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She was the girl. (standard:Inspirational stories, 2030 words)
Author: E J ReeveAdded: Jan 28 2003Views/Reads: 2283/1325Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A story about jealousy, bulllying and fingernails

She was the girl who pinched me, a line of neat crescent-shaped
indentations puckering on my pale forearm, fading red to white to pink. 
 Perfect like her delicate mother-of-pearl nails.  I flinched inwardly. 
 Childish tears blurring the bright primary paint box table below, 
regulation in all the classrooms.  A triumphant sidelong glance and a 
bubble of laughter over neon pencil-cases ringing in my head. 

She was Annemarie.  Sweet Annemarie, Clever Annemarie, so bright, so
pretty, a real peach.  Annemarie was predicted to go far.  The teachers 
would solemnly nod and smile encouragingly as though sharing a private 
joke whenever her name was mentioned.  She was talented, vivacious, 
with a circle of ferociously protective friends lacing around her at 
all times.  Annemarie was cute, such a doll, everyone said indulgently. 
 She was never wicked or naughty but full of mischief, which apparently 
indicated intelligence far beyond her years 

She wore a silver clasp which I stared at every day for the whole term,
whilst I sat behind her.  Her caramel hair hanging groomed and heavy 
like a showpony's tail.   I was safe for a while here behind her 
darting calculating gaze, homing in on the shy children, the poor 
children, the runts of the litter.   Her clear voice would glide over 
the clamour of classroom activities, her comments innocent and barbed, 
raising snickers of fawning laughter and shame in those targeted. 

Annemarie was pretty.  She possessed the bloom of a healthy, cosseted
existence.   A pronounced cupid bow curving into a trademark smile 
accentuated with adorable dimples.   She played in wide-open green 
spaces and sent out pastel birthday invitations to parties with fondant 
cake and brightly wrapped presents. Party games were held in her 
‘playroom' decorated with expensive toys.   I was inadvertently invited 
to one of her birthday parties once by virtue of a freak disposable 
friendship struck up between my Dad and hers.  I sulked and fiddled 
with the velvet dress Mum deemed my best, I want you smart and clean, 
understand? Not pretty like her, was the insinuation, but at least 
clean and presentable. My hair was scraped back tightly into skinny 
plaits.  I was an outsider, an untidy scrag of weed in a beautifully 
trimmed garden; I shouldn't have been there. I skirted around 
Annemarie's golden aura marvelling at her airy, thick carpeted home, 
adorned with glossy snaps of her shimmering at the camera sandwiched 
between adoring parents. 

I used to see her mother waiting for her outside the school gates every
night.  Standing apart from the other mums swapping anecdotes about 
kids, errant husbands and grocery prices, conversation punctuated by 
trouser tugging and tantrums.   Annemarie's mother had a veneer of 
sophistication, of aloofness.   Her camel-coloured suits marked her out 
as different from the functional garments worn by experienced mums.  
She would wait there awkwardly, expensively scented, adjusting her 
tailored outfit with manicured professionalism. Hesitant and nervous, 
her eyes would dart from the impressive sleek car waiting to envelop 
herself and Annemarie, to the school door spewing out hyperactive 
children and colourful gym bags.Mum would ask me why I was not friends 
with that nice Annemarie. 

‘She's always polite and comes from a good family.  Her dad's a school
governor didn't you know...? Ve-erry successful in his business' 

She would draw her words out with raised eyebrows at this point. 

‘You should invite her round to tea one night.  I'll bake a cake, it'll
be fun'. 

I never had to wonder what Annemarie would make of our crowded, untidy
semi-detached as one night, surprisingly, she turned up on the doorstep 
standing demurely next to her elegant mother. 

The two of them stood in our living room with Mum fussing around them
offering tea and biscuits.  They were moving into our street. The big 
house at the end with high walls covered in climbing roses.  A friend 
was needed for Annemarie, someone she knew nearby as her friends all 
lived further away now and may not be able to travel all the way over 
to her as frequently. Unlikely, I sneered inwardly. I was angry and 
afraid.  Curled up on the old squashy sofa covered in tea-stains, I 
avoided their saintly gazes.  They had trespassed onto my territory.  
Annemarie's army would be gracing my neighbourhood with their patent 

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