- Song List
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|Footworkin'||Keke Palmer||Iesha Bennett with The Red Hot Cheer Peppers|
|Another Brick in the Wall||Pink Floyd||Alex Herrera with The Jocks,|
The Red Hot Cheer Peppers and The Sexxx Symbols
|Son of a Gun||Janet Jackson feat. Carly Simon||Kalleb Banks and Trae Ventura|
|Whip My Hair||Willow Smith||Alyssa Tanner and Claudia Wu|
|Everybody Wants To Rule The World||Tears for Fears||The Savages|
The Savages, led by smart guy Trae Ventura, try to take over the school by storm. With a little help from his squad, Sydney, Nate, Alex, and Carl, Trae recruits brand new members to gain popularity: Gina, Joe, Lily and Zachary. Little did Trae know that Joe would try to take his throne. He does this by making Nate his sidekick. Alex becomes interested in Gina, but Sydney got in the way and Gina played hard to get. Eventually, Gina gave in and became closer to Alex and now they’re official. Trae takes Zachary under his wing when he quits the football team. But Zachary develops a crush on Trae, and he doesn’t seem to notice until later. Carl encouraged The Savages to go on a joyride to Oregon, but they not only get lost, but they also get chased by a drug dealer, who turns out to be associated with Carl’s dad. The Savages becomes fed up with Rose De Vil’s strict school rules, so they try protesting. Rose gets fired by her superintendent who becomes the next principal and Rose is also pregnant. OMG. All of this was the start of a riot that exposed a video of Brian and Vik—someone leaked the video on YouTube and exposed it at an assembly. Someone told Vik it was Dirty Dan, and he got arrested. Turns out, he was framed. Zachary and Sydney discovered it was Trae. With a little help from tech Kalleb.
“Who’s Kalleb?” Gina asks.
Don’t worry, you’ll see more of him and everyone else on this new season of The Savages!
The video was captured—it was all over Kalleb Banks’ iPhone. Right after recording the video that day, Kalleb Banks and Trae Ventura stood side by side in a corner by the hallways of James A. Masters High School. From the look in Trae’s eyes, he knew what he watched was nothing but pure humor and amusement. Kalleb showed Trae the video; his hands surrounded the edges of his phone. The video depicted Brian Gustin and Slick Vik in the same position Zachary found them.
Brian and Viktor were making out with each other, slowly rubbing each other’s bodies. Another point in the video, Brian moved his head down to Viktor’s neck, kissing him there.
“This is worse than 2 Girls 1 Cup, man,” Trae said while grinning throughout the video.
Trae and Kalleb viewed the video with large smirks on their faces—Trae snickered and shook his head when Kalleb pulled his phone away and placed it into his jean pocket.
“Who would have thought Brian Gustin would be swapping skins with Slick Vik?” Kalleb chuckled as they walked in the hallways together.
“They call themselves ‘Besties with Testies’, Kalleb,” Trae said. “It was so obvious, even Stevie Wonder could see it.”
Trae and Kalleb laughed hysterically at his joke. Trae shook his head and immediately took his joke back. Kalleb looked around at one point to see if no one was eavesdropping.
“What should we do with the video?” Kalleb asked in a softer tone.
“Give them a little dose of their own medicine, especially Brian,” Trae smirked, “I do happen to enjoy a little exposé.”
Kalleb chuckled, “I take it you’re still mad about what he did to you last year. I’d be too if I were desperate like you, dude.”
“Don’t—” Trae pointed his finger at him. “Don’t even, Kalleb. I’m not desperate. I’m a hopeless romantic, okay? And your brother was a dream crusher and a gay-cist.”
“A what?” Kalleb was confused with that term.
Trae repeated it, “A gay-cist. A gay racist.”
Kalleb laughed, “Look, I’m not defending him, but come on—I warned you that he was a piece of shit, didn’t I?”
“I guess—but he’s a hot piece of shit, literally,” Trae said. “I still can’t believe you’re related to him.
“Neither can I,” Kalleb shrugged.
Trae came up with the best idea—realizing that the school was having an assembly after all of the teacher-student conflicts, he looked at Kalleb immediately.
“Okay—I got a plan,” Trae explained. “So, The Savages, we’re planning to crash tomorrow’s assembly…”
“…You’re the tech kid, so…” Trae continued. “Let’s give them the attention they deserve, cause a scene.”
Kalleb understood his idea and raised his eyebrows up in shock, “Dude, you’re sick,”
“I know,” Trae smiled, as if he was proud of himself for being that way.
“Fine, let’s do it, but—how are we going to do this?” Kalleb asked.
“Just come over to my house after school, we’ll work it out then,” Trae walked away from him. Kalleb walked the other direction, and suddenly, Brian purposely bumped into Kalleb while walking the opposite path.
Kalleb looked back; in anger, he yelled, “Really, Brian?”
“What, are you gonna tell Mom?” Brian teased him. “See you at dinner, loser.”
Brian laughed. Kalleb sighed and ignored his comment, walking away.
“I got something else in mind,” Kalleb said to himself with a smirk. He was definitely eager to get him now.
Later that day, Kalleb sat in Trae’s bedroom, hovering over Trae who opened up an unwrapped DVD-R case from the right of his desk. While walking back and forth, pacing and waiting impatiently, Kalleb asked Trae a question. Even though he wanted Brian to suffer, he didn’t know if this was the best way of getting revenge.
“Dude, are you sure this is going to work?” Kalleb asked. He looked at the DVD-R case in his hand, “DVDs aren’t in style anymore, are they?”
Trae looked at Kalleb with annoyance, and Kalleb put himself back, “Sorry, I was just—”
Bing—a notification sound. The computer screen showed “Rip Completed” and Trae hit ‘eject’ to remove the disc from the computer drive. After opening the drive, he placed it inside of the jewel case.
“If this doesn’t work, we’ll just go to Plan B—social media,” Trae shrugged. “But for now, we just have to hope that this will work, and it only will if we have an alibi.”
“What do you mean?”
“Tomorrow—we won’t know each other,” Trae said. “Let’s just say some weirdo just gave you a DVD for no reason, and you play it anyway because… it’s probably school related. Maybe it was De Vil’s idea.”
“So, who’s giving me the DVD, then?”
“Me, but in disguise,” Trae said. He snatched paper from his desk and wrote in Sharpie permanent marker: “PLEASE PLAY ME DURING ASSEMBLY”
“Before you lie, you gotta have an… alibi,” Trae said while taping the paper onto the DVD case, and showing Kalleb the case with the sign in bold.
Kalleb looked at Trae and he looked back with a evil grin on his face. It was going to happen.
Two weeks after the James A. Masters High riot and shooting incident, the school was slowly getting back to normal—not really. Compared to the other few weeks, it was a bright, sunny morning for autumn. It was very windy outside, and all students began to walk inside of the school building.
Trae was still in the hospital for recovery, so there wasn’t no sign of him around the school headquarters. It still felt weird. Jennifer Gordon was their new principal and Rose De Vil stepped from the spotlight so quickly, it was like she was never there.
Carl Touché stood right in front of his opened locker. The Savages was still written on part of the lockers, where he was. He looked at his iPhone and looked at an immediate text from his father.
“Guys night. You, me, Caiden and Eli. Don’t be late!” Eric’s text said. It ended with a thumbs up emoji.
Carl felt so forced to hang out with his dad’s “friend”—or what we know: drug dealer arch nemesis. Then again, Carl thought to himself. Maybe Eli wasn’t the bad guy. Maybe it was a misconception. On second thought, he remembered Trae did throw Pop-Tarts at his car. Why would he chase his father’s van in the first place?
Carl became so conflicted, he placed his phone in his pocket, grabbed his binders and slammed it shut.
Coming from right behind him was the dynamic duo, Alex Herrera and Gina Woods. They were giggling and flirting with each other.
“Galex?” Alex questioned Gina, as they attempted to come up with couple names.
Gina gave a disgusted expression, “Gross, that sounds like a product name for a laxative.”
“Alina?” Alex asked.
Gina shrugged, “Hmm, maybe. Sounds sophisticated.”
Alex and Gina chuckled and kissed each other seconds before approaching Carl at his locker.
“Touché, touché!” Alex rooted, Gina walked with him and gave a smile at Carl, waving.
“What’s up, guys?” Carl asked, even though he didn’t seem pretty ecstatic as usual.
Alex patted Carl’s back, “What’s wrong, man? Dirty Dan dumped you on the jail phone?”
Carl looked at him and rolled his eyes. After mentioning to the Savages that he and Dirty Dan had another fling after the riot, he shook his head.
“Very funny, jackass,” Carl said. “Besides, Dirty Dan’s already committed to someone. I was the side order.”
“What? Who’s the unlucky guy?” Gina asked.
“Who else but Felix Winchester?” Carl gave a sarcastic smirk. In unison, Alex and Gina yelled out, “Ewww!”
“I would have been fine with Trae, but Felix of all people?”
“They’re gonna have creepy, rich pedophile babies,” Gina thought. “Perverted sugar daddies.”
“Where is that douchebag, anyway? He hasn’t been here for 2 weeks.”
Carl rolled his eyes, “Alex, shhh. Maybe if we don’t mention him, he won’t come back. It’s been peaceful without him anyway.”
Gina shook her head, “Well—it’s been honestly weird lately. I mean, De Vil got fired, now her superintendent is the boss of us? Trae’s gone until God knows when. Sydney and Zachary are out of sight, and Lily’s all over the place.”
“Well, Trae comes back next week. He’s slowly recovering from that coma. So, hopefully things won’t be unusual.” Carl said.
“Speaking of unusual, since when did Sydney and Zachary become the best of friends?” Alex noticed the two walking together, making an entrance inside of the hallway.
Carl and Gina shrugged, “Odd, but cute.”
“Hey, Syd! Zach!” Alex yelled across the hallway. Sydney and Zachary, both unusually somber, looked up and waved back. They refused to approach them, and Alex looked confused at their gestures.
Sydney looked at Alex, Carl and Gina before making a statement to Zachary, who held his backpack straps tightly. His anxiety was getting the best of him, especially after what he discovered the week before. Things weren’t going to be the same for him. He didn’t even know how to look at Trae that day he and Sydney paid a visit.
Sydney softly spoke to Zachary, “I think we should tell them.”
Hinting that they are aware of Trae’s secrets, Zachary looked up with pure discontent. He looked at Sydney and nodded, “What? No.”
“What do you mean, no? Zachary, they deserve to know the truth. The real reason why Rose made us suffer for weeks.”
“It’s not that easy, Sydney,” Zachary nodded. “Don’t you think that we should at least talk to him first?”
“It’s all in the video, dude,” Sydney said. “We saw it clear as day.”
Zachary continued to defend Trae, “We don’t even know if he was responsible. The only thing we know is that the tech kid recorded it, and—”
“And Trae knew exactly was going on. Don’t you think that’s a bit fishy? Dirty Dan was framed. It’s no way he could have done that.”
“But, what if Dan…”
Sydney interrupted him, “Can you just stop thinking about the hypotheticals? You’re trying so hard to stick up for Trae. I get it. You’re head over heels for him, but you don’t really know what he’s like, Zachary.”
Zachary hated every word she said, but he kept it to himself, letting her talk.
“We have to tell them,” Sydney said. She walked away from Zachary, leaving him alone to ponder. He walked away, and an eavesdropping Joe Bender heard from behind when he closed his locker. He had a smirk on his face. He knew it all along and it was funny to hear it.
“You do realize we’re not rich, right?” Coach Radnor confronted his new boss—Jennifer Gordon—face-to-face, with a myriad of support from other teachers in the faculty team. They were all infuriated with these immediate changes.
“Wait—I’m… rich?” Mr. Howard Lee slowly put his hand up. Ms. Felicia Ortiz nudged him. She looked angrily at Mr. Lee, who quickly apologized for his statement.
Coach Radnor continued, “I don’t think you understand, Principal Gordon; cutting our budgets for the football team isn’t going to take us to the championships this year.”
“When’s the last time your little set of banshees actually won a championship?” Principal Gordon challenged him.
Coach Radnor was silent, he looked away embarrassed and sighed.
“They lost a big game this fall—no one’s pulling their weight from what I see, and not to mention, with the things your football players do behind closed doors, I don’t think it’s safe to be in the limelight,” Gordon said.
