Finding Your Place

Vienna Elson, age 11
Finding Your Place Vienna Elson is an amazing writer. She was born on October 35, 2921. She loves fashion and likes combining her passions writing books about fashion. She has more than 40 stuffed animals and absolutely loves creating worlds and characters of her own in her writing. She really hopes you like her short story, Finding Your Place!

I walk home from Westlake and try to open the wooden door to our house, but it won’t open. I roll my eyes at the dark, wooden house with bright windows and big flowers and jiggle my key into the lock. I open the door and it loudly slams behind me. It smells like toast. I flip the lights on and grab a snack from the silver fridge. The dark brown chair screeches on the wood as I sit down to do my homework. After a while, my Math, History, and Art homework are done. I’m just about to reach into my bag for my Science stuff when I hear the door creak open and the strong sound of my dad’s boots clumping around the house, calling my name. I call back and he pulls a chair next to me.

Amee is just an average teenage girl moving to Scranton PA from L.A. she has never fit in anywhere… or so she thought.

When she moves to Scranton PA, she finds friends, and apparently enemies.

The question is…

How can she stay together when everything is collapsing around her? 

 Finding Your Place

Prologue – Amee

I walk home from Westlake and try to open the wooden door to our house, but it won’t open.  I roll my eyes at the dark, wooden house with bright windows and big flowers and jiggle my key into the lock. I open the door and it loudly slams behind me. It smells like toast. I flip the lights on and grab a snack from the silver fridge. The dark brown chair screeches on the wood as I sit down to do my homework. After a while, my Math, History, and Art homework are done. I’m just about to reach into my bag for my Science stuff when I hear the door creak open and the strong sound of my dad’s boots clumping around the house, calling my name. I call back and he pulls a chair next to me. 

“Hey, sweetie,” he says, his deep, inviting voice grumbling with bad news. 

“Hi, Dad,” I answer. “You told me you wanted to tell me something?” 

He sighs and nods. “Um, yeah. Listen, Amee. We’re moving. We both know this is not the right place for us.” 

My lips quiver and my eyes quickly fill with tears. “Where are we moving?” 

He winces. “Scranton.” 

I gasp and a hand flies to my mouth. “That’s halfway across the country! Are you guys insane? What about me? What about my friends?” I stop. Tears escape my eyes and they quickly change to sobs. 

“Amee — ” he starts, but I push his words away and flee to my room. 

Chapter 1 – Amee

The Beginning 

“Hi. My name is Amee and I just moved here from L.A.,” I say from the front of the room. I hear mutters and whispers and I shiver. I hate muttering. 

“Why did you move in the middle of the year?” one girl with light blonde hair, tan skin, and deep green eyes asks. 

“Oh, um… ” I don’t think I’m ready to share that yet. I give a look to the teacher and, thankfully, she sees it. I walk back to my desk quietly and pull the chair out. It makes a shriek and I cringe. Everybody looks at me and I shrink in my t-shirt. 

I remember the look on my face when I got the news. I remember the gut punch when I was told. And mostly, I remember wondering why this all happened. 

We were moving to Pennsylvania. I didn’t understand! We had everything we needed right there in L.A.! But deep down, I had always felt out of place in L.A. No one ever talked to me and I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I can’t believe I broke a mirror over that horrid hole of judgments. It was home though. I don’t know where my home is. 

My eyes focus on the classroom and I push thoughts of L.A. out of my mind. I live in Scranton now! I am happy! I am! I am. I shake my head as if to shake my thoughts away from my brain. I look around my classroom and eye the people in it. The group in the front row look as though they are in paradise. Their full attention is placed on the teacher as their eyes shift nervously from the board to their papers as they pen furiously to get everything down on the sheets. The group in the back looks as though they’re going to die. They all sneak-text under their desks and look everywhere but the teacher. And then there is me. Me, as in my own group, as in the only person who doesn’t fit in.  

