4 CHAPTER 3

I woke up with a tear in my eyes. I touched my face and realized that my tears dried up. I have been crying myself to sleep last night. Again.

And then I remember, who wouldn't cry when you're sister's friends don't like you. Who wouldn't cry when they made you as their laughing stock? Who wouldn't cry when your sister did not even mind it? Who wouldn’t cry when your sister is laughing with them? Who wouldn’t?

“Fely? Are you ready?” I heard Ghale outside my bedroom. Funny how she acts like nothing happened yesterday. She didn’t even try to defend me from her friends. What am I to her? Do I look like a joke?

Still frustrated at what happened, I decided to get ready for school without answering Ghale. Whatever. I’m still mad. While I am in the bathroom, under the cold shower, I reminisced what happened yesterday.

*Flashback*

“Ghale, could you tell your sister to get our food since she’s new in our group, right?” Sharon, as I remembered her name, said and looked at me, smiling. I am pleased to know that they are slowly opening the gates to their group. As part of their circle. But what I did not know is that hell is in there.

“Oh sorry,” Nicole said and then laughed after blocking my way with her feet causing me to stumble while holding their food. I stood up thinking that it was just an accident but when I saw that they were all laughing, including my sister, I realized that they don’t like me. They hate me. And I don't even know why.

“I didn’t mean it, maybe you could get another set?” said Nicole and laughed again. I’m not dumb. Why would I do that? But of course, just to avoid ruckus, I did.

But then, this time, after putting the food on the table, they suddenly throw it.

“Ew, what is this?” said Nicole while looking at the food in front of her. “This one too, it’s gross. I don’t eat unhealthy food, babe,” Sharon said and look at me. “And what about this? I don’t even know that this kind of food exists.” Jane said and look at me with her 'are-you-serious-about-this?' facial expression. “Seriously? Why did you buy these foods?” she told me and threw water she was holding to my direction.

“Shit,” I murmured as I looked at my shirt getting wet. “Why would you do that?” I can't help myself but to shout at her and turned to my sister. “Look at what she did to me!” I told her and she just sighs and gets her towel to dry me. She didn’t even do something to stop them. Really?

I sighed heavily and walked out of the cafeteria to run towards our classroom. What a dumb shits. How childish they were. Are they second-year college students? They look like kindergartners.

*End of Flashback*

“Hey, let’s go?” Ghale said when she saw me walking down the stairs. I looked at her flatly, “I won’t come with you. I have something to do.” I said and continued walking towards the breakfast table. Still the same, our parents are not here. As usual.

“Why won’t you come with me? I can escort you to wherever you are going.” Ghale said while following me behind. “No need. I can handle it.”

“Fely, is this about yesterday?" she sighed and continued. "I know you’re mad about it. I’m sorry about that. They are just having fun. It's nothing serious” She looks so sad while apologizing. “Have fun of me? Really? And it's nothing serious? I was embarrassed in front of a lot of people! You know what? It’s not that I need you to defend me. It’s just that you chose to laugh with them than be sorry for my misery.” Good thing I stopped myself from shouting at her face. I decided to leave the house earlier than usual. I still need to find a taxi to get me to school.

After the long drive, I paid my bill before going out. “Thank you.” I handed him the bill but the driver did not lend his hand. “Uh, my bill,” I said. “Okay, thank you.” His voice is so low I barely hear it.

After that weird encounter, I walked towards our room and I figured out that most of my classmates are already there. Except for Drake.

Wait, why am I looking for him?

I sat at my place and silently put my headphones on. I looked at the window until I saw Ghale, with her friends laughing. I don’t know why but it hurts how she managed to be with them after embarrassing me in front of almost everyone yesterday.

“Hi!” I heard someone beside me. I looked at that person and realized that it was Drake. “Hi,” I replied. I looked at the window once again. I noticed that there’s a part of the campus that looks like a forest. It’s amazing to look at.

“What are you looking at?” Drake asked. “Have you been there?” I pointed to the place I have been staring at since earlier.

“Oh yes. Why? Wanna go there?” he said. I turned around to face him and smiled. “Can you come with me? I mean, I don't know what path to follow but if you don't want to, you can just tell me how I can get there.” I told him, he nodded, and added, “Lunchtime? We can eat there. Let’s just buy food at the cafeteria." My smile grew bigger knowing that I could get close to that place and he will accompany me.

I have seen it yesterday too but I haven’t put too much attention. I don't know why but as I stare at it, the more it looks interesting to see.

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As I continued looking at the window, I realized that I have been spacing out too much.

“Let’s go?” I heard Drake’s voice making my sanity back to place. “Huh?” I asked. I looked around and realized that there are no one else inside except us. The class is dismissed? How long have I’ve been staring at the window then?

“The class is done?” I asked him. “Yeah, you have been spacing out. Good thing our professor did not notice you.” “Come on, let’s get our lunch.” He added.

I stood up and went out with him. I texted Ghale too that I won’t be with them today. I know they’ll be glad knowing that I won't be around.

“Where’s your sister?” Drake asked after a long silence. We were walking in the hallways, students flocking everywhere. It was noisy around us, that’s why I didn’t hear what he said clearly. “What?” I told him. “Where’s your sister?” he asked again. “Oh, uh she’s with her friends,” I replied. “How did you know about her?” I asked him curiously.

“I saw you with her yesterday. And also, what happened in the cafeteria.”

“Oh,” was all I could say after that.

As we walked to the cafeteria, I saw Ghale with her friends, chatting. I know that they’re not talking about me but I felt ashamed. Especially that I have to pass through their table to go to the counter area.

When we entered the cafeteria, everyone fell silent. Is this because they remembered me from yesterday? I looked down, hoping that they won't recognize me.

“Why is she with Drake?”

“Are they together?”

“Who’s that slut?”

“Is this freaking real? Why is Drake walking with someone except for--”

"Shh, shut up!"

Huh? What are they talking about? Are they talking about Drake? Like the Drake that I am with?

“You can sit there, I’ll order for us. What do you want?” Drake stopped and pointed a seat near the doorway. I looked at the seat he was pointing and looked at him again.

Maybe he realized that I am not comfortable so he volunteer to order for me too.

Thank God for that. I smiled at him and nodded.

“Uh, Just vegetable salad,” I whispered, still feeling uncomfortable as everyone looked at us. Why do they keep on staring anyway?

“Really? Salad? I think you should eat more.” He commented as he raked his stares at my body. I gave him a glare making him chuckle. “Let me order for you.” He said and walked away.

“Who are you? Why are you with Drake?” someone approached me. I looked up and was about to smile at the girl when I realized that she was glaring at me. Her face is full of make-up. Her eyebrows on show. “Uh, excuse me?” I said. “Why are you with Drake?” she asked again.

Wait, is that illegal? What’s wrong being with Drake?

“Uh, I’m his classmate,” I answered and smiled at her. “What’s happening?” I heard Drake coming closer to us while holding a plastic full of food.

Everyone is gossiping about us. talking about what show is this going on.

“Do you have a problem miss?” Drake asked the girl in front of us. He handed me the food and looked at the girl again. “We need to go. You’re wasting our time.” He said and grabbed my arm.

“Who is she?” the girl shouted. Drake looked back and looked at the girl, seriously.

Drake sighed and faced the woman.

“It’s none of your business… Stephanie.”

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