Coach Radnor was anxious, “Look, I’ll do anything. I’ll take some members off, recruit new ones. I’ll polish your nails, anything. Just don’t cut our budgets,”
“No can do,”
Ms. Ortiz sucked her teeth, “Aye, callate, you whine more than my 4-year old daughter. Forget football, okay? What about my International Club? You’re going to keep these kids from learning other cultures?”
“Chemistry’s no joke, ma’am,” Mr. Lee said, defending his Chemistry club he runs.
Jennifer attempted to explain herself, “Listen, I appreciate the both of you for expressing concern for the extracurriculars in this school, but—now that I’m principal, keep in mind that what I say goes.”
“You can’t do this, ma’am—my club and I have planned a trip for two years now and I can’t use all of my hard-earned money—” Ms. Ortiz ranted, until Jennifer interrupted.
Ms. Ortiz wanted to yell at her, but for professional reasons, she decided to keep herself quiet, as bad as she wanted to confront her.
“Budgets will be handled by my newest student helper,” Jennifer claimed. Mr. Lee questioned which student it was exactly.
“Who’s the student?” He asked.
At that moment, one of the students entered the room—it was Kyler Chase, who was already in need of something for his résumé. He was a senior and he was willing to do whatever it took to get a college recommendation.
“Howdy,” Kyler said ecstatically.
Coach Radnor, Ms. Ortiz and Mr. Lee were all confused: Kyler? As rich as he was, he couldn’t even finish a single sheet of homework for all of them. As attractive and muscular as he was, he barely passed Physical Education.
“I’m sure you guys are familiar with this young man here. He’s special.”
“Of course, he is,” Coach Radnor looked away, said under his breath.
Mr. Lee asked, “I don’t get it, why do you need a student to help you with the money? You’re the principal.”
“Why, yes, but I’m also the superintendent of the school district, and this student was promising. His father’s big with finance and so is he.”
“He barely turns in homework,” Ms. Ortiz said.
“Lo siento, Señorita Ortiz,” Kyler tried to be impressive, and Jennifer caught onto it.
She gasped and looked at the teachers, “Impressive, he’s even fluent! Just what I need.”
Ms. Ortiz walked out of the principal’s office, “I give up, I give up,” she exclaimed.
She began speaking uncontrollably in Spanish; and Mr. Lee followed her with a discontent expression. Coach Radnor looked at her and shook his head.
“Rose De Vil wouldn’t have cut our budgets,” Radnor complained.
Jennifer sarcastically asked, “Who’s Rose De Vil?”
Radnor groaned and departed from the principal’s office and Kyler smiled, yelling, “See you in Phys Ed, Coach!”
The sunshine glistened the grass on the football field, where both the football team and the Red Hot Cheer Peppers began to practice. Many students were on the bleachers to watch them. Near the middle of the bleachers, there sat an irritated Joe Bender and nonchalant Nate Osbourne, who continuously rotated the lanyard of his key chain around his index finger.
Joe began to rant, “Explain to me why we’re sitting outside watching The Redhawks ready to lose, and a cheerleading squad with no coach steal routines they won’t even perform?”
“Do you always have to drag people?” Nate asked.
Joe shrugged, “It’s what I do best.”
“It’s not like we have anything to do anymore—do we?” Nate replied. “You took me under your wing, so I was expecting you’d show me the ropes.”
“Duh, I did,” Joe turned around to Nate. “I gave you what wanted. You wanted out of The Savages, now they’re all fucked now that their precious Trae was shot.”
“I heard he’s coming back soon, so The Savages won’t be fucked,” Nate said with uncertainty.
But with Joe, he was confident. A little smirk on his face made Nate realize that he knew something.
Joe scoffed, “Once they find out what he did, I’m sure they’ll break.”
“What do you mean?”
Joe tried to keep it to himself at first, “Eh, forget I said anything.”
“Dude, don’t be a dumb-fuck, what are you talking about?”
Nate was serious; Joe turned around again and looked him straight in the eyes. He asked a simple question.
“You haven’t heard this from me, but… do you really think Dirty Dan leaked that video of Brian and Slick Vik?”
Nate’s eyes opened wide—he looked at him and said, “Holy shit.”
“I knew it all along,” Joe shrugged. “Sydney and Zachary just don’t know the definition of… whisper. They’re apparently gonna rat him out before he comes back. I’m perched.”
“Wait, I’m confused—if it was him… why did Dirty Dan get blamed?”
Joe shrugged once again— “That’s all the juice I have.”
Nate responded with a chuckle, “Damn. I knew Trae was reckless, but I didn’t know he was that reckless. Kudos to him.”
Joe rolled his eyes and replied, “There’s nothing reckless about what he did, anybody could have done that—if he were that reckless, he would have been straight up with De Vil and the feds.”
“He knew how to get away with it,” Nate was subliminally defending Trae in the sense. Even though he doesn’t like him or The Savages anymore, he always admired Trae’s hustle.
“He knew how to hide it,” Joe shrugged. “I wasn’t that stupid to believe Dirty Dan did it. He’s perverted enough. Trae’s a character and wants everyone to think he’s some hero….”
Nate watched as Joe continued to talk down on Trae. Joe continued to rant.
“But when he comes back… everything around him is going to crumble, and I’m gonna make sure of that.”
Nate asked, “What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know what I’m going to do… but I know what we’re going to do,” Joe began to state his plan. “We’re going to make our own super-clique… take every one of those sorry Sausages down one by one.”
Nate took a second to think about it—he was interested in the idea; his own group? Full control and leadership, no neglect. He gave a smile and nodded his head. Then the two heard a loud voice across from the field.
Iesha Bennett yelled, “All right, bitches! Let’s get it the fuck twerking! Cause we ‘bout to do some foot working!”
The Red Hot Cheer Peppers all yelled, and Sena shook her head as she stood a few inches away to watch the cheerleaders’ every move and every pro and con.
Iesha yelled, “1, 2. 3, 4!”
“Footwork, footwork!” The Red Hot Cheer Peppers chanted, as the male cheerleaders did backflips around the area, and the girls did cartwheels in sync.
Iesha sang, dancing in front of the cheerleaders, “I feel that cold wind blow, ready to heat it up. Late night Chicago Heights, get low. South Side, put on that show--feel the music. All my boys on the block stay jukin’, yeah y'all know.”
The Red Hot Cheer Peppers sang along with Iesha, “Footworkin' in here tonight. Feel the beat gettin' me excited, we ridin' the hype, and I feel it comin' on. Footworkin' it takes you high, wanna know how we do in the Chi when we ridin' the hype, and I feel it comin' on!”
“It ain't no thing just work it out!” Iesha sang.
“Footwork!” The Red Hot Cheer Peppers chanted. Sena looked with her arms crossed. She continued to watch Alyssa, Claudia, and Angelika’s every move in particular.
“Just bring your game show what you about!”
“It ain't no thing it's time to work it out! Watch ya feet work, watch ya head jerk, on ya tip toes kickin' up dirt with ya footwork!”
“Footwork, and freeze, now stomp, start it up start it up,” Iesha and The Red Hot Cheer Peppers sang. “Footwork, and freeze, now stomp, start it up start it up…”
Before Iesha could even continue her performance, Alyssa was in a position where two male cheerleaders held her up high, holding her legs. All of a sudden, an unusual sound came from Alyssa.
She farted—and it could be heard and even the male cheerleaders could smell it. One of the male cheerleaders grimaced and immediately let loose of her left leg. Alyssa squealed after tilting down and falling, causing a chain reaction of other cheerleaders collapsing.
Sena was devastated—enough said. She knew something would get in between the routine and Iesha turned around angrily.
“What the hell?” Iesha yelled in a very humorous tone.
Sena immediately sprinted towards Alyssa and the fallen cheerleaders, yelling, “Move your asses now!”
The male cheerleaders quickly stood back up and Alyssa, still groaning from the fall, slowly stood up to a tall, angry Sena.
“Akon, who told you to drink Nesquik today?” Angelika chuckled with her arms crossed. Iesha held her hands on her hips, laughing at her joke.
“Shut up, Angelika—I got this,” Sena said. “I don’t even want to say your name; you couldn’t hold it in? As much as we trained you.”
“Sena, I’m sorry—I-I just had a lot of… dairy.”
“She had Little Debbie donuts snuggled in her uniform before practice,” a male cheerleader said. Alyssa looked back and gave an angry expression.
Sena tried to be calm at first, “Apple Cider—what did I tell you about eating junk food before practice.”
“You said it makes us fat and it makes us look like amateurs,”
“So WHY did you eat a whole bag of donuts, Alimony?” Sena yelled.
“We don’t care!” A male cheerleader yelled.
“I take it you forgot our motto,” Sena chuckled. “CHEERLEADERS DON’T FART!”
Iesha interrupted, “So, wait, do I get in trouble, too? I had some of those Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos before practice. Matt gave them to me.”
“Oh, my god, I love that flavor,” Cheerleaders began saying in the background. Angelika looked at Iesha with disappointment.
“So, you’re back together with Matt, now?” Angelika whispered to her. Iesha looked afar at Matt, huddled up with the other jocks on the side.
“He’s my sugar daddy now,” Iesha shrugged. “It’s the least he could do.”
Sena yelled, “You guys disgust me—I want to puke. This routine was atrocious. But you know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m being the negative Nancy because no one wants to go to Nationals. Aeropostale doesn’t want us to go to Nationals.”
“Why are you always messing with her?” Claudia Wu came to her defense. “Leave her alone, she’s human like the rest of us.”
Alyssa smiled at Claudia for defending her, but Sena immediately targeted her back.
“Wendy Wu—I get you’re trying to defend your little puppy…” Sena continued, “But you don’t make the rules, I do. So, that means, you don’t get to boss me around, I do.”
“You should just take your head out of your ass before bossing someone around. She’s a little girl, she doesn’t know any better, and you’re acting just her age!” Claudia yelled.
The cheerleaders looked around, shocked to hear Claudia defending Alyssa. Last time, Sena made Claudia cry, and now it’s a different story. Sena gave a small chuckle.
“You’re right—I am acting her age,” Sena said sarcastically. “Alyssa and Claudia, you’re off t team, hand in your jerseys in clean shape tomorrow.”
Claudia was shocked, “Really?”
Alyssa began to cry as she ran from the field; all she wanted to be was a cheerleader and now she was cut from the team. The other cheerleaders watched as the incident happened. Claudia walked away from Sena.
“Fine, this team sucks anyway,” Claudia said.
“Without you guys, it’ll suck a little less,” Sena smirked. Claudia walked away from her and tried to chase Alyssa.
Iesha looked at Angelika and talked out to the girls, “All this talk about ‘sucking’ is giving me some ideas right about now,”
Angelika’s mouth opened, “Really, Iesha?”
Iesha replied, “What? I didn’t say anything wrong.”
An attractive white male cheerleader looked at Iesha with pure interest. Iesha looked back and she smirked.
“I always wanted to know what a white Kit Kat tasted like,” Iesha’s little innuendo made the cheerleader wink.
“I’m about to throw up,” Angelika scoffed and walked away, while Sena shook her head.
“Iesha, stop,” Sena was getting bothered, and Iesha shrugged.
“My bad, damn,” Iesha said. She looked at the cheerleader and mouthed a word, “Call me!”
Nate chuckled as he watched the commotion across from him; Claudia finally caught Alyssa and stooped her for a hug, consoling her. Joe Bender looked at the two and had an immediate idea.
“Ozzy,” Joe mentioned Nate, “I think we may have our first two potential members.”
Nate looked at Alyssa and Claudia with confusion and looked back at a mischievous Joe.
The plan of exposure worked; Trae gave the video to Kalleb in disguise, but the aftershock of the video caused Rose De Vil and Mr. Baxter, who both seemed disgusted and disappointed in the outcome, to confront Kalleb for what happened. Since Kalleb was part of the tech crew, he had a lot of explaining to do.
After the infamous assembly, Kalleb explained himself to both Rose and Mr. Baxter. Kalleb crossed his arms and responded.
“I didn’t know it was a video,” Kalleb stated. “I thought it was some music to add on for the assembly. I was literally doing my job, so I didn’t know.”
Mr. Baxter asked with confusion, “So, how did you exactly get the video?”
Kalleb looked away for a moment and then replied, “Minutes before the assembly, some dude had given it to me,”
“What dude?” Rose De Vil asked.
