Regal High is known for two things really, the first is their amazing swim team the Regal Raiders. The second is the Witches, specifically Quinn Hillcast. Never a day passed where the eager students and staff went without being graced with her presence and daily juicy drama.
Quinn isn’t like most mean girls, in fact looking at her one wouldn’t usually classify her as one of those girls. She is snarky and very blunt, never afraid to just say it how it is. But she is also very easy to talk to, besides her bluntness she is cool and laid back, hardly giving anything much thought. She doesn’t have to dig for juicy gossip people just openly tell her, partly because they are afraid of her, partly because they are in awe of her.
She is cool without even trying, or so she made it seem. It all just came so easily for her. She could look at you and her icy eyes could freeze you solid, or she could smirk at you and have you completely wrapped around her finger in seconds. A double-edged blade, both sides equally as deadly.
Today, however, is an unusual day. This is because without telling anyone, Quinn just never showed up to school. She didn’t tell her friends, her teachers, nor did she answer her text or calls from her friends asking where she was. She was just, not there.
Naturally, in her absence Stratus took up the helm, someone has to be the leader after all. Stratus looked at her phone as she sat at the lunch table, the blank screen showed back her own reflection. She frowned.
“She’s been acting off lately, more than usual,” Nevaeh commented.
Nevaeh likes to think of herself as an opportunist. She often finds herself fighting for second in command but has become content with third in command. Her secret truth is that she very much dislikes Quinn. She hates how people practically worship the girl, hates how Quinn always gets what she wants. Most of all, she hates how Quinn always looks down on her as if she were some pathetic dog.
It was no secret that Nevaeh was the smartest out of the group as well as the most attentive. She was always watching the girls, watching for an opportunity. The truth was that the only reason she befriended the girls was that she saw her chance. A chance to move up on the social ladder and make friends with people who had connections in high places.
Nevaeh isn’t well off in any sense of the word, in fact, she was probably the worse off in the whole group. Though you couldn’t tell just by looking at her. She dressed for success. Khaki pants, collared shirts, perfect hygiene. It was clear she had a stick up her butt when it came to how she looked. Her ebony skin was always clear of acne, her hair was always brushed and styled neatly. Straight white teeth and perfectly kept nails. Body spray always on hand. Some people comment that she tries too hard to be something she’s not.
The reason she tries so hard is that she was working at finding a way to get a full ride to college. She wanted to make her mom proud. Straight A’s were nice and all, but she needed a sob story to put in her college essays, and what better sob story than to tell them she was friends with a walking sob story, Quinn.
Quinn hates to be pitied and looked at as a hurt animal. She wants people to know where she came from no doubt, but she wants people to see that makes her stronger, not weaker.
“How so?” Harley asked.
Harley is a go with the flow kind of girl. She rolls with the punches and lives in the moment. Her style is never set in stone as she is always finding ways to mix it up and try something new. Some say she is a wannabe Quinn. Others say that she’s not all there, that the weed messed with her mind.
She is nothing like Nevaeh. Where Nevaeh stays clean and has an image to maintain, she couldn’t care less. Her dark brown hair is usually oily, but she hides it under some type of cap. Beanies, baseball hats, even a sun hat once. She only wears minimal makeup and always accessories with handmade jewelry. It is her hobby. Her teeth are permanently stained yellow from the amount of coffee that she drinks, and her nails are always chewed off.
All that said, she wasn’t ugly in any sense of the word. She was just as pretty as the other girls in a natural charm sort of way. Her olive complexion and her big hazel eyes made her look like a sweet innocent doe. She’s always hyper and in a good mood. Not once has anyone seen Harley Cardona anything but upbeat.
“Well, yesterday didn’t Y’all notice?” Izzy pointed out.
Nevaeh nodded in agreement.
Izzy is everyone’s favorite country girl. With skin like milk and a voice soft and sugar sweet. She has this sort of childish innocence to her, mostly because where she comes from is very conservative and so is her family, she’s lived a very sheltered life. Though don’t let her appearance fool you, the girl is tough as nails being as she has one older brother and one younger. For summers she used to work on a farm. Her smile is warm and inviting, but she isn’t naïve enough to fall for anything.
“Notice?” Stratus raised a perfectly trimmed brow.
“She was all on edge,” Izzy whispered as if it was some grand secret, moving her orange hair out of her face by tucking it behind her ear.
“She was?” Harley cocked her head to the side in confusion.
“Yeah, you two didn’t see it? When I went into her room to grab a pencil, she practically chewed my head off. Told me to ask first.” Nevaeh added.
“That’s just how she is.” Stratus pointed out.
“No way, she was all antsy. As my mema says, she was walking on pins and needles. She hardly said a peep. When I asked if I could see her homework, she told me to buzz off. Then got up and started pacing the room, member?” Izzy blinked her dark green eyes at Stratus.
Stratus hummed in agreement and thought about it. She did recall Quinn being extra hateful yesterday. She figured it was that time of the month or something.
“Maybe she’s just cramping,” Harley spoke Stratus’s thoughts.
“I thought she was on the pill?” Neveah looked at her in confusion.
“That’s what she told me.” she shrugged.
“I don’t remember,” Stratus admitted.
“You should know.” Harley accused.
“You’re the closest to her,” Izzy said before taking a big gulp of water.
“We see how you two act around each other,” Neveah added.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Stratus started getting defensive.
“It means you should know.”
Just then the bell rang, and Stratus sighed before she grabbed her tray and walked towards the trash can. The other girls quickly got up to follow.
“I’ve been out of it lately okay. My mom has been giving me the third degree about S.A.T’s Nevaeh do you think you can help me study? She registered me already, I’m so not ready.” Stratus dumped her uneaten food in the trash.
“Yeah, I was planning on taking them too, as my mom says you can never be too early.”
“Boring, we still have a whole year before senior year. You two need to relax.” Harley skipped ahead of the group.
“Well, we can’t all have that outlook on life,” Nevaeh commented.
“Let’s have a study session. My place after school. You two coming?” Stratus asked.
“What about Quinn?” Izzy walked alongside them.
“What about her?” Nevaeh shrugged.
“Leave me out of it, besides I have a date tonight.” Harley smiled.
“Not uh! Who?” The girls jogged to catch up to her.
“Mason.” She sighed romantically.
“What! As in sexy hunk swim captain Mason?” Stratus cooed.
“Yes! I know right, I’ve been crushing on him for months. He asked me out to the movies.” She squealed in excitement.
“How can you get a man before me?” Stratus frowned.
“Maybe because you are too busy ogling a certain girl we know,” Neveah commented before ducking into her class.
“I heard that!” Stratus yelled after her.
The other two girls giggled before running into their own classes.
Stratus sighed and walked into her class, an empty desk beside her. She frowned at it. She had no idea what the other girls were talking about. Sure, she was close to Quinn, but it was because they were best friends not because she liked her like that. She rolled her eyes to herself before zoning out as the teacher resumed class.
After school, Izzy and Nevaeh found themselves at Stratus’s house. The house is big, but not too big. Upper middle class for sure. It was also well decorated; her mom has a thing for interior design. The girls marched upstairs where Stratus's little brother, Laken who is twelve, and his friend Todd were raiding her bras.
“Get out you little perv!” she yelled at them as she snatched her bra from his hands.
They laughed at ran out to the room right across the hall, slamming the door.
“Brothers.” Izzy shook her head.
For the night the girls gossiped about people at school and studied for the S.A.T. They watched romcoms and ordered pizza, all normal friend stuff. Harley showed up later and made a full report of her date.
No one heard from Quinn that day.