Tiffany sighed and rubbed her eyes wearily. Her friend Lynda was there, alright. And after the embarassing scene back at math class, Tiffany wasn't sure if Lynda would ever talk to her again. Everyone was sorry, but sorry wasn't enough for the moment, even though Lynda forgave for whatever wrong doings. It was the whole idea that sickened Tiffany, wondering what made everyone back at class so mean like that.
"Lynda?" she called out, careful to walk more quietly in the grass. "It's me, Tiffany. Where are you?"
A sniffle followed by some nearly silent movements alerted her to where her best friend was. It was usual for Lynda to break, considering her reputation at the school. She was fierce, unbeatable, and untouchable. Where her friends would hug, she would smile and wave. Where people play volleyball, she would hit the highest, the furthest, the strongest.
It was rare to ever, ever see her cry at all. Infact, in the years that Tiffany had known her, Lynda had only cried twice. Once was when they were in fifth grade, and the ball hit her so hard in dodgeball that she had tears, and the other was now.
In the far distance of the playground, not hiding in fact, just acting as if she were catching up on some sleep she had missed, sat Lynda. Her arms around her knees, her face covered by her hair, she looked like she were dozing a bit for those who didn't know her so well. She never doze. She was far behind the basketball courts and the volleyball nets, nestled between the fence, wall, and school board.
Taking a deep breath and preparing herself for things to come, Tiffany steered over to her friend and sat down right besides her. "Lynda, I'm sorry about where happened in class. I'm sure that no one meant what they were saying. Things just got so wild and everyone was so defenseless-"
Wild laughter met her ears, making her cringe back against her will. "Defenseless?" A low voice said from under the bracket of hair. "Sorry?" Red rimmed eyes met hers, a strange and scary hurt in them. "Wild?" Tiffany couldn't help but wince when she saw her friend's face. Full of anger, of betrayal, and hurt. "You want to know how it's like when you're having a grea time, when all of a sudden, someone says that you sing waaay too high?" The voice got louder, more angry.
Tiffany swallowed. The things she did for her friends. "No one meant it, Lynda. We were just having a good time. I mean, you have to admit that there's not lots of times when the teacher has to leave for a few minutes because she has to see some other teacher. She didn't leave anyone to look after us, and we were just happy, that's all."
Either Lynda had not heard the desparate plea in her voice or she chose to ignore it, she continued. "Not only do I sing high, people have to try to shut me up? To rub it in on me?"
Tiffany was quiet. It was true. No one had rose to help her. They had all expected her to get up and beat the crap out of Antonio when he provoked her about it. They had all thought that she wouldn't take it seriously- that she would just laugh it off after.
The case was- even Tiffany had been surprised when Lynda's deep, growling voice turned so high and light when she sang. So much higher than everyone else's. Even higher than Tiffany's, since she was known as having the best voice in the school, with everyone stopping to listen to her sing when she did. No one could shut her up when she sang, either.
Lynda's voice was deep and commanding. More like when someone was really tired, and didn't want to waste the energy to put emotion in her voice. It was shocking to hear the sweet notes from her. And to tell the truth, no one really liked it. It was off tune to them. Too high.
"Lynda..." Tiffany started, but the eyes turned away from her.
"Go away, Tiff." Lynda said, her voice once again gruff. "I don't want your pity on this. I'll handle it myself."
Tiffany felt helpless. It was her best friend there, one who she had thought that she had known. It was just so... weird that she would get so upset over such a small matter. It was only singing. "No, Lynda, it's not pity. I just-"
"Just what?" She demanded. "You've probably never known what it's like here. You're great at singing. Everyone loves your singing. Has to have you sing things once for them so that they could understand the lyrics. Everyone goes to you."
"No, they don't." Tiffany stated. "You're the one who might not know what it's like. Singing's about the only thing that I can do."
"Singing, writing, drawing- basically, everything I've been trying for." Lynda drawled sarcastically. "You have a gift for those- I don't."
"You have a talent for just about everything there is!" Tiffany exclaimed, unable to believe what she was hearing. "You're good at math, drama, writing, science, history, singing.... well, everything!" She hung her hands, not knowing what to do. "You know, I wish I could have that many talents."
"Talents," Lynda bit out, "Are not gifts. My gift is for me to have just a little bit of talent on everything. But no more than a little bit. Your gift is complete things. Subjects. Mine just pretty much bounces around everywhere." She wiped off the last of her tears and breathed in deeply.
Tiffany sighed. This was going to be much harder than she thought. "I'm not leaving. Not until I know you're going to be okay. And if you try to make me leave by force, so help me God, I will come back with anyone else that will help me and stay with you."
Lynda glared, but obsidian eyes focused so much into a dark anger that the pupils could not be seen. Tiffany forced a shiver back, knowing that any display of weakness in a time like this would not be very good.
"Okay, fine." Lynda finally said. "You want me to talk. Have you ever had the thing you worked so hard on shoved right back in your face and have people say that it was horrible?"
"I bet they were just jealous." Tiffany countered. "High voices are pretty rare. No one could have known you could sing so high. They wanted to be able to do that too."
