March 21, 2018
By Natalie B. BRONZE, Greensboro, North Carolina
Natalie B. BRONZE, Greensboro, North Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Ever since that Sophomore supposedly died in a car crash last year, I never believed it. It wasn’t that I was so upset, I just knew she wasn’t dead. Her name was Mabeline. The only reason I knew that was because my sister was in her class. My sister was the gossip of the school. She was a sophomore that year, she was 17 since she was held back in third grade but that doesn’t matter. I was in middle school last year, eighth grade. The middle school was just across the street from the high school. My sister drove me home every day. She went on and on about the people in the school she liked and why, and who she didn’t like and why. I usually nodded and continued on my homework. The days I didn’t have homework I would stare out the window and listen to her endless parade of complaints. The only times I brought my self to listen were when she talked about Mabeline. I always liked her name. So different, I had always wanted a unique name but I was stuck with Penny Jacobs. My sister would go on about how popular she was and how her face was perfect, she had long natural blonde hair and bangs. She might’ve been the only student at the school with bangs. My sister said she heard that the reason she had bangs was because she hated her eye brows. I didn’t believe it. However my sister believes everything. One day during  the car ride home I felt especially bored so I finally interrupted my sister with,  “Rachel? How was Mabeline today?” Rachel looked at me with the most confused yet joyous look, you know how a picture can speak a thousand words, a look from my sister could speak a million. She said, “She’s fine, perfect as usual.” It wasn’t that my sister didn’t like Mabeline, they were I guess what you’d call acquaintances, if they had a class together with none of their other friends they’d sit together maybe talk some. Rachel was jealous. Jealous of her grades. Her friends. Her looks, it’s not that Rachel’s not pretty, she had long straight brown hair, greenish blue eyes and freckles, my sister hated her freckles. She says she was cursed with a speckled face. I have freckles and quite frankly I don’t mind them. Everyone says I look so much like Rachel, I the only difference was that I had blue eyes, other than that, I was a splitting image of my sister. Anyways, from what I had heard about Mabeline I wanted to meet her. She sounded so cool, and fun and I just wanted to see her.
       By the end of the year the eighth graders went on a field trip to the high school. I was looking forward to crashing my sisters turf. I was overly excited to go. I wanted to see my new teachers and learn the layout. I was already a step ahead with my sister constantly talking about the school. It was like I had my own color coded map showing every last speck of dust in the school. The day the field trip came, I packed my lunch in a brown paper bag. Then I was off in my sisters car driving to school. I didn’t have breakfast so I ended up eating half my sandwich on the way. Rachel dropped me off as usual and said, “Don’t you dare wave to me in the hall.” She said it with a playfully yet serious smile, I knew she was at least somewhat serious. She smiles and drives off.
        I didn’t really have too many friends. I’m what my dad calls a hopeless introvert. Don’t get me wrong I did have friends I just preferred my own company. At about 10:00 AM, the grade headed across the street to the high school. They had one of the seniors give us a tour of the place. I was hardly focused on the tour, I tried to look over heads to spot Mabeline. I looked through the bustling hallway as if I was a lost dog trying to scout my owner out at the state fair. I finally lost hope and stopped looking when I saw this girl. She had long blonde hair, bangs, she was quite pale, and she had freckles. I didn’t know Mabeline had freckles.. I just looked at her, she doesn’t seem like the type to be popular. Well at least from the movies I’ve seen. She looks nice, smart, and shy.. We finally moved on and she just became another face in the crowd. For the rest on the field trip I hung out in the library and looked through last years yearbook. I looked in the spotlight pages, she seemed to occupy most of them. She was captain of the debate team, she won the science fair, she had all A’s, and the highest GPA not just of the whole school but in the state! No wonder my sister was jealous. I had never even met Mabeline and I didn’t believe it. As I left to go find my sister in the parking lot I saw these two guys, one had on a white T-shirt and red converse high tops he looked like he had red hair but it was hard to tell since he had on a hat. The other had jet black hair and draped book-bag over his shoulder, he had an over sized black crew necked shirt. They laughed as they left. I had a really strange feeling about them but I brushed it off.
