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Sitting on a pockmarked blue seat
Staring out the window
Are we going to Nowhere, USA?
Little car catches my attention
Driver staring forward
Loud, crowded, noisy
Stuck in a banana-colored bus
It was an okay poem, I guess. Not exactly my best work, but it’s hard to focus with a girl beside you humming, and some kid kicking your seat.
My best and only friend in school, Erica, had just moved, so I was friendless, and sitting on the dirty blue bus seat with a brown-haired girl in earphones.
I wasn’t exactly a people person, but I decided to try and talk to her. We had forty more minutes until we got back to school, anyway.
“Hi,” I said.
“Hi.” I said louder.
“HI!” I yelled.
She jerked her attention to me, and took out one of her earbuds. “Hey. ‘Sup? I’m Allison. Do you like that new song Taylor Swift just released? I’m so her biggest fan.”
I smiled and started to reply, but then I saw a graveyard out the window. I held my breath out of habit. I didn’t really know why I always did it, but I guess it had to do with that story my sister had told me, where that guy had been possessed by a ghost when he breathed in the spirit.
The girl gave me a look that said, I tried to talk to you and you’re acting weird, so forgive me. Then she turned around to talk to one of her friends.
I sighed. That was usually what happened. Earlier today, at the museum, we had a buddy activity, and had to choose partners. I was the one partnered with the teacher.
I stared out the window and pushed up my glasses. They were different shades of blue. When I’d first gotten them, I had loved them, then regretted it and wanted plain black ones, then loved them. I didn’t even notice them now. We’d become inseparable. Erica used to joke that I would take off my glasses when Taylor Swift got back together.
For some reason, I didn’t think the girl sitting beside me would appreciate the joke.
My brownish hair was up and my greenish eyes scanned the scenery. There really wasn’t much of it. Gas stations and rest stops. Thirty more minutes until we got back to school. I began to edit my poem.
Grape-soda purple? Maybe just grape. That was a little boring, though. Then again, what else was purple. Eggplants? Hey, that was actually good. That car was the color of an eggplant. I wondered what eggplants tested like.
After a lifetime, the bus pulled up to school. There was a cheer from the back of the bus. The popular girls. Carolina and Piper and the rest were already out of their seats in the newly-formed line to get out of the bus.
“You can go, Rose.”
I looked up, startled. Piper was holding the line for me to get through.
“Oh, thanks.” I muttered with a smile. Carolina smirked at me. I could tell a bunch of meanness had piled up, like static electricity, and was ready to get let out and shock someone.
The question was simple, though. “Why are you always so quiet?”
I recoiled. “I don’t know, I mean . . . I like thinking before I say stuff, and I don’t really like talking that much. I guess it’s my personality.”
Piper smiled. “You’re an introvert.”
I shrugged. Carolina narrowed her eyes. “How would you know that?”
“My mom’s a psychologist,” Piper said. “An introvert is somebody who gets energy from being alone, or working hard on something. You’re an extrovert, you get energy from people. I’m an ambivert. Sometimes people stress me out, but I usually get energy from them.”
Carolina huffed, and the air sizzled for a second. The she shook her head and smiled through her teeth. “Ha. Funny. Let’s go.”
We filed into school, and I couldn’t help thinking about Piper. She was a fiery girl, with frizzy black hair usually contained in two braids and caramel-colored skin. She was in my next class, but so was Carolina. Carolina was always with her.
I shook my head to clear my mind and focused on my science teacher, calling roll call.
“Present,” I replied absentmindedly. Carolina had just turned to smirk at me, and tossed a note onto my desk. I unfolded it.