1) Call Jimmy shallow, but he isn't attracted to Eunice Pound. It isn't just how she looks; at that moment, he's got more important things to worry about.
But the poor girl is crying because some jackoff stole from her, and that gets under Jimmy's skin. You don't pick on girls; you don't hit them, you don't steal from them, you don't do anything to mistreat them. His mom isn't perfect, but she made damn sure he knew that from the time he was little.
So he tracks down the asshole chocolate thief. Constantinos, he later learns is his name. He's so pissed off he threatens grievous bodily harm. The other kid is a full head taller than him, but considerably scrawnier, and must know that Jimmy isn't kidding around. So the chickenshit drops the box of chocolates in his hands and runs.
It actually feels good, giving the box back to that poor girl. Eunice isn't what you'd call pretty, exactly, but he does like the sight of her delighted smile.
It's important to note that, even if he isn't really into her, he's also a hormonal fifteen-year-old boy. It'd be easier to count the times he isn't horny than the times that he is. So when she shyly but eagerly asks if he wants to make out, of course he takes the opportunity to do so. She lunges at him, and while he's strong, he isn't prepared to handle all of her weight, which knocks them both off balance. The whole affair is too wet; first her lips move too much while his don't move enoug,; then hers don't move at all while his move too much. On top of all that, it takes a few times to get the angle right so that their noses don't bump into each other.
It's a first kiss between teenagers, basically. So of course it's not great.
But they're both willing to practice. Maybe not necessarily with each other, at least not all the time. But in case they run into each other on campus, which they do, Jimmy always makes sure to have some chocolates on hand.
2) Let's get one thing out of the way: Jimmy sets out to cause as little trouble at Bullworth as possible. This is his eighth school; after this, he doubts any others will want anything to do with him.
So naturally, he intends to stay as far away from the girls' dorm as possible. Or at least from its interior; Angie and Christy, a pair of cute girls on the cheerleading team, like flowers, and there happens to be plenty of flowers right in front of their dorm. So a few days into his education at Bullworth, he finds himself ignoring the bulletin board and plucking pink bouquets by the handful.
He really, truly means for that to be the end of it, but he hears an argument break out from the window above him. His scowl deepens as he recognizes the familiar sound: someone higher up on the school's hierarchy mistreating someone on a lower rung.
Jimmy Hopkins hates a lot of things, and injustice is high up on that list. So he makes sure there are no prefects around, takes a deep breath, and enters the girls' dorm, doing his best to keep his eyes straight in front of him.
There's, thankfully, no indecency going on in the room where the commotion is coming from. Which is to say that both girls are fully dressed, because there's nothing decent about how the cheerleader is treating the girl with glasses. He makes sure she knows it with the iciest glare he has as she leaves the door. "I can see you undressing me with your eyes!" she tells him as she saunters off.
"You wish," he retorts. The girl is pretty enough, but she's clearly a piece of shit inside. Why would he want to peel layers away to see that?
He recognizes the girl with glasses, he realizes. Beatrice Trudeau. She's in the nerd clique; the only girl, which makes Jimmy sympathize with her by default. Maybe that's one reason why he decides to get her notes back for her; it isn't that he particularly wants to kiss her, nor does he want to be known around the school as a peeping tom, but it looks like she's having a worse time at Bullworth than he is.
He takes it a step further than he needs to and puts a stink bomb in Mandy's gym locker. He even stays behind, crouched on the other side of the lockers, and stifles laughter at the sound of the cheerleader throwing up. Karma biting people on the ass has always been one of his favorite sounds.
Beatrice is delighted at getting her notes back. The kiss she gives Jimmy is considerably better than his first with Eunice, enough to make him think that maybe his time here won't be as bad as he'd thought.
3) It's kind of depressing that Jimmy is getting used to making out with someone after they've been wronged in some way. Apparently standards at Bullworth are so low that basic compassion and kindness are enough to warrant romantic or sexual feelings.
