AN EXCERPTG LIKE

Girls' World - - Star Diy -

All for a photo of the sun­rise I posted on Snap­pypic. On my screen, the sun glows like a pale egg as it rises over the moun­tains.

Ac­tu­ally, I don’t love my out­doorsy shots. They’re a lit­tle bor­ing, but it’s the kind of thing my fol­low­ers think is cool. So I’m okay with the set­ting sun if it gets me lots of likes. Right now I’m hid­ing in the bath­room stall at my tem­ple. And the place is packed be­cause it’s Mil­ton P. Daniels’s bar mitz­vah. The bath­room is the only spot where I can have some pri­vacy. Over in the pews, there are prob­a­bly three hun­dred peo­ple.

Fif­teen sec­onds, 15 likes! A smile tugs all the way to my ears. I want to dance.

I glance back at the phone. It’s been two min­utes, and I’m up to 45 likes. Yes! This calls for a cel­e­bra­tion with Floyd. (That’s my phone’s name.)

I peer back down at my phone. But . . . wait. I’m hold­ing steady at forty­five. Where are all my likes? I re­fresh the page. And . . . Noth­ing. I shake my phone as if that might help. Still noth­ing. This doesn’t make sense. I used the fil­ter that ev­ery­one else on Snap­pypic is really into. It makes every­thing seem dreamy. But with only 45 likes, the sun is los­ing its bril­liance and looks lonely and unloved. Maybe I need to turn it off and on? I turn off my phone and restart it. I text Ella Fuentes: Did you see my photo? I add a smil­ing emoji. No re­sponse. I know Ella’s up. It’s late morn­ing. She’s my best friend. Maybe she’s read­ing or drawing, but she’s def­i­nitely up.

If she wasn’t do­ing some­thing else, I’m sure she’d like my photo. I try a cou­ple other girls I know. Noth­ing. It’s late Satur­day morn­ing and all my fol­low­ers have to be up by now.

As of 11:07 a.m. to­day, I have 12,032 fol­low­ers on Snap­pypic. My fol­low­ers are pretty much all the kids at Mer­ton Mid­dle School and a bunch of other mid­dle schools around Port­land. But I have two mid­dle schools in Mis­sion Viejo. That’s all the way down in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. I didn’t know where it was un­til I checked it out in Google Maps. Usu­ally be­tween four hun­dred and nine hun­dred fol­low­ers give me a thumbs-up on any­thing I post. So yeah, I get more likes than any­one I know at school.

Some­times I have to pinch my­self that this is hap­pen­ing to me. Last year in sixth grade, I didn’t even have an ac­count. Peo­ple pretty much ig­nored me. Back then, I was too awk­ward. Too tall. Too loud. And gen­er­ally un­cool.

Tak­ing a deep breath, I swipe through Snap­pypic and start lik­ing every­thing my fol­low­ers have posted. This is a way to get likes com­ing back.

I stare at my phone, wait­ing. One sec­ond, 3 LIKES. Five sec­onds, 9 LIKES. Ten sec­onds, 12 LIKES.

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