“I don’t know, he didn’t talk—he wore some mask, a black one, and he just gave it to me and left, and that was it,”
Rose and Mr. Baxter looked at each other, and Rose began to ponder about the possibilities of who was responsible for the scandal.
“We’ll talk later, all right? Have a good rest of the day, Banks,” Rose De Vil left his area, so did Mr. Baxter. Kalleb looked back and grabbed his cellphone and left the hallway.
Dirty Dan was in the hallway, where it was still empty, and he noticed Kalleb talking on the phone with someone; he heard most of the conversations that he exchanged.
“Bro, De Vil is on to us—I have a bad feeling about this, dude,” Kalleb paced back and forth.
Trae replied quickly, “I swear, if you told her?”
“No, I didn’t tell her we did it, but I have a feeling she thinks I’m responsible for it.”
“Uh, reporting live: we are responsible for it, KB,” Trae said, muffled through the speaker phone. “The only thing we have to do is keep our alibi.”
While Trae was saying this, Kalleb could notice Dirty Dan watching. He could tell that he was eavesdropping.
“Alibi, right?” Kalleb said, thinking of a plan, with Dirty Dan in mind.
Dirty Dan was held in a chair, face-to-face with Trae and Kalleb standing above him.
“What am I doing here? What did I do wrong?” Dirty Dan was confused at first.
“So, here’s what’s going to happen,” Trae circled around Dan. “Since you seem to know everything—just like you know every sex position.”
“I don’t know anything, I swear—” Dirty Dan said in a frightened tone.
“Exactly,” Kalleb crossed his arms. “That’s what we want to hear.”
“You’re not going to say anything to De Vil or anyone, because there are two choices you have here,” Trae said. “Either you cooperate with us and survive junior year, or maybe you’ll be put to blame for the video. Got it?”
“Got it,” Dirty Dan said. He looked away with fear; he didn’t know what he was getting into.
“So, his little boyfriend was stalking you and Brian,” Kyler commented while walking with Viktor, who followed him and The Moneybags to express his concern about Felix.
“…Why are you so concerned about where he is?” Kyler asked Vik.
Vik sighed, “So, I can’t be concerned about a friend?”
“Friends? The Moneybags don’t have friends—we have acquaintances. Now get lost, circle jerk boy,” Kyler replied.
Vik rolled his eyes and sighed at the insult.
“Kyler, why don’t you cut him some slack?” Mike Daugherty asked innocently. “We haven’t seen Felix in weeks, aren’t you a little bit concerned like we are?”
Kyler scoffed, “Look, Felix’s fine—I’m sure of that, and I’m sure he wouldn’t care that we care about his presence. What the hell do you want us to do? Make missing signs and post them around the school?”
“Listen, Georgia Boy—I need Felix, okay?”
“For a sex tape booster?” Kyler asked. “The media isn’t paying attention to you anymore like it is with Trae and Dirty Dan, what do you need him for?”
Vik looked away and sighed, “His father is some part of big business down in Vegas, but his mother is a lawyer. I need her. I’m filing a lawsuit against this freaking school.”
Kyler looked at the Moneybags and they laughed, “Yeah, like that’s ever going to be in your favor, my good man.”
“I’m serious,” Vik said. “This school barely did anything to help me. They let nature run its course. This school is a madhouse, dude.”
“You sound like a desperate Savage, why don’t you ask them for help?”
“Fuck the Savages—I need Felix ASAP,” Vik yelled out to Kyler.
“Kyler, come on,” Mike convinced Kyler. “What’s the Moneybags without its leader?”
Kyler sighed, “Fine. I’ll give you a ride there to see what’s up with him, but after this, will you leave us alone and stick with your kind?”
“Whatever,” Vik shrugged. Kyler nodded and walked away from Vik, who stood there for a few seconds and walked away.
“Fucking dick,” Vik said under his breath. He walked away to approach his locker.
Joe and Nate stood across from Alyssa and Claudia, who were both disinterested in their presence. It seems as though Joe already convinced them to be on their side. Claudia folded her arms together, while Alyssa stared deadly at Joe.
“So, what you think?” Joe asked optimistically.
In unison, Alyssa and Claudia looked at each other and bluntly replied, “No.”
Nate chuckled a bit, looking at Joe, already knowing that they would deny the offer. Joe breathed deeply and followed the two as they walked away from them.
“Seriously, this is a great opportunity for you, guys,”
“A great opportunity for you,” Claudia replied. “You just want to use us like Sena did.”
Alyssa said, “Who are you, anyway?”
“For the hundredth time, I’m Joe Bender—we’re in Biology together?”
“Doesn’t ring a bell,” Alyssa denied any recognition of Joe.
Claudia continued, “Point is, Bender—we don’t want to have any false hopes. Worse enough, we were just kicked out of one of the biggest squads of this school.”
“Exactly why you should join forces with Nate and I,”
“Who’s Nate?” Alyssa asked out of curiosity.
Nate walked from behind and replied, “Nate Osbourne—fellow nephew of Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne if you ask.”
“Oh, sure, and I’m related to Jackie Chan,” Claudia rolled her eyes and walked away from them again. Nate was offended by her remark and looked at Joe with angst.
Joe chased Claudia and Alyssa again for one more chance of persuasion.
“Listen, okay, don’t mind him,” Joe said. “I just want to know—how did you feel when Sena kicked you out of the group?”
“How did you think I felt? Before Sena became captain, I was an original member of that squad. Ever since she became captain, she’s been a bitch to me, and constantly picks on Alyssa because she’s younger. She’s abusing her powers,” Claudia said.
“And she always calls me different names besides Alyssa, it’s annoying.”
“I sincerely thought your name was Aloe Vera, sorry for the assumption,”
Alyssa groaned, and Claudia rolled her eyes, “So, what’s your point? We barely know you—how can we trust what you say to us? I’d be convinced if it were one of the Savages.”
“Real smooth, Joseph,” Nate whispered in Joe’s ear. Joe nudged him in the chest and replied to Claudia’s comment.
Joe walked closer to Claudia and Alyssa, “Let’s face it. The four of us? We’re alike.”
“How?” Alyssa asked.
“I get that you’re still in your Barney phase, but please stop asking questions,” Joe got irritated. Alyssa crossed her arms and continued to speak.
“…We got kicked out of cliques—”
Nate interrupted him, “Uh, you got me to quit,”
“Nate, I will crush your balls, man,” Joe threatened, leaving Nate to grimace and move back a little.
“…You see, my plan—is to make our own supergroup. Vengeance is my middle name.” Joe smirked. “How good would it feel to get back at your little cheer captain once and for all? Hmm?”
Claudia and Alyssa looked at each other. They thought about it for a few seconds and they looked back at Joe and Nate. Claudia walked closer to Joe, “We’re listening.”
“I’m real smooth, Nathan,” Joe tapped Nate and winked at him. Nate raised his eyebrows and chuckled.
In the main office of the school, Mrs. Haynes—the receptionist and school secretary sat at her desk with a paper. A long list of rules and policies for her to read. Principal Jennifer Gordon hovered around her, expecting her to say something right away. Mrs. Haynes, however, was bewildered.
“Okay, okay, okay, okay, so, let me get this straight, ma’am,” Mrs. Haynes placed her reading glasses on her eyes.
“…You want me to read ALL of this?” Mrs. Haynes asked.
Jennifer replied carelessly, “You are the secretary, am I correct?”
“No, I’m Jesus,” Mrs. Haynes said sarcastically.
Jennifer crossed her arms and bickered, “Don’t you dare say God’s name in vain, Mrs. Haynes,”
“Listen, lady, I go to church every night to praise my God, okay? What yo’ God got ain’t the God I want. Tell me, sister, what you know about Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin…”
Mrs. Haynes began singing and talking rapidly, “…Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, The Clark Sisters, Kim Burrell… oh lord. Take me to the King, God bless.”
Jennifer watched her rant and she was trying not to laugh, keeping her image at a strict one. With a sarcastic response, she said, “Testify, sister Mary J. Blige,”
“D-d-did she…?” Mrs. Haynes was shocked.
“Please read the paper and I’ll be on my way,”
Mrs. Haynes sucked her teeth, “This ain’t a list. It’s an encyclopedia, damn it. It’s gonna take me forever to announce this.”
“You’re literally looking at one page, Mrs. Haynes,”
Mrs. Haynes scoffed and smiled sarcastically, “Fine—the secretary will do it, ma’am.”
“Thank you,” Jennifer smiled back with sarcasm. She walked away from her and entered back into her office, with the windows refurbished and newly designed. Mrs. Haynes looked at her with an evil, disgusted expression.
She mumbled to herself, “Soon as they see a black co-worker, they wanna tell them what to do.”
“What’s that?” Jennifer asked quickly.
Mrs. Haynes stuttered and replied, “Oh, um, I said I like your shoes. They Gucci?”
“Michael Kors,” Jennifer responded. She walked away and mumbled, “Something you can’t afford, you hag.”
“Did you say something?” Mrs. Haynes yelled out.
Jennifer turned around and lied, “Oh, I said I have a matching bag. If you want, I can tell you where to get it.”
“Oh, thank you, ma’am!” Mrs. Haynes giggled and smiled at her. As she walked back inside and closed her office door, she rolled her eyes, “Bitch.”
The students were in their expected classrooms, chatting loudly while the teachers continued to speak over them. One classroom—Mr. Lee’s Chemistry class—was filled with conversation. Mr. Lee tried to get everyone’s attention.
“Class, class!” Mr. Lee made many attempts to keep them quiet. People respected Mr. Lee, but they never cared for his class. He was one of those teachers that let people get away with things because he could. He was rich.
In Ms. Ortiz’s classroom, the students were silent as she lectured everyone in Spanish language. She wrote Spanish vocabulary on the chalkboard behind her.
Mr. Lee’s classroom—Alex and Carl sat next to each other. As the others continued to make noise around them, they were in deep conversation.
“You cool, bro?” Alex asked Carl once again. He seemed concerned with Carl’s morose gestures, “You seem a little different today.”
Carl sighed, “I’m just a bit stressed out about something. My dad wants me to hang out with him tonight.”
“So? A little father-son time; at least you get that opportunity. Last time I spent quality time with my dad, he was wrongly accused of homicide.”
“Are you serious?” Carl was shocked.
“Long story, mi amigo,” Alex attempted to change the subject. “Point is, you’re a lucky kid.”
Carl sighed, “That’s not the point, though. I don’t mind being with Dad or Caiden, it’s just… someone else that’s coming with us that I’m not excited about.”
“Who? Is it Dirty Dan?” Alex joked.
Carl was irritated, “Can you not with the Dan jokes? We were never a thing. I just gave him a blowjob, that’s it.”
“Okay, TMI, dude,” Alex cringed.
Carl replied, “I’m serious, man. I haven’t felt like myself in days, and my parents think it’s all because of Trae, but it’s really not. I have a bad feeling that something is going to go down.”
“Look, if you need a friend or someone to go with you tonight, I’ll be there. I’m sure it won’t be that bad, right?” Alex suggested.
“Oh, it’s bad,” Carl said. “Join at your own risk.”
Before Alex could even say anything, the school intercom on the ceiling gave loud, excruciating audio feedback.
“Ah, shit!” One student yelled out, while other students groaned at the noise.
Mrs. Haynes yelled on the intercom, “I hear ya’ll yelling, hush!”
“God, I hate her,” Carl covered her ears.
“I think she’s funny,” Alex chuckled.
Mrs. Haynes cleared her throat before she spoke on the microphone. She placed the paper across from her face and she read verbatim.
“Good afternoon, James A. Masters High students. Today is December 2, 2015, just a few weeks before Christmas Break. Everybody say YAAAAASSSSSS!”
In Ms. Ortiz’s class, Iesha yelled out, “YASSSSSS!”
Everyone looked at her, as she was the only person to respond. Iesha looked back at everyone and rolled her eyes, “I know I’m fine, but can I have my face back, like?”
“Iesha, you’re one of a kind,” Angelika patted her back and rolled her eyes in annoyance. Iesha took the comment literally, although it was quite sarcastic.
“Anyway, this is a public service announcement from our new principal, Principal Gordon. She is very happy to be taking the place of our former principal. After the holidays, the second semester will be pretty different. New rules, new year, it’s time for a change. So, to give a heads up, please take the time to hear our new rule system, approved by the school district.”
