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Dedicated to anyone with a “friend�


Nothing would happen. Of course, nothing would. Rachel is not that dumb. She will probably just ignore everything. That’s what she has been doing so far. Just do it. A girl, looking uncertain and afraid, slipped a paper note in locker 128. Rachel’s locker. Then, she tip-toed away and silently disappeared. The whole day had been filled with people whispering about Rachel. Or more specifically, her suicide. It had come as a surprise at the Monday morning assembly. Everyone was, as usual, fooling around, chatting with friends, playing pranks on each other, when suddenly the principal came on stage with a few pieces of paper. This made some of us stare at him for a moment because this meant that there was really big news. He usually prepared a speech only when there were tragic events; on normal days, he just came and recited the school rules, ignoring the middles school students who were ignoring him. Soon after he came in, there was a loud beep and most people slowly sat down. Like always, there were always some who didn’t listen, and they had to be forced to sit down with various threats by teachers. The moment everyone sat, the announcements started, like it did every assembly. “We have lost a valuable member of our school yesterday,” announced the principal. This set some people off and the room was filled with whispers and various voices. The principal continued, ignoring the sudden noise. “Rachel Puckett was a lovely girl, and a very amazing one too. Yesterday night, for an unknown reason, she has committed suicide. Now let’s all have a silent moment to show our respect for Rachel,” the principal said, sounding as if he was reciting something he memorized a long time ago. Then, he, like always, recited the school rules, and dismissed students by groups of 20. After that, people had not been able to stop talking about it. Of course, sometimes they would get off track, but it always came back to this topic. Now school was finished and people were still talking about it. Chelsea hated it. When people talked, she tried to change the topics, and she had tried her best to ignore the things being said. What was the point of talking about a dead girl? It just made you feel depressed. Even though Chelsea hadn’t been Rachel’s best friend, they had been close, close enough to walk home together every day. Their homes being right across the street had played a crucial role, yes, but Chelsea had always thought that they had had a connection. So when school ended, Chelsea grabbed her bag from the locker and rushed out of the school. The walk home was fairly quiet. She thought about her day and about Rachel’s death. Even though she hated thinking about it, she couldn’t stop. Why did she commit suicide? Where were her parents and friends? Were there things going on that I didn’t notice? She was so busy thinking that she almost didn’t see Mrs.Puckett, sitting on the porch with red eyes and a blotchy face. She was staring off into the distance, and she had a pack of tissues at her side. Chelsea slowed down, but she knew that at some point, she would have to pass her anyway, so she sped right back up until she reached Mrs.Puckett. “Hello Mrs.Puckett. I’m really sorry about Rachel. I feel your pain. She was a lovely girl.” she said in one breath, before she trailed off, unsure of what to say. Mrs. Puckett slowly looked up with her blood-shot eyes, and wordlessly stared at Chelsea for a long time. “Thank you dear,” she said. Then she stood up, and went into the house. Chelsea could hear her running around, and unsure of what to do, she just stayed rooted to the spot. A few moments later Mrs.Puckett appeared with a pink laptop decorated with stickers of cute little animals. A while ago, when Chelsea had gone over to Rachel’s house, she had showed her, and they had spent most of the time talking about laptops. Chelsea had been very jealous of Rachel at that time- she only had one laptop which she shared with her two brothers. “Rachel once told me that when she gets too old for this laptop, she wants to give it to you because you don’t have your own. Here, if you want it, I think you should take it,” said Mrs.Puckett. By this time, tears were flowing down her face and Chelsea could see her trying not to cry loudly. “Sure Mrs.Puckett. Thank you,” Chelsea mumbled and quickly taking the laptop from her, she speed-walked home.When she was in, she closed the door quietly, and after shouting “I’m back!,” she ran upstairs, the pink laptop in one hand ,her school bag in the other. Her brother, Luke, was lying on the couch, a remote control in one hand and a bag of popcorn in the other. After hearing her footsteps, he


