Thank you to all who gave me input on the exerpt that I had posted for Jewel. In considering all of your sage advice, I rewrote and below is what I came up with. Please take the time--once again--to let me know what you think. All your help and compliments are much appreciated!
She was new to our school, so I suppose that in some uncanny fashion, that made her fresh and exciting. In the first few days of her arrival, we all flocked to her like moths to a flame. Maybe it was the cute red hair and freckles or maybe it was the helpless look she had about her—our young male egos already starting to bud like an insipid forbearer of things to come.
Jewel was sullen.
And that is akin to calling blood simply a liquid.
A more appropriate term would be haunted, which fell nearer the mark than anything; that red hair hanging in clumsy strands over sunken pale blue eyes which almost never opened to their full potential, bony shoulders that slumped just a bit too far forward causing her back to hump in an awkward posture. Jewel made a habit out of the way she played with her fingers—wringing them when nervous, which was almost always—as she stared at things no one else, save her, could see. Jewel never wore sleeves and her gangly arms seemed to dangle like pendulums. Her bare freckled arms and white skin accentuated the faint bruises on her forearms that never seemed to quite heal up. They matched in a rather fiendish compliment with the red scrape on her forehead. She reminded me of a tortured soul without a voice—a thirsty flower, uprooted and wilted. Dead.
For most eleven year olds, attention span was still a bitch, and so my other classmates—already singed well enough for their tastes—fell away like moth corpses in the breeze. Despite the lapse of the others, I always was resilient so fluttered about her longer than most—perhaps too long.
I noticed all this before she had ever parted her thin lips to utter a word, but then she did and my world changed forever.