“Hurry up Melody, the hallway is basically empty,” Luciel calls out into the girls’ restroom. He doesn’t get a response causing Samuel to laugh and Luciel sighs. They hear rushing water, which gets Luciel’s hopes up. This is followed by indecipherable murmurs in which Luciel moves closer to the door to eavesdrop. However, the door is immediately flung open hitting Luciel right in the face. Samuel looks at Luciel in shock momentarily but soon bursts out in laughter. Melody and Skylar exit the restroom to see Samuel laughing and Luciel gripping his face.
“Lulu are you okay?” Melody asks concerned and Luciel looks up at her.
“It kinda hurts but I’ll be fine,” Luciel shrugs off and Melody twiddles her fingers feeling guilty. Skylar notices a clock on the wall and announces, “Guys, let’s get a move on or we won’t have time to eat.”
The rest of the group agrees, and they head to the cafeteria. Once they’re inside, Skylar and Melody go wait in the line for their lunch leaving Luciel and Samuel to find seats for the whole group. They find four empty seats and use their backpacks to save Skylar and Melody a spot. They sit down and take out their lunch.
“I’m surprised this table still has some seats available,” Samuel notices and Luciel smiles, “We were super lucky today, huh?”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Samuel nods and begins eating his lunch which is capellini with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Luciel also unpacks his lunch which are onigiri (rice balls), but he decides to just eat his bag of Funyons and puts away the onigiri. However, Luciel is soon approached by a trio of girls and Samuel ignores them and continues eating.
“Hey Luciel,” the girl in the middle with rose red hair says and Luciel gives her a questioned look.
“I don’t think we’ve met before, so how do you know my name?” Luciel questions, a bit disturbed and the girl answers, “We haven’t really talked to each other, but we are in the same English class. So, don’t worry I’m not stalking you.”
“That’s nice to know,” Luciel notes and continues. “So, what’s your name?”
“I’m Sara,” she says, introducing herself. “The girl with the black hair is Michelle and the one with green hair and glasses is Catherine.”
“Sara, Michelle, and Catherine nice to meet you,” Luciel says politely to all of them but then focuses his attention back to Sara.
“Anyway, is there something you need?” Luciel asks, getting to the point and Sara clears her throat.
“I wanted to buy some desserts from La Madeleine for all of us, but we’re short on cash. Do you mind lending us 20 dollars?” Sara coerces sweetly and Luciel gives her a skeptical look, “20 dollars, for a couple of desserts?”
“Yes, the desserts there are pretty expensive. We’ll make it up to you, we promise,” Sara reassures and Luciel gives in and digs in his pocket for his wallet. He takes out 20 dollars from it and hands it to them.
“This better be worth it,” Luciel mutters to himself and Sara, Michelle, and Catherine walk swiftly to the line and Sara echoes a “thank you” that can barely be heard over the noise of the cafeteria. A while later, Skylar and Melody make their way to the table and Luciel and Samuel move their backpacks out of the way, so the girls can sit down.
“You guys got here rather quickly despite the line being extremely long before we even got here,” Luciel realizes and Skylar remarks, “It’s because of this magical thing you may not have heard of called skipping.”
Melody joins in saying, “It is something that is passed down from generation to generation and helps people like us have time to eat.”
Luciel rolls his eyes and Samuel questions, “Isn’t that unfair? Don’t you think the people you’re skipping want to eat too?”
“Survival of the fittest,” Skylar explains, and Melody elaborates, “Plus, some people don’t even pay attention so it’s kind of their fault too.”
“Well, I’m happy you guys are here,” Luciel says, eyeing the girls’ bag of Chick-fil-A and Skylar sees him staring at their bag and says in a serious tone, “Don’t even think about it Luciel. You have your own food.”
Luciel quickly averts his eyes and continues eating his bag of Funyons. Skylar and Melody take all their Chick-fil-A out of the bag and divvy the portions up and begin eating. Skylar notices Luciel eat nothing else besides his bag of Funyons and asks feeling kind of bad, “Hey Luciel, is that all you have?”
