I’m Nothing What They Say


This is a continuation from Welcome to Peach Valley, Maria.

Anya does what she has never before dared to do: she slides a study card out of her binder, then writes; Thank you, Maria. I’m poor and I get picked on a lot, but I’m nothing what they say. Anya.

Anya passes the note to Maria, trying to be as discrete as possible. Within seconds, she receives a note back from Maria.

I don’t know you, but I get the feeling you’re a decent person. Those girls aren’t worth anymore than their “pathetic” makeup, so everything they say is pure, unadulterated bullshit. Maria, the note reads in grammatically correct English.

Anya smiles, feeling much better. So Maria did hear every comment Melody and Cassidy made about her. Anya wasn’t just assuming it.

She flashes Maria a grin, but Maria doesn’t see her, so Anya tries to focus her attention on Mr. Wimple’s lesson. She just can’t stop thinking about Maria, though. Hopefully between first and second period, Anya will get a chance to speak to Maria; maybe strike up a friendship with her.

****

The bell rings, marking the end of first period. At last! Anya slams her textbook and binder shut. Great. Now I can talk to her. Finally.

“Hey, Maria. What class do you have next?” Anya rakes her spare fingers through her long, thick hair.

“English.”

Anya’s face lights up. “Really? I do too. We can walk there…”

“Hey, Maria,” Jose says. He, Shondra and two other people crowd Maria, forcing Anya to take two steps backward.

“Oh. Hey,” Maria says.

“Do you want to hang with us in the courtyard?” Jose asks.

“All the cool kids chill in the courtyard,” Shondra says. She flips her long hair over one shoulder and shoots Anya a dirty look at the same time.

“Okay,” Maria says with a small shrug of one shoulder.

“What about me?” Anya wants to ask, but she keeps her mouth shut for fear of what they might say to her.

Much to Anya’s surprise, Maria looks directly at her.

“Guess I’ll see you around,” Maria says.

Anya can feel her heart sink. “Okay. I’ll see you in English.”

With no other choice, Anya follows them out of the classroom. Once she steps into the hallway, she turns in the direction of her locker–the opposite of where the others are going. She keeps her head held high. Really, though, it’s in effort to keep herself from crumbling in front of everyone.

Bingo! The popular kids score again. And me? I’m left at the bottom of the social rung to be spat on repeatedly. Not good for a serious aspiring actress.

These stories are vignettes that lead up to the main story of To be Maria. If you want to learn more about To be Maria and where you can purchase a copy, visit the “To be Maria” page, the one listed under “About”.

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