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Laurie Halse Anderson
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Today there's a Homecoming pep rally. Melinda plans on cleaning her new hiding-closet instead of attending. But, before she escapes to her closet, Heather gets hold of her.
Heather is really excited about the pep rally, and she has an extra pom-pom. She gives it to Melinda.
Melinda decides the pep rally won't be so bad after all. At least she has somebody to sit with.
The girl sitting behind Melinda in the bleachers asks Melinda if she's Melinda Sordino. Melinda indicates that she is.
The girl pokes Melinda hard with her nails. She asks, "Aren't you the one who called the cops at Kyle Rodger's party at the end of the summer?" (12.9).
Lots of people hear the girl and turn to look at Melinda. One girl calls Melinda an "asshole" (12.10). She says her brother got thrown in jail that night because of Melinda's call.
In her mind, Melinda tells the girl that there's more to the story than she knows.
But, Melinda can't tell everybody the real story. She "can't even look at that part of [herself]" (12.11).
Heather seems on the verge of defending Melinda, but she doesn't do it. It might keep her from getting popular.
Things get noisy, what with the cheerleaders cheering and the crowd cheering for the cheerleaders. Melinda's head is in her hands and she screams, but nobody can hear her.
School's only been in session for six weeks.
The Blue Devils themselves arrive on the scene. Melinda thinks all football players are bullies.
The girl sitting behind Melinda knees Melinda in the back with her sharp boney knees.
Then the girl with the brother who went to jail pulls Melinda's hair, hard.
All the while, Heather waves her pom-pom.
Now, the coach introduces the cheerleaders. Melinda thinks, "Our cheerleaders are much better at scoring than the football team is" (12.17).
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