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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14. Sunday 5th October

Katya's birthday is today. I went in to town yesterday to try and get her something pretty. I found a lilac purse-bag that would match the ballet pumps that she got when we went shopping. As it was quite a small gift, I bought a cherry lip balm to tuck inside it. My mum wrapped it for me as a thank-you for visiting Gran and Grandad's with her. To finish it off, I tied a turquoise ribbon around the shiny black paper so that it looked more interesting. This morning, I wrote out a little card for her, which I attached to the front of the present. Then I made sure I was wearing something nice before walking to her house to deliver it.

When she opened the door, she looked really surprised to see me. Not in a bad way; she was delighted that I'd got her a present.

"Oh, Rosa!" She laughed. "I wasn't expecting you to get me anything! You didn't have to, you know. Jessica and the others don't, unless of course I have a party."

Startled, I had to struggle to keep my questions back. Don't break your relaxed face, Rosa.

"Well, they should! Happy birthday!"

"Thanks! Bye!"

I found it, and still do find it (obviously), very strange that the gang don't bother giving each other birthday presents. Well, perhaps its a technique for cool-ness. I don't know!

Later, I'm going to see a film with a friend I haven't seen in ages. Her name is Penny, and we were best friends in nursery. She was funny and imaginative, and we used to play pretend games and put on mini-shows to our parents. She had an older brother, and we used to force him to join in with us, dressing him in pink tutus and fairy crowns. He looked ridiculous but he didn't mind (we said!).

Her family moved away nine years ago. The last time I saw her was when she visited her uncle seven years ago, and recently her mum sent a letter to mine saying they were staying with him again. Because its been so long, I'm worried whether I'll still like her! You don't gain anything by sitting at home hiding, though, and she can't be that mean if we used to be so close.

The film we're going to see is a comedy called For OUR Information. Its supposed to be really good, and it has sparkling reviews. At least if its interesting it doesn't matter so much if we don't get on.

For now, its goodbye from me. Mum's calling.

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