October 6th
by chris burns

As Aphroditi stared into her closet, she couldn’t help but think she was better than everyone else. She was, and she knew it, and she would never apologize for that. Her mother always told her it was okay to be rich, it’s not her fault. She couldn’t help but feel bad for her classmates that weren’t wealthy. She even had a friend who wore the same outfit twice in one week once.

Coincidentally the girl died at a party the same week so Aphroditi didn’t have to worry about socially casting her aside which honestly would’ve been good for no one.

Aphroditi’s core group of friends had really cemented this year which was a blessing because there’s nothing worse than starting senior year without your friends locked down. A new girl, Chelsea, started last year and Aphroditi couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She approached her and offered to teach her how to do her makeup, the way she introduced herself to almost everyone, but Chelsea smirked and said, “No, no, I’m good.”

Those words had radiated through Aphroditi’s spine like a disease, creeping up into her brain where it sat and festered like an ingrown toenail you keep putting off.

At cheerleading tryouts, that bitch Chelsea showed up and did a routine straight from the best episode of So You Think You Can Dance, you know the one. Granted, she added a few cheer moves to make it her own, but other than that, it was identical. Aphroditi thought her brain was going to explode while the rest of the squad, including her besties Marseilles and Topango, shrieked their praises of her dumb-ass routine.

Tragically Chelsea overdosed that very same day.

Found in the locker room surrounded by empty cocaine baggies and prosecco bottles.

That image of the cheerleading squad weeping over the grisly scene somehow made its way into the school newspaper. After the picture was taken, Aphroditi collected the almost empty cocaine bags and tucked them back into her Louis Vuitton backpack for the way home.

That was last year. This year she would never pick up old cocaine and snort it, even if she had known where it came from. This was an Adderall year, she was a senior. She had outgrown nose candy and moved onto something more difficult to get yet half as fun to take. She also had a new Mercedes this year, a Swarovski backpack and a brand new nose, and she was ready to take on the year.

As long as nobody got in her way, there wouldn’t be any problems.

As soon as she pulled up, she saw Marseilles and Topango getting out of Shania’s Range Rover. What the fuck was happening? She popped a Xanax from her emergency freak-out kit in the glove compartment and took a sip of Sauvignon Blanc from the coffee cup her Mom had handed her as she ran out the door. She looked at the note her mom left on top of the cup. “Have a Good Day.” Somehow now the message felt taunting. She texted her mother, “Go Fuck Yourself, Bitch.” She knew Shania’s sudden emergence into popularity wasn’t her mom’s fault but she didn’t care, she needed somewhere to displace her irrational anger.

They hated Shania. She was a trash bag! She had moved into the neighborhood a few years ago and was frumpy as shit, so Aphroditi never thought she need worry about her. Not to mention she was poor!

She got out of the car and screamed Marseilles’s name.

As her besties and Shania waited for her, she bit down on her tongue as hard as she could with her brand new porcelain veneers. Don’t show the anger. Don’t show the anger. Be perfect.

“Hey Whores!” she exclaimed as if nothing was wrong. “Oh, hi Shania.” she stated separately.

“Hey Aphi!” Topango said genuinely. She was so fucking stupid.

“Oh, hey,” said Marseilles, rolling her eyes.

“I didn’t know we were friends with Shania now,” said Aphroditi, she was a real bitch.

“I didn’t know we were fat now,” Shania responded back. The group muffled their laughter. “Guess that big house doesn’t come with a nutritionist, huh?”

The anger pulsed through Aphroditi’s entire body. She quickly punched herself in the stomach. It didn’t help; the anger vibrated in her gut like when she would take too many Fireball shots at her family events.

“Listen Aphi, over the summer Shania auditioned for The Voice. She’s like gonna be really famous so that makes her cooler than you,” Marseilles finally admitted.

“But...but I’m rich...” Aphroditi felt like the words barely came out.

“My dad won the lawsuit from when my mom died. I’m rich now too,” Shania turned around. “Let’s go, girls.” She walked off, the girls followed.

“You’re going to regret that,” Aphroditi muttered, the girls already out of ear shot. Halloween was coming up, which meant Billy Easter was going to have one of his giant Halloween parties. Looks like this year she was going to add a mask to her sexy cat costume.

As she walked back to her Mercedes, she couldn’t help but mourn the senior year that could’ve been. Prom! Driving! Uppers! Downers! Everything in between. Being a rich kid to closed-off parents was the life she had, the life everyone else could only dream of. Billy’s party wasn’t until fucking October, she couldn’t wait that long, no, no, no, absolutely not.

