As they try to change their worlds,
Are immune to your consultations,
They are quite aware
Of what they are going through…”
Saturday, March 20th, 2004
Sunnydale High School,
240384 (the original date of ‘The Breakfast Club’)
Dear Principal Snyder,
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention, for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did WAS wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are... What do you care?!
You see us, as you WANT to see us. In the simplest terms, and by the most convenient definitions, you see us as: a ‘Brain’; an ‘Athlete’; a ‘Basketcase’; a ‘Princess’; and a ‘Criminal’... Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at seven o’clock this morning, we were brainwashed...
Saturday, March 20th, 2004 – 6:56AM
Buffy sat in the passenger seat of her father’s brand new BMW pouting, “Daddy, I can’t believe you can’t get me out of this…” Buffy was deliberately not looking at her father, and so she was oblivious to his slightly amused look, “It’s so absurd that I have to be here on a Saturday… it’s not like I’m defective, or anything!!”
Hank Summers patted his daughter on the arm when she turned to look at him, “I’ll make it up to you.” He leaned over to pick up the bag that his daughter had flung onto the back seat, after she’d stormed out of the house and into the car in a huff. Handing Buffy her lunch, in its designer store carrier, he replied to her earlier comment, “Honey, missing class to go shopping, doesn’t make you a defective.”
Hank smiled reassuringly, “Have a nice day.” Buffy rolled her eyes at her father, flipped her hair over her shoulder, and got out of the car. The smile remained whilst Hank Summers watched his eldest daughter flounce up the sidewalk, waiting until her form was swallowed behind the doors to the school, and then a preoccupied look replaced it. As he drove off, Hank’s thoughts turned to his Secretary, who was waiting for him at the office, where they were supposed to be working on completing the final details on a contract; which was due on Monday, but he’d actually finished off before he’d left for home on Friday night. ”How old is she again, twenty-one, twenty-two…” Perhaps it was best if he didn’t contemplate the fact that she was only four or five years older than his eldest daughter, or the fact that she was also blond and blue-eyed.
An ‘eco-friendly’ station wagon had pulled up behind the BMW, and inside sat a red haired woman, and somebody who was obviously her daughter, both with the same hair pulled into side ponytails, and matching hazel eyes. The older women gave her younger duplicate a pointed look, “Is this the first time, or the last time, that we do this?” Willow stared at her hands in her lap, “Last.” She whispered, not looking up.
Mrs Rosenberg nodded, and started into a pep talk, “Well get in there, and use the time to your advantage. After all, you’ll be in the School Library all day, think of the research you could be doing.” Willow looked her Mother in the eye for the first time that day, “Mom, we’re not supposed to study, we’ve just got to sit there, and do nothing!!”
Willow managed to hold back the flinch, as her Mother smoothed back some hair that had fallen into her face. The pseudo-affectionate gesture was something she’d seen other Mother’s do for their children, but it was an alien concept where her parents were concerned. Everything in her household was scientific, clinical, sterile… her Mother must have been reading one of those better parenting books again.
Willow almost wished she wouldn’t try, since just as she started to get used to getting more personal attention, a new project would come up at work, and her parents would become obsessed with theories and prototypes, and Willow would get put on a back burner, again… the only consistent attention Willow ever got, was over her grades. The day Willow got anything less than an ‘A’, was the day Willow got a stern, yet understanding (read condescending), talking to. “I’m going to be late,” Willow grabbed her bag, before things could get even more uncomfortable, “See you later.”
A 4x4 SUV stood silent at the curb, the two men inside, sat in equally brooding silence, a silence broken by the elder of the two, “Hey, I screwed around… guys screw around, there’s nothing wrong with that…” Liam gritted his teeth as his Father’s words trailed off back into silence, he knew what was coming, and there were times when he truly despised his Father. “Except you got caught, Sport.”
Liam screwed his eyes closed for a moment, half expecting his Father to say ‘Hey, I’m a poet, an’ I don’t know it,’ or something similar, and then roar with laughter, causing Liam to try and merge into his surroundings in sheer embarrassment. But it would appear that he was spared that this morning, after all, where was the audience that his Father loved so much. “Yeah, Mom already read me the riot act.”
Liam almost visibly winced when his Father growled, “Do you want to miss a match?! Do you want to blow your ride?!” Liam shook his head, “Remember, no College is gonna give a scholarship to a discipline case.” Liam gave his Father a dirty look, and got out of the vehicle without another word, it would never occur to his Father that he could get into College on his grades alone.
A tatty old tin can of a car, was forced into an emergency stop in the middle of the road, as a matt black and chrome street racer motorbike roared past, cutting across in front of the now stationary vehicle to pull into the curb, its helmet-less rider swinging his leg over the seat, and sauntering into the School building, putting his visor-like shades into the pocket of his jacket as he went.
