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The Opposite of Ordinary, page 1

 

The Opposite of Ordinary



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The Opposite of Ordinary


  The Opposite

  of

  Ordinary

  By Jessica Sorensen

  The Opposite of Ordinary

  Jessica Sorensen

  All rights reserved.

  Copyright © 2016 by Jessica Sorensen

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

  No part of this book can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.

  Any trademarks, service marks, product names or names featured are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms.

  For information: jessicasorensen.com

  Cover Design by Najla Qamber Designs

  Table of Contents:

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Epilogue

  About the Author

  Chapter One

  My life is officially over. The end of existence is coming to take me out. I can already picture my lifeless body sprawled out on the gross, stained linoleum floor of my high school, my own tears and my fellow peers’ continuous laughter surrounding me. What a way to go. Seriously. It’s like the most disgusting place to die ever.

  Okay, okay. I may be overdramatizing. Technically, my life isn’t over, and I’m not going to die; just my social life. And that end of existence coming to take me has arrived via text message, which doesn’t seem scary, but the sender is.

  Tears sting my eyes as I stand in the middle of the busy hallway, re-reading the text message from my best friend—or ex-best friend, I guess I should say—Queeny Harlington sent me this morning.

  Queeny: Ash, after what happened on Friday, we all agreed that it’d be better if you spent a little time away from us. XoXo

  By “we” and “us” she means herself, Reina, and Janie, my other ex-friends as of five minutes ago. They might not have declared the end of our friendship yet, but I’m not even going to pretend anyone will side with me, although I’m innocent of Queeny’s accusations.

  If I were in their shoes and given a choice to side with Queeny or me, I’d for sure side with Queeny, too. How could I not after I’ve spent years watching her, and sometimes shamefully aiding, in singlehandedly destroying the lives of anyone who got on her bad side.

  Like it or not, Queeny rules Fareland High. She has since freshman year when she stole Alise’s, the former most popular girl in high school, boyfriend.

  Colt was a senior at the time and the most popular guy in school, and Queeny stole him from Alise without so much as blinking an eye. When Alise came after her, Queeny dug up some very dirty secrets about her and told the whole school. Within minutes, Alise went from the homecoming queen to the girl no one would associate with. Queeny’s relationship with Colt lasted a total of a week before she dumped him in front of the school.

  Sometimes, I wonder if the main reason she went after Colt was to prove that, even as a freshman, she was still Queen Bitchton—a self-proclaimed nickname.

  A guy slams into my shoulder, wrenching me from my thoughts.

  “Loser,” he coughs then erupts into a fit of laughter.

  I don’t even know his name, yet he decides to hate me because of a rumor?

  “Nice one.” I roll my eyes, playing cool despite the sting of his remark.

  My eyes go back to the message Queeny sent me during the awful bus ride to school this morning. One single sentence that carries countless warnings. I have a feeling being shunned from the group is the start of days—even months—of Queen Bitchton hell. She’s going to try to drive me mad until I break into tiny, crushable pieces that she can squash between her perfectly manicured fingernails.

  On the smallest bright side ever, I won’t have to endure the torment all by my little old lonesome since one person in this school will side with me. I just know it.

  I stuff my phone into the back pocket of my pants and weave through the crowded hallway, making my way toward my boyfriend’s locker. As I pass by the cliques filling up the hallway, heads turn in my direction. Some people snicker. Some stare. One girl offers me a sympathetic look, and I feel like the biggest bitch for not being able to remember her name.

  While I like to believe I’m fairly tough, the more people gawk at me, the more squirrely I get. Has Queeny told the entire school about what she thinks I did? What else has she told them about me? By the number of snide looks blasted in my direction, I’m guessing she’s done some quality Queeny damage already. All because some a-hole lied and told her that I made out with Zane, a guy she’s had a crush on for the past week, at Friday’s party.

  After being friends with Queeny since middle school, she should know better than to think I’d betray her like that. Plus, I’d never cheat on Knox, my boyfriend of almost one year. Then again, after knowing Queeny for that long, perhaps I should’ve seen this coming.

  Le sigh. I am stupid to think she’d never come after me when she’s gone after practically everyone.

  By the time I reach the end of the hallway, the staring and whispering have taken over the hallways. My shoulders slump, causing my long, brown hair to curtain my face, and my legs are a bit shaky, putting into question any alleged strength I’ve ever claimed to have. Some of my worry alleviates, though, when I spot Knox leaning against his locker, chatting with a few of his friends.

  He’s wearing his football jersey for tonight’s game, his blond hair is styled perfectly, and his muscular arms are crossed over his broad chest. He’s absolutely gorgeous, if you like that blond hair, blue-eyed, rock hard body kind of guy, which I do. Or, at least I don’t not like it. Although, before Knox asked me out at the beginning of my junior year, I’d never given too much thought about him. Sure, I knew who he was—the star quarterback who almost every single girl in school had a crush on. But, even though our friends hung out together at parties and at lunch, I hadn’t talked to him very much. So, when he asked me out on a date, I was completely blindsided and confused, not knowing if I should go.

