Thirty in Thirty Day 25   The Key: Part 2

 

Today I am continuing a story I began on Day 22.   Synopsis: An old man shows up at Annie’s door and hands her an old key with a worn tag attached. The tag has indecipherable writing on one side and the numeral 8 on the other. Annie is confused about the key until she rotates the tag and realizes the 8 is actually the infinity sign.

 

 

It had been decades since Annie thought about the Infinity Club. How old had they been when she, Tessa, Ruth, and Claire had started it? Twelve? Thirteen?

Tessa, the mathematician and hands-down brainiest one had come up with the name for their little group of misfits. On their first day of junior high they had drifted together at an isolated table in the dim corner of the cafeteria. They were the pariahs in the dog-eat-dog world of seventh grade culture: shy, socially awkward, fashion disabled, and physically immature.

 

While their initial meeting had been forged in the humiliation of rejection by their more confident and astute peers, the girls had soon formed their own circle of friendship. Their forsaken table became a refuge, a haven from the daily humiliations and taunts from the other students.

 

They vowed to be friends forever and Tessa declared them the Infinities.

Ruth, who loved creating jewelry, made them each a necklace with the infinity symbol, which they all faithfully wore each day.

 

Their lunches soon became opportunities for observing the behaviors and rituals of the popular girls in hopes of emulating them. Claire, possessor of a wry and insightful sense of humor and a set of parents who were psychologists, declared they were conducting a human behavior experiment. She kept a notebook of the club members’ surveillance of the language, dress, and habits of the “It” girls.

 

Annie was the leader of the group. She displayed a confidence born of anger and a sense of injustice that she had carried from an early age. Her inability to “fit in” didn’t derive from shyness or lack of awareness. For her, it would never matter how much she copied the habits of the “Queen Bees” as she called them. The metal arm and claw that was attached to her right shoulder made sure of that. The advantage she had was  the other kids were afraid of her and her mechanical arm and she went to great lengths to reinforce that notion.

 

Part 3 Coming soon.