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If Things Were Different (Rewritten!!)

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September 1st, 1989 2019

Dear diary,

It’s… Veronica, again. Do you ever feel like you’re in a musical? Like, I know it’s idiotic, and probably a sleep-deprived induced hallucination, I could have sworn everyone burst into song. But hey, I could be wrong, you know? I don’t think you do know, you’re an empty book, but still… It’s worth the shot, right?  

 

I believe I’m a good person, you know, and I think there’s good in everyone (just hidden away deep, deep, deep down inside) but, uh…

 

Here we are. First day of senior year (yay.)! And, uh, I look around, at these kids that I’ve known my entire life, and I have to ask: What happened?

 

Because most of us now? We’re total dicks now (ie Ram Sweeny, in his 3rd year as the Rottweiler’s linebacker and his eighth year of smacking lunch trays. He’s been doing that since the fifth fucking grade. When’ll he give it up?! It’s gotten old! )

 

I’m pretty sure the only one who’s still genuinely nice? Is Martha, my best friend. But you know that, because I’ve been writing in you, you dear, fresh diary, for at least a month now. We’ve had our little movie night thing for how many years now? Anyway, the next one’s tonight, our annual back-to-school tradition!

 

And then there’s always the jerks like Kurt Kelly (He may be the smartest guy on the football team, but that’s like being the tallest dwarf ).

 

And then there’s the Heathers . The beautiful, flawless, perfect, evil Heathers. They float above it all. 

 

First and foremost, there’s Heather McNamara, head cheerleader, and the only child to a father who sells engagement rings.

 

Next in line is Heather Duke. She runs the yearbook committee, who wouldn’t accept me in my freshman year because my “hands were too shaky” and I “couldn’t talk to people.” Fucking ableists. Now that I think about it, I think I used to babysit her brothers in middle school, but I don’t remember ever meeting her. Whack.

 

And then we have the almighty, royal pain in my ass , Miss Heather Chandler, the mythic bi-

 

A bell sounded. The sound of the pen scribbling across the pages ceased. Veronica looked up from her seat in the filthy cafeteria, watching and waiting as the students began to shuffle their way towards the exit. She sighed, tapping her foot in annoyance.

 

The crowd of students thinned, leaving room for her to start weaving her way out. It helped that Veronica was an absolute beanpole of a kid. One step, two steps, five steps, she cleared the door. Ten more steps, she cleared the crowd hanging around the doors. Another three steps and she was well on her way to the bathrooms at the opposite end of the school.

 

It’s not like she couldn’t afford to skip class. According to an unnamed (adult) source, Veronica had the highest GPA in both her year, as well as every other grade in Westerberg High. Her teachers could wait a class or two, this morning had already taken a large enough toll on her anxiety.

 

It was easy enough to dodge past the teachers, that one asshole tattle-tale sophomore, and Kurt and Ram throwing lewd comments at any girl they saw. She slipped into the bathroom unnoticed and made her way to the last stall down. Another sigh escaped her as her forehead met the cool stall door. She took a couple of deep breaths, calming down.

 

All that went out the window as the door creaked open. Veronic’s head shot up, panic flashing in her eyes. A stall creaked open a couple of doors down, followed by the sound of retching. Veronica winced as someone emptied their lunch into the toilet bowl. 

 

“Grow up Heather.” Veronica froze. Shit! Her breathing grew shallow as Heather fucking Chandler continued to belittle her lackey. “Bulimia is so ‘87.”

 

“Maybe you should see a doctor, Heather…” Veronica recognized this voice as McNamara. Which meant the poor girl currently viewing her lunch again was… Heather Duke

 

“Yeah, Heather,” There’s a sigh. “Maybe I should. ” 

 

Veronica winced as the door slammed open with a bang!

 

“Ah HAH! ” Ms. Flemming’s voice echoed off the walls. Veronica’s body was on autopilot, flipping through her diary for those hall passes she may or may not have stolen from one of her earlier classes. 

 

Before she knew it, it was filled out and signed with a random teacher’s name. Her hand rested on the stall lock, listening to the back-and-forth arguing of Flemming and Chandler. The pen tapped against the slip. Was she really about to do this?  

