Monday At Lunch

I walk slowly to the Cafeteria so I don't have to stand so long in line just to get a fresh apple. When I got there, the line wasn't as long as I thought it would were about eight or nine people less than it should have been. The rusty metal counter didn't look so welcoming. It had many scratches on it and food stains. There was a big coffe stain at the corner of the dirty counter. I never missed the coffee stain it was like not missing a seventy-two inched plasma screen Tv with high defenition and a surround sound system right in front of your eyes. I decided to actually eat a small lunch meal since I woke up too late to eat breakfeast.

The lunch lady looked exhausted, she was sweating like she had just sprinted five miles. She had horrible pink blotches all over her pale skin. Her hand were red and they were swollen under white see through plastic gloves. Her hair was ment to look like it was in a ponytail, but looked like it was half up because of all the loose strands of hair that were lunch lady takes a glance at me, cleares her throat, and then askes,"What do you want-Honey?"She breathed loud enough that I can hear it. Her two front teeth had a big gap in it, as if I could fit a whole pencil through it and they were yellow and dirty, I was close enough to see the custard stuff on her teeth. Her lips were chapped, there were sags under her eyes, and there were a half a dozen wrinkles on her forhead. The lunchlady was a real mess that not even her ownself couldn't even fix.

"Umm,"I always try to look confused so I don't look like I'm in much of a hurry, people happen to jusdge ones they see what my personality is. Not Rushing."I'll just have an apple."

She pulled a strand of her hair back , but then looked down and the hair was hanging near her shoulders lunch lady chuckled like she had some weird story of how that apple got in her wrinkley, tired, pink hands. She gave the apple to me."Name?"

Her mouth was still opened because she hadn't have closed it until I would give my answer. "Oh. Aundrea Findly."

I handed her my crumpled dollar bill. She straitened it out a little to make me feel guilty that I didn't have anything better. It didn't work. I was not used to paying lunch or even getting nasty cafeteria lunch at school. Surprisingly, I made it through the lunch line without being such a clutz.

It was not that hard to find my friends. They always sat at the second table to the left of the cafeteria that was a dark brown rectangular cheap school table. I got there and everybody seemed to have nothing to talk about, they were unsually quiet. I was so used to everybody talking over eachother especially JC. I sat down pushing Haley over making her stunble while sitting on air.

"Hey guys."

"Hello."David said he blinked twice and looked up at me. Everybody else didn't say anything as if they were kindly ignoring me for my own good.

Everybody seemed to be there:David,Lyssa, Jane, JC,Haley, and Mercedes. Wait,Jennifer was absent today.

"Hey where's Jennifer?"I said in a calm voice. My curiosity made Haley react. She sat up and flipped her hair so that it wasn't in her face. She looked across the ASIAN NERDS table trying to pretend like she was eavesdropping on them.

Jane took a quick glance at Mercedes then JC with her head on her arms and her arms crossed on the table. She looked at me like I was dead. It was hard for me to stare back because her eyes were so convincing with pain all the time. I looked down at my the tip of my dirty sneakers trying to tell her physically that I didn't like being looked at.

"What happened?"I said desperatly.

Silent treatment.

Finally, Lyssa tried to tell me. I could tell that it was hard for her to tell me and the fact that me gazing in curiosity wouldn't have been making it any easier for her. I tried to make my face completely normal. She noticed, but she was a proffesional at not trying not to notice,but not today. Lyssa told me ," The bowling alley they were going to near Jane's house after school on Friday. But, Mercedes' mom couldn't drop them off at the bowling place because she had some special therapy that she had to attend because of her high blood presure,"She quoted high blood presure with her fingers and rolled her eyes. "When they were walking there, they said that Jennifer said that she had to go to the restroom that was at this liquor store across the street from where they were. Lyssa, Mercedes, Jane and David waited impatiently for her. She took longer than seven minutes. Jane stated that she would check up on her to see if she wasn't throwing up or anything," she looked up at the ceiling like there was a bomb dropping towards her," When she entered the rusty store, she saw blood everywhere. There was a gap on the floor that had no blood on it, but lead her eyes to the blood that continued from the bathroom. She stalked the blood that lead to the restroom and she saw Jennifer dead." I could tell that she wasn't comfortable telling me this when Jane was right there-listening to everyword that she spoke,outloud.

"The police are still investigating the situation,"Lyssa said then pushing her elbow length hair behind her ear, but letting the other side cover her eye. Lyssa hesitated with her hands in her purple sweater pockets curled up in a fist. I guess her hands were mad at themselves, too.