“Rule number one: No student should be seen outside of classrooms, even to go to the restroom…”
“What?” Alex mouthed.
“…if you have to go to the bathroom, you must have a signed hall pass from your teacher, or you must be escorted by a dean on duty.”
The students were completely confused by this rule. It almost felt like elementary school—again.
“Number two: if you are late for class at any point of the day, you will have a mandatory detention that same day after school. Detention goes from 3:35 pm to 5:00 pm.”
“Number three: Unless you are in an actual extracurricular activity, like cheerleading, football, or Glee Club--which is returning next year, you are not allowed on school grounds after you are dismissed. This means, no horseplay or socializing near the courtyard. If you refuse to leave school grounds, it will be an automatic suspension with a mandatory parent conference.”
“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me,” Alex commented.
“Language, Herrera,” Mr. Lee said.
“Number four: Due to previous events, any physical altercation will result in a 2-day suspension, along with a mandatory parent conference.”
“Here are a few updates that will take place next semester as well…”
“All phones must be in your locker at all times. Having your phone with you will be considered contraband and you will not receive it until the end of the year.”
“We’ve had many complaints about teacher-student conflicts. So, if you are talking back to your teacher, you will be sent to the office for the rest of the day.”
“Finally…Class breaks, including cafeteria times, will be cut short. We want every student to stay focused on classes, and worry about socializing after.”
The students were infuriated—their class breaks and cafeteria times were the only bits of freedom they could get. Now that Jennifer is the principal, their freedom is being taken away. Alex Herrera’s legs were shaking. He tried to keep control of his anger. He already let out a lot during the riot, and with a new principal, who knew what could happen to Alex.
“We hope to have a safe environment and a beautiful rest of the year, and remember, Winter J.A.M. is coming in 3 more weeks! Have a great rest of the day.”
Everything was silent. Every classroom was silent. Alex looked at Carl, who could tell Alex was ready to do something crazy. All of a sudden, a student yelled out, “This is some bullsh—”
Students were yelling and arguing about the new rules. It became loud to the point where Mr. Lee was forced to yell; unfortunately, nothing worked for him. Carl looked at Alex, commenting on it.
“Trae is so not gonna like this when he comes back,” Carl said. “Looks like we got another Rose De Vil, this time, she’s 100 times as worse.”
Alex had the urge to stand up. He immediately jumped from his chair and chanted, “WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION!”
The students suddenly cheered him on, and Alex decided to exit the room. Mr. Lee yelled out, “Hey, Herrera, come back! You’re not supposed to leave the classroom!”
Alex strolled around the halls with anger and confidence, singing, “We don't need no education. We don't need no thought control!”
“No dark sarcasm in the classroom. Teachers leave them kids alone.”
Alex pushed the door open in Ms. Ortiz’s classroom. The teacher jumped with fear, yelling in Spanish. In the classroom, there was Gina, a majority of the jocks, and Iesha and Angelika. Alex immediately yelled out:
“HEY, TEACHER! Leave those kids alone!”
The students dispersed from the classrooms, following Alex’s lead. Gina followed him with a smile—Alex and Gina gazed at each other before Alex pushed open another door, forcing students to depart from the room.
“All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall. All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall!”
Alex caused an entire performance in the hallway, with a resemblance to the music video to Pink Floyd’s song, “Another Brick in the Wall.” Nearly the entire student body stood still in the hallway, chanting and singing along with Alex.
The commotion forced Ms. Haynes and Jennifer Gordon to exit their offices and witness the commotion.
They sang in front of them both, chanting, “We don't need no education. We don't need no thought control!”
“No dark sarcasm in the classroom. Teachers leave them kids alone.”
Ms. Haynes was completely confused, “Is this like the Exorcist or somethin’?”
“HEY, TEACHER! Leave those kids alone!” Everyone chanted. “All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall. All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall!”
“Nuh-uh, get ya’ll asses back to the room, or she suspending everybody,” Ms. Haynes said.
“Oop, fuck that,” Iesha claimed in the background. Most of the students dispersed from the hallway and back into their designated classrooms.
Ms. Haynes nodded her head, “Uh-huh, that’s what I thought, and watch ya mouth, little girl.”
Alex tried to make his way back into his classroom until Jennifer Gordon shouted, “Uh, young man?”
Alex turned around, noticing her evil-like gestures, “Come with me,”
In his mind, he had a feeling she would be an issue. He could feel that this little trip to her office wouldn’t be a good one. But, hello? Principal office trips are never good. Alex took a gulp—he never led anything like that before. Without Trae, it felt different.
Alex Herrera watched Jennifer’s every move. Everything she did was slower than Rose, more complex than Rose, and even more intimidating than Rose. Across from her desk was a glass bowl filled with peppermints. She picked one up slowly and offered one to him.
“Peppermint?” She asked, sort of similar to Rose’s ‘nice’ gesture with coffee.
Alex nodded his head, with his arms crossed, “No, thank you,”
“You know, I don’t think I’ve informally introduced myself to you,” Jennifer said with a nice tone, “I’m Jennifer Gordon, and you’re Alex Herrera, right,”
“Ah,” Jennifer was taken aback by his fluency. She grabbed his records, and searched for any faulty information about him. “Alejandro G. Herrera, 1998, transfer student from Bed-Stuyvesant…”
Jennifer looked at him and made an unusual sound of disgust, as if she was shaming New York. Alex picked it up and looked at her angrily.
“…Says here that you’ve been suspended sophomore year 2 times in a row. One time for a physical altercation, another for a physical altercation. At least three referrals in a year. Grade point average, 2.4…”
“…Interesting, now let’s talk about you: Jennifer Gordon, 80 years old, perhaps, don’t know me from a can of paint, nosy? Pretty judgmental about my home life?”
“I’m 60, sweetheart,” Jennifer tried to stoop to his level. “Master’s Degree in Education and double major in Social Work. Obviously, superintendent of the school district and now, your fellow friend.”
Alex scoffed, “Conflict of interest. Uno, you can’t be friends with a student. Dos, like I said, you don’t know me from a can of paint, ma’am.”
“So, I see you love to put on a show, huh?” Jennifer Gordon chuckled. “Glee’s been off for months, you know that.”
“Never… was a fan of Glee?”
“Never said you were!” Gordon said. “Point is, I get Rose De Vil probably allowed you to do whatever you wanted, since she still allows hooligans like you to stay around this school.”
Alex became defensive, “I’m sorry, who are you calling a hooligan?”
“Oh, don’t think I haven’t seen you around here, lurking with your thug crew,” Gordon said. “It’s always students like you that give our school a bad name.”
“I apologize for being human, not a robot,” Alex rolled his eyes, “Now, are we done? I left all my emotions in the classroom to care about this.”
“Of course, we aren’t finished, sweetheart,” Gordon said. “I haven’t discussed the degree of your suspension,”
Alex’s eyes opened, “Suspension? What the f—”
“Why yes, of course, I had to put a little glamour in your permanent records. Just to give you a little reality check on who’s in charge and who’s not. You see, I have the power to not only suspend you, yeah. I won’t explain what else I can do, not until you cross the line just one more time. So, you’re suspended for a day. I’ll let you off easy since we just met.”
Alex rolled his eyes.
“There’s a new sheriff in town, sweetheart—I’m untouchable, I’m no De Vil,” Gordon smiled.
Alex groaned and left the office. He quickly came back in, immediately snatching at least 4 of her peppermints.”
“I have bad breath sometimes,” Alex shrugged, departing from the office and Jennifer crossed her arms with an evil smirk on her face.
Lily twirled a cherry Tootsie Roll around her mouth, while scrolling rapidly on Twitter through her Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Sitting in the courtyard with Gina and a frustrated Sydney. Gina looked at Lily’s actions and scoffed.
Jokingly, Gina asked a random question to ease the unusual silence, “Are you practicing for something?”
Gina teased Lily, continuing to eat her lollipop. At that moment, she stopped what she was doing, looking at Gina with a ingenuine smile. She sarcastically chuckled, “Haha.”
“I should be asking you the same thing, Gina Herrera—did you do the Mexican voulez-vous coucher with your man?”
Gina sucked her teeth at Lily’s question, “Okay, that’s French, not Spanish, and lowkey racist, but no, we’re just getting used to being in a relationship.”
“He’s gonna want that cookie jar,” Lily said, continuing to lick on her lollipop.
Sydney jumped into the conversation, interested in their relationship. Pretty ironic since she kept them apart for a bit. “Have you actually gone on a real date with him, yet?”
Gina continued on the conversation, and she nodded her head, “Not yet.”
“I know the best place to go on a date!” Lily immediately came up with a lingering idea of hers. “Starbucks!”
Sydney and Gina reacted to her suggestion, in unison, they spoke, “Starbucks?”
“Yes, Starbucks is life, are you kidding me? It’s so fetch.”
“Sayings from a typical white girl,” Sydney whispered in Gina’s ear. Gina agreed and Lily scoffed at Sydney’s statement.
“Well, excuse me, Polly Pocket—I just happen to love a Frappuccino date,” Lily said confidently.
Sydney replied, “In your world, a Frappuccino date: the guy buys you a Frappuccino, you leave.”
“Exactly, a free Frappuccino!” Lily said quickly.
Sydney looked at her, “I’m slowly starting to question our friendship, Liliana.”
Lily didn’t pay Sydney any mind at one moment, because right from afar, there was an attractive, unknown student stand with a group of students. His brown eyes stood out, along with his perfectly structured smile. Fashionably, he looked decent. Lily’s eyes were stuck to him like glue, and she stuttered constantly.
“And I’m slowly starting to question my sexuality,” Lily became very appealed.
Sydney was confused, “What are you talking about?”
“That hot guy over there,” Lily pointed across, but didn’t make it obvious she was looking.
When Sydney began to notice the guy, she pretended as if she didn’t care. She shrugged at first, but once she continued to stare, he noticed her blonde hair from afar. He gave a short smile, exposing his bright teeth, and he looked back with his friends.
“Gabe Weston,” Lily said. “He’s in my History class. Apparently, he’s the president of the JAM Student Council,”
“Interesting that there’s a student council that doesn’t do shit for our community,” Gina said in a disappointed tone.
Lily looked at Gina and replied bluntly, “Gina, the JAM Student Council are like the Republicans of our school. They’re suck-ups to the faculty.”
Sydney couldn’t keep her eyes from him, while Lily continued to rant.
“How can someone so hot be so political?” Lily asked.
Sydney’s focus drifted away from Gabe as he walked away with his friends. Meanwhile, Gina suddenly felt a vibration in her pocket—a notification on her smartphone. As she viewed her lock screen, she noticed a text message from Alex.
“Rain check on our little date. Guess who’s suspended? '☹'” Alex messaged her.
Gina groaned at the text she received from Alex, “Shit, Alex got suspended, you guys.”
“Already saw that coming, honestly. No one told him to go High School Musical on the lady,” Sydney said, while filing her nails on the courtyard table. Gina rolled her eyes.
Lily continued to scroll down her phone for tweets, and she noticed the trending topics. The first one, immediately, was school related. There it was, James A. Masters High School, with 50,000 tweets.
“Ooh, our school is the number one trending topic on Twitter today!” Lily said with excitement. As much as she hates the school, she loves a lot of gossip.
Sydney sarcastically replied, “When is it not?”
Lily perused the article surrounding the trending topic. Right in her face: Former student Daniel Daniels faces more charges surrounding video scandal.”
Another article headline mentioned, Daniels possibly facing jail time after video. An extra article: Nichols family to file lawsuit on James A. Masters High School. One more article also is an editorial: Is Ventura’s shooting another case of racism in schools?
“Holy fuck, Dirty Dan is getting charged for more than just that video. Somebody reported him getting head in the bathroom stalls and the janitor’s closet last week,” Lily said.
Gina shook her head in disbelief. Dirty Dan got so many consequences, but in Sydney’s mind—she felt bad. Her good side wanted to spit it out: Trae did the video. But, she wasn’t ready, and she needed Zachary to be there.
“And Vik’s filing a lawsuit?” Lily laughed. “Good luck with that.”
Sydney sighed. She felt a sudden urge to say it all. She couldn’t take keeping it to herself anymore, “Guys, I need to tell you something.”
“Tell us what?” Gina asked.
All of a sudden, from behind Zachary came, approaching Sydney in particular, “She’s dying her hair red, and I’m helping her! Let’s go!”
