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I had decided that I would befriend Diana and bring her into the fold. Her courage was impressive and I knew that I could get Michelle on board. She agreed to give her a shot and so it had been decided that she would become one of us. She just needed to prove herself one more time. 

It was surprisingly easy to get her to agree to fight again. This next fight, she had she won. In case you are wondering, no it wasn't against me. I never agreed to a fight I didn't think I could win. With her, I had a feeling that she would do anything to not lose against me again. Respect. Nothing but respect for this Dominican girl. 

If you are wondering how I managed to avoid fighting against people I might lose against let me just say that there are people for that. If I didn't want a fight I had people like Diana who would fight. I had people like Amanda and others. I didn't need to fight every battle. 

That is the beauty of building loyalty amongst your friends. They become like little soldiers eager to make you happy. Happiness came at a price. I treated you with respect and admiration but in exchange, you would devote yourself to the cause and rise to the occasion. 

This was the price they were happy to pay. Thus harmony and balance were maintained. I would never need to fight a fight I didn't think I could win. 

The traitors from a couple of years ago attended the same school and I still kept them close. They would tell me how much I changed. The sound of concern oozing off their lips. They would tell me that I didn't need to be this way. 

I would smile and thank them for their concern while I poisoned their mind. Had they tried any weed? I'd asked. What was their favorite alcohol? "I don't do that stuff," they'd say? "Oh, I see. That's OK, not everyone can handle that kind of thing anyway."

I admit, It was fun finding you behind the school building lighting one up. I thought you didn't do that stuff? No matter. I'll drag you through the dirt and you will never know it was me that brought you there. You are welcome. 

Without me, you wouldn't have these great stories to tell your children. Oh, the peer pressures you must have endured. What would your mother think of your behavior sweet angels of betrayal? You are so brave, dear traitors. I envy your courage. Here, take another puff, it won't hurt you. I won't tell.

You probably imagine it differently. It wasn't me that had you behind the building every day after school. Don't I remember the time when I joined you? I chuckle to myself as I think about it. I did, I joined you, that one puff that wasn't quite an inhale was enough to have you believe I was joining you. I could never, ever, join you. 

This was your punishment after all. To believe that your choices were your own. Of course, they were. I didn't put a gun to your head. I was simply, a voice. A voice of reason. 

There is nothing wrong with a little experimentation. You'll be fine. That's what you told yourself. You'd be fine. When you turn a blind eye to another person's suffering, you become almost as bad as the one inflicting the pain. 

Those fights I didn't have to have, I felt a little guilty about. Even though I didn't fight those girls, I was the reason they were fighting so I was partially responsible for their suffering. My girls were demons, vicious, brutal, and unforgiving. 

Watching them in action was a sight to behold. If you were unlucky enough to face them, I'm sorry. You clearly did something to be worthy of their wrath and you should ask yourself what you could do differently in the future.

Did you think this book was going to be a feel-good after school special? I.Don't.Think.So. This is about when you realize that you've become a mean girl. It is about facing your demons and asking yourself how you can become better. 

This is about deciding the type of person you want to be remembered as and making some hard choices. My choices, while not perfect didn't make me a bad person. I'm not mean. I never forced them to do those things. I wasn't the problem.

That's what I told myself. Over and over again. I'm not the problem...you are.

Every day, as I watched them from a distance. A crooked smile spread across my face. They deserved this life they were creating. These traitors who left me surrounded by boys who were intent on hurting me. These girls that called me 'friend' to my face but sided with my enemy when it mattered most. 

I would systematically break down their world without lifting a finger. You should be happy for them. They are getting to have all of these new experiences. Yet, I imagine you aren't happy. I admit a small part of me wasn't as happy as I thought I should be. 

I should rejoice in their suffering...but, they were still my friends. For the briefest of moments, I wondered if maybe the reason they stood by and did nothing is if because they too were afraid. 

Could it be that they didn't know how to help me and that remaining silent felt "safer"? Perhaps. If that were true...maybe I could forgive them. Just maybe, I'll find it in my heart to redeem them from themselves. Not today though. Definitely, not today.  


Author's Note: Thank you for getting this far with me. I hope you have enjoyed this story so far. If you have, please like it and leave me a comment. Thanks for reading. 

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