After school, I walk home, dragging my feet. When I get home, I let myself in like I always did in L.A. I smile slightly and click the door open. The house is dark and I’m alone. As always. I run-up to my room, slam the door, and flop on my bed. Who am I? Do I fit in anywhere? 

Chapter 2 – Elizabeth

The Beginning, Pt 2 

“Hi, my name is Amee and I just moved here from L.A.,” says a girl with pale, porcelain skin, deep dark blue eyes, and hair so dark brown, you’d think it was black. Cool! L.A.! How about that, huh? I call out and ask why she moved here in the middle of the year.! Her eyes well up and she gives the teacher a look. Whoops. I quiet down and try to make eye contact with Nat. Natalie has been my friend since Kindergarten and she’s the closest friend I have. She stares at me fiercely and throws me a note. 

It says:

Liz – OMG! What the heck why did u ask that? You OBVIOUSLY made her sad! So confused. I like her so far! She looks nice!- Nat

I roll my eyes and scribble on the back of the page. 

Nat – Ugh I didn’t mean to! I just asked a question! You know how honest I am! Whatever. I like her, too! We should talk to her at lunch. – LIZZE♡♡

I focus my eyes back onto the teacher, and then it’s lunch. 

Natalie sees me in the cafeteria and waves me over but I go towards Amee. “Hi!” I say. 

“Um… hi,” she says quietly. WOW. She is shy. Whatever. I don’t mind. We talk and laugh for the rest of lunch, and when I go home, I think I might’ve made a new friend today!

Chapter 3 – Amee

Fitting In

When I get ready for school on Monday, I am nervous. This is my first full week at my new school and I don’t know if I even like it here in Scranton. My feet shriek on the tiled floor as I sulkily grab a piece of toast. 

A little voice in my brain:

What are you doing? 

A little voice in my brain:

You don’t belong

Me:

I do belong

A little voice in my brain:

What are you talking about? You don’t fit in anywhere

Me: 

I do fit in

The voice gets quieter.

And quieter.

I belong here. 

When I get to school, I am a little bit more confident but not by much. I walk into the classroom and everyone looks at me. Definitely not by much. A girl waves at me to come and sit next to her, and I get confused. Is it me she’s waving to? I look behind me, but I don’t see anyone. A warm sensation jolts through my body as I happily trot over. My eyes light up as I think, Ha! Told you! I do fit in! But then I see another girl. Walking towards the desk.

She sits down. 

I stop right in my tracks. The warm feeling turns to ice as I realize I don’t have anything.

Nothing.

No one.

Nothing! 

Something. 

What do I have to believe in? What? I sit down at a random desk and suddenly a note flies at my face and hits me smack in the nose. 

Dear Amee, 

Hi! It’s Elizabeth. Um I just wanted to say that you can TOTALLY sit with me and my friends at lunch again if you want to. No worries if you don’t want to, but we’d love it if you came! 

Xoxo Elizabeth 🙂 

I have that. I have that note to believe in. You will see me at lunch, Elizabeth! You can believe in that. 

Chapter 4 – Elizabeth

It Hurts 

When I come to school, I immediately plop my bag on the desk next to Nat and scribble a note to her on a piece of paper. 

Nat – 

I’m going to ask Amee to sit with us again, is that ok? Just wanted to make sure. 

Xoxo Liz

I see her brush off the back of the page and start writing while the teacher walks in and uncaps a whiteboard marker. 

LIZZE – 

Ummmm ok sure.

Xoxoxox NAT ;-D

Awesome! I rip a piece off the paper Nat and I were writing on and scribble a note. I fold the torn edges together and throw it at Amee, careful that the teacher is looking away so he won’t see me. It hits her smack in the nose and I wince. That’s gotta hurt. Luckily, the note drops in her black leggings after sliding down her green tee. She reads it and smiles slightly, nods in my direction, and focuses back on Mr. Frora. My eyes focus on Nat, and she senses my stare and turns towards me. Finally! I give her a thumbs up and suddenly the bell rings and I curse silently. Ugh, I totally spaced out! Darn it. Nothing I can do now. I grab my marble print bag and sling it across my shoulder. Amee meets up with me on the way to English and we make small talk.

