Nobodies and Somebodies | Teen Ink

Nobodies and Somebodies

March 11, 2013
By Silhouettes GOLD, Waltham, Massachusetts
Silhouettes GOLD, Waltham, Massachusetts
12 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it." -Vincent Van Gogh

Nobodies and Somebodies

“Jen's pathetic party is history. I know whose party they'll be talking about now.” Valory was out from the classroom in an instant and jogged up to the crowd, helping form a bubble around Ami. She pushed to the front as they walked up the stairs. “I mean come on, slumber-parties? Baaabbbyyyish,” Val sang as she laughed nervously, hoping her opinion was up to her friends' standards. They had made it to the second floor, Ami's wave of fans clumping behind her as they scurried down the hall towards the study lounge. Izzy stepped in the front of the mass to take a turn next to Ami. “So when is this party? It sounds amazing, I can't wait to go. Everyone's talking about it. Isn't there a pool at your house? I heard there was, but you can never trust what you hear these days, can you? Ha-ha.” Izzy talked fast and unsteadily, trying to cram as much as she could into each sentence without stopping for a breath. “-And then there's that dog! Someone said you had your own miniature poodle!” Izzy squealed, clutching her books and almost gasping for air in between words. “What's it's name? Does it have a name? Is it a girl poodle? Do you even have a miniature poodle? I bet you do because you're so amazing and-”

“-Yeah thanks Izzy, that's very kind of you,” said Ami, barely listening as she patted her friend and waved her to the back of the crowd, indicating it was another one of her friend's turn to talk to her. The scent of spearmint gum was slowly escalating as Ami had just popped a fresh piece into her mouth and was chewing it ferociously. She stopped all of a sudden and loosened her hair, tossing it up, then letting the dirty blonde locks fall back down behind her shoulders. The audience stopped abruptly behind her, sending the chain of admirers to fall backwards and topple onto the stairwell floor. Ami turned around. She clicked her tongue disapprovingly. “You guys are such idiots,” she sighed, “you''ll never be like me. And get up off the floor already.” She kicked Valory's side with the toe of her plaid skateboard shoes. Ami left them there to grumble over whose turn it was to talk to her, and hurried into the study lounge, up another small flight of stairs.


My eyes flickered and darted wearily over Tuesday's mob, shoving through the whole eighth grade, all of the girls' hair dyed with bright streaks of purple from the party the night before. The slumber-party I had held a week ago had only been myself and some popcorn, and I was over-whelmed with the jealously of having friends, and especially fans.

I slammed my locker door open and looked at the girls' matching pink friendship bracelets, a lucky four-leafed clover dangling from each of them. - A trade-mark, an all-access-pass given to all the girls in the group. It's like they're some kind of dog, I thought as I put away my books, The girls just follow Ami around because they're dumb enough to only know that she gives them meat. “Why would I even want to be a part of them?” The untruthful words fell from my lips as I finally caved, trying to convince myself that being a part of her fan-club was something good. But I guess it was something good, because it would mean that I would have some friends, even if it meant friends that liked me for the wrong reasons. My want for a friend had slowly turned to a need, to a ravishing hunger that I could no longer control, that any sort of relationship at all would relieve. One, only one friend would satisfy me. I knew that if I was accepted into the group, that wrenching feeling, that feeling that loomed over me like a black cloud, would dissolve, but I would be taken over by a new hunger: to be identical to Ami, the prettiest girl in school. But also would I be submerged in the addiction to start things; those damaging rumors, those deceits that had been heard from somebody who had overheard so-and-so talking to someone. Disperse the toxic lies that sent us scattering in the halls, that sent dreaded words flooding into another's ear. And eventually I knew I would be breaking another person's heart if I joined. Although I would also get my reward for doing so. – Meat thrown to us dogs for bringing down an enemy, not a fair price but I was too needy to complain. Full access to all of Ami's parties, (that is if you didn't piss her off), gifts, boys, attention, and most all, friends, the thing I was after. How high she sits on her red velvet throne, built upon years and years of tricks. And how far she has to fall. I was determined to throw her down.
If you weren't in that group, you were a low-life. You were hated by the school, even if you were the smartest person there. The feeling over-powered me. Scared me. So much control. Something the school just couldn't get enough of and definitely couldn't handle. Something addicting and deadly. I remembered the poem we read in Mr. Alton's class. The one by Emily Dickinson and about Nobodies and Somebodies. The part about how the Somebody told their name the live-long day to an admiring bog. It was a poem I understood for once. Could definitely relate to. I hated Mr. Alton's class because he taught english which was inevitably my worst subject. I was the best at science, Ms. Kory's class. Usually Mr. Alton would call on me to answer a question about the poem we were reading, and now . . . I kinda liked this Dickinson girl. Maybe she was on to something with her Nobodies and her Somebodies.

By the time I had gotten over to Ami and her fans, Gabbriella was already in front. “-And remember how the flower pot just, like, flew on top of Melany's head?” Gabbriella almost fell over laughing as she spoke. “-Then,” she went on, “remember how she, like, got scared and yelled: 'who threw a flower pot at my head?'” Then Gabbriella fell over laughing. I walked over to the group and stood a few feet away from Ami, my muscles ready to tense and my mind ready to blank. My plan, my only plan was to speak loud enough to get their attention. My only plan was to try to be friends.
“Uh, hey . . . Ami,” I said, arms beginning to shake while I twisted my fingers behind my back. Ami looked up from Grabbriella who was snorting on the floor. I wasn't sure if she was doing it on purpose or just couldn't stop herself.

