9 | Hanna Banana
Once I arrive at my history class, the teacher makes me go through the same process as earlier. This time though, none of my former friends are in this class. Instead, the short redhead who stared at me in awe earlier is here.
And once again, she can’t keep her eyes off me.
As soon as she saw me, she straightened up in her seat and gave me a genuine, giddy smile. At first, I frowned at her smile. Thoughts like: Is she actually smiling at me nicely or is it some sort of plot to become my best friend to use me for my fame? Or is she doing this to get closer to me to help out her new friends? They circled my mind for what felt like hours, harassing me.
I hate the fact I have to be so cautious around new people in fear that they are going to exploit me. I already have issues with trust—thanks to the people here—but having to be careful with people who are probably great people makes me feel so guilty.
Once I introduce myself, presenting myself as confident and fearless as possible, I’m told to sit down. My eyes scan the room, watching all of the pupil’s eyes light up and perk up when I glance at them.
I spot two seats. One at the front, next to a girl who is wearing too much fake tan and another seat next to the redhead.
Perhaps I should give her a chance.
The teacher gestures for me to hurry up, trying to hide the annoyance on his face. So, before I manage to make a teacher hate me, I head over to the seat next to the redhead.
Not even a second after sitting down, she turns to me excitedly and bounces up and down in her seat. Some people around us give her distasteful looks because she has my attention and others roll their eyes at her behaviour.
A hint of anger flows through my veins at the thought of them judging this girl who looks innocent. People can be so mean—the stronger prey on the weaker because they are either too scared or too nice to fight back.
They think they are the predator who can feed off their prey. I loathe it—it's despicable. It’s exactly what happened to me. And by god, I don’t want it happening to other people. Especially right in front of me.
I smile back at her which only makes her silently clap. I have to restrain myself from laughing at her adorable reaction. How she ended up with my former friends beats me. Maybe they really have changed?
Ten minutes into history and I’ve already been set a task. Honestly, the teacher—who is called Mr Jameson—doesn’t look likes he cares at all about this class. As soon as he set the task, he’s on his phone. He isn’t even trying to make it discreet that he’s on it.
I have to bite my tongue from shouting at this incompetent teacher who ignores the whole class around him. A girl is trying to get his attention so she can ask a question about the task that he set but he blatantly ignores her. If he had explained the task more clearly and had asked if we all understood it, I would be more lenient but he didn’t. Ugh, I need to cool down. I’m overreacting.
I think I’m stressed about being back here. I have to maintain my act; face the people I swore I would never see again. Plus I have to worry about my studies. Even actresses have to have perfect grades.
Taking a deep breath, I shift on my seat to face the bubbly redhead. She instantly looks up from her desk, sensing my stare and widens her dark brown eyes. Her mouth starts opening and closing, making her resemble a fish.
“Hello,” I greet and smile, showing off my pearly white teeth.
Speechless, she waves. And then she blushes. With a small button nose, big dark brown doe eyes and soft features, she is like the epitome of innocence. The way she’s happy all of the time is adorable—and I can’t help but feel jealous of this girl. She looks like she hasn’t got a care in the world.
A part of her reminds me of...me.
I hold my tanned hand out for her to take, “I’m Whitney.”
She quickly places her hand in mine and vigorously shakes it. “I’m Hannah. Sorry about before, I was kind of in a state of shock. I thought you would be hanging out with the popular people since well...your Whitney. Can I just say I’m your biggest fan? I love every movie you’re in, you are absolutely amazing.” She rambles on, not so shy anymore. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I did it again—I babbled. I swear I do have a filter. It must be ineffective today.”
I burst out laughing.
She appears just as shocked as I am about it. There is something about her that makes me laugh—not in a mean way or anything. She just...she’s too cute and sweet.
For a few minutes, I’m there laughing in my seat. My stomach aches from it and my cheeks hurt but I don’t pay attention to that. This girl is unintentionally funny.
Eventually, my laughs subside. I wipe a bit of water under my eye away and puff out my cheeks a few times to catch my breath. “You’re hilarious,” I state. Her face morphs into something of confusion so I quickly step into to elaborate. “Not in a bad way though, it's cute. I like you, Hannah...”
“Marshall.” She informs me.
I nod my head, “I like you, Hannah Marshall.”
She squeals and smiles brightly. I feel blinded by it. This girl glows. She seems so happy; kind. She also appears to be one of those people who wants to share her happiness with everyone else.
“I really really like you too!” She replies, giddily.
“So Hannah,” I start, wanting to know more about this girl. For instance, how she became friends with my former friendship group. “Can you give me the 411? Who are the good and bad people here?”
I think that’s a good way to start. Usually, you ask someone here if they can give you a heads up on who to avoid and who to be friends with. Despite knowing the people here, I’m truly curious about it. Some people might have changed.
Hannah nods her head, an expression of understanding on her face. She didn’t come here two years ago otherwise I would have noticed this sweet girl meaning she was a new student here once.
I don’t think she knows I used to go to this school as well. That means the gang didn’t tell her about me. Were they too embarrassed to?
No. Don’t go there.