carelessly gave her a glance, than turned back, only to turn around again, his eyes wide, as he realized what the pink object was. “What is that laptop? Did you steal it? Where did you get it? How much does it cost? Did mom buy it for you? Than that is so unfair because I’m older and I have more homework,” bombarded with questions, Chelsea calmly stacked her things on the couch, and sat down next to Luke, who was watching her every move like a hawk looking at its prey. “I got it for free from Mrs. Puckett. You know, Rachel’s mom? But she’s not actually a mom anymore cuz... like... Rachel died,” Chelsea informed her brother, watching his face change from a curious one to a surprised one. “Oh, I’m very sorry to hear that,” her brother said at last. Then they sat in silence for a short while. “But still, it’s unfair that she gave it to you. I mean, there are kids way less unfortunate than you, living everywhere, even in this city. And besides, you weren’t even her best friend or anything,” Luke complained. Chelsea, annoyed with her brother for being so obvious about the fact that he cared more about the laptop than Rachel’s death, silently stood up, and stomped into her room. Or at least, she tried to before Luke managed to grab the hem of her shirt. “Oh my god, you’re angry at me for saying that. Think. I was just stating the obvious. And I do feel awful about her suicide. God, you don’t have to be so emotional” Luke muttered. “Okay fine. But you can try to sound like you care. She was like one of my close friends. You sounded like this materialistic person who cared more about laptops than people’s lives,” Chelsea stated, freeing herself. Although she was a bit mad at Luke, she had to admit that what he had said wasn’t entirely rubbish. Why would she give this to me? What about Tiffany? They were BFFs since the beginning of school. What is going on? “I do care. I’m just... oh whatever,” Luke mumbled, shrugging. “Okay.” she said backing into her room. “I’ll be in my room if you need me,” she announced as she closed the door. Then, she threw everything onto her bed roughly, except for the laptop which she carried gingerly to her desk and opened. The inside was beautiful, covered with glittery little stickers. On the top, there were sticker letters, and in various colors it spelled out BFF: T&R.. Of course, Chelsea thought as she started the computer. After what felt like an awful long time, a female voice welcomed the user, than told her that she had 3 chances to type in the password before it locked itself. Last time she had gone to Rachel’s house Rachel had told her it was Pink Butterflies, and Chelsea typed it in. To her amazement, the computer unlocked with a young female voice saying “Welcome back Rachel!” She had gone to Rachel’s house 3 weeks ago. Was that how long she was planning her suicide? Did she tell her password to me so I could do this? Chelsea’s head felt about ready to explode and quickly she tried her best to shut off her brain. On her desktop was her Recycle bin, and a file called Random things. Chelsea quickly clicked on the file until 3 copies of it opened. Inside there were 7 folders. Math, Science, LA/SS, Spanish, Technology, Band and Free Writing. Just as she was about to click Free Writing, she saw that she could scroll down. There was a document called Hello, and curious, Chelsea clicked on it. It opened, and a document titled Blue came up. Then there were a bunch of letters, some blue and some black. Chelsea stared at it uncomprehendingly for a moment, then went outside, where her brother was in the same position as before, watching a TV show with a bored expression on his face. “Hey, I think I need some help,” she announced.. “I found this weird document, and I think it might be important,” Chelsea said.. Her brother eagerly stood up and followed her in. She guessed he was bored after sitting around and watching TV the whole afternoon. Flexing his fingers, he sat down, trying to look professional. Then, suddenly, he stopped, looking surprised. “I know this thing. It’s this thing we did in our grade where we highlight the whole text as the same color as the title, then there’s like a secret message inside it. But a few weeks later, the teachers figured it out and nobody does this anymore. I thought nobody knew about this in your grade because we are on different floors and it was supposed to be a secret so nobody told people,” he said. “Oh,” Chelsea replied lamely. By now Luke had highlighted the whole thing and was changing the color to blue. A second later, black letters popped out on a blue background.


