New Girl: Chapter Six

As bad as Silvia felt for Rebecca, she felt even worse for Lucita. It had been days after the incident at lunch, but Lucita kept her distance alongside Elizabeth, who pointedly ignored Rebecca. They even kept their distance from Silvia. Not as much, offering her a smile as she passed them by, but still, Lucita kept her head down most of the time, a book clinging to her chest. In a way, it had been Silvia’s fault.

All she wanted was to have lunch with the new girl and bridge the gap between her and her friend. She hadn’t expected Rebecca to be so rude or for Lucita to be tough about it. Instead, Silvia wanted to make it all better, make Lucita feel like she belonged.

Turning the corner, she stopped, catching her break. Of all the stupid things… Headed in her direction was none other than Blake, his arms draped around Lucita and Liz, the latter of whom was laughing her little punk head off. It was Liz, always Liz, trying to be a badass and put people in their small little places in her small little world. Standing there, seething, she watched them as they made their way toward her. Blake offered her up a sneer; the others didn’t.

Lucita looked at her smiling uneasily. She had been dragged into this by Elizabeth, her big idea to make Rebecca feel like complete and utter shit for being rude. Except it didn’t feel right, it felt stupid, familiar. Lucita knew that pain, what Becca was feeling, but she wasn’t tough enough to stand her ground against Liz. Deep down, she wasn’t better than anything, just an empty shell, a castaway. So she smiled and cast her big brown eyes to the tiled ground, letting her black bangs fall over her face, staring into the infinite abyss of the white fluorescent reflections.

“Hey there, Silvia, how are you,” said Blake, his honey eyes twinkling mischievously. He was all too aware that he was being used and clearly enjoying it too much.

“Hi, Blake.” Silvia shifted uncomfortably, leaning against the wall, pulling her curly brown braid over her shoulder. Silvia looked over at Elizabeth, studying her so-called friend. She never really liked her, but they were always together in middle school, always in the same crowd. It just seemed like the right thing to be friends with her, but now, she realized Liz wasn’t a nice person to be friends with.

“Hey, Silvia,” said Elizabeth. She gave her a knowing look, her chestnut eyes glistening and piercing.

“Hey Liz, hi Lucita.” She looked at Blake. “How are you three?” She looked at Blake hatefully. He knew how Becca felt about him, and still, he let himself be used as a tool to hurt her. He was disgusting.

“We’re fine,” said Blake, smiling his crooked grin.

“Where’s Becca,” asked Elizabeth looking around eagerly. Silvia saw Lucita shift uncomfortably. Well, that confirms it.

Lucita could feel Silvia staring at her. Silvia wouldn’t look away. She knew what there were up to. Now more than ever, she regretted being Liz’s tool. She gripped her phone, wanting badly to talk to Cyrus, to hear from him. She needed to listen to him say she was a good person, not this person who was just someone’s tool.

Down by the hall entrance, Rebecca stopped. Even through the masses, she spotted Silvia’s brown velvet bag with the word Vee embroidered on it in pink by her mother, peaking from around the corner. She walked over to her and turned the corner to join her.

“Rebecca,” said Silvia, hushed as she noticed her. A satisfied smile crept onto Elizabeth’s lip, and Lucita looked away. This wasn’t right, Lucita thought, so Rebecca had been a bitch, but two wrongs didn’t make a right.

Rebecca stood stunned, her body shaking with sadness and anger. She looked over at Elizabeth, her supposed friend, eyes glistening with triumph. What the hell was going on? She looked at Blake, his honey eyes dancing over her, then at Lucita, her rounded high cheekbones turned away, her eyes cast down. What the hell was going on? Why was everything suddenly turning upside down?

“Hey there, Becca,” said Elizabeth smugly. Lucita sighed, Silvia glared, and Rebecca just stared at her. Lucita wanted her to stop. Enough was enough, and the continuous touching of Blake’s arm on her was getting on her nerves.

She hated being touched, hated the heat and sweat that seemed to bead everyone. Lucita had to get away. She had to stop doing this. She had to get away. Deep inside, she counted to four, trying to control her breathing. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. Touching the tips of her fingers together as she counted over and over again.

Silvia continued to glare at Elizabeth. Why was she taking this so far? She had known Lucita just as long as them and now seemed utterly devoted to this girl, forgetting that Silvia and Becca were her oldest friends. So what the hell was going on. Silvia looked at Lucita, whose eyes looked all a flutter. Something was wrong.

