When the warning bell rang, the friends said their goodbyes, and each headed to the front office, then their first period classes. This year, the district decided to hold school registration on the first day of school. Bruce stayed with Jane. They each looked at their class schedules and compared them. Then Bruce looked at Jane.
“’Mind if I walk you to your class?” He asked.
“Not at all,” Jane answered sweetly.
When Jane walked into Mrs. Dufresne’s World History class, she looked around as she made her way to an empty desk in the front row. She was shocked and dismayed to find that Breanna, now a senior; Audrey, Kevin, Chandler, and a few others of their clique; Becky Lee and Ashley Childers were in the same class with her, as was Janessa Holtz, April Hart, and Samantha Criss. Jane immediately predicted that this would probably be the most difficult class for her, and, not academically, but socially.
Refusing to let it intimidate her, she calmly sat in one of the empty desks in the front row, but as far away from the menacing clique as she could. Fortunately, Bruce walked in too, having just realized that he had the same class as well. When Jane looked to see him, her muscles relaxed as the silent exhale of relief escaped her mouth and nostrils. He took the empty desk directly beside Jane and they both began to banter and chit-chat together.
The clique sat on the other side of the classroom, glaring evilly at Jane as she and Bruce continued to banter and giggle back and forth, their glares then settled on Bruce for about two minutes before returning to Jane and staying.
They shot fiery daggers at Jane as if she were public enemy number one.
“Well! Look who decided to grace our class with her presence, y’all. It’s the little karate queen!” Breanna sneered.
“Yep! And it looks like she’s got an admirer!” Kevin added disdainfully.
As Jane and Bruce continued their friendly chit-chat, derisive giggles and chuckles scattered throughout the classroom.
The hours ticked by quickly and, before they knew it, it was lunchtime. Bruce and Jane met Roxie, Brenda, and Andy in the school cafeteria. They each took their trays and sat at their usual table from last year. Bruce sat his tray next to Jane and pulled an empty chair next to hers. He then sat down beside her, across from Roxie, Brenda, and Andy.
Sitting at two tables pulled together across the cafeteria were members of the clique. And the group seemed to have gotten bigger as a few more of their associates moved a third table against the other two to make one long one. They all sat their trays down as Becky Lee pointed Jane out to the newcomers to the cool kids’ club. They all sat down continuing to glare at Jane. Then Chandler and Kevin turned their focus to Bruce, giving him an evil look that would wilt a houseplant.
Bruce, Jane, and the rest of their group were so busy laughing and catching up that they didn’t even notice the clique nor their angry and bitter stares. The dirty looks on the faces of the cool kids only intensified as they watched Bruce lean toward Jane, put his arm around her shoulders, and whisper in her ear.