Feelings (February 2019, Round 2, Day 3)
“I have feelings for you.”
The words just hung there, filling up the air between them and drawing attention from everyone around them. No one turned or gaped, of course, except for me. I hadn’t learned the ways of this new world.
In my defense, I’d only been dropped into this particular hell hole two weeks before and I wasn’t sure how long I’d be stuck. The “time table” was different every time and wasn’t ever what they promised at the start. It didn’t really pay for me to work to get into any of the social groups. I’d stopped even trying after the first few shifts.
Two weeks had been enough to get a lay of the land, though. The similarities between groups of teens were predictable, much though everyone wanted to believe they were “unique.” Jocks are jocks and popularity comes with a special funk that is just plain the same no matter where you are. It even plays out across different contries. All the rest is the same, too. The cliques that form around interests, abilities, and inclinations are universal.
I hadn’t been there long enough for anyone to claim me into their group. That was the benefit of my outsider status: I got to observe and choose, to an extent, which clique I wanted to join at each school. The only thing I’d decided at that point was that I would be staying funk-free and would NOT be joining up with this batch of popular kids.
The girl talking had the funk of popularity. She had the look of it, too. Ella – even her name had the funk. I’d pegged her straight away and had steered clear. She wasn’t just popular – she was mean. She was taller than should be allowed wihtout the gangliness expected of someone with her height and age – she was easily three inches taller than me and a good 6 inches taller than the girl on the receiving end of the conversation.
That funk gave the popular kids a serious case of bravado. Who else would have the ovaries to open up to a girl at full voice in a full cafeteria surrounded by teenagers? Only someone brave or stupid and, at this school anyway, stupid and popular didn’t mix.
Stupid seemed to have skipped this place entirely, which added to the confusion in the room. There was no good reason for Ella to be seated at a table with Serenity, much less proclaiming feelings her.
Serenity was 100% funk-free, and I liked her for that. She did well enough carrying around that ridiculous name and being four steps behind the current trends in pretty much everything. I wouldn’t have thought she’d be one to get all doe eyed and sappy for someone like Ella, but here we were.
As much as everyone else was pretending not to watch, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who leaned a bit closer when Serenity stood up.
She had just taken one step towards Funky Ella when the mean girl yelled “BAD FEELINGS” and lunged at Serenity.