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Happy Birthday This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

She’s right behind me. I can feel it. She’s carrying a freshly cracked egg. I can smell it. She’s wearing her obnoxious five inch stilettos. I can hear it. I sneak a glance behind me and see her inching her way towards me, as she glares at the back of my head. I could run if I wanted to- anyone could outrun her- but I decide not to. As I close my eyes, she pours the egg on the top of my head, and part of the yolk drips down onto my iPod. I can feel some of the egg white dripping down from my hair into the back of my shirt. The familiar feeling creeps its way back into me, causing me to shiver, and for what seems like the thousandth time, I turn around and ask, “What did you do that for?” solely because I want to know what her excuse is this time.
Giggling, in the most stuck-up voice ever, she replies, “It’s my birthday. I can do whatever I want to.” Hah, I've heard worse. She then proceeds to look in my locker, upset that there’s no mirror for her to look at while she’s applying her millionth coat of eye shadow in Fee-you-sha Pink, as she told me earlier. I can’t help but laugh to myself as she slams my locker, glares at me, then storms off, probably to her little posse. But why would I care? They’re all miniature versions of her anyways.
Binders in hand, I make my way to the girls’ bathroom. Out the door, up the flight of stairs forty-nine steps away, through the cafeteria and to the left. In this large campus, they only bothered to make one bathroom, but I could easily walk there from my locker with my eyes closed. As I’m making my way towards the bathroom, people see my egg splattered hair, but continue what they were doing, acting as if they didn’t see anything. A girl glances at me for a less than a second, then picks up her pencil, moving it around on a blank piece of paper, pretending she never saw me. The boy sitting next to her looks into his backpack, acting like he’s looking for something. The first couple of times, people laughed, and some would shoot spitballs into my hair to just to add to the mess, but they don’t even care anymore. No one ever cared about me.
As I walk out of the bathroom, she’s there again. Lillian. With her little group, she walks across the cafeteria towards me, with her right hand on her hip. She’s not carrying an egg this time, though. I look around the cafeteria, but there’s no one there that will even bother to help me. Even worse, they’re all staring at me. “No. You will not cry,” I tell myself, “not in front of all these people.” But as I glance around, I realize that no matter what they’re doing, everyone makes sure they’re looking down. No one’s cracking jokes anymore, or throwing paper balls and science notes at each other. They can feel the vibe Lillian’s giving off; they’re even more scared of her than I am.
When she steps in front of me, she flicks her “luscious” hair that she spent two summers growing, and points her second finger at me. “You,” Lillian says, glaring at me, “Mr. Prescott wants you in his office right now. You’re in trouble for making a mess by the lockers. It’s happened quite often this year, hasn’t it?” Lillian then snickers and turns around to her friends, who present a sugar-free-low-fat cupcake with no icing to her. Smiling, she gestures to a table, where they all sit down and laugh.
As I’m walking to Mr. Prescott’s office, I think. Again. I’m the one asked to go to the principal’s office. Again. I’m the one who’s going to be staying after school, picking off her gum under the tables. Again. Lillian’s the sweet innocent one who isn’t blamed for anything. “No. You have to be strong. Don’t think. Just keep on moving, keep on walking, keep on breathing, and you’ll live,” I tell myself. And possibly, I have a better life than Lillian. Maybe every so often, I get an egg cracked on my head, but I get my own life, I can be whoever I want to be without anyone judging me. No one cares about what I do, and for once, that’s a good thing. A familiar tune coming from the cafeteria stops me in my tracks. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…” Slightly off-key, “the girls” are singing to her fifteen times, since she is fifteen today. I sing along. Why not?



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