The Morgendorffer sisters and Jennifer returned to the latter's car laden with books. “So we spent more time in the book store than expected, so what?” Quinn asked.
“Partially my fault anyway. The stores in Highland were never as well stocked as this one. I got this really good book on the life of Mozart,” Daria said.
“At least I got the book on C++. What about you, Jennifer?”
“A book on Dungeons and Dragons and a Bruce Stirling Cyberpunk book,” Jennifer said, as she opened the door.
Helen dashed outside when she saw the Beetle pull into the driveway behind her SUV.
“Daria! I've been waiting for you to get home since 4:30!” she said, as she came up to the passenger side of the Beetle.
“Hi Mom. I've been making a couple of friends,” Daria said.
“Hi Mom,” Quinn said, as she got out.
“This is unusual. The two of you taking the same route home after school?” Helen said.
“Hi, Mrs Morgendorffer. I offered both of them a lift,” Jennifer said as she got out.
Helen scrutinised Jennifer for a second before turning her attention to Quinn. “I don't see you waiting after school whilst Daria was in the Self Esteem Class,” she said.
“Actually I was at the creepy house when Jennifer and Daria came around,” Quinn said, with a nervous laugh.
“I'm also in the Self Esteem Class, and the Vice President of the Computer Club,” Jennifer said, remembering what Quinn had said about her mother on the way to the Mall.
“So, you're that Jennifer. I see. Anyway it's nice for Daria to finally have a friend,” Helen said.
“Mom, why were you home so early?” Daria asked as she entered the kitchen, after having said goodbye to Jennifer earlier.
“I took the rest of the day off to work with you on your self-esteem,” Helen said.
“Mom, I'm in the care of experts. Any meddling by an amateur could be dangerous.”
“I don't pretend I'm going to cure you, but if a lack of mother-daughter bonding is part of your problem, we were going to remedy that this afternoon.”
“Oh. But you were also praising the fact that I have also made a couple of friends this afternoon,” Daria said.
“I suppose that would also help. But tomorrow afternoon we're going to the Mall together,” Helen said.
'Uh, oh,' Daria thought.
Excerpt from the Diary of Alexandra Joy 'Sandi' Griffin (September 21, 2005)
I confronted that Morgangeeker at Lunch. But, like, it backfired! The group of people hanging around her all backed her up! Like at least a quarter of the more popular freshmen are now against me! I heard whispers in class afterwards...
Sandi closed her diary and began to think of a plan. A plan on how to destroy Quinn's popularity...
Wednesday September 22, 2005
Daria and Jane walked past Quinn on the way between classes.
A boy said “So... like, what do you like to do after school?”
“Usually, I do some coding, play some games. Oh, my homework of course. But if you are asking about social activities; I like to go to the movies, or, like, a theme park or a really fancy meal now and then. A concert sounds good, if I know that somebody's got good seats and is renting a limo and stuff,” Quinn responded.
“You hear that? He hasn't got a prayer,” Jane said. 'I haven't seen her around. She must be new, but she is somehow familiar,' she thought.
“Tell me about it. That's Quinn,” Daria said.
“Oh,” Jane said. 'No wonder she is familiar. The Morgendorffer family resemblance.'
“So, you've got any brothers or sisters?”
“An older sister, but she's a misanthrope,” Quinn said.
“Bummer!” Jane said.
Quinn met Jennifer at the entrance to the main computer lab. “How many people are there in the computer club?” she asked.
“Besides ourselves and Jodie, there are six others,” Jennifer said.
“That's not many,” Quinn said.
“It's more than the Programming Club,” Jennifer said.
“Ok,” Quinn said. 'Still not very many' she thought as three more computer club members arrived. “Hi!” she said, to them as they went in.
“Hi, Quinn, they said in return. She smiled as she followed them into the classroom.
'What have I unleashed,' Jennifer thought.
Later that afternoon, Quinn rang the Hecuba's doorbell. She was slightly tired from walking two blocks, from where Kristen's sister Kelly had dropped her off, whilst carrying her class notes, her laptop and the C++ book. 'Maybe I should take up the offers from Joey, Jeffy and Jamie,' she mused. Andrea opened the door. “Come in,” she said.
“I am as ready as I can be!” Quinn said.
“Good,” Andrea said as Quinn entered her house.
Jennifer dropped Daria off in front of her house. “I'll see you at Jane's in the morning,” she said.
“See ya,” Daria said. She turned to go up the front path as Jennifer drove off. She glanced at her mother's SUV just prior to opening the door. 'This definitely not going to be an enjoyable experience,' she thought.
your self-esteem teacher say?” Helen asked as she parked the SUV in the Cranberry Commons parking lot.
“He says I should think back to circumstances that brought me happiness as a child and replicate them... but I suppose Quinn's here to stay,” Daria said.
Helen sighed. “Don't let Quinn hear you say that,” she said. 'They cannot be more opposite if they tried,' she thought.
“Here's a thought. Why don't we go to Pizza Forest for Dinner like when we were younger?”
“Daria, are you sure that Lawndale has
a Pizza Forest?”
“Yes, we passed it on the way between Andrea's and the Lawndale Mall yesterday,” Daria said. 'closer to the Mall than to that slightly creepy house,' she thought.
“I will think about it,” Helen said. She then got out.
Andrea's clock radio hit 5:30, setting off the alarm. Quinn jumped. “Was that meant to go off?” she asked, scared.
“Time is up!” Andrea said.
“You could have said 'you have until 5:30' rather than setting the alarm!” Quinn said.
“I didn't expect you to take this long,” Andrea said.
