Everyone’s heads turned as Opal Shane made her way down the auditorium’s aisle.
Today, she was dressed in high-waisted denim shorts, a red-and-black plaid shirt, stacks and stacks of long silver necklaces, and a sheer white cardigan. White chucks and black shades topped it off.
It didn’t make sense, yet it looked good.
Maybe it was her confident, pulled-back shoulders and lifted chin that pulled it off.
Opal had to be the nicest, anti-bullying person at the school, and yet she was intimidating.
She had a weird position on the social ladder—popular, but not A-List. No list, really. She was popular because she befriended everyone on every list.
That was what made her The Wizard.
“The Wizard” was the all-seeing header of the social scene. Every school has a Wizard.
That one girl/boy who everyone loves, and who knows everyone and everything.
The Wizard was usually school royalty, born into popularity among peers and respected by teachers because of an A-List older sibling.
The Wizard decided all that was “in” and all that was “out” because they were unique from the rest, and all-accepting.
For some odd reason, people listened to them, loved them, and spoiled them.
“Opal!” People waved, grinning.
If you never talked her, you didn’t get it. But the second you met her you understood the need to love her. She was friendly, openly weird, and charming.
She sits next to you, her assigned seat, and shifts around, crossing her legs and making herself comfortable.
She doesn’t bother looking at you, and she seems unaware of the collective glances in the room.
She smelled good—sweet and floral.
She lets out a sigh and pulls out her phone.
You’re surprised that it’s not the latest and greatest, but actually a few years old with a cute, chunky pink case.
Then again, Opal hated “following the crowd.” She did her best not to, so everyone ended up following her, and her unique sense of style.
The A-List was just a few rows back, the only people who followed the latest and greatest, making everyone follow them.
Who was more powerful?
It was always hard to tell.
Opal could’ve easily been part of the A-List. She was a notoriously good social climber.
But that was just it: she was a self-starter. Instead of trying to kiss up to the boss, she became her own boss, and better.
She’s replying to five texts all at once, and although you have the latest and greatest, you can’t say you’ve had that many people demanding your attention.
“I like your nails.”
Oh my gosh, to you! You realize.
“What?” You blurt, your face warming. You can’t find the strength to lock eyes with her, not while she’s giving you her signature, sugary-sweet smile. “Oh! Thanks!”
Then she promptly reaches over and takes your hand to examine them, all casual, as if you were in her group. The A-Listers weren’t like that. They didn’t compliment people, or touch them. That was what made Opal a bit more favorable, and not as intimidating.
“Cute,” she says, examining every nail before dropping your hand suddenly.
Then it’s back to you not existing.
Debora St. Fleurose is a college student born in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up with eight siblings, and enjoys reading, writing, gardening, running, and blogging. She was born pigeon-toed, but that didn’t stop her from joining her high school’s track team, and was Varsity all four years. Being pigeon-toed and being watched every time she went anywhere has taught her to never judge anyone, and to be optimistic. She hopes to someday work for the New York Times or Chicago Tribune, and to be a best-selling author who has a lot of loyal readers she can connect with and talk to. She also hopes to inspire other teens like her to keep doing what they love.