Zachary pulled Sydney from Lily and Gina, who were both confused with the interruption. Sydney tried to ask Zachary to let her go, but he refused, pulling her to the side, further away from Gina and Lily.
“What, I’m not… dying my hair red?” Sydney said from afar.
“Redhead Sydney?” Lily was pretty interested with the thought. “I can dig it.”
Gina agreed, nodding her head to the statement.
“What are you doing?” Sydney softly and angrily asked Zachary.
Zachary asked the same question to her, “What the hell are you doing?”
“Stopping you from doing something stupid!” Zachary confronted Sydney.
Sydney was already angry that day, and nothing could stop her from doing what she wanted to do. She was resilient.
“Zach, this has been on my back for a week now. A week. You’re not going to stop me from telling them, I don’t care what you say. They need to know.”
“They really needed to know right then?” Zachary crossed his arms.
“Why are you so scared to tell them? Why are you so in love with this guy that you have to cover it up?” Sydney asked genuinely. “He’s my friend, yes—but aren’t you angry?”
“I am, Sydney,” Zachary yelled. It was silent for a moment. “I am. But if there’s one thing I remember him saying, everyone has a motive. He had is motives. We all do stupid shit, Sydney. If you tell them, at least right now, you’re going to tear The Savages apart.”
“Don’t you think he’s already done that, Zachary?” Sydney asked. “Or is your head so far up his ass for you to realize that he’s a liar?”
Sydney walked away from Zachary at that point, leaving him to depart to the other direction. Of course, he was disappointed in Trae, but he was also madly in love with him. Nothing could change that. He was trying to be objective and see things from a different side. With Sydney, The Savages could be in turmoil. He feared that.
It was around 4:00 in the afternoon, an hour after school was dismissed. Vik sat in the passenger’s seat of Kyler’s black Hummer. It was pretty outdated, but it looked brand new and refurbished. In the back seat, there sat Mike Daugherty and his other friend singing and rocking along to The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside.”
It was The Moneybags’ favorite song, especially at parties. Vik was the different guy—he loved pop music and dubstep, and the sound of rock music made him cringe. He twitched when Kyler, Mike and the other members of The Moneybags began singing along, chanting:
“Jealousy, turning saints into the sea. Swimming through sick lullabies, choking on your alibis,” The Moneybags sang. “But it's just the price I pay, destiny is calling me. Open up my eager eyes, 'cause I'm Mr. Brightside!”
Vik became so annoyed, to the point where he had to take action. He turned off Kyler’s car stereo, leaving the Moneybags in anger.
“What the--?” Kyler yelled. “Don’t you ever touch a rich boy’s radio, dude.”
A member of the Moneybags asked Vik, “What’s your deal?”
“My deal is that you guys have been trying to give me an ear infection for 20 minutes straight.”
“Live a little, man,” Kyler laughed.
Vik rolled his eyes, “Says the one who has all the money in the world. Please don’t tell me how to live my life.”
Kyler suddenly slowed his car down, as he noticed that Felix’s home didn’t look the same as it used to. It looked the same way they left it that previous night of the party. It was awkward because he never noticed Felix at all that night. It all was clear to Kyler and Vik that once Felix opened that door for them at that party, it was the last they saw him in a week or two.
They approached Felix’s driveway, already with one parked car. They even noticed Felix’s opulent vehicle wasn’t in the driveway either. Did he run away?
“His car isn’t here,” Kyler said.
Vik suggested, “Maybe we should check to see if he’s there. Perhaps it’s getting fixed.”
Kyler looked at Vik and scoffed, “You wanted us to take you here, you knock.”
“But that’s your ‘acquaintance’, dumb ass,” Vik responded. The Moneybags all looked at Kyler, who looked back at Vik, breathing deeply. The four guys exited from the Hummer, slowly walking up towards the small hill up to Felix’s doorway. They stood on top of his welcome rug, and Kyler took the initiative of knocking on Felix’s door.
For about 5 seconds, there wasn’t an answer—until:
“Felix?” The door quickly opened, a voice yelled. It was Felix’s mother, a dirty blonde, tall and elegant woman. She lost hope as she saw Kyler, Vik, Mike and the other member standing in front of her.
It was silent, as she looked at then, with concern in her eyes.
Vik and The Moneybags were allowed in Felix’s home; his mother welcomed them with open arms, but also hoped to vent. The house almost looked the same way it did at the party. She was alone, no sibling in sight at the moment.
With potato chips and pretzels in a bowl, surrounding the coffee table in her living room, the four guys sat across from Felix’s mother, Kirsten Winchester. She didn’t look so well.
“We haven’t seen Felix in two weeks,” Kirsten said. “He hasn’t answered any of our calls. It seems the more we reach him, the more I fear he won’t come back.”
Kyler asked her, “Do you think he’ll come back?”
“I don’t know,” Kirsten’s voice broke. “I’m just afraid he found about our little big issue, and ran away from home. It’s something my husband and I didn’t want him to know. You know, Felix’s dad Keith’s in Las Vegas most of the time, and I’m never at home with my kids. It’s hard to tell Felix anything about our lives, especially with what’s going on at school.”
Viktor nodded his head, “I understand,” still expecting to have an opportunity to be her client for the school lawsuit.
“I’m confused—what exactly is the little issue?”
Kirsten was silent; she didn’t know how to explain it to the Moneybags, but she had to get it out there some way, somehow.
“We’re bankrupt,” Kirsten began to cry.
The Moneybags were in complete shock at this reveal. Of all people, Felix Winchester’s family was in bankrupt. Viktor seemed concerned, considering that her bankruptcy would interfere with his chances of ever winning a lawsuit against the school. Kyler moved closer to Kirsten to console her and give her support. He touched her hand gently.
“Mrs. Winchester, we’re very sorry, I hope there is something that we can do to help,” Kyler said.
“I just want my son back,” Kirsten said. She sniffled, wiping the tears from her eyes with a handkerchief, “If you can bring Felix back, I’d feel much better.”
“We’ll do the best we can, Mrs. Winchester,” Kyler said with a charm.
He held Kirsten’s hand tightly, and she felt supported and appreciative of their support. Vik, on the other hand, had mixed feelings on everything. He looked away and pondered about Felix, as well as his own issues.
It was a somewhat sunny day that afternoon, around the time where The Savages ditched school and went to Portland, Oregon for a road trip. The remaining students attending school were all in their classes during that time. Dirty Dan, however, just faced his own fear—being in Rose De Vil’s office.
Dirty Dan walked in the hallways after his encounter with Rose De Vil. The school bell rang for their lunch period, and students began to fill up the empty hallways. Dan jostled through many students to approach his locker, but he accidentally bumped into Kalleb, Trae’s friend and the person that witnessed Brian and Vik’s video scandal.
“Hey, are you all right, Dan?” Kalleb asked with concern. “What’s going on?”
Dan looked behind him, “A lot’s going on. I don’t want to talk about it.”
Kalleb patted his back, “Come on, dude. Just tell me, we’re friends here, right?”
At this point, Dan was completely at his limit. “No, we’re not friends. I don’t even fucking know you that well. There’s a difference between friends and associates and you’re not a friend.”
“I was just trying to be nice,” Kalleb said despondently.
“…So, why don’t you just do me a favor and back off?” Dirty Dan demanded, leaving Kalleb’s area.
Kalleb looked back while Dan walked to his locker. He gave an evil smirk and went the other direction. Turns out, Dirty Dan wasn’t cooperating with Trae or Kalleb like he promised. So, later that night, Kalleb had an idea—it was only for the best.
In his own bedroom, to which he shares with his half-brother Brian, snoring obnoxiously in the bottom bunk of the bed, Kalleb stood across from his computer, and gave Trae a phone call, around 5:30 in the evening.
While Trae and the Savages were stranded in the middle of nowhere, Trae’s cellphone, which played the ringtone of “Bitch Better Have My Money.”
Trae sighed as he looked up to Joe, “Sorry, I have to get this.”
Kalleb showed up on his cellphone, and Trae answered, “Hello?”
Kalleb said while sitting in front of his desktop computer, “Our little pal isn’t cooperating with our alibi like we planned. Should we rid him?”
“I guess it’s time for Plan B,” Trae shrugged. “He’s our target now.”
“What should we do?”
“Don’t worry—sex is my favorite weapon, and clearly, so is his. I’ll be sending a hard drive your way.”
“Got ya,” Kalleb said.
Trae hung up the cellphone with a smirk on his face. He noticed that Joe was staring at him from afar, slowly biting his lip and turning away to the other side.
Trae cleared his throat and approached Carl as he dealt with his father’s van.
“Haha, hoo-hoo, thought you'd get the money too. Greedy motherfuckers try to have your cake and eat it too,” Trae and Kalleb sang in unison.
That next afternoon, Kalleb sat in his room, across from his computer. He held the fresh hard drive that Trae gave to him.
“Son of a gun,” Trae whispers. “Son of a gun.”
Kalleb transferred every video file of Brian and Vik, and a few extra photos to the hard drive. It took at least five minutes to send everything. As soon as the transferring was complete, all of a sudden, Brian Gustin pushed in the door to his half of the room. Immediately, Kalleb closed his laptop. Brian looked at him and prepared to tease.
“Dude, were you watching gay porn?”
“Fuck off, go away,”
“You really forget this is my room, too, right?” Brian rolled his eyes. “Fine, beat your queer meat, fruity,”
The hypocrisy in Brian’s statement amused Kalleb, he smirked as soon as Brian slammed the door shut.
That next morning, Trae strolled through the hallway that day, and began rapping, “Sharp shooter into breaking hearts. A baby gigolo - a sex pistol. Hollering at everything that walks. No substance just small talk…”
He noticed Dirty Dan walking past Trae without noticing him; Trae slowly turned back to see Dirty Dan grabbing another student’s behind and biting his lip. He also passed by an intrigued Felix, who winked at him.
“…Know why you feeling on that guy's behind. You gotta sleazy one track mind. Working your work until you think you find who's going home with you tonight.”
Kalleb was walking the other direction; he was approaching Trae, and the two exchanged a quick handshake before parting ways. In Trae’s hand was the hard drive.
Kalleb sang with Trae, as they walked separate directions, “Oh, who you gonna give it to? Who you gonna steal it from? Who’s your next victim? Oh, who you gonna lie to? Who you gonna cheat on? Who you gonna leave alone? Oh, what ya gonna tell him after he discovers you don't really love him? Oh, gonna be a showdown, knock down - drag out, gunslingers shoot 'em up!”
“I betcha think this song is about you!” Both repeated. “I betcha think this song is about you. I betcha think this song is about you. I betcha think this song is about you. Don't you? Don't you? Don't you?”
“Haha, hoo-hoo, thought you'd get the money too. Greedy motherfuckers try to have your cake and eat it too,” Trae and Kalleb sang.
Two nights after Oregon, Trae opened up one of his laptops that he rarely used. He found a Top-Secret sticker on the side and placed it on top of the computer. Amazed that it still worked, he opened it up to use it.
“Son of a gun,” Trae whispered.
At this point, Trae opened up Google Chrome, searched for YouTube, and clicked the “Create Account” button. As the figure registered, the user typed the username “TripleDz’ and typed in the password – 3xxxSS, an unusual password for an account.
From a choice of files, the unknown person clicked the infamous video that was synced to the computer. Trae typed in the title of the video – “Two Jocks Caught Kissing on Candid Camera! MUST WATCH!”
The video was uploaded.
The morning after is where the plan went in effect. Trae passed by Kalleb once more, shortly after looking at Zachary pass him by without the effort of looking at him.
“Hey, Dan, I need a study buddy tonight—mind if I hang?”
Dan was already turned on, and Trae knew just the way to seek vengeance.
Trae removed himself from Dirty Dan’s area with a smirk on his face, he strolled around the hallways once again, singing:
“Sweating me but I'm not your type. You think you irk me and you're so right. I'd rather keep the trash and throw you out. Stupid bitch in my beach house. Naw, I ain't gone go and act a fool and be lead story on the dummy news. Not me sucker, I'll never be your lover, I'm gonna make you suffer, you stupid motherfucker,” referencing Dirty Dan.
“Oh, who you gonna give it to? Who you gonna steal it from? Who’s your next victim? Oh, who you gonna lie to? Who you gonna cheat on? Who you gonna leave alone? Oh, what ya gonna tell him after he discovers you don't really love him? Oh, gonna be a showdown, knock down - drag out, gunslingers shoot 'em up!” Trae sang.
