The Girl with the Pink Ribbon

January 6, 2012
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I stared at the new girl with the pink ribbon in her hair across the playground from my swing. She has so many friends already, I thought, Why can’t I be like her?
I nervously glanced to the right, and I saw the principal, Mr. Pickford, walking briskly towards the crowd that had formed around Ribbon Girl, probably to introduce her to everyone, as if she hadn’t already made herself known. It was only 8:10, and she already had everyone’s attention. With her curly blond pigtails and her innocent blue eyes, it was a wonder the whole school wasn’t mesmerized by her.
“Hey, uh, Zinnia? Are you okay?” my only friend Chance asked from the swing next to mine.
“What? Um, yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”
“Well, ‘cuz you usually talk a lot, and you’re being all quiet right now.”
I didn’t know what she was talking about. If anyone talked a lot, it was Chance. She was starting to get on my nerves.
“I’m tired, that’s all,” I said after an awkward silence.
Just then our teacher Mrs. Lyzer stepped outside and yelled, “Everyone inside, now! Don’t you see what time it is? Get inside, all of you!”
Ah, saved by the bell- er, teacher, I thought as I clumsily jumped off the swing, just barely landing on my feet. I grabbed my Calvin and Hobbes, collectible lunchbox and headed for the classroom.
Inside, my entire fifth grade class was crowded around Little Miss Pink and Pretty. I pushed through the crowd to get to my desk, put down my lunch, and hastily sat in my chair.
“Everyone, quiet! Get to your seats!” Mrs. Lyzer barked. I imagined stuffing her megaphone mouth with a sock.“I have an announcement, everyone. We have a new student here today, her name is Lillian Galesburg. Say hi to Lillian, everyone.”
“Hi Lillian!” the class repeated cheerfully. I was distracted by two paper clips stuck in Mrs. Lyzer’s poofy hairdo. They were so out of place, and it seemed as though she had gotten them caught in her hair and couldn’t quite get them untangled in time for class. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Is something funny, Miss Fallbrook?” she glared at me.
“Nope, I just thought of something from earlier,” I lied.
“Very well. I suppose since Lillian doesn’t know where anything is, someone will have to show her around...” All hands in the classroom went up except mine. Mrs. Lyzer pointed to me, “You will, won’t you, Zinna?” she asked me in that tone that said, You better do what I say, or else.
“Sure, not like I have anything better to do,” I said grudgingly. I couldn’t wait to go to middle school. Everyone here, even Chance, was starting to get on my nerves. If I moved schools next year, I might actually get a life.
“Great. Lillian, you can take the empty desk next to her in the back,”
The Little Princess gracefully walked through the rows of desks to the empty one next to mine. I swear, all of the boys were literally drooling over her. It was disgusting.
“Hi Zinnia,” she said to me as she sat down. Then she whispered, “Did you see the paper clips in Mrs. Lyzer’s hair?” she giggled. “Oh, my gosh. I almost died trying to hold in my laughter. Seriously!”
I smiled in spite of myself. At least Lillian shared my sense of humor.
After class, we were allowed to eat a snack. Lillian pulled out a chocolate chip cookie and I got out a Fruit By The Foot. I hadn’t had cookies in so long, and hers even looked home-baked!
“Oh, I love those things!” Lillian said, sounding excited. “But my mom won’t let me eat them. She says they’re full of junk. Ooh, want to trade?”
“Sure! I love cookies,” I said as we swapped items. She looked at me and smiled. And that’s how Lillian Galesburg and I became best friends.

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