"Yasiris! Wait up!"
Rachel sprinted through the library, waving frantically. She hadn't spoken to Yasiris since Saturday morning. She'd gotten a busy signal each time she'd tried to call Yasiris, probably because Yasiris' mom was always on the computer.
Now, Rachel all but sprinted through the makeshift hallway along the edge of the library. Her knees pumped so high they nearly hit her chest. She had to tell Yasiris all about meeting her mom before class started. Rachel didn't think she'd be able to sit through class all morning without telling her. The tension would tear her apart.
Yasiris paused, standing just outside the door of Mrs. Heart's classroom. Through the opened classroom door and the floor to ceiling glass panels on either side, Rachel caught glimpses of the morning activity. Fifth-graders walked around, chatting with their friends in the remaining moments before Mrs. Heart would declare it time to settle down and begin morning work.
Bounding the last three feet between them, Rachel stopped in front of Yasiris, panting to catch her breath. She put a hand on her knee and bent forward slightly. Her throat and lungs burned. She'd run all the way here from the parking lot. Nan had gotten her to school fifteen minutes later than usual because she'd insisted on stopping for coffee.
"What's your deal?" Yasiris laughed.
"Move it, retard!"
Rachel jerked to the left, watching with narrowed eyes as Thalia shoved her way paste. She met Thalia's eyes for just a moment, long enough to see the anger etched into Thalia's small blue eyes, crystal clear like lakes.
"Ignore her," Yasiris muttered. "No telling what her deal is."
Rachel paused mid-sentence finally noticing the great change that had taken place in Yasiris' appearance. She didn't know how she'd missed it during her flight through the library. Then again, Rachel often missed the things that were right in front of her. Small details stuck out to her, glaringly obvious changes usually had to be pointed out to her.
"Yasiris! Your hair is yellow!" she exclaimed.
Yasiris smiled. She reached up to twirl a lock of blonde hair, looking down at the ground as if embarrassed. "Yeah, I like it. My mom and me decided to do my whole head. Highlights are too popular right not. I don't want to look the same as everyone else."
"I never have that problem," Rachel snorted.
Yasiris frowned. "You know, we could do your hair too. If your grandma says you can. My mom could get her friend to dye yours blonde too."
Rachel shook her head, her brown hair swishing in front of her face. "No, thanks. It looks good on you though. Really. You look hot!"
Yasiris giggled. "Thanks. I like it a lot. I wonder if anybody in class won't recognize me."
"I recognized you."
"Yeah, but other people might not."
The warning bell sounded then, a long dull tone flooding the air.
Yasiris glanced over her shoulder into the classroom.
"We gotta go in."
"I have to tell you something first!" Rachel insisted.
The din of chatter in the library grew significantly quieter. On this side of the library and across the way, in the makeshift hallway that couldn't be seen through the maze of bookcase partitions, the sounds of student voices lessened. Most of the kids had gone into their classrooms, disappearing through the doorways that lined the sides of the library.
YOU ARE READING
***Long-listed for the Watty's 2018***Rachel lives in constant fear that she will burst into flames. She can feel the heat building in her gut. She keeps buckets of water under the bed. She keeps them to fend off the flames that her body may create...