I was so excited! Today is the first day of school. Brooke and I were going to be starting fifth grade along with our new friend, Katie. As we got on the bus, I could hardly contain my excitement. Brooke, Katie, and I started to sit down, we heard the bus driver say in a deep, gruff voice, “Hey kids, only two people are allowed in each seat.” I looked across from us and saw an open seat next to a cheerleader. I started to go over there to sit when the girl said, “Don’t even think think about it!” “You tell her Hillary!” said someone behind her. I looked around and saw someone sitting all by herself. I got up, headed in her direction, and sat down next to her. “Hi” I said. “I’m Roxanne” “I’m Rose.” She said quietly. As the bus started, I gave little yelp, causing the girl named Hillary and her friend to snicker. I put my head down. Even though I was still excited, somehow some of that excited seemed to be draining away.
Once we got to class, I was very excited to learn that Brooke, Katie, and Rose were all in the same class as me, and not so excited to learn that Hillary and her friend were also in the same class as us. As each student said his or her names, I found out that Hilary’s friend was Lindsey. Our teacher was Mr. Butler. He turned out to be a great teacher; he was even funny. The class was so interesting, that time seemed to fly by. Before I new it, it was time for lunch. We grabbed our lunches and headed towered the cafeteria.
While we (Brooke, Katie, Rose, and I) were eating at the same table, a girl from our class asked if she could eat with us. “Yeah, have a seat.” I said. “Well I’m not sure if there’s enough room.” Said Rose. We all looked at Rose, since there was, in fact, plenty of room for this girl and more. “Uh, I mean, sure you sit here.” Stuttered Rose. “Thanks! I’m Wendy by the way.” said Wendy, sitting down. Brooke, Katie and I quickly became friends with Wendy. Rose didn’t say anything else for the rest of lunch. The rest of the school day was normal, and we went home with lots of homework to do that evening.
After about a week of school, Brooke and I received an invitation from Rose to a slumber party at her house. I was very excited to go, but Brooke seemed hesitant. When I asked her why, she said she didn’t trust Rose. “What! Why not?” I asked, shocked that Brooke didn’t trust Rose. “Well, on the first day of school, she seemed hesitant to let Wendy sit with us at lunch, and yesterday, I saw her talking to Lindsey, and when I asked her if she went to church she said yes, but she wouldn’t tell me which church she goes to.” Brooke answered. “Well,” I started. “Maybe she only wanted people she knew sitting at the table with us on the first day of school, and Rose told me that she was thinking of joining the cheerleading squad, and so she was probably asking Lindsey how to join, and well,” I stopped because I couldn’t explain why Rose wouldn’t tell Brooke which church she went to. “I trust her because there’s no reason not to trust her.” I said. “Well I don’t think I want to go to the slumber party. I even prayed and asked God, and I still feel uneasy about Rose.” “Well, okay then, I guess I’m going without you.” I said. I went to my room and tried to fall asleep, but I couldn’t. I thought about asking God, but I didn’t because I just couldn’t believe that Rose would do anything to hurt me. I just couldn’t believe it.
The next day, I told Rose that I was coming to her slumber party. When Rose asked me why Brooke couldn’t come, I told her that she didn’t want to jump into things too soon after moving here. Honestly, I thought that was why she didn’t want to come as well. I didn’t see much of Brooke at school, and we didn’t talk much that evening. I didn’t want there to be tension between Brooke and I. Well, after the sleepover, things will probably go back to normal. At least, I hope they will.
The next evening, Mrs. Till dropped me off at Rose’s house. She told me that I could call her if I wanted to come home. I told her I would, and then she left. I walked in, and Rose was there to greet me. I said hello to Katie and Wendy, and then we sat down to eat pizza. I asked Rose where her parents were, and she told me that they were out of town. I was shocked! I wanted to call Mrs. Till, but I noticed that neither Katie nor Wendy seemed to be bothered by the fact that Rose’s parents weren’t home. I had never been to a slumber party before, so perhaps this was normal. I decided to wait and see how it played out. That was my first mistake.