Luciel looks up at her and hesitates before he replies, “Um… yeah, this is my whole lunch.”
“Seriously Lulu?” Melody empathizes and gives him a part of her chicken sandwich and some fries. Luciel thanks her for her generous donation and wolfs down the Chick-fil-A.
“Hey Luciel, I know this is kind of late, but why did you do it?” Samuel asks vaguely and Luciel inquires, “What are you talking about?”
“Why did you give those girls 20 dollars?” Samuel clarifies and Luciel answers. “I was just feeling generous.”
“That’s the only reason?” Samuel probes and Luciel adds on, “I mean, I guess they were kind of cute.”
“That’s all it takes to extort money from you?!” Samuel assumes, raising his voice and Luciel defends, “Sam, is there a problem or something?”
“No, just curious,” Samuel backs down and Skylar butts in asking, “Luciel, what’s Sam talking about?”
“Nothing don’t worry about it,” Luciel dismisses and Melody states, “Saying that makes people more curious Lulu.”
“Are you sure it’s nothing?” Skylar continues and Luciel repeats, “I said don’t worry about it Skylar.”
“Fine, whatever you say Luciel,” Skylar sighs and the group continues eating.
After some time of the group eating and chatting, five minutes remain until the bell rings.
“Lunch is almost over everyone, who’s disposing of the trash?” Samuel poses, and Melody instantly shakes her head.
“Then I’ll do it,” Skylar offers, and Melody immediately recites, “’Hamilton, you’re the closest friend I’ve got. Laurens do not throw away your shot.’” There is a long pause and Melody continues, “Sorry guys, I couldn’t resist.”
“Of course, you couldn’t,” Luciel grins and Skylar rolls her eyes but smiles a little. She goes to pick up everyone’s trash and Luciel also offers, “Hey Skylar, I’ll come too.”
“You don’t have to,” Skylar says and Luciel pushes, “It’s fine. I don’t mind.”
Luciel and Skylar divide the trash between themselves. As they walk towards the trash can they bump into Sean. Luciel and Skylar attempt to avoid him but Sean confronts Skylar with a smirk glued to his face.
“What a coincidence running into you here,” Sean says sarcastically and Skylar sighs, “Yeah, sure. ’What a coincidence’. What do you want?”
“I just want to talk to you, Sky,” Sean answers, putting emphasis on her nickname and Skylar retorts, “Well, I want to throw away my trash Sean, so it would be nice if you moved out of the way.”
“Why do you always avoid me Sky? Is it because you’re scared you made the wrong decision? Is it because you’re confused about your feelings? Or, is it because—” Sean starts and Skylar interrupts, “You say things like that which both creeps me out and annoys me, Sean.”
“I annoy you?” Sean questions angrily. “You don’t think you annoy me when you’re always with that retard you call a friend?!”
“He’s a better friend than you’ll ever be,” Skylar mutters and she passes him, but he grabs her hair and pulls Skylar to himself. Skylar yelps in pain as he does this, and he whispers in her ear, “I don’t want to hurt you. I just want you to understand how embarrassing it is for me that you dumped me, Sean, for that loser.”
“You think that Luciel’s the reason I dumped you? I mean, I see why you would think that but that couldn’t be farther from the truth,” Skylar manages to say, and Sean puts his arm around her waist pulling her even tighter and Skylar drops her trash on the floor.
“You’re a smart girl, right? So, STOP giving me that BULLSHIT!” Sean almost screams in her ear and Skylar tries to push free to no avail.
“Sean, please stop…You said you didn’t want to hurt me,” Skylar reminds him, and Sean looks at her smirking, “You really are a smart girl. Why can’t you just stay with me? We would have been a perfect couple.”
“Sean, why can’t you just move on?” Skylar insists. “You’re making things harder by doing things like this.”
Luciel notices Skylar struggling and having already thrown his trash away, rushes to her aid.
“Hey, Sean, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Luciel questions Sean and he turns in Luciel’s direction and scowls.
“The last person I wanted to see,” Sean sighs, yet keeps his grip on Skylar.
