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Sea Lions

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All our life they teach us that nothing comes in twos. The world revolves around money, and since there are no longer any two dollar bills, things must not come in twos anymore either. At my last school however, EVERYTHING came in twos. By that I mean that everyone came in pairs. There were three main cliques; the popular girls, the semi-popular girls, and the boys. In each of these cliques was a collection of pairs, best friends, inseparable. In the popular girls clique: eight BFF's, in the semi-popular clique: six BFF's, the boys group was a little more mixed, the friends tending to shift around, but at most times there were approximately seven or so pairs. At the time that I came there, Horsewood Jr. High school's seventh grade class was divided into these groups, and these groups only, there was no room for outsiders. So you see my dilemma as I arrived at school in my preppy red skirt, white rainbow polka dot tights, black ballet flats, and pink star sweater.

The circles closed their doors as I wandered around helplessly between classes, asking upper classmen for directions since my own classmates seemed so heartless. The queen bee of all would have to be one of three girls: the I-am-so-much-better-than-you Clara, the big-mean-jerk Ronica, and the do- -whatever-Clara and-Ronica-are-doing Sue. Of course that means that the first person I went up to on the first day of school was Ronica, and of course the very question I asked was where the bathroom was.

“Um, hi, where's the bathroom?”

“Where the toilets are, freak!”
Okay, so that didn't go so well. I nervously sprinted around the school until I finally bumped into the principal and stood in front of him desperately trying not to do the potty dance. The principal was a warm and cushy French man named Monsieur Le'Coy, and I stared at my shoes in his presence.

“I'm sorry sir.”

“That's okay Carol. How has your first day been going so far?”

“Well....not so good sir.”

“Oh? How so?”

“I guess the other kids just don't like me that much sir.”

“Ah, well, most new students have that problem. You know, there's nothing meaner than seventh grade girls. They outgrow it by eighth grade, trust me. Have you met Sue? She seems in need of a friend.”

“Sue? She's best friend with Ronica and Clara.”

“Ronica and Clara are best friends, so where does that put Sue. Think on that. By the way, the bathrooms in the south hallway.” Monsieur Le'Coy left and I stood there for another half a second before dashing to the south hallway and into the restroom.



My attempts to make friends with Sue seemed in vain though, as she was entirely set on clinging to Ronica and Clara, who completely ignored her.

“Hi Sue!”


“What do YOU want?”

“I dunno, just saying hi.”

“Well you said it, so why are you still here?”

“Ah-”

“Right, you don't have an answer, so leave us alone.” Then she ran after Clara and Ronica. I persisted, and yet she continued to blow me off. Weeks passed and I became more and more of a loner. Sometimes were better than others and I didn't mind, I had much to think about and wasn't bored. Sometimes though, it hurt. The others made no effort to hide their distaste for me and we openly unfair. I got used to it, so things were okay.

Soon it was time for a form trip to the local aquarium, where they were sponsoring a sea lion show. I was ecstatic, I had never seen real sea lions and could only imagine their splendor. It didn't matter that I didn't have any friends at first, but on the day of the field trip we were told that everyone must have a partner. Since Ronica and Clara were partnered up, Sue was left without a partner, so was I.

“Fine, I'll be your partner but don't bug me.”

“Fine grumpy.”

“What did you just call me?”

“I called you grumpy, grumpy.”

“Whatever.” I shrugged and we boarded the school bus. The aquarium was a large building shaped like a giant bubble. I grinned out the window over the dead flies and old gum at the aquarium and the huge fish swimming in the outside exhibit.

The tour was a long one led by a fat man with glasses from the fifties. By the time the sea lion show was about to start I had to use the restroom insanely bad. I dragged Sue over to it, and did my business. I could hear the announcer declaring that the show was about to begin as I washed my hands, I sprinted out without drying, Sue had wandered back over to Ronica and Clara, I sped back to them. The show had already started and it was packed in tight. Shoving through the crowd, I hurried to the front at top speed.

“Watch this.” I heard Ronica say, then I found myself tripping over her outstretched foot. I did a flip over the rail, but my wet hands didn't hold and I found myself falling. Time seemed to slow down as I fell, and I had just enough time to think frantically to myself: “Oh my god! What do I do when I hit the water?”

I landed in the water with a tremendous splash and hovered there, treading water and trying to figure out what to do. The loud blast of a whistle sounded in my ear as I realized that though the whole crowd had seen, the workers still weren't aware that I was in the water. Suddenly two large black streaks shot through the water from either side toward me. Water droplets stung my eyes as I watched in awe as they turned up inches away from my sides and leaped into the air from the water to touch two balls hanging from the rafters of the outside showcase, then they landed back in the water with splashes that went almost as high. It was a truly spectacular sight.

After I was fished out of the water and covered in a towel I got back on the bus next to Sue. Sue stared out the window without bothering to look as I sat down.

“W-what's w-wrong S-Sue?” I asked, my teeth chattering from cold. “W-why aren't you s-sitting with Ronica and Cl-Clara?”

“They didn't want me,” Sue said, still staring out the window. “They'd rather have each other.”

“You know Sue, we're the only girls in the seventh grade without a best friend.”

“As if I'd be friends with you Carol. You're a geek, but...you're right. I'm sorry Ronica tripped you, I should have stopped her.”

“That's all right Sue, it was kind of nice.”

“Mm. That's good then. I don't have to feel bad now.”

“Rude.”

“Yeah.”

All things come in twos, I didn't make friends with Sue, but I did make friends with two very friendly sea lions.



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