High School Hero (Forest Ridge High Book 1)

By: Sherri Renee

Chapter 1

Some girls cried. Others broke things. I, Kristen McDonald, cleaned when I was mad or upset. Which accounted for the lemony fresh scent that permeated the entire bedroom and crept out into the hall. My room was a girly combination of light pink, light green, and crisp white, and I loved every inch of it. I swiped my hair off my face with the back of my hand and surveyed my work.

I’d already dusted almost every surface in my room but had saved the collection of perfume bottles that filled the corner of my dresser for last. I choose perfume based on fragrance, of course, but if it came down to two and one happened to be bottled in an awesome container that’s the one that would be coming home with me. I lifted a bottle shaped like a diamond, swiped underneath with the blue cloth I was using then slammed it back down before reaching for the next one.

If George Masterson wanted to date a bubbly, overenthusiastic sophomore, that was up to him. The fact that he was still “officially” my boyfriend was the only part that ticked me off. This was my year. I was a senior at Forest Ridge High, head cheerleader dating the star quarterback. Everything was supposed to be perfect.

I slammed another bottle down just a little too hard this time and the entire thing shattered in my hand. “Argh!” A sliver of glass sliced my palm leaving an instant beading of blood. I didn’t think the cut was too bad, but it stung. “Crud!”

“Everything all right up there, honey?” Dad called from downstairs. I could picture him sitting on the couch with the news on TV and his head stuck behind a newspaper. It was a wonder he even heard me.

“Fine, Dad.”

I mopped up the perfume and glass with my dusting rag and dropped the whole mess in the trash. I stomped to the bathroom holding my wrist and rinsed my hand under a stream of cool water. As I’d thought, the cut wasn’t deep just annoying so I patted it dry and stuck a bandage on it. I added this to the list of strikes against George. Not that making out with another girl wasn’t a doozy in itself.

We’d had a good thing going. The perfect couple, everyone loved us. The votes for homecoming king and queen were almost guaranteed, but oh, no! George had to follow his male body part where it led, and from what I’d heard about Misty Holly it had led straight to “easy.”

I looked up and caught my own eyes, burning with anger, in the mirror. Brown shot through with flecks of gold rimmed with naturally dark, long lashes. My nose just started to turn up at the end. Not too much where you could stare down my nostrils or anything gross. Just enough to earn me the label of “cute” every time.

My hair almost matched my eyes. Brown with golden strands highlighting it. I knew I wasn’t supermodel gorgeous or even as pretty as my best friend Michelle, but what I had worked just fine. Misty Holly was pretty in a more painted and obvious sort of way, but I knew her looks weren’t why George had gone sniffing after her.

And boy did I sound snippy. I decided to blame that on George too.

I trudged back to my room. George and I had an understanding. At least I thought we did. Our school didn’t vote for the prom king and queen individually but as a couple. We’d planned to capitalize on our combined popularity to make everyone love, or at least envy, us and secure the crowns at prom. George wanted the title, along with the included scholarship, just as much as I did.

Where on earth could I find another “perfect” boyfriend to help maintain my popularity once George and I broke up so I could still win prom queen and ensure this was still the best year of my life?

Music filled with entirely too much bass thumped from the street below. I squeezed my eyes shut as the offensive noise twanged on my last nerve. Matt Brady had been a thorn in my side since the day his family moved in next door two months ago.

He was a senior like me, but we didn’t have any classes together. I barely knew the guy, but what I did know was annoying as all get out. He walked down the halls with a swagger that said he was too cool for anyone, and he dressed like he was the angst-filled star of a 50’s teen movie complete with the fitted t-shirt, loose jeans, and black leather jacket.

Which was almost funny since his parents were clean cut, upstanding citizens. From what I’d heard, his dad was some kind of lawyer and his mom worked at a doctor’s office. I didn’t know if he really thought his thuggish look was a good one or if he dressed and acted the way he did to tick off his parents. The fact that the look really worked for him was something I would never admit to anyone and was beside the point as far as I was concerned.