After dinner, we all watched a movie. Once the movie was over, Rose took out a “Clue” game, and we played. I felt a little uncomfortable about a murder mystery, but I played anyway. We weren’t surprised when Katie won. She was good at that kind of stuff. So far, everything was going okay.
Soon we were ready to sleep, unfortunately, Rose had other ideas. We all sat in a circle, and Rose told us that we were going to become closer together by telling each other our deepest, darkest secrets. As I started thinking about it, I came up with an idea: I could tell everybody about how I was in the Witness Protection Program. I mean, I knew that I could trust everybody. It went from Katie to Wendy to Rose, and then it was my turn. I was going to blurt out my deepest, darkest secret, when I stopped. I haven’t known Rose and the other girl for very long. Could I really trust them with my life? Brooke did say that she didn’t trust Rose at all. I thought she was too quick to judge, but, was I too quick to trust? I decided to start small: I told them that I was an orphan, that the Tills had just adopted me. After that, we all went to our sleeping bags and we talked all night.
The next day, Brooke and I walked into the cafeteria, and sat down to eat. I thought that something strange was going on. When people passed me, they gave me sympathetic looks. “Uh oh.” Said Brooke. I followed Brooke’s gaze until it fell on Hillary. She was coming this way. She walked over to our table and turned to me. “How’s it going; little orphan Annie!” I was mortified. How did Hillary know that I was an orphan? Obviously everybody else knew as well, which explained the looks that people have been giving me. Suddenly, Katie came over in tears. “Everybody knows! Everyone knows what I did to my cat in the second grade!” she cried. “They even know that your family had to get a new washing machine after that?” asked Wendy, walking over. “Yes!” cried Katie “Well,” began Wendy, “good thing nobody knows my secret or I’d die of embarrassment! Why I’d…” “Hey Wendy, how’s that foot fungus?” said Lindsey. Wendy screamed and ran out of the cafeteria. With my face still burning, I began to think: how could our secrets get out? Nobody knew except Wendy, Katie, me and… ROSE!
I walked over to where Rose was standing, which was by Hillary and Lindsey. Rose must’ve seen me coming, because she whispered something to Hillary, and Hillary looked in my direction and snickered. “Hey Roxanne!” said Rose, obviously trying not to laugh. “Or should I say, little orphan Annie!” she laughed. I was appalled. “Rose, you said the secrets were to let us become closer together!” “Well,” said Rose, “Would you have told me your secrets if I had said, ‘I need something embarrassing to say about you in order to join the cheerleading squad and to be friends with Hillary, Lindsey, and the other girls?’” With that, they walked away. I just couldn’t believe it. Rose had set up the slumber party just to get secrets from us to gain the favor of the cheerleading squad. With a heavy heart, I headed back to class.
I walked into the house and went upstairs to my room. I closed my door and sat on my bed. After a while, there was a knock at my door. “Come in.” I said. Brooke walked in, and I groaned. “Okay, go head and say it.” I said. “Say what?” asked Brooke. “Say ‘I told you so.’ You were right after all, Rose wasn’t trustworthy, and I paid the price. Go ahead and say it, I deserve it.” “I’m not going to say that! I came in to see if you’re okay.” I was surprised. If this situation were in reverse, I’m sure I wouldn’t act like that. In tears, I told Brooke the whole story: no adults, the clue game, the secrets, how I almost told them about the WPP, and some of the questionable jokes that Rose told us during the sleepover. Brooke told me that she was proud of me for not being too quick to trust Rose with the WPP secret. Then, Brooke prayed with me: for comfort for our friends, and me for Hilary, Lindsey, and Rose, and thanking God that His hand was in the whole situation. As Brooke said goodnight, I finally felt the comfort of having a sister. I felt, loved.