By the time I was done with classes for the day I was exhausted. All I could think about was Ben Ten calling out to me from my bedspread. Ew. Do NOT take that in a dirty sense. Thankfully, someone had been sent to me with a note from Ms. Alvarez saying that my detention had been moved from after school to this Saturday. At least now I could sleep.
I walked out from Geography class with a bad mood that I don't think even that hat made entirely of chocolate that I saw on TV once could cure. I was grumbling to myself about how much more difficult all the classes were and WHY my parents had to send me to this school, and stepping only on the white tiles that covered the floor. Let me tell you this, stepping on tiles in a particular pattern while attempting to weave your way through a flood of high school students who are done with learning for the day is no easy feat.
I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but one second I'm contemplating on whether or not I should just risk it and step on the green tile that was put in the wrong order on the floor, and the next I'm looking up at the tile-less ceiling, with my head throbbing. The mass of students moving in the halls just walked around my sprawled form, not even bothering to spare me a second glance. Their eyes did however, seem to be drawn to something above me as they passed, although they never stopped long enough to stare. Just scurried onwards.
"Watch where you're going, freak."
Grunting, I propped myself up on my elbows to see who had spoken. I didn't really need to though, because he was towering over my head, coal black eyes glowering down at me with his nose in the air. If anybody else tried to do that, they'd look positively ridiculous. (I would know, I tried in front of the mirror later.)His expression did, however look quite frightening and I now understood why everyone had just scurried past us.
Despite his scarily grouchy looking countenance, I felt as if I could identify with him. After all, I had had a pretty lousy day myself.
"Bad day, huh?" I said sympathetically.
"It is now. Why the hell can't you look where you're going? You made me drop my fries, you blithering idiot."
I looked down at the scattered French fries and then furrowed my eyebrows up at him. Partly in wonder at how he managed to pull off that strange expression, partly because there wasn't any ketchup, and partly in chagrin at his accusation.
"Hey, you're the one that ran me over. I was just innocently standing until you came barging at me."
"What kind of a person just stands in the middle of the hallway staring at the floor?" He sneered. Yes, sneered. I'd never actually known what a sneer looked like until I saw it on his face. He did have a rather nice looking face, despite the sneer.
So there's a law against standing in one place now, is there?
"Yes, I'm sorry, you do." Despite the "sorry" there in his sentence, I really don't think he was apologizing. He was irritating me now. I was in a bad enough mood as it was. I was about to retort with a bone-crushingly hurtful and witty response that would have left him gaping, when I noticed my poor fez lying innocuously by his feet. It must have toppled off of my head and rolled away from me during my fall.
Sitting up –yes, I had still been lying on the floor, it wasn't uncomfortable- I reached for my blue and green creation, hoping that it hadn't been dirtied by the grime on the floor from God knows where. Clothes could be cleaned, but it is very difficult to wash hats. Back home, I had a person who I took my hats to to get washed, but there was nobody here to do that, so I had to be extra careful.
Just before my fingertips grazed the hat, however, Mr. Evil-pushing-people-over-and-sneering-man swooped down and grabbed it.
"What the hell is this supposed to be?" He asked, with a snicker.
Honestly, some people are just nincompoops if they can't recognize a hat when they see it. I grew tired of looking up at him at this point, so, dusting myself off, I stood up. It did not seem to make much of a difference though, as his head still seemed a good deal farther up than mine. I stood on my toes, put my hands on my hips and rearranged my expression into the most threatening one I could muster.
"It's a fez, you imbecile. Now give it back."
"What kind of a loser goes around wearing a fez?"
Learning from my mistakes, I decided it was best not to answer this question with an "I do." so I decided to stay silent instead. Just then, an astonishingly pretty girl with an astonishingly short skirt happened to walk by. Of course, he, being male, turned to look. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me with my super cat-like reflexes, so I shot my arm out towards my hat, and…
Missed. He had seen my attempt at stealth coming, and only held the fez higher over my head. I would bet the idiot didn't even know how to wear a fez.
"No one insults me." He said menacingly. "No one." He reiterated. I cocked my head to the side, looking at him contemplatively.