“Leave her alone,” Luciel persists. “Can’t you see you’re clearly hurting her?”
“Why would you care?” Sean asks cynically, and Skylar tells Luciel, “Go tell a teacher or something.”
“I’m going to take things into my own hands,” Luciel signifies bravely and Skylar sighs, “Of course you are. Idiot.”
Luciel charges Sean and Sean lets go of Skylar and puts Luciel in a headlock. He smashes Luciel’s head on his knee and throws Luciel across the floor on top of another student.
“Hey! What the fuck?!” the student yells underneath Luciel and Sean laughs. He turns to see Skylar gone and he looks frantically for her.
“Shit,” he murmurs, realizing what Skylar was probably going to do. He goes back to his table and hears the bell ring for next period. The cafeteria erupts into chaos and Sean barely makes it to his group and they barrel their way through the crowd and to their next class.
“Where’s Luciel and Skylar?” Samuel inquires still at their table and Melody shrugs, “This is the reason why I don’t throw away the trash. You can get lost when you’re trying to find your table.”
“You’re the only person I’ve ever met that gets lost in the cafeteria,” Samuel points out and Melody denies, “That can’t be true. The cafeteria is like a maze! It’s so easy to get lost in here.”
“It is literally a large room filled with tables that have seats, the lunch line where they sell food and trash cans. Not even close to a maze!” Samuel states debunking Melody’s statement.
“Whatever,” Melody brushes off. “Anyways, we have to look for Sky and Lulu!”
“In this crowd? Are you insane? We’ll never find them!” Samuel states, knowing the impossibility and Melody persists, “Never say never. You can do anything if you put your mind to it!”
Melody grabs her satchel and marches into the crowd. Samuel sighs, also grabbing his bag reluctantly following her. After about two minutes, most of the crowd has dispersed and Melody notices Luciel in the distance slowly getting up.
“LULU!” Melody shouts across the cafeteria, running towards him and Luciel turns to the direction of her voice. Melody approaches Luciel and helps him up. Samuel eventually catches up with them and immediately asks Luciel, “What happened?”
“Sean,” Luciel says blatantly and Melody gives him a questioned look, “What do you mean?”
Luciel grips his head and Samuel just realizes that blood is gushing out of it.
“Holy shit!” Samuel exclaims and Luciel smiles sadly. “Is it that bad?”
“Yes, you need to go to the nurse, like right now,” Samuel realizes and starts walking him out of the cafeteria.
“What are you guys talking abo—OH MY GOD LULU YOUR HEAD IS BLEEDING!” Melody shouts in complete shock and follows them, however, Samuel stops her.
“Melody go find Skylar,” Samuel directs and asks Luciel, “Do you know where Skylar went?”
“She probably went to find a teacher,” Luciel manages to say before he goes unconscious. Samuel barely catches him and heaves him up, using all his effort just to support Luciel’s weight and walk.
“Sam, are you sure that you don’t need help? At least let me carry your bag,” Melody offers, and Samuel manages to say, “Fine, take the bag. But find Skylar and tell her what happened.”
“Okay, Sam,” Melody agrees and takes his bag. The cafeteria is nearly empty, and Melody sees Skylar with a teacher specifically, Mrs. Sharp, and rushes over to them.
“Sky, Sky…” Melody pants and Skylar asks, “Mel, what are you doing here?”
“Lulu’s head is bleeding, so Sam is taking him to the nurse but Lulu’s heavy because he’s so tall, so Sam is having trouble carrying him, but he told me to find you and now that I’ve found you we need to go back and help Sam carry Lulu to the nurse and get a pass, so we can go to class,” Melody chants rapidly causing Skylar and Mrs. Sharp to give her a confused look.
“Just follow me,” Melody simplifies leading them to Samuel.
“Skylar and Mrs. Sharp?” Samuel grunts while carrying Luciel to the nurse. Skylar and Melody help Samuel carry Luciel and Mrs. Sharp asks, “What happened to him?”
“Well, he got in a fight with Sean,” Skylar explains. “However, I wouldn’t call it a fight, more like a TKO.”
