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Is It Really Worth It?

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Sleepovers are fun. No, sleepovers are the best. They're fun. The best. Spectacular? I don't know anymore.
It's my party, my sixteenth to be exact. It's fun. It's the best.
The boys have left, some of the girls stay for a sleepover. Fun, best. Blah.
My bestfriend sits against the wall on my bed, hugging a lush, fluffy pillow in her lap. She's smiling down at her phone. The other girls are laughing and drinking Mountain Dew and spilling everywhere.
I laugh along and act like it's no big deal they just stained my brand-new carpet.
Why are they here?
All five of them retreat to the kitchen for some crackers, and it's just me and Ginger in my room. I clear my throat.
Click, click, click. Her fingers fly across the keypad, creating some kind of secret love message to her boyfriend.
One final click and she shuts her phone, smiling to herself. I clear my throat one last time.
"Is it really worth it?" I ask, my face draining of color, my voice threatening to get the best of me.
Her smile is gone. She's frozen. Did I step on a remote, pausing her in time?
My eyes fill with salty residue and my lip quivers. Stupid, stupid.
"What the-?" She's completely lost. Lost.
Footsteps trample up my stairs. I clear my throat yet again blink back the ridiculous tears. My "friends" come in laughing too loud, it's eleven-thirty and my parents are asleep.
"Hey Chels, my mom called and she offered to drive us up to my cabin tonight and we can stay there all day tomorrow. My brother and all his friends are staying there! Come! It'll be so fun! You could even get you first kiss tonight!"
Sandra and the rest of them are standing at my door, smiling like Christmas came early, waiting. Sandra's hands are clenched in excited fists and she's swaying back and forth.
I breathe in. "My- my parents are asleep. They'll never let me go.. You guys can, though."
They cheer. "Thanks for inviting us Chels! See you guys later!" They stampede down the stairs to Sandra's mom's car, who apparently was already here.
I'm staring at the floor.
"Tsk! I can't believe them! I knew we shouldn't have invited them, they're such barbies." Ginger's phone buzzes in her hand and she flips it open. Has she really been holding it this whole time?

Before Jeremy came into Ginger's - and pretty much, mine - life, her phone stayed tucked in her bag on silent, sometimes off. When I said she's lost, I mean she has entirely lost herself to this boy.
This boy, who deserves nothing more than to be kicked to the curb.

Love?
What is love? I don't know, I've never experienced it. Ginger has, though. Many times. Sometimes three or four times a year she gets to love somebody new. Each new love brings out a different Ginger. Some of them, I liked. But does love make it worth it?
Does it make it okay to throw your values in the trash along with last week's Lasagna? What about leaving your family behind, leaving your traditions and close relationships? None of them matter to her anymore.
Does love make it worth to it drop everything, everywhere and everytime he calls?
No, I don't believe so.
Last time she was in love, her standards went up. He didn't become everything to her, he became important to her, and vice versa. Love, you see, doesn't change who you are. It simply magnifies who you should be.



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