Allie was still in her room crying, when there was a knock on the door. "Honey, open up, it's me," said her mother.
Allie got up and opened the door for her mother. Alexandra gasped and said, "What happened with you? You look like you've suffered a loss."
"My heart suffered a loss, Mama," Allie sniffed. "Quincy was being a real jerk to me."
"Really? What happened?"
"I won the title of Homecoming Princess, and then I shared a dance with another guy who won Prince, and Quincy became jealous. That really blows because I was really expecting to go steady with him, and now he wants nothing to do with me ever again!" Allie cried a little harder as she held onto Alexandra for dear life.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, honey," said Alexandra gently. "Boys are usually childish at that age. But I don't think we should worry about Quincy; it's your father we should worry about." She smiled a little.
"Your father doesn't like Quincy very much."
"Oh, he doesn't, huh?"
Alexandra shook her head. "I'm afraid not, sweetie. He thinks he is a bad influence on you."
"Well, I don't care what he thinks. I like Quincy very much, and there's nothing that can change that."
"You wanna know something, Allie?" said Alexandra.
"What is it?"
"I think Quincy really cares for you. You may not realize it, but he really does care for you. All it takes is a very smart and incredible girl such as you to realize that."
And that got Allie thinking, all through the weekend.
That Monday, Allie and Quincy managed to reconcile. Quincy was the bigger person to admit that he was wrong. He walked up to Allie and said to her, "Do you mind if we had a minute alone?"
"We'll see you in homeroom, Allie," Betty Jane said as she and Laura began leaving for homeroom.
"I'll be there shortly," Allie said to them. To Quincy, she said, "What do you want?"
"I want to apologize for the way I acted on Friday night," said Quincy. "I was being a real jerk."
"Yeah, you were," said Allie sharply.
"Allie, I really, really like you, and when I saw you dancing with that Murdoff guy up there, I felt kind of---I don't know how to put it---jealous, I suppose. I guess maybe it's because I kind of wished I was crowned Prince and I could have shared that wonderful dance with you. You get what I mean?"
"You know what's funny? You acted exactly the same way back in middle school when Jeffrey from the Dance Team asked me to go to the dance with him, and you two acted crazy over me." She was smiling a little. "It's kind of funny. I didn't know you cared this much about me, Quincy."
"I do, and I really mean it. I just wished we could've shared a special dance together, just you and me."
"I know," said Allie. "So do I. But the best part of that night was, I was with you. I came to support you in the game against the Ravens, and you guys did really keen, I must admit. I came to the dance just to be with you, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything else. Zack Murdoff means absolutely nothing to me whatsoever. You're all I want, Quincy. And I was hoping that you'd ask me to go steady with you."
"Well, do you wanna go steady with me, then?"
Allie grinned. "Why, most certainly, I will!" And that was a life-changing moment for her.
"I knew you would say that. I'll give you my jacket later, but for now, we'd better get going to homeroom or we'll risk being late and getting into trouble and such. Not a good way to start off the freshman year, huh?" He chuckled.
"No way, it's not," she said with a chuckle. Quincy wrapped his arm around her as they made their way to homeroom.
So far, Allie was having a positive experience for her first year of high school. She wasn't very popular, but she was well-liked by the other students, and some people even remembered her as the girl who was crowned Homecoming Princess. For her first year, Allie was pretty fortunate. She made more friends with the members of the glee club, as well as the cheerleading team, the girls' volleyball team, and a lot more. Allie never expected that things would go positively for her, but she was doing her best to go with the flow. She and Zack Murdoff were becoming better acquainted, and the best part of it all was that she and Quincy MacKenzie were officially going steady. The school year had gone by really quickly, and Allie was still wearing Quincy's jacket as a sign that they were officially a new couple.
One day after school, when Allie, Betty Jane, and Laura were hanging out at the mall, Betty Jane and Laura noticed that Allie was wearing the jacket. Betty Jane said, "Wow, so you and Quincy are officially..........you-know-what, huh?"
"Yeah," said Allie, grinning. "Steady as we go, don't you think?"
