Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
TITLE: Terms and Conditions Apply
By Debbie Roome
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â€śHey Shannon.â€ť Tayla opened the conversation. â€śWeâ€™ve noticed youâ€™re looking good these days. That hair cut really brings out your best features. â€ť
I felt flattered and warm inside. Had they really noticed my efforts to look good?
â€śSo how would you feel about hanging with us sometime? Weâ€™re going to the beach on Saturday and Dave and Nick will be there.â€ť Micky gazed through sultry eyelashes. â€śThink you could come?â€ť
I hesitated, suspicious of the attention. Why would they suddenly pick me out of the crowd? I certainly wasnâ€™t in their league. I was just me. Average looking, average academically, average at sports. â€śWhy now? Why do you want me to come along?â€ť
Tayla answered. â€śWe think you could fit in with us. Weâ€™ll help you with your looks and makeup. Redo your wardrobe; give you some lessons in boys. Show you how to have a good time.â€ť
It was tempting. The girls and their group of cronies were the envy of the whole school. Pride wormed its way into my heart and I brushed aside my misgivings.
â€śCool.â€ť I said. â€śIâ€™ll be there.â€ť
The girls flounced off and were at the end of the corridor when Tayla turned around. â€śBy the way,â€ť she called. â€śThere is one thing you need to do first.â€ť
I caught up to them wondering what it could be.
â€śYou need to get rid of Lesley.â€ť
â€śYeah. Sheâ€™s a real loser. If you want to hang with us youâ€™ll have to cut her out.â€ť
â€śLunchtime tomorrow at the cafeteria. Weâ€™ll say you have an announcement to make. You get up and say youâ€™re moving on. That Lesley no longer features. That youâ€™ll be with us in future.â€ť
Laughing, they strutted off, wiggling their hips and flirting as they passed some jocks.
I felt sick. I might have known terms and conditions would apply. Lesley had been my friend for years. I thought of her smiling round face and laughing eyes. I thought of the way she helped with my school work and listened to my endless litany of problems. I couldnâ€™t do that to herâ€¦or could I?
I spent a restless night, my mind shifting from one view point to the other. Lesley could be annoying at times. She was a little frumpy and she didnâ€™t like the beach. Maybe it was time for a change. A new image, new friends. I pictured myself swanning the corridors of Myrtle High, hair sleek and shiny, skin flawless and boys falling at my feet.
On the other hand, were those two vamps to be trusted? They had never bothered with me in the past and had a reputation for letting people down. What if this was their warped idea of fun. What if I betrayed Lesley and ended up with no friends at all.
Lunch time arrived and once the students were settled, Tayla banged a plate with a spoon. â€śAttention everyone. Shannon has something to say to us.â€ť
I climbed onto a chair and faced my peers. Tayla and Micky had smirks on their faces and their friends were grinning like hyenas. â€śThese two girls have invited me to join their group.â€ť I began. â€śHowever their offer is conditional on me publicly ending my friendship with Lesley.â€ť I looked at Lesley and saw confusion and hurt twist her features. â€śWell Iâ€™m here today to say that life doesnâ€™t work like that. Lesley is the best friend Iâ€™ve ever had. Sheâ€™s honest, caring and good fun. Iâ€™m not giving her up for a bunch of girls who donâ€™t know the first thing about true friendship.â€ť I turned to Tayla and Micky as I hopped off the chair. â€śAnytime you want to hang with Lesley and I, youâ€™re welcome.â€ť
The cafeteria was pin quiet, frozen in motion like a waxworks museum. Then a girl stood and slowly started to clap. Others joined in until the room was shaking as they applauded and stamped their feet.
Smiling, I linked my arm through Lesleyâ€™s. â€śCome on friend. Letâ€™s get out of here.â€ť
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