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...


8. Monday 29th September

I'm almost certain that my strange hypothesis is right.

Today, the gang pretty much left me alone, except from a few brief comments about the fact I was wearing my cardigan. That gave me time to wander around by myself without having to worry about perfect coolness. I picked people out from the crowd, placing them on the popularity scale and checking whether their looks matched up to it. They all did.

After lunch, as I was waiting in the corridor by my next classroom, Jessica and the gang stalked into view. You could tell from the look on each member's face that they were not happy. Jessica herself was like a lioness on a hunt, fearless and powerful, protecting a different sort of pride.

The group were like an army squad, their expressions giving nothing away about what they would do next. For one horrendous moment, I thought they were coming for me. The panic turned to curiosity when they surrounded a girl who had just stuck her head cautiously out from behind the library door.

"How. Dare. You." Jessica didn't shout; she didn't need to. Terror flitted back and forth across the girl's face. She cowered back in the library, but they followed her. Did she think they would go. I went and stood in the doorway to get a better look.

From there, I recognised the girl as Megan Welder. She had sweet, sky-blue eyes and an aura of vulnerability about her that made you want to befriend her. Straight, auburn hair framed her small, delicate figure. On her tiny wrist she had sketched the design of the gang's badge.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you, I, umm..." she gushed, and flinched as Felicity stepped forward to be in line with Jessica. The rest of the gang split up and moved to the sides, creating a barrier between   Megan and any possible exits. I turned away and went to my lesson.

When school finished, I saw Megan again. She was steering well clear of the gang, who were huddled together by the bench. Sticking close to another group so that I wouldn't look suspicious, I walked closer to her. Pity stabbed at me.

Her eyes were dull and lifeless. An uncharacteristic feeling of defeat hung around her, and her hair was scruffy and greasy. Twig-like legs stuck out from under her crumpled skirt, and her face was red.


Actually, our looks depend on Jessica's opinion of us. She has a massive influence over our popularity, so that's why I came to my previous conclusion. I'm really beginning to dislike that girl, but I'm too scared to break friends with her. I'm so selfish; I can't bear to lose my looks!

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