The Choosing.At Eastwood, the games are "all the rave." It's so important when someone is chosen, and that's why September 30th is so important. It's Choosing Day, and one unlucky (lucky in the idiots' eyes) freshman-sophomore is chosen to participate. I'm really hoping I'm not chosen.
I survived freshman year not getting chosen, and I was really lucky. And with a total of 3,000 kids at Eastwood, I have odds in my favor.
Josi Mallory, not a popular kid. Just an average "loner." That's what they say. But I do have two best friends, Vick and Kalvin. They haven't been chosen either. But today is Choosing Day.
It's not something the school board promotes. It's kind of a secret from them. First person to rat it out gets a one-way ticket to Swirleyville. The seniors pick their victims, put them on a team, an assigned number, and their person. I feel bad for the chosen and the geek who has to become popular.
Usually, people get their notes in their lockers. Sometimes they even get it hand-delivered at lunch.
So, I sit, my leg bouncing up and down. I'm so nervous.
"Josi, stop!" Vick says. She's like me, except her dyed black hair, and I have blonde hair. I also have braces, and she was blessed with amazing, straight teeth.
"I'm sorry! I just really don't want to be chosen, for either side of this." Since I'm a non-popular, I have a chance of being the victim.
"You won't be picked. It's usually super popular kids and geeky nerds," Kalvin says, biting into his orange. Kalvin is actually really hot. He's not a geek. He's so cute. But he couldn't be popular. He's kind of not the popular material. He has floppy black hair, band t-shirts, and he listens to music like Black Veil Brides. That doesn't scream "Eastwood popularity material" to me.
"Kalvin, geeks and nerds are different. Duh." I laugh, but he just stares at me like there's something wrong with me.
"What?" I ask, self-conscious, like I usually am.
"Nothin'," he says, turning back to his half-eaten orange. I sigh and go back to bouncing my leg and biting my nails.
I look around and see Jacey McConiwic just got her letter. She's a B-lister in my school. So, she's pretty popular. I'm a freak, a Z-lister. I'm even below geeks.
She squeals in excitement.
Vick is being weird and making faces at me. I start laughing, but stop when a pale arm is shoving a folded up notebook paper in my face. My heart drops to my toes.
"Um... For me?" I choke on my own nervousness.
The letter just drops in my lap, landing on my black skinny jeans. Kalvin is staring at me, and Vick stopped her weird faces and now has a look of horror on her face.
I'm either a competitor, or a test subject. Shit.
I shakily open the letter. It says: "Josi Mallory, Team A, #5. Welcome to the games." Oh no, I'm a competitor.
"Oh shit!" I drop the letter onto my tray, rocking myself back and forth.
"It's okay, Josi," Kalvin says, rubbing my back, but mostly getting my spine because it sticks out so far.
It says: "Meet in the Suicide Building at 3:30."
The Suicide Building is just one of the original school buildings. It's called the Suicide Building because on the second story, there's a door. If you were to walk out of that door, you would fall and die and go splat on the sidewalk. It's also just really creepy.
The paper slips from my black nails. I groan in defeat.
"Well..." I mutter. "Let the Games begin."
3:27, I'm walking through the Pit all the way to the Suicide Building. The paper crinkles in my back pocket, and my Converse feel unusually uncomfortable as I walk.
The Suicide (for short) comes into view. Five boarded up windows, the famous suicide door, and paint peeling and falling onto the overgrown grass that surrounds it. I take a deep breath and walk through the door, leading into an empty room. The only things inside are 4 people, all looking either scared or thrilled. The only light is coming through the cracks in the boards.
"Okay, we have our five competitors," says a deep male voice. I know that voice. Ky. He's a senior, the star quarterback.
"You," he points at me. "Stand in line."
I rush over and stand beside Jacey, since it's the closest available placement.
"Here's how this is going to work: We will give you your little 'child,' you will try to make them at least a C-lister, and whoever wins first, well, you just got 5 points for your team. Losers will face punishment." I stiffen up. "Remember, anything is fair in the Games." Then, he just walks out, leaving us standing there.
"Do you know when we get our person?" Summer Wriley asks.
"I think tomorrow," Jacob Dees says.
"Whatever, all I know is I'm going to win," Jacey says, and she sashays out. I roll my eyes.
I see someone in the corner. It's Jade Megans. She's a freshman, the only freshman in the Games. Her hair is falling in her face, and she looks really mad. I decide to leave her to herself.
I walk out, walking back into the Pit where Kalvin is sitting. I sit beside him.
"How was the meeting?" he asks.
"I'm not sure yet. It was quick." I shrug.
"You could win," he says.
"I doubt it," I say, picking at the scab on my bony wrist.
"Just be careful." Kalvin turns to look at me.
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"All I'm saying is people can be crazy about the Games. They could hurt you. But I'm not allowed to help. Rules are rules." Hurt me? That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. But he isn't allowed to say anything or help me because he could get worse punishment than the losers.
All I know is, I have to win.