Friends or Superheros?

By , Waterloo, WI
The first half of my day at school is awful. My stomach is churning like somebody stuck a mixer in there, my face is beet red from everything that’s already happened, and my head is stabbing and throbbing with pain. I am writing a note to my friend, I want to go crawl in a hole . . . I am sick of this . . . I am dreading lunch. I sit down at our table, across from the Mean Girl, and begin to nibble my crackers.
“How has your day been?” she asked me. I know she already knows the answer. Durp-a-dur. Maybe if she’d be nice for a change, my day wouldn’t be HORRIBLE!
“All right,” I tell her. If I say horrible, she’ll tease me. She’ll tease me . . . I don’t continue the conversation.
“Why aren’t you talking to me?” She asks. I never do, I respond inside my head.
“Got other stuff on my mind,” I say.
“Like what? Are the voices inside your head talking too much again? Are they more important than me?” My head snaps up at this comment. I know my face is burning red. The voices inside my head . . . she means my story characters. No, they weren’t talking inside my head at that moment, but now Silas was roaring angry.
Of course we’re more important than you! He yells at her, but I control my thoughts.
“Are your imaginary friends better friends than me?” Mean Girl demands. I glance uncomfortably around the lunch room. Our other friend is waiting in line STILL. Oh, please come save me. “Are they?” Mean Girl repeats. I feel tears in my eyes. They aren’t my imaginary friends . . . they are characters in my Story. They give me the ideas I need to write . . . “Well!?”
“No,” I murmur, and concentrate on eating my yogurt.
“Somebody’s being b*tchy today!” she exclaims. I nod. Whatever.
Finally. Our other lunch-eating-buddy arrives, and Mean Girl turns into Perfect Little Angel. I quickly finish my lunch, pretend to be so involved with my thoughts that I don’t hear anything they say to me, and leave. I walk down the hallway to put my lunch box in my locker. I pass some other girls in my class who begin whispering and laughing and watching as I pass. I pass somebody who doesn’t see me pass; a guy who is laughing with a girl who used to be my best friend. “LIKE JENNA!?” He says my name loud and clear, and they both break into laughter. They probably saw me, but they don’t care. I don't care, I decided, what they say about me, and I am just going to ignore it. I put my stuff away and go back to the lunch room to sit with my friend, Ivy.
“I read your note,” she says, giving me a hug. “I can’t believe they would do something like that,” she said, referring to yesterday’s lunch ordeal, which I told her about in a note.
“It was worse today,” I murmured. Ivy sighed. Another girl, Cara, came up to us, one of my other friends. The three of us began to sing a song from a musical we had seen in class before. I was smiling. Then Sammy came up to us and started laughing, because supposedly she had heard us from a few tables down, and then we were all laughing and my day got ten, no, a million times better. I smiled as the bell rang and was able to happily ignore all the whispering and glaring and laughing I received as I walked down the hallway.
I wished I could sit with somebody else at lunch, but I wouldn’t have the guts to, you know, leave. Last time I tried that Mean Girl followed me. Maybe if I went someplace else and hid . . . I couldn’t sit with Ivy and Cara; their other friends made me nervous. Sammy’s table was crowded already . . . and I had anther group that sat too close to Mean Girl. Then, I remembered Hannah, my friend from study hall. She sat with Bailey and Shayne sat near the back of the lunch room. Perfect, if I could build up enough guts.
The next day, my stomach churned worse than ever. I took my time to lunch, and went around the back of Mean Girl’s table so they wouldn’t see me. Bailey was the only one there; Shayne and Hannah were still in the lunch line. I was shaking as I sat down across from Bailey.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. I shook my head. If I said anything I was sure I would cry. “Are you okay?”
“I’m done over there,” I whispered. Bailey nodded.
“Come sit next to me. It’ll be all right.” Bailey changed the subject, and we talked about the snow. Snow snow snow. Snow is good. Snow doesn’t make me upset.
Lunch was good. I didn’t get made fun of. I laughed. I had a good time. I actually stayed in the lunch room the whole time and didn’t have to worry about the whispers and laughs as I walked down the hallway. Ivy was proud of me when she read the note. I hoped with all my heart that this might work out. And I am so happy that I have friends like these to save me from bad situations.





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