THE TOTALLY UNREMARKABLE ADVENTURES OF A WORLD CLASS UNDER-ACHEIVER. . .SUB-CHAPTER. . .WHERE WE LEARN A BUNCH OF IRRELEVANT TID-BITS.
Harper Bailey was just 14 when he kissed Taylor for the very first time; she slapped him. Taylor thought Harper Bailey was the most clueless kid on the planet. . .girl-pretty and clueless. . .but she couldn’t help but think afterwards, “The boy sure can kiss’. . .and wondered when he would try it again.
When Harper Bailey told Zach what had happened, Zach just shrugged and said “Chicks----whattcha expect?” but decided Taylor DiMonti needed to be taught a lesson; Slap a poor sweet dope like Harper Bailey? What kind of girl does that?
Zach Reynolds set out to make certain Taylor noticed him, really Noticed Him; and it wasn’t going to be hard; Zach knew a little secret, told to him by a love-sick Josh-----
. . .Taylor had a crush, a very inconvenient crush. Now, most of her crushes were inconvenient, but this one in particular had her up at night, made her anxious, forgetful and angry. Anger may be a strange reaction to a crush, but Not when you have a crush on someone you KNOW is WRONG for you. Her grades dropped, she suddenly felt stupid and worst of all, she started doodling his name on anything she happened to be writing on; math homework, book reports, grocery lists; doing that is what made her angry; Smart girls DON’T doodle boys’ names on their homework; she doubted even stupid girls did that. . . And who’s name was she doodling?. . .
Zach Reynolds. . .
But you all knew that.
Using your best friend’s tearful confessions and woe as a means to an end is a pretty rotten thing to do, but Zach thought it a whole lot worse for Taylor to slap Harper Bailey over a simple kiss. . .why, Zach would have traded his favorite arcade game for a kiss from Harper Bailey. . .
So, when he had the gang over for a swim, he made a point of sticking close to Taylor, much to the anguish of Josh. . .it might have been a little easier for Josh to witness if he knew Zach wasn’t really interested. . .but Zach hadn’t bothered to include Josh in his scheme.
Zach did his best; he brought her sodas, got her snacks, made sure Harper Bailey didn’t splash her, and then just for show, treated her to his prowess at football. . .
Suddenly, for Taylor, everything changed; Zach was paying attention to her. . .maybe. . .just maybe, he Liked Her. . .and before she could stop herself from thinking it, Taylor wondered how long it was going to be before he said he loved her, wondered what their wedding was going to be like, where they’d live, how many babies they’d have. . .and. . .My, my, my. . .doesn’t Zach look yummy in a swimsuit. . .
So, when he pulled her away from the others and said, “Hey girl, let’s split. How about we grab something downtown. . .you up for a coffee?“ she immediately said yes. . .and then regretted it.
Taylor knew, just as everyone else did, that Zach had a very bad reputation; but it was the kind of reputation that made it near impossible for girls to say no. It was rumored that he was a Great kisser. . and most every girl wanted to find out if it was true; they also wanted to be the one who snatched him up and took him off the market; but the trouble with Zach was, just as quickly as he got a girl, he dumped her and moved on to the next.
Taylor had no plans on being girlfriend number. . .what was it? 30. . .40. . .110? You couldn’t tell with Zach. . .could be he had dated every girl in Bridgeport for all she knew. . .but, off to the bakery she went. . .
What a time she had!
Zach was funny, charming, polite, and assertive; but he’d always been funny, charming, polite and assertive. . .this time it was all directed At Her; like he wanted something and knew She Wanted Something too. . .Zach made her feel as though she were the only girl in Bridgeport, the only girl who mattered, the only girl he Ever Wanted. . .
So, against her better judgment, she found herself sitting in his room, trying her best to look grown-up and disinterested. . . All the while hoping, deeply Hoping, Zach would kiss her. . .(just to see if the rumors were true, she told herself. . .just to see. . .)
. . . when he pulled her close to him, when he said with a little growl, “How about a kiss?”. . .Taylor felt faint. . .
. . .Zach waited, waited. . .until he was sure Taylor was ready, really ready. . .and he leaned in closer. . .Taylor closed her eyes. . .it was going to happen, it was really going to happen. . .Zach was going to kiss her . . .
. . .and just when she pursed her lips in expectation. . .Zach said, “Don’t ever hurt Harper Bailey again.” and walked away.
“You Jerk!” Taylor shouted and felt a total fool.
“Oh. . .chill. . .” Zach said with a smirk and a shrug, turning his attention to his arcade game. “You had it coming. . .now, the next time you see Harper Bailey, you say you’re sorry. . .”