Eventually, we go our separate ways; she has Math. When I get to the English room, Nat sits down and I see Faith walk briskly to get to the seat next to her.  Not so fast! I cut her off and slide into the empty chair as Faith slumps and plops into the seat behind her. I grin and make small talk with Nat as Faith desperately tries to be part of the conversation. 

“OMG, I love that show!” Nat exclaims when I bring up “The Office.” As we move onto the topic of pizza, Faith smiles like she’s hearing us as if we were on FaceTime and she was having bad internet. 

“I know, me too! Dwight is definitely my favorite character! So funny, am I right?” Nat and I stare. 

“We finished talking about that like so long ago.” Nat rolls her eyes and THANK GOD the English teacher walks in and everybody quiets down.

After English, it’s time for lunch (finally!!) and I walk to lunch and meet up with Amee. “Thanks for letting me sit with you,” she says breathlessly. 

“No problem!” I say as Natalie and Faith come up behind me. Faith links arms with Nat and links arms with me and starts walking towards the cafeteria, leaving Amee behind. I nudge Nat and jerk my head towards Amee. She nods, her eyes say, Ok fine, and pulls away from the chain, and I follow suit. Faith frowns and stops in her tracks as we link arms with Amee instead. Faith rolls her eyes and links arms with Amee, finishing the chain. She grins mischievously and digs her nails into Amee’s elbow. She yelps in pain and Faith pushes her away from the chain and links with Nat again. 

“Come on, New Girl!” she rolls her eyes. “Keep up!” As Faith pulls Nat and me towards our lunch table, I look back helplessly. I turn towards Nat, but instead of her sharing my concerns, she stifles a laugh, and Faith grins at her. Amee gets up and I see three scratches on the inside of her elbow. She gathers the stuff that fell out of her ombre white-to-purple backpack and walks confidently towards an empty table, but I can see the clear, salty tears forming in her eyes. 

Chapter 5 – Amee

 Betrayal 

Dear Amee, 

I am soooooo sorry! Do you want to sit with us tomorrow and talk?

Xoxo Elizabeth

Elizabeth,

HAHAHAHAHAHAH no. NO WAY. I am not going to “sit and talk with you” just to get completely embarrassed again. Again, NO WAY. I can’t believe I ever thought you were going to ACTUALLY be nice to me. 

  • Amee

I should’ve known. It was obvious. No one wants to be friends with me. I am the laughingstock of Oak Hills Elementary. I am finished! I am toast! Burnt, dead black, non-buttered toast! I walk out of lunch with my eyes red and my scratches even redder. I rub my eyelashes and wipe my cheeks. My schedule flutters off my locker wall and I see which period is next. Oh god. I have History, but that’s not the worst part. It’s with Elizabeth. And Faith. (And a few other people, obviously.) How am I going to get through this? No no no. this is not how I want it to be. I’ll be fine on my own. I can do this. I CAN do this. Can I?

As I walk into History with Gabi, I see Elizabeth sitting with Natalie as Faith talks to them, laughing, talking, and hurting my heart.

Chapter 6 – Elizabeth

Figuring It Out

Ok, am I allowed to be confused here? Nat seemed to like Amee in the notes that we wrote…

Unless she didn’t.

