Zoey Rodriguez maneuvered through the bustling crowd, on her way to her locker. She could hardly hear herself think over the hundreds of other people in the hall, but she eventually made it to her locker. She had to reach as high as she could to even get to it. She began to trade out the books in her bag for the ones in her locker, when she felt something touch her side, and she was pushed to the floor.
She scrambled back over towards the lockers to avoid being trampled, leaving her books to be stepped on, and looked up to see who pushed her. Sure enough, there stood Jessica and her posse. “C’mon…” she murmured.
“Hey!” She looked towards her friends. “Who left their trash on the floor?”
They laughed as Zoey got to her feet. She closed her locker door and started to walk away.
Jessica and her friends surrounded her. “Hey, don’t you know it’s rude to walk away from someone when they’re talking to you?”
“Jessica, can you just let me go to class?” She backed up against the lockers.
“Well it wouldn’t be right of me to leave trash laying around would it?” She looked back towards her friends. “Trash belongs in the garbage, help me out.” She began to try to grab Zoey’s arm.
“Girls!” A man’s voice sounded. “Keeping it friendly i hope?”
They all looked around to see Mr. Henderson glaring at them. “Yes, sir! Just helping a friend who fell!” Jessica beamed. “Isn’t that right, Zoey?” She looked back towards Zoey. Her smile dripped with malice.
“Wha- Uh, yeah. That’s right…” She had already tried getting help, but the teachers couldn’t be bothered or weren’t allowed to do anything. Not that Mr. Henderson would be much help even if he could.
“Alright then, scatter. You’re making too much racket.” He tapped on the locker for a moment, as he waited for the other girls to disperse. “Zoey!” He said as she started to collect her books. “Quit dragging good people into trouble.” He walked away, shaking his head.
Zoey stood in the hallway for a moment. She choked back some tears, and went to her last class, where she sat silently waiting for the day to be over. After an eternity, the bell finally rang, and she almost ran to the bus. The bus was loud, bumpy, and smelled bad, but to her it was heaven, because people would leave her alone.
She rode in peace all the way home. She arrived at a small two story house, with an adequately maintained lawn, and only a couple of broken shutters. She walked in and placed her bag down by the couch.
“How was school?” Her dad stood in the kitchen, wearing his convenience store uniform. He had an open box of pizza next to him.
“Fine.” Zoey started to head up towards her room.
“Well, hey! I got us some pizza, and I still have a few hours before work. I was thinking we could watch a movie?” He smiled.
Zoey sighed. She really just wanted to curl up alone in her room, but she had already turned her dad down twice this week. “Sure Dad, I’ll be right back.”
“Alright, honey!” Her dad hugged her before she went upstairs.
Zoey went into her room, locked the door, and laid on her bed. She thought about crying, but she couldn’t even really manage that. She just stayed in silence for a few minutes, hugging her pillow.
She got up and walked over to her dresser. She stared into the mirror for a moment. The girl she saw wasn’t ugly, just… plain.
Zoey looked down at some half empty bottle of nail polish. She recalled that she used to love it, but she knew this was all she had. She didn’t want to make her dad buy more, so she saved it for the special occasion that would never come. Not that she had a particular occasion in mind; nothing special ever happened to her.
For a moment, she wished it was over. She reminded herself that she wasn’t that bad off. After all, she still had her dad. She dragged herself out of her self pity, and went downstairs to join her dad.
This is another two part one off. I hope you enjoyed! If you havent yet, check out Artana: Part 1 and Artana: Part 2. Thanks for checking in during the break, I should have a firm time for season two to come back soon.
Also, just a quick side note. At some point this week-ish, my blog turned a full year old! I’m so proud of everything I have here, and I’m so grateful for your continued support.