"Ew, geek alert!" whispered Jenette McSilvers to her friend Lurlene Wright. They both giggled, making sure to look at their victim, Chloe Jones, so she would know they were laughing at her.
Secretly, Jenette envied Chloe. She had everything Jenette wanted! Well, almost everything. The family of 6 kids ranging in age from 1 to 17, the simple name, and the ever-cheerful attitide, Jenette could do without. But everything else! The girl was perfect, especially compare to her tons of siblings. She had long, straight , silky blond hair. Clear blue eyes that held perfect vision. Pearly white, straight teeth. And a perfect figure! Not only that, she was beautiful. She had a perfect complexion, and though she never used make-up, she really didn't need it at all. And those were only her physical traits. In terms of brain power, she was a genius. She had never gotten a B in her life. She had never even gotten an A-. Grades as low as that were unheard of for her.
Jenette, on the other hand, was a total opposite. She had brown, curly hair brown eyes with terrible vision, off-white teeth that went in all the wrong directions, and to put it simply, a very flat chest. She wasn't exactly ugly, but her freckles and turned-up nose simply added to her youthful appearance. Grade-wise, a C- was as high as she ever got.
But practically nobody knew of Jenette's "imperfections." Her brown hair curly hair was constantly bleached and straightened at a proffesional parlor. She wore colored contacts that served 2 purposes. They corrected her vision, and hid her true eye color. She used bleaching toothpaestes and wore clear braces for her teeth. She also used tons of cover-up for all her freckles, not to mention all the other cosmetics she used. For her figure, she stuffed. The only thing she couldn't conceal about herself were her awful grades.
"Hello Jenette, Lurlene. The Red Cross is having a blood drive this weekend. Would you like to sign up to be a donor?" Asked Chloe from behind the colapsable card table that served as a registration table for the drive.
Before Jenette could open her mouth to make some cruel comment her mother stepped up from behind her.
"We'd love to registrate, but I don't know our blood types." she said in her sickly sweet voice.
"That's OKay Mrs.McSilvers, the Red Cross also offers blood testing. My whole family is volunteering and none of us knows what type we are." assured Chloe in a patient voice.
"The nerdy type!" whispered Lurlene to Jenette, causing a fresg batch of giggles.
"Well in that case, sign the whole family up." said Mrs.McSilvers. "But mo-om" whined Jenette, "I'm still using my blood!"
"Jenette," said her mother in a stern voice "if you would like to see the movie you will give blood! Otherwise we wil get right back in the car and drive home. And Lurlene will go to her own house!"
"But mo-om, we're right at the theater!"
"Do you or do you not want to see the movie?"
"Good, now come along inside. Chloe, I'll see you at the bloodmobile."
"Thank you, it's tomorrow at noon if you need testing." Shouted Chloe as the three walked away. She wanted to make sure everyone would come.
The Bloodmobile was cold inside. Chloe shivered. Then she checked her watch and looked around nervously. Besides her family no one else was there. Jenette's family was the only other family that needed to come early for testing, all the other donors had donated before and had records already on file with the Red Cross. So far, the McSilvers were very late.
The door opened.
Mrs. McSilvers breezed in, engulfed in a cloud of perfume. Behind her was Jenette, and she did not look happy.
"Mr.McSilvers had a business meeting, he couldn't come." said Mrs.McSilvers abruptly and looking mad. As she looked around and saw that Chloe's entire family, all 8 of them had shown up she looked even madder.
A nurse came and led the 2 members of the McSilvers family into a small walled off area where a small amount of blood would be drawn for testing. Chloe's family had already been tested. The 3 youngest, Ella, John and Lily had cried a bit, but calmed down when they were handed lollipops. They were too young to donate blood, but the tests would be helpful for when they were old enough. Soon Mrs.McSilvers and Jenette re-emerged with a band-aid around their index fingers.
"Wow, you didn't cry!" exlamed Lily with her eyes as big as saucers.
"Wow, no cry!" echoed John, not really understanding, but figuring Lily was probably right.
"Why should I cry?" snapped Jenette nastily.
"John buurst into tears and Lily's bottom lip began to tremble as her eyes filled up with tears. Chloe squatted down next to them and gently consoled them until their cries died down. Jenette pretended not to notice.
Before Mrs.McSilvers could scold Jenette a nervous looking nurse entered the room.
"Excuse me, I'm afraid there has been a slight mix-up. You will need to be tested again." she said timidly.
"Again?" thay all chorused.
"Again." she repeated.
Three and a half hours later Ella John and Lily were screaming hysterically. Everyone was cranky. All the other donors had come and gone. But the two families had stayed. And repeated the test 17 times. And they still didn't match. Once more the timid nurse appeared. This time she was accompanied by an embarassed looking lab technologist.
"I'm very sorry about all of this, but it seems Jenette's tests match with the Jones family, and Chloe's tests match with Mrs.McSilvers. I'm going to have to ask you to have a more accurate, and much more specific test done at the hospital." said the technician.
Everyone groaned, but they obeyed. An hour later the hospital's lab technician was telling them the same thing. Only this time they were to go to a much larger hospital where they would undergo many tests. They would check in on Monday and would stay the whole week for intense testing. And Mr.McSilvers would go too.
This story is copyright 1998 by me, Carry. So please don't steal it.
You are listening to Baby Elephant Steps by Henry Mancini.