I quickly tell Nat and Faith I need to go to the bathroom, and when I get to the bright pink room (so sexist, by the way. Pretty sure the boys’ bathroom is blue). Anyway, I push the door open and immediately riffle through my backpack. I finally find a tiny gold bag with all of my notes since kindergarten in it. I quickly sort through the notes and find the ones that Nat wrote most recently. The words sure, and fine flash before my eyes and I realize she doesn’t like her! Obviously, DUH. How couldn’t I have noticed that before? I bolt out of the restroom before anyone sees me. As I walk out of the restroom and into the cafeteria, I try to make eye contact with Amee, but her head is down and she is nibbling chips while reading a book with a dark maroon cover.  I tried, at least, I thought. Nat waved me over and I plopped my lunch consisting of a hamburger, fries, and an apple. I bite into the soft bread and chew on the juicy meat. 

“Was that funny or what?” Faith asks as Nat smiles softly and laughs and reaches further into her sparkly lunch bag for the chocolate chip cookie she gets every day. “Ha, she deserved it,” Faith says immediately with a full mouth of cheese sandwich. Faith looks into my eyes and grins mischievously and I watch the corner of her eye follow Amee to our table. 

“Didn’t she, Lizzie?” Nat looks at me pointedly and I start to sweat. 

“Oh yeah, it was hilarious. You should do more. She totally deserves it.” 

Faith laughs and Nat sighs, relieved, and smiles to herself, but I feel terrible. 

When I get back to class, I write Amee a note and she responds totally meanly. I am so mad. But she still didn’t deserve those three red scratches. 

As I walk into History, Faith sits in the chair next to Nat before I can slide in. No biggie. The seat on the other side of her is open. Faith looks towards the door and I see Amee walk in. 

“Oh hi, New Girl,” Faith smirks. Everyone laughs and Amee’s face reddens. I feel bad, but I have to play along. Faith and Natalie are popular. They would make sure I had the worst rest of the school year ever if I defended Amee. “Why did you come here anyway?” Faith studies Amee’s watery eyes. Faith’s glare pierces Amee’s confidence and she runs out of the classroom. Nat covers her hands over her mouth and I can’t believe I was ever friends with these people. But, who else do I have? 

Chapter 6.5 – Amee                         

Faith glares at me and I stare at everybody looking at me in horror and literally run to the bathroom. Everything I’d hoped for was gone, flushed down the toilet of the stall I was hiding in. This is terrible! I sat and cried for a second, just flushed it all out. (No pun intended). I have had the worst day ever. Will Faith and Natalie ever leave me alone? Either way, I walk back slowly to History and inwardly vow I will not let Faith or Natalie bring me down. As soon as I walk in, though, I see Faith whisper something to Natalie, and they both laugh. I feel myself sinking lower and lower in my chair. So much for my vow. 

I disappointed myself. 

Chapter 7 – Elizabeth

Acting Out

As Amee slides down lower into her chair, I slide right along with her. Why did I let this happen? I can’t act like a baby anymore, I have to stand up for myself! And Amee! As we walk out of History class, Faith gets a mischievous glint in her eye and I smile. Perfect. Faith opens her mouth, and before she can say anything, I jump in. 

“You know what, Faith, before you open your big mouth again, let me give you a little news flash. If you think Amee will never belong, well guess what? You’re wrong! In fact, you are the furthest from right as you could ever get! We were all new kids, right? Well, look at us now! We belong. Amee is not different. Even if she doesn’t feel like she belongs right now, she will belong. Just like we all did. Amee is a kind and beautiful person inside and out. You might be pretty on the outside, but if you keep acting this way to my friend, you will always be ugly on the inside.” 

Faith stands there, shocked. Natalie flees to the bathroom, and I think I can make out tears streaming down her face. She started crying when I said the words “my friend.” Weird. Faith stutters and tries to make a comeback but all I do is walk away, feeling freer than I have in weeks. 

I really hope they will leave her alone. 

Amee walks up to me after my whole… conversation with Faith and smiles. “Thanks,” she says. 

“No problem.” I smile back. We talk and I feel like things are mended. Little do I know what Nat — er — I mean — Natalie, has up her sleeve. 

