Created this from a prompt idea, (exact prompt on my wall), and it was mainly to get my creative juices flowing. If it wasn't good, please don't be too harsh!
"Care to share?"
Surprised, I choke on a piece of carrot. "R-rosemary, you c-can't just sneak up on me!"
She slaps me on the back with unusual force. "Better?"
I scrunch up my face in disgust. "I'm just peachy. What do you want?"
"A carrot. I ain't got nothing."
I give a small, regretful smile. "Sorry, that was my last one."
"Real funny, I know you's got more in your lunch sack." She grabs my lunch box and pulls out to show me the half-full bag with a buck-toothed grin.
"Hey! Hasn't anyone told you not to steal?" I snatch my lunch box back and give her a nasty look. "What are you doing at my lunch table?"
She shrugs, sending a current through her tangled, green hair, "Beats sittin' alone. Hey, you should sit with me tomorrow - I dare you!"
I want to tell her there's a reason she sits alone everyday and why I most certainly won't. With her strange colored hair, large eyes and teeth, and homemade patch dresses, she's quite a sight to see. People probably could've tolerated her, but with that funny way of speaking and her uncultured habits, most tended to avoid her. I don't know why, but she always follows me around like a lost puppy. I absolutely hate it.
"No thanks. Anyway, I'm done." I zip up my lunch box and pat down my skirt. I make a point of tossing out the bag of carrots, but she doesn't react.
"Where you off to next?", she chirps, skipping to my side, "Bet you my thumbs that I'd be heading there too!"
"Ew, I'm going to the bathroom."'
"Guess I'll wait then."
"No, you go to class. I don't need a babysitter."
"Never said I was! See you next period then."
As soon as she is out of earshot, I let out a stressed groan. Why does she follow me so much? It's annoying and just plain weird.
The day passes as usual, but when the final bell has rung, I notice that I haven't seen her since the bathroom incident.
"Have you gotten rid of the rag doll?", my friend Alice teases me as we pack up our bags.
"I haven't seen her for awhile, think she's finally gotten the message?"
"You wish, bet she realized how uninteresting you are."
I pretend to be insulted, but ultimately, I'm grateful. It's hard to concentrate at school when you have someone breathing down your neck half the time. When the teacher gives the signal, my homeroom exits the building in loud hordes and I'm not ashamed to admit I was rowdier than usual.
"Did you hear that?"
Alice tugs my the sleeve of my sweater to get my attention. I turn mid-sentence, and grin. "Yeah?"
"Behind the building, there was a sound."
"And?" We're falling behind, and soon, we'll be left. More importantly, I'll lose my other friends' attention.
"Yeah, it's just... never mind." She runs ahead, ignoring it altogether.
I scrunch up my eyebrows, and wonder what made her change her mind so quickly. I look back to see what she could've seen and heard. After a moment, I start walking away when I hear the loud clanking sound of a chain link fence and a soft whimper. I think about forgetting the whole thing, but I've already been left behind. What's the harm?
I peek around the corner to see a kid I know named Derek and few others talking with Rosemary. No... they're not talking. With the nervous look on the girl's face and the dominating posture of Derek and two other boys, they can't just be talking with her.
One boy, a wicked smile on his face creeps around Rosemary and grabs her from behind, shoving her face into the fence. She's not saying much at all, but takes it all with a look of deathly fear on her face.
Derek gives the girl a look, and the girl produces scissors from her backpack. It's the first time I see her smile, and I hope to God it's the last. Derek snickers and pulls her hair out in a way that must be painful. I hear the snip, snip as he lops off a good six inches of her now strangely beautiful green hair. There are tears in her eyes as she sees that it now ends at her shoulders.
"You're welcome," One boy spits at her.
Two of them shove her and she loses her balance, falling backwards into a trash bin with a loud thud. The group look around, making sure no one was around, and tramp out the back way.
Speechless, and unsure of what to do, I stand watching Rosemary pull herself up, wincing. She regards the clumps of hair on the ground with a look of reverence before depositing them into the trash can. She then wipes the dirt from her crumpled dress and dries her tears. She make look better, but I can hear her muffled sniffles. When she retrieves her backpack, slung against the fence, I notice she's coming my way.
I hurry away, pulling out my phone to look busy.
"Oh, you're still here!"
I nod, trying to look nonchalant. "What's with your hair?"
She shrugs, and gives me a small smile. "I thought it needed a nice cut, but seems that wasn't the right path."
I notice how easily she lies. I hesitantly test a theory of mine. "So... your hair can't have been green always. What made you dye it?"
She stops, puzzled with the question. "Thought it might look pretty. Why?"
I bite my lip. "No one told you to dye it?"
We make eye contact and she realizes the gravity of my words. "Salt and pepper."
"I was salt and pepper blonde. Naturally, at least. They poured dye in a toilet and shoved my head in. Said it looked better on me. Nothing I could do would get it out."
I let out a shaky breath I'd been holding. "You want to come over to my house?"
She looks at me, both surprised and frightened by my words. "Your house?"
"Yeah," I smile at her, "I know just the thing to get you hair back to normal."
She nods at me, smiling brighter than I'd ever seen her. We begin to talk like friends, this time, real friends.