Chapter 5

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Haley on the right! ------>

C  H  A  P  T  E  R    5

Brooke Ashman had a love-hate relationship with lunch breaks.

Brooke loved eating, which was easily discernible from her size. The cafeteria was the only place she could eat freely without being labelled as 'pig'. It was the only place where she could watch as people her age gathered and made a fool of themselves. It was the only place where she could scrutinize the school's outfit and mentally sort them out into three categories. The what was she thinking?! category, or the award-winning Pleasant...but barely category, and last but not least, the Ugh category where almost everyone seemed to fall under.

Looking around the cafeteria, Brooke could already spot a walking fashion disaster. Maggie Summers was wearing a white halter-top dress that ended like 10 inches above her knee. It went into the What was she thinking?! category straightaway. Hasn't anyone told that blonde bimbo that if you wanted to bare those shoulders, you gotta cover up those legs?

And look at Jamie Sanders. She wasn't exactly A-list, but that doesn't give her an excuse for being dressed like she was the Sun itself. Her top was bright neon yellow. Her booty shorts were a garish bright apple red, and great lord, she even took a step further to wear tights that were purple. Awful, omg-what's-that-thing! purple. Jamie looked like someone had swallowed a bucket of paint and proceeded to vomit it on her. To top it off, she was wearing a pair of shoes in a shade of turquoise that did not - repeat did not - match with the other two colours at all. The whole outfit went into an exclusive category Brooke kept for sore losers like Jamie. The you need an extra left-brain category. Because she, Jamie, seriously lacked the ability to differentiate her blues from her reds.

Brooke rolled her eyes. She settled down her tray and awkwardly positioned herself such that her thighs didn't spill out over the chair. She was, again, at the Reject table, and this time, it seemed as though the Rejects were rejecting her as well.

The two showdowns she had today with Juan wasn't exactly going off as well as she had thought. Instead of people ooh-ing and ahh-ing at her bravado, she had people laughing behind their hands at her. She had people rolling her eyes at her. She didn't know what rumour Juan had spread to make her already non-existent social status slip further; all she knew was that she was currently at the bottom's bottom of the social ladder. If that was possible.

It was kind of sad, actually.

Brooke picked at the limp salad her mother had packed for her, sighing. If Haley was here, she would have made a sarcastic remark about those supposedly A-list people. If Haley was here, she would have gladly swopped her roast beef sandwich with Brooke's awful salad.

The thing was, Haley was gone.

Haley had transferred out of the school a few months back. Overweight with thick, frizzy hair and Harry Potter like glasses to complement it, she looked like the female sidekick to Harry Potter. (What was she called again?) Beneath her cheerful exterior was a girl who was tormented by the teasing Juan carried out everyday. Beneath the cheerful exterior was a girl who went to bed crying everyday, and whom had her dreams dashed. Haley had broken down in the middle of math lesson, sobbing uncontrollably, much to the amusement of Juan. The next day, Brooke learnt that she had transferred out of the school, to a posh private school in Manhattan.

Brooke didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.

Haley didn't even leave a contact number. Her little cottage house where Brooke often frequented (Haley's mother made a mean double chocolate fudge; just thinking about it made Brooke salivate) was sold to an elderly couple who looked like they would die any moment.

And so Brooke was left alone to the ruthless Juan.

Brooke picked out the bacon pieces from her salad, then turned to her bag which was on another chair beside her. She rummaged her navy tote bag for her Mars Bar, only to dig out flattened wrappers. Sighing, she dumped her bag back on the chair and proceeded to chew her awful salad.

"Finders keepers!"Juan cackled. Brooke turned just in time to see Juan grabbing her tote bag and swinging it in the air. "Come on, fat-ass,"Juan mocked. "Run after me!" With that he took off out of the cafeteria and into the hallways, with the cheers of the remaining people in the cafeteria egging him on.

Brooke got out of her chair, wincing when the chair stuck to her thighs. She pulled down the chair with force, grabbed her plastic salad bowl and on her way out, dumped it in the trashcan.

"Juan!" She hollered. "Return me my bag!" She huffed and puffed after him, feeling the fat rolls on her stomach shake with the effort. She paused halfway to catch her breath, her face red from the exertion.

"Come on, Brookey-mookey," Juan appeared out of nowhere and dangled her bag out of her reach. "Jump!"

"Just return me my bag!" She roared.

"With what you did to me?" Juan suddenly stilled. He stared at Brooke, his angry gaze falling on her. His face contorted into an ugly sneer. "Embarrassing me in front of the whole class during health class and spitting your Mars bar on my brand new Nikes?" He stepped forward towards Brooke, his voice low with an undercurrent of barely controlled anger. He stepped forward again, and Brooke stepped back until she felt the cold metal of the lockers against her back. Shit.

She was officially dead.

Brooke winced when her body slammed into the lockers with a loud thud. Juan took no heed, however, and proceeded to slam his fist into the locker beside her. Brooke was sure he had made a dent in the poor locker. Not that she cared. Her life was now in danger. That was more important.

"Ever since I saw you," Juan leaned forward until his nose was nearly touching hers. "I loathed you."

If this was in another scenario, and the word 'loathed' had been changed into 'loved', Brooke would have found this utterly romantic. But from the look on Juan's face, only a seriously demented girl would have found this romantic. It was more like a horror movie. Her being the victim. Him being the ugly, snorting beast that ate humans for lunch.

Brooke gulped.

"You and your ugly ass. Your ugly, fat, waddling ass," Juan smirked. "No wonder Haley left you," He raised an eyebrow. "You want to know why?"

"She left because of your teasing," Brooke said, her voice quivering like tofu.

Juan threw back his head and laughed. "You thought that it was so simple?" He smirked again, this time more infuriating than ever. "You want to know why?" He cocked his head to the left. "Of course you want to know. You were her best, best friend."

Brooke swallowed. She was practically dying to know, but on the other hand, she was kind of wary about him. Brooke knew that Haley had a thing with him. Haley had crushed on him for as long as Brooke could remember, but then, again, who didn't crush on Juan? Other than Brooke, of course.

Juan grabbed the front of Brooke's shirt and pulled her towards him. "I hate you so, so much," His glare penetrated into her, and Brooke shuddered. "I will do anything for you to be gone."

Brooke gasped. Was that a death threat? She was so going to get her father to sue him.

Juan took her gasp as her fear of him. He gave an evil laugh, then slammed Brooke into the lockers again. Then he leaned in, and whispered a sentence that made Brooke paled.

Then he turns around and looks straight at you. Yes. You. The one reading this book. "VOTE, FAN AND COMMENT!" He whispers sexily. 

 No, Juan didn't say that, but if he did, would you? Haha!

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