“So have you seen her?” Allie poked my elbow with her string cheese. “Here, eat this, it’s good for protein.”
I looked from the proffered snack to her entirely serious face. “I’m not hungry, Allie.” I linked my arm through hers and started towards the library, pulling her along the sidewalk. “Besides, I don’t know who on earth you’re talking about.”
“Her!” Allie waved her free hand in the air. “The one annoyance in the whole wide-”
“-realm of existence, I know.” I interrupted. “Like I said, I don’t know her.”
“So you think!” Allie said, triumphantly. “You wouldn’t know. How would you know?” She peeled away the wrapper on the string cheese and began happily munching away. “I’m pretty sure it’s the same person.”
“You would know.” I waved to the driver who slowed to let us cross on the crosswalk. “I never pay attention to your gossip.”
“It’s not gossip. It’s information.” Allie wrinkled her nose. “Information.” She repeated, enunciating each syllable. “Seriously. I don’t see how people can miss her, she wears the same black hoodie everywhere!”
“Black? I thought you said it was white.” I tugged on her arm, pulling her away from the edge of the curb. “Hey, follow me.”
She tugged back, just to be contrary. “It has white on it. It’s black. It’s white on black.”
“That makes no sense at all.”
“Oh be quiet and listen. Anyway, she wears the same hoodie and a pair of pink cowboy boots. That’s the dead giveaway. Does she wear pink cowboy boots in your class?”
“I don’t know, I never look at her feet.”
Allie rolled her eyes. “You’re killing me here, you know that?” She chomped on the string cheese and swallowed. “You have her in History class and I have her in English. I’m pretty sure it’s the same person. She’s just as annoying no matter where she goes.”
“Maybe she’s not doing it on purpose.”
“Yeah right. Of course she does it on purpose.” I elbowed her. “Stop thinking that everyone is out to be a-”
“I will when they stop being so-”
“Hey, isn’t that her?”
“What? Where?” Allie pulled away, searching the gaggle of passing students. Her gaze flickered through the groups, zeroing in on a pair of red cowboy boots. “Those are red, not pink.”
“I wasn’t talking about the boots.” I nudged her out the way of the stampeding students. “I was talking about the girl. That’s her.”
“It is her!” Allie breathed. “I don’t believe it.”
“I do. She’s right in front of me.” I waved. “Hey, over here!”
The blonde in question turned to see me with a smile on her tired face. “Hey.” She greeted, hefting a worn plaid backpack to the sidewalk as she traded greetings. “Did you do the extra credit assignment in Dawson’s class?”
“Extra credit? I didn’t know there was extra credit.” I gulped. Extra credit was a very welcome option.
“Yeah, here, lemme get my folder.” She dug through her backpack to produce the necessary class handout. “Here, see?”
Allie scowled. “You’re all wrong.” She mumbled, stuffing the last of her cheese in her mouth. “Did you finish your rough draft for Dr. Carlson’s class tomorrow?”
“Dr. Carlson?” Her face twisted into a puzzled frown. “No. Why?”
“Why? You’re gonna flunk English if you don’t turn it in.”
Wide green eyes narrowed. “Really? Funny. I took English already.”
“Really?” Allie countered, hands on her hips. “Imagine that.”
“Shonda?” A new voice cut in.
“Brenda?” Allie gaped. “You look like you! I-I mean-” She stuttered.
Brenda scowled. “I know what you mean. Did you finish the rough draft for-”
“Oh no you don’t.” Allie grabbed her backpack straps, pulling the newcomer closer. “Are you guys twins or something?”
The girls exchanged a glance. “Sisters.” Shonda spoke for them both, tugging Brenda away from Allie. “Just like you two. I guess people don’t really take the time to notice, huh?”
“Er, um.” Allie flapped her arms for a moment.
“She says sorry.” I bopped my younger sister on the head. “See you in second period.”
“Yeah. Do that.” Shonda faked a smile and hurried off, dragging Brenda behind her.
“Congrats sis.” I thumped her on the back. “I think your grapevine has a leak somewhere.”
“Oh, shut up! How was I supposed to know they were sisters?”
“Simple—they look exactly like us!”
“Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?”
I pretended not to hear her.
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