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Claire Penning.

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Claire Penning is your average teenage girl. She has just turned 15 along with me, her best friend, Naomi Turner. Claire and I have been inseparable ever since the sixth grade. The only thing we have in common was the fact that our birthdays are on the same day, July 21. Look-wise, she and I are attractive to say the least, but our personalities differ greatly. Claire is selfish and arrogant, always putting the people around her down. I am the girl who’s nice to just about everyone; I’d say I’m a little more sociable then my friend Claire, but we are both considered “popular.” Claire was the girl that thought everyone loved her, the girl that appeared to be popular. I, on the other hand had guys dreaming of me (long story) and the younger girls looking up to me.

School has just started, and Claire and I hung out with the same people we did last year. There’s Chase, Abby, Sky, Jennifer, Connor, Philip, Hailey, and Noah. Things haven’t changed much. Claire is still dating Chase, and I am still dating Sky. Jennifer is still holding a grudge against Claire, since she “stole” her boyfriend. Claire still treats everyone the same, which is, without any respect at all. It’s getting to the point where I can’t stand being around her.

It was a gloomy day in Whyalla, Australia, the rain was pouring down, and it was unbearably hot out. I woke up as usual, got ready, and waited for Claire to arrive at my house, so we could drive to school. I waited and waited, and when she finally arrived, we were already going to be late for school. Immediately the hostility in her voice pierced my ears.

“Hey Nom, are you wearing that to school?!”

I look up at her and to my surprise, go off on her, “You come here late, making me late to school, then you come and criticize me!? All you think about is you; you treat everyone without any respect. No one wants to be around you anymore, and I’m surprised it took me this long to realize what a disgust you are!”

“So you think I’m a disgust? Well, I’m glad you think so highly of your best friend.”

That was it, she stormed out the house and I guess, walked to school. My mom came down from her room wondering what was going on. I told her what had happened; she just noted the fact that Claire and I have to work things out for ourselves. I nodded in agreement and asked my mom if I could stay home from school that day. I didn’t want to put up with avoiding Claire all day.

It turns out school wasn’t the only thing I missed that day. Jennifer called me right when she got home to tell me everything that went on that day.

“Chase is mad at Claire for the way she’s been acting lately. It sounded like he’s going to break up with her soon! Maybe I’ll have another shot with him!”

“Jen, don’t get too ahead of things! That’s horrible, I feel bad for going off on her this morning.”

“Why, it’s the truth? After Chase told her about everything everyone told her they agreed, and left the table. It was pretty awkward the rest of the day.”

“Ah, now I feel even worse. She’s my best friend and I told her off and now she has no one to run to. I have to call her.”

“No you don’t. You should let her think things out. I mean if she wants everyone to like her again, she’s going to have to do some shaping up.”

“True, but maybe I should give her a little guidance.”

“It’s up to you, but I think you should let her just think the situation over.”

“I don’t know, but I’ve got to go. Bye Jen.”

“Later, Nom.”

After that conversation I was pretty jumbled up; talk to her or not? Instead of calling her, I called Sky. He told me the same story that Jen had, but had some different advice. Sky said that I should wait for her to talk to me, seeing as she can’t last that long not talking to me anyways.

So, I did, and Sky was right; it didn’t last that long. The next day I woke up to the doorbell going off. I jumped up and ran to the door, and to my shock, Claire was there. She had puffy, red eyes and the look on her face showed distress.

“Nom, I’m so, so, so, so, so sorry that I have been such a horrible person lately. I don’t know what got into me. .”

“Well you sure aren’t the same Claire Penning I met in the sixth grade. That’s for sure.”

“I know, I know, and I thought about what happened yesterday, with you and everyone. You know about that right?”

I just nodded my head and let her go on talking.

“I thought about it all last night and I thought about who I had become without even realizing it. Then I recognized that I’m the girls I always seem to dislike; I couldn’t believe I had treated you like that. But, anyways I’ve vowed to become my old self. I hate feeling as though everyone hates me. No matter how much pain it cost me, I’m glad you guys told me something. Otherwise, I would’ve just kept on treating people the way I did, which was horrible. But the point is I’m sorry, so, so sorry.”

“Apology accepted, as long as you vow to change.”

“Well, I’m glad things between you and I are settled.”

“Agreed.”

We went to school like nothing had ever happened. Everyone else of course was still steamed up about the whole situation from yesterday. At lunch, when Claire came and sat down at the table, everyone looked around with confused looks on their faces. Then she started apologizing, using the same speech she gave to me. I could tell some of the group was a little more reluctant the rest to forgive her, but they would sooner or later. Chase didn’t break up with her, and Jen’s hopes of getting back together with him were crushed. But everything worked out in the end.

It was certainly great to have my best friend back. Claire was a changed person from then on. She paid closer attention to the way she talked and acted towards people and everyone noticed.





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