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A Best's Friend's Betrayal
That day, three days before Valentine’s Day. That day, cold and rainy. That day, as I came to school unsuspecting. That day, not a doubtful thought in my head.
I happily jumped off the bus with my friend, Marisa Davis. The bus driver, as always, told us to have a good day. Marisa and I groaned, hearing this for the millionth time that year. "I swear he's like my dad or something!" Marisa stated. Marisa’s known for having an over-opinionated brain, but she’s the funniest person I know. I giggled and said, “Isn’t that exactly what MY dad said to us today?” Marisa’s brown eyes popped as she remembered that morning at my house. We looked at each other and laughed.
I had just met Marisa at the beginning of the school year. See, I switched to Beach Sands Junior High this year. For some reason the plaid skirts and boring black loafers forced to be worn at Gallery Preparatory Academy weren’t my thing. I started off this 8th grade year knowing only my best friend, Nicole Fineburg, who had gone to school with me since 4th grade. Now, I have great friends like Marisa, and Nicole has a lot of new friends too.
It kind of sucks, seeing Nicole with all these people, many of them popular in some way. I hang out with a lowlier crowd, not at the bottom of the food chain but definitely not the top. Valerie Kiggler, quite possibly one of the lowliest of lowlies, is my one of my good friends. She’s not ugly or anything; she’s one of the sweetest girls ever and she’s even a cheerleader. Her sweetness is more of the issue, because she spends her time in the special needs classroom, volunteering at animal shelters, and feeding people in the soup kitchen. She’s the nice kind of loser, but thankfully nobody can ever say a single mean thing to her face. Other friends that I have are more normal, like the people that I sit with at lunch.
Jojo Kendall, Miranda Thumber, Kaycee Smith, and Kelsi Lillies are in choir. Miranda and Kaycee are also in band with Aleesha Kaye. Allison Miller also sits at our table, but she’s one of the cooler ones who isn’t involved in music and she just moved here last year in 7th grade. The last person is Nicole, because even though she hangs out with other people, none of those people invite her to sit with them. But we are visited frequently by a lot of her friends.
Marisa doesn’t sit at our table, but she and I live really close and we go to the bus together everyday and go home on the same bus in the afternoon. I’ve gotten close to a few of her friends like Hillary Hoffman, Becky Jones, and Stefanie Hassell. I know this is a lot of names, but trust me; they all come into play in this story.
We walked through the red doors into a cool, air-conditioned cafeteria. We walked across the room to where Hillary, Becky, and Stefanie were standing. Before we got there, I noticed Miranda standing outside, so I changed direction and motioned to Marisa where I was going. She nodded and kept walking towards the other girls.
As I opened the door, a strong gust of wind hit my face. The cold air stung my face, and my eyes watered a little, but I continued walking to Miranda, who was talking to Kaycee, Kelsi, and Aleesha. She seemed a little upset, so I picked up my speed and got to her side quickly. When she noticed me, she sighed. I looked at her quizzically, and she started explaining what she had been explaining to the three other girls.
“Okay, this is a long story, but I wouldn’t tell you if something hadn’t happened at the assembly. Yesterday, Nicole and I went to that assembly during choir. We were eating Doritos, and I noticed that she had the cheese from the chips all over her fingers. When I pointed that out, she said ‘No duh! Wow. You really are as stupid as everyone says!’ I was kind of pissed off at that remark, so I told her that that wasn’t very nice to say.”
I glanced at Kelsi, who looked just as confused as I was, wondering what any of this had to do with me, or if it did at all.
Miranda continued, “Nicole told me that that’s who she really is; she’s not a nice person. I don’t know why the hell she said that, but it’s a stupid thing to say, right? Then, she went and sat somewhere else.”
We nodded, still wondering where this was going, but offering words of contempt.
She looked at us carefully. “Now, Nicole told me this a while ago, but I think you should all know what she said. None of you will be happy about this, but you have to understand that I don’t feel this way about any of you…”
Kelsi interrupted loudly, “So in other words, she talked crap about us behind our backs?”
Miranda said, “Well, yeah. Basically. She said that Kaycee is fat…” Our eyes turned to Kaycee, who was only slightly larger than any of us. “She said that Aleesha’s ugly and too much of a smartass…” Aleesha’s eyes drooped sadly. “According to her, Kelsi’s annoying, and…” Her eyes drifted to me, knowing that being dissed by my best friend would hurt me, but knowing at the same time that I had to know the truth. “She said that you… you’ve gained too much weight since 4th grade.”
My breath left my lungs in a whoosh. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. As the other girls talked about how low Nicole was I withdrew myself from the group a bit. I knew that Nicole had talked behind my back last year at the prep school with her old friends, but she hadn’t said anything awful, and it was mostly about my friends. I was upset, but as I looked at the faces of the girls in front of me, I found no one sharing in my true sorrow, only angry, hurt girls who didn’t know Nicole like I did. I was disappointed in her. She had made so many friends and now it was like she was throwing every single one of them away, burying them in their faults. What a monster.
I looked up as Jojo joined the group, and Miranda shared how Nicole had called her ugly without makeup and anorexic. Jojo looked hurt, but mostly confused. Come to think of it, everyone looked confused. As I hugged Jojo, I realized that they all knew a sweet Nicole, one that wasn’t showing her true colors, but making them think of her as a total jerk. Is this what you wanted, Nicole? I thought as the wounded expressions surrounding me echoed my inner thoughts To be known as this idiotic friend betrayer? I knew this wasn’t her, and the only reason I could think of why she would be this way was some problem with herself.
The bell rang, and with no time to contemplate her reasoning, I hugged my friends and went to class. Throughout the day, I was quiet, not even talking to Valerie as we walked from class to class. Stefanie was the nicest about it, constantly asking if I was okay and reminding me that she was there if I needed to talk. Although that sounds annoying, it helped me get through the day. Nicole was nowhere to be seen at lunch, and we ate in almost silence, commenting once in a while on Nicole’s stupid behavior. I ignored her in the one class we had together, and she didn’t even notice.
To this day, only Miranda and I are the ones who still hold a grudge against her. Aleesha and Kaycee forgot the whole thing almost immediately, obviously having shallower wounds than we did. Kelsi, some days not finding anyone to hang out with in the morning, sought Nicole for a friend, and they quickly were close again. Jojo took longer, venting with me and obviously mad at Kelsi for being friends with her. Eventually, she just dropped it and forgot it as well. Miranda and I became stronger together, because we know that if she pulls something like that again, we won’t care, but the others will.
Loosing a best friend sucks, so choose your best friend wisely.