The New Girl

Submitted for Contest #43 in response to: Write a story about an unlikely friendship.... view prompt

53 comments

Dear Diary,

The new student was very… odd.

Β In the classroom, she took off her boots and laid her feet (with her socks on, thank goodness) on her desk. Everyone looked at her for the whole period, but she didn’t seem to care. The teacher, Mrs. Harrison, told her to put her feet down around four times, but the new girl kept repeating herself: β€œI ain’t going to listen to an old lady.”

It was only her first day, but she already received four detentions. I thought detentions were her punishment because the principal was getting tired of talking to her all day. I can’t blame the principal, though. I would suspend her for the rest of my life. She was so freaking annoying.

I was paired up with her for the science fair project, which was not a good thing. She chewed her gum really loud and squeaked her chair back and forth on the floor.

β€œDo the crap assignment,” she muttered at me. β€œI’mma just chill.”

There was really no point in arguing with her because it would lead up to me losing the fight and working on it myself. So I agreed, and I jotted down some ideas for the project.

1.Β Β How air pollution affects the environment

2.Β What to do to decrease the number of animals losing their homes in the trees

3.Β Cleaning the ocean so more fish can live

I actually thought my ideas were pretty decent.

The new girl glanced at my work, and she snorted. Snorted!

β€œWhat?” I asked her. β€œAre these ideas stupid? Got any better ones?”

She looked straight into my eyes. Her midnight eyes showed a reflection of me. β€œActually, yes I do. Gimme a pencil.” I threw her one, and she caught it with one hand. β€œYour ideas are so unoriginal.”

I actually wondered if the new girl could write down a pretty good idea or two. I mean, she wasn’t the hard-working type (I think everyone learned that in the first hour we met her), but she wasn’t the lazy type either. I think she just doesn’t participate enough.

β€œDone,” she announced. She crumpled up the paper and threw it at me.

β€œThe hell.” I groaned and smoothed out the paper. I actually overestimated her.

1.Β Β Something about stress relieving

2.Β Homeless stuff

3.Β Technology things

4.Β Cigarettes damage the ocean

β€œFirst of all,” I told her, reading the first one. β€œYou can’t just write β€˜something about stress-relieving.’ You gotta be more specific.” I crossed that off the list.

β€œMkay.”

β€œSecond of all, the next two have the same problems.”

β€œCool.”

I was actually okay with the fourth one. It wasn’t so bad, it was actually pretty decent. It wasn’t too unoriginal, but it was good enough. I checked the clock. After all, we only had twenty more minutes to decide.

β€œThird of all, the last one isn’t so bad. Maybe we should use it.”

The new girl stopped slumping. She sat up, looking straight into my eyes. Her midnight black eyes were so dark I could see my reflection. β€œYou really think so.”

She said it like it was a statement, not a question. But I still answered it. β€œYeah. It ain’t so bad.”

This time though, she studied me. I actually liked it better when she was mad or something; I didn’t like her examining me like a doll.

β€œOkayyy. So we’re gonna use that idea for the fair?”

β€œSure, why not?”

She blinked and then shrugged. β€œNo one ever liked any of my ideas, that’s all.”

Awkward silence. I pleaded for this class to finish. Everyone else seemed okay with their partners, like Amanda and Keisha, or Ryan and Dave. Then I noticed there were thirty-four students in the class, and I was chosen to be with the new girl out of thirty-three other people. Guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. That’s just how my luck is.

β€œClass is over,” the new girl announced. Then, right on cue, the bell rang.

I was impressed. And I thought she was just a girl that lacks participation.

*Β Β *Β Β *

At lunch, I sat alone. I really have no friends, except Margaret who sits in the peanut-free table, not where I sit. And Margaret and I have our differences. She likes art, music, and math, especially math, and I like reading, French, and writing, especially writing. She doesn’t play sports, except she knows how to play soccer. I only know how to swim. And lastly, she plays clarinet and piano, but I don’t know how to play any instruments.

I don’t know what made me do it, but I actually had a huge urge to sit next to the new girl. I didn’t even know her name, yet I felt like… I don’t know… I just had a feeling…

When I sat down next to her, she didn’t even flinch. Instead, she asked, without looking up, β€œWhat the hell are you doing here?”

I ignored her question. β€œWhat’s your name?” I clenched my jaw, in the hope it was the right move.

She finally looked up, looking annoyed. I guess she wasn’t used to having people not answering her question. β€œI don’t have a name.”

I was surprised. β€œWhat do you mean?” I asked slowly. β€œEveryone has a name.”

β€œI don’t have a name.”

