Durian Fruit : The Inside and Out

Submitted into Contest #104 in response to: Write about an introvert and an extrovert who are best friends.... view prompt

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Friendship Fiction

Layla and Laine were best friends. They had been best friends the moment they came into the world. They were placed side by side in the nursery unit. They were born on the same day, the same hour, and of course, the same hospital. Their mothers had shared a hospital room and became friends during their stay, which naturally  resulted in countless sentimental promises of raising their children together, mother to mother. 

In fact, upon discharging from the hospital, the two new happy mothers discovered that they  lived in the same town, the same neighborhood, and on the same street. So, given this coincidence, Layla and Laine actually did end up growing up with each other. Together, they said their first word, celebrated their first birthday, and attended their first day of kindergarten. Even their first date, which their mother’s set up for them, was a double date, which meant, essentially, that they did that together too.

Now, although they were best friends, their personalities differed quite significantly. The best way to describe the two girls would be to compare them to a durian, Layla, being the outside of the fruit and Laine, being the inside. Now, the outside of a durian is hard, unappealing, and spiky. It’s not something visually appealing, nor is it something anyone would necessarily want to approach. On the other hand, the inside of the fruit is not only delicious, but also soft and sweet. The same could be said about the two girls, in a metaphorical sense of course.


“Layla, over here!” Laine waved at her friend from the back of the bus. She was sitting with a bunch of other kids, chattering away about the school pep rally that was happening later that day. Her long, wavy auburn hair rested on her eye-catching cheer uniform. As always, she’d lined her bright blue eyes with a light layer of mascara and tinted her lips with a neutral red.

Layla smiled weakly, her cheeks growing red and hot as other students in the bus turn to look at her as she walks down the aisle. She, unlike Laine, wasn’t wearing makeup, nor was she wearing a cheer uniform. She was dressed in a plain pullover sweatshirt and ripped jeans. Her lips remained their natural peachy color and her hazel eyes had no mascara to compliment them. 

Layla took a seat next to Laine, “Hey. Sorry I’m late. I was in a bit of a rush this morning. My alarm broke.” 

Laine shrugged, “Well, you were here before the bus left, and that’s more than I can say for most kids who are late.” Some kids around them chuckled. 

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Thanks for saving me the spot though.” Layla murmured under her breath. She rubbed her palm against the back of her neck and bit her lips. All the noise and chaos around her made her uncomfortable. She hated the bus. She hated the rancorous kids that always sat in it. She hated the feeling of being around so many people in such a clustered space. She hated that, most of the time, the AC on the bus was broken which meant that the only air that circulated inside, was not only hot, but also came with the odorous smell of countless bodies packed together. 

“Sure, anything for my bestie!” Laine exclaimed, placing an arm around Layla’s shoulder as she continued talking to her other friends about the pep rally.


“Alright, I want all of you to find a group of five or six to work with so that you can start brainstorming ideas for the new project we’re doing in class.” our teacher, Mrs.Perkins taps her fingers on the desk next to her, “I don’t care who you work with as long as you feel confident you will be able to collaborate with each other and complete the assignment. If I decide that the groups you have chosen for yourselves are not being adequately productive, I will have to reconsider allowing you to choose your own groups.”

The students nodded in agreement, and Mrs.Perkins clapped her hands together, “Find your groups and get to work then.” she announced.

Within a second, students began shuffling out of the chairs to find their friends. Naturally, Laine found Layla,  who had hardly been paying attention to the instructions, head stuck in the newest novel she had picked up from the library. 

Laine tapped her friend on the shoulder and dragged her out of the chair and away from her book. “Layla, c’mon were you even listening to the instructions? We need to find a group. Let’s go ask some people to join us!” tugging Layla along, Laine traveled across the room, chattering loquaciously with other students, asking if they had already formed a group. After a few stops, she was finally able to find two other individuals who were willing to partner with them

Still dragging Layla along with her, Laine beckoned for the other two students to follow them, and they found an empty table with exactly four chairs. 

Once everyone had settled down in some part of the room, Mrs.Perkins cleared her throat. “Alright, I’m sure all of you have found your groups. Please begin brainstorming and let me know if you need any assistance. I’ll be at my desk.” 

Laine turned to the rest of her group, “Well, hi!” she nods at the two strangers brightly, “I don’t think we’ve ever met before, so I guess I’ll introduce myself first. I’m Laine, and this is Layla.” she wraps her arm around my shoulder smiling.

Laine’s positivity rubbed off on the other two, and they grinned back at her.

