The Outcasts part 2: Close Encounters of the Three Times
His locker was a mess. Actually, that was a slight understatement. His locker was a complete wasteland of discarded papers and books that might not ever see the light of day again. Most of the papers were destined to just be shoveled into a trashcan at some point, likely during a school mandated locker clean-out, which happened from time to time. It was amazing that there was room for anything in there. And yet everyday, Will found enough room for his black sweater and his green hat that he wore everywhere.
Slowly, he was going through his books, putting away the ones he wouldn’t need for his afternoon classes when he noticed Natasha walking by out of the corner of his eye. Quickly, he finished organizing his books and slammed his locker shut so he could follow her.
He felt like a stalker, as he should’ve. He was a stalker now. Will was following this girl down the hallway, completely fixated on her rear end. He was studying her movements and the creases and wrinkles in the skirt she was wearing today. He couldn’t tell anything though. So far as he knew, there wasn’t anything different in her back side than from anyone else’s. Of course, that would be admitting that he carefully studied the bottoms of the other girls in his school as they walked in front of him.
That was, in fact, exactly what he did. Perhaps the thing that the girls told him yesterday was true. Was he that desperate for female companionship? Hell, female contact? He certainly botched things with Meredith; which was okay by him, because he always thought of her as a lousy kisser anyways.
He certainly had a thing for the ladies. The problem was, the ladies didn’t have a thing for him. He wasn’t an ugly guy, by any means, just slightly socially awkward and a bit of a nerd. Wearing Thundercats t-shirts probably wasn’t doing him any favors, though he secretly hoped it’d help get his hands on a girl who was as nerdy as he was. Like Meredith, for example.
Will really liked Meredith. He still did. He knew, though, it was something he had to get over. She was pretty much over him, so far as he could tell.
Look at me now, though, he thought to himself. Following some stranger down hallways, trying to see if I can make out what she is wearing under her clothes. It was pretty pathetic, though at least he could admit it to himself.
He turned the corner while in pursuit of Natasha, only to find himself running right into her as she was stopped in the hallway to read a flyer on the wall.
“Oh, hi,” he said. “Sorry, about that…I should’ve noticed where I was going.”
“Its alright, Will,” she said politely.
“Hey, I didn’t know you knew my name,” he blurted out, though immediately after saying this he wished that he had not said something so dumb sounding.
“Why wouldn’t I know your name,” she laughed. “You do sit behind me in Economics, you know.”
“Well, yeah, I guess. We have just never talked before.”
“Then it was a pleasure talking to you for the first time, Will.” She nodded with a smile and went on her way down the hallway.
Will wanted to follow her. He even took a few steps in the direction she was walking, but he stopped himself. Sighing, he took a drink from the water fountain before deciding to head over to his first class.
She was running late, though that was hardly anything new. Everyday, it seemed, there was a good reason why she couldn’t be to school on time. Most days it had to do with her siblings and step-siblings taking forever in her house’s lone bathroom, yet another reason why she wanted to move out so badly.
Her walk to school in the morning was sometimes the best part of her entire day. Neither at home nor at school, she was just by herself. There was no doubt, sometimes she took her time. Today was one of those times. She was more frustrated than usual, as she had to battle just about everyone in the house to get a shower, breakfast and to actually get out the door.
Thankfully, she had her trusty Discman in hand. It wasn’t one of those fancy new mp3 players, sure, but it certainly did the trick for her. Sometimes, Amelia theorized that nobody understood her quite like music did.
It was a mix CD today, featuring a handful of songs handpicked by Ben, a co-worker at the record shop she worked at part time. Ben was older than her by a few years, and in college, but it never stopped Amelia from having a secret crush on him. To her, he was perfection. He was dorky, cute, funny, had a great taste for music and he was an aspiring musician himself. She had even been to few of his shows, though she never told him she had.
The only person that Amelia had ever felt close to, friendship wise, was Meredith. Not even Meredith, though, knew everything there was to know about Amelia. Meredith didn’t know about her adoration of Ben, for one. Nor did she know that Amelia had a little habit of stealing her stepfather’s pain medication from time to time. She always figured it was better that way. She was allowed to have her own little secret life.
Arriving at the school, Amelia darted through the crowds of loitering students as she made her way to the cafeteria, where she’d typically meet Meredith before classes started. That is, if she had time. Today, she must’ve been later than usual. Meredith wasn’t at their usual table, waiting for her. Amelia shrugged and turned to go find her locker.
As she spun around, she was surprised to be standing face-to-face with Natasha. She didn’t know Natasha personally at all. She had no classes with her, and she only knew her name from Meredith’s mentioning a week or two ago. Before yesterday’s revelation from Will, that is.
Their eyes met momentarily, and immediately Natasha broke away and continued to walk away. She had no recognition in her eyes whatsoever for Amelia, which was pretty much expected.
“Uhm…excuse me,” Amelia called out to Natasha. She didn’t know what had come over her, but she was consumed with the same sense of curiosity she had yesterday afternoon and there was a compelling urge to make some sort of contact with her now.
“Yes?” answered Natasha, turning around.
“I really like your…shoes.” Amelia didn’t actually like Natasha’s shoes. She thought they looked like Natasha had paid too much for them.
“Really? Wow, thanks! I like them too. I was beginning to think I was the only one.” Natasha had walked towards Amelia, smiling.
“Mmhmm, yeah, they’re great. Where did you get them?”
“Well, they were a gift. I could’ve never afforded these myself, you know? They’re Donald J. Pliners. I don’t even know where you can get shoes like this around here.”
