From her wavy blonde hair to her gleaming tan skin, Allie Hale is one of the prettiest girls in Edgecreek middle school. Everyone around her constantly gives her compliments on her gorgeous looks, such as, "You look like a doll!" or "I can't take my eyes off you." People especially love her emerald eyes that sparkle like a million diamonds when they hit the sunlight. However, she would get the most compliments from her friends. For most of the kids at Edgecreek middle school, being one of Allie's friends would be a dream come true. It would mean that you could attend sleepovers in a mansion, eat gourmet meals every time you had a playdate, and ride in a limo all the time. Although all this stuff sounds very nice, it takes a lot of effort and luck to be in Allie's friend group. You can't be prettier than Allie, you have to get decent grades, and you have to give her compliments 24-7. And to top it off, Allie sometimes takes random girls out of her friend group for the wildest reasons, just to cause more drama within the school. This may cause trouble for one of the girls in Allie's friend group.
It's August 17, 2022. The first day of school. Allie walks in proudly wearing Gucci sneakers, a pink crop-top, and white athletic shorts. She also wears a beautiful pink and purple rhinestone necklace to complete the look. Allie's friends, Rosa, Vienna, Harlee, Carol, and Macey, are waiting for her over by her locker.
"Hey girls!" Allie exclaims while running over to them. "Who's ready for an amazing year?"
"I sure am," Rosa replies with a grin. "Our last year of middle school!"
All the girls laugh and jump with joy.
"All right, all right," Allie says, putting a stop to the celebrating. "Everyone get out your locker decorations."
The girls pull out brand-new locker decorations from their backpacks, except Vienna. Instead, she slowly raises her hand.
"What?" groans Allie, staring at Vienna.
"Um... well, my parents couldn't afford to buy me locker decorations," Vienna says in a quiet voice. "So, I---"
Ring!!!!! Teachers walk out of their classrooms and shout, "Get to class!"
Allie rolls her eyes at Vienna and motions for the rest of her friends to follow her to their first class of the day, advanced language arts. Vienna on the other hand turns around and heads
to her first class of the day, on-level social studies. Unlike the other girls, Vienna didn't have private tutors to help her with school. Because of this, Vienna usually only gets Ds and Cs and isn't in any advanced classes. On her way to on-level social studies, Vienna wipes the small trickles of tears from her eyes. She knows her friendship with Allie isn't going great, but she has no idea what's to come.
Buzzzzzzzzz! Vienna looks up from her science textbook. "Finally, it's lunch," she mumbles to herself. All the 8th graders quickly stuff their textbooks and school supplies into their backpacks and push and shove each other to get in the front of the lunchline. However, Vienna doesn't. Instead, she takes a deep breath and ambles over to Mrs. Faizer, the on-level science teacher.
"Uh... Er. Hi Mrs. Faizer," Vienna says with a stutter.
"Hello Vienna, can I help you?" asks Mrs. Faizer in a cheery voice, while cleaning the dry-erase board.
"Ya, I um... was hoping you could tutor me during lunch for science," Vienna says.
"I'm so sorry, but I can't," Mrs. Faizer replies. "I have lunch duty most of the days."
"Oh. Okay," Vienna says with a sigh. She then hastily gets her backpack and runs out of the classroom.
Vienna rushes to the cafeteria, which is crowded with kids and smells like corndogs and cinnamon buns. She looks for Allie and the rest of her friends and eventually finds them sitting at the table near the snack shack. Vienna quickly sits down and pulls out her lunch from her backpack.
"Is that all you have," smirks Harlee.
"Oh, well my parents can't afford to give me money for school lunches," responds Vienna, looking down at her one peanut butter and jelly sandwich with embarrassment.
"Whatever. Why are you so late?" asks Allie in a demanding tone.
"I asked Mrs. Faizer to tutor me during lunch." squeaks Vienna.
"Well maybe if you study, you wouldn't need tutoring, would you," sneers Allie.
The rest of the girls laugh. Vienna feels tears rolling down her cheeks, and she starts to feel dizzy. But, Allie doesn't stop there with her hateful comments.
"I mean, look at all of us. We're all in advanced classes and are getting straight As, and you can't even manage to pass on-level classes. In 5 years from now, I'll be graduating valedictorian of Edgecreek high school, while you're not even gonna graduate. Plus, your parents are SO poor, that they can't even buy you $5 locker decorations."
"I... I" stutters Vienna. Then, out of the blue, she grabs her backpack by the straps and sprints out of the cafeteria and into the girls' bathroom. She opens one of the stalls and locks herself in it. She covers her wet, tearful face with her hands. Hatred comments fill her mind. Am I good enough? Am I really going to fail high school?
