| Teen Fiction |

Bright Little Flames

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m heading to the local mall with Raizy for the first time. Our school has banned that mall, but Raizy said the rule doesn’t make any sense, and walking alone with her, chatting about this and that, gives me a good feeling, like I’ve made it to the top. Her beautiful, blond hair swishes behind her as she walks, her clothes are an impressive cut, and even as we talk, I wonder how she manages to apply makeup so flawlessly.

Next to her I’m positively dowdy, although I’ve tried hard to look good and appear “with it,” and for the umpteenth time I wonder what she sees in me. But as I have over the last week or so, since we first started becoming friendly, I push that unwelcome thought to the side, and just enjoy being with the queen for the day.

Not that Raizy is the only queen in our class. There are others too; others who, shall we say, the teachers actually approve of. Like Shani. And Esti.

Raizy is in many teachers’ bad book. They don’t like the way she talks or her obvious disregard for school rules. She’s been taken to task for low grades and incomplete homework numerous times.

Some even say that she may be told to leave our school soon.

But I like Raizy. She’s glamorous. And she’s nice to little ol’ me, talking to me as though I too am a sophisticated, know-it-all young lady, instead of one who just flits around the outer edge of the popular circle.

“Toby, you’re not listening to me!” Raizy says suddenly. She slows her pace and turns to me with raised, perfectly shaped eyebrows.

I start, and slow down too. “I am,” I say, my cheeks suddenly feeling warm, and my insides fluttery. Raizy can’t get upset with me now, not when we’re finally spending some time alone, without her sidekicks. Not when I’ve finally drawn up the courage to go with her to the forbidden mall.

Raizy blinks and shrugs. “If you say so,” she says, her voice dripping with disbelief. Her pace picks up again and I follow suit.

I must quit dreaming and pay more attention to her. “You were saying about next week’s shabbaton…” I turn to her questioningly.

She nods. “Yes, that’s right. There are way too many rules... No bringing this, no bringing that. What are you doing about it?”

I hesitate before answering. “I… I’m not sure which rules you mean. I didn’t think they were that bad.”

Raizy snorts. “You’re kidding, right?”

My insides curdle, and I don’t answer, forcing my breath to stay steady. I can’t lose this friendship.

(Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 738)

 

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