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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1711530
Sarah Jane finally stands up to her high school tormentor.

         “Did you hear what happened at Melinda’s party on Saturday?”

         “Of course, I did! Everyone is talking about it. You’d have to be a social leper not to know.”

         “Poor Melinda. A public break up is bad enough. But to have Kyle immediately hookup with another girl. And with someone as lowly as Sarah Jane Bennet! I don’t know how she’ll ever live it down.”

         Fragments of gossip swirled around Mckinley High’s cafeteria, hovering around the table where Sarah Jane attempted to make herself invisible. She pushed her glasses up her nose, and tried to focus on her macaroni and cheese, but the smell of food was turning her stomach. Navigating the perilous Mickinley High cafeteria was hard enough on a normal day. Now that her actions were the talk of the entire school, Sarah Jane was on the verge of a public breakdown. She needed to get out of there, away from the whispers and accusing glances.

         She stood up to make her escape to the library, and stumbled directly into the path of the one person she was studiously avoiding, Melinda Crawford. Sarah Jane’s breath caught in her throat, and her feet stuttered to a stop. She stood as still as stone, as if a lack of movement might save her from Melinda’s wrath.

         Every school has a girl like Melinda. She was the ultimate cliché It-Girl - Head Cheerleader, and queen of Mckinley’s social ladder, Melinda was the girl that every guy wanted, and every girl wanted to be. Her ‘friends’ - Sarah Jane preferred to call them servants - trailed in her wake, hoping that a little bit of Melinda’s grace and beauty would rub off on them. She was polished as always, every blonde hair perfectly placed, her designer outfit pulled directly from this season’s runways. The only flaw in her pristine appearance was the slight puffiness around her blue eyes, the tinge of redness that signaled she had been crying.

         Sarah Jane would have felt sorry for her, even felt guilty for kissing Kyle, if it wasn’t for one glaring fact – Melinda was a class-A bitch. She had spent the last three years making Sarah Jane’s high school life a living hell. Why? Because Sarah Jane refused to play the game. She didn’t want to be part of Melinda’s social circle. She came to school to learn, not to find out the latest gossip and scope out guys. She preferred playing football to prancing around brandishing pompoms like a bobble-head doll on crack. Her long black hair was knotted in a messy bun, and she’d never wanted to trade in her glasses for contacts.

         The entire cafeteria fell silent, as Melinda glared down her nose at Sarah Jane, hatred and embarrassment shining in her eyes. She took a deep breath, and when she finally spoke it was obvious she was barely keeping her anger in check, “You’re lucky that I have more class than you, or I would rip that hideous nest of hair right off your head.” Her fists clenched, and she dug her manicured nails into her palms. “Stay away from Kyle.” 

         Anger boiled inside Sarah Jane’s stomach, at Melinda’s last words. She assumed she could just order Sarah Jane around and she would automatically listen? She assumed that she could still control Kyle, even though he had broken up with her for that very reason?

         Sarah Jane looked across the cafeteria to where Kyle sat with the rest of the football team. She met his eyes, and was surprised to see a small smile playing on his lips. He thought this whole thing was funny. He was laughing at Melinda. At the way she assumed she could keep them apart. The way she assumed that the whole world would obey her every whim.

         Sarah Jane and Kyle were real friends. The kind that played football together and laughed until they couldn’t breath. The kind that understood each other without words. The kind that shared secrets and fears and desires and doubts. As she grinned back at Kyle, Sarah Jane realized that there was no way in hell she would let this bossy bitch ruin that.

         That was the moment when Sarah Jane decided to speak up for herself. For the first time since she had started at McKinley high, she refused to let Melinda trod all over her in shiny designer heels.

         “No,” Sarah Jane’s voice was quiet but firm, and it echoed throughout the cafeteria.

         Melinda whipped around, anger radiating from her cashmere clad body. “What?” Her voice was pure venom.

         “I said, No,” Sarah Jane exclaimed, louder this time. “I will not stay away from Kyle. If you think you can tell me what to do, and I’ll listen like your herd of servants,” she gestured to Melinda’s ‘friends’, “then you are dead wrong. You don’t own him. He can make his own decisions, and last weekend he decided that he didn’t want you anymore.”

         Silence fell over the cafeteria, as Melinda stood, mouth gaping like a dying fish. She tried to gather the words to reply, but none came out. A small smile of triumph danced on Sarah Jane’s lips, as she realized she had stunned Melinda into silence.

         A hand slid over Sarah Jane’s shoulder and she turned to see Kyle. There was an emotion swirling in his eyes that she had never seen before. It took her a moment to realize that it was pride. Pride that she had been able to say the words that everyone else was too afraid to say. The warmth of his hand found hers.

         “You up for a game of touch football before class?” he asked, grinning over her shoulder at the still stricken Melinda.

         Sarah Jane glanced back. At that moment, she knew that Melinda would never bother her again. She turned to Kyle and laughed.


* * *

9/27/10 entry in:

The Writer's Cramp  (13+)
Write the best STORY or POEM in 24 hours or less and win 10K GPs!
#333655 by Sophy

Prompt: Write a story or poem about facing a change within the character's self.

Word Count: 978

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