The next day at school, I made it my mission not to talk to Bailey. Even as we shot death glares at each other, I chose not to speak. Inevitably, the obnoxious ringing of a bell marked the end of an uneventful school day. Lurking near the entrance of the building, I waited for Bailey to leave first and, without Tay or Max, followed behind her quietly once she showed up. She went to the curb, awaiting her limo, and I hid in a bush not too far away. Just because I hadn't talked to her all day didn't mean I wasn't planning anything to say to her in private.
Soon enough the limo came to pick her up in style. She got in, and the vehicle drove away. That's when I gave chase. Though the limo was fast, I was never far behind. Life on the streets turned me into a great runner which was why following Bailey's car three blocks to the same house she lived in 10 years ago felt like a breeze. Coming to a safe distance, I then hid behind a tree and examined the vehicle as it crept into the garage. There must've been a door on the inside because before the garage closed, no one came out.
Exhaling shakily, I left the tree and slowly made my way to the front porch. The path I took to the entrance felt way too nostalgic for me. My hands at my sides opened slightly, as if they were holding a small object - a small box perhaps. The empty handed feeling soon led to an empty feeling in my chest. Now face to face with the door, I hesitated going inside.
No. This had to be done. I took a deep breath and rang the doorbell. Within seconds, a mean wearing a suit appeared. A butler? Impressive, but I wasn't surprised. "How may I help you?" he asked. I blinked twice, almost forgetting what I wanted to say.
"I...I came to see Bailey," I stammered. He looked me up and down, spotting my every imperfection - my short split-end hair, scarred skin, old blue shirt, ripped jeans and cracked converse. At first I was afraid he wouldn't let me in; however he did step aside and allowed me to enter. Practically tip-toeing my way in, I scoped the room in awe. Never had I actually been inside before. If the outside of the mansion seemed to have come from a fairytale, that was definitely the interior palace. Want to know what the inside of Bailey's house looked like? Imagine Cinderella's Castle at DisneyLand.
The servant began trotting ahead of me towards a marble staircase and beckoned for me to follow. Doing so, he led me to the second floor that opened up to a hall with multiple doors. Approaching the fourth one on the left, the butler peeked in and announced, "You have a visitor."
"Bring her in," a female's voice replied. It was Bailey, speaking in a demanding tone. The butler stepped back as I neared the room. When I was in, he closed the door behind me and left. The room was not a bedroom, but in someway, an office. Pictures of Bailey along with other models plastered the walls, an enormous closet flooded with clothes and sewing supplies to my left, a desk covered in papers was to my right, and a vanity was placed in front of me where it was propped against a wall of glass.
Bailey, sitting at the vanity, turned around and faced me. "I've been expecting you," she said with a sly smile. I looked at her, raising an eyebrow.
"What for?" I questioned. She got up and walked over to me until we were only a foot apart.
"I called both your parents; Taylor and Maxwell, also," she admitted, "I figured if you weren't with any of them momentarily, you might've been trying to find me." I cocked my head to the side, bewildered.
"So...why was you tryin' to contact me?" I asked.
Still with a smug expression, she answered, "I wanted to set things straight."
"Oh?.." I responded, placing my hands on my hips, "What kind of things?" That's when she took her fine fingers and, gingerly brushing my bangs aside, stroked my eye patch. For some reason, I couldn't move; every bone in my body was frozen.
Staring into my one deep blue eye, she said, "Why we're no longer friends." Body suddenly warming up with rage, I pulled away from her touch. I wanted to slam her so bad! The only reasons I couldn't: 1) she'd probably be able to get me arrested for it in her own home, and 2) I actually did want to hear what her excuses were for becoming my enemy. Clearly trying to hide a smirk, her lips formed a forced straight line as she snatched my wrist and yanked me to her cluttered desk to have a seat. Once I was seated, she stood solidly in front of me, so I wasn't able to go anywhere.
