The question ‘Mousey’ asked was almost shocking.
“How do you ignore them?”
She might as well asked Margaret how she ignored elves or Klingons. For Margaret, the ‘mean girls’, didn’t exist. They were as real to her as images on a screen. Margaret didn’t care about anything they did or said or thought.
She was in this repulsive town for one year while her father managed a business. Then, she would return to her city, to reality. Being in this town was as close as being in an open prison as she hoped to come.
She wanted to answer Mousey, but not hurt her feelings.
Margaret couldn’t say that she viewed the town with contempt and that everyone and everything in it was as significant to her as a leaf falling off a tree across the street.
She looked at Mousey; and carefully, “I am just focused on my classwork. I just want good grades. Nothing else matters.”
Mousey looked at her as if she’d uttered a magic spell. Her face began to light up and it was as if she were seeing the world from a different perspective.
A moment passed and Mousey replied; “I never thought of it that way…”
Margaret felt a little embarrassed. She had tossed the simplest explanation. However, it was not a lie. She did focus on her classwork.
“We better get back…” Margaret said.
“Thanks for lunch,” Mousey replied with a grateful smile.