   I got out to the parking lot and saw my sisters car. She wasn’t there. I soon got a text from her saying that she has to finish a test and that it shouldn’t take long. I couldn’t spend one more minute inside so I sat on the curb and watched the cars leave the parking lot until it was pretty much deserted. My sisters very slow so I knew it’d be some time. I saw Mabeline leave the school when she headed for her bike, which reminded me about the article in the library about her winning the debate on how we should cut down the amounts of buses because it was better for the environment, she was almost on her bike when those two guys came out, now I know they are Michael Matthews and James Sycock, wave to her. She had a nervous grin and waved back. She sees me sitting there and perks up. Michael and James went back inside. I looked back down to my phone to text Rachel when I’m suddenly covered by a shadow. When I look up I see Mabeline. I let out a nervous sounding “hello,”then looked down.  Mabeline sat on the curb. She asked me if I had missed the bus. I said no, still not looking up. “Do you go to school here?” She asked I responded, “no but I will next year.” She nodded. I finally looked at her letting her see my face. I readied my self for her to ask if I was Rachel’s sister, but she didn’t. She asked me for my name, “I’m Penny Jacobs.” She nodded and said “that’s a pretty name.” It reminded me of when my mom used to say I was her lucky Penny. Mabeline looked at me close, I knew she was thinking about how much I resembled Rachel, I didn’t mind though, fourteen years of being told that you get used to it. The silence was awkward so I asked her what her name was even though I already knew her name, she said “Mabeline” she didn’t say it like I should’ve known though, like most popular people. She asked why I was out  here alone
I told her that my sister had to finish a test. “Who’s your sister?” She asked I said “Rachel Jacobs” and looked down at my once white converse. “I know your sister! She’s really funny and smart and real petty like you!” If only I  could’ve gotten those sweet words on tape for Rachel. I looked at Mabeline, she was pretty. Between the blonde hair and bangs her eyes as big as a deers in headlights I understood why my sister was so jealous. My sister was pretty too, like my mom said she’s just to hard on her self. I felt my phone buzz against my blue jeans. “Is that Rachel?” Mabeline asked. “Yeah she’s almost finished.” Mabeline smiles and then turns to the door the smile immediately fades off of her face into a worried frown when Michael and James stepped out of the double glass doors. I turn she says “ I should go” she hopped up and says she liked talking to me and she hopes she’ll see me again, I nodded and said that I agreed. Mabeline walked towards the guys James, I’m pretty sure grabbed her by the wrist. The other Michael opened the left door of a rather old black sedan. I saw another girl she was shorter then Mabeline and significantly tanner too. She had a black and curly bob and round glasses. She wore a longs black skirt and a denim jacket over what looked to be a white shirt. Mabeline pulled down her white dress with vertical red stripes before she got in the car. She waved to me and I waved back. Micheal got in the drivers seat and stroked his ginger hair. I watched as the car drove off.
     My sister finally finished and we left. We passed the black sedan on our way home. Mabeline sat in the back seat on the left. She looked rather nervous but nothing too extreme. They turned the opposite direction as us. I attempted to wave to Mabeline but she didn’t see me. My sister asked who I was waving at. I said someone from school. I don’t know why I didn’t tell her about Mabeline, I guess I was afraid she’d start taking about her. Maybe if I had told her about how Mabeline was in a car with the two high schoolers with a criminal record. Maybe I wouldn’t have learned Mabeline, Michael, and James hated each other. Maybe two out of  the four wouldn’t be confirmed dead later that night.
    The rest of the night was like any other. It was a Friday and the next week was the last week of school. I was excited for summer but I couldn’t seem to get Mabeline out of my mind I had some gut feeling that something was wrong. The weekend flew by and the next thing I know I was reading all the headlines about Mabeline’s supposed death. I was at school Monday morning and the news spread like wild fire. I soon found out that Micheal and that other girl with the glasses (whose name was Mary) were both found dead after the severe car accident they were in. James was severely injured and Mabeline.. was missing. I felt so guilty. I was probably one of the last people to see her. I know I should’ve come forward but I just couldn’t. I was shy enough as Is didn’t want to make headlines. That day my sister picked me up, the silence in the car was bone chilling. She eventually asked my about my day which never happens. After we came home my sister barricaded herself in her room. I couldn’t have known she’s take this so hard. For days I felt unimaginably guilty. I wish I had said something before. As the summer passed I soon forgot about Mabeline. My mind seemed at ease. As the beginning of freshmen year approached rapidly I was entirely ready to return to school. One day I took a look at my old bike. It reminded me of Mabeline and how she always road her bike home, my sister said, well until that day.. later that evening I looked out my window as saw a figure stop at my driveway. They had long hair and bangs from what I could see. A car drove by and the headlights brought the dozens of freckles to light. Only one thing seemed to come to my mind. That had to be her. At that moment I knew,I had just found Mabeline.

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