Paige was sitting alone as usual. It was lunch and everybody was laughing and talking with friends.
She picked up a carrot stick, then sighed as she let it slip from her fingers. She looked up at the popular table and frowned. She hated preps more than anything. She lowered her gaze. She didn't know why people didn't like her. At her old school, she was quite popular.
Paige's vision began to blur. She didn't want to be alone anymore.
Later that day, as she was walking home, Paige noticed a moving van parked in the driveway across the street from her house. She didn't see the people who were moving in, so she didn't stare.
In her house, she met her mother by the staircase.
"I'm going across the street to say hello to the Abners. Do you want to come?" she asked. Paige shook her head.
"I have homework."
Paige's mother considered her daughter for a moment.
"Ok, baby," I'll be right back." She kissed Paige's forehead before she walked out the door. Paige sighed, then ambled up the winding staircase.
Her brother's door was open so Paige looked in. He was wearing a nice navy blue shirt with khaki pants.
"You look decent. Where are you going?" she asked dully.
"I'm taking Stephanie out," Will replied as he ran a comb through his semi-afro.
"Oh," Paige responded lifelessly, "have fun."
"Thanks," Will answered as he walked past her. "I will."
Paige bit her lip and went into her room. She threw her book bag on the floor and fell unto her bed.
She groaned. "I'm alone again," she sang sadly. She slowly closed her eyes.
Just once she would like to have a friend.
* * *
At school the next day, there was a rumor of a new kid.
Paige never gave it a second thought, but she heard many things about him.
"He's a total hottie," she heard a lot of preppy girls say. " I want him."
"Yeah, he's cool," said some guys.
It wasn't until third period that Paige actually grew interest in him.
He sat across from her, so he was in the open. He light brown hair and bright hazel eyes. His face was narrow, his chin stubborn. He had a straight nose and a pouty lower lip.
Paige had to admit, he was kinda cute.
He must've felt her stare, because he turned his head and looked at her. Paige stiffened and looked away.
"Hi, I'm Cameron," he said quietly so the teacher couldn't hear.
Paige looked at him; he was smiling.
"I'm Paige," she whispered back.
"Paige...that's a pr-"
"Mr. Abner, do you have something that you'd like to share with the class?" Mr. Todd asked curtly. There were a couple of snickers in the room. Cameron opened his mouth to say something, but Paige stood up.
"It was me, Mr. Todd. I talked to him first-"
"Miss Wilson, will you please come to the front of the class?"
Paige shamelessly obeyed. Mr. Todd walked to a corner and picked up a tall pointed hat.
"You will wear this for the remainder of the period." He shoved the hat into Paige's hands. She put it on her head and the entire class, except Cameron, started to laugh.
Paige began to walk back to her seat, but Mr. Todd stopped her,
"Oh no, you won't be sitting back there...I want you to sit in the front where everyone can see you." Paige sat down in an empty front desk.
Mr. Todd turned back to the black board. "Now, the solution the problem six should be-"
Mr. Todd sighed exasperatedly. He swirled around, red faced, heavy breathed, and nose flared.
"Yes, Mr. Abner?" he spat.
"It wasn't Paige."
"I don't care who it was-"
"But that's not fair."
"Well, then, if it wasn't Miss Wilson, who was it?"
Mr. Todd turned back to the board. "Ok, so now that that's cleared up-"
"Aren't you going to punish me?"
"Not at all, Mr. Abner. You see, you didn't know the class rules-"
"Mr. Abner!" bellowed Mr. Todd. "Would you like to join her?"
"Out! Get out of my classroom! You too, Wilson"
"Do I need to get my books-"
Paige stood and followed Cameron to the door.
"With this hat on, I can't fit through the door. So can I-" Before Paige could finish, Mr.Todd snatched the dunce cap off of her head and pushed her into the hall.
As soon as the door slammed behind them, Cameron burst into fits of laughter. Paige frowned at him, then went to sit against the wall. Cameron stopped laughing and looked at her.
"Are you mad at me?" he asked somberly.
"No," she replied simply. "Is there a reason I should be?"
"Paige, I just got you kicked out of class-"
"Cameron," she snapped. " It doesn't matter."
Cameron sighed. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-"
But the bell rung and Paige disappeared into the loud crowd.