“Wow, that’s smart,” she said. Another lame comment. Squinting, they both got to work, her saying the letters out loud and him recording it. After a few minutes, Chelsea finally reached the last letter, the letter F. Quickly, she peeked over Luke’s shoulder, trying to see what it said. First, it didn’t make any sense, and they both spend a long time trying to sound it out. They couldn’t. Then, Luke had to leave because he had to go to his friend’s house for dinner. Left alone, Chelsea tried sounding it out once again before it accidentally flipped over and landed on her lap. Feeling lazy, Chelsea just tried to sound out the whole thing, and she found out that it said Find Tiff. The next thing she remembered was running, running so fast that she stumbled a couple of times. Chelsea, grim and determined, just kept going, her glossy black hair flowing behind her, until she finally reached the house she was looking for. Quickly, she climbed the steps and rang the bell. “Hello, how may I help you?” a kind looking women answered. “Uhh.. I’m looking for my brother Luke,” Chelsea said, trying to look past the lady into the house. “Oh, and you are...?” the lady asked. “I’m his sister,” Chelsea mumbled. The woman looked at her quizzically. Yeah, usually little sisters don’t come looking for their big brothers when they are at a sleepover. She could hear the lady calling her brother, and then going inside to fetch him when he didn’t answer. “‘Sup El. What are you doing here?” her brother was at the door, looking confused. “Well, I figured it out. It says Find Tiff,” Chelsea said, hoping that he wouldn’t doubt her. “Oh, well do whatever you want. Why are you so stressed? Just stay calm like you usually are.I can’t really do anything with you right now- I’m on level 69, and I’m almost finished- but if you wait ‘till tomorrow, I can maybe do something with you. But right now, I have to go and finish my game. Peter will be here any time now. Gotta go. Bye,” he said, disappearing up the steps. Chelsea stared inside the house, dumbstruck. She had thought that since he had helped her figure out the code and everything, that he would want to go with her, or at least be interested. Sighing, she just walked away, wondering about what to do, and started walking back towards her house. Should I go to her? Oh god, what should I do? Maybe I can ignore everything... NOT. Feeling confused, Chelsea walked home, this time not bothering to hurry. Absentmindedly, she turned around the corner and walked up the steps to her house. Then without looking, she reached for the door knob, opened the door, ran upstairs, and curled up on her bed.Then, unwillingly, she fell asleep. Ring! Ring! Groggily, Chelsea waked up, rubbing her eyes. Her alarm clock said that it was 7:00. Dreading going to the school, and afraid to confront Tiffany because of the results it will bring, she got dressed and had her breakfast. Then, like any other normal day, she brushed her teeth and got her bike out. The ride took exactly 8 minutes. Quickly, Chelsea walked to her locker where she saw several other kids getting ready for their classes. There was, also, an unexpected guest. Tiffany. She was standing there, biting her nails, looking nervous. Chelsea didn’t stop walking. “What are you doing here?” Chelsea demanded, knowing that it was a very rude thing to say, and very weird too since she didn’t even know if Tiffany did anything wrong. “Whaa? Why are you mad? I think a simple ‘hi’ would’ve been nice,” Tiffany said, looking confused. “You killed her, didn’t you,” Chelsea said. She didn’t know where this bravado was coming from, but it was rushing out of her. Tiffany looked confused, then surprised, then shocked. “We have to talk,” she said, walking away. Chelsea stayed rooted to the spot, trying to show that nobody could control her, but then she got so curious that she had to start walking. Tiffany wasn’t turning back to check if she was coming, and she was walking somewhat stiffly. She is an arrogant little prick. Tiffany led her into the bathroom, and when she went in, she was busy at work, checking every stall to see if there were any people. When she finally finished and turned, Chelsea could see that her expression wasn’t guilty. The girl came back. She slipped another note into Rachel’s locker. It was Tiffany. “I didn’t know she would commit suicide,” Tiffany said, staring at her seriously. “Jessica just wanted me to do it. I didn’t know anything, or at least, before I secretly read the note. And besides, I only


did it for her twice, even though she wanted me to do it so many times more, because I read the note and I found out that it was... very mean,” Tiffany said. “What? What are you saying? You put notes in her locker? What does Jessica have to do with any of this?” Chelsea implored, dumbstruck. “Stop. I’ll explain everything. So one day, Jessica came to me after school when I was waiting for my mom. Jessica, she came and asked me if I could put a note in Rachel’s locker. So I said that I could, and I did” Tiffany replied, totally relaxed. “Tiffany, I can’t believe you did this. You guys were best friends. Why would you do something like that? And why would Jessica do this?” Chelsea inquired again, distress clearly showing on her face. “I told you, I didn’t know. And besides, Rachel and I kind of stopped being best friends a few months ago. She was such a loser, always reading, and never wearing make-up the way I wanted her to. I never liked her that much, she was like a... a temporary friend, and when Jessica told me that I could get better friends just by doing this, why would I refuse?” Tiffany retorted. “You are a monster. Betraying your friend for popularity. I can’t- no actually I can believe you did something as awful as this! Go and die in a hole!”Chelsea shrieked. Then, feeling an enormous amount of rage, she slipped her hands into her pockets, pulled out a the first thing her hand could feel- her phone, and after giving Tiffany a hard stare, threw the phone at her with all her strength. As she turned around, the phone hit the side of Tiffany’s head. Ignoring the screaming behind her, Chelsea walked outside.


Picture credits go to Microsoft


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