“Lucita?” said Silvia as Elizabeth and Rebecca argued around them, sparing words as quietly as possible. Blake wasn’t paying attention. Instead, he was following Silvia’s gaze, moving his arm away from Luci’s shoulder to her waist. That was new, thought Silvia briefly. He was not of the attentive sort.

For Lucita, everything went white, making her dizzy, her heart racing, and her breathing erratic. Not again. Lucita thought she was done with whatever this was. What was wrong with her, she asked herself as her knees began to buckle.

“Lucita!” Elizabeth and Rebecca stopped arguing long enough to watch Blake catch Lucita and lean her against the wall. Silvia leaned forward, concerned, touching her hand, letting Luci grab hold of it tightly.

“Lu, are you okay?” asked Blake. Rebecca grew jealous of the concern he showed but swallowed it down. But, surprisingly, she was concerned too.

Lucita nodded, counting her breaths as she blinked away the blindness, letting her vision return.  “Yes, I’m fine.” But, despite her breathing returning to normal, she still felt like she was suffocating under their stares. Go away, she screamed in her head. She hated looking so pathetic. She wouldn’t allow herself to be so pathetic. Not again.

“Are you sure,” asked Elizabeth.

Lucita feigned a smile and nodded. “Yeah, I just have to sit down. Blake, could you walk me to class since yours is like right there.”

“Sure, of course. Later you guys.”

“Yeah, later,” said Lucita warily, standing straight on shaky legs.

Rebecca watched them leave. If she didn’t know better, she would have thought that Lucita was acting just to get Blake, but as she watched Lucita walk away, Becca saw her stumble. Just because she didn’t like her didn’t mean there wasn’t something wrong with her. And deep down, Becca hoped she was okay.

Like Rebecca, Silvia watched them leave, hoping she was okay too. Lucita looked exhausted as if she should stay home and sleep and not just for one night, for a few nights. She glanced at Rebecca, who had been watching Lucita and Blake, wondering what she was thinking. But her face was one Silvia couldn’t figure out sometimes. Turning around, she noticed Liz had just vanished, uncaring. Somehow that didn’t surprise her.

“Come on, Becca, we better get to class.” Silvia turned around to lead the way, not even acknowledging Rebecca as she followed.

The day stuck with Rebecca, what happened with Lucita, and how Blake had reacted. That moment seemed enough for Liz, too, enough motive to make her start talking to her again. But not after making it clear to Becca, as if she were a child, how important Lucita was to her. To Liz, they were best friends now, two peas in a pod that liked the same things and thought the same way.

It bothered Rebecca, deep inside, that Liz was trying so hard to get to know this girl and yet had spent years just looking through her. Rebecca looked at the clock, wishing the day would end, that the week would end so that she could just wash away her worries in the chlorine depths outside her apartment.

For Lucita, as much as she loved English class, was eager to get going. Since her episode, Blake had stuck to her like glue, much to her distaste. She was no damsel in distress. She wouldn’t let herself be one.

But then again, at least being in English meant she got to be near Lucas and his gorgeous blue-gray eyes. They were even nicer than Cyrus’s hazel eyes. Sometimes she felt guilty daydreaming about him. Other times she didn’t. Thinking about Cyrus so far away made her heart ache, and she just wanted to put him behind her. But, being so separated, there was no chance for her now. Yet somehow, thinking of him always brought a smile to her face.

“Why are you smiling,” asked her friend Natalie as she sat down next to her. Lucita was mesmerized by her effortless beauty, tall but broad-shouldered, with long black hair and full lips.

“Daydreaming, what else.”

“I hope not about Blake?” She laughed, and Lucita knew that she was joking.

“Only in his dreams.”

“He’s so in love with you.” Lucita’s smile vanished.

“No, he’s not. He just wants a new toy and me to be it.”

“Don’t take it so seriously. I was joking.”

Lucita smiled. “Yeah, sorry, love is a strong word.”

“Too true,” said Natalie, leaning back in her seat. Love. What was that anyway? She had said it so often in middle school, and it had gotten her nowhere. It had gotten her bullied so often that she hated the word. Love was nothing but punishment.

