This is a new occasional series that takes its basis and some of its storyline from the cancelled Tokyopop Manga, Yubisaki Milk Tea by Tomochika Miyano. It's a great series and well worth looking out, it's a mystery why they cancelled it. For my version I've changed the setting from Japan to England and of course the names, then I've added some new characters and situations to produce Jamie and the Peach . The original series was cancelled before completion but I intend to take my version somewhat further!
Maddy Bell, February 2010
"Wait up Jonno!"
"Get a shift on Jamie, we'll be late for Chemistry." Jonno noted walking backwards as he faced his best mate.
"How comes its always us that get to put the mats and stuff away, we're always last out of Tuesday games."
"Must be our dazzling personalities." Jonno snorted.
The pair had been mates for too long to count, all the way from the infants up to now they'd even been in the same classes.
"So you coming to the match on Saturday?"
"Maybe, depends whether I'm needed at the shop."
"Its not the same without you helping make the moves."
Jamie shrugged; he had played at in the first eleven alongside Jonno back in middle school but that was before he 'discovered' photography. Jonno meanwhile was already starting to see some interest from club scouts and could well end up in the pro ranks.
"My hearts not in it anymore." Jamie mentioned once more.
The pair were indeed the last to arrive at the chemistry lab but the good news was that Mr Henderson was off sick so there was a supply teacher taking the class. As usual in this class they sat together and pulled out their books.
"For those latecomers, we are looking at how water can be used as a catalyst......." the stand in droned on and Jamie tuned out.
It was pretty easy to become invisible in a class like this and Jamie was well practiced so he was soon making mental notes on the girls in the class.
'Mags is a bit of a nag, geez and that laugh.' the poor girl was braying at something Susan Penhaligon had said.
'Hmm Susan's got real potential, I bet her boobs are C cup already.' his gaze settled on Karen Brownlea, 'I bet without those glasses she's quite pretty even if she has all the personality of a dead fish, not bad legs either, what you can see of them.'
Karen Brownlea, now there's an enigma. The class boffin, uber geek even, since starting high school the previously gregarious girl had pretty much become a loner. Whenever the other girls got into discussing boys or fashion or anything that wasn't schoolwork it was as if a switch was thrown. The result of course being that whilst being top of the year in pretty much every subject she lived an almost hermit like existence.
"What's that silly grin for?" Jonno enquired when they convened in the canteen.
"Sure, you're dreaming about Petra again aren't you?"
"Jamie, I can read you like a book, she's not worth the hassle."
"I was not thinking about Petra, if you wanna know it was Karen."
"You've got to be kidding boyo she like hates pretty much everyone and everything."
"Maybe I like a challenge."
"Okay then, I bet you a tenner you can't get her to go out with you by the end of term."
"Why would I wanna do that?"
"You said you like a challenge, what's the matter, scared?"
"Well prove it then, take Karen Brownlea out by the end of term and the money's yours."
"What if I fail?"
"You get to buy my lunch for a week."
The gauntlet was thrown and Jamie couldn't resist the challenge.
And so the stage was set, the end of term was just three weeks away and for someone with Jamie's track record with the ladies it looked likely that Jonno would be getting a week's free lunches.
“Mind if I sit here?” as an opening line it was hardly original but you have to start somewhere.
Karen carefully scanned the dining room before answering, “there's a seat next to your friend.”
“Yeah but I fancied sitting on this table today, so do you mind?”
“Do whatever you like.” With that he was dismissed and she returned to reading her book.
It wasn't exactly an invite so Jamie unloaded his food and returned his tray to the stack, by the time he got back to the table it was empty save for his chilli and baked potato. He sank into a seat with a sigh and started pushing the food around the plate.
“Struck out huh?” Jonno needlessly asked.
“For today maybe but I've learnt something which will bring success.”
“She always sits at this table so tomorrow we'll be here first, she has to stay then.”
“If you say so Romeo, bum I need to get to footie training.”
Of course even the best laid plans rarely run smoothly so the following day when Karen arrived at ‘her' table to find it partly occupied she just turned on her heel and took residence at an empty table across the room.
“Damn harsh!” Jonno noted.
“But useful.” Jamie insisted, “We'll try again tomorrow.”
“Whatever.” It was no skin off Jonno's nose where they sat to eat so humouring his friend was no issue.
