"Darwin." The slimy, little orange blob didn't even turn around. "DARWIN!" Nothing… Even my own fish hates me. "Right. How about you walk yourself this week. By the way, you're adopted."

That was harsh. I'll buy him a castle or treasure chest to say sorry. Loot always makes people happy.

"Do many grown ups talk to fish?" Libby was bent over, looking at me upside down from the gap between her legs. By golly, this kid might be related to me after all.

"Yes. But not many will admit to it." True. I can't name one adult that doesn't talk to something or themselves from time to time. Heck, I caught my mom talking to our coffee machine. Though it wasn't so much talking as begging for the bugger to work. She even swore to start Pilates if it worked…so she didn't have to use it so often I presume. Imagine that, people say I'm looney when my own mother pleaded with an appliance!

And I'm the crazy one. I'm the weirdo. I'm the…mean one.

That's what it's come down to apparently.

Hot dog! How do I explain that I didn't know I was being mean? How was I even being mean? I was just being me. This is who I am. I say what I think. And do things that other people want to but never will.

"You don't let anyone be your friend." Libby.

"What?" I sputtered. "Do you mind? I'm having some pretty deep inner commentary going on."

"But you said it out loud." The little twerp shrugged her shoulders. "I heard mom say that too. She never did be a pirate though."

"I said it all out loud?"

Libby's arms were in the air, she stretched up on the tip of her toes. "Yep."

"Why are you being so.."

"Weird?" She giggled. I hold that title, kiddo. Heaven knows, you may be little, and cute, but I'd still put jello in your shoes. We'll see who's laughing then. Me. I will be. And then I'd be hiding, from my Mom. "I think being like you would be fun. Maybe just sometimes."

"It is fun." It's exciting. Letting go to your impulses… it's a rush. "But it's more fun with other people."

"Maybe you should tell your friends that."

Boom. Fireworks. I giant lightbulb just grew on my head.

My little sister is a genius. Six years old and she's a genius. "I'm so glad Mom picked you up at the pound that day, Doctor Phil. What would we do without you? Six years old and already solving mysteries!"

"I'm five."

Oh. Sister of the year. I'll take my trophy, please. "But you're six in spirit!" Energy was beaming through my limbs. "Got to move, Libby, I'm feeling inspired!"

"What are you doing?"

"What everyone does in the midst of their mind-blowing realisations! Blast music, pretend I'm in movie montage and give myself a makeover!"

As it turns out, that's not what I did. Firstly, choosing the right song can be quite a difficult task. Did I want to Beyoncé my butt off, Van my Halen to Jump or just keep swimming with Dory on repeat. The stress of it was all too much…

I had a nap instead. And woke at an ungodly hour. 7pm. So, after dinner and a documentary about ABBA…I actually think I'm a time traveller and they wrote Dancing Queen about me…I promptly went back to sleep.

The next morning though, boy, I woke up with a new zest for life. Kind of. I woke up hungry and demanded an omelette from the woman who birthed me.

"Make it yourself." She chimed. Did my mother just spin? Not a twirl…just like…this odd little spinning thing when she turned to reach into the cupboard.

"What is this? What have you done? What is your face doing?"

"Smiling" Oh good, she rolled her eyes. At least there's some sense of normalcy in this household today. "I always smile, Emma."

I couldn't help it. I scrunched my face up. It was like I had a flashback of sniffing Libby's diaper when she was younger… the old, no she hasn't po- yes! Yes, she's pooped and it's foul. Call a hazmat team!

"Not like…that. What have you done? You know what, don't tell me! I have enough to deal with today!"

I rushed my boot-ay down the hall and threw on whatever clothing I could find. Didn't make it out the front door though.

"Emma! Rain coats are not dresses! Go change." Mothers. Such a hindrance.

"It's called fashion, Mom!" Ah jiminy crickets. Jeans and shirt, it is. If it rains, I'm going to write her a very, very stern letter.

A floral shirt. Not even a shirt. It was a floral blouse. Look at me…maturing already. Dressed like a lady and ready to act like one. Going to march myself into school and tell my truth to everyone! I was ready, I was poised and elegant and…terrified.

Shiver me timbers. "I'm not going in there." I whispered to myself. And Rocco, he may be invisible but he's good company.

"Why not?"

I screamed. Yes. I, the brave warrior, Emma the glorious king of whatever. I screamed.

"Dang it, Mouse! Why!"

"Sorry," I'd already forgiven her. That's not something a mean person would do.

"What are you doing here?"

"Uh…" She paused. Simple question, Mouse. Only criminals hesitate. OH! Maybe she's the person that's been stealing flowers from Old man Gary's house down our street! "Going to school…"

Likely cover-up. Believable too. "Mm ok..." I gave her the stink eye quickly, just to see if she would crack. She didn't. Must be telling the truth then. "What a coinky-dink! Me too!"

I linked arms with her and proceeded toward the door. Strength in numbers.

"Mouse." Oh, golly, sudden realisation. "Do you mind if I call you Mouse? Or is that rude?"

"I don't mind." She smiled. "I've never had a nickname before." Kind girl, she was. "But, around my Mom, it's Louise. She's very formal."

"Easy, peasy, pimple squeezy." See. Good deed number one, finished.

"Duly noted, young one. Now… I need your assistance."

We flittered through the halls of school. Eyes darting from wall to wall. Must avoid certain persons until jussssst the right moment.

We neared the Admin Office and I fastened our pace. Mr Cooke spotted us through the blinds of his personal office and seemingly dropped to the floor! "Mr Monster!" I gasped, throwing open the door with all my might. "Did you fall? Are you have a stroke? A heart attack? Oh, it should have been me! Don't leave us, sir! Step away from the light!"

He was crouched on the floor. "Oh, Emma, it's you." He said, clearing his throat. "I, uh, just dropped my papers."

I stood up. Crossed my arms. Tipped my head to the side like a confused puppy. "Did you just…"

"I dropped my papers!" He filled in, a little too loud.

Oh. My. Jellybeans. EVEN MY BELOVED PRINCIPAL WAS AVOIDING ME! He dropped himself to the ground to hide from me. ME! Oh, the irony. I should be the one hiding from him! Jinkies. So, I'm a bully unknowingly to my principal too? I suppose I have done things in the past that may or may not have made his job a little harder. How was I supposed to know it was frowned upon to make a slip'n'slide in the halls? And there are no signs that prohibit goldfish being enrolled in High School! Honestly, the School guidelines should be more informative…

"Mr Cookie Monster," I began calmly. "I am appalled. Nay! I am ashamed! The audacity! The nerve! How could you? I feel so betrayed!" I clutched my heart and let out a screech only a newborn could imitate. "My whole life is a lie!"

"Emma…" He said in that warning tone of his.

"But." I held up my hand. "I understand... I will be the bigger and more mature person in this awkward situation. And I will forgive you."

"Uh.." He scratched his head.

"On one condition." I grinned. Emma (that's me) had a plan. A good one.




Authors note:

Oh hello readers, my apologies for the hiatus. I had a nap. Then washed my hair. Then went to dinner and somehow years had passed? Sorry :/ life, you know? Anywho, this is very rough and to be honest, not at all my writing style anymore but I had fun with it and have another chapter or two to go... if I get a good response back from this one! Happy reading and excuse all mistakes. from writing this story again, I have learned that for me personally, its all about spontaneity, instinct and fun, not so much grammar and precision. :)

Scarlett x