On The Outskirts Of The Gang

Rosa is a pretty, self-conscious girl who wants to be cool. She's a bit afraid of Jessica, the most popular person in the entire year. As she clings on at the edge of Jessica's gang, she notices things that slowly make her realise that there is something odd going on...

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26. Friday 17th October

Penny wasn't in school today. Lorraine rang my mum to say that she had a bad headache, and apparently she couldn't face 'boring rubbish' when she was ill. Personally, I think she was embarrassed that I'd uncovered her nasty side. She should be. After all I'd done to help her fit in, she decided that it was ok to insult my other friends. Just watching her whinging about Jessica and Felicity, you could tell she was jealous to the core. It's good for her to see that she's not queen of everybody else's universe - just her own. I'm not going to listen to her poison any more.

In my room yesterday evening, I just sat on my chair listening to music and thinking. Almost every time Penny had made me laugh, it was because she was pointing out something bad about someone. I had found it funny then, but only because it was either focused on a random stranger who had passed us or an annoying celebrity. No-one who could possibly take it to heart or be affected by our opinion. It didn't stick in my head really because I didn't know the people. However, when she started picking on the gang members, it made me notice. She had a spiteful nature.

Oh dear, I've got to do Saturday Roller-Disco Club with her tomorrow. If she goes. Hopefully, she'll still be faking a headache. One thing's for certain - she won't get any of my cupcakes. Actually, it would be too harsh to leave her out while I gave one to every other person. I don't even know them. Well, she'll only get one. No chance of her pigging out like she did with my lemon cakes!

At school, I told the gang everything that Penny said about them. They had a right to know, because whispering behind people's backs is cowardly. Opinions of other people should be either kept to yourself or said to their face. Jessica thanked me, saying that it was the right thing to do and that she was glad I'd mentioned it.

"A lot of people wouldn't say anything, and that makes them almost as bad as the original person. It's encouraging a horrible habit and just makes them say more." Jessica frowned as she made that point.

"Yes, I just couldn't stand by and let her insult people. I didn't know she could be like that. I thought she was a good friend." I had to concentrate to make sure I didn't cry. I had to settle on a disappointed expression.

"Oh, didn't you say that she was you're friend when you were little? It must be hard to think of her as a sly girl when you've known her so long." Katya said sympathetically.

"Actually, I haven't really known her. That's what it feels like. It's like I've been tricked."

"Well, we're always here for you. If you want, you can hang out with me." Imogen offered.

"Thanks."

"Yes, you can stick with us. In fact, I've got something for you." Jessica placed a small object in my hand. I looked at it. It was round. There was a silver dot in the centre of a gold circle. The gang badge.

"Oh, thank you! Should I put it on?" I fastened it to my Emerald Velvet cardigan. I was delighted; the gang now included me! It was our school's equivalent to being knighted.

So, I've saved the best information 'til last today. It was such a nice surprise for me! Bye.

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