P.S. I Really Like You
I, Jenny McAfee, hate first period English class.
And I have a really good reason. English is the toughest class I have all day, and it comes first thing in the morning. How rotten is that?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate everything about English. I love to read, and I write poetry and stories on my own. But Ms. Jaffe, our English teacher, is the toughest, strictest teacher in all of Joyce Kilmer Middle School. She’s mega-serious about stuff like making sure you have the correct heading on your paper and using proper grammar all the time. And you wouldn’t believe how tough she is when it comes to grading papers!
Worst of all, Ms. Jaffe usually makes us read our work out loud, so the rest of the class can critique it. I really can’t stand that. Speaking in public is one of my least favorite things to do in the world. I read a poll once that said speaking in public is the thing people fear the most—even more than being kidnapped or dying! That sounds pretty weird, I know. But I understand it. Speaking to a room full of people who are all staring right at you is pretty scary. At least it is to me.
Addie Wilson, on the other hand, has no fear of public speaking. In fact, she’s really comfortable with being the center of attention. That’s why she was the first person to raise her hand this morning when Ms. Jaffe asked for a volunteer to read their persuasive essay. Ms. Jaffe really liked that Addie volunteered. And I’m sure that Addie, who really likes being liked, had planned on that.
“My essay is called Keep the World Green,” Addie said as she stood up and walked to the front of the room. “Joyce Kilmer Middle School needs an environmental club so that the school can become more ecologically friendly,” she began.
I leaned back in my chair and tried to focus on what Addie was saying. But I was more fascinated by what she was wearing. Her long black shirt hung loosely over her black and silver leggings. And her silver hoop earrings and sparkly silver ballet slippers pulled the outfit together perfectly.
I put my hand to my hole-less earlobes and sighed. My mother won’t let me get my ears pierced until I’m thirteen. I’m only eleven. Two years—that’s like an eternity! Not that earrings would make any difference. If I tried putting an outfit like Addie’s together, I would’ve looked like a mutant ballerina. But Addie has a flair for throwing things like that together so they just work. She’s always been like that—ever since we were kids. I remember playing dress-up with her in her mother’s closet when we were younger. I always wound up looking ridiculous—clomping around in high heels with some huge straw hat on my head and lipstick on my teeth.
Addie would wear her mother’s skirt as a strapless dress, throw a scarf around her neck, wrap a few strands of beads around her wrists, and come out looking like a mini-model.
Of course, that was back when we were in elementary school and Addie and I were BFF. It wasn’t how things were today. We’d only been in middle school for a few months, but elementary school may as well have been ancient history considering how different things were between Addie and me now. Sometime during the summer between fifth grade graduation and the first day of middle school, while I was at sleepaway camp, Addie had decided that she was much cooler than I was and that we weren’t friends anymore. That was it. I hadn’t had any say in the matter at all.
Not that I would have liked to hang out with Addie’s new group of friends. I definitely would not have fit in with the Pops.