It took nearly an hour to show Sara around the school, and when Charlie was finished she couldn't have been happier. She reluctantly escorted the blonde to her second class of the day seeing as it was one they both shared together, before taking her seat up in the back corner of the classroom. Sara sat in the seat directly in front of her.
Does she realize what she's doing? The tomboy tapped her fingers on the wooden desk and sighed. It was a twitch that always took control of her when she felt agitated.
People were bound to speculate about the blondes' seating arrangement, and they were almost certainly going to give Charlie an earful about taking advantage of the new girl. As other students filed into the classroom her suspicions were confirmed as they shot her dirty glares and scowled at her. 'This is just what I need.'
Charlie rolled her eyes and shot them an uncaring smile that clearly said 'Yeah, and? What of it?' Sara kept her head down and didn't bother to return any of their pity-glances.
They were not friends. Charlie didn't have friends like her. After a few days, the blonde would see reason and start to hang around ordinary girls and the So-called lesbian would be by herself again.
Their teacher entered the classroom oblivious to the tension in the air, and her peers started to slink down into their seats and stopped staring at her so much. After this, class proceeded on like usual and eventually the whole world began to drown out around her. She focused her attention outside towards the courtyard. The weather was pleasant today; the sun was beating down on the old brick school in warm waves of light that made the sky and grass seem even richer with colour. There were barely any clouds in the sky, and the few that were there hung low and wispy. Almost like licks of cream stretched out along the blue horizon.
She knew her parents were probably thrilled right now that the weather was so beautiful. They owned a large hotel and resort near the coast, and a day like today was sure to appease the customers. Charlie was aware how strange it was that she didn't live with her parents. Heck, Maybell High was so far inland that most people who went to school here didn't even know what a coast or beach looked like. But despite how lonely she felt sometimes, she preferred it here.
Her mother didn't keep in contact with her, but her father made sure that she was okay. He checked in on her at times, and he covered her living expenses. Charlie lived in their family home, and went on with life as if she wasn't missing just that. Her family.
She knew that some of the teachers had been warned about her living arrangement. It was probably why they tried to keep an eye on her. She simply didn't indulge their concerns.
"Charlie." She looked up suddenly as she heard the blonde whisper her name. Sara shoved a folded piece of paper onto her desk before quickly turning around again as inconspicuously as she could manage.
The tomboy raised her eyes to the ceiling before glaring silently at Sara's small back. She felt slightly skeptical at the idea that the blonde was still in that childish 'note-passing' phase. In fact, she thought everyone had grown out of that when mobile phones became popular.
She opened the neatly folded letter and read the scrawled inscription with a raised eyebrow.
'Have lunch with me?' it read.
Charlie snorted silently at the idea before picking up her pen and scribbling down a firm 'no.' in reply.
She lent over her desk and chucked the small piece of paper at the blonde who caught it clumsily as it hit her lap. There was an angry huff, and then the blonde wrote something else down on the piece of paper before handing it back. Charlie met her glare with an amused smirk and then read what she had to say.
'Why not?' it questioned, and beside the annoyed scrawl was a little face with cross eyebrows. Charlie felt irritation rise in her chest. Sara was stubborn, and Charlie didn't deal well with stubborn little pretty girls demanding to always get their way.
Pressing down with her pen slightly harder than what was necessary, she wrote 'I've shown you around the school. Get over it. Have lunch with someone else.' And she underlined the last part three times to put emphasis on just how irate she was feeling about this. When she handed it back to the blonde this time there was no reply and Charlie sighed with relief. She didn't care if she had hurt the small girls feelings. She was doing them both a favor whether the blonde appreciated it or not.
The bell rang shortly afterwards and Sara got up faster than anyone else and ran from the room. Charlie slowly collected her things ignoring the way some of her classmates glared at her like she had once again done something wrong. One girl with ginger hair and a soft speckling of freckles across her cheeks stormed over to her and the Tomboy gave her a cold look over.
"You should stay away from girls, it's disgusting how you look at us." The redhead spat as she stared up at her defiantly. Charlie couldn't help but feel blessed with her height. There was certainly an advantage to being taller than most of the girls her age. She could tell that she unnerved the teen.
"Ashly, don't even start. She's all yours..." She growled through her teeth. She didn't bother to point out that she would never have eyes for a girl like her, but realized that saying anything about her speculated sexuality was just like adding fuel to a fire. Instead she moved to shove past the redhead and out into the hallway.
She heard the girl call out after her but she kept moving. She knew Sara was off sulking somewhere and that her classmates would sort her out. They would probably corner her and gossip about how disgusting Charlie was, and then they would explain to her that the blonde was better off staying away.
