When the bell rang for lunch, Brittany was extremely happy to get a break from the constant whispering, and snickering in every class all morning. She had no idea where the cafeteria was, but figured if she followed the crowd she’d make it there. It didn’t take long for the smell of spaghetti sauce to reach her nose.
Brittany sat alone, twirled spaghetti noodles around her fork, and had just put it in her mouth when someone sat down beside her. She glanced over and almost choked – it was the leader of the clique girls. “Hi Brittany, my name is Xandra. That’s pronounced ZAUNDRAH in case you didn’t know.”
Brittany managed to swallow the mouthful of spaghetti and replied with a small “Hi”.
As the other two girls sat down across from Brittany, Xandra pointed at the one with brown hair and glasses and said, “That’s Chloe”. Xandra pointed at the third girl who had long blonde hair, “And that’s Willow”.
Brittany nodded and kept her head down. Avoiding eye contact seemed like the safest way to go.
Xandra crossed her legs, “So, what’s your deal anyways? Where are you even from?”
Glancing up at Xandra, Brittany mumbled, “New York”.
Xandra laughed, “Yeah right, you’re not from New York. You are way too shy and timid to be from New York City.”
Chloe and Willow laughed.
Brittany kept her mouth shut, wishing they would just leave her alone so she could finish her lunch, get through her last two classes, and go home.
Xandra put her arm around Brittany’s shoulders, “Listen, we are looking for a new girl to join our awesome group, we’d love to see if you would be the perfect fit.”
Brittany glanced at Xandra to try and see if she was lying or being sarcastic. Xandra had a big smile on her face and eyebrows raised slightly. It would be good to have some friends here, even if they aren’t the type of girls she normally hung out with. “Sure, that sounds like fun,” Brittany responded.
“Great, meet us at the playground by the woods at the end of Cashin Street at midnight tonight. Bring a flash light”, as Xandra stood up Chloe and Willow followed suit. “See you later Brit”!
After supper Brittany helped with the dishes and had a cup of tea with Grandma Fay. Flipping through photo albums she saw more pictures of Grandma Fay when she was little, Great-Grandma Gabrielle, Great-Great Grandma Scarlett, and Great-Great-Great Grandma Holly. It was truly uncanny how much Holly looked like Brittany.
Brittany said good night to her parents and Grandma Fay and headed up to her room to wait until they all went retired for the night so she could sneak out. Brittany has snuck out before, when they lived in New York City, but never to go into the woods. She tested her flashlight to make sure it worked and put new batteries in just in case.
The house became very still and quiet when everyone else went to bed. Brittany waited for twenty minutes before tip-toeing to her window, pulling it up, and climbing out. Turning on her cell phone she opened the GPS app and typed in “Cashin Street”.
It didn’t take long to get there. She sat on one of the swings to wait. Rogues Hallow was so quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of New York City. She couldn’t hear any horns honking, or sirens. Instead, she heard crickets, trees rustling in the evening breeze, and an owl. Brittany wasn’t sure if she had ever heard an owl hoot before. Even though she missed the city and her friends tremendously, she had to admit to herself that this was actually nice. Five minutes later, three figures could be seen down the road walking towards her. She wasn’t sure if she should feel relieved or nervous.
Xandra sauntered up and said, “Well, well, well, color me surprised. I honestly didn’t think you had it in ya New York. You have passed the first test. Follow me, and we’ll see if you can pass the second.”
To be Continued…
Written by Amanda Drover-Hartwick