It’d be nice to be as clever and as witty as Alicia, wouldn’t it? Yes, you think it would be. Everyone admires her – they don’t always like her, but no one can deny the fact that she’s terribly funny and that she does liven up the duller lessons, except maybe Gwen, and the last thing you want to do is to emulate Gwendoline Mary’s behaviour.
So you smile and try to be a good sport, for Darrell’s sake. Because Darrell’s fond of her, and Darrell gazes adoringly at her an awful lot, and you keep telling yourself that it’s just because Darrell admires her, and not for any other reason. Not because Darrell wishes that Alicia was her friend.
Of course not. You keep telling yourself that, but it hurts so badly whenever you catch one of those gazes, and you catch a lot of them. You spend most of your time watching Darrell. All of your time.
Alicia told you once that it wasn’t what you thought. She said that Darrell wasn’t that sort of girl. You weren’t quite sure what she meant, but you had your suspicions. Deep down, part of you knew what she was talking about. You knew from the look she gave you and the way she said it that you were that sort of girl. That Alicia, too, was one of those girls.
For a moment you thought she was going to lean over and press her lips against yours, and for a moment you almost wanted that to happen, just to see what it felt like. Never mind that it was Alicia, who you still envy even though you know you have something in common with her. You just wanted to know what it would be like.
You don’t dare suggest to Darrell that you try it. Despite what Alicia said, you’re still not entirely convinced that Darrell doesn’t want to try something of that sort with her. Not you, of course. You’re her friend in name but sometimes you long to crawl inside Darrell’s head and find out just what she does think of you, and what she thinks of Alicia, and how you measure up.
You wish you had the courage to ask her if she is that sort of girl, if Alicia got it wrong. But you don’t, and you know that Alicia is usually right about these sort of things.
Alicia is so clever, after all, and you’re just plain and dull Sally, whose heart constricts every time you notice the way Darrell looks at Alicia the way you wish she’d look at you.