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Wednesday, 12:12 PM.

"Are you sure you're going there? Should I accompany you?"

Even if I was so sure about approaching the basketball team today, Aly kept bombarding me with these questions that made me doubt my courage. The others, however, agreed with my actions, just like what I had expected. They already tried pairing me up with Edward on some occasions, and often told me that their 'ship' was sailing, especially Naomi.

"It's okay Aly... I d-don't need any help." I mumbled under my breath and peeked at Edward's group that was three tables away. They were laughing so boisterously that I wasn't surprised if someone sitting on the far edge of the cafetaria could hear them... all except Edward. He just looked down on his lunch and ate his food silently.

I wasn't expecting much from him when it came to expressing his happiness, since he barely smiled or laughed ever since that accident. Once I thought I saw him smiling, but Aly broke my brief gladness apart by explaining that it wasn't a smile, but a sneer.

He is so cute eating, though.

"Besides," I started, hesitantly reverting my stare at her, "you're the one who did t-this for me, Aly, and I don't want to become more dependent on you or the others... so I will try my best to do this alone."

"Aw, look Sam, our tomato has grown!" Naomi fawned as she stared dreamily at me. Tomato... they sure love calling me that because I used to blush easily. I literally turned beet red like a tomato...

"And no worries about being too dependent, Rena. Just so you know, we all got your back!" Naomi tentatively embraced her arms around Samantha. Then, they were hauling themselves closer to Aly as if they wanted her to join in a group hug. She, though, instantly got the gist and sneaked away right before they were able to tackle her. At the sight of their actions, Mark just chuckled as he took a bite off his hamburger.

"Aly, don't be so cold," he muffled.

"Well, sorry, geez. I'm not fond of hugging people," Aly countered back before she contemplated my decision once again. I quietly waited for her response, until she finally broadened her mouth into a wide grin, "well then... if that's what you want, then I'm not going to stop you. Go for it and make these girls' ship sail."

"Thanks Aly," I smiled back, then hurled my body around to face Edward and his friends.

Alright, Rena... you gotta take deep breaths... Before I started having second thoughts, I began heading towards them. It's okay. Just one step at a time.

As soon as I got closer to the group, though, negative thoughts started haunting me, which slowly cost my courage. At this point, I felt like I wanted to stop in the middle of the path and run back to my table. What if they hate me? What if they will just shrug me out? What if they chase me away? What if...

I couldn't turn back now, because Seb had noticed me when in the middle of a conversation.

"Serena, you really did come!" He exclaimed. To be fair, he looked overjoyed, as if he was expecting much from me.

The group ultimately quietened down when they started acknowledging my presence. I began to feel more curious gazes boring through my body, one of them was Edward. They were probably thinking about how rude of me to randomly walk up to their table as if I knew them well.

The pressure that was pushing me down was the worst I ever received. I silently gulped and jabbed my nails into my drenching palms. I eyed blankly at the feast they were currently having. They ranged from sandwiches, small steaks, hamburgers and french fries. I really wanted to say something, but I felt the need to have someone to initiate the conversation first. There it goes again with the dependency I have...

Seb suddenly rose from his seat and came over to my side. Half of the group's gazes pursued him as he cleared his throat and began introducing me, "sorry if it's a surprise, but this girl here is my friend. Her name is Serenity, but call her Serena."

Rena is my preferred nickname. I had the urge to say that, but no voice came out from my mouth.

To my surprise, they all greeted me with small smiles on their faces, to which I replied most of them back. A few were also caring enough to give out their names to me. Edward was an exception, though, he simply acknowledged me and resumed eating. One girl, who was sitting on the opposite side of the table, kept eyeing at me for no reason, though. Even so... the basketball team seems to be a pretty nice group of people to hang out with...

I mentally thanked Seb for his prompt aid.

Out of the blue, the strange girl that had been staring at me shot up from her seat and approached me. Not a second later, she was already in front of me, and she looked pumped up and in high spirits. She was an inch taller than me and I stupidly thought that she was a senior, but the blue ribbon on her school uniform suggested the opposite. It indicated that she was a sophomore, so that meant she was in the same grade as me.

"Oh my goodness, no wonder you look really familiar. You're that girl with the straw hat! Serena or Rena... isn't it?" She suddenly exclaimed, as her eyes sparkled.

"Uh... um... y-yeah...?" I raised my eyebrows at her. It was a surprise to hear that she used my nickname instead of the one that Seb had given out, indicating that at some point, we ever interacted before. However, I was still in a state of bewilderment, so I was unable to process this girl's identity, but I tried my best to remember her.

Then, a name popped up inside my head as I started to piece my memories back together. She was the girl with the long, black hair who was part of Edward's gang back then, and I have always seen her with both him and Seb. Now, she seemed to have cut it short that it reached until her shoulders.

"Adelynn... i-isn't it?" I stammered.

"Yes, we got to meet again!" Adelynn exclaimed and then ushered me onto an empty spot, "have a seat over here!

She seems nice and really talkative but at that time... I wasn't really brave enough to talk to her.

My mind then fumbled when I accidentally brushed my elbow against someone... and that someone was Edward himself.

"S-Sorry!" I instantly squeaked like a mouse, and I immediately took my hands off the table. I lowered my head so that my bangs could cover my reddening cheeks and prevent the others from seeing them. They probably looked like volcanoes that were about to erupt. Just calm down Rena! Why are you making a fuss about this?

In the corner of my eyes, I watched Edward as he took bread from his plate. He seemed to be enjoying them so I didn't dare to try to start something. Is he comfortable with me being here? I hope he isn't seeing me as bothersome...

Seconds ticked past and here I was, sitting beside Edward like a coward. I attempted to open my mouth to speak about something, but shut it close once he chewed on his food. This is not as easy as I thought...

I kept my eyes locked at his plate the whole time, since Edward's tray was the only one piled with tons of bread; no meat or vegetables were seen. They ranged from croissants, baguettes, buns to other kinds of bread. The portions were really huge, but he was able to finish most of them in a few minutes. If I were to eat them, it would take hours to finish all of them. I would even stop midway due to a stuffed stomach.

The awkward silence between him and I was starting to make me feel queasy. I kept on waiting for him to finish his food so that I could talk with him, but it took longer than usual. I decided that I have enough of waiting, otherwise I would achieve nothing in the end. I gathered all of my courage and called him.


At the mention of his name, he turned his gaze towards me. His mouth was still stuffed with bread while his hand was still holding a torn baguette. I almost jumped at his reaction, but again, I tried to not to make any more mistakes, especially yesterday. Now that I have his attention, I swallowed the lump on my throat.

"Is your favorite food... bread...?" I asked.

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