Shay liked to think she was pretty smart. She’s come up with some good ideas over the years. That laxative prank? Total classic. Works every time. This though, in her slightly intoxicated state, this seems like one of her best ideas yet.
Her fellow cheerleaders don’t treat her as their leader. Mackenzie’s still the one really in charge. Shay isn’t dumb enough to think otherwise, but she wants all the benefits and respect that come with the title. But what she’s doing isn’t working; she has to take it a step further. And what’s a better way to elevate your status than to start dating someone on the football team? No, the fucking star of the football team. So that’s exactly what she sets out to do.
They’re all at a celebratory party, another game won on the way to State Championships. There are people there who haven’t been completely absorbed by the hipsters. Everyone’s feeling pretty good about themselves, high on victory and drunk on cheap beer. Shay spent most of the evening in a corner of the room, alternating taking sips of her drink and talking with Saison. Saison nurses a soda can, at least slightly aware of her baby’s delicate state. Shay’s just finished the last dredges out of her bottle when she sees the perfect time to strike.
“I’ll be back in a sec, Saison. Byeeeeeee!” She waved behind her, already hot on Deandra’s heels.
“Deandra, wait, Jesus Christ, you’re fast.” Deandra stopped and turned, face pensive as Shay skidded to a stop as well in front of her.
“Shay. To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I need to talk to you.” Shay realized she was out of breath.
“Well, I was just about to meander my way back over to the refreshments table. You are welcome to join me and talk as I gather my food.”
Shay hesitates, then nods, and falls into step with Deandra. Neither of them speak per se, but Deandra seems more than content to sing to herself as they walk. Something about food … Shay can’t really hear her all that well, because she’s deaf in one ear and all. Fucking Matthew Derringer. Fucking Hacky Sack.
They reach the table, and Deandra starts piling an obnoxious mix of foods onto her plate. Shay still doesn’t say anything. Why did she think this was a good idea again?
“So. Shay. What exactly do you need to say? I have a limited amount of time to speak before I must return to the bathroom.”
Shay’s lost her nerve, but it’s too late to turn back now. “I have a proposition for you Deandra.” Deandra nodded to show she was listening, eyes still glued to the snacks before her.
“We should go out sometime. On a date.”
Deandra looked up. “And what led you to draw this conclusion Miss Van Buren? Hmm? My beautiful face? My hot bod? My robotic arm?”
Shay blushed. “No, none of that. I mean…No. As you are well aware, I’m the head cheerleader of the Oakland Park cheer squad. But-”
“What? What about Mackenzie? I thought she was head cheerleader of your little gang.”
“Not anymore,” growled Shay. “I’m in charge, but nobody acts like it. As far as the squad, hell, the whole school is concerned, Mackenzie’s still running things. I need something to boost my status, show I belong in the position. An in with the football team can do that. I need you.”
“I see. Hmm. What do I get out of this hypothetical partnership?”
Shay sighed exasperatedly, then stopped. Did this mean Deandra was willing to comply?
“Whatever you want. Food? I’ll take you out on dates and buy you all the food you want. I’m rich, may as well put that money to good use.”
“Alright. And are you not concerned with the fact I am a woman, Gay Van Buren ?”
Shay blushed, but didn’t correct her. “You’re the star of the football team. Everybody loves you. Besides, gay people are like, cool now. And I’m pretty sure Brittnay and Mackenzie are fucking, so if they try to make fun of me, I’ll just throw it back in their faces.”
“Okay Shay Van Buren. I agree to your terms. We will be girlfriends, and you will take me out for food at least once a week at whichever food provider I choose, and you will grow in popularity through your association with me. That sounds like a fair trade.”
“Really? I mean…good. I’m glad we’re on the same page.”
“Excellent. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to go eat all this food. You may join me if you wish to start immediately, but I’m afraid I will be less than active in any conversations you attempt to start.”
Shay giggled, alcohol really taking effect now. “No, that’s okay. We can start on Monday with the little stuff then figure it out from there. Thanks Deandra. You’re a real friend. Sorry for ripping your arms off that one time.”
“I’ll forgive you, since we’re girlfriends and all. I’ll see you Monday, Van Buren.
“See you Monday, New Girl.”
They parted ways, each girl with a smile on her face.