While Kalleb sat in his room, watching Brian do push-ups on his side of the room. He stood with a deceiving expression on his face. This was during the same time of night where Trae and Dirty Dan were fondling with each other in Dirty Dan’s bedroom.
“Gotta chip upon your shoulder, I just knocked it off,” Kalleb sang.
Dirty Dan and Trae were making out together in Dirty Dan’s bedroom. Both of their computers were on the desk, and Trae kept trying to look for Dan’s laptop. While looking, Trae had the idea—he unzipped his jeans and pushed Dan’s head down to his abdomen.
“It’s all yours,” Trae moaned, before trying to grab the hard drive from his left hand.
“Show me what you gonna do, I ain't bout to run. You have just run out of ammunition,” Kalleb sang.
Dirty Dan continued to kiss all over Trae’s abdomen, this is where Trae attempts to reach to Dirty Dan’s laptop, a few inches near him.
“I’m a storm cloud, baby,” Trae spoke.
“Shooting blanks now, you son of a gun,” Kalleb sang.
Trae felt sensitive at one point as soon as Dirty Dan reached a spot, slowly unzipping Trae’s pants and giving his body a taste. Trae belts out,
“You can roll like thunder all ooooooooover meeeee!”
“I betcha think this song is about you!” Both repeated. “I betcha think this song is about you. I betcha think this song is about you. I betcha think this song is about you. Don't you? Don't you? Don't you?”
With good reach, Trae successfully pushed the USB hard drive into Dan’s computer port. The files were automatically uploaded to his computer.
“Haha, hoo-hoo, thought you'd get the money too. Greedy motherfuckers try to have your cake and eat it too,” Trae and Kalleb sang.
The plan was successful. Boom. Trae ejected the hard drive as quick as possible and stretched himself on the bed as Dirty Dan reached towards him for a kiss. Trae kissed Dirty Dan back, but his eyes opened afterwards with a deceiving gesture.
Eli Hawk pointed a gun, an evil, fierce look came upon his face as he gripped the gun in his hands, “You’re going down. One, two, three—BAM BAM BAM!”
Eli and Carl’s little brother, Caiden, were playing violent arcade games at Dave and Buster’s. The sounds of gunshots, groans and screams. Eli and Caiden were both in competitive mode as they were playing Terminator and screaming out as if they were really shooting someone.
“Bang, bang, right in the head!” Caiden yelled out.
Eli asked, “What you know about Terminator, kid? I’m way ahead of you.”
“Talk less, shoot more, Mr. Hawk!” Caiden said with determination. The two continued to bond with each other, while Carl sat at a table all alone, eating French fries and watching Eli’s every move. His father was nowhere in sight for a few minutes.
The more he looked at Eli, the more he wanted to escape and leave. Carl did have mixed feelings about his presence as well. As much as he didn’t want to think about it, there were some sexual thoughts involved as well. Eli was an attractive white man; he didn’t know how old he was, but he assumed he was in his 40’s. Carl knew he was pretty appealing to look at, but he was dangerous—and he was even frightened for his own brother.
Carl’s hands trembled and his French fry fell to a small puddle of ketchup on the table.
Eric walked to Carl and sat across from him, holding a dozen of tickets in his hands. He seemed rejuvenated and lively, contrast to Carl.
“Come on, Carlo, you’re missing out!” Eric said, sitting with souvenirs and tickets all in his hand.
“All the fun is here, burger and French fries, what’s better than that?” Carl replied sarcastically, cheering with weakness, “Woo!”
“You haven’t touched that burger since we’ve been here, and it’s been an hour,” Eric could tell something was up with Carl.
Carl continued to dip his French fries in his ketchup puddle, playing with food and losing concentration on what his father was telling him. Eric looked concerned again, and he inched closer to his side of the table to have a genuine heart-to-heart with Carl.
“Something’s on your mind, tell me what’s wrong, Carlo,” Eric said.
It was silent at first. Carl didn’t want to say anything bad about Eli, especially on this time of night. But, he had to bring him up in a conversation some way. He looked back over at Eli and Caiden and looked back at Eric.
“I don’t really feel comfortable.”
“Oh, come on! Not comfortable with your own family?” Eric didn’t seem to comprehend how Carl truly felt about being uncomfortable.
Carl looked back again, “But Mr. Hawk isn’t really family, you know?”
Eric took a small gulp, “I know—but he’s like family, now.”
“Is he always gonna come to our house every night and take up all the dinner leftovers, like he has for two weeks?” Carl complained.
Eric sighed, “Look, I know Mr. Hawk may be hard to get used to, but he’s been a pal of mine for years, and he’s been through a lot of things.”
“Oh, has he?” Carl questioned, with a subliminal, sardonic tone. He knew all about Eli Hawk’s agenda, even without really knowing.
Eric nodded, “You know, just like, Alex and Trae—they’re family to us. Eli’s one of us, too. Just give him a chance.”
Carl looked down at his plate, “I think I’ll play some arcade, see ya.”
When Carl pushed his plate from him to stand up, he walked away from Eric, and passed by Eli and Caiden who were still interested in the game. Eli turned around to call Carl’s name.
“Hey, kiddo, want a round of Terminator, or are you scared to get beaten?” Eli asked with a chuckle.
Carl nodded, he walked away and whispered to himself, “That’s not the only thing I’m scared of.”
“Is he cool?” Eli asked Caiden with an animated tone.
Caiden shrugged, “Nah, probably wished he had Dirty Dan around.”
“Who’s Dirty Dan?”
“His boyfriend, gross,” Caiden didn’t know what he was talking about. Carl and Dirty Dan weren’t dating, but Caiden knew for sure their flings were always recurrent.
Eli took his response to thought and continued to play, “All right, ready for round 2, little man?”
Eric sat at that same spot, and he sighed. He was afraid of what Eli would do as well. For two weeks, he questioned, why was Eli there every day to torment him. It wasn’t direct tormenting, but it was frustrating to see the fact that he would suffer for what he owed.
It was around 8 at night, and Joe and Nate, alongside Claudia, were in Alyssa’s weird bedroom. They looked around at the room, perfectly pink with posters of One Direction on one side, Ariana Grande and Glee on the other side.
“Are you sure your parents are okay with us being here?”
“Yes! She thinks that having older friends will get me to college easier!” Alyssa said with excitement.
Joe chuckled nervously and looked around the room in fear, “Cool, perhaps we should play duck-duck goose while we’re at it,”
Suddenly, Nate pulled Joe aside with annoyance in his expressions.
“Okay, this is seriously social suicide, Bender,” Nate confronted Joe under his breath. As Alyssa and Claudia sat on the same bed, awaiting their lectures, Nate was completely uncomfortable with the scenery.
“It was the only option, damn it,” Joe said. “It was either this, or your house—and I’m terrified of your mom.”
Claudia interrupted their conversation, “So, are you guys just gonna gossip or get to business?”
“Hold your noodles, Cleopatra, we’ll be with you guys,” Nate commented.
Claudia immediately took offense, “You racist, goth looking troll.”
“What-what did I say?” Nate wasn’t aware of what he said to her.
“You told her to hold her noodles. Don’t you think that’s a little rude, since she’s Asian?”
Nate was stunned at first, “Oh, wait, wait, that’s not how I meant—”
“—Fuck off, ass wipe,”
“No need to be rude to Breadquanda!”
“Who’s Breadquanda?” Alyssa asked randomly.
Joe pointed something out in Claudia, walking closer to her. “Claudia, your attitude right now—what’s going on?”
Claudia responded to Joe’s response carelessly, “I’m not stupid, I know self-defense.”
“If you’re all about self-defense, why didn’t you ever confront Sena when you were on the squad?” Joe crossed his arms and sat next to Claudia and Alyssa on the bed.
Claudia rolled her eyes, “Because I was trying to keep my status? Unlike you two, I hadsomething to put on my résumé. You gotta play nice to get what you want, and now I’m being convinced that I should join forces with you guys because Sena made business personal?”
“Yes,” Joe said. “It’s called seeking justice to get what you want.”
Nate turned to Joe to agree, until Joe took back his thoughts, “Fuck, Trae’s rubbing off on me.”
“So, you want us to be a bootleg version of The Savages?” Claudia said bluntly.
Joe nodded his head and disagreed with her, “Not a bootleg version—an upgrade.”
Nate interrupted Joe and Claudia’s conversation with impatience, “Ugh, okay, what exactly are we here for again? I feel like I’m gonna get cooties any second.”
“Meanie,” Alyssa complained.
“No offense, Applebee,” Nate replied. Alyssa groaned and refused to correct herself again. She gave up on trying to.
“Before you guys become one of us, I think it’s safe to say that the both of you need a makeover,” Joe commented.
Claudia felt offended, “What’s wrong with how I look?”
“Yeah?” Alyssa questioned the same thing.
Nate commented, “What he’s saying is, you guys look too much like Barney characters.”
“In order to be a badass, you gotta look like one, too.”
“I don’t know—my closet isn’t bad…butt,” Alyssa tried to censor herself, considering her age.
Joe encouraged Alyssa to curse. With a smirk on his face, he demanded, “Say it. You’ll feel free if you do.”
“My parents are in the other room,” Alyssa said, continuing to say different words.
“Say it, Alyssa,” Joe forced her.
Claudia sucked her teeth, “Like you never said a bad word before, Alyssa. You got a 101 from Iesha.”
Alyssa stuttered, “A-a-a-ass?”
Nate chuckled and Joe rooted for her, and Claudia shook her head with disbelief. Alyssa felt relieved, glad that her parents didn’t hear her say it. Joe immediately decided to change the subject.
“It’s gonna take time, but I promise you guys, you’ll be certified bad ass in our hands. Your first mission, due tomorrow afternoon in the cafeteria.”
Claudia and Alyssa sat on the bed, bewildered by Joe’s lecture. After taking a brief glance at each other, Nate walked next to them as Claudia questioned the mission: “What’s the mission?”
“After we get through turning you guys from Disney princesses to rebels, the both of you have to introduce “the new you” to everyone in the cafeteria.”
“No, no, no,” Claudia disagreed with the plan. “I am not going to get in trouble with Principal Gordon, okay? She’s scary and ugly.”
Nate had some say, “If you want The Red Hot Cheer Peppers to suffer and you want to take them down, it’s all about rebellion, confidence, and intimidation. If you don’t have three of those things, you don’t meet the criteria of a badass.”
“Exactly,” Joe agreed. “We also gotta do something with your hair. Claudia, have you ever thought about going blonde?”
Claudia was stuck, she didn’t know how to react to that question. She always considered dying her hair someday. Her family was pretty lenient on that type of thing, so she took that in consideration.
The next day: the students were gathered together in the cafeteria, conversing and chatting, while students also walked for their lunches. The Savages sat in their designated spots, The Red Hot Cheer Peppers stood in theirs, laughing and gossiping as usual. The Moneybags stood in their spots together—with Kyler and Mike leading a conversation. Viktor watched them from afar, having the urge to approach them. He gave up, as he sat next to another jock, two seats across from Brian. They gave a short glance and looked away.
At the Moneybags’ table, Kyler scrolled through his iPhone 6 and viewed the latest news on James A. Masters High School: High school senior Felix Winchester missing. The headline showed his junior year picture.
“Great, another fucking headline about this school,” Kyler complained, slamming his phone down to the table. “This place’s a mad house.”
“I wonder where Felix ran off too.” A member of the Moneybags asked, his name was Andrew, sort of weird and antisocial member of the Moneybags.
Kyler reacted, while sticking his forth constantly at the macaroni and cheese on his food tray, “Who knows? Apparently, his parents have a beach house about 2 miles from there. Maybe he ran off there.”
“He won’t be there for long when they find out his family’s bankrupt,” Mike Daugherty commented.
Kyler confronted Mike angrily, “Seriously, Daugherty, do you know when to shut the fuck up?”
“Bloody hell, I’m sorry—I thought everyone knew!” Mike defended himself immediately.
“Wait, Felix’s bankrupt?” Andrew asked. “Holy shit.”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Kyler said. “But that shouldn’t give us the right to judge him in his condition right now.”
“As much as he judges us? Please.” Another member of The Moneybags stated, his name was Luke. “Not to be insensitive, but it actually feels good without him boasting about how much he’s worth. As if he’s really going to be on the 30 Under 30 list for Forbes. The fucking irony.”
