Soon a girl named Anna, who had been my friend in first and second grade, befriended Shayla and they both started being mean to me.
What I didn't realize at the time was that Anna was also being mean to Shayla in private- even meaner than me. Shayla was too scared of her to fight back.
One day, they called me up with astonishingly helpful news.
I didn't particularly like John, but I figured a boyfriend I didn't like was better than no boyfriend.
I resolved never to speak to either of them again.
Later that year, Anna disappeared suddenly. I found out later she had tried to kill herself by drinking a bottle of window cleaner.
We entered junior high. At first, I was no more popular in junior high than I was in grade school.
However, I soon discovered the secret to junior high popularity: Anorexia.
At the end of 8th grade, I fell in with the heavy metal crowd. Everyone I didn't like was scared of my friends. The rest of junior high was a breeze.
Shayla drifted around a bit and eventually fell in with a group of reasonably smart, popular, and pretty-but-not-slutty girls.They all dressed alike and took the same classes and did everything together. I found them sickening.
But as Yeats once wrote about popular girls, "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold..."
Things were about to get bad for Shayla.
But despite our different spheres, fate was conspiring to bring us together again...