The cold wet glop of Veronica's smoothie slid down the back of my neck and into my shirt. I could hear her and her trio of minions cackling behind me. I didn't even want to think about all the people who were watching from where they stood by their lockers. I was humiliated enough as it was. Reaching up I tried to wipe away as much of the mucho mango madness as I could. It was going to be hell to try and rinse this from my hair in the bathroom sink. I could still hear their snickering behind me. It just continued to add to the embarrassment. I knew my face was beginning to turn a bright shade of pink. I absolutely needed to get out of this hallway.
"Hey, where do you think you're going loser."
A soft yelp escaped my lips, against my will, as I felt Veronica's well-manicured hand grab my arm and yank me backwards effectively pulling me to the floor. The laughter around us growing. God, sometimes I wish I could just disappear completely. I don't even know what brought on this round of bullying. I mean, it's not like my sister had any reason for it most of the time but come on this was over doing it for absolutely nothing.
"I said where do you think you are going?" Veronica repeated the question, her usually nasally voice going up an octave, if that was even possible.
I looked up at her, her brown eyes zeroed in on me with disdain. I was beneath her, right now both figuratively and literally. It had been like this my entire life. She was the golden child, and I was just the one who happened to be born five minutes later.
"I was just going to class Ronnie." I mumbled, annoyed that she even had the nerve to ask such a dumb question.
Veronica pursed her lips in frustration. I knew she hated it when I used that nickname, especially when I used it around other people. Ever since we started school in kindergarten, she tried so hard to make people forget she even had a sister. And the fact that that sister was me was apparently a social status nightmare.
"Don't. Call. Me. That." She hissed through her teeth. Yeah, I definitely struck a nerve. Great.
I pushed myself up off the floor, grabbing my bookbag as I did. I so desperately wished the bell would ring already so people would forget about me like they always did and go to class. Almost like fate was in my favor this time the bell did ring. I let out a deeply held sigh of relief as I watched everyone turn away. 'Thank you' I whispered silently to whatever god was listening to me this time. But just when I thought I would be able to make a clean getaway I watched as Veronica pushed her way in front of me.
"Listen here you worthless waste of space, if I ever catch you eyeing my boyfriend again I will personally end you. Do you understand?"
"What the hell are you evening talking about?"
Veronica's eyes narrowed into slits as she tossed her bleach blonde hair behind her shoulder. I could almost see the steam coming from her ears. "Don't you dare play dumb with me Melody." Oh god, she used my name in public. Shit she must really mean business.
"I'm not playing dumb Veronica if I really don't know what you're talking about."
"Look, I saw you in Mr. Norse's class eyeing him down like the whore you are. It was absolutely disgusting and besides he would never go for someone like you."
"What? Oh, for fucks sake Veronica I wasn't eyeing Liam because I wanted him, I was watching him because he was the one presenting his groups project. It's a common respect thing you idiot. As if I would even go for some like him. I swear the pores on his face have more intelligence then he does."
By this point Veronica was fuming, her face redder than mine was just a moment ago. Behind me I could hear her friends gasp in shock at what I just said. In our school Veronica was the bitchy queen bee and I just disrespected her and her authority. Sometimes I really didn't know how to shut up when it was necessary.
"When you get home, you are dead. DEAD. You hear me. Just wait until I tell mother."
With that Veronica spun on her heels, the scent of her Victoria's Secret perfume slapping me in the face. The three equally as evil she devils that hung around her seemingly snapped out of the shock they were in and pushed past me as Veronica's heels clicked farther down the hall. One of them even managed to knock the books I was carrying out of my hands with a snicker. Fuck. I was in for it now. Picking up my things for the second time in a span of five minutes I turned around and ran to class, praying that my English teacher was late like she always was. I couldn't handle having detention on top of whatever hell was going to be waiting for me when I got home tonight.
"You said what to her!"
Elizabeth screeched in my ear, the half-eaten bite of peanut butter sandwich hanging out of her now open mouth. It was lunch and as usual me and Elizabeth were sitting under our usual tree in the corner of the school's courtyard. We had been best friends our entire life. She lived only a few houses down from me and she was the one and only person to stick up for me when Veronica would bully me. Somehow though that didn't make her an outcast like me. She was still super social around the school and didn't have trouble making friends. But as for myself, well, Elizabeth was my only friend. Apart from Mr. Johnson, the school's sole janitor, that is.
