“You can’t trust no one.” That’s what Dad always says. At first, I thought he was talking about strangers. I know about that. You’re not supposed to trust strangers, not even if they have candy. But I didn’t know that he was talking about friends, too.
Me and Temitope — or Temitope and I, as Mom always makes me say — have been friends since Kindergarten. We just started hanging upside down from the monkey bars one day, and bam! We were best friends. Madison had curly blond hair, and she always wore mood rings on the middle finger of both her hands. Rings in her hair and rings on her fingers, Mr. Moore always said.
The boys (and some of the mean girls) called me Ginger because of my hair, but my real name is Megan. We were double M’s. We even made a club for M’s only. Mark wanted to join, so then we had to change it to Girl M’s only.
Madison and I always shared our stuff. I let her borrow my favorite CD — “Now That’s What I Call Music 57”. One time she let me borrow her special teddy bear that she’d slept with since she was a baby. I asked her if I could borrow one of her mood rings. We were best friends, after all. But she always said no.
So, one day I asked Mom to take me to the toy store downtown. I used the $5 that Grandma sent me in my birthday card to buy my own mood ring. It had a big heart in the middle instead of a plain old oval like Madison’s rings.
When I went to school the next day, I waved my hand all around until Madison finally noticed my new ring.
“Oh my gosh! That mood ring is sooo cool! I wish mine was shaped like a heart!” she said.
I told Madison she could borrow it and give it back to me the next day. I thought she would say that I could finally borrow one of hers. But she didn’t.
The next day, Madison was late to school. She didn’t even look at me when she walked past my desk. She was acting fishy!
After the last bell had rung, I asked her if I could have my mood ring back.
“Well, I don’t really have it anymore…” she said.
“What do you mean you don’t have it?” I asked. My face felt hot.
“I accidentally dropped it in the toilet.”
“You what?!” I screamed.
“I’m really sorry,” she said.
“Sorry isn’t gonna cut it!” I told her.
That’s what Mom always says, and I finally understood what she meant.
“I’m not your friend anymore, Madison!” Then I stomped away.
The very next day, I saw Madison hanging upside down on the monkey bars with Ashley. And guess what Ashley was wearing on her middle fingers. On one hand, she had an oval mood ring. My ring was on her other hand.
That’s when I decided that Dad was right. I thought it was pretty important to remember — and to tell everybody — so I wrote it down in a Magic School Bus book I checked out at the library: “Trust no one that have blond hair or blond that have rings.”