Author: Caracol39 PM
She was only a young girl with a pretty facade, and you thought you knew her complete by the way she dressed. But before you judge her, listen to her story.Rated: Fiction K - English - Friendship - Chapters: 7 - Words: 8,910 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 08-23-11 - Published: 07-26-11 - id: 2936835
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
You thought you knew her complete by the way she dressed. Halfway through high school, probably selfish and a little insecure, she looked like a glossy rendition of every fake plastic beauty on the face of this earth—but that's just it, isn't it? You never bother to look beyond the surface, beyond that superficial lack of emotion that she's been trying so hard to keep up. All you see are jeggings and makeup, aesthetic allure that doesn't belong on the body of a young girl—let alone some coldhearted princess like her.
Now listen to me. Before you judge her, before you narrow those flaw-seeking eyes at her, I'd like to tell you a story.
There once was a person as unusual as the rest of us named Jane Somerset. Wait, let me finish. She wasn't pretty, though that's what all her elders tended to say to her, because she was a girl and her elders were chauvinists. She wasn't particularly innocent, but she loved mashed potatoes and bad jokes and the way your voice sounds when you talk through a PVC pipe. She lived a fairly happy life, except for on the bad days, when she would vent her frustration outside. One day, Jane decided to ride her bike as fast as she could around the neighborhood, and she imagined she was flying through time into the distant future. When she got back to the house, she made a robot named Nellie out of cardboard boxes and utensils and paint, but her parents didn't recognize it because it wasn't humanoid. Only her little brother Carter understood, but that was before he attempted to eat one of Nellie's appendages.
As Jane grew up, she traded the robots and time machines for less practical things—fanfiction, romance, politics—and the robot Nellie gave way to a very human friend named Sierra. Jane though that Sierra's name was the coolest, and Sierra loved Jane's eyes, and they both enjoyed science classes and hated their fifth grade teacher. Soon, the many afternoons Jane had spent perfecting her latest invention were replaced by hours-long phone conversations, sleepovers, movie marathons and epic chemistry experiments. They were inseparable all the way through middle school, even through the shared crushes and split classes; through all the mighty declarations of "I hate you" there was still an air of mutual respect.
It was in this way that they came out of the eighth grade. Sierra no longer had a cool name and Jane's eyes were no longer stunning, but they were both better off in the long run for having known each other.
Entering high school without Sierra wasn't as hard as Jane had hoped. All she had to do was focus on her grades, and on some ways to make friends. Over the next year, she switched out her loose clothing for more fitted material— not to attract anybody's attention, really, just because it looked good on her. Jane also got a Facebook account to keep in touch with Sierra and maybe acquaint herself with some new friends.
One day, as she was walking to class, a girl she'd never met walked up to her and said, "You look familiar."
Jane tried to explain she'd never met the girl, but that she'd be happy to be her friend.
The girl just laughed and said her name was Melanie. She said that Jane's eyes were really small, but that that was just a random statement, and sure, she'd love to hang out sometime.
The next day, Jane wore some of her mom's eye shadow—she hoped it wasn't too much, so she wouldn't look like one of those stupid teen soap characters. She saw Melanie talking to some of her friends in the hallway, and tried to attract her attention. One of the guys she was talking to made eye contact with Jane and then murmured something about a raccoon to Melanie, which made her burst out laughing.
Jane walked away and thought, That was an absolute waste of time.
That afternoon she went to the library in search of a good science fiction read to take her mind off things. She picked out a copy of Sphere by Michael Crichton, and was about to go check it out when she saw you.
You were right there in the middle of the library, concentrating on a heavy-looking hardback titled The Inventions of the Future: What We Can Expect. You were glasses and braces and perfect serenity, holding it as naturally as if it were your own, scrutinizing it while flipping a page.
Jane tiptoed over, trying not to disturb the peace. She started to read over your shoulder.
You looked up, startled, and saw an echo of a girl.
Before you judge her…
Think of her story.
"Hi," you say, a little cautiously.
"Sorry," she replies.
You look at the book in her hand. "Sphere?" you wonder, mainly to yourself.
"Yeah!" she says, sounding way too enthusiastic. She calms herself. "Can I…um…read that book when you're done with it?"
"What's your name?"
You introduce yourself.
"I'm Jane," she says.
You want to ask where all her gorgeous friends are, but you figure you shouldn't.
"I like your glasses," says Jane.
It catches you off guard. "Thanks," you say earnestly.
Then, for the first time in what feels like forever, Jane Somerset smiles.