The Tweenage Rugrats In: "Miss Popularity"

By Birch Griesse

It is 7AM on a Monday. Kimi's annoying alarm clock beeps. She yawned and rubbed her eyes. Time for school again. Summer vacation was actually over. Time to go back to books and homework tests.

Kimi dragged herself out of bed and put on her clothes. She grabbed a red rubber band and pulled her hair back into a ponytail. Then she went downstairs for breakfast.

"I've bought donuts for breakfast," Kira told her.

Kimi grabbed a chocolate donut from the box and sat down at the table. Kira looked up from the newspaper she was reading.

"Aren't you going to wear anything special for the first day of school?" she asked.

"No, why would I?" Kimi asked.

"Well, I just thought since it's the first day of school, you might want to dress up a little," Kira said.

"Since when do I dress up?" Kimi asked.

"You got me there," said Kira.

Just then Chuckie ran down the steps. He grabbed a donut and sat down too. He was wearing clothes that were nicer that what they normally wear -- nothing extravagant, but nice.

The bus arrived just as Chuckie had finished his donut. He and Kimi jumped from their seats and ran to catch the bus.

They climbed in and hurried to find seats next to their friends. When everyone had taken their seat, Kimi noticed that all of her friends were dressed up, just like Chuckie was.

They were almost at Jim Jr. Junior High. She turned to Lil, sitting in the next seat over.

"What's so important about dressing up all fancy for the first day of school?" she asked.

"Well, I don't know," Lil said. She stopped for a second to think about the question, then said, "I guess it's just to make a good first impression.

"To make a good first impression? Who did they want to impress? None of us care how they dressed," Kimi said.

Kimi just didn't see the point in dressing up.

The bus came to a screeching halt. They had arrived at school. The children poured of the bus and headed to the front doors. Kimi and her friends wandered around until they finally found their classroom. They entered the room and took their seats. Kimi looked around the room to see who was in her class. She saw a few friends of hers, some people she didn't really know, and Hannah Haynes and Theresa Smith, the two most popular girls in school. They were sitting at the front of the classroom with a couple other popular girls, and a few boys whom they thought were 'hot'. Hannah and Theresa were wearing clothes that, apparently, were imported directly fro Paris.

"What kind of clothes are those?" Kimi thought in disgust, "I would never wear anything like that!"

Just then, their teacher entered the room. He gave the class an expressionless look, then turned to face the blackboard. He picked up a piece of chalk and wrote his name on the board: Mr. Yullstein - Language Arts / Reading. Then he took a slip of paper from the pocket of his vest and began copying the assignments.

Kimi took a look at the class schedule, which she has received in the mail a week before:

Then when Mr. Yullstein finished writing the assignments, he began talking to the class. His voice was low and scratchy.

"Good morning kids; my name is Mr. Yullstein. I'll be your Language Arts and Reading teacher for this semester. I hope this will be a pleasant experience for you, provided that you make it a pleasant experience for me. Questions?"

Maria Mathews raised her hand.

"Yes?" said Mr. Yullstein said.

"How do you pronounce your name?" Maria asked.

"You'll-steen," Mr. Yullstein replied.

He continued, "Today, your first assignment will be reading. You will select a book of your choice, then read it silently. Later, I expect you to read it aloud."

Kimi raised her hand.

"Yes?" said Mr. Yullstein.

"I don't have a book to read," Kimi told him.

He said, "No problem; I have a fine selection of books over there."

He pointed to a bookshelf on the back wall.

He continued, "If you can't find a book that you like to read, no problem -- just visit the school library during your lunck break, or visit your local neighborhood library after school. Okay students, pick a book."

Almost the whole class got up to go pick out a book from the bookshelf.

Kimi found a book called "Lana Foller at Happy High School" She turned the book over to read the summary -- Lana Foller, age 10, is the youngest kid in Happy High School...

It seemed to take years, but finally it was time for lunch. For lunch, it was "Mystery Meat Special".

After Kimi got her tray, she sat down with her friends. Hannah and Theresa were sitting at the same table. They were whispering to each other, and Kimi thought she heard them say her name more than once. But she didn't mention this to her friends.

Later, at recess, Hannah came up to Kimi and said,

"Theresa and I are starting a club. We haven't decided on the name yet, but we'll have a vote at the first meeting. But I wanted to tell you that you are invited to a slumber party at my house. It will be this Saturday at 3 pm. You will leave the next day a 12 noon. Now I will tell you all of the best things about becoming a member of our club: Well, first of all, there's the food! At each meeting we will have my mothers famous gourmet cakes! And then there's the money! On occasion we will have garage sales and lemonade stands. Half of the money will go to the club, and the other half will be split amongst the members. Finally, there's all of the other fun activities that we will be doing at meetings, which are held each week. Excluding dates of important holidays, of course. So I just wanted to tell you that if you are interested in joining the club, you have to came to this slumber party, or one of the four that come after it. But, the more you come to, the more chance you have of becoming a member!"

