When I was in the 9th grade, I was doomed to walk to and from school (about a mile or so one way) every day. Every once in a great while, my mother would come and pick me up, if my younger sisters had some gymnastics thing going on or what have you. One of those days, after I had been acquainted with Lee, I was starting to leave school when my mother showed up unexpectedly. Lee was walking nearby, and I had just said "goodbye" to her. My mother asked me, "Jennifer, do you know her? Is she your friend?" I told my mother that she was - no sense in explaining the truth to her:

Yeah Mom, I know who she is, but look at her, she totally doesn't care who I am, and though she might be nice to me in public, she's one of those girls who are so pretty and winning that she would make me look like dogshit no matter what I did, and so no, really she's not my friend, she's just this girl, okay?

So my mother yells out the car window to this impeccable blonde girl, "Do you need a ride home?" I shrink inside my skin. Lee walks toward the car. My sisters are bored behind the dirty windows of the brown station wagon.
"No, really, that's alright."
"Oh, come on, how far do you live?"
"Well, if it's not too much trouble..."

She gets into our car, which smells like dogs, cigarette smoke and old coffee. I sit on the hump in the backseat uncomfortably while we take Lee home. The car is silent except for Lee's directions to my mother. She exits the car.

"Wow, Jennifer. She's really pretty."

I know.