"Allie, you should consider yourself really lucky," said Laura. "All the guys consider you the prettiest girl in the whole school."
"Oh, stop it," said Allie with a little laugh. "I know I won Homecoming Princess, but still........."
"You really are, Allie," said Betty Jane. "Don't deny it; you know you're the eye candy of Fort Chester High."
"Ah, I suppose I am," Allie said with a shrug.
However, Allie's level of popularity wouldn't last for long. Midterm week came, and between studying and trying hard not to stress out, everyone turned their attention away from Allie and began focusing their attention on another mysterious girl whom Allie did not know. The boys were ogling and drooling over her whenever they saw her walking down the halls, and the girls were wondering to themselves who she was. The same way Allie became the center of attention when she was starting out in Fort Chester Middle School for the first time. But now this time, it was a little different. This time, she was competing with another girl.
It was that same girl who had been giving Allie the evil eye, even at Homecoming when Allie was announced Princess. This girl was a ravishing beauty, but would be even more so, had she learned to actually smile for once. Whenever you saw her, she would always be pouty and frowning for no apparent reason. Maybe she never smiled. But Allie was the more smiley type, which made her more attractive than this girl by a mile.
In the week of Midterms, most guys were faking injuries and sickness from P.E. class just to avoid midterm reviews and all that other stuff so they could stop over at Nurse McLean's office and take a glance at her attractive daughter---who supposedly happens to be that mysterious girl. Zack Murdoff did his part in faking a knee pain to get out of third-period P.E. class, and he was definitely one of the first few guys to ogle the nurse's attractive daughter/mysterious girl.
Fortunately, Nurse McLean was pretty clever sometimes, and she always knew when some students would use their lame excuses to get out of class and hang out in her office. But she always went along with it, anyway. The girl remained in the nurse's office with her mother for the whole day, pretty much, but also came out just to examine the school, the cafeteria, bathrooms, classrooms, and all that. So it seemed as if she was a visitor---which unbeknownst to Allie, would eventually become a regularly attending student. Allie was in for serious competition, and she never knew it yet.
Zack entered the nurse's office, and he greeted Mrs. McLean in that fake, genuine way. "How do you do, Nurse McLean?" he said.
"What can I help you with, Zachary?" she asked.
Zack groaned and said, "I think I burst my knee cap or something, while doing chin-ups or pull-ups, or whatever you wanna call 'em."
"You really need to be more careful next time, Mr. Murdoff," said Nurse McLean. "You come on in, have a seat, and I'll take care of things from there. By the way, how's Midterm week going?"
"It's going by pretty fine, ma'am," Zack replied.
"Glad to hear that."
"Mother, do you mind that I step out to the ladies' room for a minute?" the girl asked Nurse McLean.
"Of course, Mary-Anne," replied the nurse. "Take your time, dear."
The girl was oblivious to Zack's ogling, but Nurse McLean had caught him in the act. She gave a knowing smile and said, "You think she's pretty, don't you?"
"Uh........" Zack was hesitant. "That depends. She looks like the new girl."
"She is new, and she's currently visiting schools to attend for now, and this one seems to be her particular favorite," said Nurse McLean. "You may or may not notice, but she's came here to work with me a few times."
"Come to work with you?" Zack asked.
Nurse McLean nodded. "Of course, Zack. That girl is my daughter, and she is starting out on her first year."
Zack was a little amazed to make that discovery. So far, he was the first and only boy to make the realization that the mysterious girl was Nurse McLean's daughter. "No kidding," he said. "She certainly looks somewhat like you, Nurse."
"I suppose that's a compliment," said Nurse McLean.
"It is, ma'am."
"Well, then, thank you. I expect most of you boys to treat her with the utmost respect. One day, she may plan to attend this school, so let's try to make a very good impression on her. Is that clear, Mr. Murdoff?"
"Nurse, you are looking at the Homecoming Prince," said Zack, a little haughtily. "I would never do anything to make your daughter feel bad."
"And I should hope not," said the nurse as she put a bandage on Zack's right knee. "And you can give up your game now, Mister." She gave him a wink.
