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SONYA
by Mitch

It was pretty late in the day. Jodie just couldn't bring herself to talk to Jane. She was too busy rushing past Jane and going inside the school. She noticed that she had been crying along the way. Was thinking about Mack bothering her...-that- much? She tried not to think about it. She
walked down the hallway while trying to wipe away her tears when she ran into someone...

"OUCH! Watch it!" shouted Jodie.

"Uh, sorry." Jodie looked at the girl she just bumped into. She was about her own height and age. It was a very pretty girl with hair of golden locks, blue eyes, a modest white top and an even more modest skirt. A rather confused look was on the mysterious girl's face.

"-sigh-Look, I'm sorry. I'm not usually so...harsh..."

"That's alright. I should have seen where I was going."

Jodie was glad that the girl wasn't upset at her. Of course, -that- made Jodie even -more- upset at herself for acting like she did. Jodie started crying again and covered her face.

"You okay?" the girl asked.

"I'm...fine. I just..." Jodie started crying even more.

"Look, you're obviously upset about something. Look, I'll buy you a Coke and you can tell me about it if... you feel like it."

Jodie looked at the girl and sniffled. She figured that maybe it would make her feel better to talk to someone.

In the cafeteria, the mystery girl got Jodie a Coke from the machine. Jodie had calmed down some more now.

"Thanks...uh..."

"Sonya," said the girl. "Call me Sonya."

Jodie took a swig of her drink and looked Sonya, who had been looking concerned for her the whole time. Jodie, who was usually more into making friends with strangers then Daria and Jane (who, ironically, -were- her friends), decided to tell Sonya her problems.

"Well, Sonya, it has to do with my bo...-steady date-, Mack, the captain of the football team. -sniff- He was going to take me somewhere this afternoon, but he called it off at the last minute
to talk with Kevin, the quarterback. That's...the -fourth- time he's canceled on me of late! I'm... beginning to think he cares more about his team than...me."

Jodie was sobbing again, wondering why she was embarrassing herself like this. Then, Sonya patted her shoulder.

"Have you...talked to him about this?"

"Well, no."

"Well, why don't you?"

"I'm...afraid he won't listen to me."

"Look, if you don't tell him, he won't know that this is bothering you. Now, go to him, okay?"

"Al...Alright." Jodie started to leave, but stopped herself.

"Sonya, could you come with me?" Sonya looked like she was thinking it over. "Uh, sure."
-----
Jane had looked over almost the entire high school by now and she -still- couldn't find Daria! Jane knew Daria would tell her if she had to be at home or anything. Then, Jane spotted Jodie rushing down the hall with...-Sonya-?! Jane knew something must have gone wrong today...
-----
Jodie was feeling better now. She couldn't figure out why she was so not herself earlier. Maybe this was an off day for her or maybe...she enjoyed Mack's company more than she realized.
Jodie figured she should save the soul searching for later and get back into "Jodie mode". She was with Sonya near the Tommy Sheridan Memorial Goalpost. Jodie couldn't believe that whoever named it couldn't spell the name "Sherman". Well, it was time to let go of the past, anyway. Mack had finally spotted them and walked over. He looked a little nervous.

"Uh, Jodie, hi. Uh, about this afternoon..."

"Mack, look, I'm hurt, okay? I think you've been ignoring me a little -too- much lately. So, from now on, I think you should be a -little- more appreciative of me, okay?"

"I've...been ignoring you?"

"Well, what else do you call canceling four dates?"

"Well, I thought you were 'lending' me some time for football. I didn't think it was bothering you so much."

"You didn't?"

"No. I'd find time for us if I knew. Look, I'll cancel my talk with Kevin and we can hit a movie,
okay?"

"Sounds like a cheep way out but...okay."

"Great, I'll have tell the coach, though. By the way, who's your friend?"

"Oh, Mack, this is Sonya."

Mack and Sonya shook hands before he left. Suddenly, Jane arrived.

"Hey Jodie. Hi Sonya."

"Hey Jane," said Sonya.

Jodie was confused. "You two know each other?"

"We met last week," explained Jane. "I'm more surprised that -you- happen to know each other."

"Well," Jodie explained, "We kind of ran into each other and..."

"Ah, say no more. Say Jodie, have you seen Daria?"

"Uh, no I haven't. I would think -you- would know."

"Ah, I'm sure she'll turn up. Catch you two later."

"Bye Jane."

"See'ya, Jane."

After Jane left, Sonya turned to Jodie. "Say Jodie, who's Daria?"

"You know Jane and you -don't- know Daria?"

"She's mentioned her to me but I haven't met her. I guess I see Jane when Daria -isn't- around. What's she like?"

"Well she's...hard to describe...I always saw her as a sarcastic loner but she's smart and a lot nicer than some people give her credit for. Daria's a good friend."

Mack showed up with his car keys. "Well, I'll be in the car. You can join me there," he said.

"Thanks."

When he left, Jodie turned to Sonya and hugged her.

"Thanks, Sonya. You really helped me get through this."

"Well, glad to help. I'd best be going. See you, Jodie."

Sonya walked back toward the school...
-----
Sonya went to the bathroom. No one else was around since it was so late. Good. She went to the sink and splashed cold water on her face, removing her makeup and revealing her natural colors. She then removed the blue contacts from her eyes, revealing her natural eye color. Finally, she put her hair under the faucet nozzle and washed all the blond dye out of it, revealing her natural hair color. She looked at herself and noticed that her hair was still in locks. I'll just tell whoever
that my hair got wet, she thought. It would still be true. She hoped she had time to get to the girl's locked room at the gym to change into a less fancy outfit she had stashed there. She reached into a hidden pocket, pulled out her glasses, and put them on. Daria Morgendorffer looked at herself in the mirror.

"Well, Sonya, the experiment is over, rest in peace..."

Then Daria realized that Sonya could be useful in the future.