I see Natalie and Faith smile at each other wickedly as I stand up to get new paints, and when I turn back, Amee’s painting is splattered with water and they dumped out my cup. I pick it up to get new water, and at that exact moment, Amee decides to walk through the door and sees me, her painting, and the empty water cup in my hand. 

“What did you do!” Amee yells. Natalie points at me and says,

“Elizabeth dumped her water cup on your painting!” Amee opens her mouth in horror and turns towards me. 

“How could you!” her eyes water and she flees the room’s hot stares. 

Chapter  8 – Natalie

Seriously

Hi. I’m Natalie. I know you’re probably wondering why I’m so mean to Amee, and I would be too. I don’t know why Faith is mean to her, but I know my reason. You should probably know the backstory first. 

Elizabeth and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. All through Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, up till now, it’s always been “Elizabeth and Natalie”! Well, then Faith came, and then we were a threesome. I was fine with the duo though. Elizabeth was the first friend I’d ever had, and the best. I could tell her anything and she wouldn’t judge me. I felt safe with her. Then, Amee came and Elizabeth really liked her. She distanced herself from me more and more and I was scared. I didn’t want to lose her as a friend and I think I’ve already lost her. It might be too late but I have to try. She was the best friend I’d ever had and I’m not about to lose that over my pride. I have to fix things. 

Today is a fresh new day and I’m ready. I can do it! I plan to take out my phone and send her a text. It says:

Hey, Elizabeth. I know you’re probably still mad at me and I know it’s really weird that I’m not talking in text language but this is important. I miss you, Elizabeth. And I know that you probably don’t want to talk right now but I had to say it. The reason I was mean to Amee is because I was scared that I’d lose you. You are, or were, I guess, my best friend. And I get it if you can’t forgive me right now, or ever. But I just wanted you to know that. Love you. 

Wow. That is the longest text I’ve ever written. All I have to do now is press send. Just press send, Natalie, I say to myself. But I — I — I can’t. It’s too scary. I just have to do it. I press on the blue arrow and the message pops up in blue on my screen. Message sent, it says. Oooooohmigosh. I can’t believe I just did that. My heart is pounding harder than it ever has before. I literally RUN to school to see how Elizabeth reacts to my text. All of a sudden, my phone rings. I shut my eyes tightly and slowly take my phone out of my back pocket. I open one eye slightly to see who it is, and it’s Elizabeth. I slide to answer, relieved, but I’m not ready for what happens next. 

I hold the phone up to my ear and hear her say hi. “Hi, Elizabeth,” I say softly back.

“Hey, Natalie,” she sighs. 

“Did you get my text?” I speak into the phone. 

“Um, yeah,” she says and I hold my breath, waiting for an answer. Everything is silent around me, and it’s just me and her, breathing heavily and waiting. She takes a breath and starts talking. “Look. I know you meant well when you sent that text, and I get that you were scared. I really do. But, what you did was not right, and I just don’t know if I can forgive you yet. I just need a little time, Natalie,” she confesses. “I’m not ready.” 

Silent tears fall down my face and slip down onto my sneakers. “Oh, um, ok,” I say, my voice breaking. “I totally get it.” I brush tears off my face yet they still find a way to come back, salty and sad. I hang up, and it’s almost like I’m hanging up on our friendship completely. I am too late. I was trying to protect our friendship, but it seems like I’ve only made things worse. I lost her. 

As I walk to school, I try to make my eyes less red than they actually are. As soon as I get to school, Faith comes up to me and waves. I don’t wave back, but just keep walking. “Hey, hey, wait up!” Faith yells, but I shake my head. 

“No, Faith. I will not wait up. I need a break. Bye” Faith stands there looking confused and angry. I sigh. What am I going to do without Elizabeth by my side like she always was?

Chapter 9 – Faith

Please 

“No, Faith. I will not wait up. I need a break. Bye.” Natalie walks away as I get confused. What did I do wrong? I don’t know. 

