Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was a Geek Like Me?
There are times when you get really sick of the games that teenagers play. Teenage girls, to be precise, and I was one of them after all. I had a friendship with a nice, sweet girl called Jenny who wouldn’t have harmed a fly, but for some reason she was also friends with a group of the most annoying, loud-mouthed, obnoxious girls in the entire eleventh grade, presided over by their ringleader Amber. I didn’t know how she had gotten involved with them in the first place and I never got the impression she even enjoyed being around them when we were all together, but these kinds of burdensome friendships become a habit that’s very hard to kick, despite the lingering resentments within.
Perhaps I should have stayed away from Jenny altogether considering the company she kept, but we had great, fun times when it was just the two of us and she could say things without feeling like she was trying to satisfy pack opinion. I asked her more than once why she didn’t just ditch them, but she always gave some half-hearted response about how they could be good if you caught them at the right times, that it was just Amber who was a bad influence on the rest, etc. I just sensed that she liked the status of being part of their gang, although it wasn’t exactly a reputation I would have envied. Amber was easily the biggest prick teaser around, forever making suggestive remarks and wearing slutty outfits around guys, both in and out of school.
She seemed to think that her behaviour made her more alluring and desirable to the opposite sex; I thought about telling her that it made her resemble a cheap whore, but decided that she wasn’t really the type to accept constructive criticism. More than half the guys whose attention she grabbed found her repellent, and it was all an act anyway. I never heard of her actually doing anything with the people she lead on, anything that might truly justify the slut label that was attached to her. She just wanted the image without the reality behind it, which to my mind was the wrong way round.
Her and her posse always picked on me for my dullness when I was around them, for the fact that I preferred the library to partying and tended to err on the side of caution when dealing with boys. It didn’t help that I had the nerdish look, thin glasses and dark straight hair which I didn’t take great care of. I simply didn’t have the time or energy to deal with a relationship when I was so focused on my studies, courses that I’d been working hard at for months, and I wasn’t going to screw up this opportunity. But every time they mocked me, said that I was frigid because I didn’t give guys a glimpse of my (unimpressive) tits and ass, I thought to myself, How the hell do you know what I’m like inside? You have NO IDEA what I really think about sex, what I fantasise about, what I want to happen to me… and I’ll bet it’s more exciting than your tawdry displays of flesh could ever be.
Amber eventually had to curb her ways a little when she coaxed some luckless soul into becoming her trophy boyfriend. His name was Tom, and he seemed like a nice enough guy who’d obviously been dazzled by her superficial charms, but he always seemed to have a slightly pained expression when he was with her, as though he knew he’d made the wrong choice. She curbed her behaviour but she didn’t get rid of it completely, and when he wasn’t around and she didn’t have to play the faithful, adoring girlfriend there was still plenty of flirting going on. The thing she liked most of all about him was that he had a house to himself most of the time as his parents were so often away on business trips together, and I guess the two of them must have used that free time… profitably.
One weekend Amber invited us all to come over, acting as though it were her place, and Jenny somehow managed to convince her to let me tag along, even though I was no more enthusiastic about the prospect of my being there than she was. What finally swayed me was the news that the lady herself wouldn’t be able to make it until Saturday afternoon, as she would be away visiting relatives – presenting herself as the perfect cute little schoolgirl, no doubt. A weekend with her there was a depressing thought, but late Friday/early Saturday without her might just be tolerable.
Tom too seemed remarkably pleased at the prospect of four teenage girls and no Amber in his house for nearly a whole day. Perhaps she noticed that, because she gave us all a semi-humorous warning about not fooling around with him, even though he clearly wasn’t the kind of guy who would try to make a move on us. “Don’t get up to anything with Tom when I’m not there, OK?” she said with a wry grin, and they all giggled in unison. Her cruel eyes alighted on me. “And don’t get into any long conversations with him about your work, all right Rachel? I don’t want to come home on Saturday and find he’s literally been bored to death.” Cue another round of girlish laughter. Clearly she didn’t feel the need to worry about someone like me doing anything at all taboo.