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002. ❛ midtown high school.

WALKING THE HALLWAYS OF MIDTOWN HIGH SCHOOL WERN'T EXACTLY THE MOST WELCOMING. NOT WHEN ALL THEIR EYES WERE DIRECTED AT HER; THE DAUGHTER OF A CRIMINAL WHO HAD HIS NAME IN EVERY NEWSPAPER. AND EVEN THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE IN THE CITY: THE DAILY BUGLE. Felicia's mother hid those stack of newspapers from her, but she didn't need to read them to know what they would say about her father. The fact that Walter Hardy pleaded innocent to a crime that he had committed, even if he said he was framed, or that he had a family to take care of.
The city would only ever see Walter Hardy as a criminal.

And the underlying effect of her father being convicted, was Felicia suffering for being his daughter. No longer did students at her old school see her as an individual, but the daughter of a cat burglar. No matter how many times Felicia fled, she couldn't escape the reality that everyone would see her like that. She didn't need the supersonic hearing to hear those whispers as they walked down the hallway, alongside her mother who probably suffered more than Felicia herself.

The first bell of the school day rang, and the bustling students rushed to their classes. Some purposefully bumping into Felicia and giving dirty looks and glanced her way. She knew she was better than that to give into their petty obnoxious actions. Felicia just kept walking forward to the principal's office, where she was to going to be settled in this school that already seemed to hate her.

The two took their seat on the bench outside the principal's office as they were directed. Her mother clutched the file that contained everything that she needed to get Felicia transferred to Midtown. She was more nervous than Felicia for the interview, mainly because if Felicia didn't get accepted than her daughter would seemingly run the same route as her father in the school she was in. Before she didn't worry about Felicia as much because she had managed to be the best of the school, with higher qualifications to attend any school beside that one. But, it started to go downhill for Felicia once her father got caught; although bullying occurred, Felicia was strong enough to fight them off but her mother couldn't let her father's mistake ruin her future.

"So does this seem like school where you can get a new start?" Felicia's mother turned to her daughter, gaining a hum from blonde.

"Considering that some of the people that said rather vulgar things about our family, yeah. This seems like a fantastic place." She smiled at her mother, who wasn't in the sarcastic mood as displayed by her serious stare at her.

Felicia placed her hand on her mother's, "I'm sorry. But anywhere we go, we are going to hear those remarks and rumors about what my father did. We can't escape that but we sure as hell can rise above it, and take on anybody who dares judges us for his mistake."

Her mother placed a tender hand on Felicia's check and let out a hum, "See, that's why you're one of a kind. Although, I didn't teach you to be a violent person. You were born in a house of love, not of hatred."

"You know me, I'm like a cat. And even worse for them, this cat has claws." Felicia hissed in a friendly matter, resulting in a small smile from her mother. A smile she hadn't seen the longest time.

The door of the principal's office opened, and the man stepped out kind of looking like J.K Simmons, "Sorry to keep you ladies waiting, please come in."

Felicia's mother shook his hand before entering his office, and Felicia gave a seemingly real smile to him before taking a seat alongside her mother. Once he sat down in his chair, he opened up a small file of his own which was probably Felicia's record from her past school. She kind of felt a sense of relief because he didn't have the newspaper or media saying that her family was rotten. The scores she had in her previous school was more than enough for admission into Midtown. Even if the people talked, the school had a couple of good characteristics from first glance like it was closer to home, and she would probably find one person that wasn't bad.

"From what I see Mrs. Hardy—"

"It's just Ms. Hardy now." Her mother corrected him, receiving a shock factor from Felicia as she didn't know that her mother had divorced her father so quickly. She knew that what her father did definitely made her mother rethink their marriage as a whole, but didn't think her mother would go as far as to divorce him; not when she would see the love she had in her eyes when they talked about him.

"My apologies, Ms. Hardy. From what I see, your daughter has excellent qualifications from all areas. It just surprises me that out of all the schools in New York, you chose this one." The principal asked.

"Well, this school is much closer than the last one she was in. And it carries more of a better atmosphere for my daughter than her previous one. I believe that this school is going to challenge her more. You know, a mother only wants the best for her daughter." Her mother explained to him, and Felicia kept glancing at the two.

"I guess there's nothing more to say than welcome to Midtown High School." The principal greeted with an optimistic smile before reverting to his computer, "I just have to print her schedule, and she'll be all set to start today."

The machine started to print her schedule and her mother couldn't be more excited for Felicia, as she squeezed her hand in happiness. The principal turned to them again as he handed Felicia her schedule, "We want to make sure that you feel welcomed. And to make sure that you don't get lost, we've arranged for someone to show you to your classes."

"That's great." Felicia said as she looked down at her schedule seeing that at the given moment she would have chemistry; a subject she didn't necessarily like.

Felicia and her mother were escorted from his office, as the mother-daughter pair bid each other goodbye for the moment. "Don't let them get to you. Like you said, be a cat. But without the claws."

"Okay, Mom." Felicia smiled.

"Set a goal today, either to have an amazing first day or to just make a friend."

"Both of those scenarios are highly unlikely," Felicia sarcastically responded. "But I'll try for you."

Her mother pulled Felicia for a tight embrace and held her there for a good moment. She kissed the side of her head before pulling away. Her mother pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear, before smiling and walking away.

Felicia waited alone in the hallway for the person who was going to show her around. A million different scenarios rushed through her head about who the person was going to be. She peeked down one side of the hallway to check for the mystery person, when she felt a touch on her shoulder that partially startled her.

"I'm sorry," the blonde girl apologized as Felicia caught her breath. "I didn't mean to sneak up on you."

"It's fine." Felicia said.

"I'm here to show you around the school. My name is Gwen Stacey." Her bubbly personality said as she extended her arm.

Felicia returned the gesture and introduced herself, "Felicia Hardy."

"That's a pretty name." Gwen said as she looked down the hallway to probably navigate her through the halls. "I hope that I get to know you better. But right now, we have to go to get to Chemistry."

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