“Like it or not, he leads us,” Kyler responded. “Our last captain, what’s-her-name, was a quitter and Felix was there to pick up the pieces she shattered. Instead of talking shit about him, we should do something about this. He’s the reason why The Moneybags is in its prime.”
“Yeah, sure,” Luke said.
Nate stood behind Alyssa, wearing a leather jacket in her size, with a black T-shirt under it with a red skull. She wore a plaid skirt with it, and her hair was red. Joe stood behind Claudia, who, on the other hand, was a totally different person.
Her hair was freshly blonde, and her entire wardrobe was hipster-like. She wore a regular white T-shirt with planet Jupiter. Her black tights matched her lipstick, and her shoes were covered with spiky rhinestones.
“You guys know what to do, right?” Joe whispered in Claudia’s ear. Claudia gave an evil glance at The Red-Hot Cheer Peppers, who were completely unaware of Alyssa and Claudia’s brand new style. Her evil smirk—she was determined.
“Fuck yeah, let’s do it,” Claudia said. She picked up her red Bluetooth speaker, and she and Alyssa walked with two empty lunch trays in their hands. As they walked away from Joe and Nate, they kept their fingers crossed.
Alyssa and Claudia, meanwhile, stood up bravely on a table, where certain students were sitting, and there was sudden silence.
“Who are they?” Gina asked Alex, as he sat with Carl and Lily. Alex shrugged as he barely recognized them.
Claudia placed the Bluetooth speaker on the table. She looked at Alyssa, gave a smirk and then everything went wild. As soon as the music played, Alyssa and Claudia began whipping their hair back and forth, quickly and with fury.
Alyssa yelled out repeatedly, “I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth,”
“Just whip it!” Claudia sang.
“I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth.”
“Whip it real good,”
“I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my—”
Every single clique and a majority of the students viewed the impromptu performance in total shock; the Savages, meanwhile, watched and Lily recognized the girls immediately.
“Oh shit, it’s Alyssa and Wu,”
“What?” Alex quickly turned himself back to watch the performance and noticed their bizarre change of appearance.
The Red Hot Cheer Peppers watched them, and Sena, in particular, was just as amazed and uncomfortable as everyone else was at first hand.
Claudia jumped of the lunch table effortlessly, approaching The Red Hot Cheer Peppers immediately. The cheerleaders watched with confusion, especially Iesha. Claudia strolled her way towards Sena, singing:
“Hop up out the bed, turn my swag on. Pay no attention to them haters because we whip 'em off…”
Claudia whips her hair all near Sena, and she pushes herself back, spitting the hair from her mouth. Angelika and Iesha continued to watch in awe as Claudia walked away, pleasing the rest of the students with the performance. She jumps up and down and sings:
“…And we ain’t doing nothin’ wrong. So, don’t tell me nothin', I’m just trying to have fun, so keep the party jumping. So, what's up?”
Alyssa encouraged most of the students to chant along, “Yeah!”
“And now they don't know what to do, we turn our back and whip our hair and just…”
“…shake ‘em off, shake ‘em off, shake ‘em off, shake ‘em off,” Alyssa sang along with Claudia. Joe and Nate watched them with pride, giving each other a fist pound.
Alyssa jumped to another table, dancing, “Don’t let haters get me off my grind. Keep my head up, I know I’ll be fine. Keep fighting until I get there, when I’m down and I feel like giving up.”
“I think again,” Claudia sings.
“I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth,”
“Just whip it!” Claudia sang.
“I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth.”
“Whip it real good,”
“I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my 'hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth', I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth…”
Eventually, more girls in the lunchroom started to whip their hair with Claudia and Alyssa, some of the Red Hot Cheer Peppers, even Iesha, joined in. Sena remained in her designated seat with her arms crossed as Alyssa and Claudia started to gain attention.
The Savages, meanwhile, remained shocked, and Lily stood up to join them.
“All my ladies if you feel it, gone and do it, do it, whip your hair. Don’t matter if it’s long, short. Do it, do it whip your hair!”
“Your hair, your hair!” Claudia belted, causing an entire crowd to surround her. They cheered her on, and Alyssa jumped back on the table with other girls, whipping their hair constantly.
Joe and Nate cheered for Alyssa and Claudia, and looked at The Savages who were still in complete awe. Joe smirked and looked back at the commotion.
“I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth…”
As the song ended, a majority of students cheered and rooted for Alyssa and Claudia. The cliques, meanwhile, remained in their spots, confused with the intentions. Alyssa and Claudia jumped from the tables, and walked towards Nate and Joe, who gave them high fives.
“Mission accomplished,” Joe said confidently.
Sydney, meanwhile, noticed the gestures and Alyssa and Claudia with Joe and Nate. She felt something brewing; she was confused with Joe and Nate’s sudden interaction with the two girls. There was still cheers going on and rowdiness in the lunchroom.
Sena watched Alyssa and Claudia from afar. When they noticed Sena looking, they both put their middle fingers up at her.
While classes were still on break, Sydney kept Zachary in an empty classroom with her. It was around 12 at noon and usually, lunch ended within 40 minutes after. Sydney sat across from Zachary, whose focus drifted away from her presence. He didn’t want to go through the same argument and the same song over and over again. He already knew what he was in the room for—to be forced to agree with her decision to tell The Savages everything she knows.
The conversation started differently, however. Sydney mentioned Joe and Nate, prior to the chaos in the cafeteria.
“I have a feeling Bender and Osbourne put those girls up to that,” Sydney kept focusing on her fingers; it was her way to stop anxiety.
Zachary sighed, with an attitude, “What’s there to worry about? They aren’t in The Savages anymore. If they want everyone to get whiplash, that’s their prerogative.”
Sydney raised her voice a tad bit, “Okay, what the fuck is your problem, Zach? You’re acting just like Nate, always negative Nancy.”
“So, this friendship we have—I’m just your replacement for Nate?”
Sydney realized what she said was out of context. Maybe comparing him to Nate wasn’t the best idea at all, but it was her way to let out her anger.
She stuttered, “T-that’s not what I meant. I’m sorry, maybe I’m comparing you because I’m treating you like I treated him.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I guess you can see, I’m really demanding. If anything doesn’t go my way, I make sure people see that, and they change their minds,” Sydney sighed. “The reason I’m so hard on you… is because I’ve been so hard on Nate, and I guess it’s my fault I let him become friends with a douchebag like Bender.”
Zachary sighed, “I can tell from how eager you are to tell everyone about Trae, which I still don’t think is a good idea.”
“Why are you so defensive when it comes to Trae?” Sydney said. “There’s a lot of things Trae’s done that we don’t know about. He has too many secrets.”
"So do I, which is why I can’t say anything to The Savages,” Zachary looked down. “I’m in love with him, Sydney. I don’t want to ruin a potential thing.”
“What’s up your sleeve?”
Zachary sighed and decided to put it out on the table. He looked down and contemplated revealing something she wasn’t aware of the day of the riot.
“The officer that shot Trae at the riot… was my dad.” Zachary revealed.
Sydney’s eyes widened. She was in total shock, “What?”
“Alex, Carl, and Gina found out right, then and there, but… I’m scared Trae will find out.”
Zachary looked guilty, even though it wasn’t his fault for what happened, “I know it’s not my fault, but I can’t even look my dad in the eye right now. He doesn’t know about my close friendship with Trae, he doesn’t even know I’m gay.”
“Shit,” Sydney started to feel sympathy for Zachary, despite her lingering determination.
“My mom knows it, but because my dad’s been always verbally abusive towards me, I just can’t seem to admit it to him. I’m afraid that Trae will stop talking to me as soon as he discovers my dad shot him.”
“Does your dad feel bad about it?”
Zachary was silent, he looked up at Sydney with a straightforward response, “He has no feelings. As much as he acts like it, he doesn’t.”
Sydney sighed as she tried to take in this much information about Zachary. She pushed her chair forward towards Zachary and explained something to him.
“What your father did had nothing to do with you, Zach,” Sydney stated. “Sometimes, things have to come out in the open. Maybe you should tell Trae before he finds out himself.”
“Hypocritical of you to say,” Zachary rolled his eyes. “You’re the one desperate tell everyone about what he did, instead of confronting him in his face about it, or at least waiting until he tells us.”
“When? Zachary? When would he tell us? When we graduate? Our fucking class reunion? Because we’ll be old and bald and gray, maybe lose a few brain cells, he’ll think we won’t be angry as much?”
Zachary just stopped talking as Sydney continued to rant.
“In case I didn’t make it clear to you, man, Trae leaked the video and got away with it,” Sydney said. “Can’t be clearer than that.”
A sudden voice came inside the room, with a scoff, “You just realized that? You’re a bit late.”
Sydney turned herself around, along with Zachary. They were confused to see Brian Gustin, the victim of the video, stand by the doorway hearing every word she said. They were confused. How did he know that Trae exposed him? How did he know? Brian stood with his arms closed as he stared at the two of them with disbelief.
Brian sat across from Sydney and Zachary in the same empty classroom. His body sat on the back end of the school chair. Sydney was still trying to comprehend things. So, Sydney and Zachary weren’t the only ones that knew? Brian, the main victim, did too?
“So, I need to understand something. You—you knew that Trae did it all along?”
Brian rolled his eyes, “I wasn’t that gullible to believe Dirty Dan did it. As much of a pervert he was, he was humble. I already knew it before the investigation even started.”
“If you knew it was Trae, then why didn’t you turn him in? Why didn’t you say anything to De Vil or to the feds?” Zachary asked.
When Zachary asked this question, it got hard for Brian to explain himself, “Because… there’s something about Trae that’s off. He’s not normal, you guys should know that, or I guess you don’t because you worship him like he’s some fucking God. The reason why I couldn’t do it—Trae had a lot on me. Our rivalry has roots, and I didn’t want to do anything, because I knew Trae would try to take me down even further.”
“And let’s be clear, Trae just leaked it. I’m more so pissed at Kalleb for recording it.”
Sydney asked, “Wow, a jock scared of someone.”
“I’m not scared of Trae, you blonde dipshit,” Brian confronted. “I’m scared of what else he would do. I also didn’t say anything because… I deserved it.”
“No shit,” Zachary agreed.
“You’re scared of what else he would have done? What does he have on you?”
Brian shrugged. “It’s complicated.”
Sydney nodded her head, “You might as well just put it out there. We got 30 minutes ‘til class.”
Brian took a deep breath and started to explain himself.
“Trae… was in love with me,” Brian cleared his throat. “We had a couple of… moments together when we were sophomores, I guess way before your little Savage group was a thing.”
“So, you guys fucked each other? Okay?” Sydney said bluntly.
Brian tried to clarify, “Well—no, we just gave each other blow—”
“—Just get to the point,” Sydney interrupted his statement at the perfect time, and Zachary started to be shocked at the reveal.
It was around sophomore year, near the autumn. During this time, Trae had never met any of The Savages—like Sydney, Alex, Carl, and Nate. He wasn’t exactly the popular type; he was mostly the generous nerd who had his own circle of friends he associated with. Trae was best friends with Kalleb at this time. He knew Carl, of course, but he always spent time with Kalleb.
In Kalleb and Brian’s bedroom, Trae and Kalleb used to play Super Mario together with Kalleb’s classic, antique Nintendo GameCube he found in his basement when he was 13.
Brian narrated, Trae always used to come over to my house last year. He and Kalleb were like best friends. We shared a room, so I always had to deal with his company.
“Wait, you and Kalleb are related?” Sydney asked curiously.
“We’re half-brothers,” Brian replied, leaving Zachary and Sydney in total awe.
“Fuck,” Zachary said to himself.
Obviously, I was never fond of him, and he wasn’t fond of me.
When Kalleb and Trae were continuing to play Super Mario in the room together, they were chatting and being competitive. Kalleb and Trae’s chemistry was undeniable, they enjoyed each other’s presences because they had a lot in common for a friendship.
Brian had just arrived home from football practice and he kicked the door with a backpack strap on his shoulder and a bottle of water in his hand.
“Nope, nope,” Brian was resistant towards their company. “Nope, go play weird games somewhere else, loser,”
Kalleb turned around and gave an evil response, “This is my room just as much as yours. I don’t complain when you bring those stupid girls in here for a ‘study session’.”