"Time changes people," she started by telling me, "It changed me into a successful businesswoman and you into..." She gestured to my appearance, intentionally trying to offend me. Lucky for her, I let it slide. Then without even attempting to make insulting me less obvious, she continued, "Anyway, we're too different. I'm a celebrity, and you're just a...stray. We've chosen different paths, and that's why we can no longer be friends." Are you kidding me?! First of all, that was the most ridiculous, stuck up thing I had ever heard anyone say! Secondly, it was such a stupid reason! Could she really be that shallow?!
"No!" I shouted in defense, rising from the chair she had put me in. "When we was kids, we got along great! We even pinky-promised we'd be friends forever!" I snapped back with, "And those things are legit, Bailey Benjamin!" The house had been so quiet when I had entered, but now with my yelling, I wondered if everyone in it could hear me. Though, I quickly realized I wasn't the only loud one. Bailey was suddenly howling with laughter at my outburst.
When she finally collected herself, she wiped her eyes, shook her head and smiled. "Oh, Jane," she sighed contently. "Let go of the past already. We were children then, and children say and do dumb things that they know they won't mean later on in life. If only you knew how childish you sound right now." I looked down, making sure my hair covered my face. It was official: I was defeated. Her words to me made little sense, but I was fully aware there was no point in arguing with her anymore.
Without saying another word, she turned to leave to go to another room, but grabbing the sleeve of her red sweater, I stopped her. "Wait..." I whispered. She looked down on me pitifully, however there was still one thing I needed to know. "In school yesterday...why did you say you'd never seen me before in your life?"
Her attitude by now had faded, but her speech was cruel once more. "Like I said, we're opposites. I know you won't understand, but being around you would put my position in danger. I can't be around you in public." I had my answer. Letting go of her sleeve, I allowed her to leave the room. She was selfish and self-centered, and there was nothing I could do about it. The Bailey I once knew was dead and gone, and so was a part of my heart.
In the days that followed, things went from bad to worse. Day after day: constant fighting. At times it appeared we'd just fight whenever we were bored, or just for the fun of it - like we were wrestling. Each time however, we'd tie. Either we were split up by a faculty member, or we'd both get tired and call it even. It was never really even though because the battles weren't just physical, they were mental too. Never before had I been so hurt by anyone's words. Just randomly she'd mock me or point out a flaw of mine. If it were anyone else, it wouldn't phase me; but because she was my ex-best friend who played such an important role in my life in the past, it did.
I hated Bailey Benjamin, and I wished she would die.
I remembered when she mentioned she didn't want to be seen around me, so why did she always come look for me? Freakin' sadist. She was more than a bully - she had fun with the game she was playing, and I was simply her toy. She was just like every other prick nowadays, looking for someone to torment just to make themselves look like big shots. In this case, she didn't want to be seen around me in public as an acquaintance or anything, but instead me as her victim. That was all there was to it.
But through it all, I had Tay and Max giving me support. They were helpful especially when informing me of what was being said about me throughout the school. For example, it was said that I was a poor excuse even for a gang member - that I was the lowest of the low. Let me get one thing straight: the people in my gang are not your everyday, orthodox thugs. We're just a group of kids who are lost, in need of support, in need of company, with no future who are seeking out adventure. Sure, we fight for the fun of it, but we never mean anything by it. Picture a group of lion cubs play fighting - that's us. Of course, not everyone knows that. They expect what they see in the media. So when word got out that I had joined a gang in the 8th grade, everyone acted like I joined a cult or the Bloods or Crypts or whatever.
With Bailey being the source of my trouble, I began cutting school more often than I usually would. She could have her popularity, her easy living, her fame and her money - I didn't give a fuck. I just wanted to be left alone, an average Joe. She had no soul as far as I was concerned. If you're someone who is as sick and sadistic as Bailey Benjamin, but are still proud of yourself for your accomplishes even if it means stepping all over people, I have one word to describe you: