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"CAFETERIA" It said above the steel doors that looked like a gateway to prison than to a high school cafeteria.
I pushed on the heavy doors that make a high pitched sqeaking sound from the rusty hinges. I trekked slowly into the cafeteria praying nobody would notice the loud piecing sound from the door. Stop being paranoid, I thought, reminding myself to calm down. I tried concentrating on looking normal, but looking at the environment around me it soon became hard to focus.
The lunchroom was full, like bees on honey comb. Teenagers with all different shapes, sizes, faces, clothes, and laughs were swarming everywhere. Sitting down, standing up, giving hugs, giving high fives, and in the middle of it like a complete lonesome loser stood me. Well at least it felt like it.
I walked slowly through the lunch room looking for one single table that would be open, ignoring the few curious and the despise glances that were shot at me. I pulled on my zipper of my sweater nervously, hoping for at least one empty table. But the closest I got to empty, was a table in the back left corner of the room. The table looked old, curved, and like it was shoved carelessly into the drab part of the cafeteria. There sat a skinny lean girl, eating a sandwitch with one hand, and in the other holding a book. she had a brown t-shirt on that had running horses on it, saying "born to be wild".
I headed towards the corner, advising myself what to do. Ask. Sit. Maybe ask a few questions.
The girl had thick dark brown hair down to her mid-back. Even from 20 feet away I could see her big brown eyes that looked trusting, scanning her book carefully.
I stood at her table, waiting for her to notice me. still concentrating on her book intently, I clear my throat, ready to introduce myself.
Hi, my name is Clover. I try to say, but all that comes out of my mouth is a whispering, huff of breath. I feel like a rock fell onto my lungs, and I was thrown into a lake making it impossible to speak or breathe.
Her eyes look up at me, first they look curious, kind of pleasant, but then a wave of disgust and irritation covers her face. Suddenly I felt as if I shouldn't of came over here.
"You can sit down." her voice slightly annoyed, but low and soft. I sat down on the hard wooden bench like an obedient shivering chihuahua. Wow, I'm really surprising myself, where is all that courage and authority I always had?
she shuts her book harshly and sets it down next to her lunch tray. She looked at me her button nose raised highly as if trying to act in control.
"So," she paused momentarily, i relaxed surprised at how easily this was going to be. "Who sent you here?"
My body froze, motionless, paralyzed with shock. I thought this was going to be a normal conversation??
"Don't be shy. Let's face the facts out of the ordinary: why would the new girl sit with me?" her face crumpled with a worn out look as if she's been over this millions of times before. Right as I suck in a breath of air to tell her there was a misunderstanding, a mistake she takes me for. she cuts me off.
"Oh right, Kacey. Again? Jez, same old joke. Tell her this is getting old. This is what....the 2nd person this month??" she paused to measure my expression.
"Yes, I know Kacey and I don't look alike. I'm Indian, she has dirty brown hair with blue eyes. We're both adopted." she paused to take a bite from her sandwich. "Did she send you?" she asks, not even boethering to wait for an answer. "No? Who was it then? You get dared? Paid? I'm telling you you're not getting your money's worth. If you want i can pretend to acknowledge you for more points." My anger raged to think that i would try to do this to her on purpose. She ripped her bag of chips open and popped one into her mouth, enough time for me to speak up.
"You actually think I was forced into this? For your information I chose to sit here myself." I said saying harshly through my gritted teeth, but she deserved it for jumping to conclusions. To treat me as if I were some joke. I jerked up out off the wooden bench. There's my authority and bravery to speak up.
I turned to walk away, but ended up running into a hard shoulder.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Shouldn't of snuck up on you like that. Are you okay?" I heard a friendly voice come from in front of me.
I didn't rub my forehead where a sharp pain was just forming a head ache. I just nodded, didn't look up and began walking to no where in particular.