Silvia sat in PE listening to music on her phone, bored out of her mind. Today was free period, where some kids played basketball, others volleyball, and others, like Silvia, just sat there being lazy. This was the getaway class, a class in that students chose to play and hang out, an easy A. She had to take it as a freshman, even if it bored her to death.

Scrolling through her contacts list, she thought about who to text. Rebecca wasn’t in the mood to talk lately and didn’t want to talk to Elizabeth. As much as she liked Lucita, she felt like she brought out some of the worst parts of Liz without even meaning to. Except that was who Liz was, Silvia always knew who Liz was deep down inside. And yet, Rebecca always stood by her, always would, but Liz wasn’t a nice person. Not deep down, not from what Silvia could see. Shutting her screen off, she turned up the volume to her music, letting it drown out her thoughts.

Rebecca sat on the round multi-colored carpet on the floor of Silvia’s room, frayed and worn at the edges, Silvia’s gray pet rabbit in her lap. Silvia thought about inviting Lucita, but she thought against it in her house with Rebecca. The school was more public, less intimate, whereas her home was crossing a line, a small betrayal to Becca…until she got over her resentment and gave the girl a chance.

Silvia sat on her bed, going through her biology book, debating whether or not she actually wanted to do her homework. The doorbell rang, letting her know Liz was finally there. Silvia heard her mom open the door, letting Liz inside. Entering her room, Liz gave her the once over before taking her seat at the desk, surveying the room, frowning. Rebecca rolled her eyes, mumbling, “nice to see you too,” under her breath, closing the door behind her. Silvia could feel the tension brewing and coughed slightly.

“Why isn’t Lucita here,” asked Elizabeth.

“Because, well…” Silvia was speechless. She hadn’t thought Elizabeth would care.


“I don’t know, I just didn’t invite her.”

“Not nice to exclude your friends.”

As if you’re one to talk, she thought, anger rising. If she didn’t try to resolve this herself, who cared about Lucita and Becca fighting, she would end up fighting Liz. The bitchy attitude thing wasn’t working.

“Okay, look. Rebecca and I have been your friends longer than Lucita has, so drop the attitude.”

Elizabeth looked at her, bewildered, as if she couldn’t believe Silvia was standing up for Becca.

“I’ll drop my attitude when Becca does. Look, I know we’ve been friends for a long time, but that doesn’t give you the right to treat my new friend like total crap just because you’re jealous.” She was staring down Rebecca, who was already starting to feel bad about how she mistreated Lucita.

Silvia stared at Rebecca. She could see the guilt sinking into her. Hopefully, this will work.

“Yeah,” began Rebecca after a few moments of uncomfortable silence, “you’re right, and I’m sorry. I’ll apologize first thing on Monday. It’s just, I mean, look at her. She’s skinnier than me, has better skin and hair, she’s pretty, and, well, all he does is stare at her. It’s the only reason he talks to me.”

Elizabeth gave Rebecca a sympathetic look that made Silvia smile. Yes, she did it. She fixed it.

“Okay, look, just be nice to her. You’ll like her once you give her a chance,” said Elizabeth as she leaned against the desk.

“Yeah, Becca, just chill. Come on, let’s go hang out outside, like old times.”

“Yeah, okay.” Together they left the apartment, and along the way, Becca caught sight of Lucita jogging. In the sunlight, she saw something wet on her face. She was too far to tell, but it looked like she was crying.

Stuck in her own head, Lucita ran, oblivious to the world around her. Instead, she focused on running, running from the thoughts that threatened to kill her.

 Cut, cut, cut…

Her feet pounded harder, faster.

Cut, cut, cut…

She tripped and scraped her knee.

“Dammit!” Lucita wiped away her tears. A new life, a new school. She shouldn’t be crying, she shouldn’t be depressed, but she was. She sat on some steps and wiped her face. In the distance, Rebecca saw the broken girl and didn’t say a word. Just let herself be called away. She’d make peace and be her friend. She’d make up for being horrible. That was the least she could do for her.

Purchase New Girl here. Happy reading!

New Girl (Memoirs of the Third Floor #1)

Lucita is starting at a new school. Silvia is keeping a secret. Rebecca is struggling with herself. Three girls and their friends have entered high school, and for each of them, it’s hard enough without having to deal with friends, betrayal, and their insecurities. High School is tough enough without having to be the new girl.

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