Campfire of Lies

March 28, 2017

  It was the feeling of guilt that made Julie Robinson feel so alone. The feeling that she was one of the biggest liars in Vermont Middle School. All thanks to the campfire and peer pressure, she was alone. March 3, 2011 is the day Julie wishes never could have happened.

It was summer of 2011, where it all started. It was the few last days of summer. The house that belonged to Julie Robinson and her family was one of the largest houses in Vermont. The only house that could be seen from the tippy top of the grassy hills. Julie stood outside on the dusty gravel of her back porch and was glad to be home. The Robinson family had gotten back from a vacation their fourth vacation in a month within the hot heats of Hawaii and were not ready to be back in a sweater weather.
Julie Robinson was sitting on her bed that she cuddled up in as if the sheets had just been washed, dried, and freshly placed. She was so glad to be home and couldn't wait for tonight's plans. Julie had planned a campfire and slumber party outside in the depths of the woods with her five best friends.
Julie was not like any other middle school girl. It was hard for Julie to fit in with conversations, hanging out, and being with a lot of friends in general. Her best friends, Sarah, Ruby, Lia, Emma, and Harper were preparing to tell secrets around the campfire. It was a tradition in order to be friends that you have to share something truthfully.
Julie got out of bed and walked downstairs. Julie and her mother, Leslie, gathered all the essentials needed for the campfire such as the blankets, mattress covers, the mattresses and snacks, while her brother Jack and her dad Simon gathered the sticks and built stones up for the base of the fire. After a few hours of completing her summer reading and setting up, Julie heard the doorbell ring. It was about 6:00 p.m and Julie had arranged the girls to come at 6:15. Julie ran to the front door, she opened the door there was Ruby. She was tall and wore a yellow shirt with black leggings. Her hair was long like Rapunzel and the color was a beautiful blonde. Julie and Ruby waited and waited for the other girls to arrive. They talked about their vacations and who they wanted in their classes for the school year.
The doorbell rang again at about 6:18 and there standing at the door was Sarah, Lia, and Harper. They all arrived together since they lived down the same street. The girls greeted each other and Julie explained what they were going to do. Julie kept going on about how the campfire is going to keep them warm and that they will be sleeping in tents on mattresses.
At last, Harper rang the doorbell. Julie opened the door in such excitement it was as if she had opened a surprise gift that she had been awaiting for so long. The girls were starving by this time and Julie’s mother, Leslie was having a talk with all the girls parents outside on the back patio and talking about their adventure to Hawaii. All of a sudden, Julie and the girls got a frightening knock at the front door. Julie didn’t know who the last guest was so she was walking over to the door cautiously and her palms were sweating almost as if she had seen a ghost. She cautiously turned the golden doorknob to the left and peeked her eye through the small crack of the door. A frightening male's voice started to speak.
“Ummm hello?”, said the man's voice, “I have a delivery of pizza for Robinson”
“Oh! Yes that’s us! Sorry about that, I thought you were someone else…” replied Julie.
“Oh that’s fine. Is your mom here?”
“Yes i’ll go get her! Just a second.”, said Julie
Julie went off skipping in hunger out to her mom. Her mom headed back inside and paid for the boxes of pizza. She got out the plates and asked the girls to wash their hands and dig in. Leslie headed back outside and said goodbye to the girl's mother’s.
After eating their dinner, Julie and the girls gathered their stuff and went upstairs to Julie’s room. Her room was beautiful and it was not just an ordinary 13 year old bedroom, it was neatly organized and had neutral colors as if it belonged to an adult. Her room was huge and it had lots of space for her to do whatever. The girls were going to get ready for the campfire so they put on their pj’s. After getting changed, the girls headed back downstairs. Julie told her mom that they were heading outside. By this time, it was almost 7:30 and Julie’s parents had to set some rules before they went outside for the night. The girls listened carefully because they knew things could happen outside that could be severely dangerous.
After hearing the rules, the girls walked outside and sat on the logs in front of the fire. Ruby began to speak and explain how they were going to share secrets and the rule to be friends.
A few hours had passed and all the girls had shared except for Julie. Julie knew her turn to share was coming up. As she thought and thought of something to tell while Lia was sharing the last bits of her secret, Julie just couldn’t think. It came to her turn and she had no idea what to say. There was an awkward silence and all you could hear was the sprinklers and the crickets chirping. A brush of cold breeze slowly ran through the leafy trees. Julie’s palms were sweating and moist, and her stomach was spinning.
“Ok Julie! Let’s hear that secret you’ve been saving!”, said Emma.
“Ummm… i…” said Julie as she was doing a great job with fitting in.
She knew that the girls would hate her if she didn’t tell a secret. It was a tradition for the girls to all tell a secret in order to be friends. Now, it was Julie’s turn.
“Ok… well I was walking… actually never mind.” said Julie nervously
“Julie? You have to say something. We came to your house and we have been considering each other friends for the past two months. If you don’t share it, we’re going to get you in so much trouble with your parents.” said Ruby.
Julie had no idea what to do. She didn’t have a story or a secret. All she had the whole time were piles and piles of lies that she thought she could say but she couldn’t. She knew if she lied, she would be in so much trouble. She just had to lie. She desperately needed friends especially because school was in a day.
“Ok fine.” said Julie.
She told her “secret”. The girls ran off to the lake behind the woods in shock and went swimming leaving Julie by herself. She sat thinking to herself and knew the girls were going to say stuff at school. Julie sat. Alone. She sat in the dark while the fire slowly burned out due to the girls kicking sand into it while they ran away. Julie only realized that at that moment she was now going to be known as the biggest liar within her school. She thought about how she was going to have no friends and that she will never fit in properly.
As the night passed on to day, the girls left and didn’t say a single word to Julie. They were in awe at what she had done. Julie had lied and that was never ok to be a friend with the five girls.
The next day the girls went to school and no one talked to her. She went home that night and created a video about how you shouldn’t have to lie or be dragged around by people who you thought were your friends. She sent out this video hoping to tell kids its ok to not fit in properly. Julie told people to be themselves and not need to be someone or say something they’re not just to fit in.
That next day, the whole school saw her video including the school staff. She had such a big reputation now and who she thought were her friends, were now a bunch of nobodies. People were told not to hang out with them because of the things that were required to be a “friend”. Julie no longer struggled with friends as much as she used to and she was always reminded to be herself.
The school looked up to her as an inspiration for kids to be themselves. People still remind her that it wasn’t right to lie just to fit in and that she should have told someone about the peer pressure and the fact that there were requirements to be friends with someone but she knew that after it was done. To her old friends, she's a liar and someone who they get disgusted by. To everyone else around her, Julie Robinson, she's an inspiration.






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