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137 Ways to be Cruel
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29th-Jun-2007 11:58 am
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Secrets
November 1983


What Jessica wants, Jessica gets- even if someone gets hurt!

Jessica would stop at nothing...



  Beautiful and ruthless, Jessica Wakefield is determined to be chosen queen of the fall dance at Sweet Valley High. If she can win the contest, she's sure to win Bruce Patman, the most sought after boy in school.
  The only person standing in Jessica's way is Enid Rollins. When Jessica discovers the truth about Enid's past, she knows the crown is within her grasp. She doesn't care that Enid is her twin sister Elizabeth's best friend- or that revealing the secret may cost Enid both her reputation and the boy she loves.
  Only Elizabeth can save Enid from Jessica's vicious gossip- but can she stop her scheming twin in time...


  Secrets is a simple little story. Enid Rollins has a couple of secrets she would very much like to keep, you know, secret. Thing is, she makes the mistake of telling them to Liz Wakefield, her best friend. Seems Enid used to have a bit of a teenage rebellion thing going on, two years back after her parents' divorce. Which is a bit disconcerting when you realize that I'm fairly certain Enid is a year or so younger than most of her class, so this would make her 13 at the time of her rebellion. Anyway, drugs, driving around with her older boyfriend George Warren, and oh yeah, damn near killing a small child. This was enough to scare Enid straight, but George was shipped off. Because she's such a good friend, Enid kept in touch with George over the years. Now George is about to graduate [in the fall? Seriously?] and when he's free, he wants to see Enid.
  Who is currently seeing an exceptionally paranoid jealous freak of a guy named Ronnie. Ronnie comes by his oddity fairly honestly, considering his parents are also divorced, and that's because his mother was fooling around. So suddenly everyone is suspect, especially those of the female persuasion. This is a really bad school of thought, Ronnie. If you don't lose it soon, I suggest therapy before you find yourself ancient and alone.
  Anyway, Enid is concerned that if Ronnie finds out, he'll dump her. But the secrets are eating her alive, so she tells Liz, and brings along proof, since the thought of Enid Rollins being a former druggie is a little hard to imagine. Naturally, one of George's letters flutters away, only to be found a most inopportune moment by someone a little morally challenged.
  This brings us to Jessica, who desperately wants to be Fall Queen. Aside from trying to rack up as many crowns outside of actual pageantry, Jessica is sure that Bruce Patman will be elected King, and if she's Queen, they'll be thrown together for the semester at all school events. Of course, if he should happen to fall for her in the meantime, well, that's just what little Jessie wants. What does this have to do with Enid's secrets?
  Weeeeeeeeellllll, Enid is also up for queen, and while normally Jessica wouldn't bat an eyelash at this, she's sure that Ronnie's [he's head of the dance committee] going to try and drum up votes for good old Enid. And that might mean Enid could win. This cannot be! So when Jessica finds George's missing letter in Elizabeth's room, she makes use of the copy machine her father keeps in his home office, and slips a copy in Ronnie's locker.
  Ronnie waits until he and Enid are alone after a particularly painful double date with Liz and Todd, and then gets all grab happy. When Enid asks what the hell is wrong with him, he wonders if maybe Enid's been too busy giving it up to George to save anything for him. Enid flips out, Ronnie flips out, and Enid realizes that if only she and Liz knew the secret and Enid sure as hell didn't tell Ronnie, Liz had to be the one who did.
  And Enid is pissed. PISSED. First, she attempts to give good old Liz the cold shoulder. When Liz presses it, Enid blows up, blaming Liz for blabbing. Liz is shocked, but still somehow believes that Ronnie, whom she has to know deep down is a jackass, will come around. Any attempts to convince Enid that someone else must have told fall on deaf ears and the friendship is nullified due to acts of extreme bitchery.
  So Liz sets about trying to fix it. First she lets Jessica try and fix things, only Jess intentionally screws things up even more. Why? Well, the whole fall queen thing is still up for grabs, but also? Ever since drippy old Enid chose Liz over Jessica, Jess has been holding a grudge. Of course, Jess is also jealous of the amount of time Enid and Liz spend together, and seems to think that with Enid out of the picture, she'll have Liz all to herself. Creepy.
  With all this in mind, it's no wonder Jessica's help makes things worse. Thus Liz is left with only one option. She's got to find out who told Ronnie about the letters. She tries Winston, who's an old friend of George's, but Win tells her that while he may have a big mouth, it's only for show. When it counts, he can be counted on to keep a secret. And she believes him because the class clown should never be mocked while being serious. Ever.
  Woe, Diary, woe. Mom has laid down the law and all Wakefields who want to go to the fall dance must clean their rooms! Woe, listen to Jess complain and wheedle things out of me. Woe. You'd think this would be easier since my room is usually neat freak clean, but I'm still ever so upset over the whole Enid situation. Who could possibly have, hey, what's that peeking out from under my bed? GASP! A letter from George! I doubt Mom would have told Ronnie, which only leaves one other person sneaky enough... JESSICA!
  Yes. But Liz doesn't let Jess know she's on to her bitchy secret. Nope, Liz has another scheme up her sleeve.
  Meanwhile, Enid has finally hunted down Ms. Nora Dalton, the French teacher accused of having an affair with handsome Ken Matthews, but given this is 1983, it's totally just a rumor started by ever so jealous Lila and not true at all, talked things through, and decided she'll go to the dance alone. [Ronnie dumped her, remember? And now he's going with Jessica, who was hoping to go with Bruce, but he has other plans involving a redhead] While painting her nails, the doorbell rings. It can't be Liz, because she would never take five minutes out of her own primping time to come apologize, so maybe it's Ronnie! But no, cuz, remember, he's with Jess. Who could it be?
  Duh. George, the start of all your problems, Enid. Only he's all dressed up and handsome and she's all starstruck. He invites her to the dance [Win filled him in on all the gossip] and she says yes, what with him being hot and all, only, tee hee, she's not wearing shoes. Actually, that bit is cute. With shoes on her feet, Enid and George hit the dance, where they make quite an entrance. Enid is lovely, but lovely is trumped by the unknown eye candy attached at her hip. Fantastic!
  But wait, isn't there supposed to be revenge?
  Jessica wins Fall Queen, but pretends to be surprised. Aw. This is Liz's revenge? Giving Jess exactly what she wants?
  Hardly. As Jess is all aflutter over winning, they announce the king. Winston. Egbert. Jess is not happy, but when she finds out that Winston won because someone [perhaps a certain 5'6" blond with eyes the color of the ocean?] started a rumor that Jess had finally fallen for the clown, she hunts down her twin. Who then proceeds to explain very clearly that if Jessica does not keep her crown, head up to the stage and make Win the happiest guy ever, Liz will tell everyone how Jessica ruined Enid's relationship with Ronnie. And she'll do it in print, too. Jess is horrified because she knows what a grade A bitch she was, so she agrees, but she will totally not be kissing Egbert! Liz hadn't thought of that, but what a great idea... *cackle*



