The next day, when I walked into english, I saw a bunch of girls staring at me and whispering amongst themselves. I'd seen them around, it was Lisa and her group and from what I'd heard, they were the mean girls of the school. So I walked to my seat and tried to drown out their voices.
Mr. Evans asked me to read again and I was happy to. As I was reading, I misread a line, nothing major but that made Lisa and her group erupt into laughter.
"Quiet down.Continue Rachel." Mr. Evans said.
I tried not thinking about it because I knew if I kept thinking about it, I wouldn't stop. The rest of the class went off really slowly but I got caught up in my reading. Lisa and her friends got out of class before me and stood in their group outside.
As I came out, I heard Lisa say," Look at what she's wearing, she looks homeless." This made all her friends start laughing uncontrollably.
"Yeah and look at her hair, they're like grease." Another girl said.
I kept walking, not looking at them. I didn't stop walking until I was in the bathroom. I washed my face and looked at myself in the mirror, giving myself a pep talk about not letting them get to me. But that didn't really work, before I knew it, I'd started crying. I hadn't realised it but Grace was in one of the stalls. She'd been really great to me all day. When she came out, she was really surprised to see me like that.
"What's wrong?" She asked, walking up to me.
"Nothing, I just got something in my eye." I said, wiping my tears away.
"Come on Rachel, you can tell me." She said, putting her hand on my shoulder.
I took a deep breathe, trying to not tell her but I knew I needed to because If I didn't, I would explode.
"It's nothing." I said, still trying to stop myself.
"Rachel.." She said.
"I heard Lisa and her friends making fun of me." I said, looking down at my shoes. I just couldn't look her in the eye.
"Hey, don't feel bad. That's what they do, they hurt people. Every time I pass them, they make comments and eventually you just have to find a way to not let them get to you." She said.
"How do you not let them get to you?" I asked.
"By realising that the only way they can feel good about themselves is by making someone feel bad and just because you don't have to do the same, you're already better than them." She said.
"Thanks." I said.
"Anytime." She said smiling.
That was the first time since Mike and I broke up, that I'd let someone all the way in. I wasn't ready to pour my heart out to her just yet but I wasn't going to completely shut her out either.
The rest of the day was over in a flash and it was time for my theatre audition. I was halfway ready to make a run for it, I was just too nervous. Grace and I went to the auditorium together and as we entered, I saw Lisa and her friends there. Now I was sure I couldn't do this. I looked toward Grace and she smiled at me reassuringly, as if she knew I was unsure.
It was as if the whole school was auditioning and as my name came closer, it felt like my heart was going to beat right out my chest. I wasn't an actor, what was I thinking? I could just read, anyone can do that.
It was Grace's turn to audition and she was amazing, but even then Lisa and her friends found a reason to laugh at her and I realised that no matter what I do, or how I do it, it's never going to be enough for them. They'll always find a reason to be mean, so screw them, I thought. I was going to do my best, do what felt real and right to me and the rest? It didn't matter.