“After he gets to the nurse, I’ll need to talk to Sean,” Mrs. Sharp concludes. “Even though Luciel’s hurt badly, that doesn’t mean he’s off the hook. Fighting is strictly forbidden on school campus so there’s a chance they will both be suspended.”
“But he was trying to protect me,” Skylar pleads, “Sean was acting weird.”
“How so?” Mrs. Sharp probes and Skylar goes on, “He keeps harassing me out of nowhere because of a break- up we had recently. He won’t move on.”
“Teenagers these days…,” Mrs. Sharp mumbles. She clears her throat and continues, “I see. Does he do this frequently?”
“This is the third time he’s done it,” Skylar clarifies, and Mrs. Sharp asks, “Why didn’t you tell an adult sooner? Harassment isn’t something to be taken lightly, you know.”
“I understand, but he threatened me not to tell,” Skylar emphasizes and Mrs. Sharp sighs, “Threats also shouldn’t be taken lightly. You must speak up immediately. Did you at least tell your parents?”
“No…,” Skylar hesitates, and Melody jumps in, “You didn’t even tell me?!”
Skylar turns to her and smiles sadly, “Sorry Mel. I was too afraid.”
"What did he threaten you with?" Mrs. Sharp interrogates and Skylar responds reluctantly, "Rape threats..."
"I'm so sorry," Melody sympathizes, patting Skylar's back.
“I understand why you didn't want to tell us,” Samuel mutualizes. “I wish he would just leave you alone.”
“Yeah,” Skylar says, a bit off into the distance and Mrs. Sharp follows them to the nurse. They arrive at the nurse’s office and lay Luciel down on one of the beds.
“God he’s heavy,” Samuel says, as they put Luciel down. “Thanks for the help guys. I probably would have joined him if you two didn’t come fast enough.”
“No problem,” Melody chirps and Skylar smiles sincerely and joins Mrs. Sharp’s conversation with the nurse.
“Nurse Rockbell, is there anything I can do to help?” Skylar offers, and Nurse Rockbell suggests, “How did Luciel get injured?”
“Sean bashed Luciel’s head across his own knee,” Skylar answers and the nurse nods. She goes over to Luciel and inspects his head.
“Oh, this is worse than I thought,” Nurse Rockbell states and grabs tissues, antiseptic, and a roll of gauze. “The most I can do for him is clean up his wound. He should probably go see an actual doctor if it’s serious.”
Melody talks with Mrs. Sharp about cats while Samuel and Skylar watch Luciel being treated. Skylar notices Melody’s nonchalant expression and inquires, “Mel, you seem really calm about all this. Is it just an act or do you trust Nurse Rockbell’s abilities that much?”
“The second one of course,” Melody answers without a doubt. “Nurse Rockbell treats me all the time so I know Lulu’s going to be fine.”
“All the time?” Skylar questions and Melody quickly changes the subject, “Never mind. Anyway, doesn’t Sam look really cute when he’s all focused like that?”
“He does,” Skylar agrees, which puts a permanent grin on her face. However, Mrs. Sharp interrupts their moment, saying, “Anyway, you three should be heading to class now. Don’t worry, I’ll write you a pass.”
They nod, and Mrs. Sharp passes them each a slip of paper and they grab their bags and walk to their class. Samuel speed-walks while the girls take their time, barely moving with each step. Samuel notices how far behind they are and just sighs and walks faster.
“Why are you guys walking so slow?” Samuel asks annoyed and Melody replies, “Why are you walking so fast?”
“We already missed enough of class, don’t you think?” Samuel reminds them, and Skylar asks, confused, “That’s a bad thing?”
“When I go to Harvard, you guys are going to regret all of this,” Samuel calls out into the distance and knocks on the door of the classroom. The teacher lets him inside and Samuel quickly shows the teacher his pass. He sits at an available desk and quickly begins jotting down notes.
“What did he say?” Melody asks and Skylar shrugs, “No idea.” After wasting three extra minutes they sashay inside the classroom like divas, hand the teacher their passes and sit down. However, instead of taking notes, they pass them.