"Geez Lizzy, will you take it down a notch. I would love to preserve my hearing for future necessity if that's ok."
"I'm sorry Mel," she said taking another mouthful of her sandwich, thankfully quieter this time. "But you have to give me some sort of break here. I can't believe you talked to Veronica like that in front of people."
"It wasn't in front of everyone. They had all went to class by that point. Just the three hags she calls friends, that's it." I responded, plopping another pretzel into my mouth.
After we sat down with our lunch, I had started to recount the earlier conversation I had with my sister to Elizabeth. She seemed to hang onto every word I said like it was the newest soap opera episode where the grieving widow finally kissed the pool boy when she thought no one was watching. It wasn't quite off though, my life was like a soap opera, a melodramatic somewhat depressing soap opera but one, nonetheless. It wasn't until I started telling her everything that happened that I really realized how much shit I was in. Normally I was pretty good at biting my tongue when it came to Veronica but today, I don't really know what happened. Maybe it was the added benefit of being bathed in her smoothie. I was still finding chunks of it in clumpy glops throughout my hair.
"Yeah, but still. You usually don't let her get to you like that. You called her an idiot. That had to have pissed her off immensely. I can't believe you said that. This is totally like sixth season of the Bachelor newsworthy. I doubt any of her little friends managed to keep quiet all morning. They had to have said something. I bet the whole school is talking about it."
I sighed; Elizabeth was right. Someone definitely said something because I kept catching people throw side glances my way all through the last two periods. I was used to being ignored it almost became comforting but after this morning I apparently had become the talk of the school. Man, I hated high school. I can't wait to be done with it already. After graduation I plan on getting as far away from this hellhole of a town as possible. Maybe I would move to the city, start over, change my name, something.
"I don't know Lizzy, you may be right, but it doesn't really matter what I said. Veronica would probably find another reason to be pissed off at me. I just still can't believe she thought I would look at Liam like that. He so ew."
"He's not ew, he's hot. Like ultra-swimsuit model kind of hot. You're just cynical and you want to deny what's deep down inside you because he's dating your bitch of a sister." She giggled.
"You can't be serious. He's stupid. And all he cares about is lifting weights and how well his hair looks."
"Still hot. Besides I like them kind of dumb. Gives me those sappy golden retriever vibes if you know what I mean." Elizabeth looked at me, her eyes wide while she held her hands up in a puppy dog kind of way while she panted.
I laughed. She had always been kind of boy crazy our entire life, but I thought after living in the same small town with the same guys from when we were little, she would get over it. I guess not. It just kind of aged like her maturity. Very slowly and very far in-between. At least she knew how to make me smile.
"Maybe I'm not into that whole dog thing you know. I like my men a little more domesticated." I giggled back, throwing a stick at her.
"Hey there's nothing wrong with a guy who has a wild animal side. You'll see one day when you finally have a boyfriend."
"Really. Did you have to bring up my lack of a love life."
"Yeah, to teach you not to hate on what you don't know."
"Whatever you dufus."
I grabbed another pretzel, my mind wandering to what would happen when I got home tonight. It wasn't going to be good. I had already ignored three calls from my mother. Maybe not the best idea but today seemed to be a day of very poor decisions on my part.
"Hey Mel, do you just want to come spend the night at my place tonight?" Elizabeth asked. I'm sure she could read the uneasiness on my face.
"No, there's no point in avoiding the inevitable."
"Okay well the offer still stands you know; in case you need to sneak out or something. We could stay up late and watch a chick flick or something while we stuff or faces."
"Thanks Lizzy, I appreciate it, really."
"Of course, Mel, you know I got your back. Always."
As soon as Elizabeth finished speaking the first bell rang signaling that lunch was ending. I groaned, not ready to get back to class. There were only three more periods before the end of the day and seeing it was Friday, I really wished school was longer at this point. I so didn't want to go home. Maybe I should just take up Elizabeth on her offer.
"I'll call you later and tell you how it goes ok." I said, hugging Elizabeth before we went our separate ways.
"Remember, chick flicks and food. I'm thinking The Notebook." She yelled over her shoulder, disappearing into the crowd. Leaving me all alone, again.