I slowly opened my eyes to blinding sunlight and the sound of chirping birds. Today is going to be a great day, now by great, I mean horrible. As usual, I dragged myself out of bed and trudged my way into the bathroom. I could hardly see but I knew what I looked like and nothing I could do would make me any less horrifying. Breakfast was a blur of fighting and Mini-Wheats, then it was off the school. I felt everyone stare as I walked down the hall, each individual turning their heads to get a glance at “Weird Girl Willow.” Five more steps and you at your locker, just five more st-
“Hey look who it is,” I heard someone smirk behind me. Crap, it was Tina and she beat me to my locker.
“Did you forget to take your pajamas off today again,” laughter spread among the hall.
“No,” I couldn’t let her get to me like the way she did last time.
“Well tell your mommy to choose a more mature outfit, will you?”
I rolled my eyes and quickly grabbed my science binder from my locker. Tina had been doing this since kindergarten, it all started when I stole her boyfriend Jack. All I did was lend a crayon to a friend and then poof I was suddenly her target. Jack is now the most popular guy in our grade, and of course, going out with Tina. He still talks to me but I told him we should probably not talk, that is because it would make the Tina thing a hundred times worse.
“Willow, look I know I’m not supposed to talk to you, but I need to tell you something,” I already knew it was Jack and so I kept walking.
“Jack I told you I don’t care, I get it I’m weird, don’t need another reminder!”
“ Willow please I never said that -” I put my headphones in and picked up the pace. When I got to science Tina was already in her designated spot, back right corner. I sat down and took out my binder, today was the big lab day. As my teacher was handing out this blue mystery substance, Jack started to approach me.
“Willow, you can’t just keep running away from me, I need to talk to you.” I was about to reply when I felt something splash on my back.
“Oops sorry willow,” I turned around to see tina holding an empty container.
“Tina what the heck, Willow are you o-” I ran away before Jack could finish. As I cleaned up all I could think about is, why? Why was I so ugly? Why did Tina hate me? WHY? I sat in the stall for the rest of the day, which was only ten minutes but still. When the bell finally rang, I waited until the commotion outside turned into silence. I pushed open the bathroom door, relieved that yet another horrible day was over.
“Willow, there you are, are you ok... You were in for a while,” and there was Jack standing right outside the girls' washroom.
“Uhh, ya I’m fine, I just needed to clean up,” I said as I pushed by him. I sped up sighing with relief when jack didn’t reply. Just when I thought he had finally taken the hint, I felt a warm, soft hand grab my arm.
“Willow… Please talk to me, just for a minute,” he pleaded.
“Fine, ok but over there,” I pointed towards a bench hidden by a tree. At the very least I could save myself from Tina. I sat down on the opposite side of the bench from Jack and looked at my hands as he talked.
“Willow” - he paused “I’m worried about you, for real, you and I used to be best friends, now you won’t even look in my direction. Did I do something wrong?” he waited for me to answer, I didn’t. “The thing is I think I’m going to break up with Tina, she is so mean and not my type at all, maybe after we could hang ou-”
“WHAT no you can not break up with Tina… and we can not talk.” I interrupted.
“Willow... I miss us, and I am breaking up with Tina… You need to chill out.” He mumbled
“Look ok, I don’t want anything to do with you, I’m just trying to make it through.” I stood up and started walking away. I felt jack grab my hand. I turned around, his blue eyes were enlarged with worry.
“JACK!” I whipped my head around to see Tina staring at us, her mouth wide open. She trotted over to us with her two “minions”. I admittedly pulled my hand away from Jacks.
“Tina it’s not her fault don-” Tina didn’t flinch at jacks voice, she was heading straight my way.
“YOU,” she pointed at me “I can’t believe you and your ugly little face would even come near my boyfriend, like Ewww. How could god screw up so bad to create someone like you.” She snapped. I lowered my head, I knew this was a bad idea. Tina shoved me to the ground.
“You’re going to regret this -”
“TINA STOP. I’m not your boyfriend.” I looked up to see Jack, fist clenched together. This was my chance, I scrambled to my feet and took off running. I didn’t know where I was going and how I’d get home, all I knew was I needed to disappear. I ran for what felt like forever before I fell to my feet. My legs ache and my vision was blurry with tears. I tried to make out my surroundings, a pond, trees, and shrubs. I pressed my warm face against my cold hands. I wish it would all just go away. I stayed in a ball until I realized it was getting cold.
“Willow?? Willow?” I heard someone faintly in the background. I shivered as the wind picked up. I had no idea where I was and I didn’t know what to do. Just then I felt a familiar soft, warm hand press against my back. Jack, I smiled, but only for a second.
“Willow, are you ok? I’m sorry” Jack stood over me out of breath, his face flushed red. I didn’t reply.
“Willow, are you shivering?” he seemed concerned, which was odd. I felt his hoodie being laid over my shoulders. “Put it on, please.” I had no choice, it was too cold to be in a tank top and shorts. I pulled his blue hoodie over my head and felt a warm rush throughout my body.
“Thanks,” I mumbled still looking at the ground.
“Tina didn’t mean it she just gets protective,” I felt him sit beside me. “I broke up with her, we’re just friends now.”
“I told you not to do that,” I said through my gritted teeth.
“Willow, I care about you and I don’t know why you all of a sudden hate me, just because we’re in high school doesn’t mean we can’t be friends,” the sound of his voice made me flinch.
“It’s not that ok. It’s the fact that I’m me and you’re you.”
“I don’t understand willow, I need you.” How the heck could he need me out of everyone. I was like the black sheep, the ugly duck, I was the exact opposite of someone he should need. I didn’t even need myself for goodness sake. I felt my eyes start to water and I looked away from Jack so he didn’t see.
“Willow, are you ok?” how did he always know when I was upset. I didn’t reply. I felt him grab on to my hand. I let it happen, I let him softly hold on to my small hand. I felt a tear run down my face.
“Willow look at me, willow” he kindly said. I tried to wipe away my tear with my other hand and then turned towards him. I tried to smile, I tried to show him I was fine and he could leave, but he knew, somehow, that I wasn’t fine. I felt another tear roll down my cheek, now in Jacks plain sight. This time he wiped it away.
“I’m sorry-” I let his words hang in the air.
“I’m fine, really” I broke the silence “I just need to get home.” I finally looked up and saw that the sun was starting to set. I stood up and brushed myself off.
“Willow you can’t walk alone in the dark,” Jack slowly stood up and turned towards me.
“No it’s fine, really, I just need to figure out where to go-” to be honest I didn’t have a single clue of where we were.
“Just let me walk you, I’ll show you the way”
He turned towards a hill and started to make his way up it, I followed. I could hear the songs of the street grow louder as we made our way higher up the hill. At the top, I stopped and examined the view. It was beautiful, the city was lit up with hundreds of lights sitting under the moon that hung quite low tonight. One at a time stars appeared up above, glistening so wonderfully. Maybe just maybe life wasn’t so bad after all.