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...


13. Saturday 4th October

Okay, well, today I've decided to put the audition to the back of my mind. Its awful picturing that moment in the second round of the chorus when I wasn't sure whether I had hit that note...

Shut up, Rosa! Mum has been bugging me for ages to go to Gran and Grandad's house with her. She hates it when she has to go on her own, because she says that they don't understand how awkward it is for her to be with her ex-husband's parents. They always talk about the things that he did wrong, and she doesn't like to think that her arguments with my dad are turning his own mother against him.

To take my mind off everything that was going on at school, I decided to go with her. I like their home, because it has a cosy, old-fashioned atmosphere. The mantlepieces are covered with china ornaments and pictures of their kids when they were young. I go round each one and pick out Dad's face, wondering if he knew then that he would let so many people down.

Gran likes me more than any of her other grandchildren. When I told my mum this, she insisted that no relatives have favourites, but Gran pretty much told me herself.

She had been looking at a photo of all of us when I walked in.

"Come and look at this, Rosy-Posy."

"Gran, my name is Rosa!" I don't mind the nickname really. I went over to stand next to her.

"One of these people stands out. You. Do you know why?"


"The others all have light brown, curly hair and blue eyes. Just like your dad. I can't bear to look at them sometimes, because it hurts too much."

"I'm sorry."

"Hey, its not your fault darling. In fact, you save me. I find your face and it comforts me."

She had sounded near to tears back then. Sometimes, I still notice that in her eyes, an intense fragility underneath her bravado and cheeriness.

When I saw her today, it was no different. She doesn't moan about Dad so much when I'm around. She cooked us a delicious roast, and we chatted until it was time for us to leave.

It was a welcome distraction. Here, at home, my stresses at school are returning to the front of my mind. I'm going now. I'll do myself a face mask and have a spa afternoon to relax myself.


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