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Rules to live by: Chapter one

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Rule #1: Always stay close to those who love you
“What would your mother think if she knew what you were up to?” The man sneered. Some of his friends laughed and jeered, but Stella stood her ground.

“My mother wouldn’t care.” She said with a bitter laugh. It was true as far as I knew, but it was the kind of truth that no one cared to admit.

In fact, if I had been to call Stella’s mother at that exact second saying “Your fifteen year old daughter is trying to get into a grungy looking club on the bad side of town.” She would most likely cough and sputter out “So?” It was this kind of thing that made me hate Stella’s mother more than anything else. I had no doubt that I loved her more than her mom did.

“Stella” I said softly, nudging her on the side of her arm, “Maybe we should just go home. It’s getting late and I still have homework and-“

“God Damn-it Pricilla!” Stella yelled. “I need a f***ing drink! I told you!” She turned back to the bouncer and put on her most pleasant smile. “Now. You let me into this club or I’ll tell the police that you’ve let my underage friends drink here a thousand times.”

It was the way Stella said such threatening statements the same way one might deliver a lovely complement that always shocked me. Stella was everything I wasn’t. Smart, pretty, cool, and most of all, experienced. As a matter of fact, this little trip to the bar was all in an effort to drink away her latest troubles of being single and in love. As for me, I was her best friend and I knew it was my job to stick around in case she passed out or something. As always I was along for the ride.

The bouncer, just like everyone else, seemed to have no trouble taking Stella seriously. Unlike me she spoke with conviction and confidence in everything she said, and people seemed to want to trust her. I couldn’t figure out why, but maybe that was just due to the fact that I knew her too well. Stella was a compulsive liar.

“Stella!” I whispered again too her from behind. “Come on! I can’t be here; my mom would literally kill me.” I felt bad talking about my fiercely strict parents in front of her, while she completely lacked any guidance, but sometimes I had to. One can only avoid talking about their parents for so long.

Stella didn’t even have to say a word, just glare at me so I would shut up. When she got in a bad mood there was no stopping her. The bouncer seemed to sense this too, and let us in without another argument. Stella smiled at him and I noticed him blush as I skirted in behind her.

There was no denying Stella was beautiful. Most of the time I felt bad walking around beside her, as I was about as average as the grass under our feet. No one seemed to notice my mousy brown hair, next to hers of a stunning blonde. I hid my acne-speckled face under sweeping bangs and makeup, while she wandered around as gorgeous as could be. Sometimes she would call herself ugly, and I would cringe with jealousy. How could she do that to me without seeing how it hurt? But I forgave her. I always did.

“Give me a rum and coke.” Stella said to the bar tender, grabbing a stool and patting the one next to her, begging me to sit down.

“I.D.?” The bartender said. He was a buff looking man of about twenty-five, with short golden hair. I couldn’t imagine why he would need Stella’s ID, since she looked twenty-one in her miniscule dress and heels. It didn’t matter in the end though, since she was prepared. Her fake ID had been made by the best, and she had promised me one too. I had rejected the offer though, saying that I could never pull off looking twenty-one. Even Stella had admitted I was right.

Soon Stella was sipping on her drink, and preparing for drunken bliss. I knew that soon she was going to fall apart, and like always I would be there to pick up the pieces. I figured it was my duty as a best friend, and to be honest I didn’t mind.

“My life f***ing sucks!” She exclaimed. Great, just great! The sadness was starting even before the alcohol set in.

My voice shook a bit as I said, “Don’t be ridiculous!” Despite having witnessed Stella’s breakdown a hundred times I still had no idea what to do in the midst of one. It has been said many a time that awkward is my middle name, and I have to agree. When I get around crying people or sad people I don’t know what to do. They scare me.

“Yeah?” Stella asked dryly. “Okay well look at me. I’m single, I’m alone. My parents hate me, not to mention each other. I can’t handle my schoolwork. Life is just…” she sighed “Life sucks.”

I had heard these words a thousand times in Stella’s rich southern drawl. Somehow no matter what she said it sounded like music, and I could listen to her talk forever. “Stella, why are you like this? You’re just making everything worse by talking it to death, and getting drunk and… fighting with your mom. You need to sleep and write poetry and eat chocolate. The whole party-life isn’t right for you.”

She didn’t say anything so I added on a second thought. “And you’re not alone. You have me, remember?”

I had told her that a million and one times, but I wanted to make sure that she knew it. It was fair to say that outside of me she had no one, but that was all the more reason for me to stay. Her parents were absolute crap, as we’ve covered before, and her other friends weren’t worth much. That’s not to say she didn’t have other friends, just that she wasn’t very close with them. The fact of the matter was Stella tended to push the people she was closest to away. Most people took offensive to her abrasive nature, but they just didn’t understand her like I did.

Yes, there were days when she ignored my calls, and days when she insulted me continuously, but I shoved them aside. No one else could be bothered to put up with her, but I found it nice sometimes. It was the days that she called me late at night in tears, or the days when she opened up to me while completely sober that made our relationship worth it. Plenty of my friends loved me, but only one of them really needed me and that was Stella.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

jmartins This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 8, 2010 at 10:55 am

Really well written girl!

Although, I can't imagine having a friend like Stella... Wow

 
Peanut:) said...
Apr. 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm
Very crisp and well written; clear. It kept my attention which a lot of stories on here fail to do. Nice job and I will defiantly read more if you post more. :)
 
hannahbee7 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 5:47 am
Thank you! I will post more soon:] I already have chapter two submitted but it's not up yet 
 
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