Rebecca's Best Friend: Part Four
It’s Friday morning, before I leave for school. I don’t normally write in the morning, but there is something that I need to say before Holly comes over:
I’m so excited! I’m so excited!
Well, Holly just left a couple minutes ago. Our sleep-over was a lot of fun, but not as fun as Rebecca and I have when we are together. We did each other’s make-up, ate a lot of chocolate Faerie cakes, and just talked into the wee hours of the morning. We talked about many random things, such as our favorite foods from various parts of Neopia.
I did, however, manage to pick up the courage to talk to her about what has been bugging me ever since middle school started.
Midnight was approaching, and Holly and I were in our sleeping bags with the lights off. This was her idea, saying that we could talk about things without much hesitation if we could not see each other. I could see her outline, however, almost hidden in the shadows, and her bright blue eyes.
“I think I’m jealous of my best friend,” I said. My words just came out of nowhere. They were not relevant to the conversation we had just had. Maybe it was not my mouth that was talking, but my heart.
“Becca?” Holly asked.
I nodded, but I knew that she could not see me. “She’s making so many new friends,” I said. I just wanted to stop talking, but for some reason I babbled on and on. “She doesn’t notice me anymore. Everything that anybody talks about is Rebecca Rebecca Rebecca. It’s like she is the queen of our school!”
Holly was silent for a bit, but then she spoke. “Who believes that Rebecca is the queen of the school?” she asked. I was surprised that she actually called Rebecca buy her full name instead of the hideous nickname everyone else had given her.
“Annie and Liz,” I said, sniffing. “But mostly Liz. Liz, like, worships her. Annie is really no better. And I’m sure that everyone else thinks so, but I don’t really know them.”
Again, Holly was silent. “Annie and Liz are the only ones who act that way,” she said definitely. “Becca doesn’t even like them that much. She just invites them places because she doesn’t want them to feel bad.”
“How do you know?” I snapped. “Did Rebecca tell you? Maybe she says the same thing about you, that she doesn’t want you to feel bad.” I felt myself blubbering like a baby as the tears started to flow. “How do I know that she doesn’t say the same about me? Does she not like me too? How do I know? She’s just acting so different now, and I can’t tell what she’s thinking at all. It’s like in elementary school our minds and our hearts were in sync, but now I’m not connected with her! Not at all!”
Holly exhaled, waiting for me to stop crying. She placed a comforting hand on my quivering shoulder. “If you sat at our table at lunch once in a while, you would know exactly what she thinks about you. Every day she stares at the door waiting for you. ‘Do you think Rae is coming?’ she asks. ‘I hope Rae sits with us,’ she says. This is every single day.” Holly handed me a tissue. “She absolutely adores you, Rae, and still thinks that you two are the best of friends.”
I blew my nose. “But she’s leaving me for all of her other friends, friends who worship the ground she walks on, like Annie and Liz. She likes it when they do that.”
“I told you before!” Holly exclaimed. “Becca does not like Annie or Liz. She thinks they’re idiots and need to get a life, before they steal hers! And the only reason that she leaves you for other friends is because you are not trying to make friends with them. If you just sat at our table for once, you’d realize how nice we really are.” Holly sighed. “You need to learn that other people are not intimidating. You’ve leaned heavily on Rebecca for too long. You need to make other friends besides her.”
“I have you,” I said.
Holly was silent again. She was silent for a long time, and then she said, “Am I really a friend, or Rebecca’s replacement?”
Then it was my turn to be silent. Our conversation switched gears, and Holly started gossiping about Annie and Liz. They were the last two Pets I wanted to talk about.
I should have told Holly that she really was my friend when I had the chance. I should have been the one to comfort her, the one to hand her a tissue.
It took me twenty-four hours to realize this, but Holly is the one who is jealous. She is jealous of the friendship I have with Rebecca. Our friendship does not come along often. We are like two people morphed into one.
I need to talk to Holly tomorrow, to tell her... What is it that I need to tell her?
Before school today, I saw Emily scribbling in her notebook. When she saw me, she smiled.
I smiled back. I am her only friend. Then I immediately felt sorry for her. I am her only friend. How sad is that, to consider your only friend somebody who you can barely hold a five-word conversation with? She must be incredibly lonely.
