October 24 Prompt: Tiny
Skinny. Dark. Tiny. Wide eyed. Sunken cheeks. Broken teeth. And I am not trying to be mean here but I have always thought her head was a little bit oversize. I met her when we were freshman in high school. I was thirteen. Days when I thought a bandana over my fishtail was cool. And that elephant jeans would make me popular. I was all wrong of course. None of my weird fashion sense placed me in the pedestal. My wit made an entrance though and I was highly recognized in my first year. Although constantly bullied, I had my immunity with the teachers. I shared my mini spotlight with Tiny Jones. We excelled in class almost at the same pace. She was a wit in action. I was a wit without effort. [Arrogance…] The only place I was not able to rule was gym class; a dimension where Tiny Jones and I unconsciously get disconnected from each other. She was worshiped in this universe. I on the other hand, get shrunk the size of her pinkie. Jaws dropped when she first executed her flawless split. One hundred eighty degrees in a fluid motion, grinning brightly and painless. I couldn’t even reach my toes, to start with. She was a tiny ballerina that everyone adored. Although her competitiveness and her high-strung personality were an issue for me, I kept my dissatisfaction to myself and reciprocated the friendship she offered. She was nice to me because she knew I was brilliant. She was bossy, arrogant and offensive to others. But she always manage to project a presidential kind of smile to win them during class election. She was the youngest politician I have ever met. Her size was sort of an exception to the rule. A tiny person with a very big attitude.
Sophomore year, we were both moved to Cream Class. That was already expected. Teachers were already eyeing on both of our potentials. Cream Class is a world where gods exist. The Smart. The Pretty. The Talented. There’s a huge imbalance of vanity and pride smeared all over the walls of a girls’ high school. We knew that perfectly from the start. But this new brave world we were thrown into was different. It was hard to cope with the overflowing flair and elegance around. Smart and Rich girls with exquisite genes.
Tiny Jones and I were separated on the first day of class. Alphabetical order. I sat beside two beautiful high school sophomores, Ember and Helena. Ember, I met in freshman because she was a Math wizard and a teacher’s assistant during Quiz Bees. On my first Math Quiz, Ember was kind enough to coach me. She was a freaking genius.[I know. It’s still shocking to me up to this day. I don’t know how I wound up in a Math competition considering my fear with numbers. I guess this is where my trauma started.]. Helena, on the other hand was just an angel with a very bad habit of sneaking out of the school gate to meet her boyfriend.
I became very close to both of these girls because unlike Tiny Jones, they don’t have an inflated ego. They were both easy to get a long with. And best of all, they both suck in gym class.
It first started with lunch. Tiny Jones always had a packed lunch. I don’t. My dad started to give me daily allowance so I would buy lunch at the cafeteria. Ember and Helena did the same. We had to eat at the cafeteria because the utensils were not supposed to be taken anywhere. Tiny Jones preferred to eat at the corridor for some weird reasons I don’t know about.
After class, Tiny Jones would commute with her two sisters. I, on the other hand would have to wait in the school gate for my school van which picks me up after school. This gave me more time with the new girls, who I would have so much fun with. We started sharing stories about boys we like, Spice Girls and Sweet Valley High. But mostly it was Sweet Valley High and R.L. Stine that pulled that three of us together. We started borrowing books in the library and shared personal ones which we bought from our allowances. We would buy ice cream in a parlor nearby and obsess on the star player of SVH’s basketball team, Todd Wilkins.
One day, I saw a note on my history book that led me to the huge school quadrangle where I found Tiny Jones sitting under the scorching sun. She has this weird expression on her face that made me really uncomfortable. She told me how I behave so differently since the new sitting arrangement. I guess if Charlie Puth’s stardom was born a little earlier, our background song would be his single We Don’t Talk Anymore. It was too dramatic for me that half of my attention I paid on practicing folk dancers at the Student Hall nearby. It was all creepy to hear someone lament on her so called extraordinary friendship that I never even knew existed. At the end of her long screenplay, she asked me if I would want to organize a Horoscope Booth with her for our upcoming Intramural. Suffocation.
I don’t know how many times I have apologized to her before I left her teary eyed in the quadrangle. I have already arranged an expensive Marriage Booth with Ember and Helena and we’ve already invited a couple of boys to come from the Boy’s Department.
I guess I just can’t force myself to someone who I have never been interested in, on the first place. I was just being nice. Tiny Jones nailed our finals in gym class with her perfect handstand, split, egg roll and arabesque. Chin held up high, she lit up walking like a human glow stick flexing her muscles here and there to show off while the rest of us struggled. She kept laughing when I stumbled several times on the balance beam. But that’s okay. I had so much fun cleaning the gym with Ember and Helena after class. We had a blast.
Contrary to popular belief, not all beautiful people are mean. Surprisingly, sometimes the ones who are not are more viscous… And it’s sad. Because you can’t afford to look at them and you can’t stand to be with them.