Welcome to Twelve, a new book of Friday Fiction! This story begins the summer Emily Kingston turns twelve and is about a friendship that changed everything.
I hope you enjoy it!
CHAPTER TEN – MEETING MARCY
It was getting colder and the leaves on the trees were turning. We were two months into school and I hadn’t had any problems since the mashed potatoes in the cafeteria. I’d started to make more friends at school, girls who had gone to other schools last year, and some boys too. But I mostly hung around with Rena and Amy at school and Jackie on the weekends. Rena and Amy had gone in early for orchestra practice that day, so I walked down Prospect alone. I was full of energy. I moved quickly down the hill and my purse bumped against my hip as I walked. I smiled at that because I had on my favorite flair jeans, the ones with the studs down the side, and I thought they looked good with my purse on the side.
On my way to my locker, I saw kids in groups looking at me. I ignored the stares, but I felt sweat under my arms. I wondered if there was more trouble at the locker, but a quick look at the front and my locker looked okay. I opened it, put my jacket inside and grabbed the stuff I needed for my History class. I saw Rena on my way to class.
“Hi Emily.” Rena stopped and looked at me. Not a good sign.
I asked her why she was staring at me. “I’m not, it’s nothing,” she said. “Did you do your History homework?”
I always do my homework, so I wasn’t sure why she’d ask me that. “Yes, did you?”
She said she did and by then we were just outside the classroom so I didn’t have the chance to ask her why she was acting so strange. When I walked into the classroom, kids turned and looked at me. Our teacher hadn’t come in yet. Some kids were standing around and sitting at different desks, but no one was near mine. I said hi to a couple of kids and headed over to my desk.
When I sat down, a girl I sort of knew came up to me and said, “Hey, Emily. Nice top.” I looked at her. “Thanks Marcy.” I thought that would be it, but then she said, “It goes nice with those jeans, don’t you think?” “Thanks,” I answered. But then Marcy wouldn’t stop. “I bet you had those jeans last year. Am I right?” They were from last year and I wondered how she knew that. “I did, why?” Marcy leaned over me and got about six inches from my face. She smiled and opened her mouth to speak, as if she was getting ready to tell me something private, but when she did, her voice became much louder, loud enough for everyone to hear her. “Well, I can tell because, well, tell me if I’m wrong, but did you think those jeans were so hot that you felt you had to cram your fat butt into them for another year?”
I knew that was the kind of question you didn’t answer, but that was the only thing I did know about that morning in History class. My ears burned with the sound of kids laughing, at me. I kept my face down. I swallowed as hard as I could and thought again about a fight Tommy once had in the yard. Which kid had he been when his fight broke out? The the kid everyone was laughing at or was he the other kid? In a wild flash I wondered if I could tackle Marcy and hold her down, like Tommy had done in the yard, or if she would be the one on top pushing me down. The weight of the whole day ahead pushed down on me. If this was how it had started, I didn’t know how I would make it until 3:00. I looked over at Rena, but her head was turned, in friendship, shame or laughter, I didn’t know. The laughter stopped when Mrs. Smithfield came in and announced, “Pop quiz this morning! Put your binders under your desk and take out a pencil.”
Something happens when you’re at the bad end of a joke. I was the elephant in the room, in last year’s jeans. Would Marcy have picked on me if I had worn something else or had she only been waiting for the right moment? Nobody bothered me for the rest of the day, but I knew the story had spread through the seventh grade.
I’m sure Rena and Amy had talked about it, but around me, they acted as if nothing had happened. I was glad because I didn’t want to talk. If they were my friends (were they still?) they would understand. When I got home, I took off my jeans, threw them in the trash, and changed into a bigger size. There was nothing wrong with me. If Marcy messed with me again, I would show her that.
Just jumping in? Click below to read previous chapters:
Chapter 1 – “Meeting Jackie”
Chapter 2 – “Mrs. Conroy”
Chapter 3 – “Downtown”
Chapter 4 – “Capture the Flag”
Chapter 5 – “The Fight”
Chapter 6 – “Lemonade”
Chapter 7 – “The Fort”
Chapter 8 – “School Starts”
Chapter 9 – “The Locker”
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