  I confessed my confusion to Queeny because, bitch or not, she was my best friend.

  “You’re seriously thinking about going on a date?” She gaped at me like I just declared I secretly wore studded bracelets, listened to 80s punk rock, and spent Saturdays practicing my tarot card readings.

  And yes, I did all those things sometimes—still do—but I’ve never told her that. Well, at least the first two. The last she found out on her own after my cards fell out of my bag. She pinkie swore she’d never tell anyone. Luckily, she never discovered I’m also into palm reading, séances, and that I spend weekends helping my mom go through her stash of crystal and herb supplies for what is supposed to be her natural healing store that se
ems to draw in a ton of weirdoes looking for Wiccan and magic potion supplies.

  “So, you think I shouldn’t go out on a date with him?” I asked Queeny, kind of hoping she’d say yes.

  Sure, Knox was hot, but what would we talk about? Sports? Ha! Yeah, right! We had nothing in common.

  She dramatically rolled her eyes. “Don’t be an idiot, Ash. That’s not what I’m saying.”

  “Then what are you saying?” Because I was lost, which may have been what she wanted—Queeny loved toying with people’s minds.

  She huffed a dramatic sigh. “I’m saying you shouldn’t even be thinking about going out with him at all. You should’ve told him yes without thinking. Any normal person would’ve, which makes me wonder if you’re normal.” She smiled sweetly at me when I frowned. “Don’t worry; you can fix this.”

  “How?” I tried not to let my disappointment show.

  She crossed her legs and thrummed her finger against her glossy lips, deeply pondering the answer, though she probably had this entire conversation planned before it even started. “Well, for starters, you can tell Knox you’d love to go out on a date with him. Then you can break up Judd and Clarissa.”

  I went rigid. “Why would I do that?”

  She raveled a strand of her silky blonde hair around her finger. “Because I want to go out with Judd.”

  “But I think he’s in love with Clarissa.” I treaded carefully, not wanting to piss her off, yet not wanting to agree to her request, either.

  I mean, I barely knew Judd, and I had no clue how to ruin his year-long relationship with a girl he seemed to be all doe-eyed in love with. And Clarissa seemed like a genuinely nice person, constantly smiling and probably rolled out of bed singing while blue birds dressed her. I’d feel like I was breaking up Cinderella and Prince Charming.

  Queeny snorted a condescending laugh. “Love? Are you joking with me with this shit, Ash?”

  “Um … No … I really think they are.” I grew more uneasy as she narrowed her eyes at me.

  It’s not like I was afraid of her. Well, I didn’t want to be. However, arguing with her would buy myself a one-way ticket to Loserville, a place I lived in during elementary school until I became friends with Queeny.

  “They’re not in love,” Queeny insisted. “And I’m going to prove it to you.”

  “How?”

  “By showing you how easy it’s going to be to break them up,” she announced. When I hesitated, she sighed. “Fine, if you don’t want to do this for me, I can always ask Reina or Janie.” Her eyes sparkled with amusement, yet a warning was hidden behind the look. “In fact, maybe I’ll ask Janie to go shopping with me on Saturday and let you off the hook from that. And while I’m at it, I’ll take Reina with me to that party on Friday, because she seems more into it than you. And maybe you should start riding the bus to school, because I don’t think I want to drive the extra ten minutes to pick your sorry butt up anymore. And since you’re acting so anti-Knox and Judd, maybe you should sit somewhere else during lunch, so you don’t have to be near them.” Her lips curved into a pleased grin as I squirmed. “I heard Maxon Harter and his science freak friends have an opening at their table. You could always sit with them.”

  I fought back a gulp, thinking about Flynn, the last person Queeny threatened to make sit elsewhere after she asked him out and he declined. Queeny didn’t just shun him from our table. Oh, no, no, no. That would have been way too nice for her. To add to Flynn’s punishment, she also had one of her many guy admirers go out on a date with Flynn’s younger sister, only so he could record them messing around. Then Queeny sent the video to the entire school. Things got so bad that Flynn and his sister ended up transferring schools.

  “Does that sound good to you?” Queeny asked. “Or, we can keep things the same as they are? It’s really up to you.”

  I almost laughed. The decision was so not mine. Most weren’t. Well, except for my choice to remain friends with her. I could’ve walked away, and sometimes, I wanted to. I was a big chicken, though. I was weak, shallow, and I didn’t want to sacrifice losing my popularity. So, I agreed to her plan and started dating Knox, which turned out not to be as bad as I thought.

  After we’d been dating for a couple of weeks, I arranged times for me, Knox, Queeny, and Judd to hang out together. Queeny worked her flirty charm and, within a week, Judd dumped Clarissa and was dating Queeny. Their relationship lasted a record-breaking two weeks before Queeny publicly broke up with him and announced she’d slept with Judd before he had dumped Clarissa.

  Clarissa was never the same after that. Those constant smiles she wore were far and few between, and she became a loner until she made friends with the science nerds.