“I’ll do No Such Thing!” Taylor said, flopping down on Zach’s bed in frustration.
“Yes you will. . .ahhhhh, com’on, Taylor. . .what you got against Harper Bailey anyway? Harper Bailey’s cute----”
“Harper Bailey’s a clueless dope,” Taylor snapped, but then remembered that kiss. . .the one she slapped him over. . .and conceded, “He’s okay. What’s it to you, anyway?. . .Are you in love with him or something?” Taylor asked, laughing, not knowing ( at all ) that she’d just hit on Zach’s deepest secret.
“HEY! Watch it---” Zach loudly protested, blushing to his roots.
“Sorry. . .it was just a joke,’ Taylor said, and finally relaxing, she thought, ‘Serves me right, I knew Zach wasn’t any good for me.’ and then thinking about her humiliation some more, said, “Watch your back, Zach. . .one day, I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, I’ll get you for this---”
“Like to see you Try,” Zach said with a laugh. “Hey. . .are we still friends?”
Considering it, Taylor finally shrugged and said, “Sure, jerk, we’re still friends. . .but I’m going to get you. . .wait and see.”
Taylor got her chance at revenge when school started in the fall; it could not have been better. . .her opportunity moved in with her. . .
Isabella Casiraghi was an exchange student from Brazil, sent to Bridgeport for a semester to experience a different culture and improve her music and language skills; Taylor’s family acted as her hosts.
Now, it wasn’t as though Taylor immediately came up with a “pay-back” plan; the plan just unfolded. At the time, her only plan was to make sure Isabella had a great time and met a few nice people. How was Taylor to know how things would turn out?
The first person Taylor introduced Isabella to was Kirby. Of all the people Taylor knew, Kirby was the nicest; soft, sweet, eager to please, he made Isabella feel welcome. . .all three went shopping for new clothes; the start of school was only one week away. . .
Next, Taylor took Isabella to meet Josh; she was hoping Josh might like Isabella------it made Taylor uncomfortable to have Josh always staring at her, his eyes like great big moons-----maybe he could start liking Isabella instead-----but Josh just sat on the sofa staring, trying to think of something to say. . .his mind was an absolute wasteland, except for the words, “I love you” and Taylor eventually had to take Isabella elsewhere.
Taylor didn’t introduce Isabella to Harper Bailey. Harper Bailey was easily confused and although Isabella’s English was very good, her lapses into Portuguese would only “confuzzle” him. Besides, Taylor figured, it was hard enough for any of Them to understand the things Harper Bailey said; what would a foreigner make of all the rambling, stuttering and made-up words? Isabella was in Bridgeport to IMPROVE her language skills; Taylor couldn’t send Isabella back to Brazil saying, “Uh. . .What?. . .Uh. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .I know. . .Sweesomastically Sick, Dude!”
She did, however, purposely avoid introducing Isabella to Zach; he had snubbed her at a dance-club the week before and she was mad at him. But, they ran into him downtown and Taylor was forced to make the introductions.
“Zach, this is Isabella Casiraghi, she’s from Brazil; Isabella, that’s Zach Reynolds. . .he’s . . .uh. . . ‘um tolo’. . .is that right?” she asked, and then while whispering to Isabella, “A fool.” Taylor smiled at Zach.
Zach, assuming Taylor was saying something like, “He’s Hot.” smiled at Isabella and said, “Yeah. . .that’s right. . .Um Tolo. . .” and was surprised when Isabella burst out laughing.
“Uh. . .well. . . I don’t get it,” said an embarrassed Zach and seeing Harper Bailey waiting on the corner, concluded, “But, nice meeting you. . .I gotta run. . .gotta meet someone---” and he walked off down the street, wondering what was so funny.
“É muito bonito,” Isabella sighed, watching Zach swagger down the street.
“What’s that?” Taylor asked, distracted by peering in the window of the shoe store.
“Oh, I am sorry. . .he is very handsome.” Isabella said.
Without fully thinking about it, Taylor said, “Um. . .yes. . .I suppose he is.” She was much more interested in the pair of pretty red shoes she saw on display and was wondering just how much they cost.
“Why do you call him a fool?” Isabella asked, her gaze still firmly locked on a retreating Zach; then she saw him hug who she thought was a pale, pretty girl who was very badly dressed. (Harper Bailey was often mistaken for a girl in those days; it was probably his hair, or his odd choice of thrift shop clothes or the fact that he couldn‘t grow so much as a single whisker. Whatever it was, men often whistled at him, clerks in stores called him ‘Miss‘, and now Isabella thought she saw. . .well. . .a girl.)