Look. I know I was mean to Amee, but there’s a reason. Duh. I’m not cruel. Well, I was. I was just jealous. Amee was getting all the attention and Elizabeth and Natalie liked her, and being mean was just a defense mechanism. So yeah. That’s my story. I’ll stop, but everybody just has to leave me alone. I walk into school and see Elizabeth and Amee talking, probably making up from the fight about the prank Natalie and I pulled. I see Natalie up ahead talking to some random girl and then it hits me. I have no one. I’d always thought I’d have Natalie and Elizabeth forever. We would stick with each other through thick and thin. But now, who do I have? 

Chapter 10 – Amee

What?

I can’t believe Elizabeth would do that to me. After all we’ve been through, she just goes back to Natalie and Faith and doesn’t even care about me. My feelings. I mean, I know she has been friends with her for much longer but after they were so mean to me for no reason? But, what if it wasn’t her fault? Natalie and Faith were giggling and Elizabeth looked sad and apologetic. I need to talk to her. I call her and she is sniffling into the phone when she picks up.

“Everything okay, Liz?” I ask. And then it hits me. I think she noticed it too. That’s the first time I’ve called her Liz before. I can’t believe I did it so normally, like she was a friend! I could hear her smile through the phone as she said, 

“I’m okay now.” My face breaks into a smile and suddenly, I feel like I had a friend. 

“So, um, what happened?” I prod. 

“Oh, nothing. See you at school, Amee!” She pushes the question away, says goodbye, then hangs up. I’m confused. Is there something she doesn’t want to tell me? I get dressed in a short maroon skirt, a loose purple blouse, and slip-on black ankle boots. I grab my backpack and slam the door as I’m walking out. My mom opens the door again and smiles at me. 

“Have a good day, sweetie!” I shrug. 

“Love you, Mom!” I say and wave as I walk away. 

When I get to school, I spot Natalie and Faith talking and quickly put my head down. Natalie says something and then walks away and Faith just stands there. I look around and I see Elizabeth leaning on a pillar with her head in her hands. She looks confused and stressed. I wonder what’s wrong. I walk over to talk to her, my boots slamming on the pavement as I run to catch up to her as she walks to English. 

“What’s up?” I say. 

“Oh, just the usual. Your friend finally calling you by your nickname.” She puts her arm around me and I laugh. As we walk to English, I can see out of the corner of my eye Natalie walking with her hands in the pockets of her light blue jeans and a single tear slips down her cheek and lands on the floor. She steps on the spot where it hit the ground and pushes her tear down harder, shattering it, and keeps walking. I look back at Elizabeth as we’re walking, her face emotionless and stone-cold, and know something is wrong.

Chapter 11 – Elizabeth

Not Ready 

“I’m not ready,” I say into the phone. I’m never ready for this. I feel a stabbing pain in my heart when Natalie hangs up the phone. I sit down on the couch, still in my pajamas, and process what just happened. I lost my best friend since Kindergarten. My phone rings and I check to see who it is. It’s Amee. I pick it up and put the phone to my ear. I’m praying for some good news. I can’t keep my sniffling in and she asks me what’s wrong. And then I realize that she called me Liz. Liz! She’s never called me by my nickname before and a warmth spreads through my heart, numbing the pain and confusion. 

“So um, what happened?” she asks. I groan in my head and sidestep the question, say goodbye, and hang up. I just can’t take any more confusion right now. I stomp upstairs in my slippers and put on black leggings, a black t-shirt, slip-on sneakers, and head out. When I get to school, I see Amee walking over to me and I wave. We talk and I put my arm around her. We see Natalie, and I immediately look down, not wanting to meet her eyes. I quietly wipe my eyes, but when I feel Amee’s eyes on my face, I wipe my face of all emotion. She sees the red tear mark on my cheek and I quickly try to wipe it away but it stays. It must be stubborn. Darn you tear mark! I think. I see her thinking and I get scared. What’s happening?