β€œYeah you do.”

She stared at me, her eyes turning cold. β€œShut up. I don’t have a name.”

I decided right now was the perfect time to change the subject. β€œSo… what do you like to do?”

The new girl shrugged. β€œSmoke. Read. Trying to drown people in the pool.”

When she saw the look on my pale face, she laughed. β€œI’m just kidding about the last part. Although I do smoke.”

β€œYou’re only twelve.”

β€œThirteen.”

β€œOh. Well, I like to read. Do you?”

β€œI like reading the cigarette brands. You?”

I sighed. β€œI meant books.”

β€œChill, dude. Iz just a joke.”

Our conversation literally ended right there. I thought our conversation was pretty decent because she actually laughed. Well, at her own lame and horrifying joke, but still, I get at least one bonus point. I thought it was going to end well.

β€œAnyway, see ya. Lunch is over.”

I was about to tell her the bell didn’t ring yet, but again, right on cue, the bell rang. Miracle.

β€œHow do you do that?” I caught up with her as she went to class.

β€œDo what?” She slowed down.

β€œSaying the bell will ring right before it rings.”

She shrugged. I guessed that meant I wasn’t getting answers any time soon.

β€œWell, then, see you when we work on our project again.” I took off to the classroom, leaving her hanging. I hope she didn’t mind.


*Β Β *Β Β *

The new girl and I actually became closer. We didn’t really ask personal questions, because that would end up with the crickets chirping in the silence again. I still sat next to her during lunch, and we talked more during the science fair work. I thought, And things actually ended like this.

I was partly correct.

At the end of the school day, she caught up to me, just like I did to her a few days ago. β€œHey, wait up.”

I jerked to a stop. β€œHey, new girl.”

She sort of scowled at the name, but then she smiled. β€œYou want a cig?”

β€œA cig?”

She looked at me with her jaw dropped as if I was a clown that just turned into a cat. Or maybe the other way around. β€œA cig, dude! A cigarette! You want one?”

β€œOh. Actually, no. It’s okay.”

She shrugged, but inside I can tell she was happy she could have the extra to herself. β€œSuit yourself.” She stuck the cigarette back in her bag.

I took a deep breath. I’ve been asking her this many times a day, and I knew she wasn’t going to answer. But it was worth a try.

β€œWhat’s your name?”

She pursed her lips, and I could see her curling her hands into a fist. Was she gonna punch me? Heck, I hoped not.

Then she spluttered. β€œNova.”

I looked up in astonishment. β€œYour name is what?”

β€œNova. Nova Ellison Murray.”

I was so surprised that I didn’t even ask her why she hadn’t told me all along. β€œM-Mine’s Nova too.”

We stopped walking for a second. β€œNova Ariel Grayson. Nice to meet you, Nova Ellison Murry.”

β€œMurray,” she corrected.

β€œNova Ellison Murray, very glad to meet you. My name is Nova Ariel Grayson.” I stuck out my hand.

She smiled slightly and shook it. But then I saw a scowl in her eyes. β€œJust because we have the same name, doesn’t mean we are going to be friends. I’ll still hang out with you, even though I’m wasting my shit. And you can’t ever come to my house.”

β€œWhy?”

β€œBefore you step into the house, you’re going to smell a lotta smoke.”

β€œOh. Don’t smoke too much.”

β€œWhatever, idiot.”