  “Ash … what’re you doing?” Knox’s voice tugs me out of Guilty La La Land.

  Realizing I nearly ran into him, I slam on the brakes. “Sorry, I was spacing out …” I falter as he shifts his weight, glancing at his friends nervously. “What’s wrong?”

  Knox exchanges an unreadable look with Judd, who offers Knox a quick, “Good luck, man,” before taking off down the hallway. The rest of Knox’s friends follow without making eye contact with me.

  Uneasiness stirs inside my stomach. Just how far is Queeny going to take this punishment? And who will side with her?

  “Is everything okay?” I ask, too aware that he hasn’t kissed me yet, which he’s done every morning since our first kiss.

  He sighs. “We need to talk.”

  My stomach twists into painful knots. “We need to talk, huh? Isn’t that, like the kiss of death?”

  He blinks at me. “What?”

  “Nothing. Never mind.” I discreetly suck in a breath, trying to calm my hammering heart. “Do you want to talk in your car or right here?”

  His gaze skits up the hallway, and I twist around to see what he’s looking at. Then I instantly wish I hadn’t.

  Queeny, Janie, and Reina are strutting up the hallway toward us. Queeny is in the center—always is—with Reina and Janie at her sides, talking about God knows what, probably shoes or lipstick. Queeny isn’t listening to them, her attention fixed on Knox and I. No, scratch that. Her gaze is on Knox, and she has the same look in her eyes she had right before she stole Judd from Clarissa.

  I turn back around, and my stomach coils at the sight of the lopsided smile on Knox’s face. A smile that isn’t directed at me.

  “So, do you want to go talk in your car?” I aim for a bored tone, but come off like a squeaky mouse.

  Knox yanks his gaze away from Queeny. “Um, actually, I think it might be better here,” he mumbles, looking everywhere but at me.

  I curl my fingers inward, stabbing my fingernails into my palms. So, she got to him. I can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe. Yet, when I really think about it … I should’ve seen this coming.

  The thought comes out of nowhere and makes me pause and really analyze my year-long relationship with Knox.

  “Is there something going on between you and Queeny?” Dammit all to Nerdsville. I wish my damn voice would stop sounding like I just sucked helium out of a balloon.

  His expression softens. “Of course not.” I start to relax when he adds, “But …”

  I dig my fingernails deeper into my palms. Queeny did get Knox to side with her. Knox, my boyfriend of a year, who told me he could potentially fall in love with me.

  Screw that. Screw him. Screw his potential love, like it’s some kind of precious gift to have.

  “But, let me guess, you think we should see other people.” I beat him to the punch.

  He exhales in relief. “You agree with me?”

  Part of me wants to cry heck no! I want to tell him I can’t do this without him. That I’ve given him a year of my life, and Queeny’s barely given him the time of day up until this morning. But I can tell Knox has already made up his mind, and the fact that he has makes me hate him a little bit.

  “Sure,” I manage to bite out through the pain piercing my soul. I’m
not sure if the pain is stemming from Queeny’s betrayal, a broken heart, or my own stupidity for dating a guy who would do this to me.

  “Thanks for making this easy,” he says, relaxing. “I was worried you were going to make a scene.”

  “You should know that’s not my MO,” I reply coolly, though I’m torn to shreds on the inside.

  “Well, I used to think cheating wasn’t your MO.” His expression hardens. “I was wrong about a lot of things when it comes to you.”

  Two thoughts run through my mind in that moment. 1). Queeny told Knox a crap ton of lies about me. And 2). Knox freakin’ believed her without even talking to me first. After dating me for a year and witnessing Queeny make up lies about nearly everyone in the school, he believed her. No questions asked.

  Then another thought occurs, one that makes me regret ever dating him. Perhaps he knows Queeny is lying, yet he doesn’t care.

  Lately, he’s been pushing me to have sex with him and got irritated when I told him I wasn’t ready. Does he just want out of our relationship so he can latch on to this opportunity like a golden ticket?

  I think about the last time I turned him down; how upset he got.

  “We’ve been going out for a year,” he griped a couple of weekends ago after we’d been making out on his bed for over an hour and he wanted to take things further. “God, Ash, don’t you trust me?”

  “This isn’t about trust.” I gently pushed him off me and sat up, fixing my hair. “I’m just not ready.”

  That was the truth. I had no desire to go all the way with Knox, for many reasons, most of which I could barely comprehend. What I knew for sure was that, if I had sex with him, I’d regret it.

  “Fine. Whatever.” He yanked his shirt back on. “You’re such a tease. Do you have any idea how hard it is for a guy to go a year without having sex?” Then he stormed out of his room, leaving me feeling a bit guilty but mostly angry.

  I started to collect my things with confusion swirling inside me. Confusion that left me questioning if I was making the right decision. Maybe I was being “immature” as Queeny told me whenever I talked to her about not wanting to give up my virginity yet. But the idea of going all the way with Knox made me feel uneasy, which didn’t seem like the right way for me to feel if I was ready.

 
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