisp. The teacher walked in and I turned towards the board smoothing my hair down.
"Class, I'd like to welcome a new student. Asher Greene." He said. Asher raised his hand smiling at the class. Girls swooned. Guys groaned and I stayed silent. This boy was a link in a chain and we all were. Yet he seemed to be so much more than that.
"Ms. Andrews? Ms. Andrews!?" I heard my name. I looked up quickly making eye contact with our teacher.
"Mr. Greene has a few of your classes. But I know seniors don't like fraternizing with juniors, so all I ask is you direct him to the office to get situated." Our teacher said.
"Um, sir, I hate to disobey your orders but-"
"Great, now class today we will be learning about Ancient Rome." My teacher went on.
"Seems we will be spending quite a bit of time together." Asher said softly in my ear.
"Don't sound so enthusiastic. I'll only ever see you as the token to my dad's promotion. Tell Daddy Warbucks I said I can't wait for tennis. I'm already refreshing my skills." I said staring forward.
"Daddy Warbucks, I like it. When do you call me daddy?" He asked. I could feel his eyes staring at me. I didn't reply. My eyes stayed on the board watching as my teacher made different shapes which together formed words. These words would then form a sentence these sentences a paragraph these paragraphs a story. This story would be recited many times to different kids. And even with all that. I wouldn't remember a word of it.
I took out a sheet of paper and started writing down words. Words I'd like to remember.
The class ended earlier than I expected and soon I was collecting my stuff. Asher was standing there watching me.
"Please look somewhere else." I said grabbing my stuff and walking ahead of him. Asher got in step with me and soon was walking right next to me.
"You didn't answer my question."
"If you expect me to answer your questions then you're in for a tidal wave of disappointment." I laughed humorlessly.
"Disappointment. Expecting that which shall never be received?" He asked.
"Starting now, Jr. Warbucks." I said walking out of the school and over to the other adjoining campus. I stopped in front t
Of the double glass doors.
"Office, just down that that hall to the left. This is student services. Is that all?" I asked glancing at my phone.
"See you in class." He smiled sweetly.
"Yeah," I said walking to the main campus.
"He asked you what?" Quinn asked as we sat in our dads office waiting to be picked up. Every Wednesday afternoon our mother had therapy and Ethan had science club. Mom didn't like me watching Quinn alone so we waited for her in dad's office. Handling busy work that was nothing but sitting papers and making phone calls.
"If I'd call him daddy." I said shivering at the thought.
"Well are you going to?" She asks
"Of course not, that's weird and just-"
"Kinky?" She asks smiling at me widely.
"Incredibly kinky." I teased writing something on a piece of paper and slapping it on a stack of papers.
"Allan, I was wondering if you were to busy to- oh!" Mindy, our fathers coworker jumped as she spotted Quinn and I in his office instead of our dad.
"He's not here right now can I take a message?" I smiled at her.
"Um, no thank you. Just tell your father I wanted him to stay late, okay?"
"It's Wednesday." Quinn said.
"And?" Mindy asks annoyed.
"Dad takes us out to eat every Wednesday. It's mom's break since she has therapy and whatever. He can't cancel."
"Well your daddy is an important man. He can't spend his time playing house with you guys especially when the election is so close." She said a a soft baby voice.
"We aren't two. We speak perfect English. I'm sorry that you don't have a family to go to but you can't make everyone else miserable because you are." I said.
"Just tell your father I stopped by." She sneers at us walking out of the office and into the bland hallways.
"Bye bitch." I scoffed writing another note for the paperwork. We filled out more papers and finally we were finished. We went down to the elevators and waited in the hallway clutching our coats to our chests.
"Stephanie Quinn? Peyton Elizabeth?" I heard an older voice calling our names.
"Mr. Greene, I didn't expect you to sign on so quickly. How are you?" I asked shaking the older mans hand and not objecting to him kissing my hand. He did the same with Quinn's hand.
"I was coming around to see if your dad was too busy talk about a family cookout this weekend."
"My dad would love that. A cookout? That'd be amazing." I said nodding to Quinn.
"Yeah, dad loves a reason to grill." She says.
"Great. I'll let you ladies go now. Have a good night." He smiles letting us go. We step into the elevator and sigh.
"Evening." I hear from the opposite side of the elevator.
"Asher, what a nice coincidence to run into you." Quinn smiled brightly.
"Why a coincidence?" Asher asks. His voice seemed so close in our little confined space.
"We just saw your father." I said knowing well why Quinn assumed this was a coincidence.
"Well, coincidence in deed." He affirmed. "What floor?"
"First." I said quickly ending any kind of conversation. I watched as the numbers slowly changed from one to another. 13 all the way to 1. The elevator music sucked so badly and the silence seemed like it was cutting into our souls.
I basically thanked lord when the doors opened and let us out. I don't know why I wanted to avoid Asher so badly. He wasn't unattractive and he didn't seem to be anything more than a playful person. I was just so on edge around him. I couldn't function in a normal matter. It wasn't a crush it was something deeper.
"What was that about?" Quinn asked as we stepped outside. I spotted our mom's car and got into the front seat of her Honda Odyssey.
"Nothing I just hate elevators." I said wanting to not take this conversation any further.
"Whatever. Hey mom." Quinn said turning her attention to my mother and erupting in tales of the life of a middle schooler. I tuned them both out tracing words on my leg.
"How was your day, Peyton?"
"Fine" I answered breathing softly through my nose.
"I think it's great you two get this bonding time every week." She says. Then she goes on a lecture about sisterly love. Quinn. Has hidden her earphones under her hair and is smiling like she's really listening. I text Andy and tell him to come over later.
"Okay, red lobster sounds like a great dinner for tonight. I'm not feeling like something extravagant. Something cheap." She says pointing to the red lobster sign hanging on the side of the road. We turn into the restaurant and ask for a table for 5. Soon after dad joins. He apologized for his tardiness and go into a conversation about Mr. Greene and his cookout idea. He doesn't mention Mindy so I assume he hasn't spoken to her. Ethan walks in later looked fatigued as usual. It must be hard being a perfect bitch all the time. We a order and dig in making small talk about our day.
"What do you know about Asher Greene, Ethan?" I ask before I can stop the words falling from my chapped lips.
"Not much. A ladies man. Not someone you really would hang out with, why?" Ethan asked suspiciously.
"He's in a couple of my classes. I was curious." I responded honestly. Well as honestly as I could admit to myself. If Ethan says don't get involved, I won't.