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The Blonde, the Brunette, and the Redhead This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

The brunette and the redhead are sitting on the bench outside. They take up all the room, forcing me to stand awkwardly behind them. I don't know where the blonde went. She only whispered it to the redhead, who, of course, told the brunette but not me.

The two talk, and I vaguely overhear their conversation as my legs start to cramp from my awkward position. Finally, the redhead, the leader, stands and begins walking away. In a flash, the brunette follows her. I'm left all alone.

Halfway down the sidewalk, the brunette turns, realizing their little hanger-on isn't there.

“Melissa,” she calls. It's always the brunette who calls back, not the blonde, and never the redhead. “You can come with us if you like.”

If I like. I shrug, trying to look nonchalant, and start toward them. The redhead says something to the brunette that makes her cheeks turn pink, and she giggles.

*
*
*
School. The blonde, the brunette, the redhead, and I are seated in the back of the classroom, in the farthest desks, in the darkest corner. The substitute calls our names, mine last, always last.

“Here,” they call, the words inflected with giggles and snide whisper

“Here,” I call, a tad too late, and the blonde gives another of her signature giggles. “Too slow,” she whispers.

“Melissa,” the sub says, disapproving. “Come up and talk to me.”

As I stand, I hear the redhead's snort of laughter.

*
*
*
The brunette and the redhead are sitting on the bench outside. They take up all the room, forcing me to stand awkwardly behind them. I don't know where the blonde went. She only whispered it to the redhead, who, of course, told the brunette – but not me.

*
*
*
Youth group. I open the door to the room. The leader is there, a few others, and the brunette. I look around for a place to sit. There's a spot next to someone I don't know, who ignores me as I slide into place. The brunette gives me a lopsided grin. “Melissa!” she cries, her voice filled with faux enthusiasm. “Glad you could come!”

She isn't, really. They aren't ever glad about anything. But I give a small smile and return the greetings.

The door opens, and the redhead walks in. All conversation stops, and she gives a full-on movie-star smile. “Hello!” she cries, flopping down next to the brunette, who immediately makes room for her. Smiles for everyone. Perfection, gloss, shininess for everyone. She nods at me. “Oh, it's little Melissa.” A wink.

Later in the class, all of a sudden, we need four-person groups. By now, the blonde's back. The three immediately bond together.

“You, too, Melissa,” the brunette calls. “You're in our group!”

The redhead squeals and grabs my arm, pulling me into their group, a tad too forcefully. She leans in and whispers to me, just loud enough so the blonde can hear, “It's so cute that you always hang around us, Melissa.” She gives me a slight pinch. Just enough so that it hurts.

*
*
*
The two talk, and I vaguely overhear their conversation as my legs start to cramp from my awkward position. Finally, the redhead, the leader, stands and begins walking away. In a flash, the brunette follows her. I'm left all alone.

*
*
*
The play. My mother, a chaperone, is standing by, watching as the brunette and the redhead tear up the stage. I'm standing off to the side. They get all the fame, and here I am, a set painter, not good enough to perform, just good enough to watch. My mom smiles during a particularly engaging piece the redhead's singing.

“Isn't she good? I wish you could've been up there, Melissa,” she says, eyes fixated on the redhead as she twirls, sings, and flies across the stage.

A few minutes later, the redhead comes down from the stage, acknowledging her little fan club of freshmen with a few sappy smiles. She heads right toward me – and passes without even a glance.

“Mrs. King!” she cries, tackling my mom with a hug. “You came!”

“I did,” she responds, smiling. “Call me Sydney.”

My brain starts to fume. No one else is allowed to call her Sydney. Just the redhead.

*
*
*
Later, my mother laughs. “She's so hilarious, Melissa, isn't she?”

I nod.

“I can't believe she'd hang out with you! Such a nice girl!”

I nod. If only she knew.

*
*
*
Halfway down the sidewalk, the brunette turns, realizing their little hanger-on isn't there.

“Melissa,” she calls. It's always the brunette who calls back, not the blonde, and never the redhead. “You can come with us if you like.”

*
*
*
Camp. We're waiting before the counselor hunt. The blonde, the brunette, and the redhead stand off to the side, giggling and acting like idiots as everyone else, including me, listens intently to the head counselors telling us what to do. A short girl with pink streaks in her hair elbows me. “Where are you hiding?”

“I don't know,” I whisper back. “Maybe with them.” I motion toward the blonde, who's whispering something to the redhead.

Her nose wrinkles. “Oh.” She pauses. “They're your friends?”

“Something like that.”

The pink-haired girl turns away.

At the hunt, nobody wants to hide with me.

*
*
*
If I like.

*
*
*
After church. The redhead approaches my mom and me, and ignoring me, hugs my mom. They start talking like old friends, not including me at all. I walk away. They don't need me.

*
*
*
“No,” I say.

The redhead's eyebrows furrow. “What did you say?”

“No.”

The brunette laughs. “You're kidding, right?”

“No,” I reply. “I'm not coming with you.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




Join the Discussion

This article has 16 comments. Post your own now!

Potterhead_Is_amazingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 17 at 10:30 pm
 I enjoyed how instead of referring to them with names you referred to them with their hair color. Very nicely written.
 
OliviaAirHeart said...
Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm
Wow.  Amazing.  I love how in the middle you repeated the same scene again with them on the bench, and how you went back and forth from one scene to that scene, and then you brought it all together at the end.  True talent!
 
zee11 said...
Sept. 26, 2012 at 6:37 am
WOW!!!awesome piece...love your writing...thumbs up!!!
 
ShadowAngel2468 said...
Jul. 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

i luv the way she stands up at the end and how dramatic and tantalizing just using hair color was

pls rate and comment my post

 
ShadowAngel2468 said...
Jul. 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

i luv the way she stands up at the end and how dramatic and tantalizing just using hair color was

pls rate and comment my post

 
albinotiger said...
Jul. 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm
I love the way the story is told very powerful and clear! :D
 
Purplefeary134 said...
Mar. 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm
I love that especially the ending and I can see the real life expierience, I've been there too.
 
peapod416 said...
Nov. 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm
I like how you described them by their hair color and nothing else.  Very interesting :)
 
JoPepper said...
Sept. 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm
I love the show of strength at the end!!!! :D
 
Harebelle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm
Wow...this is really well written. Great job!
 
Pumpkinscout replied...
Sept. 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm
Agreed. Awesome story!
 
Boota replied...
Sept. 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm
i loved this
 
BrownEyedGirl said...
Sept. 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm
I really like it!  that is so how school life can be!
 
storm lily said...
Sept. 1, 2011 at 8:00 am

wow! amazing, but I'm dying to know (for some odd reason) what color Melissa's hair is.

 

 
CupcakeSaffy replied...
Sept. 1, 2011 at 11:49 am
I was thinking that the whole way through! Mousy brown maybe, or deep dark black? Hm...
 
Inkslinger said...
Aug. 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm
Amazing. Completely amazing.
 
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