I knew that I had to talk with Holly, but I decided that Emily needed more of a self-confidence boost than she did, so I sat next to Emily and chatted with her about her newest poem. We walked to class together, since her first-period classroom is close to mine.
I did not see Holly all day.
I did, in fact, sit at Rebecca’s table during lunch. I noticed that Rebecca does not really talk with Annie and Liz that much. She talks with the other Pets around her that seem nice enough, but not as nice as Holly and certainly not as nice as Rebecca. I joined in conversation with them.
“Your friends seem nice,” I told Rebecca as we walked to fourth period.
“I’m glad you think so,” she replied.
I looked around the vicinity for eavesdroppers. “Do you seriously like Annie and Liz, though? They seem a little... obsessed with you.”
Rebecca laughed. “Are you kidding me? Of course not! I only invite them places so they don’t feel bad! I know who my real friends are, Rae. And you are the realest friend I could ever have.”
That was exactly what Holly said to me on Friday night (or was it Saturday morning?). I did feel a twinge of jealously, thinking that Holly knows Rebecca better than I know Rebecca, but that twinge quickly went away. I had a flashback of a couple weeks ago when Annie and Liz bought Rebecca that purse and I told them to buy her the wrong color, but that flashback also quickly went away. Holly is the one who is jealous of me, not the other way around.
I feel stupid for being so jealous.
I found Holly after school in the library. I needed to check out a book for a social studies project, and there she was, seated on a bench and reading a book.
I smiled at her. “Hi,” I said.
She smiled, but did not respond.
I sat down on the bench next to her. “I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said when you were over at my Neohome on Friday.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“About you being Rebecca’s replacement.”
She hung her head. “Oh, yeah.”
“Look,” I said. “I did not invite you over my house just because I thought that you’d be another friend besides Rebecca. I really think that we can be friends, and that we should be friends.”
“I know,” Holly said. “I was just really jealous. Becca talks about you non-stop. I know you don’t think that is true, but if you just listen to her, you’d know.”
I thought back to the conversation Rebecca and I had after lunch yesterday. “I know who my real friends are, Rae,” she had said. “And you are the realest friend I could ever have.”
It was the greatest compliment she had ever given me.
“I think I finally understand,” I said.
“You’re Becca’s friend, right?” These were the first words that Liz has said to me ever since she asked me about the purse.
We were in music class, waiting for the teacher to arrive. I wondered how stupider Liz could get. She had seen me a dozen times since the purse incident, and she still does not know my name.
I nodded, even though I thought that Liz was the stupidest person I have ever met.
“That is so cool!” she squealed. She called over to a group of overly-peppy Pets sitting next to her. “Hey, guys, this is Becca’s best friend!”
I heard whines that sounded like “Aw, I thought I was Becca’s best friend!” or “You are so lucky, being her best friend and all”, but I did not care that all of these Pets just know me as Becca’s Best Friend. It means nothing to me now. To them, I am the best friend of the most popular girl in school, but to me, and to Rebecca and Holly and all of the other new friends I have now, I am just Rae.
I’m surprised it took me this long to realize this.
The greatest of all miracles happened today.
It was during lunch, and I was talking with my new friends at my permanent spot at Rebecca’s table. Annie and Liz were seated, finally, in their rightful spot at a wanna-be table.
I could sense somebody standing behind me. I turned around and saw a red Usul, carrying her lunch tray and battered up notebook, behind me. “Can I sit next to you?” Emily asked.
“Sure,” I replied. I pulled up a chair next to me and Emily immediately sat down.
To my surprise, she engaged in conversation and even made a few witty remarks. Emily, of everybody I have featured in my journal, has come the longest way from the beginning of the school year. She is finally brave enough to sit with a large group of people and even make friends.
So I guess it goes to show you, everybody needs friends and everybody has the ability to make them.
I can’t believe that I have reached the last page of my journal. I don’t think there is no better entry to conclude it with. As I write the last words on the last page, I realize that I am not closing the book on my life, but only beginning a new life, a life with new friends and new appreciation for my best friend, the most popular girl in school, Rebecca.
I will miss you, sweet journal, but all good things must come to an end.