Lynda glared. Her red eyes made it even more creepy for Tiffany, who was starting to get the feeling that she should have left Lynda alone and let her deal it out by herself. But then, Lynda would never know that she did have friends who cared about her, and didn't know that she would take their jokes so seriously. Friends that were more than willing to apologize.
"Jealous?" Lynda asked, shifting her position to make her hair cover her face even more. "Oh, yeah, right. They were so jealous they had to cover my mouth. Had to criticize everything I do because of my voice. Had to try to push me out the door." Her eyes were deadly. "You weren't much help then. Just staring."
Guiltily, Tiffany closed her eyes. God, if only she had some help here. What could she do to make Lynda's defense loosen a little?
"You know what?" Tiffany said after a moment of thinking. "Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe your voice isn't as nice as I thought. If you say that everyone hated your voice, maybe they did." She shrugged. "Who am I to judge this? Maybe your voice is horrible after all. Maybe everything you do has to accosiate with your voice. Maybe Antonio was right."
Lynda didn't say anything, but this time, Tiffany couldn't see her expression. It was hidden behind the masses of hair.
"Maybe. Just maybe your voice is your major defect. That in all the tiny talents that you have, you don't have a single thing for singing." Tiffany challenged. "I don't get why you're so upset about that. Maybe you barely have a voice. So? Everyone sees this, it'll make you look weak. You don't get upset over anything, but you cry when you can't sing. What's so wrong with you?"
Lynda's head snapped back, making her midnight hair fly back with it. Her eyes looked like they were glowing red. "You want to know why? My parents. Parents said that I sounded like a boy. When I talked, that is. When a sang, they would smile. They would say I sounded like a sweet little girl. Same thing with my cousins.
"I was able to sing better than anyone else. Since the age of three. I might not be able to do anything else better, but I could sing. And they would be proud of me. Then one day, all of a sudden, I wanted to do something else. To pursue something else, and know a bit about everything." She gave a creepy smile.
"Ironic, isn't it? My wish came true. I know a little bit of everything, but I don't know anything. That would count as ironic. Now, after all these years, I felt like opening my mouth to sing just a little bit. And what happens? Where I was once welcomed, I am now out."
Both the girls were quiet. And they stayed that way for some time, ignoring the bell that said it was time to go back to class. It was now dangerous for either to move, because the juniors would come out and they would be tormented if they left.
"Lynda? Tiff?" Timid voices called out from the other side of the playground. The girls both looked up to see a group of girls comeing near them. Their friends. "Lynda?" The one who called out said again. She fidgetted. "Look, I'm sorry about what happened. I know it was rude, and that I shouldn't have said that, but it seemed like you were in a good mood that time. I was kidding around."
"It's okay, Izzy." Lynda said, head under her hair again. This time, she stood up. "I'm sorry I got you all late for class."
Izzy shook her head, her brown curls flying. "It's okay. We owed it to you to say sorry. One late class isn't the end of the world. Maybe the teacher'll give us more homework because of that, but we'll manage."
"We'll manage." The girl besides Izzy, Melanie, said. Then she walked over and tentively gave Lynda a hug. The shocking thing was, that Lynda actually accepted that hug and even hugged back.
"Thanks." Lynda murmured as she looked at everyone. Then she sniffled and fingered her dirty black locks which were half wet from her tears. "How are we to sneak to class now? The juniors are out."
Melanie grinned. "That's why we're here. We're to protect your dignaty and save you from embarassment." Gesturing to Izzy and the other girls, they formed a circle around Lynda, letting her stay hidden. Tiffany was amazed at the people that were willing to help Lynda. It wasn't as if Lynda didn't have friends, but still, she barely had any time to hang.
Izzy gave Lynda a hug, and then stepped back. "You leave those juniors to us." A grin. "After all the times you were willing to help us out with them, we're willing to repay that favor. It's the least we can do to say sorry."
Lynda shook her head, smiling now. "And I can't tell you how grateful I am right now."
Things went just fine today. There's a hidden side of Lynda that I never knew was there. A hidden side of all people, actually. I would give anything if anyone had the picture of eight freshmen surrounding something, pushing and shoving their way through juniors, the sophmore students peeking out from their doors, amazed.
It's strange, really, what Melanie said. They were searching for us the entire time. And you wouldn't believe how close Lynda, Melanie, and I were after that incidant. We actually have three periods together.
It's unimaginable how a girl like Lynda, with all her strength, would need my, and a lot of other people's, strengths to go on. It seems that she loves to help others, so that one day, and I'm quoting her, "they might be able to help me, too." Well, Lynda, you got your wish.
Everyone's just so willing to help. I've never seen anything like it before. Even some seniors are coming and asking if there was anything that they could do for her.
I was wrong. Crying wasn't a weakness. It was a sign that all people are alike, and that everyone needs to cry sometimes. There's a lesson somewhere in that. And I know that one day, when I break down after something terrible, Lynda would be there for me. And that's more than I could ever wish for.
Sincerely, Tiffany Chales
....Katie Comes, Best Actress
Melanie Lin, Most Unique
Ruby Ngo, Most Creative
Lily Higerashi, Best Smile.......
Melanie Lin, Most Unique
Ruby Ngo, Most CreativeLynda Permore, Best Voice Tiffany Chales, Most School Spirit
Lily Higerashi, Best Smile.......