“They’re very nice,” Amelia said as politely as she could. She didn’t know who Donald J. Pliner was, nor did she really care.
“Thank you so much! My name is Natasha by the way.”
“Hi. I’m Amelia.”
“Nice to meet you. Hey, I’m real sorry, but I’ve got to get ready for class. Maybe I’ll run into you later! Thanks again!”
“Sure, see you later!”
Natasha trotted off, and Amelia couldn’t help but follow her with her eyes. Natasha’s skirt didn’t seem to be giving off any evidence that there were diapers underneath it.
Besides, Amelia thought, if she was wearing a diaper, a skirt would probably be the last thing I would want to wear over it. It was just common sense.
“I really hate Angie sometimes,” said Becca, Meredith’s younger sister. “She thinks she can just parade around school with her new boyfriend and not pay any attention to her friends, you know?”
“It’s what happens when you start dating,” responded Meredith.
This was a very typical morning for Meredith. Walking to school with her only sibling, Becca who was 15, while listening to her rant about whatever teen crisis was going on today.
The two sisters couldn’t be any more different. While Meredith was reserved and to herself, Becca, on the other hand, was the bi-product of years and years of high school dramas on television. She thrived on popularity, boys and as much drama as she could get herself wrapped up in.
Meredith didn’t blame her, though. Of the two, Becca was easily the prettier one, in her own opinion. Meredith’s chronic cuteness just didn’t compare to Becca’s downright hotness.
“Yeah, maybe, but you know when I was dating Eric, I was nothing like this. I was always trying to include all my friends as much as possible. I wouldn’t want them to, like, miss me or anything. I just can’t believe that she’d act this way. Seriously, I don’t even know what I’m going to say to her.”
She continued talking, covering a surprising number of topics in a short amount of time. Meredith wasn’t listening though. She had acquired a knack for completely tuning Becca out while being able to throw in an occasional “uh huh” or “you’re totally right.”
Instead, Meredith found herself thinking about her discussion with Will and Amelia yesterday afternoon. Poor Natasha, she though. She seemed like a nice girl. It had to be a medical thing. It just had to.
In which case, high school had to be the hardest place to be for her. Hundreds of peers who would love nothing more than to know about a secret like that. The humiliation would be terrible.
Natasha must know that, she thought. She would have to be conscientious of that, especially if she was wearing them for a long time. She would know what to do to hide them. Then again, she didn’t do a good job of preventing Will from finding out.
Will was a freak, at times, she reminded herself.
Becca almost immediately scurried away form Meredith as they approached the school, as was the typical routine. Heaven forbid she be seen with her older sister, Meredith would think to herself often. She walked over to the school cafeteria, and waited at the usual table she met Amelia at every morning.
She waited for a few minutes before checking the time on her watch. Amelia was running late. Again. She waited for a few more minutes before checking her watch again. She decided that’s about all the waiting she could do, and opted to go grab some orange juice from the vending machine.
Watching down the hall as she entered her coins into the vending machine, she noticed Natasha walking towards her. Further down the hallway, she thought she could make out Will, looking like he was stalking her, but eventually he wandered in a separate direction. Natasha was coming closer and closer now. Soon, it looked like she was heading right towards Meredith.
Meredith began to panic in her mind. “Does she know that I know?” she asked herself. She was coming closer still. Meredith tried to play it cool, looking through the selections in the vending machine. She glanced to her left again, to see if Natasha was still coming. She wasn’t there anymore. Meredith let out a sigh of relief, only to realize that Natasha was actually standing right behind her, waiting to use the vending machine.
“Oh, hi,” Meredith said. “I’ll just be a second. Sometimes I’m so…er…indecisive in the morning.”
“Its ok,” replied Natasha, “I’m the same way.”
Meredith hurried in picking the orange juice that she knew she wanted from the very beginning and purchased it. She then turned and smiled and nodded to Natasha before walking away
She walked quickly before settling down on a bench for a moment. She still wanted a view of Natasha, but she didn’t want to look like she was obviously watching her either. She felt so silly, watching some girl that she knew nothing about, just because of something Will said. But curiosity was like that.
Natasha made a selection and took it. She was walking away from Meredith now, much to her relief. But Natasha didn’t get too far, as she bumped right into someone. That someone was Amelia.
Meredith grinned, thinking of Amelia being unsure of what to say. No doubt, Amelia was still thinking about the same things that Meredith was when it came to Natasha.
Yet the two were there talking now. Amelia was pointing to Natasha’s feet. Natasha was visibly happy about something. Natasha waved good bye to Amelia and walked away.
Meredith waited until Amelia was finished at the water fountain before walking over to her.
“I see you had a chance to meet the subject of our newfound interest,” said Meredith.
“You saw that?”
“I didn’t hear anything, sadly.”
“We just talked about her shoes. Too expensive and too ugly, honestly.” Amelia cracked a wry smile.
“I encountered her, albeit briefly.”
“I didn’t notice any…”
“No, I know. I didn’t notice anything either. Are you thinking that Will was just fucking with us?”
“It’s Will. So…probably.”
“I’ve got other things to worry about. Will’s going to have to live out his diaper fetish fantasies alone,” Amelia said while rolling her eyes.
“Yeah,” Meredith said while laughing, “sometimes I think he sees what he wants to see. Though, I didn’t think he’d ever want to see diapers.”
They laughed together and walked each other to class, deciding to forget about Natasha altogether.
thnx so much for yr kind words.