All We Need Is Love

December 21, 2009
Angelica slouches against the crimson brick wall outside of Old Bridge High School. Pin-straight jet black hair falls over her left eye as she crouches to the ground. Reaching into her black bag, her hand sporadically slithers through its contents as if searching for its prey. After a short moment, the young girl grunts, resumes her position against the wall, and vigorously twists open a bottle of Twilight Woods lotion. The scent mimicks her personality, striking to the senses and utterly irresistible. Her raw movements and piercing aroma do not go unnoticed, as the teen draws the undivided attention of her peers.

She recognizes Nicole’s familiar face and pushes through each clique, nearing her tiny, compact friend.

“Ugh, the cheerleaders. If there were a nationwide contest to determine who could get away with wearing underwear-sized skirts in public, they would be victorious,” she thinks to herself.

As she wanders through the circle of clones, she accidentally bumps into a life-size Barbie doll.

“Watch where you’re going, you troll!” Barbie whines.

Hearing this, Angelica rolls her eyes, takes a breath, and turns to face her.

“Maybe if you did something productive with your life instead of standing in the middle of the walkway, it could have been avoided,” she snaps.

The cheerleader’s lips part in disbelief. No one insults her. A crowd of students forms around the pair. Nicole hears the commotion and realizes what is going on. She quickly rushes to her friend’s side and grabs her arm in an attempt to avoid further conflict.

“Now, now, kiddies, let’s play nice!” Nicole jokes.

The cheerleader and the “goth” stare each other down. After a few moments, Angelica submits to Cole’s forceful tugging. She has four full years to put Barbie in her place, she does not need to get sent home on the first day of school. Besides, she would have to put up with her mother’s bickering…that is, if she even cared.

“That’s right! Go crawl back under your bridge, troll!” Barbie calls after the girls.

“Only if you wipe off some of that makeup. Who knows, you may even drop a few pounds,” Angelica responds, further embarrassing the cheer captain.

Chuckling, the girls walk side-by-side down the hill and continue on until Barbie is out of sight. If not for the disparity in height, one might mistake the friends for sisters. Forever equipped with skinny jeans, skate shoes, tight shirts, dyed hair, and eye makeup, the two create the perfect mirror images.

With a smile spread across her face, Cole stands at the corner and greets each fellow student. Enthusiam is her dominant characteristic. Even on the gloomiest of days, Cole saunters through life, a child on a moon-bounce.

The bell rings. Massive, bantering crowds form outside of the school’s entrances as students rush to their respective classes. Not yet willing to put themselves at the mercy of “The Man,” the girls remain in the shadow of a nearby Oak tree. This happens at the beginning of every school year. Most students struggle to make good impressions on their new teachers but by the end of the first week, this logic is abandoned. Girls go back to wearing skimpier clothing and guys work on perfecting their paper airplane techniques. Angelica and Cole are the exceptions.

Simultaneously, the girls turn to face the school and without speaking, offer each other the warmth and calming familiarity that they alone have always shared.

“Ready to kick butt and take names?” Angelica inquires after a long moment.

“As always, Cap’n,” Cole assures, saluting her friend.

Arm-in-arm and prepared for battle, the friends march up the hill and enter their new home, officially high school students.

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