Kathy Beth Terry knows a lot of stuff. She knows about the solar system and how to make a model of a volcano using vinegar and baking soda. She knows about the states of matter and how there aren't just three, but four, even though most people forget about plasma (she feels really bad for plasma; does plasma get sad?). She even knows about raising chickens, and is reading a book about mice. Mice are awesome.
Kathy Beth Terry also knows that she is both the most beautiful girl in the world and the ugliest, and that that is sort of a problem. Because Kathy Beth Terry is totally boy crazy.
Aaron Christopherson has lived two blocks away from Kathy Beth Terry his entire life. He's pretty sure they were like... having play dates before he can even remember, which is really weird if he stops to think about it. 'Cause how can babies' brains be developed enough for them to like hang out and play if they can't even remember it? He'd ask Kathy about it, because Kathy knows everything, but knowing Kathy is... well... awkward and just so not cool.
Which really sucks. Because she's been his friend for like ages, but coolness is a transitive property (and, yes, he totally learned that word from her), and he is not cool enough to make her cooler, and so really she's just a big giant social fail liability. And Aaron Christopherson totally has enough problems as it is.
Rebecca Black's life, on the other hand, is actually kind of totally awesome, even if everyone thinks she's a big whore. Rebecca Black is not a big whore. Hell, she's not even a little whore. She's a virgin. And because she's not distracted with fucking, she holds awesome parties; it allows her to be present and a good hostess, and it means she's around for all the gossip.
That said, high school parties are still high school parties, and sometimes they are totally and completely boring. Same guests, same bullshit, same pathetic mismatched collection of liquor stolen from various people's parents for Every Single Party. Really, she needs to get her parents to give her a bigger budget, because wine coolers, beer and stolen liquor? So junior high.
Kathy Beth Terry likes to think of herself by all three of her names. It makes her feel important, like a writer or a movie star or something, and like people might listen to her when she's mad. The thing is, it doesn't really work. Because every Friday night she calls up Rebecca Black to tell her that this is Kathy Beth Terry and she would really appreciate it if she could keep it down, and every Friday night, Rebecca says, Oh, honey, and hangs up on her.
But tonight's going to be different. Because Kathy Beth Terry is going to go over there, in person, and explain about decibels and eardrums and alcohol poisoning and pattern recognition because Sudoku is awesome and maybe Rebecca will get it. Maybe.
If Aaron Christopherson has a secret that doesn't have a name and a shape, it's that he really sort of hates these big high school kegger moments, and he always has to take a few deep breaths and brace himself before he rings Rebecca's bell. Rebecca's okay, but her parties are like playing house with cheap beer and people he really doesn't like all that much, and he thinks that if he keeps talking about art and New York City and really cool bands no one has ever heard of maybe they'll just think he's sophisticated or something and not notice all the shit that's wrong with him. Sometimes he totally just makes up bands and discographies and entire histories of celebrity gossip about musicians who don't even exist just to screw with people.
He sighs as he rings the bell, because at least that new Crawford girl that's been hanging around because some football guy is dating her older sister has really great tits. And tits are awesome.
But if Aaron Christopherson does have a secret with a name and a shape, it's that Will Sommersby, who's the shortstop on their school's kind of pathetic baseball team, is really, really hot.
Aaron keeps telling himself that everything will be fine once he finally gets to New York.
Sometimes, Rebecca Black thinks she really needs to institute a guest list at these things and wonders if she should hire someone to do door, but sometimes the people who show up unannounced are what totally make her parties the best parties, so it's hard to know.
“Kathy Beth Terry!” she shouts over the music when her total car crash of a metal-mouth neighbor arrives. “What brings you here?” she asks, her voice high, breathy and slightly panicked. This is something for which she and all the wine coolers in the world could never possibly be prepared.
“Sudoku.” she says, holding up her book.
“No,” Rebecca says. “No Sudoku. Give me that.” She snatches the book out of her hand and then grabs Kathy's wrist in a panic, dragging her upstairs. “You know, under all that... well, that,” she says gesticulating wildly, “you have really great bone structure.”
Maybe this could be a coup, Rebecca thinks, but Kathy Beth Terry says, “I know," because Kathy Beth Terry knows everything.
What Kathy Beth Terry doesn't know is if she's angry or sad that no one has ever bothered to tell her that everyone who is beautiful and popular didn't just come that way, hatched like chickens and born social like mice. She knows lots of things and has for a long time. She should have known this too. She's smart without trying and cares about things like the very sensitive feelings of plasma and whether the dinosaurs were sad about each other and the changing earth when they died. That's a lot, and it really should be enough. She doesn't understand why she's obligated to try at this and why everyone isn't born knowing.
“Seriously, how has no one ever told you that being beautiful hurts?” Rebecca asks cheerfully as she uses wax to rip the hair off of Kathy's top lip, the party thumping and screaming and lurching below.
“My mother doesn't think I'm beautiful,” Kathy says, shocked that Rebecca is so many steps behind. “She was a prom queen; she doesn't know anything.”
Rebecca opens her mouth to respond, but is unable to say anything for a moment. “Well, beauty hurts,” she repeats. Sometimes it's really just best to stick with a theme.
“So does being ugly,” Kathy says.
Aaron sort of freaks out when Kathy comes down the stairs. He's know her a long time and she has never looked like that. It's actually pretty weird, because wow, great ass and legs forever and he's so going to some sort of coolness hell for wanting to bang the geeky neighbor that he's known since he was three months old.
She gives him a coy little wave and winks. What the fuck?
Aaron Christopherson really needs another beer.
Time passes strangely at parties, and shit that happens at them doesn't always make a lot of sense.
