Okay, let's go over the facts. Fact number one, Zoey has been blowing me off all week. Fact number two, Zoey said she had to help her sister out at the house today. Fact number three, Hilary King is throwing a party and didn't invite me. Fact number four, I decided to crash that party, for research. Which is how I discovered fact number five, Zoey lied to me because she is at the party, not at home.
Okay, okay, okay let me rewind before people think I'm some sort of psycho stalker. Zoey McBride is my supposed best friend. I say supposed because, well that fact is sort of up in the air right now.
We met freshmen year, Ms. More's art class. I sat at the table across from hers and for the first couple of months, we didn't notice or talk to each other. The great breakthrough came as I had gotten up to wash off my paint pallet. I tripped and splattered paint all over the back of her shirt. Of course, Zoey being Zoey thought I did it on purpose, so we somehow got the whole class involved in a paint war, even Ms. More joined in. In the end, everyone's works in progress were ruined and Zoey and I got detention. But it was worth it. That's how we became friends.
Since then Zoey and I have been two peas in a pod. She is my right-hand gal, the yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly. You know, just two best friends doing what two best friends do. Well as the saying goes, everything changed when the fire nation attacked.
The fire nation, in this case, is none other than Hilary King. The most infuriating person anyone could ever meet, and by anyone, I mean me. She's perfect at everything! How is that even possible? I'm talking she's on the cheer squad, plays softball, went to UIL with her piano solo, that she composed herself! She's even great at art, which is so my thing. Her life-size tree sculpture was so breathtaking that the school decided to make it a landmark and moved it to the courtyard so everyone can see it on their way into school.
With all her talent you would expect the girl to be stuck up, hell I would probably like her more if she was. But no! She's so freaking nice! To everyone! She's so sweet it's sickening. I just can't, who is that nice? Nobody is that nice, and I plan to expose her. But we will come back to the great Ms. King.
Why do I even care that Hilary is perfect? Well, I don't really, but Zoey does. It started last weekend. Zoey and I were hanging out just like usual. We were at the park and laying out on the playground bridge and staring up at the white fluffy clouds.
"I'm bored," Zoey complained.
"Me too." I sighed.
"Let's do something," she sat up.
"What?" I sat up too.
She just shrugged and looked expectantly at me.
"Don't look at me, I got nothing." I brought my knees to my chest.
"Ugh! It's so boring here, no one's even here. It's a park, it should be filled with kids!" as if to emphasize her point the wind blew and leaves scattered across the floor.
We both sighed.
"God, we are such losers." She banged her head against the railing.
"Hey!" I complained.
"Well, we are! Face it, Poppy, you and I are at the bottom of the food chain. We've both never dated, or even kissed anyone! No one's even asked us out, not a single damn person. We don't get invited to parties or cool things. We are losers, with a capital L. We are seniors now! You think by now we would have at least kissed one person. Face it, we are going to graduate virgins and stay losers forever." She huffed.
"You are freaking dramatic, so what if we've never kissed anyone. Plenty of people haven't. It's no big deal." I shrugged.
"Maybe to you." she stood up to leave.
"Are you seriously mad about this?" I stood up and dusted myself off.
"You don't get it, I-I'm lonely. I want what other people have, you know?" she looked at me with so much vulnerability that my heart skipped a beat.
I never felt like that before until she looked at me like that. I felt my face flush and I couldn't think of what to say. She was opening up to me, showing me the side of her I hadn't seen yet. So what did I say?
"I bet it's not as great as you play it up to be,"
Her face contorted into one of pain and she looked away from me.
"I got to get home, see you later." She jumped off the jungle gym and began to walk to her bike.
I just stared after her. I knew I said the wrong thing, I knew I should have gone after her. But I felt both insulted and confused. What was the big deal? So what if I haven't kissed anyone, it doesn't make me a loser. So I let her go.
And that brings me back to now. Ever since then Zoey has been blowing me off to hang out with Hilary. Hilary! Ugh! I didn't even know she knew Hilary, or that they were such close friends. It's bad enough to blow me off for the perfect Ms. King, but then to lie about it? Okay, what the hell did I do to deserve that?