She lit a Marlboro Ultra Light as she revved the engine on her Mercedes. Almost as quickly as she lit it, she burned it out in her thigh, punching the roof of the car like a psychopath in a season 5 episode of Criminal Minds, before all the good people left and only JJ and Spencer were still on the show. No, it had to happen on Friday. It was only two days away, and everyone would be there. It was fucking homecoming, the only people who didn’t show up were the fucking math club. Math is stupid. What’s the point of learning proofs? Aphroditi hated proofs and knew her math teachers would one day all meet a similar demise to everyone who crossed her.

As she walked back into her mansion, her mother stood on the staircase, staring at a picture of herself wearing rabbit furs. She loved those rabbits. They were Aphroditi’s first pets, some may even say they were family. After all, they were Aphroditi’s only physical contact until she began 3-year-old preschool. Aphroditi shoved her mother down the stairs.

“You’re horrible! Everything is your fault you bozo Karen Walker wannabe!” She didn’t even look back as she stormed up the steps.

Unfortunately, tomorrow came, which was Thursday. Aphroditi woke up and realized she had an entire 24 hours to wait before her big plan, so she popped a couple Klonopin and half a cup of homemade gin and decided to wait the only way she knew how: in a self-induced sleep that was just a couple shades short of a coma.

She woke up on Friday and knew she didn’t want to wait until the dance. She wanted the dance to be the space where all the attention was back on her. She got dressed in her finest silks and pearls, swallowing a diamond necklace just because she liked the way it scratched her throat on the way down. As she looked at herself in the mirror, she couldn’t help but think about how beautiful she was. She quickly punched the mirror, wiping the blood on the antique sink her mother had installed, not the Tiffany blue one she had wanted. She walked out of the house and looked at her mother standing in front of her bedroom door with her morning bloody mary. She knocked the sterling silver tray it rested on without saying a word.

No bloody marys today, just one bloody Shania, one bloody Marseilles, and one bloody Topango.

Aphroditi drove to Shania’s new house because she knew that’s where they’d be meeting. On homecoming day, it’s tradition to get ready at the newest friend’s house. It’s meant to case out if the friendship has a future, if it’s money that will last or money that’s fleeting. There’s no point in developing a friendship with someone who’s just going to end up penniless and at a state college.

As she pulled up, she saw the new house Shania’s dad had built. It was truly beautiful. She lit the mailbox on fire as she passed it. She didn’t even put the car in park, just rolled out and let the car slowly drive into the built in pool, the sound of the bubbles coming out of the car made her smile. Shania came running out of the house, apparently she could hear the sound of Shania’s brother screaming for help as he watched the car sink. Aphroditi had put her father’s Reallife© Sex Doll in the passenger seat as a diversion. Aphroditi laughed as he jumped in the water to help.

That’s when Shania spotted her. Bad. Fucking. Move. Bitch.

Before she could even finish screaming her name Aphroditi smacked her in the face with the umbrella from her indoor/outdoor picnic area. She fell to the ground.

“What the fuck are you doing?!” she shrieked.

“Who’s the nutritionist now!!!” That’s when she did it. She took the needle out of her pocket and shoved it into Shania’s arm, pushing down until it was completely empty.

“What is that!? What is that!?!” Shania cried out, looking down at her arm. “Oh my god! No!!! No!!!!!” Aphroditi stepped back and smiled, watching her plan fall into place.

Marseilles and Topango had been watching from the window. Six mimosas in, they weren’t sure exactly what had happened. Topango came out first.

“Hey, Aphroditi!” Again, she was so fucking stupid.

Aphroditi stabbed her in the back with another needle, taking no pleasure in it at all.

“Ow! That felt weird!” Topango mumbled, rubbing the injection site with no real knowledge anything had happened.

“YOU FUCKING CRAZY ASS BITCH!” Marseilles yelled while dumping an entire mimosa fountain over Aphroditi’s head. Aphroditi tasted the sweet taste and remembered what she was here fighting for.

“You’re not gonna be so popular at the dance tonight, bitch.” She took out her third needle and jammed it into Marseilles’ forehead, the poison immediately taking effect.

What is this?” Marseilles cried, struggling to catch her breath.

“Cellulite bitch. Don’t. Fuck. With. Me.” Aphroditi smiled as all the girls scampered to find mirrors to see their new looks as she got into her Uber.

“Homecoming dance, please.” She smiled as she looked in the rearview mirror and touched up her lipstick.

They were all friends later that same week, except for Shania, who was allergic to the cellulite and ended up dying.

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