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Hit, but not out

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Promenading in her own style,
she entered a known circle;
anxious with an eager smile

She imagined delighted cries,
being pulled into whispered confidences,
some tight hugs, and high-fives

Cheeks blushed a rosy sheen,
with heady thoughts of acceptance;
a yearning of a teen  

She scanned to meet an eye,
a cozy groove, familiar warmth;
a friend who'll rejoice to say hi,

Heads looked on, faces smiled
but none who walked up 
and called out to their side

Corners lit up with banter
voices gushed and guffawed; an inner circle
she remained, the outsider

The evening wore on; cold,
she sported, in pain, a cheery mask,
withering under its fold

Pride hurt, she kept low,
the eyes stung, vision blurred,
her head held high, though


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*** Written for a prompt at