Sugar and Spice

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Chapter 40: Miss Misunderstood

“I don’t understand.” I frowned.

Is this a super slow day or something?

“Hey! That’s supposed to be my line! You’re tutoring me, not the other way around.” Sarah snorted before she went back to the equations she was working on.

I rolled my eyes at her with a tired sigh.

“It’s not my fault that I am such a good tutor that you don’t have any doubts at all.” I shrugged. “But I seriously don’t understand.” I huffed.

This doesn’t make sense…

I stretched my arms above me as I leaned back against Sarah’s bed. I glared at the roof with a pout, feeling bored.

Why hasn’t anyone invented roof-TV yet?

But that isn’t the question that is making my brain work overtime.

But the whole roof of a room as a television would be so awesome!

I was currently at her house, helping her with some math equations. The both of us were sitting on the floor with papers and books all spread all around us, creating a mess.

“What is it that you don’t understand?” Sarah sighed as she put her pencil down and looked at me.

Am I distracting her?

Eh! Who cares? She’s doing really well with everything already!

“You aren’t so mean and weird when I tutor you.” I stated. “Then why do you pretend to be so… unbearable at school?” I asked her, genuinely curious to know the answer.

“I am unbearable?” She asked with a small smirk on her lips as she raised an eyebrow at me.

“A little too much!” I told her honestly.

“Wow! You don’t spare anyone’s feelings, do you?” Sarah laughed, shaking her head at me.

“I don’t see the point in beating around the bush or in trying to sugar coat my words.” I admitted with a grimace as I remember how many times this habit of mine has landed me in trouble.

I am so damn lucky that my uncle is the principal of my school now! Phew!

“Well, here you are just someone who’s helping me out with my studies. So I am actually supposed to act nice.” Sarah explained.

“And what am I to you at school?” I inquired.

Sarah was silent for a while as she looked down at the books and papers around us, thinking about an answer.

“Someone who isn’t my friend.” She replied after almost a minute of thinking.


“Ouch!” I said as I sat up straighter and looked at her. She rolled her eyes at me.

“Look, I know that I don’t know much about you but you don’t know me that well either.” She sighed.

Talk about being honest…

“But from what I can tell, you’re not the mean, stuck up Barbie that you pretend to be.” I told her. “Then why do you act? Why not be the real you?” I asked her.

I knew that she wasn’t a bad person at heart. She was just hard to understand. And the kids at school probably never even tried to understand her.

You’re no better, Penny! If she wasn’t Cassie’s cousin, you wouldn’t even look at her twice!

Well, at least I want to know the story behind her mean-ness now!

“Real me? Yeah!” Sarah snorted as she went back to the equations.

“I am being serious here.” I told her with a serious look on my face. She sighed as she turned to face me.

“Aren’t you supposed to help me focus? Why are you distracting me?” She questioned, her voice gaining that mean tone that she uses in school.

Woah! Her tone changes faster than… anything I know!

“Hey! If you really wanted to focus, you wouldn’t have replied to me when I first started talking to you!” I pointed out. “You know as well as I do that you need this small break.” I added.

“Yeah! If I needed a break, I would talk to my friends. Not you.” She scoffed.

What the dazzle-berries?!

“Why are you going back to being so mean?” I frowned at her. I could see her jaw clenching as she tried not to drop her act.

“Maybe because I actually don’t want to be anywhere near you!” She told me.

Okay, that’s it! I am not dying to know her better! Self respect comes first!

“You know what?” I smiled at her sweetly as I picked up my books and got up. “I think that we are done for the day. I’ll see you the next time I am forced to tutor you just because I am friends with your cousin.” I told her as I started walking out the door.

I am not someone who will let people walk all over me. I am the last person you would want to mess with.

If you give me a shitty attitude then I’ll give you the same.

“Wait!” Sarah called out just as I was about to get out of her room. “I am sorry.” She sighed.

I turned around and raised an eyebrow at her.

“For what, sweetheart?” I asked in a sickly sweet voice.

She sighed again as she got up from her place on the floor and sat down on her bed. She looked down as she started playing with her hands.

I could tell that she was nervous so my instincts kicked in and I placed my books down with hers before sitting down next to her.