"What was that all about?" Tommy asked when Hannah was out of hearing range.

"Hannah wants me to join a club that she and Theresa are starting. I think I have to go to a slumber party on Saturday. Do think I should go?

"Definitely!" Lil said.

"If you want to," Chuckie said.

"I don't know," said Phil, shrugging.

"Of course not!" Dil yelled.

"I think you should just give it a try. If you don't like it, don't join. If you do like it, do join," Tommy suggested.

"I think I like Tommy's idea," Kimi told her friends.

Eventually, Saturday came, and eventually, so did 3PM.

Kimi rode in her parents car, on the way to Hannah's mansion.

Soon they arrived.

Kimi marveled at the size and beauty of the place. The car stopped in front of the house, and Kimi stepped out onto a stone walkway that lead her through a huge garden filled with beautiful, exotic flowers, and fountains all around. She reached the door and pressed a button next to the door which she thought must be the doorbell. Inside, she heard the first line of a complicated piece played on the flute.

The door was answered by Hannah herself. Kimi was surprised because she expected to see a butler open the door. When she asked Hannah about this, she simply laughed and said that butlers were outdated. She lead Kimi through a maze of hallways to her room. When she opened the door, she looked around in awe at the huge, lovely room. She and Hannah stepped inside.

"Finally I can rest!" said Hannah, plopping down in a large, comfortable looking armchair.

"You were the last guest to arrive, so I don't have to wait by the front door any more."

"Hannah, " Theresa reminded her friend impatiently, "We have important club business to take care of!"

"Just let me rest for a couple of minutes," Hannah said. Theresa rolled her eyes.

"Fine," she agreed.

Shortly afterward, the meeting started. The girls sat in a circle on the floor, listening to Hannah speak:

"So, now, we will do the first official club, uh, thing, vote for the club name!"

Then, her mother came in with a tray of cupcakes, which she placed in the middle of the circle.

"Try not to get crumbs on the floor," she cautioned them.

Each girl grabbed a cupcake and a small plate, and Hannah's mother left.

"Now as I was saying, we are going to vote for the club name. We already have two ideas: Amazing Beauty Club and Great Gal Pals. Does anyone else have an idea?"

Maria Mathews raised her hand.

"Cool Chics Club!"

"Anyone else?" Rachel Porter raised her hand.

"Fashion Passion Girls Club!" Vicky Hamilton had another idea.

"Teen Scene Club!"

No one else had any ideas, so Hannah took the vote. Fashion Passion Girls Club won.

Then they went on with other club business, and also watched movies ate popcorn, played on Hannah's computer, and a lot of other things.

They went to sleep very late and woke up very early.

Soon enough it was time for Kimi and the other girls to leave. Kira and Chazz met Kimi outside the mansion.

"How was your party?" Kira asked.

"It was great!" Kimi declared, I can't wait for the next one!"

"I'm glad you liked it!" Chazz said.

Soon they reached home. Kimi got out of the car and ran in to greet her brother.

When she entered the kitchen, Chuckie noticed that Kimi had her fingernails painted pink.

"You painted your fingernails?" Chuckie looked surprised.

"No, Hannah did. Do you like the color?" Kimi asked.

"Uh... Do you want to play soccer with me?" Chuckie asked his sister.

"Sure," Kimi replied, "After I go to the mall."

"The mall?!" Chuckie cried in disbelief, "YOU want to go to the mall? What for?"

"To get some new clothes. And a haircut. And some better earrings. And some lip gloss. And some fingernail polish," Kimi explained.

"Kimi, are you feeling OK?" Chuckie asked.

"Yep," Kimi answered. She grabbed her money and ran downstairs to ask Kira to take her to the mall.

Chuckie walked over to Tommy's house. Tommy, Dil, Phil, and Lil were standing in the front yard, ready to play soccer.

"Where's Kimi?" Tommy asked.

"At the mall," Chuckie informed him.

"The mall? What kind of an excuse is that?" Tommy asked, laughing.

"It's true!" Chuckie told them, "And I think it's because of that slumber party!"

"You mean you think that Kimi is going to start acting just like Hannah just because she spent the night with her? I doubt it. But we're still a player short," Tommy said.

The next day proved Tommy wrong.

On the bus, Kimi's friends noticed that she was wearing purple jeans , a yellow shirt with an orange star on the front. Her hair was cut very short and styled fashionably. She wore an extravagant amount of makeup. Instead of sitting next to Tommy and Chuckie and Dil with Phi land Lil in the seat behind them, like they usually sat, Kimi went back to the back seat to sit with the popular girls.

"I guess you were right," Tommy said sadly to Chuckie, "Kimi really has changed."

"What can we do? Can't we make her stop?" Lil asked.

"Well, it's her decision, and we have to except that," Chuckie reminded her.

"That is true, Chuckie," Tommy said, "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to convince her to go back to the old Kimi."

To Be Continued

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