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“Hey, Sal, wait up!” a familiar voice called from behind me.

Ugh. Maybe if I pretend to be deaf, he’ll go away. Though somehow, I doubt I’d get that lucky.

“Sally! I know you can hear me. Would you wait up?” that familiar voice sounded again, a little out of breath and quite a bit closer now.
I stopped, turned, and faced the king of the chess club. When will he ever get it through his head that I am not interested in being his video project subject? Aren’t there other kids here that are more interesting than I am?

“Hi Jared, what do you need?” I asked, though I was pretty sure I already knew the answer.

“I know you’re dodging my request to work with me on my video project, so I am not going to ask you anymore. I do want to know though, why are you so against it and why couldn’t you just tell me no, instead of blowing me off?” His blue eyes were intense and his face hard with frustration.

Hmm, I hadn’t noticed his eyes were blue till now. Oh, Sally, stop and focus. I suppose I owe him an answer, but what can I tell him that won’t hurt his feelings? I scrambled and tried to come up with something on the spot.

“Jared, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to avoid answering you, I just didn’t want to admit that I am camera shy. I don’t want to everyone looking at me, staring at me. I am honored you asked me to be your subject for your project, but you should pick someone else. Maybe Heather, she’s in love with the camera and would probably take you up on it just so she could tell everyone about it.” I said truthfully.

I really don’t like cameras or being fussed over. Maybe that will be enough for him and I don’t have to tell him the whole truth. How does one tell someone that he’s a dork and that they don’t want to hang out with him? He seems like a nice guy, but I’d prefer to be a loner than hang out with him. As if I wasn’t an outcast enough, if our classmates saw us hanging out, it would get even worse. No, I need to stick to hanging out by myself, well except for the occasional trips to the park to walk our dogs and such with my sister.

“Oh, okay, I didn’t know. I didn’t mean to push you. If you’re that uncomfortable with it, you should have just said something and I would have stopped bothering you.” Jared sounded so, well so defeated.

I felt really bad and I almost said I would help him, but a voice in my head told me to stay quiet. It might not have been the right voice to listen to, but I did anyway.

“I just didn’t want to admit that, didn’t want to sound pathetic. Thanks for understanding.” I tried to sound sincere.

“It’s alright, I guess I will just ask Heather. You’re right, she is the queen of the seventh grade, always needing to be the center of attention and perhaps for that reason, she’ll agree to help me. Well, I am sorry again and I will see you in class.” Jared smiled and walked away.

I feel lousy about lying to him and even worse about feeling ashamed to talk to him. I know my parents would be very disappointed in me for that sort of behavior. But, they just don’t understand what it’s like to be a teenager in this day and age. At this point, I’d rather be ignored than teased. Blending in isn’t such a bad thing. I know they laugh about my tales, but for the most part, the kids at school leave me alone and I am okay with that, well most of the time.

Holly is so different from me. We’re identical twins and yet we are like day and night. She loves clothes, shoes, talking about boys, going to the mall, and all of that other nonsense. I love to paint, read, hike, and adding to my rock collection. The only real interest we have in common is our dogs. Cleo and Gizmo are both golden labs that we have had since we were about nine years old. They’re a part of our family. Holly and I love taking them for walks to the park nearby and watching them play. During our walks to and from the park, that is when we feel like sisters. Most of the time, we’re doing our own thing and that’s okay, but I do enjoy our time together. If anyone ever asks me about it though, I am not sure I’d admit that.

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Comment by Carissa Galow on February 22, 2013 at 7:31pm

Thank you. I try to go back to being 12-13 years old when I am writing. Sometimes it's so easy to remember being that age, but other memories have become so faded. ;) I am glad you're enjoying my story thus far!

Comment by Maryanne Mesple on February 22, 2013 at 7:21pm

I can hear the teen talking in my head = good! enjoying your story and thank you for sharing.

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