chapter one

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Adelaide Henderson devoured her bowl of Froot Loops.

Ever since the very day she had moved to the small town of Derry in sixth grade, she had been trying to gain weight; she hated when boys called her cute.

She hated getting dirty looks from girls when the boys pay attention to her. She hated when girls didn't like her because she's pretty.

Eventually, she gave up on fake friends and decided that she would eat like a pig to take boys eyes off of her. She had a sweet tooth, so she carried around candy wherever she went.

And, for some reason, she could never get fat. She stayed thin and gorgeous.

The pros and cons of having fast metabolism.

The last day of seventh grade was today, and she could not have been more relieved; thankful; glad. She's a huge bookworm, so she's always had miraculous vocabulary, looking up words in the dictionary.

She rode her bike to school that morning a bit differently than the other days of the school year. Why? Because this was the last day (her favorite day). The last day until she could sit on her deck reading a book all day every day in the slightly humid air of Derry.

So, when she arrived at her middle school that morning, she saw the busy hallways and annoyingly loud gossiping groups of girls in a way that only came one day each year. Instead of rolling her eyes, she sighed in relief. The last day.

Adelaide stopped at her locker, easily unlocking the lock in routine, then grabbing books and stuffing them into her backpack. She almost jumped when a figure appeared next to her so fast, and her eyes shot to her left.

"Is that a pencil you're holding?"

Adelaide grinned at her best friend. She had a singular friend, but she didn't mind. Quality over quantity. That was the short explanation.

The long explanation would be that her only and best friend was there for Adelaide no matter the circumstances, which meant much more than having fake friends that leave you when the friendship is no longer convenient. Bittersweet friends meant nothing to Adelaide.

"Didn't you do this last year, too?" Jessica asked, slumping her shoulders in disappointment.

She shut her locker and turned to walk down the halls with Jessica. "Carrying around a pencil doesn't mean I'm going to do the work they hand me. I just can't want to leave," the dark haired girl shrugged at her friend.

"But you like learning," Jessica said, raising an eyebrow.

"Right, but not in this place," Adelaide laughed, almost in amusement at the thought that she could ever like the place.

The environment truly was toxic. Henry Bowers and his fellow psychos, Greta Keene and her bitches. Really, the school was absolute trash. Adelaide only found joy in seeing Jessica everyday, but there were obviously times where Jessica wasn't enough to make Adelaide enjoy the place.

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