"Happy Birthday!" I heard shouted through the gym. I smiled but kept my hood on. "Hey, happy birthday!" My basketball team mates yelled. "Let's see!" Alicia cried, yanking on my hood. "No!" I yelled, but she was stronger than me. "It looks good!" My team mates reassured me. "You look different," Anne replied. "I hate my hair like this," I replied. I had been forced to get my other side cut off, now my hair was barely below my ears. After the initial story about my hair, my friends presented gifts to me. "Thanks so much!" I screamed as I hugged Alicia, "I love the shirt!" "I'm pretty awesome, if you don't know," She replied. "Open mine next!" Mandy said, pushing a wrapped box into my hands. "No way!" I cried as I examined my gift, "How did you possibly get this?" Mandy had gotten me a CD no one else could have gotten. It was only being sold in Brazil, and all of the songs were in Portuguese. I glanced through all of the songs. I was speechless, rumor has it there was only 100 copies sold world wide by my favorite Brazilian singer. "I got this off-line, let me tell you it was not easy to get, nor was it cheap," Mandy told me. "I heard you talking about the CD when you spent the night, and I started shopping online that next morning," She explained. "That is amazing!" I cried. "No way!" I yelled again. She had gotten the special version too? "There's only supposed to be 12 songs on here, how did you possibly get the 13th one?" I asked. "Like I said, not cheap!" Mandy laughed. I had wanted the 13th song, called "dançar a noite toda" the most. I thanked everyone and put my CD and the rest of my gifts in my backpack.
How did she manage to look good every time, even after her haircut? After the gifts were exchanged we got ready for basketball practice. I couldn't stand her anymore. "Special gift, for the birthday girl!" Coach announced, bringing a jersey that read happy birthday to Reagan. Everyone went in the locker room to see her after she tried it on. I hung back. I quickly sorted the backpacks, careful to not drop anything. After the deed was done, I skipped happily into the locker room. Reagan's smile lit up the room. I watched as her as her now short brown hair danced on her shoulders. Her hair still looked as soft as it was before.
As I got home with Alicia and Katy I opened my backpack. I dumped everything onto the floor. I searched through all of the bags. The purple bag that Mandy had handed me with the special CD was gone. "Alicia, Katy!" was all I could cry. "My CD, it's gone!" I continued shouting. "Man, you lose everything!" Alicia joked. "Alicia, it's not funny, it's gone!" I yelled. "Didn't you lose your jersey too?" She asked. "Yeah, it's annoying, both the jersey and the CD I knew I had!" I started crying. "Well, it has to be around here somewhere!" Alicia reassured me. "Maybe someone stole it?" Katy asked. "Nobody is mean enough to do that!" I replied back. Then I thought of Anne. She was weird, but I didn't think she's steal. "Anne!" I whispered. The word slipped out of my mouth. "She's cool," Alicia told me. "Okay," I said, dumbfounded. "Why do you think she did it?" Katy asked. "I didn't say that, I meant I wonder if she grabbed my bag or maybe she saw me misplace it," I replied, getting annoyed. "She's nice, ask her," Katy said. "Tell her what? Did you see someone steal my CD?" I snapped. ""Well, Reagan, don't blame her," Katy snapped back. I felt myself getting annoyed. "Well, whatever, forget it then," I said. "You don't be mad, I'm just saying, I like Anne, and you probably are the one that misplaced it," Katy wouldn't let it go. "Since you like her so much, why don't you leave my house and go to hers?" I shot back. Nobody moved, nobody said anything. Katy stormed out of my house. Alicia stayed put. "Don't worry about her, she'll get over it," Alicia comforted me. I was still upset about the missing CD. There was never an opportunity to get that again. The day passed quickly. Soon it was time to go to school the next day. As I arrived, I heard a yell. Mandy's brother came up behind me. "Hey, weren't you at my sisters sleepover?" he asked. "Yeah, I was," I replied with a smile. "I thought I recognized you," he smiled. We stood around awkwardly. "I'm Reagan, a freshman," I smiled. "Oh yeah, I'm Tyler, I'm a freshman too," Tyler said. "Cool," I replied. I felt myself blushing madly. We started walking down the stairs to leave the building. "Hey, want to?..." Tyler started, but he never finished
She was pushing my buttons. Talking to Tyler? Walking with him? A freshman? He liked me, I knew it. I couldn't stand it one more minute. I saw the wheels on my rolling backpack. I had a thought for a moment. Then, I smiled to myself. After all, I was walking down stairs.
Just as Tyler finished his sentence, I felt it. Wheels were being shoved into my ankles. A handle was pushed into my back. I felt myself trip down the stairs. "Reagan!" I heard Alicia shout. "Are you okay?" Tyler cried. I picked myself up, embarrassed. "Are you okay?" Another voice asked, Katy. "Here, let me help you!" She whispered. "Thanks" I smiled. "Sure, and hey, sorry for being a jerk the other day, you..." Katy said. "What?" I asked. "I'll tell you later," She whispered. I looked back at Alicia. She looked scared, confused, and angry at the same time. Alicia and Katy grabbed me and pulled me away from Tyler. "Wait!" I yelled at them. "You need to come, now!" They yelled. I was pushed into the bathroom.