It's not like Hilary can help Zoey feel any less lonely than I can. It's not like Hilary can magically make Zoey get laid or get her first kiss. It's not like Hilary can help her with her loneliness problem. I mean all Hilary can do is what I was doing, just being there to listen to a friend. So why is she picking her over me?
Thus why I snuck into the party, for research.
I needed to know why the great Ms. King was a better friend than me. Which is how I discovered that Zoey lied to me and was not stuck at home, but here with Hilary. And not just here with her, but like here with her.
I walked in and navigated my way past the drunks, past the flirts, and past the people who actually know Hilary to the back of her perfect house. Because of course, a girl so perfect has to have a perfect house too. I'm talking two stories, backyard pool, long driveway perfect. God that is so infuriating.
And that is when I saw, Zoey laughing her ass off. She was stretched out on a lawn chair, cuddled up next to Hilary who was laughing too. The two of them seemed to be in their own bubble, just sitting like that together, cups of suspicious liquid in their hands as they stared at the pool.
My guts twisted up inside of me. I froze in place. I don't know what I had expected to find by spying on Hilary, but this was not it. I felt tears fill up my eyes. Why was Hilary a better friend than me? Couldn't I just sit next to her and have her laugh with me? What did she have that I didn't?
"Watch out!" someone called.
I turned but it was too late, a football hit me square in the forehead and I went stumbling back into the pool with a large splash. When I came up for air a crowd had gathered around.
"Oh shit, sorry." Some guy chuckled.
Soon everyone was laughing at me. I sigh and with a grunt hoisted myself out of the pool. I grabbed the football and shoved it into the guy's arms.
"Oh my goodness, are you okay?" Hilary came up to me.
"I'm fine," I snapped at her.
The crowd started to disperse and my eyes locked with Zoey. She looked guilty and quickly averted her gaze.
"Come on, I can get you something dry to wear." Hilary grabbed my hand and dragged me against my will to her room.
We went up the stairs and down the hall to her room. Only then did I notice that Zoey hadn't followed me. That just irked me even more.
"I am so sorry, here just wait here." She ran to get a towel before handing it to me.
I grumbled as I patted myself dry.
"Is your phone okay?" she asked.
I pulled it out of my pocket and clicked the side button, it did not light up.
"That would be a no." I let the useless brick fall to the floor with a thump.
"Oh god, I am so sorry." She said.
I eyed her tiny petite frame. I mean it wasn't her fault, but I wasn't about to tell her that. Her lavender eyes pleaded with me and she ran a stressed hand through her bleach blond locks. Her eyes aren't really lavender, they are blue but she wears lavender contacts. Which just irks me even more.
"Can I get you anything?" she asked sweetly.
"An explanation would be nice." I barked.
She cocked her head to the side like a cute little puppy, I rolled my eyes at her.
"Explanation?" she said when I didn't elaborate.
"Yeah! Like how you invited like half the school but didn't include me, even though you must know I exist since you were hanging all over my best friend." I rubbed my head with the towel to dry my hair.
"Oh." She said.
God, I just want to wring her little neck.
"Well? Am I not cool enough for you or something?"
"No! god no, it's not that. I just, I don't know... it's hard for me to talk to new people. Especially people as pretty as you." her face flushed.
Give me a damn break here. Seriously? That's the best she can come up with? That I'm too pretty to talk to? Tell that to all the people who've asked me out, oh wait.
"Whatever," I grabbed my shirt and balled it up at the bottom before wringing the water out.
"I'm sorry Poppy, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings." She said softly.
"So you do know my name."
"Of course I do, please forgive me. the last thing I wanted to do was offend you." she grabbed my hands in her own.
"Yeah, and what's the first thing you want to do?" I snorted in amusement at my own joke.
To my surprise, she leaned in and kissed my cheek.
I froze mid wipe as I was running the towel up my stomach. For a moment we just stood there in silence. I turned to her and she was beet red. We just stared at each other. Which is how I got my evil scheme.