Random tid bits:

  • - Jessica tells Ronnie she's allergic to gardenias.

  • - Enid and Todd both have little brothers at this point, but will lose them shortly. They won't die, they'll just be relegated to trivia, as both will mysteriously become only children.

  • - In Double Love, Jess whines and wants an oval face. In Secrets, she's described as having a lovely oval face. Wow, she really does get what she wants...

  • - Jess has been in love with Bruce since freshman year.

  • - Lila sings in the school choir and desperately wants the soprano solo.

  • - This is the first time the Hershey Bar [Jessica's room] is used.

  • - Jessica curls her hair so frequently because it's the one thing she regrets not having been born with.

  • - 13/14 year old Enid had braces and long bangs.

  • - When Ken finds out that Lila was the one who started the rumor about Ms. Dalton, he refuses to take her to the dance.

  • - Lila isn't above snitching some of her father's expensive French wine and then sharing it with her friends.

  • - Not that Dana will drink any, she prefers Pepsi.

  • - Apparently Double Love must have taken about two months, since that's how long Enid and Ronnie have been dating [and they hadn't started at the beginning of DL, though they were close], and considering the Fall theme, DL must have also started pretty much immediately after school started.



Say wha:
Then, out of the corner of one wet eye, she glimpsed a piece of paper sticking out from under the bed. It looked like a letter. Being naturally curious- and having absolutely zero scruples when it came to reading other people's mail- she snatched it up. p33
Elizabeth hoped it was true, but she had her doubts. Jessica had a talent for proving comforting old cliches all wrong. p67

137 ways to be Cruel:
Easy for you to say. Your room is already so disgustingly neat. It'll take me a hundred and thirty-seven years to clean up mine. p87




Secrets again proves that early SVH had no problem with Jess being a complete bitch to anyone she didn't particularly like, and even those she did. Of course, it also shows that neither twin has a problem manipulating innocent bystanders in their evil plots. Liz sets Winston up for major heartbreak/pain/misery by saddling him with Jessica, since anyone with half a brain knows that while more Jess time will make Win happy, having her be a complete bitch to him won't do him any favors.
However, I love Liz and Enid's little sleepover, complete with ODing on cookies. Cute! When I was younger, I wanted so badly to join them. Time would later point out that Enid and Liz were meant to be a duo or nothing at all, but I didn't know that then. Also, the thought of Dana Larson hanging out at Lila's for anything other than a party is a little odd.

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