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"Farrah," her old, crackly, strained voice announced. I walked up and collected my English test.
"What'd you get?" Brin asked, tugging my arm as soon as I sat down.
"A ninety-nine," I replied. Brin frowned.
"Of course. I got a seventy-two."
"Oh."
I quickly took out my tiny black notebook and scribbled down a few lines.

Jealously grasps Charlene's heart again. Its slimy, green claws reach into her soul and rip right through it. Another form of failure.
"I can't believe I scored lower than her again. She's a know it all. I can't stand it anymore." The thought bubbled inside her brain for a moment, before she quickly dismissed it with a shudder. "Envy isn't the answer."

'Although jealousy and envy aren't interchangeable,' I thought to myself and shoved the notebook into my pocket. 'Charlene doesn't know that. She's not very good at that kind of thing.'
The bell screeched as shrilly as possible, and students fled from the classroom to get to their lockers.
"How do you do it?" Brin asked on the way to our lockers.
"Do what?" I replied.
"Maintain an A in that class?"
"I'm not sure. I mean, I loved 'The Tragedy of Julius Caesar'. Brutus was such a tragic character, the way he just wanted to do what was best for Rome. That's a kind of love and loyalty you'll hardly ever find between people."
"You are such a nerd."
I shrugged and spun the dial on my locker. Forty-six, fourteen, twenty-four. Something about that number made me love it. It's perfect evenness? I couldn't tell. I fished my next few books out of my locker and returned the used ones to their metal home. Study hall, Algebra, and Biology.
I practically skipped down to study hall, excited to continue my own tragedy, "The Saddest Tale of Charlene DeMonte". Charlene was a twisted character herself, wanting desperately to be better than her friend, hating her, but knowing it's all wrong.
I took my usual seat in room 211 and pulled out the notebook. I clicked my pen thrice and set to work.

The bell sounded, and Charlene scurried out of class. She ran to the bathroom and stared at her reflection, absolutely crazed. She couldn't beat Ashleigh, no matter how hard she tried. Charlene just wanted to wrap her fingers around that perfect little neck and give it a good strong squeeze. That would take care of Ashleigh.
Charlene shook her head and splashed some water on her face. She was crazy, insane, hurt. Hurt, that was what she was.

I heard snickering. I glanced up and saw the small group of junior boys staring at me.
"What?" I asked.
"You're the hottest freak we've ever seen," one laughed.
"And you have got to be the ugliest freak I've ever seen," I retorted, smiling.
I took my book and notified my study monitor that I was going outside. When May comes around every year, we are allowed to sit outside during our study halls. I trekked outdoors to a lone tree. Relishing the lovely shade, I took out my notebook again.

Charlene let out a screech of agony. Suddenly, footsteps sprinted closer to the bathroom.
"Charlene! What's wrong?" Ashleigh asked. Charlene's anger boiled. It could have been anyone, just not Ashleigh.
"I'm fine!" Charlene shook her head. "But you look stressed."
"Yeah, I am. I'm nervous for finals next week," Ashleigh replied.
"Want a back rub?" Charlene laughed. Something grabbed her heart. Not envy. Something else.
"Sure!" Ashleigh giggled. She turned her back to Charlene. Charlene rubbed her back, slowly working her way up to Ashleigh's neck. 'Is it supposed to be this easy?' she wondered.
Charlene quickly wrapped her fingers around Ashleigh's hot neck and squeezed.
Ashleigh was silent, and her body became a deadweight. Charlene dragged it into a stall and propped her up. She fixed Ashleigh's hair and smiled.
"Perfect, like always," Charlene smiled, and skipped away.

I smiled and closed my notebook, happy with the finished product. I hurried back inside.
I walked by the girls' bathroom and heard a scream. I walked inside and saw Brin facing the mirror, her face red.
"Brin! What's wrong?" I asked nervously.
"I'm fine!" Brin shook her head. "But you look stressed."
"Yeah, I am. I'm nervous for finals next week," I replied.
I reached out to hug Brin, knowing she was not fine. I wrapped my arms around her, and she returned the hug. We stayed in that position for a minute.
Then, my hands wrapped around her neck and squeezed as tightly as they could. Brin let out a single gasp and slumped onto the ground. I dragged her cooling body into a stall and positioned her carefully.
"There you go, Charlene. You're finally perfect," I whispered and smiled. As I turned, I caught a figure in the mirror. A demonic... thing glared at me.
"I am what grabbed your heart," it told me. "Corruption."
But I dismissed the figure with a shudder.



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