Chapter 2: In Between
“Raph! What’s up?”
I felt a hard pat on my shoulder and I turned around to look at the others.
A few girls that I had seen last year also caught up to meet up with me. I smiled at them, the regular group.
“Raphael, it’s been a long time since we all saw each over the summer!” Toby said, putting an arm around my shoulder.
I smiled at Toby and told him, “Well I told you a lot of times that you were welcome to come to my apartment but you were too busy going out with your girlfriend, weren’t you?”
A few other friends laughed as Toby went red.
“It’s my cousin! It’s been a long time since I saw her!”
“Good excuses!” Leah said, punching Toby in the shoulder playfully.
I grinned and looked at everyone.
It’s been a long time since I saw all of them. They were like a family to me. Three boys and three girls; Toby, Joey and me, and then Leah, Tracy and Nicole. We all saw each other in kindergarten in the same school, Riverdale. Since then, we stuck together like glue…we were inseparable. Sure, dirty rumors went around in the beginning of middle school but all we had to do is ignore them and then in a split second, all the lies were gone.
Leah was the first person I saw in kindergarten. She became my ‘reading partner’ in class and since then we were like brother and sister. Once I see her in the morning, with her bright blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes, it’s this feeling I get that gets me feel all happy and protected. She’s a good person to be around.
Tracy was the first girl I had been, literally, afraid of. She used to bully me all the time since I was in kindergarten. She considered herself to always be one of the ‘bad guys’ but she changed after a while. She used to put her light brown hair usually in a stylish way and put mascara and all that make up on her and ruin the sight of her dark brown eyes. But now she was her original self. We all got together and changed her into a ‘good guy’.
Nicole, I could say, was like a geek but also cool. She’s really smart and her IQ is probably infinity but she also engages herself in sports and fun stuff instead of being absorbed in books all the time. She usually wears skirts and attractive clothing cause all of us tell her that it matches her looks; dark blonde hair with brown highlights in them and her blue eyes.
Toby and Joey are brothers. Not twins though. Joey’s one year older then Toby but still in the same grade as us. He’s originally supposed to be in 10th but he got lowered to 9th because…I don’t really know why myself. Toby you can say is not that smart, he started having bad grades since kindergarten. He was really shy then and didn’t seem to want to have friends cause he thought it was ‘too much work’. But we somehow pushed our way through and got to know him well, the real him.
Meanwhile, all this time I had been thinking, I was in the assembly room with all the new students saying their usual details. And suddenly, one caught my eye right as I stopped daydreaming.
“Adriana, 9th grade,” she said, looking disturbed, somehow, and utterly bored. She looked around a lot, not really making eye contact with the teachers and the students. More like some sort of private investigator trying to gather up the details of a crime scene.
The day passed by and I frequently looked in her direction. She avoided herself from others, from people, she acted like she was some bad mark in society. I couldn’t really identify her as a geek, an outcast, a jock or a gossip girl. Those were usually the categories each and every person here belonged in. My ‘gang’ here, however, was an exception to this.
We were all like a combination of each and every category. Somehow, we were popular, but somehow we also got the cons that a geek gets. It was weird, but it was also pleasant. You didn’t have to be racist toward another group. We were friendly towards all of them; geeks, outcasts, jocks and the ‘chicks’. Which group did Adriana belong in?
I had expressed my concern with the group already. Only after I told them, they noticed Adriana. They started making up some crazy theories during gym class.
“Maybe she’s like the start of a new group, a clique. And maybe it’s the only clique that won’t be nice to us,” Tracy said.
“No, no, maybe she’s going to be the future destruction of our group,” Leah added.
I wasn’t surprised that it was the girls starting the conversation and the gossip.
“You guys, shut up. Stop making up unusual ideas,” I snapped at them.
They all looked at me surprised and did as I told them to. I looked even closer at Adriana during lunch time when I saw her sit alone on a lunch table. After a few minutes of inspecting her, she turned around and stared at our group.
She looked at us intensively and then turned her back to us. I don’t know what she’s thinking now but I was certain that she belonged in this group. She was in between, like us.