Valentine’s Day was finally here. Waking up in an uncharacteristically good mood, Lucita woke with a smile. Taking a look in the mirror, she grabbed her palette of eyeshadow. Taking her cheap drugstore brush, the one she used for everything, she put on a base of white eyeshadow. Next, she patted some red eyeshadow, creating a nice gradient on her eyelid. Then, as usual, she lined her eyes in pitch-black eyeliner.
Grabbing a white tank top, she wore a short sleeve red flannel over it and her usual black jeans. Taking a peek at herself, she smiled, for once pleased with her reflection.
As the day went on, she counted the hours until the party later that night, eager to see Lucas and spend the evening with her friends. For once, she was excited about being around people. She allowed herself to be happy, to take joy in the weakening of her anxiety.
As the bell run and Lucita made her way to third period, she bumped into one of her favorite people.
“Hey, good looking.” Lucita usually hated it when people talked to her the way he did, but she let it slide because she liked his attention.
“How’s your day going?”
“Good.” He looked her up and down. “I didn’t know you liked Valentine’s Day.”
“I don’t, usually, but I’m going to a party later, so I’m in a good mood.” Lucita beamed, and his eyebrows arched.
“Oh, um, hold on.” Quickly looking at her watch, she slid her bag off her shoulder and shuffled through it, looking for the crumbled invitation. “Here you go. I’ll need that back by seventh period. Later.” Zipping her back closed, she ran off with only two minutes to make it to class. Although today she really wouldn’t mind if she got a tardy.
Silvia considered herself lucky to be going to a party tonight. She was lucky because she knew she wouldn’t be going if it weren’t for Luci. Sometimes it shocked her how easy life seemed for Luci. No matter how thick her black eyeliner was, she had this air about her when she was happy that made you happy too. It was like she was infectious, her attitude, her smile, even her sadness.
Tapping her pen against her desk, she listened while the teacher droned on, her thoughts going to what the party tonight would be like. She wondered if tonight would be the night she got some sort of revenge against Blake, wondering if he would feel what she felt the day they broke up. Shaking away the thought, she looked down at her notebook. She was being too petty, and she knew it. She had to move on sometime. He had been different, but then he returned to the person he always was. And yet…
A note fell on her desk, breaking her away from her thoughts. For a moment, she was confused until she recognized Blake’s chicken scratch handwriting. Sucking down on her lip, she grabbed the note, unwilling to give him the satisfaction of being hesitant.
Hey there Vee. Happy Valentines Day, I can’t wait to see you at the party later today. How’s Becca, by the way? Remember, don’t fuck up my chances with Luci, or else I’ll tell Becca everything.
Silvia looked up and turned her head towards Blake, who smiled at her insincerely. Silvia crumbled the paper and flipped him off, giving him her own insincere smile. His faded, and she relished in her little win. Now, if only she could make it last.
As Silvia packed up her stuff to make her way out of class while watching Blake leave class. As she pulled her bag over her shoulder, she found her way out of class, barred by one of Blake’s chosen girls. The one in front of her was one blond Lorna, hands on her skinny bony hips, tank top riding up to show off her midriff.
“What’s up with Blake and that Luci chick?”
“Nothing. Is that all you wanted?” Of all the stupid things to stop her over, this had to be it, didn’t it.
“Well, I’d like Blake to myself—”
“Ha, good luck with that,” she laughed unintentionally. “Look, I gotta go. Leave Luci alone. She’s not interested in him. Besides, it’s lunchtime, and I’m hungry. How about you do yourself a favor and actually eat something. Maybe it’s your bones that are such a turn-off.” Slinging her bag over her shoulder, she winked at the glaring girl and ran off. Lorna had taken too much of her time.
When she finally reached Lucita and Becca, they each already had trays. She looked at her watch and noticed she had no time. The lines were already so long.
“Well, that’s just great,” muttered Silvia. “I don’t even have enough time to get lunch.”
