They were coming.
I knew I should be used to this now, but my heart still sank into my ragged boots when I saw them.
'Alone again, Cathy?' she smiled. 'I suppose me and my two could keep you company, huh? It's not like anybody else will.'
'Leave me alone,' I mumbled. Erin shot me a piercing glare, that pushed me down into my seat. I sank like my heart. Erin smiled, sickly sweet. That smile that got all the boys to stare at her. That smile that got all the girls to do her poisonous bidding. Why, oh why, did she have so many supporters? Why was it people like her that was so loved, and famous, and popular?
'But if me, Katy and Milly leave you alone, you'll have no friends to sit with,' she purred in a soft voice. I could easily imagine her being a cat, claws digging into my face. Deadly and seductive. 'I'd much rather have no-one sitting here than you three being here,' I hissed. I tried the best I could to sound intimidating. Like a mouse, I squeaked the words.
A mouse trapped under a feline's claws.
That's what I was.
They laughed at me. Oh, that wasn't anything new. Then they stole my lunch, again. And ate it in front of me. Erin grimaced. 'Ew, what the fuck is this junk? Cucumber sandwich?' She spat it in my face.
I spent the rest of the day in detention, because I lost it and slapped her. It was really helpful to give up my nail biting habit. That's how lunch usually ends. Erin and her cronies come sit at my table, and I lose my temper eventually. But this never fazes her.
You know, everyone around me was watching us.
No one around me helped.
As I shake out my umbrella, a bruise on my arm where she hit me before I left school, my mum asks, 'Did you have a nice day at school?' She means well. Though, it just makes things worse.
'Oh, um....' I falter for a minute, wondering if I should finally tell her. Then I plaster a huge grin on my face. 'Yeah,' I say. 'Another great day.'