Ditched – Part One

An interesting story I wrote a while back. I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to know what you think! :

“Hi, Valerie,” Crystal said, greeting her friend as she sat next to her on the bleachers. She handed Valerie her hot dog, pushing her light brown bangs out of her sparkly green eyes. Her long brown hair fell almost to her waist, even braided. Her pale skin looked even paler in the lights of the high school gymnasium.

“Thanks,” Valerie replied, accepting the foil-wrapped wiener. She pulled her shoulder-length black hair into a ponytail before unwrapping the hot dog. She fixed her eyes on her phone with one earbud in as she took a bite of the hot dog.

Crystal sighed as she gazed out at the empty court. “They still haven’t started?”

“Nope.” Valerie took another bite. She started coughing.

Crystal looked at her, concerned. “Are you okay?” she asked.

Valerie nodded, still coughing. The coughs died off into laughter. “Robert Downey, Jr. is just too funny!” she said, still gasping for air.

Crystal couldn’t help rolling her eyes. “You’re watching Iron Man again?”

Valerie shrugged. “Why not?” Her brown eyes got a dreamy look in them. “He’s amazing! Did you know that…”

Crystal rolled her eyes again as her friend continued chattering away. Any mention of Iron Man or anything related would set Valerie off on a trail of Iron Man trivia. If you asked a simple question about the movie, you’d receive more information than you’d ever needed, or wanted, to know.

Of course, Valerie had other obsessions, too. She was the biggest fan of tennis, and could name every single Wimbledon winner. She could find a way to work tennis into almost every conversation, and you wouldn’t want to ask her about rules for tennis. She could go on forever.

Crystal tuned back in to Valerie’s one-sided conversation. “Did I tell you that they’re coming out with a new one? I can’t wait! It’s going to be so awesome! You know, it would be great to…” Crystal sighed and tuned her friend out again. She didn’t really mind Valerie’s obsessive chatter that much, but she wished that she and Valerie could actually talk together, instead of her having to listen to Valerie’s monologue.

Crystal sighed again, gazing absent-mindedly out at the basketball court. A few more fans were wandering into the bleachers and picking seats early to beat the crowd. She saw a couple members of the home team coming in late and rushing to the locker room.

“Crystal!” Valerie exclaimed.

Crystal turned back to Valerie. “What?” she asked.

Valerie glared at her. “You’re not even listening to me!”

Crystal gulped. “I know. I’m sorry, Val.”

“Why weren’t you listening?” Valerie demanded. Crystal could tell that her friend was really mad.

Crystal looked down at her hands, embarrassed. “Well, I – I – it’s just that, well, you know, you just talk and talk about Robert Downey, Jr. I mean, you never give me a chance to say anything, and I don’t really care about Iron Man or anything like that, so—”

“So you just tuned out,” Valerie finished. Her eyes flashed angrily. “Does what I say mean that little to you?”

“No, it’s just—”

“No,” Valerie interrupted. She picked up her things and what was left of her hot dog and stood up. “I’ll see you later,” she said sarcastically and stalked off. Crystal watched her leave with her mouth hanging open. She finally recovered enough to run after her friend.

“Valerie!” she cried. Valerie shook Crystal’s hand off her arm.

“I’ll go find someone who actually cares about what I have to say,” Valerie muttered wrathfully. Crystal stopped in her tracks, stunned. Her friend’s words, and actions, stung. Tears steamed in her eyes as she turned back to her seat. She slumped down in her chair, putting her hands over her face and letting the tears flow.