“Here, take mine. I’m not really hungry,” said Lucita smiling.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I have a tiny tummy. I just like to snack a lot.” Lucita offered her a smile and handed over the tray of food, minus the milk she was already drinking.
“Well, let’s head up to our spot now,” said Becca adjusting her bag over her shoulder. When they reached the third floor, Lucita was done with her milk. Silvia hoped she wasn’t making Lucita starve, but she looked fine. She somehow always seemed fine.
“Are you okay, Silvia?” asked Rebecca curiously. Silvia gave her a smile and started eating to avoid answering any questions. Rebecca noticed that Silvia was acting a little weird lately, and she hadn’t bothered to bring it up, but she had seen her and Blake talking the other day. It hadn’t looked like a pleasant conversation, but Silvia never brought it up, which was weird. She was always ready to tear him to pieces and show him off as a bad guy. So what had happened between them? It bothered her that one of her closest friends was keeping a secret.
“It’s so amusing watching people get married,” blurted Lucita. Becca turned to look at her and noticed that Lucita had a little smile on her face, which looked a little sad. She wondered what was on her mind.
“How many couples do you think are being so cheesy,” said Silvia bitterly.
“Resentment much,” laughed Lucita.
“I’m not big on the whole couple’s scene. I mean, they do a bunch of shit to please the other. Then they put them above their friends. It’s like hello!”
“Relationships are about compromise Silvia,” said Becca, a bit shocked. She’s never seen Silvia so resentful. Usually, she was indifferent to the whole couple’s scene, but today things were different. Ever since, Blake had become a little more involved in their lives. Lucita shared a secret look with Silvia before turning to Becca with her eyebrows arched in confusion. Something was up with Silvia. Becca didn’t know what bothered her most: that she was so obviously hiding something or that it included Blake.
The bell rang, and Silvia quickly threw her tray away, muttering goodbye under her breath, before running off before they could respond.
“Okay, something’s very wrong with her,” stated Lucita matter-of-factly.
“Don’t worry about it, Becca. We’ll get to the bottom of it later.”
“That doesn’t help.”
Lucita shrugged. “True. I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that everything is to go horribly wrong.”
“How often is your gut feeling right?”
“Very.” Lucita offered her a small smile and walked off, leaving Becca feeling worst than she had before.
Lucita, Silvia, and Becca waited for Cyrus’s mother, who graciously agreed to drive them to the party. Lucita’s watch beeped, signaling the start of the party. Lucita was so glad she had little homework over the day. She had finished it without problems, which wasn’t new for her.
Luci was always striving to be the best her mother demanded of her, maybe not with words but in how she acted. Lucita clenched her fist at the thought of her mother. This woman acted like she was so damn perfect but acted like a constant child around her, around everyone. Another reason why she counted her blessings for the party. An excuse to get out and away.
Lucita took a deep breath as she looked at the moon, its crescent form sending a soothing feeling over her. It made her feel at peace, staring up at its design. Now, if only Cyrus’s mom would hurry up and pick her up.
Rebecca looked at Lucita when she saw her hands clench. She wondered what was bothering her. She had been so bright and cheery all day, and now, suddenly, it was like a shadow passed over her. Like there was a dark cloud hanging over her. Becca followed Lucita’s gaze only to find the moon staring back at her. Soon she discovered that her worries and thoughts seemed to be washing away.
Car lights hit them, and all three girls looked up. Cyrus was waving at them through his passenger-side window. Becca watched Lucita’s face brighten up and wondered if Cyrus noticed how happy she was.
“Hey guys, ready to go.”
“Duh. Hello Anita,” said Lucita getting into the car. Becca and Silvia followed suit.
“Hello Lucita, how’ve you been? How’s your mother?”
“I’m fine. She’s fine.” Becca noticed the clear distinction in how she spoke each phrase. Apparently, so did Cyrus. He gave her a curious look. Lucita ignored him, staring out the car window.