It's especially depressing, in this case, since he's the one responsible. He didn't have to take those photos, but he chose to.
Jimmy immediately feels bad about all the awful things he'd thought about Mandy when he sees her sitting alone and upset on the bleachers. Sitting down to talk to her, he realizes that she has more depth to her than he'd been led to believe.
Mandy Wiles hasn't always been a nice person, that's for sure; she outright admits it. That's what really strikes Jimmy--there's plenty of people out there who would say the same thing about him.
Regardless, no one deserves to have lewd pictures of themselves everywhere for anyone to look at. Partly out of his need to correct injustice, and partly to redeem himself, Jimmy hops on his bike and rides into town. The marks he leaves on those posters have to be his artistic magnum opus, he thinks, satisfied. It's almost enough to block out the disgust he feels at so many guys, many of whom are adults, drooling over the posters like pieces of meat.
Naturally Mandy rewards him with a kiss. He accepts it; he's pretty sure he'd be an idiot not to.
Up until now, Jimmy had been so convinced that most of the people at Bullworth Academy were assholes, idiots, or idiotic assholes. He'd been convinced that none of them could change, that none of them would want to.
For once in his young life, Jimmy is glad to be wrong.
4) It's good to be king.
Pete keeps warning him not to let his head get too big, but it's a bit hard to listen when literally all the cliques on campus love Jimmy. It's hard not to let it get to him when, months ago, it felt like everyone on campus wanted him dead. Sitting in the cafeteria surrounded by nerds, bullies, and jocks, all hanging on his every word, laughing at all his jokes, having a girl on each arm...
Yeah. Maybe he lets it inflate his ego.
Just a little.
Which is probably why it occurs to Jimmy that he could probably have anyone he wanted in this school. Not just any girl; anyone. Gary had been wrong and Pinky had been mistaken; Jimmy Hopkins isn't confused about his sexuality. He knows exactly who he is.
He likes girls, but he likes boys, too. Up until now, it just hadn't come up.
The first time it does, he's heading to the comic book store from Yum Yum Market. It's late and he's too exhausted to bike his way back to school, so he figures he'll crash there for the time being.
He's stopped in the basement by Cornelius Johnson, a tall, skinny boy who Jimmy absently remembers is in the Drama Club. "What pretty flowers!" He exclaims at the sight of the bouquet in Jimmy's hand. "I wonder what the Latin name for them is?"
"No clue," Jimmy admits. He hadn't looked at the labels in the marketplace; he'd just thought they'd looked pretty and that girls might like them.
Clearly it isn't just girls who do.
An idea strikes Jimmy right then and there; he holds the bouquet out to Cornelius, curious. "I just know that I got 'em for you!" It isn't exactly true, but it might as well be, as far as Cornelius knows. It might seem like a crazy idea on the outside, but if Jimmy really thinks about it, it isn't. Aside from Beatrice, Cornelius is probably the kindest and best-looking of the nerds. Plus he doesn't smell like piss or BO, so he's got that going for him.
Cornelius's face lights up as he takes the flowers. "Oh, Jimmy! I had no idea!"
Jimmy scratches the back of his head and smiles sheepishly up at Cornelius. "Yep! So, what do you say?"
It turns out that Cornelius is a surprisingly good kisser. Jimmy wonders if he got his practice back when he played Juliet or if he's simply more experienced than Jimmy had given him credit for. He almost feels guilty for underestimating the nerd. He knows from experience that Gary is right; they look harmless, but they're sneaky bastards.
Completely non-threatening. Until they aren't. In a twisted way, it's something Jimmy can respect.
They pull away with an almost obscene smack of lips against lips. Cornelius pushes his glasses up his the bridge of his nose, looking like he's trying to regain his composure, but Jimmy sees the distinct flush in his dark cheeks. "That was...goodness."
Jimmy smirks up at him. "Yeah. Not bad, Johnson."
