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“Hello girly!” I shouted to my best friend, Raina, as the snow-white door of the mansion opened and she appeared before me. I screeched before we glided towards each other and kissed each other on the cheeks. “Sorry I’m late; my taxi driver was totally being a slow poke. Oh well. I am just happy to be out of that little car in the first place. I mean, what can you expect in a small Florida town chosen by your teacher for a summer field trip? Let me think....nothing. We’re all seventeen and going to graduate next year in 2013, and our teacher couldn’t have chosen a better summer spot for us?” I faked a frown before I began cackling.
A cool breeze blew a lock of my soft, auburn hair into my eyes, and I quickly tried to remove it. “So, you must tell me about everything that had happened at this party before I got here,” I announced as I hugged Raina, whose hair was pulled back in a French twist. Not a single blonde hair on her head stuck out from its rightful place, and a twinge of jealousy bulged in my stomach that I had not had time to do something equally as spectacular with my own hair. “Raina!! How do you ever get your hair in a such a perfect twist like that?”
She pulled away from the hug, and a smirk appeared on her face, “Well, maybe if you practice doing something other than just straightening your hair everyday like all of the unpopulars for a change...”
I instinctively slapped her shoulder and responded in a patronizing voice, “Seriously, don’t be mean, Raina. I am not anything like an unpopular.”
“Anyway, you look ce-ute today. I totally love your jean-skirt and poke-a-dot camisole!! Adorable,” she said in a high-pitched child voice and smiled smugly. “So, let’s join the party, shall we?” I nodded, and arm-in-arm, we walked into the modern-styled house with granite countertops and solely cherry wood floors. Immediately, a sweet scent of root beer filled my lungs. But, I noticed that this party was not like the ones which I had attended in Maine every week, where everyone danced their legs off for hours, but where normal, non-popular kids were sitting on the couches in couples, actually talking to each other. One person in particular caught my eye: Josiah, who was jogging around handing out drinks. He may have been the only swimmer at our school in northern Maine, but he was notorious for his clumsiness. I looked towards Raina, who stole a small wink at me, and we bobbed our heads slightly forward three times in unison before shouting out to each other, "Hey! Look who it is. It's Josiah!! He should totally come over here and give us some drinks." We laughed and snorted. The nerd's face became a ripe tomato and he squinted his eyes, as if he were composing a plan of revenge; nevertheless, he began to shuffle his feet towards us. His red T-shirt advertising ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy is the Bomb’ was tucked tightly into his high-waisted jeans, and I mocked, “You really match today Josiah. I mean, when do you see someone’s complexion that is the same color as their shirt?”
After a moment, Josiah was still inching towards us from across the room. “Are you going to come over here or not?” I forced. He suddenly sped up, but as soon as he reached us, his foot caught on one of his loose shoestrings, the red tray hurtled forward onto the floor, and the root-beer flew on my TOMs. “Josiah!! You are so clumsy. You can’t even walk straight. I think you need new glasses,” I smirked, rolled my eyes, and turned to Raina. “Come on let’s go outside and let Josiah clean up. Meanwhile, thanks to him, I am going to have to buy new shoes after this party, but for now, I really want a tan while I am here because I am totally tired of having a snow white complexion," and began walking away from where Josiah was scrambling on the floor, staring at us leaving, and picking up the tray that he had dropped. As I continued to walk forward with my eyes on where I was going, I could sense that everyone was gazing at me and whispering to each other. Then I heard snippets of a conversation, "Admirella...so mean....everyone. She isn't...pretty because.......too much makeup....hairspray on,....her face...layered and....hair....greasy," but I ignored their comments with a positive spirit; someday they would realize that they were wrong about me. I continued to walk through the shadowed living room until I had walked out the sparkling slide door. The brightness of the sun nearly blinded me as I looked up into the cloudless blue sky, so I slid one of my many pairs of sunglasses that had been sitting in my purse for months but hadn’t been worn yet because they weren’t needed in Maine. Immediately, I began looking for a place to sit. Beside the glimmering pool and near the small pool house, there were several lines of pool chairs. Raina jogged to catch up with me before we both flopped in chairs, and for what seemed like several hours, we lay undisturbed on our stomachs, baking in the sun.
After some time, Raina jerked up and shouted, “You know, I am totally tired of sitting here,” She paused, and I nodded in agreement. “We should have some fun at this party. I got sixty bucks in allowance yesterday for walking my dog everyday for a whole week, and we should use it for something rather than sitting around like all of the unpopulars are.”
I sat up slowly as if I were just getting out of bed, and found myself looking at the pool, which was completely calm with no one actually swimming in it. I mumbled, “You are lucky you get allowance; my parents don’t do that sort of think. But, yes, we should do a dare or something like that.” She agreed with me, took a small stack of cash out of the back pocket of her pink skinny jeans, and placed it on her chair.
Raina must have caught me looking at the pool before she shouted, “I have the perfect idea. You want to do a dare?” She paused, I nodded with a chuckle, and she shouted, “I dare you to jump in that pool and swim around for two minutes minimum.” My eyebrows raised and I cackled, but inside my heart, I was dreading what was about to come. All of the non-populars that had flocked out of the party was staring straight at me with bulging eyes, and I knew I had no other choice. “Fine. I’ll accept. But, I think you know that I will be able to do it.”
“Well get up there then!” I did just that, looking back at Raina as I did, who was literally laughing her head off by bobbing it up and down over and over. As I inched my way up to the pool, Josiah, the swimmer that had just finished cleaning up the drinks inside on the floor, had just rolled up the legs of his pants, and put his feet into the pool water. I considered yelling at him, calling him an unpopular, but instead ignored him because Raina wasn’t there to help me tease him.
After I had made my way to the edge of the pool, I stopped, staring down into the deep hole filled with water; it didn’t resemble the spa pools with rocks on the side that I had always seen in vacation magazines and wanted to visit, but rather had no special features and was shaped like a long rectangle. A slight breeze caused small ripples to slide towards me, whisking an aroma of chlorine into my nostrils. I leaned over the edge and looked in; the bottom was invisible, and my blood began boiling to my face. I brought my hand shakily up to and ran it through my soft, brown hair. It arrived down at my leg slightly damp with sweat or hairspray; I couldn’t tell which. Suddenly, the memory of the girls’ conversations inside the party flooded back to me. Is my hair really greasy, and am I ugly? I am not mean; I thought that everyone likes me. Questions flooded through my mind as I began to wonder if my mascara had run down my face and whether or not my clothes were clean and in style. I looked one more time into the pool before making up my mind to just get the dare over with. Nothing would happen to me.
The last thing I did before jumping in was look at Raina who was still laughing and pointing at me with her friends, who had just joined her by the pool house, even in the moment that I was in danger, and I wondered why she couldn’t tell that I was nervous and wasn’t taking this seriously. As I launched myself forward, flying through the air and hit the water, I heard the water suck me in and enter my ears like a suction cup. Mindlessly, my arms began splashing around and my legs kicking in all directions in search for the bottom of the pool, and the only thing I could see through my blurred eyes was a boy with a red t-shirt stand up and jump into the water after me from the edge of the pool before my eyelids were sewn together and clouded by darkness.