It wasn’t as if she hadn’t been through this before. Same people, different year. All they saw was someone different, someone unlike them.
Maybe it was her jeans, they were a little too straight and baggy at her feet, like wrinkled elephant legs. Her shoes were two sizes too big, and not a brand any of her peers would buy on purpose. She wore overly large tee shirts that had scrawled half-committed themes; as if going all the way was a violation of copyright law. Huge thick spectacles held dominion over her cheeks and nose, no one really noticed the large protruding eyes, heavily lashed due to genetics, or the thick wavy tail of silky sable hair that went almost to her waist. If people could get past the lack of branding and the spectacles, well some would say She was quite pretty.
She barely reached 5’3″ in height and used this to her advantage. She wove herself through the throngs of students that overwhelmed the hallway; it never mattered which way She looped or twined, the pattern stayed the same.
She was one thread of many, a red thread in a royal blue scarf. They wanted to pick, pick, pick until they pulled her out of the final product.
Once She made it out of the assortment and into her assigned course load, things were better. People needed her. She had the answers. Almost all of them. She soaked up all of the lectures, the reading, the worksheets, and homework and could wring out the answers on command and the group was rewarded for extra clarity.
They didn’t really care as long as the grade was above a 90%. Once the group activity was done, they returned to their seats. She was left, once again, alone.
Then, she moved into town.
Ripped jeans held together with chains, as if the cloth of her pants needed guarding; long black tee shirts that hung to her knees with symbols and characters touting defiance to the establishment. Greasy black hair hung in clumps down her back and dark kohl lined her eyes, like she rubbed the sleep out with Kohl that morning. Ripped converse, mismatched socks and thousands of rainbow bracelets covered her skinny wrists.
Kohl Eyes didn’t fit into the pattern either.
They met over books talking about Czechoslovakia and Eurasia and continued to meet. Two Others joined the conversation, both worn thin but hard eyed; other threads of the pattern that just weren’t the right kind of blue.
It was almost peaceful.
Then, after a time, Kohl Eyes’s purse went missing. She and her new friends searched all of their classes, the lunch room, and then the halls. Best friends do that. On a whim, She suggested they all visit the elective classes to find the missing purse. The logical last choice. They had looked everywhere else. Kohl Eyes protested, they had not made it to electives yet. The Others disagreed, electives were an excellent place to look for this purse. Kohl Eyes needed to be more open to good ideas, the Others suggested.
Searching one room after another, She lead Kohl Eyes and the Others through the empty classrooms. She finally lead them to her own elective class. She was the only person of the four that had that class that semester. The Others agreed they should go inside, even though it was unlikely to be in that room. There, as if placed there by merciful angles, was the purse.
Kohl Eyes rejoiced, The Others brooded, and She shrugged and chatted about how lucky it was they found it intact.
That weekend was silent. Not a ring came from Kohl Eyes and The Others. She didn’t think anything of it.
Monday dawned and once again, She wove herself through the throngs of students, working her thread through the pattern.
Once in her scheduled courses, She met with her friends. There had been a change; Kohl Eyes and The Others began to pick, pick, pick her out of the pattern.
She had stolen, She had obviously played at trick, she was jealous, She was bold, She was… different. She didn’t fit the pattern. Pick, pick, pick.
And then a discarded thread, She was alone.
This was written in response to the Brilliant Disguise prompt posted by The Daily Post. If you are interested, She did not steal the purse. She was from that day forth known as a thief. (But relief from that reputation came once She went to a different high school)