Popular for the First Time: Part Four
Also by st83_star174
"Well, well, well, look who's back to get their stuff," Kiley laughed as Bliss entered the door.
Surprisingly, Bliss was silent. I had been roused a few minutes before and was enjoying a plate of fresh hot cakes next to my Twisted Roses sleeping bag.
"We threw it in the corner over there." Peach pointed to an area by Kiley's Isca Canopy bed, where Kiley had also been eating her hot cakes for a few minutes.
Bliss didn't say a word, but instead stormed across the room, snatched up her stuff, and stomped back out of the house. This time, she took a while to appear in the view of the bedroom window, for she was going much slower.
I remembered Peach tossing Bliss's stuff aside the night before when she unrolled her sleeping bag. It was just before 'lights out time' as Kiley called it, and Peach wanted her sleeping bag next to me.
"So..." I said, that being my first word since Bliss left, besides nodding and gestures.
"Who wants to go play in the backyard?" Kiley asked. "I've got a swing set, trampoline, slide, a paddling pool, and a roundabout. We can play that acrobat game."
"Yeah!" Paint exclaimed, clapping her paws as she sat down her plate of hot cakes.
The girls had this fun game that they played on the playground at school using those types of things where they'd attempt stupid and dangerous stunts, pretending they were professional Neopian acrobats.
"Uh... I'm gonna go home," I replied, "I forgot that it's my older brother's birthday today... and I kinda wanna be there."
It wasn't much of an excuse for them, but it was true. In fact, I hadn't even gotten him a gift yet! I was so blanked out!
"Go ahead," Peach replied, "we understand. It's a family thing."
I was glad they understood. When I finally arrived in my own home, ST handed me a party hat and a slice of cake.
"You're here!" she said happily. "Butterscotch will be thrilled. Your siblings are in the kitchen."
Sure enough, Lem, Cinn, and Butterscotch were each seated in one of the many functional purple chairs at our pretty covered table.
"Sis! You're here!" Butterscotch exclaimed, clapping his golden paws together.
"I wasn't having fun there, anyway." I sat down next to him.
"What did you do? Tell me Kiley's biggest secret!" Butterscotch pleaded.
"Not right now," I sighed.
"All right, Butterscotch, open your presents." ST walked in with the packages that each of us had picked out.
"There's only three..." I said, hating myself for forgetting his gift.
"Well, that's all I – " ST began.
"I'll be right back!" I yelled, before she could finish.
I ran up to my room and opened my pink striped toy box. All of my things went flying: my Ladybird Usuki, Lem's fluffy sweater that I borrowed and ruined (even though the chocolate formed an L shape, ST wouldn't let her wear it), and much more. Finally, between a purple Ruki skipping rope and a Uniocto racket lay a King Altador Usuki. I threw it into the gift box that had been sitting by my bed (so I wouldn't forget) and hurriedly wrapped it with Usuki Dream Castle wrapping paper.
"Here you go." I thrust the package at Butterscotch, trying to make like the package had just been sitting in my cluttered bedroom the whole time.
The yellow Gelert ripped open the package and pulled the doll out. It was wrapped for about five seconds, but who cares? I never used that doll anyway.
"Cool! This is so rare! I'll put it in my display case," Butterscotch promised.
"Now open mine!" Cinn thrust a wide package at him.
Butterscotch found nothing but a toy sword.
"Cinn?" Butterscotch asked.
"Now we can duel together!" Cinn clapped. "You'll have to start at level one, but with my help and training, you can become a master!"
"Great, just what I wanted." Butterscotch rolled his eyes.
"Mine next!" Lem handed a circular package to Butterscotch.
He opened it up to reveal a Yes Boy Ice Cream CD – his favorite band.
"Thanks, Lem!" Butterscotch pulled the Aisha into a hug.
"I got it yesterday at the concert hall." Lem shrugged, once she was free of her older brother's grip.
"This one's from me." ST handed Butterscotch a large, heavy package.