She smiled at the thought. In a way she actually relied on them to do this. It was easier than having the blonde continue to mope about as though it were personal.
It certainly wasn't. It was just better like this.
Charlie made her way through the busy hallways dodging in-between students who were heading towards the cafeteria. She wasn't hungry today, and even if she was she always tried to avoid eating with them.
Most of the time, she sat in the music room among all the drums and recorders and just waited out the lunch break in silence. She had a knack for playing the piano that had won her competitions and awards, and it was something she took pride in. She was one of few musical students in the school, and she found that was because it was another thing people could be ostracized for. She had a feeling students who were ostracized for being musical didn't really mind though. They had friends among other musicians.
Charlie knew that they were some of the only people who attended Maybell High who even resembled friends to her. They weren't close and didn't talk outside of band practice, but they respected and admired her.
She pushed into the music room and felt slightly uncomfortable as her ears were assailed with the soft sound of piano keys being played, interrupted every now and then by choked sobs. Apparently someone else had occupied the room first. She sighed at her missed opportunity to have the room to herself but decided against leaving. Another music student wouldn't harass her; they were all polite to her. The only thing that worried her was the awkward sniffling that came from the pianist in the corner.
Charlie picked up a guitar from its stand and sat down on a nearby chair. Realising she wouldn't have the piano to herself today she decided to strum the strings of the instrument along with the crying girls piano keys instead. Charlie was fantastic on a piano, but she could play a Guitar just as well and wasn't too bad on a violin either. She had a lot of time on her hands to practice.
The crying stopped abruptly along with the pianos' soft keys and the Tomboy bit her lip as she waited. An awkward silence followed soon after and Charlie feared the mystery musician might have been offended at being caught so distressed, but eventually she started to play again, more slowly this time and the Tomboy grinned with relief. She held the guitar firmly in her hands and joined in again.
It was then that she realized what song she was actually playing along to and she chuckled softly. Three Dog Night's 'One'... This girl was seriously sitting there hunched over a piano and feeling sorry for herself as she played the iconic song, which boasted lyrics such as "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do." Charlie had no idea who she was, but she felt highly amused at the choice of song.
As they fell into rhythm together, the tomboy stood quietly and then wordlessly moved around the piano towards the girl. She continued to play along with the pianist as she circled the large instrument that she adored so much.
When she finally came to stand at the musicians' side her eyes widened in surprise and then she laughed noiselessly at the irony of it.
Sara sat at the piano with red puffy eyes and her flawless complexion marred with pink blotches. Her cheeks were wet with tears and her hands shook as she played the self-indulgent song.
At last the final notes filled the room and then the blonde's hands halted over the keyboard as she finished.
"You have a strange taste in music." The tomboy commented with a small smile.
Sara jumped out of her skin and brought her hands up to cover her face. She hesitantly forced her gaze to fix on the dark brown eyes of her fellow classmate and glared.
Charlie just shrugged and didn't bother to glare back. The poor blonde looked absolutely pitiable and not at all intimidating, especially with her watery eyes so full they were sure to overflow again at any second. She felt a little guilty.
She knew the stubborn self-obsessed girl was probably crying because she had been shrugged off so carelessly. Sara was only upset because she was being denied something that she wanted. Girls like her weren't used to not getting their way.
But to see her sitting at the piano with her puffy little eyes made it hard to not feel accountable.
Eventually Charlie noticed the half eaten sandwich sitting beside the smaller girl and she sighed in defeat. Alright then.
"If you still want to have lunch with me, give me a bite of that." She offered reluctantly and pointed at the blonde's lunch. Sara rubbed her eyes roughly with the backs of her hands and nodded as she picked up her sandwich and held it out to the dark haired girl.
Charlie suppressed a shudder at the outstanding level of hygiene just displayed but took the offered food anyway with a grin. "Thanks." She mumbled and took a small bite.
Ugh. Tuna. She hated tuna… she knew it was tuna before she had even brought the offending item to her mouth, simply from the fishy smell. She smiled anyway. The deed was done. Sara should feel a sense of accomplishment at getting the tomboy this close to anything that possessed gills and swam.
Charlie turned to put the Guitar back where it belonged and then leave for her next class. She knew that the lunch break was nearly over anyway. A small and shaky hand on her arm stopped her and she rolled her eyes. Give someone an inch and they'll take a mile.
"Wait… I… we should do this again." The blonde mumbled and released her arm.
Charlie shrugged and gave her a grin. "Maybe. I usually prefer to play piano though."
She noticed the blonde's crestfallen expression and sighed. The tomboy poked Sara's forehead and simply repeated again in a gruffer voice, "Maybe".
That was all she was willing to promise. She was done with pleasing annoying blonde girls for today.