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The Irish Exchange Student
Hannah was really insecure about herself. Not many people liked her, and after a few years, it really got to her. She always thought she wasn’t good enough for anyone or anything. She tried. Trust me, she tried. She wore make up, dressed in nice clothes, smiled a lot, and was generally nice. But that was the outside. On the inside, she was falling apart.
One thing did keep her together, even if it was barely doing its job. Music. She listened to anything she could get her hands on. Rap, rock, metal, pop, anything. She made it her mission to learn to sing and play guitar. She was actually pretty good, but she wouldn’t dare sing in front of anyone other than her cat Charlie.
One day at the dreaded place called school, she heard talk about there being an exchange student. Someone from all the way across the ocean. Ireland, she heard from the popular people. At the time, Hannah didn’t think much of it. One, no one asked her about it. Two, could be rumors. Three, this person probably would fit it perfectly, unlike her. So it was best to just pretend they weren’t there.
She was sitting down at a lunch table all alone (her best friends Alli, Natalie, and Georgie were busy studying at the library). She had just found her lunch from inside her backpack when she heard a chair move against the floor. She looked up, surprised. No one ever sat with her before… why now? She saw a blond haired, blue eyed guy staring back at her.
“You shouldn’t sit here.” Hannah rushed, already getting ready to stand up and leave. The last thing she wanted to do was to rub her “cooties” off on him.
She had guessed that he was the exchange student and found she was right when he replied in an adorable Irish accent. “Why not? Did I do something wrong?” He began to blush when Hannah looked him in the eyes.
“Look, you’re new here, so let me catch you up. I’m one of the lowest people on the food chain here. You hang with me, its social suicide. I don’t want that to happen to you. Meaning, don’t talk to me. It’ll make your life here terrible, trust me.” Hannah turned and walked quickly away, heading for her locker. She figured she could quick eat what she had, and then spend the rest of the period in the library.
She had just swirled her combination on her locker and opened it when she heard footsteps from behind. She tensed, hoping it wasn’t a popular person. She hated when they communicated with her.
“Hey, I don’t care.” She heard an Irish accent pant. “I don’t care if you’re low on the food chain here. You’re beautiful.”
Hannah’s jaw dropped and she slowly turned around. “Um, I think you’ve got the wrong person… I’m not beautiful. I’m short, have ugly thumbs, and an ugly face.” She admitted, looking down. She had never told anyone what she really thought of herself, and it took some of her strength away.
The boy put one hand on her shoulder, the other he lifted her chin up and looked into her blue eyes. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Ugly thumbs?”
Hannah lifted up her hand. “Short, fat thumbs. Some genetic mistake.” She quickly hid her hand again when she saw the Irish boy looking at them.
“This is bull. You can’t honestly have self esteem so low… what happened?” he asked, concerned.
“People happened.” Hannah said, slipping away from the boy’s grip. She slammed her locker and starting walking away.
“Hey! I don’t even know your name!” The boy ran after her.
Hannah smiled, finding this kind of funny, despite the seriousness. “I’m Hannah. You?”
“Niall. Pleasure to meet you. Now, whats your take on princesses?” He put his arm around her shoulder and they walked down the hallway, finally feeling like they each finally belonged.