I moved through the cafeteria line, waiting to get to the top. My stomach was rumbling and I was really getting annoyed by hearing Jayden complain about not having lunch yet. They were serving spaghetti and meatballs today and I was going to help myself to a lot of it, even if I had to pay extra.
After moving away from the line with my tray full of food, I headed for the usual lunch space. I didn’t like having lunch in the cafeteria. It was noisy and crowded. That’s why I preferred going out and eating by the shade of a tree. That’s exactly what I wanted to do now. After sitting down, I took a bite of spaghetti and then stopped eating when I heard Jayden groan.
“What?” I asked, irritated.
“The spaghetti’s not good. And I don’t eat meat. I only eat fish and chicken, not meat!”
“Well deal with it spirit boy. You wouldn’t want to starve to death either would you?” I grinned and took another bite of spaghetti.
“This is just blackmail!” He croaked.
After finishing my food, which I finished quite fast just to irritate Jayden, I returned my tray and came back outside to lean against the giant oak tree and sit back in the shade. Closing my eyes, I chilled out.
“So…where are your friends?” Jayden asked, trying to make his voice sound casual but yet curious.
“I don’t know. Since the game yesterday, they haven’t really been talking to me. No one’s been talking to me, other then you, that is.”
After a few minutes of silence he said, “Sorry again…”
I ignored him and opened my eyes when I heard the sound of crunching grass. Andrea and the rest of the basketball team were watching me with concern on their faces. Closing my eyes again, I ignored them.
“You should talk to them,” Jayden said in a matter of fact voice.
I didn’t answer back since I would seem like a lunatic if I was talking to myself in front of others.
“Filomena…we need to talk to you” Joyce said, her voice sounding weak.
“Yeah. We do! About the game yesterday! How many times should we tell you that it wasn’t your fault? And you’re still moody!!” Andrea said, more loudly.
“I’m not moody at all. It just seems like all of you guys were avoiding me so I let you.”
“Well we’re not, okay? Avoiding you, I mean.”
I shrugged and looked away from them.
“Look…it’s not like we aren’t your friends any more because of the whole game. We lost…big deal! But that doesn’t change the fact that we’re your friends! You think that everyone’s mad at you but that’s because you feel disappointed in yourself. Everyone still likes you. You shouldn’t be so upset about it all, okay? You’re like a sister to us and we don’t like it when you’re like this…so please just chill out!”
I stared at Andrea. What she was saying was true. Maybe, just maybe, I was over reacting about everything. And maybe, I should cool down. Joyce reached out her hand and told me something very important.
“We’re still a team. Maybe not a basketball team but we’re still a group of friends, all of us. And you’re still going to be our leader, no matter what you feel or say. So come on.”
I took hold of her hand and she pulled me up. They all grinned at me, Andrea, Joyce, Jenny, Melanie, Stacy and Tracy [the twins], Lynn, Sally and Nancy.
“Welcome back sis,” Stacy and Tracy sang simultaneously.
We all laughed and as I walked ahead of them to our usual hang out, Jayden whispered in my mind, “Maybe you guys losing is not that bad after all…”
After thinking about what he had said for a few seconds, I muttered under my breath, “Maybe…”