“Oh, you must be Jen, huh?” she said, “we've heard so much about your party. I wish you had invited us.” She crossed her arms, repositioned herself and without taking her blue eyes off of me, she called Izzy over. Izzy pressed to the front and stood next to Ami, a notebook and pen in hand. “Hey! Izzy! It's not your turn!” Snorted Gabbriella from the floor, beginning to collect herself.

“Oh, shut it, nitwit. And get up. Izzy just has to take a note, won't you?” Ami hissed, turning her head to Izzy who fumbled to the first page in her notebook.

“On Friday, December tenth, lunch time, at exactly 1:04 PM, we, The Fellowship of Ami Deaborrow made the conception of the formal decree of the laws that consist of thirty commands and true statements held or given only by Ami Deaborrow, unless stated otherwise by law twenty-two-”
“-Oh, shut it, will you? We don't need a lecture here, Izzy! Just take a note.” Then Ami grinned. “Or maybe you should just break it down for the Loser to U-N-D-E-R-S-T-A-N-D.” Now a giggle spread through the crowd. My mind had froze over and I trembled, racing to find something witty to say in return. Ami still held her gaze, watching me slowly break apart. “Ok, here's what I want you write: 'Jen is no longer allowed to set foot anywhere near me until further command. If she does, well,” Ami broke her stare and stepped so close to me that I could smell her spearmint gum that she so noisily chewed. She shifted her stance to the other hip and her announcement turned into a whisper that was only was meant for me.

“Well . . . you don't want to know, capishe?'” Ami chewed her gum more obnoxiously after that and raised an eyebrow. My knees knocked together. I hadn't even asked her if I could join yet and she shoots this at me? I just stared back, afraid of what any answer might bring. Ami inspected me one last time and whispered a sweet “good” just before stepping back to her group. “Oh, and by the way, Izzy, you're not allowed to next week's party for that . . . lecture a minute ago. Haven't you learned how to shut your mouth?” The crowd snickered and Ami smirked again. Izzy's face fell as she stepped over Gabbriella who had stopped laughing and went to the back of the crowd. Bitter sobs were heard seconds later. With that interruption, my mind defrosted, but it started to overheat. Beads of sweat dripped down my forehead. “What are you still doing here, Loser? I thought I made it clear for you get out of my way,” she growled. I was prepared for the insult, and the overwhelming warmth that radiated from my head was quickly formed into shaky words. I was sure the girls could see the steam rising from my neck.

“Uh, so . . . Ami, uh, do you think I could . . . you know, join?” I was already sorry I had asked. In the glimmer of her eye I was sure I could see a queen high up on her throne dangling a piece of meat between my eyes.

“Not a chance, dimwit,” she answered quickly, “now just . . . just get out of here. We need to get to lunch. You're stinking up the air with your lameness.” She knocked shoulders with me, her members following her lead until I almost fell over. Ami flipped her blonde, purple-streaked hair over her shoulder and in turn the other girls copied, their bracelets jingling as they strutted down the hall. I waited until they had rounded the corner, then shuffled back to my locker, opened the door and waited for the tears to sting in my eyes. The burning, salty tears that I waited so long to get out. I shouldn't have done it. I wasn't prepared for the after-effects. Somehow I thought she would like me. My head was flaming now, the steam had vanished and something had sparked and ignited in my mind that sent my brain ablaze. My palms filled with fire and sweat dribbled down my neck. And then I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Don't mind them, they're just puerile.” I took my head out of my locker and looked up. I wiped my nose quickly and swiped at my tearing eyes. A girl was standing next to me, her shiny, loose red hair down to her shoulders, side-bangs repeatedly swinging into her friendly brown eyes. I noticed her pink friendship bracelet and the lucky green four-leafed clover jingling from her wrist. “What?” I said defensively, definitely not in the mood.

“Ya know, puerile?” she searched my flaming eyes. “Immature?” she said with last effort. Who was she? A spy from Ami? She didn't have the purple streaks in her hair like the others. But then could she be a traitor? An undercover Loser, like me, protesting against her group? The girl giggled at my puzzled silence. “Hey, I'm Liz.” She gave a small wave, then glanced down at her bracelet. “Oh, don't worry, I'm not with Ami's group. At least, I don't want to be and apparently I can't UN-join. They said something about 'the Thirty Commandments of the Fellowship' and breaking them, or something like that, so I'm not allowed at the parties because I don't worship her.” She smiled. She seemed too kind to me; kinder than anyone who belonged on this school. “Hey,” I said, still a little skeptical from the attack. “I'm Jen.”

“Liz!” She jumped to see Ami sticking her head back around the corner, her tail of eight graders beginning to swarm behind her. “Come on! We'll be late for lunch! And get away from that thickheaded pig, we don't want anyone catching Loser, now do we?” Ami returned to her friends just as Liz started to follow them, at the last minute turning back giving me another shy wave. I noticed my burning head was slowly cooling and I slowly waved back. And I wished on the bell I would get to see her again. Maybe even keep being friends. I shoved my books back, shut the door, and hurried to lunch with a little more hope than when I started. Liz would help me, a newly-born rebel, she would help me topple the queen. And I would burn her throne. Looks like I'm not a Nobody now. Now, I'm the best Somebody there is.

The author's comments:
"I have seen what damage an attack has on us first hand as it happens at my school and most others across the U.S. The aftereffects aren't pretty either. They leave scars. Here is short story I wrote after seeing and experiencing it."

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