“Ok,” Quinn said. She turned the laptop so that Andrea could see the code.
// Practice Program C++
Andrea finished reviewing the code. “You get a C- for C++, but I can tell you tried,” she said.
“Thanks,” Quinn said.
“VBScript tomorrow,” Andrea said.
“Cool. I will certainly do better with that,” she said.
“Good,” Andrea said. 'I will see how she does. She seems like she will be a very good member of the Programming Club,' she thought.
Quinn heard arguing as she opened the door. It seemed that her mom wanted to go out, but that her father wanted to cook. She quietly slipped up the stairs.
After dropping her books, notes and laptop in her room, Quinn knocked on Daria's bedroom door. She could still hear their parents arguing. Daria immediately opened the door. “What do you
want?” she asked.
“What are Mom and Dad arguing about, Daria?” she asked. 'Better to ask her than to try to ask them,' she thought.
“I suggested to Mom that we go to Pizza Forest for Dinner like we used to,” Daria said, matter of factly.
Quinn had also seen the Lawndale franchise of Pizza Forest near the Mall the previous day. “The place with the singers!
No wonder they are arguing, Daria. Most of the people hired to be the singers can hardly hold a note!”
Daria was in thought. “I do see where it would be musically blasphemous, but I do miss those songs.” Daria said.
'Of course you would,' Quinn thought. She could hear someone come up the stairs.
“Daria, Quinn, I have talked it over with your father, and we will be going to Pizza Forest for dinner,” Helen said.
“But, Helen!” came Jake's voice upstairs.
“Jake, I told you. It may not be as bad as the Highland franchise,” Helen said.
“Gah, I hope not!” he said. Helen went back down the stairs.
“Great!” Daria said. She smirked and closed the door.
Quinn sighed and then walked back to her room.
The Morgendorffers were eating at a booth at Pizza Forest. Daria was clearly enjoying her family's discomfort at the 'singers' attempting to get them to sing along.
Quinn was sitting with her fingers in her ears, only taking them out to take a bite out of the cheeseless pizza, and chewing very slowly. 'No wonder we stopped going,' she thought. It was just as bad as she remembered.
'It is better than the Highland franchise, but only in that the service is better,' Helen thought. She was happy to see Daria enjoying herself. 'If only that enjoyment did not come with the expense of our discomfort.'
Jake was trying to hold his rage in check. 'At least its a lot better than the cafeteria at Buxon Ridge Military Academy!
' he thought. Anything was better than that horrible place...
“Row, row, row, your boat!” Daria said, smirking. 'That is more like it!' she thought.
Thursday, September 23. 2005
Daria and Jennifer entered Jane's room with takeaway breakfast. Jane was watching a tabloid show on the TV.
“This is just astounding! Here you are, blind, deaf, and barely able to walk, yet you conducted simultaneous affairs with
three members of the Royal Family! The question on all of America's mind is: how did you do it
“You don't get it. It's the Royal Family. You'd have
to be blind,” Jane said, as commentary.
“Hi Jane, is that Sick Sad World
? I was wondering when it was on here,” Daria said.
“Hey Amigos,” Jane said. “Yeah, its on in the morning, although I have heard that they are going to change it to the afternoon,” Jane said.
“Quite an interesting show,” Jennifer said.
“Definitely,” Daria said. She and Jennifer sat down next to Jane. The scene on the TV had changed to a UFO convention that was being held close to Lawndale.
“Hi! I'm Artie
“Artie, hello. Tell me, what brought you here, Artie.”
“It was a cone-shaped craft about 15 feet long, with an air speed of, oh, I'd estimate mach 12. They kidnapped and stripped me, examined me briefly, returned my clothes, and dropped me here.
“They pressed my pants. Did a nice job.
Daria turned down the TV. “You both know all the answers to the questions on the release test, right?”
“I've got them in my notebook,” Jane said.
“I do too,” Jennifer said.
“Well, why don't we just take the test this afternoon and get out of the class once and for all?” Daria asked.
“How would I spend my afternoons?” Jane asked. 'I would have more time to paint, that is for sure!' she thought.
“UFO conventions,” Daria said. 'I can think of many activities. Not the least of which is exploring what this town has to offer that I would like,' she thought.
“Now you're talking,” Jane said.
“Yes!” Jennifer said.
“And so, for tomorrow, I want you to make a list of ten ways the world would be a sadder place if you weren't in it,” Mr O'Niell said as conclusion for that day's session of the Esteem-a-Teen class.
“Oh, Mr. O'Neill, Mr. O'Neill?!” 'The Head' asked, waving his hands, trying to get the teacher's attention.
“Yes, um... you.”
“Is that if we'd never been born, or if we died suddenly and unexpectedly?”
“'Oh no!' Mr O'Neill thought. 'I didn't expect that!' he thought for a moment, trying to salvage the situation. “Never been born,” he said. The class started filing out, except for Daria, Jane and Jennifer.
“Yes?” Mr O'Neill asked.
“We want to take the test,” Daria said.
“We all want to take the graduation test,” Jane said.
Jennifer gave a small smile.
“Well! I'm glad your self-image meter is on the uptick! But there's still three more weeks of class left,” Mr O'Neill said. 'They need to stay in the class for the whole time to get everything out of it,' he thought.
“This first week has been a real eye-opener. It must be the way you teach,” Daria said.
Mr O'Neill was flattered. “Oh, well... thank you very much,” he said. “You look familiar somehow,” he said to Jane and Jennifer.
“So can we take the test?” Jennifer asked.
Mr O'Neill gave in and gave them the test.