The Art of Being Fake

I watched a girl shuffle down the hall, her head bowed low as a curtain of electric blue hair tried to hide her glaring ice orbs. Her petite form was constantly hidden underneath the crowd of teenagers, yet somehow those eyes of hatred and sorrow burned through the masses. The girl's attire always consisted of ripped clothing, littered with black ink profanities. She dragged her feet around in crimson sneakers, which looked to be about five years old. They were tattered and covered with duck tape to keep them from falling apart. But she didn't care. She never cared, and all the students in the school knew it.

She was called Navanna. She transferred here over a year ago and refused to reveal her real name so was dubbed with the unique title. The legendary Navanna; the girl who wouldn't give a rats behind if she was run over by a car, struck by lighting or had a piano dropped on top of her. She found her life worthless; at least, that's the impression she portrayed. I, on the other hand, contradicted that rumor. I saw the truth behind those blue eyes very clearly. Navanna was nothing more than a fake. There was no reason for her to act so sad, so angry, and so tragic. Even though she created an attitude that showed she didn't enjoy it, she secretly reveled in the attention. This fact was highly supported when every time someone shot her a look of sympathy, annoyance or any other emotion her lips twitched, fighting a smirk.

As I continued watching her with my narrowed amber gaze a voice rumbled beside me, muttering, "Stop it, Shannon."

I whipped my head to the right, my brown hair flying everywhere. I gazed over at my friend Jake who sat beside me on the metal bench, trying to finish his math homework in a panicked frenzy. Blinking innocently up at him, I offered a tiny smile. "Stop what?"

Jake, understanding me as much as any human being would ever be capable of, didn't falter. "You know what I'm talking about. Why don't you just drop this grudge towards her already?" I frowned as his lips slowly twisted into a grin, jade eyes twinkling. "I know this is all because of that silly Dodge Ball game."

It was not! I argued inside my head, huffing. How could he think of me so lowly with his biased opinion? It was just because he was a friend of hers too! I mean, sure I felt I little resentful towards that incident, but I'm not a spiteful person. Seven months ago in gym, my class had played dodge ball. Navanna, who happened to be in my class, was conveniently placed on the other team. At that time, I hadn't yet come to my conclusion about her, and still viewed her like the rest of the world did. She looked upset that day, her face stained with streaks of pink form scarring tears. Feeling concerned, I tried to brighten her day by saying, "Hey there, cheer up now. It's a sunny day. Turn the frown upside down." Then I had smiled cheerily, having it soon fade when she contorted her face and gave me the dirtiest look, throwing the ball she held straight at my head.

That was the day I came to my conclusion about her. No one could truly be that bitter towards the world without an excuse, and as far as I was concerned she had none. My parents divorced two years ago, and nine months ago my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Still, with that in my life did I walk around all gloomy, throwing balls at random kind faces? No, I think not. My father's condition haunted me everywhere I went, though. I watched him struggle; trying my hardest to help while my mother turned her back, uncaring as a heartless monster. It became hard to hide all the pain, but I covered it well. The only one who knew about my father was Jake, but even he didn't know that I cried my self to sleep every night with worry and fear. But how could Jake know that? I usually faked a big smile around people. That's one of the reasons why Navanna bothered me so much. She made people worry and develop false accusations over nothing.

"Shannon!" Jake suddenly cried in a squeaking voice, jolting me out of my thoughts. His eyes were staring horrifically at his math textbook.

I raised an eyebrow at him. "What?"

Hyperventilating, Jake asked, "What's six times forty divided by pi?"

"Um…" I hesitated, biting my lip. I considered the question for a while, and eventually came to the conclusion that I would have better luck figuring out the atomic bomb theory. "I don't know."

Jake ran a shaky hand through his hair, and I sighed at the boy's obsession to get every homework question right.

"Why don't you just guess?" I suggested with a shrug. He looked at me like I was crazy, then let eyes rake the halls for another savior, for I obviously wasn't the one.

Jade eyes landed on familiar blue tresses and he called out, "Navanna!" I groaned and buried my head in my hands as she looked at him, tilting her head to the side and coming over to the bench. Smiling sheepishly, Jake asked, "What's six times forty divided by pi?"

An empty smirk crawled across her face as she reached into her army-patterned bag and pulled out a calculator, tossing it to him carelessly. "Figure it out yourself, Einstein," she told him. Jake caught it and nodded gratefully, punching in numbers while I yet again narrowed my eyes, reading all the negative, spiteful things she had written all over herself. I suppose my look of disgust showed clearly, for she demanded hastily, "Do you have some sort of problem?"

At that very question, I finally snapped at the legendary Navanna. "Yes, I do, actually." I ground the words out, feeling warm hands grasp my wrist as Jake hissed my name in warning. I ripped my wrist away from him and stood up high to face Navanna. Straight on I met her ice-cold gaze with my own blazing amber. "I have a problem with your fake attitude. You're just another kid looking for attention who really has absolutely no reason be so bitter."

Navanna's fists clenched, her smirk wavering. I hid a grin. "Shannon," Jake hissed again. I only continued to ignore him and went on with my raving speech.

"I mean, what could you possibly have to be so upset over?" Waving my arms around dramatically and raising my voice I tried to emphasize my words. "Honestly. You're probably just another spoiled brat who takes their parent's money for granted." I stopped ranting for a moment to look at her and froze as though I had just fallen deep into the Arctic Ocean. A completely different demeanor marked her now shattered form. She was no longer glaring or cold, but the exact opposite. She looked at me, glassy eyes filled with hurt, biting her trembling lower lip and I found myself absolutely befuddled.

In a choking voice the legendary Navanna broke out. "I don't have any parents to take advantage of."

"What?" I breathed, cocking my head to the side. What did she mean she didn't have? I looked at Jake who was shaking his head, slightly in shame for my part.

He saw my confused look and sighed. "Navanna's family died in a car accident a year ago. That's why she's here. She's living with her aunt."

In utter shock my jaw detached from my face, hitting the tile floor. I suddenly felt the strongest urge to beat myself with a baseball bat. "Navanna, I-"

"Don't." She cut me off, turning away. "I know I may act negative and sad, but at least I don't bottle it up inside and let it eat me to death."

She left me then, with nothing but a mirror, as I stood in the fading hallway of solitude, oblivious to the crowd. The steps of sneakers soon faded, and I questioned just when this mask was placed on me and how easy it would be to remove the terrifying phenomenon.

A/N: This was actually handed in for my final short story assignment in creative writing. IT did okay, not a well as I hoped. I lost some marks on the spelling… yeah, sadness. Anwho I hope you learned something. It was inspired by my song i wrote "The Art Of Being Fake" Here it is if you want to read it:

The art of being fake

Costumes of oblivion

Countless masses of paint

I am no where to be placed

No one can ever put you anywhere

-

And it's hard enough to see

When you don't look past the doubt

Of what you think of me

Of what you accuse of me

Of the art of being fake

-

Blinding pastures have corrupted you

Into the untrustworthy monster you are now

Mistaken with the reality of existence

Misunderstanding life of another

Always trying to see through

The truths given to you

Always accusing the art of being fake

Where lies lie nowhere

-

And it's hard enough to see

When you don't look past the doubt

Of what you think of me

Of what you accuse of me

Of the art of being fake

Open your eyes

There's nothing fake about me

-

I cry

I smile

I bleed

I laugh

I am human and just like you

I feel

-

I feel pain

I feel loss

I feel torment for this cost

But it's not about me

And it's not about you

It's about this world's lack of understanding