Aaron Christopherson thinks that shit probably makes more sense if you're not the guy in the corner trying to figure out what the hell is going on, and you're instead one of the assholes gathered in a circle playing Dance Dance Revolution or whatever the hell it is they're doing (because it looks, suspiciously, like dweeby little Everett McDonald is trying to have a break dance fight with Steve Johnson and really, that's just a bad plan all the way around).
Meanwhile, he, himself is way too cool (and totally uncoordinated) for that shit.
“Hey,” Kathy says, perching on the arm of Aaron's chair as she leans over to snag another wine cooler off the refreshments table.
“Totally,” he says without looking at her, because oh my god, her skirt is really short and he does not want to look at Kathy Beth Terry's ass except that he totally does. So awkward. He used to raise turtles with this girl!
“Why are you always staring at Will?” she asks out of the blue.
Aaron shrugs; he should be concerned, but this night is already so weird he just doesn't care.
“Sometimes people say I'm a lesbian because I'm ugly,” she volunteers.
“You're not ugly, Kath. You've just got all this.... you.”
Kathy Beth Terry tips her head to the side and thinks about the solar system, about how her stupid friend Aaron is made of stardust, and about all the times they used to play dinosaurs when they were little and she was always the T-Rex because the T-Rex is the best.
“Sometimes I don't hate you anymore,” she says, before uncrossing her legs and standing, still wobbling like a colt in her heels. She turns to him and stares down at him, still in the chair.
Great legs, is all he can he think, great fucking legs.
It's maybe not the weirdest thing Rebecca Black's ever seen, but it's pretty damn close when Kathy Beth Terry (Kathy Beth Terry!) takes Steve Johnson by the hand and leads him out the front door and across the yard to her own house for some private time. Rebecca would be outraged, except Steve's an idiot, and she doesn't really care.
What she does care about, however, is that everyone follows, and she watches the party spill out from her house to Kathy's.
"It's like bees," Aaron says, coming up beside her and watching them all go.
"What?" she snaps.
"Bees leaving the hive and following their queen."
"Jesus, are you high?"
"No, but man, this night is really weird," he says, and then wanders off in the direction of the other guests.
"Don't you want to talk to me about crappy bands I don't even care about?" she hollers after him.
Aaron Christopherson never actually makes it to Kathy Beth Terry's house. Instead, he runs into Will Sommbersby and that Crawford girl making out against a hedge by Rebecca's pool.
"That can't be comfortable," is the only reaction he can manage (because oh my god, they are so beautiful), and he doesn't even realize he's stopped and said it aloud, until Will looks up from the girl's neck and laughs.
"Hi!" She says brightly. "I'm Jenny Storger!"
She actually holds out her hand for Aaron to shake. He can't help but laugh. So awkward.
"He's totally right, you know," she says to Will, before squealing, "OH MY GOD, WE ARE SUCH IDIOTS."
The boys stare at her a little quizzically, while Aaron tries to figure out if there's any polite way to extricate himself from this car crash. Some douchebag is now playing a sax on Kathy's lawn, but he doesn't really think that's a good enough excuse.
"Boys are so dumb," Jenny says, before pealing off her shirt. "There's a pool," she explains. "We should get in it."
So they do.
Just because boys feel good and Rebecca Black made her hair awesome, and there are a couple of hundred drunk people getting drunk and drunker in her house, and there's a band on the lawn (Aaron is going to think she is so cool), doesn't mean that Kathy Beth Terry doesn't still care about the things she cares about. Because the solar system is still better than Steve Johnson's abs, and the dinosaurs were amazing, and chickens are really very sweet and, like mice, totally know when you are sad.
So it sucks when stupid drunk Steve knocks her planets down when trying not to fall over as he gives her, her first hickey, but it's okay, because the stars will all last longer than boys and she knows how to fix foam planets anyway.
She tries to tell Steve that, and he says, "Cool."
Kathy Beth Terry has never been cool before. She has also never been so incredibly drunk before. Actually, she's never been drunk at all. Wine coolers, it turns out, taste like lip gloss.
On this particular Friday night, Aaron Christopherson has now learned that Jenny Storger tastes like lip gloss and beer.
They don't manage to get all the way naked, but wow, Aaron so doesn't care. Because, at the moment, he's in a pool in his underwear making out with a hot topless Crawford chick's boyfriend while she cheers them on, her breasts floating just above the water line.
Best. Party. Ever.
He hopes Kathy is okay and having the time of her life, because for giving him this she deserves planets and shooting stars, turtles and rainbows and all the creepy chicken coops she could ever want in her back yard.
The worst thing about parties, Rebecca Black thinks, is the five a.m. cold, when you wake up from being passed out somewhere stupid or realize you haven't passed out at all and really, really need to get some damn sleep. Everything's a mess, nothing is fun anymore, and the body trembles. And while she thankfully gets to do it alone, Rebecca Black wakes up to Kathy Beth Terry's headgear sitting on her dresser. So totally gross.
So she decides to get up and march it over to Kathy's house before it starts growing stuff or radiating loserdom or something, which is how she finds Aaron and Will and that Jenny girl huddling for warmth (that's what they'll call it later) on the grass by the pool. She snaps a picture with her iPhone, because, she tells herself, creepy, annoying Aaron who makes up bands that don't even exist, will want a souvenir of this night of his greatest triumph, but really, she just wants the blackmail material, just in case she ever needs it.
Rebecca Black smiles and stretches and looks at all the passed out bees spread across her own lawn and Kathy's.
It's Saturday morning, and she has another amazing Friday for which she can take all the credit.
But first, she has to put Kathy Beth Terry's nerdtastic fail back together again. She so cannot have that type of hotness competing with her at school.