Still Alive.

It looks like I’m a sinner. Which is odd, because I’m pretty sure I don’t drink.

Oh, but you know what? I do use naughty language. So that’s probably it. I guess we’ll know on October 24th, when I get sent to Hell or something.  Huh. Won’t that be fun? I mean, it seems like most of the cool people end up in Hell… But suicides get to go to Purgatory, right? Damn. I always wanted to meet Ernest Hemingway.

A little note: In my English class, we call Ernest Hemingway “Uncle Ernie” due to the fact that there is a boy in our class who is of the Hemingway bloodline; Ernie is his great-great uncle or something like that, so he says that his family calls him Uncle Ernie, and it kind of carried over, I guess.

Well, I’m getting tired, so it’s about time I write my stupid story for tonight and go to bed… I’m really bad at staying up late. I’m just not a very good teenager. Oh, well…

I ground the toe of my boot into the ground as I watched my friends clamber up the gate and hop over. They bumped their leather-gloved fists when they landed, and then looked through the wrought-iron bars at me.

“C’mon,” said Lizzie, the mother of this awful idea. “You can climb a freaking gate.”

Can is one thing,” remarked the other girl, Emma, who never quite liked me and whom I never quite liked. “But will she?” She had a challenging smirk on her face, because she knew what Lizzie refused to believe: I was a total coward. Even though Lizzie and I had been best friends since sixth grade–four years, now–I just was never as adventurous as she was. And she never quite accepted that. She always dragged me along on her little exploits, but I usually just chickened out found some excuse to avoid it.

“Um, well, you know–” I started.

“I knew it,” Emma said while I was grasping for a plausible excuse. I was thinking maybe something like how it’s hard to climb in bell-bottoms or sneak around an ancient condemned house in heeled boots, but it didn’t look like Emma was going to let me out of this one with my dignity in tact. “Zie, c’mon, this one’s no fun. Just let the kiddie go back home and cuddle up with, what was it? Alice in Wonderland? Just go home and snuggle up with your little fantasy stories and live your life vicariously through your dusty old book. You can leave the real world to people like me and Lizzie, okay?”

“Hey,” Lizzie said in protest. “Not okay, Emma. Be sweet.”

That was Lizzie’s little mantra–“Be sweet.” She used it all the time, and I think she thought that it might actually work some day. And even though I, apparently, wasn’t living in the “real world” that she and Emma did, I was apparently jaded enough to know that telling someone to be sweet–especially a bitch like Emma–wasn’t going to just make it so.

Emma rolled her kohl-lined eyes and looked at Lizzie like, Are you kidding me? “Liz, let’s be serious here. This girl isn’t with us. She’s not with you. And she’s sure as anything not with me.”

“Emma… Why are you so difficult?” Lizzie asked in frustration.

“Hey, hey,” I interrupted, because I didn’t want to mess up their stupid little friendship. “Don’t worry ’bout it, Liz, I’m just going to go home. I have to work on my painting for the art fair and, you know, stuff.”

Emma smirked. “Mkay, go enjoy your little painting. Come on, Zie, are you in or out?”

I watched Lizzie’s eyes flit between Emma and me, so I smiled as reassuringly as an unassured person can smile. She gave me a little half-smile and turned around. I watched her black-capped head turn around and disappear into the dark with Emma. That was it. Just a fleeting smile and then, “Bye-bye.”

That was okay, though. I walked home in the dark, my heavy exhaling visible in the yellowish streetlights. It was okay because I had my painting, and my Lewis Carroll…

…and my cat.

Oh, God, I was so lonely.


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