“I’m Cherry.” the girl with long auburn curls says.

“And I’m Lucas.” the boy says, his deep brown eyes reflecting the light of the room.

“It’s nice to meet you!” Laine said, and then began sharing all her ideas of what they could base their project on, and how they could get started.

Layla remained quiet, simply nodding when necessary. Occasionally, she would throw in a suggestion here or there, but talking with complete strangers made her uncomfortable, so left that responsibility to Laine, who very much enjoyed talking to complete strangers. And just like that, the period passed by, and the bell rang, marking the end of the class.


“Hey, Laine, do you want to come over to my house tonight? We’re throwing an after party when we finish up the pep rally this afternoon.” Ella, one of Laine’s cheerleading friends asked at the lunch table as she stuck her fork in a fruit salad she’d got from the lunch line. 

Laine smiled wide, “Of course! That would be so much fun!” she glanced over at Layla who was sitting besides her and taking a bite of a turkey cheese sandwich, completely indifferent of the conversation . “Do you think Layla could come with?” she asked.

Ella’s face became sour and her eyes narrowed slightly, “I mean, if you really want her to come, I guess an EXTRA guest couldn’t hurt that much.” she replied, popping a blueberry into her mouth.

Laine, not taking the hint, nudged Layla on the shoulder, “Great! We’ll be there!” 

Upon hearing those words, Layla finally joined the conversation, “No, it’s fine. You guys have fun. I’ll just do Friday movie night like we usually do.” she glanced at Layla who tapped her temple lightly.

“Oh my gosh! I forgot about that, Layla!” she turned towards Ella, “Sorry, Ella. I don’t think I can make it to the party tonight.”

Layla jumped up abruptly, causing a few eyes to stare in their direction, “No, you can go. I already said it was fine. I can do movie night myself. You should go.” 

“Are you sure? We always do Friday movie night together. Are you sure you’d be okay on your own?” 

Layla nodded, “Yeah. I’ll be fine. You have fun.”

Laine’s eyebrows crinkle up, “Are you 100 percent sure. I know how much you love movie night.”

“I’m sure.” Layla did her best to sound confident, her voice only wavering for a second.


The ding of the microwave rang through the house as Layla browsed through some of the latest movies on her laptop. Wiring it up to the media system, her computer screen displayed itself onto the projector and she clicked a button on the black box sitting on the living room floor which turned the speakers on. Once she’d set everything up and picked out a movie, Layla made her way to the microwave, took out the bowl of buttery kettle corn, and popped one in her mouth.

As she did this, she heard the doorbell from outside, and raised an eyebrow. Who could it be this late at night? She thought. 

Walking cautiously towards the door, popcorn still in hand, she peered through the peephole to catch a glimpse of who it was. Nearly dropping her bowl, she briskly unlocked the front door and swung it open. Standing on the porch, Laine smiled at her warmly, still wearing her cheer uniform from the pep rally earlier.

Layla stared at her incredulously, “What are you doing here? Didn’t the party at Ella’s house just start?” She set the popcorn on the stand beside her.

Laine shrugged, “Yeah, it did, but I figured that our movie night was about to start too, and I decided I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“But I know how excited you were to go! I told you it was fine. I told you I’d just do movie night alone today.”

“I did want to go,” Laine paused thoughtfully, “but then I thought about it while I was getting ready for the party. I mean, I know how much you sacrifice everyday to make me feel comfortable. I know you don’t enjoy riding the bus, but you still do it because you know I like it. I know you don’t like working with strangers, but you’re always willing to when you’re with me. I know you definitely don’t enjoy sitting with Ella and the other girls, but everyday, you sit there and eat with us because you know that I’m part of that group too.” 

Layla blinked twice as she saw tears roll down Laine’s eyes, “And I guess I just realized what a horrible best friend I am sometimes. I just feel like you’re always there for me, but instead of really appreciating that, I guess I’ve just gotten used to having you there in the background to support me.” she laughed, “And I thought, “I must be some horrible friend for ditching Layla to go to some stupid party. She already spends so much time doing what I enjoy, and I should probably spend some time doing what she likes.””

“Laine, you’re not a horrible friend.” Layla pulled her into a hug, “You’re the best friend in the entire world. And I really appreciate you coming over, but next time, maybe tell me in advance so that I don’t feel completely creeped out when I hear the doorbell ring late in the night.” They looked at each other for a second, then burst into laughter.

July 26, 2021 17:46

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1 comment

Eve Y
20:52 Jul 26, 2021

I hope you enjoy this story! Feedback and critique is appreciated. :)


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