“We’re crushing them,” Liz said to me. It was the last day of term and only half my science class had bothered to show up. Because it was the end of the day and my teacher was in a good mood she decided that we would have a competition to see which team could remember the most of what we had learnt over the last semester. My team was winning, the winning team got lollies, it was a good end to the day.
“Guys what Newtons second law?” asked one of my other team members. The whole team looked to me. The amount of confidence they had in my abilities to remember was astounding considering I was widely known as having the same memory as a gold fish.
“Marie,” before I had a chance to answer my group member’s question, I heard my teacher say my name, I turned my head to look at her. She was talking to another girl, suddenly I realised it was Lily.
“Yes,” I said, quite loudly because I was caught up in the competition and was high on sugar.
“Mrs Glashow wants to see you,” I would have been confused if I didn’t know what was going on, Mrs Glashow was Lily’s English teacher but I had never spoken a word to her, so I instantly knew that this was about Allie.
“So what happened Lily?” I asked as we walked towards the door out of the fancy science lab.
“It’s Allie, she needs you,” I knew that she hadn’t Lily much, it’s not that there was no trust between these two friends but I had taught Allie to be careful about who she told things too, just to be safe.
Once I had left the room I saw Allie waiting in the hallway, she looked rather worried. Because of the clear stressful atmosphere I decided to lighten the mood, “Why are you always dragging me into these things, can’t stand a day without me?”
Allie laughed, she was always glad to see me and being best friends had its advantages, I could complain about a situation and still get a smile. We all walked to Allie and Lily’s English class, Lily and I telling jokes along the way to help Allie feel better. Mrs Glashow was waiting for them outside their classroom, Lily and Allie went up to their teacher, I stayed behind, not sure what I would do it I went to talk to her too.
Lily and Allie spoke to Mrs Glashow for a bit, “May, can I speak to you for a second,” I suddenly realised that she was talking to me, not only that she had called me by my nickname. I nodded, a bit scared that I might say something out of turn. We walked around the corner so that Lily and Allie wouldn’t be able to hear us. “You and Allie have been good friends for a while, yes?” she said.
“Yeah,” I said, the teacher had a kind face but I felt like she was staring me down.
“Okay, I want you to be with her the whole time, don’t let her out of your sight, and if you are going to leave, make sure she is with me before you do so.” I nodded and as we walked back to Allie and Lily that Allie was on the teacher equivalent of suicide watch, Mrs Glashow had made both Lily and Allie walk over to get me, even though Allie was perfectly able to do it on her own. Once we reached the girls Mrs Glashow left back to class with Lily. Then it was just us. We began to laugh. I don’t know why but so many things seem funny when I’m with Allie.
“Hey May, what did Mrs Glashow say to you?” she asked, not wanting to tell her the truth and not having a believable lie ready I quickly stalled.
“Sorry, I’m feeling a little light headed, we were playing this game in science and I have eaten way to many lollies,” It wasn’t a complete lie the world around me did seem a little fuzzy and all the laughing hadn’t helped.
“We’ll go get a drink then,” we walked outside and towards the drink taps, the water was freezing but it gave me more time to think. “So what did she tell you?” Allie asked again.
“You know, just to be careful with you, you have gotten a lot of attention recently,” I lied, well not completely, I just twisted the truth. We sat down outside in the fresh air. It was weird being out of class knowing that there were people all around who were busy working. “So what’s up?” I asked in a very chill manner, Allie was used to me acting like all this stuff was not big deal.
“It’s my poem, it’s just getting too much attention,” Allie had recently wrote a poem about her life, her friend Ellen had recently told her that she didn’t believe that gay people should get married and that the thought of it was wrong, this hit Allie hard because for three years now she has been dealing with the idea that she might be gay and Ellen, one of her closest friends told her that her life was wrong. In retaliation Allie wrote a poem. She wanted to say it at a poetry event at school. Every teacher was on edge about it.
“They want me to tell my parents. May, what should I do?” words that she asked me a lot, she always looked to me for advice like I know everything, but I don’t I’m just as messed up and confused as any other teen. But I can’t let Allie know that, that would be like telling her the safety net under the tight rope is broken and Allie truly believes that she will fall.
“Tell them, I’m sorry but there is no walking out of this, if you don’t tell them the teachers will and then everything will just be harder. You’re fifteen, when the adults want you to do something, there isn’t much you can do about it.” Allie nodded.
“What should I tell them?” she looks to me as she pulls out her phone from her pocket.
“Just tell them about the poem and that you need them to be calm about the situation,” she dialled the number for her mum’s phone, rather than going to her contacts, she pushed every individual button, stalling the phone call.
“Hello?” she said, it was hard to hear the other end of the phone call but I could hear her mother’s reply. Allie began to explain the whole situation to her mother without any breaks, trying to get every word out as quickly as possible.
Suddenly Allie was crying as her mother responded, asking her why she didn’t hear of this until now. Allie's usually bright and happy face was suddenly a dark red. my heart sank, it always got me down to see her like this and it also made me feel helpless, like her sadness was my fault and that I had to be the one to fix it. As she spoke to her mum her voice started to become quiet and her words would crack as she said them. I really wanted to take the phone of Allie and yell at her mum. Why would she say these things. Allie is a much better daughter than I am, she tells her mother everything and this one issue had only existed for a weak. I felt like telling her to back off and that it is hard enough having every teacher in the school look at you like there is something wrong but it is even harder having your own family turn on you. But instead I just put a reassuring hand on my friend’s knee and when she looked at me a simply smiled and nodded.
Once the phone call was finished and Allie had convinced her mother to agree with her we went to the bathroom, together because I said I would not leave her alone and it’s not like Allie even suspected it because we were still talking. I chose my words very carefully, so that everything would turn out perfectly and so that Allie wouldn’t feel like this was all her fault.
After we talked for a while, Allie decided to call her mother again to apologise for not telling her. We stood in the bathroom, Allie looking at herself in the mirror as she talked to her mum, playing with her long blond hair. Then it was over and I walked her back to her classroom, I don’t even think she was suspicious of my behaviour.
I’m sorry I can’t tell you all these things Allie, I’m sure you understand. No body worries about you more than I do and I just had to let this out. All the time I’m thinking of ways I can help you and I know you will get through this. There is no doubt in my mind, you will not fall off that tight rope.
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