Ava:Outcast (out´kast´) n. One who has been excluded from a group or society. This definition was a life. Mine. I was seventeen, a senior at Bridgewater High and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. September twenty-first was when it all began.
I had come home from school that Friday, feeling relieved for the weekend, but again alone as I was the only senior in Mr. Harris’s AP history class who would be studying for the first test of the semester. Every popular girl with fake lip gloss smiles and every jerk on the football team was attending the “Spin the Bottle” game at Josh Anderson’s place at midnight on Saturday. Except, of course, I didn’t know that I was a contestant until I found a fancy envelope with my name and address printed in the pile of mail at the kitchen table.
At first, I had to clean my thick frames, believing that the address was incorrect. There must have been some mistake. But there it was: Ava Carter, 1795 Runway Lane. My fingers trembled as I ripped the envelope open. Inside was a tiny card decorated in confetti. I didn’t know what to think when I read it. I went upstairs to my bedroom and sat down on my single mattress, looking around my room. My shelves filled with books with intelligent titles like Discovering the True Meaning of Life and A Mission that Changed the World; geeky posters of science fairs and indie bands that no one listened to; photographs of my cat.
When I was younger, I never thought much about my friends. They were there for play dates in the park and Barney marathons until seven before bedtime. As I got older and went into the eighth grade, I felt myself losing friends I’d known since I was three. They all had separate lives complete with boyfriends and all the latest fashion trends. Everyone suddenly changed, and I felt like the only one who still wore bunny slippers and watched Disney movies. I had a few friends here and there, but by the time I stumbled into my senior year, the only people I ever talked to were outcasts, like me.
Now I was invited to one of the biggest games of the senior class. I was still who I was four years ago: a geek who needed glasses as thick as burnt toast with freckles and no make-up. But maybe it was time I changed, too.