After school, I walk to my computer and check my email. Amee sent me an email with a Zoom link for 6:00 PM. I text her that I accept and she seems overly excited — weird. I’m excited and don’t know how to wait! I grab a snack consisting of: salt and vinegar chips, sweet strawberries, lemonade, brownies, and a piece of chocolate chip banana bread. Yum! I grab the TV remote and turn the coal-black screen to electric blue. I play my favorite movie, and before I know it, it’s 5:55 and I have to go. 

I join the meeting, see Amee, and then see someone I definitely DID NOT want to see right now. Natalie is in the Zoom meeting! “Hi, Elizabeth,” Natalie says. I give Amee a withering glare and her look says, Oh well, what can we do?

Chapter 12 – Natalie

Forgiveness

To: Natalie Carter

From: Amee Walker

Subject: Zoom

Dear Natalie, 

I am inviting you to a zoom at 6 pm today. Join this link: hptts://webzoom.usTWEB273985357bdFRpjfslj34755fldhgso3 

Elizabeth will be there so you can talk to her. I repeat; TALK TO HER. There is no reason to talk to me, be mean to me, or even look at me. I am doing this for Elizabeth. See you at 6. 

Sincerely,

Amee Walker 

Her email is so sad and I really want to write her back, but I know it’s wrong. My fingers push on the keys and I press send before I can stop myself.

To: Amee Walker

From: Natalie Carter

Subject: RE: Zoom

Dear Amee,

I’m surprised you wrote to me. Thanks for the link, I will come. I actually do want to talk to you on the Zoom, because I don’t want to say it in an email. I’ll be there at 5:40 so we can talk. 

See you there.

Natalie

At 5:40, I join the link she sends and Amee is there, waiting patiently. As soon as my video glitches on and the microphone is working, I launch into it. “Look, Amee. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you, well I did, but I was scared I would lose Elizabeth. We’ve been friends forever and I didn’t know where I fit in if it wasn’t with her. I feel awful and the only thing my fear and anger did was break everyone apart. I am so sorry. I get it if you can’t forgive me, Elizabeth already did that. I’m sorry.” Amee looks to the camera and opens her mouth. 

“I forgive you,” she says. I think my Zoom might not be working, maybe I’m hallucinating, but I never expected THAT. “Look,” she says. “I know what it feels like to not fit in. You were mainly the reason I didn’t fit in hahaha but I get it. You hurt me, but I know you know that, and I know you’ll try to make it up to me.” I smile at her and feel like things are mended. One more to go.

Elizabeth joins as Amee and I are talking. She gives me a withering glare and Amee’s eyes say, Don’t worry, I’ve got this. “Hey Elizabeth,” she says. 

“WHAT THE HECK, DUDE!” Elizabeth yells so loudly that her sound cuts out for a minute. 

“Wow. Calm down, sparky” she says. “Look. Natalie apologized to me, and I forgave her.” 

Elizabeth rubs her ears like she didn’t hear right, but Amee nods and moves on. “Now, I know that you might have some feeling that you HAVE to be mad because I’m your friend. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to. Natalie is really sorry, and she does have a good reason. We were all a little bit wrong, but I found a place in my heart to forgive Natalie, and all I’m asking is that you forgive her too.” 

I watch Elizabeth as tears stream down her cheeks. “Yes, Natalie. I forgive you! You’re my best friend! Of course, I forgive you!” I’m crying and Elizabeth’s crying and somehow, Amee is too. These are my friends. I’ve found my true friends. 

Chapter 13 – Epilogue  – Amee

The next day

I walk into school and see Natalie and Elizabeth waving me over. I run over and Natalie engulfs me in a powerful arm hug. Elizabeth smiles and slings her backpack over her shoulder as we walk into school, hand-in-hand. Natalie has to go to English and Elizabeth and I go to History. We sit at desks right next to each other and when she smiles at me, that’s when I know. 

I’ve found my place. 

THE END

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