I took a deep breath, eyes closed. Inhale… exhale. Breathe in the good, breathe out the bad. Clear out all the negativi—
“Girls,” Principle Stern’s voice interrupted my meditation. I opened my eyes slowly. Calmly. My eyelids fluttered open and I was pulled back into reality. Well, I guess you could argue what reality is. Some might say it’s more subjective. Personally, I think our inner universe is just as important as the physical universe, but this particular reality was a sauce-stained, raging mess that no meditation or visualization can soothe. Well, unless you’re really experienced and in a good state of mind. But the hurt of 5 teenage girls and the confusion of a bystander who got dragged into this had knocked my chakras right out of alignment. “I don’t know where to begin,” continued the principle, “I haven’t had this problem from any of you.” A faint cough could be heard. “Except from Claire Lyons,” continued the Principle. To be honest, I don’t really blame Claire for rebelling. She’s fighting a very messed up system. “Would anyone care to explain this?”. Silence. I looked down at my hands, avoiding any and all eye contact. More silence. Stern sighed, exhaling sharply. His lips were taut in an annoyed, grim frown. I could almost hear him grinding his teeth together, jaw clenched. Some people should really be more mindful of the vibrations they send out into this world. “I was afraid of this. Look, girls, I’ve been in education a long time. I know you think the whole united front thing is gonna work. And it might. But I’ll let you in on a secret,” his lips twitched into a smirk, emphasizing his smile lines, “You’re all gonna clean up the cafeteria anyway.” 3 groans, 2 huffs and a puff echoed through the room. This is exactly what the government wants, I thought. They go on about us being a united nation, then break us apart when we willingly stick together because they are threatened by the youth. This is all part of their agenda. “You’ve all been excused from your classes for the day. The janitors set out three mops and 3 sponges with buckets. Get to mopping. Be happy I’m not suspending you.” Suspension is just another word for break, I thought.
Massie immediately stepped out of the office, and the rest of us followed her to the cafeteria. She’s been back for less than a day, and she’s already leading once again. Wow, talk about power.
The silence was like a vacuum, creating an overwhelming sense of emptiness. “Okay let’s cut the crap. The silent treatment is SO middle school. And some of us have actually moved on from that,” Alicia finally broke the tense air as we reached the cafeteria’s double doors.
Massie shot her with a piercing glare. “Puh-lease. It’s not the silent treatment. There’s just nothing to say. We all know how this goes. And we all know that there’s only one winner.” There was a lot of anger in that sentence; their auras could be felt. Wrathful reds, stormy blues and distraught greens burned around them, expanding more and more as they fueled the fire.
Massie was right. I’ve been making an effort to stay away from drama, but sometimes you’ve got to take a stand. And I know who I’d stand with.
Alicia had already started recruiting her team.”Well I’ve already got Liv on my side. She might be on vacation-“
“Getting a nose job,” Kristen coughed into her palm. Alicia scowled at her.
“ANYWAY,” she said, a little louder than necessary, “but she’ll be back next week. So I’ve got an advantage.”
“Since when is Faux-livia an advantage?” Massie retorted. A deafening silence followed. We all knew what was coming. Massie turned to us, “Are you gonna make a decision or are you just gonna stand there?”
Kristen inched towards Massie, one slow step at a time. “Sorry,” Kristen shrugged. “I’ve been in this fight before. I know how this ends.” So have I, Kris, so have I. The fact that the PC fell apart right after Massie left said a lot. She bonded us together by something that faded without her: loyalty.
“I’m with Kristen. Sorry Leash,” I said, joining Kristen and Masssie. Alicia’s face burned with wrath.
The pressure was on Claire now. She glared at Massie and Alicia, a contemplative look on her face. “Forget about it.” She shook her head. “I’m not choosing a side. This has been my life for way too long. Look, I like you both, but this Sophie’s Choice crap is getting old. I’m Switzerland.” She took a wide step backward, away from the war zone.
Alicia sighed, turning to the blonde who somehow got dragged into this. “Well Lana? Who do you pick?”
Massie’s eyes shot daggers at this point. “Her? She’s not part of this.”
“She’s here isn’t she? So what do you say Lana?”
Lana stood confidently, especially for someone who was stuck in the aftermath of a thousand wounds she didn’t know much about. “Massie has a point. I’m not part of your little… Whatever this is.” Lana said. I was suddenly filled with a thirst for victory—something I hadn’t felt in years. A craving that was stronger than hunger, more filling than meals. “But, Alicia’s been a great pseudo-friend in the past.” She walked over to Massie until they were face to face. “Plus I’m pretty sure you threw the cake at me. And I’m not your biggest fan right now. So if I HAVE to choose? I choose Alicia.”
Massie’s eyebrow shot up. “You have no idea who you’re messing with,”
“Oh yeah? Well neither do you.”
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