"She's de-"My voice faded. I locked my eyes to David's pale hands locked together. My eyes felt like I was looking under water, everything blured. I knew by the time I would blink that the tears would atomatically fall. I tried to keep my eyes open as long as I could, but they started to burn. The tears started to fall down my cheaks. I tried to put my head back so they couldn't see me crying. Now I know why everybody wasn't their usualself. They proboly felt that it was all their fault. I could feel there guilt in their eyes like they wished they never new jennifer especially Mercedes. They truly did not do anything wrong in my point of view. All of their full minds might have been full of crazy options of how they could have saved her. I knew how they felt exept not so serious. Saving someone from failing their test when you tutored them was a lot more less than saving someone's life.

Jennifer was always so special to me. She was like the eraser to my pencil mistakes. Jen never lied to me or betrayed me for any guy. She was loyal. We had been friends here in Hesperia for about six years. She loved to shop, it was an irretating bad habit of hers. Her weaknesses were shopping sales. I already missed her. By now, she would have told me about a new sale and that we needed to go. There were questions that still bothered me everytime-always when I thought of ?WHO? Those words haunted my useless thoughts.

I stood up without even noticing that I had dropped my precious apple on the dirty tile floors of Hesperia Junior High School.

I tried to find my voice, but all I found was my mouth wide open as if I were actually about to speak, but someone paused my reaction. I cleared my voice and found my voice hiding under it."Umm,"my voice crackled in shock,"I'll see you guys l-l-later."Tears started to come down my face even more. I could feel the tears racing through my neck. David seemed he was very good at holding his teers back unlike a girl.

I walked slowly terrified of what Lyssa had just enetered in my head. I didn't want to think about it, but it just kept on running through my head like a marathon that never ended. Who would do this to a thirteen-year-old girl?

In Algebra class, I just sat up strait up so that it looked like I was paying attention and narrowed my eyebrows to make me look a little more serious about the equation. I thought about her over and over agin in my mind. How she never talked to anybody that twitched when they talked and how she never ate anything that was a golden color. My seriousness didn't fool anybody. Since Mr. Vinent is such a push-over he didn't take it so rough on me because he knew it was only temporary. Mr. Vincent said that if I didn't understand how to do the problem I would have to start going to the afterschool program for people who needed "help". I didn't need the extra help I was pretty surprised when I heard the word might come out of his grouchy face.

I skipped sixth period because I didn't want to be seen like this. I didn't like the idea of skipping class because if I couldn't stop crying the teacher would have asked me what was wrong and would have sent me to the counciler.

I sat down on the sidewalk watching the cars pass by. I followed each car one by one with my was like counting sheep when you wanted to fall asleep, but in the 21st century and this time it was trying to keep awake and let the time pass by. I started to walk home thinking that I should have been there for her. I didn't want to think like the others did, ut it was true what would have happened if I were there, Would I be dead too? Or would we both living? Once I got home I ran to my room. Turning the lock on the door made me remember that I had to finish an Essay for History. Ughh History.

I couldn't concentrate on my essay with all the things to worry about, so I'll have to save it for tonight.

I turned on the TV in my room to get my mind off Jennifer. The Channel went to the Channel 2 News. The news was talking about Jennifer and all the other people in the liqior store. Just a prefect way to get my mind off of said that the casheir was named Abbad Lolly, a forein indian man whose body was found without even a tiny piece of evidence that he had kidnies in his body. The person that said he was an expert on the human body explained that it wass impossible to do without our population in our city for poeple not to notice even with a high-tec computer thingy-mabober. I don't specifically know the words that he said because I'm not a scientist. They said that there weren't any brises or any marks of her being hurt, just that she vommited blood. As if she had a deep cut in her throat and stomach. They say that the criminal who did this to her made her drink some kind of gasoline poison. They said that the criminal might have been experienced in China because of the gas leak there that made sixty-nine poeple die. They said that this is the most exagerated thing that they have ever seen in their whole entire life. This made me think, how could this even possible?

I hear my mom's loud engine come up the driveway.

She see's my face and asks,"Did you see the news?" I could tell by her face that she didn't want me to know. She proboly knows I already know.

"Umm yeah. Everybody at school won't even talk to eachother because they're all blaming themselves for not being there for her."My eyes flickered. My eyelashes brushed the bottom of my eyes eleven time before my mother could speak again.

"I'm sorry, are you going to be Ok?" She knew I wasn't going to be "OK". I could tell by her face that she knew I missed Jennifer and that she didn't really care much that Jennifer got murdered. She Proboly meant it as a rhetorical question, so I didn't plan to answer.

"I'm going to go take a long walk in the park. is that Ok?" My voice was loud at first, but then I realized that it started to faid away slowly. I could feel the tears coming back again, but I forced them not to fall.

"Yeah. Sure. Take as much time as you want."

"Ok,Thanks." It didn't work, the tears fell down and I sprinted straight out the door until I could reach the park. I didn't want my mom to feel bad for me for the death of my best friend. I didn't realize that I was crying because I loved Jennifer until I started running.