Drama of a Green Faced Girl

March 8, 2011
Lydia sat alone at lunch, amidst the crowded tables of laughing students. While other students’ poked fun at the decrepit biology teacher and chatted about the up and coming school dance, Lydia stuffed a tuna sandwich in her mouth, chewing as fast as she could without gagging. The bread was like sand and disintegrated in her mouth. She choked on the cold, brackish lumps of tuna, and had to gulp down an entire bottle of water to get the abhorrent taste out of her mouth. Her stomach felt like a pool of scummy saltwater, a fact she was trying futilely to ignore. She cradled her stomach in her arms and prayed her face wasn’t as green. She sighed. If it was a normal day she would have nibbled a fractional corner off the crust of her sandwich before throwing it on the table and begging Jordan for a morsel of her gourmet lunches. And of course, by morsel she meant half the meal in bite size portions, or as much as Jordan was willing to give before she was sick of Lydia’s beseeching moans.
But it wasn’t a normal day, and hadn’t been for the past two weeks. Ever since Jordan, Lydia’s best friend since second grade, had started dating a boy in her history class, life had been turned completely upside down, at least for Lydia.
Jordan spent ever spare moment of her life with her boyfriend, Robert, who loved videogames and track and shared her mutual discontent with Madame Mercier. He was her soul mate, the one she had been waiting fourteen years of her life to meet. He completed her. He was her other half, or so Jordan claimed about fifteen times a day.
Lydia was sick of all that bull.
And she hadn’t been afraid to say so to Jordan’s face.
They had been sitting in math class, waiting for the lesson to begin. Lydia sat in the seat directly in front of Jordan, although her back was almost always turned to face her friend. Jordan was talking about Robert, using the sweet and innocent voice she usually reserved for playing with her cats.
“He’s won, like, a ton of race competitions, and he is soooo, fast, Lydia. “ Jordan had said. “He runs faster than anyone else in the entire school, and that’s when he’s pacing himself.” Jordan was leaning her head on her hand, staring up at the paint chips in the ceiling, although her subconscious was obviously not present. Jordan was extremely loquacious and loved talking about everything, which for the past two weeks had been about one thing and one thing only: Robert Drew. “And that’s not all. He is, like, the best at every video game in the world. He even has a high score, can you believe that...?” Jordan wasn’t really expecting an answer, but Lydia gave one anyway.
“I don’t think that’s so impressive. Video games are a waste of time that could be spent studying or doing homework. Maybe if Robert spent time actually doing some work now and then instead of sitting in front of a television, he’d be in our math class instead of repeating last year…”
If Mr. Johnson hadn’t chosen that exact moment to walk to the front of the room and begin his lecture, Lydia was sure Jordan would have smacked her in the face. Instead, Jordan discreetly kicked her on the shins, sending a jolt of pain throughout Lydia’s body. Now, three periods later, the pain lingered, combined with the aches and bruises of shame and regret. Lydia hadn’t meant to upset Jordan. The words just came out, before she knew what she was saying. She hadn’t meant to upset Jordan. Lydia he would do anything to take back that comment, even if it meant having tuna everyday for the rest of her life.
Lunch ended with the bell and Lydia found herself walking alone to her locker. Jordan was holding hands with Robert a few feet behind her, and Lydia could hear their giggly conversation, although she dared not turn her head.
“…and then he tripped on his own shoelaces and his food went flying all over. Mrs. Harrison made him stay back to clean the mess.”
Jordan laughed hysterically at Robert’s story. It was false laughter, but only Lydia could tell the difference between her friend’s genuine chortles and forced cackling. That is, if she and Jordan were still considered friends. Jordan had been avoiding her since math, longer than they’d ever gone not speaking to each other.
“I really like you, Robert.” Jordan’s singsong voice declared. Lydia pretended not to hear, and when that failed she pretended not to care. Jordan had the right to like anyone she wanted, even a videogame playing jock who thought it was funny to recount the embarrassing accidents of fellow students. If that was Jordan’s type, Lydia could accept it. Still, Lydia couldn’t help but tune her ears to hear more of their conversation.
“…did you see that girl Lindsey over by the window? Completely green and shaking all over! She looked like a toad.”
Lydia stopped dead in her tracks. He was talking about her.
“You mean Lydia?” Jordan asked. Her voice was no longer the sweet melodious tone she had spoken in just a moment before. She sounded concerned. “Is she alright?”
Robert laughed. “Why should I care? She looked so pathetic and…”
He didn’t continue.
Before he could finish his sentence Jordan pulled her hand out of his and smacked him on the cheek. She scowled, and looked about ready wrestler a bear. “One thing you never, ever do, Robert, is insult my friends. Ever. Now go away.”
Robert stared at Jordan, his face expressionless. Jordan’s request hadn’t yet registered in his mind. He encompassed his hand around hers, but she smacked his hand away from her. Robert glowered at Jordan’s merciless face, shrugged, put his reddened hand in his pocket, and walked away.
Lydia dared not breathe. She bit her tongue and watched Robert trudge away without so much as a second glance. Behind her, Lydia could feel Jordan’s anger fusing. She waited until Jordan’s heaving breaths had subsided and then, cautiously, she swiveled around and faced Jordan.
“Hi.” Lydia said tentatively. Her body wavered, uncertain if Jordan was still mad at her.
“Hey, Lyd, sorry about that, you were right, he is a jerk! I bet all he does is sit on the couch eating chips and exercising his thumbs. I can’t believe I saw something in him! Anyway, about the science quiz…”
She was forgiven.

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