If I would pretend to be Hilary's friend then I could discover just what exactly Zoey sees in her. I could expose Hilary to the world then Zoey would have no choice but to disown her. If she was going to be sweet to me, then I would be so sweet I would rot her teeth out. Two could play at this game. I know she has to be hiding something, no one is that perfect. So with the evil plan in my head, I made my first move.
I moved in and kissed her on the cheek right back.
She got even more red, the redness spreading down her neck.
I smirked at her.
"Thank you for the towel," I said.
She stuttered a bit before finally getting out "of welcome." A cross between of course to your welcome.
She turned with her back to me and ran her hands down her face in embarrassment, then she slapped her cheeks a bit before turning back to me. I raised an eyebrow.
She forced a nervous smile and rocked back and forth on her heels.
"Nice room," I said to break the weird tension.
"Oh thank you! um, let me get you something dry to wear." She quickly went to her dresser.
"I am pretty sure nothing you have will fit me." I point out.
"I have stretchy sweats."
Not that I am big or fat or whatever but the girl is tiny.
She pulled clothes out of her drawer letting them fly across the floor. Finally she found her sweats and walked over to me. I snagged the clothes from her, they smelled like roses. Then without warning, I sluffed off my wet clothes and began to finish drying my body.
She made an eep sound before turning so that her back was to me, I guess to give me privacy or whatever. I pulled on the sweats which ended above my ankles and hugged my hips very tightly. Then I slipped the shirt on, it clung to my frame and didn't cover half of my stomach. I made a face of annoyance, not that she could see.
I don't really have a big bust but that shirt made my feeble b cup breast look at least a whole cup size bigger.
"Yeah, this isn't going to work," I said.
She turned to look at me and I watched her lavender eyes go up and down my body twice before finally meeting my eyes.
"Y-You look great!" she said with fake enthusiasm.
I snorted, god it must be so hard being so nice all the time. Doesn't she ever get tired of it?
"I look like a slut." I corrected her.
"No! You don't, I promise. You look, uh... hot?" she offered.
"Yeah if a wet dog could be classified as hot."
It's a sort of kiddy sounding giggle. Very light and almost fake sounding. My eye twitched after hearing it, even her giggle is perfect. I just want to find one not perfect thing about her, one! Then I can die in peace.
I ran my fingers through my copper brown hair and sighed. Not how I wanted my first spy mission to go, but with any luck, there would be many more missions to come.
"Um, I can uh get you something to drink if you want. You are more than welcome to stay and enjoy the party." She said.
"No thanks, I think I've embarrassed myself enough for one night. Let me take what shreds of dignity I have left and go die in a hole somewhere."
She giggled again.
I eyed her and her face went red.
"D-do you... Do you like girls?" she asked.
"Yeah, sure what's not to like?" I shrugged.
"No... um like, do you like girls romantically?"
I eyed her again, what was she getting at? Does she think I'm gay? Does she think I'm hitting on her? Oh god no. Not that there is anything wrong with liking girls, but me and Hilary King, I'd gag just thinking of it. Never, never ever, never ever never.
"Don't know, never tried it before." I sat down on her bed and stared at her.
"Me either." She said all flustered.
"Then why'd you ask?"
There was a long tense silence.
"Nothing, never mind, I was just curious." She said.
I rolled my eyes. God, she's so annoying.
"Anyways, I'll be going now." I grabbed my wet clothes off the floor and my now useless cellphone.
"I uh... I can drive you home." She offered.
"Sure." I shrug.
So I got in the car with her and she took me home. The car ride was mostly silent.
"Um, nice to officially meet you, Poppy. Maybe we could hang out some more?" she said as she pulled into my driveway.
"Count on it." I winked at her.
Her face went red again, what a wired girl.
Then with the shreds of my dignity, I went inside to explain to my mom why my new phone suddenly stopped working.
Note to self, if you are going to sneak into a party, wear a swimsuit and leave your phone behind.