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Something Truly Wonderful
She decided to jump off the roof. It wasn’t that hard of a decision really. All of the older boys had done it, and they had been fine. So she stood on the edge of the roof, at the highest part, looking down at the snowy ground. She turned around to look at the people behind her. Red in the face from the cold, her soon to be friends watched her, all clamoring around each other to get a better view. Soon they would be friends. All she had to do was jump.
“You gonna do it or what?” The girl in front, Mal, who had tame, flat blond hair that she always tried to curl, asked.
The thought occurred to Reine that maybe this wasn’t a good idea. She could get hurt, and for what? To try and become friends with people she didn’t even like? She took a step away from the edge.
“I told you she wouldn’t do it.” Another girl, Sage, who tried but failed to cover up the outbreak of pimples coating her skin, sneered. “She’s too scared. I’ll jump.”
Sage pushed her way to the front of the group and roughly grabbed Reine’s arm to pull her away from the edge. On impulse, Reine ripped her arm away and pushed Sage back. She turned and looked Mal straight in the eye. And she turned and jumped.
The party was self-proclaimed the party of the year. Held at Mal’s house, who was one of the “popular” girls, everyone who was anyone got invited. Invitations were handed out weeks in advance at school. Reine was sitting at her desk reading a book when an invitation was thrown on her desk.
“You’re coming right?” Mal, who in those days always walked with at least three girls behind her, asked.
“Yeah, you have to come.” Another girl, Mara, with pink and blue braces and bright blond hair, added.
The group of girls crowded around Reine’s desk.
“You’re coming, right?” Mal asked again. “You have to come, because we’re like best friends. Right?”
Reine looked at Mal, then at Sage, and then to the other two girls around her.
“Of course I’m coming.” She said. “And yeah, we’re friends.”
And that was the biggest lie of all, the most false thing she had ever said.
Mal’s house and backyard were huge. Reine quietly entered the backyard, and then walked into the house’s kitchen, where it was the most quiet. She got herself some water, and then when a flock of adults loudly clamored into the house, she slipped around them and entered the backyard. Mal’s older brother and his friends were at the party too, and were currently jumping on the trampoline. Reine spotted someone who she was friendly with, and in an effort to look less anti-social, she walked over to him. An hour passed quietly and then the older boys got bored of the trampoline and decided to take advantage of the three feet of snow covering the ground by jumping off the roof. The boy Reine had been talking to had to leave and she walked aimlessly around for another ten minutes until Mal and her posse of girls bounced up to her, took her by the arm, and promptly dragged her onto the roof.
“You have got to see this, they’re actually jumping off my roof!” Mal squealed.
Reine, along with the other people that were on the roof, watched the older boys jump off one by one. Everyone disappeared in the snow for a split second, before popping up again and giving the people on the roof a grin or a thumbs up.
“Hey, Cher, you should jump off next!” Mal loudly announced.
Cher, a brunette who had been judged by Mal to be ‘freaky’ and ‘weird’ but had somehow still gotten invited, looked at Mal for a second with a blank stare.
“Yeah, Cher, jump!” Sage, faithful as always to Mal, joined in.
“I’d rather not.” Cher announced, tilting her chin up.
“Yeah? Well, it’s my party. Which means I’m in charge, and I want you to jump.” Mal responded, putting her hand on her hip.
Reine watched this exchange silently. Mal took a step towards Cher.
“Are you too scared?” She asked, smirking.
And with that sentence brought in a whole new light onto Reine. She hadn’t been invited because Mal liked her. She had been invited the same reason Cher had been invited. To be humiliated, to be forced to jump off this roof, or to do something else stupid, for the sake of Mal’s enjoyment.
Cher opened her mouth to say something, but Reine cut her off.
“Why don’t you jump off the roof Mal?”
All eyes turned to her. And then they turned to Mal.
Mal had her mouth open in the most undignified shocked expression that almost resembled a puffer fish.
“Why don’t I… Why don’t you jump off the roof?” Mal responded.
And Reine realized another thing, by speaking up, she had unwillingly taken Cher’s place to be the one who was humiliated.
Mal smiled a fake smile at her, and Reine took one look at it and pushed her way to the edge of the roof.
She looked at the ground below, and then she looked at Mal, at Sage, at Mara, and finally her gaze landed on Cher. Cher, who was shaking her head not to jump and looking at Reine with wide eyes.
Reine turned around and jumped.
For a second, a split second, Reine was soaring. She felt weightless, fearless, even invincible. Then that second ended and she crashed into the snow, popping up a second later to give the people on the roof her very own smile. Mal and her group looked speechless, like they were frozen in time and Cher took this opportunity to push her way past them. She pushed Mal a little too hard, making her tumble backwards. Cher jumped off the roof and crashed into the snow a mere four inches away from Reine. She looked at Reine for a second with a shocked expression, and then she started screaming.
Reine watched frozen as blood droplets bounced on the snow, and she looked at Cher’s tear streaked face and thought, This is my fault.
Then Reine was up and running inside to get help.
The hospital room was all the same bland shade of white, with the only color being a small vase of purple flowers on the nightstand. Reine quietly entered and placed a small brownie on the bed. Cher watched her and then picked it up.
“What’s this?” She asked.
“It was the only thing at Mal’s party that was wasn’t terrible.”
It got the reaction Reine had wanted. Cher let out a long laugh. Then she took a bite of it.
“I bet Sage and Mara are only friends with Mal because her mom makes great brownies.” Cher giggled.
“I know that would be the only reason I would be friends with her.” Reine responded.
It got silent, and Cher finished the brownie.
“I’m sorry about your leg. I shouldn’t have jumped.” Reine said.
“It was my fault, I didn’t look where I was jumping.” Cher responded. “So how mad is Mal?”
Reine suppressed a laugh.
“Her ‘best party of the year’ ended with an ambulance and cops. She’s really mad.”
“Good. She’s a witch.”
Reine smiled at her. Cher smiled back.
And that was the beginning of wonderful friendship, a friendship that would last for years, that would withstand the pressure of time. It was a friendship that was, in all aspects, truly wonderful.