"Oh my gosh! My own speaker!" Butterscotch cheered.
"Your favorite colour, too," ST pointed out the fact that it was dark blue.
ST always chose the best gifts – Lem's sweater, Butterscotch's speaker, and Cinn's toy sword. I couldn't wait until my next birthday.
I was happy that I had been there for my older brother's birthday, but I was upset that it wasn't the real reason I left the sleepover. And the real reason was twice as upsetting.
"Bliss," I said when I got to my locker, "I need to talk to you."
"About what? The fact that you were pathetic enough to join in on that stupid little heartless game your friends were playing? The fact that you pretended to be my friend? The fact that you – " the Uni began.
"Bliss, I didn't do ANY of that! I had no clue that's what they were doing! That's why I was so confused that you were there," I explained, hoping she would believe me.
"That was an act. I'm not stupid." Bliss rolled her eyes. "I was part of a school play; I know acting when I see it. I heard everything, and they said when you came over the other day you were just using me."
"You're stupid if you won't believe me! I had no clue they were doing that! They just presumed that was my reason for coming over, but I wasn't lying!" I screamed, knowing that was a mistake.
But Bliss was already walking away.
"Bliss!" I called. "You can't hide forever! We have first period together!"
But it was too late. She couldn't hear me.
"I feel like an idiot," I said, talking to Butterscotch as we left second period.
"Don't be so hard on yourself," Butterscotch told me softly.
"I should have seen it coming! I should have warned Bliss that something was wrong with them!" I screamed.
"It's not your fault!" Butterscotch yelled, walking away.
I hung out alone until lunch. Today, I brought my own lunch, just in case the cool kids still hated me and forgot to bring me pizza and soda. I was very slow getting to the table, and I sat a small distance from the others.
"Maybelle," Peach said, "here's your lunch."
Okay, so I was wrong. Sure enough, a pepperoni power pizza and a cherry neocola awaited me.
"Sit next to me," Ray said, patting the space between him and Stripe.
"Yeah, sit here!" Stripe said, blowing a bubble with her air faerie gum before she stuck it under the table and began eating.
"You guys..." I said, watching Paint put her piece of bubble gum under the table and Peach do the same with her Fyora gum.
"What?" Paint asked, taking a bite of pizza.
"Well... I really don't think you're the kind of friends I want," I said, "I mean, you sneak off campus to get food – "
"Well, we don't know what's IN the food here," Paint scoffed.
I knew very well that Paint was right with that, but she could always bring her own lunch from home, like I did.
"Anyway, you put people down for no reason, and – " I tried to begin again.
"Well, if you don't want to sit with us, why don't you go sit with your brother?" Peach asked. "And we'll take that lunch back."
Sure enough, the faerie Wocky grabbed my pizza and soda right away.
"You know what? I will go sit somewhere else," I said, making my way for Bliss's table.
"Hi," I said cautiously.
"D-did you mean all that?" Bliss asked, a trace of tears in her eyes.
"All what?" I asked, thinking she must have heard me from the other table.
"W-what you said to my sister and her friends," Bliss replied.
"Of course," I told her, "they might be popular, but they're no good influence."
"Do you wanna swap lunch items?" Bliss asked.
"Sure." I nodded.
I traded half of my snow sandwich for half of Bliss's pastrami sandwich, my orange juice for her cherry berry Krawkade, and half of my chocolate chip cookie for half of her dark chocolate pellets.
"It's good to have a real friend," I said.
"Yeah." Bliss nodded.
"You're NUTS!" Butterscotch shouted as I sat down at the dinner table.
"What did I do?" I asked.
"You just ditched the most popular kids in school for the least popular girl!" Butterscotch shouted. "That's worse than giving up... say... 1,000,000 Neopoints just because people are using you."
But I didn't care. It was good to be Bliss's friend, even if it meant being a loser again.
Never again would I let popularity get in the way of my judgment as to who my real friends were. Having a real friend feels much better after I got the chance to be popular for the first time.