Rebecca's Best Friend: Part Three
Whenever I walk across the hallways at school, people do not notice me. The worst thing is, I don’t notice people, either. I became aware of this just today when Rebecca came up to me after sixth period. “I waved to you in the hallways,” she said. “Didn’t you see me?”
I shook my head no. Come to think of it, I hadn’t noticed anybody around me the entire day.
“You’re acting weird today,” said Rebecca, and she took off with one of her new friends.
And I was acting weird today. I don’t know exactly why. I mean, I was not jealous when Rebecca went off with her friends. I’ve actually come to accept that Rebecca needs more friends than just one, and that’s okay with me. I need more friends, too.
I guess that’s why I’m acting weird. I know I need more friends, I just don’t know how to get them, so I’m doing the opposite of what I need to do because I don’t know how to do what I need to do.
That sounds, confusing, I know, but I’m not a therapist.
Long story short, I need friends other than Rebecca. But I don’t know how to do that.
I’ve decided to stop eating lunch in the bathroom and sit with Rebecca and her friends. I don’t understand why I was so afraid of them before. I actually think that they sort of like me, or they like that I’m friends with Rebecca. Annie is actually nice, if you look past her stupidity, and Liz is, well, blinded a bit by Rebecca’s popularity. They aren’t mean or anything, and I haven’t even gotten to know the rest of the table.
I decided this after I ate my sausage and cheese rolls in the third stall on the left (my favorite, because the doors actually lock). Those two things, the rolls and the stall, do not mix at all. I have eaten other things in the bathroom, but nothing with such a sickening smell.
I will sit at Rebecca’s table Monday at lunch. I will be friendly, kind, and eager to socialize, just like Rebecca.
Well, I sat in the cafeteria today at lunch, but it wasn’t with Rebecca and her friends. It was with Emily, the red Usul who I have crossed paths with a couple times.
Here is the story. I bought my lunch, as per usual, and saw Rebecca’s usual table occupied with Pets. I saw Annie and Liz and other Pets that I know by sight, but not by name, but I did not see Rebecca. I did not know what to do. I did not know these Pets well enough to just plop down at their table without a security blanket (namely, Rebecca), so I stood by the lunch line as if I were trying to decide what drink to order, while looking out for the green Acara to step through the doors of the lunch room.
I must have waited for three or four minutes, but I was getting impatient. I could not find her anywhere. Then, my eyes fixed upon Emily the Usul, sitting by herself. Does she always sit by herself? Did my rude words to her that first day of middle school lower her self-confidence so much that she was afraid to meet new people? I knew I had to undo what I did the first day.
I walked over to her table and sat my tray down. “Hello,” I said.
She did not answer. She just picked at her food with a fork, afraid to look at me.
I noticed a tatty, beat up notebook seated next to her with a Fire Faerie pen stuck in the rings. I knew that I had found something to talk about.
“Do you like writing?” I asked.
Emily nodded, but still did not look up. She looked petrified to be talking to somebody. I noticed a huge difference in her from the first day of school. Even though she was still frightfully shy that day, she had the courage to talk to me. Now, she had no courage at all.
“I do, too,” I said, pulling out my own notebook and my Earth Faerie pen. I take my journal everywhere with me, including school, but I do not write my daily entries until I am safe at home.
Finally, Emily looked up. She smiled shyly and turned back to her food.
Talking with her was like trying to wake up Turmaculus. “I write my journal in here,” I said.
“I write poetry,” said Emily.
I was so proud of her for overcoming her shyness and talking to me. “Can I hear a poem?” I asked. I was expecting for her to say nothing, but she slowly opened her notebook to a random page and started to read.
“Every moment feels like the tip of the iceberg
On Terror Mountain? That I do not know
For I have never been there
I touch the moments of my day
Lightly with my fingertips and they
Drop, like diamond-shaped rain
From the glue that glued them
To me, to my life, to my heart
Sometimes I find myself clutching
Grasping, holding my heart
Tight to me, for I do fear that
It might flutter away, freely
I have never let it do that.”