After 20 minutes of crying and weeping, Vienna finally comes out of the bathroom stall. Her brain is filled with so much negativity, that she barely focuses on the rest of the classes for the day. When the "school is over" bell rings, Vienna firsts visits her locker. However, she finds a folded piece of paper taped on the front of it. Vienna takes off the tape from the note and reads it in her head. "Vienna, you suck! You're out of the group and you will be nothing in life. Allie."
Vienna's head fills with anger, and frustration, but also disappointment. She rips the note into pieces, throws them in the trash can next to her locker, and trudges outside. She finds Allie and the rest of the group laughing and enjoying their lives. Vienna immediately turns the opposite way and starts walking home. She has a 20-minute walk ahead of her, and this time, it's loaded with sadness and despair. Because, from this point forward, Vienna not only lost her friendship with Allie and the group, but she also lost most of her self-esteem.
After a long time of walking in the blazing hot sun, Vienna arrives at the apartment complex her family lives in. She climbs up the stairs to the 3rd floor and finds her apartment. Before knocking on the door, she reminds herself multiple times not to show or tell her parents the misery that lies within her, from her first day of 8th grade.
After 5 minutes, Vienna finally knocks on the door, but she does it very softly. She waits for a few minutes but no one answers. "That's weird," Vienna tells herself. "I saw our car."
She decides to give the doorknob a slight turn, and strangely enough, the door is unlocked. Vienna peeks inside and sees her dad packing his clothes and personal belongings into a black suitcase. Her face turns from a "faking like it's okay" look to a perplexed look. She spots her mom crying and weeping and tugging on her dad's shirt. She rushes inside and hugs her mom.
"Mom, what's wrong?"
"Your dad's leaving the house," Vienna's mom cries. "Forever."
Vienna's heart stops. Her ears start tingling. She begins feeling lightheaded.
"No, no, no, no!" she frantically yells. She then runs to her dad and holds him by the hips.
"Get off me!" he bellows, shaking Vienna off of him. "You and your mom are just trouble in my life. Your mom doesn't have a decent job and barely supports this family. She --"
"Don't you DARE blame me for our family's wealth!" Vienna's mom hollars, wiping away her tears. "At least I have a job. All you do is get drunk."
"Well now is don't have to deal with me anymore, do you, Kristi?" Vienna's dad roars. "I need a wife who lets me be who I am. AND I need a child who isn't as dumb as Vienna. She's an idiot. Barely passing her classes, and --"
"Do NOT bring our daughter into this!" Kristi shouts.
"OUR daughter? Oh no, she's only your daughter," he smirks while zipping up his suitcase. He carries his suitcase to the front door and flings the door open. He storms out of the apartment with rage all over his face and slams the door shut on his way out.
Vienna bursts into tears. Her mom drags her onto the couch. "Listen," her mom cries. "You know your dad and I haven't had the best relationship for a long time. He always gets mad at me
that I can't buy whatever he wants. But, he really lost his temper today when we got an eviction notice."
"What? No!!!" sobs Vienna. "Why is my life like this? First school, then dad, and now we have no home."
"What happened at school?" Vienna's mom asks sincerely.
"Allie kicked me out of her friend group." Vienna weeps. "And she said I would never amount to anything in life."
Vienna's mom put her arm around Vienna's shoulder and says, "Then prove her wrong. Prove your dad wrong. Look, I know you are having a lot of negative things happening in your life right now, but things do change for the better. All the things that have happened so far should give you the fire in your belly to prove everyone wrong. To become amazing at something." She then tries to wipe away Vienna's tears, but Vienna stops her. Instead, Vienna stands up strong, takes a deep breath, and says two words. I will.
From that day forward, Vienna studies extra hard and is determined to be valediction in high school. Even though she and her mom had to move out of their apartment and onto the streets, she doesn't let stop her from reaching her goal. She wakes up 2 hours before school every day to study, and studies for 4 hours after school every day as well. She starts getting straight As in on-level and she even moves up to all advanced classes, halfway through the year. Vienna eventually reaches high school and becomes one of the top students there. She gets a perfect score on her SAT and has a 4.0 GPA. A couple of years later, Vienna is standing on an apple oak stage that is decorated with blue and silver balloons. She reaches her goal and becomes valedictorian. The smooth feeling of the golden plague makes her ecstatic. She even sees Allie in the audience, who is furious that Vienna got valedictorian and she didn't. Vienna smiles. She proved once and for all, that she can achieve anything she wants to and no one can tell her otherwise.