At lunchtime, when we're all eating soup, - well, drinking it, but it's the same thing really - I decide to ask the others about the other day. I've had this before, where something bad happened to me and then everyone acted as if it had never happened at all.
"Hey, guys...and girls?" I ask. I say the plural of 'girl' because Sarah still sits with us. But she completely blanks me and avoids talking to Damien when she can, she never looks at him. She talks to Adam and Leala though.
"Yes?" Damien asks.
"Hmm?" Leala mutters over a mouthful of chicken soup.
"Huh?" Adam looks up from the German homework he was supposedly meant to have done last week. He's done one question. I point to question two.
"It means 'I like to dance'" I tell him.
"Is that it?" Leala frowns.
"No. Hey, listen. Do you hate me?"
There's just silence as they all stare at me with shocked expressions. Sarah tries to hide a smile.
"What... do you mean?" Damien finds his words first.
"We don't hate you!" Leala exclaims without giving me chance to answer Damien. "Why would we hate you? You haven't done anything to us! OK so maybe you called Sarah a bitch, but I don't know anyone who hasn't. Why..." she trails off. And then it's Adams turn.
"Exactly, that's just what I was thinking." he says. "We would never hate you. We couldn't. You're too nice for anyone to hate you"
"They're right" Sarah puts in unexpectedly. "Nobody hates you. Not even me. And they're also right in saying that you're not the first person to call me a bitch. I wouldn't be surprised if half the school had. I just really, really, really dislike you. In fact, I loathe you. It's not as bad as hate. Close enough. You haven't given me much reason to hate you"
"Strange..." Adam mutters while the rest of us just goggle at her.
"I have to go now" Sarah decides, even though lunchtime isn't even half over.
"Oh, uh, bye" Leala says.
"Goodbye Leala. Goodbye Adam. Goodbye Damien" She blows Damien a fake, completely mean kiss. "Goodbye Princess Aislinn" she bobs a quick curtsy, flicks her hair and then goes off - probably to tell lies about me - to her bitchy friends.
"What was all that about?" Adam wonders aloud.
"Trust me" I tell him "I have no idea"