I messed up. I messed up so badly.
Alexandra Maffindale was locked in her room. She was sitting on her bed, desperately trying to figure out her life. I can’t go back. She thought. I’ve made too many mistakes.
A knock on her door made her start up quickly.
“Alex?” A voice asked. “You there?” There was silence for a moment.
“Yeah.” Alex whispered. Then she said louder. “Yeah. I’m here.”
“Olivia is on the phone. You wanna talk to her?”
“No!” Alex yelled.
“Whoa, okay. Dinner’s in 10 minutes.”
Alex heard footsteps walking down the stairs. I can’t talk to Olivia. Never again. She trusted me. And I ditched her.
Alex had been friends with Olivia ever since they were in kindergarten. Both had bonded when their moms had taken them to a kids playground. They were sitting at the top of the slide, not wanting to slide down. Finally, they both got on it together. They slid all the way down, giggling, and their friendship was born.
They had gone through ups and downs together. When Alex had missed a word on a Spelling Bee, Olivia had calmed her down. When Olivia had lost her gymnastics meet, Alex had been there for her. They were like salt and pepper. Peas and Carrots. They were inseparable.
Until, of course, middle school. People change. True colors were shown. Lunch tables mattered, and you sat with the people who defined you. For example, Alex gained entry to the smart kids table at the beginning of the year, while Olivia sat with the jocks. Both of them had always sat with each other in elementary school, often trading food or chatting.
They always sat next to each other in their classes in middle school. They still talked to each other, but it felt like an invisible line was between them. They stopped hanging out. Eventually, they even stopped calling each other. Finally, Alex did something that she would regret for the rest of her life.
For now, the best friends weren't talking. They had gone their own separate ways. Alex, through one of her other friends, had become popular. Olivia could see that she was influenced by them. She started to become meaner. Her attitude started acting up, and she would talk back to the teachers. Her grades slipped from A’s to B’s.
Finally, she cracked. She called Mr. Hembrick, the math teacher, in a poem that she wrote, a fat annoying gnat. She got detention. Ms. Herison, the principal, called her parents and told them about the incident. Then, she asked if Alex was getting enough sleep. Alex’s parents sounded surprised.
“Of course. She always goes to bed at 10 o’clock.”
“Well, make sure. She was definitely acting up today. ”
Alex had gotten into huge trouble. She was grounded, until she apologized. But Alex was too proud to ask for forgiveness. She stayed in her room, coming out for meals or to go outside, either to check the mailbox or sit.
Olivia had come a few times, to check up on Alex. But Alex always ignored her. It seemed like Alex was in her own world. She would always stay by her phone, even though she wasn’t allowed to use it all the time. She would get calls, and she would immediately pick it up. It was usually one of her “popular” friends. She would never call Olivia.
Olivia was feeling down. Her best friend wouldn’t even talk to her. It was all because of that Clarissa. Clarissa had influenced her friend. In middle school, all that mattered to some kids was being “popular”.
Olivia knew that was wrong. She had tried convincing Alex the same. But Alex wanted this whole new world. The world where all the kids were scared of her but wanted to be her friend.
But Olivia missed Alex. Olivia had always been a shy girl. Until, of course, she met Alex. Alex was a talker, and that had replaced Olivia’s shyness. Alex had gotten Olivia to open up a bit more.
But Alex was Olivia’s only friend.
When Alex started drifting away, Olivia got depressed. She still excelled at gymnastics, but her heart wasn’t in it. Her coach had noticed, had asked her parents if she was okay. Her parents responded, “We will ask her.”
When Olivia’s family had the conversation, they quickly realized that she needed a social life. She needed friends.
Alex always got phone calls from Clarissa. Clarissa was the one who had gotten Alex into her group.
When Alex got the invitation into the group, she was surprised. She knew that the other girls despised her. But, she went along with it. I can’t pass up this opportunity. She thought. She knew that it would mean to leave Olivia, but she could always hang out with her on the weekends. Or so she thought. It turned out, Clarissa had a pool. Every Saturday and maybe Sunday they would swim.
All the other girls were mean to her and to everybody else. But she stayed with them. She stayed with that group.
When the phone rang, Alex immediately picked it up.
“Hello?” Alex asked.
“Hey Alex.” It was Clarissa. Today was Saturday, so Clarissa was at the pool.
“Hi.” Alex said.
“So, we’ve been thinking. Are your parents home right now?”
“Actually, no. It’s just my brother.” Alex said, confused.
“Cool! That just makes my plan easier.”
Oh. My. Gosh. Olivia had just heard something that made her gasp. Alex had escaped her house, to go to that pool she always went to every weekend. Her friends had helped her. Actually, it was Clarissa’s idea.
Alex had stayed at the pool for a while. When Alex’s parents got home, they quickly realized she wasn’t there. They called all the neighbors. They asked Olivia if she knew where she was. She replied no.
Finally, they called Clarissa’s parents. They quickly said that she was in their backyard.
Alex had gotten into huge trouble. From now on, no electronics except when her mom let her. She was still grounded. Olivia had gone a few more times, to try to visit her, but Alex’s mom said she was busy.
Back to Present day.
Olivia had called Alex at least 3 times. Her mom had picked up, saying Alex was in her room, doing homework. She would say she couldn’t talk right now. Olivia knew the truth. Alex didn’t want to talk to her.
Olivia would find a way.
Alex knew she would have to call Olivia someday, but she just couldn't face her. That being said, Alex missed her.
A day later, Alex got a letter. It didn’t have a return address, but Alex recognized the handwriting.
Olivia had written to her.
I know you don’t want to talk to me, but I just wanted to contact you. I really miss you. Why did you go and ditch me? You knew that those girls were mean. You could have just, I don’t know, have some time to spend with me. Well, I really miss you. Please call or write back soon.
Alex read this letter six times. She knew in her heart that she missed Olivia. She wanted to see her. She wanted to actually talk to Olivia in person. But of course, she wasn’t allowed.
Alex went downstairs and picked up the phone.