I saw a girl sitting on the curb of the school courtyard on the first day of school. She was crying.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, running over to her. I took her hands in mine.
With tears in her eyes, she replied, “Somebody threw… a rock… at my… m-my h-head!” She burst into a new round of tears and I wrapped my arms around her. “I don’t even know them.”
“Well, I don’t know you, either.” I gasped and clasped my hand over my mouth. I mean, I could clearly see why that person was throwing a rock at her. Her hair was all over the place, she was wearing rags, and her shoes were blood red. “I’m Lily.”
“I’m Fifi,” She said, and looked at me. “You’re a famous dancer, right?”
I blush. Why does everybody know already?
I mean, I guess I kind of look like a dancer. I am the prettiest girl in school, and that’s a fact. I am definitely not bragging.
“Well, yeah,” I responded. Fifi got all giddy.
“Do you want to be friends?” She asked, standing up. I knew what she was doing.
“I know what you’re doing! You’re just trying to use me into getting popular. Be grateful that I even helped you.” I looked her in the eyes and then walked away, totally mad.
Later that day, in science class (I’m in high school), we had to be assigned with partners for a science project dealing with volcanic eruptions, or we could work alone.
Obviously, the normal group of everybody came up to me, crowding me with questions.
“Can I be your partner?”
“My friend ditched me. Can I work with you?”
“My mom can help you with dancing!”
“You can advertise my mom’s jewelry shop!”
After hearing that last statement, I was raging. She literally proved that she was going to use me. I went up to Mrs. Kiera and said, “Nobody will leave me alone.”
Mrs. Kiera understood, and clapped her hands. “Everybody’s working alone. If you have a partner, continue. If you don’t have one right now, then sit in your seats.”
But at lunch, things just got worse.
My best friends Maya and Lisa, who I knew would never use me, were there like always, saving a spot for me. But then, a girl that looked so much like Fifi came and sat across from me. But she didn’t even acknowledge me.
Another girl, who honestly looked in way better shape, sat next to her, chewing on a gummy bear.
“Hey, Khloe!” Sadie, a girl from my gym class, called from across the table. “Why didn’t you sit next to us?”
“Oh, I didn’t know you were here!” Khloe squealed, starting to get up. “I thought that you got chosen into a different high school!”
“You’re not going anywhere,” Fifi suddenly blurted, but no one except me, Khloe, and Fifi knew. Fifi shoved Khloe to make her sit down again. “Hey, Sadie, Khloe said that she didn’t wanna move because I’m her best friend.”
“No, I know that she’d never say that.” Sadie looked longingly at Khloe. “Would you?”
“Stop lying, Fifi!” I suddenly yelled, and all the attention in the lunch room turned to me. Ugh. Of course, but I didn’t care. “You shoved Khloe and now she’s crying because of you!”
I swear I heard someone clap in the nerve racking silence. Then someone else. “Whooo!” someone hooted, and I smiled as Fifi’s jaw dropped.
“I’m sorry, Lily… I… I didn’t know you were sitting right there,” Fifi whispered.
“Does that have anything to do with you shoving Khloe?”
More people started to hoot and clap. Maybe I was getting the hang of standing up for people.
“I know you were faking that… that thing that someone was throwing a rock at you.” I gestured to Khloe, picking up my lunch tray. “Come on, Khloe.”
I took Khloe out into the hall.
“Do you want to be friends?” I asked her, cautiously.
Khloe’s eyes widened. “I have never had that offer before! Me and Sadie just had to be friends, since our parents knew each other since we were born.”
“So I’ll take that as a yes?” I laughed, and Khloe grabbed me in a hug.
“As long as you can teach me some dancing, yes,” She replied. I gasped and backed away. Was she trying to use me?
She laughed. “I’m just kidding. I would just love to hang out with someone new, since Sadie is anyways hanging out with Emily and Kimberly.”
“Emily and Kimberly? They’re total jerks,” I raged, my voice lowering. Khloe looked me in the eye.
“Don’t do anything to make Sadie hate me, okay? She doesn’t like it when I invite people over to my house. She’s selfish.”
Later that day, Sadie looked over at me and Khloe, and automatically broke mid-way from her conversation with Emily and Kimberly.
“Umm… wanna hang out with us, Khloe?” Sadie asked quietly, holding out a hand. Khloe huffed and got up, taking my hand. Sadie gasped. “You’re friends with the famous dancer?” she whispered in her ear, but I could clearly hear her. “Can you get her to be my friend?”
“No! You’re just using her. You’re also being selfish. You never let me have any friends. If you treat me like this anymore, then I won’t be your friend.” My jaw dropped as Khloe grabbed my hand and pulled me over to a tree. We both burst out laughing after we turned around to look at Sadie’s face. She was fuming.
Then, she looked sad and walked towards her friends. She started saying things, and when I read what she was mouthing, I realized that she was actually trying to get Emily to make me her friend.
“I did it, didn’t I?” Khloe laughed, but I wasn’t paying much attention. “I stood up for myself!”
“Yeah,” I mumbled. “I think Sadie is planning something, but I’m not sure.”
“What?” Khloe asked, a serious expression displayed on her face. She squirmed.
“I don’t know for sure, but when I read her lips (or what she was mouthing), I think she was asking Emily to try and befriend me.” I turned away as Khloe gasped. “People use me all the time, and I figured that out from yesterday, when I heard Maya and Lisa saying that they’d finally try to steal my dance makeup and dresses.”
Khloe gasped and grabbed my hands. I sighed. “It’ll be okay,” she whispered. “We’ll figure this out.”
The next day…
At the courtyard next day, Khloe and I first went up to Maya and Lisa. The girls looked up from their phones and smiled at us. Oh, those fake smiles are too much for me.
I took a deep breath, while Khloe squeezed my arm. “I heard you yesterday, guys. I was going to scare you when you came to my house by jumping in from the backyard, but when I was just about to jump, I heard you guys.”
Maya and Lisa gasped and then fake laughed. “Oh, we were just… uh… pranking you! Yeah, we saw you, and… uh… wanted to prank you! Heh… heh…” Lisa smirked, looking down and rubbing her neck. I glared at her.
“Hey, Lisa’s right,” Maya jumped in, her voice so much steadier. “We didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Yeah, right.” I turned and walked away from them, suddenly feeling everyone’s eyes baring into me. Khloe punched my arm gently.
With my heart totally 💔, I sat down on a bench. And just like that, a thunderous clapping reverberated through the courtyard. But the loudest person clapping was my brother. I smiled at him, and he mouthed, No problem.
He was just three years older than me, and we went to the same high school. I just started my first year.
And of course, Sadie picked the best time to send Emily over. But Khloe and I (the smart kids) had a plan.
“Hey, umm… Lily? I’ve seen you stand up for so many people, and I want you to hang out with my group.” She pointed to Kimberly and Sadie, who stood excitedly watching.
“Sure,” I replied. Don’t worry, we have a plan. I got up and followed her over to her so-called ‘group’. And that’s when I did it.
“You don’t deserve to hang out with anybody, Sadie. You ditch your so-called ‘best friend’, start to use famous people, and all of this just to get popular? I’d rather be poor with all the friends in the world, then be with you, who I know will grow up to be rich with no friends at all.”
Everything was silent. Thank goodness nobody was–
Everybody started hooting.
I guess I should appreciate what people think about me, and just hang out with my best friend, Khloe, and ignore all the bullies in the world.