The Shoe's On The Other Foot

A popular girl. An unpopular girl.
Can YOU tell where the story goes from here?
Because I don't think that it's going to be what you think.

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2. What happened next

Tina rushed from the school, holding her hands in front of her face to avoid falling onto it when she tripped over Naomi’s foot. Naomi laughed but I felt sour.

     It felt wrong.

     Now that I knew what it felt like, I could see what was happening to Tina. She was being unravelled, bit by bit until eventually, she would fall off the deep end.

      I couldn’t let that happen.

      I shoved Naomi back. She clattered against the steel fence. Her eyes narrowed.

      “Why the hell did you do that?!”

       I ignored her and offered my hand to Tina. She glared up at me and suddenly, tugged on my hand. I fell down beside her and then, we were locked into a fight. She squealed and tore at my cheeks. I screamed, trying to escape from her. All I saw was red. It was pouring into my eyes and, because it was mixed with sweat, it scorched me.

     It was happening again.

     The thing that had happened in Florida.

     “Git!” Tina screamed, tearing long bloody lines down my arms. I squealed like a stuck pig as the pain travelled up and down my arms. Suddenly, she was tugged off of me and, holding us both by the scruff of our necks was Miss Tedcastle.

      The head.

      Ten minutes later, we are sitting in her office. Tina was clutching a cup of cocoa with shaking hands-as much damage as she had done to me, I had done worse back. Miss Tedcastle wasn’t there-she was sorting out a boy who had run smack into a wooden pole when running from third year bullies. I swallowed. So the infection of Bully was viciously catching.

      “Why did you stop her?”

       I jumped at the question.

       “What?”

       “Why did you stop Naomi from kicking my head in?”

        I didn’t know if it would have gone that far but I shrugged anyway.

       “I’m fed up of bullying people. I’ve recently learned what it’s like to be on the other end of the stick...” My voice trailed off as I realised what I’d just confessed to. And I’d confessed to this...warped twisted girl.

        Mind you, her being warped and twisted-that was probably my fault.

       Tina looked uncomfortable. The nosebleed had stopped but blood was still streaming in trickles from the scratch on her forehead. My arms were aching and, when I’d checked them, Tina had mumbled, “Sorry.”

        “Y’know, I might have liked you if you hadn’t teased me,” she said, setting her cup down on the head’s desk. I gulped and looked at her. She held up her bloody hands and laughed. A short burst but still, a laugh. Now that I looked at her, she was extremely pretty. Her eyes were bright green, sparkling like freshly cut grass; her hair was a soft caramel colour with highlights of blonde; her skin was a pale white, almost like the petal of a flower...I couldn’t believe how I had missed her.

         Or Alan. He had certain radar for the beauty of girls-that’s why he liked me. But Tina W was way prettier than me.

          “I do like you,” I mumbled. “I think you should take my place. You’re a much better person than me. You wouldn’t give into peer pressure. You would stand your ground.” I looked up at her, tears welling in my eyes. “Tina, I wish I was you.

 

  Tina W-

Her admitting this to me was a sort of victory. I knew she wasn’t as bimbo-ish as she seemed. I knew that, deep down, there was a smart girl just bursting to escape from behind the cool girl façade.

 

   Tina stood, her hand sticking out oddly. I peered up at her and suddenly realised. I stuck out my own hand and shook hers. Her skin was soft, just like a pillow.

      “You know, I really would like to be friends,” Tina looked at me suddenly, adding, “but Tina-I can’t just make something that isn’t. I need to know I can trust you. Like, what happened out there~” She waved her arm vaguely toward the front school ground. “I can’t just forget that, Tina.”

        I nodded. I knew how she felt.

        Suddenly, she sits back down on her comfy chair.

        “Can you tell me what happened in Florida?” I could tell she was trying to coax it from me.

         I sighed. I didn’t want to tell her but I felt I owed her that. And, I was going to burst if I didn’t tell someone.

        “Well,” I started, looking away from Tina. “I was at this cabin, staying with my mum and her boyfriend. I hate him-he acts like I’m not even there. He just cares about bloody baby Jim, his own son. Actually, that’s all Mum cares about too.” I glanced at my namesake. Her eyebrows were raised as I realised I was going off the subject.

          “Anyway, there were these other kids who lived in the neighbouring cabins. They...they weren’t very nice. One kept saying I was ugly and that I caked my face in foundation.”

         Tina’s face was doubtful. I held up my hands in surrender and noticed how caked my nails were with blood.

         “Okay, okay! Maybe I put on a tad too much! It’s to hide all my freckles,” I explained. She looked shocked to know I had freckles but I didn’t dwell on that fact. “Yeah, but the kids once stole my phone and threw it into the middle of a pond. I cried and one of them...punched me in the stomach. But the others had known he had gone too far and called him a girl basher. After that, he’d skulked away with his tail between his legs.” I stopped just as Miss Tedcastle walked in.

         “So,” she snapped, sitting down. “Have you two girls been having a fight?”          

          Stupid question-she’d just seen us.

         We both hung our head in shame as she droned on and on about school pride and how disgraceful we’d been...until, finally, she stopped. I looked up and she was producing a mobile phone which had been clearly battered and bruised. I glanced at Tina and she shrugged.

         “I found this on my two sons,” Miss Tedcastle explained. She turned it in her fingers. “I believe it used to belong to another boy. My two sons bullied him until...until...eventually, the boy committed suicide.” She froze her gaze on me as she spoke. I shivered-the fact that she was holding a dead person’s phone kid of creeped me out.

      “I don’t want this happening to anyone else; especially at this school. Now girls,” She put the phone down and turned all business again. “I have placed you in many of the same classes for third year-and I hope this will help challenge your aggression.”

     She waved us away, writing in a large pad. Just before we left, I paused.

      “Miss Tedcastle, I thought you only have one son?”

       She looked up, tears spilling down her cheeks. “I do.”

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