The end of the day. Finally. I get on the bus, only to be greeted by Bryan Henley. The same idiot from the third grade. "Watch out! Earthquake!"

Really, it's a dumb insult. If you compare it to all the racist jokes that take place here, then it's no big deal. But I always, always let the little things get to me. So this is why I walk quicker than I usually do to the back of the bus, where Erin is seated. "Megs, let it go. He's a jerk and we know it."

But I'm still not convinced. Am I really that fat?

At home, Mom is in the kitchen cleaning up after Henry. "How was school, honey?" she asks.

I just shrug and am about to say "fine" when my cell phone starts to ring. I answer without even looking at the caller ID, because no one would call me but Erin.

"Hey, you," I say once alone in my room.

"Hey. I have something I've been wanting to tell you," Erin says a bit nervously. A pause. "Okay. So here goes nothing. I think…" Another pause. "I think I like Cole."

Not wanting to believe my ears, I say "Well of course you like Cole. I like Cole. He's a nice guy."

"Margaret, you know what I mean!"

"Are you serious?"


"Oh my God. Oh my- How come you didn't tell me?"

"I just did!"

"Erin! This is amazing! But… he's just Cole. And you're… Erin."

"That makes no sense."

"Well, whatever. But this so cool."

"Do you think he likes me?"

"Um… I'm not sure. I could ask him…"

"No! That would be too obvious."

"Well what should we do? Oh, hang on, Henry just came in my room." I hold the phone away from my ear. "What do you want, Henry?"

He points to a picture he must have gotten from one of my mother's numerous photo albums. It's a picture of me and Erin at her birthday party. "How come Erin's so small and you're so fat?" he asks, genuinely curious.

I let my mouth drop open. Tears flood my eyes. Seeing this, Henry's eyes tear up as well, and he runs out of my room wailing. He can't stand to see someone cry.

"Margaret?" Erin asks.

"Henry just called me fat." I say, quietly.

"What? Margaret, you're not fat no matter what people say."

"Erin, be completely honest. Do you think I'm fat?"

"Oh, Megs."

"Tell me!"

"If you did just a couple crunches a day and went on a few walks, I think you would be fine."


"Yes, really. In fact let's start today. Operation M."

"Okay," I say, still not sure about the whole idea. I wipe away my tears and sniff. "But we also have to get Cole to like you. Operation E. Put that together."

I can hear Erin smile on the other end. "Operation EM."

I don't think I like this chapter all too much. Let me know how you like it by dropping me a review!