"Hey, wait." a hand grabs my wrist. I look up this time to see a tall boy with black hair in front of me. his eyes were lined lightly with eye liner. "Come sit with us," I looked down at my wrist, a skinny white hand that reminded me so much of Dex was clutching my wrist. Black nail polish covered his nails, looking shiny and freshly painted, chip less. The nail polish didn't remind me of Dex at all. Dex's nails were always clean.
I looked up at his friendly welcoming eyes.
I just nodded lightly and sat down. The boy sat down next to me. he had jeans on, and a black t-shirt that said "dare to be different".
"So, the new girl sitting with us?" his voice warm, and pleasant unlike the girl. "This happens once in a life time you know Mel,"
He looked at my hair intently and pulled a lock of curly hair closely to his face to examine. I sat there, awkwardly. I didn't even know his name and he was playing with my hair.
"You get this dyed?" his eyes flickered to mine briefly and back to my hair.
"Uh. No? no-no its not dyed." i studder.
He let go and smiled coyly, embarrassed. "Sorry, I'm very interested in cosmetology. Ya, don't worry I get that alot, the labels freak, gay, creeper, stalker, ETC. For the record, I'm hardly any of those. But maybe a freak. The name is Tucker, Tucker Baits. That's Melonie." he gestured towards the girl who seemed to be looking down, red with rage or envy, I couldn't tell. She rolled her eyes.
"How'd you know I was the new girl?" and here i was thinking i was blending in.
"Honey, news travels fast around here." he held up his phone briefly. He looked at me again, as if examining. "You're hardly unnoticable. They did get your features right though, shy, modest, beautiful, golden locks, pallor with cherry red cheeks, Angelina Jolie's luscious lips."
I feel my cheeks turn to fire again, and I look down.
"Is it true you a have a sports car?" Tucker asked excitedly. I looked up to see him smiling widely.
"I guess if that's what you call it 'round here." I shrug.
"You must be loaded! Where you come from? What your parents do?" he said leaning forward, waiting for me to respond.
"Uh Detroit Michigan." i say remembering what the slip said. "And for my parents...well my mom died and my dad....." well never mind, they're both alive. But just living in the future with my friends waiting for me. "my dad... he's a ..." pick something Clover, pick, quickly. "He's a butcher." i blurt out.
"Sorry about your mom. But your dad is a butcher?" Tucker echoes shocked. It seemed as if he was trying to hard to pretend like he didn't say the frist part. O jez, that's not normal to be rich with a butcher as a father.
"Uh, ya. My aunt owns a ton of resorts though, she tends to spoil us a tad...." i say glad, i had time to recover.
"Butcher?" another voice behind me echoes. It had a bit of Brooklyn accent mixed into it, I remember from class back home of studying accents. I turn around to see a shaggy blond hair boy smiling with amusement. He in someway reminded me of Bruno. I bit the inside of my cheek to stop reminding myself of my best friends right now.
"yes, a butcher. is something wrong with that?" i say trying to let myself simmer down. But somehow that delight in his face grew as he saw my frustration.
"No, just thought people with nice sports cars didn't have any of their parents working as a butcher." His blue eyes seemed to be have enjoying this. That's exactly like Bruno. But this boy had a rounder face, dark blue eyes when Bruno had green, and this boy was meduim sized. And somehow his tauntings didn't seem as annoying as ole' Bruno.
Then my focus flickered back to the boy's sneering face. My anger seemed to have risen since he looked all arrogant.
"So Collins you gonna snatch the new girl away to the popular table to sit next to you?" Tucker interrupted, seeming just as annoyed.
The dimples in the boy's cheeks seemed to have grown deeper. "Not unless she wants too."
"I think I'll stay here." i smirk. For a new girl, I think I'm coming off a bit rough. But he totally started this.
"Maybe see you around." he shrugged like my turn down had no effect. Turned and left.
"I'd thought we'd lose you there. I never seen anybody turn down anybody like Troy Collins. And I've never seen him look at a girl with that kind of interest. Status quo must be changing. What do ya say Mel? " Tucker smiled.
She looked up nervously "my dogs had puppies." she said and got up and ran towards the caferteria doors.
"Huh?" Tucker said taken aback.