 

Veronica bit her lip and scribbled down three more names. She took a deep breath.

 

The squabbling stopped as soon as she opened the stall. Veronica was met with four blank stares.

 

“Actually, Ms. Flemming,” She held out the small slip of paper, to which Flemming snatched up immediately. “All four of us are out on a hall pass. Yearbook committee.”

 

“I didn’t know you were… On the yearbook committee, Veronica.” Veronica held her ground, chin up, level breathing. Flemming glanced at the note again, before handing it back. “But I see you’re all listed. Hurry up and get where you’re going. ” She spat, turning on her heel and making her exit.

 

The door swung shut with a clunk. Veronica’s eyes widened and she leaned back against the sinks, pulling in shakey breaths. Someone snatched the note from her hand and she flinched back. 

 

Veronica spared a glance up. She was met with piercing blue eyes that were much too close for comfort, and an unreadable stare. 

 

Heather glanced down at the note, and then back at Veronica. 

 

“This is an excellent forgery!” She purred. “Who are you?” Veronica attempted to make herself smaller as the red-clad girl poked at her cheek.

 

“V-Veronica. Sawyer.” She ducked out of Heather’s reach, only to back into McNamara. She took another deep breath, clenching her skirt. “I-” Heather’s brow raised. “-I crave a boon.” 

 

“What boon ?” Heather’s gaze was cold, unreadable. Veronica inhaled through her nose. Just breathe.  

 

“Let me sit at your table, at lunch.” Heather looked taken aback. “Just once, no talking necessary!” Veronica quickly specified.  A bemused look covered Heather’s features. “If people think you tolerate me, then they’ll leave me alone.” Heather spared a glance back at McNamara and Duke, who was now at Veronica’s other side, before opening her mouth. Whatever she was about to say though was quickly cut off as Veronica continued.  “I can also do report cards, permission slips, and absence notes!”

 

“What about perscriptio-” Duke was quickly cut off.

“Shut up, Heather!” Chandler snapped. Veronica flinched back, bumping into Duke, who simply pushed her off.

 

“Sorry, Heather.” Veronica spared a glance back at Duke, her expression unreadable.

 

Heather was quick to grab at Veronica’s face, twisting and turning and examining her in the weak light of the bathroom. Veronica grimaced, biting her lip and glaring as acrylic nails caressed her cheek and chin.

 

“For a greasy little nobody-” Veronica scoffed “-You do have good bone structure. I suppose .” 

 

“And a symmetrical face!” McNamara had pulled her from Heather’s clutches. “If I took a meat cleaver down the center of your skull, I’d have matching halves!” Veronica shuddered as McNamara traced a line down her nose. “That’s very important!” 

 

Duke opened her mouth to make a comment but quickly closed it again. She eyed Heather wearily.

 

“You know?” Heather had taken Veronica’s face back from McNamara, those bright red acrylics tracing her jawline once again. Veronica felt her face heat up as she broke eye contact. “This could be beautiful.” Veronica attempted to lean back, Heather pulling at her scarf now. Her head reeled as Heather’s perfume assaulted her senses.

 

Heather was mumbling something incomprehensible, and she appeared… Excited? Veronica doubted it. No, Heather Chandler, resident mythic bitch, wouldn’t be excited . Right? That was as likely as Ram getting dates because of his charming personality. 

 

Veronica zoned back in when she saw a brush being passed around, as well as Duke rummaging through a makeup bag.

 

Veronica yelped. A flash of pain shot through her scalp as McNamara pulled a brush through the ends. She had had it combed out this morning, but it had tangled throughout the day.

 

McNamara muttered an apology, dragging the brush through much more gentle. Heather was wearing Veronica’s scarf (when or how she took it escaped Veronica) and she was checking herself out in the mirrors.

 

A slight simper played on Duke’s lips as she started applying who knows what product to Veronica’s face.

 

“What are you doing?” Veronica managed to say.

 

Heather paused in her little showcase. She turned and looked at Veronica like she was missing the most obvious thing in the room. When Veronica showed no signs of catching on, she sighed.

 

“Making you beautiful,” She turned back to the mirror. “Okay?” Veronica inhaled sharply.

 

“Okay!”