Silvia kept her eyes out for Blake. Half an hour into the party, there was still no sign of him. She wanted him to be here so he could see Lucita surrounded by two different guys. One was Cyrus, and the other was some guy named Francis, who she thought was kinda cute. She liked how much fun Lucita was having as she enjoyed the attention. It would make things all that much more painful for Blake. Silvia smiled as she drank her soda.
“So what’s going on with you,” asked a sudden voice behind her. Silvia spun around and faced Rebecca.
“What are you talking about?”
“You? You’ve been acting weird lately, and ya know, I’ve been waiting for you to tell me, but I think you’re not going to, so here it is. I saw you and Blake talking last Friday. What were you guys talking about?”
Silvia was frightened and tried to shake the feeling away. “What? Look, it’s nothing. He was pissed about the other day, so we had it out. So don’t worry about it.”
“I’ve known you long enough to know when you’re lying. So what did you two guys really talk about? Why are you lying to me?” Silvia could see the anger begin to boil within Becca. Silvia looked up briefly and saw Blake walking directly toward her.
“Look, can we talk about this later, please.”
“Hey there, you two, how’s it going. Happy Valentines Day, by the way.” Blake offered them each a smile that made Silvia’s insides turn.
“Hey, Blake,” said Becca, blushing slightly.
“What’s wrong with you? Come on, smile. You’re at a party. It wouldn’t be right if you didn’t smile.”
The way Blake was talking made her sick. What made her feel sicker was Becca actually smiling. Blake winked at her and looked over her shoulder. A flicker of annoyance crossed his face.
“That guy is here? Both of those guys are here? Who the hell invited them?”
Silvia smiled, triumphant. “Lucita invited Cyrus, and Becca invited Francis, got a problem with that?”
“Shut up, Silvia. Everything that comes from that big hole on your face is shit.”
“Why, you stupid—”
“Enough!” exclaimed Becca interrupting them. “Seriously, what the hell is going on with you, two?”
“Ask your backstabbing friend here, Rebecca.” Blake walked off towards Lucita.
“Silvia, what is he talking about?”
“Shut up for a moment, Becca. Not every little thing has to involve you.” Silvia turned around and followed after him. She saw Cyrus looking at Blake hatefully. Silvia knew that she was about to make a scene, but at this point, she didn’t really care.
“Blake, turn around, you shithead.”
“No, no, it’s okay, Lucita. What the hell do you want Via darling.”
“That nickname was always stupid.”
“Really, you didn’t think so while we were dating?”
“You two dated?” exclaimed Lucita and Rebecca in shocked unison.
“It was nothing. Besides, we broke up anyway!”
“Yeah, because you were a bitch! I wanted to make it public, but you didn’t want to tell a freaking soul.”
“Calm down,” muttered Lucita looking around. People were starting to watch.
“So?! That doesn’t allow you to cheat!”
“I didn’t cheat, you stupid bitch! You assumed! Another reason why I broke up with you! You couldn’t freaking trust me!”
“Enough!” screamed Becca. Lucita flinched, looking around at the silencing room, at the stares they were drawing. “You two are a pair of idiots, and I can’t believe I considered either of you as friends. I’m calling my mom.”
“Becca!” exclaimed Silvia reaching out to her.
“Screw you, Silvia!” Rebecca shoved her away, walking off.
“Told you not to mess with me, Via.”
“Blake leave her alone!” ordered Lucita. Now she knew why she didn’t like Blake. Inside he was total scum.
“You heard me. I tried giving you the benefit of the doubt that you were a nice guy. You’re not. Yeah, Silvia was wrong and hurt you, but you’re not doing right by anyone. You’re a selfish jerk and a creep.” Lucita stalked off, annoyed, dragging Silvia with her.
“Lu—” whimpered Silvia, holding onto her friend.
“Hush, don’t worry, we’ll fix everything. I’ll fix this.” She smiled reassuringly at her.
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.