Patrick Verona was the scariest motherfucker at Padua High.
He smoked, he cut class, he played with fire, he flashed the lunch lady. He didn’t care about anything. And then there was that mysterious year-long disappearance. The rumours flew fast and thick on that one, with juvie being the most commonly accepted.
And this was all just what could be easily confirmed. The other rumours were spurious but just the fact that there were so many indicated that something must be up, right? Jessica B. swore up and down that she’d seen him eye a live duck and say “Yum, dinner”. Jason claimed that one time while changing for PE he'd caught a glimpse of the surgery scar from having his liver removed. Well, probably. It might have been for an appendix.
Anyway, the dude was hardcore. It was impossible to imagine him with a girlfriend.
Kat Stratford was the scariest bitch at Padua High.
She talked back to teachers, she tore down student council posters, she listened to angry music, she had a scathing yet witty remark for anyone who got in her way. And of course, everyone knew all about Bobby Ridgeway’s balls.
The number of yellow cards she’d received on the soccer field was legendary. And just how many maimed men had she left in her wake? Was she keeping some ball retrieval clinic somewhere in business all on her own? Amanda would tell you with very little prompting about the time Kat had punched some guy in the face and knocked out two of his teeth, but, well, you know how Amanda is. And Jessica M. had seen with her own two eyes Kat running over some asshole’s foot while blasting Bikini Kill and giving him the middle finger. Well, maybe she didn’t exactly run over it. Maybe she was just really, really close to his foot.
Anyway, it was obvious that Kat was a first-class bitch. It was impossible to imagine any man would be willing to date her.
Of course when Bitch In Residence Kat Stratford got wasted at Bogey Lowenstein’s party and started dancing on a table, it would have been gossip no matter what happened after. The fact that when she finally fell off the table it was Bad Boy Slash Potential Jailbird Patrick Verona who caught her only fanned the flames.
And Padua High proceeded to watch in transfixed horror as the two most terrifying people in the school began an open and public courtship.
After Bogey’s party it was Patrick Verona paying off the marching band and dancing on the bleachers, almost outrunning the security guards who showed up to oust him.
(“She was, like, really touched by it!” exclaimed Ashley, who had been standing closest to Kat at the time. “He was singing. Singing! Patrick Verona! Singing right at her and she was just standing there and grinning! I didn’t even know she had a smile setting!”)
And then it was Kat flashing Mr. Chapin to distract him while Patrick climbed out the window and escaped detention.
(“She just — just whipped up her shirt, man,” said Dave, who had been sitting in the front row of detention. “And he’s already out the fucking window! And then she just turns around and leaves. What the fuck. Who does that?”)
Then they were part of a scene on the dance floor at prom, which started with Joey Donner trying to cut between them and ended with Kat fleeing the prom entirely while her sister Bianca broke Joey’s nose.
(“He rushed out after her!” Jessica F. insisted. “Didn’t you guys see it? He ran off the dance floor right before Bianca showed up. They had a fight outside and then she just left him there!”)
Padua High waited on tenterhooks. Would they stay together? Would they break up? Would Kat be extra bitchy and Patrick extra scary while they were fighting?
No one was particularly satisfied with what actually happened next, which is that Kat started crying in class while staring at Patrick, and then got up and left.”
(“It was tragic,” Jennifer sighed. “It’s so clear that she’s in love with him. And he just kind of looked sad. He didn’t even get up and follow her when she left the room! I dunno, guys. They’re both terrifying people but if two terrifying people can find love doesn’t that mean hope for the rest of us?”)
Of course, the tragedy didn’t last very long. (It was, after all, high school.) The next thing anyone knew they were making out in the parking lot.
“They still both scare the shit out of me,” said Josh, crossing his arms as he watched.
“Oh, definitely,” Sarah agreed. “But they’re also so perfect for each other, and that’s cute! Aren’t they cute together, like in a terrifying way?”
And thus, the time the two scariest human beings ever to attend Padua High started dating went down in Padua legend.