By Chloe B
I wake up on Monday, feeling as though a dead weight in my heart is dragging me down. “I don’t want to go to school today,” I mutter into my pillow. But you have to, my mind whispers. I groan.
I roll out of bed and wince as I hit the thin, carpeted floor. If only Alla can see me now, the rich, stuck-up brat that she is.
I flashback to when Alla ditched me:
I stopped at Alla’s locker to wait for her to walk to class with me, but she was unusually surrounded by a group of friends. All were whispering and laughing, and when Alla saw me, she got a glint in her eye that said all too clearly that she wanted to kill me.
I stalked towards her and she towards me. Her posse crowded around, mouths hidden behind delicate, well-manicured hands. I didn’t need to look at them to know that they were laughing. I had a sixth sense for that kind of stuff.
“What do you want, Alla?” I asked, pretending I wasn’t on her side.
She marched up to me until she was eye level with me. I stared into her chocolate-brown eyes. Then she slapped me.
“That’s for being friends with me!” she exclaimed, then slapped me again.
“What did I ever do to you?” I cried, holding my right cheek. I felt like my face was on fire.
She got up real close and said, “Everything.”
There’s a knock on the door, and I bolt upright. “Come in!” I call. The door opens, and my mom comes in, a cup of steaming hot coffee in her hand.
“Good morning, Lucinda,” she says tiredly. My parents are the only ones who call me Lucinda. I don’t bother to correct them with my nickname, Lucy. “You’re going to have to walk to the bus stop today. Dad and I have a job interview this morning, and we can’t drive you.”
I grimace, my heart sinking. Great. Make the poor girl walk in the freezing cold. “Okay,” I manage. “Did Dad already leave?”
“Yes. Now hurry up or you’re going to be late.” She closes the door, and I flop back down on the “carpet.”
Fantastic. I lost my best friend, who only befriended me out of pity. I have no one else to ask. Oh well.
My plan is to get dressed slowly, but I know I’ll miss the bus if I do that, and that won’t get me anywhere. So I quickly change. My well-worn denim jacket clashes horribly with the hot pink top and black pants that I choose, but I don’t care. I’m already the most unpopular girl in school. Everyone knows it. Why not make it worse; I’d already hit rock-bottom.
I scarf down a measly piece of toast and hurry to the bus stop at the end of my street. Four girls turn to look at me, then immediately turn back to their friends, giggling and whispering about me, no doubt.
Four other kids, two boys, and two girls, turn to look but they don’t whisper. Instead, one of the girls takes a step forward. My eyes are immediately drawn to her sparkly turquoise, faux-fur jacket, denim jeans, and black combat boots. Her coffee-brown skin and chocolate-brown eyes remind me fiercely of Alla, but this girl is not Alla. Her black hair is dyed red at the tips with streaks of red throughout. Rebel girl, I immediately think. I hadn’t seen her around before, and now I know why. She looks like someone who never leaves her house except for her needs.
“Who are you?” I ask uncertainly before she can even open her mouth to speak.
“I’m Hanna Walsh,” she says, “and we need your help.”