Who knew a pilfered lip gloss could lead to war? Certainly not Jezzy St. Claire or Mina Lawrence. Had they known, perhaps they’d have found a way to compromise earlier.
Jezzy and Mina started the school year as best friends. They’d been that way since the third grade when a frightened Mina enrolled mid-year after her parents divorced.
Maybe Mina had slept wrong the night before, maybe her panties had ridden up one too many times, or maybe the whole wheat cereal she’d eaten for breakfast had triggered a food allergy that caused irrational reactions. No one knows exactly why Mina said “no” when Jezzy asked to borrow her lip gloss, but she did. Most believe, however, that Mina and Jezzy both wanted the same boy, Carlton Catana, and the lip gloss had become the secret weapon that both thought they needed.
Carlton was not a great appreciator of lip gloss; he had no idea that anything other than saliva or an extra greasy cheeseburger added a sheen to girls’ lips. He remained tactfully ignorant throughout the war, to his credit.
Mina’s ‘no’ did not sit well with Jezzy. Pleading and cajoling only hardened Mina’s determination to withhold the gloss. That’s why Jezzy stole it from Mina’s purse during gym class.
When Mina passed Jezzy sidling up to Carlton, she immediately detected the faint aroma of black current, noticed the berry colored sheen so bright she could almost see her reflection in Jezzy’s pouty lips.
“Give it back!” Mina screeched at Jezzy as she threw her accusations of thievery at her friend.
“I don’t have your stupid gloss.” Jezzy lied only because Carlton stood next to her, dumbfounded by the exchange.
The verbal battle continued until the bell rang and both girls dragged themselves to their classes with glares that promised more to come.
Popular opinion at this point was that Jezzy should have given the gloss back and apologized. Indeed she probably would have done so had Mina not struck the next blow by posting unflattering pictures of Jezzy on Facebook for all to see.
Jezzy retaliated by posting a few of her own unsavory photos of Mina.
Mina defaced Jezzy’s locker and Jezzy did the same to Mina’s. Jezzy upped the stakes by flattening all Mina’s tires, thus stranding her at the school to await AAA roadside services while the rest of the seniors went out for ice cream.
Then it really got ugly. Mina put hair removing cream in Jezzy’s shampoo that wreaked havoc with Jezzy’s beautiful mane and burned her scalp. Jezzy retaliated by putting a nasty chemical in Mina’s makeup. Mina suffered first degree burns and breakouts all over her face.
When Mina smashed out the back window of Jezzy’s car with a baseball bat, Jezzy took the same baseball bat to Mina’s car and not only smashed all the windows but dented the side panels and front hood too.
It was Carlton himself who unwittingly brought about the truce between the two girls. He began dating Kaitlin, a sweet girl who ran a shelter for homeless dogs and cheered her brother on at the Special Olympics. A common enemy released Jezzy and Mina from the bonds of pride and bound them together.
Side by side at their lockers, Jezzy extended her arm toward Mina but kept her gaze forward.
“What’s this?” Mina glanced over and saw three lip glosses in Jezzy’s hand.
“I thought these shades would look really nice on you.” She shook the tubes to prompt Mina to take them.
Mina did. “Black current, red raspberry and eggplant. Those are…really…fab. But I think you should keep the eggplant. It would look so much better on you than me.”
“No, I couldn’t. I got it for you and I just wanted to say…I’m sorry.”
“Oh Jezzy!” Mina threw her arms around Jezzy and hugged her tightly. “I’m so sorry too.”
Teary-eyed they pulled back and smiled at each other then hugged again.
“At least try on the eggplant…for me?” Jezzy tilted her head to the side.
Mina rolled her eyes, though not in an unkind way. “Okay. That one really was my favorite, even better than the black current.” The two girls walked arm and arm down the hallway, stopping briefly at Kaitlin’s locker to squirt liquid black ink through the slats of the door and to post a doctored photo on Carlton’s locker of Kaitlin having sex with Rick Astley, 80’s pop singer extraordinaire.