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Coming of Age Drama Middle School

This story contains themes or mentions of suicide or self harm.

Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare should be a children's game, like hopscotch or tag. It has no business in Daria Fordam's house. Daria is in eighth grade like the rest of us and we are all too mature to play this game. Lindsay is up and the group calls out “Truth or Dare” and she giggles like a baby being bounced on someone's knee. 

“Dare.”she laughs and we can barely hear her voice for the laughter in the room. She should have said 'truth' because we all know about her and Daniel under the bleachers anyway. That's what all the snickering is about. Because the whole school knows that she and Daniel were caught smoking under the bleachers last week during track practice. A couple of the team members told Coach that it looked like the bleachers were on fire. He checked and found them puffing on a few Winstons. She could have told the truth about that cause we all knew and only a few of us really cared. But she chooses dare.

The dare is an easy one. They dare her to tell what color her underwear is. Which is really dumb because no one is going to check anyway. She giggles some more and turns red as she softly mumbles “Pink” This is such a stupid game and now it's my turn.

I stand up as the groups calls “Truth or Dare” This is a tough decision for me. I have a truth that I cannot, no, will not, tell. Ever. And what if they ask me about it. About Kimmy and that last night. But their dares are stupid and I'd just die if I had to tell them what Lindsey told. I'm confused and say nothing. 

My mind wanders back to that night when Kimmy and I snuck off to the abandoned warehouse down by the tracks. I see Kimmy with her eyes teary over something someone had said to her in school that day. I say what I guess you're supposed to say when someone is crying in front of you and she just cries harder. I hear Kimmy's sobs as she tells me of even more mistreatment at the hands of a few of the “popular” girls. I don't know why we all call them that. They are only really popular with themselves. 

It is difficult to really know what to say or do. And maybe if I had said the right thing, everything would be different now. But I did my best. I hear the group urging me on. 

“Come on Alicia. Truth or Dare!” I want to run but I can't because then they'll know that I have something to hide. So I swallow hard.

“Dare” I say softly. It seems like an eternity until they come up with something. Time enough for me to remember more of that night. To remember seeing Kimmy climbing up to the top of the stairs and to remember me shouting at her to come back. I don't dare follow as the steps can barely hold one of us let alone two. She comes down eventually, but it was dangerous as the steps are rotting away.

“Ok” a spokesperson for the group says, “We dare you to tell us what really happened to Kimmy”

My mind is screaming “it's not fair” that's a truth not a dare. I get up the courage to say so out loud and my statement is met with cries of “poor sport” and “it's a dare” and “play by the rules” 

I can't tell them the truth. I had promised Kimmy before... That's the part I cannot tell. I can't tell them about the bullying and how upset Kimmy was. I can't tell them what she told me and what happened next. I just can't. I made a solemn promise.

Kimmy is my best friend and she is a good one. She laughs at all my jokes and helps me when I'm down. I guess I couldn't have asked for a better friend. But she is stubborn too. Like insisting on letting the “popular girls” get to her, continuing to give them the reaction they craved, and following through with her plan. Did she really I wonder. She had been missing since that night and everyone seemed to know that we were together. 

Questions and more questions from the police, my parents (and hers), and everybody at school. All I said was that we were at the warehouse and went home separately. I did go home alone, and I guess in a way Kimmy did too. Her eyes shone when she talked of Lake Holbrook as if it were an old friend instead of just a fishing spot for the town's retired men. She almost smiled when she talked of the path through the woods at the end of town. How could I betray her now?

“I can't tell you anymore than I already have. It's all I know. Could we just forget about it?” Was I asking them to forget Kimmy? It sounded like it was coming out that way but that's not at all what I meant. They all start on me about being a poor sport and someone even suggests I leave. So I do. 

 It doesn't take long for incidents like this to get around and the next Monday at school people start treating me differently. Hardly anyone wants to sit at my table at lunch. It's a table for eight. There are three of us there and the other two are known for stealing and one time trying to burn down the school. 

Then it starts in earnest. I am known as the school's poor sport. It's coming at me from all angles now and I try to ignore it but that is very difficult. It goes on for weeks. While the town wonders who kidnapped Kimmy, I am paying for her actions. Then one day Mrs. Hartman the counselor calls me into her office. I think she is going to try to bolster my spirits but all she does is ask me if there is something I am keeping locked inside and how helpful it will be to get it all out in the open. I actually run from her office and out the front door of the school. But since there is no place else to go I return to my next class and slouch in my seat.

Oh Kimmy, why did you give me this burden? So I would know how you felt? Did you think I was strong enough to handle it and keep your secret forever? After school I sit by myself on the bus and try to think of what to do next. I miss having Kimmy to confide in and then an idea hits me. I know where to go. Lake Holbrook and the path through the woods seem friendly in an odd sort of way. I will go with Kimmy.

August 05, 2022 18:34

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