I woke up and started my regular routine. Smile exercises, breakfast, and once again, I had to drive Lilly to school. Since she seemed to have gotten my message yesterday, I decided I didn’t need to reinforce it. When I pulled up to Lilly’s school, she was out of the car before I could speak to her, even if I’d wanted too. I rolled my eyes and drove away.
When I got to school, I saw Nicky getting out of her car. I was annoyed by the fact that the only open parking place was next to hers. I grudgingly pulled in. She smiled when she saw that it was me. ‘Why did I have to be the one that she was obsessed with?’ I thought. When I got out of the car, Nicky was at my side immediately. “Hi Erin,” she said smiling.
“Hello Nicky.” I returned her smile. I‘d promised myself not to let her get me aggravated. She seemed happy that I was so outgoing. “What’s your first class?” I asked trying to sound enthusiastic.
“Math. How about you?”
I bit my lip, trying not to show my frustration. “Oh. Me too.”
“That’s great; we can get to be good friends.”
I took a deep breath, “Ya.” I smiled unconvincingly.
We walked to class together; all the while Nicky was blabbering on about every thing under the sun. I tried to ignore her, answering with um’s and awe’s. When we got to class, she kept talking until the teacher interrupted her. ‘Thank goodness this is the last day of school’ I thought.
The rest of the day went by the same. By the time school was over, Nicky’s incessant chattering had already worn me thin. I tried to time it so that I would get out of class and get to my car with out being spotted by Nicky (which was hard considering the fact that I was parked next to her). I looked around and didn’t see her any where. I walked to my car with out being spotted. When I got to the parking lot, Nicky was waiting for me by her car. I took a deep breath. “Hello Nicky.” I said bitterly. She looked at me surprised, I wasn’t doing a vary good job of hiding my frustration. “Hey.” She hesitated. “I hear your parents are having a Christmas party?” I almost took a swing at her. “Ya, I guess so.”
“You don’t sound very excited?” she said.
“Oh no! I can’t wait.”
“Oh. Well, I know I’m new and all, but can I come?”
This took me way off guard. “Excuse me?” my façade shattered.
“I mean I’m not inviting myself or anything. I was just wondering if I missed the invitations.” She corrected herself, sensing my hostility. I took a deep breath and collected myself. “No you haven’t missed the invitations.” I said through clenched teeth. She looked at me, “You don’t like me do you?” She asked. ‘What tipped you off?’ I thought. “No I do like you, it’s just, I have a lot going on right now,”-‘ya like plotting my sisters’ death’- “and I’m not in a very good mood.” That was the best excuse I could come up with (as pathetic as it may be.).
“Ok.” She seemed to have bought it. Annoying and gullible.
“I’ll talk to my parents about inviting you.” I said obviously trying to end the conversation.
“Thanks. Well I guess I’ll see you then, and if not next year?”
“Sure.” I said half heartedly. She waved, got in her car and drove away.
I got in my car and pulled out of the parking lot. I thought about what to do as I drove to pick up Lilly. I couldn’t decide whether to act the part of friend in hopes of being able to use her to my advantage some time in the future, or to forget about her. I reminded myself that I had a very hard time acting around her, and that if I snapped at the party I would be revealing myself for what I really was. So I decided to ignore her. And with my luck my parents would end up inviting her to the party anyway.
When I got to Lilly’s school, she was sitting on the curb as she was yesterday. I noticed that her curly red hair, which she typically wore back, was hiding her face. When she got in, I looked at her in the rear view mirror. “What happened to your face?” she had a huge bruise on her cheek. She jumped, surprised that I was talking to her, “Oh, I got in a fight.” She said quietly.
“With who?” I started to drive towards home.
She looked at me, surprised again. “Some girl in my class.”
“She tried to steal my lunch money.”
“Hum.” ‘So the wimp shows some backbone.’ I thought. ‘Interesting’.
We drove in silence the rest of the way home. When I pulled into the drive way, I turned to look at her. “Did you get in trouble?” I asked. “No.” she said as she picked up her backpack. “So you didn’t get caught?” I asked.
“No. Why are you so interested?” She asked warily.
“None of your business, brat!” I retorted hostilely. She sunk down into her seat, “Sorry,” she said quickly. She held her breath waiting for my response.
“What ever.” I got out and slammed my door. Lilly did the same and we walked to the front door.
When we walked in to the house, our mother was coming down the stairs. Before anyone even had a chance to say anything, our mother was racing down the stairs. “Lilly! What happened to your face?!” She said in alarm. I saw Lilly struggling and decided to answer for her, “She got in a fight.”
Lilly gave me a hateful look. “A girl was trying to steal my lunch money,” she said before our mother could come to any conclusions.
“Lilly! You know that you should never hit people!” My mother scolded.
“But she hit me first!”
“It doesn’t matter!”
I rolled my eyes and walked to my room. I’d heard that speech several times myself, ‘don’t hit people’ ‘turn the other cheek’, the usual.
I closed the door behind me when I entered my room. I lay down on my bed and closed my eyes. I was tired from the amount of acting I had had to do because of Nicky. I fell asleep almost immediately.
I woke up with someone knocking on my door. I got up and yawned. When I opened my door, I was surprised to see that it was Lilly who had knocked. “What do you want?” I asked hostilely. She cowered, “Mom wants me to tell you that dinner is ready.” She said it so fast I almost couldn’t make it out, and then ran away. I slid my hand down my face trying to wipe away my fatigue.
I quickly changed my clothes and went down stairs. When I got to the dining room, my sister and father were sitting at the table and my mother was just coming out the kitchen door with dinner. I walked to my seat and sat down. “Hi dad.” I said cheerfully. “Hey Erin, how was school?” my father asked as my mother sat down. “Oh, fine. Boring.” I said. My parents both chuckled. “How about you Lilly?” He said. I saw Lilly become tense. Obviously she hadn’t told him yet. I leaned back in my chair, pleased I hadn’t missed her confession. I looked at Lilly and noticed that she had her bruise completely hidden behind her hair. “Oh, it was, uh,” she hesitated, “good.” My mother looked at her intensely, “Lilly,” she said warningly. Lilly looked at her pleadingly, and then quickly gave up. “I got in to a fight at school today.” She admitted quietly. My father looked at her, “Did they hit you first?”
“Yes. And she was trying to steal my lunch money.” She added the last sentence as an afterthought.
“Oh well in that case, good for you. You should always defend yourself.” He said proudly. I could see Lilly’s relief. My mom looked at him with disapproval. My father noticed her expression and quickly changed the subject, “So Erin. There’s a new girl at your school isn’t there?” He said this purposely avoiding my mothers glare.
“Yes.” I replied warily.
“Her name’s Nicky right?”
“I met her mother today. She seemed nice.”
“Hm…” I didn’t like where this was heading.
“I mentioned that we were having a Christmas party-“
“You invited them?” I asked in a low, controlled voice.
“Well, yes. I thought since they were new, it would be nice, you know, like a welcoming. And I thought it would be good if you and Nicky could be friends.” He said encouragingly. “A girl your age needs someone other then her family to talk to sweetie.” My mother added. I clenched my fists trying to control myself. “I, don’t, need, friends. I’m just as happy without them.” I said through clenched teeth.
“I take it you don’t like Nicky?” my mother said.
“Why not, she seems nice enough to me.”
“I just don’t!” My act snapped as if someone had thrown a rock through it.
I took a deep breath, “I’m tired, and I’m going to bed.” And with that, I got up and stormed away. No one said anything, as I walked up the stairs.*