Head remained bowed.
Eyes remained glued to the floor.
Feet moved you forward.
Shoves pushed you over much too quickly.
"Watch where you're going, you nerd," you heard a rough male voice shout. You bitterly turned your head in the general direction of the whereabouts of the voice and gave him your death glare before you heard loud laughter come from your left.
"Ahh, if it's not for (Y/N)," you heard the snobbiest girl in your grade, Trudy, sneer at you, flipping her red curly hair at you. "She's so focused on schoolwork that she doesn't care about her family falling apart. Oh, wait. She doesn't even know how to keep her family together!"
You felt the hot tears burn again, running to the closest bathroom. Gods. Just why did these people have to ruin it for you, every single day you were here since your father died? And what made your friends leave you? You never seemed to understand these sudden changes. This definitely took a toll on you, but you decided to clear yourself up and stand up for yourself, for the sake of Hiro.
Too soon, you heard the bell ring, signaling the first period of classes. You groaned as you headed off to English class, your first class of the day, where you knew Trudy was going to show up and continue making a fool of you.
"Hey," you heard a kind voice behind you, just as you reached the classroom.
You turned immediately to face another girl, around your age, with long dark brown hair and green eyes and a kind smile. She was wearing a cute beige sweater with a beautiful butterfly graphic on the front, and faded blue jeans with typical black sneakers.
"Um, hi," you waved quickly. "Um, you're new here, right? I haven't seen you around before."
The girl smiled. "Yeah, I'm new. My name is Melanie."
You grinned back. "Pleased to meet you. I'm (Y/N)."
The two of you shook hands and went into the classroom, you figuring that Melanie was now in your English class. As you did so, you heard Trudy boldly shout, "Hey NERD! Oh look at that, you found a new friend! A FREAK!"
The rest of the class laughed and chanted along with Trudy, "NERD AND FREAK! NERD AND FREAK!"
"Just ignore them," Melanie whispered to you, and you nodded. Of course, you already knew to ignore them since they started this whole humiliation act. Still, you were thankful Melanie was here.
"ALRIGHT, SETTLE DOWN!" your English teacher cried for attention. Then when the classroom settled down, the lessons began.
"Hey Hiro!" Honey Lemon greeted him with a wide smile as he entered the robotics lab at SFIT.
"Hey Honey Lemon," Hiro waved back. He immediately retreated to his lab and set his stuff down before joining the rest of the gang.
"...been a while," Gogo was saying. "Ugh, that stupid wheel I can't get right."
"What's going on, Hiro?" Wasabi asked Hiro, upon his entrance.
Hiro took a deep breath, uncertain of how to explain the situation that was greatly bugging him. "Well...do you guys remember how Tadashi died, and you guys noticed how withdrawn I was from the rest of you?"
The gang nodded as they recalled those moments.
"Dark times," Fred added somberly.
"Well, there was this girl I came across yesterday," Hiro continued. "She was Aunt Cass's new employee, and she's my age. Her name is (Y/N). But that's not important...the situation that she landed herself in is pretty depressing."
"Aww..." Honey Lemon's eyes were filled with worry. "Tell us!"
And so Hiro did. By the time he was done, the rest of the group had mixed emotions.
"Dang," Fred remarked with an awestruck and horrified look. "But why poison?"
"That wrecked murderer!" Gogo cried. "What is up with this person, whoever it was?"
"I don't know," Hiro admitted. "But she is pretty down in the dumps with this. And I hope her mom can stay strong."
"Hiro..." Gogo put a hand on his shoulder. "What are you planning to do?"
This was a hard one for Hiro. He liked you quite a bit now, even though you two have only met for a day, and he wanted to stay with you till the end, till you were happy again. But even if you were happy, do you still need him? And if he failed...would you leave him?
"I promised her I'll go see her mom with her today," Hiro answered. "Maybe after that we'll figure things out."
"Sounds like she needs it," Honey Lemon said. "I hope her mom's okay."
"Me too, Honey Lemon," Hiro agreed. "Me too."
"You don't say," Melanie said, eyes widening when you told her about your situation while you two were at the lunch table, in the cafeteria, eating your lunch.
You nodded. "I don't even know WHO poisoned my dad in the first place. What's worse is that my mom is already on the brink of giving up. I...I can't imagine life without her. I convinced myself that she'll still be there since she shut me out. Yet sometimes I wonder if I can keep those thoughts up. My mom is already pretty much destroyed. I know I can't end up with the same fate as she."
"And I know you won't," Melanie assured you. "Did you tell anyone about this?"
"Only one person knows," you mention. "His name's Hiro."
"You mean...Hiro Hamada?" Melanie's eyes widened again.
You nodded. "How did you know him?"
"Just heard word about him. Youngest person to make it to SFIT. Robotics prodigy and genius. Used to be a bot fighter. But that's pretty much it."
You shrugged. "Yesterday he heard me out while I was working for his aunt. Let me stay the night, since it was raining badly out and stuff. And yeah, I opened up to him, eventually. He's..." You choked on your voice. "He's my best friend, I guess you can say."