I could not say anything. Her poetry was so beautiful. I did not really understand it, but I asked for her to give that poem to me so I could copy it down in my journal when I got home.
She nodded, and without a word, tore her poem out of her notebook.
The bell rang, and lunch was over. As we threw away our trash, Emily poked my shoulder. I turned around and she said to me, “You are Rae, right?”
Rebecca pulled me aside today after second period. We had just finished a test in social studies, and my brain hurt.
“That test was hard, wasn’t it?” she asked me.
I wondered when she was going to be done with small talk and talk about something that was really on her mind.
“For me,” I said. “But you’re great at social studies.”
She blinked. “No, I’m not,” she replied.
“You were last year,” I said.
“That was last year,” said Rebecca. “This year it’s incredibly hard.”
When, I ask, did she tell me that she thought social studies was hard? Did she tell her other friends? Last year, in sixth grade, we told each other everything about school, even something as minor as our teacher’s breath smelling really bad. But I digress, and I am getting too jealous. I promised myself I would never act that way again.
“So,” I said, “what did you want to talk with me about?”
“Danielle just bought me a Faerie Paintbrush! Just yesterday!” She jumped about and squealed, and I could not resist joining her. Danielle, her owner, was not one to spoil her Pets, so it was a miracle that she bought something as expensive as a Paintbrush.
“Oh my Fyora!” I screamed. “Why?”
“I don’t know!” she exclaimed, trying to calm herself down. “Danielle said that I could bring a few friends to come and witness my Painting and the Rainbow Pool today!”
Rebecca couldn’t stop smiling. “So, of course, I am inviting you to come!”
“Oh my Fyora!” I said again. “Thank you so much!”
She glanced at the clock. “Don’t mention it,” she said. “You’re my best friend. Now come on, we have to get to third period now or we’ll be late!”
“Who else is coming?” I asked her as we rushed to get to our classrooms.
“Annie, Liz, and Holly,” she replied. “Danielle and I will pick you up at your Neohomes at around six o’ clock.”
“Who’s Holly?” I asked.
“Somebody from my art class,” said Rebecca. “You’ll really like her. She’s an amazing artist and was featured in the Art Gallery a couple times. She sits at my table at lunch.”
I smiled and my heart was beating in my chest. I was excited to meet Holly and get to know Annie and Liz better, but I was also a bit scared. I don’t know why I was scared, and why I still am scared, waiting for Rebecca to come pick me up.
I walked to school with Rebecca today. She looks amazing. She is actually the only Faerie Acara in our school, so she definitely stands out. I don’t know how, but she actually looks prettier than before, if it is possible.
“You should convince Troy to buy you a Paintbrush,” Rebecca told me. She studied my face. “You would look good as... starry or rainbow.”
“No, thanks,” I said. I know for a fact that Troy does not have enough money to buy a Paintbrush, and if he did, he’d give it to Shawn, the oldest. “I like being green.”
“Whatever,” said Rebecca.
Yesterday was a lot of fun, actually. Even though I talked a lot with Annie and Liz, I still don’t think that I absolutely like them. They’re stupid, for one thing, and only care about being friends with Rebecca. Holly, however, is another story.
Holly is a purple Peophin and absolutely beautiful. She is almost as beautiful as Rebecca, but not exactly. She is also a bit soft-spoken, so maybe that is why I like her. She only talks unless she absolutely has to. She was also the only one who actually smiled at me when I spoke to her. I don’t think she believes that Rebecca is the center of the popular universe, too, which is another good thing. She might be a great new friend of mine.
I asked Holly over my house tomorrow!
I wasn’t even scared when I approached her. I just found her in the halls, spoke with her for a while, and asked her over my house. Maybe that’s a sign of a true friend: you are never nervous when you talk with them. (I am, in fact, sometimes nervous when I talk to Rebecca, but that is only when we talk about her new friends.)
Holly said yes immediately and said that she was thinking of asking me over her house because we had a lot of fun on Tuesday.
I’m so excited! I finally made a new friend in middle school!
To be continued...