Linda Fischer was a beautiful girl. The chubby ten-year-old of four years ago was no more, and in her place was a tall, shapely fourteen-year-old with a perfectly proportioned figure. Unlike many girls her age, Linda had no struggles with acne, and her perfectly straight teeth had never needed braces.
Linda was coming back home. Back to the neighborhood she had lived in when she had attended elementary school. She remembered the relief she had felt when her father had announced that the family was moving to another county, away from the classmates who had made her fifth grade year a living nightmare.
A lot had changed for Linda during her middle school years. A physician-prescribed diet and exercise plan had worked wonders. The baby fat had disappeared, and she had developed curves in just the right places. The kids in middle school had been a lot nicer, too. For the first time, Linda had been able to come out of her shell and had actually made friends.
Then, as luck would have it, her father's work assignment had changed again, and the family had moved back to their previous surroundings. Now, on the first day of her freshman year in high school, Linda would once again come into contact with the kids who had hurt her so badly before. Every taunt, every cruel practical joke, every humiliation was still etched in her brain.
As she approached the school yard she began to see them amongst the groups of kids standing around in loosely-formed clusters waiting for the first bell to ring. Wendy. Caroline. Jill. The rest of them. They were all taller and had grown breasts now, of course, but other than that, most of them still looked much the same, by comparison to Linda, at least.
A group of boys, upper classmen, looked on appreciatively as Linda approached the gathering. Wendy and Caroline were talking about a boy named Todd Thompson whom Wendy thought was hot. Jill was talking to her best friend Tracy, who now wore her straight black hair in a different style, about her family's summer vacation.
Wendy saw Linda, and her eyes narrowed.
"Do I know you? You look kind of familiar..."
"Yes, Wendy, I believe I've seen you a time or two," Linda answered coolly.