I run through a forest
Of memories and
I see you there
Crying softly to
I watch as you gently
Reach out for
My hand
I pull away
Running back,
Away from that dark
And dank
I’m sorry
I left you there
In a world
Where humanity buzzes
Around me
I watch as you
Turn away
And leave me
There by myself.
I see you at lunch
Twisting your hair
Laughing with the other kids
Ignoring me.
I don’t care.
I forgot you
Were there.
I apologize.
Maybe next time
You’ll understand why
I did that.
I was not myself.
I came up to you but
Said nothing.
I just walked away.
For now I’ll keep my distance.
The girls at school
Are cliquey.
And I watch
The girls talk,
Run around,
Tease each other
And ignore me
As I sit down
Pretending to be happy
But broken
I talk to my friends
About kids in our class.
Who’s nice
And who’s not.
I suddenly think about the girl
And change the subject.
The agony of watching
Her makes me
Yes, restless.
Her hard,
Unbreakable outside
Only disguises
The truth of
Her soft inner core.
I’m tough now.
I don’t need
That girl, that popular girl.
I’m strong.
I’m not a baby.
I’m tough.
I don’t need you.
I don’t need anyone.
I’m not dumb.
I know you think I am.
Everyone thinks I am.
Just leave me be.
Just leave me
I got
A 100%
On the quiz
In Social Studies
Like my friends.
I went over
To the lonely girl
And she said
She had a 99%.
I saw through
The paper though.
She got a 64%.
I say,
Pretending not to know
Her actual score.
Patting her back,
She gives a weak
But I see
Her frown.
That girl.
She’s popular
And kind
And smart
And pretty
And funny
And all the teachers
Love her.
She already
Figured out
The square root of 41
In like
5 seconds,
Of course
To the nearest tenth.
Everyone loves
That girl.
That popular girl.
Christmas Eve,
Mom says to
Do something kind.
I try.
My friends say I’m perfect.
But am I?
What about that girl?
That lonely girl?
Was I ostracizing her?
I take out my phone.
I dial her number.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Please respond.
I hear someone calling
My phone.
Who, though?
It’s that girl.
All the teachers love her girl.
Should I pick up?
Beep. Beep. Beep.
She’s waiting.
Don’t call again.
I walk away.
Eggnog and gingersnaps
Make me feel warm and happy.
Not today.
Why does she hate me?
Why won’t she accept me as a friend?
Questions fill up my head
And I start sobbing.
I don’t know.
Ellie texts me,
Asks how it’s going today.
I ignore her.
Amanda texts me,
Tells me about some kid
In our class.
I ignore her.
Nadia texts me,
Asks about the math homework.
I ignore her.
I just want one call
Just one stupid call
From that girl.
That lonely girl.
Mom snooped in my phone.
Asks me why I didn’t pick up my “friend’s” call.
I simply respond,
She’s not my friend.
I’m different.
Brother calls me a meanie
For not being friends
With someone who wants to be
My friend.
Brother’s only five.
How come he is popular in his kindergarten class?
How come I can’t be popular?
And kind
And smart
And pretty
And funny
And all the teachers love me girl?
I dial that girl, that popular girl.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I hear my phone go off.
Probably Nadia.
Once she asks something,
She never stops.
I go up to my room
And pick up the phone.
Incoming call from lonely girl
The phone chants.
Okay, maybe I should change her name.
I pick up, and say
Are you there?
This is Taylor.
I’m glad you called.
A little smile creeps up my face
As I cuddle on to my
Sheepskin blanket.
I hear a little voice say
Are you there?
This is Taylor.
I’m glad you called.
I pause for a second,
Trying to figure out
If that was fake
Or genuine.
I don’t know.
I can imagine her face
With beautiful bright blue eyes
Glinting in the sunlight reflecting off the snow,
And her hazel hair
With a dark purple streak
And her perfect teeth showing as her lips curve up
Into a perfect smile.
I whisper happily.
I’m Mabel.
I’m also glad I called.
I smiled softly.


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