"You know, it would of been better if I just transferred..." I whisper into Peter's ear. He grins at me.
"Geez, no one's going to hurt you." He whispers back, squeezing my hand. "And if they try to, I'm right here".
"You don't know Anja, Peter."
As we walk through the corridor of my school, I can see the piercing stares and hear the whispers from all over.
"That's Lydia?! Wow, she was always soooo ugly before!"
"Yeah, I know! All of that weird stuff on her face! Seeing her made me wanna puke! Yuck!"
"I have to admit, she looks pretty hot now."
"Yeah, who knew? No wonder Anja had it out for her - she's a goddess compared to her!"
Okay, I'll admit it. That comment was just wow!
"They're very... Talkative." Peter mutters under his breath.
"Well, you get used to it." I say and shrug my shoulders.
I stop dead in my tracks when I see a familiar figure up ahead. Bleached blonde hair let loose, grey eyes...
Her eyes go wide when they see me, "L-lydia?! How?!?!" She looks like she's just seen a ghost.
"Sarah." I force a smile under gritted teeth. This is Sarah Lacey, the best friend who turned on me.
It all started on my little brother's pre-school trip to High Bridges Farm. Family were of course welcome to come as long as they paid for themselves. My mother didn't want me to get bored. Sarah was new at school, just joining Reception. Mum had Sarah's mum's number; they're friends. Seeing as my friend, Riley, wasn't coming, she asked if Sarah, her little sister and her mum could join us. I knew Sarah to always play with Anja, I thought they were best friends. Anja was nice to me back then, I did find it in her nature to be quite bossy nevertheless. I sat next to Sarah on the coach. She always strook me as shy, but to my surprise, I didn't find it hard to make conversation with her. Sarah told me about how she actually didn't like Anja, she was scared of her. If she said to Anja that she didn't want to play with her, she was worried that she would get told off. We nicknamed her "Bossy Anja".
"So... Who's your best friend?" I asked her
"You." Sarah replied.
We went back and forth with that. I guess that was my Reception self trying to test her friendship. If she would say "YOU!!" all the time after I ask who is her best friend no matter how much I was annoying her, that was a sign of true friendship. I believed her wholeheartedly, I didn't care. Sarah kept telling everyone the same story; even her own mother. That she was scared of Anja and I was really her best friend. I joined Anja's group. It was Natalie, Anja, Sarah and me in a foursome. Whenever Anja and Sarah ever had an argument, Sarah would always come to me. As the years went on, I was still blind. I thought Sarah was my best friend forever. I always used to ask her in our after school swimming club, "Do you like Anja?" She'd normally always reply with 'no' until oneday, I found out that they were long distant cousins! I don't believe it now, I bet that it was just some story they made up so that they could spend time with each other.
Each week, I kept asking Sarah the same question. Her answer was different this time.
"I can't hate Anja! We're cousins!"
Something even worse happened. Anja and the others became bullies! Especially when the new girl, Anjana, came in year four. I actually had the chance to be popular, though I didn't take it. I just don't understand it; what's the point of being popular if it means being a bully?!
By having my own choice, choosing to be someone that defends people instead of bullying them... I became the victim. The whole class turned on me and joined in on bullying me, people who I thought were my friends. Everyday in Primary School, I came home crying. The only reason I survived it was counting days to my happiness.
"Only two years to go until I leave this horrid hell! I can do it!" I chanted all throughout the day. I tried as much as I could to be an optimist, never letting anyone see me so vulnerable. At night, in my dark room, lying on my bed, is when I let the tears come out. They called me things like "mouse!" saying that I had such a horrible, squeaky voice. I would always fight back, "actually, it's just high pitched!". I would always get the biggest praise at the Talent Show, so they were all probably jealous. I resulted to making friends with the younger years or "little ones" as I would call them in my head. I never wanted them to ever feel the pain of loneliness I did. Whenever they had quarrels, I'd help them make up. Whenever they were sad, I'd cheer them up. They loved me in return. I never cared if people called me weird if they saw me, I only cared about their happiness. The After School Club teachers were the only ones who knew what I was going through. They'd try to encourage me and get me out of trouble if I was told on. Most people hated them but I didn't.
When I was little, this older girl named Opal always took care of me. I cried a lot when she left for high school. I always used to wave to her from the Primary School Playground. When I was near the end of Year Six, my school's high school broke up and Opal was going into Sixth Form. I got so upset. I thought I'd never see her again, you see, I was looking for her in the High School to ask for her number.
When I broke up from Primary School, I was so happy! Thinking that I'd leave them all for good. Then, a miracle happened. Whilst shopping with Mum, I saw Opal!!! I was so happy! I told her about everything I went through. She was so shocked that those sweet girls she used to know would be so horrid to me. I was always Opal's favorite out of them all. Opal couldn't believe that that warm school turned so cold. I gave her a big hug and we exchanged numbers. Apparently, she got into the best performing arts school ever, Tritza. She wished me good luck with High School and I did her with Sixth Form. Opal is so talented and now she has a boyfriend too! I'm not surprised. She has such a kind, pure heart and deserve every happiness life grants her. It feels weird to think of her as that now though.
I thought I was going to be free from everyone, live a happy life... But, to my huge disappointment, we go stuffed into the same high school.
"Lydia... I..." Sarah starts.
"Sarah. I don't want to hear it. Please just leave me be."
I grab Peter's hand and we start walking away.
"Friend of yours...?" He has a puzzled expression on his face.
"Something like that. Lets go." I reply matter-of-factly and I practically drag him out of the hallway.
I don't want Peter to get involved in my personal life! It's none of his business!