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I slowly walked up the newly-paved driveway and onto our new WELCOME place mat. I strode into my new home behind Mom. I immediately stub my toe on one of the boxes the movers left behind from the day before.
"We have plenty to do," Mom sighed and started to get to work. I pick up a box labeled BEDROOM and drag it up the stairs. As soon as I get the box to the top of the stairway, the doorbell rang. I trudge down the stairs and open the door with my mother following behind me. In front of me stood a girl with a tupperware container of some type of cake.
"Welcome to the neighborhood! I'm Amber, and I live right across the street. My mom will be over here in a minute. We thought it might be a difficult finding a way to feed yourself, since you're moving in and all. So my mom and I wanted to help you out." Amber offers the cake and my mom takes it with a silent 'thank you'. Amber smiled and all of a sudden a woman that looked like a bigger version of Amber appeared. As the woman and Mom chatted I silently studied Amber. She seemed about the same height as me. And she just couldn't seem to stand still She looked full of energy-as if she were about to burst any second.
"Please come in!" Mom opened the door wider and stepped aside so they could come in."Thank you so much! I must say, it's so nice to meet one of the neighbor's already. Now, come help us dig into this food!" Mom said happily.
Mom and Amber's mother walked ahead of us into the kitchen. Amber and I took our time and talked a little.
"So are you going to Bellview Middle School? I started eighth grade a few weeks ago. Are you in eighth grade, too?" she asked.
"Yeah. I'm going to Bellview. Do you like it so far? I heard that it's okay, but some of the teachers are super strict." I replied.
"It's pretty much okay. Some teachers are different from others, but it's mostly fun. You should be getting your school info packet really soon. That's what usually happens with the new kids." Amber said.
"Oh. Good. So-" I got cut off by my mother.
"Amber! Brooke! Let's eat!" Mom calls from the kitchen ahead of us. Amber and I smile at each other and quickly catch up to the chatting mothers.
It was finally time to start school. I finished breakfast and brushed my teeth. I grabbed my blue messenger bag, loaded the dishwasher, and left for school. I met up with Amber at the bus stop. She quickly brightened up after she saw me heading towards her.
"Hi!" she said with a smile."I love your bag!"
"Thanks," I reply back. "Oh, there's the bus." Amber and I turn to the approaching bus. Luckily, we're the first ones to form into a line, and get the last few good seats available. As we're heading down the aisle, my attention is grabbed by group of girls. They are sitting three to a seat and filling up two seats on both sides of the aisle. It looks like the first girl in the right aisle seat is the head of attention. I quickly identify the girls as the popular crowd.
Amber takes a glance at them, then me. "That's the popular crowd. See that girl in the center of attention? That's Melanie. Don't even bother going near them. One look at you and they're in for the kill. Trust me, you're better off not associating with them." I decide to take her advice and stride behind her. Unfortunately, the queen bee takes one look at me and opens her mouth.
"HEY. Are you the new kid?" She takes one look at me and smirks.
Everyone else in the popular crowd takes her lead and start to smirk along. But I refuse to cower. Instead, I draw myself up to my full height, stare her down, and say,"Yes."
She seemed surprised at my boldness, but quickly composes herself. She simply says, "Welcome, new girl." And continues to gossip with her friends. Amber and I continue to walk down the aisle, and find the seat we wanted. Amber turns to me, and we go on talking as if nothing happened.
" . . . and this is the east wing. This is where all the specials are. Like, Art class, Living Skills, you know." Amber was giving me a quick tour of the school before the first bell rang. We leaned against the wall to get a short break, when I saw the popular crowd up ahead.
"Uh oh. Trouble spotted." I whisper and point. She turns and groans.
"Hey, Amber. Hey, new girl. It was soooo nice to meet one of your new loser friends this morning!" she says with her very familiar smirk. When I don't respond, Heather cackles and, of course, the rest of her crowd cackle with her. I start to feel a little dizzy, but blink a few times to clear my head. Heather and her 'friends' continue to stare me down. I can't take the pressure anymore. The moving, Amber, the new school, the strange bus ride, Heather, and no breakfast started to grind to the bone. I took a deep breath and spoke.
"Heather," I say slowly.
"What, New Girl?" she snaps. I take another deep breath and stare her down.
"Why are you so rude to other people because of nasty insecurities? Grow up!" I watch her jaw drop open. I stride away with Amber by my side. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Heather trying to regain her composure. Amber and I turn the corner and burst out laughing.
"Did you see her face? I thought she was going to explode!" Amber giggles.
"Yes-and that's why I said it. You are the first friend I've made here. And she had no right to treat you-or me-that way." Amber's eyes start to tear up. She quickly wipes her eyes and starts to giggle again.
"Thanks. For what you just said AND for putting Heather in her place." She laughs once again-and so do I. I love the feeling of my new friend-and listening our laughter harmonize and echo down the hallway. I had made a new friend.