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WHEN THE LAST BELL sounded throughout the school, Cassie groaned, knowing she had to make her way to Mr

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WHEN THE LAST BELL sounded throughout the school, Cassie groaned, knowing she had to make her way to Mr.Clarke's classroom within the next five minutes. Otherwise, she would receive a one month suspension from school-which her mother would not be pleased with.

As she shoved through the sea of students, she finally made her way to the AV Club room, which was near the gymnasium in the back of the building.

"Cassie Harrington," called Toby Jenkins, an eighth-grade football jock who loved to mess with girls. "You know, my offer is still standing if you want to meet me in the janitors closet during lunch-"

"Go fuck yourself, Jenkins," Cassie spat, earning a slight chuckle from the boy as he fist-bumped his friends.

As Cassie turned, she met four boys who's eyes were widened in shock. Cassie wanted to say something, but she found it funny how they all stood there-motionless in front of her.

After a while, she finally broke, "What's up with you guys?"

The boys then shook out of their trance, gulping and glancing around at one another as if they were pleading for help. None of the boys in the group knew what to say to the girl standing in front of them.

"Y-You're badass," said Dustin Henderson, a boy in her Biology class, who had two missing front teeth.

"Shut up, Dustin," said Lucas Sinclair, shoving his friend's arm in embarrassment. "What he means to say is that you're cool."

"That's literally the same thing," said Dustin, shooting Lucas a look of confusion.

Cassie rolled her eyes and leaned back against the wall, crossing her arms. She could not believe she was being forced to hangout with these kids.

"Why are you here?" Will Byers shyly spoke up, causing Cassie to meet his gaze.

"It was either this or a one month suspension," explained Cassie, frustratedly running a hand through her brown hair. "Let's just say I didn't have a choice."

Before the boys could process her words, Mr.Clarke popped up behind them, "Hey, guys! I see you've got a chance to talk to our newest recruit!"

Mr.Clarke then turned to Cassie and beamed, "Welcome to Hawkins AV Club!"

Cassie cringed at the words "newest recruit", but kept her thoughts to herself. The boys nodded before Cassie spat, "What do you people do here, anyway?"

"That's a very good question, Miss Harrington," said Mr.Clarke, his enthusiasm slightly getting on Cassie's nerves. "Here we go beyond what we see and focus on sound and communication through films, tapes, and programs."

Cassie plastered a noticeably fake smile on her face as she sarcastically spoke, "Fascinating."

After about an hour of discussing radios and tape-recorders, Cassie could barely think. She had no idea what the boys were talking about half the time and her mind spun with confusion.

Finally, Cassie stood up, "Listen, it's been...interesting. But I have to walk home and I want to do it while the sun is still up so I'm gonna go."

"Alright, lets carry on tomorrow," Mr.Clarke said, all the boys then starting to pack up their things.

As Cassie made her way out of the school, she had never been more happy to breath in the fresh autumn air. What Cassie didn't know as she started walking to the main road, was that she was chased by a familiar head of black hair.

"Cassie, wait up!" said Mike Wheeler, running towards her as best he could with his backpack that seemed to be awfully bigger than him.

Gasping for air, Mike Wheeler walked the rest of his way over to her, a shy smile plastered on his lips. Cassie couldn't help but grin a little at the boy.

"You aren't really walking all the way home, are you?" said Mike, flashing Cassie a look of worry. "You live all the way across town."

"Yeah, well," said Cassie, huffing out air. "My douchebag brother refused to give me a ride because he's driving your sister."

Mike rolled his eyes, "Well that's a coincidence."

"I guess," Cassie shrugged. "See ya, Wheeler."

Mike had totally forgotten what he was going to say to Cassie, and by the time he remembered, she was now twenty feet away from him on the side of the road.

"Cassie!" Mike shouted as loud as he could, causing the brunette to turn around. "The boys and I are having a Dungeons and Dragons campaign tonight if you want to come!"

"And why would I want to?" shouted Cassie in reply.

Mike paused in thought. Why would she want to come? Mike then sighed, tugging at his backpack and turning around in shame. He should've known better than to think that Cassie Harrington would actually hang out with them.

"Hey, kid!" shouted Cassie abruptly, causing Mike to immediately turn around. "Will there be pizza?"

Mike thought for a moment, "Yeah, I think so."

"Maybe I'll stop by," said Cassie, smirking and turning around, continuing her walk home.

Smiling to himself, Mike did a small celebratory dance before running to the bike rack where his friends were waiting.

"She said she might come!" Mike spoke cheerfully.

The boys beamed as they hopped up onto their bikes. Cassie Harrington was something else. She wasn't like Stacey or Aly or any of the other girls that went to Hawkins Middle who acted like they were the spawn of Madonna. Cassie was her own person. It was something they admired about her.

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