Trigger warning: Heartbreak and sad topic
Rylie Wilson bounced out of bed and leaped down the stairs two at a time. She jumped the last three steps and landed with a thump on the polished hardwood floor.
She ran into the kitchen, her bunny slipper-clad feet tapping on the black-and-white checked linoleum. No one else in her family was up yet, because it was pretty early, so Rylie decided to make something (kind of) quiet for breakfast. She poured herself some cereal and made a strawberry-mango smoothie in the über-silent Ninja blender. Strawberry-mango was her new favourite smoothie combination, and she drank one whenever she could. On the go, in the house, everywhere.
Rylie vacuumed up her cereal and sighed happily. She had put the perfect amount of milk in the bowl that she didn't have to drink the milk after. Rylie put her dirty dishes in the dishwasher and made her way back upstairs to get dressed.
Rylie slurped her smoothie through a reusable straw, surveying the clothing options in her closet.
She groaned inwardly. All her clothes were in the washing machine.
After bemoaning the tiny selection of clothes, Rylie finally decided on a nice, light summer frock. It was a muted sky blue, and it had spaghetti straps, which made it the perfect thing for a hot day in June. "This'll do. Where's that picture of the braid crown?" she mused. " Because that would be the 'do to go with this outfit."
Rylie swiped through her digital photo album and found the right picture. "Haha!"
She padded down the hall to her parents' room and pushed open the door. "Mum? Could you do my hair?" she asked. "Huh?" her mother said blearily. "Oh, sure, honey. Gimme a minute."
Twenty minutes later, Rylie's mum came downstairs, rubbing her eyes and stretching.
Rylie struggled to get off the couch in the living room, because she heard her mother coming down the stairs. However, Rylie was stuck in the couch cushions, because her's were the kind you can sink into.
"Rylie? Where are you?" Her mum's voice floated into the living room.
"I'm in here!" Rylie shouted.
"Where?" Rylie could tell her mum was a bit confused.
"The living room!"
It took about 15 minutes to do Rylie's hair, and the finished product was amazingly beautiful. Her dark hair was split into two French braids, and the braids were then wound around her head. It looked like she was wearing a braided crown on her head, which was exactly what it was.
And, as Rylie had thought, the hairdo matched her mini-dress perfectly. "Sweet! Thanks Mum, it looks amazing!"
Rylie's mother smiled. "You're welcome, darling. Now, you'd better get ready or you'll be late for school!"
Rylie grinned happily. "Okay!"
She prepped her lunch: a cucumber and cheese sandwich, a Coke, and a granola bar. She put all the food in a paper bag, then put that in her backpack. She retrieved her homework from her messy desk drawer and put that in her bag too.
Rylie went back downstairs to take her computer and phone off the charging station. "Mum?" she called. "Do you know where Dad put my phone charger?"
"No, sweetheart, I don't. Why don't you go ask him?"
"Good idea. On my way!"
It took Rylie a little while to find her phone charger, so she was running a bit behind when she made it back to the front door.
"Rylie!" her mum yelled. "You're going to miss the bus!"
"I'm just putting my sunscreen on!" Rylie shouted. "Almost done!"
"Well, hurry up!"
She pulled on her purple Keens and zipped up her running jacket. It was at the point in June where it was still chilly in the mornings, but warmed up by lunchtime.
Rylie rushed through everything very quickly, and ran to the bus stop. When she got there, she was huffing and puffing with her hands on her knees. Her friend Alissa asked her what was wrong. "I just. Ran. From. My house," Rylie panted. "Because. I was. Going. To miss. The bus."
"Ah, I see. You got all your stuff?" Alissa asked.
When the bus got to Rylie's school, it dropped the kids off and drove away.
Rylie and Alissa walked up to the doors of the building and opened them. They walked into the hallway and went over to their lockers down the next hall.
As luck would have it, the girls' lockers weren't too far from each other, exactly eleven lockers apart, in fact.
Rylie opened her locker with her combination: 090608. Her combo was her date of birth, the ninth of June, 2008.
Her locker door came out and almost smacked her in the face, but she dodged. She caught Alissa snickering at her, so Rylie made a face like Alissa'd done something gross or weird. Alissa made a face back at Rylie, then giggled. Rylie couldn't resist, and joined in.
Rylie's huge crush, Isaac, walked to his locker in between the girls'. He opened his door, and caught Rylie peeping at him from behind her's. She blushed and ducked her head into her locker, trying to make it look like she was getting a textbook or something.
Alissa walked up to Isaac. "Heyyyy I," she said, so sickeningly sugar-sweet, tucking a strand of hair behind her elvish-pointed ear. Isaac looked at her. "Hey Lissa."
Rylie shook her head like a dog shaking off water. "Wait, what?"
Alissa looked over at Rylie. "Oh, didn't I tell you? Isaac and I are dating now."
Rylie pulled Alissa to the other side of the hallway. "What the heck are you going on about?" Rylie whispered. "You know I like him. And this is what you do? Get with him behind my back?"
Alissa rolled her eyes. "Like you would notice. You're such an attention-hogger."
Rylie blinked quickly, trying not to cry and show she was hurt. "B-But I thought you didn't like him."
"Well, I do now."
Rylie bit her lip, turned and fled into the girls' washroom, where she spent the rest of the day crying.
She knew her teacher would be looking for her, but she didn't care. She was just in pain. Well, her heart, rather. She had liked Isaac for a long time, ever since Grade 3. This year, she'd fallen hard, but he still ignored her like she was blended into the wall. And now he was dating her supposedly best friend, Alissa.
What bothered Rylie about this was that it had been so sudden. Like, she hadn't even known Alissa liked Isaac!
Later, Rylie looked at herself in the bathroom mirror over the sink. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying, and she looked really sad and tired.
She sighed. "I should probably go home. The bell's going to ring soon." She stood up, wiped the tears off her face, and walked out the bathroom door. Since school hadn't officially finished yet, no one was in the hallways. No one saw the tear tracks on her face, or her red eyes. There were no questions asked, and Rylie didn't answer any.
She ran out of the school and down the sidewalk, running back to her house.
Two Months Later
Rylie walked to the bus stop. She had plenty of time, because she had gotten up earlier than usual.
When she got there, she saw Alissa and her boyfriend, Rylie's long-time crush, Isaac. Rylie ignored them.
Things were complicated between her and Alissa now. They were like strangers to each other, and pretended the other person didn't exist. Isaac was just blissfully ignorant of all the girl drama, as all boys are.
It was painful, but Rylie had become used to it. After all, it's not like Alissa could ever make up for what she'd done.