Why I **Secretly** Hate Meghan N:
- She’s invited to everything.
- She can do no wrong at Lakeview High.
- Cam likes her.
- Actually, every guy likes her.
- Actually, make that every guy and girl likes her. She transcends gender preferences ‘cuz she’s just that hot.
- She’s totally Extra and Emo. Can’t even.
- She has her driver’s license already, because she stayed back a grade, even though no one even seems to realize that. #notassmartasweallthink
- The teachers favor her, including Mr. Wagman.
- I am her shadow.
- I’m invisible next to her.
Meghan Nook lay in a pool of her own blood at the bottom of Lakeview High’s gym stairs. The ends of her thick, platinum blonde hair soaked up the blood, coloring them a shade of pink. Her head turned to the side, and her almond-shaped eyes closed—-those familiar blue eyes that Callie divulged all her darkest secrets to. Callie felt sick to her stomach, but it may have been the Stoli orange vodka. She didn’t push Meghan; it was an accident. Wasn’t it? She couldn’t remember, but everyone was hounding her, including the police.
“So you were where exactly, Callie, when Meghan fell down the stairs?” Sergeant Kim asked, adjusting the mechanical pencil behind his ear and holding a long reporter’s notebook.
“I’m trying to think,” Callie said, looking around the gym in search of a friend—any friend. But everyone was down with Meghan. She was alone. Typical, she thought. When it comes time to pick a side, Meghan is always first.
“I don’t feel good. I think I need to sit down,” Callie said, clomping over to the bleachers in her Gucci heels. This wasn’t the time to say or think anything negative about Meghan, especially since everyone was pointing the finger at her as the main suspect. She wanted to give the Sergeant some answers, but she honestly couldn’t remember.
She kept playing the scene over and over in her head. Okay, she thought: (1) I take a swig of vodka hidden in my Poland Spring bottle and pass it to Meghan. Check. (2) Meghan also takes a swig and hears her favorite song, Thunder, playing in the gym. Check. (3) Meghan and I rush over to the gym stairs to go down and dance. We see Sarah and motion for her to come. She runs over and joins us. Check. But then this is where it gets murky. We get to the landing at the top of the stairs and then… BAM! Meghan is lying in her own blood, possibly dead.
“Do you think you pushed her?” Sarah asked, taking a seat on the bleachers next to Callie. She twirled the ends of her hair and chomped on her cinnamon Orbit gum.
“Why do you keep asking me this? Why is everyone asking me this?” Callie said. “It’s obvious you’ve all decided I’m guilty, so just cuff me and take me away already.” Callie forcefully dropped her head into her palms, peering through the spaces in her silver jeweled fingers to see if anyone was watching.
“No one says you’re guilty of anything,” Sarah said, rubbing circles on Callie’s back. Callie shifted in her seat. “Well, besides Cam, I guess.” Callie jerked her head up.
“What exactly did Cam say?” she scoffed, her thread eyebrows narrowing. Be careful, Cameron. Be very careful.
“That you intentionally got Meghan drunk and pushed her; that it wasn’t an accident,” Sarah’s hair twisting and gum chomping intensified and became manic.
“Are you even serious? Whatever.” Callie said, reaching into her purse for her phone. She quickly texted her mom: Come get me now. In the next room, Cam sat with Sergeant Kim. What the hell was he poisoning his brain with now, Callie wondered. What a jealous douchebag. Just because she was Meghan’s best friend didn’t give Cam license to malign her and ruin her reputation that she’d worked so hard for at Lakeview. Screw him. If Cam thinks a push down the stairs is bad, he has no idea what’s coming, Callie thought. He doesn’t know who he’s messing with. He’s messing with a Queen Bee…and he will get stung.
* * *
Meghan opened her swollen eyes slowly and saw the hospital room TV elevated in the corner across from her bed. She had an IV in her arm and her head was throbbing.
“Meggie?” her mom said.
Meghan turned her head to the side and saw her mother in the green, vinyl hospital chair. Her vision was slightly blurred, but she knew it was her mom from the chocolate brown, curly hair and almond-shaped blue eyes, the same as hers. Bright morning sunlight streamed in behind her mom’s head through the window. The floral fabric curtains were drawn.
“Meggie! You’re awake. Thank, God!” her mom said, leaning over the bars of the hospital bed to give her an awkward hug. Her face was pink and swollen, like a newborn hamster’s. Her elbow nearly tipped over a full vase of pink and purple tulips that had a “Get Well” Hello Kitty balloon attached to it.
“Jesus,” her mom said, hovering over Meghan. “I’m so relieved.”
Meghan wasn’t sure what was going on. Why was she in the hospital? Had she been asleep for long?
“What happened?” Meghan asked. Her mouth was pasty dry, like she’d eaten a bale of cotton, and the IV on her hand pinched.
“You had an accident, Meggie. A bad accident, and you fell down a steep flight of stairs,” her mom said.
Meghan was confused. Stairs? Which stairs? She was cold. The vent above her was blowing cold air profusely, and all she was wearing was this flimsy blue-and-white hospital gown that was tied all wrong. The ties were supposed to go in back, and she had them tied in front, almost like she was wearing a peek-a-boo dress. Her light blonde arm hairs stood at attention. She reached for the remote control and aimed it up at the vent, shutting the air off. The room was suddenly much more quiet, except for the din of Good Morning America in the background.
“The doctor said it was a hard fall, and you will have trouble remembering it,” Meghan’s mom said. She left out the part about the diagnosis: Retrograde Amnesia. She left out that her brain had been rattled, like she was in the NFL. And she left out that her best friend allegedly pushed her.
“When can we go home?” Meghan asked, trying to adjust the IV. Her nails were painted bright blue, with the exception of her ring fingers, which were painted gold. She didn’t remember painting them.
“We can go home in a few days, Sweetie. The doctor needs to run a few more tests on your head,” her mom said. “Everything is going to be just fine. I’m so glad you’re awake.”
Meghan looked at her mother, who was swallowing hard, trying not to cry. The crow’s feet around her eyes and her smile lines appeared deep. It didn’t seem like everything was going to be fine. She grabbed ahold of the shiny pink Hello Kitty balloon floating from the flower vase. There was a note attached to it: I love you. xx, Callie.
Meghan felt nothing.
* * *