“You should be inspired—unless you’re totally going bareback for the nerdy black kid over here,” Brian said, mentioning Trae indirectly.
Trae immediately turned around, still harboring the same sass and self-defense as of now, “Why don’t you go screw yourself, Brian. No one’s worried about you, go find a life.”
“You know, I would, totally, but I can’t think straight with you in my room.”
“Kalleb’s room,” Trae rolled his eyes. “You can’t think straight, are you even straight?”
Brian tried to approach him, until Kalleb ended the commotion before it even began. Kalleb just stood up, “All right, all right—Trae, wanna just go to your house?”
“I don’t know, my mom’s kind of weird with special guests, we can just hit the Shack. Maybe we’ll play some Mario when your ass of a brother isn’t around,”
Brian rolled his eyes and chuckled, biting into an apple vigorously.
Kalleb stood up with Trae and they both tried to depart from the room. Kalleb gave Brian and evil look as he leaned on the door way of the room, continuing to eat his apple. Kalleb left the room first, forcing Brian to put his feet on the other edge of the door way to keep Trae from leaving the room.
When Trae approaches the door, he looks angrily at Brian, who chews on his apple with a seductive smirk on his face. Trae flared up his nostrils and Brian moved his feet away from the door way. Trae rolled his eyes, giving Brian one last look before he walked out of the room.
Brian bit his lip and rubbed slowly on his jeans. Trae couldn’t stop thinking about Brian after leaving. He couldn’t admit that he thought Brian was hot, even though he was an asshole.
One night, Trae slept over Kalleb and Brian’s house, and slept inside the guest room. Comfortable and resting, he tossed and turned for a bit and woke up. He stood up, wearing a plain T-shirt and boxers. He walked to the bathroom, and turned on the lights. He looked at himself in the mirror, and twisted the knobs of the sink.
Trae bent down to wash his face with cold water. He lifted back up, only to see a muscular, veiny arm reaching for a yellow toothbrush. Brian Gustin stood in front of him, shirtless with pajama pants on. Trae pulled himself back and rolled his eyes when Brian smirked at him and invaded his area.
Trae started to pull back as he brushed his teeth along with him. It was uncomfortable for Trae, because he wasn’t fond of Brian and he had a feeling he’d say something rude about him. Brian was still a jock at this time, and he never really cared for anyone but himself.
But—Trae couldn’t help but look at Brian’s physique, even Brian’s facial expressions and gestures appealed to him. He quickly looked away as he looked back into the mirror, only to see Brian was right behind him, looking at Trae and secretly loving the look of Trae.
Brian narrated, There was a lot of sexual tension. A lot. I couldn’t help myself. I’ll admit—I always thought Trae was pretty hot for a nerd, and he thought I was, too. Ask him if you want, he won’t deny that.
At one point, Trae and Brian took another glance at each other, and their gestures made it clear. Something sparked between them.
Brian lied on top of Trae in the guest room bed, passionately and aggressively locking each other’s lips. Trae softly moaned as Brian rubbed his hands all over Trae’s body. Then, they flipped around, and they continued to make out with each other.
Trae pulled back from Brian and whispered, “I still don’t like you,”
“Whatever, loser,” Brian continued to insult him.
Trae whispered again, “But you’re so hot, though,”
“So are you,” Brian pulled Trae back in for another passionate kiss, and the two continued to touch each other. Trae inched his way down to Brian’s bare chest, intimating what he was going to do next with Brian.
Brian narrates: And that one night, turned into two…
Brian and Trae were in the same room on a different night of that month, kissing each other passionately.
Then three… four…. and five…
We exchanged numbers… flirted in secret. Because of my status, I did have to act like I hated him equally with the jocks. Trae admitted that he had feelings for me, but I didn’t reciprocate. All I wanted was just sex. I wasn’t out to anyone. All of the moments we had together, I risked my own reputation with my family. He asked me out—he was confident. I said no with hesitance.
Brian continued to explain himself, “But, something I said to him. It wasn’t right. The way I said it, it wasn’t right. What I said to him really put him on the edge with me, and I let it happen.”
“What did you say?” Sydney asked with intrigue.
“So, you only wanted to use me for sex?” Trae confronted him. That day, Kalleb and his parents weren’t in the house, and Brian invited him over that afternoon. In the guest bed, Trae stood up from under the covers, shirtless.
Brian stuttered, “Well, wasn’t that what you wanted? No strings attached? We don’t even like each other.”
“I don’t like who you associate with,” Trae clarified. “I like you. You can’t deny our chemistry.”
“The only chemistry we have is sexual, loser, that’s it,” Brian said. “I can’t see myself dating a black guy like you anyway.”
Trae couldn’t believe what he said, believing there was a racist remark behind it.
He scoffed, “So, you can’t see yourself dating me? What, I’m like a sex slave to you, is that what you think?”
“Look, it’s a preference, man, either you deal or you don’t,” Brian shrugged. Trae was irate. He looked at Brian with fury and immediately made a blunt statement.
“Fuck you,” Trae stood up from the bed and put back on his shirt and jeans. Immediately, he walked out of the room, leaving Brian alone in the room.
“I just told him I have preferences. I’m not racist or against anything. It wasn’t because I wasn’t interested in dating a black guy—it was because I was madly in love with someone I knew wouldn’t feel the same for me: Viktor,” Brian admitted.
Sydney asked Brian, “So, why do you think you deserved what he did to you?”
“The contradictions. I yearned for someone who didn’t want me, just the sex—and that’s how it was with Trae. I broke his heart and I treated him like shit. I bullied him right after that. I had to put on an attitude because I was insecure.”
Brian felt a tear shed from his eye, “I deserved it. I didn’t mean to make Trae that vengeful. I know what I did to you was wrong, Zachary. I apologize for that.”
Zachary shrugged, “You tormented me the day I joined that team. I don’t know if I could forgive you for that.”
Sydney commented, “What you did to Trae isn’t as extreme as what he did to you, Brian. He put you out there for everyone to see, and Kalleb’s just as worse.”
“I just can’t go in hiding. I’m not as tough as I seem; I’m not even angry at Trae and Kalleb, because… they did me a favor.”
“A favor?” Sydney asked.
Brian nodded his head, “What’s done in the dark always comes to light, and I feel it was time that I came clean. I am gay.”
Sydney gave a short smile, revealing her sympathy and pride in Brian for his decision to officially come out to everyone. When Sydney decided to put any animosity with Brian aside, Zachary remained in that same position, thinking about what Trae did and thinking of the hypotheticals.
Like, what if Trae did the same thing to Zachary? Or what if that’s the reason Trae didn’t want to give in? He had his heart broken and lost hope and he only thinks of men as sexual objects and nothing more. It was all Brian’s influence.
Zachary stood up from his seat and departed from the classroom. Sydney and Brian watched him walk away.
The day was ending: it was nearly time for dismissal. As soon as the bell rang, students departed from the classrooms and entered the hallways to grab their items. Carl walked with a somber appearance. He held his phone in his hand after receiving another text from his father.
“Come home for dinner before 5! Eli is making something good =))” Eric texted Carl.
Carl was always irritated by the emojis. He replied respectfully, “K” to the text and placed his phone in his pocket. He watched as many people jostled through him and the cliques were in designated sides of the lockers.
Carl sang, “Welcome to your life. There's no turning back. Even while we sleep, we will find you.”
From behind, Zachary sang along, while closing his own locker and following the students to the school building exit.
“Acting on your best behavior, turn your back on mother nature. Everybody wants to rule the world,” Carl and Zachary sang along.
After leaving, Sydney watched Zachary walk away and she sighed, closing her own locker as well to pick up her pink backpack, filled with permanent marker scribble.
“It's my own design, it's my own remorse. Help me to decide. Help me make the most…”
Gina and Lily, walking outside and down the steps, sang along with Sydney, who made her way outside as well.
“Of freedom and of pleasure. Nothing ever lasts forever. Everybody wants to rule the world…”
Meanwhile, Alex, although he was suspended for a day, made a promise he’d meet Gina halfway from the school. He walked near a block of houses in Seattle to reach his destination.
The Savages all sang along, “There's a room where the light won't find you. Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down. When they do I'll be right behind you.”
“So glad we've almost made it,” Alex and Gina sang.
“So sad they had to fade it,” Carl and Lily sang.
“Everybody wants to rule the world,” Sydney and Zachary sang.
The members of The Savages left most of the cliques behind. Joe and Nate walked with Alyssa and Claudia like a happy family. They watched as most of the Savages came together. Alex was on his way to the school, and Gina smiled as she recognized him from afar.
The Savages all sang, “All for freedom and for pleasure. Nothing ever lasts forever. Everybody wants to rule the world…”
The clique gathers together, and Gina approaches Alex, kissing him and pulling him in for a hug. The group circled around each other and there was a sudden silence. Carl, Sydney and Zachary didn’t seem so ecstatic like Alex, Gina and Lily were.
At this point, Zachary looked at Sydney and he thought about it. He nodded at her and she leant out her hand. They were prepared to tell them.
“So, guys,” Sydney cleared her throat. “There’s something we have to tell you—it’s about Trae.”
Alex, Gina, Carl and Lily looked in confusion. They feared that something happened to him.
“Is he dead?” Lily asked anxiously.
Zachary sighed, “No, nothing happened to him,”
“But it’s something he did that I think you guys should know,” Sydney said, looking down at the concrete.
The Savages were eager to listen, and Sydney feared their reactions. Zachary took a deep breath. He still didn’t want to say anything at all, but after hearing Brian’s story, he took his saying into consideration: “What’s done in the dark will always come to the light.”
The night of Felix’s party—filled with neon lights, loud dubstep music and students in bikinis and swimming trunks—was unusual. It was days after a school riot. Trae was shot twice and barely could survive in his coma. Kalleb, however, remained loyal to Trae and decided to make his next move.
His mission: tell Vik that Dirty Dan did, get him framed. Voila.
Kalleb was surrounded by too many girls, dancing on each other and guys with neon lights flying everywhere at the party.
“Jump” by Rihanna was playing in the background and everyone started to jump around the living room once the beat dropped.
Kalleb walked slowly to find Vik. There he was, standing by a dining room corner with a red solo cup in his hand. He watched the commotion and Kalleb had to put on an act.
“Excuse me, you’re Vik, right?”
“Sure,” Vik said carelessly. “But what’s it to you? If you’re asking for some drugs, I don’t have any.”
“I’m actually here with a message,” Kalleb said, trying to sound louder than the music. “Just to let you know that I know who leaked the video.”
“You do?” Vik said. He was eager to know. Brian always used to tell people, even him, that Vik was so gullible, he could believe anything.
“What do you know?”
“Dirty Dan—I heard him, I heard him talk about it to Felix the other day,” Kalleb said. “I was in the bathroom and… I overheard it.”
Vik couldn’t believe what he was told. He was shocked that Dirty Dan “exposed” him, but it was also obvious to him.
“How do I know if you’re lying or not?”
“I wouldn’t lie,” Kalleb shook his head.
Vik left from Kalleb’s area, quickly thanking him and rushing to find Felix. As hard as he tried looking for Felix, he was nowhere in sight, so he went to the pool out back, asking Angelika, Iesha, Glenn and Liam about where he was.
As soon as Kalleb left, he went back into his black car and put the key into the ignition. He took off his hoodie. His fingers wrapped around the steering wheel as he began to drive away in the night.
He called Trae’s cellphone, although his phone was in his bedroom. He left Trae tons of messages and voicemails.
“It’s Trizzy Trae, what’s good, papi? I’m not by the phone right now, so hit me up. Dueces.”
Kalleb put it on speakerphone, “Hey, man. I hope you’re doing alright. In case you get this… it’s done. Mission accomplished like you asked.”
He ended the call and placed his phone back into the cubby. A car, in high velocity, drove out of control, with constant road turns. Nearby, the unknown car drove towards an empty railroad. Besides Kalleb, who drove away, flipping his middle finger at the driver, no one else was in sight.
The person in the car stopped it. Three people were in the car. One remained in the backseat, two in the front wore over worn, rubber clown masks. The passenger and driver left the car. They walked towards the trunk of a shiny black Chrysler vehicle.
The masked figures turned to each other and they both opened up the trunk.
Inside the trunk, you wouldn’t believe: Felix Winchester’s bloody, bruised, dead body.
His eyes were open and the color of his eyes vanished. Felix’s dead body—in the trunk. Gone.