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The Break Up
“I uhh…I don’t really wanna hang out right now.” Ella caught my eyes, but then quickly flicked her gaze to focus on her milk carton. I just stood there, turning tomato-red.
“Was it because of yesterday?” I said carefully.
I knew yesterday was going to come back and bite me. I had finally gotten those pink skinny jeans from Hot Topic—they looked just like the pair my sister in college has! I had looked so adult in them. I hoped Ella saw how mature I looked. I tried to show her at lunch. I was running over to her when I tripped. My face collided with her food which splattered on her floral blouse. I wanted to throw away my jean as soon as I got home. Instead of making friends for me, they had shown the world I was an un-coordinated idiot—I don’t think I have ever seen Ella even stumble. Talking to Ella was like trying to walk over hot coals and look like you were having the best freaking time of your life.
“Can I please sit? My tray is kinda, sorta heavy.”
I heard a giggles floating up from the girls surrounding Ella. They were proud, happy lions and I was a stray cat.
“There’s a seat over there,” Her manicured hand shot in the opposite direction, but her eyes were glued to her mixed-green salad.
“It’s too far,” I mumbled. Jeez, was I getting that pathetic? Be assertive. “If you could just scoot— ”
“Oh My,—Rachel. Sit. Somewhere. Else,” Ella said impatiently. Her words collided with me as if someone had thrown an egg in my face. God, I wish someone had just hit me with an egg. The melodic giggles swirled around the table. I could see them all locking eyes with Ella—their silent encouragement.
“Umm, I am really sorry, have a good—I mean bye,” I screwed up again. I began walking away. I mean, I guess I deserved it. Yesterday I embarrassed her; it was only fair for her to do the same to me. Actually, what I had done was way worse; she was letting me off easy—friends do that sort of thing. I guess Ella is kinda fair. But as I walked away, I heard the pride of girls behind me.
“I definitely don’t feel that bad for her”
“Why would you? She’s probably trying to make us feel bad for her or something. Why else would someone be that weird?”
“Ha. Remember those pink jeans?—I think they had plastic jewels glued on to them!”
“It looked soo bad on her whale-body”
“Haha. A big, flabby whale.”
They all giggled innocently, and went back to picking at their salads. My mind froze. I suddenly felt my stomach pushing out against my shirt. I was a whale wearing a hand-me-down-t-shirt. But at least they didn’t say it to my face. If they hated me, they would have said it to my face. Friends wouldn’t say it to your face. Maybe I should stop eating so much of my mom’s homemade banana bread. It probably has, like, 400 calories. Maybe in 8th grade I will be skinny like Ella.