The car remained stationary in the middle of the road for a moment, then the rear passenger door opened, and a teenager with dark punkish spiked hair clambered out, his sweatshirt an eye-bleeding bright orange, hanging over cropped camouflaged pants, which did nothing to hide his dusty and worn blue Converse. He went towards the front window as if to speak to the driver, but the move was aborted as the vehicle lurched into motion again, leaving the boy standing alone staring into a cloud of dust, abandoned in the middle of the now silent street.
Buffy had sat herself in the front row, on the furthest seat away from the central aisle between the two sets of desks; a young red haired girl, who she vaguely recognized as being in her year, came in and sat on the row behind, but on the seat closest to the aisle; she was followed by someone Buffy recognized, but had never had the opportunity to speak to; a Senior, Liam DiAngelus, also known as the ‘Angel’ of the Wrestling Team.
Buffy also knew he liked European Soccer, since she had been one of the crowd of Junior and Senior girls, who had gathered to watch him win a bet, that he could keep the ball in the air only using parts of his body, for one hundred ‘bounces’ without the ball ever touching the floor. Buffy had stood in awe, as the athletic young man had used his head, shoulders, chest, knees and feet, to keep the ball in the air, as the crowd kept count, and for a finale ‘Angel’ had caught the ball on his back, so it rested at the nape of his neck.
Buffy could hardly keep herself from dancing with glee, when the strong silent Senior, pointed at the chair at the other end of the desk from Buffy, and raised his eyebrows. Buffy quickly regained her cool, and shrugged her shoulders as answer, whereby ‘Angel’ sat down.
Several crashes and loud bangs from the corridor drew all eyes to the door, giving the local bleached blond bad boy - who on pain of pain was only known as ‘Spike’ - an audience as he stormed through the door. He knocked the phone off the hook on the Librarian’s Desk, spun the rack of date stamps round, and picked up the stack of request forms, looked at them, then shoved them in the pocket of his leather jacket.
Spike eyeballed the people already sat down, and sneered at ‘Angel’; he went up to the red haired girl, who’s name Buffy could still not remember, and hiked his thumb at her, causing her to grab her things quickly, and move to the opposite side of the aisle. Spike pulled out the center seat, sat in it, and put his Doc Martin clad feet where the girl had been previously sat.
”What IS the damn girl’s name?!” Buffy prided herself that she always knew who was who, and for god’s sake, she shared several classes with the redhead, “Something to do with a tree… Rowan?! No, that’s not it… and please, who dressed the girl, her Mother… denim dungarees, are just so Junior High.”
Buffy’s slightly petty thoughts, were interrupted by the appearance of what would be the last of the detention detainees, the spikey haired boy in his loud orange shirt stormed past the end of the desk where Buffy was sitting, right around the back, even going as far as to walk around the back of the statue that stood behind the desks, to throw himself into the furthest chair on the back row, facing away from everyone, and staring blankly at the shelves of books. Everyone stared at the newcomer for a moment, even Spike, but he soon returned to glaring at the back of Angel’s head, as Liam and Buffy shared a look, and a snort of laughter.
Willow was the only one to keep looking at the dark haired teen, and when he sensed her continued perusal, he glanced up and met her gaze, but was quick to look away again when Willow gave him a friendly smile. Willow recognized the boy, though they did not share any classes, they did share a mutual friend, and her fellow geek Jonathan had named him as ‘Xander’, the proud owner of a set of ‘Babylon Five’ collectors plates, of which Jonathan was very jealous.
Xander had walked in from outside, with his gaze locked on the toes of his shoes. He was trying to fool himself into believing that the hot itchy sensation in his eyes, was due to the dust that had been kicked up by the departing car, and not due to his Mother’s desire for a fast exit, away from the painful reminders, and guilt his presence caused. The lump in his throat caused by a friendly smile from a total stranger, just brought home to him the absurdity of his own life. But as long as his beloved sister was left untouched, or even his Mother, though she had long since taken refuge at the bottom of a bottle, then his life still held meaning.
Xander’s foray into depression, was caught short by the grand entrance of Principal Snyder, “Well, well, here we all are,” he rubbed his hands smarmily, “I want to congratulate you all for being on time.” Xander’s attention was caught by Snyder’s manner of dress, gone was his usual white shirt and tie, with the sleeves rolled up; this Saturday it would seem, merited a shiny 80’s style charcoal grey nylon suit, with a black shirt and no tie. Maybe the guy had a hot date later, Xander shuddered, ”Who on earth would want to go out with that rat fink.”
Then Xander amused himself by wondering if you dyed Snyder blue, would he look like Gonzo from the Muppets?!
Continued in Chapter 2