"Not even your elder siblings?"
"I don't have any." He grunted, still glaring at me as if I were a mosquito buzzing in his ear while he was trying to sleep. Yeah, I didn't think so. He didn't really give off a "younger child" aura. He was far too mean looking. I told him so. But the moment the words left my mouth, I wished I hadn't.
I'll admit. I was a teensy bit afraid of him at that moment, but you would have been too had you seen the scowl on his face. Yet, I amassed all my courage and stood my ground, and took a wider stance. Looking back, I probably looked like a demented version of Peter Pan, but I was not concerned with such trivialities at the moment. The number of people in the hall dwindled to none, so it was just me and him, a fight to the finish.
All of a sudden, quick as a flash, and before I knew what was happening, he let the hat go. I could see it fall through the many feet in the air in slow motion, and I wildly tried to catch it, but in vain, proving that my reflexes were rather more tortoise like than cat like.
I saw it hit the ground with a silent thud, and bounce up ever so slightly and come back to the ground to rest. What bid-angry-imbecile did next I would never forgive him for. He raised his left leg high off the ground, and stomped down on my beautiful hat. Hard.
The first five seconds- which seemed like an eternity- I stood in shock, gaping at him with my mouth opening and closing like a fish. I looked at him, then my poor hat that lay in a crumpled heap on the ground, and then back up at him again. No words would come to my mouth.
When I found myself able to move again, I knelt down on the ground and picked it up. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it wasn't dreadfully harmed. All it needed was a good cleaning. The force of his blow hadn't been enough to ruin my trustworthy hat. Internally, I danced with relief, but the evil imbecile had still tried to murder my hat, and there was no bigger crime in my book. He would pay for his actions.
I let out a yell –I will not say it was high pitched- and then I kicked him as hard as I could in his stomach. I am proud to say that my blow was quite forceful, and with an "Oof!" he stumbled backwards into the lockers lining the walls. I guess growing up with sisters who insist on fighting with you on trivial matters can come in useful sometimes.
Suddenly, I grew very afraid. The angry imbecile was far larger than me and could easily squish me with his pinky finger. So I ran as fast as I could, before he could recover. When I finally reached me room, after I had caught my breath, I put the slightly-worn-but-not-ruined fez on my head and smiled. Suddenly, I felt a whole lot better. I suppose hitting people is therapeutic.
Carmen wasn't in our room, so I flopped down on my bed and promptly fell asleep. By the time I woke up, it was eight 'o clock. According to a pamphlet I was given on my arrival, dinner was served in the cafeteria at seven thirty on weekdays. I had already skipped lunch, and I didn't think my stomach could take much more of this torture, so I slipped my feet into my shoes and ran towards the building which was inconveniently located on the other side of the campus. I seemed to be doing a lot of running ever since I had arrived here. I even felt lighter. As if I had lost a few kilos.
The food was cold and almost all gone by the time I reached the cafeteria. I guess no one wants to eat out on a Monday night. I still managed to find myself a nice cold ham sandwich and a coke. Yum. You don't get pork in Pakistan, and no parents telling me not to drink too many carbonated beverage! YAY!
I spotted Carmen sitting in a corner with a bunch of other people who I couldn't see properly. Or rather, she spotted me, and started waving like crazy trying to get my attention. I smiled. I really liked this girl.
When I reached the table, however, I wasn't so sure. Sitting right opposite her was the Angry Imbecile. I let out a hushed yelp and tried to hide my face with me hair. This plan completely failed me, however, because I had stuffed my hair up under a baseball cap that had the word 'hippopotamus' written across the front in loopy writing. So I tried pretending I hadn't seen them and started to move away. This plan didn't work very well either.
"Where are you going?" Yeah, that was Carmen. I stopped mid-turn and smiled at her.
"Nowhere, a Nargle was annoying me."
I had to introduce this girl the wonder that was Harry Potter. But I decided to harp her on it later, because she had already started introducing me to people. I directed my attention back towards her. Thankfully, she had only introduced one person when I tuned in: a tall looking boy with bright red hair and a crooked smile. I would just find his name out later.