“Sure thing. So you have the cheerleaders, who are quite stereotypical. Although, not all of them are bitches. Some are quite friendly but only when they’re alone. I overheard in my first period that they are going to ask you to sit with them at lunch. Then there are the jocks, who are also pretty stereotypical. Some of them are players but some are nice. And then there’s everybody else really. Aside from the popular people, everyone else is normal. Everyone mostly sticks to their friendship groups, understandably.” Hannah explains.
When she’s finished, I make a mental note in my head of who to avoid. I wonder if Nicole is still a complete asshole. From her reaction earlier, I’m guessing she is.
“Hannah, do I need to watch out for any...cheerleaders?”
Hannah knits her brows together and bites her lip, deep in thought.
“For most people yes but I bet they wouldn’t do anything to you. You’re famous, which in high school terms, makes you untouchable.” She replies.
As flattering as it is to hear that, I still don’t feel completely satisfied. Now, if I did have to face Nicole or any of her goons, I would probably win but it would still make me anxious. I don’t want to have a confrontation with her in front of everybody. In front of Callum.
I sit back in my chair and ignore the loud chatter around me. A few people are trying to gain my attention by talking about things they think will interest me but most are busy talking with their friends. That doesn’t stop them from staring at me every once in a while.
“You okay there?” Hannah asks, concern laced in her voice. The fact she’s actually worried about me warms my heart. “If you’re unsettled about Nicole—who is the head cheerleader—and her mob of Barbie dolls, don’t be. She won’t touch a hair on your pretty head and everyone knows it.”
I give Hannah a grateful smile for trying to help me even though deep down, I’m still not convinced. Nicole has been out to get me for as long as I’ve known her. And I’ve never known why.
“Thanks, Hannah Banana,” I say, smiling when she giggles at the nickname I gave her. I have to restrain myself from cooing at her.
Then she stops giggling and tries to give me a glare. “Hey! I’m not a banana!” She protests and huffs annoyed. Her irritated face is cute—the way her nose scrunches up slightly and her doe eyes narrow a bit but what she doesn’t realize is that it doesn’t make her look intimidating at all.
“Of course your not,” I reply. “Hannah Banana,” I add on, teasingly.
She stomps her foot on the ground, which was not a good idea because when she lifted her leg, it banged against her desk. She yelps loudly and winces.
“You okay there, Miss Banana?” I ask her, tucking a bit of my golden blonde hair behind my ear.
“Sure, sure.” She breathlessly answers, rubbing her knee. Her voice is deeper—it sounds like she’s heaving. “Don’t mind me, I just...I’m only in a little bit of pain.”
I frown at her words and move a bit closer to her. “You sure Banana? You don’t sound so good.”
Hannah waves off my remark and sits back up in her seat. She smiles at me again and runs a hand through her shoulder-length hair. It's a beautiful colour that I’m envious of. Sometimes I wish I could just dye my hair any colour but if I did, Lulu would flip. She says the colour my hair shows that I’m the golden girl. It’s actually stupid.
“You better now?” I question.
Hannah nods her head. “Yeah, don’t mind me. I accidentally injure myself all of the time. Luckily my boyfriend, Brock, is always there to kiss it better.”
Time stops. The moment she Brocks name leaves her lips, I’m transported into my memories. Memories of when Brock, Martin and I would hang out every evening in the woods or by the lake. Memories of when we would fight over who deciding who got had the best ice cream.
It feels like someone is pulling against the chords in my heart, roughly. The way Hannah spoke about Brock—as a nice, loving person—hurts me a lot. Brock never seemed interested in me after middle school. Martin couldn’t be bothered with me at all. I swallow the lump in my throat and blink away the tears threatening to be let out.
I hate how I miss my two older brothers. I hate how I wish Brock was loving like that—that cared for me like that. I. Hate. It.
“Wow,” I mumble out, my voice quivering slightly. “He sounds like a—” I pause and swallow. My voice cracks as a say the next bit, not believing the words I’m saying. “nice boyfriend.”
Hannah doesn’t notice my hesitancy, fortunately. I don’t think I want to tell her everything that happened. She spoke about him with respect and love—I don’t think I’d want to ruin that. Not because of Brock but because of Hannah. She looks truly happy with him.
“I know.” She chirps. “He’s kind to me. And he treats me really well.”
“That’s great.” I croak out. Fortunately for me again, she doesn’t notice.
“Whitney,” Hannah shyly asks. I frown at her, unsure of why she’s suddenly all shy. A second ago she was joyful and outgoing. “C—can I ask you something?”
I slowly nod my head. “Go for it.”
Hannah takes a deep breath and glances away at her desk for a second. Her lips move but nothing comes out, as if she giving herself a mental pep talk and is subconsciously mouthing it. When her lips stop moving, she stares back up at me and makes eye contact.
“A—are we friends?” She stutters and bites her pink lips.
“Of course we are. How could I not be friends with someone as funny and bright as you?” I instantly reply and she releases a relieved sigh. Was she nervous about asking me that? Was she afraid I would say no?
Poor girl. She’s so adorable.
“Yay!” She cheers. “Can I sit with you for lunch then?”