Mouse was so confused. Why had her friends all left her? She had always been mean, she had always made fun of Chris. What was different this time? Mouse just didn't get it.
My phone rang for the third time tonight. I sighed and picked it up, "What do you want,
How did you know it was me?
"It wasn't that hard to figure out," I said flatly, "Now what is it?"
Do you want to come over tomorrow?
"No, Mouse." I said, annoyed.
Why not? You're my friend.
"And here's the funny thing," I laughed, an edge starting to fill my voice, "I'm starting to forget why. Refresh my brain, would you Mouse? Why are we friends?"
Mouse didn't say anything and I went on, "You disrespect everyone, you hurt my brother as your main occupation, you take advantage of everyone around you, you're lazy, you never do anything important!"
That doesn't mean I don't have feelings....
"You treat everyone like crap," I said, starting to get mad, "You don't care about anything!"
Oh, I don't care about anything, Angie?
"No," I said softly, shaking my head, "You don't."
There was silence on the other end and I realized that Mouse had hung up on me. Uhg! Well, what did I need her for?
I held back angry tears and went back to my homework.
There was a knock on my door and I called, "Come in!"
Crap, my voice cracked. I thought.
It was Chris, he opened the door and, looking worried, said softly, "Is everything alright, Angie?"
I nodded, "Uh, yeah. I'm fine."
He nodded and I said, "M-Mouse is just being.... A jerk."
"What a shock." Chris said, sitting down by me, "Are you sure you're okay?"
I nodded again, "I'm fine, Chris."
"I mean, she's always a jerk." Chris said, smiling honestly, "What made today different?"
I shrugged, "Well, she kneed you in balls."
Chris's face flushed and he said, "Yeah, I hate her."
"You've said that."
We were quiet for a bit and Chris said, "Do you even remember how we became friends with her?"
I thought about this; I didn't remember. I shook my head and said, "Not really, but I met Leo first."
Chris looked thoughtful and a grin broke across his face, "Oh, I remember now! Leo and his mom moved here when he was six years old. Do you remember that?"
I racked my brain and Chris went on excitedly, "You met him in first grade. You asked him if he liked Barbies like your brother and he thought you were nuts."
I laughed, remembering, "Yes, I remember now! And in second grade, I decided to start inviting boys to my birthday and invited him. That was when I realized that not all boys play with Barbies, it was just you."
Chris grinned sheepishly and I said, "Oh, getting sidetracked. Mouse."
Chris looked up, "Oh, yeah! Leo's mom married Mouse's dad when Leo was in third grade."
He cringed, "Then, we met Mouse."
I nodded, grinning, "Hey, Chris? Do you remember what happened the first time you met
Chris grimaced and laughed, "Um, vaguely, yes."
I smiled and said, "We went to Leo's house and you were so scared."
Chris nodded, adding, "Yeah, Mom dropped us off at their house. I can still remember that so clearly...."
I laughed again, "Yeah. You were hiding behind me and you had your barbie doll with you! Dad tried to throw that thing away for years! God, you were so cute."
Chris snorted, "Yeah? Dad didn't think Barbie was such an adorable accessory."
"We're getting off topic again." I said, "So, we went inside and Leo had been telling us about his step-sister and how much she would love us, which wasn't always a good thing."
Chris laughed, "And we went to Leo's room and Mouse was there and she was wearing a dress!"
I laughed, "Really? I don't remember a dress."
Chris nodded excitedly, "It was lavender."
"Okay," I said, "Mouse in a dress. That's a sight to see."
"She seemed so sweet and innocent at the time," Chris said, the smile fading from his face, "Geez, what a sap I was to believe that!"
"You remember what she did?" I asked Chris.
He nodded, "How could I forget? You told me to say 'hello' to her and I wouldn't do it, I just stayed behind you. Mouse smiled so sweetly at the time and I thought, 'Hey, maybe this girl is nice. Maybe this girl likes Barbies.' I went up to her and just stood there, frozen."
"Okay, Chris," I interrupted, "We don't need every last detail."
Chris nodded, "Okay, sorry. So, I was standing in front of Mouse, scared to death. I was just glad that I didn't wet my pants."
I laughed out loud at this part, but motioned for him to go on. Chris blushed a bit and went on, "Well, um, Mouse looked so nice and I asked her if she liked Barbies. I showed her mine and told her that her name was Teresa...."
My brother's voice trailed off and I laughed, "Go on...."
I knew the story, but making him tell it was so much more fun.
Chris laughed and said, "She looked at me like I was crazy, grabbed Teresa, and bit her head off! Then she gave it back and I was traumatized!"
I started laughing my head off and Chris said defensively, "Hey! That was my favorite and only Barbie doll! How would you feel if someone just came up and took your Barbie and bit its head off?"
"I wouldn't know," I said, "I didn't have any Barbies."
Chris laughed, "Ah, a trip down memory lane."
I nodded and said teasingly, "Yeah, now get out so I can do my homework."
Chris laughed and said, "'Night, Ange."