Cornelius clears his throat. "Thank you, James. You aren't bad, either." With that he joins some of the other snickering nerds at the Consumo machine.
As Jimmy's head hits the pillow on the makeshift cot, all he can really think is that there's at least one person in the world who can call him by his real name and not get decked in the nose.
5) There's no doubt about it. Zoe Taylor is, hands down, the coolest person Jimmy has ever met. He can tell that she's something special before she even says two words to him. Despite the bright green eyeshadow and black nail polish she's wearing, there's something about her that's considerably more real than so many of the other people Jimmy's met in this place.
Then she suggests trapping Mr. Burton in a porta potty and blowing it up, and that's it. Jimmy falls, and he falls hard.
She's there for the most intense parts of Gary's plan, helping out, getting her hands as dirty as the boys'. She's kind, but puts up with no bullshit, even if it hurts her in the end. She's right there among Pete and Russell even when the rest of the school has turned on Jimmy. She helps him through the worst parts of the riots going on, and is there at the very end to give him a big, photographic kiss for their metaphorical happy ending. She runs up to him in a dusted-off Bullworth uniform and throws herself at him. He's prepared this time, and catches her with ease in a move that looks like it must have been practiced, but wasn't. They've only known each other for a few days, after all.
It's better than Jimmy could have ever hoped for.
Things are completely different a few weeks after, when he decides to stay at Bullworth for the summer instead of having to get to know his new stepfather. She breaks up with him and he agrees; all break-ups suck, of course, but this one is pretty damn amicable. They've both got things to do, people to see, lives to live.
While Jimmy lets himself feel the grief at the time the breakup happens, he realizes that it's for the best. They wouldn't have worked in the long run; they're simply too much alike. They're both hot-headed, impulsive, and independent; eventually they might have gotten on each others' nerves.
They stay friends, though, and if either of them ever wants a quick makeout session, they know where to find each other.
+1) Jimmy sees Pete leave the headmaster's office and runs to catch up with him. "What's up, Pete?" he asks, even though he knows exactly what's up.
"Mr. Crabblesnitch just made me Head Boy!" There are stars in Pete's eyes; you can see them from miles away. It's a huge step up from the expression that Jimmy's more familiar with, the one that's something akin to a sad stray puppy.
"Ah, really? Cool." Nepotism has its perks, Jimmy decides. It's not that Pete couldn't have gotten the position on his own; it's that he wouldn't have. Jimmy had just used recent events to push him in the right direction. "I'm happy for you, Man. You deserve it."
"Thanks, Jimmy." There's a knowing way to how Pete is smiling, like he knows what's up. Jimmy isn't surprised; his friend is smarter than anyone gives him credit for.
"I'm the one who should be thanking you," Jimmy says, throwing an arm over Pete's shoulders.
"What do you mean?"
"Seriously?" Pete is supposed to be the genius between the two of them, right? "I couldn't have done any of this without you. You're the only one who's stuck by me through all this bullshit."
Pete shrugs. "Me and Russell. And that town girl. Besides, we're friends, aren't we? Of course I wasn't gonna leave you." He rubs his shoulder in an endearingly self-conscious kind of way. "Also you're like...the only one at this school who's ever been nice to me."
Jimmy knows full well that 'nice' isn't a word people usually use to describe him. Pete's situation becomes that much sadder to him, so he squeezes him close for a second. "Got a feeling that's gonna change soon."
"I hope so!" Pete chuckles. "I'd say I agree, but I don't want to jinx it."
Pete is so close that he's practically cheek to cheek with Jimmy. He smells nice, Jimmy thinks; like apples and coconuts. Something deep inside him is screaming at him to do something, anything at all.
He doesn't. Once they leave the school, they go their separate ways. Pete heads off in the direction of the dorm, but not before turning and waving at Jimmy. "See ya round, Jim!"
"Yeah. See ya..."
There's still plenty to do and Jimmy knows it.
Thankfully, he has the rest of the summer to get to all of it.