Authors: Brittany Geragotelis
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To all the dreamers out there who refuse to give up—
we can achieve the impossible.
It totally sucks being invisible.
Sure, if you had your pick of superpowers, you might
for invisibility, but when you actually
invisible, the novelty of it all wears off pretty fast. Take my word for it. I’ve been invisible for the past fifteen years of my life.
Not physically invisible, of course—that would be a different story entirely—though I’m sure there’s a spell for that. No, my ability to walk through life practically undetected is more of a social curse. And the truth is, being so average that you don’t fit in with the nerds
the popular kids sometimes sucks beyond belief. Because in that case, you don’t fit in
But tonight my non-life as I know it will be over and everything will change.
“Ooof,” I choked as my shoulder was nearly taken off by a member of our school’s football team slamming past me. “Hey!”
Brad Pinkerton, who’d scored more than half the team’s
points at last week’s football game, looked back at me curiously before turning around and continuing on his way. My mouth fell open as I realized his eyes had focused on the space right above my head and not even on
. Chances are, he forgot about running into me almost as soon as it happened; I wasn’t even a blip on his radar.
I rubbed my shoulder and thought about how there was a reason football players wore padding. That bump was really going to leave a mark.
Happy birthday to me.
Turning back around, I shuffled on down the hallway, listening to the lively chatter coming from the cafeteria. The mixture of conversation and laughter made my heart race as I got closer and closer to the hub of the school. I stopped just outside the door and surveyed the scene.
There were all my classmates, having fun with their friends, eating their lunches, catching up on gossip. Each table was like its own little stereotype. There were the jocks, the alterna-kids, the drama group, the band geeks, the metrosexuals, the losers—every type was represented, and everyone fit somewhere. Only, one group in particular stood out above them all.
Just the name alone was enough to make you wish you could be a part of it. They were the ones who ruled the school, set the status quo, decided who was popular and who would be social outcasts. The Elite were both revered and feared. It was a widely accepted fact that its members were as dangerous as they were beautiful. Whatever they wanted, they got—no matter what rules or laws stood in their way. Of course, no one knew anything for sure, but there were enough rumors
floating around—blackmail, cheating, and stealing, to name a few—that I couldn’t assume they were all made up.
But their supposed run-ins with authority seemed to only add to the attraction, because they were put up on pedestals around here. Literally. Their table was the only one located on a slightly raised section at the back of the caf, which was probably a makeshift stage at one point but now acted as prime lunch real estate. The Elite were like teen royalty, and just like Kate and William, they had a loyal following.
I studied the group’s two leaders, Gigi and Camden. They were Clearview High’s golden couple. Both were seniors, both were ridiculously good-looking, and both were from wealthy and powerful families. The two even looked alike. It was almost narcissistic—like they’d sought out the opposite-sex version of themselves. Blond hair, big blue eyes, amazing bodies—if they weren’t always locking lips, you’d wonder if they were related.
The Queen G herself looked every bit the part. She had perfect posture and walked around with her head held higher than anyone around her. This not only made her seem like she was about ten feet tall, but it gave the feeling that she was always watching over you. She was impeccably dressed and perfectly coiffed, and when she smiled, you couldn’t tell if she was truly happy or planning something devious. As the head of the debate team, Gigi could argue anything—and you didn’t want to be on the other side of that disagreement.
And of course every queen has her king, and Camden was it. He was president of the student council, played on the school’s lacrosse team, and apparently planned to go into politics one day. Either that or he’d follow in his father’s footsteps and end up running his own Fortune 500 company or something. The fact that he looked like he’d just stepped out of an
Abercrombie & Fitch catalog didn’t hurt his cause either.
I was still watching them when Camden leaned over and planted a kiss on Gigi’s cheek, causing the whole student body to let out a collective “Awwww.”
The moment was immediately broken up by the two guys to Camden’s right, Rhodes and Wheatley, who exchanged a comment under their breath and then laughed loudly. Wheatley used to be on the football team but was kicked off for being too rough on the field. Apparently he’d averaged at least two concussions per game—giving, not receiving. Standing an intimidating six foot three, he was considered the muscle in the group, which meant that most people left him and the other Elite alone. And if they didn’t, Wheatley took care of them.
He and Rhodes were a package deal, though the two were complete opposites. Where Wheatley was aggressive, Rhodes was easygoing—and definitely the brains in the group. He had a photographic memory and could recall just about every fact he’d ever learned. People around school called him the walking computer, because there wasn’t a single topic he didn’t know about. Word was that Harvard had been recruiting him since he was a freshman, and if you’d ever seen the guy in action, you’d know why. This was probably why he was a part of the group—being able to hack into any system on the web no doubt came in handy. And the fact that he was as good-looking as he was smart didn’t hurt either.
My eyes swept over to the only other girl in the group: Eliza. It was hard not to envy Eliza. Her dad was the bona fide movie star Kyle Rivers; sure, he seemed to be doing more behind-the-camera work these days, but he had his own star on the Walk of Fame for God’s sake. As Kyle Rivers’s only daughter, Eliza was your typical rich kid. She always had the newest Louis Vuitton and upgraded her sports car every year. What
she lacked in brains, she made up for in dramatic interpretation. The girl was obviously her father’s daughter and could cry on a dime, which made it difficult to trust any emotion Eliza showed to the rest of us.
Together, the five of them reigned over the student body. They were treated better than anyone else because they’d convinced us they
better than everyone else. And of course no one challenged them for the throne. To be honest, why would you want to? They were pretty, popular, and powerful. They were elite.
And I wanted desperately to be a part of their group.
Sighing, I headed toward the cafeteria’s shake station to pick up my drink of choice: the Monkey Business. A combination of banana, chocolate, peanut butter, and fro-yo. It was the opposite of healthy, but it was the epitome of deliciousness. And it was my daily treat to myself for weathering another day at this school. Besides, I didn’t exactly have anyone to impress.
Been there, tried that.
The first couple of weeks of my freshman year, I’d had the misguided impression that I was going to be able to start fresh in a new school. Middle school hadn’t been entirely good to me; I’d had a friend for half the time I was there, but Kai was an exchange student who barely spoke English. And if I was really honest with myself, we were more like loners who chose to be alone together rather than friends. But when she returned to Europe, I went back to being on my own.
I was hoping that graduating to a new school, one where only a quarter of the people there had any chance of knowing who I was before, would be my chance to reinvent myself. During the first few weeks, I tried my best to dress like the other kids in my class, fix my hair like the girls in
magazine, and mimic the actions I thought would gain me a gaggle of friends.
It was when nobody noticed the change in me and I was left with no more friends than I’d had before that I made my biggest discovery thus far in my short life.
You can’t will yourself into popularity. It is bestowed upon you if you are found worthy enough to have it. You either are or you aren’t. And it had been decided by the powers that be that I wasn’t.
After that, I sort of gave up trying. What was the point if things weren’t going to change?