She was grateful there were in a group. It meant people moved out of the way for them most of the time. She had no issues keeping up, since they were walking slowly, talking about this and that.
“Are you really going to date that Kyle guy?” Melissa drawled.
“I didn't say I'd date him. I see no harm in getting to know a guy,” April replied, blushing.
“oh no harm at all, long as you're okay to put out so he can get to know back,” Melissa said, rolling her eyes. April's blush deepened and she covered her mouth with a hand. “Why on earth would you even give her the creep's number?” Melissa shot Lucy's way. Lucy's distaste for Melissa was growing, even if she knew the girl had a point.
“We're friends,” Lucy hoped. Why on earth was she hoping to be friends with him? She'd never even realise they previously were friends until an hour ago. “Maybe he just needs to meet the right girl or something,” she added. April's smile returned as she nodded in agreement.
“Please,” Melissa muttered. “That guy needs a whorehouse to keep him happy. He's probably only 'friends' to get in your pants too. You're probably just being too much of prude to let him near you.” Lucy felt her earlier fire coming back, and felt more than ready to point out Melissa's hypocritical words; then Beth stepped in.
“How about you don't bully all my friends Melissa,” Beth said, her voice so quiet Lucy was surprised Melissa heard it. Melissa's mouth snapped shut; her eyes sending Lucy a side-look that said exactly how low her opinion of her was. When they entered a large clothing store Beth grabbed Lucy's hand and dragged her away from the other two.
“I'm sorry about Melissa,” she murmured as she browsed the clothing rack absent-mindedly. “She's just a bit protective when it comes to me making friends,” she quietly explained, her eyes still concentrated on the clothes.
“Oh,” Lucy said awkwardly, rubbing the back of her neck with a hand and glancing backwards. Melissa was giggling at April trying on silly glasses. “I don't think it's that,” she sighed. Beth raised an eyebrow at her tone and Lucy sighed again.
“You don't have to talk about it-” Beth began.
“It's fine. We just went to the same secondary school is all. There were bullies, it went badly,” Lucy said, feeling breathless from speaking so fast. She felt like her chest might explode from simply admitting the bare facts. She wasn't about to go into the wacky details though.
“Oh god,” Beth said, eyes widening. “I used to get bullied in secondary school, butit was mostly just verbal teasing,” she said. Lucy blinked, surprised to hear someone as nice and as popular as Beth used to be bullied.
“Here,” Beth yelled before Lucy could form a consolation. Lucy eyes looked at what Beth had pulled out and saw it was a chequered short-sleeve top with a big V-neck, a simple white vest top sewed underneath. “Like it?” Beth asked. “I get the impression black and purple are your colours, they suit your skin tone well,” she added, grinning. Lucy glanced down at her pale hands, her nails looked worn and tired from spouts of nervous biting. Beth frowned at them too.
“I'll bring my kit in tomorrow,” Beth decided.
“It's fine, there's no point-” Lucy began, hiding her hands behind her back.
“No point?” Beth replied, her voice incredulous. “Do you even realise how many guys crush on you?” she asked.
“I severely doubt any do,” Lucy mumbled. Besides, she thought cynically, they'd run a mile the moment they realised how mentally mopy and messy she was. Beth opened her mouth to reply and hesitated.
“Well, whether they do or don't, you should definitely wear this top and let me paint your nails into rainbows. Not only will it make you feel and look cute, it'll be fun,” Beth concluded. Lucy wanted to shake her head at Beth, but her enthusiasm was contagious.