I laughed. I knew we couldn’t ever be best friends, yes, I knew. But Diary, I am still glad I met her. I’m still glad I met another Nova, and even though we have a slight friendship, I’m just going to admit β€” I think that friendship is enough.


~~~~Nova ~~~~

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53 comments

Shivani Manocha
09:22 Jul 13, 2020

Hey! Beautifully written. Nowhere in the story is this made explicit but did u intend to include a race angle to this story too? I am sorry . . . but the way the language of the two characters differed just made me wonder if Nora Murray was a bit reclusive because she was a Black person. To show that she was the way she was because of how society behaved with her. I am sorry, I am just guessing. You are a very creative writer. Good job! If you don't mind, could you please read my first story and give your feedback on it? It would ...

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To be honest, no, I didn't intentionally add a race angle. But I like the way this is read, by looking at the dialogue I kind of see it like that too. Glad you brought it up :) Thank you! I'll be happy to read your story, I'll be there in a few .

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Shivani Manocha
17:26 Jul 13, 2020

Thanks:)

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Flor Palma
18:09 Jun 18, 2020

I really like it. You're creative

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Anjali Malik
08:30 Jun 12, 2020

Aww dear such an amazing story. Just signed in and came across your story. Truely good.

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Thank you so much!!! Glad you enjoyed

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Anjali Malik
01:13 Jun 13, 2020

If you don't mind I want to ask you where are you from? Just a curiosity dear nothing else.

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I'm from South Korea, I live in the U.S. now :)

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Grace M'mbone
15:55 Jun 11, 2020

I love the twist at the end where my expectations of them becoming best friends sink but the best is that they share a name. Great job.

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Thank you lots! I'm not great at making plot twists, but your comment really helps! Thanks!

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Amy Yeary
23:58 Jun 04, 2020

I really liked this story- the characterization of both girls and the twist at the end with the names. Clever. As a middle school teacher, I can say that you are spot on with these attitudes and thought patterns too. Enjoyable to the end!

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14:31 Jun 04, 2020

love it!

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John k Adams
21:33 Jun 03, 2020

This feels so true and is therefore, hilarious.

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Rosetta Williams
18:37 Jun 03, 2020

I love your story Kendra. It made me laugh. It reminded me of my school days. I had a classmate just like Nova.

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Thank you so much! Glad to hear that :D I can relate ^^

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Nichole White
23:55 Jun 02, 2020

Wow, I just loved this story! Kendra you are an AMAZING writer! The story was so addicting, I just couldn't stop reading. I LOVE how creative you are with the characters and the conflicts between them!!!I hope you keep on writing!!! P.S - Sorry if this is to much to ask, but would you review my story on June 6th when it gets shown on the promps? Thank you so much and great job!

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Thank you so much! Your comment means a lot :) And yes, I will definitely read your story! I could actually read it right now :D

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Sheryl R
21:31 Jun 02, 2020

No smoking is a good message!

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I know, right? I had a feeling I should've added a part about where Nova (Ariel) should have stopped her. But yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly! πŸ˜„

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Roshna Rusiniya
05:42 Jun 02, 2020

Well done. You nailed the last part.

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Tina Laing
21:56 Jun 01, 2020

Good job!

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Pragya Rathore
02:19 Jun 01, 2020

Good job, Kendra! I loved the characters. Keep it up!

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Pragya Rathore
16:03 Jun 02, 2020

Please review my story too!

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Pragya Rathore
17:21 Jun 02, 2020

Thank you so much Kendra :)

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Caitlyn Ash
18:53 May 29, 2020

I enjoyed this story because it was differentβ€”it was a diary entry with a balance of dialogue, it used words a kid would use (in a good way), and the characters weren’t stereotypical. One friend was utterly different that the other one, yet it helped the story go along as they learned about each other. Nice job! :)

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Thank you! You are very thoughtful. Glad you enjoyed!

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Avani Gupta
17:27 May 28, 2020

I came over as soon as I heard you published, haha! Loved this story, and keep up the great work!

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Lol. Glad you liked it! Thanks! πŸ˜„

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Avani Gupta
17:57 May 28, 2020

Your welcome!

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22:55 May 27, 2020

Kendra, I really love your story. The fact that you made it in to a diary entry but still added a dialogue (you didn't just narrate everything straight out) was pretty awesome. Indeed, the friendship between Nova and Nova was really unlikely, and I'm happy Nova Ariel knew that, and acknowledged that she and Nova Murray couldn't ever be best friends. But I do like the fact that they're friends. Once again, good job on your writing. Also, thank you for reading my story and commenting on it. I really appreciate that. Keep it up! Kel...

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Thanks so much! I appreciate your beautiful comment, glad you liked my story! Really helps :) And you are very welcome, your story was wonderful!

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02:59 May 28, 2020

Yours, too is wonderful. And you're welcome for the comment :D

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Jan Querubin
04:08 May 27, 2020

The dialogues were very enjoyable to read. I was very interested on their differences as it pushes the story forward. It was a cute friends-but-not-best-friends kind of tale.

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Thanks! I actually didn't know if my story was the right one for the prompt, but I tried 😊

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Charlotte Frey
03:07 May 27, 2020

Cute. Very cute. And I hope their science project turns out to be great ! πŸ˜‰

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Kesha Mcnealy
03:01 May 27, 2020

Nova is the perfect name!

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Kayla Kyde
03:00 May 27, 2020

Nice story. A little rushed and a few grammar mistakes, but I really loved the idea of this!

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Glad you have feedback on this! I actually haven't wrote a story for over a month, so my flow isn't that perfect. But I will definitely remember this comment. Thanks! πŸ˜…πŸ˜Š

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Kayla Kyde
19:50 May 31, 2020

No problem! Glad to give feedback :)

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