Authors: Crista McHugh
Tags: #Young Adult, Contemporary Young Adult, Young Adult Romance
Confessions of a Queen B*
Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch.
After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she’s carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways.
Saving a freshman from bullies? Check.
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check.
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan.
But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.
In every high school, there are two types of Queen Bs. The first type is the most obvious. With a collection of tiaras and an entourage of drones that follow her wherever she flitters, this Queen Bee practically rules the school (or so she thinks). Get in her good graces, and you’re suddenly part of the in-crowd. Wear the wrong brand of skinny jeans, and you’ll feel the sting of ostracism.
Me? I’m Alexis Wyndham, and I’m the other type of Queen B.
The Queen Bitch.
“Despite the school administration’s insistence that they have put an end to the hazing ritual known as Freshman Initiation, these photos demonstrate that it’s still alive and well in our hallways. Please note the faculty member in the background watching, but making no move to stop the harassment.”
The Eastline Spy
September, Senior Year
I’d never set out to become the Queen Bitch of Eastline High. After enduring years of being teased and made the butt of practical jokes in middle school, I’d simply decided to start high school three years ago with a new mindset.
I no longer prayed for acceptance or kept my mouth closed.
I was hard.
I was cruel.
I didn’t let people get to me.
I was the Queen B.
My fellow students parted like the Red Sea to let me pass when I walked down the hallway. As a senior, I’d either earned most students’ respect or their fear. My blog,
The Eastline Spy
, had exposed everything from cheating (both in and out of the classroom) to the subpar food served in the cafeteria. No one wanted to be the subject of my next exposé. The result was a wave of lowered eyes and hushed whispers as I made my way to class.
On a positive note, it made getting to fourth period easier.
It was only the second week of school, but the harassment of Freshman Initiation was already in full swing. This Monday morning, it was a couple members of the offensive line who’d cornered some unsuspecting kid against the lockers and were in the process of giving him a wedgie that would require a proctologist to remove. The fear in his eyes matched his sheet-white face as guys who weighed twice as much as him hauled his underwear out of his jeans.
I snapped a picture of the scene with my phone. Then I moved behind the hulking mass of muscle and fat and tapped one of them on the shoulder. “Hey, I know steroids can cause your penis to shrink, but is that really a reason to take it out on a stranger?”
The one I tapped spun around, his hand clenching and unclenching in a fist as though he were about to dole out the same underwear-tugging punishment to me. He froze statue-still when he realized he was messing with the Queen B.
“I’m thinking about writing an article on steroid-induced aggression,” I continued in a casual manner snapping another picture that included his face. “What do you think? Would you like to do an interview?”
His lax-jawed expression mirrored the dull lack of intelligence in his eyes. He nudged his buddy and uttered a few caveman grunts. His friend turned around, and for a split second, the fear in his face matched that of their victim. They dumped the freshman and took a step toward me.
I stood my ground, emailing the pictures to myself in case things got out of hand.
I’d barely managed to hit send before Caveman #1 snatched my phone away from me. “I’m not ending up on your blog.”
“Break my phone if you want. I’ve already loaded the pictures to my cloud.” I crossed my arms and tried to look cool, even though my pulse was running a bit higher than usual. One thing I’d learned over the years during my rise to Queen B status was never to let them know how much control they had. “Besides, I can add destruction of property to my roid-rage article.”
His beefy hand curled around my phone, and I imagined him wanting to shatter the glad screen. But before he got to that point, his friend nudged him. “Don’t piss her off, dude. Remember what she did to Jamal.”
Caveman #1 replied with a pig-like snort, but he returned my phone. “We weren’t doing anything wrong. Just teaching the Fresh Meat here about Eastline traditions.”
He took another step toward me, his foot stomping against the tile floor.
The freshman jumped, and I answered only with an arched brow. I knew I had the upper hand, especially with pictures to prove it.
A staring match followed for another ten seconds before he turned and disappeared down the hall.
“Thank you so much,” the freshman said in a quivering voice. He bent down to pick up his scattered books, looking up at me like I was some kind of superhero.
It required me to turn my Queen B glare on him too. Sorry, but very few people got on my good list, and this kid wasn’t going to be one of them. “Numbskulls like them feed off fear, and until you grow a set of balls or find wedgie-proof underwear, I’d suggest you find a group of fellow freshmen and travel in packs.”
Some small part of me felt pity for the kid, but he needed to learn the hard truth if he wanted to survive Eastline High. Besides, I had a one good deed a day limit. Otherwise, I’d get a reputation for being nice.
I made my way to my last class of the morning, one of those stupid required-for-graduation courses I’d postponed as long as possible.
Optimizing the Human Experience
. As if making me sit through this puffed-up health class would affect my future.