“I guess… You could say that being mean is my defense mechanism.” She mumbled so quietly that if I wasn’t sitting down right next to her, I would have missed it. “Whenever I freak out about anything or feel a little too comfortable with someone, I become mean.” She explained, still not looking at me.

Oh… My… Goodness!

Did Sarah freaking Cooper just confess something like that?!

“Sarah…” I trailed off, not knowing what to say to comfort her.

I have never been in such a situation before! What should I do?!

“I know that what I do is wrong but… I feel like I am in too deep now to drop the act.” She continued. “I know for a fact that I don’t have a single friend except for Kara who would still be my friend if I stop being mean.” She took a deep breath before closing her eyes.

“Then maybe let people see the real you so they could be friends with you.” I told her in a soft voice.

She opened her eyes and looked at me.

“I am who I am because I am mean.” She told me. “If I stop being mean, someone else will take my place and then I’ll be the one they’ll make fun of. It’s the way of high school.” She shrugged.

“Ellie is not mean. Neither is Kara. People don’t walk all over them!” I argued.

“Ellie has friends to back her up. And do you even know how much Kara was bullied before I became her friend or before Liam showed up in her life?” She shook her head as she glared at the wall in front of her.

“You are right about that. You need friends to back you up. But to make friends, you need to be you. You need to let people see you.” I remarked.

“Kara is so damn naïve that people used her all the damn time and she didn’t even realise it. She was real and she didn’t have a single real friend. Only the people who wanted her to do their homework.” Sarah informed me.

Funny bunny!

“What?” I gasped.

“Yeah. And she never complained. That’s why I stepped in. I became mean and people were afraid of me. They didn’t even try to mess with her after that because then they would have had me to deal with. I couldn’t let anyone use that innocent girl.” Sarah smirked as she looked in the distance, probably remembering something.

Wait a second!

So, long story short, Sarah became mean so that she could protect Kara?

If that isn’t a good person move, I don’t know what is!

“Does that mean that you became the mean girl just to make sure that no one uses Kara?” I asked slowly as my brain tried to process everything.

“That’s high school, Penny. You either be the queen or bow before one.” She shrugged. “You don’t get to be real here. Being real doesn’t get you any amazing friendships.” She added.

“But Kara did.” I pointed out.

“What?” Sarah frowned.

“Kara was herself. She was real. And yeah, she was used. But in the end, she found a real friend in you.” I smirked at her. “And then she even found a whole bunch of crazy friends.” I chuckled lightly.

“S-she just got lucky.” Sarah stuttered.

“And you opened up to me. You were real with me.” I ignored her and continued. “And if you want, I would like to be friends with you too.” I smiled at her.

Sarah looked at me for a while before smiling.

“I’d love that.” She replied.

“Good. Now let’s get back to those equations, shall we?” I spoke as I sat back down on the floor and opened my books.

Sarah huffed before she followed me and sat down to continue her work. A small smile on her face that remained throughout the time she studied with me told me that she was just as happy to make a new friend as I was.

See! Everyone just needs a friend who understands them…

Me: I updated earlier than usual!

Penny: Just by a few hours...

Me: But I am early. Anyways, I was up till four in the morning, writing a chapter that I realised that I should update early.

Jason: We are so close to the end and I don’t want to say goodbye to you guys... *sniffling*

Mason: But all good things must come to an end...

Me: Luckily, we are more than 10 chapters away from the end.

Damien: But, the story will end before the end of this month... Hopefully...

Me: If not, then we’ll be able to finish the story before the second week of September.

Mason: *whispering* Or else, there will be an apocalypse!

Me: So, the next update will be up tomorrow to celebrate the return of my brother after his long vacation with his friends... I can’t believe that I am actually looking forward to fighting with him again!

Mason: That’s the relationship between siblings...

Jason: Yeah... It’s like, you can’t stand them yet you cannot really live without them...

Xander: Well, the updates are more frequent now!

Me: I am awesome!

Jason: You are.

Me: I am not writing a story for you next...

Jason: You’re the worst!

Me: I love you too, sweetheart.

Jason: Anyways, until next time, stay safe!

Me and Mason: And eat cake!

Curtains close as Jason and Mason start writing their own story while everyone else disappears...

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