Next, she introduced Cody, who I, in my apprehension of meeting angry imbecile, had failed to notice. He smiled and said "hey" when he saw me and I gave him my exaggerated wink back, reminiscent of today's Biology class, after which he burst into laughter. I'm not entirely sure why.
"So I'm guessing you two already know each other?" Carmen asked hesitantly after Cody's laughs had died down. I yupped in assent and she moved on to the next person, a scary looking girl by the name of Anne, with dark eyeliner, jet black (dyed, I think) hair, and a scowl etched onto her features. She nodded at me, and I said hello back somewhat hurriedly.
The girl sitting next to her – Cassidy- was such a complete contrast to Anne, that I wondered how on Earth they were even friends. She had bright blonde hair, and long nails painted exactly the same shade of pink as her dress. She was absolutely gorgeous, even despite wearing what I deemed excessive amounts of pink.
Then came the dreaded one.
"And this is Adam."
I looked into the coal black eyes that I had felt burning holes into me as soon as I walked up to the table. I decided to feign ignorance.
"Oh, hey! We met today briefly, didn't we? So, how have you been?" I rattled on nervously.
Adam didn't reply. Just ignored me and continued eating. As if I was not even worthy of his attention. Well hmph.
Cody and Carmen scooted over to make room for me to sit, so I sat down in between them, and started digging into my sandwich. I was ravenous.
"Wait, I thought you were from Pakistan?" Cassidy's bell like voice interrupted me mid-chew.
"Yeah, so?" I managed to mumble with my mouth full of deliciousness. I noticed Adam making a repulsed face from the corner of my eye. Well boo him. Nobody else seemed to mind.
"Why are you eating ham? You're a Muslim, aren't you?"
I furrowed and then Un-furrowed my eyebrows. "Just because I'm from Pakistan doesn't mean I'm a Muslim, you know."
It was Cassidy's turn to furrow her eyebrows, although she did it much more daintily than I could ever pull off. "Oh."
I whipped my head around to look at him.
"What are you laughing at nincompoop?"
"Nothing to concern yourself with, freak. Why don't you just go back to your terrorist country and let the rest of us eat in peace?"
I stared at him mid-chew with my mouth open for the world to see the mushed up food inside my mouth. And then my gaze happened to fall upon Alex sitting alone at a cafeteria table a few ways away from where I was sitting. I felt bad for him, sitting all alone, and I really didn't want to sit with the angry imbecile any longer, so I just got up, picked up my tray, and made my way towards Alex's table.
"Hi there." I said brightly. I liked him. He was just so darned cute.
Alex looked up, startled, from the book he had been reading, and acknowledged my presence with a wary smile. Aww. His shyness only made him seem cuter.
"So watcha readin'?"
It was The Hunger Games. Apparently he was reading it for the hundredth time. I grinned. I had read it about that many times, too. We easily launched into a discussion about the entire series, and all shyness on his part was forgotten. He was surprisingly talkative.
I was in the middle of a tirade about how I thought that the killing of one of the characters seemed a bit too convenient, when I felt someone sit down next to me. It was Carmen. Next came Carmen, then the red headed kid, and even Anne.
"Hey, we're sorry about what Adam said. That was really low." Cody said in a low tone. The others nodded their assent.
"It's okay, he's an imbecile anyway." I shrugged it off, and we continued with the conversation. Including Alex, after I had introduced him to everybody. He seemed a bit hesitant to talk with the sudden influx of people at first, but he opened up again before we all made our way up to our respective rooms.
I felt happy at the thought of making new friends. And I was especially excited to finally have a friend like Alex with whom I could talk about books. My old friends didn't really enjoy reading as much as I did.
Although the fact that Adam was left sitting all alone with no one but Cassidy (who I assumed had stayed behind because she felt bad for him, bless her) for company definitely had a hand in raising my spirits as well.
A/N: Hi :)
Yeah, I'm not super happy with this, and I had to force it out because of writer's block, but please review and tell me what you think! Also, I feel like I'm writing in passive voice way too much. Anyone have any tips to cure that?
A huge thank you to whoever reviewed on the last chapter. I'm going to start replying to reviews.