"After one day? (Y/N), you seem to be pretty likable."
"I don't know, Melanie. All my previous friends left me after my father died. They hate me now, but I don't know why. I thought they just wanted to give me space, to give me time to think about the situation, but that wasn't the case. They actually left. And they never came back."
"So Hiro's your only friend."
Melanie then turned to you. "Hey, I'll tell you what. Those girls over there—those snobs and jerks and whatever else—they aren't worth your time."
"I already know that," you mutter.
"I'm being honest here though," Melanie said, her face showing quite a bit of determination. "Just ignore them. Know that I'm going to be here if you ever need me. You can always count on me if you need it."
You smiled at her. "Thanks."
"Anything for a new friend," Melanie smiled back, taking a bite out of her hamburger.
Just as you were going to dig in to your lunch—the leftovers that Aunt Cass gave you—you heard a loud CRACK go up in the cafeteria, and next moment, you saw Trudy hold up a whip. You then looked back to the table, and saw that your lunch had scattered all over the place. Luckily, nothing spilled, but that didn't stop you from glaring at her.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?" you screamed at her.
Trudy just laughed and made the whip retract. "I guess I should be SORRY for your loss, right? Well, too bad! I'm not going to! And as for your new FRIEND here, I suppose she'll agree." She turned to Melanie. "RIGHT?"
Melanie cowered back from Trudy's nose stuck close to her face. "Um...let's say no."
Trudy's eyes were like fire the next moment she slapped you on the arm, making you cry out in pain. The rest of the cafeteria was laughing.
"Smart in school, dumb in life!" Trudy sang in an annoying tone, and you growled. "I mean, heck, you've got the brains here but you're just nothing without the walls of the school around you, right?"
"I'm never safe," you finally admitted loudly, advancing towards Trudy until you were literally inches apart. "Every single day of my life since my father died, you try to make my life miserable, and for no reason I can think of. I can't take this. I'm only lucky that there's at least one person out there who cares. Just you wait, Trudy. One day everyone would turn against you, and you'll no longer be as popular as you are now."
"I'd love to see that day happen," Trudy barked back, punching you hard on the nose. "Oh wait. That would never happen!"
The whole cafeteria was now laughing at you as blood started to flow onto your face, making you cringe.
"I'd love to see the day when you finally shut up about her!"
You turned to see Melanie speak up, and gratitude entered your eyes.
"I'm new here, and I only just met (Y/N)," she continued. "But I don't expect you guys to just treat her this way. She's right. She was never safe since her father's death. If there is anything I would do to help her, I would do it. She's smart. She's kind. She's just missing the love from you guys."
"AND SO ARE YOU!" Trudy cut her off loudly, grabbing the collar of her sweater, yanking her close to her.
"But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate her for who she is!" Melanie snapped, slapping Trudy's hand away. "She's human. I am too. We all are. What difference does it make if one person so important in our lives dies off?" She then straightened up, glaring at the rest of the cafeteria. "Why are you guys making such a big deal out of her loss?"
The whole cafeteria fell silent now. Even Trudy said nothing. In your head you were praying that they changed their minds and left you alone, but you highly doubted it. What were the chances that they would listen to a new girl and what they so called a "loser"?
"You may be well-spoken," Trudy eventually said. "But your words would never have an effect on me. You know that. For I am the one who people love." She turned to the rest of the cafeteria. "RIGHT?"
"Right," the cafeteria chanted.
A look of disgust was decked on yours and Melanie's faces. "Ugh" was the right word to describe this situation.
"Well, as much as we would love to, we would never bow down to you," you snapped with a hint of sarcasm in your voice, furiously wiping your face with your sleeve.
"Oh, there would come a day when you WOULD!" Trudy cried. And without you realizing what was happening, she grabbed a nearby milkshake from a nearby table and smeared your hoodie with the contents, and the cafeteria roared in laughter.
The tears were coming back now. You packed your lunch, and Melanie grabbed her tray, and the two of you left the cafeteria, not stopping until you reached the front door.
Once you got out, you stared down at your shoes, sitting on the steps now. Melanie joined you, offering you her plate of fries and a napkin to wipe your nose and sweater. "You want any? I'm not a huge fan of fries."
You nodded nonchalantly and took some from her plate. "Thanks, Melanie. Thanks for sticking up to me. I really appreciate it."
"Hey. I promise you, everything would go right one day." Melanie smiled at you. "I promise."
You smiled back, a small smile that meant so much. "I hope so too." Then an idea came to you. "Hey Melanie, I just remembered. Hiro promised to come with me after school today to see my mom. Do you want to come along? You don't have to if you don't want to, but you know, it's just for the sake of me telling the truth and for you to understand what I've been through."
"I'd love to," Melanie agreed. "I'll just let my mom know where I'll be."
"Thank you!" You breathed a sigh of relief and gave her a big hug.
"Anything for a friend," Melanie replied, giggling. And then silence ensued as the two of you resumed to eating lunch on the front steps, enjoying each other's company.