If you are one of the poor crathurs that follows me on Snapchat (find me at sharonleavy) and sees my snaps then you may have heard me do a very bad American accent while mentioning this. This is a story that I wrote when I was about 16/17, madly in love with Pacey Witter, and a bit obsessed with America, High School, being American, being in High School, and the whole Ugly Duckling-into-Swan concept. I will add my Sharon-aged-31 comments in italics. I'm going to type this exactly as it's written. I think I may have plagiarised Clueless a bit. And Dawson's Creek. And a bit of Buffy. Possibly She's All That too.
Westbury, Michigan, Summer of 1989
Westbury wasn't particularly interesting in Summer. It wasn't, in fact, a very interesting place to be at any time of the year. It was a pretty average sized town, with a few shops, garage and three cafés - The Lions Paw, The Chef's Fancy (!!!), and the Café Royale. All the popular kids at Westbury High School went to the Café Royale (because it sounds popular and French). At Westbury HS, it was easy to distinguish between the different social groups which existed between the students. There were the rich, snobby Beverly Hills types, with their Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Fendi and Prada, there were the computer nerds who talked about megabytes and RAM all day, and there were the lounge lizards (Oh Sharon) who listened to rock music and never went to class. And, of course, there was Elise.
Elise Owen was fifteen years old and was not very popular, although she wasn't a lounge lizard either. She wasn't ugly, but she wasn't exactly pretty in comparison to the Beverly Hills Wannabes. She had long, straight, brown hair with bangs. (Bangs!!! It's a fringe!!) She wore steel-rimmed glasses, and a metal retainer on her teeth (are those not just for night time?). Her only friend was Faye Adams, they had been best friends since before Junior High. Faye was one of those girls who would say anything and speak her mind. She sorta acted as a minder for Elise, which suited them both fine as Elise liked to have a brave friend when the BHW's started their daily bitching sessions, and Faye loved to be in control.
One particular day, in mid-June, Elise was heading for the school science lab for a tutorial when she was stopped on the school entrance steps by a group of BHW's. They were Shannon Clinton, Daniel Burke, Josh Matthews, Lucy Samuels and Emma Watkins. Shannon stepped in front of the door. "Well, well - what are we doing with notebooks at lunch, Lice?" Elise stopped on the bottom step. "Um - I've got some - ex-extra work to do" she mumbled. Shannon looked at Megan and laughed. "Ooh, hear that, Meg? Extra work! How passé!" (what. the. fuck.) They continued to giggle as Elise nervously ventured up another step. "Um - excuse me. Please" she whispered. Daniel grabbed her book from her hands. "Didn't your Mommy ever tell you not to talk with your mouth full, Lice?" he laughed. "My mother is dead" she replied. This created an air of tension around them. (I'm laughing). Josh was new in the school, and he hung around with Shannon and her gang. Elise always kinda had a feeling that Josh wasn't entirely snobby like the rest of the BHW's, but Shannon was doing a good job of playing the tarty-wannabe girlfriend role. Every time Elise saw them, Shannon was latched onto his arm like a leech.
Meanwhile, Josh had taken Elise's notebook off Daniel and held it out to her. "Um - sorry about him. It's Elise, isn't it? I'm Josh. I'm new." (and yet Elise knows you long enough to know you're a good egg under an arsey exterior?). Elise liked the way Josh smiled when he spoke. (you know that grinning yellow emoji? That). In fact, she liked it so much that she stood there staring at him while the others lapsed into laughing comas. (!!) "Oh my God!" Emma was screeching. "Would ya look at the little puppy dog! What's wrong, Lice, your retainer caught?" They continued to laugh as Elise finally clicked with reality and took the book off Josh. "Um - thanks" she squeaked. "No probs" he replied. Shannon, Daniel, Emma and Lucy walked off, calling Josh. "C'mon, Josh, you might catch something." He rolled his eyes at Shannon. "Lovely girl" he remarked. Elise smiled. "Well, um - bye". She headed for the school door, and was almost inside when Josh called out - "Hey, I might see you down at the Royale at lunch?" Elise smiled. "You might". Josh turned around to join the gang as Elise skipped off down the hall. (skipped. SKIPPED.)
Later that same day, at lunch, Elise and Faye were heading out the front door. "Hey, Ellie, what are we doing now? You wanna go play ping-pong?" (I have no explanation. None) Faye asked. Elise pointed to the gang beside the piers at the school gates. "Nope. Josh practically invited me to the Café Royale." Faye held her back. "Excuse me, what do you mean by 'practically'? He did or he didn't. Which?" Elise replied nervously - "Well, he said 'I might see you at the Café Royale'. Faye put a hand to her head. "Geez, Ellie, c'mon. Let's just go play ping-pong." Elise shook her head. "No, come on, Faye, it'll be fun." She headed in the gang's direction. Faye walked in front of her and stopped her dead in her tracks. "Are you mad? Do you have a death wish or something? Can you imagine what the flying monkeys will do to us if we attempt to enter their lair?" (I thought Faye was supposed to have big lady-balls?). Elise pushed Faye aside. "I'm going, whether you come or not." Faye was getting mad. "Now is not the time to get all brave. They'll stone us."
Elise marched over to where Shannon was standing and looked at Josh. "Hi!" she said brightly. Shannon turned around to face Elise. "Ex-cuse me? What do you think you're doing? How dare you interrupt me!" Elise was getting nervous but she didn't let it show. "Josh invited me to the Café Royale" she said. Shannon threw her head back and laughed. "Oh, Lice, Lice, Lice. Josh told me what happened. He felt sorry for you, God knows why, but you just got mixed up. You - eat with us - oh, that is a good one!" Faye came over to Elise. "Come on, Ellie. Let's go." Elise felt like boxing Shannon. "That's right, Lice. Go with your bodyguard. God knows, she's the only one who'll have anything to do with you." Elise was really angry. "Put your claws back in, Shannon" she quipped. "Look," Shannon walked right up to Elise so they were practically only inches apart. "Just take the hint and go away. Nobody wants you. Nobody likes you. You're nothing. And you'll always be nothing. Because your kind always are." (Hello Harry Wormwood) With that, she and her gang sauntered off down the street, leaving Elise in tears and Faye shocked (why?! They're all bitches!!). Josh took a glance back at Elise, but Shannon grabbed his arm and attached herself to him once more. Elise turned to face Faye. "You gonna tell me 'I told you so'?" she asked. Faye sighed. "No. I'm sorry. That Shannon is such a cow." "Yeah. And I thought there was hope for Josh." Elise replied. But as Elise and Faye watched Josh laugh and mess with Shannon, Daniel, Lucy, Emma and Megan, they knew there was no hope for him.
So...what's going to happen ? Will Josh see the error of his ways? Is there any hope for him? Will Elise ever get to have her lunch at the Café Royale? Does anybody give a shite? Find out next Thursday!