“What The Mirror Says” (An Excerpt from TRINKETS by Kirsten Smith)

I wonder what the point of being quote-​unquote popular is, since sometimes it’s a highly annoying thing to be. For instance, idiots and plebeians constantly come up to you and invade your space with inane greetings, bids for attention, and pleas for friendship.

“Hey, Tabitha. . . . How’s it going? . . . Whassup? . . . Love your earrings. . . .” Etc. Etc. Barf. Space invasions are draining.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course I like it that people know me and I have the perks of getting away with whatever I want, but most of the time I would appreciate an iota of privacy.

Right now is one of the few times I actually receive said iota— hanging out in the bathroom with Kayla and Taryn. Sure, they talk about ridiculous things, but at least when they’re looking in the mirror, they’re not paying attention to me.

“I did an hour and a half of cardio last night,” Kayla offers, pushing her long black hair out of her eyes. Asian girls are the luckiest when it comes to their hair. They barely have any on their bodies, and then they have these super shiny, hassle-​free manes.

“I’m pretty sure Coke Zero makes you constipated,” Taryn says, clutching her stomach.

A minute later Kayla squints at a bubbly blonde exiting the bathroom. “Serena Bell’s on the Pill,” she prattles. “That’s why her boobs are so humongo.”

“Mine are just a God-given gift,” Taryn says, fluffing her cleavage out of her low-cut Juicy Couture top. It’s true; her C‑cups are an asset, and she sure as shit uses them as one.

For once Kayla and Taryn aren’t barraging me with questions like “How’s Brady?” and “What are we doing tonight?” because they’re busy reapplying their makeup and primping and making faces at themselves in the mirror.

I’m a secret connoisseur of Mirror Faces. Every girl’s is different. My mom’s is a smoky glance, eyes half shut, all sexy and mysterious. Kayla puckers her lips like she’s making a kiss, sucking in her cheeks. Taryn tilts her chin down, with a saucy little half smile, angled in a way so she looks ten pounds lighter. Too bad none of them can pull it off in real life. That’s what sucks about a Mirror Face; you make it because it’s how you want other people to see you, but you’re the only person who actually gets to.

This is possibly a topic worthy of the LOHS blog, but who has time. Just because Ms. Hoberman gave me an A in Creative Writing last semester, it doesn’t mean I should be wasting my time blogging. Blogging is for people who don’t have social lives. Besides, Ms. Hoberman gives everybody an A. Hence, my signing up for her Shakespeare class this semester. The best thing is the field trips, where you get to hang out with your friends under the guise of extra credit. This year we only get a nighttime trip to Northwest Classical Theatre to see a play, but next year, when we’re seniors, we go to Ashland for the weekend for the Shakespeare Festival. As in, an entire weekend where you get to hook up with your boyfriend and get drunk, and your parents foot the bill for the whole thing because they think you’re “learning.”

As for Brady, I’ve never seen his Mirror Face. His Everyday Face is pretty gorgeous, though. He has dimples and thick blond hair that he wears a little shaggy in the most adorable way, and he has moments of being truly charming. He’s not a big believer in deep conversations, but what guy is? And really, what’s the point? It’s easier not to have deep conversations. You end up talking endlessly about your feelings, not his, and then exposing yourself too much until you finally arrive at a place of inevitable heartbreak and disappointment.

Kayla finishes putting on her opalescent pink Dior lip gloss complete with plumper. Her lips look blindingly sticky.

“Can we go?” I ask. Marcia Abrahams keeps looking over at me, and I have a hunch she’s gathering the courage to come over and ask me what I’m wearing to Spring Fling. She always asks me what I’m wearing, like clockwork, eleven weeks before a dance, and then somehow ends up wearing something almost identical. Imitation is supposed to be a compliment, but copycats are annoying and should be ignored whenever you see them plotting their space invasion.

That said, one advantage of being on a high rung of the Lakers social ladder is that you and your like-​minded peers get to have your lockers right next to one another. I don’t know how it happens that way, but
it seems like the primo real estate always belongs to A‑listers.

Kayla and Taryn and I saunter up to our bank of lockers to find Brady and his boys already there. Brady is getting a vitamin supplement out of his locker. He’s very into “peak performance.”

Jason Baines asks him, “Where were you last night?” “Yeah,” Noah Simos adds. “You never showed up at Ferber’s.”

“Didn’t your mom tell you?” Brady says. “She had me come over to your house so she could suck my dick.”

Have you ever noticed how boys love making jokes about sleeping with each other’s mothers? Either that or
discussing how gay the other person is. If you have a penis, you apparently possess an endless supply of this type of unfunny comedy.

Noah punches him, and Brady laughs, slinging his arm around me. I smell his D&G cologne. It isn’t entirely unpleasant. I look up at him like, You are the most charming person I know, and your arm around my shoulder makes me happier than anything in the entire world.

“What time should I pick you up tonight?” he asks, kissing me.

“Like, nine?” I say. He may be kind of a D‑bag, but he does have nice lips. And he’s six two, which is good, since I’m an inch or so taller than most of the girls in my grade. Sometimes people ask if I’ve ever modeled. My mom took me to get professionally photographed once, but I hated it. It was all hot lights and faking it, and it got boring fast. Although, in a weird way, I guess you could say that’s what I’m doing now, looking up at Brady and playing the part of Perfect Girlfriend. Either that or I’m giving him my very
own Mirror Face.

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