Jamie meanwhile wasn't leaving any stone unturned studying his target at every chance, hopefully these observations would come in useful in winning the bet. He hadn't really noticed before but Karen existed apart from all her classmates. Whilst the other girls would be gossiping at any opportunity Miss Brownlea would have her nose in a book. In class she would answer the teachers questions but it was all factual (and always correct!). She barely interacted with anyone and the boys in particular were given short shrift. Without knowing it Jamie identified a key fact, Karen Brownlea was hiding behind this hard exterior.
‘What the hell is Jamie Worral up to?' Karen mused while waiting for registration Friday morning. ‘Why's he keep sitting on my lunch table? Do I have a stalker?' apart from his sudden interest in her person Jamie was just another face amongst the many that populated the school. As a student he was in the lower third of the year in most subjects, below Karen's academic radar and of no interest at all. She did envy him one thing though, friends. ‘So okay, maybe it's my fault no one talks to me anymore but he has Jonathon and I've seen him in town with a girl too.'
There was nothing to do about it; her pursuit of academic excellence was the cause and reason for her isolation. She'd had friends, been one of ‘the girls' before starting High School but her patience with her friends and classmates rapidly disappeared as her position as class swot became established. It wasn't intentional by any means but the other girls, after successive put downs pretty much stopped trying to include her in conversation and by Christmas she had unwittingly become a social pariah, hiding behind glasses, books and strict adherence to the uniform codes.
‘Oh wow, I can't believe she still has this.'
Jamie pulled out the pair of hangers that carried his sister's old school uniform. He'd never really thought about it before but Jess had always looked cute when she wore it. Until that moment he hadn't even thought about wearing anything other than ‘street' clothes in his dressing up sessions. Okay it did all start with the wedding dress shoot but since then he'd been borrowing from his clotheshorse sister's extensive array of current fashion.
‘I wonder how it'd look on me?'
Well of course that meant a full transformation session into his female persona, the recently named Peaches at the studio.
“Hmm, cute but there's something missing.”
“Geez Dan!” Jamie's pulse hit a sudden high at the unexpected sound of Dan's voice.
“You really are nervous.”
“Well if people didn't creep around…”
“Where'd the uniform come from, its your school right?”
“It's my sisters and you're right there is something missing, they are kind of sterile.”
“I suppose its because I'm used to seeing it at school, it feels out of context in the studio.”
“So you are learning something. Setting can be as important as subject matter, people expect to see school uniform in a school so that's the background you need.”
“And I've got a chance of a photo shoot in school!”
“You'll think of something.” Dan grinned.
He wasn't in the habit of skipping classes but since Saturday it had become a compulsion to get the desired shots. So after morning registration, on the way to Biology he'd made himself scarce to emerge from the janitor's office as Peaches. It was super risky and not perfect but he reckoned he had thirty minutes to get his shots.
The settings had been swimming through his head all night, so he was soon taking frame after frame in the otherwise empty corridors and even a few in an empty classroom.
“Who are you?”
He nearly died on the spot at the voice.
“I said who are you and what are you doing in here.”
Jamie turned to see who the questioner was; let it not be a teacher!
“Phew, you had me worried there, I thought it was a teacher.” Standing in the doorway was Karen Brownlea.
“I'll fetch one if you don't tell me who you are and why you're here.”
Karen moved further into the room, “well?”
“Um Peaches, Peaches Smith.”
“So ‘Peaches Smith', what are you doing in here?”
“I'm er new, I got lost.”
“What class are you supposed to be in?”
Without thinking he replied, “2B.”
“Well new girl in 2B, you are supposed to be in double Biology.”
“Oh right um thanks.” He made a break for the door.
“Don't you want to know how to get there?”
“Er I guess.”
“Well I just need to get a box from the cupboard and I'll take you, I'm in 2B too.”
Shit, shit, shit!
“I um I'm sure I can find it Karen.”
“Hah I knew it! Not a bad job Peaches Smith or is it Jamie Worral?”
“Bum! How did you know, you won't tell will you?”
“How did I know? Even I would have noticed a hottie like you starting in class and I recognised your hands.”
“You have very girly hands – for a boy, so why shouldn't I report you?”
“Please Karen, its nothing nasty, I was just taking some photos.”
“You need to dress like a schoolgirl to do that?”
“Well I er.”
She had him right where she wanted now, on the back foot, “I won't do anything on one condition.”
“Anything, if I get busted dressed like this I'm mince. What's the condition?”
“Meet me at Mario's after school.”
“Really? That's it?”
“Yes Peaches Smith , I want to see you there.”
“You don't mean like this? In public?”
“You're in public now, so what's it to be, Peaches ?”
To Be Continued
Maddy Bell 23.02.10 © 2010
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