Zack thanked the nurse and returned back to P.E., and as they were all getting changed in the locker room, Zack wanted to be the first to deliver the news. Quincy came up to him, giving him a brotherly handshake, and said, "How's your knee, Murdoff?"
"Ah, I just only faked it to get outta the class for a little while, you know?" Zack said. "And anyway, I think Nurse McLean's got some pretty swell genes..........if you know what I mean." He gave a wink, and the rest of the guys gasped.
"Dude, whatever on Earth are you talking about? She's married, you know?" said Peter to Zack.
"I know that, Pete, duh. You think I'm dumb or what? I'm talking about her daughter, of course."
"Nurse McLean has a daughter?" Quincy said with a gasp.
"Who knew?" said Jerry as he and Spike shrugged.
Zack nodded. "Apparently, she has visited the school quite a few times. Nurse McLean brings her to work a lot, and we never really noticed, I guess, since none of us has complained about or faked any injuries during the past five months. Anyway, she's a real looker."
"What is she, blonde?" asked another guy.
"Yes, she's blonde, got hazel eyes---she's even better-looking than that Allie girl. Also, she's a freshman, so she looks like she could be your type, MacKenzie." He turned to Quincy.
"My type?" Quincy shook his head and laughed. "I'm sorry, I could never do that to Allie. She and I are going steady."
"Oh, come on, MacKenzie. You gotta learn to step up your game a little," said Zack. "Allie's..........alright, I guess, but if you gave this other girl a chance you'd know what I mean. And by the way, I think her name is Mary-Anne or something."
"Mary-Anne," repeated the rest of the guys in awe and admiration.
"Mary-Anne. Huh." Quincy repeated to himself. "That does sound like a mighty pretty name."
"Much prettier than Allie's?" Zack asked him.
"Well, Alessandra is a pretty name too," Quincy said, "but oh boy, Mary-Anne. Now we're definitely getting somewhere!"
Now it was the end of school, and everyone was getting ready to go home or stay after school for some activities. Allie and Laura were staying for the glee club, and Betty Jane had cheerleading practice. All the guys were gathering by the nurse's office, waiting for Nurse McLean as she began locking up her office so they could have a closer look at Mary-Anne McLean. Allie found that to be a little suspicious.
"What's going on with them?" she asked Betty Jane and Laura.
"Oh, they're still trying to figure out who that mystery girl is," Betty Jane said. "Word has it that she's Nurse McLean's daughter, and she plans to come to this school anytime soon."
"Oh, great," groaned Allie. "Another girl who's trying to soak up all the attention away from me."
"Ah, no worries, Allie," Laura said. "You were popular only when it lasted."
"Gee thanks, Laura," said Allie sarcastically.
Nurse McLean and Mary-Anne stepped out of her office, and she locked her door. She put on her jacket and grabbed her purse, and held her daughter's hand as they began heading out. She waved to everyone and said, "Have a good afternoon, everyone. Good-bye, boys."
"Good-bye, Nurse McLean," said all the boys in unison as they ogled Mary-Anne for what seemed the last time for today.
Nurse McLean and Mary-Anne headed into their car, and Mary-Anne asked, "Mama, what's with all the boys? They're staring at me in a kind of funny way."
"Oh, there's nothing to it, sweetie," replied Nurse McLean. "They just find you really attractive, that's all." She chuckled. "Did you know that some of them even try to fake injuries from P.E. class just to come see you?"
"No kidding?" Mary-Anne was now smiling for the first time in what seemed like ever.
"It's true, dear."
"On second thought, I'm thinking about coming here," said Mary-Anne.
"Now are you really certain about that? Remember, you have been kicked out of Catholic school, and your father and I want you to start off your first year of high school going to a really good school that we can afford. Are you sure you don't want to check out any other schools first?"
"Yes, I am certain, Mother," Mary-Anne said. "I know this is what I want."
"Okay, okay, I just want you to be happy, that's all. Tomorrow, we'll bring in your forms and applications over here, and we'll see how it goes. Deal?"
"Deal," said Mary-Anne.