Taylor, suddenly aware she had not actually been listening, said apologetically, “Oh, don’t pay any attention to me. . .I’m just mad at him right now.”
“Is that his girlfriend?” Isabella inquired, after watching Zach sling his arm around the very skinny “girl’s” shoulder and then walking off together.
“I don‘t know. . .” said Taylor, turning to see where Isabella had been looking; but by the time she turned Zach and Harper Bailey had disappeared around the corner and out of sight, “Could have been. . .although. . .I hadn’t heard he had a new girl. . .”
On the first day of school, while waiting for the bell to ring, Zach sidled up to Taylor and Isabella in the hall. Feeling himself to be especially cute that morning, ( he had on his brand new boots and what he thought of as his sexiest T-shirt ) he winked at Isabella and then took Taylor off to one side and asked, “So. . .what’s the story with this Isabella chick?. . .sure would like a date. . .think she’d go with me for a burger?”
“I have no idea,” Taylor replied. “You want me to ask for you?”
“Hey! I don’t need nobody asking for me. . .just feel her out. . .I’ll catch you later. . .Oh Look, Harper Bailey just came in. . .” and with a flirty wave at Isabella, Zach sauntered off in Harper Bailey’s direction.
Seeing Zach, once again, hugging the skinny “girl” with the very bad clothes, (this time even worse than the ones “she” had been wearing the first time) Isabella turned to Taylor and asked, “Is that who Zach is seeing?”
Taylor looked down the hall, saw Zach and Harper Bailey, and a vicious little light went on in her head. “Why, yes,” Taylor said with a smile. “Yes it is. . .”
“How could he?” Isabella asked angrily. “He smiles at me. . .and cheats. . .what kind of girl does he take me for?”
. . .and Taylor began to feel very, very lucky. . . .
Later that day when Zach asked about Isabella, Taylor could hardly contain her glee.
“She thinks you’re ‘muito bonito’,” Taylor explained, a sinister little smirk on her very pretty lips.
“Uh. . .that anything like ‘tolo’? What’s that mean, anyway?” Zach questioned, a bit suspiciously.
“ ‘Tolo’?. . .Um. . .I forget. . .I’ll have to ask Isabella again. . . ‘muito bonito’ means ‘very handsome’. . .she thinks you’re very handsome.”
Pleased, just like Taylor knew he would be, Zach said, “Cool! Hey. . .where’s she going to be after 5th period? I got study hall right after. . .”
“So do we!” Taylor squealed, but that was a lie; what was missing Gym class if she had a chance at getting Zach back? “Let’s meet at the library.” and she could not have been happier; isn’t it great when a plan comes together?
If Zach hadn’t been so conceited he might have figured out Taylor was setting him up; but his arrogance and conceit were exactly what Taylor was banking on. . .so. . .
When Zach ( confident that he was getting himself a date ) came up beside Isabella and asked, , “Sure would be sweet if you’d have a burger with me after school today. . .how about it?” he wasn’t the least bit prepared for her to reply:
“How could you?! That poor girl. . .even if she IS very badly dressed. . .How could you?!” and highly insulted, turned to Taylor and said, “Please. . .let us leave. You are right, he is Um Tolo!!” Isabella cried; and as she was leaving, asked, “What kind of girl do you think I am?”
“What poor girl?!” Zach asked, a bundle of confusion.
With a delighted smirk, Taylor hissed at Zach as she passed by him, “Told you I‘d get you back. . .”
“What Poor Girl?!?!?”
It would be another month before Zach found out just what Taylor had told Isabella. . .it would take (the very confused) Isabella just as long to figure out Harper Bailey wasn’t a girl. . . it would take years before she found out that Zach and Harper Bailey weren’t dating. . . She would not know that until she found herself in Bridgeport again.
HEY!. . .uh. . .WHAT?!. . .I didn’t even get to say nothin’ in this episode!!!!. . .What the HUH?. . .Okie-Dokie. . .I’ll just do me the credits. . .
Isabella was loaned to the story by isarpgista. . .she’ll be telling you all about her later in her own story. . .but, you’ll see her again here. . .
And remember to shop at TSR. . .uh. . .hmmmmm. . .uh. . .What?. . .Hey, I ain’t stallin’. . .I’m just tryin’ to remember me stuff. . .Uh. . .Okay. . .I’m stallin’. . .but. . .Dudes. . .I didn’t get to say nothin’!. . .just some ole pictures of me. . .
Life and Times of Harper Bailey 5.5
Jan 22, 2012 by orlov
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