It was considered a joke class up until this year. I’d even written a piece on my blog about how easy it was to breeze through. If you had a pulse and showed up to class, you got an A. Unfortunately, over the summer the school board had outfitted the classroom with technology more suitable for the offspring of Microsoft millionaires and revamped the class to make it more challenging. The teacher actually gave homework now, and based on this weekend’s assignment, I dreaded what some of the juvenile reactions to today’s topic might be.
Of course, it would helpful if I could actually get into the classroom.
My nemesis, Summer Hoyt—head cheerleader and this year’s Queen Bee—was stationed with her court at the door. The overindulged daughter of a coffee-chain magnate and a Hong Kong real estate heiress, she paraded around campus like a Homecoming Queen Barbie, plastic parts included (because there was no way she went from an A-cup to a C naturally over winter break last year).
Perfect highlights in her dark brown hair? Check. Immaculately groomed brows and manicured nails? Check. Hours spent at the tanning salon so she could have a sprayed-on golden glow that made people wonder if she lived in LA rather than Seattle? Check. Attitude that could rival a supermodel? But of course.
Summer was the only person in the school who thought she could still get to me. Failing miserably every time, I might add, but she kept trying. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that once upon a time, we’d been best friends.
At the moment, she was practically draped over Brett Pederson, the star quarterback, and was talking to him in this low, breathy voice. “Why don’t we have a little fun under the bleachers at lunch?”
I thought I might hurl if I was forced to watch or listen to this for long.
“Excuse me, but can you two get a room?” I pushed my way between them. “I’d like to get to my seat on time.”
Summer narrowed her eyes and gave me a tight smile. Part of me briefly remembered when we’d practically been inseparable. She’d been the one person I’d trust all my secrets to. But that was before we graduated to junior high. Before she became a cheerleader and learned that in order to hold her place at the top of the pyramid, she needed to trample those under her.
Before she betrayed me by stealing the diary from my bedroom and reading all my hopes and fears aloud to everyone in the cafeteria on the first day of sixth grade.
Summer placed her hand on her jutted-out hip. “Jealous, Alexis?”
“Please, I just threw up a little in my mouth. I thought this was high school, not a strip club giving out free lap dances. Are you trying to attract customers with your new boobs? I bet Daddy used them as a tax write-off.”
Brett, to his credit, coughed and turned away, but not before I caught the grin he tried to hide. He almost looked relieved to be free of the Summer-puppet dangling around his neck.
Summer opened her mouth, but Brett took her arm and murmured, “Leave her alone unless you want to end up on her blog,” soothing her as well as any snake charmer.
I rolled my eyes and moved to my seat in the back of the room. Because Eastline was in the Tesla-filled suburbs of Seattle, the school had decided to do away with individual desks and installed three-person tables with charging stations for laptops and tablets. An unwise sophomore sat at my preferred spot, typing away on his laptop. I banged my books down next to him and gave him what my best friend, Morgan, called my “eat shit and die” look.
The sophomore’s face paled. He scooped up his belongings and backed away from me so quickly, he tripped on his shoelaces and crashed into an empty chair.
I haven’t needed to share my space since I’d publicly called out the junior sitting next to me for peeking at my answers during finals my sophomore year.
The bell rang, and the students who’d been loitering outside the classroom tumbled in to take their seats. I steepled my fingers under my chin, daring any of them to sit beside me.
Another perk of being the Queen B.
Mr. DePaul stepped out from behind his desk. “Settle down, everyone. As you probably guessed from the weekend’s homework, we’re going to start the unit on reproduction. Normally, we would begin with the birds and the bees and how not to get knocked up.”
One of the football players snickered.
“But the school board is suddenly debating whether teaching you about condom use is acceptable.” Mr. DePaul dragged a pair of large plastic bins from the closet. “So I’ve decided to start with the consequences of unprotected sex.”
It was probably a little too late for that. I suspected half the football team already had herpes. Perhaps that would be the subject of my next blog post.
He opened the bin and pulled out a doll. “Students, meet your babies.”
Ah. Children, the STD that keeps on living even after you’re dead. The entire class groaned.
“Since it takes two of you to make one of these little bundles of joy, I’m going to be pairing you off. Today we’re going to do a little exercise in genetics, and tomorrow, you’ll receive your babies. For the next two weeks, you’re going to be parents.”
The muscles in my shoulders tensed into knots as he tucked the doll back into the bin. Marvelous. I hated group assignments, especially when I couldn’t choose my partner. I always ended up doing all the work. I refused to let my class rank suffer because of someone else’s laziness. As the person holding the highest class ranking at the end of last year, I was on track to being valedictorian, and no one was going to take that title away from me. I had nine months left in this level of hell that Dante missed, and then I would be free to move on to whatever Ivy League school I wanted to attend.