The Blackmailer

Melissa is best friends with someone who wants more than just Melissa. Tiffany knows she is destined for success in popularity, and when she decides to take the chance, she makes it. A heartbroken and confused Melissa thinks an existence without Tiffany is a life without the sun until she realizes that it isn't her fault. Slowly growing insane from the silence and secrets she'd been holding for so long, she lashes out in hopes that her friend will fall from grace and back to her. She goes from the bullied to the Blackmailer overnight. Will Melissa realize it or go insane from the power she now possesses anonymously?

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4. Finally High

 

            I ran up the steps to Tiffany’s door, ready for the bus. After that first month, we’d been able to ride the bus for the next three years. Now we had a new bus to try, but I suspected it calmer considering half the student body could drive. We’ll be going into high school together. Tiffany had been at a summer camp the entire three months, and I was finally going to see her again. Every bone in my body jittered with excitement to see my best friend again.

            I rang the bell and leaned against the Gold Pole. I prayed for luck in school and good grades. I simultaneously brought my hand up to my necklace, the Yang half of what I’d been given that first day of middle school that kept us together all this time.

            “Coming!” Tiffany said. Her voice had changed slightly. She sounded a lot happier. “Just wait until you see this!”

            “Okay,” I said. It was probably a new backpack or something. I kept wondering what high school would be like. Would it be bigger? Is Freshman Friday real? Will the bullies grow or decrease? I heard Tiffany coming down her stairs and noticed her lighter footfalls. She opened the door and showed herself.

            She had to have lost one-hundred pounds. She could no longer be called Fanny unless you were commenting on how good her ass actually looked. Weight loss had really changed her entire image, even her face.

            “Holy crap,” I squealed. We locked hands and jumped up and down. “Look at you! You look so great, oh my god! How on earth did you lose it all?”

            “That wasn’t art camp! I wanted to change myself before high school, so I went to an exercise camp for adults. My stomach ached for weeks from Pilates, but look at me!!” Tiffany explained excitedly as we walked up.

            Her weight loss wasn’t the only thing that had changed. Since she didn’t fit her old clothes anymore, she’d gone on a shopping spree for preppy ones. Her hair was looking almost healthier than her. And she’d gotten better cosmetics. Goodbye neon, hello not-Tiffany! It was like, in my absence, she’d become a whole new person. And she wasn’t wearing her Yin side anymore. It had been replaced with a brassy octopus. She noticed me looking to her neck and realized what I saw.

            “Oh! I still have it, but it doesn’t match with this outfit so I left it at home today.” All through her explanation, she wouldn’t look at me. Was she avoiding wearing it?

            “That’s okay. I was really just thinking that the octopus was cute.” I lied. Tiffany smiled, patting me on the back.

            “There we go. That’s the Melissa spirit!” Tiffany said, spinning in circles on the heel of her new brown sandal wedges.

            “Hey…” said some girls walking up the way. It was the same set of girls who’d been teasing us all throughout our middle school days; Vivian Talbot and Willow Falls. “Are you new here? I don’t think I’ve seen you before.” Tiffany and I looked at each other, giving a knowing laugh.

            “My name is Tiffany Harlow? I’ve been in your classes since middle school?” Tiffany said, holding back laughter at their shock.

            “No way… No way! You look great!” said Willow. This felt like a cliché chick flick where the victim becomes super cute.

            “Do you want to sit with us on the bus?” Vivian asked. Now, if I’ve seen enough movies, Tiffany’s going to say “no” because of all the things they’ve said and stick with me.

            “Sure!” Tiffany said. “Can I bring Melissa?”

            So there’s a gut-punch to the stomach. Why on Earth would Tiffany pick our bullies over her bestie? Like, really? But still, Tiffany and I are friends no matter who she sits with. She even invited me back with her.

            “No, that’s okay. You have your moment. I was able to snag Pride and Prejudice from the bookshelf before I left.” I said. Tiffany smiled gratefully at me as the bus pulled in. Vivian and Willow walked in first, then Tiffany, then me.

            “Thanks. I owe you big time!” she said, giving me a squeeze as she went to the back and I slumped in the front. Of course, it’s not like I’m all that nervous. Tiffany and I have to have a few classes together to chill, right? I mean, we’re best friends. We know all of each other’s secrets and have been together since grade school. It’s not like she can just… leave.

            The bus jolted to a stop and I slammed into the seat in front of me. A few more students got on, and it wasn’t until I saw him get inside that my heart slammed in my chest harder than I had against that seat.

            I know I recognize him from somewhere. He sat into the seat next to me and took off his backpack. He had brown hair and a muscular tall frame, but it was his blue eyes that gave him away.

            “Hey, Melissa,” he said. “Where’s Tiffany today?” He looked at the cover of my book and smiled, pulling the same copy from his bag. This had to be fate.

            “Cool!” I said, trying and failing not to blush. “She’s in the back today with Vivian and Willow.”

            “Oh, so she’s not a lamb anymore. She actually did end up getting bigger than just her level. Good for her.”

            “Yeah… Say, can you tell me your name again?” I asked. He stopped looking in the back at the New Tiffany’s rocking figure and paid attention.

            “Sammy. You didn’t remember?”

            “No, no, I meant your last name.” I said quickly. Relief flushed through his earlier-pale face, and I now know both of his names.

            “Oh, it’s Goldman.” he said, flashing me a smile. My heart melted faster than the Wicked Witch of the West. “I like that book, ha–”

            The bus screeched to a stop. We were here now. The full bus of sixteen kids started to walk off calmly.

            “I guess we’ll talk later?” I said. He nodded, giving me a wave goodbye. I swear to God, that guy is going to give me a heart attack someday. He’s just too handsome. He was back then, but it’s amazing how people can change over the summer.

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