- time skip to 12:30pm, lunchtime -
"there you are!" the girl with fiery red hair and an equally fiery personality beamed as soon as she saw her best friend approaching.
"here i am." el chided jokingly as max's ice blue gems rolled in fake annoyance.
"okay, okay come on, we need to find a table before they all go." max explained quickly as she practically dragged the poor brunette into the booming cafeteria without any time to respond.
"woah, woah!" el laughed as they entered through the freshly painted red double doors to be met by the swarms of students that attended hawkins high.
this sight was nothing new to them, but being around this many people at any given time was still unnerving for el, especially due to having the reputation of being a 'nerd', a 'freak', a 'shy weirdo', essentially any word that made her peers look at her in disgust or even amusement. but not the good amusement. the humiliating kind.
el quickly brushed this thought away in favour of helping max find a decent place to sit and eat. they both had lunches pre-packed meaning they luckily did not have to line up and eat whatever slop they were serving that day.
"there!" max a bit too excitedly pointed to an empty table close to the vending machine on the far side of the cafeteria.
it was the perfect table. it was by the vending machine, it wasn't in the middle of the room, it was a close distance to the doors that lead out to the outside sitting area where the suns natural light was just now peaking through among the dull clouds from that morning.
el felt slightly embarrassed as max once again yanked her scrawny arm and pulled her to their destination.
"all that for a table, maxie?" el giggled as they both sat down on opposite sides, now facing each other.
"for the best table in the whole cafeteria? i think yes." the redhead smirked in achievement.
"i'm just surprised no one has walked over and told us to get lost so they can sit on this table instead.." el responded half joking, half serious. knowing that that had happened to them way too many times before, being easy targets to anyone who was socially superior than them, and that was everyone.
well, everyone except maybe a certain raven-headed, freckle-faced boy and his three best friends sitting not so far away from the two girls.