Tick tock, tick tock! I stared at the clock. It seemed like eternity before the bell would ring.

“Time to pass out your tests from last Friday,” Ms. Depsey said. A groan was released from everyone in the class, except for me. I knew what I got.

“Horrible. Disgusting. Bleh. One question correct, Jeremy. Jordan, the twenty-eighth president was not Michael Jordan. And Rachel, best grade in the class! You all could learn something from Rachel!”

The bell rang! I grabbed my A paper. I was always the last out because I had to put my papers away before they fell over. I took out my Purell.

I have OCD. I don’t have a really bad case, but I still have it. Because I have this problem (and great grades) I kinda scare people. If someone I don’t know touches me, I freak out and have to wash immediately. Everything has to be in place for me and I keep every paper clip I find in case I might need it. I have one friend. Her name is Ella, and she has gotten used to my weird ways. Because of this, I’m not very far up on the social ladder.

But I’m hoping to change that.

“You did great!” Ms. Dempsey said.

“Thanks,” I said. I left the classroom and went to my locker. I whipped out a whip and turned the lock.

“Hey. So how was class?” Ella said.


“And the test?”

I nodded my head.

“Are you ready for try outs?”

I had been planning on trying out for the cheerleading squad. Ella wanted to at first, but thought I would be better. As we were walking to the gym, a feeling started in my stomach.

“I’m not so sure about this, Ella.”

“It will be okay.”

We hustled to the gym. I watched the girls as they shouted and twirled. I wondered if I would ever be that good

“Next up, Rachel Aller,” the head cheerleader Stacey Sharp read. I walked up and stood there.

“Get some pom-poms!” I heard Ella yell. Eww. I couldn’t touch those. I looked at the bin of pom-poms. I could just see the little germs squiggling all over my hands.

“Can I do mine without pom-poms?”

The cheerleaders nodded.  “Can you do a cartwheel?”

I nodded then. I looked at the floor as I started to bend. AHHHH! The gym floor was grimier than the pom-poms.

“Can’t I do that another time?”

“If you’re not gonna do anything, then just go!” Stacey yelled. And I realized I could never be a cheerleader. I was just doing this for Ella. I ran out the door and into the bathroom.

Ella ran after me. “Rachel, wait!”

I ran into a stall and started to weep. How could I have ever thought that I was going to be a good cheerleader!

“Rachel, listen.”

“No, I was stupid to ever think I could get over my OCD!” I said. “I’m not going back out there!”

“Ok, no. You’re not doing this again! This is your one chance to show that you’re not the weird girl who washes her hands every five minutes. I know you can do this! I believe in you!” I was moved. I unlocked the stall and started to the gym.

“I’d like a redo,” I told Stacey.


I started to move to the music. I forgot about the germs and went for it. I did all the cheers Ella and I had practiced and even pulled off a back flip. Once I was finished, I threw my hands in the air. I could hear cheering and clapping, but nothing was as loud as my heartbeat.

“Wow,” one of the flyers said. I looked at Stacey. Her mouth was just open and wide.

“You’re on the squad!” Claire, the co-captain, said over the crowd. I looked around the crowd. I saw Ella cheering the loudest. I knew I made her proud. That was all I wanted.



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