Origin Story: How The Bs Came To B
It was the first day of high school in Attaway. Students filled the courtyard, leaving air-conditioned cars for the late-summer heat. Upperclassmen greeted each other with hugs, smiles, and cheers. They exchanged summer memories, compared schedules, took funny selfies, and made enthusiastic plans for the upcoming year.
Beatrice stood on the edge of the crowd, as usual. It was the first day of ninth grade. She wore a pink sundress and beige sandals, her long blonde waves tied up in a high ponytail. She was nervous. Was high school going to be just like middle school?
For the past few years, she’d felt invisible. Ever since her best friend Bridget moved to Los Angeles in fifth grade, Beatrice had no one to share her love of art. She would sit alone at lunch, doodling craft ideas and sketching fashion designs in her red notebook. It didn’t take too long for her to be known as the “weird craft girl” of Attaway Middle School. The kind of girl nobody wanted to befriend.
Beatrice stared at the high schoolers ahead of her. They seemed so poised, comfortable, confident. She wondered if she’d ever be like them.
Suddenly, Beatrice was startled from her daydreaming by earnest brown eyes, a smiling face, and a mass of dark curly hair. She’d never seen this girl in her life, yet here she was, standing less than a foot away.
“I’m Becky,” the smiling face said. She backed up to reveal that she was wearing the exact same sundress as Beatrice, only in red. “I’m new, and I saw we’re wearing the same dress! So cute!” Becky jumped in the air and clapped her hands. Beatrice couldn’t help but giggle at Becky’s nervous excitement.
“I’m Beatrice.” The two girls started to walk together toward the school’s entrance.
“So, what do you like to do?” Becky asked, tossing her hair.
“A-” Beatrice almost answered art, but she stopped herself. She didn’t want to be the weird craft girl again. She wanted something more.
“A lot of things. Dance, fashion, shopping…”
“Oh my gosh, we are twins!” Becky jumped up and down. She was like a puppy dog. “We love, like, all the same things!”
Becky chatted a mile a minute. Beatrice was listening, but she couldn’t help but stare at the four girls walking toward the stairs. They were impossibly confident in their floral rompers, high heels, and runway-ready strides. Beatrice knew exactly who they were. Everyone in her grade did.
The Flower Girls. Daisy, Violet, Lily, and Rose. They’d been an inseparable clique since forever.
“Are you friends with them?” Becky asked, gesturing toward the Flower Girls.
Beatrice blinked, embarrassed she’d been staring and unsure how to respond. “I know them,” She finally answered, “But they’re not exactly the nicest people.” That was an understatement. It was Daisy who had started calling Beatrice “weird craft girl” in the first place.
“Well,” Said Becky, “You better get ready, because they’re coming our way.”
She was right. Well, half-right. Lily and Rose were headed right toward Beatrice. Behind them, Daisy and Violet threw up their hands in frustration and stomped back toward the parking lot.
“Hey,” Lily said to Beatrice, waving. She stopped on the step below them and looked over at Becky, “Are you new?”
Becky nodded. “Just moved here last month. I’m Becky.”
“No way!” Rose exclaimed, jumping up and clapping just like Becky had done earlier. “My name is Becky too.”
Beatrice gaped in shock at the obvious lie. “Uh, your name is Rose.”
“No it’s not,” Lily protested, looking anxiously back at the parking lot. “That’s what we’re here to tell you.”
“That you’ve been lying about your names?” Beatrice asked, confused.
“Daisy made us do it,” Rose - no, Becky - said, “But we want to have a new start for high school.” Her face looked innocent and honest. For some reason, Beatrice believed her.
“My real name is Britney,” Lily said, looking right into Beatrice’s eyes. “And I’m sorry for how Daisy - I mean, how we - treated you all these years.”
“Yeah, we’re really sorry,” Rose-Becky echoed.
Beatrice held Britney’s gaze for a moment. She saw how desperate Britney was for Beatrice to accept her apology. She didn’t know why Britney and Becky wanted out of the Flower Girls. She didn’t know why they were talking to her. But, something about it felt right. It felt like the chance she’d been hoping for.
And just like that, something changed inside Beatrice. She took out her ponytail to reveal her long blonde waves. She stood up a little straighter.
Beatrice didn’t feel invisible anymore. She felt powerful. With these friends by her side, she felt like the kind of girl other girls wanted to be. The kind of girl boys wanted to be with.
“Okay, this Becky thing is annoying,” she snapped, reapplying her lip gloss. She pointed at the two girls in front of her. “Rose, you’re Becky 1 now,” She decided. “And new girl, you’re Becky 2.”
“But you met me first,” Becky 2 whined.
“Who cares?!” Beatrice shrugged.
The bell rang. Surprising herself, Beatrice was the one to lead her new friends through the double doors of Attaway High.
“What are we doing later?” Britney asked, nearly running to catch up.
“Dance team tryouts.” Beatrice heard the words come out of her mouth before she could even think about it. Studio art would have to wait. She had friends now.
The second bell rang. Time for first period math. Britney had history, and the Beckys had biology.
“See you at lunch, Bs!” Becky 2 called out, running to the science wing.
The Bs. Beatrice liked the sound of that. There was a skip in her step that she hadn’t felt since Bridget moved away. She felt warm and self-assured. She even caught herself smiling at a cute boy in a football jersey as they walked into Mr. Connelly’s algebra class.
It was only the first class of the first day of freshman year, but Beatrice already knew: high school was definitely going to be different.