I shouldn’t have bothered getting Jared a gift card. Veronica thinks I'm making too big of a deal out of it but I was there and she wasn't. Right now she’s supposed to be studying but she’s organizing her desk instead. I could have sat and listened to her sighing over her boyfriend but I needed to get some studying done so I decided to go to the library.

I stayed up late studying so the next morning I woke up with a bad headache. I gave my history notes another once over before breakfast. This is compulsive of me but Veronica had borrowed my notes and I wanted to make sure nothing was out of order. She had drawn a smiley face on the Marie Antoinette poem I had written. It was just a little something I had jotted down while I was studying. I didn't think anyone would see it and I was kind of embarrassed that Veronica had read it. I shoved it into the front of my history book. I could always throw it away later when she wasn't around.

Veronica skipped lunch to study so I went by myself. My head ached and the food was shit so I didn't eat much. I was nervous about the test but it went well. There were only two questions I wasn't sure about. After class I walked back to the dorms with Devon who was still talking about Veronica. He gave me a note to give to her. I stuck it in my history book just as Jared walked by. I thought he'd at least stop and say hi but all he did was wave.

My head still hurt despite all the ibuprofen I had taken so I took my time going upstairs. As soon as I walked in the room I knew something was up. Everyone was standing by my bed and laughing. “What are you guys laughing about?” I went to go get a Mountain Dew from the windowsill. People were still laughing so I took a drink of my soda. Veronica asked how my day was but I could tell she didn’t really care about me. All she wanted to hear about was how class with Devon had been.

“What are you guys laughing about?”

No one answered me this time either. They just kept laughing. I went to go get the note Devon had given me for Veronica. The note was still there but now my poem was gone. It had been in my history book before class. Veronica must have taken it out at lunch when I was in the bathroom. She must have read it to everyone else. That's why they were laughing.

Stupid bitches.

“It was just a joke guys. The poem didn’t mean anything.”

Lana Schwartz looked up at me. I’m short but she’s even shorter than I am. She goes to our school but she doesn’t live there like Veronica and I do. We let her keep her books in our room and as soon as she left for the day something bad was going to happen to the rest of her books.

“What poem?”

“Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about Lana. I know why you’re laughing.”

Veronica was laughing so hard her face was red. She couldn’t even open up her can of Mountain Dew.

“Amy, it’s not what you think. We’re not laughing at you.”

“Yes you are. I just wish you guys would have had the balls to admit what you were really laughing about instead of making me figure it out.”

“Amy,” It was Lana again. “We’re laughing at Jared. Not you.”

Lana looks really sweet and innocent but she’s smart as hell and I’ve been in class when she’s taken professors down. She and Stan Summerville are the biggest nerds our class has. Everyone thinks they’re related because not only are they super smart they both have red hair.

“Shut up bitch.”

“Chill out Amy. Lana is serious. Jared was pretending to be The Sensitive Naked Man and,…”

“Fuck off Veronica. You were the one who told me how Stan Summerville told Jared that the Dean had seen him walking down the hall wearing nothing but a biology book. What a great guy he is."

Veronica gave me a very cool look. She and Stan were friends. I have no idea why.

“What is your problem today Amy? You’re being a total bitch.”

“Whatever. You guys are the ones being bitches but if it makes you feel better to blame everything on me, I know what you’re laughing about.”

“So tell us because I thought we were laughing about how 'sensitive' Jared was.”

Lana's voice was dripping with sarcasm.

“I know you guys are laughing about the poem I wrote and if you don’t stop laughing I’m going to pour Mountain Dew on your bed Veronica.”

“If you do that I’ll hit you.”

Veronica is two inches taller than I am but she hits and runs like a girl. I play tennis and she's a cheerleader. I could kick her ass any day.


“And if you don’t shut up and get out I’ll pour Mountain Dew on you too Lana.”

I went over to Veronica's closet and started going through her laundry. I was taking back all the things she had borrowed from me. When I turned around Lana was standing on my bed and holding a sheet of paper. It had to be my poem. "Get off my bed Lana.”

“Make me.”

There was a sharp sound as Lana opened another can of Mountain Dew. She held it up over my head. I jumped up on my bed and poured Diet Mountain Dew all over Lana’s hair. I grabbed the can she had and threw it at Veronica’s bed. Eerie green streams of nuclear iced tea ran down Veronica’s striped comforter. Now I was the one who was laughing. It served those bitches right. Making fun of me and my poem.

I didn’t even see Veronica coming but she hit me so I hit her back. Someone kicked me. I tried kicking back but my foot hit the edge of the bed. I felt something cold on my head. Soda streamed down my face. Now I was really pissed off. I grabbed Veronica’s blow dryer. Someone hit me in the face with a book. Blood poured out of my nose. I put my hand up to my face and ran to the bathroom. Veronica came in to check on me. I grabbed a wad of recycled toilet paper and left.

I still can't believe I went anywhere splattered with blood and soda but at that moment I hated the world and everything in it. So I had written a really bad poem. That didn't mean people had to make fun of me. I knew part of the reason I was so upset was because Lana writes poetry and I know damn well Veronica wouldn't have made fun of the poem if she had written it. They're always excluding me from things. They're smart, well, at least Lana is. They're prettier than I am. Veronica especially is pretty. She says Lana is prettier but Veronica gets the guys and Lana doesn't.

A lot of guys think Lana's a snooty stuck-up bitch. I did too when I first met her. Now I know she's just shy. I threw a stick in the river. I didn't want to go back to school but I didn't have a choice. Where else was I going to go covered in blood and soda? I started walking back from Tivoli. I had left without my room key so I really hoped Veronica was still upstairs. Someone was walking past the football field. I moved over to the side so they wouldn't see me. My plan worked that way. It worked a little too well. I ran smack into Stan, Lana and Jared.

I ignored Stan and Lana even though he offered me his jacket. Jared offered to walk me back to the dorms. Normally I would have talked to him about what had happened but not after the way he had acted when I gave him that gift card. He had acted like I was going to give him cooties. Veronica was gone when I got back. She had left a note on my pillow along with a Snickers bar. The note asked if we could talk about things. I thought about it while I took a shower. I ate the Snickers bar for supper and I went for another really long walk before bed. I thought that Veronica and I could talk things over that night but she was still gone when I went to bed.

The next morning Veronica told me she couldn't stop laughing after she saw the two liter of Mountain Dew sleeping in her bed. She thanked me for the Milky Way Midnight. I thanked her for the Snickers bar. We talked about how I had jumped to conclusions yesterday afternoon. She and Lana really had been making fun of Jared. The sheet of paper that Lana had been holding up was Devon's note to Veronica. Veronica thought I'd get a kick out of Lana reading it aloud for us. I blew the whole thing way out of proportion although Veronica did admit Lana shouldn't have held the can of soda over my head or stood on my bed.

Devon and Jared came over to talk to us. I should say they came over to talk to Veronica. Neither of them even looked at me. Veronica blew them both kisses. I rolled my eyes but all she did was smile at Devon and Jared. "Hey guys, we'd love to chat but we have girl stuff to talk about so scram." I looked at her in surprise. Veronica was telling guys to scram? That was a new one on me. What girl things could we possibly have to talk about? We had already covered me being a paranoid psycho bitch.

I expected Devon to protest but all he did was kiss Veronica before following Jared out of the cafeteria. Veronica watched them leave before she turned back to me. "We have to talk. About Lana."

"I'm not mad at her. I was just as much to blame as she was."

"No, it's not that, it's..."

To be continued...

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