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The Perfect Illusion

By , Johnstown, PA

A cold shiver ran down every fold in my spine. Every single pair of eyes gaped at the familiar scene I've witnessed a million times before.
I forced myself to look.


There stood a confiddent and perfect girl with not a single worry in the world. I watched as her pink full lips turned up into an inviting smile, while her fingers dangled one of her golden locks. Her deep blue eyes glistened with sparkles and her face glowed with happiness.


I heard the playfulness in her voice and her soft giggles as I compelled my awkward legs to walk over. I plastered a fake smile on my face. I felt uneasy almost scared, I knew what was coming. The charming girl that took every drop of attention from the room transformed in just a moment after the sight of me, her best friend.


Her eyes ?ooded with a form of disapproval only I could detect as she lightly gripped my arm turning my skin to ice. "It's okay. They just don't want to talk to you." She would whisper sympathetically.


But this was how it always went. Every single time.


My best friend was not only what every girl desired to be, but she was who every guy wanted to be with. Gorgeous and charming. A mirror image of perfection.


Students gathered anxiously waiting in the musty ice rink for the rival hockey game to begin. The excitement that had bubbled in my stomach vanished when I approached my best friend.


An aroma of hatred seeped from her rigid ?gure. Daggers shot from her eyes toward the guy she spoke to.
He was different.


Every girl longed for his attention, but he never cared. He grew bored with my best friend's charms and tricks. His blank expression showed absolutely no interest. Their eyes shot to me when I squeaked out a greeting. Suddenly, something strange happened. Something new. Something that never happened before.
He spoke to me.


I knew what she would've told me to do. But I didn't need to do it. I didn't want a fake smile, a desperate attempt to beg him to continue talking to me, or even for my best friend to help me.
I followed when she stormed away.


When her eyes met mine something new appeared in them. Jealousy? Envy? That wasn't right. It didn't make sense. She prowled focused and ready to attack. I felt all the eyes shift towards the scene she was causing. Every ounce of attention was on her and she loved it; she craved it; she needed it. She told everyone in that rink what I already knew.


I wasn't perfect or popular. Without her I had no friends. I was nothing.


It felt as if someone wedged us apart. Days ?ew past without a single word spoken between us. Rumors oozed from the mouthes of her new friends like a contagious disease. Nothing but numbness consumed me as I realized I was alone. Actual emotions became a memory, but I longed for them.


Little did I know they were closer than I imagined.


A light frost glistened off the windows and christmas lights beamed from all corners of the cozy room. I felt my lips turn up into a broad smile as I glanced around at the people I cared so deeply about. Maybe it took me sometime to realize, but these people were my real friends. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror that hung over us.


Who was this girl?


I no longer looked as if I was broken and I no longer felt as if someone ripped every organ out of my body. This girl, this stranger that stared back at me sat straight with a posture that showed con?dence and self worth. Her eyes danced with delight and her face glowed. I smiled at my reflection.


The numbness transformed into something else. Something new. Happiness.




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