There it was, the orange and blue flyer, sitting on the bulletin board announcing that Homecoming was only a few weeks away.
DaeRi resisted the urge to rip it off the wall. Once upon a time she she was excited for her senior year Homecoming dance, but that was when she thought she had a chance at homecoming queen and now she knows she does not.
She heard people approach from the back and heard the familiar voice of her once best friend Tamarai, yes she was not her best friend anymore. She couldn’t get over that Tamarai had basically pulled an Harriette and dumped her in school, and she was not gonna forgive and she was tired of letting Tamarai think she could be on both sides when she couldn’t.
“Look,” DaeRi heard Tamarai say, to Harriette she assumed.
“Oh, homecoming. I’m excited,” Harriette, DaeRi guessed right, said.
“Who do you think’ll win homecoming queen?” Tamarai asked.
“Oh, you, totally,” Harriette said.
DaeRi bit her lip to stop herself from screaming and making a scene. Tamarai, homecoming queen??? No!
“Oh, you think?” Tamarai said, and DaeRi couldn’t believe she actually sounded excited. DaeRi had told her during the summer just how excited she was about probably being homecoming queen this year, and here she was being happy that DaeRi’s dreams were being ripped apart.
Thankfully by the time she had turned around and was completely planning to tell Tamarai just what she thought about her being homecoming queen, Tamarai and Harriette were already on there way down the hall.
DaeRi took a deep breath and stopped herself from following them. She watched as they met up with Collin and headed towards the cafeteria. Even though it was lunch and she hadn’t even eaten breakfast, the last thing she wanted to do was go into that cafeteria and try get through another long lunch period by herself.
She didn’t understand how other unpopular people did it, how did they make it through school without going crazy or breaking down, which DaeRi felt like doing just then.
They had friends, that’s how they did it, Daeri thought as she watched a group of people she didn’t even know walk into the cafeteria. Those people were losers, no one cared about them but they had each other. And DaeRi had no one, because she was more than just a loser, more than just unpopular, she was a grade A outcast. She didn’t think there was a single person in the school who didn’t hate her, or at least thought she was a snob.
But not going to lunch would be like the ultimate sign that she lost, that they had won and that she was sucumbing to being an outcast for the rest of her high school life. No, she had to go in the cafeteria whether she wanted to or not.
So she followed the crowd into the cafeteria, glad that she had a packed lunch and she didn’t have to brave the lines, and head over to her usual table, on the outskirts of the cafeteria. Just walking over there hurt.
Suddenly she stopped, why was she sitting all the way out here anyway? It wasn’t like she was banned from the inner circle, or at least closer than she had been sitting. She looked over the cafeteria and watched the crowd of people and she saw a few tables that hadn’t been taken yet, the people who usually sat there must be getting their food or just late. What would happen if she sat there?
She felt like everyone was watching her as she walked towards the center and took a seat at the table where Lexi and her friends usually sat. DaeRi knew Lexi and she was relatively nice, and not too obsessed with popularity. Sure she had been at the beach when DaeRi had caused the scene that had caused her to be practically banished from the popular circle, so she probably didn’t like DaeRi much, but maybe she wouldn’t tell her to leave.
Lexi’s table also just happened to be one of the closer ones to Harriette’s, and DaeRi saw Tamarai noticed her and look shocked. DaeRi smiled to herself and opened her lunch, why hadn’t she thought of this sooner?
“Uhm, this is our table?” and there was Honey Bell, Lexi’s cousin and best friend. DaeRi looked up and tried to look as innocent as possible. There stood Lexi, Honey, and Layla. They were like the second tier populars, Lexi was once a cheerleader but quit a few years ago and joined track instead. Normally that kind of thing would cause her to fall lower on the popularity scale but no, she held onto her popularity and even got more popular. And by hanging out with Lexi, Honey and Layla were also second tier populars.
“Yeah, it is, isn't it?” DaeRi said, continuing to keep up her innocent act.
“And you’re sitting at it,” Honey continued.
DaeRi nodded, as if they were the ones being dumb.
“Did we invite you?” Honey said, looking at Lexi.
“Nope,” Lexi said slowly, she was obviously thinking about what was the right thing to do in this situation.
“Is it okay if I sit here?” DaeRi said, “It’s gotten terribly lonely at my old table and no one else will let me sit with them.”
Who could resist a sobs story?
Lexi looked torn and Honey and Layla were just waiting for her to say something. Finally Lexi just shrugged and set her food down.
“No, you can’t,” Lexi said, “I’m sorry about you being lonely and all, but you can’t pretend to just forget how rude you were at the beach party. You’re gonna have to actually show that you’ve changed, you can’t just pretend you did.”
DaeRi tried so hard not to yell or call Lexi some rude names as she gathered her food and stood up. She wasn’t gonna argue, arguing would only lead to a fight and fights were not good for DaeRi.
She could practically feel the stares follow her as she went back to the outer circle and to the table she had been sitting at the whole year so far. She could almost cry, if she wasn’t so angry. Mostly she was mad at herself for letting this happen, for letting her temper get the best of her. But at the same time she was angry at everyone else for making such a big deal about it!
She didn’t understand, it’s not like she was the first person to tell people to leave a party. If any other losers appeared at any other party that would have been expected, sure maybe DaeRi had been a little more mean than was called for but still. She was just doing what would have been expected of her if it had been a few years back and the same people appeared at a popular party.And now she had to find a way to show everyone thats he had changed, or at least make them think that. It was the only way she could get back the homecoming queen title.