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“Wow that’s such a cute picture,” Sophia teased as she scrolled through my camera roll in hopes of releasing the boredom that surrounded both of us. “Look at your braces, haha!”
“Hey give it back!” I said while wrestling the phone out of her hands.
“Okay, okay you can have it back but,” she held the phone above her head as if proposing an official ultimatum, “we actually have to do something because we’ve been sitting here since like yesterday.”
“Okay fine, let’s go downstairs,” I said as I quickly snatched my phone back. She laughed at this while she used the side of my bed to help her to her feet, for we had been sitting on the floor all this time. I mimicked her way of getting up and then tossed the phone on my bed disregarding the picture that she had left up on the screen. With our half-asleep legs, we ambled out of the room and I instinctively hit the light switch, leaving only the dim glow from my phone present in the now dark room.
I opened my bedroom door and walked into the complete darkness before taking a step back and turning on the lights because I realized I am still a little afraid of the dark. I slowly made my way to the bed while carelessly taking off my shirt because I was now home alone. Throwing my body onto the bed, much like I did to my phone three hours earlier, I let myself sink into the familiarness of it. After a second of silence, I picked up my phone and let it read my fingerprint. Something else familiar flashed before my eyes as well. Once the image registered, I gazed into the phone as if it had a message I was supposed to decode. Once I decoded it, I began to gaze through the phone ignoring the collection of tiny pixels whose only purpose was to create this one image. Then, I felt as if those tiny pixels acquired a new purpose in attacking every single one of my nerves and forcing them into feeling guilty. Then a voice I soon recognized chimed through my head, “Wow that’s such a cute picture,” I agree. It is a cute picture. I remember taking it. I remember everything about that day. How the sparkly, red, costume was really itchy. How the styrofoam horns super glued onto the cheap headband dug into the sides of my head. How I thought Bella and I represented that super glue… and how I now realize, we were just plain old Elmer's glue.
“Hey stop pulling on my hair,” I jokingly reprimanded Bella as she brushed my hair in an effort to get it as straight as possible.
“Haha, here’s your horns,” Bella handed them to me over my head.
“Ugh, do you think people will get our costume?” I said while walking toward the poorly cleaned mirror.
“Well, it’s kind of obvious. You’re a devil. I’m an angel,” she responded while placing both hands under her chin and smiling in hopes of representing innocence or other angel like qualities.
“Haha, let’s go outside and take pictures before the lighting gets worse,” I motioned towards the door that was covered in spooky stickers from the failed decoration job we attempted hours earlier. Once we were outside, the inevitable teenage-selfie taking was a must. The light wonderfully reflected off of our multi-colored braces and oily skin which perfectly highlighted every single unwanted pimple. In the middle of our fall photoshoot, familiar voices progressively got closer as they seemingly walked up the street. Without hesitation, I grabbed Bella’s arm.
“Wh-What are you doing?” Bella asked confused, which meant she was clueless to the situation.
“Shhhhh!” I cut her off as I pulled her arm in the direction of a nearby bush. Then, a group of girls walked by in matching outfits chatting away. I looked at Bella as her eyes widened with realization. “How dare they walk by your house and flaunt their costumes right in front of us!” I snapped.
“They don’t know we are in the bush so technically they are not flaunting anything,” Bella retorted. I shot her a look of annoyance.
“Well… whatever. We weren’t invited to do Halloween with them and now they are just being mean about it. Especially Emma. She just wants to make us feel bad.” I then stood up as the group started to turn the corner. “Like why were we excluded?” Bella just looked at me sympathetically. “But at least I have you,” I said gratefully.
“Come on. Don’t let them ruin our day. Let’s just go inside and eat a whole ton of candy and watch a scary movie,” she pleaded in an effort to make me feel better.
“Make it a funny movie and I’m in.”
“Sounds good to me,” she said in that agreeable voice I was so used to.
A low rumble which could only be the sound of the garage opening awoke me from my helpless staring. My mom was home. I sat up on my bed with the phone still in my hands. What went wrong? Thoughts filled my mind. No, questions filled my mind. Confusion soon took the place of guilt. But then remembrance became a present feeling. After what seemed like hours of staring at the same picture, I cautiously hit the home button and quickly found myself reading texts messages from three months ago.
Grace: i just can’t do this anymore
Bella: but i still want to be friends with you, i can be in multiple friend groups
Grace: but you know how i feel about Emma. after everything we have been through with her, you still want to be her friend. i don’t get it!
Bella: stop, i still want to be friends with you, you just seem to have new friends like Sophia and we don’t hang out as much
Grace: i’m sorry you feel that way but i can’t associate myself with Emma or anyone who is friends with her and i thought you knew that better than anyone
Bella: But grace…
The words were too blurry at this point. I made a mistake. I hate myself. My grip tightened around the phone to the point where the tips of my fingers turned red. Then, as if I was not myself anymore, I threw my arm forward allowing my grip to loosen. As my phone hit the floor, emptiness surrounded my fingers making them feel alone. Making me feel alone. Why did I not fight for her? I failed. Soon after, footsteps rushed up the stairs and burst through my door.
“What happened? I heard a loud bang,” My mom pleaded. I wiped tears from my eyes hiding evidence of any feeling.
“Oh, sorry I dropped my phone,” my voice was shaky as I bent down to pick up the cracked yet surprisingly functioning phone.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, I just realized I have to make a phone call.”